C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Principal alleges police inaction in assault case
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Row over issuing a school- leaving certificate led to the alleged slapping of a woman Principal of Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir, Ratwara Sahib, Mullanpur Garibdas, by the father of a former student. Though the incident took place 13 days ago, the incident came to light today when Bibi Gurnam Kaur, Principal of the school, accused the police of going slow in the case, allegedly under political pressure.

According to the complaint lodged by the Principal, Gurmail Singh the father of a student who had failed the Class IX exam, wanted a school- leaving certificate for his ward and it was issued to him. A few days later the same parent wanted the certificate to be rewritten to say that his ward had passed Class VIII from the school. When, the Principal refused to oblige, she was slapped by the parent.

To add insult to injury, the Mohali police refused to register a case, initially, but booked the accused on the intervention of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Naunihal Singh.

Narrating the incident, vice-chairman of the Vishav Gurmat Roohani Mission Charitable Trust, Mr Harpal Singh, said the incident took place on July 29. After the Principal told Gurmail Singh that she could not reissue a certificate that had already been issued, he got enraged and slapped her repeatedly and also hit her on her face with a telephone receiver. Hearing the commotion other staff members rushed for her help and later the Principal informed the police.

Mr Harpal Singh further alleged that despite the fact a written statement was handed over to the police on same day, it did not proceed against the guilty. In the meantime the Principal had to be admitted to the PGI as her condition deteriorated.

During all this time, the police did not take any action on her complaint. Fed up with the dilly dallying attitude of the police, they sought Mohali SSP’s intervention and a case was registered under Sections 323 and 326 of the IPC in this regard.

The police even asked the Principal to take responsibility for the delay by saying that she was making efforts to reach a compromise, which was not the case. To top it all the police has not yet provided them a copy of the FIR, he alleged.

Mr Harpal Singh also alleged that the police was still being pressurised by a local minister, who was disrupting the constructive works initiated by the charitable trust. 



Principals seek representation in PU Senate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Principals of government colleges affiliated to the Panjab University today demanded representation of Principals in the PU Senate. Eighteen Principals of such colleges collected at the university today to attend the first-ever conference of the Principals’ of the Government Colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh.

Highlighting the various problems that the colleges faced vis a vis the university, Principals stated that the students had to suffer due to the delays caused by the university in sending roll numbers, declaring results, sending detail marks certificates and degrees. They stressed that like the system followed by the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Principals of all affiliated colleges should be made ex-officio members of the PU, Senate, which would held sort out many problems that were occurring due to lack of communication and coordination between colleges and the university.

Ms Raji P. Srivastava, DPI (Colleges), who was the guest of honour at the conference, talked about the need to increase global competitiveness of educational institutions. “Borrow the best practices from other varsities and other organisations, marry them to our home-grown methods that have survived the test of time and develop solutions that work,” she said.

Ms Srivastava said, “This is a generation of bored young people with very little attention span. You need to touch their soul, but you have only the time between the blinks of an eye to do it in. Revamp curricula, redesign teaching methods, re-engineer academic processes and rope in partners in learning,” she said. She added that there should be adequate emphasis on core research and publishing financial discipline and viability of various projects.

Mr A.N. Garg, Principal, Government College, Sector 11, demanded that the university give powers to college Principals to allow late admission to students rather than the VC having these powers and charging a huge amount as penalty.

Dr Upinder Mehra, Principal, Government College for Girls, Sector 11, added that the last date of sending the students admission details be extended till October-end and principals should have a representation on the board of studies.

Another Principal demanded that PU should relax its criteria for choosing Principals to be taken on education tours since the criteria did not allow government college Principals to participate in such trips.

The DPI, colleges, Punjab, Mr Kanwarjit Singh, pointed out that the university did not have any representative of college Principals on their various sports bodies. He suggested that the university should do away with the system for taking an NOC from the Punjab Government in order to grant affiliation to colleges.

Prof R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, after listening to the problems of the college Principals, assured the Principals that he would look into them most carefully and try to solve them. He sought the cooperation of the faculty and the media for faithfully implementing the rules and regulations of the university.

He said he was against private tuitions and unfortunately, the parents depended more on tuitions and less on class teaching.



UT seeks project details from depts
Bid to inform public about govt decisions under RTI
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
In an endeavour to facilitate right to information, the Chandigarh Administration has asked all departments to appoint nodal officers for maintaining liaison with the Department of Public Relations. The dealing hand should be a gazetted officer.

Mr Krishan Mohan, Home Secretary, in a communication to all heads of departments, boards and corporations has said, “In the era of right to information, the general public has every right to know about policy decisions, welfare schemes and any other important decision that affects their life.”

A senior official pointed out that a “majority of the departments are available on the UT website. However, it is an accepted fact that the data is not updated on a number of the sites. It is amusing to read some of the departments have not even changed the names of officers who have been replaced by new ones”.

The office of the Director, Public Relations, which handles the media is seen an important link in carrying out the official message to the masses. In that light, the UT Administration has sought latest information about different projects, schemes and facilities concerning the common man, at the earliest.

It has also been pointed out that “in case a reporter or a correspondent asks questions regarding any scheme/plan from the head of the department, the PROs should be informed about the details the very same day”. “The heads of the department should try to check any unauthorised leakage of information. Responsibility should be fixed for any leakage. Only those officials should speak who are authorised by the Administration,” the communication reads.

Departments have been asked to appoint nodal officers to ensure timely delivery of press releases to the DPR office. The departments have also been asked to intimate well in advance about all events of public interest. The communication also underlines the fundamental requirements of a good release including: the most important element to be first; the language should be that of a common man like translating policy matters in official language for the common man to understand and be factually correct.

When questioned about public access to information through media about questions posed by the general public from different offices under the RTI Act, a senior officer said, “The issue is pertinent and the administration might take it up for consideration, at a later stage.”



Female foeticide goes on in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 10
The uncovering of a mass grave of female foetuses at Patran yesterday has once again brought into focus the gravity of the situation with regard to the evil of foeticide.

Doctors say as in other places in Punjab, the murder of unborn daughters continues in Mohali and neighbouring areas.

Although it is difficult to give the exact figures in view of the fact that parents and certain unscrupulous doctors are hand- in- glove in committing the crime, it is believed that murders may run into hundreds annually in the district.

Dr Jasmer Singh, who has been practising in the town for the past 31 years, said female foeticide was still going on in the town and surrounding areas.

He estimated that even now, one or two cases must be taking place daily in Mohali itself .

If the surrounding areas were to be taken into consideration, the figure might go up to five cases a day.

The number of cases had definitely come down as earlier up to 15 cases of female foeticide a day were estimated, he added.

Dr Jasmer Singh said the authorities concerned were not checking the illegal activity on a regular basis.

Raids were conducted only when complaints were received.

A municipal councillor and the president of the Generation Saviour Association, Ms Amtesh-war Kaur, said the act of killing an unborn girl child was not only inhuman, it also disturbed the natural balance.

She estimated that nearly 80 per cent of nursing homes in the town had been indulging in this illegal activity, though in an over- cautious way.

She said a midwife working in a nursing home had told her about an year ago that an NRI woman had come to the town, who already had three daughters.

As she wanted to have a son as her fourth child, she went to the nursing home for a check-up.

The doctor went to the extent of aborting the male foetus of the NRI woman as his greed for money had no limits.

She said the authorities concerned were only making half-hearted efforts to check female foeticide.

There was a need to change the mindset of the people as even educated people had been indulging in such illegal activities in order to have a male child.

The state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare said the sex ratio was a cause of concern.

According to the 2001 census, there were 876 females per 1,000 males.

Sex ratio in the age group of 0 to 6 was lower, being 798 females per 1,000 males.

As per the latest survey conducted in all sub centre headquarter villages , the sex ratio at birth was 826, which showed significant improvement trends in the sex ratio.

Dr M.S. Toor, Civil Surgeon, said there were approximately 35 registered ultrasound centres in the district, out of which 18 were in Mohali.

He said these centres were inspected once every three months.

Asked whether female foeticide was going on in the town, Dr Toor said that he had not received any complaint since he took over more than three months ago.

He said the inspection of ultrasound centres could not be held more often as the number of such centres was high.



Junk dealer commits suicide by jumping in front of train
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
High drama was enacted at the Chandigarh railway station when Parkash, a 25-year-old junk dealer, committed suicide by jumping before the Kalka-Delhi Himalayan Queen this evening.

The incident took place near the end of platform no. 1 towards Mani Majra.

Seconds after this incident, one of the legs of Ashok, who was trying to board the same train, was amputated.

While the body of Parkash was sent to mortuary, Ashok was admitted to the Sector 6 General Hospital in Panchkula.

Officials at the General Reserve Police Post, Railway Station, said the statement of Ashok was yet to be recorded.



Water works project commissioned

Chandigarh, August 10
The first phase of the 20 MGD water works-cum-boosting station was commissioned today by the Punjab Governor and the UT Administrator, Gen (Retd) S.F. Rodrigues, at an impressive ceremony, here today.

The water works project, completed at a cost of Rs 3.70 crores, will supply drinking water to the residents from Sector 48 to Sector 52, entailing the execution of second phase, benefiting the population of approximately 2.2 lakhs.

General Rodrigues called for instituting a well-managed monitoring system with the availability of complete data of intake of water supply and its distribution to the households. He also asked the officers to introduce periodical professional computerized testing of the water samples at the reservoir, before its supply to the people.

General Rodrigues also asked the officers to develop new sources of water. He emphasized that long range planning for the augmentation of water supply should be done, to keep pace with the ever growing needs of the Union Territory.

Accompanied by senior officers including Mr S.K. Sandhu, Secretary Finance and Engineering and Mr VK Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, General Rodrigues went round the pumping station, sub - station and a reservoir. — TNS



Raids by IT officials
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, August 10
Officials of the Department of Income Tax raided the house of a property dealer in Phase III B 1 here today.
The raid, which started in the morning, continued till the time of the filing of the report late in the evening.

The main gate of the house was bolted from inside and nobody was allowed to enter the premises.

An official said he was not authorised to make any statement. The raid was probably conducted on the basis of a complaint.

It is alleged that the property dealer had purchased the house at a very high price, but had got the registration done at a quite a low rate in order to save money.

Panchkula: IT sleuths conducted search operations at the premises of certain industrialists and property dealers in the town.

Prominent among the industrialists, whose premises were searched for allegedly evading income tax was an office-bearer of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In view of the spurt in property prices in and around the tri-city, large-scale cash transactions are being reported.

Since the collectorate rate (the official rate for the registration of property) is much below the market rate, the role of black money comes into play.

This money is usually not reflected in the returns filed by a cross-section of the society, said official sources, justifying the search operations.



Delegation of coop society meets CM
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
A deputation of the Saketri village and office-bearers of the Manav Cooperative House Building Society today met the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The deputation, which was led by the society president, Mr A.C. Kaushik, urged the Chief Minister to take a favourable decision on their demand for the withdrawal of the acquisition notices issued by HUDA in respect of the land outside “lal dora” in Saketri village. It also demanded the regularisation of the houses constructed by them in the Manav Colony.

Mr Hooda assured the delegation that a decision on the issue would be taken shortly, according to a press note.



Flag march held for I-Day function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Chandigarh police today held a flag march in Sectors 17 and 22 this evening with regard to the Independence Day celebrations. The police intensified vigil in public places, bus stands and slums to keep an eye on the suspicious looking persons.

The police deployed a permanent force in the Sector 17 Parade Ground, venue of the celebrations till August 15.

Besides this, regular checking and verifications drives are in progress in the city under which all the hotels, inns and dhabas are checked. The men-in-khaki are also frisking passengers at the railway station and two bus stands.

The police had earlier carried out search drives during which antecedents of over 1,000 tenants, workers and employees working in the shopping area of Sector 22, which is located near Sector 17 Parade Ground, were verified.

The local police has formulated a plan under which round the clock surveillance would be kept at sensitive places to prevent any untoward incident. The police teams supported by the teams of bomb-disposal squads and dog squads have been assigned the task to conducted regular checking at ISBT-17 and Parade Ground everyday till August 15. 



Shops, jhuggis demolished
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
Shops and jhuggis were demolished from outside Sohana village for illegally occupying government land by the enforcement wing of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority here today .

As many as 15 new shops had recently been constructed near a gurdwara in the village in violations of the norms. All of them were demolished.

On one side of the village land was encroached upon by slum dwellers. As many as 150 jhuggis had come up in the area and all of them were demolished.

Mr Tara Singh Dhindsa, SDO, Buildings, who headed the team, alleged that someone from the village was collecting rent from the slum dwellers for using the land.

The demolition drive which started around 10 a.m. went on till about 3 p.m. Nearly 20 police personnel accompanied the team during the drive apart from PUDA’s own security personnel. 



PCS officer to listen grievances
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
The town will be divided into various parts and a PCS officer will be made in charge of each area so that he could listen to the grievances of the residents He/she will be responsible for solving the problems of that particular area.

This was stated by DC at a meeting with the members of the Mohali Industries Association ( MIA) here today. He said that the administration had made efforts to solve the problems relating to the industrial area. To tackle the problem of water shortage a tubewell was made functional and one more would be added soon.

He said he had talked to the transport authorities of Punjab and Chandigarh regarding the provision of a night bus service for the convenience of factory workers. 



Snag delays Shatabdi by one hour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The morning Delhi-Kalka Shatabdi Express (2011) was delayed by over an hour after the electric engine of the train failed near Dhulkot. The train arrived at the Chandigarh station at 12. 15 pm against the scheduled timing of 11 am.

Sources in the Railways said the engine of the Shatabdi Express developed a technical snag. An engine had to be rushed from Chandigarh to pull the train.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh- Bandra Paschim Express which left for Mumbai yesterday was terminated midway due to floods in Gujarat.



Stress-coping meditations at Osho Dhara
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Tai-chi and chikung sessions, which help us discover hidden aspects of mind and body and gain an inner balance, will be held at OSho Dhara Meditation Centre, 58, Industrial Area, Panchkula. These will be conducted by an expert team from Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune.
The centre is holding a three-day meditation sessions from August 11.



Bag with Rs 2.5 lakh stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
A businessman was taken for a ride by unidentified miscreants, who took a bag containing Rs 2.50 lakh from his car after distracting him in Sector 17 this afternoon. Giving details of the incident, sources in the Sector 17 Police Station said, Ish Aggarwal, a Sector 17-based property dealer, had, in a complaint to the police, alleged that two men had decamped with his bag after distracting him in a dramatic manner.

He told the police that he was sitting in his car outside KC Theatre in Sector 17 and was waiting for his friend. At that time, a man knocked at the window of his car and told him that the rear tyre of his car was flat.

Mr Aggarwal came out of his car leaving the bag containing the money on the other front seat of the car.

As soon as he came out a rickshaw puller pointed out some Rs 10 and 20 notes, which were lying on the road, and told him that his (Aggarwal’s) money had fallen. On this Aggarwal told the rickshaw puller to pick up the money and returned to his car.

He was shocked to find the bag missing from the car and raised an alarm. But he found no one there. He immediately called the police, which reached the spot in no time, said a police officer.

The SHO of the Sector 17 Police Station, Inspector Jagbir Singh, said a case had been registered in this regard. He added that the modus operandi of the culprits revealed that it was the handiwork of a Muradabad- based miscreant, who had earlier also duped people in a similar fashion. 



2 motorcycles recovered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The local police arrested a Ram Darbar resident and recovered two stolen motorcycles from his possession.
Giving details sources in the Sector 31 police station said Bahadur Dharam Pal Singh of Ram Darbar was arrested following a complaint filed by Mr Joginder Singh of Police Colony, Sector 5, Panchkula.

The police said his arrest led to recovery of two stolen motorcycles. He was displaying fake number plates on the motorcycles. A case has already been registered against him in Panchkula in this connection.

One held: The local police arrested Ranjit Kumar of Burail village on the allegations of kidnapping a minor girl from the locality on August 7. The minor girl was recovered from his possession. They were sent for medical examination. The police has registered a case in this regard earlier.

Scooter stolen: Mr Vijay Singh of Aman Colony Dhanas lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (CH-01-H-0472) was stolen from Panjab University on August 9. A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

Theft: Ms Gayatri of Sector 22 reported to the police alleging that her purse containing two mobile phones, a driving license and Rs 6000 was stolen from Sector 22 market place on Wednesday. A case was registered in this regard.



Rationalisation of taxation sought for hotel industry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has demanded that the hotel industry should be given the status of infrastructure sector. The president of the federation, Mr Manbeer Choudhary, said here today that the status of infrastructure would entitle the hotel industry to certain income tax concessions.

Mr Choudhary was here today to preside over a meeting of the committee set up to organise the 42nd annual convention of the FHRAI in Chandigarh in November.

While Mr B.B. Bahl of Hotel President is the chairman of the committee, Mr Man Mohan Singh Kohli, chief executive of Aroma Hotel and Mr Param Jit Singh Budhiraja, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab, are its co-chairmen.

Mr Choudhary said the convention would be spread over three days, starting from November 10 to 12. About 800 delegates from all over the country would participate. Hotel Mountview would be the host.

Stating that the three-day affair would be a high-profile show, he said the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), had agreed to inaugurate the convention. The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, would be the guest of honour at the inaugural function.

The Chief Ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh had already sent their consent to attend the convention. The Union Minister for Tourism, Mrs Ambika Soni, would be the chief guest at the valedictory function. The Union Minister of State for Finance, Mr Pawan Bansal, would give a presentation on Budget-2007.

An exhibition by manufacturers and suppliers of equipment used in hotels and related fields would also be organised on the occasion.

Mr Bahl said the convention would go a long way in putting Chandigarh on the tourist map of the country. He said Agra and Jaipur were hot contenders for hosting the convention. But Chandigarh was chosen after General Rodrigues told the organisers that Agra and Jaipur were already on the tourist map, while the City Beautiful needed a boost in this regard.

Mr Kohli said there should be a rationalisation of taxation on the hotel industry as was the case in foreign countries where only one tax was imposed on tourists. He also demanded that VAT on food served in the hotels and restaurants in all states should be brought at par with Himachal Pradesh, which had imposed only 4 per cent VAT against 12.5 per cent being charged in the other states.



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