C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Now, Punjab Police heaps misery on Naresh’s mother
16-yr-old gets bail, PHRC moved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
After the harrowing experience of Naresh Kumar, a 16-year-old youth from Morinda, it was the turn of his mother, Balbir Kaur, to bear the brunt of the Punjab Police’s highhandedness today.

A few metres short of the main gate of the PGI, the woman had to jump from a slow-moving vehicle while trying to free herself from the grip of the cops who were taking away her son. In the ensuing struggle, her shirt and undershirt were also torn.

The juvenile victim, Naresh, who had been booked under the NDPS Act, was being taken away by the cops after being discharged from the PGI.

“Thinking that the boy was being kidnapped from the hospital, the woman also sat in the police vehicle,” said a police official at the PGI police post.

But instead of explaining the procedure to the harried mother, the cops, led by the SHO, Morinda, Mr Balwant Singh Majithia, directed the woman to go to another police vehicle following them.

Talking to The Tribune, Balbir Kaur said she had to jump off the vehicle as she feared that she would also be maltreated like her son.

“The cops used abusive language and threatened me. I feared for my life and then decided to jump off the vehicle so that I could inform my family members about the incident,” she said.

She lamented that the Chandigarh Police personnel at the police post did not pay any heed to her complaint.

However, the SHO, Sector 11, Mr Puran Chand, said, on receiving a complaint, a daily diary report (DDR) was filed against the Punjab Police cops.

Incidentally, the Morinda Councillor, Mr Jagpal Singh, and the SHO, Morinda, Mr Balwant Singh Majithia, had levelled allegations against each other following which DDRs were registered against both of them yesterday. “We are enquiring the contents of the DDRs,” said Mr Puran Chand.

Naresh’s family alleged that the Punjab Police cops were ensuring that no one could approach the boy.

Meanwhile, the Juvenile Court has ordered Naresh’s release on bail. He is presently lodged at a juvenile home in Ludhiana.

The Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has also been moved by the local unit of the Lawyers Human Rights International (LHRI) today.

The LHRI has sought action against erring Punjab Police officials for allegedly torturing Naresh and his family apart from framing them in false cases.

The SSP, Ropar, Mr Kapil Dev, the DSP, Morinda, Mr Daljit Singh, the SHO, Morinda, Mr Balwant Singh Majithia, and the ASI, Morinda, Mr Darshan Singh, have been made respondent



Woman, ‘paramour’ done to death
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, October 26
In a sensational double murder “discovered” today, a man and a woman were found axed to death in a one-room house in Rampur Seuri village. The couple lay nude on a charpoy. They are suspected to have been murdered by the woman’s husband, Ganga Ram, who has absconded.

The murders came to light when the village today woke up to foul smell emanating from the house rented by Tarsem Lal to Ganga Ram, an employee who worked at his grass-cutting machine on an adjacent piece of land.

“There were hundreds of flies all over the place and the stench had become unbearable. It was growing gradually, but nobody suspected that there were two bodies rotting inside the house. The villagers called the owner who, in turn, called the Sarpanch, Mr Joginder Singh, on finding the house locked from outside,” a villager said.

It was Joginder Singh who first peeped in through the window and saw the two bodies. The police broke the lock and entered the house.

Inside, they found the couple lying on the blood-soaked charpoy while a blood-splashed axe and a sickle were lying near the bed. Clothes and empty liquor bottles were scattered all around. The neighbours identified the woman as 40-year-old Chanda Devi, wife of Ganga Ram, while the identity of the 45-year-old man, found dead with her, is still unknown.

“Chanda Devi and Ganga Ram, natives of Nepal, had got married recently. This was Ganga Ram’s second marriage. She was probably having illicit relations with the man found dead with her. Since Ganga Ram has absconded, we suspect his involvement in the double murder,” a police official said.

The neighbours said Ganga Ram had been staying at the house for over a couple of years and there had been no reason ever to suspect that the two were not getting along. They maintained that Ganga Ram and Chanda Devi were last seen on the Divali night. Since the door was locked since that night, the neighbours, too, didn’t bother to check the couple’s whereabouts. They expected that they had gone out.

Police sources said police parties had been sent to a few neighbouring villages to trace Ganga Ram, but to no avail. While a case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered, a team of the Forensic Department visited the scene and took samples. The bodies, both bearing wound marks caused by a sharp-edged weapon, have been sent to the Kalka hospital for post-mortem. 



S. Africa team doctor saves labourer’s life
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 26
Timely first aid given to a severely injured woman by the South African team’s doctor at the PCA Stadium here today saved her life.

The woman, identified as a labourer, Sumitra Devi, was cleaning the terrace block when she suffered an epileptic attack.

An unconscious Sumitra came tumbling down the row of chairs. She had a severe wound on the temple and was bleeding.

Responding to calls of labourers for help, South African team’s doctor Moosajee Mohammed, who was watching his team practise from the dressing room, rushed to the spot.

He gave her first aid before the local team of doctors arrived there. Later, Sumitra was taken to a hospital.

For his swift action and sense of duty, Dr Mohammad earned praise of all present at the spot. “Showing such gesture for a poor patient by a high-profile cricket team’s doctor is really commendable”, said Mr Sushil Kapoor, local Manager of the South African team.

Meanwhile, the South African team, which will face Pakistan on Friday for berth in the semifinal, toiled hard on the nets for more than three hours. 



RTI Act offers way out of procedural maze
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The Right to Information Act- 2005 is turning out to be a boon for those seeking documents relating to their property from the UT Estate Office.

Generally, it would take repeated visits to the Building Branch, Enforcement Branch or the Misuse Branch of the Estate Office to get copies of documents on building plan, sewer connection etc.

But the RTI Act has offered a cheap and effective mode to the information seekers.

“After applying on a plain paper with the requisite fee of Rs 10, I have been able to get a copy of the building plan of house,” said 57 year-old Mohinder Kaur, resident of Sector 7. She had to construct an additional room in the house.

Property owners who have been living in the city for a long period are the happiest lot.

With passage of time, documents like copies of sewer connection, occupation certificate or building plans get soiled and to get duplicate copies of such documents, the procedure is quite cumbersome.

Mr Kamal Gupta was able to get information about the usage of the first and the second floor for commercial property.

Similarly, Mr C.B. Sharma, an employee of the PF Department, was able to get photocopies of building plans of the PF Colony, Sector 30. The plans were required to carry out some repairs works in the houses.

“I got the plans within a few days. It would not have been possible to get it so fast in the routine process,” he added.

Enquiries reveal that Estate Office was flooded with such applications.

The Act clearly says that an applicant has to apply on a plain paper with requisite fee at the designated counter and then the Central Assistant Public Information Officer (Designated Officer) or the Central Public Information Officer has to reply back within a fixed time period.



Watch out

Akshit Mahajan
Akshit Mahajan

Panchkula-based shuttler Akshit Mahajan will face Andhra Pradesh player in Mini National Badminton Championship in Pondicherry on Friday.

Akshit has won laurels by winning Haryana state championships for three times in the under-13 (singles) category. The ace shuttler has been two times doubles winner of All-India Ranking Championships.



In TownL.K. Pandit

Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, renowned classical vocalist, born in March 1934, represents the fifth generation in an unbroken lineage of the Gwalior Gharana. Former music producer at All India Radio and Professor at Delhi University, Panditji was trained in music from a very young age by his father, Padma Bhushan Pt Krishnarao Shankar Pandit in ‘khayal,’ ‘tappa’, ‘tarana,’ ‘ashtapadi’ and ‘thumri’.

He will perform here on Friday.                                   L.K. Pandit



Passing Through

Mr Suresh Nanda
Mr Suresh Nanda, Regional CEO, North and East, INGVyasa Bank

As the market opens, is INGVyasa looking for expansion?

We already have about 400 branches across the country. Our banking operations are mainly concentrated in South India with over 300 branches being located in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. As and when we get the regulatory approvals, we would like to increase our presence in North (Punjab and Himachal Pradesh) and West India ( Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa). But with emergence of real time banking, our focus would be more on increasing the customer base.

How is the bank faring in private banking?

We have introduced private banking in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune and would be introducing this in at least two other locations in Hyderabad and Chennai. Punjab will also be in focus for private banking.

What is the focus of the bank on improving its services?

We are aiming at increasing the capacity utilisation of the bank by increasing low-cost deposits, penetration in wealth management advisory services and lending in select branches. Our focus is also on creating a strong sales model.

— Ruchika M. Khanna



Woman’s death: Parents, in-laws
clash at cremation ground

Tribune News Service

Neeru Gupta
Neeru Gupta

Chandigarh, October 26
Tempers flew high at the Sector 25 Cremation Ground, here this afternoon, when family members and in-laws of a woman, who died under mysterious circumstances at PGI, here, on Wednesday, clashed with each other over performing the last rites of the deceased.

Tension was defused only after the police intervened. The husband and in-laws of the deceased were rescued by the police and were asked to leave. However, before leaving they gave in writing to the police that they did not want any action in the matter.

The situation took an ugly turn when the body of 25-year-old Neeru Gupta was brought to the cremation ground and her mother in-law tried to put a cloth over the body. Neeru’s parents objected to this and this led to an altercation in which family members clashed with each other. Several persons also sustained minor injuries.

Neeru’s father, Surinder Gupta, a resident of Sector 47, told Chandigarh Tribune that his daughter was married to Kurali- based chemist Madan Mohan Gupta in 2002. She had a three-year-old son and was three months pregnant. He said his daughter was brought to the PGI on Wednesday by her in-laws, where she later died. The post mortem report revealed poison as the cause of death.

After knowing about the post mortem report they informed the police alleging that their daughter had been murdered. The Kurali police is investigating the case.

Mr Gupta further alleged that when he went to meet his daughter some days ago at DAV School, where she was a teacher her in-laws had objected to it and there was tension in the family over this.

On the other hand, Madan, maintained that there was no tension between him and his wife. Neeru’s mother had died about two months back and she was under depression and she might have consumed something in this state of mind, he said.

The pyre was lit by the three-year-old son of the deceased after her husband and in-laws left the cremation ground.



A day of protests at Matka Chowk
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Anganwadi employees and unemployed Linemen from Punjab today staged protest at Matka Chowk in Sector 17 in support of their demands.

The protesters kept the police on its toes for most of the day. The protesting anganwadi women not only tried to breach the barricades, but also raised slogans outside the Punjab Chief Minister’s residence when they were taken there by the police for a meeting.

On the other hand, the unemployed Linemen from Punjab also took to sloganeering at Matka Chowk. The police ordered the water canons to be kept ready in case the situation got out of control.

Inspector Jagbir Singh, SHO of the Sector 17 police station, was seen ‘requesting’ the protesters to remain calm and also called SDM Anku Garg to the spot. At this the General Secretary of the Anganwadi Employees Union, Punjab, Ms Harjit Kaur, insisted that they would go on breaching the barricades until the Chief Minister came to hear their demands personally.

The police officers then conveyed the massage to Chief Minister’s office, which in turn asked the police to bring representatives of the protesters there. Meanwhile, the protesters carried on with their dharna.

The situation again went out of control at Chief Minister’s residence, when the delegation was told by Chief Minister office staff to hand over the memorandum to Deputy Secretary. The delegation members resorted to sloganeering as the Chief Minister’s cavalcade reached there.

The delegation was then called again and they agreed to hand over the memorandum to the Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr M.P Singh. He assured them that the Chief Minister would meet them on October 27 at 5 pm. The representatives, however, announced that in case their demands were not fulfilled then they would gherao the Chief Minister’s residence in Patiala on November 3.

The unemployed Linemen staged a dharna for over two hours. They alleged that the state government had backtracked from its duty of providing jobs to people under the provisions of the Apprenticeship Act, 1961, which guarantees job to people, who had undergone a training course. They also threatened to intensify their stir if the state government’s indifferent attitude continued. 



Last chance to get voter ID cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Residents of sectors 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 61, Ambedkar Awas Yojana, Burail, Behlana, Rajpur Khurd, Faida, Palsora, Kajheri and Badheri villages and their adjoining colonies will have one last chance to obtain their photo-identity cards through a special campaign of the UT Election Department.

A photographers’ team will visit all houses of the aforesaid sectors for on-the-spot photography and these sectors would be covered from October 27 to November 3.

The campaign in Sector 48 will start from October 27 and will terminate on November 2. Sector 49 residents will be covered from October 27 to November 3 while Sector 52 residents will be covered from October 27 to November 2.

Sector 55 will be covered from October 27 to October 30 and Sector 56 will be covered from October 31 to November 3.

The residents of the Ambedkar Awas Yojana will be covered from October 27 to November 3.

For Behlana, Raipur Khurd and Faida villages, a permanent centre will be set up at Ryan International School, Sector 48, from October 27 to November 3.

For Palsora village, a permanent centre will be established at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, and for Burail village, it will be at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45. The centres will remain operational 
from October 27 to November 3.

For Kajheri, Badheri, Nehru Colony, Pandit Colony and Sectors 51, 52, 53 and 61, the permanent centre will be at the Government Primary School, Sector 52, which will remain operational from October 27 to November 3.

The Election Department has advised all electors, who have not yet obtained their photo-identity cards and whose photos are required to update electoral rolls, to make themselves available for photography on the said dates at their houses from 5 pm to 10 pm on all working days and from 10 am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The department has also clarified that in case the photo-identity cards are not obtained by the electors during this campaign, his/her name will be struck out from the rolls.



Police stops construction work on disputed plot
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 26
Construction activity started on a one-kanal plot at Kansal village was stopped by the police here today when a dispute arose among two groups over the ownership of the area.

Members of one group had started construction on a part of the plot but when the other party came to know of it, a complaint was made to the police . The police reached the scene and asked both groups to show the required documents.

Mr Swaranjit Singh, a resident of Kaimbwala village, said his friend, Mr Purujeet Singh, had purchased a one-kanal plot about a year-and-a-half ago. Today he was informed by a wellwisher that construction activity had been started by someone on his plot . As his friend could not immediately reach Kansal, he asked him ( Swaranjit) to look into the matter. He said when he reached the plot and saw the construction activity he called the police.

Mr Rajinder Singh Sohal, SHO, said both parties had registration papers of the plot. It is suspected that wrong demarcation of the plots in the area must have resulted in some confusion which would be sorted out after a thorough probe. There were 14 plots in that locality.

The SHO said two persons, Ms Devinder Kaur and Mr Amritpal Singh, had jointly purchased a two-kanal plot in 2001. Mr Amritpal Singh then sold his share, comprising one kanal, to Mr Purujeet Singh in 2005. Today, Ms Devinder Kaur’s son , Mr Rajdeep Singh, had got the construction work started thinking the plot belonged to them.

The SHO said both groups had been asked to show the relevant documents tomorrow and the matter would hopefully be sorted out.



Education Dept’s ex-employee in fraud wrangle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
Three years after his retirement from the Punjab Education Department, a Patiala resident was booked on the charges of cheating and forgery for procuring the department job under Scheduled Caste quota by allegedly producing a fake certificate.

Giving details, sources in the police said Yadwinder Singh, resident of Ram Bagh Colony, Lila Bhavan, Patiala, was booked for cheating and forgery under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Director, Education Department, Punjab, Sector 17, here.

It was alleged in the complaint that the accused had got a job with the department in 1976 by producing a certificate claiming that he belonged to the Scheduled Caste category. He allegedly concealed his real identity under ‘backward category’.

Yadwinder continued his service in the department and retired as superintendent in 2003. It was later that the department came to know about the alleged fraud and the matter was reported to the police.

The police has registered a case after conducting preliminary investigations into the matter.

However, when a senior police officer was contacted in this regard he said: “The matter is still under investigation and the certificate is being verified.”

He, however, further added that it was revealed during the investigation that Yadwinder Singh’s mother had remarried after the death of her first husband, who belonged to a backward class.

Her second husband belonged to the Scheduled Caste and Yadwinder Singh had been born out of the second wedlock.



Car, mobike stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
A car and motorcycle were reportedly stolen from different parts of the city.

Mr Sanjay Mahajan of Milk Colony, Dhanas, reported to the police alleging that his Maruti car (CH-01-M-8144) was stolen from a Sector 22 parking lot yesterday.

In another incident, Mr Dinesh of PWD Store, Phase II, Ram Darbar, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Bajaj Calibre motorcycle (CH-03-S-9677) was stolen from Sector 34 a few days ago. Cases of theft have been registered.


A scooterist, Ms Surjit Kaur, resident of Sector 23, sustained injuries after being hit by a motorcycle (PB-12-D-5634) near her residence on October 21.

She was admitted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. A case of causing hurt due to rash and negligent driving has been registered in this regard.


The police arrested Bittu of Sector 29 from the rehri market in Sector 29 on Wednesday for allegedly indulging in gambling at a public place. The police recovered Rs 250 from him and registered a case under the Gambling Act.



Photographer ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
A 40-year-old man committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan and a 16-year-old girl allegedly attempted to end her life by setting herself afire here today.

The reasons behind both incidents were yet to be ascertained, said the police.

The police said Ajay Walia, resident of Sector 37-D, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his residence by his family around 5 pm.

A photographer by profession, Walia had gone to his room in the afternoon and did not come out for long.

In the evening, when his wife, Alka, tried to open the door, it was found to be locked from inside. She made repeated knocks at the door which went unanswered at which she called her children who broke open the door.

The matter was reported to the police which shifted the body to the General Hospital in Sector 16.

The police said Walia’s family expressed ignorance about the reasons behind the suicide.

He is survived his wife, two daughters and a son. The police has initiated inquest proceedings in this regard.

In another incident, a 16-year-old girl allegedly attempted to end her life by setting herself afire at her Mauli Jagran residence this afternoon.

The victim, Basanti, sustained 100 per cent burn injuries and was admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

She was said to be alone at home when she took the extreme step. The police said the incident came to light when neighbours heard her cries and rushed to her help.

Her family also reached there and found her engulfed in flames in the bathroom. They informed the police which shifted the victim to the hospital.

The police said the victim was not fit to record her statement. Meanwhile, she has been booked in a case of attempt to suicide under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.



Sec 8 resident assaulted by neighbours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
A telecom engineer working in a Mumbai-based company was dragged out of his house and thrashed by a group of four youngsters in broad daylight by his neighbours at his Sector 8 residence here today. His wife, who came to rescue her husband, also sustained minor injuries.

A son of a former Judge, the victim, Mr Darashjit Singh Grewal, was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital with serious head and other injuries. The doctors reportedly administered 12 stitches on the wound on his head.

Narrating the shocking incident, Ms Upneet Kaur, wife of the victim, told Chandigarh Tribune that she and her husband were sitting in the lawn of their house and were having evening tea when all of a sudden a group of four boys from their neighbourhood barged into their house and dragged her husband out of the house.

According to Ms Grewal, who is a Project Officer in the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, earlier in the day she had asked a woman living in the neighbourhood to keep her dog away from her house, and this could have led to the assault as her neighbour had threatened her of dire consequences. Ms Grewal alleged, “The youngsters were armed with daggers, rods and sticks and they pounced on my husband.”



Theft foiled with owner’s arrival

Mohali, October 26
A theft bid got foiled in Phase VII here today when the owner of the house turned up in the wee hours and found thieves inside his house who immediately fled from there.

Mr Parminder Singh said the thieves who escaped from his house in a hurry left behind a jacket and some instruments used to open locks. A live cartridge was found in a pocket of the jacket. They had packed a mobile phone and some coins which probably they had planned to steal, but could not do so.

The house owner further said he had gone to Pathankot along with members of his family two days ago and came back at about 3 am today. Though the lock on the main gate was intact, he heard some voices inside the house. Sensing some danger the thieves escaped from the backyard. They had searched one bedroom and were in the second bedroom when they suddenly fled from the house.

Mr Parminder Singh said a theft had also taken place in his house on July 4 when thieves had decamped with items worth more than Rs 2.5 lakh. OC



BSNL enquiry staff out of control
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 26
The inability of the BSNL top brass to rein in its staff manning the BSNL enquiry service is the cause of the poor customer-care service, especially its telephone enquiry service, 197.

Everyday hundreds of customers wanting to make enquiries about some telephone numbers, or lodge complaints about deficiencies in services are disappointed as most often there is no response at the other end, especially on holidays, during afternoons and late nights. While making an inquiry at the digital service, especially for Sector 12-A in Panchkula, and Phase 3-A, 3B1 and 3B2 of Mohali, there is no response when the keys, meant for specifying sector/phase, are pressed.

This is despite the fact that lakhs of rupees have been spent by the BSNL to get technology in place and ensure that customers are not inconvenienced. Top officials in the Punjab circle of the BSNL concede that with their agents (staff) manning the service often leaving their seats for some time, it is the customers who are suffering.

It is learnt that eight parallel lines have been set up by the BSNL at its Sector 17 exchange to ensure that all inquiries are entertained. “On an average 40-50 calls per hour are received at the enquiry service, so that the eight agents can manage these comfortably. Chandigarh is a sensitive and an important market for us.”

The BSNL had also invested significantly to create the best infrastructure for the enquiry service. The main database, DOT-Soft, where all old and new connections are registered, has online enquiry counters at the telephone exchange. In case of a line being busy, the enquiry call is immediately transferred to the other line.

Interestingly, the BSNL authorities have also made arrangements that the outflow of calls on these numbers is automatically transferred to the BSNL call centre at Patiala. It may be mentioned that the BSNL has a 15-seat call centre at Patiala. Three of these seats have specially been designated to take the additional outflow of inquiry calls from Chandigarh.

“But this outflow will be transferred to the call centre, only if all the eight lines in the city are busy. We have informally also asked our enquiry staff to hang up all lines in case they have to go for their meals, so that the customers’ calls are transferred To the call centre. But, the staff has failed to pay heed to this also”, said a senior official in the BSNL.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |