C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Strike leaves hundreds stranded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Hundreds of people today got stranded at the Inter State Bus Stand here as all transport unions blocked buses from 11 am to 2 pm in response to a nationwide strike call.

Passengers, including women, senior citizens and children had to wait for hours together at the bus stand.

Vehicles were held up in a traffic jam in front of the bus stand for more than half an hour. Mr Jagdish Singh, president of the Chandigarh Government Transport Workers Union, said: “We were against privatisation and contract system. We demand new recruitment in the government offices”. Mr Lal Chand Kasana from Haryana Roadways demanded that there should be a provision of bonus for the employees.

Mr Kirat Singh, AITUC president of the local depot of Punjab Roadways, said the employees were being forced to resort to agitations. Mr Karambir, president of the Haryana Roadways Workers Union, said the employees even blocked cars of certain Haryana ministers.

“I have to reach Hisar in the afternoon to attend a family function, but now it seemed that I would reach only in the night”, said Durga Devi, who was waiting along with her two children at the bus stand for the strike to end.

Another family of six members from Naldehra, Himachal Pradesh, including three children, said, “We were not aware of the today’s strike. We set off early in the morning so that we could reach Moga in time. Now, we have no option but to wait for the strike to end,” said Mr Ram Dass, head of the family.

The local commuters, majority of whom were students, faced a bit of harassment due to the strike. However, most of them made arrangements in anticipation. “I come to my college by local bus but today I came on scooter along with my friend”, said Geetika of Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

Rickshaw-pullers and auto-rickshaw drivers were seen making most of the opportunity. They charged exorbitant rates from the hapless passengers. Meanwhile, traffic flow came to a halt at many places as bus drivers had parked their buses in the middle of the roads.

Rallies were also organised by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and different employee unions of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation. Certain other organisations which participated in the strike included the Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU) and the Chandigarh Subordinate Services Federation.

Meanwhile, banking and insurance services in the region were severely affected as the employees of public sector banks and general insurance companies and the LIC participated in the nationwide strike under the banner of the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions in Financial Sector.

Other than the State Bank of India, the Central Bank of India and Canara Bank, almost all other banks participated in the strike. The bank employees were protesting against the merger/consolidation of banks. They were also protesting against outsourcing of banking services.

The insurance employees were protesting against the imposition of transfer mobility policy, vacant posts in insurance companies and increasing private equity share in insurance companies, etc.

PANCHKULA: Members of the Bharat Electronics Employees Union and the SC/ST Association here joined in the nationwide strike. Mr Raj Kumar Saini, president of the union, demanded that their demands be fulfilled.



Eminent citizens speak for patients
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Expressing solidarity with patients admitted to the PGI, eminent residents of the city today said the December 18 strike of the medical technologists of PGI was against public interest and the association should refrain from taking such extreme steps to press for its demands.

Maintaining that strikes at the PGI should be completely banned, they said the court should intervene in the matter and direct the association to continue providing essential services.

B.N.S. WaliaDr B.N.S. Walia, former Director of the PGI, said the medical technologists had been creating trouble by going on mass casual leave to press for their petty demands. They were a blot on the image of the institution, which was one of the best health institutes in the country, rendering the best services to the masses.

“The decision of the technologist to go on mass casual leave is not in public interest. I am of the view that the court should ban strikes in medical institutions so that the poor patients were not put to inconvenience,” Dr Walia said.

S.K. SharmaAnother former Director of the PGI, Dr S.K. Sharma, said all demand of the medical technologists were not genuine. The PGI governing body had turned down their demands several times. The technologists had been spoiling the atmosphere of the institution for the past many years, he opined.

R.K. Saboo“I do not agree with the kind of protest by the medical technologists of the PGI,” said Mr R.K. Saboo, a city-based industrialist. He was of the view that the protesting employees should adopt some other alternate method for expressing their resentment without causing inconvenience to the patients.

“I think the PGI management is serious and responsible towards its employees and could solve the disputes, if any, amicably,” he added.

Ashok KhannaHopping that good sense would prevail among the technologists, Mr Ashok Khanna, chairman of the States Coordination Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said, “Doctors and other staff of the PGI are dedicated to their work. That is why the people have a lot of faith in the PGI. If the medical technologists have any grievances with the management, they should try to sort these out through dialogue,” he said.



Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/New Delhi, December 14
Haryana's much-touted flagship bus service — Volvo — continues to trouble passengers. Giving a lie to the tall claims of the Haryana Transport Department, yet another bus, on way to Chandigarh, broke down today on the outskirts of Delhi leaving passengers fuming.

About 15 minutes from the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), New Delhi, a rear tyre of the bus (HR-68-6004), belonging to the Chandigarh Depot, punctured around 9.20 am today leaving the passengers virtually in the lurch.

And this happened despite a "routine check-up" of the bus at the Haryana Roadways workshop in New Delhi last night, the bus crew said.

It was here that the nightmare of passengers began. And the bus crew was also at its wits' end at the piquant situation. To the surprise of the passengers, it was found that the bus had no spare tyre, which could be used in such exigencies.

After trying in vain to solve the problem, the bus crew contacted the roadways workshop and the passengers were assured that an auto-rickshaw was on its way with the spare tyre. However, as the wait proved to be long, tempers ran high with irate passengers demanding an explanation as to why no spare tyre had been kept in costly bus whose one-way ticket cost Rs 415, a shade cheaper than the Shatabdi ticket.

The crew tried to pacify the passengers, including Brig K.S. Chandpuri (retd), a decorated soldier, who was returning from an assignment from the Doha Asiad. Such irresponsibility on part of the Haryana Roadways, which charges heavily for this service, was not tolerable, opined Ravinder Chaudhary, a sports official, who also returned with the Brigadier from Doha.

The Haryana Government must also spare a thought for its maintenance and service, the agitated travellers quipped.

Meanwhile, another Volvo, a poorer version of the original, was requisitioned by the bus crew which reached the spot after one-and-a-half hours at about 10.45 a.m.

As the bus went about its onward journey to Chandigarh, the crew, in an apparent effort to make up for time lost, preferred to skip the mandatory 20-minute refreshment break at a Haryana Tourism joint on the way.

Despite the crew's best efforts, the ardudous journey took over six hours. It may be a long journey for the passengers, but for the Haryana Roadways, the facilitation of hassle-free journey for passengers, it seems, is yet to begin. Over to the Haryana Transport Minister, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala!



Accountant found dead in rivulet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
A 56 year-old official of the Punjab AG office, Surinder Chopra, was found dead in a rivulet near the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Sector 36 here this afternoon.

Surinder was a Senior Accountant and was reportedly mentally upset for the past few months. His body was identified by his relatives who live in Sector 23.

Ruling out the possibility of any foul play behind the death, the police said no external injury mark was found on the body.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station, inspector Ishwar Singh Mann, said the police was informed about the body at around 12:30 pm.

Surinder, who was a bachelor, left home on December 11 after having his dinner. He was living with his brother-in-law in Sector 23.

The police found a small diary in his pocket on which some hymns were written.

The police said he might have died last night. Meanwhile, the body was shifted to the Sector 16 General Hospital. Inquest proceedings have been initiated.



Watch out

Dr Pankaj Garg, a Consultant, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, will participate in PSG Surgical International Conference and Workshop to be held in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, today. He will demonstrate a live surgery at the conference.

Besides Dr Garg, Prof Steve Wexner from Cleaveland Clinics, Florida, USA, and President of the prestigious SAGES (Society of American Gastroendoscopic Surgeons), Dr Talus Henry from N. Jersey, USA, Prof Joel Leroy from Strasbourg, France, and some other experts will also demonstrate live surgeries.

This workshop is an update on minimally invasive colorectal surgery. 



In Town

Mouni Roy, better known as Krishna Tulsi in “Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, is in town to meet the winners of a contest. Chosen from among thousands of hopefuls to play the character of Krishna Tulsi, this young girl, who is doing her Masters in mass communication from Delhi, had no intentions of joining the entertainment industry when she landed up for auditions but got selected.

From Cooch Bihar, where her parents stay, to Delhi and finally to a plum role in one of television’s longest running serials in Mumbai, Mouni has come a long way. Today she has no time for anything other than this serial. But if not this then she would have dabbled in theatre, choreography or puppetry.



Passing Through

Amit Aggarwal
Amit Aggarwal, Vice-President, Hiring, Genpact.

What brings you to the city?

I am here to launch Genpact's recruitment office in Chandigarh. This office will serve as Genpact's local hiring office for the candidates from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to apply for a career with India's leading outsourcing firm. Genpact has already hired over a 100 person's in Chandigarh over the past six months, and the company will be looking at increasing this number to over 150 in the next six months with its new recruitment office in the city.

What is the attrition rate in Genpact and what steps are being taken to control it?

The attrition rate in Genpact is 31 per cent, which is far below the service industry's attrition rate of around 70 per cent. This is because we allow transfer of employees into other departments, offer good bonuses, have flexible work arrangements, besides following good people practices. This helps in retaining employees.

In which other cities do you propose to open recruitment offices?

We already have eight recruitment offices in India and by the end of this fiscal, we will have offices at Jamshedpur, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar.

—Ruchika M. Khanna



Demand New Wage Board
Employees of newspapers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
On a call given by the Confederation of Newspapers and News Agency Employees’ Organisations, the local unit of the confederation today held a protest march that started from The Tribune and culminated at the Sector 17 plaza .

Demanding a new wage board, representatives of various newspapers and news agencies from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana held a rally at the plaza and condemned the “anti-worker ” policies of the Central Government. They also demanded abolition of the contract system .

Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, president of the Confederation of Newspapers and News Agencies Employees Federation, Chandigarh, said the government was bent on curbing press freedom by its policies. He condemned the sale of United News of India (UNI) shares to a private party.

Newspapers owners, who were making money, were retrenching employees instead of sharing the profits with them.

Mr Balbir Jandhu, a former president of The Tribune Employees Union, demanded abolition of the contract system and voluntary retirement schemes as these were anti-employees. He said while the government hadset up the Sixth Pay Commission, newspapers employees had remained neglected.

Mr Vinod Kohli, President of the Chandigarh-Punjab Union of Journalist (CPJU), said owing to the indifferent attitude of the government towards the needs of journalists, they had been forced to come on the roads to register their protest. Mr Haresh Vashsisht, President of the Chandigarh Journalists Association, wanted the government to announce interim relief and set up 
a new wage board at the earliest.

President of the Chandigarh Press Club, Mr Balwant Takshak, Mr Raj Kumar Shrivastava, president of Indian Express Employees Union, and Mr Sarabjit Pandher, former president of the Chandigarh Press Club, also spoke.

Mr Anil Gupta, general secretary, The Tribune Employee Union, extended support to the national level protest.

Meanwhile, the CPJU held protest rallies in various parts of Punjab and submitted memoranda to the authorities concerned to be submitted to the Prime Minister. 



Cong manifesto harps on past achievements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The Congress today released its manifesto for the upcoming municipal corporation elections. Listing its achievements of the past five years in office, they promised to better these. Mr Pawan Bansal, Minister of State for Finance, and Mr B.B. Bahal, city unit president, released it.

The manifesto states that the Congress will work towards making Chandigarh a world-class city and provide a responsive, responsible and accountable municipal administration. The manifesto further promises a mixed bag of goodies, which concentrates more on the maintenance and upkeep of the existing facilities.

The party promised to make the city more green. Modern markets and promotion of khadi and village industry have also been highlighted in the manifesto. The manifesto promises that there will be special flats for retired employees while ex-servicemen will be exempted from property tax. 



Cong expels 5 members

Chandigarh, December 14
The Congress has expelled five of its members from the party for six years. The five who have been expelled include Ms Shayama Negi, Senior Deputy Mayor, Ms Nirmal Kaur, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Anand Singh and Mr S.M. Khan. In a letter issued to these five, Mr B.B. Bahal, party president, stated that action in seeking elections against the official nominees was not considered conducive to maintain discipline in the party.

His letter further stated that as they had not taken his letter sent to them on December 4 to withdraw their nominations seriously, they were thus being expelled, as they had not withdrawn their nominations against the official candidates fielded by the Congress. TNS



Ward No.16

(Sectors 20 and 33)
Rajesh Kumar Gupta — BJP

He is 42-year-old and is contesting the MC elections for the third time. He contested the elections as an Independent candidate in 2001 and got around 1,000 votes out of the polled 4,000 votes. He has been associated with the BJP for the past one year. He is also associated with a few organisations. He is the joint secretary of the All-India Car Dealers Association and vice-president of the Chandigarh Car Dealers Association. If elected, he promises to work for the welfare of the people.

Ward No. 19

(Reserved for women, Sectors 26, 26-E, Bapudham Trang, Camp II Phase II, Sector 26-E, Transport Area, Sector 26-E, EWS Housing Board, Bapudham Trang Camp I, Phase I, Bapudham Trang, Camp III, Phase III and Madrasi Colony.

Sunita — Congress

Thirtyeight-year-old Sunita is contesting the civic body elections for the second time. A class X pass out, she is a housewife and had won the elections in 1996 as an Independent candidate. She later joined the Congress. At present, she is secretary of the Chandigarh Pradesh Congress. She promises to get roads repaired and also work for the development of slums and the grain market.

Surinder Kaur— BJP

Fortyeight-year-old Surinder will also be contesting the MC elections for the second time. A class VII pass out, she owns a shop. An ex-councillor from Ward No. 14 (before delimitation), she contested the elections in 1996 and won. She promises to focus on development of slum areas, reduction in prices, making special provisions for retired people and building a marriage palace.

Sarita Sharma Sarita Sharma — CVM

Forty-year-old Sarita Sharma is contesting the MC elections for the first time. This graduate is a social worker and has also worked at an anganwadi centre. On being elected, she will work for reduction in prices of common commodities, rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and building a marriage palace in the ward, she maintains.

Ward No. 20

(Reserved for women, Sector 29, Phase I, Industrial Area, Sanjay Colony and Colony No. 4)

Indu Singla Indu Singla — Congress

She is 40-year-old and is contesting the MC elections for the first time. This class XII pass out has also done NTT. She is a housewife and has been associated with the Congress for the past 10 years. At present, she is the general secretary of the Chandigarh Mahila Congress. If elected, she promises to work for the development of the ward according to the needs of the people.

Munni Devi Munni Devi — BJP

Forty-years-old Munni Devi is contesting the MC elections for the first time. A class V pass out, she is a housewife. She has been associated with the BJP for past many years. If elected, she promises to work for the development of the ward.

Manjit Manjit — BSP

This 31-year-old postgraduate in Punjabi is contesting the MC elections for the first time. Her family, however, has been associated with the BSP for a long time. She says if elected, she will try to bring down inflation and solve problems of the people residing in her ward.

Ward No. 21

(Sectors 32 and 46)
Ravinder Singh Pali — Congress

Ravinder Singh, 39, is a diploma holder in mechanical engineering. He has been associated with the Congress for the past many years and was the chairman of the All-India Youth Congress in 2000-01. At present, he is the general secretary of the Chandigarh Congress Committee. If elected, he promises to get pavements laid in his ward, besides taking up other development projects.

Davesh Moudgil Davesh Moudgil — BJP

Thirty-year-old Davesh Moudgil is contesting the MC elections for the first time. He has been associated with the ABVP, the BJYM and the RSS. He is a graduate. He promises to work for the welfare of senior citizens and ensure that a proper drainage system, a community centre and greenbelts are developed in the ward.

Balwinder Singh Balwinder Singh — CVM

This 43-year-old is contesting the MC elections for the first time. He has been associated with the CVM for the past five years. A class X pass out and owner of Uttam Sweets, Balwinder says if he wins the elections, he will work for the development of the ward according to the needs of the people.

Balbir Singh Balbir Singh — BSP

He is 50-year-old and is contesting the MC elections for the first time. He is a class XII pass out and owner of a workshop. He is also the president of the Sector 38-West Market Association. If elected, he will ensure development of greenbelt and cleanliness in the ward, he says.

Ward No. 22

(Sectors 31, 47, 48, Industrial Area and Phase II-entire)
Surjit Chaudhry — Congress

He is 51-year-old and is contesting the MC elections for the first time. He is a graduate and deals in iron. He is also the president of the District Congress (Urban). If elected, he promises to focus on completion of all pending works in the ward.

Arun Kumar Arun Kumar — BJP

Forty-year-old Arun Kumar is contesting the MC elections for the first time. This graduate has a building material business. A mandal president of the BJP, he has been associated with the party for the past 16 years. Development of the ward will be his prime focus if he gets elected, he says.

Jitender Bhatia — CVM

He is 52-year-old and is contesting the elections for the second time. A sitting councillor from Ward No. 17 (before delimitation), he is also the president of the Chandigarh Housing Federation. He is a retired government employee and says if elected, he will solve all problems related to industrial plots and housing board cooperative societies.

Sandeep Sharma Sandeep Sharma — BSP

Sandeep Sharma, 24, is contesting the MC elections for the first time. He is a class VIII pass out and this is his first foray into politics. A photographer by profession, he says developing a greenbelt in the ward and completion of all pending projects will be his priority.



21 years gone, his fight for justice drags on
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Criminal cases drag on and on and this seems true in the murder case of the son of Allah Singh also. Twentyone years after 24-year-old Inderjit Singh was allegedly murdered, the verdict in the case is still awaited.

Inderjit Singh, son of Allah Singh, was allegedly murdered by his landlord, Hardev Singh, and his son on July 7, 1985, at Sector 34-D. The post-mortem report had stated that the death was due to asphyxia caused by hanging. It termed it to be a case of suicide.

While 80-year-old Allah Singh has been stating that a case of murder had been shown as a case of suicide awaits justice, the accused have been pleading innocence.

Trapped in a legal quagmire, counsels in the case are uncertain about the time in which the case would end. It may take another several months, if not years, they believe.

At presently, the CBI Special Judge has recorded the statement of five of the total 16 additional witnesses on the request made by Allah Singh, who has been moving one application after the other. The case was transferred to the CBI court in December, 2005.

The last hearing in the case was held on November 20. The statements of five of the witnesses were recorded on that day. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on February 13.

After the incident in 1985, the victim’s father got a case of murder registered against Hardev Singh and his elder son, Harpreet Singh. The Chandigarh Police allegedly tried to close the case after a recommendation from the Patiala police on February 27, 1988.

Thereafter, Allah Singh sent a representation to the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India and the case was reopened. The CBI was directed to investigate the case and file a report.

The CBI also recommended the quashing of the FIR registered against the accused. In 1995, the court directed the CBI to conduct a fresh investigation, to be conducted by a comparatively senior officer.

The case was handed over to the SP, CBI, Mr Kirti Chandra Kanungo. During the investigation, he examined more than 100 witnesses that had also been examined by previous investigating officers. He concluded that the death of Inderjit Singh was homicide and not a case of suicide.

However, the higher authorities did not accept the report and again recommended the cancellation in 1998.

Later, an application moved by Allah Singh was treated as a private complaint. The charges were finally framed by the court of the District and Sessions Judge on June 11, 2003.

A CBI special court has now started recording statements of additional witnesses after a plea of Allah Singh was allowed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Shocking callousness: Abandoned by employer, child finds father after 2 yrs
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Two years ago, Dayashankar, a chana-kulcha vendor from Hoshiarpur, lost touch with his 12-year-old daughter Sridevi. He had handed her over to a government doctor, who was to proceed on a posting to Chandigarh. The arrangement was clear - the child would work for the doctor and he would, in turn, look after her needs.

But that was not to be. In a matter of days, Sridevi went missing.

Dayashankar was told she had run away. She had, in fact, been abandoned by her employers. In the DDR lodged with police on August 11, 2005, the day she was found in the parking site of the Bougainvillea Garden, Sridevi mentioned that a woman had left her outside the park, promising to return.

Several months after the child inadvertently landed in the custody of the Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee, her father relocated her through a stroke of luck. The moment of reunion was an overwhelming one. But more overwhelming is the fact that those who caused them so much pain are still out of bounds for the law.

A complaint against the doctor is pending with the Sadar police station in Hoshiarpur. Dayashankar is too poor to pursue the case. He says he could not have found his daughter had it not been for the help of Narottam Sharma and Vijay Marwaha, two traders who saw his lonely struggle.

In Chandigarh with Dayashankar today, Narottam Sharma said:“We had mentioned the doctor’s name in the complaint but nothing constructive happened. First, he agreed to pay compensation, but later backtracked. He kept flaunting his connections.”

Dayashankar cannot forgive the doctor. He says he will fight for justice and will ensure that the “irresponsible” employer is punished. the SSP, Hoshiarpur ,Mr Rajendra Dhoke told The Tribune that he would depute officers to bring the offender to book. The case, he said, would be reopened.

While that happens, Dayashankar has promised the Child Welfare Committee to admit Sridevi to a school in Hoshiarpur. Here in Chandigarh, she was staying at Bal Niketan, Sector 15, and was attending school. She had made friends and had begun to like her new-found home.

In tears, she bade farewell to her friends at Bal Niketan today. Regaining composure, she said: “I will go to another school now,” The Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee has already written to the DC in Hoshiarpur to get her admitted to a school there.



Rs 3 cr expenditure gets MC nod
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 14
The municipal council today passed the Rs 3-crore expenditure incurred in November on various development works carried out in the city at its meeting here today. While the House took a decision to rechristen Labour Chowk in Sector 16 as Maharaja Agrasen Chowk as announced by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at a recent function, it also sanctioned Rs 3 lakh for the renovation of the residence of the Executive Officer of the council.

The council constituted a committee from among its members to look into the grievances of residents of the Sector 21 regarding house tax collections at a meeting attended by 15 councillors. The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Chander Mohan, made a customary appearance.

The meeting was attended by eight Indian National Lok Dal councillors, four Congress councillors and three nominated councillors.

Mr Pawan Mittal, a councillor, in his statement later said a handful of councillors had decided to boycott the meeting to protest against the “buying of councillors” by MC president’s husband Kulwant Gill. He demanded that Manvir should step down from the post in the face of allegations.

Ghaggar bridge closed

The Ghaggar bridge connecting Majri Chowk in Sector 1 to Ramgarh was closed to heavy traffic here on Thursday for repairs.

Girl dies in mishap

Fifteen-year-old Rajeshwari, daughter of a migrant labourer, died in an accident here on Thursday. She was crossing the road near the bus stand in Sector 5 when a two-wheeler hit her and dragged her for some distance. The accused fled from the scene. The police has registered a case. 



Good Samaritan rescues mentally ill

Panchkula, December 14
Inadequately clad, he spent yesterday night shivering near the Mansa Devi shrine. This morning, lying unattended on the road, he was about to be run over by a car speeding out of the temple premises when a good Samaritan came to his rescue.

The president of the Jeewan Mukt Nishulk Vidyalaya, Mr Mansa Ram Ahuja, who had gone to the shrine to pay obeisance today, saw him shouting at passersby.

“Suspecting that he was mentally unstable, I tried to placate him. When nothing worked, he was taken to General Hospital, Sector 6,” he says.

At the hospital, too, he created a ruckus in the Emergency Ward and ran around all over the hospital “trying to find a place to hide from terrorists”. Finally, the hospital staff managed to catch hold of him and carried out an ECG with great difficulty.

Finding him to be fit and not in need of any immediate treatment, the “unknown patient” was referred to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. “We did not want to waste time conducting various tests and then referring him to a hospital which would be able to provide the institutional care he required. We sedated him and referred him to Chandigarh where there are special wards to take care of mentally unstable patients,” a doctor at the hospital said. TNS



Deputation: UT seeks names of PCS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The Chandigarh Administration has asked the Punjab Government to send names of PCS officers who can be put on deputation in the Administration. The development is important in the context that at least three PCS officers in the UT are nearing the end of their deputation period.

They include Mr Arun Sekhri, Director of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Mr O.P. Popli, Controller of Printing and Stationery, and Mr H.S. Khandola, Joint Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation. The deputation of Mr Khandola ends on December 31 and those of the two others a little later.

A senior official of the Administration said: “We have vacancies for PCS officers so arrival of new officers need not necessarily mean repatriation of the serving officers”, the official added.



Bomb shell found

Chandigarh, December 14
A bomb shell was found in Kaimbwala village, here, this afternoon. The police said it was not sure whether the bomb was live or not.
The shell was recovered at a site where ground levelling work was going on. The police has informed the army officials about the recovery of the shell. — TNS



Chimpanzee, bisons for Chhat Bir zoo

Zirakpur, December 14
The authorities of Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park, Chhat Bir, near here, have acquired some more animals for the visitors.
According to Mr Dharminder Sharma, field director, a chimpanzee, Rustam, has been acquired from a Delhi zoo. The zoo has also got three bisons from a Mysore zoo, Mr Sharma added. TNS



PRSI award for Chandigarh Chapter

Chandigarh, December 14
The Chandigarh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) has received the PRSI National Award - 2006 for performance excellence at the recently concluded 28th All India Public Relations Conference held at Lucknow from December 8-10 on “Governance with Human Face - Emerging Trends and Role of PR”. The awards were given by the former President of Mauritius, Mr Caseem Uttem. TNS



Energy Conservation Day celebrated

Chandigarh, December 14
National Energy Conservation Day was celebrated at the Government College, Sector 11, here today. The Principal, Dr A.N. Garg, emphasised the need for the conservation of energy, it being a scarce and precious resource.
Dr K.S. Saluja, Vice-Principal, stressed the use of energy-saving appliances. Prof V.K. Deveshwar, registrar of the college, also spoke on the occasion. TNS



NIFT official arrested for sending vulgar SMS
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 14
Sending vulgar SMS and making obscene phone calls to girl students, allegedly by the head of the department of textile designing, led to a day-long strike at Northern Institute of Fashion Technology, Phase VII here today. Head of the department (HoD) K.Krishnamurthy was suspended following the protest. Later, he was arrested under various sections of the IPC and Information Technology Act.

The aggrieved students alleged that that they were being regularly sexually harassed by their HoD and he had threatened them with dire consequences if they objected to it. He used to regularly ask us out for dinner and send indecent SMS, the girls said. Many a time he came to the institute in an inebriated state and used to call us to his room on one pretext or the other, they added.

A complaint of molestation and sexual harassment was also given to the SSP and the director of the institute two days ago, they added. However, Krishnamurthy denied all allegations.

To support their allegations, the students had saved the vulgar messages and recorded the phone calls. These were shown to the mediapersons.

The NIFT has a strength of 400 students and initially only students of semester III resorted to the protest. They staged a dharna outside the institute, demanding his sacking and registration of a criminal complaint against him. The situation aggravated at about 11.30 a.m. when officials of the NIFT and the students had a heated exchange of words over the presence of a brother of one of the student.

But as the students became aggressive and with the presence of electronic media, more students supported the protest. At 12.30 p.m. the police reached the spot.

A complaint of sexual harassment was given by 25 students to the director of the institute and also to the SSP two days ago, but no action was taken, rued the students. Even six months ago a similar complaint was given to the officials but nothing happened.

Earlier, Krishnamurthy had been forced to leave the NIFT, Hyderabad, for similar reasons, the students further alleged.

Meanwhile, Krishnamurthy said he was being falsely implicated as many of the students did not perform well in the exams. Moreover, the students were also short of attendance. He claimed that he too had received similar vulgar messages.

The director of the NIFT, Ms Vijay Sharma, said K.Krishnamurthy had been suspended. We would be issuing a show-cause notice to him before taking further action, she said adding that she was on leave for two days, so the action had been delayed.

Giving details the DSP (City), Mr Ashok Sharma, said the HoD was arrested on the complaint of the students under Sections 354, 294, 509 of the IPC and 76 of the Right to Information Act.



Thieves steal Rs 45,000 from scooter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
Two scooterists stole Rs 45,000 from a scooter in Raipur Khurd village here this afternoon.
According to the police, Mr Surinder Singh, an ex-serviceman, alleged that two clean-shaven youths, riding a navy blue LML Vespa Scooter (CH-01-W-9226), stole Rs 45,000 from the dickey of his scooter.

He had gone to the HDFC Bank branch in Zirakpur in the morning to deposit the amount. He returned without depositing the money as he failed to recall his account number.

The SHO of the Industrial Area police station, Mr Baljit Singh Chaddha, said Surinder told the police that he parked his scooter outside his house and went inside to collect his passbook. When he came back he found the lock of his scooter’s dickey broken and the money missing. He saw the two youngsters sped away on their scooter. A case of theft has been registered.



2 held with ganja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
The local police has arrested two Uttar Pradesh (UP) residents from the city and recovered 25 kg of ganja from their possession in the wee hours today. Rajinder of Kushi Nagar was nabbed from the ISBT, Sector 17, with 15 kg of ganja while Hari Nunia was held with 10 kg of ganja from near Gurdial Singh petrol station.

Two separate cases under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs Act and Psychotropic Substances Act have been registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Car stolen: Mr Navdeep Mehta of Dhanas lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his Indica car (9CH-03-V-0260) was stolen from his residence during the intervening night of December 12 and 13. A case of theft has been registered.

Held for stealing: Mr Sameer Gupta of Sector 46 reported to the police alleging that Vikramjit Singh of Bathinda and Gaganjit Singh had stolen Rs 5,000 and a mobile phone from his residence on Tuesday night. The police has registered a case.Vikramjit Singh has been arrested on theft charge.



Indus Airways starts operations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14
After much delay Indus Airways finally started its operations from the city today. The inaugural flight carrying 20 passengers today arrived in the city from Delhi. The flight was however behind its scheduled arrival time of 8:40 am and arrived at 11:55 am.

The flight then took off for Mumbai with 28 passengers on board. According to Capt MS Sandhu, general manager (operations), Indus Airways will operate a daily flight on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai-Chandigarh-Delhi sector.” The airline is operating a CRJ 200 50 seater aircraft on this sector. The Mumbai flight will connect to Goa also. Tickets for Chandigarh-Goa will be on sale after December 20.

The flight will leave Delhi at 8 am and arrive in Chandigarh at 8:40 am. 



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