C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Lawyers hold up traffic
Protest against police assault on colleague’s son; commuters suffer
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Hundreds of road users were held to ransom when lawyers at the district courts here laid a siege to the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium roundabout for over two hours.

Delay on part of the police in diverting the traffic resulted in a number of commuters being caught unawares. Those who had go the Inter-State Bus Terminus, commercial area of Sector 17, and the district courts, had to take a longer detour to reach their destinations.

Heated arguments and a minor scuffle between lawyers and commuters were witnessed as the infuriated lawyers were protesting against an incident of assault on the son of a senior lawyer by a Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) and two others near Yatri Niwas, Sector 24, last night. The glass windowpanes of one of the cars was also broken when a stone missile was thrown at the vehicle by someone from the unruly crowd.

Mr Neeraj Sharma, one of the commuters, said the lawyers should have protested in a manner so that road users were not inconvenienced. On the other hand, the lawyers said the police was to be blamed for everything.

They pointed out that the assault had left the victim, Gaurav Sharma, with serious injuries on head and wrist. On behalf of the victim and the District Bar Association, Mr A.S. Chahal said even after 12 hours, the police had failed to register a case against the erring cops and suspend the ASI for taking the law into his hands. The victim was going home in his car when he was attacked by assailants at about 10 pm.

The lawyers alleged that the police failed to take cognizance when the doctors at the General Hospital, Sector 16, informed them about the medico legal case. “Fearing another assault, the victim’s family moved the boy to their Sector 37 residence”, said Mr TS Sudan, a lawyer at the district courts.

As soon the news about the assault on Mr Sharma’s son spread, the lawyers after holding a brief meeting marched to the Sector 16 roundabout and blocked the traffic.

Putting the plea of the DSP, Mr KIP Singh, to deaf ears, the lawyers kept on demanding that the SSP should come to the spot to brief them about the police action. They demanded suspension of the erring cop. The police registered a case of attempt to murder and wrongful restraint at the Sector 11 police station.

It was only after about two hours that the SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, came to the spot. While talking to the lawyers, Mr Yadav said appropriate action would be taken against the erring persons. He, however, did not rule the possibility of something more to the incident. A meeting between the lawyers and the SSP has been fixed for tomorrow to discuss facts of the case.

Mr NK Nanda and Mr KS Lamba, president and secretary, respectively, of the District Bar Association, said work for the entire day had been suspended at the courts.

Briefing mediapersons about last night’s incident, Mr Jagdish Chand Sharma said that his son, Gaurav, was returning home by car around 8.15 p m after attending classes at Panjab University. The assailants took him near the ‘nullah’ besides the Children’s Park and attacked him with ‘lathis’ and sickle, thereby injuring him. Gaurav tied the wrist to stop bleeding and came home. He was taken to General Hospital, Sector 16, immediately.

“Though the doctor on duty informed the police about the incident, the police did not bother to visit the hospital. The police officials came after 10 a m the next day to inquire into the matter”, added Mr Sharma.

Meanwhile, the police officials conducted an identification parade of the suspects. A Sub Inspector (SI) and an ASI, both with an identical name of Satbir Singh, were paraded along with other persons before the victim. But he could not identify. Now the police is preparing a sketch of the assailant(s).

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Lekh Raj Sharma, while condemning the incident, sought strict action against the guilty cops. He said the council would intervene in the matter and extend full support to the lawyers if no action was taken.



Games a ticket for officials’ jaunts
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
In a true reflection of the prevalent sports culture, five officials of the Chandigarh Administration’s Education Department accompanied three swimmers to the recently concluded National Games held at Goa.

Interestingly, the administration’s policy has been to boost school games at the grass roots. But this policy has become a tool for officials to make “leisure trips” to sought-after destinations in the garb of taking care of the contingent.

They only ended up sightseeing and shopping than actually taking care of the contingent. A perfect instance of mockery of sports culture!

More often than not, officials accompanying a contingent outnumbered the participating team members. And on some occasions, the contestants were sent alone.

In the latest example, the under-19 swimming team comprising Kunal Bhardwaj, Sahib (both from Shivalik Public School-41) and Prakriti Sharma (Carmel Convent-9) was sent to take part in the national swimming meet in Goa.

However, the three players were accompanied by five officials - DPI (S) Ashwani Kumar, Assistant Sports Officer (Education) Prem Puri, PTI (handball) Raj Pal, swimming coach, Government College-11, Parminder Singh and DPE, Government High School, Dadumajra, Kavita.

Out of these, Ashwani Kumar and Prem Puri enjoyed the privilege of to and fro trip by air.

Interestingly, a State Award for Excellence was announced for Mr Puri by the administration recently.

As per records, Mr Puri retired on December 31, 2006 but he moved court against the administration, claiming that his date of retirement was March 31, 2007. He further asked the court to grant him one-year extension in service, as per the Punjab Government guidelines under the Central Administrative Tribunal.

On the other hand, K.S. Bharti, who was appointed Assistant Director (Sports), Education Department, five months back brushed aside the issue saying: “I have never been involved in the organisational matters. From day one, the department has neither asked me about any sports activity nor do they feel it necessary to let me know what is going on. Contact Mr Puri, who is the key person behind everything.”

Also, sources revealed that during the National School Games organised by the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) in Chandigarh, some schools were asked to bear the expenses of conducting the games at their venues through a fund meant for the welfare of students.

Officials’ liking only for popular destinations was evident from the fact that not a single official accompanied four participants of a kick boxing team that went to the National Games held in Delhi in December. Also, all expenses were borne by the participants.

In his reaction, Mr Puri said: “We didn’t have a kick boxing coach, but the children were not sent alone. There was a contingent of players representing other disciplines for the Delhi National Games. Mr Darshan Singh, who was the overall in charge of the contingent, was given additional charge of the kickboxing team.”

The team’s outing in Goa did not produce great results, with only one participant managing fourth place in one of the events. Mr Puri blamed it on lack of practice for swimmers’ poor showing at the meet.

He added that January was not the ideal month for swimming in the North. “This time is of the year is not suitable for swimmers of the North. For, swimming pools are closed and players are out of practice. Also, there is no all-weather pool in Chandigarh. The only player who got the fourth place had held a practice session at Sangrur’s all-weather pool,” he said.

On being asked the logic behind sending the team when swimmers were out of practice, he said: “Because, we want to give them exposure.”

Regarding officials tagging the team, Mr Puri said: “The DPI (S) was invited by the Schools Games Federation of India as an observer and I went along on the invitation of the federation in my capacity as its treasurer. Our expenses, which include air fare, were borne by the host state.”

On the issue of the funds spent on National School Games, Mr Puri said: “We have already applied for loan from the non-plan budget from the DPI (S) office. As soon as we get it sanctioned, we will return the money to the schools’ concerned.”

DPI (S) Ashwani Kumar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



This is high-risk period for heart attack
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Cold weather is one of the major contributing factors to heart attacks. The rate of incidence of heart attacks and deaths due to heart attacks shoot up during winter. The study clearly shows that the period ranging from December 25 to January 27 is strikingly the most dangerous period as far as heart attacks are concerned.

Cardiologists are of the view that the chilling winters and lower temperatures scientifically pose a great danger by offering potential of clotting in the arteries.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Arvind Kaul, Chief Consultant Cardiology at Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali, claims that heart attacks occur usually due to atherosclerosis or a build up of plaque in their arteries. “For a heart attack some sudden event must cause the plaque in the arteries to crack and rupture, at which point blood platelets get sticky and form a clot in the artery in cold weather. Blood platelets are more active and stickier and potentially likely to develop clots”, he said.

“The least physical activity, leisure, increased intake of alcohol, eating habits and risen cholesterol levels plays the main role in causing heart attacks. Studies have proved that the fall in temperature is directly proportional to the rise in cholesterol,” informed Dr Kaul.

The findings of a recent study conducted over 1,000 persons revealed that 81 per cent of people take to unhealthy lifestyle during December end and early January, adds Dr Akhil Bhargava of the hospital. The functioning of heart becomes harder in cold weather due to the constriction of blood vessels, he claims.

In winter, the heart more differently responds to physical exertion. Also the higher levels of stress hormones, along with ailments during the season, compound the gravity of the situation to a potentially vulnerable heart patient, the cardiologist claims.



After demolitions, HUDA does some talking
Asks Saketri villagers to give affidavits

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 19
HUDA today asked villagers of Saketri to submit affidavits stating that no new constructions would be carried out outside the “lal dor” in the “unauthorised houses” on acquired land while asking them to maintain status quo.

“We have assured the Saketri delegation of not carrying out any more demolitions by the HUDA staff, provided no new structures are added to the existing ones. The villagers had constructed new shops by the roadside, which had been noticed by our staff. We had only demolished a part of these to discourage them,” an officer said.

While HUDA has made its intentions clear, villagers are, however, in no mood to give affidavits stating that no new construction will be carried out. While they do agree that new constructions should not be carried out, they are quick to add that it will be difficult for them to let go of the space at their disposal.

“We have discussed the matter with villagers and asked them to refrain from fresh construction. They agree with us when told but go home and do exactly the opposite. We will have a meeting on Sunday to finalise our stand on the issue,” explains sarpanch Mohan Singh.

Saketri Bachao Morcha president Krishan Bhardwaj said submitting affidavits was no solution to the problem the villagers were facing. 



MC extends garbage disposal scheme to more areas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Encouraged by the response to the scheme of the disposal of garbage and domestic horticulture wastes at the designated places in Sectors 15, 8, 27, 28, 19, and Modern Housing Complex, Sector 22 C and D, Sectors 31, 36 and 42, the Municipal Corporation is extending the same to Sectors 37, 39, 44 and the Industrial Area Phase-I from January 30.

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 279 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976 as extended to the UT Chandigarh, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has designated Sector 37 (near Mini Market, Sector 37-C), Sector 39 (opposite Rehri Market, Sector 39-D), Sector 44 (near petrol pump, Sector 44-C), Industrial Area Phase-I), where Sehaj Safai Kendras have been constructed for the disposal of garbage and domestic and horticulture waste.

The residents of Sectors 37, 39, 44 and the Industrial Area Phase-I should deposit their garbage at the designated places either personally or through their servants or may get in touch with the sector welfare associations or NGOs for engaging cycle rickshaw for the collection and disposal of their household, horticulture wastes.

The places shall remain open for depositing the garbage and domestic horticulture waste from 7 am to 6 pm. The corporation staff will not collect the waste. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Sanitation and Public Health) Bylaws, 199, states that an act of violation shall attract a fine of Rs 500.



Morgue staff get clean chit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
The one-member committee, constituted by the PGI, to probe into the bodies’ swapping case, today submitted its report. The committee found ‘no lapses’ on the part of the morgue staff of the PGI. The PGI authorities had asked Dr Kusum Joshi, head of the department of histopathology, to enquire into the swapping of the body of Kamlesh (28) with Ameena. The body of Kamlesh was handed over to Ameena’s relatives and vice versa.



Seniors behind husband’s disappearance, says woman

Chandigarh, January 19
The wife of an employee in the Punjab Education Department has accused the seniors of her husband of being involved in his mysterious disappearance.

In a complaint Ms Gurmeet Kaur, alleged that her husband, Mr Mewa Singh, was being harassed by two of his senior colleagues. Mr Mewa Singh is a Superintendent in the Education Department at the Punjab Secretariat and has been missing since January 17.

She alleged that her husband had told her about his seniors harassing him and had also discussed the matter with his other colleagues. The Sector 22 police has filed a DDR and begun investigations. — TNS



Tenant verification campaign

Chandigarh, January 19
The Chandigarh Police is organising a special campaign for verification of tenant/servant/paying guests in all police stations on January 21 in respective areas.

For area falling under the jurisdiction of Police Station, Sector 17, verification can be done at beat box of Sector 22 and Sector 16.

Police Station, Sector 11: Community Centre, Sector 15 and SD High School, Sector 24. Police Station, Sector 3: police booth, Sector 8, inner market.

Police Station, Sector 26: beat boxes of Sector 7, Sector 27, Sector 28 and Bapu Dham Colony.

Police Station, Mani Majra: Community Centre, MHC, Mani Majra.

Police Station, Industrial Area: GHS, Sector 30.

Sector 31: beat box of Sector 47. Police Station, Sector 34: beat box of Sector 34, Police Station, Sector 36: beat box of Sector 35. Police Station, Sector 39: beat boxes of Sector 38 and 40. — TNS



Patiala resident accused of theft
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19
Mr Parminder Singh, a resident of Sector 36 A, has reported that Raj Sharma of Patiala stole Rs 12,000, two gold kara, one gold bracelet, one gold ring and one gold chain on December 28. The Chandigarh Police has registered a case under Sections 380 of the IPC at Sector 36 police station.

Two injured: Two motorcyclists, Vinod Kumar and Sushil Kumar of Mani Majra, were injured when their vehicle was hit by a Maruti car (PB-10-BX-0188) near the Housing Board light point, Mani Majra, today. Both were admitted to the PGI. The police arrested the driver of the car, Paramvir Singh, a resident of Ludhiana. However, he was later bailed out. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC.



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