C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

City police comes under a cloud
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh Police appears to be in the dock over the swift manner in which it arrested the SHO of the Sector 34 police station, Inspector Jagir Singh, in a case of molestation and criminal intimidation.

An insight into the manner in which the police handles cases of such nature reveals that it has been conducting a preliminary inquiry into the allegations before proceeding further - be it their own men or others.

Not ruling out that possibility of inter-departmental politics or differences between the SI posted in the crime branch and the Inspector over a case involving the latter’s son, who has a garment shop in Sector 22, a senior official said facts would speak for themselves.

Apparently conscious about the conduct of its certain officials, the Senior Superintendent of Police today marked a departmental inquiry to DSP (South), a day after arresting the Inspector.

It may be mentioned that in the recently reported cases of allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Inspector J.S. Cheema and Brigadier Jaswal, the police conducted preliminary inquiries.

The guidelines of the Supreme Court regarding arrest in cases seem to have been violated by the force in uniform.

Even as the top brass of the police ordered an inquiry into the incident today, the men-in-khaki are asking whether the step was taken in haste. Or is the suspended inspector a victim of internal police politics? Minutes before he was produced before a local court, Inspector Jagir Singh alleged that a team of officials from the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police picked him up from his office in the Sector 34 police station, saying that it wanted to discuss an issue with him. He was taken to the Sector 17 police station where two sub-inspectors abused him incessantly and humiliated him. He was later told that he was arrested in a case of molestation and criminal intimidation.

The entire incident has caused resentment among sections of society comprising political parties and police personnel, who gathered at the Sector 17 police station since morning in support of Inspector Jagir Singh. The atmosphere outside the police station remained tense throughout the day and people were saying that the internal rift of the police has come forth in the incident. They also said that certain inspectors of the local police are driving the things.

Inspector Jagir Singh was remanded to judicial custody. After coming out of the court, he claimed that according to the FIR, the incident took place at 3:30 pm on Monday, while at that time he was in Parade Ground participating in a flag march.

Certain officials in the Sector 17 police station told TNS that nothing of that sort happened in the police station and things were fabricated later. The police officials are also expressing surprise over the invoking of Section 506 (criminal intimidation) in the case.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Balbir Singh Jangra, former president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr Shanti Dass of the Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) and Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, president of the local unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said the manner in which inspector Jagir Singh was arrested hurriedly without conducting any inquiry raised questions over the functioning of the police. They stated that it seems that the top brass of the police is dancing to the tunes of certain inspectors, who have become law unto themselves.

Mr Riar termed the case as a conspiracy and said it was a case of petty politics that has sullied the image of the force in the eyes of public. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter to unravel the truth. The representatives also threatened that in case the police did not cancel the case, they would come out on roads and protest against the high-handedness of the police.

Mr Harmohan Dhawan, former Union minister and president of the CVM, condemned the incident, saying the police acted in a haste in the matter. He added that prima facie it looked like a well-designed conspiracy and he had lodged a complaint in this connection with the UT Inspector-General of the Police (IGP) S.K. Jain about the manner in which the inspector was arrested without holding any inquiry.

Arguments for criminal intimidation tomorrow

Inspector Jagir Singh being produced before a local court.
Inspector Jagir Singh being produced before a local court.

The Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Balwinder Kaur, today remanded Inspector Jagir Singh to a 14-day judicial remand.

Arguing the case on behalf of the Inspector, the defence counsel pleaded that the imposition of the Section 506 IPC (punishment for criminal intimidation) was uncalled for, as the alleged criminal intimidation did not take place at the Sector 17 police station.

He pleaded hearing of arguments under Section 506 of the IPC. The JMIC announced to hear the arguments tomorrow.

Mr K.S. Lamba, secretary of the District Bar Association, condemned the manner in which the case was handled by the Chandigarh Police. He said the arrest should have been made after verifying the facts.

Different guidelines of the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission clearly specify that manner in which arrest should be made.



Election of Anu Chatrath, Manjit Singh challenged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Three election-related petitions have been filed before the Deputy Commissioner by candidates who unsuccessfully contested the Municipal Corporation elections last month.

While two petitions have been filed by the BJP, one has come from the SAD side. Today was the last day for filing of petitions.

Petitions have been filed against former Mayor Anu Chatrath, Deputy Mayor Manjit Singh and Jagjit Singh Kang.

The first petition has been filed by Kewal Krishan of the BJP, challenging the election of current Deputy Mayor Manjit Singh of the Congress.

He contested the elections from ward No 11.

Mr Krishan in his petition has stated that Manjit Singh has two votes registered against his name - one at House No. 208, Phase 1, Ram Darbar and the other at House No. 1859, Phase 7, Mohali.

The petition further states that Manjit Singh is aware of the fact that he has two votes and has tried to deny the same.

The petition states that this has been proven from the fact that he cast his vote in the last Assembly election from the one at the Mohali address.

The other two petitions have been filed on the issue of office of profit.

The first has been filed by BJP candidate Rajni Gupta in ward No 2 against former Mayor Anu Chatrath.

The petition challenges the Returning Officer’s decision to reject the objection filed by Rajni Gupta at the time of scrutiny of nominations.

The third has been filed by Charanjit Singh of the SAD against Jagjit Singh Kang of the Congress in Ward No. 9.

The petition states that Kang holds an office of profit, as he is the Director of Central Co-operative Bank, SAS Nagar.

The petition further states that he enjoys all powers that come with the post.

Talking to the TNS, advocate Arun Sood said the petitions were filed this afternoon. “Two petitions have been filed on the ground of office of profit, while another contends the holding of two votes.” The petitions will be taken up for further action on January 24.



Ram Darbar murder: Accused in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
A local court today remanded Sunil Kumar, accused of killing his mother’s paramour in Ram Darbar yesterday, in judicial custody.

The police said it had informed the relatives of Dara Singh about the incident. They were expected to arrive in the city tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination on his body was carried out after the complainant and some other persons known to the victim identified the body.

Cyclist killed

Munna Lal of Maloya Colony was killed after the cycle he was riding was hit by an auto-rickshaw near bus stand in Maloya yesterday.

The victim, who received serious injuries in the accident, was taken to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where he was declared brought dead.

A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against the unidentified driver in this connection in Sector 39 police station.

Held for pick-pocketing

Happy Rana of Pinjore was arrested on the charge of pick-pocketing from ISBT, Sector 17, yesterday.

Kuldip Singh of Nawan Shahr district reported to the police that the accused had picked his pocket and taken away his wallet containing Rs 160, a driver’s licence and other documents.



Fire-fighting system inadequate in hotels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
Hotels, restaurants and fast food joints in the city are virtually sitting on a ticking firebomb with inadequate and outdated blaze fighting equipment.

Though the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh's Fire Department issues notices to these joints every time an incident occurs, the matter continues to burn in the absence of concrete action against the violators by the authorities concerned.

A visit to some of the hotels, especially the ones located in Sector 35, is enough to tell how ill-equipped the joints are. A majority of the hotels have narrow single exits.

"In case of a fire breaking out in a hotel, the guests will find it exceedingly tough to squeeze their way through the narrow doors," says a Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer-cum-frequent visitor to the hotels. "The worst affected will be the hotels housing eating joints. As a result of the rush, the possibility of the guests finding themselves trapped cannot be ruled out".

Even otherwise also the firefighters will have a tough time reaching the spot because of the clogged parking lot in front of these hotels. Though the firefighters have to reach the spot within a specified time frame of five minutes, the haphazardly parked vehicles will leave little room for the tenders to move about.

They add that in any case the authorities are expected to ensure the provision of dedicated space for the tenders to move about. The sources in the Fire Department assert that the matter has time and again been taken up with the authorities concerned in the Municipal Corporation, but so far no action has been taken in this regard.

Giving details of the inadequacies within the hotels, the sources assert that at several places, the smoke alarms just do not function. To top it all, many of them have not even stored sand or fire extinguishes to control the blaze before its spreads.

They add that several hotels do not even have ramps. In case of a blaze, the physically challenged guests will neither be able to use the elevators, nor the stairs.

A senior officer in the Fire Department says they will soon be carrying out a detailed survey of the hotels and other joints for checking the fire fighting equipment. Action will be initiated against the violators.



Chandigarh Calling

FOR a change, both the thief and his victims were taken by surprise. A car thief was shocked to find the owner of a car inside with his girlfriend, when he broke open the car lock, and his unsuspecting victims at the quick manner of their car being broken into while they were busy with their coochie-cooing.

The incident took place on Friday in the secluded parking of a popular hotel in Panchkula, where the lovers had sought refuge from the prying eyes to have some moments of privacy. The car, a Toyota Corolla, had dark-tinted glasses, making it difficult for a view inside the car. The thief came towards the car and after trying to peep in, decided that the car was a perfect pick.

He simply used a small wire and broke open the car. The car-owner was stopped by his girlfriend from reacting for fear of being exposed. As the car door flung open, the thief and the victims were both shocked. The thief apologised and the couple, for fear of their families getting to know of their rendezvous, forgave him and quietly drove away.

Chemoinfo conference

Another honour recently came to the Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes. Dr Sanjay Bajaj, Principal of the Swami Vivekanand College of Pharmacy, Ram Nagar (Banur), was invited to present a research paper at the "international conference on chemoinformatics" at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, from January 22 to 24.

A specialist in the area of chemoinformatics, data mining, development of graph invariants and techniques for the development of predictive models, Dr Bajaj was awarded PhD by GGS Indraprastha University for his work on "study on topochemical descriptors for prediction of biological and physicochemical properties of molecules”.

Dr Bajaj 17 publications, including 12 in international journals, to his credit.

Fun time

School reunions are always fun for the students, as these give them an opportunity to relive the school days. Recently, at one such reunion party where girls from a convent school in Dalhousie got together to revive old memories over lunch, it was amazing to watch how even after so many years, the ex-students who had come from as far as Delhi and Patiala, still remembered a parody song that they used to sing when they would go back to their homes for a three-month-long vacation.

Everybody burst into laughter when the ladies started singing in chorus, “Bye-bye Church, Bye-Bye Steeple, Bye-Bye all Dull-lousy people…and ends with, no more Hindi, no more French, no more sitting on hard-hard bench, if your teacher interferes, knock her down and box her ears, if she says she is going to tell, tell her she can go to hell.”

Eco-friendly friends

It is a seven-man army's sincere and constant efforts that have made the park in Sector 45-C attractive. The park has, over the months, evolved into a new look garden with their contribution in the shape of money, effort and time.

To protect the park trees and plants, they feel, is their duty. They have been buying, though occasionally, gardening implements, saplings and flower plants from their own pockets.

Pruning pendent branches and watering the saplings is something they do religiously. A number of small plants and trees are also guarded against any damage from stray cattle and neighbourhood children. The personalities engaged in this voluntary work are Warrant Officer R.C. Verma (retd), Mr Raghbir Singh Rana, Mr C.M. Sharma, Superintendent in Coal India, Mr Niranjan Dass, Mr Surender Singh, Sardar Mani Singh and Mr Chander Parkash, residing in the CHB flats.

Contributed by Ruchika M.Khanna, Pradeep Sharma, Smriti Sharma and Shakur Ahmed



DGCA allows pilots to operate different aircraft on same day
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has permitted pilots of scheduled operators to fly different types of aircraft on the same day. Earlier, pilots were not permitted to do this as a precautionary measure in the interest of safety of air operations. A directive to this effect has been issued by the DGCA to all airlines and operators.

The change in policy came after some operators who have inducted different variants of the A-320 aircraft had approached the DGCA, seeking permission for their pilots to operate different variants of this family on the same day or within the same duty cycle. The A-320 is a European aircraft manufactured by Airbus Industrie. Aircraft in the A-320 family, A-318, A-319,

A-320 and A-321, all are twin-engined jet aircraft having similar operating parameters, design features, major systems and cockpit layout. The primary difference between them is the length of the fuselage and the passenger carrying capacity.

According to Airbus Industrie literature, these aircraft also share the same pilot-type rating, enabling crews to fly any of them with a single licence endorsement. This family also shares many similarities with the larger four-engined A-330 and A-340 long range aircraft, which have also entered service with some private Indian scheduled operators. Conversion training of A-320 pilots to the

A-330/A-340 aircraft takes only a few days. The DGCA directive, however, stipulates that the minimum experience of pilots operating more than one type of aircraft on the same day should be at least 300 hours on the A-320 family. Further, a minimum experience of 50 flying hours on each variant is necessary.

Pilots required to fly different aircraft on the same day would also be required to undergo a successful route check on the second variant before being cleared to operate the second aircraft.

The move to allow pilots to fly different variants of an aircraft on the same day may also have stemmed from a shortage of qualified pilots. With the private airline industry booming and several new operators entering the sky, virtually every airline is facing a pilot shortage.



Modernisation of ISBT soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 23
The Inter-State Bus Terminal, Chandigarh, will soon be modernised. This was revealed by UT Home Secretary Krishna Mohan, while chairing the UT Tourism Advisory Committee meeting held at the Secretariat here today.

The Secretary also said the Administration was contemplating on having a common North India pavilions at tourism events.

Other states of North India will be consulted shortly regarding this.

The committee also suggested religious and historical tourism packages in North India and low budget eateries to promote tourism in Chandigarh.

The Director Tourism, Mr Vivek Atray, explained the details of some action taken by the Tourism Department like appointment of Nodal Officer for the hospitality industry of UT, successful organisation of Heritage Day, film festival, New Year festival, and constitution of the Society for Tourism and Entertainment Promotion in Chandigarh.

The MD CITCO, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, emphasised the need for coordination for joint promotion by North Indian states.



Search operation in Mauli Jagran

Chandigarh, January 23
The Chandigarh police launched a search operation in Mauli Jagran Colony in the wee hours today. The police rounded up 82 persons, who failed to prove their credentials during the operation.

The police said the operation was launched at 4 am and lasted till 6:30 am. DSP P.S. Malik supervised the search operation and over 150 police personnel were deployed in the colony. TNS



Mohali resident commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 23
A resident of Phase-II allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a pipe here last night.

According to the police, Jasveer Singh (20), belonging to a village near Garhshankar, had been staying here with some persons known to the family.

The suicide came to light when somebody went to look for him this afternoon.

The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



3 Housefed Complex houses burgled
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 23
Three houses in Housefed Complex, Phase X, were reportedly burgled in broad daylight today.

According to the police, Inderpreet Singh lodged a complaint alleging that thieves broke into his house when the family was away.

The thieves took away cash and jewellery.

In another complaint, Kanav alleged that her house was ransacked by thieves while she was away to office. She was informed about the theft by a neighbour.

On returning home, she found the door damaged and the house ransacked.

She said thieves took away cash and jewellery with them.

Another case of theft was reported from a house in the same complex.

The police is investigating the matter.



SBoP offers concessions
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 23
The State Bank of Patiala, Kalka, has offered concessions in service charges for new sanctions under various credit products.

The branch head, Mr S.C. Dhall, said a team of officials had undertaken a tour of villages in Kalka and Pinjore with a view to focus their attention on bank credit products and to provide consultancy support to traders as per the requirements of their businesses.

He said better technology platform and bundled packages covering remittances, collections and drawings were being offered to traders.



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