C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Ultimatum by Jagir group to UT police
Dismissal of Inspector Satbir sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A cross-section of the city’s elite, including political parties and members of the family of suspended Inspector Jagir Singh, today gave an ultimatum of five days to the Chandigarh police to dismiss Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the Crime Branch, and four others, who were allegedly involved in implicating and kidnapping the Inspector.

They threatened to gherao the residences of the UT Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in case they fail to take action against the “guilty” police officials. Besides, they stated that they had no faith in the police and sought a CBI inquiry into the matter.

Addressing mediapersons at her residence, Ms Balwinder Kaur, wife of Inspector Jagir Singh, blamed the Chandigarh police for acting in a biased manner in the entire episode. Ruing the biased attitude of the police, she alleged that 24 hours had been lapsed since they had lodged a written complaint at the Sector 34 police station about the kidnapping of her husband by a team of Crime Branch officials led by Inspector Satbir Singh, but no action had so far been taken in this connection.

When asked about the reason behind the act of Inspector Satbir Singh in the incident, Ms Balwinder Kaur stated that her husband had a property dispute with a Mani Majra-based property dealer, who is close to Mr Satbir Singh. Inspector Satbir Singh had tried to create trouble for her husband to favour that property dealer, she alleged. She also asked in what capacity Inspector Satbir Singh went to the Sector 34 police station to pick up her husband on that day.

Adding to this, Mr Shanti Dass, Secretary of Chandigarh Vikas Manch (CVM) stated that the top-brass of the Chandigarh police had become a tool in the hands of these officials. Ms Nirmal Kaur, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTAC), and Ms Bhajan Kaur, member of the Congress party, who generally raise pro-women issues, vociferously stated that Inspector Jagir Singh was implicated in the case. They stated that it was not the question of a woman, but of justice and truth, which led them to join issue, that had set a wrong precedent in the police.

When approached for his comments on this issue, Inspector Satbir Singh refused to say anything in this regard.



Molestation episode shows police in poor light
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The molestation incident, allegedly involving the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sector 34 police station and a woman cop, has once again corroded the public faith in the law and order set-up.

Reacting to the incident that rocked the city two days ago, residents feel that it is a poor reflection on the police functioning. Instead of infusing a sense of security among Chandigarhians, the police was openly showing itself in a poor light.

Rocked by criticism from all quarters, the police is now at the receiving end because of internal strife and poor management. If on one hand, a case could be registered without even holding a fact-finding or preliminary inquiry, a commoner has to run around to get even his genuine complaint registered even after several days of an incident, said a police official.

The top brass of the Chandigarh Police is caught in a piquant situation after an accused in the molestation case went and lodged a complaint of alleged kidnapping from his own police station. Now the bosses do not know how to handle the crisis of their own creation, feel city residents.

Since inquiry into the molestation incident is pending and the allegations are yet to be established, the residents feel that "if a woman police official can be molested in the SHO's room and the SHO can himself be kidnapped from his police station, where is the security for the common man?"

In any case, this is the second incident in the past few days that has shaken the trust of people. In the beginning of this month, cops in mufti from Delhi picked up two youngsters in broad daylight, giving the entire operation the shades of kidnapping.

According to the allegations levelled by the woman cop in the FIR, the entire illegal incident took place in the heart of the police station, right in the room of the SHO. It was alleged in the FIR that as the woman cop came out of the toilet, she saw Inspector Jagir Singh coming close to her with the motive to outrage her modesty and caught hold of her plait and molested her. She shouted and hearing her cries for help, Inspector Jagbir Singh and SI Gurhjit Kaur came into the room and rescued her. On seeing both of them coming, Inspector Jagir Singh released her plait.

It was further alleged that while Inspector Jagbir Singh (SHO of Sector 17 police station) and SI Gurjit Kaur were listening to her, Inspector Jagir Singh slipped away.

Questions are being raised over the functioning of the police as to how the SHO escaped from the spot after committing such a serious crime. It all happened in the presence of another SHO and other members of the staff of the Central Police Station. Similarly, the staff at the Sector 34 police station did not react to the alleged kidnapping of their SHO.

Why things have come to such a pass that fellow policemen do not react or intervene when two men or officials are in the middle of a spat. Is it because of continuous lax administration that is becoming an object of ridicule? ask residents. “Let police take care of itself than us,” they add.



Lawyer, student die in road accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A 26-year-old lawyer practising in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a 17-year-old girl of Daria village lost their lives in two separate accidents early this morning. While the lawyer reportedly rammed his car into a roadside tree on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the Poultry Farm roundabout, the girl was crushed to death by a CTU bus at Garcha turn near the railway station.

Giving details of the first accident, the police said the lawyer, Sachin Bedi, of Sector 40, was seriously hurt when his Santro car (HP-28-A-3841), which was apparently being driven at a high speed, rammed into a tree in the wee hours today. The impact of the collision was so great that the front portion of the car was badly damaged. The steering wheel of the car and its engine, which were pushed back with the impact, caused severe injuries to the victim. He suffered serious head injuries and his legs were crushed.

He was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. He was alone in the car at that time and was going to a marriage palace in Zirakpur. His father, Mr Brij Mohan Bedi, is a Sessions Judge in Gurgaon in Haryana.

The police said the girl, Kanchan, was on her way to her school in Sector 19 on her bicycle. Her bicycle collided with the bus, which was coming from behind. She lost her balance after being hit by the bus and fell before the rear tyres of the bus and was crushed. She suffered serious head injuries besides sustaining multiple injuries. She was rushed to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where doctors declared her brought dead.

She was a student of plus one. The police arrested the bus driver, Kuldeep Singh, of Daria village on the charge of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

The police handed over the bodies to the relatives after post-mortem later in the day.



Stretch of concrete road inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The first concrete road in the city, dividing Sectors 31 and 32, was partially opened to traffic here today.

The UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), opened half of the road section to light motor vehicles, till the small rotary of Sectors 31 and 32. The entire 1.2-km stretch would be opened to the public by March 31, 2007.

To meet the deadline, work is in progress to lay the road berms and road divider on the dual carriageway.

Officials claim that concrete roads do not wear out easily. Compared to regular roads that have a comfortable life span of about four years, these roads do not require maintenance like renewal and strengthening for at least 25 years. The entire stretch would cost about Rs 2.83 crore.

After preparing the base of 12 inches, the road was topped with four inches of dry lean concrete before laying the top layer with 14 inches of pavement-quality concrete. In all, the crust is of 30 inches. An official on the spot said apart from the storm water drain, curve channels have been laid on both sides of the road.

Meanwhile, in an apparent bid to spruce up the place for today’s opening of the first concrete road, the UT Engineering Department worked “overtime” to lay chequered tiles on both sides of the dual carriageway. As a result, the concrete base of the tiles had not settled properly and plaster had not dried up. “ What was haste. The base should have been allowed to dry instead of wasting public money on such prestigious projects,” said a passerby.

School inaugurated

General Rodrigues also inaugurated Government High School, West of Sector 38 complex.

Designed in a cluster fashion to ensure maximum light and ventilation, the building complex, constructed on 2.42 acres, at a cost of Rs. 167 lakh by the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Administration has class rooms, staff rooms, laboratories and other modern supportive infrastructure equipped with all facilities for teachers and students. The spacious open spaces on the front side and back have been landscaped and plants of Erthirina cristagali, silver oaks and varieties of palm have been planted to make the building environmental friendly.



An exceptionally hot day
Temperature rises by 5 degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
It was an unusually hot day for obvious reasons. The maximum temperature rose by five degree as compared to yesterday, making the heat almost unbearable. As against 22 degree yesterday, the day temperature recorded by Met Department today was 27 degrees. Not only this, the variation between the day and night temperature for today touched 20.6 degree as against 17 degree yesterday. The minimum temperature today was 6.4 degree as against five degree yesterday.

Met Director Chattar Singh attributed the pinching heat to increase in moisture in the wind and the reigning windy conditions. He said rain and thunderstorm was expected today, but the forecast was belied due to unexpected weather conditions. Normally, when there is calm, the temperature drop is easier. But today the prevailing winds aided the rise in day temperature which might come down in the event of a thunderstorm which we are still expecting.

Incidentally, the rise in day temperature has been exceptionally high in case of Chandigarh as compared to other stations in the weather zone. The day temperature has been consistently rising over the past week.

The date-wise measurements of day temperatures during the week are -- 19 degree on January 18, 20.4 degree on January 20, 20.8 on January 22, 21.2 on January 23, 22 degree on January 24 and finally a high of 27 degree today.



4-year-old patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A 4-year-old bed-ridden boy has turned pale and can hardly sit and talk. Suffering from renal cancer, Rajeev, a resident of Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh, belongs to a poor family waiting for some good Samaritan.

Being son of a labourer, Rajeev’s family is unable to afford the treatment worth Rs 70,000. He needs to undergo chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. Though the family had requested cancer care organisations for the help, the latter pleaded helplessness to bear such a high cost.

The doctors at Sector 34 Kidney Centre, where he has been admitted, has also waived consultation charges for the child. Donors willing to help Rajeev can reach out to him at C/o Kidney Care Foundation of India, Phone 0172-3013245.



6 Home Guards officers to be honoured
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
Six officers of the Punjab Home Guards will be honoured for their services at the 58th state-level Republic Day function to be held at Government College here tomorrow.

District Commander, Bathinda, Subhash Chander Sharma will be honoured for his distinguished services.

Battalion Commander S.K. Baroota, District Commander, Mansa, Manohar Lal, Company Commander, Gurdaspur, Hardeep Singh Bajwa, Platoon Commander, Jagraon, Parmod Kumar and Platoon Commander, Hoshiarpur, Santokh Singh will be honoured for their meritorious services.



Latest halogen lights remain non-functional at ISBT
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Announcements about modernisation of the Inter-State Bus Terminal notwithstanding, the terminal continues to be a picture of neglect.

Enveloped in darkness for want of proper lighting arrangement, the local bus stand is turning into a haven for unscrupulous elements. With darkness prevailing all over after dusk , chances of accidents also increase as there is a great rush of employees who gather there to catch the buses.

The prevailing darkness during the night hours makes it hard to believe that this bus stand is located in one of the most advanced cities of the country. It is not that there is no arrangement of lighting. Four huge poles, having six sodium halogen lamps each, have been installed there. Besides this, there are more than five other halogen lamps installed on the roof of the bus stand’s building.

Surprisingly, most of these halogens are non-functional. Only two lamps, on the roof, are operational, but they hardly serve any purpose. Even the entry and exit points of the bus stand are engulfed in darkness. It may be noted that buses ply from the bus stand till 10 pm, while the one to the railway station plies throughout the night.

This invites all unscrupulous elements to carry out their nefarious activities.

As a result, eve-teasing, stealing of luggage of commuters, pick-pocketing and other illegal activities have become a routine affair during night time.

“The worst affected are women passengers as many unruly elements take undue advantage of darkness as well as heavy rush of passengers. Pick pockets also make the most of the opportunity,” said a CTU conductor. These unsavoury incidents can be minimised with proper lighting. The authorities should check the reasons for the defunct lighting system, he added.

A commuter, Ms Vandana of Sector 47, said it was difficult to understand why these poles with so many halogens were erected when these were totally defunct. 



Zoning plans on the Net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Administration has digitised zoning plans and made it available on the Administration’s website “www.chandigarh.gov.in”.

As a small gesture, the administration had earlier waived off the fee of Rs 40 required for procuring a copy of zoning plan. The zoning plan will be downloadable only in the original format for the citizens.

Bids opened

The bids for the Entrepreneur Development Centre were opened today. These bids were received for the construction work regarding the EDC Project. The bid of Des Raj & Sons was rejected on technical evaluation and the remaining two bids of Vascon and Sam (India) Builtwell were considered.

The lowest bid was of Rs 9.78 crore by Sam (India) Builtwell against the second bid of Rs 11.58 crore for Vascon.

The EDC is a place that is conceived by the Administration in the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) to enhance the software export from the city and to assist young professionals in setting up their entrepreneurship in a building.

Project for adolescents

A four-day training programme for peer educators, elected under the Adolescent Development and Empowerment Project being implemented in 20 villages, started at Nehru Yuva Kendra here today.



Gurdas Mann discharged from hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
Gurdas Mann, a prominent Punjabi singer, has been discharged from Fortis Hospital here today after a stay of five days.

According to the medical director of the hospital, Dr Ashok Chordiya, he was well and completely recovered.

Earlier, Dr K.M. Kapoor, cosmetic surgeon of Fortis, removed the stitches from Mann’s face. According to Kapoor, the stitches had healed well and would leave negligible scars.

Dr Pardaman Singh, orthopedic surgeon, also examined Gurdas Mann in the morning and consented on his discharge.



Educationist Bhatia dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Renowned educationist Amar Singh Bhatia died here today.

He had put in over 38 years of service in various colleges of Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. He had once served in Government College, Chandigarh.

He stayed as Principal of GTB Khalsa College, Anandpur Sahib.

He had numerous books to his credit. Besides known for his literary acumen, he was also a well-known social worker and a homoeopath.



Thieves strike at will in Sector 52 colony
Insecurity as police fails to act
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Residents of the Chandigarh Housing Board Colony in Sector 52 are a worried lot following a spate of thefts in their locality in a couple of weeks. They alleged that in the past two weeks thieves had struck four times in their locality and the local police did nothing to trace the miscreants.

The residents alleged that despite the fact that the incidents were reported to the police, no action has been taken in this regard by the men-in-khaki to curb the incidents. In the past week also two houses were burgled within a span of 48 hours.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, a resident of the locality, told TNS that his house was burgled between January 19 and 21 and ornaments and other article worth over Rs 1 lakh have been stolen. The burglary came to light when his neighbour rang him up on Sunday informing that the doors of his house were broken open and things were scattered outside the house. He came back and reported the matter to police.

Mr Gurpreet Singh alleged that no police officer approached him after Sunday to further proceed in this matter. He himself went to the police this morning to hand over the list of missing additional articles. Adding to this, he said on that day also the police called forensic experts to pick up fingerprints, but paid no heed to their pleas to question the security guards of the locality.

About the loss, he asserted that two gold bangles, one gold set, one gold ring, four ear rings, a digital camera, digital dairy, cash worth Rs 20,000, hair dryer, four wrist watches and other articles were missing from his house.

Just a day before this incident, another resident reported theft of articles from his house from the same locality.

Mr Gurpreet Singh said a few days ago thieves had struck in a house in their locality twice in the week. Following these incidents they were apprehensive about their security. 



200 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
As many as 200 volunteers from the CBI, the CISF and various departments of the PGI participated in a blood donation camp organised by the security wing of the institute here today.

To boost the morale of donors, Mr H.R. Sharma, Senior Administrative Officer (Vigilance), PGI, Mr P.C. Sharma, chief security officer, PGI, the DIG and SP of the CBI, Chandigarh, the Commandant, CISF, Chandigarh, and Prof. S.V. Rana of the PGI were among the donors who came forward to donate for a noble cause.



2 sambars mowed down by vehicles
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Two sambars met a gory end after being hit by unidentified vehicles last night.

The sambars, a three-and-a-half-year-old male and a three-year-old female, strayed into Surajpur last night and were hit by vehicles. They were found lying in a pool of blood this morning.

The Forest Department officials took the carcasses of the animals in their possession. A post-mortem was performed on the two, after which they were buried. 



Swift diesel launched in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Maruti Udyog Limited today unveiled its Swift diesel model in the city. The car was unveiled by the Chief General Manager (North), Mr RS Kalsi.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the car was powered by a 1.3 litre , DDiS engine. Unlike conventional diesel engines, the engine is silent, clean, compact and powerful, while offering superior fuel efficiency.

He emphasised that the quality of the diesel engine was good and they had adopted the design of the engine from Fiat. He added that the ex-showroom price of the car in the city was Rs 4. 69 lakh for Swift LDi and Rs 4.98 lakh for Swift VDi




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