C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Ryan Row: Parents take to streets
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Parents of Class X of Ryan International School, Sector 49, today took to streets against the apathetic attitude of the school in getting the school affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

The aggrieved parents have formed an association to fight for their cause. In fact, the parents and the students today staged noisy protest against the school management outside the school gate.

The students talked about their tale of woes.

“Our parents have spent a lot of money on extra coaching classes and we were taught on the CBSE pattern. The news of non-affiliation with the board about two months back came as rude shock to us”, rued Ashima, a student.

“What is our fault? We stand to lose one year for no fault of ours. The school kept us in dark through all these months”, said Loveleen Randhawa, another student.

“We were made to fill dummy forms which was just a mock exercise. This too after the issue was raised in the media. We were charged Rs 350 also and we don’t know for what. Further, the school principal always rebuked us for going to the media,” told Abhishek, a student.

SK Sanyal, a parent, said, “ I personally met the CBSE officials at New Delhi. They are holding school responsible for the whole mess.”

Later, the protesting parents forced entry into the school to meet principal. “The things will be sorted out. I am expecting positive reply soon. At the time of admission we were hopeful that we will get the affiliation from the Board,” said the Principal.

Later, the parents went to Sector 34 Police Station for lodging an FIR against the school authorities. However, the complaint has been kept pending.

“The school had collected crores of rupees from us by way of donation on the false assurance,” Mr Ashwinie Kumar Bansal, an advocate alleged.

Interestingly, the school has filed a writ petition through its administrator, Mr Francis Thomas, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court which came up for preliminary hearing a day before yesterday.

In the petition, the school authorities stated that on being told by the CBSE, they filed an online application on October 9, 2006, seeking affiliation for Class X for the 2006-07 session.

However, the online application was registered for the session 2008-2009. But they had already informed the CBSE that they were already running class X. Hence, their request should be considered for affiliation from session 2006-07, the petitioner has stated.

Mr DR Yadav, joint secretary, Regional office of the CBSE, chose to reserve his comments. “It is astonishing that the school authorities have taken the CBSE for granted. Since the matter is in the High court I cannot comment. Let the court decide, we will obey the HC’s directions,” he added.



Woman attempts suicide following ‘threats’
Claims she paid Rs 5 lakh interest on debt of Rs 5000
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, February 3
A debt of Rs 5000 borrowed in November last year reportedly landed Renu, a mother of two, in the emergency ward of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, today. She had attempted suicide at her Kashmir Colony, Sector 29 residence, by consuming a mosquito repellent. “I wanted to die because I am sick of my debts,” said the woman, who took the extreme step when her husband Avtar was away to work this morning.

But she survived to tell a tale that gets complex as it is told. Its crux is that Renu, a domestic help, reportedly borrowed Rs 5000 from Mohammed Sadiq in her locality in November last. She was sick and needed money. Sadiq gave her the money but allegedly charged her such hefty interests that she ended up borrowing heavily from others in the neighbourhood. Things came to such an extent that she claims that she had paid him an amount totalling as huge as Rs 5 lakh.

“I have already paid him Rs 5 lakh as interest but now I want that money back. But Sadiq continues to threaten me and my family,” Renu claims adding that Sadiq’s intimidation has brought her to the brink.

“He came to my house yesterday and threatened to harm my family if I asked to return the money,” Renu said in a statement to the police this morning. She alleged that Sadiq and Mohammed Ashraf had unjustifiably taken Rs 5 lakh from her and that she had been running from pillar to post to get justice but to no avail.

Renu had earlier submitted a complaint against Sadiq to the SSP here. The SSP marked the inquiry to Inspector Moti Ram of industrial area police station. ASI Ashok Kumar from the same police station who recorded Renu’s statement today said: “She met Inspector Moti Ram yesterday and said everything was fine. Now she has consumed some poisonous substance. Her earlier complaint is still being investigated but this issue is not simple as it looks. There are complaints of cheating against Renu also.”

One such complaint has been made by Sadiq and Ashraf to the SSP. The two have alleged that Renu had entered into an agreement with them regarding the sale of her Kashmir Colony house. They alleged that she took Rs 2 lakh each from them following the agreement but did not make a registry in either’s name.

The police has sought legal opinion on this complaint. Following this, they will take action. The police is now concerned about the law and order situation in Kashmir Colony. “Both the parties have been engaged in allegation and counter-allegation for many days now,” said Ashok Kumar.



Gritty marathon runner sets eyes on record
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
Determined and gritty ultra-marathon runner (long distance runner) Arun Bhardwaj, who started running from New Delhi to Shimla on February 1, reached the city today, covering 256 km in just 46 hours.

Arun, a Limca record holder for covering 550 km distance (Delhi-Chandigarh-Delhi) in 122 hours, 45 minutes in 2004, has set his eyes on establishing yet another record-----that of completing his New Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla run in 75 hours.

Arun started his gruelling run on 2.13 p m from India Gate and reached at Tribune office exactly on 12.15 noon today where he stayed for half an hour to take some rest and again continued to his destination.

“Earlier, I set target to reach Shimla in 100 hours. But now I am much ahead of my schedule. So I would try to cover the distance within 75 hours”, said Arun confidently.

Arun, for whom long distance running is a passion, has become the first Asian by taking part in a three six-day ultra-marathon event in a year. He also ran 558 km in six days in the Cliff Young Australian 6-Day Race in Colac, Australia, in 2005 to set the South Asian record. Ultra-marathon is a long distance race in which a runner has to run more than a marathon distance, which is 42 km 195 metres.

Thirty-eight year old Arun maintains that this New Delhi-Chandigarh-Shimla run may be the first of its kind in the country. “I have searched many old records and even surfed on Internet to find whether anybody has run on the route. But I could not find any such a record. So I would try to cover the distance consuming minimum time,” said Arun.

Maybe completion of this arduous task would not be difficult for this ultra-marathoner, who has participated in many multi-day races being held at foreign countries, including USA, Germany, Taiwan, Australia and Greece, and has run more than 450 km in five days several times in the events. But managing funds and facilities to achieve such goals is really a big challenge for this Upper Division Clerk in the Planning Commission, New Delhi. Earlier, a big MNC promised him to sponsor this run but walked out at the eleventh hour. Even this setback could not deter this gritty runner, who belonged to a very humble family, from his resolve.



Tipplers opting for beer
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3
City residents are “uncorking” a new trend in drinking. With the changing life style and a popular excise policy, the tipplers penchant for beer seems to have strongly influenced the excise policy for 2007-2008.

Bucking the previous trends, more and more beer guzzlers are enjoying the low alcohol drink. Consumption figures recorded by the UT’s excise officials reveal that consumption of beer jumped almost by five times in the last seven months as compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Interestingly, the consumption of beer between October 2006 and December 2006, went up by around five times. During winters, the consumption of beer generally falls, said the officials.

As compared to the sale of around 1.30 lakh cartons of beer last year, the department has recorded sale of around 6 lakh cartons of beer at vends across the city. Though the area-wise sale of beer has not been recorded, the officials said rough calculations indicate that sale of low alcohol content drinks like beer and wine was more in the urban pockets.

Happy with the trend, a senior officials said , “This trend is healthy. In the new policy, we have been laying emphasis on inculcating responsible drinking habits and to wean people away from hard liquor to the low-content alcohol drinks”.

In the new excise policy, the Chandigarh Administration has proposed initiatives like lower assessment fee on wine and beer being sold in pubs and clubs; reduction in the licence fee of the retail vends of draught beer in a restaurant from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs 25,000; No increase in the excise duty, assessment fee, permit fee and VAT and reduction in brand approval fee for imported drinks.

Anticipating that residents would be comfortable with low alcohol drinks, the excise department has also proposed that ahatas being rechristened as ‘taverns’ so that families could be comfortable while eating out at such places. The drinking places would have better ambiance and functioning. The final Excise Policy is expected by next week, said the official.

Figures of the Excise Department reveal that sale of beer (from April 2006 to December 2006) increased by around 370 per cent and the revenue went up by almost 600 per cent.

Claiming the upward trend on popular excise policy, officials said the sale and revenue of IMFL also shot up around 192 per cent and around 400 per cent, respectively.



3-year-old charred to death

Chandigarh, February 3
A three-year-old child was charred to death when a private bus coming from Jalandhar caught fire near Mohali and people jumped out of the vehicle in panic.

The bus belonging to a private transport company was packed with passengers when all of a sudden it caught fire near village Daon in Mohali district, close to Kharar town, and the driver instead of making any attempt to rescue the passengers jumped out of the vehicle leaving it in motion before it came to a grinding halt after hitting a pavement.

Mohali's SSP Gurinder Singh said that the fire was either caused due to short circuiting or some crackers kept in the bus had caught fire.

According to some of the passengers, the loud explosions were like bursting of crackers and could possibly have been caused if crackers were kept in the bus. Second thing could be that the bus has lot of electrical wirings including an inverter kept inside, which could have caused short circuit," he said. — PTI



Stallone back with a ‘punch’
Rajiv Kaplish

Just when you thought the former fighting machine had thrown in the towel, the Italian stallion springs a surprise. He stages a comeback. With a bagful of emotions.

The ravages of time may have dealt a crushing blow to the bolbala of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), but these have not sagged the former boxing champion's morale. He may be over 60 but ain't ready to kiss the ring goodbye. The incoherent nasal twang has given way to pathos-filled outbursts. Be it the naggings of his son (Milo Ventimiglia) who thinks his father is burnt out and is a huge embarrassment or the grudgings of the licence commission which thinks the American icon is past his prime and is reluctant to give him a fresh licence to resume boxing, the former king of the ring is determined to prove them wrong.

Spurred by a TV sports programme airing a computerised fight showing the man with a will of steel in his prime busting Mason Dixon, the two-time ex-champion is firm on coming out of retirement and proving his mettle. After all, he has to show to the world that it's difficult to write him off.

Most of the resurrected franchise has Stallone facing a mid-life crisis - memories of his dead wife, an estranged son and a Philadelphia he hardly recognises. In the process, it opens a window to a Rocky persona we had never seen - emotional yet caring, strong but compassionate. Gentle yet determined.

For once, we not only relish his powerpacked punches but are also knocked out by his robust performance. In fact, the powerhouse of portrayals - be it of Stallone, his good old pal Burt Young or friend Malie (Geraldine Hughes)- dwarfs the fighting sequences.

"Rocky Balboa" (Fun Republic) may mark the end of the series, but there could not have been a better denouement. See it even if you are not exactly enamoured of Sly's puffy face.



SC, BC corporation reconstituted

Chandigarh, February 3
The Chandigarh Administration has reconstituted the Chandigarh Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Minorities Finance and Development Corporation Ltd with Secretary Social Welfare as the chairman.

A notification said, the Director, Industries, and a representative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would be the directors of the corporation. The Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the National Scheduled Castes Finance Corporation, a representative of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, and a representative of the National Backward Class Finance and Development Corporation have been nominated as directors. — TNS



1 hurt in attack

Panchkula, February 3
Forty-year-old Ompal Singh, a resident of Railly village, was admitted to General Hospital, Sector 6, with a head injury after being allegedly attacked by fellow villagers, here today.

The brother of a lawyer, he said he was attacked by three persons led by Bhangi Ram, who were trying to encroach upon a village pathway.

He said that a case for the land in question is already pending in court. Maintaining that it was disputed land, he said that the court had stayed the matter. The accused, he said, was trying to encroach upon the land despite the court orders.

"When I stepped in to prevent the encroachment, Bhangi ram along with two of his brothers attacked me with a weapon," he said.

The police, however, said that arrests would be made only after an inquiry has been conducted into the matter. — TNS



Motorcyclist hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 3
In a hit and run case, 22-year-old motorcyclist Ashwani Kumar of Tira village, near here, was seriously hurt after being hit by an unidentified autorickshaw near Maloya village on Friday night. The victim was on his way back home when the mishap took place.

The autorickshaw driver sped away from the spot. The victim left lying on the spot for over 20 minutes in a pool of blood and called the police after recollecting himself. Following the call the police control room vehicle reached the spot and rushed the victim to the Sector 16 General Hospital, from where he was referred to the PGI. The doctors said he had sustained multiple fractures. The police was investigating the case.



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