C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Officer beaten up by management
SVIET staff resign en masse
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 31
The entire staff of the Swami Vivekanand College of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), Banur, resigned today to protest against the alleged bashing up of an administrative officer of the college, Diwan Kanwar, by members of the management yesterday.

The college staff, including teachers, sat on dharna in the college grounds through the day, suspending all work and demanded that the police book the management officials who beat up the officer. They also alleged that management officials forced a bottle of liquor in Diwan’s mouth and later implicated Diwan in some false case.

The police had arrested Diwan as a preventive measure following allegations of the college management that he was drunk and misbehaving in the college. He was taken to the police station from the college last evening where he was released on bail later. According to IG Patiala range MK Tewari, a medical examination had revealed that Diwan was drunk and there were no injury marks on his body.

Up in arms against what they termed as intolerable behaviour of the management officials, the college staff gathered at the college this morning and resigned en masse. Requesting anonymity the teachers alleged that Diwan had been working with the college for many years but had put in his papers last month giving a month’s notice to the management. The management officials, however, did not want him to leave the college as admissions were due and college needed the staff.

The teachers alleged that the notice period ended yesterday and when he went to demand his certificates from the management officials, he was locked in the administrative block and beaten up by the officials along with some outsiders.

The teachers further alleged that the management officials forced liquor in Diwan’s mouth and called the police alleging that he was misbehaving with the rest of the staff. They pointed out that Diwan was a teetotaler and vegetarian and could not have touched liquor himself. They added that Diwan had not been to college since he was released on bail and was being contacted to decide on the future course of action.

Despite repeated attempts management officials could not be contacted for their side of the story. However, in a comment to a television channel, CEO of the college Manmohan Garg has reportedly said that the college authorities regretted what had happened.

The IG Zone M.K. Tewari said the college teachers should meet him personally and he will mark an independent inquiry into the incident. When contacted, SHO Banur Jagbir Singh said the police had not received any complaint from the teachers or Diwan alleging that he had been beaten up.

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AIEEE Toppers
Ranked 10, Chirag does city proud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Chirag Sethi of DAV Public School, Sector 8, has done the city proud by securing the 10th rank in the AIEEE results and the first position in the state list. The results were released last night. He is among the 100 students from the Tricity who have made it to the top ranks of the AIEEE state merit list.


Focus and consistent studies all through the year are the key to success

Chirag Sethi who has also secured the 30th position in the IIT said, “Focus and consistent studies all through the year and putting your best foot forward is the only key to success”. Chirag had secured 87.6% marks in the CBSE class exams last week. Aiming to join the IIT either at Delhi or Mumbai, Chirag says he had always been hopeful of gaining a berth in the top 10.

Son of Arun Sethi who works as an engineer in PWD (P&R), Haryana, and Sushma Sethi, a lecturer at the MCM DAV College, Chirag wanted to pursue engineering as his elder brother Varun Sethi who is a student of PEC.

Sandeep Kumar of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8,who is placed 40th in the all-India list and is positioned second in the state list is currently in Mumbai for the chemistry olympiad. For him, 40 turned out to be a lucky number as he has secured the 40th rank in the prestigious IIT examination as well, the results for which were declared yesterday.

Talking to TNS on phone from Mumbai, an elated Sandeep said, “Though I was a rank closer to 20-25 but I am not disappointed at all.” Sandeep is keen to join computer engineering in IIT, Delhi. About his success, Sandeep says, “One doesn’t need to sit for long hours. It’s all about clearing the concepts, if your concepts are clear, success isn’t far.”

Other who did the region proud include Rohit Bhatia who secured the 75th all-India rank and third rank in the state. Sumit Monga secured fourth rank, Sahil Singla was placed at eighth rank and got 178th all India rank, Isha bagged ninth rank at the state level and 322nd in the all-India list. Swati Gupta secured tenth rank in the state list; Kshitij Gupta secured 12th rank in the state list.

Ram Narain overcomes odds
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Ram Narian son of electrician Yadunath Shukla Panjab University, is placed on the 15th rank in AIEEE in the state merit list.

Despite his humble background Ram Narain put in five hours of consistent studies everyday in Class XII and has now achieved his goal

“I want to be an engineer. I wanted to enter IIT but my rank is 2741. I don’t think that I will get a place there but nowwith this rank I will get a seat in the Punjab Engineering College,” he said.

A student of Government School Sector 16, Ram Narain, says tuitions are required but more important is hard work. 

 

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Encroachers have a field day as authorities sleep
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Taking possession of large chunks of acquired land on the outskirts of UT villages is not on the agenda of the Chandigarh Administration and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

As a result, commercial establishments and houses have come up on such land, with the MC authorities not even being aware about the status of land under encroachments.

Acquired in the seventies as part of capital outlay, the at least four villages --- Attawa, Butrela, Badheri and Burail ---were transferred to the MC about 10 years ago. Five more villages were transferred to the MC last year. But the revenue record of the villages has not been transferred to the civic body, reveal sources.

“We have been regularly writing to the Administration to transfer the revenue record of the villages under the MC. We do not know whether any encroachment is on our land or on private land,” said an official.

Citing an example, the UT official said in Butrela village, houses and shops have come up on a long strip of land. Private persons have come up right up to the road facing AG Colony of Sector 41, adjoining Shivalik Public School. With the authorities least interested, encroachers have even raised a construction on a sewer line.

While the Estate Office transferred the Engineering Department in 1975, MC officials were not clear about the status of the land. A similar situation exists in Badheri and Attawa villages.

Sources said had the authorities concerned taken notice of the encroachments and got the land vacated, the land worth crores could be used for planning of the area. Enquiries reveal that MC did not maintain a proper revenue record of the UT villages transferred to it.

In some cases, pockets of land had been exempted from acquisition. There is no such record with the MC. 

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Infant girl abandoned

Chandigarh, May 31
Another baby girl has been abandoned at the Sector 23 Missionaries of Charity as an unidentified man went away after handing over the child to a caretaker.

The police said the incident took place this afternoon when an unidentified man came to Mother Teresa Home and handed over the six-month-old girl child, saying that he would come back along with his wife. When he did not turn up for a long time, the sister informed the police.

The police took the girl to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital for medical examination. The girl was later handed over to the orphanage.

The police said the staff at the orphanage told them that usually people left children in a cradle outside the home, but today being hot, the man might have decided to hand over the child to the caretaker.

The SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Kulwant Singh, said a DDR had been recorded. — TNS

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SE’s Appointment
MC seeks new panels from Punjab, Haryana
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Following a protest by councillors against the appointment of an alleged tainted official to the post of SE in the corporation, the corporation has relented as the municipal commissioner has sought new panels from Punjab and Haryana for the post.

The UT administration had sent a panel of two officers, who allegedly had a tainted past, and the councillors disapproved of their appointment in the corporation.

Speaking to TNS, P.S. Aujla, commissioner, MC, said he had moved letters to the governments of Punjab and Haryana seeking panels of superintending engineers.

XEN S. K. Chadha, who was recently transferred to the UT administration as per CVC guidelines, was holding the current duty charge (CDC) of SE in the corporation. Following his transfer, the UT administration suggested the names of two XENs to fill the post of SE, even though both officials had a tainted past.

Congress councillors had stated two days ago that they would not let any tainted officer be appointed in the corporation.

The councillors even raised the issue in the house meeting today stating that at present the civic body was executing development projects worth over Rs 1 crore and in case a corrupt official was posted here, he could dupe the corporation of lakhs.

Aujla said both officials whose names had been suggested by the administration were holding the post of XEN. He said the corporation would no longer give the CDC of an SE to an XEN.

He said the governments of Punjab and Haryana had expressed willingness to give the names of superintending engineers within a week. 

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Councillors seek more recognition 
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In what, perhaps, has happened for the first time in the history of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, all councillors cutting across party lines, joined hands to seek more recognition from officials of the UT administration and the senior MCC officials. Also, for the first time, an agenda was moved against officials in the corporation.

All members of the House passed the table agenda that was moved by deputy mayor Manjit Singh. Even as the mayor and the commissioner were initially reluctant and said some technicalities were involved and it might be annulled by the administrator, the House forced them to pass the agenda.

The agenda was moved in the dying minutes of the 116th meeting of the corporation. Even the nominated councillors got up from the seats and joined to pass the agenda. The agenda demanded that Sections 405 and 423 of the municipal laws should be used with utmost discretion and only after taking the mayor into confidence. As of today, the administration annuls agenda passed by the House under the provisions of these Sections.

Speaking to TNS, deputy mayor Manjit Singh said that officials of the UT Administration and even the senior ones in the MCC maltreated the elected representatives. “In case one of us wants to meet an official, we are made to wait outside their offices for hours together,” Manjit Singh said. He said directives should be issued to all officials to attend to the councillors on priority.

However, commissioner P. S. Aujla turned down the demand, stating that no such directives could be issued.

Taxi stand auction

Meanwhile, faced with opposition from a number of councillors, mayor Harjinder Kaur decided to constitute a committee to review the proposal to auction taxi stand sites in the city. Even as the commissioner tried to prevail over the House to get the agenda passed, the councillors refused to concede, stating that those doing business at these sites for the past 40 years could not be dislodged.

Earlier, the house approved all 15 items that were listed on the agenda for today’s meeting. These included revised rough estimates for widening of the old Ropar road from police station to the culvert near government high school Manimajra, strengthening of roads in transport area, Sector 26 and widening of V-5 roads in Sector 35, 40, 44 and 34. Besides, carpeting of internal road in various blocks of Ram Darbar and paver blocks in Maloya and Kajheri villages was also passed.

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Value Added Services
Cell Cos ‘cheat’ customers into registering
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In this era of ‘tariff war’ among cellphone operators, value added services (VAS) have become a major revenue generator for the companies. However, with consumers seemingly not enthused with these VAS beyond wallpapers and ring tones the subscribers in the region allege that many of these services are being forced upon on them.

VAS now accounts for at least 35 per cent to 40 per cent of the total revenue earned by these companies, especially as the call tariffs have been on the decline since the past one and half year. Most of these VAS come at a tariff between Rs 2 to Rs 10 per call, with a few of these VAS, like cricket score updates, charging over Rs 100 for registration.

Though the cellphone operators in the region deny that any of these VAS are being forcibly thrust on the consumers, the latter allege that since the GPRS handsets are registered with the cellphone operators, they simply activate the services on these handsets without any demand from the consumers.

Consumers alleged that most of the time, the method for registration of this service is surreptitiously designed, which makes them register for these services. For example, Kuldeep Singh, an employee of Punjab Industries Department, complained of cheating when he sought information about his monthly bill. The SMS delivered on his screen was followed by a simple sentence that asked him to ‘press 1’. Without scrolling down the screen (where the details of the VAS was mentioned) he pressed the number and within a few seconds, he received an SMS from his operator that Rs 118 had been deducted from his account as he had registered for the service.

It is also alleged that the service for getting information about the monthly bill is not updated for days, so as to ensure a wider usage by the consumer. It is only towards the end of the month that the operator provides a true picture of the monthly outstanding bill.

Also the bill collection centres do not accept any credit or debit card, invalidating the operator’s promise that bills will be accepted through any medium.

Even the “do not disturb” registry offered by the mobile operators, for which they charge for not sending promotional SMS and calls, are allegedly not very successful, as consumer has to register himself every few weeks.

Mobile(Co)speak

An Airtel spokesman said, “We offer a number of VAS services. It is totally at the discretion of the customer whether to subscribe to a particular service or not. Our customers have the facility of dialling *121*12# to get the unbilled information. This information is updated till the previous day. We have over 20,000 outlets in Punjab, where customers can pay their bills. Some of these outlets may be very small retail outlets and hence may not be registered with any credit card company. However, majority of these outlets accept credit cards.”

Spice spokesman said, “Spice provides all relevant information about services, along with applicable charges. Customer complaints in this regard are handled appropriately. Spice prepaid customers can get their balance on screen by dialling *771. Spice post-paid customers can get to know their bill amount by dialling *886#. We offer various modes of bill payment such as website; Spice Token, which allows you to pay your bills instantly, anytime, anywhere through scratch cards; or by visiting any of our bill collection centre.

BSNL spokesman said that being a responsible organisation, they were not forcing any VAS on their customers. 

 

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World No Tobacco Day
City vows to be smoke-free from July
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
World No Tobacco Day was celebrated in earnest across the city today what with the city all set to go ‘smoke-free’ from July this year. This was reiterated once again by Vivek Atray, director Tourism and Public Relations, at a state-level orientation workshop organised by the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP) at the Government Museum and Art Gallery auditorium where he was the chief guest. “It is necessary to take this issue up as a sustained campaign,” he averred.

Another event associated with today was the launch of clothing enterprise USI’s (Uni Style Image) Anti Tobacco Poetry Competition today which invites children between the ages of 8 and 10 years to participate at their outlets till June 1. While each child will win a gift voucher, the five best poems will get one year of shopping free. The results will be announced on June 5. 

The workshop was attended by several NGOs, panchs from villages, legal activists and even concerned citizens including youth organisations like AIESEC.

Manmohan Sharma, executive secretary, VHAP, emphasising the support of his NGO in this endeavour spoke about the formation of the tobacco cessation cell at the VHAP office in Sector 10 and announced the launch of a Quit Smoking Helpline number, 0172-5016299. “The helpline will also work on drug de-addiction along with counselling linkages with other de-addiction centres,” he added.

Quoting World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, DSP Davinder Singh said currently there are 3.5 million deaths a year from tobacco, a figure that is expected to rise to about 10 million by 2030. He elaborated that tobacco is predicted to be the leading cause of disease burden in the world, causing about one in eight deaths. What is, however, shocking is that 70 pre cent of those deaths will occur in developing countries.

Social activist Dr G Kaur Nanda’s talk centred around familial responsibility. She said that family and environment play an important role in preventing youngsters from taking to smoking.

But what made a tremendous impact was when President, Uttaranchal Sarvhit Sangathan, Guru Prasad Saklani shared his experience of how he quit smoking. “I could not walk a step outside my home without stopping at a paanwallah for a bidi or cigarette. When I realised what this addiction was doing to me, I decided to give it up by not venturing out of the house though it was very difficult. But today, four years later, I feel I have the strength to do anything I want to.”

The finale came in the form of a humorous play, Nasha Gharon Ka Bairy staged by Naginder Kala Manch and Parwah Kala Manch based on the based on the ill effects of tobacco.

In the evening, the Sector 17 Plaza came alive with a short skit put up by the Yuva Jagriti Manch, which once again stressed on the ill-effects of tobacco. And it was a befitting end to the day when passer-by, Ankit Ahuja who works in a private company in Mohali, decided never to touch a cigarette after today. “I did not realise that we smokers put so many of our loved ones at risk when we smoke around them. I definitely do not want my little daughter growing up seeing me smoke and then emulating me one day,” he said. 

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Motorised rehris speed off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
City mayor Harjinder Kaur flagged off a motorised rehri scheme on the MCC office premises here today. P.S. Aujla, commissioner of the corporation, was present on the occasion.

The basic idea is to provide farm fresh vegetables and fruits to people on the doorstep

A spokesman for the MC said these special-purpose vehicles were manufactured keeping in mind the requirement of vegetable vendors.

The motorised rehris will have provision for proper lighting, ventilation and various working and storage parameters. This vehicles have been designed under technical guidance. The basic idea is to provide farm fresh vegetables and fruits to people on the doorstep. The motorised rehris have the advantage of procuring vegetables straight from farms and supply these to consumers at the earliest.

The spokesman said any person applying for the licence must be in possession of valid driving licence of the required class of vehicle. He said it had been made mandatory that no person could use a motorised rehri unless he had obtained a licence from the corporation.

He said the motorised rehris would be allowed to move around in five sectors. The rehris would be allowed to operate only on V-5 and V-6 roads and should not be stationed on a permanents basis on these roads. The rehris would, however, be allowed to cross the adjoining sector through V-2 and V-3 roads. 

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Financial aid for orphaned girl
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 31
Highlighting the apathy of various government organisations, former MLA Bir Devinder Singh today did his bit for Isha, the orphaned girl child whose family members had been killed in an accident last year.

Bir Devinder visited Isha at her Phase 11 residence, where she is now being taken care of by her grandmother, and handed them papers for a monthly pension.

Talking to media persons, Bir Devinder said the pension that he had got from the Department of Social Security was a measly Rs 250 a month but a least something was better than nothing. “The Department of Social Security did not bother to do a thing for the orphaned child who had lost her family. The Punjab Governor’s wife too did not bother to do anything for the child. She is the head of the Women and Child Welfare Department of Punjab. I had personally brought the case to her notice,” he said.

On September 24 2006, four-year-old Isha lost her entire family in a tragic hit-and-run accident in Phase IX here. Her father Suresh, mother Aarti (32) and two-year-old brother Harry were killed. The family was returning home after a dinner at their brother's dhaba when a speeding unidentified four-wheeler near the PCA stadium hit their scooter.

Monetary help poured in for Isha and with the help of the then MLA Kharar Bir Devinder. As much as Rs 3 lakh was collected for Isha. “We have put the money in the bank in a fixed deposit to use it later for her higher studies,” said her uncle Ravi.

“No one from the government has even come to the family offering help,” said Bir Devinder today.

But there are many who the family is eternally grateful to. “The whole colony helped us with whatever they could. People who read about Isha send money from abroad. We are grateful to all those who bore with us even for a short while this pain of a lifetime. The principal and teachers of the Sir Macauliff School in Phase 11 have done all that they could to help. No fees is charged and special care is taken to help her with her studies,” said Ravi.

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Ousted ZP chief cries foul, meets DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
The ousted Zila Parishad chief, Varinder Singh Bhau, along with relatives of Poonam, a member of the parishad, today submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner against another parishad member Umesh Sood.

Seeking his arrest, Urmila, mother-in-law of Poonam, said Sood had abducted the latter and forced her to support the no-confidence motion against Bhau. “I had complained yesterday that she along with her husband and child had been missing for over a fortnight. Late last night, Sood, accompanied by 30 policemen, dropped her at our house. Before leaving, he pointed a revolver at the women and a cousin, Naresh Sharma, asking us not to pressurise Poonam for supporting him,” she said.

Past midnight, Bhau and his supporters as also villagers of Kishengarh gathered at their residence to express solidarity with the family. A complaint against Sood was handed over to DSP Om Prakash and action was sought against him.

“As we are not satisfied with the response from the police we decided to hand over a memorandum to the DC as well,” she stated.

Bhau, meanwhile, said this act amounted to complete disregard of democracy. “After being voted out, we did not create any scene at the venue and I asked my supporters to leave peacefully. However, the rival group acted in a very unprofessional manner,” he said.

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Gujjars protest in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
The local chapter of the Gujar Samaj Kalyan Parishad today burnt an effigy of the Rajasthan government to protest the recent “firing and massacre of innocent pro-reservation Gujjars”.

Demanding a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the firing incident, members of the Gujjar community sought registration of cases against those responsible for the firing.

They also said the “martyrs” of the firing incident in Rajasthan should be given compensation and the government should fulfill its promise of reservation for their community.

Raising slogans against the government, members of the Gujjar community arrived at the district secretariat where they condemned the firing incident and burnt the effigy before handing over a memorandum to the district administration.

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Villagers get tips on road safety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In order to spread awareness among villagers about road safety, the Chandigarh traffic police yesterday organised a workshop at Behlana village here.

The workshop was attended by 250 persons, including children. Inspector B.S. Negi, inspector Sukhdev Singh, in charge of the Children Traffic Park, and traffic police personnel were present at the workshop.

The officers apprised the participants of traffic rules, the disadvantages of underage driving and importance of wearing safety helmet while riding two-wheelers.

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Veteran journalist Prem Kumar dead

Chandigarh, May 31
Celebrated journalist and former Resident Editor of The Indian Express, Prem Kumar, died in New Delhi today after a brief illness.

Expressing shock at the untimely demise of Kumar, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, recalled his personal association with the journalist.

In a condolence message, Badal said that Kumar was a dedicated, upright editor whose columns were known for precision, objectivity and thorough analysis of complicated political situation. He said during the troubled days of terrorism in Punjab, Kumar showed intelligence and worked for betterment of the people.

The Chief Minister expressed sympathies for the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed soul.

The Punjab Government announced to institute an award for 'excellence in journalism' named after Prem Kumar. This was a humble tribute to the noted journalist and columnist who contributed a lot in the field of journalism and media education, Punjab Information and Public Relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia said. — UNI

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Journalist’s death mourned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The UT home secretary, Krishna Mohan, has expressed grief and shock at the untimely demise of veteran journalist and former resident editor of Indian Express, Prem Kumar, who died after a brief illness in New Delhi.

The home secretary has expressed sympathy with the bereaved family and prayed for peace to the departed soul. 

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Letters
Frame rules for shared houses

The Chandigarh administration’s decision regarding floor-wise selling or buying of houses is indeed a step towards secured future of many city residents.

With this decision, dream of owning a house in City Beautiful has become more realistic. But certain problems have also come to the fore. Shared houses usually have common entrances and most owners of the ground floor have this impression that they own the whole area, including the parking space and entrance. My point here is that the administration should frame certain rules for the owners of the shared houses so that such situations never arise.

Deepu R. Nagpal
Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030

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PU lecturer plays the cop
Gives purse snatcher a chase
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Displaying grit and presence of mind, a Panjab University (PU) lecturer chased a scooter-borne miscreant, who attempted to snatch a purse of a girl in Sector 17 this afternoon. The miscreant managed to give him the slip. However, he managed to note down his registration number.

The police said the incident took place on a slow-carriage road behind the Reserve Bank of India. Three girl students of PU were travelling in a rickshaw when an unidentified scooterist pulled a purse of one of the girls, Bhatri. However, the purse fell on the road and before the miscreant could stop his scooter to pick it up, he saw the lecturer coming towards him on his vehicle. On seeing this, the miscreant sped away.

Jesu Jaskanwar Singh, the lecturer, tried to chase him, but the miscreant managed to dodge him near Neelam Cinema. The lecturer noted down his number and handed it over to the police. The police said efforts were on to trace the accused from the registration number of the vehicle. The vehicle was registered at Mohali and it was learnt that the same scooter was involved in an incident of snatching that took place near New Labour Chowk in Sector 44 a few days ago. A case of attempt to snatching has been registered in this regard.

The SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Kulwant Singh, said the name of the lecturer would be recommended for a reward. 

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SI held for bribery
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 31
The police has arrested a Sub Inspector here this evening on the charge of accepting a bribe from a resident of Phase XI against whom a case had been registered.

Harinderjit Singh, SP (HQ), said Sub Inspector Sarup Singh was arrested after a trap was laid by DSP (HQ) Rashpal Singh and was caught after allegedly accepting Rs 2,000 from Darshan Singh against whom a case under Section 419 and 420 of the IPC had been registered.

He said Sarup Singh was investigating the case of Darshan Singh and was to present a challan in this regard. As such the SI had allegedly demanded a bribe from Darshan Singh.

The SP said the SI had been booked under sections 13(1), 13(2) and 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

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10 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
In a freak accident, a truck overturned while travelling between Ganeshpur village and Raipur Rani here yesterday. Truck driver Surinder was ferrying 10 persons of his family to Jalachpur village in Raipur Rani when the accident occurred, said Sub Inspector Satpal from the police station there.

While four members of the family escaped with minor injuries, six of them were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, and to PGI in Chandigarh with severe injuries.

While Gurmail (18), Raunki Ram (75) and Mutiyar Singh (55) of Manakpur Nanak Chand village in Pinjore, have been admitted to the General Hospital, Rukam Singh (32), Seema Devi (25) and Jan Chand (25) from Ganeshpur village in Raipur Rani, have been taken to PGI.

The police has not registered any case as it said it was an accident where Surinder while taking a turn was unable to control the vehicle which overturned.

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Gold chain snatched
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 31
A gold chain was snatched by two youths in Phase X here yesterday.

Sarabjit Singh said two youths on a motor snatched the gold chain of his mother Rattan Kaur, who was standing outside her house talking to another woman in broad daylight. He said that the two fled soon after committing the crime.

The chain weighed about six tolas and had a pendant in it.

The police has registered a case in this regard.

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Chains snatched
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Two chain snatching incidents were reported from the city today. Sunita Jain, a resident of Sector 12, was standing at the bus stop when two motorcycle-borne youth snatched her gold chain and sped away.

In another incident, two boys, also on a motorcycle, snatched the gold chain of Beena, a resident of Sector 4, while she was on her way to temple. 

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Thief thrashed by people 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A Dhanas resident was thrashed by people after he was caught while stealing a purse at the Sector 17 ISBT.

The police said Ashok Kumar of Mumbai reported that Rajan Kumar of Housing Board Colony, Dhanas, was caught while stealing his purse containing Rs 4,200 from the ISBT, Sector 17, on Wednesday. The accused was beaten up by people after he was caught. He suffered injuries and was admitted to the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital. A case has been registered.

Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh of Mohali district lodged a complaint with the police alleging that a group of at least 10 persons in two unidentified vehicles assaulted him near the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital on Wednesday night. A case has been registered.

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Rapid transport plan experts to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 31
The Expert Committee constituted by Chandigarh Administration for reviewing the detailed report submitted by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) for Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) project in Chandigarh, would visit the 
city before July 15 to assess alignments and routes for MRTS.

The committee will also evaluate all other options available in the public transport to make a suggestion.

This decision was taken by the 10-member committee at its first meeting held today at New Delhi. The chairperson of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi , K.C. Sivaramakrishnan chaired the meeting.

The committee would evaluate on the basis of considerations of carrying capacity, ridership requirement, speed, safety and energy efficiency. Minimum disruption of civic services, longevity and economy would also be considered.

The committee would keep into account the city's unique architectural design and other characteristics as well as future growth potential while reviewing the project and suggesting the best option. It would also suggest the suitable bye passes, ring roads, flyover and truck terminal points outside the city limits.

The RITES made presentation of the project before the committee.

The Chandigarh Administration had constituted a 10-member committee on the advice of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, for reviewing the detailed report submitted by the RITES.

The Committee was asked to submit its report within a period of 90 days. The committee would review the report in respect of the population forecast, transport needs for current and future population and for suggesting integrated traffic and transportation plan for Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.

V. K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer of UT, Prof Shivanand Swamy, CEPT, Ahmedabad, B.I. Singal, OSD, DIMMTS, New Delhi, Dr Shreekant Gupta, Delhi School of Economics, M. N. Sharma, a former Chief Architect of the UT and Sunita Monga, Chief Architect, participated in the meeting. 

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Sales Tax Refund
Clear pending cases, officials urged
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Members of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) today emphasised the need to clear pending cases of refund and granting of RCs at a meeting of the Amne Samne committee of the Sales Tax Department here.

Vishnu Goyal, general secretary, HCCI, spoke about the need to increase trust between the department and assesses which he said would save a lot of paper work. He also demanded the removal of guarantee of Rs 50,000 after one year amendment of RC and added that disposals should be time bound and accountability should be there.

Satish Gupta emphasised on more transparency and positive attitude and added that every requirement of the department by the assesses should be put in writing and sufficient quantity of forms should to be issued by the department so that asseess should not face difficulty in getting the forms.

Aggarwal said clear assessments in non-scrutiny cases should be done as deemed and no information should be called which would defeat the purpose of deemed assessment.

Amar Singh, DETC, assured all help and said after a month he was hopeful of redressing most of these demands.

The meeting ended with the vote of thanks given by C.B. Goel and Rajneesh Garg. 

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Rs 15,000 penalty imposed on ICICI Bank
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Imposing a penalty of Rs 15,000 on ICICI Bank, the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, Chandigarh, has held the financial institution responsible for harassing a consumer on the pretext of a saving-cum-demat account.

It was observed by the court that due to the harassment, the consumer, Tarun Sadana, an IT professional, had to open an account with Citi Bank. An additional Rs 1,100 has been awarded as costs by the court.

Tarun Sadana, working as deputy general manager with FCS Software Solutions, Panchkula, was approached by an employee of ICICI Bank, Shalender, to open a demat account. Opening of the account was mandatory for allocation of shares of FCS Software Solutions.

In December 2006, the bank employee asked Tarun to pay Rs 750 as fee towards bank charges and an assurance was given that the account would be opened in 10 days. The bank asked for more documents which were given by him. The complainant alleged that he kept on ringing the ICICI employee, but without any feedback.

After three weeks, Tarun was told that the processing was delayed due to a fault of the corporate office of the bank located in Sector 9. The bank later denied the charges of the complainant and said he did not disclose the facts.

Pronouncing the order, the forum directed the bank to comply with it within 30 days failing which interest at a rate of 8 per cent per annum would have to be paid. 

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