C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mauled by Malls - I
UT plan may go bust
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Plot No. 28 in Phase I of the Industrial Area will house one of the biggest 'hyper-markets' in form of small stores. The shopping complex is located in approximately one lakh square feet and it expects to be functional by Diwali.

On one one side of the mall is the railway line and on the other the resumed industrial complex, which houses offices of at least two dozen offices of transportcompanies.The widening of the roads is yet to be undertaken and there is no visible activity for a special parking site around the mall.

Trucks and cars can be seen parked along the road berms at several places in the area.The CTU workshop in the adjoining area sees a rush of buses the whole day long.

The entire area has in Phase I and II has no sign board on the Chandigarh Industrial and Business Park,the new name for the Industrial Area. The Chandigarh administration is learnt to have issued tenders for upgradation of Phase I. There are no such tenders for Phase II, where Joshi Autos has opened a car mall.

The store in phase I has leased out the shopping area to a Mumbai company. "We are not competing with the big shopping malls or big brand names and upmarket products. We are targeting the common man providing small necessities like vegetables, groceries, toys, clothes, holiday packs and related products", the in charge at the construction site, requesting anonymity, said.

"The parking area at our site, according to national building bylaws, can accommodate nearly 100 cars and is built according to specifications of the administration", he pointed out.

“Our site is built on the pattern of an existing structure in Mumbai which witnesses maximum rush of two-wheelers. We cannot pinpoint specific parking requirements complex in advance", he added.

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Cops get tough with drunk drivers
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Waking up to the menace of rash and negligent driving, the Chandigarh Police today decided to carry out checks till late in the night.

In a series of measures aimed at cutting down the accident rate, senior functionaries said that special ‘nakas’ to check driving under the influence of liquor, which mainly causes fatal accidents, would be set up with immediate effect.

Expressing shock over yesterday’s late night accident in which two young managers of fast food joint KFC were killed, SSP Dinesh Bhatt said the police was determined to curb this menace by putting in extra efforts.

“We have already started a campaign against drinking in the open. Now, we are focussing on those driving after drinking and causing a nuisance on roads,” said Dinesh Bhatt. A S Ahlawat, SSP (Traffic) said it had been found that 65 per cent of the fatal accidents took place between 7 pm to 5 am. Over-speeding and drunk driving were the main reasons.

“To check this menace, we have started deputing more officials in the night to check traffic offences.Besides, special nakas will be put up with the help of marshals in the night hours, especially from 11 pm to 2 am.”, said Ahlawat.

Meanwhile, the post-mortem of the bodies of Arjun Singh and Rajesh Yadav was conducted today.

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Candidate with 7 roll numbers!
Smriti Sharma/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Sheer blunder or an act of ‘connivance’? A private candidate taking examinations conducted by Panjab university has been issued not one but seven roll numbers on a single registration number.

This came to light when the university declared the results of BA (III). The gazette displayed the candidate’s name, father’s name, mother’s name, and registration number against seven roll numbers-- 126180, 126184, 126188, 126190, 126196 and 1261203, 126179.

Though the candidate possesses seven roll numbers, only one declares the result. Against the others, the result is mentioned as ‘cancelled’.

The candidate had English (compulsory), Punjabi (compulsory), History, Punjabi (elective) and sociology as her subjects.

When contacted, joint controller of examinations V Kapoor said: “ Such an error is not possible. If at all it has happened, this might be owing to a computer fault or a technical error in printing”. He said the matter would be checked.

“There may be more such cases. In fact, the authorities should get all previous results of this candidate checked ”, said a PU professor.

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Double Trouble
High Court notice to BSNL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
There is more trouble in store for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited fighting with its back to the wall in restoring telecom services in the wake of the June 30 fire at the Sector 17 telephone exchange.

Acting on a PIL filed by Ludhiana-based lawyer Naresh Ghai, regarding lack of provision for an alternative system in case of emergency, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the BSNL, the ministry of telecom and the telephone regulatory authority of India(TRAI) for July 13.

The PIL has demanded action against the telecom company for the loss to the public exchequer.

“The Punjab circle of BSNL did not maintain the desired back-up so that in case of any failure/ fault, the system keeps working or may be restored within minutes. When the telephone exchange caught fire, the whole system collapsed whereby all emergency phone numbers went dead. Over one lakh telephone subscribers (besides mobile phones) were disconnected, broadband and internet users were logged out, banks and ATMs were practically non-functional," the PIL alleged.

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Despair
Patient jumps to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A tuberculosis patient at the PGI committed suicide by jumping from the fifth floor of the hospital here today. He was identified as Ashish (29), a resident of Uttar Pradesh.

Ashish was admitted to the Male Medical Ward on the fifth floor of Nehru Hospital on Monday. Muni Ram, father of the deceased, is employed at the water works in Sector 37, Chandigarh. A resident of Dehchand village in Muzaffar Nagar, Ashish had studied computer engineering from a private college. He had married last year. This is the the second suicide by jumping from a building at the PGI this year.

MBBS students killed

Ambala: Two final-year MBBS students were killed in an accident near Barara late last night.

Students of MM Medical College, they were travelling on a motorcycle from Do Sarka to Barara when they collided with a tractor-trailer late last night. Ark Twickley died on the spot, Sanjay Verma died on way to hospital. Another MBBS student, Amit, sustained multiple injuries in the incident. Ark and Sanjay belonged to Hisar..

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Janata Fire
Officer suspended
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
Assistant divisional fire officer Jaspal Singh has been suspended with immediate effect for dereliction of duty.

The orders to this effect issued by the principal secretary, local government, Punjab, D.S. Bains, were received here today. The orders said a charge sheet against the official would be issued later.

A major fire had broken out at the Janata rehri market here on June 1, which had reduced 377 khokhas to heaps of ash. As the local Fire Brigade was ill-equipped, fire tenders from Chandigarh, Air Force Station and Ropar were called to fight the blaze. The deputy comissioner had ordered an inquiry into the incident, which was conducted by Ajoy Sharma, additional deputy commissioner.

Sharma had pointed out in the inquiry report that assistant divisional fire officer had not performed his duty. The poor working of machines of the Fire Brigade had caused a delay in extinguishing the fire.

The report had also stated that the Fire Brigade was not equipped to tackle any major fire in Mohali. The water pipe used on the day of the Janata market fire was torn. The meters installed to indicate the level of water were also not working.

The overall condition of both fire tenders was far from being satisfactory. Even though an incident of fire had happened even before the June 1 incident in the Janata market, no fire hydrant had been identified.

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Dera Bassi labourer gets jackpot money
Rajay Deep

Lachman Singh and Piara Singh, bumper lottery winners.
Lachman Singh and Piara Singh, bumper lottery winners. —A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, June 6
Lachhman Singh, a labourer from Dera Bassi, made it rich when he was handed over Rs 66 lakh won as part of Rs 1 crore Lohri bumper jackpot by the lotteries department of Punjab.

Lachhman Singh had been trying his luck for the past over 15 years.

“In my childhood , I had no shoes. Most of the time, I was forced to wear torn pyjamas. My parents were very poor. My father used to sell clothes on a bicycle from village to village ”, a visibly excited Lachhman told Chandigarh Tribune after getting the prize money cheque.

“I failed to clear the middle standard exam and poverty forced me to discontinue my studies”, he said. Father of three sons and a daughter, Lachhman said: “I had been buying lottery tickets for over 15 years and every time I purchased two tickets in the draw. This time also I bought two tickets.” He learnt about his winning the jackpot through the media .

About future plans, he said: “I will buy agricultural land and a house, which is the basic need of my family. I will contribute some part of the price money to a temple and a gurdwara for langar.I will throw a feast for friends and relatives.”

Another bumper prize winners Piara Singh and his wife Prem Kaur of Nurpur Lubana in Kapurthala also received a cheque for the same amount today. Piara Singh said it was his wife’s luck that had got them rich.

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Driver’s Licence
Technology set to help the illiterate
Tribune News Service

A newly created facility to take a computer-aided test of those applying for a learner’s driving licence at the Registering and Licensing Authority, Sector 17, Chandigarh.
A newly created facility to take a computer-aided test of those applying for a learner’s driving licence at the Registering and Licensing Authority, Sector 17, Chandigarh. —Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, July 6
Technology is set to help illiterate persons apply for a learner’s driving licence in the city.

With the help of National Informatics Centre, the Registering and Licensing Authority, Chandigarh, has put in place the ‘sarathi’ software, enabling it to conduct a computer-aided test of illiterate applicants to test their knowledge about traffic signs. In the long run, the software will enable the authority to issue permanent driving licence, conductor licence and also a driving school licence.

For the learner’s licence, a screen test aid, that tests and educates the applicant, is being used.

An official of the RLA said before starting the newly-created facility, trial runs were scheduled to be held next week.

A computer system to enable applicants undertake the screen test has been installed in a new room in the basement of the building. Apart from data operators, there will be other persons assisting the applicants. A motor vehicle inspector (MVI) will monitor the entire process. The result will be out within seconds.

Each applicant will be given three chances. Unsuccessful applicants will be debarred for six months.

The authority also proposes to simplify official procedure in getting driving licence and registration documents. A ‘token system’ will also be introduced in the RLA office for making service delivery quicker, effective and convenient for approximately 1,500 applicants who visit the office daily.

In the second stage, the “vahan” software, dealing with computerisation of vehicle registration, will be implemented. The two software would help do away with a lot of paperwork in the existing system, which often led to delays and belated procedural wrangling, said an official.

The new software would later be linked to the police system to keep track of all vehicles on city roads. It can be of help in looking for untraced vehicles as well those being employed in unlawful activity. 

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Cycle rally on dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Anti-malaria officer-cum-state surveillance officer H.C. Gera has appealed to residents to drain out water from their coolers and scrub these dry once a week during the monsoon months.

This would help them to get rid of vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya, said Gera.

In order to create awareness among residents in this regard, the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Chandigarh, organised a cycle rally today. Students from different schools participated in the rally.

Dr Manjit Singh Bains, director, health services, UT, and staff of the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme also took part in the rally. 

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Dearth has brought death at her doorstep
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Hasina (centre) with her siblings and mother at her house in Mauli complex.
Hasina (centre) with her siblings and mother at her house in Mauli complex.—Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 6
Until three years ago, Hasina, 13, was the brightest student in the class of slum children at Pustak School in Mauli complex. But today, she is vegetating at her ramshackle house in the slum - a legacy of rheumatic heart disease, with which she was detected a while ago.

The illness came all of a sudden. “She was quite a healthy child. She would help me with household chores, would tend to her siblings and do well at studies. But one day she complained of acute chest pain. Then came the fever which refused to go,” explains Geeta, Hasina’s mother, the only working hand in the poor family of seven. Hasina’s father Rajesh had lost his right arm in an accident at a construction site four years ago. He still can’t engage in hard labour and is confined to the house.

This leaves the family with just about Rs 30 by the end of every day. That’s the money Geeta fetches after her daily grind. At times, she has to beg for wheat flour to feed her children.

Breaking into tears the hapless mother says, “Hasina’s illness has spelt doom for our family. We don’t even have the yellow (below poverty line) ration card to avail of free facilities for the poor at PGI, where we took Hasina.”

As soon as the first signs of the illness surfaced Hasina had to drop out of school. After her, all her four younger siblings, who were doing equally well, dropped out, says Kamlesh, the teacher at Pustak, which runs under aegis of the Youth Technical Training Society (YTTS).

Now the child is counting her days. Having lost precious time, she needs urgent corrective surgery to get her heart working. But the PGI needs Rs 1.5 lakh to buy the equipment required for the operation. A cardiologist explains, “Hasina is suffering from a condition in which heart valves get damaged by rheumatic fever. This fever begins with a sore throat from streptococcal infection. The disease can affect many of the body’s connective tissues - especially those of the heart, joints, brain or skin. This condition usually occurs in children five to 15 years of age and its effects can last for life.”

Although the YTTS has launched a campaign to raise funds for Hasina’s surgery, they have not managed a breakthrough yet. The situation looks grim, with the doctors having fixed July 11 for the life-saving surgery. Hasina needs valve replacement to survive.

But dearth of money is threatening her prospects. No wonder her mother makes repeated requests for help. “I wish I could save my child. Bit I don’t even have the money to feed her well. All I want is her life and I am praying to my gods,” says Geeta, pointing to the walls of her house, which are ready to fall. The plaster has come off and the doors are cracking. Inside these doors sits Hasina with her siblings, who, too, want her to live.

Donations can be given to Hasina’s mother at 2338, Mauli Complex.

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Houses for middle class planned
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
The government plans to set up a mega food processing unit at Ludhiana at a cost of Rs 20 crore, even as houses will be made available to middle and lower middle-class people at affordable prices.

This was stated by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Cooperation Minister, Punjab, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating “Baba Jagga Singh Community Centre” at Gharuan village today.

He said the setting up of the food processing unit would solve marketing problems related to agricultural produce.

This would not only help farmers, but also reduce unemployment and generate additional revenue for the government.

The minister said middle and lower middle-class families were not in a position to construct houses in towns. Such poeple would now be provided houses constructed by Housefed in colonies near towns at cheaper rates.

He said the matter had been discussed with the Central Housing Minister and subsidy would be provided by the Centre for the construction of such houses.

Loans would be provided to people for housing purposes through cooperative banks at lower rates of interest.

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Disabled get computers

Panchkula, July 6
The Rotary Club, Chandigarh Midtown, today donated three computer sets and accessories to the computer section of the National Institute for Disabled Persons, Sector 12-A.

The president of the club, Sandeep Sandhu, presented the computers to Keshav Chander Wadhawan. Sandhu said they would donate a computer every month to this institute for a year. — TNS

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New rotarians take over
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 6
The installation function of the Rotary Club SAS Nagar was held today. The new team was chosen under the presidentship of Surinder Bains.

Other members of the board are Gurvinder Juneja, vice-president, R.P. Sehgal, secretary, Poonam, joint secretary, Vijay Goel, treasurer, and H.A. Marwaha, joint treasurer. The directors are Parvinder Singh, Navneet Saxena, Manpreet Singh, Khushjiv Singh and Amrit Bhambra.

K.S. Mahal will be the seargent-at-arms while Jaideep Ghai will be the IPP. Balbir Singh is the president elect.

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Fire in house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
A short circuit caused a minor fire in the kitchen of a house in Phase II B 2 here today.

The owner of the house, P.K. Singh, and members of his family were not at home when the incident took place. They were informed about it by their neighbours, who also called the fire brigade. K.C. Sood, sub fire officer, said a short circuit in the electric chimney in the kitchen had caused the fire. The owner claimed he had suffered a loss of about Rs 50,000.

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Smoke-free city from July 15
Home secy seeks public support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Chandigarh is all set to become the first smoke-free union territory of the country from July 15. Smoking in public places and public conveyances will be banned in the UT.

Krishna Mohan, home secretary, said as per the decision of the administration to declare and ensure a smoke-free city, it would launch an awareness campaign highlighting the ill-effects of smoking. Cigarette, bidi and tobacco smoke contained over 4,000 chemical compounds of which at least 50 were cancer-causing.

The home secretary has sought public support in making Chandigarh smoke-free, the first one in the country.

As per section 4 of the Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, it is a penal offence to smoke at any public place in Chandigarh, including smoke-free areas of hotels/restaurants/ bars/public areas and public conveyances.

All police officials of the rank of sub-inspector and above, food/drug inspectors and officials notified by the Chandigarh administration have the power to take action against anyone found smoking in public. Public area means any place to which the public has access, whether as a right or not.

The definition of public place includes all places except for certain open spaces not visited by the public. A person may smoke in open spaces not visited by the public like lawns outside homes, road kerbs away from the markets, open spaces outside any public area.

The administration has advised the public to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly. Throwing cigarette butts in the open will be considered a violation and anyone doing so is liable to be fined. Anyone spitting in any public area will also be penalised.

As per the Act, the in charge of all public offices are to ensure the display of warning boards in public offices. All public places (including private offices/buildings/areas open for public) would have to display at least two boards of size 30 cm by 60 cm reading, “No-smoking area - Smoking here is an offence.” 

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Trains delayed

Chandigarh, July 6
The Unchhar Express, running between Allahabad and Chandigarh, arrived nine hours behind the scheduled time of 9.20 am at the Chandigarh railway station. The train running from Chandigarh to Allahabad, however, departed at its scheduled time of 4.50 pm.

The Kalka mail also arrived five hours behind the scheduled time of 3 am.

Meanwhile, the northern railway is running a special train for candidates appearing in a written test of the loco pilot being conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board on July 8. — TNS

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Blood donation in their blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A couple of Mohali has set a record of donating blood 53 times. They donated blood yesterday on the occasion of their marriage anniversary. Balwant Singh and Jaswant Kaur had started donating blood in 1991.

According to Balwant Singh, who is a manager with the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, he, along with his wife who is employed with the Animal Husbandry Department, donates blood four times every year on different occasions.

“We start the year by donating blood on January 1 every year and then donate blood on April 7, July 5, and October 1 to celebrate World Health Day, our marriage anniversary, and National Blood Donaton Day, respectively,” says Balwant.

It was our 28th marriage anniversary, adds Balwant, whose name along with his wife was recorded in the Limca Book of Records, 2005.

His son Amandeep Singh and daughter Sandeep Kaur have also donated blood 24 and 17 times, respectively. The daughter-in-law of the family, Kamalpreet Kaur, has also donated blood twice.

HC judges

A blood donation camp was inaugurated by Justice P. Sathasivam of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday where as many as 200 persons, including four judges, donated blood.

The camp was organised by the high court in collaboration with the Blood Bank Society Resource Centre, Chandigarh, in the library hall of the Bar association.

Justices Jasbir Singh, Hemant Gupta, S.S. Saron and Rajive Bhalla donated blood and exhorted people to do so for the noble cause. Justice Sathasivam emphasised on the need to donate blood so as to save lives and congratulated the donors.

Anmol Rattan Sidhu, president of the Bar association, Gurinder Singh Attariwala, vice-president, and Onkar Singh Batalwi, secretary, also donated blood.

Tech Mahindra

A total of 99 volunteers, including employees, donated blood at a camp organised by Tech Mahindra Limited at the Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park here yesterday.

The camp was conducted by doctors of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. 

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Farmers submit memo to Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A delegation of the Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha submitted a memorandum to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The delegation comprised Brig K.S. Kahlon president, Jyoti Subramanian, secretary, Col S.S. Sandhu, H.S.Johl and sarpanch Mam Chand of Maloya, Virendra Jeet Singh, president, Punjab Khatri Sabha, Gurdayal Singh, sarpanch, Khuda Ali Sher, Sadhu Singh, sarpanch, Sarangpur, Naib Singh, sarpanch, Makhan Majra, Tarsem Singh, sarpanch, Daddu Majra, Naresh Kumar, panch Khuda Lahora, and Dharam Singh, sarpanch, Mani Majra.

The delegates urged the Chief Minister to take up the matter of land acquisition in the city with the centre as the Chandigarh administration was not paying heed to their requests. Badal assured them that he would take up this issue with the centre and the UT administrator.

The memorandum pointed out that injustice was meted out to farm owners by the Chandigarh administration by way of the meagre compensation paid and non-existent rehabilitation schemes. 

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Narrow escape for car driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Harminder Singh of Sector 35 had a narrow escape when a tractor hit his Ambassador car bearing registration number CH 2436 in front of The Tribune office around 10 pm here today.

A contraflow system was in operation due to maintenance work being carried out on the other side of the road.

The tractor, being driven by Amarjit Singh of Hallo Majra, was coming from the Sector 32 side while Harminder Singh was on his way home in the opposite direction when the accident occurred.

“In trying to save a Santro car, the car was hit,” said Amarjit Singh, driver of the tractor.

After reaching the spot, the police opened the other side of the road for traffic. 

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Tips for safe driving
right of way when turning right

Let’s take a look at who has precedence when turning right onto or off a major road when several cars arrive at the same time.

Cars A and B have the first right of way because they are not turning. They are simply going forward on their own side of the major road. Cars C and D must wait until these have cleared. Car C is entitled to turn to its right, safely off the major road, before Car D can turn out onto it.

The law is that you give way to approaching oncoming traffic, stopping if necessary. If there is nothing coming, you may turn without stopping, provided nothing is blocking the road which you are entering.

You must give the proper indicator signals well before the turn and also keep a sharp lookout on the rearview and side view mirrors.

‘Chance takers are accident makers’

Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma

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Letters
Traffic lights at rotaries

This is in reference to a report in Chandigarh Tribune (June 26) on homage being paid to martyrs at Major Sandeep Sagar chowk at the Sectors 7-8 and 17-18 crossing, Panchkula, on his death anniversary. HUDA administrator Nedam Pradeep Kasni was the chief guest and a wreath was laid on behalf of GoC-in-C Western Command.

It is commendable that the martyr has been remembered and homage paid. However, the most befitting homage to the martyr would be to install traffic lights at the crossing, as it is virtually the gateway to Panchkula after the Housing Board Chowk traffic lights.

The volume of traffic, which is chaotic and unruly during peak hours, at this accident-prone junction is very high.

Another such point where traffic lights need to be installed is the entry to Sectors 7 and 8 markets.

Repeated representations from NGOs and press reports notwithstanding, nothing has been done by the authorities concerned to control these bottlenecks.

Keeping in view the longstanding demand of residents and safety considerations, traffic lights at these junctions should be installed on priority.

Another, relatively cost-effective and speedy option can be to install traffic lights at the existing roundabouts, on the pattern of Chandigarh.

The authorities concerned should take steps to effectively control traffic at these junctions before a major accident takes place.

D.P. Piplani, Panchkula

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Kajheri probe now with crime branch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Senior superintendent of police Dinesh Bhatt today handed over the inquiry of the triple murder case which took place at Kajheri on May 14 to the crime branch here.

Though the police has identified the murderers, yet it has not been able to arrest them.

According to sources, union minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal has also taken up the matter with the SSP.

Sucha Singh, owner of a dairy at Kajheri, his wife Balbir Kaur and servant Chhotu were murdered by his own servants namely Rajiv Kumar and Satish Kumar, alias Soni, with a motive to loot him. Amit, alias Kunkun, was their accomplice.

The SSP confirmed that the matter had been given to the crime branch.

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