C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Death in Custody
Violence precedes Anil Kumar’s cremation

Khaki rage unleashed

Tribune News Service

Police personnel take away a woman following a clash outside the Mani Majra police station on Saturday.
Police personnel take away a woman following a clash outside the Mani Majra police station on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh

Chandigarh, July 14
Violence, pelting of stones and blockades that preceded the cremation of Anil Kumar (21) led the police to use tear gas, water cannon and lathi charge today.

Anil Kumar had reportedly jumped to death while he was in police custody at Mani Majra on July 11.

There was heavy deployment of police at the cremation ground and the police allowed only his relatives to attend the cremation as a preventive measure.

The police was in a quandary to persuade agitators to cremate the body late in the afternoon. The victim’s sister Geeta collapsed several times during the commotion.

The cremation took place at 4.50 pm following an assurance by the ADC, I.S. Sandhu, of a fair and expeditious probe into the circumstances leading to Anil’s death.

Enraged family members agreed to cremate the body only after a written assurance by the authorities concerned.

The violence left at least 15 persons, including six police personnel injured. The police said violence broke out outside the Mani Majra police station when a group of miscreants in the crowd started pelting stones on the police.

Police vehicle were smashed by the crowd that gheraoed the police station since morning. The police lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the crowd.

However, people alleged that the police went berserk and lathicharged even women and children. Some mediapersons also faced the wrath of a lathi-wielding cop.

A cyclist, showing injuries, alleged that he was passing by and the police thrashed him for no fault of his. Even employees working at a nearby saw mill were not spared.

The victim’s family has demanded a compensation and job for his younger brother on compassionate grounds. The ADC said appropriate action would be taken as per the policies of the government.

Earlier during the day, the victim’s family demanded the registration of a murder case against SI Narinder Singh and constable Surjit Kaur, among others.

A scene was also created at the PGI when his family refused to take away the body, demanding immediate action and arrest of the erring police personnel. His sister agreed to take the body after getting a written assurance of a quick probe into the incident.

Some of the shops in the vicinity of the cremation ground remained closed throughout the day, apprehending the worst.

Talking to mediapersons later in the afternoon, the ADC stated that he had received a written memorandum by the family and action as per rules would be taken.

Meanwhile, the local unit of the Rashtriya Janta Dal condemned the police action and demanded a magisterial inquiry.



Chandigarh on song, barely
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
If not anything else, the first-of-its-kind Chandigarh city song competition at least served to stir people’s imaginations. Fired by UT administration’s irresistible offer - that the best song will be played at every platform that matters - 14 contestants jumped into the fray; three-fourths of them unprepared.

The best performance of the evening came from Ambala boy Nitin Kumar, whose romantic imagery of Chandigarh was reminiscent of Gulzar’s earthiness.

“Ek shehar hai suna hai…sapnon saa bunaa hai…” was how he opened his song that bared the soul of the city.

That’s what every participant was expected to do - write their songs around Chandigarh as the theme, set them to music and make them worthy of the space of performance.

Sad it was that most of the contestants failed to bring even the basic minimum musical knowledge to the stage. It was as if they were there to test their skill and enjoy being seen and heard.

Many of them hit the stage for the first time, reducing a well-meaning contest to a mere talent show, that was raw to the core. At times, accompanying musicians were seen struggling to retrace the rhythm, lost in excited but poor performances.



City smokes it out today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh July 14
With the constitution of tobacco control cell and empowering of officials to recover fine on the spot from people found smoking at public place, the Union Territory is set to become first “smoke-free city” of the country tomorrow. Smokers outside their homes will now have to find places demarcated for the purpose.

The administration along with enforcing the provisions of Section 4 or 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 has started an awareness campaign among public about the ill-effects of smoking.

Sukhna lake, hotels run by CITCO, including Hotel Shivalikview and Hotel Mountview, have been displaying banners bearing the messages in addition to demarcating the no-smoking and smoking zones.

Hotel Mountview management has demarcated a portion of lobby as smoking zone for the convenience of smokers.



6-storey sectt wing planned
UT dreams it big
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Shrinking staff, outsourcing of services and introduction of contractual system in employment notwithstanding, the Chandigarh administration is planning a new wing of its secretariat in Sector 9.

The complex will get a majority of public dealing offices at one place to ensure speedy transactions in a “more transparent fashion”.

Grey Areas

What will be the use of offices and public windows already operated by offices and departments in various buildings is still not known

It is not clear what will be the fate of e-sampark centres and public dealing counters that have been set up in recent years by spending lakhs of rupees from public funds. It is unclear whether the complex will be in addition to the existing public dealing windows or all such services will be centralised in Sector 9.

A 1 lakh sq ft plot, adjoining the Chandigarh Housing Board, has been earmarked for the purpose. The six-storeyed building, with parking in basement, will be centrally air-conditioned.

Tenders have been floated for the project, which the administration wants to complete in two years. It has earmarked Rs 9.3 crore for the project.

What will be the use of offices and public windows already operated by these offices and departments in various buildings is still not known. Some of these offices were renovated and modernised at a heavy cost.

The administration hasn’t thought about the premises of various offices that will fall vacant after the complex comes up. The senior functionary said, “In the first phase, the empty place can be utilised for keeping office records. We shall chalk out the details of the remaining infrastructure soon.”

Angrez Singh, president of the pind bachao committee, said, “The administration has sufficient building spread all over the city. Why doesn’t it spend the money on development of villagers and employment opportunities instead?”

Rajesh Sharma, president of the local chapter of the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, said, “Chandigarh is a very small city so the move to have another office does not make sense. The UT first needs to tell what will be done with the buildings of existing offices. I think even from the security point of view, it would not be advisable to go for such a complex.”

M.P.S. Chawla, a councillor, said, “Instead of making a new building, it will be better if the existing buildings are improved and made people friendly.”



Six rehri markets highly fire-prone
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, July 14
Six rehri markets in the town are highly prone to fire even as the administration is yet to make these safe for the shopkeepers, customers and those living in the neighbourhood.

A devastating fire had destroyed the Janata Rehri market in Phase III B 1, here on June 1, adversely affecting the livelihood of hundreds of persons.

Sources said a report submitted recently to the SDM by the local fire brigade about fire safety in other rehri markets here has painted a grim picture of the state of affairs there. The report, which covered the rehri markets in Phases I, IV, VII, X, XI and Sector 71, said there were no fire safety measures in place: the ventilation was poor; no proper exits had been provided in case of emergencies; there was temporary loose electrical wiring all over, and no facility for water storage. Tin sheets had been used to make khokhas in most of these markets, which added to the danger. In the case of a major fire, there was every possibility of loss of life, apart from damage to property.

In the Phase I Guru Nanak Khokha Market, there were 276 khokhas made of tin sheets. The passages between rows of khokhas were narrow, which in certain cases were partially obstructed by goods kept by shopkeepers. There were khokhas where LPG cylinders and kerosene were being used and repair work undertaken. Blacksmiths were also working in the market. The report said what added to the hazards was the presence of jhuggis on which firewood had been stored, adjacent to the market. The report gave an indication that this market was most unsafe among the six surveyed.

In Sahibzada Ajit Singh Market in Phase IV there were 308 shops, 150 of which were made from tin sheets. Construction was on to make more pucca booths. In this market, too, the passages between khokhas were narrow with the approach to the market from the front only. There was a three to four feet wide exit at the back of the market. There were small hotels and dhabas and dyers among the khokhas. LPG cylinders and kerosene were in use, posing a threat to the market.

Rajiv Gandhi Market running in Phase VII had 68 khokhas and almost all of these had been made of tin sheets. The market had narrow passages and to add to the problem, shopkeepers had stocked goods in these passages. Tea stalls and dhabas running here used LPG gas and kerosene. However, the mini market in Phase X had 134 pucca booths but this market, too, faced the problem of narrow passages. It had exit points only on the front side.

The condition of Palika Market in Phase XI, which had 65 shops, was no better. It faced the same problem of narrow passages, loose electrical wiring even when dhabas and tea stalls using kerosene and LPG were functioning from there. In the Jhota Kut Colony Market in Sector 71, there were 60 shops. The market had kuccha huts and jhuggis on two sides and dry fodder had been stocked in the area for cattle. There was a flour mill in the market which used diesel for functioning, making the area more vulnerable to fire.



Theatre artiste alleges cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
The local police has registered a case of cheating on a complaint filed by theatre artiste Neelam Maan Singh.

The artiste in her complaint lodged with the police reported that she had misplaced her purse containing a bank debit card in the last week of June.

Someone used the card and made purchases worth around Rs 36,000.

The miscreant had made the purchases from expensive stores.

SHO of police station-17 inspector Kulwant Singh Pannu said a case of cheating under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code had been registered in this connection.

He added that the police would procure video clippings from the shops to identify the miscreant.



Tips for safe driving
Give way to traffic on a major road

Here is a situation where the horizontal road is the major road and vertical road is a minor one. In this case car B has right of way over car A. This is because of the basic rule that traffic on major roads have right of way over minor roads at a junction.

‘Don’t try and TEACH OTHERS A LESSON on the road’

Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma



Smoke-free city

The Chandigarh administration is all set to become the first smoke-free city by July 15.

The decision of the UT administration should be welcomed. There is need to make the masses aware of this decision.

All public places, government buildings and many areas will be declared as non-smoking areas.

This will protect children, women and non-smokers from the harmful consequences of tobacco and smoking and will improve the global image of the city. The various departments of the administration are busy in doing the groundwork to ensure the implementation of the smoke-free plan for the city.

The education department has asked the schools and colleges to display the warning boards at prominent public places.

The rules can be enforced by the police and administration only with the help of people.

M.L. Garg, Chandigarh

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Eve-teasing lands three in lockup
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 14
Teasing a girl in late-night hour proved costly for three inebriated youngsters on Friday. The police arrested the three for allegedly indulging in eve-teasing, after their repeated apologies failed to move the girl being harassed by them.

The accused have been identified as Amrinder Pratap Singh and Kamal Nain Singh of Sector 15 and Arshdeep Singh of Samrala, near Ludhiana. They were under the influence of liquor at that time. They were released on bail later in the night, said the police.

The incident took place around 11 pm when Sheetal Sharma, a paying guest in Sector 15, was on her way home. Upon reaching the Sector 15-16 trafficlights a car (MFC 8082) started tailing her.

The youths in the car began passing remarks at her and even asked her get in the car. At one point they blocked her way.

After her pleas to leave her alone proved futile, she rang up the police control room.

Within a few minutes, the police reached the scene and arrested the miscreants.

Finding themselves trapped, the three started pleading with the victim to bail them out of the situation.

They went on to the extent of touching her feet, but it failed to move the victim, who demanded action against the three.

The police took the three to the police station and impounded their vehicle.



Man hangs himself

Chandigarh, July 14
Unable to cope with depression, a 25-year-old man hanged himself to death at his Sector 38 residence here this morning.

He held no one responsible for his death in his suicide note, said the police.

The deceased, Gurnam Singh, had been working as attendant in the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. He is survived by his wife and two children.

His wife, Jaswinder Kaur, a constable in Punjab police, works as computer operator in the office of DGP, Punjab, in Sector 9.

SHO of the police station-39 inspector Gulshan Kumar said the death came to light around 12 noon when she returned home after attending parent-teacher meeting of her children at their school. She found the door locked from the inside and when the repeated knocks went unanswered she peeped through a window and saw her husband hanging from the ceiling fan.

She raised the alarm, following which neighbours gathered and broke open the door. TNS



Student commits suicide

Chandigarh, July 14
Depressed over failing to make it to a technical institute, a 16-year-old boy allegedly hanged himself to death at his Sector 29 residence, here this afternoon.

Though he left no suicide note behind him, the police believed it to be a case of suicide.

The police said the deceased, Anupam Sharma, was a Class XII student. He was alone at home at that time.

The death came to light when his mother reached home at 2 pm and found the door locked. She peeped through a window and found Anupam hanging. She along with her brother broke open the door and lowered Anupam. They took him to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where doctors declared him brought dead. Anupam’s father works in a private factory in Industrial Area. The police has initiated inquest proceedings in this connection. TNS



Two killed in accidents

Panchkula, July 14
Two persons died in separate incidents in Pinjore, here today. While an unidentified Nepali person was found dead inside a manger, a youngster was killed in an accident on the Kalka-Pinjore road.

The Nepali, with a wound mark on his forehead, was found dead in the manger by Bhura Khan of Chikken village. Police sources said he probably died as a result of an accidental fall. Investigations are on to ascertain the cause of his death.

In the other incident, Ram Kumar, a resident of Pinjore, was killed when his motorcycle got entangled in electricity wires on the roadside. Police sources said a truck hit into the electricity pole, because of which it broke. Ram Kumar, who was behind the truck on his motorcycle, dashed into the broken pole after which his vehicle skidded after getting entangled in the wires. He died on the spot. — TNS



Mohali industry seeks better infrastructure
Our Correspondent

MIA President T.L. Easwar addresses a press conference in Mohali on Saturday.
MIA President T.L. Easwar addresses a press conference in Mohali on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Mohali, July 14
The Mohali industry is not interested in availing of subsidies, but wants the government to provide proper infrastructure so that the local industry could perform well in the competitive market.

These were the views expressed by T.L. Easwar, the newly elected president of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA), at the installation ceremony of the new team of office-bearers, held at the PCA club, here today. Easwar is the director of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., Mohali.

Easwar said the focus of the MIA this year would be on ‘growth through technology upgradation".

The association would also facilitate management and employees’ skill upgradation, knowledge-sharing among industrial units, create professional help groups for problem resolution, encourage rural youth to participate in the industrial economy and to urge the government to remove information collection centres which act as a hindrance to the free flow of goods.

Office-bearers of the association said the government had assured that a single committee would be set up to look after the problems of the Industrial Area and persons from the industry would be made members of that committee.

Among the other office-bearers of the MIA are senior vice-president B.S. Anand, vice- president R.P. Singh, general secretary Anurag Aggarwal, joint secretary P.J. Singh, and treasurer Tarsem Chand Bansal.



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