C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

High-rise buildings a security threat to jail
Rajay Deep

Chandigarh, August 4
The construction of high-rise buildings in the periphery of the Burail rail is a security threat. Residential societies are coming up with the approval of the UT administration but these are a threat to the security of the jail as it is possible to look into the jail from the terrace of these buildings.

There is a multi-storied building just adjacent to the boundary wall and adjoining the outer boundary wall is a godown of LPG cylinders, which experts feel, does not make the security foolproof.
The gas godown is on private land and we can’t stop it from running. The wall inside the boundary wall is at a safe distance so no one can cause any harm

Though the outer jail wall and the boundary wall have a buffer zone in between, one can see the jail premises by standing on top of the buildings.

There is a multi-storied building just adjacent to the boundary wall and adjoining the outer boundary wall is a godown of LPG cylinders, which experts feel, does not make the security foolproof.

Post-jailbreak, residents feel that prisoners should be kept at a safe distance from residential areas. Also, undertrials risk an attack from outside. The security of inmates is also the responsibility of the jail authorities.

The Chandigarh Tribune during a visit to the area found that the regulations of the jail manual were being flouted. LPG cylinders in such close proximity to the jail is detrimental to its security. On an average, around 450 prisoners remain in the jail.

The approval of such buildings puts a question mark on the policy of the UT administration.

The police denies any threat, but the history and sequence of events that led to the infamous jailbreak case indicates otherwise.

Jail superintendent Dinesh Bhatt said, “The gas godown is on private land and we can’t stop it from running. The wall inside the boundary wall is at a safe distance so no one can cause any harm.”

About the new multi-storied buildings, he said, “There are towers in the jail with gunmen who are on duty round the clock. So we are safe.”

— Jail superintendent



Babus at RLA don’t care about UT order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The UT Administration’s direction to all departments not to ask for affidavit along with application forms is not being adhered to by officials in the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) here.

While the statement issued by the administration clearly states that no attested document was required while seeking registration of vehicles, those manning the counters are still asking applicants to bring documents attested by notaries.

Irritated by the indifference of the authorities, R.K. Garg, a resident of sector 27, shot off an application under the RTI, seeking details about the guidelines to register a vehicle.

“While the information provided under the RTI clearly states that no affidavit was required with documents of residence proof like ration card, electoral roll, life insurance policy, passport and birth certificate, the officials are demanding attested documents,” he said. 



Drugs seized during raids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Swooping down on drug peddlers, the crime branch (operation cell) today seized 145 gm smack and 550 gm opium. Seizures were made from seven persons across the city. Vijay Kumar, inspector in charge of the cell, said the raids were conducted under the SSP's supervision and fresh tip-off.

Among those arrested under the NDPS Act are John Hussain, nabbed from near his Sector 40 house with 50 gm smack; Summy, nabbed with 20 gm smack from near the Panjab University entrance; Kulwinder Singh arrested from near his Sector 56 house with 20 gm smack; and Sanjay Arora , nabbed from Sector 29-30 light point with 15 gm smack. Nitin Khanna, a Panchkula resident, was intercepted near Khalsa School, Sector 30, and 15 gm smack was seized from him, while Ravi Kumar of Sector 30 was nabbed from near Baba Balaknath Temple in Sector 30 with another 15 gm smack.

The largest drug volume —- 550 gm opium —- was seized from Sidharth, a resident of Narwana, Jind. He was arrested from outside the dispensary near Fun Republic in Mani Majra.



DAV Clash
No arrest so far
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The local police failed to trace the students accused of firing gun shots outside DAV College, Sector 10 on Friday.

SHO of the Sector 3 police station inspector Ram Gopal said raids were being conducted at the suspected hideouts of the accused.

Meanwhile, the police stepped up security outside the college to prevent any untoward incident even as the college remained closed today to morn the death of a teacher.

In the yesterday’s firing incident, Amandeep Singh Multani of students’ organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), who is being projected as the presidential candidate for the DAV College students council, was injured. He was later discharged from the hospital as he had suffered minor injuries. The incident took place when Nitinpreet Singh Brar, an activist of students’ organisation of India (SOI), allegedly fired at him. The gun shot was fired following a group clash between both the two organisations.



Asia Cup Hockey
3 city players in Indian squad 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Baljeet Singh
Baljeet Singh

Chandigarh, August 4
It is a proud moment for the city and the Chandigarh Hockey Academy, Sector 42, as three local players — Rajpal Singh, Baljeet Singh and Jaswinder Singh — have made it to the Indian hockey squad for Asia Cup, starting from September 1 to 9 in Chennai.

Ace forward Rajpal, who has proved his worth in international events, is also part of the team for Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament to be played in Malaysia and Challenge Cup (Belgium) this year.

Rajpal Singh
Rajpal Singh 

Goalkeeper Baljit Singh also showed his skills in both tournaments.

Left-half Jaswinder Singh has also represented India before.

Talking on phone from the camp, Baljeet Singh said, “The team is in high spirits after winning bronze medals in Azlan Shah and Challenge Cup this year. We worked hard during the preparatory camp so this time we hope to take on the field to win top honours.”

Jaswinder Singh
Jaswinder Singh

Jaswinder Singh said, “I play on half line where the player needs perfection in pushing, hitting, flap shots and scoops. I am working hard on these aspects and hope to win a gold medal.”

Apart from the trio, another city player, Inderjit Chadha, is also part of the India camp held in Bangalore for the tournament. He was a strong probable but has to sit outside due to an ankle injury.

Their coach Jasbir Bajwa said, “This is a very proud moment for all of us.”



Child action plan gets going
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
With the establishment of a multi-agency distress management team, Chandigarh child action plan formally got going.
* Multi-agency distress management team in place
* Two minor rape victims rescued

Announced on June 1, the plan has just worked for two minor girls from the city and adjoining Zirakpur - both rape victims.

The team has rescued them and is now monitoring their treatment and rehabilitation.

One of them, a nine-year-old from Zirakpur, is currently being treated for physical and psychological trauma at the PGI; her entire family already rehabilitated.

Significantly, the UT Administration has broken the barriers of “jurisdiction” by securing the safety of this child, raped in Zirakpur, which falls under Punjab.

Even though the law discourages interference of one administration in an area governed by another, UT officials worked with Punjab to drive home the point that a child’s life and safety is more important than law points.

The other child (13) who just broke her silence on how her father had been raping her for years has also been rescued. Arrangements are being made to send her to school.

Also finding place under this plan are interactive sessions with students and teachers at schools.

“We have been overwhelmed by children’s responses. Recently, we covered Government School, Sector 10, where the issues of debate included road safety, corporal punishment and verbal abuse. We are asking students to be more sensitive towards each other, to look around for possible signs of abuse,” said Raji Shrivastava, special secretary finance, UT and coordinator, child action plan.

The administration has also engaged college NSS in charges and dance and drama coordinators to weave productions around the theme of female foeticide, child abuse and other pressing issues concerning child safety.

Interestingly, nursing students of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16 staged a skit on ‘girl child’ outside the labour room of the hospital.

Next in line is a child protection centre, from where the project would be coordinated. Panchayat Bhavan in Sector 18 has been identified for the purpose.

It would house a counselling and therapy centre for children, besides serving as a nodal point for the plan, which will benefit hugely from the sibling survey (at schools) about to be commissioned.



Bonnet case: Safari driver evades arrest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The police failed to arrest Siddaq, a student of Sector 10 DAV College, accused of hitting a constable on Thursday and carried him on the bonnet of his vehicle to a distance of over one kilometre. Siddaq is said to be a son of a Ludhiana-based builder.

The police on Friday recovered Tata Safari from near Yadavindra Public School, Mohali. The vehicle belonged to V P Saini, owner and principal of Netaji Subhash Public School, Ropar. His son Kranti Saini was arrested by the police later in the evening. Kranti told the police that Siddaq was driving the vehicle and their friend Simu was sitting beside him while he was sitting on a rear seat.

DSP Davinder Thakur told TNS that Kranti, also a student of DAV College, was produced before a local court, which remanded him to one day of police remand. He said raids were being conducted to nab Siddaq.

Kranti said during interrogation that they lodged a theft case of the vehicle in Ropar on Thursday late afternoon. The police contacted the Ropar police station which informed that the complaint was filed at 4 pm on Thursday while the vehicle was mentioned stolen at 8 am in the morning arousing suspicion in the mind of police.

The police on Friday reportedly told Kranti to call Siddaq at Sector 11 market. However, he managed to give a slip to the police officials.



Firearm ban being flouted
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
As the ban on carrying firearms being flouted with impunity, incidents of clashes with frequent use of firearms have been on the rise in the city. The police has failed to trace sources from where illegal arms are being smuggled into the city.

The figures available with the police revealed that the police had registered 70 cases under the Arms Act from January, 2002, till June 30, this year, for violating the provisions of the Act by carrying firearms and other weapons.

After the occurrence of such incidents, the police follow its routine measures of carrying out raids at hostels, but these steps rarely proved to be a deterrent to those, who indulge in such activities. The incident of a three youngsters not only hitting a constable with Tata Safari, but also carrying him to a distance of over a kilometre is a testimony to the fact the fear of police seems to be the last thing on the minds of hooligans.

The incident of firing indicated that firearms are easily available to students studying in the university and colleges. However, the police during its raids have never seized any firearms. The police was stunned when former university student Nargurinder Singh Brar shot himself to death on the football ground on the campus on May 12. Till date the police failed to find out from where he had procured the weapon and its bullets. The police had then registered a case under the Arms Act.

Investigating officials also failed to trace a similar case in which a mother, along with her two sons, committed suicide at the Sector 15 residence in November, 2005. One of the sons, Peeyush, shot himself in his head with a countrymade pistol. The police has virtually stopped investigation from where the pistol came.

Even as the media had highlighted the security lapse from the day the officiating UT SSP Dinesh Bhatt instructed all DSPs and SHOs a little before midnight on July 26 in Sector 17. The police had information that situation could take a violent turn after the pronouncement of verdict in the Beant Singh assassination case, but the officials concerned did not pay attention

About the incidents of violence in students, he said raids would be conducted in hostels and pickets set up. He added that the students would be asked to take permission from the principals of their institutions before holding public meets. 



Defence Procurements
Inordinate delays defeat purpose of fast track procedure 
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The fast track procedure (FTP) for procurements introduced by the defence ministry for meeting urgent requirements of the Armed Forces, it seems, is not meeting its purpose.

Against the maximum time limit of 12 months within which the product is to be made available to the forces, there have been inordinate delays running into several years, prompting the comptroller and auditor general to remark that the very purpose for which the FTP was introduced has been defeated.

The internal lead time for procurement of weapons and equipment for the special forces took 29 months, unmanned aerial vehicles took 36 months, while the internal lead time for extended range rockets was 40 months.

Under provisions of the defence procurement procedure, the defence minister, on the advice of the Defence Procurement Board can approve the adoption of an FTP where the requirement emanates from imminent operational situation or crises. Under FTP, the stages of procurement like issue of request for proposal, technical evaluation and trial evaluation have been by-passed for procurement of an established and tested product.

Audit scrutiny of records also revealed that the application of FTP in some cases, including that or remotely piloted vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and thermal imaging stand-alone sights was not justified. This was because the need for these items existed for a long time and procurement was already underway.

An electronic warfare system for Kargil and the northeast was an urgent requirement in 1999, when a case for its procurement was initiated. It was, however, brought under the FTP only in October, 2001, by which time it could have been procured through the normal procedure. Even after application of the FTP, it took four years to sign the contract.

Evaluating the internal lead time of procurement, audit found that some critical capabilities like thermal imaging sights took more than a decade to acquire. Integrated oxygen masks and helmet for helicopter pilots took nine years. Besides enormous delay in acquiring complex weapon systems, even procurement of relatively simple requirements like high-resolution binoculars, combat diving equipment and anti-mine boots took three years to procure.

On the other hand, no significant delays were noted in the external lead time, that is the time taken to complete the delivery after signing the contract, except in two out of the 18 cases scrutinised.



‘Saturday Eve’ at plaza
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 4
“The cultural heritage of Punjab and the beauty of Chandigarh city has no parallel in the world and we are committed to preserve them. The weekend cultural bonanza - Saturday Eve, is a celebration of our unique assets,” said city mayor Harjinder Kaur in her inaugural address of the festive eve.

A venture of the Chandigarh municipal corporation and tourism, it is supported by the Picsces Event.

The weekly event, a revival of the Plaza Carnival, was commenced on the persistent public demand.

After a mundane beginning, the evening picked up momentum as Jelly, artist for the evening, supported by dancers from the National School of Arts, took to stage. He opened up with his favourite ‘chit kare ban jaqa rumal balliye’, followed by songs from his albums like Taweet, DC Salute, Roop ikko tera lakh varga.

Earlier in the evening, chief organiser Gr Captain H.S. Chimney welcomed the chief guest and the audience.



Cops statement wrong, says Simran’s father
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Parents of Simranjit Kaur, who was found stabbed at her Sector 22 residence four years ago, today said the police was furnishing incorrect information, which could affect investigations of the case.

The Chandigarh Tribune published a news on July 23 in which the police had said the parents of Simranjit Kaur had gone abroad and further action would only be taken after their return.

Rubbishing the police statement, Balbir Singh, the victim’s father, in a communication to Chandigarh Tribune, asserted that the police version was totally baseless as they had not gone anywhere from city for the past over one year. Singh further stated that such type of incorrect information furnished by the police not only weaken their case, but also cause mental agony to them. He added that time and again such kind of misinformation was given by the police, much to their disappointment.



Six hurt in roof collapse
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 4
Six persons, including four minors, were injured when a mud roof fell over them in Jhotakutt Colony here today.
The roof that collapsed in Jhotakutt Colony, Mohali,
The roof that collapsed in Jhotakutt Colony, Mohali, on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

The injured were taken to the Civil Hospital.

The incident occurred around 1 pm when the family of Mushtaq , a rickshaw-puller, were watching television in their rented dwelling unit. The roof fell, burying them under the debris. They had to be pulled out by the people of the area.

Mushtaq said his dwelling unit needed renovation and he had brought this to the notice of the owner but to no avail.



Tips for safe driving

* Check tyre pressures regularly particularly before a long journey. Do this when the tyres are cold as hot tyres give misleading readings. Your brakes and steering are adversely affected by over or under inflated tyres.

* Faults in the braking or suspension system cause uneven and excessive tyre wear. Have these corrected as soon as possible. Have wheels checked for correct alignment regularly.

* If vehicle pulls to one side when braking, brake adjustment, tyre pressure and alignment need to be checked urgently.

Courtesy: Safe Driving, compiled by Cdr Swarup J Sarma



Road troubles

I am working with an MNC at the industrial area, Panchkula since June last year and since then, the road facing my office has been in a very bad condition.

However, I had been expecting that it would be repaired some day.

But even after a long wait, when the road was not repaired, we wrote a letter to the Panchkula MC, with numerous reminders, but in vain.

Now it has been over a year. The entire road, which earlier had numerous potholes, is now in such a bad shape that when it rains, vehicles sink in the muddy waters and get stuck in the potholes. Infact, potholes is what is left, where there had been a road once.

We have been facing a lot of problem due to this. It is very sad that the authorities have never bothered to look into the matter. Even if a stray animal dies on the road, it remains there till the body gets totally decomposed.

This road has now virtually become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies and other insects, leaving us vulnerable to diseases.

I just hope that this letter acts as an eye opener for the concerned authorities and the matter is looked into as soon as possible.

Vijay, Panchkula

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



Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 4
A resident of Kumbra village allegedly committed suicide, here today.

According to the police, Brij Mohan (40) was allegedly undergoing treatment for depression. It is alleged that he probably consumed an overdose of anti-depression medicine.

The police has initiated proceedings .



Six quacks arrested
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 4
The police arrested six quacks from Lalru and Dera Bassi who were allegedly posing as doctors, here today.

According to Lalru SHO Sukhvinder Singh, police teams raided a clinic being run by these quacks and arrested Laba Ram Das and Robin Saini from Sardarpura colony and Madan Kumar Bairagi from the main bazaar.

The three were allegedly prescribing medicines without any medical degree whatsoever. Similarly, Vipin Sarcar, Ghiman Biswas and Sanjoy Biswas were arrested from Barwala Road by the Dera Bassi police.

The six have been booked. Allopathic medicines have also been recovered from them. — TNS



Nabard silver jubilee 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) had supported the states of Punjab and Haryana by providing refinance to the tune of Rs 41,938 crore during the last 25 years. The silver jubilee of Nabard was celebrated at Makhan Shah Lubhana Auditorium here today.

On the occasion, best farmers’ clubs from Punjab and Haryana were awarded appreciation citation and grant assistance and a cultural evening was also organised.

Union minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal and the managing director of Nabard K.G. Karmakar were the chief guest and the guest of honour respectively.



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