C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kajheri Killings
Prime suspect nabbed in Bhagalpur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A team of the crime branch of the Chandigarh Police arrested Rajiv Kumar, prime suspect in the Kajheri triple murder case, from the jungles in Bhagalpur district of Bihar on late Monday night.

Sources said Rajiv during preliminary interrogation had provided vital clues about the whereabouts of his other two accomplices, Santosh Kumar, alias Soni, and Amit Kumar, alias Kunkun. Rajiv is expected to be brought to the city on Thursday night.

On May 14, a dairy farmer of Kajheri village, 72-year-old Sucha Singh, his wife Balbir Kaur (68) and their servant Chhotu (31) were found brutally murdered in their residence. Sucha Singh’s servant Rajiv and his acquaintances, Santosh and Amit, had been missing since the gruesome killings. Robbery was cited as the reason behind the murder as cash and jewellery was found missing from the house.

A police team headed by ASI Ghan Shyam was sent to Bhagalpur, which remained stationed there for 10 days and made sources. The police came in contact with one Baldev Singh, a special police officer and a member of a special task force created by the Bihar Police to tackle naxalite insurgency. Baldev Singh hails from Bathinda and took a keen interest in cracking the case.

Rajiv used to stay at an orchard, from where he was nabbed late on Monday night. Rajiv was today produced before a court there, which granted him transit remand.

Sucha Singh’s family had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh and the police had also announced Rs 50,000 to anyone providing information about the killers.

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PU issues attendance ‘procedures’
Move follows arm-twisting by son of VIP

Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Panjab University has issued certain “procedures” regarding attendance that it wants all departments to “strictly comply” with. This comes in the wake of a senior Punjab bureaucrat’s son trying to arm-twist the university on his attendance, which was falling short.

The student of the five-year integrated BA LLB programme at the University Institute of Legal Studies, had 36 per cent attendance in his second semester, say sources. The statutory minimum requirement as laid down by the UGC is 75 per cent.

According to the sources, when the department refused to comply and hold extra classes, the father allegedly tried to put “pressure.” There were two more students in the department also short on attendance.

When all “coercive”moves, including going to the top brass, failed, the boy filed a case in the High Court, which was dismissed. “It was an attempt to shift onus on the institute and pressurise the system in order to enable the children of VIPs to pass,” the sources said

Vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti, asked about the matter, stated: “The department did not agree to hold extra classes, so the boy went to court. The court’s ruling stands and its decision is final. Extra classes will not be held.”

Following the court’s decision, the office of the DUI issued a communication to all concerned, including the regional centres at Ludhiana, Muktsar and Hoshiarpur, that all teachers, including part-time teachers, would be issued a new attendance register at the beginning of the session/semester, which will bear the office stamp and signature of the chairperson. Through a series of checks and measures, it will ensure transparency in the system and warn the student if his attendance is falling short.

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Weird Logic
Nursery kid beaten up
Reason: She couldn’t follow instructions

G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Urvashi and Sumit studying in nursery and Deepa, a Class II student, at Government Model High School, Sector 31, are terrified of going to school for fear of being beaten up by their teacher.

The teacher has a justification: “The children create a nuisance and do not do their home work. To maintain discipline, we have to beat them.”

This morning too Urvashi was beaten up by this teacher. She had bruises on her little face. She was punished because she was not able to follow ‘instructions’.

Her parents, Arjun Singh, a daily wager, and mother Ramwati, a housemaid at Air Force officers’ quarters, tried to meet the teacher as well as the school in charge, but in vain

“On earlier occasions too the teacher had beaten my child on petty issues. I spoke to the teacher but she was very rude. I also brought the matter to the notice of the school in charge, but she also turned a deaf ear to my pleas,” said Arjun Singh.

“We are poor people and if we can’t manage to get our children material like chart paper for an assignment, we should be called. Why beat our children,” said some other parents.

Deepa’s mother went to the school to talk to the teacher, but she was threatened that her child would be expelled.

DPI (S) SK Setia said: “ It is shameful. I will look into the matter and take action against the teacher.”

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Media Park: Something stinks
Sanjeev Singh Bariana/TNS

Chandigarh, August 7
The Rs 800-crore multimedia-cum-film city project of Parsvnath Developers approved by the Chandigarh administration has run into controversy with allegations that an incompetent and inexperienced party had got the nod.

It is alleged that the developers have never forayed into films or multimedia, the film director associated with the project has no background in technical matters and the company, was formed only a few months back.

Suresh Kumar, chairman of Compact Disc India Limited (CDIL), alleged that his financially strong and technically equipped company was not given a chance to make a presentation. “The administration awarded the project to an inexperienced company with a capital of a mere Rs 1 lakh," he said.

He said when the letter of intent was signed by Parsvnath Builders in March 2007 to allocate land to the builder, it did not have a board of experts in multimedia. The Real Good Films, which is a signatory to the final agreement, was incorporated on February 2, 2007. "Satish Kaushik, the third signatory is only a film actor and a director and has no knowledge of multimedia, gaming and animation. Parsvnath developers have no experience in animation at all," said Compact Disc chief.

A senior official said "the company was disqualified at the very first step because it did not have the sufficient turnover of Rs 50 crore and the ability to generate another Rs 100 crore in the next three years. The party did not submit any documents to substantiate its claim for managing the funds according to norms. Why has the party been quiet so far?"

The official said Satish Kaushik was a technical hand and his expertise was judged by a panel of experts. “He was found to be fit".

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For them, I-Day means fetters
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 7
Independence Day celebrations seem to come with fetters for schoolchildren. They are forced to stand in the sun for hours for the big day when a VIP unfurls the national flag.

Rinku, a student of the Devinagar Primary School, today fell unconscious during a gruelling session at the schoolground and had to be rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6, where he was discharged after a couple of hours.

Sources said Rinku was not the only one to have taken ill at the ground where march past practice was in full swing. At least four more schoolchildren also fell ill .

Though they were not taken to hospital, they were allowed to rest after they complained of dizziness, policemen posted in a tent near the venue said.

A tanker serving “hot” water” is the only arrangement at the venue where 350-odd students gather everyday to practice from morning to noon. While they march to the beat of the drum, their teachers watch them under the shade of umbrellas.

The students are given time to eat their lunch and that’s about all they get. “We do this year after year sans facilities. Nobody has ever thought about the students. We realise that it is tough for the students but there is no alternative,” said a teacher, accompanying students of her school.

For these students, Independence Day will literally bring back their independence. Freedom, for them, is now a week away.

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COMMUNITY
 

No takers for HUDCO toilet scheme
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Despite the existence of rudimentary civic facilities in various districts of the region, there seem to be not many takers for the ‘community toilets and sanitation’ scheme of HUDCO.

The scheme launched in late 2005 provides for the funding of the construction of community toilets and sanitation facilities for the benefit of floating population and public in general. The scheme is for the construction of community toilets in schools, institutes, hospitals, busy market places, bus stands, railway stations, slums, etc.

The scheme, which is more than a year and a half old, has, however, so far found only five takers.

Senior officials of HUDCO, however, state that despite repeated communications to senior officials of the district to avail this scheme, they have received less than a satisfactory response to it.

The scheme provides for HUDCO’ s grant assistance to the state government nominated agencies, corporate sector agencies, NGOs, CBOs, charitable trusts, institutions, corporate sector agencies etc. The scheme envisages the ceiling cost of WC/ bath at Rs 40,000 each, which excludes the cost of land. HUDCO will make available a maximum of 50 per cent of the amount as subsidy. Under the scheme, HUDCO can provide the maximum grant of up to Rs 50 lakh per district.

The agency can also add small kiosks, shops enabling generation of additional funds, which can be used, for the repayment of loan and maintenance of the community toilet complex. Depending on the need and the demand a night shelter component can also be added on the first floor if required in the community toilets complex. The scheme also permits the viability to use solar water heaters, solar energy, bio gas, etc.

According to senior officials, the scheme can be profitable to the districts and can also help uplift the sanitation situation. However with no takers, it is the common man who will be the sufferer. The scheme has successfully been implemented at Theog (Himachal Pradesh), community bus stand, Shimla, Ambala, Ropar and Chandigarh.

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Evidence suggests shortage of equipment in Army unit
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Evidence produced in the general court martial trying a colonel here for alleged misappropriation of ammunition in the Kargil sector has suggested large scale deficiencies in equipment holdings in the unit, including secrecy devices which could have had major security implications.

When the deficiencies were sought to be regularised by the Commander 192 Mountain Brigade in 2005, the commanding officer of 8 Mountain Division Ordnance Unit (DOU) had returned the documents to the brigade raising serious observations and doubting of such deficiencies had actually taken place.

The DOU had observed that most of the items were of controlled nature and the loss of some of these could have serious implications on national security. The DOU had also observed the deficiencies could not be regularised unless the statements were supported by the findings of a court of inquiry and the responsibility for the losses, especially secrecy devices, was fixed.

Recommending that the extent of the loss also needed to be priced, the DOU had suggested that aspects which needed to be investigated included whether the unit actually had any such deficiency as reflected by the statements sent to it, and if the unit did not have any such deficiencies actually on ground than why were such deficiencies being reported. Security implications of secrecy devices lost or being made surplus also needed to be investigated.

Among the observations of the DOU items listed as deficient was that the unit concerned had operated 45 light machine guns with 38 breechblocks missing. Other items listed as deficient included magazines, bayonets, firing pins, adaptors for night vision goggles, night vision binoculars, 20 field telephones and two auto telephone sets, radio batteries and radio battery charges and a number of other parts of weapons and equipment.

The defence counsel argued that no court of inquiry was held into the matter and given the situation, no reliance could be placed on the authenticity and accuracy of the documents concerning the record of ammunition.

The defence also pointed out that as per ammunition record, 14 Mahar was holding only 604 mortar bombs which were handed over to 4/8 Gorkha Rifles, which replaced it in the Kargil Sector, However on ground 3,400 bombs were found which 4/8 GR took on ledger charge after joint inspection of the ammunition was carried out.

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Users will no more have multiple LPG connections
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Come November 2007 and about 10 lakh families in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh will lose the multiple LPG connections.

Acting on the “one family one connection” policy of the union petroleum ministry, the oil companies-IOC, HPCL and BPCL-have decided to “block” the connections of families having those of more than one company.

“The decision has been taken to mitigate the shortage of LPG, particularly in winters, and check its widespread misuse by the automobile industry, HS Bedi, general manager, IOC, who is coordinating the decision with other oil companies, says.

In fact, a survey had already been conducted by the IOC and findings fed into a software to weed out multiple users. During the next two months, the multiple users would be issued notices to “surrender” the spare connections, sources said adding that by the end of this year or January next year, the multiple connections would be blocked by the companies.

It is learnt that the IOC had started issuing notices to families having more than one connection asking why the “spare connection” should not be blocked. The process of issuing notices will be completed by September and thereafter the consumers will be given time to surrender the multiple connections.

During the survey it was found that out of 44.5 lakh LPG consumers in Punjab, about seven lakh were using multiple connections. Similarly, in Chandigarh alone, about 50,000 multiple connections out of a total of 3.20 lakh will have to blocked following the new policy. In Himachal about 8 per cent of the 13.5 lakh connections were found to be multiple connections, the sources added.

Besides taking care of LPG shortage, the “surrendered” connections would go a long way in meeting the requirements of those families who were still without an LPG connection, the sources added.

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Student’s death: Police awaits viscera report
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The police is often believed to be tardy but it surely defies logic that the probe into a much-publicised death of a school student is stuck for the want of the viscera report.

This astonishing fact was put forth in a reply by the UT administration to a PIL filed by SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann over the death of L.M. Albertson, a Manipuri student of Guru Nanak Public School.

The student had died last year allegedly due to starvation as he had no money left with him nor he had any place to stay after being rusticated from the school. He was also allegedly told to move out without informing his parents.

The reply stated that the probe had not been completed by the police as it was still awaiting the report regarding examination of Albertson’s viscera.

Mann had sought directions to the administration, the secretary (education) and also the states of Punjab and Haryana to frame a comprehensive policy to deal with students who are in hostel.

The petitioner had said if students residing in hostels were rusticated then their custody should be given to local guardians or in the alternative their parents should be informed about the incident. Also, the parents should be called to school and custody of the child be given to them.

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Liquor firms flouting excise laws
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Next time you buy a nicely packed popular brand of Indian-made foreign liquor, ensure that you are not asked by cops checking the inter-state smuggling of liquor regarding its area of sale.

Reason, the eye-catching sealed packaging no where mentions the mandatory insertion: “For sale in Chandigarh only”. It is only when one opens the seal of the packing one can read the mandatory insertion.

The excise law bars the sale of liquor outside the area of the state excise department.

The laws are specific about the full details being displayed on the batch pasted on a liquor bottle. However, the guidelines are silent about the details being printed on a packaging, especially the easy-to-carry packs.

Additional excise and taxation commissioner I.S. Sandhu said the excise laws were clear about all contents and details being displayed on a bottle.

The excise Act does not govern the packaging of a liquor bottle.

The provisions of the Act apart, liquor companies are also violating the provisions of the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976.

Pankaj Changothia, a lawyer, said the practice amounts to unfair trade practices.

The excise Act clearly states that packages intended for retail sale must bear the name and address of the manufacturer or where the manufacturer is not the packer, the name and address of the manufacturer and the packer. Controller (weights and measures), Vandana Disdain said she should inquire into the matter.

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Army recruitment rally on Sept 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
The 150 Infantry (Punjab) Battalion of the Territorial Army (TA) will be carrying out a recruitment rally for general duty soldiers, barber, washer-men and safaiwalas for candidates from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

For candidates from Haryana and J&K the recruitment would be done on September 12 and for those from Delhi, HP, Punjab, and Chandigarh would also be done on September 12.

The venue would be the unit’s location at Maude Lines, Delhi Cantonment.

Candidates between the age of 18 and 42 years can participate in the rally. The required educational qualification for general duty soldiers is matric with 45 per cent marks.

For candidates from J&K from districts other than Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur, this qualification is 8th class.

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359 penalised for power theft

Chandigarh, August 7
The enforcement cell of the electricity wing of the engineering department has detected 1,000 consumers using excess load.

As many as 359 have been penalised for stealing power. The department has collected a penalty of Rs 3.45 crore. The administration has asked the consumers to get their unauthorised load regularised and also to come forward to give information about the persons indulging in theft at phone 2740475. — TNS

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Issuance of SC certificates allowed

Chandigarh, August 7
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes today allowed the issuance of Scheduled Caste certificates to the members of the community, who were born in or migrated to the city after the creation of Chandigarh on November 1,1966.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the commission held at New Delhi under the chairmanship of Buta Singh. — TNS

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Letters
Traffic troubles

The number of road accidents at the intersection near Gurdwara, Sector 7 and Blind Institute - Nari Niketan, Sector 26 are increasing. We have tried our level best to approach the administration as well as the Traffic police to rectify the problem of traffic management with suggestions for solving it but nothing has been done so far.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police as well as the Engineering Department have been ignoring this issue since a long time. So, I thought its better to approach media for taking up this.

It is to submit that the enclosed representation duly signed by 112 persons was submitted to the e-Jan Sampark Centre of the Chandigarh Administration in Sector 20. The e-JAN SAMPARK Centre vide Grievance No. jse20/2006/57 dated November 1, 2006 forwarded our request to the Police. The application is now pending with the Engineering Department since November 28, 2006. This road is used by number of schools, colleges, offices, institutions IT Park as well as the VIPs but the issue is still hanging in fire.

Amit Doegar, 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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CRIME
 

CHB Scheme
3 held for selling house

Chandigarh, August 7
Three persons have been arrested for allegedly selling a house that was allotted under a rehabilitation scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board.

The arrested persons have identified as property dealer Suresh Kumar of Bapu Dham colony and a couple, Pappu and Raji, the allottees of the house. They were booked under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.

The police has seized documents of agreement of sale of the house from them.

In charge of the crime branch Satbir Singh said the police was looking for Prem, Tarlochan and Bhandari, who are suspected to be involved in the scam.

Sources said Amar Nath, chief executive office, CHB, told the SSP that the houses could not be sublet or sold by the allottees. — TNS

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Purse snatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
A scooterist snatched a purse from a woman in Sector 36 this evening. Sources in the police said Moon Arora of Sector 36 reported that she was going to market at around 7 pm, when a youngster riding a Kinetic Honda (CH-01-H-5394) snatched her purse near her residence. The purse contained Rs 2,200 and some documents. She gave the scooter’s number to the police.

Theft at shop

Rajiv Kumar Singla of NAC Manimajra, reported that Rs 22,200 were stolen from a cash box in his shop in Motor Market, Manimajra, last night. The matter came to light this morning and a case of theft was registered at Manimajra police station.

In another incident, Raj Kumar Singla of Sector 22 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Rs 350 and some grocery items were stolen from his shop in rehri market in Sector 22 on Sunday night.

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Women hangs herself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 7
Manpreet Kaur, mother of two, hanged herself to death at her Sector 40 residence, here, this afternoon. The victim held no one responsible for her extreme step. The reason behind the suicide was still unclear. She was in her thirties.

The death came to light at around 4 pm when Manpreet’s husband, Bobby, a security guard at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, reached home and found the door locked from inside and there was no response to his repeated knocking. His neighbours came there and he broke open the door and found his wife hanging by a noose. She was already dead.

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BUSINESS
 

Biz Clips

Chandigarh
OFFER: Reliance mobile has decided to offer full talktime to its subscribers on the occasion of the 61st Independence Day. Subscribers can avail additional talktime worth Rs 60 for making local calls to any Reliance mobile and for sending 60 SMSes to any network free to its subscribers of Punjab, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, who opt for Rs 350 and Rs 500 recharge vouchers (RCVs). The additional talktime on both RCVs will be valid for 30 days from the date of recharge. The special offer is available only till August 15. — TNS

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Beopar Mandal meets SSP

Chandigarh, August 7
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal called on SSP Dinesh Bhatt at his office, here today. The mandal informed the SSP of erratic parking and the problem of encroachments in the markets. — TNS

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