C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UNSAFE CITY
Eve-teasers trail girls,slap one
She had dared to speak out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
In less than two days after a Chandigarh Police constable was thrashed by three youths outside MCM DAV College in Sector 36, three youths today not only allegedly harassed three girls near GCG in Sector 11, but also repeatedly slapped one of them.

The girls told the police that they daily commuted to the college by bus. A few days ago, they noticed being trailed by a group of boys. Today, the boys began to chase them from Mani Majra. They passed lewd remarks. At 9.30 am, when the girl disembarked near the college gate, one of them raised an alarm.

The bus conductor refused to intervene . So the girl decided to confront the boy. Enraged, the boy slapped her and fled.The girl chased the boy till the nearby petrol station. The girls reported the matter to the principal, who reportedly declined help in the matter. Her plea was that the incident had occurred outside the college premises.

When contacted, the principal said she was aware of the incident and had demanded the deployment of a policeman near the bus stop. SHO Ramesh Chand said a case of eve-teasing and assault on woman with the intention of outraging her modesty had been registered. 

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The man who killed for cattle
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The ambition to own a dairy farm seems to have led Rajiv Kumar, prime accused in the Kajheri triple murder case, to the brutal killing of his employer Sucha Singh, his wife and their trusted servant in May this year.

He purchased four head of cattle and raised a thatched hut amidst the thick jungle area of Biapur village in Bhagalpur district. Only two elderly persons accompanied him to the jungle, who also ran dairy farms. He kept only a few articles in his hut.

He was eating rice with his companions when he was nabbed by a team of Chandigarh’s crime branch on August 6, said Baldev Singh, who tipped the police on Rajiv’s whereabouts, while talking to TNS here today.

Baldev Singh, a member of a special task force formed by Bihar to tackle naxalism, was today given a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information leading to the arrest of the killer.

Sucha Singh’s family had announced a reward a few days after the murder, following which the police also announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to anyone providing a clue about the killers.

The family today announced a reward of Rs 31,000 to anyone providing information about the remaining two killers, Santosh Kumar, alias Soni, and Amit Kumar, alias Kukkun.

Baldev Singh said the day he learnt the killers belonged to Bagalpur, he decided to make efforts to trace them. He was well-versed with not only the topography of the area, but also its people. He contacted Sucha Singh’s nephew, Balwinder Singh, and procured photographs of the accused from him.

After 15 days of his mission, he found Rajiv Kumar and began trailing him. He then approached the police. About the other two accused, Baldev said he had spotted them in the area soon after Rajiv was nabbed, but they were now elusive.

Baldev works with the special task force to tackle naxalite insurgency. He said there was information that both Soni and Kukkun may have joined the naxalites.

The Chandigarh Police today announced that they would reward Baldev Singh tomorrow.

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Countdown to PU poll begins 
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
Recent incidents of violence involving students of Panjab University and local affiliated colleges notwithstanding, students can start gearing up for direct elections to the students council.

The university has decided on a date which the VC will disclose after approval by the Chandigarh administration, most likely next week.

The administration and the police will want strict compliance with the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.

The university is seeking legal opinion on the term ‘criminals' who have been barred from elections. There will be a ban on outsiders.

VC R.C. Sobti said: “We have decided on a date, but the final stamp of approval will come from the Chandigarh administration. We have decided on the best possible date, keeping in mind the smooth running of the academic session, particularly the September re-appear and supplementary examination.”

Dinesh Bhatt, officiating SSP, said: "Hostels were like shelters for trouble- makers. We need to ban their entry, at least during the elections. It is also found that outsiders indulge in skirmishes during the poll.”

Panjab University has been a witness to many brawls, particularly during elections, ever since the elections re-started in 1996. There have been shootouts and brawls in the past involving former presidents of the campus council and senior leaders.

A senior officer said the UT needed to restudy the need of elections at PU. “A study of student politics reveals that a majority of leaders are not local. They get support from outside.”

A senior leader of Panjab University Students Union said:"We live in a democracy and elections in colleges is the first step to learn participative leadership. I admit to certain loopholes, however, elections are a healthy exercise to train students in participation in decision-making bodies".

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HC notice to varsity

Chandigarh, August 23
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice to Panjab University, the UT administration and the centre over a PIL filed by an NGO, Burning Brains Society, challenging the norms framed by the university for holding elections to the students council.

The NGO, through its counsel H.C. Arora, averred before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover that the rules were in gross violation of the directions issued by the apex court in 2005. The apex court had directed that students who were not serious in their studies, had poor attendance record and were chargesheeted should be debarred from the poll. — TNS

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MCM beat(en) cop rewarded

Chandigarh, August 23
The police today gave a commendation certificate to constable Vijay Pal who was thrashed by three youths outside MCM DAV College here on August 21, as also two journalists of a private TV channel for providing video clips on the incident.
DIG Vivek Gogia, officiating SSP Dinesh Bhatt and other senior police officials conferred upon the first commendation certificate and a cash prize of Rs 2,000 to Vijay Pal while commendation certificates were given to two journalists of Siti Channel. Sources said the police had initiated the process of moving the High Court to file a review petition against the district courts for refusing police remand of the accused , Preet Kamal and Jas Kamal. The third accused is still at large. — TNS

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In Godana village, 12 dark nights await light 
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 23
Godana, a non-descript village on the Landran-Banur road, seems to have fallen off the Punjab State Electricity Board’s map. The villagers here claim that for the past 12 days there is no electricity supply to the majority of the houses in the village.

Since most houses get water through submersible pumps that function with electricity villagers are facing an acute water shortage too.

Villagers allege that they have been running from pillar to post meeting one board official after the other but only when all efforts failed, they resorted to a street protest today.

Gurjant Singh, a resident of the village, said electricity was supplied through three transformers, one of which was overloaded with almost 80 per cent of the residential connections. “In May we requested the SDO to redistribute the load equally among these transformers as the one which was overloaded would burn out frequently. But no one bothered. In three months three transformers had to be replaced,” he said, adding that more than 10 days ago a transformer conked off again and over 80 per cent of the houses in the village were rendered powerless.

“We kept requesting the local officials and three days ago went all the way to Zirakpur to meet the executive engineer H.S. Grewal. He assured us that the transformer would be made functional by the evening,” said Gurjant Singh.

The transformer was removed by the board officials yesterday and the villagers were asked to cart it to the head office here and bring back a replacement from the office. “We carted the transformer office but the officials refused to give us a new one. They said we would have to pay for the oil that is missing from the transformer,” said Gurjant Singh.

The XEN, H.S. Grewal, said whatever the villagers were saying was not true. “The transformer stopped working only yesterday morning and we are replacing it tomorrow. Electricity supply to the village has been regular and there is no problem,” he said.

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Telecom firms to pay rent for underground cables
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 23
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here will charge ground rent from various telecom companies in the township for laying underground telephone and Internet wires in the areas falling under its jurisdiction.

The authority has evolved a new policy for these telecom companies and will charge these companies at the rates being charged by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). Other than paying for the permission to lay cables, departmental charges and annual ground rent will also be paid by these companies.

It has been decided that these companies will be allowed to lay underground telephone and Internet cables in the kutcha portion by open digging and in the pucca portion by horizontal drilling. No cut will be allowed on the metalled portion of the road.

Crossing of telephone and Internet cables will be allowed by only horizontal drilling and ensuring that metal crust is not disturbed at all. For road cuts in the kutcha portion the amount involved in filling the trenches portion will have to be deposited by the company that will be calculated by the concerned divisional engineer on prevailing rates.

The underground cable should be 1 metre to 1.5 metre from the outer edge of the road and beyond houses/SCOs under GMADA’s jurisdiction.

These companies will also have to submit a bank guarantee valid for one year and another bank guarantee of unlimited period equal to the ground rent payable for one year.

GMADA will charge Rs 565 per rmt from these companies for laying cables under a pucca berm, Rs 19.50 per rmt under a kutcha berm and Rs 285 per rmt for interlocking paver and tiles berm.

“A large number of companies are providing telephone and Internet services in the Greater Mohali area and many of these have approached GMADA to permit them to lay underground cables. GMADA did not have any policy regarding this. This policy will regulate this process. We are basically following HUDA in this regard,” said Krishan Kumar, chief administrator, GMADA.

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BSNL fire: No lessons learnt
Exchanges still not insured
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The BSNL has failed to learn any lessons from the devastating June 30 fire at its Sector 17 telephone exchange here which crippled telecom services and inflicted losses worth several crores.

In case of a major fire in any of its over 1,500 telephone exchanges in the Punjab circle, the telecom company would again stand to lose heavily as none of the exchanges are insured. This is despite the fact that a substantial number of exchages are located in fire-prone areas in small towns having virtually no fire-fighting facilities.

BSNL sources blamed it on the department of telecommunications (DoT) that had no policy for insurance of telephone exchanges in the country which number over 35,000. High premium is cited as the reason behind the DoT not going in for the insurance of the exchanges.

Chief general manager telecom (PGMT) of the Punjab circle, S.R. Aggarwal, confirmed that the DoT had no policy for the insurance of exchanges as the cost of insuring a telephone exchange was “prohibitive”.

The sources said the annual premium of insuring the exchanges in Punjab was equivalent to the installation of several small exchanges. Since fire at exchanges was not a common phenomenon, the department seemed to have gone against the insurance policy, a senior official said.

Meanwhile, a senior official of an insurance company said the premium was commensurate with the total cost of the product to be insured. Since the telephone equipment was costly, the premium had to be on the higher side, he reasoned.

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Slippery Walls
Juveniles can’t give the slip
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Chandigarh administration is all set to ensure foolproof security at the remand home in Sector 25, from where three juveniles had recently fled.

A security review panel, set up after the juveniles had fled, has reportedly stressed intensive monitoring of four points, identified as sensitive, in the building. The social welfare department has now written to the UT engineering wing for “rounding of the home’s wall” as suggested by experts, besides hiring four persons on contract as watch and ward staff. “Rounding of the wall will ensure that juveniles slip every time they try to scale it. It is a technical necessity, which the building’s design will soon have,” sources said.

Meanwhile, home secretary Krishna Mohan, accompanied by Raji Shrivastav, special secretary, finance, today inspected the home, for which the administration has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh.

The money will be spent on refurbishing the home and upgrading its security. The home secretary confirmed to Chandigarh Tribune today that the administration was considering hiring private agency for security demands of the home. “We have instructed the director, social welfare (DSW), to entrust the job to a private agency. We also plan major infrastructural improvement of the home, besides optimum utilisation of its space.”

The administration is thinking of using the home’s first floor for housing children in need of shelter, mainly those who spend their nights on streets. Raji Shrivastav said the proposal for identifying such children had been invited from the Don Bosco Society, which works with children on streets.

Besides, the administration has placed orders for furniture for the home with Model Jail, Burail. “We have ordered fresh linen, mattresses and pillows for children, who will soon have many more physical activities to look forward to. I have spoken to the superintendent of Model Jail to speed up the delivery of furniture,” said the home secretary, who, during his visit today, was surprised to learn that meals for children come from working women’s hostel in Sector 24.

The home secretary has now instructed the director, social welfare, to hire cooks and ensure that the home gets a functional kitchen and dining hall. He was visiting the home after August last, when it was inaugurated.

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Fire incident at dhaba
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 23
A fire broke out in a dhaba in Phase X here tonight causing damage to property.

According to reports, there was a leakage of gas from an LPG cylinder, which caught fire.

The owner of the dhaba tried to control the flames but could not do so and the fire brigade had to be called.

Among the items damaged were a refrigerator, food items and wall tiles. 

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‘Withdraw plan to hike power tariff’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 23
The Consumers’ Protection Forum has urged the Punjab Chief Minister to withdraw the proposal of increasing power tariff, petrol and diesel as the common man was already facing the brunt of high inflation.

The forum members stated that the Punjab State Electricity Board had geared up to increase the power tariff in order to reduce its losses. It said instead of burdening the people, the power board should reduce its losses by curbing power theft and taking strict action to get all outstanding dues cleared.

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Apoorva remembered with blood donation

Chandigarh, August 23
A blood donation camp was organised by the Apoorva Pande Foundation on the 10th birth anniversary of Apoorva at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, today.

Apoorva met with a motor accident at Tarawadi near Karnal. She had to wait for one and a half hours for an ambulance on the highway though the police was informed within minutes of the accident. Her life could have been saved if proper medical attention was provided to her. She died because of heavy blood loss. She was a brilliant student with natural talent of dancing. She did modelling for children clubs.

The foundation was formed by her family members and friends with the aim of helping victims of roadside accidents to give timely medical attention by arranging blood donation camps and by arranging ambulance services on time. — TNS

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Letters
PU’s security blues

This is apropos reports of tight security measures at entry gates of PU by private security personnel. Hiring security is a direct fallout of violence at PU. Perhaps the VC is living in ivory towers thus sees things in isolation. Problem of maintaining the discipline cannot be solved in isolation. This is just a cosmetic surgery and not a permanent treatment of the situation. Firstly the three P’s PEC, PGI and PU are in a line along with other colleges in the vicinity. The residents of their hostels are mingling often, as PGI does not have adequate hostels so they fall back on hostel facilities officially or unofficially either in PEC or PU hostels unauthorisedly. Issuing slips for vehicles belonging to PU residents is not easy task. Administration of PU and Chandigarh should work in tandem and plan to build working women and men hostels.

R.K. Garg 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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3 cars, motorcycle stolen

Chandigarh, August 23
Four vehicles, including three cars, have been stolen from various parts of the city.

Pardeep Dhawan of Sector 38-C reported that his Santro (PB 10 T 5587) was stolen from his house last night. Nilin Kumar of Sector 38-C reported that his Maruti car (CH 03 Y 3997) was stolen from near his house last night. Vaibhav of Sector 39-B lodged a complaint that his Maruti car (CH 01 S 9783) was stolen from Sector 9-C on Wednesday. Punit Bhalla of Sector 35-D reported that his Hero Honda motorcycle (HP 17 A 0090) was stolen from his residence on August 20. — TNS

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Thieves strike 2 houses in same society
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 23
Two thefts were reported from a group housing society in Mansa Devi Complex, here today. Residents of the same block of GH-31, M.K. Bhatia and Geetika Arora, reported a loss of cash and jewellery in a daylight theft.

An employee of Oriental Insurance, Bhatia said he and his family left the house at 9.30 am and they detected the theft only in the afternoon around 3 pm when they returned. “The front door and the locker had been broken open. Rs 25,000 cash and 10 tola gold were missing from the locker,” he said.

Meanwhile, his neighbour Geetika Arora said her husband left for work early in the morning and that she was out for over one hour from 10.45 am.

“I came home to find that the front door had been broken open and the entire house had been ransacked. I asked the security personnel deployed at the gate to check if there was somebody inside. It was only after he did that that I went inside with my baby,” she said. She said Rs 2,000 cash was missing and the thieves had not been able to gain access to her jewellery.

The two families said they found out from neighbours and security personnel that two men, one of them wearing a yellow t-shirt, had entered the society on the pretext of being from Reliance. They suspected that the two were in fact thieves and the motorcycle number they entered in the register is now being verified. 

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