C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Inspector Cheema aquitted in bribery case
Inquiry against witness
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
After five years, inspector Jasbir Singh Cheema with the Chandigarh Police, was today acquitted by the special court of the CBI. Judge Jagdeep Jain also marked an inquiry against one of the witnesses, K.B.S. Mann, and complainant Ajay Kumar under Section 182 of the CrPC.

There was an unprecedented rush of Cheema’s well-wishers in court. On March 13, 2002, Cheema was held on bribery charges. Ajay Kumar had complained to the CBI that inspector Cheema had demanded from him a bribe of Rs 10,000.

Cheema at that time was in charge of a “fake certificate case” in which Ajay Kumar was the accused. Ajay alleged that Cheema initially asked him for Rs 50,000 to help him in the case. He then asked for Rs 10,000 more that compelled him to go to the CBI.

Defence lawyer Matvinder Singh said the case that Cheema was investigating at that time involved influential people, “Many VIPs would have been exposed and they wanted my client to stop investigations into the case.”

He was acquitted because, during the examination, witnesses gave contradictory statements.

“The version of the independent witness is important. The witness should have seen the acceptance of the bribe. In this case, none of the independent witnesses saw either Cheema or Sudharshan (co-accused) taking bribe.”

Also, the complainant had stated to have given Rs 50,000 as bribe to ASIs Tarsem and Surinder of the investigating team, saying that Cheema had demanded the money.

Commenting on his acquittal, Cheema said: “Five years of my life have been wasted.”

Cheema is a recepient of two state awards and a UN medal.



PU Polls
Student bodies undecided on candidates
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
With barely a day to go for filing of nominations, the student bodies are yet to finalise their candidates for the Panjab University Students’ Council elections. They remained busy through the day today trying permutations and combinations.

Both SOPU and PUSU, the two big parties on the campus, are confused over their candidates. Though SOPU announced Uday Bhan as presidential candidate yesterday, they are yet to finalise candidates for the posts of vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary. Meanwhile, the NSUI and SOPU have joined hands.

PUSU will contest the post of president and vice-president whereas INSO will contest for the remaining two posts of joint secretary and general secretary. The names of Jashan Deep Randhawa for joint secretary and Deepak Hooda for general secretary are doing the rounds.

Till yesterday, PUSU had decided to field Vinay Bhanot from the department of geology as presidential candidate but found he did not fulfil the mandatory condition of 75 per cent attendance as laid down by the Lyngdoh committee.

It was a rather dull day at the campus with hardly any campaigning. “The campaigning will pick up momentum once the candidates are announced,” said a PUSU campaigner.



With ‘Shakti’, sex workers decide on self-help
Arun Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 31
Poverty, extra-marital ties, domestic violence and the desire for easy life has put thousands of people on the path of prostitution. This came to light when some of the sex workers assembled to form a self-help group under the aegis of Yuvsatta, an NGO, and the State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh.

The sex workers, a majority of whom live in the city slums, were bold enough to talk about their profession. Well-aware of HIV/AIDS as well as sexually transmitted diseases, they decided to come on one platform to share their problems with one another under the project ‘Shakti.’

Under the project, the group will be motivated to deposit small amounts in banks. The banks would contribute four times the money deposited by the group and the amount will be used to help the needy among them.

This would free them from exploitation by money-lenders. “This is a step towards winning thier confidence so that they come forward to learn about the risks of the profession,” said Yasmeen, a counsellor.

The city has more than 3,000 sex workers and a majority of them living in slums bear the burden of running their families, said Parmaod Sharma, coordinator for the NGO. Four areas, Bapu Dham, Colony No. 4, Mani Majra and Daria village, have more tan 800 sex workers.

Poverty remained the main cause for their entering the profession. As most sex workers cannot keep carry a condom with them all the time, places like washrooms and beauty saloons were being earmarked for providing the same.

“I had four kids to feed and my husband was not worried. Fedup with his drinking, 15 years ago I entered this world of prostituion,” said Rajni.

Others were in the profession for easy money, said Ranu, another sex worker.



NRI’s death in Mohali
Uncle alleges foul play
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 31
Investigations into the mysterious death of 24-year-old NRI Yadvinder Singh took an interesting turn today with his uncle alleging foul play in Yadvinder’s death.

Avtar Singh, paternal uncle of the victim, told the police today that Yadvinder was involved with a girl for the past many years and had come to India to marry her. He had reportedly spent the Karva Chauth day with her. She is said to have informed Yadvinder’s parents in the USA that he had gone missing when he did not return home that night.

The girl, whose identity has not been revealed by the police, lives in Phase VI here and was questioned by the police today.

Yadvinder had done his engineering two years back from Mohali and had gone back to live with his parents in the USA. He had come to India a few days back and was staying with his aunt in Sector 41, Chandigarh.

The police also impounded the white Zen, which Yadvinder was using. The car was recovered from Phase V market. It was unlocked. Yadvinder’s purse and some CDs were recovered from the car.

Yadvinder was found dead by the Mohali police on Monday evening in Phase VII.

Since there was no sign of identification on his person, it took the police a day to identify him. His cousin, a head constable in Chandigarh police, contacted the police yesterday and identified the body. He informed the police that Yadvinder had left home that morning but did not return. He was to go back to the USA on November 4.

Yadvinder’s parents are expected to reach tomorrow after which, a postmortem examination will be conducted.



Azadi Express chugs in at Chandigarh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
It was nothing less than a journey into the glorious past when India’s freedom struggle was at its peak. The significant events have been depicted through panels, graphics, dioramas, projection screens and audio system.

From the freedom struggle to the post independence era, each of the 11 coaches of Azadi Express has focused exhibits on the 150 years of first war of Independence (1857), 60 years of Independence and the birth centenary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

The Azadi Express, which had chugged in at Chandigarh railway station yesterday, was thrown open to visitors at 2 pm after its inauguration by Punjab deputy speaker Sat Pal Gosian. The train was open for public from 11 am to 7 pm and will remain stationed at platform no 5 till November 3.

Organised by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, the train was flagged off from Delhi by union minister for human resource development Arjun Singh on September 28.

The first section portrays events from the Battle of Plassey (1757) to the great revolt of 1857 through through sketches, cut-outs and other audio-visual formats. The second section shows details of the 90 years of freedom struggle beginning with the proclamation of bringing India under the British Crown up to the attainment of freedom. The third section is on post-independence era, portraying India’s achievements in various fields such as framing and adoption of the Constitution, democracy in action, planned development and achievements in science and technology, economic field and IT.



Dhillon is education board president
Our Correspondent

Gurdeep Singh Dhillon along with other elected members of the Punjab School Education Board celebrate their victory in Mohali on Wednesday.
Gurdeep Singh Dhillon along with other elected members of the Punjab School Education Board celebrate their victory in Mohali on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Mohali, October 31
Gurdeep Singh Dhillon and Bhagwant Singh Bedi have been elected president and general secretary respectively, of the Punjab School Education Board Non-teaching Employees’ Association even as disciplinary action had been recommended against two election officers for allegedly harming the atmosphere of the education board.

The results were announced here late this evening after a long wait of six days. The election was held on October 25 but the declaration of the result was deferred till October 29 as allegations and counter-allegations by the contesting groups marred the poll.

On October 29, Vinod Vyas, election observer appointed for the conduct of free and fair election, had suggested a repoll as he had noticed various discrepancies in the election.

The chairman of the board constituted a five-member committee to sort out the matter. The result was announced in the evening today after several rounds of talks.

The committee recommended that disciplinary action should be taken against Chand Singh and Manga Singh, both election officers, as they had allegedly failed to play a positive role to sort out the matter.

Others elected members of the board are: Harpal Singh Sidhu, senior vice-president; Karnail Singh, vice -president; Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, junior vice -president; Ravinder Singh, secretary; Harnaib Singh, joint secretary; Sagar Singh Randhawa, finance secretary.



Lt-Gen Daljeet given warm send-off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The outgoing General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, western Command, Lt-Gen Daljeet Singh, was given a warm send-off by officers and men at Chandimandir today. He superannuated today after 40 years of service.

The GOC 16 Corps, Lt-Gen T.K. Sapru, will take over the reigns of the Western Command tomorrow on elevation to the status of Army Commander.

On his last day in uniform, Gen Daljeet Singh paid homage to the martyrs at the Veer Smriti war memorial. He was later presented an impressive guard of honour by the 8th Light Cavalry.

This was followed by a tea session in which he interacted with and shared greetings with general officers, officers and civilian employees of the command. The General was driven-off in a horse drawn carriage, with jawans lined up on either side of the road bidding farewell.

Gen Daljeet Singh was commissioned into the 8th Light Cavalry. He is also a graduate of the Command and the General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, USA, and the School of Infantry, Warmister, UK.

Besides maintaining the Command’s operational edge, several welfare measures were initiated in the Western Command during his tenure. These included married accommodation projects, upgrading medical facilities and maintaining cordial relationship with various state governments.



Daler lashes out at mediapersons
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, October 31
Punjabi pop star, Daler Mehndi lashed out at the mediapersons during a press conference organised at the Hotel Taj here. He was in town for a performance at the Kalagram. The star singer opened up with a detailed introduction of his career and his grounding in Gurmat sangeet, folk lore, gazals and the punjabi pop music. The impatient media however questioned him about the controversies alling him for the last few years. Putting up a volte face Daler counter questioned each query by the vigilant journalists. He expressed his anguish and grouse about politicians and certain press persons who had engaged in defaming him. Recalling the 2003 episode about his so called involvement in ‘Kabutarbazzi’ he lamented that all his contributions to the Punjabi folk music at the world level had been ignored and nothing had come out of any fraudlent cases conspired against him so far.

He lashed out on a journalist when questioned about allegedly obtaining Rs 12 lakh from a prospective immigrant. He said a person like him, who had donated Rs 16 lakh for the kargil victims, 12 lakhs for Gujrat riot victims and planted 8 lakh trees in Delhi, be part of such an illegal act. Commenting on his song “Chor Uchkke Chaudhary” which had been made an issue by a political party he prayed that the good sense would prevail and the critics would go through the text of the song with open eyes and wisdom. He claimed that the song captures and highlights many social evils and the grim picture of politics. Later he performed at the kalagram where the audience enjoyed his songs which including many of his chartbusters.



Girl found dead in Morni yet to be identified
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 31
Even two days after a girl was found murdered in Morni, the police is clueless about her identity even though a postmortem confirmed her death by strangulation.

Sources at the hospital said the police had marked a number of queries, which were replied to. The victim’s fingerprints, dress, viscera and body were handed over to the police after the postmortem, which established strangulation as the cause of her death.

Seven-odd families from the region have already contacted the police and even seen the body but none of the visitors have been able to identify the girl.

Police sources said the body is still lying in the mortuary to aid identification. However, the cops added that they would consider cremating the body by the weekend if nobody came forward to identify the girl.

Unable to make headway about the identity of the victim, the police is now considering publicising the her picture in the newspapers, on local television channels and outside police stations.



2 PGI doctors get awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) has conferred awards on Dr S.K. Jindal, head of the department of pulmonary medicine, PGI, and Dr Meenu Singh, department of paediatric medicine.

While Dr Jindal was given Dr R.V. Rajam Oration award, Dr Meenu was given Sir Shriram Memorial Award. 



12 booked for assault

Dera Bassi, October 31
The police here booked a dozen persons for assaulting a Mohali resident here last night.

The incident took place at Mahiwala village where the complainant Harpuneet Singh had gone to leave construction material on a piece of land he claims to own. However, according to the police, he was attacked by village sarpanch Gian Chand and former sarpanch Amarjit Singh along with his group of men.

The other accused, named by the complainant, include Raghubir, Karnail, Pappi, Manga, Sohan, Gian and three others. The accused have been booked various sections of the IPC. — TNS



Tribune employee retires

Chandigarh, October 31
Shangara Singh, composing superviser, Punjabi Tribune, retired here today after putting in more than 29 years of service. He joined the Punjabi Tribune on July 17, 1978.

At a farewell party given by his colleagues, his services were lauded, among others by Vinay Verma, deputy general manager, H.S.Dhaliwal, S.C.Sinha and N.K.Chaudhary, deputy managers, respectively. — TNS



IT raid on engg firm
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 31
The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department, today, raided the premises of the engineering firmengaged in the erection of mobile towers at Panchkula and Derabassi.

According to sources, the Sector 10 house of the promoters, residences of their officials in sector 5 and 7, Panchkula, and the factory premises at Derabassi were raided by the income tax sleuths.

The officials of the IT department took away some documents pertaining to alleged evasion of income tax by the promoters. The raid which started around 8 am, was on till the filing of this report.



Raids on hotels
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Officials of the district administration and the health department today conducted raids on hotels in Sector 35 to check hygiene and other parametres.

Among the main establishments checked by the teams are Hotel Orange, Khyber, KC Residency and Gopals. The health officials challaned at least five hotels. 



Bank unfair

The Centurion Bank of Punjab has recently started debiting an amount of Rs 400 to 650 on account of minimum balance charges.

This is what all banks do in spite of advertising about zero balance accounts. These accounts remain zero balance for sometime and eventually, all sorts of charges are imposed.

Big account holders don’t bother about this but it is the poor who suffer the most. All banks should abstain from deducting such undeclared charges. The RBI should issue guidelines regarding such charges and these should be known to account holders.

R.K. Garg, Chandigarh

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Rs 2-cr heroin seized from two Jalandhar men
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today nabbed two Jalandhar residents from the Sector 43 ISBT while allegedly carrying 2 kg of heroin worth Rs 2 crore in the international market.

The accused have been identified as 24-year-old Paramjit Singh of Abadpura and 22-year-old Harpreet Singh of New Model Town. They came in a bus from Jalandhar and were waiting to deliver the contraband when they were arrested. The officials seized two packets of 1 kg each from them.

Giving details of the seizure, which is one of the biggest in the city after the NCB arrested an Israeli national with 155 kg of contraband in 2005, Dr Saji Mohan, zonal director of the NCB, said the contraband was to be delivered to a Nigerian national, but he did not turn up. Following a tip-off, two teams of the NCB kept a track on the suspects and laid a trap at the ISBT.

Sources in the NCB said during interrogation the accused disclosed that Sukha from Jalandhar gave them the contraband, but they did not know much about him.

A team has been dispatched to Jalandhar to trace Sukha. The accused also told the investigating officials that Sukha paid them a meagre amount to deliver heroin.

They were produced before a local court this afternoon, which remanded them in police custody for 14 days.

Meanwhile, two cars were stolen from the different places in the city.

Alka of PEC has reported to the police that her Alto car (CH-03-Z-9859) was stolen from her house last night.

Yash Pal of Sector 15 has also lodged a complaint hat his Maruti car (DL-4CB-5615) was stolen from his house last night. The police today said the car was found abandoned. Two cases have been registered.



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