C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Superhuman, say fans
7,500 ODI tickets gone in 3 hrs
Akash Ghai/TNS

Mohali, November 1
The entire lot of 7,500 tickets worth Rs 300 each (general block) for the forthcoming Indo-Pak ODI to be held at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium were sold out in less than three hours today.

It means that each one of the four HDFC employees manning the ticket counters took less than 10 seconds to sell two tickets per person — something the fans said was “superhuman.”

The selling of tickets began at 10 am. Only two counters were set up for the general block tickets. These were manned by four persons under the supervision of PCA officials.

Only two tickets were given per person and the tickets were sold out by 12 pm, leaving a majority of cricket fans disappointed.

However, PCA officials claimed that the counters remained open for more than two hours. Those who did not get tickets started raising slogans against the PCA officials. A large number of them had come from Abohar, Fazilka, Bathinda, Panipat and Rohtak last night to purchase the lower denomination tickets.

“How could thousands of tickets be sold from only two counters in less than two hours? No one cares for the sentiments of the common people,” rued Surinder Kumar who had come from Abohar.

M.P. Pandove, PCA secretary, said, “The tickets have been sold under the supervision of PCA officials so there is no question of dumping or selling of fake tickets.”

High denomination tickets worth Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 were freely available at every counter.

“Each branch of the bank had got tickets of the VIP block, terrace block and AC lounge. Except for the VIP block, tickets for all others are still available at the branches,” an HDFC official said.

Several PCA officials, local cricket coaches, and former cricketers, besides kin of “influential” people were seen making rounds of the offices of PCA office-bearers to get tickets.



Sidekicks take centre stage at PU
Smriti Sharma/TNS

Duster Buster

A protest was held at the UILS (five-year law) in the evening after the INSO president allegedly threw a duster at a group of students. The girls of the department alleged that Vikas Rathi had come to their department along with PUSU and INSO supporters to seek votes in the morning. When they asked him about their achievements during the past four years, he threw a duster at them, they alleged. The students condemned the incident and decided to boycott the elections. However, Vikas Rathi denied that the incident had occurred.

Chandigarh, November 1
The stringent guidelines laid down by the Lyngdoh committee have brought sidekicks of students’ political bodies to the centre stage.

The mandatory 75 per cent attendance, as recommended by the committee, has taken its toll on a majority of candidates whose nominations have been cancelled after having failed to meet the condition.

Some student leaders had apparently sensed it well in time and therefore pitched in around three to four candidates for each post of president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary.

In the absence of any choice, the student bodies have fielded candidates with good academic record and full attendance.

“From a battle of power and influence, it has now become a battle of brains,” avers a former president of the students council. Nevertheless, it has bred a lot of resentment among seasoned student leaders like Abhishek Puri and Harpreet Multani. They rue that it is unjust for students who have worked throughout the year for the welfare of students and now have been cut a raw deal.

“For many students who had gone to represent the university in sports, academic competitions, etc. it was not possible to fulfil the attendance condition,” they contend.

Meanwhile, the HSA has also joined hands with the SOPU-NSUI alliance. Their final candidates are: Uday Bhan (president), Ishs Gupta (vice-president), Naveen Chahal (general secretary).

Also, the ABVP has also jumped into the fray and fielded Dinesh Chauhan of the department of political science as their presidential candidate. However, their nominations for the post of vice-president and joint secretary have been rejected.

PUSU and INSO have fielded Parminder Jaswal from the department of defence studies as their presidential candidate and Gagandeep Kaur from the department of Punjabi for vice-president.

Sunny Bharadwaj from the department of chemical engineering has been fielded for the post of general secretary.



Elections in colleges may be cancelled

Chandigarh, November 1
The 75 per cent attendance criterion as recommended by the Lyngdoh committee has adversely affected the candidatures of most student leaders in colleges as well. While in most of the colleges, the nominations were rejected due to the attendance clause, in others only one or two candidates were found to be eligible against the panel of four that includes president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary. Looking at the circumstances, polls are likely to be cancelled in colleges, say sources.

At DAV College-10 there are two candidates in fray for the president’s post while Sahiba Kaur has been elected as vice-president unopposed. At GGDSD College-32 all nominations for the president’s post have been cancelled and two girls are in fray for the post of vice-president. The general secretary of the college council has been elected unopposed. At GCG-11 all nominations for the posts of president and vice-president have been rejected.

Meanwhile, a protest was held at the college in the evening when a group of students alleged bias in clearing one of the candidates’ name for the said post.

At GCG-42 the presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate have been elected unopposed while there are three candidates in fray for the post of general secretary and two for joint secretary.

However, the final list of candidates will only be displayed at the respective colleges tomorrow. — TNS



4 wholesale sweet makers challaned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
A day after the Punjab health minister instructed civil surgeons across the state to conduct raids on sweet shops, the authorities in Chandigarh have also woken up to it.

In the first major raid on sweet manufacturers in and around the city ahead of the festival season, the UT health department today swooped down on four big wholesale sweet makers and challaned them.

The challans were issued for non-compliance with the conditions of food manufacturing prescribed under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

In the dock for preparing sweets in unhealthy and unhygienic conditions are the Dariya-based Mahadev Sweets, Savi Snacks, Agarwal Sweets and Muraliwala. UT food inspector Sukhwinder Singh, who led the raids on the village located near the railway station, said coconut-based sweets had often been found to be adulterated due to the use of substandard “khoya” which could easily be procured from neighbouring states.

The premises of all four factories were found to be unhygienic, with broken floors and unclean walls. The sweets were also exposed to flies and dust.

“We have collected samples of various sweets and challaned the manufacturers for making food products in unhygienic conditions --- something that’s prohibited under the PFA Act. The samples have been sent to the food laboratory in Sector 11,” Sukhwinder Singh said.

Sources said raids were due in Kajheri, Mani Majra and Dadu Majra where several sweet manufacturers were located.



Wall of contention
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 1
A temporary park in Sector 12 here today became a bone of contention between residents of the area and employees of the Municipal Corporation.

Around 10:30 am, the MC employees along with owners of a school site, reached the place armed with the approved zoning plan and written orders of the estate officer, HUDA, Panchkula, to remove a wall of the park, which, they said, was constructed on the school site, which was auctioned in 1999.

Though HUDA had given the school owners the possession of the site on paper, they could not take physical possession because the MC had developed a park on a part of it.

The owners had been representing to HUDA to give them physical possession of the site auctioned by it.

After eight years, the estate officer ordered the MC on October 25 last to shift the boundary wall of the party as per the layout plan.

However, the residents of the area had been opposing the shifting of the wall, which, they felt, would reduce the size of the park.

Before the residents of the area could react, the JCB machine brought by the MC staff demolished the wall.

When the residents questioned the employees, the latter told the former that they were acting under the written orders of the estate officer and the unencumbered physical possession of the site was to be given to the owners as per the sanctioned plan.

Pankaj Chandgothia, legal advisor of the school, said the nursery school site is part of the zoning plan approved in 1987.

The residents said they have filed a case in a court seeking shifting of the school site. The case would come for hearing on November 3. However, they could not produce any court papers. They urged the officials to postpone the operation for some days to enable them to seek orders from the court. The women pleaded that their children would have no place to play.



35 booksellers allotted sheds

Chandigarh, November 1
The municipal corporation today allotted 35 sheds to booksellers through draw of lots on licence for five years.

These booksellers had been squatting in front of the Panjab University gate in Sector 15 and running their business from there.

Forty sheds have been constructed in Sector 15-A, out of which four have been converted into public lavatories.

In all, 37 applications were received out of which two applications were rejected.

The draw of lots was held under the supervision of joint commissioner-I T.P.S. Phoolka. — TNS



Lt-Gen Sapru is GOC-in-C, Western Command
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Lt-Gen Tej Kumar Sapru took over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, at Chandimandir today. Prior to his appointment he was the General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps at Nagrota near Jammu.

He paid tributes to the martyrs at the Veer Smriti War memorial and inspected a guard of honour presented by a contingent from the 1st battalion of the 4th Gorkha Rifles, the Battalion he had commanded from June 1989 to June 1992. The General, thereafter, met all the senior officers of the command and interacted with them.

Gen Sapru is a product of the Punjab Public School, Nabha. He later joined the National Defence Academy, Kharakwasla, and was commissioned into the Fourth Gorkha Rifles on June 15, 1969. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, he saw action on both the western and eastern fronts.

During his 38-year career he has held various command, instructional and staff appointments. He was assistant military and air attaché in the Embassy of India in Kathmandu. His other staff assignments include general staff officer in the Directorate of Military Operations, deputy military secretary in Military Secretary Branch and additional director general (procurement) in the Master General of Ordnance’s Branch.

An alumnus of the National Defence College, New Delhi, he was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation in 1985 and the Yudh Seva Medal for distinguished service in active operations in 1999.

He commanded an infantry battalion in intense counter insurgency operations, an infantry brigade in Punjab, another brigade in Jammu and Kashmir during Operation Vijay in 1999 and later a division deployed on the Line of Control in J&K.



Military Intelligence turns 65

Chandigarh, November 1
The Corps of Military Intelligence celebrated its 65th anniversary with traditional pomp and gaiety at the Western Command headquarters, Chandi Mandir, today.

GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lt-Gen Tej Kumar Sapru, was the chief guest on the occasion.

He extended his greetings to all officers, JCOs, and other ranks and urged them to continue to work with dedication, zeal, enthusiasm and alacrity in line with the traditions of the corps. He emphasised the need to keep pace with technology. — TNS



IT commissioner bereaved

Chandigarh, November 1
Shanti Parkash Sharma, father of IT commissioner Girish Sharma, died here today. He was 94.

Girish Sharma was recently posted out of Chandigarh.

The cremation will take place tomorrow at the crematorium in Sector 25. The funeral will start from house No. 567, Sector 33, at 12 noon. — TNS




Cleanliness amiss

Cleanliness in the city is the last thing on the mind of authorities, so it seems. Shopping centres, residential areas and parks seem to tell the tale of neglect. Grass growing through concrete and blacktop surfaces, broken curbs and pavements, haphazard parking, littered garbage, stench, absence of trash cans are all but common. Concrete structures, including landmark buildings, shopping centres, houses, etc. are very unsightly and need extensive cleaning. The authorities need to undertake a citywide maintenance and cleaning programme. Certainly, the city is crying for cleanliness.

Shiv Singh

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NRI’s Murder
Constable, family booked
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 1
The police booked a head constable of the Punjab police, his wife, son and daughter for the alleged murder of the 24-year-old NRI Yadvinder Singh here.

The accused Gurdial Singh, posted at the Punjab Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh, wife Shiv Charan a teacher, son, an engineering student and daughter Baldish, an engineering graduate, all residents of Phase VI were booked under section 302, IPC, following a complaint of the victim’s father Balwinder Singh.

According to police sources, Yadvinder wanted to marry Baldish who studied in the same engineering college as Yadvinder.

While Baldish continued with her studies, Yadvinder left his course midway and went to New York to be with his parents in 2005. He worked for some time as a cab driver there.

He maintained his contact with Baldish. Yadvinder’s parents came to India in early summers and Yadvinder followed them to India in July. The two families also met last month to consider the possibility of Yadvinder and Baldish getting married.

Yadvinder’s parents went back to the USA on October 20.

Yadvinder stayed back reportedly to help Baldish procure a visa on the basis of a job she had been offered at New Jersey. “He wanted to take Baldish with him,” said a close relative.

But when he realised that Baldish’s visa was likely to take some time, he decided to go back to the USA and went with baldish to confirm his return ticket to the USA for November 4 on October 29, the day he was found dead.

According to the police, Baldish told them that Yadvinder left Baldish at her home in Phase VI and went missing after that.

She kept contacting him on his mobile but when he did not respond she called his cousin sister in Sector 41, Chandigarh, where he was putting up.

She even contacted his parents in the USA asking them about his whereabouts.

She is also learnt to have spotted his abandoned car in Phase V and realised that it was unlocked and Yadvinder’s purse and mobile phone was in it.

Yadvinder’s parents Balwinder Singh and Palwinder Kaur reached Mohali yesterday and told the police that they suspected that he had been murdered. Balwinder Singh recently retired as a professor from the DAV College in Begowal, Kapurthala, and mother is a primary school teacher in Bhadas village, Kapurthala.

Relatives of the family also alleged that Yadvinder was thrashed by Baldish’s brother and father in her presence and left in the open to die.

Eyewitnesses also told the police that in an injured state he knocked on the gates of many peopoe, asked for help and water but succumbed to his injuries. But the police could not confirm this.

No arrests have been made in this case so far.

Yadvinder was found dead by the Mohali police on Monday evening in Phase VII. Since there was no sign of identification, it took the police a day to identify him.

The post mortem report is expected.



Minor sodomised; five booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Five youths allegedly sodomised an 11-year-old boy after forcing him to inhale a correction fluid.

According to the police, the incident came to light yesterday, when the victim reached home and narrated the incident to his family.

He was taken to the hospital from where the police was informed.

The victim said Nadim, Pankaj, Shankar, Gopi and Shankar caught hold of him near the Mani Majra fort on Tuesday night. They first inhaled correctional fluid and then forced him to inhale the same.

Soon he felt drowsy and thereafter the five sodomised him.

After regaining consciousness he could not muster courage to go home. However, the next day he went home and narrated the episode to his parents.

The police said the victim was medically examined at the hospital.

A case has been registered against the five accused, who are at large.

The sale of correctional fluid is banned in city by orders of the district magistrate.



Couple hurt in assault by landlords

Chandigarh, November 1
A couple had to hospitalised after they were allegedly assaulted by their landlords over a dispute in Sector 38 this evening.

The two have been admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. The police has arrested three persons of the landlord family — Pawan Sharma, his wife Puja, his brother Sukhdev — on a complaint lodged by Vijay Kumar, the tenant.

The police said the incident took place this evening when Pawan Kumar along with other two barged into Vijay’s house and assaulted them. Vijay and his wife suffered fractures on their limbs besides other injuries in the assault. — TNS



Kanungo held

Chandigarh, November 1
Sleuths of the UT vigilance department today caught Dhian Singh, a kanungo posted at UT deputy commissioner’s (DC) office, red-handed while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a Mullanpur resident.

Sources said Pawan Kumar Puri of Mullanpur Garibdas alleged that Dhian Singh had been harassing him for issuing a “farad” of his land at Sarangpur village.

The sleuths laid a trap at the DC office to nab the accused. He accepted the bribe but escaped. The team managed to arrest him at Maloya after giving a chase. A case has been registered. — TNS



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