C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Custodial Death
Seven cops suspended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 18
A 30-year-old youth was allegedly tortured to death by the local police. A CIA team picked up Jogi, a resident of Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra, 10 days ago on December 8 and allegedly left the body at the local General Hospital late last evening.

The hospital civil surgeon said there were injury marks on the body.

The authorities have ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter and suspended seven police personnel- SI Haripal Singh, head constable Bhagwan Das, constable Raghupal, Shan Singh, Chander Pal, Pawan Kumar and Joginder Singh.

Wailing relatives of the deceased alleged that the police took him away to interrogate him in a case of dacoity that took place at Bataurh village near Barwala in Panchkula district two months ago.

Claiming that he was innocent, the family members alleged that the police wanted money from the family. “My son was innocent but the police tortured him for 10 days even though he knew nothing about the case,” said the inconsolable mother of the deceased.

“SI Haripal Walia asked us for a bribe of Rs 2 lakh for the release of our boy,” she alleged.

Jogi was the sole bread-winner for the family. He leaves behind his wife Surinder Kaur and four children, besides his parents.The family members were not allowed to meet Jogi during his detention.

“We tried to meet him time and again but the police did not inform us about his whereabouts,” said the father of the deceased.

A municipal councillor from Shahbad Markanda Tek Chand Sharma said he visited the CIA office on December 15 with jogi’s family members to know about his whereabouts but none was ready to give information.

Panchkula SP Sandip Khirwar, however, said: “ There was information about the visit by the CIA team at Shahbad in the case, but I was not aware of any subsequent action by the police officials concerned.”

Earlier dozens of relatives of Jogi reached here after coming to know about his death. However the heavy police force was deployed at the hospital to avert any untoward incident. Deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria reached the hospital and tried to pacify the agitating relatives.

  • A panel of four doctors comprising Dr Luvpreet, Dr Manoj Narula, Dr Sanjay Malik and Dr Sanjiv Trehan conducted the postmortem under the supervision of chief judical magistrate Anshu Shukala. The postmortem proceedings were videographed
  • Before reaching Panchkula, residents of Deh Colony at Shahbad Markanda held a protest against the Haryana police and sat in dharna at Brara Road for two hours in the morning 

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ICICI restrained from forcible re-possession
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
With numerous complaints against reputed banks, a local court today restrained the ICICI Bank from forcible possession of a Toyota car on a complaint by Pritpal Singh.

Plaintiff Pritpal bought a Toyota Innova car after getting it financed from the ICICI bank. A resident of Panchkula, he gave 62 blank cheques for payment of loan- a monthly instalment if Rs 12,586.

Pritpal alleged that the bank filled the post-dated cheque for a sum of Rs 17,773 and presented it for encashment towards the monthly instalment instead of Rs 12,586 as told to him. Hence, he restrained encashement of cheques.

On December 14, six persons came to his residence in Sector 38.

They abused him and manhandled him and tried to forcibly take possession of the vehicle. A number of people gathered at his house and the six left after threatening him.

Alarmed, the plaintiff approached the case.

The police had arrested four recovery agents of the bank for forcibly taking away an SUV of a Panchkula resident on November 21.

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Kalka Demolitions: Probe DC’s role, HC urged
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Terming the move to demolish structures in Kalka as "reminiscent of the infamous New Delhi sealing drive", four Kalka residents have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, alleging that the motive behind the drive was to create a scare among shopkeepers and to force them into booking shops in under-construction mega malls around Kalka and Pinjore.

The petitioners have also sought a probe into the "rash response of the deputy commissioner and the highway administrator" as a viable alternative bypass was already under construction. They have stated that directions should be issued to order an inquiry into the "demolition plan" in complete violation of the provisions of the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, and to expose the nexus with owners of malls under construction in the periphery of Kalka. Directions for restraining the respondents from demolishing the structures without a speaking order have also been sought.

Taking up the petition filed by Gurpal Singh and others against the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, along with the Union of India, Panchkula's DCand the NHI, a Division Bench of the high court headed by Justice J.S. Khehar today issued notice of motion to the respondents. The case will now come up on December 20.

Describing themselves as permanent residents of Kalka interested in development, growth and well-being of the city, the petitioners said the DC and the office of the highway administrator, apparently wanted to "present, please and impress" the court. Rather than furnishing information to the court, they started the "demolition of the whole town". 

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PHL Begins Tomorrow
Defence line a worry for Dynamos
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
With just two days to go for the inaugural match of the Premier Hockey League (PHL), the home team, Chandigarh Dynamos, is struggling for fullback players.

Whether the team gets the required number of fullback players is a big question. The IHF is yet to announce three foreign players for each team.

“We demanded two specialist defenders and one centre half from among the foreign players as the team has only Sandeep Singh playing at the position.

“The team needs two more experts to give teeth to the defence line,” said N.S. Sodhi, coach of Chandigarh Dynamos.The role of fullback was most crucial for ant team as the entire defence line relied on these players, said Sodhi.

“Without knowing who our key players are, how can we finalise our game strategy for the inaugural match against Hyderabad Sultans,” he asked sounding rather alarmed.

He said to gel as a team as well as to understand the game of fellow players, it was important for players to practise together. “It seems our foreign players will come straight to play the match which may effect our performance.”

At the last edition of the league, the team finished at the fifth position as key players Sandeep Singh, S.S. Gill, Deepak Thakur and Jaswinder Singh were out due to injuries.

“This time, with all main players fully fit, we are hopeful of a good showing. We are only waiting for the foreign players,”said Rajpal Singh, skipper of the home team.

The inaugural match starts at 6 pm on December 20 at the Sector 42 Hockey Stadium under floodlights.

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Cop suspended for making wrong entries
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 18
The Mohali SSP suspended Mohan Singh, a head constable, posted at Zirakpur police station, this evening. Mohan Singh was posted as munshi at the police station and was caught by the SSP making wrong entries in the roznamcha.

SSP Mohali R.S. Khatra said he conducted a surprise check at the police station this evening and found that SHO D.P. Singh was not in the police station. “I was told that he was unwell and had gone to get medicines. But munshi Mohan Singh, who is supposed to make entries in the roznamcha, had shown the presence of the SHO in the police station. He has been suspended and sent to the police lines,” said the SSP. The SSP also took a round of the check points in the township to see if policemen were on duty.

The SSP added that he would be making surprise visits to various police stations in the district in the coming week. “I had received many complaints from residents of Zirakpur due to which this surprise check was undertaken,” said the SSP.

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Bunny is chairman of Coop Bank
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 18
Jasjit Singh Bunny today formally took over as chairman of the board of directors of the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Limited, Chandigarh, in the presence of Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP and acting president of SAD, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation, defence services welfare, removal of grievances and welfare of pensioners’ minister, Punjab, and Bikram Singh Majithia, water supply and sanitation, information and public relation, science and technology, environment and non-conventional energy minister of Punjab.

Sukhbir Badal expressed confidence that the young leader would strive hard to take the Cooperative Bank to new heights. Bunny promised that he would guide the bank to make significant contribution in cooperation movement of the state.

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Midnight robbery rumour spreads panic
Surinder Bhardwaj

Bassi Pathana, December 18
The residents of the villages situated on Bassi Pathana-Nandpur Kalour road are living in fear these days as a rumour is ripe in the area that after midnight, a gang of robbers, headed by a woman wearing a green suit, robs passersby on this road.

Apprehending threat to their lives, people have stopped travelling on this road after dark.

Talking to The Tribune, residents of these villages said the modus operandi of the gang was to waylay travellers at night. They alleged that a woman wearing a green suit signalled to vehicles for lift and when some vehicle stopped, her gang members attacked the vehicle owner and robbed him of all his belongings. The victims, had so far, not reported the matter to the police anticipating humiliation, however, they had discussed it with their friends and relatives, the villagers alleged. Some of them even reported the matter to The Tribune. A panic had spread in the area following the rumour.

They said a few days back, an announcement was made in Dedran village in this regard and Bassi Pathana DSP Rajwinder Singh had also reached there.

When contacted, the DSP said he had also heard about this rumour but had not noticed anything of that sort in the area.

He said the police had set up special nakas and had increased patrolling on this road and remarked that the incident in Dedran village was a result of the rumour. The DSP also warned rumourmongers against spreading such things.

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Registration Imbroglio
Residents to take ‘direct action’
To hold dharna outside HUDA office tomorrow
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 18
At the receiving end of the HUDA notification regarding the registration of their apartments under the Haryana Apartment Act after payment of stamp duty, the members of the cooperative group housing societies have finally decided to take to streets to oppose the "draconian and anti-people" decision.

The two-month reprieve by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the allottees notwithstanding, the residents’ welfare organisations today decided to resort to "direct action" to compel HUDA to arrive at a "mutually-beneficial" decision in public interest. As a first step, the Confederation of the Group Housing Societies, Mansa Devi Complex, House Owners’ Welfare Association and Market Welfare Association, Sector 20, have decided to hold a dharna outside the HUDA office here, in Sector 6 on December 20.

At a meeting here, the members of the cooperative societies came down heavily against the "one-sided" decision of HUDA, which they alleged was giving a raw deal to the allottees even after the payment of various charges amounting to crores of rupees. Deepak Rai Walia, president of the confederation, urged the Haryana Chief Minister to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of a state minister to end the "registration imbroglio" so that thousands of allottees all over the state could heave a sigh of relief.

B.K. Sanghi, president of the Haryana Group Housing Federation, warned that a statewide agitation would be launched against the "draconian notification" by the HUDA if a solution to the problem was not found immediately.

Cooperative societies and HUDA had been at loggerheads over the registration of the apartments. While HUDA claims that the registration of the apartments was mandatory under the Act, the allottees assert that registration was not required as per the Act which was promulgated with a view to check the activities of big builders. When the societies had already received the conveyance deed after payment, there was no need for fresh registration of apartments by individual apartment owners, the residents added.

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RTI Act
Principals to act as info officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Principals of all aided colleges of Chandigarh were appointed the chief public information officers (CPIOs) by director of higher education (C) Raji P. Srivastava here today.

This order assumes special significance in view of the refusal by MCM and DAV Colleges of Chandigarh to provide information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. 
The director had earlier issued an advisory to S. Marriya, principal, DAV College, Chandigarh, to abide by the provisions of the Act as the college received government aid.

The UGC has directed all colleges receiving funds by the government to comply with the Act. It has advised all aided colleges to take the necessary steps for the implementation of various provisions, including proactive disclosures of certain kind of information under Section 4(1)(b) of the Act.

R.K. Anand, secretary, DAV College Teachers’ Union, said the order would forbid the college authorities from flouting rules. 

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Only seven out of 60 sites go under hammer
Commercial Auction A Flop Show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
A day after the prices of residential plots touched a new high in the real estate market of Chandigarh, the sale of commercial property while registering a similar trend pushed the average land price to Rs 2, 90, 578 per sq yard, an increase of 147.22 per cent over the December, 2004, auction’s average price of Rs 1, 17, 536 per sq yard.

The average land price will reflect in the collector rates likely to be revised by March next year.

But the auction of the commercial property on leasehold basis frustrated the estate office that put up for sale a number of booths, bay shops, built-up sites and SCOs.

At least, six II bay and III bay sites in Sector 43 B did not fetch the rates as prevailing in the market. The leasehold money of the sites comes to around Rs 35 lakh annually.

Before the administration changed its policy to sell commercial property on leasehold basis in 2004, some sites in Sector 43 were sold on freehold basis.

The sites which were earlier auctioned on lesser lease money or on freehold basis fetch a much higher rates as compared to the rates at which the SCOs were today auctioned.

Due to an error on part of the Municipal Corporation, the estate office could not sell 12 utility booth sites adjoining the Piccadily Hotel. The site is under litigation.

There were not many takers for the sites which the estate office offered. The main response was for general category SCO sites in Sector 43, which can used as a hotel and a II bay site in Sector 34 sub-city centre.

Of the total 60 sites offered, only seven sites were auctioned for Rs 83.04 crore. The reserve price of these sites was Rs 38.78 crore.

One of the highest bids was in the category of SCOs. A site in Sector 34 was auctioned for a whopping Rs 14.55 crore against a reserved price of Rs 7.46 crore.

A III bay site in Sector 43 fetched Rs 14.31 crore against a reserve price of Rs 5.83 crore. Two II bay sites in Sector 43 fetched Rs 8.71 crore against a reserve price of Rs 4 crore.

Officials of the estate office said the auction had been held to achieve the target projected under the receipt head.

From the two day auction of commercial and residential property, over Rs 158 crore has been earned.

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Heritage Workshop Begins
Experts: Conserve historic urban environments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The Chandigarh administration in collaboration with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and the Archaeological Survey of India began a four-day workshop on “Management of Historic Urban Landscapes of the 20th Century” at the CII here today. The MC mayor was the chief guest.

The workshop is supported by the Netherlands-Funds-in Trust, France-UNESCO Cooperation and the CII.

Despite guidelines for conservation and management of monuments, archaeological sites, natural sites and cultural landscapes, the challenges of management of historic urban environments, especially those of the 20th century, are still not fully understood.

The technical session started with a welcome speech by Rajneesh Wattas, principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, who emphasised on the contribution of Le Corbusier to City Beautiful.

Gilles Ragot talked about the history of nomination of India on the World Heritage List. He said as of now, a total of 851 sites were listed, among these 660 cultural and 166 natural. The 20th century sites could be used for comparative analysis of Le Corbusier’s works.

Francesco Bandarin, director, World Heritage Centre of UNESCO, talked of ways and the need to promote modern heritage.

The workshop will address the challenges in conservation of historic urban environments, in particular the World Heritage Cities of the 20th century, exchange ideas and visions, explore mutually satisfying solutions for conservation and development, and reach a consensus among stakeholders, resulting in an agreement on principles and guidelines for regulation and management. 

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Revenue stamps at sampark centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh December 18
The administration has allowed the sale of revenue stamps at all sampark centres located in Chandigarh and its villages.

This is another citizen-friendly initiative of the administration after the sale of stamp papers from the sampark centres was introduced. 

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PGI doctor honoured with fellowship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Dr B.R. Mittal, head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine of the PGI, has been conferred with the prestigious fellowship of the Indian College of Nuclear Medicine for his academic contribution to the nuclear medicine fraternity. 

Besides, Dr Mittal was declared president-elect of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, India, for 2 years during the recently held conference at Lucknow, according to a press note.

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NCC honour for city lecturer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
Ramandeep Mann, a commerce lecturer at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, stood first in the three-month pre-commissioned course held at NCC Lady Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Gwalior.

Mann was adjudged the best in the four out of six categories. These categories were theoretical, practical, physical and cultural activities. She was honoured with the NCC Director General Plaque of Honour and Rolling Trophy at the passing-out parade of the academy.

With this, she happens to be the first Lady Associate NCC Officer from Chandigarh to have been honoured at OTA, Gwalior. 

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Letters
Streamline gold prices

The rate of gold is fixed daily on the basis of the rate prevalent in the international market. Yesterday, I visited three jewellery shops in the city. All three shops displayed different rates. This shows how the customer is being looted . Will the UT administration look into the matter and streamline the rate of gold ?

G.K. Chopra, 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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Travel agent held on duping charges
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, December 18
The Rajpura police today booked five persons and arrested one of them on charges of duping a person of Rs 15 lakh on the pretext of sending him and his family abroad.

According to sources in police, Tejpal Singh of Bhamna village near Samana had filed a complaint with the city police that in May this year, he came in contact with five persons, including Gurjant Singh, Rajinder Singh, Avinash, Randhir Singh and Jasbir Singh, who offered to help him settle in Canada along with his wife Jasjit Kaur and son Pawan.

In his complaint, Tejpal stated the five people took Rs 15 lakh from him and assured that they would not only get him a visa for Canada but also help him find a suitable job there. Following this, the police registered a case against the five accused and launched a search to trace them.

City SHO Bikramjit Singh Brar said the during the search, travel agent Rajinder Singh, a resident of Moga, was arrested. He said several passports were recovered from his possession which suggested that he had made similar promises to others also. He said during interrogation, Rajinder admitted that he had taken around Rs 60 lakh from different persons to help them settle abroad.

Later in the day, the accused was produced before a local magistrate who sent him to police remand till December 20. Sources in the police said they had got in touch with people whose passports were recovered from Rajinder and the matter was being investigated.

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Jewellery worth Rs 1.50 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 18
Gold jewellery worth Rs 1.50 lakh was recovered by the Mohali police from a resident of Phase XI.

According to the police, Rajdeep of Phase XI, who was arrested by the Chandigarh police, was brought on production warrant here and was remanded in police custody for three days by a court. The police claimed that jewellery stolen from a resident of Phase VII in August was recovered from Rajdeep.

Meanwhile, the police has asked tenants and paying guests to get themselves registered within a month after which the police will start arresting those offending the orders of the administration.

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Two of STA held for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
The Vigilance cell of the police arrested two officials of the State Transport Authority (STA) for fraud dates back to 2002.

Two persons have earlier been arrested in this case.

Maninder Singh and Sher Singh, the then junior assistants, allegedly misused their official positions and issued permits of commercial vehicles in connivance with agents with forged treasury challans of road tax and permit fee of commercial vehicles.

The investigation of this case is going on and some more officials of STA and agents, who indulged in such activities, are yet to be arrested.

Suicide by rickshaw puller

A rickshaw puller committed suicide late last night. A resident of Sector 38, the victim Rishi Kumar was a richshaw puller.

The victim was alone at home at the time he tied himself to a rope from stairs. The police said he was mentally ill, which could be the reason for him committing suicide, adding that they have begun investigations under Section 174 CrPC.

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Raymond outlet opened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 18
President of Raymond Limited Shreyas Joshi inaugurated ‘Raymond Select’, the first exclusive brand outlet showcasing finely crafted garments in India. “The store will offer an entire range of garments, including suits, jackets, trousers, shirts and accessories,” said Joshi.

Paulomi Dhawan, vice-president, Raymond Limited, said, “The company is planning to open nine more stores by April 2009.” 

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