C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sanjay Public School faces disaffiliation
Errs on renewal of provisional recognition
Action against 12 more schools
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Students of Sanjay Public School, Sector 44, could be in a fix as the school has not got its provisional recognition renewed despite repeated reminders by the Chandigarh education department.

Taking a stern view of this violation, the department is now pursuing the matter with the CBSE to disaffiliate the school.

The validity of the school’s recognition had expired on March 31, 1996. The school was last inspected under the chairmanship of Arjun Shekhri, the then under-secretary, education, in July 1998 and was asked to furnish relevant information for granting extension in provisional recognition, subject to the removal of certain violations.

After that, the school did not furnish any documents. It is mandatory to get provisional recognition renewed within six months of the expiry of the date. The department had also issued a notice in this regard on November 14, but the school did not respond.

Now, the department has decided to withdraw the provisional recognition. Confirming this, the DPI (S), S.K. Setia, said the school authorities had been issued reminders a number of times, but the school had done nothing about it.

“With periodical checking in the past, it has been found that the school is violating many conditions, which can not be overlooked. The department has asked the CBSE to disaffiliate the school so that it does not play with the future of students,” he said.

On the other hand, the chairman of the school denied receiving any notice from the education department. “Moreover, it is not necessary to get recognition from the UT administration as we are already affiliated with the CBSE. The affiliation was granted after a no-objection certificate was taken from the administration. In my view, it was a one-time exercise,” he said.

After making some amendments in 1993, the CBSE has stopped granting permanent affiliation to schools. The board had specifically mentioned that the schools would be granted provisional affiliation only for a period of three years.

Further, the state government or the UT would make periodical inspections of schools and if violations are found, it has the power to withdraw the provisional recognition. Once this is done, the board can disaffiliate the school.

There are around 12 more schools which have been dispatched reminders about the expiry of provisional recognition and the department is pursuing the same action against them.

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Mayoral Elections
Candidates file nominations
Tribune News Service

Two political friends-turned-political adversaries union minister Pawan Bansal (R) and Harmohan Dhawan greet each other at the time of filing nominations for the post of mayor, in Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
Two political friends-turned-political adversaries union minister Pawan Bansal (R) and Harmohan Dhawan greet each other at the time of filing nominations for the post of mayor, in Chandigarh, on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 26
The MC office was abuzz with activity here today as candidates of the Congress, BJP and the BSP filed their nomination papers for the elections to the post of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, scheduled to be held on January 1.

Amid fanfare and accompanied by a large number of supporters, the nomination process witnessed a huge turnout of political workers and their leaders, including union minister of state for finance and Congress MP Pawan Bansal, former MP Satya Pal Jain (BJP) and former union minister Harmohan Dhawan (BSP).

BSP candidate Jatinder Bhatia was the first to file his papers for the post of mayor.

In his two set of nominations, Bhatia’s name was proposed by Vijay Rana and Sarita Sharma. Ram Sumer Morya and Raj Kumari Mishra seconded his nomination.

In contrast to what the BSP projected yesterday, Sarita Devi filed the nomination for the post of senior deputy mayor. Earlier, Ram Sumer Morya’s name was doing the rounds as the candidate for the post.

The party did not file any nomination for the post of deputy mayor and has extended its support to the SAD candidate Gurnam Singh.

Congress candidate Pradeep Chhabra, who is seen as the front-runner for the post, was the next to file his nomination.

Chhabra is considered close to Pawan Bansal and his candidature is a double-edged sword for the Congress.

Even though he may be acceptable to the nominated councillors, he has detractors in the party, including Chander Mukhi Sharma who had termed his candidature as biased.

Chander Mukhi was absent at the time of his nomination process. However, he ended speculation of his turning a rebel by not filing his nomination as an Independent.

A senior Congress member, Chander Mukhi cannot risk his political career for one-year term of mayor, sources said.

Chhabra’s name was proposed by Devinder Singh Babla, Kamlesh and Jagjit Kang. H.C. Kalyan, Rita Sharma and Manjit Singh seconded his nomination. For the post of senior deputy mayor, Anju Benewal of the Congress and for the post of deputy mayor, H.C Kalyan filed their nominations.

BJP candidate Gurcharan Das Kala and Surinder K. Jagota also submitted their papers for the post of senior deputy mayor while Gurnam Singh of the SAD filed his nomination for the post of deputy mayor from the BJP.

Also being supported by the BSP, it seems to be a cakewalk for him.

Harjinder Kaur proposed Kala’s name while Rajesh Gupta seconded his nomination.

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Tagore Theatre Renovation
Can’t meet deadline, says engg dept
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Art lovers will have to wait for few more months before the Tagore Theatre opens. For, the UT engineering department has expressed its inability to complete the renovation work within the deadline.

The deadline for completing the work has been changed for the third time.

While closing the auditorium for renovation in September, the UT engineering department had been given December 31 as the deadline to finish the work. Subsequently, the deadline was extended to January 31.

The delay in the completion of work came to light during a recent visit of UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) to the spot.

The administrator’s displeasure over the delay in execution of work was conveyed to chief engineer S.K. Jaitley.

Sources said going by the pace of work, it would take some more months to complete it.

“Missing deadlines for development works is synonymous with the engineering department”, said an official.

There has been a lot of criticism over closing the theatre for renovation in peak cultural season.

In September, the engineering department had closed the theatre for six months.

Those engaged in culture promotion had, however, demanded the renovation schedule to be postponed to months when there was little cultural activity.

As part of the renovation work, the administration was increasing the seating capacity from existing 585 to 885, relocating stage and upgrading sound and light system.

A proposal to create a two-level parking for around 400 cars has also been cleared.

According to the revised plans, the stage would move in the direction opposite to the existing location and certain other changes in the hall were being made without disturbing the building structure.

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Mohali Airport
MoU to be signed on January 4
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 26
An MoU pertaining to the Mohali international airport would be signed on January 4, 2008, with the union ministry of civil aviation and international flights from the airport are expected to begin by October.

The CM, Parkash Singh Badal, had today called on union civil aviation minister Praful Patel to expedite pending clearances with the Centre to enable the state government to sign an MoU with the ministry.

Stating this here today, the media adviser to the CM, Harcharan Bains, said Badal had also asked the ministry to take up the matter with the ministry of defence to issue a no-objection certificate for the civil airports coming up at Sahnewal in Ludhiana and Bhisiana in Bathinda, besides the Mohali airport.

Badal said the extension of existing airports in Mohali and Sahnewal would help in the modernisation of infrastructure in the state.

He informed the minister that Ludhiana was an industrial hub of Punjab and required an airport to be used for domestic landing and for small business aircraft.

Regarding the proposal for the setting up of flying clubs and training institutes at Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda and Patiala, the CM requested Patel to help get an NOC from the Indian Air Force and the defence ministry.

The proposal in this regard had been cleared by the state government. He also raised the issue of setting up civil terminals at the Adampur Air Force station on the pattern of the civil airport facility at Pathankot.

Patel assured the CM that he would soon take up the matter with the ministry of defence so that work on the Mohali airport could be initiated at the earliest.

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Year Ahead
Hi-tech traffic surveillance by March-end
CCTVs to help track stolen vehicles
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Come 2008, hi-tech traffic surveillance on city roads will make the task difficult for car thieves.

For, closed-circuit television, equipped with special software enabling them to track stolen vehicles by their number, will be installed at 20 major traffic intersections in the city by March-end.

It will be part of various modernisation plans initiated by the Chandigarh police to make the force more efficient and transparent in its functioning, said S.K. Jain, UT inspector-general of police, today while sharing his plans for the next year.

A control room will be set up at the Traffic Police Lines, Sector 29, where a computer will monitor violations and issue challan after taking picture of the offending vehicle.

However, staff shortage and health of the force are an immediate cause for concern for the police, casting adverse affect on its functioning.

Admitting that staff shortage was a major hurdle, the IGP maintained that a proposal had been sent through the UT administration for the sanction of 3,000 personnel to the home ministry. The same has been pending with the ministry.

Setting up of a special cyber cell to curb cyber crime, computerisation of police stations, including registration of first information reports, record keeping and record of investigation on computers, ISO certification of all police stations or installation of global positioning system (GPS) for police control room (PCR) vehicles in the coming months will take the Chandigarh police way ahead of neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The Chandigarh police will be the first one to introduce such technologies in the region, with only Delhi police having achieved the target of 100 per cent computerisation, said the IGP.

The special cyber crime cell will be made functional by January-end. Police officials had been given training and orders had been placed for the equipment.

Besides, special training programmes would be conducted to keep the police abreast with the changing patron of crime.

When asked about the need for setting up special police stations for investigating specific crimes, Jain maintained that it was not required at this stage as the police already had special cells to investigate crimes related to women and children, economic offences and other heinous crimes.

The police will introduce common integrated police application under which six computers will be installed at each police station as part of computerisation scheme. At the scheme is being conducted at trail basis in Sector 3 police station.

During a recent health camp, 30 per cent UT police personnel were found suffering from some ailment.

Alarmed, the police initiated several measure, including organising health and yoga camps and stress management courses.

Jain said stress, long duty hours and ignoring health were some of the things that would be looked into.

He said special camps would be held in police stations and colonies. Besides, every police personnel would be medically examined once a year.

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Admn racks brains on traffic management
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
With roads becoming congested during peak hours, the Chandigarh administration is thinking long term and planning traffic management accordingly.

A host of suggestions have been made during a meeting convened by the home secretary Krishna Mohan, sources told The Tribune.

It was a brain-storming session with civil and police officers of the administration joining in to give suggestions.

Most of the traffic woes during peak hours was generated by office-goers. With Chandigarh being the seat of three governments, their boards, corporations and police headquarters, the number of office-goers is more than 1.50 lakh on a daily basis.

With almost all offices being located in Sectors, 1, 9 and 17, the Jan Marg, Madhya Marg and Himalaya Marg are like rivers of vehicles.

One of the suggestions to handle the rush was to stagger timings in a way that various offices opened at different hours.

Punjab and Haryana, besides the administration, should be asked to shift their timings. With this, the three governments would have a gap of half hour in their office hours.

It was also suggested that the rotaries should not be demolished at any cost. The rotaries were a unique character of the city and traffic lights could be installed whereever needed.

Another aspect worrying the administration was the use of personal cars in the markets of Sectors 17, 22, 35, 9, 8 and 7.

A proposal was made to hike the parking fee to Rs 25 for each visit so that people were discouraged from using personal vehicles.

In markets where no parking was available, the administration proposes to allow parking on one side of the road near the market.

It could be one-way entry into markets like Sector 17 which were virtually clogged with shoppers throughout the day.

Another suggestion was to jack up the cost of registering a vehicle in Chandigarh. It was the lowest at present and anything between Rs 1,800 and Rs 9,000 was charged.

In Punjab and Haryana, it was a flat 2 per cent of the cost of the vehicle.

Some suggestions

  • Stagger timings of government offices of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh
  • Increase in parking fee to discourage vehicles in shopping markets
  • Increase in registration fee of vehicles
  • No demolition of rotaries
  • Main markets should have one entry and exit point

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Starving for Justice
Israeli on hunger strike for speedy trial
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Demanding a speedy trial Israeli national, Lior Avi Ben Moyal, accused in a drug peddling case, entered the 10th day of his hunger strike today.

Taking note of the hunger strike the court directed zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to produce the entire evidence on January 3, 2008.

The superintendent, Model Jail had produced a letter before Additional and Sessions Judge, Raj Shekhar Attri, stating that Lior had not eaten food since December 16 as he alleged that his case was not being decided expeditiously.

The court stated: “Lior is only taking tea three to four times daily. The counsel has been apprised of the situation and has been directed to produce the entire evidence on January 3, 2008.”

The court observed that on the last hearing on December 12 no witness was presented before the court. It also held that in the case five witnesses had been examined and cross examination of O.P. Sharma had been deferred.

Lior had moved an application before the high court for a CBI probe in his case but his request was declined. Lior was arrested with 155.5 kg of ‘charas’ along with his accomplice Jiri Andrew and a Kullu resident, Narender Kumar in February 2005.

While talking to The Tribune, the advocate for prosecution, Kailash Chander said, “We will fully cooperate for a speedy trial.”

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Kiran Joshi takes on protesting architects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Nodal officer of Chandigarh World Heritage Nomination Project Kiran Joshi today came down heavily on former chief architects, who recently protested against their exclusion from the project.

Joshi said it was a pity that her senior colleagues used their energies to protest against the Prime Minister, directors, World Heritage Centre and UNESCO instead of strengthening the project.

To begin with, she clarified that many senior architects, who purport to have worked closely with Corbusier were not talking facts. “My perusal of 350 files of the department of urban planning, relating to Corbusier’s work in UT and other documents has revealed that the only Indian architects and planners, who worked with Le Corbusier during his lifetime were A. R. Prabhawalker, Jeet Malhotra, U. E. Choudhary and N. S. Lamba,” said Joshi, adding, Aditya Prakash was only associated with the Government College of Architecture and Architectural Controls.

About MN Sharma, UT’s first chief architect, she said he was for most part of the duration of Corbusier’s involvement with Chandigarh and Bhakra Dam posted at Patiala office of the erstwhile Punjab Architecture Department and not at Capital Project Office at Chandigarh. “The only evidence of his involvement with any Corbusean projects amounts to mere tracing of the drawings sent from Corbusier’s Paris office of the proposed 11-storey building in the city centre, and, furnishing a sketch giving standard dimensions of athletic tracks for a stadium that was being contemplated in Sector 26,” said Joshi.

It is also significant that the group’s claims that department of urban planning was not representing Chandigarh at world forums were not factual. “I am surprised that one of the signatories to the protest is former chief architect Renu Saigal,” said Joshi, showing records of how urban planning was closely associated with the first UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s meetings on modern heritage and how Saighal attended them.

“It was only when urban planning failed to further the case that the project was routed through department of culture and tourism,” Joshi claimed, adding that urban planning continued to be consulted. “At every level, matters were referred to the chief architect for suggestions but nothing has been received till date,” said Joshi, adding that another attempt was made to solicit opinion of the former chief architects when S. K.Midha and Renu Saigal were invited by the director tourism to discuss the issue of boundaries of the nominated area.

She rued that despite requests of full attendance in the just concluded UNESCO workshop, urban planning’s participation was limited to a brief appearance by a senior architect and an architect during the closing ceremony.

On protestors’ contention that the UT and union ministry of culture should have ensured that the city was represented by the urban planning department and the person, who was capable of undertaking the intricacies of planning and architecture. She said the preparation of a nomination dossier for World Heritage inscription was not a just a matter of planning and architecture.

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Police delegation attends workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
A delegation of the Chandigarh police headed by SSP S.S. Srivastava attended a two-day workshop-cum-prize giving ceremony in Malaysia on December 21 and 22.

The spokesperson for the Chandigarh police said the delegation comprised DSP (EOW) Jagbir Singh and inspector Ram Gopal, SHO of police station-3.

The police station-3 was rated excellent and was ranked second in India for its presentation on the functioning.

Besides India, several other countries participated in the workshop, including Malaysia, South Korea and Pakistan.

From India, representatives of the Chandigarh police, the Punjab police, the Rajasthan police and the Kerala police attended the workshop.

Delegates from various countries and states gave presentations on the functioning of police departments and their practices to deliver speedy justice to complainants.

Representatives from various human rights organisations in Malaysia and media also participated.

The discussion focussed on improving the quality of services delivered at police stations.

Chief guests were minister in prime minister’s department Y.B. Dato, and Malaysian crime prevention foundation chairman Dr Max Ongkili.

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Police fails to nab culprits
Assault on PCR personnel
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 26
Even after a lapse of 48 hours, the Mohali police failed to trace the hooligans with and their red-beacon atop official escort Gypsy, who bullied two constables near Phase IX liquor vend on December 24. Interestingly, the cops did not even register a case against unidentified hooligans.

Least concerned about the humiliation meted out to their own fellow policemen, the SHO Phase VIII Deepinder Singh, told the TNS that the entire incident took place in Chandigarh because of which a case could not be registered at Mohali. However, no efforts have been made to inform the Chandigarh police about the incident.

He added that a through check of the commando complex and the record of the vehicles used there had been done today. “The vehicle (PB-12-H-8051) does not belong to the Commando complex. The vehicle will be traced from the records of the Punjab Police headquarters tomorrow”, he added.

In an attempt to sideline a query regarding why no cognisance was taken about the incident as the case could be transferred to the Chandigarh police at any stage, the SHO said action would be taken in this regard only after the accused are traced.

He, however, admitted that the constables had told him that they had gone to the spot after hearing catcalls and incessant honking of sirens. They alleged that they saw six-seven persons, who were heavily drunk, standing beside a Gypsy. When told not to create hooliganism the raucous refused to budge and argued with the constables.

The SHO maintained that at no stage the constables were roughed up or dragged to the vehicle, when confronted as to creating nuisance at public place after drinking was not an offence. The SHO preferred silence.

The Mohali police did not even take note of the fact that the hooligans were using official vehicle for a joy ride. Moreover they were using red-beacon and sirens, which is an offence otherwise as no VIP was there to be escorted.

The Tribune has highlighted the incident in its columns today that two PCR constables of Mohali police, Devinder Singh and Mahinder Singh, were roughed up, insulted and humiliated by a group of drunken persons claiming to be Punjab Police commandos.

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And plant rose to 10 feet
Satinder Pal Singh

Chandigarh, December 26
Amarjit Singh Sidhu cannot stop but smile and pose for photographs.

For, he has nurtured a 10-foot-tall rose plant at his Sector-2 residence.

It’s not for the first time that he has managed to grow such a big plant at his house.

But this year, the booty is bigger, says Sidhu, who was one of the directors of Chandigarh distilleries and a retired advocate.

“This is a special rose plant and I have seen it grow in front of my eyes. Usually rose plants don’t grow beyond four to five feet. But this has towered to new heights. All I have nurtured it with cow dung manure,” said Sidhu.

Though a keen gardner, he has at least 15 varieties of flowers blooming in his front and backyard, with most bulbs brought in from overseas.

On his source of inspiration, he says: “Chandigarhians are fond of flowers and so am I. I love flowers, the more exotic the better.”

This exceptional plant is now drawing people from all over the city to his residence.

Yellow, dark blue and white predominate his collection of plants and most these have come from Australia.

Also, he has constructed a special aviary, lined with polythene sheets with mesh doors and electric bulbs to keep the birds warm in winter.

He has been rearing these birds for the past seven years and is extremely fond of them.

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Ailing boy needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Deepak Kumar, nine-year-old son of a construction worker, needs money for urgent surgery. Admitted to the emergency ward of the GMCH, Sector 32, Deepak was diagnosed with neurological complications by hospital doctors.

His father said: “The surgery and post-operative care runs into lakhs of rupees and is beyond my reach.” Those desirous of helping Deepak can contact the GMCH emergency or Bablu at 9888122368.

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Drive against drunken driving
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Alarmed by the revelation of a study that most fatal accidents occurred during late-night hours due to drunken driving, the Chandigarh police launched a special drive against drunken driving till January 1.

The traffic police said as many as nine such points had been identified during a survey where most of the fatal accidents due to drunken driving had taken place.

The police said special checkpoints would be set up at these places to check the menace of drunken driving.

Sources in the police said the checkpoints would be set up at SouthEnd Chowk, Housing Board trafficlights, Kalagram trafficlights, South End chowk, poultry farm chowk, ISBT, Kaimbwala turn (Uttar Marg), Vikas Marg and Wine Shop, Sector 30, during the drive.

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Shopkeepers cheat resident
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 26
The police has failed to arrest two shopkeepers of Madanpur village who have been booked on a charge of cheating a resident of Phase VII here.

A case was registered against Rajesh Kumar Goel and Pawan Kumar Goel under Sections 420 and 34, IPC, on December 20. They had allegedly supplied sub-standard cement to Gian Singh who was renovating his house.

Gian Singh said he had purchased cement from a shop in Madanpur village. It was noticed that the cement did not have the required strength. The shopkeeper admitted that a mistake had been done by an employee while supplying the material.

Later, cement company officials reached his house to check the quality of the product and found that it was not up to the mark. They were ready to pay compensation of Rs 45,000.

A sum of Rs 30,000 was paid first. But when the remaining amount was not paid. Later, the shopkeeper told him to collect the balance amount from his shop. Gian Singh told the police that when he sent his son to collect Rs 15,000 from the shop, he was taken away by the police as the shop keeper had lodged a complaint that we were unnecessarily taking money from him.

The complainant alleged that in the police station he was made to return Rs 27,000 out of the compensation amount of Rs 30,000 paid to him earlier by the company employees. He was also allegedly made to sign a statement saying that he had accepted Rs 3,000 as compensation for the bags of cement purchased by him.

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Miscreants to have a tough time in 2008
Police becomes tech savvy
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
The traffic rule offenders would have a tough time in the district as the local police in new year is all set to install the close circuit TV cameras (CCTV) on main roundabouts in addition to requisitioning of alcohol metres and replacing the condemned PCR vans.

The mobile phone snatchers or thieves would also find themselves in the police trap as a special unit set up for the purpose would start functioning to its full capacity.

The traffic police challaning 28,678 vehicles for various offences earned more than Rs 58 lakh by the end of last month. In fact the traffic was increasing on the roads day by day and people need to be more alert and respect others right on the roads following the safety rules while driving, said Sandeep Khirwar, the Panchkula SP.

“We have decided to install CCTV on the sensitive points to rein in the miscreants as these would be helpful in recording the incidents which carry evidence value, he added. Moreover, the security around the banks in the district would be strengthened, said Khirwar.

The residents of the district however would feel secure to some extent from the mobile thieves as the local police has decided to locate lost mobiles.

The district police has set up a special unit for the purpose and 18 mobiles were already recovered by the police, informed the SP. Mock drills have been started recently to check the response time of the PCR vans and it was found satisfactorily between 3 minutes and 8 minutes, said Sandeep Khirwar.

Four of the PCR vans needed replacement and we are seeking to replace these in the new year, said Khirwar. Replacing the new vans would help in further improvement,added the SP.

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23-year-old woman found dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 26
A 23-year-old woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her home in Budhanpur village near here today. The diseased was identified as Sangita, wife of Raj Kumar, a street hawker.

According to the police Sangita was found hanging from a hook on the ceiling. The husband of the deceased informed that he after taking dinner retired late to bed yesterday night, said the police. However, Raj Kumar reported to the police that, on getting up in the morning he found his wife hanging.

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Training programme on adolescent education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The Panchkula branch of the Family Planning Association of India(FPAI) conducted a one-day training programme on ‘Adolescence sexual reproductive health education and rights’ for youths today.

Veena Monga, president of the Panchkula branch of the FPAI, who chaired the programme, said peers were the key factors with the potential to contribute substantially to spread adolescent education among the adolescents and their parents.

Reva Gandhi, vice-president of the FPAI, said the adolescence was a period when a number of behavioural and emotional changes took place. 

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CITCO yet to announce plans for New Year bash
Finalists of Rafi nite may hold fort at celebrations
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Only two days ago, the UT administration through CITCO was all set to usher in the New Year in style. The celebrations, they said, would be different this time as none of the expensive professional groups would be called for CITCO's New Year shows.

"We have decided to break free from the past norms on our New Year celebrations to give locals partygoers the taste of local talent. So, this time when you attend a New Year bash at Shivalikview or Mountview, be ready to dance to the tunes of winners of Rafi nite finals, organised every year by the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society," CITCO managing director J.S. Bir told The Tribune two days ago on the occasion of the inauguration of mural panels at Hotel Mountview.

But as it turns out now, CITCO's New Year plans might just be getting delayed. At least till today, the Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society chief B.D. Sharma has received no confirmation from CITCO on whether they wanted the society singers for the New Year functions. "CITCO had held a meeting with me last week and told me about the plan to give our singers a chance. That was commendable. But I haven't since heard from them."

Though Bir still maintains he would follow up the matter with the society, the fact remains that CITCO's offer of promoting local singing talent might just not mature. All musicians of the society are booked for the D-day and all their winning singers are away on leave or already busy. "I don't know if it would be possible to rope in singers or musicians now. It is very late. There are hardly any days left to plan," Sharma said, even as CITCO's New Year celebration plans get delayed.

As the day draws near, announcements regarding the celebrations at CITCO's flagship Hotel Mountview and others are yet to come much to the anxiety of regulars at CITCO haunts. Interestingly, most other clubs and hotels have already made New Year plans. The Chandigarh Club is inviting Gurdas Mann for the big day and Pankaj Udhas for the pre-New Year revelry.

CITCO, however, is yet to catch up and is hoping that its plan with the Rafi society works out. Bir, when contacted today, said, "My only desire was to provide a platform to young singers and host their families for the days they are here in town for our shows. It has been delayed a little but I will try and follow it up. I personally wanted the finalists of the Rafi night to do our shows because they are promising." Bir referred to how a hotel in Mumbai paid lakhs, even crores, to actors like Mallika Sherawat and Shipla Shetty for short performances on New Year eves.

On the other hand, local singers never got to display their talent. The Rafi society has done a commendable job in promoting regional talent. The society is also credited with being the first to have recognised the talent of Ishmeet, Ludhiana boy recently crowned Star Voice of India.

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Letters
Dog menace

MY neighbours on both left and right sides have a dog each. The dogs keep barking for hours together. It causes a lot of disturbance and at times, we are unable to sleep at night.

Similarly, vehicles going from Mohali bus stand to various cities of Punjab keep blowing pressure horns. The authorities concerned should take necessary action.

Col B.S. Ghuman, Mohali

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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Liquor worth Rs 1.26 lakh seized, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
The crime branch of the Chandigarh police arrested two persons on charges of bootlegging and seized liquor worth Rs 1.26 lakh from Modella trafficlights this morning.

According to the police, the accused, Sarabjit Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib and Parveen Kumar of Kangra, had been trafficking liquor from city to Kangra.

The police received a tip-off early morning and set up a checkpoint near Modella trafficlights.

According to information, the police stopped a Swaraj Mazada (HP 37 8135) and seized 210 cartons of various brands of country-made liquor on search.

The police said the liquor was worth over Rs 1.26 lakh.

A case under various provisions of the Excise Act has been registered in this connection.

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Four held for gambling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Four persons were arrested for allegedly indulging in gambling from various parts of the city.

The crime branch of the Chandigarh police today arrested Rafuma of Colony No. 4 near his residence for gambling. The police recovered Rs 1,220 from him.

Similarly, Vijay Kumar of Sector 38, Prem Kumar of Naya Goan, and Shammi Kumar of Sector 24 were arrested for allegedly gambling at public place from various places in Sector 24 yesterday.

The police recovered Rs 680, Rs 1,550 and Rs 720 from their possessions, respectively.

Four cases under the Gambling Act have been registered.

Vehicles stolen

Rajinder Singh of Sector 22 reported to the police that his scooter (CH 03 D 3546) was stolen from Sector 37 on Tuesday.

Sanjay Sharma of Burail reported that his auto-rickshaw (CH 04 A 6983) was stolen from Mauli Jagran on December 22.

In another incident, Joginder Singh of Sector 26 lodged a complaint with the police alleging that his electric scooter (CH 23 (T) 3254) was stolen from the sports complex, Sector 7, yesterday.

Theft

Joginder Kaur of Sector 55 reported to the police alleging that four gas cylinders were stolen from her residence yesterday.

A case of theft has been registered at the police station-39.

Smack seized

The police yesterday arrested Om Parkash of Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25, from the sector while allegedly carrying four grams of smack.

A case under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered.

Eve teasing

The police arrested Om Parkash of Sector 26 from the ISBT, Sector 17, yesterday for allegedly indulging in eve teasing. A case has been registered.

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2 kidnap cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
Two girls have reportedly been kidnapped from various parts of the city.

According to the police, a Sector 46 resident alleged that his 21-year-old daughter was kidnapped by Satindera Malik of Sector 15 from Sector 46 on December 24.

The police said the girl’s father suspected the role of Malik behind the disappearance of his daughter.

In another incident, the police booked Raju of Mauli Jagran on charges of kidnapping a minor girl from the locality on August 15.

Two cases of kidnapping under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code have been registered in various police stations in this regard.

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