C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

PHL: Rain can’t rein in spirits
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 9
Spectators at the hockey stadium here could not have bargained for a more exciting game of hockey than what was played between the Chandigarh Dynamos and the Bangalore Hi-Fliers during the second final of the Premier Hockey League.

Though, rain continued throughout the match, hockey lovers stayed put clutching umbrellas. As soon as the teams entered the ground, the crowd broke into an applause. A section of spectators had arrived with painted faces and colourful banners adding a zing to the atmosphere. The stadium was kept alive with ‘Chandigarh ki balle balle, baki sare thalle thalle’ followed by ‘Ek do teen char, Chandigarh ko karo bahar’. “Ignoring the rain, I came from Panchkula to see Chandigarh Dynamos clinch the trophy, but now I have to wait for another two days”, said Komal Chawla.

Among the crowd were K.P.S. Gill, UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) and Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann. The stadium was under tight security. Police commandos were deputed all around the stadium and had a tough time handling the surging crowd. As usual, there was a traffic snarl outside the stadium.

According to sources, Gen Rodrigues was not happy with Chandigarh Dynamos objecting to the decision of umpires. During the match, You Hyo Sik and Ajay Kumar of Bandalore Hi-Fliers were injured badly.



DIG’s daughter goes missing
Found at uncle’s house in Jaipur
Tribune News Service

The UT SSP, S.S. Srivastva, at a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
The UT SSP, S.S. Srivastva, at a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Police was in a tizzy for over 12 hours after the 12-year-old daughter of B.L. Soni, DIG, CBI, Chandigarh, went missing here last night. The girl left home for tuition, but reportedly went to her maternal uncle in Jaipur instead.

The police, along with senior officials, including UT SSP S.S. Srivastva, remained engaged in a major search operation throughout the night. The police heaved a sigh of relief at 10 am today when the girl’s parents got a call from her maternal uncle informing them that she was with them, “safe and sound”.

Addressing mediapersons at the Sector 19 police station, Srivastva said the girl, a Class VII student of a Sector 9-based private school, was under stress as she had secured poor marks in her mathematic exam. She did not go to school on Tuesday. She left home to attend tuition at the Sector 30 CSIO at 6:30 pm. When she did not return even as it struck 9:30 pm, her parents reported the matter to the police. It was learnt that she had not attended tuition either. The police recorded a DDR at the Industrial Area police station.

The police swung into action and launched a search operation at the CSIO and in nearby areas. Police teams equipped with floodlights scanned the area. The teams were sent to temples, gurdwaras, the lake and city parks.

SSP Srivastva said: “We are relieved that the girl is safe. Other details like which mode of transportation she used to travel to Jaipur will be looked into later”. He ruled out any foul play.

The SSP said the police initially worked on various theories and had apprehensions that she may have been kidnapped since her father worked on a sensitive post.

Meanwhile, Gurpartap Singh Riar, member of the SGPC, said the police teams came looking for the girl at several gurdwaras, including Sector 43, which was not right. Photo on P5



PUSU chief booked for molestation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The police today booked Tejpal Singh Cheema, president of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), on the charges of molesting, thrashing and intimidating a woman. Cheema has reportedly absconded.

The police said Cheema was close to the girl. She learnt he had another relationship and confronted him. At this, the girl was allegedly thrashed by Cheema. Accompanied by another girl, she reported the matter to the police today following which a case of causing injuries, forced detention, outraging modesty and criminal intimidation was registered against Cheema.

Sources said the complainant, a resident of Patiala, was known to Cheema for the past over one year. Yesterday, she went to Cheema’s residence in Sector 10. The girl lives in the same sector in a paying guest accommodation. She is a law graduate from Panjab University.

Getting suspicious about a frequently called number on Cheema’s mobile phone, she questioned him, but he tried to evade an answer. She noted down the number and found that it belonged to a girl.

The girl alleged that Cheema thrashed her, bruising her face. She was taken to hospital for medical help. The police got the other girl medically examined too. Cheema was elected president of the PUSU on Monday, said.



Notice to Satya Sai Trust
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The management of the Satya Sai Trust, Chandigarh and Haryana, is in trouble for not running the old age home in Sector 30 here properly. On the basis of an inquiry by the director, social welfare, the UT estate officer, R.K. Rao, has issued a show-cause notice to the trust with regard to serious flaws in its functioning and for not calling the nominee of the administration for meetings.

It had been found that there were no medical facilities, no attendant and the manager was rude. Fifteen days have been given to the convener of the trust to explain why the lease of the old age home should not be cancelled under Rule 14 of the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007.



Playing games with school games
Federation feud leaves students nowhere
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Students participating in the National School Games have become a victim to the ongoing feud between two parallel bodies of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) that conduct the tournament.

While both claim to be the ‘original’ body and the matter is in court, the students are unable to participate in international events. A senior office-bearer of one of the factions, preferring anonymity, said both factions had been told by the ministry of sports in June 2004 that since the matter was subjudiced, the government would not release funds for participation of school teams in international tournaments.

In July 2006, the Indian school team did participate in the second Commonwealth Cricket Tournament in Australia, but money was reportedly paid by the students.

“The expenditure on travelling and the kit amounting to Rs 70,000 per player was met by the players themselves,” said a senior sports officer.

The School Games Federation of India was formed in 1955 with the aim to promote games at the school level. Things worked smoothly untill 1998 following a discrepancy in the election results of the federation. Thereafter, the SGFI split in 2003. While one faction was headed by Ravinder Talwar, the other was led by Sat Pal.

Since 2003, these parallel bodies have organised events in different states.

Both issue certificates to students who take part in these games, claiming to be the ‘real’ SGFI.



Education city, knowledge museum go to CHB
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
After handing over the construction of underpasses to the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the administration now wants it to handle part of its education city project. Work of the museum of knowledge at the Capitol Complex has also been assigned to it.

The move is part of the strategy of the administration to find a way around processes it would have to follow with the central government. The administration needs clearance from it for undertaking projects amounting to over Rs 100 crore. Sources in the administration admit that the CHB has been involved to prevent inordinate delay due to “bureaucratic red tape”.

In the education city to come up in 120 acres, the board will be required to set up a common facility in 20 acres. The cost may work out at around Rs 300 crore, say sources, referring to the Infosys investment worth Rs 500 crore in 30 acres in the IT park.

Major features of the common facility will be a sports and gymnasium complex, a conference hall, guest house for 100 people, a full service department and market set up. Facilitation of colleges is the main idea behind the setting up of common facility. “Instead of every college having its own marketplace, auditorium etc, we have decided to have a single set-up,” said a UT official.

The administration has in the first phase of the project finalised six colleges for the education city. Among these are hospital administration college of Fortis and colleges for MBA, computer science and multimedia.

In the second phase, courses like designing, media and art are expected to be introduced. The administration hopes to commence the first session by July 2009.



Ex-GM of Tribune dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/ Ambala, January 9
A former general manager of The Tribune Trust, R.R. Sharma, 98, died at his home in Ambala this morning following a prolonged illness.

Sharma is credited with having shifted The Tribune from Lahore to Ambala and then to its present location at Chandigarh in 1968.

He is survived by three sons and two daughters. While two of his sons are settled abroad, one of them lives in Delhi. Sharma was born in January 1910 in a village in Lyallpur district (now in Pakistan). He did his postgraduation in history from Government College, Lahore, in 1932 and joined The Tribune as assistant manager in 1936. He was promoted as manager in 1947. The post was later raised to General Manager. He retired in January 1981.

After Partition, The Tribune was rendered homeless and without a printing press of its own. Sharma's contribution to the rehabilitation of the paper and its subsequent development is a highly creditable chapter in the paper’s history.

From Simla, where The Tribune was established for a few months after Partition, the paper was shifted to Ambala where it continued to be published for 21 years before being moved to Chandigarh.

Residential colonies for members of the staff were built both at Ambala and Chandigarh, which is a unique feature of this newspaper. Sharma had a big hand in the planning and construction of the colonies as well as the Tribune building at Chandigarh.

In a noble gesture he had donated half of his salary of the last five years of his service to the school run by The Tribune Trust in Chandigarh.

After retirement, he settled at Dayal Bagh, Ambala Cantonment. According to a resident of Dayal Bagh, he had been spending most of his time in social work. He was running a charitable homoeopathic dispensary and was also affiliated with several social organisations. His cremation is at 12 noon tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Ambala Cantt MLA, Davender Bansal, former MLA Anil Vij and chairman of the Citizen Council, Ambala Cantt, Ajay Jain have expressed grief over the demise of Sharma.



Coordination panel stamp on dog pound
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The city will soon have a dog pound and a dog burial ground. A decision to this effect was taken at the second co-ordination committee meeting of the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation here yesterday.

Chaired by UT adviser Pradeep Mehra and attended by senior officials of the administration and mayor Pradeep Chhabra, issues like transfer of new Sectors to the MC, master plan of Mani Majra and transfer of all roads to the corporation were discussed at the meeting.

Chhabra said the widening of V-6 roads would be done during the next 10 years. Besides, the need for providing lights in societies was also discussed. Mehra also assured earmarking of various sites, including Sector 41, 49, 50 and Dhanas for community centres.

Recommendations regarding gender budgeting by the corporation will be considered, it was decided.

The adviser also assured proper monitoring in rehabilitation colonies to educate people towards proper use of public land.

Besides allotment of land for disposal of carcasses centre, provision of slaughter house was also assured.



Highway Row
Demolition drive to start today
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
A demolition drive to remove encroachments from National Highway-22 will be initiated in Pinjore town from 8 am onwards tomorrow morning. On November 27 and 28, 219 building owners were issued notices to remove the same. An announcement in this regard was made in Pinjore today through a public address system and owners of these buildings, mostly between Dhara Mandal and Bherava Deve Complex, were asked to shift their belongings to other places. Cops have been asked make proper security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident during the drive.

“Encroachments between 0.5 metres to six metres can be seen all along the highway in Pinjore and at isolated places these are as much as 15 metres,” said Xen, National Highways, B.R. Kapoor. “This has resulted in frequent traffic jams on the Pinjore-Kalka stretch. After we get this land back, the situation will be eased a bit,” he added.

Even though many of those who were issued notices have voluntarily removed the encroachments, there are still a majority of them who are occupying government lands, informed Kapoor.

Notably, the Rs 295-crore project entailing construction of the Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo bypass was awarded to Jaiprakash and Associates on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis in September. Construction work will commence on March 20 and is to be completed within 30 months.

The project involves four-laning of the 28.69 km stretch and will have other features such as six-lane structures, eight bridges, grade separators, flyovers and underpasses.



40 pc urban population sans bank accounts
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
More than 60 per cent rural and 40 per cent urban population does not have bank accounts of any kind. S.R. Sharma, deputy general manager, Punjab National Bank, stated this here yesterday.

Sharma was addressing media persons at the inauguration of the bank’s second financial literacy and credit counselling centre in Punjab.

Mohali deputy commissioner H.I.S. Grewal inaugurated the centre in Phase VII here today.

Sharma said several initiatives were taken by the government/RBI/banks to extend their outreach and to bring last even the mile customers into their fold. But many of these efforts did not have the desired effect.

He added that banks in Mohali district have achieved 100 per cent financial inclusion by opening 81,647 accounts in 414 villages in the district.



SHO shielding drug peddlers: Councillor’s husband
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Accusing Industrial Area police station SHO of taking “hafta” from drug peddlers, the husband of councillor of ward No. 20 has lodged a complaint with the UT SSP demanding action against the official.

Hari Shanker Mishra, husband of councillor Raj Kumari, in his complaint to the SSP lodged on January 7, alleged that law and order had deteriorated in the ward, as two persons had been murdered in the ward during the past four months.

Also, drug menace was on the rise in the area and small children were getting hooked to drugs. In spite of repeated requests, the SHO had not bothered to take any action, he alleged.

Mishra further alleged that the SHO had been shielding drug peddlers by booking them under minor offences.

Mishra accused the SHO of wrongly booked him in a case under Section 107, IPC, and the CrPC.



Govt Houses
Probe sought into inferior construction
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A senior functionary of Punjab, who was allotted a newly-constructed government house, has demanded a CBI inquiry into the poor construction of government houses.

The official in a letter to the UT administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), has said the administration should unearth the “misuse of public money and take appropriate action against defaulters”.

The administration has taken note of the matter and asked officials to look into it, well-placed sources in the administration said.

The house, located in Sector 39, was allotted to an official of the Punjab government from among the general pool of houses. These houses were originally constructed for judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but the judiciary had rejected these.

A couple of these houses have also been allotted to senior politicians of Punjab on security grounds.

The complaint says that inferior material has been used in the construction. Sources said such complaints had been pouring in. The old houses in Sectors 19, 22 and 7 seem to have outlived their life. Sanctioned power load does not cater to modern equipment like microwave ovens and air-conditioners. The houses are dark and dingy and occupants have to switch on lights even during the day.



To stem harassment...
EO branches to twine
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
In order to check duplicity and unnecessary harassment to the public, two branches of the estate office will now on work in greater tandem. It has been decided to redefine areas of the field staff of the building branch and the enforcement staff to ensure better utilisation of manpower, said R.K. Rao, estate officer. Formal orders would be issued in the next two or three days.

A junior engineer would be given independent charge of a specific sector and would be accountable for checking building violations. The SDO concerned would be in charge of the field staff.

At present, the JEs of the building branch and the enforcement wing work parallel to each other and there is duplicity of work. Sources said with the ongoing computerisation, the record of the building branch was being put in place. This would check instances of misplaced files.

The estate office has also set deadlines, varying from branch to branch. With the computerisation of the record pertaining to resumed sites or sites facing proceedings on account of building violations, misuse and non-payment, it has now become possible for monitoring officers to obtain computer-generated reports, curtailing the dealing time by seven to eight days. 



Temp drops by 3.8 degrees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Continuous rain has left the city colder by a few degrees. As the city witnessed 4 mm rain today, the day temperature dropped by 3.8 degrees, making it the coldest day of January so far.

Compared to yesterday when the maximum temperature was 21.4 degrees, today the mercury settled at 17.6 degrees. The earlier lowest day temperature of 19.4 degrees was recorded on January 5.

Night temperature today, however, registered a rise of 1.2 degrees as against yesterday when the minimum temperature was 10.8 degrees.

With the rain, the dry winter spell has been broken.



APTC golden jubilee celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Set up on January 11, 1947 , the Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) would be celebrating its diamond jubilee on January 11 and 12.

On the occasion, the APTC would also be holding its reunion, where serving and retired personnel of the corps would get an opportunity to interact with each other.

The history of the APTC dates back to British era, when during the 1st World War, there were three separate schools of physical training in India.

The corps has played an important role in conditioning military personnel to perform at high levels of physical and mental robustness.

They have kept pace with the changing needs of the times by introducing new programmes and re-engineering the old ones.

The corps also introduced yoga in its curriculum about two decades ago and qualified instructors are being made available to meet the needs of the Army.



Ex-servicemen flay move to transfer General Panag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
A section of ex-servicemen in the region have flayed the reported move to transfer the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lieut-Gen H.S. Panag to the Central Command.

In a letter to defence minister, the Punjab and Chandigarh chapter of the Indian Ex-Services League has maintained that the posting of the General would give a wrong message to the military top brass to take a lenient view towards those indulging in corruption.

According to reports, the Army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, proposed to shift General Panag out from the Northern Command after he initiated action against several officers for their alleged involvement in a tent procurement scam. The procurement took place when General Kapoor was heading the Northern Command.



Power fluctuation damages electric appliances
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
Several electrical appliances were allegedly damaged in the wake of fluctuations in the power supply at Alankar Apartments in Sector 14 here yesterday.

Residents alleged that appliances, including television sets, computers and refrigerators, were damaged following severe fluctuations in the electric supply in the afternoon.

The callous attitude of the authorities have put the residents to great financial loss, O.P. Sharma, secretary of Alankar Apartments, alleged.



Busting AIDS myths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
To clarify the myths and misconceptions regarding HIV AIDS, an exhibition titled ‘Hello Zindagi’ was organised at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, here, today.

The exhibition was inaugurated by DPI (S) S.K. Setia. Gaurav Gaur, lecturer, department of social work, Panjab University, who conceptualised the idea, said more such exhibitions would be conducted in other senior secondary schools of the city. “The aim of the exhibition is not only to sensitise students to HIV AIDS but also to convey various ways to interact with others on the issue,” he said.

Gaurav interacted with the students and answered all their queries about the disease. Students were conveyed the messages through interactive games.

Pictures of the innovative campaigns undertaken by Gaurav found display at the exhibition.



Admn seeks 5 days to prepare electoral rolls
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 9
Taking a serious view of the alleged irregularities in the preparation of electoral rolls, the district administration yesterday sought five more days from the Election Commission (EC) for compiling a fair list.

According to sources, a request to this effect has been sent by the local deputy commissioner to the EC following alleged making of bogus votes.

Earlier in the day, a BJP delegation comprising senior leaders, including Gian Chand Gupta, Varinder Garg and Deepak Sharma, called on the DC and submitted the list of bogus votes in several sectors, including Sectors 17 and 18.



Electoral rolls revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
Photo electoral rolls for the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency have been revised. This has been done after inviting claims and objections and in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Electors Rules. The photo roll would be published on January 10 and would be available for inspection at the UT election department.



160 EWS units approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The Chandigarh Housing Board has allotted tenders for the construction of 160 EWS dwelling units at the site of the Madrasi colony behind Sector 26, which it had cleared of slums. These units will help to accommodate workers engaged in the IT park area.



Holiday no way to mourn deaths

BRUTAL murders of a Jalandhar college principal and her two security guards and cook have sent shock waves, especially in the academic circle. As a mark of respect, the private colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh were closed for a day.

Undoubtedly, these brutal killings are to be strongly condemned. But was the shutting down of colleges in the region essential? Is there no better way to mourn than to declare a holiday? Holding prayers and condolence meetings in the colleges would definitely have been more appropriate.

In America, when President Kennedy was assassinated business went on as usual. But here in India, we make mockery of solemn occasions by declaring holidays every now and then? All our responses to happiness or grief end up in the announcement of holidays blurring the distinction between celebration and mourning.

R. Kashyap, 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



Nepalese held with 1.50 kg charas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
The police today arrested a Nepalese and claimed to have seized 1.50 kg charas from his possession. A team led by the in charge of the Sector 17 ISBT police post apprehended the man, whose search led to the seizure of charas.

He has been identified as Rajesh Bhandari. He is working in a restaurant in the city. A case under Section 20 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

Vehicle stolen

Madan Lal of Hallomajra has reported to the police that his Maruti Esteem car (PB-23-A-6266) was stolen from Phase II, Ram Darbar, yesterday.

In another incident, Manohar Singh of Mauli Complex, has lodged a complaint with the police that his autorickshaw (CH-03-Z-9756) was stolen from his house yesterday.

Laptops stolen

Narinder Pal Singh of JB Society, Sector 49-B, has filed a complaint with the police that his laptop was stolen from his car parked in Sector 42.

In another incident, Mukesh Negi of New Indira Colony, Mani Majra, also reported that his laptop was stolen from his car parked at the NAC yesterday. A case of theft has been registered.

Caught stealing

Asutosh of Sector 47 has reported to the police that Mani Sonikar of the same sector was caught while allegedly stealing water taps and meter from his house last night.


A Maloya resident lodged a complaint that Raju of the same locality had allegedly abducted his daughter from his house on December 21.



Zirakpur man kidnapped by creditor
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 9
Ram Kumar, a trader from Fatehabad, allegedly kidnapped Hans Raj, a resident of Badal colony here, as the latter owed him Rs 41,000.

According to Zirakpur SHO Ranjot Singh, Ram Kumar and Hans Raj used to work together some years back and Ram Kumar had lent the money to Hans Raj.

Hans Raj shifted to Zirakpur and owns a shop in Baltana. Ram Kumar had been asking for his money. “Ram Kumar had even threatened Hans Raj that he will pick up a member of his family if the money was not paid,” said the SHO.

The police added that Ram Kumar came to the residence of Hans Raj yesterday and demanded the money. When he did not get it, he allegedly dragged Hans Raj in the car and took him away.

A case under Sections 365, 506 and 341 of the IPC was registered.



Drug addict found hanging
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 9
An unemployed man in his mid-20s was found hanging from a ceiling fan hook at his Sector 38 house here this afternoon. The police termed it as a suicide, but is yet to ascertain the reason behind the extreme step. The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Sunil Kumar. He was said to be a drug addict and was taking treatment from a de-addiction centre at the PGI.

The incident came to light at around 1 pm when the victim’s father, a cashier with a Sector 36-based cable TV network, came home and found his son hanging.

The body was shifted to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital.

Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.



CDR unit raided
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 9
On a tip-off by the Indian Music Industry (IMI), Punjab police have unearthed a CDR unit in Kharar and seized 7 DVD writers, 344 MP3s, 134 CDRs, 100 DVDRs, 242 Chitrahaar CDs, 404 DVD films and 533 VCD films. Police have also recovered 3,025 inlay cards and two computers. Owner of the unit, Harvinder Kumar, has been arrested.

Commenting on the raid, Vijay Lazarus, President IMI, said, “This is among the biggest raids in Punjab. Indian music industry is suffering huge losses because of piracy, which not only hurts commercial interest of licensed manufacturers but also has the potential of damaging the country's economic and social fabric.”



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