C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Bank Strike
Transactions worth Rs 500 cr stalled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Banking operations amounting to Rs 500 crore in the tricity were stalled because of strike by employees of nationalised banks.The strike has led to stalling of banking transactions for three days as January 26 is a holiday on account of Republic Day and the following day a Sunday.

Hundreds of bank employees gathered in front of the SBI local head office (LHO) this morning to protest against the “anti-employee” policies of managements as well as the government.

Leaders of constituents of United Forum of Banks’ Union O. N. Bindroo, Devinder Singh, Vijay Magon and B.S. Gill, addressed the gathering, said the strike would be a wake up call for the government.

The employees took out a procession from the LHO to the bank square in Sector 17. The procession ended in front of the main branch of the SBI. The bank square wore a deserted look though senior officers from the rank of chief manager to general manager were present in office.

There was a huge rush at ATMs with people withdrawing cash for fear of these running dry. The bank officers’ unions are demanding fresh recruitment, early settlement of wage revision and renewal of appointments on compassionate grounds. They are also opposing the merger of banks and outsourcing of various banking activities.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Bank Employees’ Congress and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (labour and employment) has condemned the strike. 



Burail doctor, wife get 10-year jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Dr Ajit Grover, owner of Lovely Nursing Home in Burail, and his wife Kamlesh Kaur were sentenced today to 10-year imprisonment by additional district and sessions judge, R.S. Attri. The two were imprisoned for carrying out an abortion without the consent of a women.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Dr Ajit Grover and Kamlesh Kaur under Section 313 of the IPC. The accused were sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs 5,000 under Section 308 of the IPC. The two were awarded two years under Section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The sentences will run concurrently.

Taken aback at the sentence, Kamlesh slumped onto a chair in the court and cried inconsolably.

The defence advocate said: “My clients have been falsely implicated. There was a dispute between the accused and complainant.”

Dr Grover and his wife, a trained midwife, were booked in April 2006, on the complaint of Surinder Singh who accused the couple of carrying out abortion on his wife, Bimlesh.

Surinder, an electrician, said his wife complained of pain in the stomach and was rushed to the nursing home, where she was operated upon. But her condition patient deteriorated during surgery. Thereafter, the doctor referred her to the General Hospital, Sector 16, where the doctors sent her to the PGI.

Dr Grover and Kamlesh are facing trial in another case registered in March 2003 for death due to negligence.



Owner, not thief, booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Can the owner be booked for the theft of his vehicle? Well, this was what the Punjab Police did in case of one Naveen Kumar Jain.

In March 2006, the Rajpura police registered a case of theft of vehicle against the owner, Naveen Kumar Jain, and Harjinder Singh and Naresh Kumar Bansal from Samana.

The police held an inquiry and found that SI Raghbir Singh, in charge of the police post at the Rajpura bus stand, acted beyond brief and booked the owner for the theft. Action has been recommended against the SI.

The Scorpio vehicle was stolen from Samana in January 2006 and the owner lodged a complaint in this regard. The vehicle was recovered from a gang of thieves and SI Raghbir Singh asked the owner to reach Rajpura to get possession of his vehicle.

The case took a queer turn when the owner of the vehicle were booked and another FIR registered. On release on bail from judicial custody, Jain approached the SSP, Patiala, who ordered an inquiry that found the case was false and fabricated.

The FIR was cancelled and departmental action recommended against SI Raghbir Singh.



Bald can be hair-ful
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
There is light at the end of the tunnel for baldies. Hair transplant may be the answer to alopecia(hair loss) which seems to have assumed alarming proportions in the country. However, the hair come at a price with the treatment cost varying between Rs 50,000-Rs70,000.

More and more beauty-conscious people, particularly the young, are coming for treatment at government and private hospitals, says Dr V.K. Sharma, head, department of Dermatology and Venereology, AIIMS.

More women than men come to clinics for treatment, he says. But hair can be grown again in only 50 per cent of the transplanted hair area. Transplant coupled with steroids can go a long in restoring the confidence of balding persons.



3 held for cricket satta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The police busted a “cricket satta” group being run at a city hotel today. Three persons were arrested and cash, mobile and recorder sets seized from the accused.

The police raided Hotel Mid Town in Sector 35 and arrested Rakesh Kumar, Raj Kumar and Surinder Kumar. All three hail from Mansa and were placing bets on the India- Australia match being played in Australia.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station, Devinder Sharma, said customers were mainly from Bathinda and Mansa of Punjab.



1,000 jhuggis razed to ground
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
The anti-encroachment wing of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) demolished around 1,000 jhuggis and cleared around 8 acres in Sector 5 B, Mansa Devi Complex, here today.

HUDA staff including 50 labourers, equipped with two JCB machines and supported by around 100 policemen started the demolition drive at 10 in the morning. The new construction at a temple near the railway track was also cleared during the drive.

Jhuggis had mushroomed in the area meant for hotel sites on the road leading to Chandigarh, said authorities.

However, fencing of the cleared site would be initiated within a few days. 



Candle march held against ban on turban
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 25
A candle march was organised by various Sikh organisations under the leadership of SGPC member Hardeep Singh here this evening against a ban on turban in France.

The protesters had gathered at Gurdwara Amb Sahib to hold the protest march during the visit of the French President Nicholas Sarkozy to India.

In a memorandum sent to the French President through the Ambassador of France in India, Hardeep Singh said the turban was not just a religious symbol for the Sikhs but an inseparable article of their faith. A Sikh by not wearing a turban violates basic principles of the Sikh faith and was liable to religious punishment. In the memorandum it was stated that we deeply appreciated your statement made at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25 last year which said “attachment to one’s faith, to one’s language and culture and to one’s way of life, thought and belief, all this is natural legitimate and profoundly human. To deny that, is to sow the seeds of humiliation.”



Republic Day celebrations
28 to be awarded for meritorious services

Panchkula: The district administration will award 28 persons for their meritorious services on the 59th Republic Day celebrations to be held at Parade Ground here tomorrow.

The awards will be health minister Kartar Devi. The awardees have been selected from amongst the local cops, students, sportsmen. While Priyanka and Kapil Dev have been selected for this award on account of their bringing laurels to the city by winning gold medal at the National Yoga Championship held at Ranchi last week between January 13 and 16, Akshit Mahajan and Deepak Khatri would be awarded for winning gold medal in the National School Badminton Championship in Mumbai on December 31. The Mamta who silver medals at Junior National Athletics held at Bangalore and Vijayvada would also be awarded.

HSIDC, Panchkula, volleyball team would also be awarded for standing first in the senior national competition concluded in Jaipur on January 1.

Sube Singh and Darshan Singh, who won medals in Asian and Central Asian competitions, would be awarded. A clerk, Om Parkash, Sube Singh, Head draftsman, district manager Gulshan Sharma would also be honoured for excelling in their fields.

Sub Inspector in the Panchkula police Baljeet Singh and assistant sub-inspector Surjit Singh would also be honoured.

In Mohali, mum is the word
Tribune News Service
Tiny-tots of a Mohali school exhibit patriotic fervour during R-Day celebrations on Friday.
Tiny-tots of a Mohali school exhibit patriotic fervour during R-Day celebrations on Friday. —Tribune Photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, January 25
On the eve of the Republic Day celebrations, no one in Mohali knows who are the persons being awarded by the minister for cooperation, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, at the celebrations tomorrow.

The list of awardees was finalised by Deputy Commissioner of SAS Nagar, H.I.S. Grewal as late as 7.30 pm today following which it was not deemed necessary to inform the public about the awardees. “In my two decades of service I have never released the awardees’ list. Those who are to get the awards have been informed and that is what is required,” said the Grewal.

While the “super secret” list was not available with anyone in the SDM’s office also, it is learnt from those who are going to compere the function tomorrow that three employees of the deputy commissioner’s office are among those who would be awarded.

A water supply and sanitation employee, a government school head mistress, four policemen and two persons owning award winning animals would also be awarded. A transport company owner from Mundi Kharar is also on the list of awardees.

Over 20 students are being awarded for academic achievements. No one knows if any student was being honoured for sports achievements. No bravery awards are being given, neither does the honour list seem to include members of families of martyrs.



Bal Shree Award for city dancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Urvi Manocha (9), a student of Manav Mangal School, Sector 21, Chandigarh, has been selected for the National Bal Shree Award-2007 in the field of creative performance.

The youngest among the other 50 other national awardees, Urvi will receive this award from the President of India. A kathak dancer, Urvi was selected after she qualified the national-level competition held at New Delhi from December 4 to 8.

Tajinder Bajwa, programme coordinator for Bal Shree competition, Chandigarh chapter, said, “This is for the first time since 2001 that the award in creative performance has been bagged by a Chandigarh-based child.”

Meanwhile, the local-level Bal Shree competition-2008 will be organised in July. The categories will be: Art, writing, science and performance. The aspirants can contact Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, from 9 am to 5 pm on any working day. 



Shaurya Chakra for IAF pilot duo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Air Force has decorated the two-man crew of its around-the-world microlite expedition with the Shaurya Chakra.

The expedition flew 40,529 km, landed at 85 destinations in 19 countries and created a new world record of circumnavigating the globe in 80 days, bettering the previous world record of 99 days.

Wg Cdr Rahul Monga and Wg Cdr Anil Kumar have been commended for “thoroughbred soldierly attitude, display of conspicuous gallantry in the face of highly challenging task and regardless of his personal safety,” the citation states.

The mission was flown in a single-engine aircraft weighing less than 300 kg, without any redundancy features.

As the expedition was undertaken without any accompanying technical, logistics or administrative support team, the crew had even maintained and rectified the aircraft on their own.

The expedition was one of the events organised to commemorate the Platinum Jubliee of the IAF last year.



Day temperature touches record low
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Severe cold hit life in the city which wore a deserted look as the day temperature dipped to a record 14.4 degrees, making it the coldest day of winter so far. There was a slight improvement in the night temperature which rose to 3.4 degree against zero yesterday.

People were forced to stay indoors as the day temperature fell by a significant 3.4 degrees against yesterday when it was 17.6 degrees. 

Earlier, January 23, with its maximum temperature of 16.4 degrees, was the coldest day. 

Strong, icy winds lashing the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh are responsible for the severe winter in the plains.

Days can get colder if the existing weather conditions prevail, the Met office said.



R-Day Scroll of Honour
Padma Bhushan for B.N. Goswami
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Art historian B.N. Goswami has been chosen for the second highest civilian honour of the country. He is among the 35 Padma Bhushan awardees whose names were announced today. Revered in the field of art for his extensive research work and pedagogy, Goswami was in 1998 presented with the Padmashri.

Speaking to The Tribune from Chennai tonight, he said the award was more a recognition for the fascinating world of art than him.

As a researcher, he has published 90 papers, besides being a commissioner of exhibitions on the behalf of the Government of India. He had also been the spirit behind several Indian art exhibitions at places like Paris, Zurich, San Francisco and Frankfurt.

Among his major published works are 24 books on a range of subjects concerning art and art history. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, Royal Asiatic Society and the American Oriental Society.



PGI doctor awarded Padma Bhushan
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Neurologist and professor emeritus of the PGI, Dr J.S. Chopra, has won Padma Bhushan.

It was a pleasant surprise for Dr Chopra when he received a telephone call from the ministry of home affairs to get his “consent” for the award last night. “The credit for the award goes to my wife who was instrumental in forwarding my biodata to the Punjab Government and the Chandigarh administration,” he told The Tribune tonight.

The brain behind the setting up of the department of neurology and research laboratory at the PGI in 1968, Dr Chopra has been awarded Dr BC Roy National Award in 1986.

He was also the first and the youngest Indian then to receive a fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1969.

He was the founder-director of the GMCH, Sector 32, during 1991-95. Besides, he was the only Indian neurologist to be selected as editor-in-chief of “World Neurology”, a publication of the World Federation of Neurology, in 1999.

He also has the rare achievement of being the honorary member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association and British Neurological Association.

Last year, he was awarded Parman Patra by the Punjab Government on Independence Day.



President’s Police Medal for Gogia, Negi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
DIG Vivek Gogia and inspector B.S. Negi have been awarded President’s police medal on the eve of Republic Day. UT cadre IPS officer Vivek Gogia is currently in charge of the police headquarters, intelligence and vigilance cell.

Inspector Bahadur Singh Negi is in charge of the traffic wing. Negi is the brain behind various traffic police initiatives in the city.



MC honour for martyrs’ kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The MC has decided to honour families of martyrs of the city, who sacrificed their lives while defending the Indian borders, during the Republic Day celebrations.

Those who will be honoured are father of 2-Lt Rajiv Sandhu, MVC (posthumous), father of Capt Rohit Kaushal, SM (posthumous), mother of Capt Atul Sharma, father of 2-Lt Anil Yadav, SM (posthumous), wife of Brig B.S. Shergill, wife of Major I.S. Babbar, Kirti Chakra (posthumous), wife of Major Mohit Vij and wife of Major Vivek Bhandral.

Pardeep Chhabra, mayor, will unfurl the National Flag at the MC Complex and make the presentations tomorrow.



CHB’s ultimatum to Sec-42 residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The CHB today held a meeting with residents of Sector 42 and gave them an ultimatum to remove encroachments.

The meeting is part of the CHB’s strategy to persuade residents to fall in line before conducting demolition drives.



RTI Act: Officials delay info

The Right to information Act 2005 is a powerful tool in the hands of people and if used diligently, this can bring transparency in the working of government departments. But officials have started using all sorts of tactics to delay the information sought for. Of late, officials have also started charging for the photocopies of the documents containing information. Can we do something to make life easy? Media can certainly play a positive role if the issue is highlighted.

R.K. Garg, 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



From Schools & Colleges
Play on Chipko Movement best
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
“Srishti”, the Environment Society of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology under the national environment awareness campaign (NEAC 2007-08) and biological association of the college, organised a street play competition on biodiversity conservation on the college premises today. The street play on Chipko Movement got the first position while the street play titled ‘Suno, Dekho, Jago’ and ‘Hamara Sankalap’ got the second and third positions, respectively.

Founder’s day: Students of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, Chandigarh, celebrated their 35th founder’s day, birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh and 300th Gurgaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib on the college premises here today. Many renowned raagis like Bhai Lakhwinder Singh (Amritsar wale), Bhai Jagtar Singh (Hazuri Raagi, Darbar Sahib, Amritsar), and Bhai Harjinder Singh (Srinagar wale) enchanted the gathering with their melodious rendition of Gurbani. The students and the staff prepared langar.

Republic Day: Anushka dressed as Jhansi Ki Rani got the first prize during the Republic Day celebrations at Sanjivni Prep School and Child Care Centre, Sector 11, here, today.

DPS-40: A special assembly was held on the occasion. The school choir presented a song ‘Tum Samay ki ret pe…’. A skit giving the message that progress and preservation of nature must go hand in hand for sustainable development was the highlight of the day. The students of the junior school staged a play ‘Bharat Darshan’. The programme concluded with a colourful song and dance sequence ‘Chak de India’.



From Schools
Republic Day celebrated at St Soldier’s
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 25
Students of St Soldier’s International Convent School, Phase 7, celebrated the 59th Republic Day with patriotic fervour, here today. The special assembly began with the patriotic son ‘Vande Matram’, sung by enthusiastic children of the primary section. This was followed by tiny-tots of the school briefing the audience about significance of Republic day.

Spring Valley

A colourful function was organised at Spring Valley School, Phase 11, Mohali, on the eve of Republic Day. Tiny-tots and teachers reached the school in white dresses and marched with national flags. The principal Ravinder Kaur apprised the students about significance of the day.

Shivalik, Phase VI

Students of classes pre-nursery to II of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, took part in Republic Day celebrations today. Display boards were beautifully decorated and teachers threw light on the importance of Republic Day. Patriotic fervour marked the entire celebration.

Ashmah Int’l

Cultural activities and a colourful function marked Republic Day celebrations at Ashmah International School here today. The school witnessed some of the most vivacious celebrations, with tiny-tots enlivening the ambience with patriotic presentations which saw the spirit of nationalism displayed in various items.

Small Wonders

R-Day celebrations were marked by a puppet show for the little kids at Small Wonders School, Mohali, here today. Hundreds of children were enthralled by the exhibition of puppetry skills of the artists. Principal Anu Mahajan said in this age of multi-media revolution rare art forms like puppet shows are on the verge of extinction and must be revived.



Consumer Court
Bajaj Allianz told to pay compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has directed Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to Dharam Pal Verma, a resident of Tarn Taran.

The forum has also directed the insurance firm to pay the claim of Rs 1 lakh to the petitioner. The petitioner was also awarded Rs 2,100 as cost of litigation.

The son of the petitioner, Sunil Kumar, took a life insurance policy in July 2004. It was alleged that at the time of purchasing the policy, the proposal form was filled by the agent of the firm without disclosing its contents.

He stated that the premium was paid on time. Dharam Pal averred that the insurance firm sent a letter dated July 13, 2004, asking his son to get his medical examination done. Thereafter, the firm offered the petitioner’s son to withdraw the policy under a scheme but it was not withdrawn.

However, the petitioner’s son died on May 14, 2006. He pointed out that prior to Sunil Kumar’s death he was admitted to a hospital in Amritsar and was operated for tumour. The firm stated that no medical examination was conducted before issuing the insurance policy. The firm alleged that the petitioner had concealed facts about his health. It was added that Sunil Kumar was suffering from neurofibromatosis, thus his claim was repudiated.

The forum stated: “It is proved that the complainant was not suffering from the said disease at the time of taking the policy and it developed in six months prior to his death. The insurer ought to have sent the complainant’s son for a medical examination at the time of issuing the policy and the insurance company, thus cannot shield itself from its own lapses.”



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