C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 CRPF men killed in grenade blast
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

PGI stretcher-less

The preparation of the PGI in disaster management came under cloud when at least four of the injured had to walk up to the surgical ward of emergency as no stretcher was available to shift them from ambulance to the ward. Besides, ambulances carrying other patients had to wait on the gate of the emergency ward at the PGI for at least five minutes before the stretchers could be arranged for them

Panchkula, March 13
Three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and 11 seriously injured when a hand grenade went off prematurely during a training session at Naraingarh Firing Range near here today.

The deceased have been identified as head constable Subhash Chand Badola and constables Rajesh Babu and Virender Kumar Sharma.

A court of inquiry has been constituted in the matter, which will be done in two parts. One part will investigate the incident while the other part will deal with monetary benefits and related matters concerning the personnel involved. The inquiries will be presided over by the officer of the rank of commandant.

All injured were shifted to Naraingarh Civil Hospital, where Rajesh Babu and Virender were declared brought dead and others were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

However, Badola succumbed to his injuries on the way to the PGI. The condition of the injured, including Yash Kumar, Dushyant, Raj Kumar, Mauji Ram, Ved Pal Singh, Aajy Kumar Yadav, Pankaj, Rajinder, Vikram, Sandip and R.M. Lone, was said to be stable.

According to inspector general, North West Sector, CRPF, Chandigarh, R.K. Saxena the accident took place when more than 100 personnel from Battalion 111 of paramilitary force from Hallo Majra, Chandigarh, were on their annual training session near Bhud Mandloi village of Raipur Rani around 9 am.



Custodial Death
Two Hallomajra residents booked for murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The police today arrested Shinder Kaur of Hallomajra village and her son Gurpreet Singh in connection with the murder of their neighbour Nirmal Singh who died in hospital in January following a fracas with them.

The mother and son were arrested on the basis of evidence on record and the statements of witnesses before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC.

The police said a letter had been sent to the Government Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, for polygraphic tests on the three police personnel involved in the case - ASI Mukh Ram, head constable Kuldeep Singh and constable Dharampal.

The police had suspended the three personnel along with the SHO of the Sector 31 police station, Har Sahai Sharma, after Nirmal Singh’s family alleged that he had died due to torture in custody.

Nirmal Singh escaped police custody and was found lying injured in Sector 31. The police admitted him to the Sector 32 GMCH where he died on January 3. Nirmal had had a fracas with his neighbours on January 2 over sewer water in their street.

The police registered a case of murder on January 11 against unidentified person on the basis of an inquiry by judicial magistrate Balwinder Kumar.

A special investigation team was constituted under the supervision of the SP (Crime) S.S. Randhawa to determine if Nirmal Singh had died due to police torture.



Akalis thrash Congress to win Mohali game
Chitleen K Sethi and Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

A Congress player congratulates Parminder Singh Dhindsa who scored a 50 in the match
A Congress player congratulates Parminder Singh Dhindsa who scored a 50 in the match. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, March 13
Even after one year of being in power the Akalis have not lost their winning streak. The Akali MLAs today thrashed the Congress MLAs in the first ever Twenty20 cricket match between the Punjab Vidhan Sabha members held at the PCA cricket stadium here this evening.

The Akali team led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal defeated the Congress XI by eight wickets.

History was created in more ways than one when unlike the Vidhan Sabha, the top leaders of both the political parties sat through the three hour-long match without any walk outs, bickering or heckling.

Parkash Singh Badal and leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal were the non playing captains of their teams and were openly cheering them throughout. Conspicuous by his absence was the former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Nick and Nicole perform during the Twenty20 cricket match between the Akali Dal and Congress at PCA Stadium in Mohali
Nick and Nicole perform during the Twenty20 cricket match between the Akali Dal and Congress at PCA Stadium in Mohali on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Probably one of the most interesting and exciting events ever held at the PCA stadium the match proved to be a delight to watch. Noted comedians Jaspal Bhatti and Bhagwant Mann kept 5,000 odd spectators in splits of laughter taking a dig at every player. Most of the players themselves were a comic sight. For some who were probably running in field after decades could barely manage to camouflage their unfit bodies and exhaustion.

While the teams on the field seemed pretty charged, bonhomie was evident among their supporters which included many former ministers and MLAs many of whom had brought their families to witness the match. The party supporters and workers came laced with posters of their favourite MLA players.

Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Congress set the target of 112 runs putting on 111 runs in the allotted 20 overs. The challenge proved to be cake walk for the Akalis who matched the Congress score in half the time and less than 12 overs. Akalis lost just two wickets in the course.

Though both the teams left much to be desired in terms of fielding skills, Akalis proved to be much better in both balling and batting. It was the running between the wickets and the fielding where most off the MLAs had the most problems, huffing and puffing across the field. On many occasions, they could not even stop the easy shots and missed out many catches.

Ripjit Brar and Ramandeep Singh opened for the Congress and put on 20 runs for the first wicket. Akalis tasted their first success when they claimed first wicket of Brar who got run out. Sukhpal Singh Khaira, one of the most vocal Congress MLA, proved to be the Congress’s saving grace even on the field. He salvaged the team with his 32-run knock in 28 balls slamming six boundaries. He was well supported by Charanjit Singh Channi who scored 29 runs off 37 balls. Kewal Singh Dhillon remained not out on one.

Sunny Brar, Harminder Singh and Jitinder Singh could not even open their account and went back to the pavilion on a naught. Akalis were liberal, as their bowlers helped Congress with 23 extra runs. For Akalis, Sukhpal Singh Nannu and Amarjit Singh proved to be the most successful bowlers as both claimed two wickets each.

Chasing the target, the Akalis totally dominated the proceedings. Though the innings began with a dismal note with the team losing Anil Joshi in the first over, but the on field captain Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Sukhpal Singh Nannu carried the day for the Akalis. They steered their team to a joyous victory with their 98 –run partnership that was welcomed with slogans of Shiromani Akali Dal zindabad, Parkash Singh Badal zindabad.

Dhinsa, the only one to cross half a century, hit ten boundaries and scored 56 runs off 34 balls. Giving him solid backing was Nannu who remained unbeaten on 47 runs in 32 balls. He hit eight boundaries. Amarjit Sohi remained not out for one. Randeep Singh and Ripjeet Brar took one wicket each.

Organised by the Para-Olympics Committee Punjab for charity, the proceeds of the match would go to the committee for the promotion of sports among handicapped sportspersons.

Brief Scores

Congress XI: 111 for 8 in 20 overs (Ramandeep Singh 12, Ripjit Brar 8, Sukhpal Singh 32, Gurmeet Singh 6, Charanjeet Singh 29, Kewal Dhillon 1, Sukhpal Singh Nannu 2 for 14, Amarjit Singh 2 for 34, Harpreet Singh 1 for 23, K D Bhandari 1 for 22)

Akali Dal XI: 113 for 2 in 11.1 overs (Sukhpal S Nannu 47, Paminder Dhindsa 56, Amarjit Sohi 1, Randeep Singh 1 for 24, Brar 1 for 14).

Runaway hit

There was no cricket star. There was no Bollywood item girl. And yet this was one cricket match that attracted thousands to the PCA cricket stadium. The first-ever match between the Akali and Congress MLAs proved to be a runaway hit. The bureaucracy was in full attendance, watching their political masters running, falling, chasing balls and hitting shots.

No vendetta

Parkash Singh Badal said the match would go a long way in improving the political environment in the state. “It was the Amarinder govt that started vendetta politics in the state, sparing not even women. But that was in the past. Politics should also be done with a sportsman spirit,” he said. Sukhbir Badal said a hockey and a kabaddi match would also be organised.

Special day

For handicapped sportspersons, including Arjuna awardee Rajinder Singh Rahelu, Manveer Singh Mangat, Parwinder Singh, Naresh Kumar who were specially invited for the match between Akalis and Cong, this was the most memorable day of their life. “We run after politicians for our work. Here they are running for us,” said Mangat.

Up for auction

Comedian-cum-commentator Bhagwant Mann suggested that better players like Dhindsa be offered for the IPL auctions to improve the economic situation of the state. Jaspal Bhatti had placed a special “match-fixing box” on the field to facilitate punters. Meanwhile Punjab Governor SF Rodrigues donated Rs 1,00,000 to the Paralympic Committee of Punjab.

Bhattal’s hope

Though Bhattal remained hopeful till the last minute that the Congress would win the match, on losing she said, “The Akalis have had five years to practise for this cricket match.” She further quipped, “Had Badal played I would have played too.” Meanwhile, tight security arrangements led to traffic chaos on the roads outside and also inconvenienced residents.



MC told to build underpasses
But officials reluctant to handle the job

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Under fire for not having met the UT administrator’s deadline to widen roads in Industrial Area here, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MCC) has been awarded yet another responsibility-to construct underpasses on Himalaya Marg.

Poor on expertise to handle such projects, officials in the civic body have expressed reluctance to undertake the task. A senior official said that in order to speed up work on the project, the work on underpasses had been divided among three agencies-the Chandigarh Housing Board, the Chandigarh municipal corporation and the UT engineering department. The administration wanted the work to commence this year.

The “rich experience” gained by UT officials sent last year to Brussels to study underpasses finds no mention.

Not only the MCC, the housing board too has little experience in handling such projects. The housing board has received six expression of interest, but the MC is yet to start work. The engineering department has been asked to construct an underpass at the housing board junction in Mani Majra.

Explaining the division of work, an official said the move was part of the strategy of the administration to manage funds without clearance of the central government.



PNB staff take to streets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Officers and staff members of Punjab National Bank today staged a dharna in front of the PNB House in Sector 17, here, to protest against the alleged uncongenial HRD policy and decisions of the bank CMD K C Chakrabarty.

The dharna held here was part of the nationwide dharna held today as part of the joint agitation launched by the bank staff from March 3 under the banner of the All-India Punjab National Bank Officers’ Association and the All-India Punjab National Bank Employees Federation. They have alleged that the CMD was acting unilaterally and not consulting the bank’s unions before taking major decisions.

They were protesting against the denial of mandate to the Indian Bank Association to negotiate the next wage revision of officers/workmen; shortage of bank staff, shrinkage of career opportunities in the bank, and unilateral restructuring of the bank.

The bank unions said if their demands were not met with they would intensify the agitation from tomorrow.




Roads are meant for everyone

Roads are meant for free movement of vehicles and pedestrians in a city. They are meant for everyone as the government constructs them. Government is for the benefit of the people and people should respect government property. It is meant for everyone equally and people have equal right on it.

But this right is being regularly violated by a large number of people. Public roads are being used as private parking, which is not being charged. Further, this illegal misuse of public property leads to unavoidable traffic hazards, bottlenecks and accidents. The city administration should take a serious view of this malpractice and prosecute the violators.

Baldevinder Cheema

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at [email protected] or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Draw of lots to decide kids’ admission
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The UT administration with an aim to bring some relief to the parents has directed all schools that the admission of children in pre-nursery or nursery classes would be finalised by a draw of lots.

The minimum age for admission to pre-nursery or nursery classes is 3 years and 4 years, respectively, as on April 1, 2008. The respective schools will issue application form only to the candidates who belong to the area allocated to that particular school and application form complete in all respects will be submitted to the concerned schools by March 25.

General category will have 27 reserve seats in which 30 per cent seats will be reserved for girl students, scheduled caste gets a quota of 6 seats while admission to physically handicapped students will not be denied, 2 seats have been reserved for wards of the employees of education department.

In case seat from quota of reserved category remains/ falls vacant that seat will be filled from the waiting list of general category student.

Valid proof of residence like ration card, voter identity card is required with the application form. The list of all applicants will be displayed on the school notice board on March 26 along with list of eligible candidates for draw of lots. The draw of lots will be held on March 27 on the school premises and list of selected candidates will be displayed on the notice board in the afternoon.



New courses for education city’s third phase
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The administration has planned some innovative courses in the third phase of Chandigarh education city project.

The courses include integrated design school encompassing product design, fashion design and interior design, a school of fine arts, theatre, film-making and cultural studies, courses on international relations (both at undergraduate and postgraduate level), courses on managerial and business economics, courses in law, corporate law, international arbitration, human rights, integrated law course, courses on advertising and public relations, courses on actuarial sciences, environmental studies, school of foreign languages, musicology, school of developmental studies, which include study of social development, formation and management of co-operatives, school of sports management, creative art management, event management, property services management.

Earlier, high-end courses like hospital administration, management courses in various streams, computer science and other engineering branches, bio-technology, multimedia and pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality, industrial design, media and mass communication were earlier approved for the Phase I and II of the education city.



Non-teaching staff up in arms
Non-payment of salaries

Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 13
The Punjab School Education Board Non-teaching Employees Association staged a protest outside the office of the board secretary here today over the non-payment of salaries to some sections of the staff for over five months.

Slogans were raised by the protesters against secretary Pavitar Pal Kaur and there were heated exchanges between association leaders and the secretary over the issue. Association leaders accused her for the delay in the payment of salaries to board superintendents, clerks and daily wage workers for such a long period.

Association president Gurdeep Singh Dhillon said following a court decision in November last year the seniority of certain regular staff members was adversely affected. He said salaries of 72 superintendents, 70 clerks working on contract and about 200 daily wage workers had not been paid by the board since November.

Dhillon claimed that the board chairman had thrice ordered the payment of the salaries but the secretary was allegedly complicating matters on one pretext or the other.

Dhillon further claimed that the association had contacted the chairman today who wanted his directions on salaries to be implemented.

Pavitar Pal Kaur, however, said there was no intention of stopping salaries of the staff. As there was a court decision on the matter all aspects, including legal and audit, had to be studied before the release of salaries.

She added that she had told the association leaders that the board chairman was not in office today and suggested that the issue be discussed later when he was also present. However, they declined to listen to her suggestion and allegedly used objectionable language and made personal comments against her, she said.

Meanwhile, talking on another issue, Dhillon said the board had allegedly suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 crore in connection with the fees under the open school system.

He demanded an inquiry into the matter.



Now, accounts paper has errors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The students appearing in the CBSE class XII accounts examination had a tough time today when two questions in the question paper had errors.

In question number 15, the premium mentioned was much than the actual value and in question number 16 the interest rate on loan was not mentioned.

This confused many students and they complained about the exam and enquired from the invigilators as well.

When asked about the erroneous questions in the question paper today, D.R. Yadav, joint secretary, CBSE regional office, Panchkula, expressed ignorance. He said he has not received any complaint as such but if such a matter has occurred it would be sorted out at the time of compiling of the results by the CBSE.



CJ to attend PU seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Chief Justice of India, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, is scheduled to attend a seminar on “Law Globalisation and Common Man” at the Panjab University Law Auditorium tomorrow.

The seminar is being held under the aegis of the Asia Pacific Jurist Association (Punjab and Haryana chapter). The guests of honour include Justice Ashok Bhan, Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice H.S. Bedi of the Supreme Court of India.

Chief Justice-cum-president of the Asia Pacific Jurist Association Justice Vijender Jain will preside over the function.

The complex, set up at an estimated cost of Rs 672.11 lakh, has been constructed in a record time of 15 months on 99 kanal and nine marlas.

Justice Bhan, Justice Mathur and Justice Bedi, along with High Court Chief Justice Jain, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, chairman of the Building Committee Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Sangrur Sessions Division’s Administrative Judge Justice S.D. Anand are to attend the function.



Central Varsity Status
PUTA takes out procession
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A large number of students and teachers gathered on the campus today and took out a candle-light procession to further press upon the demand for Central university status for Panjab University.

They were carrying placards displaying the academic and financial benefits of central university status to PU.

For instance, the tuition fee of the students will come down, which will be a big relief for the students, said Parminder Jaswal, president, Students’ Council. The planned budget for the University will increase to nearly 15 times . The UGC notification of 1998, that was adopted by the university but could never be implemented for want of approval of the Punjab government, will come into effect immediately.

Meanwhile, PUTA has approached the president and secretary of the non-teaching staff and requested them to extend support to the demand for the Central university status. PUTA president Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, along with the students, led the peaceful march, which started from Arts block I and after parading over the roads of the campus ended at the university gate No. 2.



From Schools & Colleges
Show-cause notice to school in charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A show-cause notice has been issued to Sardool Singh, incharge of the government primary school, Indira Colony, Manimajra for his poor administration in the school. The DPI (S) found this during a visit to the school today. The condition in the school was deplorable and cleanliness of the school was in a bad condition.

Prize distribution: The annual prize distribution function of the GGDSD College, Sector 32, was held on the college premises today. The chief guest on the occasion was Pradip Mehra, advisor to the UT administrator. Principal Dr A.C. Vaid read out the annual report of the college. Besides being bestowed with the rare distinction of being declared as “A college with potential for excellence,” by the UGC, the college has become the only college in northern India to be awarded two innovative courses, MSc in bioinformatics and masters in entrepreneurship and family business and short listed for INFLIBNET connection by the UGC.

Mehra urged all students to study hard and seek quality education, which according to him “is a great agent of change.” 900 prizes for outstanding achievements in academics, sports and extracurricular activities were awarded. The college gave away 25 roll of honours, 31 college colours, 9 special prizes, 244 certificates of distinction and 503 certificates of merit to students with commendable performances in various fields. The college also honoured three of its faculty members, including Dr M.P. Sharma, Dr Ashok Mahajan and Dr Balraj Thapar, for having completing their doctorates while in service, during the current academic session.

Holi: Holi was celebrated with fun, frolic and gaiety amidst a riot of colours and party dance at Kundan International School, Sector 46, today. The celebrations started with party tiffin and the students were explained about the relevance and importance of Holi. A prize distribution function saw most creative dress and creative tiffin awards being given away ahead of the bubble party that had the students in absolute ecstasy.

Farewell: The department of computer science and IT organised a farewell party for students of MSc (IT) II, BCA III and BSc (C.S) III, today at GC 11. Dr A.L. Gauba, principal, presided over the function. He encouraged the department for its efforts and stressed on qualitative spiritual, mental, and physical education.

Students presented songs, poems, funny skits and speeches for the students of third year. Sandeep Singh of BCA III won the Mr. Rukhsat title, Gagandeep Kaur of BCA III won the Ms. Rukhsat title, Neeraj Gupta bagged the Best Smile title and Preety won the Best Personality title.



Pensioners in areas not covered under CGHS
Govt bound to reimburse hospital expenses: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that medical allowance of Rs 100 per month to a central government pensioner, residing in an area not covered under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), is for meeting day-to-day medical expenses for health problems not requiring hospitilisation.

As such, the pensioner is entitled to reimbursement for ailments requiring hospitalisation.

The significant ruling, expected to benefit pensioners putting up in cities like Ludhiana that are not covered under the health scheme, comes on a petition filed by Darshan Singh Rai, a former BSF commandant.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court on his petition against the Union of India and others, a Division Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Mohinder Pal ruled: “A fixed medical allowance of Rs 100 a month is given to central government pensioners residing in areas not covered by the CGHS for meeting day-to-day medical expenses, which do not require hospitilisation. Therefore, the petitioner was getting fixed medical allowance of Rs 100 per month for meeting day-to-day medical expenses that do not require hostitilisation.

He is entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses for his heart ailment for which he remained hospitalised in New Delhi-based Escorts Heart and Research Institute and had to undergo bypass surgery.”

Allowing his petition, the Judges asked the Union of India and other respondents to reimburse the medical expenditure.

The respondents had earlier contended that pensioners, residing in an area where CGHS laboratories were not located, were entitled to medical allowance of Rs 100 per month.

The petitioner, putting up in Ludhiana, neither got himself registered with any CGHS dispensary nor did he surrender his medical allowance. It was added that the facilities under the scheme were available at Chandigarh and New Delhi. As such, he was not entitled to reimbursement.

Going into the background of the matter, the petitioner had earlier contended he retired on February 28, 1990, and was getting the fixed medical allowance along with the pension.

He could not avail the benefits of the scheme as he was putting up in Ludhiana, where the facility was not available. In 2001, he suffered heart problem and underwent treatment at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Eventually, he had to undergo bypass surgery at Escorts. As such, medical expenses of Rs 2.12 lakh should be reimbursed.



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