C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nine held for North Park shootout
Harkirat ‘misbehaved’ with bouncers; gang called in to tackle him
Tribune News Service

Mohali/Panchkula, May 5
The Mohali and Panchkula police have arrested nine persons including two alleged gangsters from Hoshiarpur for the shootout at North Park last night. While the pistol used in the shootout has been recovered from the two arrested by the Mohali police, the Panchkula police has arrested the event organisers and bouncers for attempt to murder, rioting and abetment.

Harkirat Singh of Mohali and Harpreet of Chandigarh were injured in the shootout in the wee hours yesterday during a brawl with a group of persons outside North Park after an all- night party.

According to the SSP, SAS Nagar, RS Khatra, the two were allegedly shot at with Harkirat’s own pistol used by one Germanjit Singh, a notorious gangster of Chandigarh. Harkirat, who was himself allegedly involved in the shootout outside Barista in Chandigarh some months ago, had reportedly misbehaved with the bouncers during the party. “Germanjit and his gang had been called by the organisers to tackle Harkirat and his friend,” said the SSP.

The Mohali police said the shootout mystery was solved by sheer chance when residents of Balongi, near here, got hold of two young boys when they were trying to surreptitiously enter a house. They were thought to be thieves and the police was called.

The two, Chandrashekhar alias Pandit and Bhupinder Singh, both from Hoshairpur, were brought to the police station where a 7.56 bore pistol, 14 cartridges and blood-stained clothes were reportedly recovered from them.

On interrogation, the two revealed that they were members of a professional gang headed by Germanjit Singh, which was called to North Park by the event organisers to “tackle” Harkirat. Harkirat had allegedly misbehaved with the some persons at the party. When the bouncers at the party tried to stop Harkirat, he allegedly slapped the bouncers too. Pandit reportedly told the Mohali police that the organisers did not want to create a scene while the party was going on and called one Germanjit Singh and his gang to Panchkula to teach Harkirat a lesson.

“Germanjit is a don of Chandigarh. He took along these two and five persons from Bathinda led by one Sodhi. They reached North Park in three vehicles and waited for Harkirat.

“According to what the two have told us, they accosted Harkirat and Harpreet when he came out of the party at about 4.15 am and challenged him to slap them. Harkirat took out his pistol, but before he could react, a member of Germanjit’s gang hit Harkirat’s hand with a kirpan and the pistol fell down. Germanjit picked up the pistol and shot at the two,” said Khatra. The gang sped away and the two were then dropped at Balongi where they spent the day.

Pandit and Bhupinder who were earlier arrested for loitering have been arrested under the Arms Act. The SSP added that Pandit was notorious and involved in at least nine similar incidents at Hoshiapur. The police has conducted raids at various places in Mohali and Chandigarh to nab Germanjit Singh and Sodhi. The police said Germanjit lived in Sector 35 as a paying guest. The Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur and Bathinda police have also been informed.

Meanwhile the Panchkula police arrested Saaransh Rau alias Monu, two brothers Arun Arora and Rajiv Arora and Pankaj Garg, organisers of the party and bouncers Vishal Sharma, Ravinder Gujjar, and Ajay Kumar. However, no action has been taken by the Panchkula administration against the North Park authorities for allowing an all-night party where liquor was also reportedly served beyond the permitted timings.



Nakas at night make cops ‘richer’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The ‘nakas’, put up at various points in the city during the night to regulate traffic, are making Chandigarh police personnel “richer”.

On finding any person flouting rules and regulations, the personnel manning the ‘nakas’ openly demand money off the record to let the “accused” go scot-free without a challan.

Vehicles bearing registration numbers other than Chandigarh are the favourite prey of the local cops. Even after obtaining proper documents, the owners of such vehicles are forced to grease their palms on one pretext or the other.

One such incident happened with a journalist colleague, who was asked openly by a cop to give 100 or 200 bucks for plying his vehicle on high beams and without fastening the seat belt.

“I was stopped by cops at a ‘naka’at Sector 21 on Sunday on the pretext of plying the vehicle on high beam and without fastening the seat belt. On being asked what to do, the cop answered, “Just do what all others do. Give Rs 100 or 200 and enjoy. No challan, no tension”.

However, the cop changed his mind as soon as he saw the “Press” sticker on the vehicle.

On being asked, inspector- general SK Jain admitted that the black sheep of the department were giving a bad name to the whole force.

“We are looking forward to public support for wiping out such elements from the force. Whenever, someone (cops) ask for gratification, they should inform us immediately. Anyone can come to me directly in such a case. Besides, we will also make surprise checks to discourage the corrupt cops”, said he.



GMCH-16 lacks life-saving drugs for five months
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Even though the Chandigarh administration prides itself on having the best health facilities, life-saving drugs are not available for the past five months at the emergency of the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16 here.

The general hospital had been re-christened as the multi-specialty hospital a few years back but the change in nomenclature doesn’t seem to have worked.

Life-saving injectible drugs - Lasix (used to reduce blood pressure) and Decadron (used to treat allergic reactions) - are not available at the emergency of the hospital for the past several months. That adds to the mental agony of the attendants of the patients, who have to rush to the chemist to get life-saving injections during critical moments.

Consider this. An emergency case of hypertension was brought to the GMSH-16. The case was a critical one as the patient's blood pressure was alarmingly high. He was also suffering from other problems. A Lasix injection was a must to lower his blood pressure. Since it was not available, the patient was asked to buy it from a chemist.

Not only this, Aciloc (to decrease the amount of acid in the stomach) is also not available at the emergency. Vipul (22) was brought to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. He needed an Aciloc injection immediately. Unfortunately, it was out of stock, so the attendant had to go to a chemist shop to buy it.

Talking to The Tribune, a senior doctor on condition of anonymity said, “The administration is poor. Being the busiest health institute of Chandigarh, the GMSH-16 gets adequate funds, so stocking life-saving drugs for emergency is not a big deal.”

Normally, hospitals do have life-saving injections for the convenience of the patients, but a few of these are out of stock at the moment. “I agree that life-saving drugs should be made available in the emergency because every ticking second is precious,” he added.

Sources said Lasix was being used in the case of five-seven patients daily, who report in the emergency. The other two drugs are used more frequently. 

Lasix: It’s a diuretic, which increases the amount of urine passed making the body lose water and salt. Furosemide (Lasix) helps to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It also reduces the swelling and water retention caused by various medical conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney disease.

Decadron: This is used to treat various conditions such as severe allergic reactions, arthritis, blood diseases, breathing problems, intestinal disorders and skin diseases. It is also used in the case of an adrenal gland disorder. It decreases the body’s natural defensive response and reduces symptoms such as swelling and allergic reactions.

Aciloc: It decreases the amount of acid in the stomach and duodenum. As a result, it helps relieve the symptoms of indigestion and aids in the healing of ulcers. It is also used to depress acid production in various other conditions. 



Tribune Impact
Hospital gets thyroid kit

Thyroid patients going to GMSH-16 here have got a sigh of relief as they will not have to go back without undergoing a test. The requisite kit for the test has been provided in the laboratory of the hospital from today.

After The Tribune reported the callous attitude of the UT health department regarding non- availability of a kit for the thyroid test for the past four weeks, the health authorities immediately ordered for the kit.

Dr Usha Bishnoi, medical superintendent, GMSH-16, said the kit was now available at the hospital. Even lipid profile along with vital material was also available.

Forty tests for thyroid are conducted in a week at the hospital. But due to non-availability of the kit, not a single test had been conducted after April 4. 



Few takers for CFO’s post
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Albeit the city is a favourite posting destination for officers from Punjab and Haryana, there seems to be few takers for the post of chief fire officer (CFO) in the Chandigarh municipal corporation. The post is lying vacant for around three-and-half years either due non-availability of a qualified officer or lack of serious efforts on part of authorities to take any action.

It is being alleged that authorities are not making efforts to deploy a qualified person for the post as the things are going on ‘smoothly’. Hence the issue has been neglected for such a long time.

The UT fire and emergency services department had last seen a regular CFO in September 2004, before the retirement of G.S. Bajwa. Thereafter, the additional charge of the CFO was given to H.S. Kandhola, who was repatriated to his parent cadre in March this year. Since then the charge has been handed over to P.K. Sharma, secretary MC.

According to sources in the department, only a person having through technical knowledge of the field, with a minimum experience of about eight years, is eligible for the post. The candidate also has to undergo training courses at Nagpur for various designations.

Citing rules, a senior officer said a sub-fire officer is required undergo a six-month course for promotion to the post of station fire officer (SFO). Thereafter, a SFO is required to undergo a training session of another six months to be promoted as divisional fire officer.

M.P.S Chawla, chairman of the fire and emergency services committee, said the committee had recommended SFO S.K. Gosain and SFO M.L. Sharma for the post of CFO, as they had requisite qualification. However, sources informed that chances of these two being promoted were slim, as Gosain is physically challenged and Sharma has been transferred from the market committee on an adhoc basis.aMeanwhile, Dr Roshan Sunkaria, MC commissioner, agreed that a regular officer should be deployed as the CFO. He added that he would look into the matter and take steps to appoint a qualified person on the post.



Act in place, but public has no right to information
Info Officer refuses to give details of officials’ foreign jaunts
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
If one goes by the UT engineering department officials then providing details of expenditure of public money does not qualify as public information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

When specific information was sought by this correspondent regarding the details of the expenditure incurred by officials on ‘official foreign jaunts’, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) refused to provide the information on the pretext that the information did not have any public interest. Copies of the TA bills of the officials had been sought.

Quoting Section 8(1) (j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, the CPIO has declined to provide the information.

Denying information on the report submitted by the officials after returning from foreign tours is nothing less than hiding information. This is against the spirit of the Act and in violation of the instruction issued by the Chandigarh Administration from time to time.

The Section 8 (1) (j), quoted by the CPIO while denying the information reads, “Information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a state legislature shall not be denied to any person.”

The CPIO, while giving partial information about the purpose of foreign visits of the following officials: V.K Bhardwaj, former UT chief engineer, who had gone to Shanghai (China), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium) and Paris (France); Neeraj Gupta (XEN), who had gone to Budapest (Hungary) and Robbinder Singh (AE), who had gone to Japan, refused to give details of the reports submitted by them and their TA bills. The officials were not on a private visit and had rather spent public money on foreign tours.

Apart from refusing to provide the details of expenditure, the CPIO has also refused to give details of the reports that the officials are supposed to submit after coming back from foreign tours. It has been simply mentioned that the tours increase their knowledge in different fields that help these officials to work for the betterment of the department. The CPIO believes that reports did not have any public interest.



Casteist Remarks
Fireman seeks reinvestigation 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Accusing the city police of shoddy investigation, Anil Kumar Sharma, a fireman from the UT fire department, accused of passing castiest remarks, took up the matter with the UT SSP S.S. Srivastva, here today.

Sharma rued the fact that it was due to the shoddy investigation that he was placed under suspension. He met the SSP and the investigating officer ASP (Central) Madhur Verma today.

In a complaint lodged on March 12, Sharma had sought reinvestigation of the case alleging that it was registered on flimsy grounds. He alleged that the complainant, a woman employee in his office, had given different statements to the police and it was just a bid to falsely implicate him.

Sharma in his application maintained that in one statement the complainant mentioned date of the ‘crime’ as July 25, 2007, when he was on a weekly-off, which is on official records. In her complaint lodged with the department, the woman alleged that Sharma abused her and passed castiest remarks on her on July 24.

Sharma claimed that he was acquitted in the departmental inquiry, however, the woman lodged a complaint with the police on November 5, 2007, and a case was registered against him on February 11.

Sharma alleged that there was a huge difference in her complaint lodged before the department and later with the police.

Meanwhile, ASP Verma maintained that he had received no such complaint from the SPP and was not aware about the issue of reinvestigation of the case.



Centre still not checking exports: Badal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 5
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today launched an attack on the central government blaming it for the inflation and ruining the agricultural and industrial sectors in Punjab.

Badal, who was speaking at a function organised to mark the 285th birth anniversary of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia here, said the inflation had gone out of control due to the wrong policies adopted by the Centre. Nothing had been done to check the export of essential items, including steel and cement.

Badal said the centre had also ruined Punjab’s agriculture and industry. The state’s wheat production had increased by 40 per cent, but there had been no appreciation from the Centre.

He blamed the previous Congress government in the state for the current power crisis. He said the regime paid no attention towards increasing power generation during its tenure. His government was making efforts to set up new thermal plants, but it would take time to increase power generation, he added.

Paying tributes to Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, he said we should be proud of our history. The young generation should be made aware of the sacrifices made by Sikh Gurus and generals, he added.

He also released a book on Jassa Singh Ramgarhia.

The Ramgarhia Sabha, which had organised the function, demanded that Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, should be renamed Baba Jassa Singh University and the road from Kharar to the proposed Mohali airport should be named Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Marg. The chief minister said he could not any make an announcement in this regard as the model code of conduct was in force in connection with the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections.

Cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the gap between the rich and poor was widening and a large section of the population was facing problems linked to food, clothing and housing.

The Mohali deputy commissioner was seen on the stage even though the model code of conduct was in force. Punjab ministers Vikram Singh Majithia and Hira Singh Gabria also spoke.



Integrated devp plan for UT mulled
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
If the UT administration has its way, the tricity could soon witness an integrated development programme on the lines of the National Capital Region. It is learnt that the issue was discussed at a recent meeting with Haryana officials.

A strong road and transport network between the city and the peripheral areas of Punjab and Haryana has been advocated by the administration.

Acting on the advice of Union ministry of urban planning on the issue, the administration recently convened a meeting of a core committee of senior officials of the UT and Haryana. “Treating the city and its peripheral areas as a greater urban complex, we have asked the Haryana government to develop social and physical infrastructure in its adjoining areas so that pressure on Chandigarh is reduced,” said a senior UT official. A similar meeting would be held with Punjab officials in the near future, he added.

The officials were also asked to evolve a strategy for growth centres with an efficient communication system. Haryana has been asked to develop educational, health and recreational facilities so that the number of people trevalling to Chandigarh and back could be reduced.

Surveys reveal that vehicles plying between Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh are increasing, leading to noise and air pollution.

A steering committee, comprising the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana and the UT Advisor, has already held a series of meetings on the issue of mass rapid transit system (MRTS). Consensus has been reached on developing a detailed project report on the transport network up to Pinjore and far-flung sectors of Mohali.

Early completion of the bypass to Chandigarh from Nalagrah-Baddi-Pinjore highway was also taken up during the meeting. Going by the seven-fold classification of roads given by Le Corbusier, the expert committee of the ministry of urban development has also suggested bus- based transit system in the region, which has been classified as ‘Inter-state Modal Urban Complex’. The framework has to be on lines of the National Capital Region.

Officials said the load on the city infrastructure was increasing with each passing day largely due to poor infrastructure in neighbouring towns. UT officials are therefore seeking harmonisation of plans in different fields such as education, health, tourism and transport.

Regarding the road infrastructure, widening of the entry points to Panchkula, channelisation of seasonal rivulets flowing through Mansa Devi Complex and Manimajra, an additional link road between Industrial Area, Phase II of Panchkula and Chandigarh, were some of the inter-state issues that were taken on a priority basis. The pending road linkages between Chandigarh and Mohali have already been taken up in a recent meeting between officials of Chandigarh and GMADA.



Beehives should be tackled in an eco-friendly manner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Environment Society of India (ESI) has criticised large-scale destruction of beehives as it leads to a dis-balance in the ecosystem. As per officials of the health department, so far 500 beehives have been destroyed in recent months.

The ESI has urged the Chandigarh municipal corporation and MCs of both Mohali and Panchkula to remove the beehives by using traditional methods and employing professionals, and not by burning them with chemical pesticides.

ESI officials gave examples of Delhi and Agra, where several beehives are removed from the Red Fort, Humayun Tomb, Taj Mahal and other places are tackled in an eco- friendly manner. Annual contracts are given to professionals for the removal of hives by the Archaeological Survey of India. In return, the contractors are allowed to take away some quantity of honey and the wax. 



CHB properties worth crores lying waste
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
With the ‘cash-rich’ Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) caring two hoots for its assets, property worth hundreds of crores of rupees, including prime commercial property, has been lying vacant for years bringing the allotment policy under a cloud.

In fact, in a city where property is beyond the reach of the common man, the CHB’s apathetic attitude towards this huge investment speaks volumes about the board's fiscal management. Around 1,700 residential and commercial premises are laying vacant, sending the CHB officials in a tizzy. What is surprising is the fact some of the property has been laying vacant for at least the last 20 years. While a majority of the residential property lying vacant is situated in the rehabilitation colonies of Sector 56, Dadu Majra, Mani Majra, Maloya, Mauli Jagran, Palsora, Colony No 4 and Dhanas, other sectors having CHB’s housing schemes for the middle and upper classes also reported vacant property, according to a list, a copy of which is available with The Tribune.

Around 50 dwelling units are lying vacant in Sector 55 and Mani Majra. A majority of the other dwelling units are vacant in others sectors.

Sources said around 700 commercial properties, including booths and scooter sheds, were lying vacant in various sectors. Around 140 commercial sites were vacant in Sectors 28, Sectors 38(W), 43, 48 and 52. And the tally of vacant premises for Sectors 34, 38, 48, 49, 51, 61, Mani Majra and Maloya went up to 175.

However, the largest number of vacant commercial properties, 325, are present in Sectors 48, Sector 44 and Mani Majra.

Officials sources said a majority of the property to be allotted to beneficiaries of various schemes of the CHB remained vacant as the authorities concerned failed to conduct proper surveys. This, coupled with litigation involving various properties, restrained the board from allotting property to other aspirants forcing it to incur heavy financial losses.

With the public property remaining unallotted, time has its taken a toll on the structures. In fact, some of the structures have become a favourite hunting ground for anti-social elements. Official sources said regular efforts were being made to dispose off and allot these premises. However, the response to some of the commercial establishments have been poor, sources added.



BSF to upgrade 4,000 border posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Border Security Force (BSF) will be upgrading about 4,000 border out-posts (BOPs) by providing better amenities for personnel manning them, both on the eastern as well as the western fronts. Stating this here today, BSF director- general A K Mitra said this year has been dedicated to improve the living conditions in BOPs by providing them with portable water, electricity and toilets.

“A major portion of Rs 278 crore earmarked for improving the living conditions of jawans will be spent on improving facilities at the BOPs,” he said. He added that the BSF had been able to provide basic amenities to six out of 31 BOPs in the eastern sector that so far were only air-maintained through helicopters.

He was here to lay the foundation stone of the BSF’ Headquarters Additional Directorate-General (West), which is responsible for the border management of the entire western border from Jammu and Kashmir to the Rann of Kutch.

The BSF chief said the force was “badly stressed” primarily due to election duties and prolonged deployment in hard areas. He said he was not satisfied with the quality of personnel joining the BSF of late and that the force was getting the “left over” from the police service aspirants.

The BSF today was short of about 20 battalions, which amounted to manpower deficiency of about 24,000 personnel.

On the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, Mitra said it had not been able to fully satisfy the needs of the BSF personnel. “There are a few shortcomings in its recommendations and we have taken up the matter with the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he said. “The BSF had mooted a constabulary hardship allowance, but it has been turned down,” he added. Mitra said the BSF had reliable inputs that militants were waiting along the border to infiltrate into the country once the mountain passes in J&K opened ie when the snow melted.

When that happens, militant activities along the border are likely to increase manifold, he added. He did not rule out the possibility of increase in the militant activities in the wake of upcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In the past also it has been observed that whenever elections are close in Jammu and Kashmir, attempts have been made by militants to step up violence,” he said. Mitra also said the number of training camps of militants in Pakistan had gone up but did not give out any figures.



Mahesh Sekhri re-elected VP of federation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
City-based carrom enthusiast Mahesh Sekhri has been unanimously re-elected as the vice-president of the All India Carrom Federation in its annual general meeting at Guwahati (Assam).

Sekhri, who has been associated with the game since long back, is also general secretary of the Chandigarh Carrom Association. He is working with Punjab National Bank as manager.



Three MC house committees set up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) constituted three new house committees and announced their members, here today.

According to MC mayor Pardeep Chhabra the committees include enforcement, slum development, and arts, culture and sports.

With this, the total number of MC house committees has increased to 11.

The mayor recommended the names of Arshad Khan, Chander Mukhi Sharma, Davinder Singh Babla, Ravinder Pal Singh, S.K. Jagiota, Rajesh Gupta, Ram Sumer Moray, Gurnam Singh and M.P.S Chawla for the enforcement committee, Manjit Singh Chohan, Kamlesh, H.C. Kalyan, Vijay Singh Rana, Sheela Devi, Raj Kumari Mishra, Anil Dubey, AR Sanwaria and Arshad Khan for slum development committee, and Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri (retd), Anu Chatrah, Kamlesh, Anju Beniwala, Pam Rajput, Amrit Bolaria, Dr Neelam Malik, Sunita Chaudhary and Sarita Devi for the committee on art, culture and sports.



Rain offers some respite 
Tribune News Service

Light showers on Monday morning led to a dip in temperature and was a welcome relief for the woman who takes her grandchildren for a round of Nehru Park, Sector 22, Chandigarh
PLAY TIME: Light showers on Monday morning led to a dip in temperature and was a welcome relief for the woman who takes her grandchildren for a round of Nehru Park, Sector 22, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, May 5
An early morning shower, which was preceded by a thunderstorm, brought down the temperature and provided a welcome relief to city residents today. But the relief was shortlived as by the afternoon the mercury rose to 36.2 degree Celsius, which led to increased humidity levels.

However, the maximum temperature, which was 41.4 degree Celsius on Sunday, plunged to 36.2 degree Celsius today. The maximum relative humidity, however, rose from 29 per cent on Sunday to 81 per cent today. The minimum temperature recorded was 19.8 degree Celsius in the evening.

Meanwhile, heavy rains lashed the region around midnight, which resulted in power failure in many sectors.



Respect turban

It has been a shameful incident at Lawrence Public School, Mohali, of banning students from wearing turbans in schools. The students were asked to leave their classrooms by school authorities for wearing turbans and were made to sit in separate rooms as punishment.

This has been shocking and there should be no such rule that students up to Class X can only wear patkas. It is the Sikh religion that allows the wearing of turbans as a part of their culture and nobody can impose a ban on it.

It is a very serious issue. Turban is a part of Sikhism and nobody can deter Sikh students from wearing it. Wearing it is not flouting the rules, but respecting the religion. It should be up to students whether they want to wear turbans or not.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula 

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



PU Violence
Syndicate’s decision sparks row 
UILS director’s role doubtful: PUSU
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The incident of violence that rocked the Panjab University’s UILS (University Institute of Legal Studies) on Saturday has taken a fresh turn with the director of the institute, in whose presence a student was brutally attacked with swords and other sharp-edged weapons in the examination hall, is being accused of being hand in glove with the culprits by PUSU activists.

The student activists of PUSU (Panjab University Students’ Organisation) today alleged inaction on the part of the UILS director R S Grewal, adding that his role was “doubtful” in the whole incident.

The students alleged that Dr Grewal, who was present in UILS when SOPU students along with H S Multani attacked PUSU member Simrandeep, ignored to take him to hospital even though the latter was profusely bleeding while lying on the ground. It was the police who reached the spot after about 15 minutes and took him to GMSH-16 here, from where he was referred to the PGI.

The agitated students resorted to raising anti-director slogans today and also burnt his effigy in front of the institute. They also demanded that he should resign immediately.

Seconding their opinion, Harjinder Singh, father of Simrandeep Singh, said the director “did not play a positive role” in the whole incident.

“When we spoke with the director about the incident, he said what could he do in this”, said Harjinder Singh. “The students enrolled at the institute and whatever happens there is his liability”, said Harjinder Singh,

Meanwhile, the director, who till two days back was being projected as one of the victims who also got hurt trying to save the boy from the assailants, today categorically denied that he was attacked at all. “I was not attacked at all”. In fact he has not even bothered so far to record his statement with the police. When confronted, the director said, “It is not my duty to go to the police and record my statements, the police has to come to me”.

Surprisingly, two days back, he gave his statement to a section of the media that one of the assailants was Harpreet Multani, who is a student of the institute. But when confronted today he retracted and said, “Among the group of boys, I could not identify anybody; my focus was to save the boy from them”.

“I did whatever I could do in that situation honestly”, he added



Some find it bizarre, others back it
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The decision of the Panjab University Syndicate to suspend students named in FIRs, an apparent fallout of Saturday’s violence at the University Institute of Legal Studies, has evoked a strong reaction from various sections of society.

While some people are openly supporting the decision on the ground that it will help bring down violence on the campus, others feel that suspending students barely on the basis of allegations in an FIR is rather bizarre. It may be mentioned here that the university Syndicate had yesterday put its seal of approval on the recommendations of the P C Dogra Committee report to inititate strict action, including suspension, eviction from hostels and heavy fines, on students whose names figure in the FIR. And this suspension is to remain in force till a “clean chit” is obtained in the FIRs.

“The university has changed the essence of criminal law that one is innocent till proved guilty. If their decision is implemented in letter and in spirit, it will mean that one is guilty till proved otherwise,” said Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 35.

A.S.P. Shergill, a Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate, said the decision by the PU authorities was incorrect. “Suspending a student on the basis of an allegation makes no logic. Being involved in an FIR does not mean that a student is guilty. The court has to decide whether a student is guilty or not, and not the PU authorities.”

Mohan Singh, a student leader, said, “Identifying those who are involved in disturbing the peace of the university is the proper way rather than suspending the student. It is only a few students, who are habitual offenders and action should be initiated against them. Suspension on the basis of involvement in an FIR will certainly affect the career of the student and in India cases go on for ever.

Puneeta, MA student, feels that imposing fine is better than suspending a student. “Imposing a heavy fine is the other way rather than throwing a student out of the university.”

However, former DGP, PC Dogra, who headed the committee, said, “At last, the PU authorities have taken the right decision. Suspending a student on the basis of an FIR will certainly bring an end to the ongoing violence. The student is involved in a criminal activity and not in a civil offence. Suspend him till the investigation is on and let the law decide his future.

His view found support from Shagun, a 2nd year law student, who gives all credit to the PU authorities for imposing such harsh measures. “There is no smoke without fire,” she said, adding that if a student was named in an FIR, his involvement was for sure. 



PU embroiled in student violence
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The incidents of violence in the campus are on a rise. If one goes by the latest directions of the VC of suspending students whose names are included in FIRs, the university will surely have its hands full.

This year already a total of six different cases have been registered against as many as 15 university students with the local police.

In three cases, the students have been booked under various Sections of the IPL.

In 2007, a total of six cases were registered against the PU students, but only one was under Section 307 of the IPC. While in the previous year (2006), the police registered only two cases with one under the Section 307 along with other various Sections of IPC.

Interestingly, along with three cases of last year, all the cases of 2007 are still under investigation.

“We do not want to deal with the students like criminals. But the gravity of the Saturday incident is shocking. Some students, whose names come every now and then in criminal activities forced us to think on different lines and treat them like criminals. However, the university authorities should also strengthen their internal security to hamper such menace at the premises”, said ASP Madhur Verma.



Panel to look into FIRs against students: VC
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Two days after the incident involving a group of students who attacked a UILS student at the institute, the vice-chancellor, as an afterthought, today said that the university was going to constitute a standing committee to look into all the cases wherein FIRs have been lodged against the students of the university. “Depending on the nature and the seriousness of the case, penalty will be recommended by the committee, ranging from suspension to imposing fines on the students,” said the vice-chancellor, Prof R C Sobti. The committee will recommend the course of action maximum in a month’s time, he added.

However, some senior professors of the university were of the view that if such a committee was to be constituted, why did it take such a long time? On the day of the incident, May 3, the vice-chancellor had announced that any student whose name figured in an FIR would be suspended till he got a clean chit in the case.



Senators join PU struggle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The agitation for central university status for PU took a new turn today with all 16 senators from the campus joining the chain fast. 

Out of these senators, eight senators, A.S. Ahluwalia, Aruna Goel, Cecilia Antony, Devi Sirohi, Keshav Malhotra, Manjit Kaur, R.K. Sharma and R.N. Sharma sat on the fast through out the day while the remaining eight senators, A.K. Sahajpal, Akhtar Mahmood, C.L. Duggal, J.K. Chauhan, Kamaljit Singh, Naval Kishore, R.K. Kohli and V.K. Mahajan joined them but could not spend the entire day due to urgent pre-occupations.



Assailants still on the run
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Despite efforts by the Chandigarh Police, the PU accused still managed to give the police a slip. To nab the culprits, the police disputed raiding parties to Patiala and Batala today after assessing their location from the mobiles, being used by the accused.

“The culprits are using the mobiles of some acquaintance. After getting information of their mobile location, we sent two parties at Patiala and Batala but before any action, the accused went to the next destination”, said ASP Madhur Verma.

The police is locating the whereabouts from the call details and the tower location of Govind Kathra, a close associate of Harpreet Multani. The accused at present are said to be somewhere in Haryana.

The incident took place inside the examination hall of the five year law department Saturday morning. The injured Simrandeep sustained multiple injuries. The condition of Simrandeep is said to be stable, but still he is not fit to give any statement to the police.

A case was registered on the statement of Ramandeep Singh, a five year law student against Harpreet Multani, Gursewek Singh, Jugar Singh, Vickramjit Singh and four others who are yet to be identified on the charges of attempt to murder, rioting, causing injuries, trespassing and criminal intimidation.

Meanwhile, the VC has written to the Chief Justice Vajinder Jain to provide the university with a retired judge in order to conduct a fair injury in this incident.



From Schools & Colleges
Col Bala is secretary of Sikh Educational Society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Col Jasmer Singh Bala (retd), noted educationist and Punjabi poet, has been appointed as the secretary of the Sikh Educational Society (SES), Chandigarh. This decision was taken in a general body meeting of the society. The SES is managing half a dozen educational institutions in Punjab and Chandigarh, including SGGS College and SGGS College for Women, Sector 26.

Farewell party: A farewell party was organised at SGGS College, Sector 26, to bid farewell to principal Prof Gurdeep Singh. Principal Gurdeep Singh took charge under special circumstances when principal Dr Kuldeep Singh was transferred to Qadian due to a financial scam in the college.

He proved his excellence in a time provided to him. New principal Harpreet Kaur Sangha presented him a memento and a shawl. Many retired teachers, including former principal Shergill and P.S. Sangha, also attended the party.

Workshop: A two-day workshop ‘Who Am I?’ was organised by Delhi Public School-40 here. The programme was conducted for students of Classes X and XI by a team of professionals and trainers from Delhi, Sadhana Ramachandran and Amarjit Singh. The programme was a career-counselling workshop with a difference that was an amalgamation of yoga, dance, group discussions, interviews, activities involving brain storming, learning effective communication skills etc.

Rang Tarang: Delhi Public School-40, Chandigarh, will hold Rang Tarang - the music, art and dance festival of the senior wing at its premises tomorrow. This festival, spanning over a week, will showcase a number of inter-house competitions. Over 600 students will participate in this festival.



Show-cause notice to teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh education department has issued show-cause notice to Ravinder Kaur, librarian, Government Girls High School, Sector 25, Chandigarh, for remaining absent from her duty for long period.

Confirming this, S.K. Setia, DPI (S), said, “She has been given show-cause notice of fifteen days to explain why her services should not be terminated for her negligence in conducting her duties.”

The teacher in question did not attend the school for six years and nine months period on different occasions in her service career. An inquiry to this effect has also been conducted by a retired IAS officer Manmohan Hurria.


The Chandigarh education department has appointed two heads against vacant posts at two schools with immediate effect.

Jaswant Kaur, headmistress, Government Model High School-37 has taken over charge as principal of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, and Sukhnir Kaur, biology lecturer, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, has been appointed as the principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 27. However, they would serve on their own pay scales and benefits. 



City students create animation movie
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
An apple suddenly falls on the head of a cockroach who is sitting under a tree and it shouts, “Oh! Its law of gravity and I invented it”. This is not a comic character of any TV channel but dialogues of an experimental animated movie directed by schoolchildren under workshop name Orange Pumpkin of Chandigarh.

Interestingly, the whole animated movie of three and half minute’s projects cockroach as the main character. During the movie, cockroach is shown giving an interview to a news channel where it narrates his journey in different eras in which it witnessed the evolution of earth till date.

Eight students of different schools of the city did the whole process of making of animation movie right from the scratch to its production.

“This movie is a composition of thoughts, which our group has in our minds”, Avinash Nasrani, a member of the team remarked. He added that we all came to know about our shortcomings and strength while creating this project. 



International Students Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The office of the dean, international students, celebrated the International Students Day at a dinner held in the Garden of Memories of PU today.

Overseas students interacted with each other and with the faculty of the Panjab University over a formal dinner. The chief guest prof S.K. Kulkarni, dean, university instructions, emphasised that the university was taking all necessary steps to achieve a close working relationship with other universities in order to cooperate on exchange programmes. M.M. Sharma, deputy director, Indian Council of Cultural Research, was the guest of honour.

Prof Shelley Walia, dean, international students, emphasised that such cultural functions bring together students of various countries and facilitate international understanding. Drawing attention to today’s world of globalisation and knowledge, Prof Walia said the university was making strides in upholding the proud academic traditions as well as boldly forging ahead the innovative experiments that were vital for the university to stay at the forefront of the academic world. 



Prof re-elected council president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh District Council of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union has re-elected Prof Rakesh Mehta of SD College, Sector 32, as the president and Rupinder Chatha of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, as the secretary of the council.

Uma Joshi, president of MCM DAV College, announced the results. The elections for the two posts were held at SD College today in which the delegates from the non-government aided colleges of Chandigarh participated in large number. 



Rape case adjourned to May 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The UT police produced a CBI inspector and another cop, allegedly involved in raping a 40-year-old woman, in a local court today.

Ten months after the FIR was lodged against Subhash Kundu, a CBI inspector, and Mahinder Singh they were chargesheeted by the police under Section 376 of the IPC in the court of judicial magistrate first class P.K. Lal.

The bail plea of the both the accused has been adjourned to May 7. The victim, who is a resident of Sector 39, had moved an application before the SSP alleging that Subash Kundu and Mahinder Singh had raped her. An inquiry was marked to DSP K.I.P. Singh who found them guilty and an FIR was registered on June 26, 2007.

Thereafter, anticipatory bail was granted to the accused by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



New Bar assn takes oath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
With the Punjab and Haryana High Court advocates voting for a change, a new-look Bar association took an oath of office this afternoon.

Among them were president Rupinder Singh Khosla and vice-president Parminder Singh Khurana, who contested the election for the coveted posts, and emerged victorious, for the first time. Until now, the top slot has largely been occupied by the same advocates.

Senior advocate G.C. Dhuriawala remained the Bar association president six times, while outgoing president Anmol Rattan Sidhu emerged victorious four times. Another senior advocate G.K. Chathrath occupied the post twice. None of them were in the fray this time. 



Move to make Nanda legal advisor
Ex-employee cries foul
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Chandigarh education department, it seems, leaves no stone unturned to extend undue privileges and adopting double standards when it concerns its favourites.

The department has mooted a proposal to appoint Amrit Lal Nanda, who recently retired as the registrar education, as a legal advisor. Though on the face of it, the move appears innocuous, Nanda faces serious allegations of submitting wrong affidavits to the administration and cornering two houses, one in Panchkula, and another in Chandigarh - a clear violation of the laid provisions. No departmental inquiry was ever conducted against him.

The double standards of the department stand exposed if one looks at the action initiated against a teacher, Bawa Chand, of Government High School, Mouli Colony, who also faced allegations of submitting a wrong affidavit while pursuing his seniority case last year.

What is ironical is that though the inquiry against Bawa Chand showed that his wrong claims in the affidavit were due to ignorance and not intentional, he was penalised with a forced retirement on April 8, 2008, and major cuts in various benefits on the recommendations of none other than Nanda.

“I was to retire on August 31, 2012, and I was just fighting my case for my seniority. But DPI (S) S.K. Setia, on recommendation of Nanda, reduced my gratuity by one-third and my suspension period too was treated as ‘break period’. It was Nanda only who put up the noting and now I am out of job for no fault of mine”, pleaded Bawa Chand.

On the other hand, Amrit Lal Nanda, himself was found guilty, a few year ago, for filing a frivolous affidavit to grab a house (No 2125/2, Sector 19-C) in 1981 from Chandigarh Housing Board, which was later cancelled in 2004 after being exposed.

Copies of the two affidavits filed by Amrit Lal Nanda are with The Tribune. Affidavit submitted on December 2, 1981 declared that he does not own any house in Chandigah Panchkula or Mohali whereas he owned a plot in Panchkula since 1976. On second occasion, dated October 5, 1988, to get construction loan, he had submitted an affidavit duly attested by the magistrate stating that he owns a house no. 506 in Sector 16, Panchkula.

Now, the department has proposed to appoint Nanda as its legal advisor. Bawa Chand pleaded that he lost his 28-year-old only son who left behind a widow wife and two kids and he has no source of income to look after his family. “I was the only earning member after my son’s death. Now, the department has handicapped me by retiring me four years before my actual retirement date.

“On the other hand, Nanda was let off despite being proved that he grabbed house by furnishing wrong affidavit with the administration”, rued Bawa Chand.

What justification the department would do to its employees with the advice of Nanda, is yet to be seen. 



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