C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PNB GM booked for loan favour
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today booked B.P.Chopra, general manager of Punjab National Bank, including a couple and six employees of the bank on the charges of violating the norms of the bank for granting a loan of Rs 30 crore.

It was learnt that officials of the CBI had seized certain documents pertaining to the records of the loan granted. The CBI officials raided different branches of the bank and searched the PNB house in Sector 8.

According to sources in the CBI, Monoj Goyal, and his wife Neeru Goyal of Dehradun had applied for a loan of Rs 30 crore for setting up a plant (Bala Ji Magazines) in Una district of Himachal Pradesh.

The loan that got sanctioned was granted to them in different instalments. The first instalment of Rs 8 crore was given for setting up the plant, while the second installment of Rs 16 crore was released for the installation of a power plant.

The CBI had recently got a tip-off regarding an involvement of the bank officers in the scam along with the couple.

The sources said the loan sanctioned had clearly violated the rules and regulation of the bank and the accused had some personal interest in granting the loan. No proper verification was made before the loan was granted, added the source.

Sleuths of the CBI even carried out raids at different branches of the bank under Dr Armandeep, ASP. The officials asserted that besides the general manger, there was every possibility regarding the involvement of other officials of the zonal and head branch of the bank.

However, no arrest has been made so far till this matter.



38 DAYS GONE still counting ...
Red tape tangle
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
It has been 38 days since the city is without a home secretary. And the wait is simply getting endless as the selection process for this important post is lost in the bureaucratic maze… thanks to the ongoing tug of war between the top echelons of the Administration and the Centre and the pulls and pressures being exerted by the officers in the race for the coveted job.

Despite the Home Ministry literally ticking off the candidates in the previous panel for indulging in intense lobbying, nothing has changed. Even the new ones are following in the footsteps of their predecessors and have gone a step further by indulging in mudslinging, albeit in a covert manner by sending anonymous complaints not only to the department but also to newspaper offices.

It is reliably learnt that the Centre has again taken a serious note of this campaign and sought certain more information from Haryana, it is reliably learnt.

Unmindful of the muddle, functioning of the office of the home secretary threatens to get crippled. Though the UT finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, who is looking after the work of the home secretary, is doing his best to cope with the pressure. But it’s not possible to discharge all duties effectively. The absence of the home secretary has certainly slowed down the official machinery since on an average any secretary level officer handles at least 24 departments.

But whom to blame for the chaos? Enquiries reveal that inordinate delay by the Administration in initiating the selection process well in advance of the repatriation of the previous home secretary Krishna Mohan certainly jeopardised the entire process. While efforts of the UT Administrator to seek extension for the previous incumbent went futile, the aspirants in rejected panel went overboard in lobbying for the post. The guilty officers were never asked to explain for the serious misconduct.

Now, the Administration has recommended the name of Ram Niwas (1985 batch) while forwarding the entire panel comprising R.P. Chandra (1984 batch), R.R. Jowel (1986 batch) and Anil Kumar (1988 batch). While one officer belongs to the backward class, other three are from SC category. Again the game has become so murky with some of the aspirants indulding in mudslinging.



Datesheet Error
Students miss examination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Hundreds of postgraduate students of PU failed to make it to the examination hall on time on May 5 and 6 - all owing to the erroneous placement of timings on the date sheet.

The economics paper (III and IV: option VIII a ) was scheduled for May 5 and option VIII b for May 6 from 2pm to 5 pm. The authorities mentioned the timings in the next line below the subject name instead of adjacent to it.

This led to confusion among the students who reached the venue at 2pm only to be told that the exam had already been conducted at 9 am.

Worse, the university, instead of admitting the fault, has told the students to submit medical certificates and appear in the September examinations.

The students contacted officials of the department of correspondence studies but in vain. They also approached the examinations (conduct) branch which reiterated that the only way out was to submit medical certificates.

The students say the suggestion is ‘absurd’ as a five-month wait would cost them an academic year. Today they submitted a representation to the branch, demanding that the exams be held at the earliest.

When contacted, the university officials, including A K Bhandari, advisor (examinations), Rakesh Gupta, department of correspondence studies, Jaspal Kaur Kaang, coordinator, department of correspondence studies, evaded responsibility.

The joint controller of examinations, Varinder Kapoor, could not be contacted as his cell phone was switched off. The registrar , Prof S S Bari, said: “ I will cross-check with the examination branch and determine the reasons for the lapse.”



Encroachers ‘plaza’ in Sec-17
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

A view of illegal squatters in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Thursday evening.
A view of illegal squatters in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Thursday evening. Tribune photo by Pardeep Tewari

Chandigarh,May 8
Encroachers in the heart of the city - Sector 17 - seem to be more powerful than the combined might of the Chandigarh municipal corporation and the police. At least this is the impression one gets from the ever-increasing number of illegal squatters in the commercial hub of the city.

Despite instructions from the office of the UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues and decision of the MC to make the sector ‘encroachment-free’, the mushrooming of illegal vendors goes on unabated posing a serious challenge to the authorities concerned and sending owners of the showrooms in a tizzy.

In fact, the situation compounds during the evening hours when a virtual market comes up in the plaza area with a major portion of the corridors and open areas being occupied by the encroachers severely impeding the movement of residents.

“The encroachments are blot on the face of the sector and a source of nuisance for the shopkeepers and visitors,” complained N.K. Sharma, a regular visitor to Sector 17.

Sources said the nexus between the illegal squatters on one hand and the police and enforcement staff on the other was largely to be blamed for the sorry state of affairs. Such is the influence of the encroachers that they have information about any anti-encroachment drive well in advance, making a mockery of such drives.

Interestingly, the headquarters of the MC is just at a stone throw away from Sector 17 and a police beat box is right inside the plaza. However, when it comes to taking action against the encroachers both the agencies seem to be lacking in will, a shopkeeper alleged.

Notably, MC mayor and area councillor Pardeep Chhabra had earlier said the civic body would adopt a ‘no tolerance’ approach on encroachments on public land, especially in Sector 17.



Parking pangs as vehicles rise
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu

Vehicles parked in a haphazard manner in Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Thursday.
SUPREME CHAOS: Vehicles parked in a haphazard manner in Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 8
The rising number of vehicles in the city has put the administration and Municipal Corporation (MC) in a fix, as they are clueless about how to deal with the problem of shrinking parking spaces.

With the authorities having no plan of action to accommodate the rising number of vehicles, road-rage and heated arguments involving motorists and traffic cops has become a routine scene. The worst hit is the commercial area in Sector 8 and 9, along the Madhya Marg, where vehicles are parked choc-a bloc in the limited parking space.

With the failure of the MC to utilise the underground parking lots in Sector 8 and 17, congestion has become a routine there. Chaos rules the parking lots most of the time in the absence of attendants to regulate vehicles.

With no space available in the lots, motorists are forced to park their vehicles on slip roads in front of the showrooms, where men in-khaki are ready to issue them a ticket for wrong parking.
Sharing his experience, Manveer Singh of Sector 33 said he had an argument with a traffic policeman, who was hell bent on issuing him a challan for wrong parking.

“I wanted to go to HSBC bank in Sector 9. The parking attendant took money from me and issued me a ticket and did not bother to inform me that there was no space in the lot. I got struck inside and it took me 30 minutes to come out of it. I tried to park my car on the slip road in front of the showroom, but the cop on duty said he would challan me,” said Manveer.

The vehicular population in the city is around seven lakh. Officials in the registration and licensing authority said as compared to just 20 vehicles registered daily in the year 2001, over 200 vehicles are registered now. Over 11,300 vehicles have already been registered till date this year.

M.P.S Chawla, nominated councillor and member of the paid parking group, said they would soon hold a meeting to install lights in the underground parking lots. He, however, said in the wake of rapidly increasing vehicles the civic authorities were finding it difficult to find a solution.

He added that the parking lots were being turned into collection centres by the authorities, without a thought for providing facilities to vehicle owners. The amendments in the parking lot contracts would soon be implemented, he said.





Zirakpur MC fined Rs 6,000
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 8
The State Information Commission Punjab has penalized the Zirakpur Municipal Council for Rs 6000 for its failure to to provide information to a Dhakoli resident under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Taking up a petition filed by R.K. Saini, president of the New Generation Residents Welfare Society, Zirakpur, the State information commissioner R.K. Gupta observed that “the complainant R.K. Saini has been pursuing the case for the last 14 months and as many as 12 hearing have been held. It is felt that the complainant deserved to be compensated for the harassment caused to him in pursuing a public cause. The Municipal Council, Zirakpur, would pay him Rs 1000 per hearing, held after October 8, 2007. This amount of compensation should be paid to the complainant before the next date of hearing.

State Information Commissioner, further noted that action against Zirakpur Municipal Council, Executive Officer R.K. Mittal, would be decided on the next date of hearing on May 16.

R.K Saini had asked for information regarding the approval status of a building complex. “Instead of supply the relevant information, the MC, Zirakpur is beating about the bush and is not furnishing the information in question. I feel that engaging different advocates at different times is nothing but to delay supply of the information to the complainant in one way or the other. The information as its exists or a clear position of the same is not forthcoming,” reads the state information commissioners order.

The state information commissioner had stated that firstly Advocate Rakesh Verma had appeared for the Zirakpur Municipal Corporation but later Advocate H.S. Sethi had appeared for the department.



MC team challans violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The enforcement wing of the Chandigarh municipal corporation today removed encroachments from Sector 20, 28 and 32 markets.

A team of enforcement wing officials comprising four sub-inspectors and other officials led by inspector Sudhir Narag launched the operation at 11:30 am. The team issued 69 challans to those guilty of encroaching upon corporation land.

The team impounded vehicles parked on corporation land and in open spaces near Sector 28-C motor market. Encroachments were also removed from the verandas in market areas where shopkeepers had put their artilces. The fruit and vegetable-sellers were also booked during the raids, which continued late in the evening.



Campaign to reduce infant mortality
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Unfortunately everyday about 30,000 children in the world die at the age of five due to those diseases which could be cured. The Rotary International is planning to launch an intensive campaign from this year to curb such diseases so that child mortality could be reduced from the society.

Dong Kurn Lee, Rotary International, president, stated this while interacting with mediaperson here today.

Expressing his deep concern on this issue Lee said when he came to know that about 30,000 children lose their life per day, he thought that there is some printing mistake.

But when he clarified these figures it was very shocking for him and above all no mass campaign had been chalked out at international level to control these deaths.

Lee said this year the theme of the rotary would be ‘Make Dream Real’. “Under this rotary we would focus on two or three countries of the world, where this campaign would be initially started to provide quality food, water, schooling and health care to the needy children to fulfil their dreams of quality life.” He said the data display that the child mortality was high in the developing countries because of malnutrition, poverty and lack of basic resources in these countries.

He stated that child mortality would be on priority list. Beside this he would visit those areas where the earlier president’s had not visited so far.

He said he would also try to enhance the manpower of the rotarians all over the country to add more members to the rotary family.

Lee said despite best efforts children in some countries of the world were still facing the threat of polio. He said the Rotary International programme of eradication of polio from the world had been very successful except in four countries, which includes India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. During this year India would be on priority list of the organisation for the eradication of polio.

He said earlier he had not much knowledge about this country.

But after his connection with the rotary and his visits to India he had felt that the people of this country were very kind hearted, noble and enthusiastic to remove misery from the world.



Traffic lights ensure smooth traffic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The UT engineering department made the traffic lights at Sector 33, 34, 20 and 21 roundabout functional, here today. Earlier the junction used to witness traffic snarls throughout the day but everything went on smoothly today.

According to sources, this would soon be followed by lights at the rotary of Sector 20, 21, 33 and 32 and Sector 32, 31, 30 and 29. The engineering department officials said work is at the final stage.

According to Jasbir Singh Cheema, DSP traffic, “There was no chaos at the rotary. The other light points would be made function very soon. After looking into the flow of traffic at this point, the timing of traffic lights would be adjusted.”



Graft case: Accused gets public support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The superintendent in the UT food and supplies department Krishan Saroop Sharma, who was arrested by the UT vigilance team in a graft case yesterday, saw massive support while he was produced in the district courts, here today.

Soon after he was brought to the court, the place was jam-packed with 50-odd people including a battery of lawyers with the president of District Bar Association, N.K. Nanda, neighbours and colleagues of the superintendent coming out in his support.

After Sharma was sent on one-day police remand by judicial magistrate first class Dr Rajneesh, his son, Rahul Sharma, said, “My father has a very clean record and has never indulged in corruption. If this is the fate of an honest government employee then very soon corrupt officials will have an upper hand.”

N.K. Nanda, and former additional district attorney (ADA), S.K. Sood while talking to mediapersons said: “I have met Krishan a number of times and according to me he is a very helpful. We hope for the best for him.”

One of Sharma’s neighbour Bhola Singh, ex-serviceman and a senior citizen, who knows the superintendent for the past 22 years said: “I have always seen Krishan helping needy people. When I read in the newspaper today that he has been arrested for demanding bribe I was not able to believe it. He has been very honest and god-fearing man.”

On the condition of anonymity one of the staff members at the consumer court said: “We have worked with him and know that he is very honest. In fact, no one will believe that he has been arrested in a graft case.”

The complainant Shiv Shambo had alleged that Krishan Swaroop demanded a bribe of Rs 40,000 in order to file his reinstatement. Shambo was suspended on charges of his involvement in a fake scam of ration cards.

Vigilance under scanner

The manner in which the superintendent was arrested in the RLA office by the UT vigilance team has raised many questions. In fact, the lawyer for the defendant raised serious doubts over the integrity of the two witnesses brought by the vigilance department 



Villagers allege illegal mining, block road
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Stationary trucks on Jalla road at Chandi Mandir after residents of Burj Kotian village blocked the road.
Stationary trucks on Jalla road at Chandi Mandir after residents of Burj Kotian village blocked the road. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, May 8
Protesting against alleged illegal mining in the area, residents of Burj Kotian village blocked Jalla road near here today. 

The villagers alleged that owners of many crushers and washing plants in the area were involved in illegal mining after their contracts expired on March 31. 

“The villagers are suffering due to illegal mining as village landlords were entitled to 33 per cent of the bid value of the river for mining,” said Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Burj Kotian village. 

The residents protested when the district administration failed to curb illegal mining in the area even after the Panchkula deputy commissioner found a few trucks transporting the material from the area last month illegally. That time, as per the DC’s orders, six vehicles were impounded and had not been released till date. 

The mining department officials as well as the local administration have failed to wake up even as hundreds of trucks are being transported from the crusher zone every day on the pretext of old stocks. 

In fact, the contractors were supposed to stop quarrying on April 7 and the work even stopped on the same day. As the contractors boycotted the bid for the new financial year protesting over the hike in bid price of quarrying, the process could not take place since then. 

However, a large number of trucks carrying the material continued to move out of the zone. Even a survey conducted by the district administration at 54 washing plants and crushers confirmed that the owners had huge stocks. 

However, the villagers allege that the huge stocks in the contractors’ kitty even after quarrying ceased one month ago proved their allegations that quarrying in the area was going on unabated. 

Director of mines and geology D.R. Dhingra could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. 

Crusher owners, however, denied the allegations. When contacted, R.P. Singh, a crusher owner, said blocking of the road was actually a tactic of the villagers to force the administration to resolve the issue so that quarrying could start at the river.



Water woes in Mohali 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 8
With the temperature soaring, residents living on the upper floors are being forced to put up with dry taps and empty overhead tanks due to low water pressure. 

Complaints of low pressure leading to acute water shortage on upper floors have been pouring in from residents of Phases IIIA, VII and IX. Residents also said water received at times was found to be slightly muddy. 

Manjit Singh Sethi, former municipal councillor living in Phase IIIA, said there was only one tubewell in the area, which had been lying non-functioning for over a year. No new tubewell was sunk which had led to water shortage. He complained that water did not reach the first-floor level and above during the day causing inconvenience to the residents. 

Municipal councillor of Phase VII Harvinder Kaur Lang said overhead water tanks had not filled up since April 23 as the pressure was low. She said water pressure in the area at present was only about 1.3 kg against the normal 2.2 kg. Complaints in this regard were made to the authorities concerned but to no avail. 

Municipal councillor of Phase IX Parkashwati also complained that they had been facing low water pressure for the past 15 days. She said residents had to store water when it was supplied at normal pressure on alternate nights. She said employees of the public health department often resorted to digging at various points to plug leakages but failed to fill up the dug-up areas. Many times, children fell into these dug-up areas and got hurt. Complaints to the concerned JE and SDO in this regard failed to yield results, she added. Executive engineer of the concerned department Avtar Singh Kalsi said the municipal council had not sunk any new tubewell in Phase IIIA over the past few years. Overhead tanks were filled every alternate night. 

He said in a pocket of Phase IX, there were multi-storeyed flats and one water connection was given to one block of flats, which adversely affected water pressure on the upper floors. In Phase VII, some sluice valves were readjusted and it would take a few days to restore the water balance.



20 months on, Mohali rly station ailing
Kulwinder Sangha

A view of the Mohali railway station.
A view of the Mohali railway station. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 8
Mohali railway station, where the first train arrived with much fanfare hardly 20 months ago, is beginning to turn unsafe with the railway platform floor developing cracks and becoming uneven, pillars sinking in and part of the weather shelter starting to tilt.

The railway platform area and the shelter over this space seem to tell a tale of poor workmanship. A high-level probe into the matter is called for in public interest.

The railway platform, which is on the first floor level, shows metal pillars supporting the weather shelter sinking into the floor. Consequently, parts of the shelter have begun to bend and joints have broken.

Around 60 slabs on the platform outside the office of the station superintendent have already undergone repairs and the levels of many more have become uneven. It is alleged that proper compaction of the filling was not done properly and as such, level of the floor slabs had become uneven at various points.

It is also said rain water had seeped into the base due to which the level of the slabs got uneven and in turn damaged the weather shelter which rested on pillars installed on the platform flooring.

Strong winds or tremors (Mohali is an earthquake prone area) could pose a threat to passengers.

Divisional railway manager H.K. Jaggi admitted that the platform area was sinking in at certain points and even the platform shelter was getting damaged because of sinking of the floor.

He said he would not like to comment on the quality of work executed at that time. Surfaces often sinked in wherever heavy filling was done. The support to the shelter should have been provided beyond the filling area. The platform area would have to be constructed again and the shelter might also need a change.

But at present, a wait and watch policy was being adopted to find out if more portions of the platform area sinked in, he added.



Insurance scheme: MoU signed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 8
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the implementation of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) was signed here between Punjab Health Systems Corporation and National Insurance Company.

Managing director of PHSC and secretary health Tilak R. Sarangal and Amandeep Singh, senior divisional manager, National Insurance Company, signed the MOU.

The Government of India, ministry of labour and employment, has launched nationwide RSBY to provide cashless hospitalisation benefits up to Rs 30,000 to below poverty line families.

The state government had appointed the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, department of health and family welfare, as a nodal agency for implementation of the scheme.

Amandeep Singh from National Insurance Company (NIC) informed that tenders were called and NIC Limited won the contract to implement the scheme in the state of Punjab in the five districts i.e. Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Patiala during this year to cover approximately 2.12 lakh BPL families in these districts.

He added that NIC had already finalised the company for issuance of smart card and the cards would be issued to the BPL families in June.



15 injured in bus-truck collision 
Tribune News Service

An injured in truck-bus collision being treated at government hospital in Kalka on Thursday.
An injured in truck-bus collision being treated at government hospital in Kalka on Thursday. A Tribune photo

Panchkula, May 8 
Fifteen passengers were injured when a bus going towards Shimla had a headon collision with a truck coming from the opposite side. The driver of the bus was also injured in the accident. The accident led to traffic jam on the road which could be cleared after two hours.

According to information, it was around 11 in the morning when a truck while overtaking a trolley collided the bus coming from Ambala near Gaushala. The Himachal roadways bus was bound for Rampur. 

All injured, driver Ratan Lal, Uma, Palguni, Dhan Singh, Budhi Nath, P C Lohal, Soth Shah, Kishori Kumar, Santosh, Himani, Raj Pal, Pyare Lal, Iqbal, Devraj, Vinod, Karam Chand, were shifted to a local hospital where they were declared out of danger and discharged after administering the first aid.



Post attack, students resort to ‘only gimmicks’
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The gravity of the May 3 attack on a student in the UILS examination centre, Panjab University, has got lost in the ensuing din created by student organisations’ to gain political mileage.

Now, it’s all about being one up on their rivals and these organisations are resorting to all kinds of gimmicks, including peace marches, holding press conferences to condemn the incident, seeking action against the guilty and burning effigies to lodge their protest.

Though names of most of these student leaders spearheading these protests figure in the police records for various crimes ranging from trespassing to intimidation, all that is conveniently forgotten as they cry themselves hoarse about the need to rein in culprits of the May 3 violence on the campus.

PUSU president Tejpal Cheema who was named for his alleged involvement with two girls had a case registered against him till a few months back.

They were the first ones to demand action in the case against the SOPU activists.

In less than a week of the incident, PUSU has issued many statements in the press demanding strict action against those involved in the case, has burnt effigy of the director of the institute for his alleged involvement in the case and even had a peace march.

Similarly, INSO whose president Vikas Rathi was in the news for intimidating the vice-chancellor of PU had his name figuring in the FIRs for trespassing, criminal intimidation till two months ago.

Nevertheless, this has not deterred his party to condemn the incident of violence and issue press statements.

Even, SOPU whose president Harpreet Singh Multani, who has been allegedly named as the one to be behind the incident, have also held a press conference demanding that suspension orders should be imposed across the board for all students.

They even have demanded suspension for the victim of the May 3 violence as his name also figured in the incident of violence on March 28 on the campus.

“The university is soon turning out to be a battle ground for the students parties for settling their own scores and there are no takers for academic issues”, said a senior professor of the university.

“There is a need for reality check for the student leaders and their supporting groups or else the university will be another playfield for dirty state and national politics which have already seeped into the academic environments of the university”, said Rajesh, a research scholar of PU.

The fact that none of the student bodies have offered any solutions so far after the incident on May 3 exposes their very interests and their roles.

“If they are also resorting to levelling allegations and mud slinging, what is the difference between these students and our political leaders”, said, Parul, a university student. 



BJP criticises govt for delay in MC chief election
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
The state government was making city residents pay the price of not voting for the ruling party in the municipal committee elections held on March 30. BJP councillor and party nominee for the post of MC president V.K. Sood alleged this here yesterday.

Sood, who was interacting with mediapersons, said the development work in the city was suspended in the absence of the head of the civic body and the state government did not want to install any chief till it did not manage the required number of councillors in the house to claim the post.

The district administration also hand in glove with the government, failed to appoint any administrator after SDM Virender had gone on long leave leading to utter chaos in the city.

City roads were in a shambles, residents were facing shortage of drinking water and unusual power supply cuts were being imposed on the city, said Sood.



2 hurt in accident 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
Two persons were seriously injured in a hit-and-run case when their motorcycle was smashed by a car at the Sector 11 and 4 roundabout here today. 

The victims, who were referred to the PGI in a critical condition, were identified as Mohammed Abdul and Kamoolhoda, residents of Haripur village near here. According to the police, the vehicles met with an accident when the victims were on their way from Haripur village while the car was coming from Sector 11. Both the victims were shifted to the local civil hospital immediately. 

Eyewitnesses said the speeding car, being driven by a woman, dragged the bike to some distance after hitting the two-wheeler. The police claimed to have identified the car but the accused was yet to be identified.



Lawyer dies mysteriously
Tribune News service

Mohali, May 8
Jagwinder Singh Dhillon, a 47-year-old lawyer practising in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh was found dead in mysterious circumstances at Fatehabad in Haryana today. The lawyer had gone missing from his Phase IX residence here on May 4.

Dhillon had reportedly left home that morning to go for a walk. He drove out of the house in his Tavera car at about 5.30am to reach the place where he walked. However he never returned.

Police sources said his brother-in- law Harpreet Singh told the police on May 5 here that Dhillon had left home on his own in his car. No reason was given by the family members for his having gone missing. Sources said the lawyer’s mobile phone was with him but he did not respond to any call.

The car of the deceased was found abandoned near the Sirhind canal. His mobile phone was also found in the car. The Sirhind police informed the Mohali police about the car yesterday.

Dhillon’s dead body was found near the Sirsa branch at Gillankher village today and after a post mortem the dead body was handed over to the relatives.

Some members of the family alleged that Dhillon was kidnapped and murdered in a planned manner. Charanjit Singh an uncle of Dhillon’s wife told mediapersons that this was a planned murder.

The body was said to be in a very bad shape when it arrived in Mohali here this evening. The family cremated it in the late evening. The contents of the post mortem report from Fatehabad were not disclosed. Dhillon is survived by his wife Raj and two sons.

The family is yet to inform the local police about the body having been found. 



CIC reserves order on UT administrator
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) today reserved its order on a complaint whether the UT administrator was a public authority or not. The complaint was filed with the CIC by activist Hemant Goswami for the failure of UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues to appoint a ‘public information officer’ and for not making the information available to public under Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

According to a press note issued here today, Goswami had reasoned that since the administrator was a constitutional authority appointed under Article 239(2) of the Constitution and came within the definition of article 2(h) which reads that “public authority means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution.”

However, countering the claim, joint secretary home Bhupinder Singh, who appeared on behalf of the administrator, informed the commission that the administrator did not have any real existence and there was no office of the administrator. He said the commission that the files of the administrator were dealt with by officials of the Punjab Government appointed in the Governor House and the Chandigarh administration had no control over the same.



Liquor vend to be shifted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 8
The district administration has decided to shift the location of liquor vend near the Mata Mansa Devi Dwar.

Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajinder Kataria said keeping in view the religious sentiments of the pubic and the proximity of the vend to the Chandigarh-Panchkula road, the owners had been asked to suspend the business immediately and shift the vend to some other place.

Opening of the vend right on the side of the ‘dwar’ having affinity with Mata Mansa Devi shrine had led to grave resentment among the residents of the locality as well as devotees.



FOSWAC demands need-based changes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) demanded regularisation of need-based changes in the marla houses and the Chandigarh Housing Board(CHB) flats, here today.

Chairman of FOSWAC P.C. Sanghi said the GPA holders should be transferred houses in their name on the same terms and conditions as the original allottees. Besides, inclusion of representatives of residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) in various committees of the administration was also demanded.

The upgradation of the civic amenities in Phase III sectors -Sector 48 to 61- and their transfer to the MC for proper maintenance was also demanded by the residents’ body.



Allow late night visitors at Sukhna

To beat the heat and stress of the day, one usually goes to Sukhna Lake for a stroll in late evenings after dinner. People are often seen there, families with kids, couples and group of youngsters enjoy themselves sitting on the rock pavement on lakeside or strolling on the path.

The entire road starting from the area adjacent to The Raj Bhawan (Haryana) is shut to public after 10.30 pm by the administration citing safety concerns, which is quite understandable.

But why are people driven out of the front portion of lake at about midnight by the UT police personnel posted there? If someone creates mischief, trouble or obscenity, he or she should be booked or driven out, but why the well-behaved citizens?

Is our police not competent to maintain vigil on a 100-200m stretch, or have the administration become sadist to such extend that it cannot allow citizens a few happy moments. I think the police wants people to remain in their houses late night, so that no crime would take place outside.

This clearly indicates the inefficiency of the police. Instead of harassing the residents, the police should find other ways to control crime.

Dr Shruti Kapoor, Panchkula



Central Varsity Status
Committee plans door-to-door campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
With the passage of every day, the resentment on the campus against the indifferent attitude of the political parties to the demand for central university status for Panjab University is becoming intense.

One after the other department is lining up to take the challenge and offering to register their protest in the form of relay fast. Today, on the 32nd day of the chain fast, while five teachers and two research scholars from the department of zoology sat on the fast, the entire department also sat with them to express their solidarity with the fasting teachers and students of the department. Teachers those who sat on the fast were Upma Bagai, Y.K. Rawal, V.K. Walia, Sukhbir Kaur and Rajinder Jindal, while among the research scholars were Rakesh Thakur and Devinder Singh.

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee has called a meeting tomorrow to take stock of the situation and also work out programme of door-to-door campaign, both in Punjab and Chandigarh. The JAC leadership has planned to shoot off letters to all the alumni, whose number runs into thousands, with an appeal to write directly to the Chief Minister of Punjab as also to the Prime Minister of India for giving an ear to the agitating PU community.



Students pay tributes to Tagore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
Students of Strawberry Fields World School presented ‘Ritu Rang’ songs on the aspects of changing seasons. Aditi Dua, former president of the National Council of Public Relation Society of India, was the chief guest.

The audience enjoyed the performances of young children in the open air. The programme was a tribute to Guru Rabindranath Tagore on the eve of his birth anniversary under the auspices of Durga Das Foundation.

The children between the age group of 6 to 11 years brought alive the grace of all seasons from grishma to barsha, sharat to hemant, shith to vasant.

Dua was greatly impressed by the programme and expressed surprise that such talented children of our country could perform so well in such a young age on so difficult compositions. She commented that students should feel proud that they had given such an excellent performance at such a young age.

While remembering Tagore’s composition of National Anthem, she said the countrymen’s head was held high as it represented our country.

While sharing the achievements of Tagore with the students, she said he devoted all his life for contributing to art and painting and composition of songs. 



DAV celebrates Mothers’ Day 
Tribune News Service

Tiny tots celebrate yellow day in Shivalik Public School in Mohali.
Tiny tots celebrate yellow day in Shivalik Public School in Mohali. Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 8 
Mothers’Day turned to be an opportunity for young mothers and their wards to know each other better at DAVPublic Senior Secondary School, Phase X, Mohali ,here, yesterday. The school organised a unique contest ‘Know thy Mom’for the students of primary wing and their mothers. School principal Jaya Bhardwaj said it was an initiative to make the child and the mother know each other better.

YELLOW DAY: Tiny tots of Shivalik Public School, Mohali, observed ‘Yellow Day’ yesterday. Students of nursery, LKG and their teachers turned up wearing yellow dresses. Even in their tiffins they brought yellow fruits and eatables. They made paper sunflowers. 

ANNUAL DAY: The third annual function and prize distribution was organised by Shivalik Institute of Education and Research, Phase VI, here, yesterday. Prof J.N. Joshi, professor emeritus, Panjab University was the chief guest. Narajan Singh, DEO, Mohali, also graced the occasion. Principal Dr Satpal Kaur Grewal presented the annual report. 

SEMINAR: Numerous exciting higher education opportunities in the US were unveiled in a seminar organised by Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, yesterday. The seminar was inaugurated by Ranjit Singh, director of Overseas Solutions Private Ltd. 

FAREWELL: Students of final year of MBA of Swami Vivekanand IET, Ramnagar, were given a farewell party by pre-final year students in an impressive, chatty and spicy programme yesterday. What distinguished this programme from others was the coordinated work of student committees which provided learning experience through participation and practical exercise of event management. 

ATTENTED: Maninder Singh, a student of Class VI of Saffron City School, Fatehgarh Sahib, attended an international Choi Kwang Do seminar at K2 Leisure Center at Crawley, UK, on April 26. The seminar was well attended by students from various countries. Maninder recently won a gold medal at the national Choi Kwang Do seminar held in Noida. 

AD CONTEST: Students of Anees School organised an advertisement contest in the school yesterday. Participants came forward with creative ideas for various products listed for them. School director Aneet Goyal said such activities helped enhance the capabilities of the students. 


ACTIVITYDAY: Satluj Public School, Sector 4, organised two events on its ‘Activity Day’here yesterday. The English department organised a poetry recitation competition for middle classes and science department held a science quiz for secondary classes. WON: Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, bagged the running trophy for declamation contest organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation as part of Eshwaramma Week celebrations from May 4 to May 10.



Forum directs surgical centre to pay Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 8
The life of Babu Ram, a resident of Secotr 32, has come to a standstill ever since Dr Pradeep Aggarwal operated him for a leg fracture that left him disabled for life. The surgery has rendered one of his leg shorter by two inches.

Taking serious note of medical negligence that resulted in physical disability of a patient, the district consumer disputes redressal forum directed Bone and Joint Surgical Centre in Manimajra to pay Rs one lakh compensation to Babu Ram.

The forum also directed the centre to pay Rs two lakh as costs of treatment along with Rs 2,200 as costs of litigation.

Sharing his agony, Babu Ram said, “My life has been ruined; other than losing a leg my transport business has come to a standstill after the operation.”

Babu Ram said he fell from the stairs at his house and suffered fracture on his right thigh bone on October 7, 2000. He was rushed to the surgical centre where Dr Pradeep operated him and inserted a rod in the thigh bone. The petitioner suffered a pus infection after the surgery.

When the pain re-appeared, the doctor removed two screws in the rod and left a wire in the thigh. He was again operated and the rod was replaced by another one. Subsequently, Babu Ram was operated upon by different doctors but none was able to remove the wire.

His counsel, advocate Sandeep Bhardwaj, said, “Finally he got his leg operated from Inscol Hospital and the foreign object was removed successfully.”

Meanwhile, the other party argued that Babu was told that he had started putting weight although the doctor had asked him not to do so for three months.



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