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All set for polls today
Tribune Reporters

A man collects a ballot box for the panchayat elections in Mohali
A man collects a ballot box for the panchayat elections in Mohali on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Ropar, May 11
All is set for the block samiti and zila parishad elections scheduled to be held tomorrow. As many as 79 supervisors have been stationed at 671 polling booths in the district. Besides, 671 presiding officers have been deputed at these polling stations.

In a press statement issued today, deputy commissioner Baldeo Purushartha stated that in all, there were 2,684 polling officers and 320 presiding and polling officers in reserve to meet any kind of emergency.

He added that each returning officer had been provided with four videography teams. At least 3.53 lakh voters will exercise their franchisee tomorrow to elect their representatives in 10 zila parishads and 21 block samitis of Ropar, 24 of Anandpur Sahib, 16 of Nurpur Bedi, 15 of Chamkaur Sahib and 15 of Morinda.

SSP P.K. Sinha stated that 2,234 police personnel had been posted to maintain law and order during the polls.


All is set for the zila parishad and block samiti elections in SAS Nagar district tomorrow.

As many as 394 polling stations have been established for the elections to 10 seats of the zila parishad and 65 seats of the block samiti. The district is divided into three blocks-Majri, Kharar and Dera Bassi. Other than 1,400 administrative personnel, who are on duty at these polling stations, more than 1,500 policemen would also be on duty.

“As many as 113 booths have been declared sensitive. Kharar is the most sensitive one. Three DSPs have also been attached with the three returning officers of the blocks. The blocks would be further supervised by SP-level officers,” said SSP of SAS Nagar R.S. Khatra.

DSP Kamaldeep Singh has been posted at Kharar, DSP Harinderjit Singh Sidhu has been posted at Majri and DSP S.S. Gill would be on duty at Dera Bassi.

In Dera Bassi, there are a total of 102 booths out of which, 17 have been declared super sensitive and other 26 have been declared sensitive. In Kharar, 190 booths have been set up and at Majri 121 booths have been set up.

As many as 216 candidates are in the fray and the total number of voters in the district is about 2.93 lakh. Three SAD candidates have been declared elected unopposed from the district.

Bassi Pathana

All is set for the zila parishad and block samiti elections in Bassi Pathana. The polling parties consisting of five persons each, along with the polling material and a police party each, have been sent to all polling booths. There are around 80 polling booths in the block out of which, 19 have been identified as the most sensitive ones.

District electoral officer-cum-deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Singla said all arrangements had been made for the convenient stay of the polling parties at their respective booths. Adequate security arrangements had been made for free and fair conduct of the elections, he added. The counting would take place on May 14.

He further stated that election observer for Fatehgarh Sahib Iqbal Singh also inspected the booths. He said there were 431 polling booths in the district out of which, 112 were sensitive. Special police parties had been deployed at these polling booths to maintain law and order. He urged the people to help the administration in maintaining law and order.



Staff on poll duty vent out ire
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 11
Staff on election duty here today raised slogans against the district administration for not providing them with refreshments and adequate facilities.

The staff on duty from various parts of the state gathered near the Jhanda ground at the municipal committee office. A large number of trucks carrying polling material and staff members kept on waiting for their turn to be ferried to the polling stations till the evening.

"We are here for the past more than five hours, but the officials concerned have neither provided us with the chairs nor with any refreshments. Even the female staff is not being provided with basic amenities," said Randhir Singh, an employee of the education department from Nabha. He said the employees were feeling harassed and were forced to raise slogans against the authorities for not been able to provide basic facilities.

Another employee of the irrigation department from Patiala P.T. Shourie rued that despite their repeated requests, neither the returning officer nor any other official visited the place and they were left in the lurch or many hours. They tried to bully us in the evening and ordered us to act swiftly in transporting the polling material, he added.

The female employees also rued that they were forced to stay at a disorderly place amidst scorching heat and dust. The SDM-cum-returning officer came here just for a while in the morning at around 11 am and did not turn up after that, said the employees.

They said even the truckers were not provided with the slips to get their vehicles filled with fuel. The officials concerned came late in the evening and without enquiring about our well-being, they ordered us to be ready for the duties.

Returning officer G.P.S. Sahota could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. However, when enquired about the matter, assistant returning officer and tehsildar Kuldeep Singh said the employees were not entertained or provided with refreshments as they were not attending a wedding party.

He claimed that the employees did not cooperate with the returning officer and other officials concerned due to which the process of despatching them to their respective polling booths got delayed.

They had to take the help of police officials in despatching the parties to the polling stations, he added.



Open liquor vends invite police wrath
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 11
The Mohali police today ensured the closure of a number liquor vends in the district following raids at various places.

Former SAS Nagar DC H.I.S. Grewal last evening ordered the closure of all liquor vends in the district from May 10 evening to May 12 midnight and then on May 14 under Section 54 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1961.

SSP R.S. Khatra, along with a team of police officers, raided an open vend at Boothgarh village in the Majri block and arrested the vend keeper. A case has also been registered. Similarly, another vend at Gharuan was closed down.

The police also raided a vend on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road in Dhakoli village following complaints that the vend was open despite the closure orders.

“However, on checking, it was found that the vend owner had a license from Haryana,” said Khatra.

Meanwhile, officials of the district excise department, in collaboration with members of the Mohali Liquor Association, recovered 20 cartons of liquor that was being smuggled from Chandigarh to Haryana. The liquor was being smuggled by three persons in a Wagon R car with a temporary Haryana number. The accused -Nitin Lal, Surinder Singh and Rajesh -have been arrested and booked under Section 61 of the Excise Act. The three were allegedly taking the liquor to Kurukshetra.



Cong supporter caught with liquor
Tribune News Service

Kharar, May 11
Jarnail Singh, alias Rinku, a supporter of Congress candidate Sajjan Singh, was held with 90 bottles of liquor here today.

The police got a secret information that Jarnail, resident of Azad Nagar, Balongi, was carrying liquor to be distributed among the voters on the eve of the block samiti elections.

The police arrested him from the Balongi sales tax barrier and booked him under the Excise Act. He was bailed out in the evening.



Patiala gears up to get its green back
Tribune News Service

Encroachment at a municipal corporation park in Patiala
Encroachment at a municipal corporation park in Patiala.
— Tribune photo by Rajesh Sachar

Patiala, May 11
The greenbelts in Patiala that were carved out by the municipal corporation and town planning department as parks in the city would be restored their past glory.

City mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli told The Tribune here today that the corporation had chalked out an ambitious project to hand over the maintenance work of important parks in the town to private business houses. He said negotiations with some industrial houses were in advance stages and contracts could be inked anytime now. He said with this, several parks in the city that had been lying in a state of neglect would be given a facelift.

The municipal parks of the royal city have shrunk over the years and a large number of parks have done the vanishing trick. There are 85 municipal parks in the city and of these, 16 have been encroached upon and the legal proceedings have been initiated to have these vacated.

Senior functionaries of the municipal corporation confided that the corporation was in a bind as many parks had been encroached upon. They admitted that permanent structures had come up on many of these encroached parks. The corporation was now initiating a campaign to have these parks vacated, they said adding that the chances of this were remote as some of the unauthorised structures had been in existence for up to two decades now.

The mayor said the corporation had resolved that it would fight legal cases to ensure that the permanent encroachments were removed from the municipal parks. Cases with regard to certain parks were already pending in the courts of law, he added.

Kohli admitted that there was paucity of funds for the maintenance of the parks. He also admitted that there was shortage of manpower in the horticulture wing of the corporation as a result of which, many of the public parks were in a state of neglect. He said the involvement of private business houses in the work of maintenance and upkeep of the parks was an endeavour to overcome the shortage of staff and funds in the horticulture department.

He said it was planned to build boundary walls around these parks and put up boards informing public that the particular stretch of land was a park. The idea was to ensure that these pieces of land were not encroached upon.

Sources in the corporation, however, narrated a different story. They said several parks, which were popular with the public in the days bygone, had since been reduced to small green patches with the construction of drinking water reservoirs and installation of tubewells in these parks.

They cited the example of Arya Samaj Park and Master Tara Singh Park in the busy Anardana Chowk area.

These sources said only a couple of parks were in proper shape and a massive and sustained effort was needed for retrieving the parks and maintaining these for which the corporation had no infrastructure.



Taekwondo C’ship
DPS win 10 gold, 7 silver
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, May 11
Martial artists of hosts Delhi Public School, Pinjore, cornered glory by winning a haul of 10 gold and seven silver medals in the inaugural invitational Taekwondo Championship organised by the Panchkula Taekwondo Association on the school premises here today.

Taekwondo Club, with four gold and two silver medals, took home the runners-up trophy.

DPS won top honours through Naman Mittal (-32 kg), Ankit Solanki (-35 kg), Mohit Tushir (-38 kg), Mohit Chaudhary (-45 kg), Ishpreet Singh (-48 kg), Anjini (-51 kg), Sanchit (-58 kg), Shadman (-62 kg), Harsh Bhandari (-78 kg) and Sagar Mathur (+78 kg).

Earlier, DPS principal Samson inaugurated the two-day championship.


Under 18 kg: 1 Anshbir Singh (Taekwondo Club), 2 Karan Sharma (Balastic Vidyalaya); under 21 kg: 1 Gagandeep Singh (Taekwondo Club), 2 Atinder Pal (Mohali); under 25 kg: 1 Kartik Kher (Stepping Stone), 2 Subhuam (Taekwondo Club); under 27 kg: 1 Rohit (Manav Mangal), 2 Gurdev Singh (Stepping Stone); under 29 kg: 1 Piyush (Manav Mangal), 2 Jacinth (Stepping Stone); under 32 kg: 1 Naman Mittal (DPS Pinjore), 2 Amit (Satluj Public School); under 35 kg: 1 Ankit Solanki (DPS Pinjore), 2 Dishant (Manav Mangal); under 38 kg: 1 Mohit Tushar (DPS Pinjore), 2 Allah Bakash (DPS Pinjore); under 41 kg: 1 Onkar Singh (Taekwondo Club), 2 Tejinder Singh (Taekwondo Club); under 44 kg: 1 Vipan Rawat (Mohali), 2 Sandeep Battan (DPS, Pinjore; below 45 kg: 1 Mohit Choudhary (DPS Pinjore), 2 Gagan (DPS Pinjore); below 48 kg: 1 Ishpreet Singh (DPS Pinjore), 2 Lakshay Bhadoo (Little Flower Convent School); below 51 kg: 1 Anjini (DPS Pinjore), 2 Varinder Saini (Satluj Public School); below 54 kg: 1 Amit Kumawr (Taekwondo Club), 2 Saumya Little Flower); below 58 kg: 1 Sanchi (DPS Pinjore), 2 Khushawr (DPS Pinjore); below 62 kg: 1 Shadman (DPS Pinjore), 2 Gaurav (DPS Pinjore); below 67 kg: 1 Ritesh (Manav Mangal), 2 Anannya (DPS Pinjore); below 72 kg: 1Vibhor (Little Flower), 2 Mohammad Javed (DPS Pinjore); below 78 kg: 1 Harsh Bhandari (DPS Pinjore), 2 Sidanth Areop (DPS Pinjore); plus 78 kg: 1 Sagar Mathur (DPS Pinjore) and 2 Harjit (Manav Mangal).



Youths attack petrol station workers, flee with cash
Tribune News Service

Ambala, May 11
Two youths attacked three workers — Jasbir, Mohan Lal and Shashipal — of Dhillon Service Station situated on the Ambala-Jagadri road near Mullana and fled from the scene with Rs 70,890 last night.

According to the workers, the youths came to the petrol station on their motorcycles at around 10.30 pm. They asked them to fill petrol for Rs 100 and demanded a bill for the same. While the bill was being prepared, the youths, armed with stones and knives, asked them to handover the money they had.

They were taken into a cabin, where a fight ensued during which, one of the attackers took out a pistol and fired a shot in the air. Scared, they handed over the keys of the cashbox to them. The attackers locked two of them in the bathroom while another was locked in the room where the cashbox was kept and fled from the scene with the cash. However later, they managed to free themselves and reach the highway.

They flagged a passing police gypsy and narrated the incident. A case has been registered and the police has started inquest proceedings.



‘Change in coaches playing havoc with hockey’
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
“Adhoc approach is playing havoc with the Indian hockey,” feels Indian ace forward Rajpal Singh.

This, coupled with frequently changing players as well as coaches, was the main cause of the relegation of the Indian hockey in the international arena, the city-based player said citing the poor show of the national team in the ongoing seven-nation Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament at Malaysia.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Rajpal said, “If one goes by record, every time there was a new coach for Azlan Shah tourney for the past five years. In 2004, Harinder Singh coached the team and next year Rajinder Singh (junior) was in the chair. Then there were Bhaskaran and Joaquim Carvalho and this time, it is A.K. Bansal. The same goes for the players as well as there is 80 per cent change in players also. So how can one expect top-class show in such a situation?”

Taking a dig at the players, Rajpal said for more than 50 per cent of the players, representing the country was their main aim.

“They never think about winning medals. This kind of spirit is also responsible for the sorry state of affairs of the national game,” the player said.

After failing to qualify for the Olympics for the first time, the Indian team has lost two matches against New Zealand (3-4) and Argentina (1-5) before clinching 3-1 win against Canada.

“Majority of our team, playing at Malaysia, consists of inexperienced players in the absence of Prabhjot Singh, Baljit Singh (custodian), Tushar Khandekar, Dilip Tirkey and Prabodh Tirkey, who did not get a chance to don the national colours. I think there should be a balanced blend of experience and young legs to get good results,” said Rajpal, who was a member of the winning squad in Asia Cup-2007 at Chennai.



Billiards: Ajay enters semis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Causing major upset, Ajay Gupta outclassed seeded cueist Ravi Mohan and secured his berth in the top-four bracket in the billiards match of the ongoing VII Saurabh Khattar Memorial Billiards and Snooker Championship at Chandigarh Club, Sector 1, here, today.

In the well-contested quarterfinal match (game of 200 points), Ajay Gupta defeated Ravi Mohan by a margin of just seven points (202-195) and stormed into the semi-final round. Ravi Mohan, who was leading by 40 points immediately after the match started, got a tough challenge from his rival.

Making a good comeback by giving a break of 32 points, Ajay equalled the score 150-all. Showing superb cue-ball control, Ajay lagged behind his tough rival, making a break of 20 points and finally clinched the match by 202-195.



Rower felicitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Chandigarh Rowing Association (CRA) felicitated local rower Manjeet Singh for bringing laurels by qualifying for the forthcoming Olympics at Beijing this year.

Manjeet Singh was given a cash award of Rs 50,000 by Komal Saini, senior member of the governing body of CRA. Others present were the rower’s coach Arvind Sehgal, senior vice-president of the association Major D.P. Singh and association treasurer P.K. Singla.

Nineteen-year-old Manjeet Singh, a student of BA I in a local college, secured the Beijing ticket at the Pre-Olympic Regatta held at Shanghai, China, in the event of lightweight coxless double sculls (LM2x).

Manjeet will leave for Hyderabad on May 13 to attend a national camp for intensive training. After two weeks of training, he will proceed to Poznon City of Poland to participate in the World Rowing Championship.



Cricket trials on May 18
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Cricket Federation of Chandigarh will conduct selection trials for under-17 on May 18 (Sunday) at 11 am at MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36.

The CFC will choose probables for coaching camp to prepare its team to compete in the forthcoming inaugural All-India National Under-17 Jagan Nath Saini Memorial Federation Cup Cricket Championship to be held from May 28 to 31.

Interested players should report to cricket coach Ashish Tully at 10.30 am on May 18 along with their original birth certificates. Players born on or after January 1, 1991 are eligible to take part in the trials.



Conman dupes 5 computer dealers
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
In less than a month, Karan Singh Deol, owner of Amrit Technologies in Sector 45, reportedly duped five city-based computer dealers of around Rs 15 lakh, a complaint regarding which has been submitted at the public window of the Chandigarh police.

The dealers including Wahi Computers, Kudrat Infotech, Omkar Computer Services, New Wave Technologies and Varun Enterprises are now seeking the help of police in the matter.

If the allegations are to be believed, the accused Karan Singh Deol made all the transactions of purchasing the computer equipments through calls made by employees of his company. The employees were made to call and convince computer dealers to flow a deal through post-dated cheques, which later bounced.

Deol was allegedly running a fake business of garment export, which he later altered to a business of assembled computers. The first transaction was made during the last week of March.

Deol handed over post-dated cheques of Punjab National Bank bearing account number 21000151667 and of Vijaya Bank with account number 602700301000169.

However, after doing so he reportedly closed down operations and fled.

One of the complainants whom he had duped said when contacted Deol told Tribune that he would establish a new office at Ludhiana and would remain out of town for a week. However, when they came to check the office on Monday the complainants found it totally empty with only a single computer lying there.



Thefts from parked cars on the rise
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
With the police turning a blind eye to the growing menace, miscreants continue to smash the windowpanes of cars parked in crowded markets and run away with cash and important documents.

On an average, at least 20 to 25 such incidents are reported in a month.

To make the matter worse, a substantial number of such incidents go unreported with the police dragging its feet to register cases.

In a sixth such incident this week, a resident of Patiala reported that the windowpanes of his car were smashed while it was parked in Sector 35.

He alleged that the occupants took away cash and important documents including his voter card, driving license etc.

Another complainant, Mehar Singh, a resident of Jind, reported that cash and his cell phone was stolen from his car while it was parked in Sector 1.

Similarly, Arpana Dhirgra, a resident of Sector 20, alleged that miscreants broke the windowpanes of her car (CH-03-Y-9508) and decamped with cash while it was parked in Sector 32 on May 3.

Working on the same modus operandi, miscreants smashed the windowpane of a car parked in Sector 35 on May 4.

In another incident, a resident of Sector 33, Rajiv Kumar said important documents were stolen from his car while it was parked in Sector 35.

Two more such incidents were reported on May 6 and 7 from Manimajra.

Although, police claim to have arrested two accused that tried to steal cash from a car parked outside Fun Republic on May 8, much needs to be done to get to the root cause of increasing incidents of such crimes.



Four booked for attempt to murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The police arrested four youths on charges of attempt to murder, here today.

According to sources, at around 5 am, four youths including, Sumeet Dhiman, Vivek, Tushar and Nikhal created a ruckus at the house of Ranjit in Sector 18. When Ranjit objected to the nuisance, the group thrashed him. He sustained head injuries and was admitted to the PGI, where his condition is stated to be critical.

A case under Section 307 of the IPC has been registered on the statement of Ranjit at Sector 19 police station.


Jatinder Deep, a resident of Sector 43, reported that his car (CH-03-E-7532) was stolen from outside his residence on May 10. A case under Section 379 of IPC has been registered at the Sector 19 police station. In another incident, Mohamed Ashiq, a resident of Sector 26, filed a police complaint that his motorcycle (CH-04-B-1663) was stolen from Sector 26 on May 10.



Baby’s Death
Postmortem rules out foul play
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 11
The police today exhumed the body of a one-year-old baby, Shalini, and sent it for postmortem. The postmortem report, however, ruled out any foul play.

State vice-president of the All-India Human Rights Watch Capt Amrik Singh and member of Juvenile Justice Board Manjit Kaur had complained to the district police chief saying that the Sector-21 SHO refused to take action on the complaint lodged by the baby’s parents. Mother of the baby Champawati of Devinagar village had alleged that her relatives had, during a scuffle, banged the baby against a stone that resulted in her death.

During the scuffle, the father of her brother’s wife threw the baby on a stone killing her on the spot. Investigation by the police, however, indicate a conspiracy on the part of the complainants to trap their relatives. The sources in the police said the baby had expired a day prior to the scuffle.



Newborn’s body found
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The body of a newborn female was found from near the houses in Sector 18-B, here today.

The body was found wrapped in a towel at around 10:00 am. Atul Kumar, a homeguard, was first one to notice it and informed the police. Meanwhile, a postmortem was conducted at the Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16. A case under Section 318 of the IPC has been registered at Sector-19 police station.



Powerful musical performance by Sharbari
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
On the occasion of the 129th Baithak of Pracheen Kala Kendra, a classical vocal recital programme was presented by Meerut-based classical singer Sharbari Banerjee at the auditorium of the Kendra today.

Commencing the concert with raga rageshree, Sharbari's compositions ‘ye sakhi naina lage’ and ‘naina bhaye deewane’ were set to the slow beat ek tala followed by fast rupak tala ‘so ban hunn nahi deyatt rasiya’. She defined the character of the raga through the power of her musical notes.

Her next rachana ‘jaavo tum shyam’ was composed in raga shyam kalyan, set to madhya laya teen taal. Her rendering was bold and with clear tune which evoked applause from the audience.

Tarana , her next item, was delineated as leisurely and gently. She poured out her soul in dadra, ‘koyaliya mat kar pukar’. Sharbari concluded her recital with a bhajan. Here, the singer’s elusive and multi-dimensional prowess brought out the haunting quality of the composition.

Ace percussionist of Delhi Mustaffa Hussain provided excellent support on the tabla, while Muralidhar excelled on the harmonium. Pushpita Sen and Taposi accompanied Sharbari on Tanpura.



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