C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cong wins Panchkula MC chief post
BJP candidate elected vice-president
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 14
Minor skirmishes and gunfire marred the election of president and vice-president of the Panchkula MC here today.

The Congress managed to secure the post of president for its councillor Ravinder Rawal. The party, plagued with factionalism, however, lost the seat of vice-president to the BJP after its candidate Bhavan Gupta lost to the BJP candidate, B.B. Singhal.

Barring an incident of firing into the air, followed by a minor skirmish between the police and INLD supporters at the mini secretariat, the election passed off peacefully.

The atmosphere turned tense when INLD and BJP supporters protested when a bus carrying Congress councillors and the deputy CM was allowed to park in front of the mini secretariat, which was a no-parking zone for councillors today.

When the Congress councillors got down from the bus, INLD supporters reportedly tried to get hold of Gautam Parkash. However, the PSO of Chander Mohan fired into the air while going towards the secretariat. This enraged the supporters of the INLD and the BJP who then had a minor scuffle with police officials deputed in heavy numbers there.

The police later registered a case against the PSO.



Congress loses vice-president seat to cross-voting
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 14
The Panchkula Congress lost the post of vice-president in the civic body poll here today.

Despite tall claims of the deputy chief minister Chander Mohan that they had 27 votes in their hand, the party could secure merely 13 votes, that too for its presidential candidate in a triangular contest.

Though 14 councillors and deputy CM reached the venue for participating in election, the party candidate for president Ravinder Rawal was polled only 13 votes proving that two votes were polled to the candidate of some other party.

Sood was able to get 10 votes and the party supported Kapoor, a rebel of Congress who declared his support for INLD, as all 9 votes with INLD went in his favour.

The Congress candidate for the post of vice-president, Bhavna Gupta (ward no. 10), was defeated by B.B. Singhal, a councillor of BJP. She got only 10 votes, which were short of 5 in the number of party’s votes in the house. The INLD candidate again polled 9 votes for the post. Kuljeet Waraich (ward no. 1) was the INLD candidate.

The differences in the ruling party however proved a boon for the saffron party, which managed to get the post of vice-president despite having the lowest number of votes among all three parties in the house.



ZP Polls
A cakewalk for SAD
Tribune Reporters

Supporters of Ravinder Singh (Congress candidate from block Majri) after his win in the block samiti elections in Mohali on Wednesday
Congress supporters protest outside the counting centre in Government College in Dera Bassi on Wednesday.
Supporters of Ravinder Singh (Congress candidate from block Majri) after his win in the block samiti elections in Mohali on Wednesday; and (below) Congress supporters protest outside the counting centre in Government College in Dera Bassi on Wednesday. — Tribune photos by Vicky Gharu, Neil Bhalinder Singh

Mohali, May 14
The Shiromani Akali Dal (B) had a clear upper hand in the zila parishad elections in all the districts in Chandigarh’s periphery. However, at the block samiti level, it was not a cakewalk for the ruling party with the Congress giving it a tough competition in many blocks.

In SAS Nagar, the SAD managed to establish a majority in the 10-seat zila parishad, losing only two seats to the Congress. The SAD made a clean sweep in Fatehgarh Sahib where SAD candidates won nine out of 10 seats of zila parishad and the Congress only one. At Ropar, for the results of four seats were declared, one each going to the SAD, BJP, Congress and an independent candidate.

At Khanna, SAD candidates won the two zila parishad seats. At Rajpura, out of three zila parishad seats, the Congress won two seats and one seat went to the Akalis.

SAS Nagar: For the ZP elections, from the Mubarakpur zone, Satnam Singh of the SAD defeated Congress candidate Jalinder Singh with a margin of about 2,500 votes. In the Jaulakalan zone, SAD candidate Gurvinder Singh defeatedCongress candidate Bhupinder Singh with a margin of about 2,300 votes. In Amlala, SAD candidate Shalita Devi defeated Congress candidate Baljit Kaur with about 3,300 votes. In Khizrabad, SAD candidate Karnail Kaur won with a margin of about 1000 votes. Sehajpreet Kaur of the Congress got 9,041 votes here while Bhupinder Kaur of the BJP could muster only 501.

An Independent candidate, Ranjit Kaur, also managed 1,300 votes. The Congress candidate, Mehar Singh, won from the Teor zone, defeating SAD candidate Kuldeep Singh and Gurmeet Singh, an independent.

Despite being a dry day in the state, a liquor vend is open in Rajpura. The closure of all wine shops was announced by the EC for May 12 and 14 on account of zila parishad polls.
Despite being a dry day in the state, a liquor vend is open in Rajpura. The closure of all wine shops was announced by the EC for May 12 and 14 on account of zila parishad polls. — A Tribune photograph

The SAD candidate, Charanjit Singh, defeated Kirpal Singh of the Congress and Malkeet Singh, an independent, from Mullanpur Garibdass. SAD candidate Manjinder Kaur defeated Congress candidate Gurdev Kaur, Kanta Singla of the BJP and Babita, an Independent, in the Gharuan zone. Sohana, Karnail Singh of the SAD defeated Congress candidate Gurmukh Singh and Independent Sukhdev Singh. In the Manoli zone, Congress candidate Karam Singh won by a threadbare margin of six votes, defeating SAD candidate Jasvir Singh. BJP candidate Harinderpal Singh was also in the fray. SAD workers demanded re-counting and also gave a representation to the SDM, Kharar, R.K. Gupta, who has forwarded the request to the Punjab State Election Commission. Counting at the Lalru zone of the ZP had been put off following postponement of the elections to the block samiti seat.

In the block samitis, the Congress gave the ruling party a spirited fight. In the 15-seat Majri block, a stronghold of the SAD MLA Ujagar Singh Badali, as many as seven seats were won by the Congress while the rest went to the SAD. Congress candidates Ravinder Singh, Gurvinderjit Singh, Baljinder Kaur, Sukhdev Kaur, Jatinderpal, Ravinder Singh and Tejpreet Singh won from various block samiti zones.

The SAD winning candidates include Labh Singh, Soma, Paramjit Kaur, Bahadar Singh, Balwinder Singh, Hardev Kaur, and Soma Devi. Satpal Singh of the SAD had been elected unopposed earlier.


The happiest news for SAD came from Kharar block. Otherwise a stronghold of the Congress with a sitting MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, the SAD managed to grab 15 of the 25 block samiti seats. BJP got just one seat while the Congress won nine seats.

Dera Bassi

In the Dera Bassi block, a traditional strong hold of cabinet Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, it was no surprise that out of the 25 block samiti seats as many as 13 were bagged by SAD candidates. One seat was won by the CPI(M) and another by the INC. The rest of the results are awaited.

Recounting was ordered for the Handesra seat where the Congress was first declared won by about 150 votes but following a protest by the Akalis, a recount was ordered. The Congress worker led by Deepinder Dhillon protested the recounting. He led a group of 100 supporters and blocked the traffic on the Government College road. They raised slogans against Captain Kanwaljit Singh. Dhillon alleged that the police had also behaved rudely with him and his workers.

The winning SAD candidates here include Sumer Chand (SAD), Rajender Singh (SAD), Sukhvinder Singh (Congress), Lakhan Singh (SAD), Kamalmanjit Singh (SAD), Mangat Ram (SAD), Gurjit Singh (SAD), Paramjit Singh (SAD), Surinder Singh (SAD), Gurjant Singh (SAD), Jasvir Singh (SAD), Rulda Ram (CPI-M) and Nirmal Kaur (SAD). Gianchand (SAD) and Jagir Singh (SAD) have already won unopposed.


In Ropar, out of total 91 zones of block samiti in the district, SAD won on 17 seats, BJP bagged 15 seats, Congress won on 16 seats and independent candidates claimed two seats.

In the zila parishad elections here from Bhabhour Sahib, Ram Kumar from BJP marked victory, in Chamkaur Sahib Karnail Singh from Congress, in Morinda (rural) Major Singh Mangat from SAD and independent candidate Palwinder Kaur from Bharatgarh marked her victory.

The polling process remained peaceful in Ropar, except for altercation witnessed at the polling booth in Gajrurh area of Nurpur Bedi. Here, the Congress candidate Indra Devi lost by 15 votes to SAD Kuldeep Kaur Saini.

Baffled at her defeat, the Congress workers headed by district Congress Committee chief Dr Ramesh Dutt Sharma demanded re-counting. Sharma said that as per election commission, if there is a margin of two percent votes between losing and winning candidate, then re-counting can be demanded. However, by the time Congress workers brought Saini to counting area, officer on duty had announced the result. The Congress workers then jammed traffic in area for over an hour. Sharma alleged that Congress' votes have been wrongly cancelled terming them as fake votes.

Fatehgarh Sahib

For the block samiti polls in the Khamano block, out of total 16 seats, the Akali’s won 11 seats and two seats were grabbed by the BJP. Only one seat went to the Congress. In the Amloh block where counting was still going on, nine out of 15 seats have been bagged by the Akali's. At Khera block, out of total 14 seats, results for three seats were declared. Two were won by the SAD, one by the Congress. Results for Sirhind block samiti was still going on and out of total 15, results of 5 seats were declared. SAD got 4 seats and Congress managed to get only one seat, so far.


Out of 18 block samiti seats 11 seats are won by the Akalis and seven by the Congress. At block samiti Doraha, out of 16 seats, 13 are won by the Akali's and 2 by the Congress and one by the independent. Both the Doraha Zila Parishad seats are won by the Akalis.


Out of 25 Block Samiti seats, results of 22 were declared. The Congress party won 8 seats, BJP-7 and the Akali's, unlike at other nearby places, won 7 seats. The counting for result of rest two seats was still going on.

Bassi Pathana

Here SAD won on both the Zila Parishad seats. Inderjit Singh Sandhu of SAD (B) won the Fatehpur Arian (General) Zila Parishad seat by a record margin. He defeated his nearest rival Kulwant Singh by a margin of 6255 votes. The Congress supported candidate remained third by getting 2838 votes. Form Dhunda (SC) Zila Parishad seat Gurcharn Singh of SAD(B) defeated his nearest rival Gurmeet Singh of Congress by a margin of 799 votes. He polled 6324 votes, where as Congress candidate got 5525 votes.

SAD (B) candidates recorded win on 14 Block Samiti seats out of 15. Congress managed to win only one seat of block Samiti falling in the Bassi Pathana Block. The lone Congress candidate Darshan Singh from Nandpur defeated Jagga Singh of SAD (B) by a narrow margin of 25 votes.

With inputs from Chitleen K Sethi, Megha Mann, Gurdeep Mann and Surinder Bhardwaj



Thieves fancy Maruti cars
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Despite the changing taste of vehicle owners of Chandigarh, who prefer luxury sedans and SUVs, the good old Maruti remains a favourite of thieves.

In the past four months, 171 vehicles were stolen. Among these, 85 were Maruti 800. The other vehicles were Zen (11), Esteem (10), Gypsy (2), Wagon-R (1) and Alto (1).

Thieves showed little interest in Santro, which otherwise is one of the most popular cars. Only eight Santro cars were stolen during the period.

“Stealing Maruti-800 is very easy. Selling the stolen vehicle as scrap is also hassle free and fetches Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per vehicle. Scrap dealers dismantle the car and sell its spare parts,” says a second-hand car dealer, maintaining that in the city such business has been flourishing.

“Burail is the hub. Besides, there is a big market in Delhi for such illegal trade where most of the stolen vehicles are sent,” he said, preferring anonymity.

The police, on its part, has been helpless to check car thefts. Out of 339 thefts, including two-wheelers, in the past four months, only 71 vehicles have been recovered so far.

On an average, three vehicles have been stolen every day.

In the multi-utility vehicle segment, Scorpio seems to be another favourite as nine vehicles were stolen this year.

The number of other vehicles is less--Tata Indica (6), Indigo (5), Safari (2), Balero (5), Lancer (1) and Accent (1).

“It is shocking that so many vehicles are stolen daily and that, too, in a city equipped with all kinds of facilities,” Dinesh, a resident of Sector 38, said.



Levy of Taxes
Mayor, commissioner on collision course
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Mayor and commissioner of the municipal corporation are on a collision course on policy matters.

Mayor Pardeep Chhabra today said they would not allow imposition of residential taxes and water tariff on city residents as the corporation was not facing any financial crisis.

He added that the reports regarding levying of taxes were being given by commissioner without taking elected representatives of public into confidence.

Chhabra told the TNS that levying of taxes would only put unnecessary burden on people and they would strongly oppose such moves. Reacting to certain statements made by the commissioner, the mayor termed these a move to crush the democratic setup.

On the other hands, sources in the corporation said the administration had deducted the grant to the corporation by Rs 20 crore, asking the civic body to generate resources to meet its expenses on its own.

The corporation had given an undertaking to generate its own resources under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission for which it got Rs 36 crore in grant.

He added that the revenue to be generated by increasing water tariff would not be much. As per estimates, there are 1.36 lakh houses in the city and by charging Rs 15 per house, the amount will be anything around Rs 28 lakh.

He added that the corporation had adequate funds to meet its expenses.

Sources said a similar situation was faced in the past during the tenure of Shubash Chawla, when the administration had asked the municipal corporation to impose commercial tax.

The corporation had then agreed with the administration after both parties agreed to impose 3 per cent tax.



Reflects poor foresight

The delay in the selection of the home secretary reflects poorly on the foresight of the UT administration. Since the home secretary’s appointment was time-consuming, the administration should have set the process in motion wellin time.

As the post was crucial, the holding of additional charge by the finance secretary severely affected the working of both finance and home departments. It is time the administration put an end to ad hoc selection of Punjab and Haryana cadre officers on deputation.

A time frame for the selection of officers so that they joined on the date of repatriation of outgoing officers was essential.

— Harmohan Dhawan, former union minister



Cyber crime cell inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) inaugurated a cyber crime cell at a function in the crime branch of the UT Police, Sector 11, this morning.

Addressing a gathering, General Rodrigues said: “The cooperation of people in providing facts and relevant information can help the police tackle incidents of crime. It is our duty, as concerned and responsible citizens, to be vigilant in our localities and inform the police about any wrongdoing by anti-social elements engaged in computer-related crimes to take urgent corrective measures.”

Adviser to UT administrator Pradip Mehra said: “Our law enforcement agencies must be well-equipped with latest technologies to tackle anti-social activities by the unscrupulous elements. With modernisation, there is a trend of increase in criminal activities and our police force must be fully prepared to give fight to these anti-social elements.

In his welcome address, IG S.K. Jain said: “To fight cyber crime effectively, the Chandigarh police has set up a hi-tech investigation cell. The police has imparted training in cyber crime investigation to officers with the help of the Delhi Police, Punjab Engineering College, Central Detective Training School, Sector 36, and CBI Academy, Ghaziabad (UP).”

Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, SSP S.S. Srivastava and other police officers of the UT police were also present on the occasion.

The establishment of the unit will help check computer-related crimes like unauthorised access to computers, online banking fraud, sale of illegal articles like wildlife products, pornography, online gambling, e-mail spoofing and cyber stalking.



Attacks on journalists condemned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The Chandigarh Press Club today expressed concern at the high frequency at which systematic attacks were being carried out against journalists during the tenure of the present government in Punjab.

“The matter gains gravity as mediapersons have been attacked especially when they are on duty. Apart from being a direct attack on the freedom of the Press, such incidents amount to direct violation of the provisions of the Constitution and denying the people their “right to know,” a press note issued by the club president said here today.

The club strongly condemned the illegal detention and intimidation of a group of journalists by anti-social elements on May 12 during the Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad polls.

Photojournalist Ranjit Singh Virk sustained serious injuries. The matter becomes all the more serious as the incident occurred in a village falling in the Lambi constituency, which is represented by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

While these journalists, who were witness to gross violation of the law, were warned of serious consequences if they reported the truth, their equipment, including cameras, was also destroyed.

All this occurred when security personnel stood either as mute spectators or expressed their inability to act against the armed miscreants.

The journalistic community had high expectations of justice from the senior leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP, who held series of meetings on the issue of violence on May 13. But not a word of condemnation against the blatant attack on the freedom of Press was forthcoming.

As the act of aggression against the media was committed in the constituency represented by the Chief Minister, the club demands immediate action as per the provisions of law against the persons who trespassed the liberty of the journalists as well as the inert security personnel.

The club demanded a firm commitment from the state government that such incidents of targeting the media would not be repeated in the future.



PU security goes hi-tech
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Clamping down heavily on outsiders who roam about aimlessly in Panjab University, the authorities have decided to install electric drop gates on the campus to keep a check on their entry. A decision in this regard was taken today during the final meeting of the committee chaired by the vice-chancellor.

With this, the university authorities have also decided to introduce a new security design project on the campus. The proposed project will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh. Under this project, special gates will be installed at all entry points of the university.

Any outsider entering the campus in his vehicle without a university sticker (for an employee or a student) will have to submit one of his important documents like registration certificate of the vehicle or driving licence et al. These will be deposited at cabins which will be built alongside the gates like toll tax cabins on the highways.

The outsiders will only be allowed entry and exit from gate number 1(adjacent to PGI) whereas the university students and employees will have access to all the gates.

New parking lots will also come up in the university for students’ vehicles. A committee in his regard was constituted last year to look into the possibilities of a token system, which was to be introduced earlier. The committee comprises DSW Naval Kishore, chief security officer of PU Vijay Pal Singh, XEN and others.

The project will also include double-laning of the traffic entering the university from gate near Sector 25 for better vehicular flow.

Welcoming the move, a student leader said, “This is a great way to keep a check on all those who enter the university without any purpose.”

It is pertinent to mention here that university was in the grip of violence owing to the recent incidences that rocked the campus a few days ago. “A strict security system like this was the need of the hour,” said another student.

l Electric drop gates
l Outsiders to use only gate number 1
l New parking lots for students
l Double-laning of traffic
l Outsiders to deposit a document to enter



Moti Ram Row
School clerk assaults teacher at DPI office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Chaos prevailed on the premises of DPI (schools) office, Chandigarh, today when a 31-member teachers’ delegation from Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School-27, came to submit their representation regarding the differential pay structure being given to them by the school authorities.

The situation worsened when a school clerk and two of his accomplices, allegedly created a ruckus preventing the teachers from meeting the DPI (S).

Arts teacher H.S. Dogra alleged that school clerk N.K. Gupta, along with two outsiders, dragged him and threatened the teachers of dire consequences if they raised their voice against the school management. “They assaulted me physically and threatened us with terrible consequences if we submit our complaint with the DPI (S)”, alleged Dogra.

The teachers said they had approached the school management to submit their request for revision in pay scale according to the guidelines issued by the CBSE, but were mistreated.

“We submitted our request on April 30 to pay us our basic pay and dearness allowance according to the UT/state norms as directed by the CBSE. The management called upon us on May 8. But instead of listening to our grievance, the school director rebuked us.”

Denying all allegations, school director Shakuntala Mahajan said, “They came after the school hours and handed me a piece of paper. I just objected at the vague and deprecating language in the letter. Moreover, they are being paid as per the norms only.”

On the other hand, the teachers rued that the school management was not following a uniform salary structure as per the CBSE guidelines. “I have been working in the school for the past 23 years, till date I get Rs 7,000 as monthly pay. Like me, other teachers, too, are being victimised by the school authorities,” rued a teacher.

The teachers appealed to the DPI (S) that they were fighting for their right and did not want to protest. DPI (S) SK Setia said he had received a representation and due action would be initiated after an inquiry into the matter.

It is pertinent to mention that the Chandigarh education department had served a show-cause notice to the school in September last, regarding withdrawal of permanent recognition because of various discrepancies found in its functioning. The department had pointed out that the school was not paying salary and DA on a par with those of the teachers working in the local government schools.



Two trees chopped in name of pruning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Two full-grown trees — a “beri” and a “peepal” — were partially chopped in a parking lot of commercial complex of Sector 34, here today.

Officials of the horticulture department of the municipal corporation however maintained that the trees were just “pruned” and there was no offence in it.

A visit to the scene revealed that big branches of trees were axed and the place was strewn with huge logs. Those who axed the branches took away the wood.

The parking contactor maintained that the horticulture staff had axed the trees. The staff then smeared the part of the trees from where the branches were chopped with a coat of mud.

The contractor of Baba Nanak parking told the TNS that they had written to the authorities to prune the trees as these posed a threat to vehicles parked underneath it.

Sub-division engineer K.P. Singh told the TNS that the trees were not axed but slightly pruned.



Consumer Court
New India Assurance fined Rs 1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed New India Insurance Company to pay punitive damages of Rs 1 lakh to a Panchkula-based company for indulging in unfair trade practices.

The insurance firm was also asked to pay the claim of the company as assessed by the surveyor.

In his complaint, managing director of Sonia Overseas Pvt Ltd N.D. Prashar said they had got the stocks and machinery insured with the insurance firm in 1991. He added that he had purchased three insurance policies.

However, the company faced loss due to floods on the night of August 2, 2004. The surveyor of the company submitted loss at Rs 93 lakh.

Repudiating the claim, the insurance firm argued that it had examined the records and reports of the surveyor and found some irregularities.

In another case, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Tata AIG General Insurance Company to pay insurance claim of around Rs 3 lakh at an interest of 12 per cent per annum to a chemist, Balaji Medicos, in Sector 32.

The petitioner, Kewal Krishan, had stated that he had taken an insurance policy for goods worth Rs 10 lakh from the insurance firm.

He added that on the intervening night of April 2 and 3, 2004, water entered his godown damaging stock of medicines and drugs.

The surveyor of the insurance firm assessed the loss at Rs 9 lakh. He received a cheque for around Rs 6 lakh from the insurance firm.

The insurance firm claimed that stocks in Sector 29 were damaged, which was assessed to around Rs 6 lakh.

However, the commission held that medicines that were destroyed were worth Rs 9 lakh. The balance amount of around Rs 3 lakh had to be paid to the petitioner, it held.



Increase covered area by 10 pc: Association
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
In the backdrop of an unprecedented increase in the value of property in Chandigarh, the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) today demanded a 10 per cent increase in the covered area in all types of houses.

In a representation to UT finance secretary, the federation also demanded that the word architectural control/ frame control in respect of one kanal houses be deleted in order to allow additional covered area of 150 sq ft in the rear courtyard. The zonal restrictions imposed in case of two kanal houses in Sectors 27-A and 28-A may be lifted in order to allow the construction of annexe unit or habitable accommodation for service providers.



City dancesport body ropes in best dancer-couple
To hold workshop from June 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The Chandigarh Dancesport Association, floated hardly 15 days back with Rakhee Gupta Bhandari as its president and G.S. Sethi as secretary-general, has roped in the country's best dancing couple, Shannon Benjamin and Preeti Gupta for a five-day workshop to be held from June 2 to 6 at Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24, Chandigarh. The last date for sending entries is May 25.

The workshop will be followed by the first Chandigarh State Dancesport Championship for which the All-India Dancesport Federation has given its nod.

The dancing duo had been representing India in Latin American and Standard Ballroom dance competitions. In the Asian Indoor Games, organised by the Olympic Council of Asia at Macau in November last year, Priti and Shannon made it to the quarter-final grade in Grade A Latin. Those interested can contact Rajiv Garg, Dance World, SCO 12, second floor, Sector 17-E, Chandigarh (phone 9876042751). Preeti Gupta got her name registered in the Limca Book of Records for being the main dancer in the 'World's Longest Dance Party', dancing non-stop for 55 hours and 55 minutes.



Cricketers’ date with City Beautiful
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
India’s spinner Anil Kumble and Pakistani cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq had a relaxing time today spending the afternoon at Sukhna Lake along with their families.

“I admire the city for its beauty and serenity. It’s a nice place. That is why we decided to bring our families here to spend some valuable moments,” said the highest wicket-taker for India before going for a ‘shikara’ ride.

Both players, who are a part of Bangalore’s Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League, spent over two hours there.

“The city is not new to me, but this is the first time I have come here with my wife and kids. They are having a great time here. We also visited the famous Rock Garden. It’s really impressive,” said the spinner refusing to answer any question related to the game.

Misbah-ul-Haq also opted to avoid media. However, his wife Uzma Khan, who was quite happy to be in the city, said: “Yesterday, I went for shopping and today, we decided to go for sightseeing at famous places here.” Lahore-based Uzma was on her maiden visit of the city.

“I am happy to see that we (Chandigarhians and Lahoreans) have many similarities, including those of language, culture and faces,” Uzma said.

Earlier, Chandigarh tourism director Vivek Atrey and CITCO officer Daniel Banerjee received the VIP guests at the lake cafetaria. 

Bangalore team’s skipper Rahul Dravid and other members of the team chose to go back to the hotel following the ruckus created by some press people. More than 20 photojournalists, including those from electronic media, virtually seized the door of the players’ bus. Rahul, who was about to get down the bus, went back in the vehicle when a journalist allegedly started firing controversial questions involving him and his team’s owner Vijay Mallya. 



Assault on Spectator
PSHRC to hear case on May 27
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
The Punjab Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) will take up the case of an alleged assault on Amitabh Bhalla on May 27. The youth was allegedly beaten up by Punjab Police cops at the PCA stadium in Mohali during an IPL match on Monday.

The complaint was filed by Mohinder Singh. The complainant has demanded action against the Mohali senior superintendent of police and the cops seen in the photograph carried in The Tribune.

The Tribune had carried a story stating that the youth was allegedly bashed by the Punjab Police after he slipped into a moat while cheering the players during the match.

Incidentally, the complaints filed against the Punjab Police with the PSHRC are on the rise. Surprisingly, there are 1,798 complaints filed against the Punjab Police with the PSHRC in the first three months of the year. Of these 559 complaints pertain to abuse of power by the police and 838 pertain to their failure in taking lawful action against the accused. The number of complaints against the Punjab Police has risen from 57 in 1997 to 9,410 in 2007. The figures clearly indicate that people prefer to file a complaint with institutions like PSHRC rather than going to police stations. PSHRC president Justice R.S. Mongia said, “It is better to write a complaint and send it through mail to the SHO of a police station than going their and getting the FIR registered. A copy of the complaint should also be sent to the senior superintendent of police.”



2 jawans clash outside CM’s residence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Two CRPF jawans — Narinder Pal and Arun Kumar — posted at the resident of Punjab chief minister, had a scuffle over a personal issue outside the chief minister’s residence here this evening.

According to police sources, during the scuffle Narinder Pal attacked another jawan, Suraj Bhan, who tried to intervene, with a sharp-edged weapon.

Narinder Pal again attacked Arun Kumar and Suraj Bhan after the two were returning from the hospital.

No case was registered as both parties later reached a compromise over the issue.



Brahman sabha remembers Banda Bahadur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Shri Brahman Sabha, Chandigarh, observed Vijay Diwas and Maharaja Banda Bahadur Bairagi ji at Bhagwan Parshuram Bhavan here.

The sabha has demanded that a defence university be set up and named after Banda Bahadur. A chair should also be established in his name in all three universities of Punjab, it added.



Maintain city’s ponds

The ponds around the Punjab Assembly and Capital Complex, Sector 1, are not being maintained properly. Dirt, filth and plastic tea cups are thrown everywhere. Tourists visiting these sites take a bad impression of the city with them.

I appeal to Chandigarh Administrator Gen (retd) S.F. Rodrigues to get these ponds cleaned and see that in future, these ponds are kept in good shape.

Surroundings of Le Corbusier’s buildings must be kept clean.

Narinder Singh, Chandigarh

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GCG-42 comes out with magazine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Celebrating 27th year of academic excellence, Government College for Girls, Sector 42, here, has come out with a college magazine.

Senior associate editor of The Tribune A.J. Philip, who was the chief guest on the occasion, released the 2008 edition of the magazine, at a function held on the school premises today.

Named ‘Shikhar’, this annual magazine depicts the approaches that have shaped the creative urge of the student community.

Appreciating efforts of the editorial team, Philip emphasised the need to encourage students to participate in more creative writing activities and preparing them for competition. He advocated refurbishing the fundamental teaching of journalism courses, which are not attuned to the present environment. Highlighting the achievements of the college, principal Shashi Malik informed that students were exposed to the nuances of the socio-economic, political and international issues.

“The best way to promote a positive learning environment is to provide an interesting and inviting classroom experience to the students. The ideas in ‘Shikhar’ are not generated in a vacuum. Certain writings of students provide insights into important issues such as scientific and technological development, management, women empowerment, peace, ethnic and religious conflict,” said Dr Sudhir Hindwan, chief editor of the magazine.



PU scholar gets global award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Ashish Dhir , a senior research fellow of Panjab University, has been chosen to receive the Rafaelsen Young Investigator Award by International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. This is for the first time that a Panjab University research fellow has been selected for this award.

Dhir, a senior research fellow in the pharmacology division of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, is one of the 10 researchers across the globe who have been selected for this award.

Ashish, who is currently doing his Ph D in pharmacology, is also working on finding molecular entities in the area of treatment of mental depression. Besides this, he has got his papers published in many international research journals. Talking to the Tribune, Ashish said: “My research work has got a boost with this prestigious award”. He expressed his thanked his guide Prof S K Kulkarni under whose guidance he has been carrying out the research work.

Ashish has been invited to present his research work at the 16th Collegium International Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum, going to be held at Munich, Germany, from July 13-17. The award consists of a citation, air travel, free registration and local hospitality and $500 during the conference.



Central Varsity Status
Library staff join relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Members of the PU Library Staff Association (PULSA) sat on the ongoing relay fast today which entered the 38th day. Navjeet Kaur and Indu Dhawan from the university library joined Neelam Sharma, president of PULSA and S.S. Bedi, vice-president of PULSA.

“During the last couple of years, the subscription to 36 journals worth Rs 20 lakh had to be discontinued with for want of funds. Unlike Delhi University, which is spending Rs 1.67 crore only on electronic journals, Panjab University does not have even a penny for this purpose, which is a pre-requisite for advanced research,” said Prof V.K. Anand, Central Library librarian.

Elaborating on the steep decline in resource materials for research and teaching in the university library, S.S. Bedi, deputy librarian, said in 1970 the university was subscribing to 1,600 journals but the number had now declined to 660. In the absence of a budget for paid e-journals such a drastic cut in their subscription was bound to affect teaching and research adversely. 



PU Fund Crunch
All hopes pinned on UGC team
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
All eyes in the Panjab University are set on the visiting team of UGC in anticipation of a liberal grant for various projects. An 11-member UGC team is here for two days to allocate funds under the 11th five-year plan.

The team that reached today will visit all departments of the university for various projects, which are currently underway and also those which are in the pipeline.

The university, which is going through a serious fund crunch since a long time now, has been on the receiving end, thanks to its inter-state corpus body status. Owing to this, many projects that were initiated to benefit students, teachers and society on the whole, have not been exploited to their full potential. Lack of funds has only aggravated the problem.

Besides this, the university proposes to start an Institute of Emerging Areas and Futurology, a full-fledged radio and television centre of its own, another management institute on a par with IIMs.

Besides, the university has recently started a department of community development and a department of disability studies as well. The university also proposes to have a separate hostel for women scholars for which funds are yet to come.

Improving sports infrastructure and matching up to the global standards in this area is also on the cards. For this, the university proposes to have a hockey Astro turf and a velodrome, which would come up at the cost of a few crores.

To discuss these matters, the vice-chancellor also held a meeting today with the chairman of all departments.

“Even though the university is not in the best of its financial health, yet our focus is to bring out our current strengths,” said a chairman of one of the university departments on condition of anonymity.

“We are hoping that the UGC will be generous in giving funds for the projects which seem to be viable for being taken to the next level. If not more, we hope, at least the funds will be doubled”, said a PU professor.



DAV principal wins national award
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 14
The DAV College Managing Committee has conferred principal of DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 8, Sangeeta Bhandari with the national award for meritorious services in education. The award was presented by L.K. Advani at New Delhi. This year only Bhandari has been conferred with the prestigious national award for teachers by the President of India.

EXTRAVAGANZA: Students of St Stephen's School pit up 'Extravaganza 2008' in the school auditorium, Sector 45, here, today. Punjab finance and planning minister Manpreet Singh Badal was the chief guest while Punjab principal secretary Robin Gupta was the guest of honour. The programme began with a brief history of the school from 1982-2007 followed by a prayer dance a Rajasthani folk song, an English play, a western dance and a skit on traffic rules.

RANG TARANG: Music, art and dance festival of Delhi Public School-40, senior wing ‘Rang Tarang’, concluded on the school premises today with a valedictory function. This festival, spanning a week, enabled over 850 students to participate in a host of inter-house activities. Each day, eminent persons from the field of music, art and dance adjudged the events.



Bench holds Haryana responsible for illegal possession
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Haryana took into “forcible possession” land in revenue estate of Nanakpur village in Panchkula district way back in 1954-55; and its forest department constructed a rest house on it.

Taking a serious view of the matter on a petition filed by landowners Jagdish Kumar and others, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina, today ruled: The entry of the state into the land belonging to the petitioners; and erection of building thereon, is an act which has no legal backing. The action is condemnable, being simply arbitrary.

The Bench added the petitioners were entitled to costs, which was quantified at Rs 50,000. Taking note of the petitioner’s plight, the Bench noted: A humble citizen has resigned his fate to the almighty state.

The Bench also directed the state to make a “draft assessment of the land at the prevailing market rate and make payment of at least 80 per cent of the amount to the petitioner within two months from today”.

“The petitioners shall also be entitled to compensation in lieu of the use of land from the date of possession, till the date of issuance of notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,” the Bench ruled.

The judges also observed that the fact regarding the construction of a rest house had not been denied by the deputy conservator of forests, Morni, Pinjore.

After noting his submission, the judges held: We are of the opinion that the acquisition proceedings should have been initiated a long back. The petitioners had agreed to sale of land in 1982, but nothing transpired.

For more than 20 years, departmental correspondence continued without any result.

Then in 2003, the petitioner again agreed for the sale of land. Again, it took four years to offer them the price. They then rejected the payment sought to be made by cheque.

In their petition, Jagdish Kumar and another had sought directions to the state to acquire their land as it was already in forcible possession of the respondents.



District Courts
6 get life term for murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 14
Additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg today sentenced six persons to life imprisonment for murdering Randhir Malik, a resident of Palsora. A fine of Rs 15,000 each was also imposed on them.

According to the prosecution, Prem Nath, Sunil Bhatia, Mukesh Kumar, Prem Narayan, Amardeep Singh and Harjit Singh had assaulted Randhir Malik, on February 5, 2005, in the market of Sector 40.

On the day of incident, Randhir went to the market with Satbir and was beaten up by Mukesh along with five others with hockey sticks in front of a sweets shop.

The prosecution stated that the accused assaulted the complainant and the victim as they had entered into an altercation with the deceased in the park of Sector 40.

The prosecution said: “Randhir used to work in Ranbaxy. Both witnesses Satbir and Raj Kumar supported the prosecution. Raj Kumar was an eyewitness in the case as he had gone to the market to buy sweets on the day of incident.”

Meditation centre

A mediation and conciliation centre” will be opened at the District Courts Complex, Sector 17 on May 16.

Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, Justice Vijender Jain will inaugurate the centre.

The motto of the centre is “Total settlement”. Specialised persons would be deployed for reaching compromise/settlement between two parties in conflict.

Administrative judge, sessions division, Chandigarh, Mr Justice Permod Kohli and chairman, mediation and conciliation committee, Justice Mahesh Grover will also be present on the occasion.



Cops transferred

Chandigarh, May 14
The UT police today promoted inspector B.S. Negi as deputy superintendent of police and posted him in the economic offences wing of the Chandigarh Police. Beside, DSP (EOW) Jagbir Singh has been transferred to the Police Lines, while DSP (Police Lines) K.I.P. Singh has been sent to crime branch. Har Sai Sharma has been transferred as SHO, police station-3. — TNS



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