C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Farmer beats wife, hacks her to death
Reason: She refused to hand him his pistol
Mandeep Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A farmer bludgeoned his 55-year-old wife to death at their house in nearby Faidan village in the wee hours today. Later, along with his daughter-in-law, he rushed the victim, Jagjit Kaur, to hospital where the doctors declared her “brought dead.”

Labh Singh Mann confessed to have committed the crime to the police, saying he “lost temper” when his wife refused to hand him over his pistol late last night.

Dragging his wife from the first floor, he took her to a room on the ground floor, where he thrashed her for hours. Despite the beating, when his demand for the pistol was not met, he clubbed her with a baton and smashed her head on the floor. In the end, he hacked her to death with a dagger.

Tanu, 13-year-old granddaughter of Labh Singh, said at 3 am she heard the cries of her grandmother and rushed to the ground floor. She saw her grandfather thrashing her even while she lay unconscious on the floor.

Asked about the reason behind the killing, Labh Singh maintained that his wife was a kleptomaniac and would give the stolen money to their daughter and a son. The latter, he said, was a drug addict.

Narrating the sequence of events at the Sector 31 police station, an unrepentant Labh Singh said he had demanded the pistol from his wife as he was to accompany his friend, a bank manager, who was to fetch cash from a nearby village.

“ After the killing, I called my daughter-in-law, who was at her parents’ home. As soon as she reached home, I told her to search for the pistol. Though, all three servants were present in the house, they did not dare to come to the rescue of my wife.”

It was only after the pistol was found from a bed box that the victim was taken to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.

Interestingly, the hospital staff did not bother to inform the police about the incident. Labh Singh took the body to his home at 8 am. It was his estranged brother, Surjit Singh, who informed the police at 12 noon.The police then arrested Labh Singh.

Labh Singh told the media that on his release he would eliminate his brother who had “deceived” him by informing the police.

One of Lanh Singh’s sons, Harnak Singh, is settled in New Zealand while the other, Paramjit Singh, is a farmer. The latter admitted to a de-addiction centre in Ludhiana, came home this evening on hearing about the death of his mother.

“We were often thrashed by our father. Two months back, my father beat me with a slugger and my hand was fractured. A complaint was made to the police, but the mater ended in a compromise. My father would beat my mother almost everyday”.

Labh Singh has been booked under Section 302 of the IPC. According to SHO Bhupinder Singh, the weapon used in the crime has been found.



Petrol, LPG cheaper from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Petrol and domestic LPG will be cheaper in the city from tomorrow.

With the Chandigarh administration today issuing a notification amending the Punjab Value-Added Tax Act, 2005, petrol in the UT would be the cheapest in the tricity at Rs 50.19 per litre.

Citing public interest, the administration has reduced VAT on petrol from 22 per cent to 20 per cent, resulting in a relief of about Re 1 per litre to the consumer.

However, VAT on branded premium petrol remains 22 at per cent .Similarly, there will be no change in the prices of diesel in the city which remains at Rs 34.67 per litre.

LPG cylinder will be cheaper by Rs 13.50 at Rs 340. The notification takes effect from today, according to RK Rao, Excise and Taxation Commissioner.



“Born dead” baby found alive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A couple lost their child owing to negligence on the part of doctors.Their premature baby was declared “born dead” at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, this morning.

The family members took the child to the cremation ground only to find that he was alive.The baby was rushed back to the hospital. But the doctors there did not care to examine him at once and he remained unattended for an hour.Consequently, the child breathed his last.

The father of the child, Raman, a resident of MDC, Mani Majra, said had the doctors attended his child on time, perhaps he could have been saved.

On the other hand the head of the hospital’s gynaecology department, Dr Manju Hurria, clarified: “In medical terms, such premature deliveries are understood to be equal to abortion and the survival rate is very low.”

The matter was reported to the Sector 34 police station but no case was registered till the filing of report.



Mohali contractor, two sons in income tax net
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 11
Income tax officials today raided the office and two residences of a businessman based in the city. Pritam Singh Oberoi is a contractor and his two sons SP Singh and Gurjeet Singh run businesses from here and Dubai.

Sources said the brothers reportedly owned property worth Rs 1,000 crore and were indulging in cash transactions worth crores through three companies in Chandigarh and a hotel in Dubai. An operation was planned for the raids at their office in Sector 34, Chandigarh, and two residences in Phase 3B1 today.

PS Oberoi, his sons and other members of the family seem to have absconded. SP Singh, said a senior IT official, had a hotel in Dubai while his younger brother Gurjeet Singh ran three companies in Chandigarh: RN Highways, Apex Exports and Apex International.

The IT officials reportedly gathered evidence of cash transactions running into crores from the premises.

Three teams of officials began simultaneous raids at Sector 34 and Phase 3B1 here at 3.30pm. The Chandigarh and Mohali police accompanied the teams. The officials broke open lockers in the two houses and the office.

No family member was found at home during the raids. At House No. 717, which also houses an office, some employees were grilled by the officials. The sources said the raids were likely to continue through the night and a case would be registered tomorrow.



Fuel Embezzlement
Lt-Col, 2 others face GCM
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
An Army officer and two jawans are in the dock for allegedly embezzling diesel and petrol from the supply unit in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Army has ordered that the three be tried by general court martial (GCM) for their alleged acts of omission and commission.

Sources revealed that the GCM was ordered by the General Officer Commanding, 10 Infantry Division, Maj-Gen Philip Campose, four days ago. Brig Rajesh Anand, commander of an infantry brigade, has been detailed as the GCM's presiding officer.

The three accused, Lt-Col P. Kumar, an ASC officer, Sub A.K. Govdar and Hav Dama Singh, both from an armoured regiment, had allegedly siphoned-off about 82,000 litres of fuel valued at Rs 23 lakh. All three have been placed under close arrest, sources added.

They are facing four charges, two under Section 52 (f) of the Army Act for intent to defraud and two alternate charges under Section 63 for acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline.

They were serving together in the 510 ASC Battalion when a surprise check by a board of officers had detected large scale misappropriation of fuel. Thereafter, a court of inquiry was ordered which apparently held them blameworthy.

Sources said that over two dozen units were dependent on the said field petroleum depot for their fuel requirements.

The accused used to allegedly record issue of only 1,000 litres on vouchers of the receiving unit, but used to show the figure to be 4,000 litres in their own books. The remaining 3,000 litres per voucher was disposed off illegally through various means.


North-South Divide IV
Civic amenities lag behind
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Heaps of garbage speak volumes about sanitation in Sector 49, Chandigarh.
Heaps of garbage speak volumes about sanitation in Sector 49, Chandigarh. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, June 11
The Phase-III sectors of Chandigarh (from Sector 48 onwards) seem to be nobody's baby as far as civic amenities are concerned. Residents of the cooperative societies are at the receiving end as the duality of control by the Chandigarh administration and municipal corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) creates confusion for the authorities and residents.

Even after occupation of the apartments in the coop societies by the residents, the civic amenities are yet to keep pace with their growing demands. It takes months to get water, sewerage and electricity connections, Randhir Verma, a resident of Sector 48, rued.

Visits to different sectors revealed that the state of sanitation there was bad. Overgrowths in these sectors are a common sight.

The development of commercial space in these sectors seems to be nowhere on the agenda of the authorities concerned. A substantial number of residents have to go to far-off places to purchase items of daily use as small markets are yet to be developed.

The area has virtually no public transport system and thousands of residents have to face inconvenience due to this. Since the area is situated at one corner towards Mohali, commuting to places in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula is quite a task for the residents.

Commercial establishments such as banks, showrooms and other corporates offices cannot be opened as the administration is yet to auction the commercial property, a shopkeeper of the motor market in Sector 48-C rues.“We have to rush to other sectors for our basic needs,” said Pradeep, a motor mechanic.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council, led by S.S. Bhardwaj and Subhash C. Sharma, co-chairman and general secretary, respectively, today called on the MCC mayor to apprise him of various problems of the residents of the Phase-III sectors.

Maintenance of the parks and greenbelts and rational deployment of the manpower for the maintenance of various civic amenities were some of the issues taken up with the mayor.

With the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) mulling the construction of hundreds of flats in the area, broadly falling between Chandigarh and Mohali, this stretch of land would have high concentration of population in the years to come.

Official sources said the development of infrastructure in the area was being taken up in a phased manner.



Admn approves changes in building bylaws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
In a major relief to residents, the Chandigarh administration today approved major changes in building bylaws governing residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

The decision follows the recommendations of a high-level committee regarding marla houses, keeping in view the changing needs of residents.

There will not be any restriction of having only square and rectangular windows in architectural control houses, a press note said here today.

Under the new rules, a 3-ft-wide balcony has been allowed in the front and rear after leaving a 3-ft space on either side of the building line in marla houses.

This facility has been extended to 1 kanal houses governed by architectural control/frame control.

The provision of Rule 20 for natural light and ventilation has been relaxed in all marla houses up to 250 sq yards (10 marla) governed by frame control/zoning for additional area to be provided in the rear courtyard only.

A minimum 6'x 6' open-to-sky cutout may be provided for light and ventilation instead of 10' x 10' as per the rule. This relaxation shall be applicable only for the construction of additional area in the rear courtyard along with the area abutting the additional area.

The provision for height of additional area (up to 150 sq ft) allowed in the rear courtyard shall now be sanctioned from 7'-6" height to a maximum of 9 ft in marla and 1 kanal houses.

In 1 kanal and above houses, an additional area of 1,000 cubic ft (allowed as per Rule No. 4) is already allowed or alternatively, 150 sq ft covered area shall be allowed for habitable use within the permissible zoned area as per the requirement of the owner and as per building bylaws.

Meanwhile, solar water heating system has been made mandatory for several new categories of building, including barracks of armed forces, paramilitary forces and police, individual residential buildings having more than 150 sq ft plinth area, functional buildings of railway stations, community centres, commercial buildings, group housing, schools, colleges and hospitals.

Rainwater harvesting system has also been made mandatory in all buildings above the 10 marla category and shall be made by the plot owner having a roof area of 100 sq m or more. 

n 3-ft balcony allowed in the front and rear
n Height of 150 sq ft habitable area increased to 9 ft
n 150 sq ft habitable area allowed in kanal houses
n Solar water heating system mandatory for group housing
Rainwater harvesting system made compulsory



Suspended cop threatens to commit suicide
Punjab DGP N.P.S. Aulakh denies receiving any such complaint
Mandeep Puri
Triune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Sarita’s suicide at the Haryana Police Headquarters on Monday is giving sleepless nights not only to the state DGP, but also to his counterpart in Punjab. Punjab director general of police (DGP) N.P.S. Aulakh is a worried man following a threat of suicide by a low-rank police personnel against the departmental inquiry that was initiated sometime back.

While the identity of the personnel is still not established, the Chandigarh Police is taking no chances and has tightened the security outside the Punjab Police Headquarters and at the DGP’s residence in Sector 18.

The PCR vehicles have been deployed at the police stations falling under the Punjab Police headquarters and residence of Aulakh in order to prevent any happenings.

According to the sources, the DGP has informed the UP Police about the suicide threat by the police personnel in case his plea was not heard.

Though Aulakh denies receiving any such complaint and underplayed the issue, officials of the Chandigarh Police yesterday took a couple of safety measures and deployed extra police force at the sensitive areas under threat.

“I didn’t receive any such complaint and neither did I intimate the Chandigarh Police to take any defensive action in this regard,” said Aulakh.

Similarly, Sector 18, too, has been under the scanner of the Chandigarh Police with the cops deployed at all four exit points of the sector to check the vehicles.

S.S. Srivastava, SSP, Chandigarh Police, said, “I am only getting such news from the media. However, there were rumours that a suspended cop is threatening the Punjab DGP to commit suicide.”



Red light means green to beggars
Jyoti Rai and Arif Nazir

Chandigarh, June 11
With red lights coming up at almost every second roundabout in the city, beggary seems to have received the green signal. Anyone who halts at the traffic light is bound to encounter at least one beggar. Remember Madhur Bhandarkar’s, “Traffic Signal”?

Be it the Sector 22 market, bus stand, Sector 17 markets, the railway station or any of the traffic lights in the city, child beggers are everywhere. They dress up shabby, tug at your clothes, touch your feet, shed tears and plead for money.

“The day begins at crowded junctions and, at times, end up with a beating if we hide even a Rs 5 coin,” Says eight-year-old Tunsia, who begs with her group in Sector 17.

Three-fourth of their earnings ( Rs 50 - Rs 70 per day) go to those above them in the business hierarchy. On days with poor income, they do not hesitate to pick pocket or shop lift. Many of these kids proudly admit that they get away from the police by giving them a small share of their daily earnings.

Eight-year-old Shiva and his sister pinky perform acrobats at traffic signals. They earn Rs 50 to Rs 100 Rs per day. The kids come from slum areas in the city -- Bapu Dham, Dadu Majra, Colony No. 4, Colony No. 5 and the periphery. Not more than 20 per cent of these kids go to school.

From bidis and gutka to iodex and boot polish solution, most of the kids are addicts and most end up ruining their mental as well as physical health.

Despite the ban, beggary thrives in the city like any other business. This business is engulfing more and more young lives. The situation calls for immediate action. The administration must make more efforts to counter the menace or else the city may end up being another Delhi.



Pawan Bansal gives up official car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
In response to the PM’s call for austerity, union minister of state for finance and parliamentary affairs Pawan Bansal has surrendered his official car.

A press note issued by Ashutosh Jindal, personal secretary to Bansal, said the minister continued to lodge at the residence allotted to him as MP and had not moved to the bungalow allotted to him as per his entitlement as minister.



Consumer Courts
Bajaj Allianz told to pay Rs 2.80 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum today directed Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to pay the insurance claim of Rs 2.80 lakh at the interest rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of repudiating claim to a resident of Patiala for deficiency in service.

The forum also asked the insurance firm to pay Rs 2,500 as cost of litigation.

The petitioner, Surjit Singh, stated that he had got his Santro car insured for Rs 2.80 lakh from February 2007 to 2008. He stated that Randhir Singh of his village requested him for a test drive of his car on March 16, 2007. Ranjit took the car and never came back. Surjit got an FIR registered and claimed the insurance.

The company repudiated his claim on the plea that the petitioner had voluntarily given the car for the drive and should have taken steps for safeguarding the car.



Priya to represent India at USA conference
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Priya, a student of Class XII of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, Chandigarh, was informed a few days back that she had been selected for the International Global Young Leaders’ Conference 2008-09 by GYLC, USA. She claims to be the only girl from Chandigarh who will represent India in this conference at the USA later this year. Only few selected youth scholars from all over the world are invited to attend this program at the USA.

Elated over her achievement, Priya said, “It is a very special feeling to represent the country in this prestigious and selective programme where I will get an opportunity to meet world leaders. I am thrilled at the idea of going to the White House and meet the President of the USA.” It is not for the first time that Priya is having an international exposure. She has the privilege to be the only student selected from Chandigarh as one of the Climate Change Champion 2008 recognised by British Council of India. She had worked on water and energy conservation project and was awarded runners-up position during the International Young Eco-Hero Award 2008 held last month. The event was organised by the Action For Nature, USA.

“I was nominated for this award from entries received from all over the world. My project will soon be displayed on their official website,” she said. In recognition of her achievements, she has been awarded the prestigious National Youth Award 2006-07 by the Government of India by Mani Shankar Iyer, the Union Minister, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, on the eve of National Youth Festival 2008 held at Chennai in January. Recently, Priya went to Singapore on an education tour organised by Chandigarh education department to observe the study methodology being adopted in Singapore.



City man to feature in BBC documentary
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
City resident Harman Singh Sidhu, who was rendered incapacitated in a car crash in 1996, will be rubbing shoulders with CEOs of auto-giants in a documentary film prepared by the BBC on road safety in India.

The half-hour-long documentary “India’s Motoring Revolution” talks about Rs 1 lakh car (Nano) and its impact on Indian roads which are considered incapable of catering to burgeoning traffic.

Besides this, it will also discuss the viability of driving schools run by auto-giants like Maruti and Ashok Leyland, which are not only inaccessible to the rural future drivers, but also expensive. Presenting a dismal picture, Sidhu said that there are more accidental deaths in India than anywhere else in the world terming it as a “man-made epidemic”. Quoting studies conducted by the ministry of surface transport in 2006, Sidhu adds that over one lakh persons died on Indian roads in accidents while another 20 lakh were seriously injured.

The economic and social costs of these shocking figures are enormous, as India loses 3 per cent of its GDP in road accidents every year. Not only this, the study found that 70 per cent of the families who lose their main breadwinner in accidents subsequently fall below the poverty line.

This is the second time in less than a year that Sidhu will be featuring on BBC for his role played in road safety in India. The BBC contacted Sidhu after learning about the technical assistance, he provided to the Haryana police in database management of traffic rules violations committed in the state.

The software created by Sidhu analysis data about the traffic offence along with details of driver licence and number of offences committed by the driver. “Once the program is implemented at the state level, it will help in tracking down habitual offenders and also curb the menace of fake driving licences,” says Sidhu.

The documentary will be aired in India from June 12 to 16 in which other than Sidhu, Ravi Kant, managing director, Tata Motors, Rahul Bajaj, CMS, Bajaj Group and Anumita Roy Chowdhary from the Centre of Science and Environment and S. Sunder, head of the Sunder Committee, who is going to present a Bill on road safety in Parliament will share their experiences about road safety in India.

Sidhu, a road safety activist, devoted his life to road safety after the mishap. Recognising his work in the field, he is being approached by various national and international NGOs, besides state governments for his expertise.A team from eastern Assam is visiting him to take his assistance in developing a database similar to one being used by Haryana Traffic Police.



Myanmar officials taught e-governance
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 11
Centre for Development and Advanced Computing (C-DAC) today completed capacity building project on e-governance by providing training to 49 officials from various ministries of Myanmar.

In the first phase, C-DAC had trained senior officials of 16 Myanmar ministries and today the centre had completed the 2nd phase by providing training to 17 ministries. J.S. Bhatia, director, C-DAC, Mohali, told that this six months training project on e-governance was the highly reputed project.

It aimed to develop human capacities in the areas of program management, change management, process reengineering, e-security and e-government application framework, so that the participants can devise, implement and manage e-government solutions in their country.

Deepak Rana and Shri Chetan Manchanda, coordinators of the project, told that the contents of this project were highly relevant and suitable for the implementation of e-governance. The focus of the program is on e-government concepts, methods & case studies for the successful delivery of public services through e-governance, and an important benchmark for performance evaluation of various e-government projects all around the world. The participants were sensitised about the benefits of e-government as it delivers a more efficient and cost effective governance. Making use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), e-governance is changing the economy, society, and culture in increasingly pervasive and complex ways. The participants were advised about creation of institutional structure, which brings continuity to a project and while initiating any e-governance projects, there is an urgent need to develop capacities at all levels of governance - Centre, state and local bodies.



Sarita Suicide Case
INLD protest tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 11
While the Haryana government in a damage control mode transferred IGP, SP, and DSP Rohtak, after suicide by the woman from Rohtak at police headquarters, the INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala has announced that his party would stage a demonstration at police headquarters here on Friday. The BJP and Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) also took out a procession in the city to protest against the incident.

Chautala, who was here to address the meeting of party workers demanding the dismissal of the director general of police, Haryana, said the party would stage demonstration at Panchkula and Rohtak on Friday to protest against the rape of the woman at police station and inaction of the police in the case.

Meanwhile, the workers of women wing of the BJP, led by Rosy Malik and accompanied by vice media in charge Rekha Sharma, the state general secretary of the party took out a procession from the party office in Sector 2 and reached the police headquarters. A memorandum demanding action against the police personnel who were allegedly shielding the accused was also handed over to the ADGP Swaranjeet Singh.



World Day Against Child Labour
Campaign against child labour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The Chandigarh education department has decided to launch a special campaign tomorrow to mark the World Day against Child Labour. To detect the underage children engaged in labour jobs, all the heads of the schools have been directed to conduct special inspections in their respective areas tomorrow along with their teams. Chandigarh administration had assigned the powers of labour inspector to the school principals and head masters of government schools.

The education department had constituted four special teams consisting heads of GMSSS-32, GMSSS-22-A, GMSSS-33 and GMSSS-19. They alongwith the respective CRCs and one volunteer, working under the Alternative Innovative Education (AIE) Centre, under the respective schools would take the responsibility of carrying out this campaign. The teams had been instructed to inspect their areas in the morning hours and report would be sent to DPI (S) Office alongwith the photographs of the children on June 13 by 2 pm.



No headway in lottery scam case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The crime branch of the police has still not been able to verify the credentials of Bright, a Nigerian allegedly involved in a million pound online lottery scam.

According to sources, the Delhi police has no record of Bright or his acquaintance at the foreigners’ window when they came to India.

The sim card which Bright was using at the time of his arrest is in the name of Teddy, who is absconding, and the address that they gave while purchasing the mobile connection is fake.

Sources said some people from Punjab had approached officials of the crime branch, alleging that they had been duped in a similar fashion.

They have been told to give all the data and details so that a probe could be made regarding the involvement of Bright in these cases. The police has sealed all 12 bank accounts of Bright.



DTO cracks whip against violators
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 11
Drivers of auto-rickshaws operating in Mohali district have been indulging in various violations despite warnings. The authorities concerned have decided to take these violations very seriously and challan the offenders.

This was stated by DTO Balbir Singh here today. He said drivers of auto-rickshaws had added additional seat adjacent to the driver’s seat to accommodate more passengers. They had been directed to remove the seat put up in violation of the norms. The seats were detached when they got their vehicle inspected, but soon after they again indulged in violation.

Balbir Singh said the drivers of auto-rickshaws did not carry the required documents while operating their vehicles despite the adequate time given to them. He said auto-rickshaws were stopped by drivers wherever they saw a passenger which, too, was against the norms.

He said offenders would now not be allowed to operate freely and would be challaned by the traffic police or the DTO.

22 buses challaned

MOHALI: As many as 22 private buses were challaned by DTO Balbir Singh during a special drive carried out on Tuesday night and fines to the tune of Rs 1.20 lakh were imposed. Balbir Singh said these buses had not paid their motor vehicle tax while entering Punjab.

Each private ordinary bus was to pay Rs 2,000 on entering the state as tax while the amount fixed in the case of deluxe and AC buses was Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000, respectively. The amount of penalty varied between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 depending on the type of bus and the frequency of the route. The offenders were made to pay fines in addition to the payment of taxes, added Balbir Singh.



New SSP puts traffic on priority list
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 11
For all those who think there are no traffic rules in Mohali, things are about to change. The new SSP SAS Nagar Jatinder Aulakh had put traffic on the top of his priority list.

Talking to The Tribune, the new SSP said streamlining of traffic in Mohali city and strict implementation of traffic rules is where he intends to begin. “For the time being we would begin with Mohali city after which the peripheral tows of Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and Kharar would be focused on,” he said.

Also on the works-to-do list of the SSP is improvement in the quality of crime investigation. “The work of the police does not end with catching the culprit. In fact it begins at this point. The collection of evidence in a manner that it leads to conviction is imperative. When the police fails at conviction, it encourages crime,” he said.

He added that he would be deploying special investigation teams for cracking some of the untraced crimes, including murders in the district.

Aulakh also pointed out that there was a need for an increased presence of the police in SAS Nagar. “The presence of the police across the city has a deterrent effect on criminals,” he said.

Appealing to SAS Nagar residents to cooperate with the police in making the city crime free, Aulakh said, “The police would be putting its best foot forward. But a lot also depends on the public. We want the help from the public as well in preventing and solving crimes,” he said.



SGPC to set up college in Dhakoli
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 11
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh today announced opening up a college at Dhakoli in the premises of Gurdwara Baoli Sahib. He was here to inaugurate newly constructed Kalgidhar Sarai and Bhai Gurdas Gurmat Library constructed by Baba Jagtar Singh Kar Seva Wale.

He announced to set up a hi-tech college in 15 acres in response to demand of a local SGPC member. He said this college would go one step further than the surrounding colleges of the area in the field of technical expertise. He said this was a long-standing demand of the people, as this region had no college to cater to the needs of the students of the area. On the occasion he called upon the people to live life according to the teaching of Guru Granth Sahib, as it was a year of Gurta Gaddi Divas. He disclosed that a major function would be organised on the occasion on October 19 and 20 at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib.

Speaking on the occasion, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation minister, Punjab, said this area had many needs and necessities that could be fulfilled only with united efforts of all. He said he was ready for any type of work to uplift the area.

On the occasion, Jagdev Singh Dhakoli honoured SGPC chief with a robe of honour and a Siri Sahib. SGPC chief honoured Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Baba Jagtar Singh.



Mayor takes stock of sanitary conditions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
City mayor Pardeep Chhabra today visited Colony No. 4 to inspect sanitary conditions and development works.

The mayor, accompanied by public health officials, took a round and checked the status of various developmental works in the colony.

Chhabra said the sanitary conditions in the colony were bad. He asked the officials to carry out a special cleanliness drive next week. The internal lanes in the colony were also found to be in bad shape. The mayor directed the officials concerned to install tiles there.

Regarding the sanitation conditions, the mayor said the residents were also responsible for the filthy conditions as they threw garbage anywhere in the locality. He added that the inspection drives would continue in future.



Mohali MC’s effigy burnt
Our Correspondent

Mohali, June 11
Members of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) burnt an effigy of the Mohali Municipal Council and a private TV channel in protest against the display of a poster on a dustbin, which resembled a deity.

The protesters raised slogans and also blocked traffic on the road dividing Phase IV and V. The protesters removed the poster displayed by a TV channel on the big dustbin lying in Phase V.

Big dustbins have been put up in various parts of the town by private parties after the civic body had given them the right to display their advertisements on these bins.

Nishant Sharma, chairman of the youth wing of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan), Punjab unit, said an ultimatum was given to the council to remove the advertisement by midday today, but the civic body failed. As such a protest was organised because the advertisement had hurt the religious sentiments of a community.

Among the protesters were Mohali district president Ravinder Singh and president of the Kharar unit Gurvinder Singh.



PunBus passengers have harrowing journey
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Travelling in the luxurious Ludhiana-Chandigarh air-conditioned Punjab Roadways PunBus turned out be nightmarish experience for the commuters today evening.

Despite paying almost the double fare than the ordinary bus fare, the commuters of PunBus (PB65E-1115) were forced to travel in hot conditions as the air-conditioner was not functional.

“Besides hot conditions, there were lot of mosquitoes in the bus. For these facilities, are they charging double fare?”asked Delhi-based passenger R.D. Sharma. On being asked about the complaint book, the driver made an excuse that there was no complaint book in the bus, alleged the passengers.

“Despite repeated attempts, the managing director did not pick up the phone. However, traffic manager Gurdeep Singh told The Tribune that the complaint would be lodged only on reaching the ISBT, Sector 43,” Satwinder said.

To top it all, instead of taking the bus to the ISBT, Sector 43, the driver drove it to the ISBT, Sector 17.

When contacted, the traffic manager said the matter would be brought to the notice of the higher authorities tomorrow.



Reality shows benefiting singers: Hans Raj Hans
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
“Ears were used to be considered as eyes in the music industry, but now it’s the other way round. Singing is becoming more visible due to its commercialisation rather than passion,” said Hans Raj Hans while talking to The Tribune here today. He was in the town to announce the launch of Hans Raj Hans Academies of Music in collaboration with Clapstem production.

Reacting to the changing scenario of the music industry, he said mushrooming of reality hunt shows on small screen by big corporate houses were beneficial for talented artists.

When asked why he kept both his sons away from singing profession for so long? Hans Raj Hans replied that he did not wanted his sons to follow the same profession. He said both his sons have adopted this profession by the grace of God and he has no role in their joining this profession.

Meanwhile, Girish Malik of Clapstem production revealed that the company would preferably set up the first institute at Mohali in the next two months. He said under the expansion these institutes would be set up at Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Bombay, Bihar, Dehradun, Calcutta and Bangalore. A Sangeet Ratna was also presented to Hans Raj Hans by the company. 




The news item published on June 9 under the heading ‘First match ends in a draw’ , the name of the tournament, “Dharam Singh Memorial Tournament”, was wrongly published as “Karam Singh Memorial Tournament”.

In another news item published on June 11 under heading “Rock Rovers register win”, it was inadvertently mentioned that Rock Rovers beat ONGC team in a match played on June 10, whereas ONGC had won the match by 10-7.

The mistakes are regretted.



PTU authorities harass examinees

This refers to a report ‘Chaos at CET examination centre’ that appeared in the Chandigarh Tribune on June 8. The Punjab Technical University (PTU) authorities made the students appearing for CET-2008 suffer due to delay in exam. The authorities made examinees face various problems at some centres. The examination started more than half an hour late.

Interestingly, the paper at Jalandhar started two hours late. The registrar and the co-coordinator failed to give reasons for the delay. Such incidents are common in Punjab. The authorities should take the matter seriously and the big lapse should be probed.

M.L. Garg, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia. com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Tribune Impact
Finally, PU decides on NRI seats
Only those who have studied abroad are eligible
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A day after the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the uncoordinated attitude of the various quarters of the university resulting in delay in the on going admission process in the UBS, the VC today got the things moving.

A list of 53 eligible candidates under the sports category was sent to the UBS and a decision was also taken regarding the eligibility criterion of students applying under the NRI category.

An emergency meeting of the standing committee, constituted to scrutinise individual cases of NRI applicants, after the legal retainer Anupam Gupta opined to do so, was held on the directions given by the vice-chancellor today.

The committee after having discussions and deliberation for over two hours recommended that under the NRI category only those students who have studied abroad would be eligible to apply.

The recommendation has been approved and a letter in this regard was sent to the department in the evening, said Prof R.C. Sobti.

As for the list of candidates under the sports category, it will be sent to the coordinator of admissions for UBS for fixing a date for the group discussions and personal interviews. The VC also added that the schedule for NRI candidates for group discussions and personal interviews would also be fixed soon now.

The issue of the eligibility of students under NRI category had been pending for around a year now. The Supreme Court had in August 2007 scrapped the NRI-sponsored and industry-sponsored category in institutions and the Punjab and Haryana High Court also following the same judgment ordered to scrap the two categories in Panjab University and Guru Nanak Dev University.

With this, the students can heave a sigh of relief who were unsure of their candidature under the NRI category. In fact recently, the university had announced that there will be a 15 per cent reservation of seats in almost all the courses for NRI students.

The important courses, which have a substantial number of applicants under the NRI category are five-year law at UILS (University Institute of Legal Studies), three-year law at the department of laws, BTech at UIET, department of chemical engineering, UBS, department of mass communication besides others.

But a flip side of the decision is that the university now stands to lose out on revenue that it used to earn through NRU students. If the insiders are to be believed, there are not many applicants from abroad, most of them are those whose parents are staying abroad or are working there.



Explore ancient India at DAV College
Parminderjit Singh and Jashan Gill

Chandigarh, June 11
Lalchand Memorial Research Library of DAV College, Sector 10, is a treasure, which remains unexplored. It is not just a library, but also a place where you can find ‘Ancient India’.

In the remote corner of the college, away from the beaming rush of students this library has a rare collection. If you want Shobha De or Chetan Bhagat then this is not the place for you, but if you are a lover of the Indian History and want to experience the ancient era then this is the right place for you.

Lalchand Library has a proud collection of more than 10,000 very rare old books and 8,360 manuscripts on the subject like Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Tantrashastra, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Gita, Arthashastra et al. It also has old books in modern languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Bangla, Marathi, and Telugu.

DAV College Managing Committee established Rai Bahadur Lalchand Memorial Research Library at Lahore in the year 1917 with the avowed aim of re-kindling interest in the study of the Vedas, ancient Sanskrit literature and ideological research. At the time of partition in 1947, scores of devoted DAV employees shifted this valuable collection of books from Lahore to Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur, at the risk of their own lives.

This library has been re-housed at DAV College for the convenience of illustrious researchers in this branch.

The maintenance of library cost around 10 lakh per year. Most of the manuscripts are on palm leaves and the words are engraved on them. For the preservation of leaves a coat of lemon grass oil and cold dust has to be applied on them after every three years. The manuscripts on page have been laminated. The process of the digitisation of books and manuscripts is almost complete. The digitisation was undertaken by the college authorities but in 2001 Human Resource Development Ministry had granted Rs 65 lakh to the library.

The oldest manuscript in library belongs to the fifteenth century; it is 1351 ‘Shaka’ of ‘KariKaratam’. Other than being the treasure of scriptures on Hindu religion it has manuscripts of Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Mohammedanism and Zoroastrianism

The ayurvedic manuscripts are the biggest attraction of the library. Major B.D. Basu’s ‘Indian Medical Plants’ published in 1918, is known as the bible of Indian medical and it proudly adorns the mantelpiece of the library.

The library may be obscure to the citizen’s of the city but it is the paradise of scholars who want to research ‘Ancient India’. Scholars from Japan, England, France and South India flock this place regularly to have a look at the golden pages of the Indian History.



Now, PU to promote Indian culture through study tour
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
Cashing in on the current tourism boom in the country and with the UT administration’s constant efforts to bring Chandigarh on the world tourism map, the Panjab University is all set to offer special short-term courses to foreign nationals visiting the city.

Titled, ‘The Study India Tour’, this six to four weeks course will encapsulate the heritage, history, language, culture, moral values, geography and everything about the country that a foreigner needs to know.

The idea is to bring the foreigners closer to India. India still needs to be invented. People outside still think it’s a land of snake charmers and rope climbers. We need to break the notion and make them see where our country is going in education. It’s an emerging centre of higher learning and education,” said Prof R.C. Sobti.

The idea came to me when I was in Canada recently and was discussing this with some of the people from Full Bright Association there, he added.

The university is sending letters to all embassies for their cooperation in this matter. The vice-chancellor has constituted a committee to work out on the modalities of the course.

The foreigners will need to register themselves online first and the university will charge them a certain amount of fee for this course. The university will provide the foreigners with accommodation and other facilities on the campus itself.

Though the proposal is still in the initial stages but once everything thing is done it is expected to bring in much needed revenue which the university is in dire need of.

“This will not only help the foreigners to know India better and get a hands on experience about our country but will also put the university on a global level,” said a PU professor expressing happiness about the course. 



Schools to tighten night vigil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
The Chandigarh education department as a part of its campaign to strengthen the night vigil at government school buildings has circulated instructions to the heads of the schools.

The heads of the schools have been directed to ensure that the watchman, whose duty starts from 8 pm to 8 am, should not sleep during their duty hours. The watchman should be instructed to stay in the main building during these hours with proper torch, chilly powder and a stick.

DPI (S) S.K. Setia told that the department is making arrangements with some security training academies to train the watchmans of the schools. Further, they would be provided with two khaki uniforms of good quality. “Their uniforms would be stitched by fashion designing students from work experience fund. We would also provide the watchman with pepper spray as a weapon,” said Setia.

“All school heads have been instructed to ensure that no unauthorised person is sleeping on the school premises other than his family members. The telephone numbers of fire, police, ambulance and residence numbers of school principal and DPI would be painted on the wall of the schools for emergency intimation,” he added. 



Neeru gets bail in fake passport case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 11
A local court today granted bail to Neeru, the prime accused in the fake passport case, after a bail bond of Rs 50,000 was furnished.

The police had arrested two persons on the charge of fraud and forgery on June 4.

The accused Sukhwant Singh, a resident of Kapurthala, and Raj Kumar of Patiala were arrested in the case. Two passports had gone missing from the passport office in 2006. The two have been sent to judicial custody.

During interrogation, they had revealed that they got a passport made from Vicky, an agent from Amritsar. The agent took Rs 8 lakh and sent the two to Singapore. Another accused, Neeru, is Vicky's wife and was arrested later.

Sukhwant and Raj were deported from Singapore last year after an investigation revealed that the passports recovered from them were fake.



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