C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anuradha Murder Case
Charges framed against husband
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The additional district and sessions judge, S.K. Aggarwal, today framed murder charges against Mohali-based property dealer, Baljinder Singh Sandhu, who allegedly masterminded the murder of his wife Anuradha in their Sector 38 (West) house in May this year.

Charges were also framed against his servant Vijay Pal Ram and his friend Ashok Kumar who had allegedly executed the murder.

When the charges, under Section 302 of the IPC, read with Section 34, were read out to the accused, they were unmoved and pleaded “not guilty”. They said they were ready to face the trail.

The court held: “The said date, time and place establishes that the accused agreed to do the act of murder by illegal means and the act was done by the pursuance of agreement.” Baljinder’s servants were also booked under Sections 460 of the IPC, read with Section 394, for trespass and for voluntarily causing hurt while committing robbery.

The court stated that Ashok Kumar, in connivance with Baljinder, used a sharp-edged weapon leading to Anuradha’s death.

The two have been booked under Section 460 of the IPC, read with Sections 397 and 120-B.

Anuradha was killed in her bedroom while her minor children where sleeping in the adjacent bedroom. Baljinder had gone to a party that night for an alibi.

The case turned when a disfigured body, supposed to be that of Vijay Pal, who was initially the prime suspect, was found at Ropar. However, investigations revealed that the body was not of Vijay but that of his friend, Sunil.

A hunt was then launched to trace Vijay Pal, who was nabbed in Nalagarh. He then revealed Baljinder’s plot.

The police claimed that an extra-marital affair of Baljinder with a city-based model, Noor Kataria, was stated to be the main reason for the murder.

Time Line

  • Intervening night of May 17 and 18: Anuradha and Sunil murdered
  • May 18: Vijay Pal and Ashok Kumar arrested from Nalagarh
  • May 19: Baljinder Singh arrested
  • May 23: Noor arrested on charges of possessing fake driving license
  • May 24: Noor’s statement recorded
  • May 29: Statement of Anuradha’s daughter recorded



Panchayat Union Protest
Over 20 injured in police action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Around 24 members of the Punjab Panchayat Union were injured when the police resorted to teargas shells and water cannon to disperse protesters at the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium here today.

The ruckus started around 1.30 pm when around 2,000 members of the union tried to move towards the Punjab Vidhan Sabha after holding a rally.

To stop the protesters, the police had set up a barricade ahead of the roundabout of Sectors 16-17-23 and 22. As soon as the agitators tried to remove the barricade, the police used water cannon to disperse them. In retaliation, the agitators pelted the police with stones, following which the police lobbed teargas shells to control them.

In the melee, around 24 members of the union got injured and some of them had to be hospitalised.

The additional deputy commissioner, I.S. Sandhu, ASP Madhur Verma and two DSPs, along with a large number of police personnel, were present at the spot.

“We wanted Punjab panchayat minister Brahmpura to come to Sector 17 to take the memorandum. Since he did not turn up, we decided to move towards the Vidhan Sabha to submit our charter of demands to him,” Sukhdev Singh Bareke, president of the union, said. The protest came to an end when J.S. Sidhu, director of the panchayat department, came there to take the memorandum.

The agitators are demanding the regularisation of services of 909 panchayat secretaries, constitutional powers to panchayats and abolishment of flying squads to check the working of panchayats.

“If our demands are not met until September 17, we would go on an indefinite pen-down strike from September 18,” Bareke said.



Drug peddlers set up base in tricity
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 5
The tricity is fast becoming a hub of drug peddlers. The recent recovery of over 3 kg cocaine in three separate incidents has set off the alarm among the state police and intelligence agencies.

The region is fast becoming a base of drug users. “Due to the increase in drug users, the peddlers are active here. Those arrested during the past few days were trying to sell their product. The economic boom propelled by high land rates has led to a spurt in drug use cases,” an investigating officer said.

Sources said apart from Pakistan, drugs were entering the country through the porous border with Bangladesh. A large number of illegal immigrants were acting as couriers.

A comparative data with the Mohali police reveals that there has been an increase in the recovery of drugs like opium, ganja, smack and cocaine. Compared to 70g of cocaine seized in 2007, the police has so far seized over 3 kg of the contraband this year.

The police has seized around 2 kg and 246 gm of smack during the current year as compared to 238.5 mg seized in 2007.

The recovery of opium in 2008 has been 4.90 kg and 3.11 kg in 2007.

Sources said another cause for concern was the involvement of retired and serving police personnel. After the involvement of Chandigarh police personnel with drug peddlers had recently come to light, three cops were arrested by the Mohali police.

In the case of the recent recovery of 1.23 kg cocaine, a Haryana DSP and an ex-serviceman had been arrested. Their interrogation had led to the arrest of two more police personnel. Further probe led to the arrest of two residents of Haryana and raids on suspected hideouts of peddlers in Haryana, Rajasthan and UP.



Bus carrying players tips over
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 5
At least 35 shooters, including 15 girls, had a miraculous escape when the bus in which they were traveling overturned while negotiating a roundabout near Phase II late this evening.

The players, all in their mid-20s, belong to different districts of the state, are in the town to take part in the ongoing Punjab State Rifle Shooting Championship at the shooting range in Phase VI here.

Visibly shaken, the players said they were returning to Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35, after the culmination of the first day’s events when their bus overturned on its left side as the driver failed to notice a dug-up portion on the road.

The portion was filled with water following heavy rain and there was almost zero visibility due to hailstorm at the time of the accident, the players said.

Passersby pulled out the trapped players after breaking the emergency door.

While one of the girls, Jyoti Sharma, received injuries on the left arm, the other occupants escaped with minor scratches.

The occupants were taken to the gurdwara in Phase IV soon after the accident.

Both driver and conductor fled the scene after the accident.

Surinder Pal, the coach accompanying the students, alleged that no caution board had been put up at the damaged portion of the road. Meanwhile, the district administration made food and shelter arrangements for the players.



Mohali will be better than Gurgaon: Sukhbir
Inaugurates cath lab facility at Fortis Hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 5
The central business hub of Mohali district was being designed by a Singapore-based company, said MP and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal. He added that the design would be showcased within two months.

Speaking after inaugurating the state-of-art cath laboratory at Fortis Hospital here today, Sukhbir said the aim of the SAD-BJP government was to make Mohali better place than Gurgaon.

Impressed by the facilities at Fortis, Sukhbir exhorted hospital authorities to set up more hospitals in the state, besides a medical school. He said that the base of medical advancement was education and machines only proved to be a means in that direction. He admitted that there was a dearth of medical institutions in the state.

Technology, he said, had to be upgraded every minute for which huge investments had to be made. He urged the private sector to come up in a big way in this field so that precious lives could be saved as thousands die for want of proper medical facilities.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO-cum-managing director, Fortis Healthcare Limited, Shivinder Mohan Singh, said that fresh investments in latest technologies were continuously made at Fortis in order to create a world-class integrated healthcare delivery system. The aim was to ensure that Fortis always remained a centre of excellence and the new cath lab was a big leap in that direction, he added.

According to executive director, cardiac surgery, Fortis Hospital, Dr T.S. Mahant, the new Siemens (Axiom-Artis Zee) cath lab, which had been imported from Germany, had a number of features that would benefit both the surgeon and the patient. The resolution of the cath lab was very high and this would help the surgeon to conduct procedures even on obese patients with ease. Because of a very effective and efficient cooling system, it would now be possible to conduct a large number of surgeries on a continuous basis, leading to less waiting time for the patients, he added.



Ongoing dispute takes violent turn, 2 hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The ongoing dispute between members of the Sector-21 Universal Cooperative House Building Society at Sector- 48 took a violent turn today resulting in injuries to at least two persons.

With allegations and counter allegations flying high, the members came to blows and pelted stones at each other and the society compound appeared like a battle ground with bricks strewn all around. The injured persons were identified as Ashwani and Ajay Malhotra. The Sector- 31 police team reached the spot but the matter was amicably settled thereafter.

The situation reportedly turned ugly in the evening following the termination of the temporary electricity connection of the society by the administration. Since permanent connections were allotted only to the “legal” occupants, a few residents, who have been staying in the society in violation of various possession and occupancy rules, objected to it and blamed the other residents for disconnection of power in their units.

Udham Singh, administrator of the society, confirmed that this action was taken at the instance of the administration. “We cut the temporary connection of the society by allotting them a permanent connection. A few unauthorized persons who had not paid their dues were obviously denied the connections and they tampered with the temporary connection by putting ‘kundis’ from the streetlights in gross violation of the rules”, he said adding that they were thus forced to disconnect the temporary supply. The illegal occupants had forcefully gained entry into the society against the law.

On the other hand, the so-called ‘unauthorized members’ alleged that the connection was terminated at the instance of the ‘legal members’ living in the society after taking possession. They threatened the legal members with dire consequences.

A 74-year-old member S.S. Purba complained that at least 20 such persons came to his residence and shouted at him. “They threatened and abused me for no reasons. It was the administration’s decision to terminate the temporary illegal connection. What I am to do with it?” Other members who were legally staying in the society echoed similar views and alleged the ruthless behaviour meted out to them. “They even shouted at women and threaten to harm our children as well”, they added.

The society has 186 members, out of which at least 115 are occupying the dwelling units after paying all dues and taking their possessions. The society has 121 substitution members. Another matter on which the dispute is that the Administrator has ordered elections of the legal members as per court orders, which the “unauthorized” members objected to and sought stay orders on it. The matter is still pending in the court and the next date of hearing is slated to be September 19. Members alleged that even though 121 substitute members had paid their dues, yet the administration was fighting shy of recognising them as its ‘members’. And this was despite the fact that even the banks and financial institutions had advanced them loans for being “genuine and irrevocable” members.



Administrator’s visit a boon for Dadu Majra
MC launches cleanliness drive

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
VIP visits always prove a blessing in disguise for residents of that area. Residents of Dadu Majra colony are experiencing the same, as UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) is scheduled to visit their colony next week.

Keeping in view the visit, officials of the municipal corporation have launched a special cleanliness and sanitation drive to make the area spic and span.

The roads of the colony that needed patchwork since long are now being repaired on a war footing.

More manpower has been engaged in the area for spraying insecticides where the city garbage is collected. The garbage is also being covered with the earth.

A special team of pig catchers has been deputed to free the area of the menace.

All these activities have been initiated by the corporation, as at a recent hearing of public grievances meeting, the administrator had told municipal commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria to set things right by Monday next after which he would inspect the area himself.

A local resident said the administrator should visit their area on a regular basis to ensure that basic civic amenities were provided to them.

Interestingly, the Dadu Majra residents had been making a hue and cry for the past one year over the ill-management of garbage, which had resulted in severe health problems for those living there.

In August last year, area councillor Kamlesh had presented a CD at the house meeting of the corporation depicting mismanagement of garbage due to which residents were suffering from various health ailments. However, it did little to improve things on the ground.

Dr Sunkaria and a few other officials of the corporation visited the area and found that residents there were facing health risks due to collection of garbage.

He assured the residents of taking necessary steps to clean the area and solve their problems.

Commenting on the cleanliness drive launched by the corporation, Kamlesh stated that they hoped that the arrangement continued in the area till the garbage-processing unit, which had been delayed inordinately, became functional.

She added that the municipal authorities were ignoring health problems being faced by area residents due to bad environment. However, the visit of the administrator had given a glimmer of hope to the residents and they were hoping that things would turn for the better now.



No scruples, only revenue

On Sunday, some BSNL broadband subscribers were left wondering if the authorities had started moral policing. The reason was that access to certain sites with ‘hot’ names was denied. Though the problem was rectified the next day, BSNL officials were unaware of the snag, if any. “Why should we deny access to any site? Let the people surf whatever they want. It only means more revenue for us,” an official said.

‘Quake’ on mobiles

A substation assistant with the UT electricity department, Jagdish Parsad, has devised a mechanism to warn against an earthquake. Finding that mobiles can be used to give an early reaction during an earthquake, he has made a device of metal that transfers the vibration through a battery-operated relay switch to a siren or a bulb.

One would usually sense a quake on seeing a fan or furniture move, and then run for life, but valuable time is lost when the quake strikes when a person is asleep. He says a mass of cylindrical metal is hung through a spring and kept a few microns away from another cylindrical outer shell. He is feeding the numbers of his friends who could get an alert on recording a seismic activity.

Bouquet for cops

Cops are usually at the receiving end for one reason or another. But they sometimes do have admirers. In a letter to The Tribune, a resident of Sector 27, Suresh K. Nair, vice-president of the Kerala Samajam, is all praise for the men in khaki. He says that some snatchers had taken away the gold chain of his grandmother on February 9. A complaint was lodged and like any other person, he had no hopes for its recovery.

However, the police surprised him when SI Rajinder Pal informing him that the accused had been arrested. Even though the chain was sold by the thieves, the police was able to recover the money from them, which was handed over to him. A nice deed, indeed.

No laughing matter

Defence lawyers in the sensational cash at judge’s door had a minor tiff when the prime accused in the case, former law officer Sanjeev Bansal, was produced in the court recently. There were three defence lawyers arguing his case and while one of the senior advocates was speaking, another advocate requested him to stop speaking by patting his back. This irritated him and he commented, “Picho hath mare jande ne”. The courtroom was jampacked and a large number of lawyers stood on chairs to hear the proceedings.

All for a picture

The desire to have a big, smiling profile photograph in newspapers drove a principal to depute the entire teaching staff to coax reporters. Her school had won a national award and the principal tried to use the opportunity by giving a harrowing time to beat reporters.

At 7 am, her receptionist called up and insisted we partake of lunch organised by “madam”. This was followed by several other calls who asked for confirmation. A complete portfolio was then sent to newspaper offices with a request to use her picture. When a newspaper failed to carry the story due to space constraints, the principal was heart broken. She made it a point to convey this to the “failed” correspondent.

Contributed by Anuja Jaiswal, Rajmeet Singh, Arun Sharma, Swati Sharma, Sumedha



Environmental exposure behind 24 pc diseases: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Around 24 per cent of all global diseases are caused by environmental exposures, said experts during the two-day Indo-US workshop on environmental risks of respiratory diseases today. The Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGI, in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the US agencies is organising the workshop.

Well-targeted interventions could prevent much of this environmental risk, said R. Wykoff, dean of a US university. Both pollution and extreme climatic changes adversely affected human health, said Dr S.K. Jindal, head of pulmonary medicine, PGI. “The major burden of these hazards is borne by lungs. Bronchial asthma and other allergies, chronic obstructive lung disease, respiratory infections etc are some of the problems with a strong environmental risk that account for a large disease burden all over the world, including India,” he added.

According to experts, by focusing on the environmental causes of diseases, and how various diseases are influenced by environmental factors, the research in this area would break new ground. As per a WHO report, more than 13 million deaths annually are due to preventable environmental causes. “Nearly one third of deaths and diseases in the least developed regions is due to environmental causes. It could be prevented,” said Dr Kalpana Balkrishnan, head of department of environmental health engineering, Chennai.



Drizzle brings respite from scorching heat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A drizzle in the city and its surrounding areas led to a pleasant evening today. The rain also bought along with it the much-awaited respite for the people from the scorching heat.

The Met department recorded 25mm of rainfall and a relative humidity of 8850. According to the officials of the department, the cloud cover and the rainfall had resulted from the upper area cyclonic circulation over the central Pakistan and adjoining areas of West Punjab and North-East Rajasthan. “The upper area cyclonic circulation was over the North Pakistan and neighboring areas which led to the rainfall,” said the official of the department. Despite the rain the maximum temperature of the day remained at 35° C, which was 2 degrees above normal and minimum temperature was recorded at 23.6 C.

Several parts of the city also witnessed uprooting of the trees because of the high velocity winds followed by the rain. However, no one has reported to have died of tree falling but at least two persons sustained injuries. “One person got minor injuries when a tree fell over him outside general hospital in Sector-16,” said a fire brigade official. A tree also fall over a house in Sector-29 and other over the two wheelers parked outside house No-1659 in the same sector. Many tree were uprooted in Sector-46 as well.

Though, a few residents of Chandigarh thronged at the Sukhna Lake for a stroll in the cool weather, the residents of Panchkula had to stay without electricity as there was no power in the area for more than three hours.

“We had no reasons to cheers even in the pleasant weather as there was no light in our area. The rain in fact spoiled our evening as we were forced to stay in the dark for long hours,” said one of the residents of Sector-16 in Panchkula. The sectors which went without electricity included 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17 and 18.



No potassium tests at GMSH-16
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Patients visiting the GMSH-16 for potassium level tests have been having a harrowing time for the past six months due to non-functional machines. The hospital has three machines for the purpose and none of them are reportedly working.

As a result, patients are being turned away with remarks “machine out of order” on their cards. These tests are crucial for various ailments, including heart and kidney.

For a service, which Chandrawati (name changed) could have availed at the GMSH for just Rs 15-20, she had to pay Rs 40-50 at a private clinic. A relative said her potassium level had gone up and she was running high temperature as both her kidneys were not functioning properly. “Technicians told us to go to a private clinic as the potassium test was not being conducted there,” he said.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior technician said the existing machines could conduct only sodium test. Also, the required solution necessary for a potassium level test was not available for the past few months. Senior officials at the hospital admitted that the machines which conducted the electrolyte level test were out of order. “We have informed the engineer concerned, but have no idea if it can be repaired,” a senior official said.

According to doctors, abnormal potassium levels may cause muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, diarrhoea, dehydration, low blood pressure, paralysis and changes in the heart rhythm.

“The increased level of potassium in blood is called hyperkalemia. Some common causes are reduced kidney function, abnormal breakdown of protein and severe infection,” a doctors said.

Small changes in potassium levels could have a big effect on nerves and muscles, especially the heart. Low levels of potassium caused increased heart muscle activity, which could lead to irregular heart beat. High levels caused decreased heart muscle activity. Either situation could lead to a heart attack.

Despite repeated attempts, the joint medical superintendent could not be contacted for comments.



Land Acquisition
Mani Majra farmers’ review UT stand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Manimajra Farmers Welfare and Environment Protection Society’s executive body met here today for reviewing the developments regarding the land acquisition for Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP).

Its members deliberated on various issues and said the Chandigarh Administration was once again trying to mislead the “public at large” by suppressing and twisting facts. A large number of persons, not a few influential ones, are being displaced due to the forcible acquisition of the land as is being portrayed in some news reports.

The Administration, on its part, is trying to shift its focus on unrelated issues like the violations of the Periphery Control Act by farmers, presence of a few influential owners and benami land deals, etc. However, UT Administration, says H.S. Johl,president of the society, continues to be evasive on the core legal issues.



City gets its first Memory Lab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, a Guinness world record holder and author of 25 books, inaugurated the tricity’s first Memory Lab at Rajasthan Bhawan here.

S.K. Setia, DPI (Schools), was the guest of honour. “Memory Lab is the outcome of seven years of research on the 5,000-year-old methodology of unlocking mind power with mnemonics, neurobics and rajyoga by way of dynamic memory training.

“We plan to set up 1,000 such labs across the country within a year," Chowdhury, chairman and MD of Memory Lab Pvt Ltd, said.

Using the same methodology, he unlocked his mind power to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records with a maximum of 198 push-ups in a minute, despite the fact that he was born with a hole in his heart and doctors had predicted that he would never be able to use his body like a normal child.



Planning panel adviser meets Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Senior Adviser to Planning Commission Bhaskar Chatterjee held a detailed discussion with UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues. Major issues like education, health and social welfare were discussed on the occasion. They particularly discussed about street children home, home for mentally challenged children, vocational training centre and the rehabilitation of at least 26,000 families living in slums.

Meanwhile, Chatterjee today toured various areas of the Chandigarh for analysing the demand of allocating additional budget to various departments.



PU to implement 7 pc OBC quota
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Panjab University syndicate held an emergency meeting yesterday and decided to implement seven per cent OBC quota. The meeting was called after the university received Rs five crore as seed money for this purpose.

The varsity has decided to fill up seven per cent of OBC seats during the current session. Admissions will be made strictly in accordance with the list of OBCs as released by the UGC/ National Commission for Backward Classes and also on merit list of the last qualifying exam.

The PU has decided to issue admission notices and would ask eligible candidates to submit applications till September 12, 2008. Admissions against the increased seats would be made on September 14 and September 15, 2008, strictly in accordance with merit.

PU authorities maintained that the criteria to allow admissions against increased seats for the OBCs would be strictly merit and the marks obtained in major subjects will be considered for admission.

According to sources, due to shortage of hostel accommodation the varsity has made it clear that no hostels would be made available during the current session to the students who would be admitted to various courses after implementation of the quota. As per the directives, the unfilled seats of OBCs will not be converted into General Category and the total reservation in any case will remain below 50% as per the law laid down by the Supreme Court of India.



Engineer turns teacher on weekends
Helping slum children with maths, science
Sumedha Sharma

Chandigarh, September 5
All through the week she toils for not less than seven hours convincing her prospective clients about her company’s potential but come Saturday and this laptop-addicted lady dressed in formals dons a new role. With chalk in her hand and a class full of youngsters, this BD director, transforms into a lovable Natasha ‘madam’.

“No matter how successful you get in any other profession, but the contentment that you get when you help a young child solve an arithmetic problem or understand the human digestive system is incomparable. I realised it when I started teaching these young kids and believe me I realised the truth of a teacher-student bond,” Natasha said while walking up to her class of enthusiastic children from slums of Bapu Dham.

“I never realised the value of a teacher until I was introduced to these kids. They are underprivileged but have dreams and it’s great to play a part in their realisation. I started teaching as a hobby but I still remember that transforming moment when I was rewarded with a warm ‘thank you’ in lieu of helping this kid with a chemistry equation. I think I do nothing for them but my meagre effort of helping these class 10 students’ places me at such a respected pedestal,” adds Gauri, an engineer by profession, who helps out this group of students with Maths and Science every weekend.

Both of them are the volunteers of the city-based entity, Yuvsatta, through which they try to realise their passion ‘teaching’ taking a break from their regular professions. As Pramod, coordinator, Yuvsatta puts it, “When we started this nobody was sure of success because it sounded a mere social service. Another hindrance was these volunteers considered teacher-student bonding as a theoretical concept and were not sure if kids would be interested to come to their class.”

Agrees Ashish, coordinator, MCM Rotract club, which adopted the Sikhiya School of sector 46 to train the slum kids in various skills. An emotional volunteer, Aastha said, “It was a special day today. I started this as fun but the way these kids respect me is amazing. Believe me a ‘thank you’ in the form of a rose was the best gift I have ever got. I am proud of myself today and too lucky to have shared this beautiful bond in today’s time.”



Teachers honoured at Manav Mangal
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 5
Forum of Senior Citizens in Education honoured Prof O.P Gupta and Pritam Singh Serai, veteran educationists of the district, for their contribution in improving the education system at Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, on the Teachers’ Day here today.

Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria was chief guest on the occasion. Others who were honoured included Renu Gupta, principal GSS School, Saketri, Sandeep Sadana, principal, Manav Mangal School, Panchkula, Dr Pradeep Kumar Rathor, principal, GSS School, Sector 7, Panchkula, Anil Kumar Sharma, headmaster, Government High School, Hakeempur, Bheem Singh, drawing school, SGIMSS, Sector 12, and Kamlesh Sharma, primary teacher, Govt Primary School, Kharag Mangoli.

Nine students of the district, who secured first position in public examinations conducted by the Haryana Education Board and the CBSE this year, were also honoured with the Shaheed Captain Rohit Kaushal Merit Award.


Principal of DAV-8, Panchkula, Santosh Bhandari announced opening of the DAV Institute of Teachers’ Training on the school premises for holding C.Ed classes (earlier NTT) that are recognised by the NCTE, Jaipur, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. Celebrating the day, students presented an entertainment programme

Award function

Performance by students and an award ceremony marked the Teachers’ Day celebrations at The British School, Panchkula. Six teachers were honoured for their performance on the basis of the interclass competitions held during the session. Sushma Gupta, Kanchan Bhatnagar, Seema Sharma, Namita Goswami and Madhu Sharma were honoured on the occasion. Poonam Grover bagged the special prize of the day.

Special assembly

The students planned a special assembly for their teachers on Teachers’ Day at Bhaavn Vidyalaya, Sector 15. The day began with the welcome address by the school head boy and head girl. They welcomed the principal and all the teachers. The students presented a colourful cultural programme on the occasion. 



PUTA holds protest rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) took a massive rally today morning on the campus of the Panjab University to observe Teachers’ Day as a protest day with black badges.

Dr Ronki Ram, president of the PUTA, while addressing the rally emphasised that PUTA wants consensus of all the sections of the society within as well as outside the campus on the central status to P.U.

If the grant of the central status, as is being alleged dilutes the rightful claim of the state of Punjab on Chandigarh, Dr Ronki opined, PUTA would not like to take a confrontationist stand of this issue.

He appealed to the intelligentsia in Punjab and all the other sections of the society along with the non-teaching section of the Panjab University to fully support central grant demand of the PUTA for the benefits of students, faculty and overall academic environment on the campus. This would also go a long way in furthering the cause of higher education in the state.



Students stage play
Tribune Reporters

Mohali, September 5
Shemrock Senior Secondary School celebrated Teachers’ Day by organising a play. Instead of routine games, quiz and outing teachers decided to have a session where each and every teacher was present and they shared the different methods and teaching aids that they were using in the classroom.

Also, the students, staff and management of city based Aryans Group of Institutes (AGOI) celebrated Teacher's Day at the college campus.

A special session on the time management and goal setting was also held at the Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology campus today. The students across all the streams of engineering and MBA took active participation in the session.

Ambala: Students of Dayanand Sr. Secondary Public School, Ambala, organised a cultural show to celebrate teacher's day. The program began with recitation of Gyatri mantra. P.K. Bansal, director of the school, addressed the teachers and blessed them. He asked the students to pay all regards to their teachers. Principal, Sunita Vimal, extended best wishes to the teachers.

DAV Public School, Model Town, also organised a function on this occasion. Sarita Kaushik, principal of the school said teachers played an important role in the development of students. Students should treat teachers as their parents, the principal added. A card making competition was also organised on the occasion.



City teachers protest against poor rewards
Sumedha Sharma

Chandigarh, September 5
While all city kids were busy entire day thanking their teachers for playing such an important role in their lives, teachers had nothing more than demands to offer in return. The day was marked by various strikes and protests by city teachers some of whom even boycotted this day.

The Tribune spoke to various teachers’ unions to find out what promise do they have to offer for the betterment of city education and all of them had a denial.

“Our teachers are very dedicated and committed to quality education but even the administration has to realise their worth. How can anybody expect anything out of them if they are not ready to provide them with their rights? They can give a quality education only when they have a contented life,” said Khushali Ram, president coordination committee of city teachers.

His arch rival Dr Vinod Sharma, president of government teachers’ union seemed to be agreeing on this point, “The dedication of our teachers should be rewarded in best possible manner but administration is not ready to give them their basic rights. If you linger on things like salaries, promotions etc. then how can you expect dedication?” he questioned.

However, according to a senior official, “Teachers in Chandigarh are best paid in the region. No where else do you get such good quality government housing but all this is returned with demands and protests.”



Elections on Sept 12; code of conduct enforced
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
After much dilly-dallying, Panjab University authorities today officially announced September 12 for campus students’ elections much to the respite of various student bodies. Soon after the elections were announced, the code of conduct was enforced. The campus fell silent immediately after that, as according to the code of conduct, no rallies or processions were allowed.

As per the schedule, nominations will be filed by September 9 and the candidates can withdraw their names by September 10 (See PU elections schedule). The elections will be carried out strictly in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines and Lyngdoh Committee recommendations.

Meanwhile, the university authorities will issue special university stickers for the students to identify them from outsiders. The stickers will be handed over to the chairman of each department as per the department’s strength. From Monday, no vehicle will be allowed entry inside the campus without displaying the sticker on it.

The university authorities have ensured that the arrangement will not disrupt the admissions under the OBC quota, for which the last date of submitting applications is September 12.

The security has been beefed up in hostels as well as on campus. Additional 2-3 security guards will be deployed in each hostel round the clock.

In the wake of elections, no CTU buses and auto-rickshaws will be allowed to ply on the inner roads of the university.

Also, the authorities today ordered to remove all the printed posters, as it was a violation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. Dean, students welfare, ordered to remove all the printed posters from the campus, including those in the hostels. He categorically stated that from tomorrow if any student body’s printed posters were seen on campus, a case would be registered under the Defacement Act.

Cracking a whip against PUSU for carrying out a car rally on the campus yesterday without permission, the university authorities have issued them a show cause notice.

Though the student bodies are yet to announce their panels of candidates, which are most likely to be announced with in a day or two, the prospective candidates, with groups of supporters, canvassed from class to class during the day.

Lyngdoh Committee Recommends

  • Candidate contesting elections must be a regular student.
  • Candidate should have a minimum of 75 per cent attendance.
  • Candidate should not have any academic arrears in the year of contesting.
  • Candidate should not have any criminal record.
  • Maximum expenditure per candidate shall be Rs 5,000.
  • In case of any excessive expenditure, the election of the candidate will be nullified.
  • Undergraduates can contest election between the age of 17 to 22 years. A postgraduate candidate can contest maximum up to 25 years of age and research scholars can contests up to the age of 28 years.

Code of Conduct

  • No person/organisation will paste publicity material on any wall, building, trees, poles, roads etc on the campus. However, steel boards have been provided for the same.
  • Canvassing in or around girls’ hostels shall stop at 9 pm.
  • Only campus students will participate in electioneering and outsiders will not be allowed.
  • Heavy vehicles, such as trucks, buses and tractors, will not be allowed for electioneering.
  • No loudspeakers will be used during the election campaign and no procession with jeeps/cars will be taken out. Only rallies will be allowed for groups of students and for the purpose of scheduling, the information must be supplied to the DSW so that no two organisations have the rallies at the same time and date.
  • No candidate shall be permitted to make use of printed posters, printed pamphlets or any other printed material for the purpose of canvassing. Candidates may only utilise hand-made posters for the purpose of canvassing, provided that such hand-made posters are procured within the admissible expenditure limit.
  • Candidates may only utilise hand-made posters at certain places on the campus, which shall be notified in advance by the election commission/university authority.
  • All candidates shall be jointly responsible for ensuring the cleaning up of the polling area within 48 hours of the conclusion of polling.



Girls still to catch up
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Panjab University students’ elections seem to lack ‘woman power’, despite the fact that the girls constitute more than 70 per cent of the total strength of the university. Unlike Delhi University and JNU, where the girls even run for the presidential post and win the elections, in PU they are restricted to the post of vice-president only.

However, on the issue of participation of girls in students’ elections, opinions vary.

Tejpal Cheema, president PUSU, says, “Not many girls come forward to actively participate in the elections, though students’ elections are for everyone. They should come forward.”

“A lot of them cannot come forward because of parental pressure. The rest perhaps do not want to shoulder responsibility,” he further says.

However, Brinder Dhillon, SOPU president, differs on the issue. “If we say girls don’t participate at all, that would be a half truth; a lot of them actually do. It’s true that they are not capable of doing so much running around as their male counterparts can do.”

Generally, girls’ families do not allow them to participate in the elections. Moreover, the environment has to be made conducive and the mentality of the boys have to be changed to let them come forward, he adds.

“We need to give girls the right atmosphere so that they feel protected. Many of them want to come forward. But due to inhibitions and fear that they would be singled out and be commented upon by the boys, if not win, make them step back,” says a former vice-president of student union.



Student bodies struggle to finalise candidates
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Lyngdoh Committee recommendations are set to show its effect once again on Panjab University students’ elections. As the PU authorities announced officially the elections today, the search for ‘right’ candidates by various student bodies began thereafter. The student organisations are struggling hard to finalise the names, which meet the stringent conditions of Lyngdoh Committee for the panel, which causes the delay in announcement of the candidates.

Most of the students rue that the strict recommendations hardly leave them with much choices for probable candidates for the various posts of students’ council, including president, vice-president, joint secretary and others.

As per sources, the present leaders of various student bodies do not comply with the eligibility criteria.

PUSU president and presidential candidate, Tejpal Cheema, said: “We are in process of finalising the names for the panels which will be out in a day or two. The delay is because the candidates have to meet the conditions laid down by the Lyngdoh Committee, and being a major party, everyone’s consensus has to be sought.”

Sukhdev Kundu, presidential candidate of INSO, said: “We have constituted a three-member committee, which is scrutinising candidates as per the Lyndogh Committee recommendations.”

NSUI president Manu Madan said: “We don’t want to leave anything to chance.” SOPU president Brinder Dhillon, however, said: “Our panel has been finalised. For a formal consensus, we have a meeting tonight, wherein we will deliberate finally on the panel.”



A game of money and muscle power
Students unhappy with previous leaders
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A marked disinterest among the students has been seen students’ elections of Panjab University this year. The reason being that the previous student leaders did not meet the expectations of the students of the university.

According to some of the students, they don’t even recognise their former student leaders. For them, these student leaders are known for using money and power, and luring students into voting for their candidates by distributing freebies and making false commitments.

“I can’t even recall who was president or vice-president last year. They never show their faces once the elections are over,” says Tarush, a Semester II student from department of chemical engineering and technology (DCET). “We are not political participants as studies are our primary concern,” he says.

Some students even take elections as wastage of time and money. “Most of the students aren't even interested in elections. They just vote for the heck of it. What have the student leaders done for us so far? They neither study nor allow others to study by creating disturbance with their huge rallies,” says Loveneesh Rajpal, a Semester II student of department of law.

“ Students’ elections are held on a massive scale. It is all a game of money, muscle and power.

The more you have it, the better are your chances of winning,” says Bhupinder Singh, another student of law.

However, students are also of the opinion that there are some leaders who have the dedication to bring change on the campus for betterment, but they are only few in numbers.

“We cannot say all leaders are bad and are just concerned for their vote banks. There might be some 20 per cent student politicians, who actually work with a vision. But they don’t get a chance to come forward,” said Rampreet, another student of DCET.



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