C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Finally, UT loses Setia
Haryana turns down his extension
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
UT's high-profile DPI (schools) SK Setia is finally being repatriated to his parent state of Haryana. However, with his replacement yet to come, the education department is set to face a crisis in mid-session.

With the Haryana Government turning down UT's request for further extension to Setia, the HCS officer would be repatriated soon and a fresh panel of officers would be sought, sources told Chandigarh Tribune here today.

Keen on retaining Setia, instrumental in initiating several projects aimed at reforming the education system in the city, top brass of the Chandigarh Administration has sent in a request to the Haryana Government.

However, faced with a reported shortage of officers, the Haryana Government declined the request as it wanted Setia's services in the state.

Recently, the administration selected HCS officer Samwarthak Singh for the UT out of a panel sent by Haryana. Samwarthak Singh was tipped to be DPI (schools) following reports that Setia was to be sent back. However, at the last moment, the UT administration retained Setia and later Samwarthak Singh was posted as secretary of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh.

Sources said the administration and the Haryana Government would have to hurry to get a replacement for Setia since Lok Sabha elections were round the corner. Once the code of conduct for the elections gets underway, there would a ban on posting the officers on inter-state deputation.

A media-savvy person, Setia targeted vested interests in the education department. While some of his projects were appreciated, others were dubbed “impractical" and "publicity stunts”.

Whatever his critics may say, Setia kept the schools heads and department officials on their toes with his innovative, but sometimes far-fetched ideas.



Youth found dead in guesthouse
Another youth hangs himself; maid suffers burns
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A Burail resident in his mid-twenties was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a guesthouse in the village, while a 25-year-old youth hanged himself to death at his Sector 33 residence here today. In yet another incident, a maid sustained 83 per cent while working in her employer’s house.

Giving details about the body found from guesthouse, sub-inspector Rajdeep Singh told TNS that the deceased had been identified as 25-year-old Rajnish Rana of Burail. The door was locked from inside.

Inquiries revealed that he had gone from his house after having some dispute with his family on September 21. He checked in the guesthouse in the evening and did not place any order for dinner last night. He told the guesthouse staff to wake him up in the morning, but did not respond to their calls. The staff then broke the door and found him dead.

The police said prima facie it, appeared that the death was caused due to cardiac arrest, but the exact cause would only be established after post mortem. The body was sent to the hospital.

About the suicide, the police said the deceased Deepak was found hanging by his father at his residence this afternoon. Deepak, who was working at a printing press in Mohali, was alone at home. His father, Inderjit, came home around 1 pm and found the door locked from inside.

When his repeated knocked went unanswered, he broke the door to find his son hanging. The police was informed about the incident, which shifted the body to the Sector 16 hospital.

Investigating officer Harminderjit Singh ruled out any foul play behind the death as the family did not express any doubts. In the absence of any suicide note, the police is yet to ascertain the reason behind the death. The police has initiated inquest proceedings into the deaths.

According to the police, a maid, 18-year-old Jaspal Kaur, caught fire while burning garbage at her employer’s residence in Sector 43 here this morning. She was rushed to a hospital where she recorded her statement before the magistrate. She hails from Nawa Shahr and was unmarried.



Condom Bar to get propah name soon
Customers shying away from it, courtesy its name
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO) bar-cum-discotheque at Kalagram with the unique name “Condom Bar” may soon loose this identity.

If sources in CITCO are to be believed, there is a move to change the name, which apparently was casting a shadow over the sales. Sources in CITCO maintain that falling revenues of the bar are perhaps directly linked to the inhibitions attached to its name “Condom”.

The bar, which has been offering free and paid condoms to the customers, has not only seen a decline in liquor sale but the initial euphoria of people for picking up condoms has also waned.

Officials of CITCO are in a quandary over the new name since the main reasons behind re-christening the bar as “Condom bar” was to promote the use of contraceptives not only to control unwanted pregnancies but also to prevent HIV. Officials now want the new name to also have a social message in it.

As per CITCO figures, only 1500 condoms were sold during the month of August this year. In the corresponding period last year, the sale of condoms touched nearly 2200. “Last year, the sale of condom was about 1600 per month, this year it has been reduced to 1200 per month,” said a bar employee.

CITCO is also worried about the sale of liquor at its bar. During last month, the revenue was Rs 61,000. In comparison during August 2007, the revenue was Rs 82,000. Officials at CITCO admitted that liquor sale and condom sale was declining.



Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
An unidentified cyclist in his mid-twenties was crushed to death near rotary of Sectors 39, 40, 55 and 56, here tonight.

According to the police, a truck (PB-12-H-5086), coming from Transport area and on its way to Ludhiana, crushed the cyclist, who was coming from Sector 40. The critically injured victim was rushed to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead.

The police has arrested the truck driver, Rajinder Singh of Kurali, on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.


PU Senate results out
Results of 15 seats of graduates’ constituency today
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, September 23
The results for Panjab University Senate for principals and teachers of affiliated colleges’ constituencies were declared today.

The results for principals’ constituency were declared first as the counting started at 9 am. After the quota was fixed at eight votes, A C Vaid, principal, GGDSD College, Sector 32, and Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, principal, Guru Nanak College for Girls, Muktsar, were the first ones to be declared elected. Both got 10 and eight votes. This was followed by the declaration of results on the remaining six seats.

Those who got elected include B C Josan, principal, DAV College, Sector 10, Gurdip Kumar Sharma, principal, GGDSD College, Hariana (Hoshiarpur), Hardiljit Singh Gosal, principal, Govind National College, Govind Nagar, Narangwal, Janmit Singh, principal Taravati Memorial Degree College, Bringali, Mukerian (Hoshiarpur distt.) and Satish Kumar Sharma, principal, Lajpat Rai DAV College, Jagraon, Ludhiana.

Interestingly, only two new comers, Janmit Singh and R S Jhanji, have been elected out of the total five new contestants. A total of 13 candidates had contested elections for eight seats in this constituency. Out of total 70 votes in this constituency, 69 were polled.

In the teachers’ constituency, Mukesh Arora, lecturer, S C D Government College, Ludhiana, was the first one to be declared elected and got maximum numbers of votes. A total of 307 votes were polled in his favour, followed by Harpreet Singh Dua, lecturer, Gujranwala, Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Ludhiana, who got 247 votes, followed by Dinesh Talwar, lecturer, DAV College, Sector 10, who got 243 votes.

These three were declared elected first after they cleared the quota of 212 votes. Other five candidates were declared elected in subsequent rounds of counting. Those who got elected include Dalip Kumar, lecturer, GCG, Sector 42, I S Sandhu, lecturer, DAV College, Abohar, Kuldip Singh, lecturer, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, Ludhiana, P S Gill, lecturer, SGGS College, Sector 26, and R P S Josh, lecturer, Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

By late evening, counting for 15 seats under graduates’ constituency was started. The initial results in this category are likely to be declared by tomorrow evening.



Student bodies again flout Lyngdoh norms
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 23
The Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) elections are long over but the violation of the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendations continues, the latest being the submission of self-certified expense reports.

With only two days left to submit the reports, no party other than the INSO-SOI alliance has submitted it. The sole report submitted has been designed to fall in the approved limit of Rs 5,000.

While the alliance ensured a free flow of money to woo the voters and had offered a free movie for around 60 students twice and dance parties, the expenses on record total to just Rs 4,950.

However, Sukhdev Kundu, INSO representative, denied holding any such parties or movie trips while speaking to the TNS. “We have already submitted our expense report of Rs 14,850 for three candidates; the allegations are totally false and we haven’t organised any dance party or movie,” he said.

The winning SOPU-ABVP alliance has allegedly held back their report till their ‘justified’ demands of admission of Brinder Dhillon to the university and reversal of suspension of Harpreet Multani, currently in judicial custody, are met.

Even the PUSU-NSUI alliance has refused to submit the report. According to Tejpal Cheema, PUSU president, “If the winning party can evade the report for their baseless demands, why should we submit it?”

The violation doesn’t confine to the parties only as even the dean, students’ welfare, Naval Kishore, expressed his ignorance about which all groups had submitted the report and what were their shortcomings.



Cash Scam
Ravinder’s wife seeks transfer of case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Mohinder Kaur, wife of Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh, today lashed out at the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association for prejudicing her husband’s right to defence in the “cash-at-judge’s doorstep” case.

Ravinder Singh is co-accused in the case and is currently in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s custody. Mohinder Kaur today met the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and handed him an application seeking transfer of the case to Delhi to thwart Bar Association’s alleged interference in the matter. She was accompanied by Ravinder Singh’s counsel Amar Singh Chahal.

The Chief Justice met Mohinder Kaur briefly and reportedly expressed concern to the extent that the image of the institution was taking a hit, but categorically told her that it was not within his jurisdiction to pass such an order.

In her application on the administrative side, Mohinder Kaur made it clear that her grouse was against the Bar Association. She said: “The painful aspect of the matter is that the Punjab and Haryana Bar Association has become a party to the case with a view that the accused are 100 per cent guilty and must be punished.

“I make mention of the fact that some Punjab police personnel were involved in the case with regard to the arrest of an accused. Thereafter, the right of my husband in availing anticipatory bail was also criticised.

“The order passed on the first date of hearing by Justice A.N. Jindal for the presence of the counsel at the time of interrogation was also criticised. Again, the police remand order passed by the special judge, CBI, Chandigarh, was also criticised.

“Unfortunately, the names of certain judges of the high court are being dragged openly, showing that they are interfering in the investigation of the case, whereas it is not even a remote possibility”.

Asking the Chief Justice to take a note of Bar Association’s action of becoming a party during the bail application’s hearing, she insisted “successive meetings of the General House were unprecedented in the Association’s history”.

She asserted the circumstances to her mind were giving rise to the thought that Ravinder Singh would not get justice from the court located in Punjab, Haryana or Chandigarh. As such, “it will be in the fitness of things, if a request is made for the transfer of the case at Delhi”.



Non-compliance with forum’s order
CitiFinancial GM in the dock
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum today issued non-bailable warrants against CitiFinancial for non-complaince of orders. The company failed to return all cheques toa complainant as per an order in May this year.

The forum sentenced GM of CitiFinancial and Gurpal Singh, assistant manager, to imprisonment for six months and imposed on them a fine of Rs 10,000.

Issuing non-bailable warrants for the arrest on October 24, the execution application for the order was filed for the order dated May 15, 2008, on which CitiFinancial was directed to pay Rs 25,000 compensation and to return the all unused cheques to the complainant. It was ordered that if the amount in question is not paid within 30 days from the receipt of copy of the order, the company will be liable to pay the same along with penal interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the complaint.

A show-cause notice was sent after which the company made payment of Rs 37,550 to the complainant. Out of the 19 unused cheques, they returned three cheques on September 5, 2008, and on this day they were directed to return the remaining 16 unused cheques on September 12, 2008. The forum stated that the company had returned only five cheques out of the remaining 16 unused cheques.



Setia leaves behind unfinished, overambitious projects
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
With DPI (S) SK Setia all set to bid farewell to the UT education department, he leaves behind a legacy of numerous unfinished and perhaps ‘overambitious’ projects.

“He was probably the most ambitious DPI we have ever had. Though he announced a lot of ‘revolutionising projects’ but most of them remained in newspaper columns. Over the period of his tenure, innovation without execution emerged as his persistent characteristic,” said one of the local teachers.

Among the announcements made by Setia during his tenure, the earlier ones like ‘laptops for principals’, ‘no books till Class V’ and ‘school dress for teachers’ failed to take off while the recent ones like ‘introduction of table soccer in schools’ were added to the list of his “thoughtless ambitions”.

Even his recent effort to teach principals proper functioning of schools by donning their cap for a day didn’t find many appreciators as most of them dismissed it on the basis of lack of ground work on his part.

However, going by media reports most of the times Setia has considered inefficiency of city principals and lack of initiative on their part as main reason of their failure.

“He has always accused principals of inefficiency but he himself didn’t realise the ground situation and our problems. He overloaded us with work and we could not meet his sky-high expectations,” clarified one of the city principals.

Not only the teaching community but even officials of the administration said he would be remembered for his ‘unrealistic’ ambitions. One of his close associates said, “He is a nice man but a little ‘Tughlaq’ types. His dreams could not be executed but being media savvy he never refrained from announcing them. According to many, he was fond of self publicity.”



Traffic violators get gifts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
UT SP (Traffic and Security) H.S. Doon today gave away gifts to 15 traffic violators during a special drive to educate drivers about road safety.

According to sources, the SP, in association with a private FM radio, started a programme titled “Ab Dilli Door Nahi” wherein he would hold live talks with city residents on road safety.

The prizes were given to violators at the Housing Board light point, Railway light point, Transport Chowk, Grain Market Chowk and Press Light Point.

Traffic police personnel and radio jockeys were present there. The road safety awareness programme will continue for another six days.



Postal dept turns smart
e-money order to deliver cash in 2 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Sending money orders will be easier and faster as e-money order (e-MO) facility will be available at the department of post here by October 10.

The chief postmaster general, Punjab circle, has announced about the new mechanism at the launch of new logo of Indian Post here today.

The chief postmaster general, Punjab circle, Prithvi Raj Kumar, said the new mechanism could ensure the delivery of money across the country within 24-48 hours against three to five days usually taken by the conventional money orders.

"This will not only restrict wastage of stationary, but also save the time consumed on physical transportation of forms from senders to the recipients," he added.

The criteria for using the e-MO remain the same as traditional one. The only consideration postal officials will apply for offering the service is to ensure that the post office nearest to the recipient should be computerised and equipped with infrastructure to receive electronic message.

Launching the logo at the Punjab circle, he said the need for change in the logo was felt due to the emerging transformation, both in the Indian economy as 
also in the profile of Indian Post.

He said the new logo is a synthesis between service proportion and modernity, which would be available in red and yellow colour.

Red has been chosen for its traditional association with the postal service. While, yellow communicate hope and joy.

Evidence of the combination of the two colours is found across the country, said senior postal officials.



Rape, acid attack
13 days on, cops fail to nab culprits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Even after passing of more than 13 days, the police is yet to achieve any breakthrough in the Kajheri rape case and the Hallomajra acid case.

In both cases, the culprits belong to other states. Police parties, sent to the respective states, have returned empty-handed.

Ram Singh of Dharal village of Mandi district raped a 22-year-old woman of Karnal in a local hotel’s room in the wee hours of September 10.

The victim was alone as her husband was out of the station for some business engagements that day. A case was registered at Sector 36 police station.

In the second incident which occurred on September 11, the accused Vishal hails from Assam. The jilted lover Vishal threw acid on his 16-year-old girlfriend Jyoti at Hallomajra. Jyoti received 30 per cent burns and was treated at GMCH, Sector 32.

In both cases, the police is still trying hard to nab the culprits. The raids at the native places of Ram Singh and Vishal have so far proved futile.

“We got information that Ram Singh went to his village after committing the crime but however, he fled before reaching the police party”, said Davinder Sharma, SHO of Sector 36 police station, maintaining that another party would be dispatched again in a day or two.

In the second case, the situation is not different. Bhupinder Singh, SHO of Sector 31 police station, admitted that there was no development in the case.

“The police party has returned without any success. The search is on”, was the answer of Singh.



Play on plight of girl child
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Students and faculty of the department of social work observed Girl Child Day with a view to sensitise the student community on the importance of girl child at Students’ Centre of Panjab University today.

The students of the department enacted a street play titled Kalli (The Bud) portraying the stigma and discrimination associated with girl child from womb itself.

“In her teenage, she is denied all privileges, which her brother enjoys. When she is in college, she is forcibly married to an elderly person simply because he is from a feudal family and enjoys high status in society contrary to her wishes of becoming a police officer. After her marriage, she is ridiculed by her in-laws for giving birth to a girl child,” said Prof Mohinderjit K. Teja.



Fortis team leaves for Bihar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
A five-member team of doctors and paramedical staff of Fortis hospital, Mohali, today left for Bihar to participate in a special free medical camp.

The team comprised Dr Baljinder Singh, Dr Vishal Singla, Harjeet Singh, Sajan
and Jagtar Singh.

Doctors and paramedical staff from other Fortis hospitals in the country will join the Fortis Mohali team and the 29-member team will reach Bhagalpur on September 24.

Earlier, a three-member team from Fortis had already visited the flood areas to chalk out the detailed plan for the health camp.



Bank pensioners hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Pensioners of State Bank of India held a demonstration today at the corporate office of the bank.

The pensioners complained that the government, along with the bank, was discriminating against the pensioners.

“We have been requesting for payment of the pension to all past and present pensioners at 50 per cent of the last drawn pay since 1998. But the Government of India has not been paying any heed despite public assurances by the finance minister,” said N. S. Dhamoon, general secretary, bank-pensioners’ body.

The demonstration was also held at the bank’s corporate offices in Mumbai and at the 14 local head-office centres and other big branches throughout the country.

The pensioners will hold another demonstration before banking department of Government of India, New Delhi, from October 2.



2-day bank strike from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Banking services in the region will be hit for the next two days as a result of the 48-hour nationwide bank strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions, a conglomerate of nine major bank unions.

The talks between the banking unions and government having failed today, thousands of bank employees of all public sector and regional rural banks in the country decided to participate in the proposed all-India strike to protest the central government’s plan for complete privatisation of the banking sector in phases, said Vijay Magon, general secretary, SBI officers’ Association.

He criticised the union government move to hand over various functions of public sector banks to private agencies, besides effecting a ban on recruitment.

Bank officers would gather at the SBI local head office in Sector 17 tomorrow and hold a protest march, he said.



Ex-servicemen to meet on October 12
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The annual general body meeting of the Indian Ex-Services League will be held on October 12 at Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir Bhavan in Sector 24 here.

Squadron Leader (retd) G.S. Deol stated that among various agendas, confirmation of minutes of the last annual general body meeting held on October 27, presentation of the annual report for 2007-08 and presentation of annual accounts and balance sheet up to September 30, 2008 would be discussed.

Presentation of audited accounts, which would be available with him after October 5, resolutions and points received from members and executive committee would also be discussed.



Roll numbers for exams despatched
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, September 23
Roll numbers for students appearing in supplementary examinations to be held from September 27 at Panjab University have been despatched. If the candidates do not get their roll nos, they can visit the university to seek duplicate roll nos. on September 25 during office hours only.

Duplicate roll numbers will be issued to them on production of their identity by way of their recent attested passport size photograph and proof of having submitted the examination form and on payment of requisite fee i.e. Rs.55.

MBA counselling

Counselling for one seat in the single girl child category in MBA (infrastructure management) will be held on September 25 at 10 a.m. at UIAMS, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Students have to bring affidavit about SGC status from executive magistrate, if not already submitted.

Director honoured

Dr Manjeet Paintal, director, Regional Resource Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Panjab University, was honoured by Gen S.F Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab, for her valuable contributions in tackling the problems of illiteracy in Chandigrah and Punjab on Monday.

She has conducted several research and evaluation studies and presented papers at international and national forums.



Students display talent
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 23
A talent-hunt competition -PARAKH-2008- was organised at Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Mohali. As many as 350 students participated in 26 creative, intellectual and cultural competitions.

The activities included solo light vocal, solo light classical, semi-classical vocal, elocution, punjabi folk songs, skits, mime, laughter challenge, western dance, cartooning, one-act plays, pre-developed software, on-the-spot software development, rangoli, quiz, paper presentation etc.

Chairman of the institute J.S. Bedi inaugurated the function. The results were announced in the evening at the valedictory session. Winners were awarded certificates and prizes.

Freshers’ party

A freshers’ party was organised at Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi. First-year students showcased talent. Principal of the institute Dr A.K. Ghai welcomed chief guests Prof Avtar Singh, chairman of the Sukhmani Group, and Kanwalijit Kaur, director of the group.

The Mr Fresher’s title was given to Karanpreet Singh while Rasneet Kaur became Ms Fresher. Varun and Gurleen Kaur got the titles of Mr Handsome and Ms Charming, respectively. A dance party was also organised.

The chief guests encouraged the freshers to work hard to achieve their goals. They appreciated the efforts made by the second-year students for organising the event.

Job fair

Officials from Tech Mahindra visited the campus of Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology during the mega job fair. Around 3,000 aspirants from different technical and professional colleges of the north region participated in the seven-day event.

Director of the institute Prof I.K. Kataria said close liaison with various companies was being developed to help students get better placements. Many students had already found placements with various reputed companies like Infosys, Satyam, US Technologies and Wipro, he added.



Youth fest begins at MCM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Panjab University Diamond Jubilee Youth and Heritage Festival for Zone B (2008-09) was commenced at MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36 here today.

The four-day event includes competitions in various cultural, intellectual and creative categories, in which 10 girls’ colleges, including three from Ludhiana district, are participating.

Raji P. Srivastava, DPI, Chandigarh administration was chief guest. The students staged street skits depicting the movement from traditional lifestyles to modern city-settings in an environment blending the two streams.



Navy shortlists 50 from CEC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 23
The Navy in a joint placement drive at Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, has shortlisted 50 engineering students as short service commissioned officers.

Engineering students of various disciplines, securing 60 per cent in their degree were eligible to appear in this drive.

The shortlisted students will face final interviews to be held at Dehradun and get commissioned as officers in July, 2009.

Satnam Singh Sandhu, chairman and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, president, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, revealed that a number of earlier passouts of the college had already joined the Army.

Extension lecture

An extension lecture was organised on the campus of Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar. During the lecture, the college students were apprised about the Army.

Brig Sanjay Aggarwal from Ambala cantonment informed the students about the selection procedure and qualities required in candidates to get selected.



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