C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PSEB leaves residents high and dry
Snaps power supply to street lights, tube wells
Surinder Bhardwaj

Bassi Pathana, September 25
The town residents have been left high and dry as the PSEB has disconnected power supply to street lights and tube wells. This has been done as the municipal council owes the PSEB Rs 30 lakh in outstanding bills.

Ironically, the council has no source of income of its own and the government has been indifferent to the needs of this sub-division.

Residents rued that while chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had sanctioned grants worth crores of rupees for the already developed Patiala town, not even a single penny had been given as grant to meet the basic needs of their town.

A PSEB official said street lights and water tube-well connections had been disconnected on account of default in payment by the municipal council.

He said power bills worth Rs 30 lakh were lying pending towards the council.

He added that his office had served notice on the council last week for disconnection of power supply if bills were not cleared.

MC’s executive officer Charanjit Singh said the financial condition of the council was pitiable, as it was hard for them to even pay salaries to their staff.

Council president Kulbhushan Malhotra said he had talked to the PSEB SE urging him not to disconnect power and offered to pay Rs 3 lakh immediately, but to no avail.

He said the council had no source of income and it was under Rs 1 crore worth of debt.

He added that the council hadn’t had a permanent executive officer, sectional officer and accountant for the past few years to manage its affairs.

The residents have demanded a special package for the town from the state government to bail it out of the mess.



New arrivals at Chhatbir Zoo
Tribune News Service

Banur, September 25
New species of fallow deer, black swan, baboon and male bison were brought to Chhatbir Zoo today evening for pairing. These animals were brought from Mysore Zoo on an exchange basis. Chhatbir Zoo has in return given them one pair of chinkaras, parrots, shikra hawks and gorals.



Pbi varsity okays Rs 24 cr for professional studies centre
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 25
Punjabi University will spend Rs 23 crore for setting up an advanced centre for professional studies and a religio-cultural centre at Talwandi Sabo in the Bathinda district.

The foundation stones of the centres will be laid by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal tomorrow. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal will be the guest of honour on the occasion.

The university already has Yadavindra College of Engineering in Talwandi Sabo in addition to the six neighbourhood campuses.

Giving this information, vice-chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh said the Punjab Government had sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the development of the advanced centre while Rs 3 crore had been approved for raising the religio-cultural centre. While the advanced centre would be built on the Guru Kashi campus of the university, the religio-cultural centre would come up on 4.25 acres of land donated to the university by the state government, he added.

“The centre, which will have a museum and an art gallery besides other things, is being dedicated to the Gurta Gaddi Divas celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib,” he further said.

According to Dr Jaspal Singh, the advanced centre will have a science and technology complex which will house the departments of bio-technology and pharmaceutical sciences and drug research to be built at a cost of approximately Rs 4 crore. A computer centre to run such courses as BTech (computer science) and BTech (IT) will be constructed at a cost of about Rs 8.5 crore.



Snag leaves Kalka, Pinjore without power
Our Correspondent

Kalka, September 25
The local town, Pinjore and adjoining villages were deprived of electricity for over four hours today.

According to sources, the area remained without power between 3.30 pm and 7.45 pm leading to inconvenience to people.

Official sources in the UHBVN said the supply was affected following a major fault in the 66 KV substation here.

Several feeders that rely on power supply from Kalka and Pinjore, including Bitna, railway, Bargodam, were also affected.

HBVN workers from Panchkula and Ambala took four hours to restore the supply, added sources.



Two held for train robbery
Tribune News Service

Ambala, September 25
Two persons have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery aboard the Bihar-bound Jan Sadharan Express last night. The two youths, identified as Suraj and Amit, have been arrested under Sections 395 of the IPC by the GRPF at Ambala.

According to the GRPF, the two were found hiding in the toilet of the train. A sum of Rs 10,000, two mobile phones and some valuables were recovered from them.

The two are stated to be vendors who sell eatables in the train. The GRPF was also trying to ascertain if they were involved in any other case.

Search parties to arrest three others involved in the last night’s incident, which left 14 persons injured, have already been dispatched.

Railways SP (Ludhaina) visited Ambala today and was apprised of the case. This is one of the biggest cases of robbery on board a train in the region, stated sources.

Meanwhile, railways IG K.K. Mishra also visited the GRPF here.

According to sources, he took stock of security arrangements in Haryana and was apprised of the progress in yesterday’s case.

Talking to the TNS, railways SP Bharti Arora said: “Two persons have been taken in police remand and the case has been shifted the Ludhiana GRPF.”



Gurdwara manager booked for selling SGPC land
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 25
A dismissed manager of gurdwara Kukkarmajra in Mandi Gobindgarh had been booked by the Fatehgarh Sahib police for selling the SGPC land by forging fake slips and receipts.

The accused, Harbans Singh, was a resident of Kharar. Fatehgarh Sahib SSP said the accused had been working in the gurdwara for the past two and half years or so and had befooled around 12 to 15 people.

“He had sold off a piece of prime land in Mandi Gobindgarh to these people by pocketing money between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh few months back,” said the SSP.

He said the accused in lieu of the money gave fake slips and receipts to the buyers and kept on dilly-delaying the issue of handing over the land for quite some time. The accused told the buyers that the SGPC president was keen on selling the land in a phased manner.

Few of the buyers were shown the piece of land and they got their demarcations done. The manger allowed some of them to get their shops constructed on the prime land after depositing a particular amount.

As soon as the construction began, a section of SGPC members and other gurdwara people approached the high priests and the manager was dismissed from the service. A case in this connection had been registered.



Girl forced into prostitution rescued
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 25
The Fatehgarh Sahib police has rescued a girl forced into prostitution by some prostitutes in Jalandhar.

The girl, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh, was married to Uttam Singh, a resident of Sant Nagar in Mandi Gobindgarh. According to the police, the girl was harassed by her husband since their marriage. Continuous harassment forced the girl to leave the house of her husband. She then decided to work in the house of a police official in Jalandhar.

She left the house a few months back and went to Jalandhar where an unidentified man took her along with him and forced her into prostitution.

The police raided the premises of a woman on a tip off, identified as Indira, and rescued the girl from there. Some pimps and the woman were arrested and a case in this connection was registered against them. The girl revealed that the pimps bring girls from places as far as Mumbai to Jalandhar to run the racket.

SSP Kaustubh Sharma said the girls were produced before some influential people of Jalandhar who helped them in running the racket. The police is investigating the matter.



When school staff turn traffic cops
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ambala, September 25
To curb traffic chaos outside schools during rush hours, the Ambala police has launched a drive to train some school staff to man the traffic outside schools when they open and close for the day.

The initiative, brainchild of the Ambala SP, happened by chance when one day he observed schoolchildren facing difficulty in crossing roads due to heavy traffic.

Facing manpower shortage and unable to provide so many traffic policemen outside schools, the SP and the traffic inspector decided to request the schools for volunteer staff to undergo training.

Almost all nine schools have got their security guards trained, who don the hat of the traffic policemen twice a day when the school starts and ends for the day. These security guards have undergone a seven-day basic training and have been provided with uniform of a traffic policeman and whistle.

“This initiative has initially been undertaken in nine schools. These schools are on main roads and face maximum problem. We have provided them with the uniform and whistle so that the people take them seriously when they man the traffic,” states SP Sibash Kabiraj.

The schools benefiting from this include DAV Police Public School, PKR Jain School, Joseph SS School, AS Senior Secondary School, SD Public School, DAV Senior Secondary School, DAV Public School, Jagadhri Road, Government Middle School, Dhurkura.

The concept, which is only three-week old, has been successful and the police now intends to take it to more schools. “We would like to take the concept to more schools. Wherever we feel there is a need, we will initiate this concept. However, the schools are also free to approach us,” states Kabiraj.



Bank employees go on strike for second day
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 25
The All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Confederation, affiliated to the National Confederation of Bank employees, observed a strike for the second successive day under the umbrella of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

A union spokesman said the wage revision of bank employees was due from November last year, but the Indian Banks Association and the Government of India was not serious to settle it.

The employees were also demanding second option for pension. Besides, the unions also opposed outsourcing. The UFBU leadership wanted to resolve these issues on table and gave ample time to the IBA and the Government of India to settle these demands.

This strike had been forced on the bank employees by the IBA and the Union Government by not accepting the genuine demands of the bank employees. The spokesman added that if these demands were not met then bank employees of the country would intensify their agitation in the coming days.



Gas agency ‘fleecing’ consumers
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, September 25
Resentment prevails among the consumers against the alleged harassment as well as fleecing done by the owners of Cheema Gas Agency, Bassi Pathana, while supplying the cooking gas cylinders.

Amardeep Singh Dharni, a lawyer-cum-social activist, has alleged that on the name of identity proof, the owners are harassing the consumers. He said that the senior citizens, old ladies and women stood in long queues outside the agency to get the cylinders and give their ID proofs.

He said that this was the only agency in the district, which was demanding an ID proof. According to him the agency owners are demanding the documents of the gas connection, ration card copy and affidavit from every customer. He said that the gas connections were taken years back by the consumers and majority of them have lost the papers now.

Moreover, the gas connections that were issued on the name of girls are now married to other cities, and some, which were on the name of olds, have died.

He further added that the consumers are forced to submit affidavit, which costs about Rs 200. Jarnail Singh, another consumer, alleged that the gas agency owners are forcibly supplying gas pipes for Rs150, where as, rate printed on these pipes is just Rs 60.

Kirpal Singh Sethi, president of consumer council, said there is no booking office of the agency in the town as gas agency is situated out of the municipal limit, so the consumers have to face great difficulty in getting the gas. He demanded booking office in the town and to clear the backlog of double booking cylinder facility.

Officials of the gas agency told that they are implementing the orders of the company. The papers of the consumers are being verified, and no harassment is done.



Beant Case
HC: Provide judge with bulletproof car in 24 hrs
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Brakes applied by the State of Punjab and the Union of India in the matter of providing a bulletproof car to a judicial officer have not only led to the passing of strictures, but also a direction to provide the vehicle to the judge within 24 hours. It has also resulted in the issuance of a contempt notice to the authority concerned at the centre.

The car is to be provided to the judicial officer, who had awarded death sentence to alleged militants in Punjab’s former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case. As the matter came up before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Ranjit Singh made it clear that the court was utterly displeased with the way the matter had been handled.

Justice Ranjit Singh observed in the open court: “The role of the governments in this case in shying away from their responsibilities to provide security aids to a judicial officer, who while discharging his judicial function dealt with a highly sensitive case, is clearly noticeable.

“The question of providing the security cover to him is an issue before this court taken up on the judicial side, earlier having been dealt with on the administrative side. “No counsel appearing for the respective governments has disputed the fact that the officer would need security and that too of ‘Z’ category. Still, the Union of India made an attempt to urge that the officer may not be entitled to bullet proof car….”

Justice Ranjit Singh added it was “totally disheartening” to notice that the needful had not been done, despite categorical directions issued previously by the court on providing car to the judicial officer within a month.

Issuing notice to the officer concerned, Justice Ranjit Singh asked him to show cause why contempt of court proceedings be not initiated against him failing to comply with the order

The Union of India counsel was also asked to identify the officer and inform the court within 24 hours about his name so that the needful could be done

Justice Ranjit Singh observed Punjab’s conduct in the matter too was not fair and proper. The state was directed to provide the bullet-proof vehicle, but till date the car had not been provided.

The judge added there were bullet proof cars with the state. It was not the court’s concern to whom these vehicles were provided. But the court would not accept any plea, whereby the security of the judicial officer would be compromised with.

Asking the state to provide the car within 24 hours, the Judge added it was for Punjab to see how the arrangements were to be made. The court made it clear that a vehicle could be withdrawn from any official, if required.



UBS-Ludhiana Centre Tussle
No stay on joint placements, HC clarifies
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
The ongoing tussle between management students of the Punjab University’s regional centre, Ludhiana, and their counterparts at UBS (university business school), Panjab University, over joint placements took a new twist today when the Punjab and Haryana High Court clarified that no stay order had been in operation on the issue of joint placements.

Counsel Sanjeev Walia, who appeared in the court today on behalf of UBS students, said: “To clarify the earlier rumours about High Court granting a verbal stay on the placements process, Justice Hemant Kumar pronounced that no such order was in operation.”

Earlier, on the first hearing on September 4, Anupam Gupta had appeared in the court on behalf of the university and subsequently communicated to the department that the judge had verbally directed not to go ahead with the placement procedure.

As result, the process of distributing brochures of the department and carrying out detailed profile of each student, faculty member and business school to corporates and MNCs in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and even in city and invite the companies for holding placements in the department was not initiated. This snowballed into a major controversy as on the second hearing on September 18, the judge clarified that no such stay order was pronounced.

Due to his pre-occupation, Anupam Gupta did not attend the hearing and deputed one of his juniors for the same.

Thereafter, students allegedly accused the chairman of miscommunication and halting the process. However, Prof Dinesh Gupta maintained that he did what the university counsel had asked him to.

Anupam Gupta, university’s legal retainer, said: “I stand by my word. On the first hearing, I was told verbally that the placements be halted for the time being. That is what I conveyed to the chairman and even gave it to him in writing. Since I could not appear in the second and third hearing, as I had to argue other cases, some confusion could have arisen. I am yet to get a copy of today’s order and as soon as I get one I will convey the same to the university and the department,” he said.

Management students of PU’s regional centre, Ludhiana, had moved court against the university for joint placements with UBS, Chandigarh, since both institutes were same and so were the course and curriculum.

After today’s orders, students of the UBS heaved a sigh of relief even though it may take a little while before the final decision is taken in this matter.



Fake Licence Case: Noor’s signature taken
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
A local court today took the specimen signature of Noor Kataria in the fake licence case. The signature was taken after the prosecution moved an application that the specimen signature of the accused was required for the purpose of comparison.

It is pertinent to mention here that after Noor was arrested on May 23 on charges of possessing fake licence, she was made the prosecution witness in the Anuradha murder case. Her statement was recorded under Section 164 of CrPC on May 24.



Gurmit Hockey
ONGC crush Chandigarh XI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 25
Local outfit Chandigarh XI lost to strong rival Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) by 1-6 in the ongoing 38th S.N. Vohra’s All-India Gurmit Memorial Hockey Tournament at hockey stadium, Sector 42, here today.

With his three goals, Indian penalty corner specialist Diwakar Ram played vital role in the win. In the action-packed match, ONGC dominated the proceedings throughout the match.

Chandigarh’s Rupinder Pal, who made hat-trick in yesterday’s match against RCF, reduced the margin through penalty stroke the team earned in the 44th minute.

But in the next three minutes, Diwakar turned the tables with his two goals (45th and 47th minutes). Amit sealed 6-1 victory in the 64th minute for ONGC.

ONGC forced five penalty corners and they converted two to their favour while Chandigarh wasted the two corners that came their way.

In the second match between IAF and Signals, the former clinched 3-1 victory.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |