C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rape Bid
2 more accused surrender
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Manvir Singh Jolly and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, another suspects in the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a German tourist, today surrendered before a local court. The court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Kanchan Mahi remanded them, along with Harpreet Singh Dali, another suspect arrested yesterday, to two days of police custody.

The trio was produced before the court. The police sought seven-day remand of the accused urging the court that the suspects would be taken to spots for identification. The prosecution stated that Dali disclosed during his interrogation that he, along with Sukhi, Jolly and Sompal, left for their hideout in Gurgaon after dropping the victim at Chandigarh. The hideout, a farmhouse, belonged to Jolly’s friend.

Dali claimed that the victim was forcibly taken on the other hand Sukhi stated that she accompanied them on her own. Sukhi told the probing officials in the court that the German woman told them to take her for a joyride and also asked them to drop her at Ambala. He further stated that the woman asked them to buy a bottle of liquor at Ambala. Meanwhile, the counsel for Jolly moved an application in the court, stating that the police had conducted raids at Jolly’s residence and seized a licensed .32 bore revolver from his residence. The defence counsel expressed apprehension that it could be planted against Jolly as no intimation about this had been made about the recovery.



Had tried to drug victim: Cops
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Suspects involved in the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a German tourist reportedly tried to give her intoxicants in an attempt to rape her.

Police sources said the accused Dali told officials that Jolly tried to forcibly give her intoxicants, but she resisted their move. He mixed the intoxicants in water and forced her to drink it. The sources added that Jolly wanted to make her unconscious as all his attempts to overpower the victim had failed.

The sources further said the accused were levelling allegations and counter allegations on each other to save themselves. Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, who surrendered today before a local court, along with Manveer Singh Jolly, claimed that the German tourist accompanied them on her own while Dali had claimed that she was forcibly taken in the vehicle.

The police said the accused would be cross-questioned and taken to the spot to dispel the confusions due to their contradictory statements.

About the fifth accused, the police officials stated that he was said to be in Muradabad. The police said he did not have any hideout there, but the information was that he was heading there. The officials claimed that they had procured some vital clues in the case which would be helpful in corroborating with the statements recorded by the victim as well as the suspects.

Meanwhile, Jolly’s father Ravinder Singh Randhawa of Samalkha, in defence of his son, claimed that the victim had gone with her consent with the youths and that was why they came to Sector 20 to drop her. He reasoned had they really kidnapped her, they would not have dropped her near her friend’s residence from where they could be easily caught.

Randhawa is a former local president of a political party while Sukhi’s father is an active member of the Congress, said the police. Jolly is said to be involved in two cases of rioting.

The police said medical reports were still awaited and it would take about another three-four days for the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) to submit its report. They took the suspects Sukhi, Jolly and Dali for medical examination to Sector 32 hospital. The sources said Sukhi and Jolly would be examined by forensic experts as the victim in her supplementary statement had stated that she had bitten Jolly, Sukhi and Sompal while fighting back.



CFSL team recovers condoms, butts from crime scene
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
In an effort to get vital clues in the kidnapping and attempt to rape of a German national, a team of Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) visited the crime spots at Ambala today.

According to police sources, the CFSL team, being accompanied by Chandigarh police personnel, went to a house at Kardana village in Ambala where the victim was taken after kidnapping from the city in the wee hours of Sunday. “From the spot, the investigating team collected some samples and condoms, cigarette butts and some hair.

Sources added that forensic experts would match the DNA profile of the suspects with the samples drawn from the condoms and cigarette butts and hair recovered from the spot, as semen and saliva could easily be lifted from condoms and cigarettes. The samples would help the police in establishing the presence of the victim as well as of the suspects on that place. Meanwhile, the police confirmed that the kidnapping was not planned as the suspects had come to the city for revelry. They displayed a fake registration number only to dodge the traffic police in case of being caught for traffic violation. Three suspects have shady past as Jolly was reportedly involved in two cases of rioting and hurt while Dalli and Sompal are also having a criminal past.

Fresh UT advisory for foreigners

n Female tourists are advised not to go out after dark
n Be sure of the identity of person/persons offering any kind of help
n Contact the tourist police immediately in case of any problem



Adios polybag!
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The convenient plastic carry bags will be a thing of the past in Chandigarh. In fact, taking another step towards becoming an "environment-friendly" city, the administration today geared up to enforce the ban on polybags from tomorrow.

In fact, the decision will spell inconvenience to shoppers and visitors, who will have to rely on costly paper bags and jute bags to ferry goods from the markets. There is a complete ban on the use of plastic carry bags in the UT and strict action under various provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act,1986, will be initiated against the violators, official sources said.

"No person, including shopkeeper, vendor, wholeseller, retailer, trader, hawker or rehriwala, will be allowed the use of polythene/plastic carry bags for supply of goods in them," the sources said. Moreover, no person will manufacture, store, import, sell or transport polythene/plastic carry bags in the UT.

Meanwhile, DC RK Rao and the member-secretary of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) PJS Dadwal today constituted various teams to effectively implement the ban.

The Act specifies imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may be Rs 1 lakh or both. However, if contravention continues, an additional fine to the extent of Rs 5,000 per day will be imposed. If the failure continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction, the offender will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to 7 years.

On July 30, this year the administration issued a notification banning polybags of all thickness. The decision came under attack from the Chandigarh Plastic Manufacturers Association, which termed the ban as "illogical and illegal". However, the association received no immediate relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Officials, however, clarified that the packaged commodities, including milk products and grocery items, would not be covered under the ban.


Plastic bags containing packaged commodities, including milk products and grocery items


Imprisonment up to five years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh or both under the Environment Protection Act



Sexual harassment stains Punjab PRO
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
A public relations officer of the Punjab government, Naginder Singh, in the docks following a complaint of sexual harassment filed against him by four nurses of the Regional Spinal Injury Centre, Mohali.

The four contractual nurses have accused the officer of drawing obscene sketches and attempting to take their photographs from his mobile phone during his physiotherapy treatment at the centre last month. The centre’s project director Dr Raj Bahadur, who is also the director principal of GMCH-32, has forwarded the complaint to the director, Public Relations, Punjab.

In their written complaint, the nurses have alleged that on August 14, Naginder had dropped obscene sketches in the basket of the scooter of one of the nurses. They have also claimed that when he was dropping the paper, one of the staff members had noticed it and had even tried to stop him but he left in his car.

They have also mentioned that Naginder was trying to click their photographs on his cellphone. Their letter also refers to an incident that occurred in the conference hall on August 13, where he made similar obscene sketches on the wall before the visit of the Punjab minister of social security, women and child development. To avoid embarrassment, the centre's staff had covered the sketches with Punjab government's official calendar.

Demanding strict action against the officer, the nurses had approached Dr Bahadur, who forwarded the complaint to the Punjab DPR on August 19. Dr Bahadur said the case had come under sexual harassment and appropriate action should be taken against the officer.

Confirming the receipt of Dr Bahadur's complaint, director Public Relation, Punjab, Tejveer Singh, said an inquiry was initiated after the receipt of the complaint. He said the officer had been asked to respond to the allegation, which he had completely denied.

Official sources said the officer's response had been sent to Dr Bahadur and in case he's not satisfied with it, a joint inquiry, with one officer from the centre and one from the Punjab government, would be initiated against Naginder. Naginder has stated "no such allegations have been levelled against him in his 20 years of service".

Dr Bahadur said he had received no response yet. "I'll be able to say anything further once the reply is in front of me", said he.


Poly-Free City
Ban in larger public interest, admn to HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Business and commercial interests must give way to larger public interest, especially in the matters of environment protection, said the Chandigarh administration on the eve of declaring the city “poly bag-free”.

In its reply before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the administration said the challenge to the ban was actuated and motivated purely by business consideration.

The ban, it was asserted, was constitutional, legal, fair, reasonable and valid. It had been imposed by the administration as a matter of conscious policy in the interest of the present and future generations.

It insisted that in spite of the establishment of garbage processing plant, there was urgency and necessity to impose a complete ban on polythene and plastic carry bags in the city.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice of motion to the Chandigarh administration for October 22 on a petition challenging the move to completely ban polythene and plastic carry bags.

In their petition, Jarnail Singh and Karnail Singh had challenged the very basis on which a public notice notification in this regard was issued by the administration.

The petitioners, through advocate Anil Pal Singh Shergill, contended that the administration, vide notification dated December 6, 2005, had expressed its intention to ban plastic bags. But it later withdrew the same.

Again, a notification was issued on February 11 on the administration’s intention to completely ban polythene. The petitioners said the notification was the repetition and reproduction of the 2005 notification.

The petitioners said the notifications under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 issued by the Chandigarh administration had been promulgated by the administrator, acting as the Central Government. Such an action was absolutely illegal and bad in law.

The administrator, even though acting as the Central Government and representing the Central Government, could not undertake Acts requiring legislative action, which fell within the preview of specialised part of the government — the “ministry of environment”.

The said action of the administrator and some executive officers of the Chandigarh administration was illegal.

The petitioners said the “Environment (Protection) Act 1986” provided only for regulation of pollution causing industry and did not provide for regulating, controlling and closing small shops and outlets or controlling articles legally in circulation.

Notice to UT

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice of motion to the administration for October 22 on a petition challenging the move to completely ban polythene and plastic carry bags.

Website launched

For better implementation and enforcement of smoke-free guidelines in the city, UT home secretary Ram Niwas launched website www.chandigarh.tobaccofreeindia.com here today.



Chief architect’s post to Punjab
Hooda writes to Rodrigues
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The repatriation of former UT chief architect Sunita Monga to her parent state of Haryana and posting of a Punjab-cadre officer in her place has kicked up a storm with the Haryana government crying foul over the decision.

The alleged “under-representation” of Haryana in the UT administration has prompted Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to send a letter to UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues to review the decision and post a Haryana-cadre officer on the crucial post.

At the time of reorganisation of Punjab and Haryana in 1966, a broad consensus on having Punjab and Haryana officials and employees in the ratio of 60:40 was reportedly worked out.

However, with the central government posting UT-cadre officers on crucial posts, the balance between the Punjab and Haryana officers was disturbed.

The Punjab and Haryana governments had gone on record alleging “under-representation” in key UT departments.

Recently, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had gone on record staking Punjab’s claim to the post of SSP when there was a move to post a UT-cadre officer in the wake of repatriation of Gaurav Yadav to Punjab. However, later a Punjab-cadre IPS officer, S.S. Srivastava, occupied the post.

Official sources said the posting of officers from the two states was the prerogative of the UT administration. In fact, a fine balance is being maintained by the administration in seeking officials on deputation for senior posts. Repeated letters to the administration by respective states staking their claims to certain posts were merely “pressure tactics”. The appointment of the new chief architect was final and there was no scope for its review, an official added.

Meanwhile, new chief architect Sumit Kaur joined office here today.



PU Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
Closing ceremony likely on Oct 15
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, October 1
It was exactly a year back that the diamond jubilee celebrations of Panjab University kick started. And now, the university is gearing up for the culmination of the celebrations.

Earlier, the authorities were to organise a function for the same in the first week of October, but now the celebrations have been extended for another fortnight. It is expected that the closing ceremony is likely to be held on October 15 and vice-chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti has constituted a committee which was to meet today. But the meeting has been postponed to October 3.

According to sources, the university officials are planning to have a day-long events on the d-day, which would include lectures, interaction of students, teachers and even non-teaching employees. Some illustrious alumni will also join in the function and would share their experiences with the students and faculty members.

Talking about the celebrations since last year, Prof R.C. Sobti said: “We are satisfied with the way things shaped up in these 12 months. Though we could have done much more, nevertheless now, we are going to plan ahead. The good part of the celebrations was that all teaching departments of the campus were involved in this exercise.”

It is pertinent to mention here that as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations, the university had offered a diamond jubilee chance for improvements, compartment in any subject to all its students from 1980 till date. Also, many seminars were also organised to mark the celebrations by almost all departments, including library science.

The diamond jubilee fellowship of Rs 5,000 was also inducted in every department on yearly basis. A degree mela, mock test for rural students of Punjab and community outreach programme were also organised as part of the celebrations.



Defence accounts celebrate anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Officers and staff of the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Western Command) celebrated the 262nd Raising Day of Defence Accounts Department (DAD). The department came into existence on this day in the year 1747 and since then it has been dealing with audit, accounting and payment functions relating to the armed forces.

Various activities such as shram dan, essay writing competition, quiz programme, musical concerts, fancy dress and rangoli competitions were held to commemorate the day.

Officers, staff and their families participated in various activities. Winners were awarded cash prize and certificates.



Another home for elderly on anvil
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, October 1
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association organised a Seniors’ Day function at PGIMER, Sector 12, here today.

Haryana Governor Dr A.R. Kidwai was the chief guest. “Senior citizens are a vast reservoir of knowledge and expertise that must not be allowed to go waste. While the government must evolve schemes to utilise this talent, senior citizens, both individuals and groups, must also strive to remain useful to society,” said Dr Kidwai.

He also released the association souvenir and honoured 19 persons for their contribution to welfare programmes. The function was followed by a musical programme by Dolly Guleria, daughter of renowned singer Surinder Kaur.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor and UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) has announced a proposal to construct another senior citizens’ home in the city on the pattern of the one in Sector 43 keeping in view the growing demand.



Photo Exhibition
Tour the world at Kala Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
An exhibition of photographs by Navneet Saxena began today at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Chandigarh.

The exhibition, titled ‘Travel Mélange’, was inaugurated by Vivek Atray, director, tourism and public relations, Chandigarh administration. “It is a collection of outstanding photographs by a very capable and innovative artist. One can go on a world tour through these candid pictures," said Atray.

The collection of about 50 pictures brings together the hues of the world under one roof. The picture were clicked by the artist during his extensive travel to various countries like the USA, Mauritius, Dubai, USA and Canada and have been classified thus. The focus of the display is to bring out the best moments experienced by the photographer.

Navneet said: “Through this medium, I have tried to put together a gamut of cultures from different parts of the globe. In each frame, I have attempted to infuse my own optimistic approach to life. I hope some photographs find a place in your heart and hearth." According to him, though the pictures have been taken on both formats, film and digital, the compositions are untouched, original and not digitally enhanced.



Orient youths to non-violence

Gandhi Jayanti is the birthday of the man who turned his anger against a racist train ticket collector, who pushed him out of the moving train, into a successful freedom struggle. Virtues of non-violence as preached and practised by him are relevant even today.

He once said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It's mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction ever devised by man. Had violence ruled us, we would have become extinct long ago."

It is sad that violence has become the order of the day in our country, our communities and even in our educational institutions as we hear reports of bullying, assaults and murders everyday.

Since, youths are the future of the country, there is a need to channelise their energy and divert it to constructive goals. The government should focus on orienting the youths to play an important role in the country's development. The youths should also take responsibility and play their part in the process.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

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



Delegates sign off with peace message
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
‘A world without boundaries’, ‘Peace should be the only passport or visa required to cross territorial borders’ were some of the messages that the peace delegates from different regions and countries scribbled on a long seamless cloth at DAV College, Sector 10, before bidding adieu on the last day of the Peace festival today.

After jotting down these smart one-line mottos, the students tore the scroll and retained one message each as a remembrance of their stay here.

While the unique initiative mesmerised one and all, the newly appointed UT DPI (s) Samvartak Singh appreciated the endeavour. “The values of peace and non-violence are getting lost in today’s world and the only way to upkeep them is to have such initiatives and include more and more students in these. We have also started non-violence week in city schools and firmly believe that if school kids imbibe these values, world can get rid of all strife,” he said.

The girls coming from Pakistan were exceptionally excited today as they will head to Delhi tomorrow.

“We have formed a unique bond with the city and people here. We have made best of friends and experienced life that we just heard of. These four days were full of fun and frolic,” said Goudnil Gill.

For some like Laila Sheraz, being here on Gandhi Jayanti is a unique opportunity. Back in Pakistan, though Mahatma Gandhi is not revered equally, but whenever non-violence is mentioned, nobody abstains from quoting him. I feel honoured to be present here on his birth anniversary,” she said.



Non-violence Week
Students vow to keep up Gandhian values
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
UT district education officer Khushinder Sharma today launched non-violence week to be celebrated across the city schools at a function held at GMSSS, Sector 35. The week started with all students pledging to take their initiatives towards non-violence. This was followed by an informative play.

All city schools will highlight various Gandhian activities all through the week in the form of songs, dances and plays.

“The only way to establish peace and keep up Gandhian values is to inculcate them in students. Though through education, we ensure that our students learn about them, this week will encourage them to inculcate non-violence as part of their lives,” said Khushinder Sharma.

Debate on Gandhian thought

The National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS), PGI, organised a debate on ‘Gandhian Thought of Co-Operativity’ today.

The debate was organised as part of the national annual competition conducted by the National Council for Cooperative Training (NCCT), New Delhi.

The two best individuals of the debate, Ninjit Dhanota and Saroj Adhikari, will represent NIPS in the national contest to be held in New Delhi in December NCCT.



Nikita, Ruchira best debaters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 1
Nikita Bery and Ruchira Bahugana of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27, bagged the first prize in the inter-school debate competition organised by Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust at the Press Club today. While Ishrat Singh and Ishaan Gulati of GMSSS-35 stood second, the third prize was awarded to Neelesh Arora and Inderdeep Paul of KBDAV-7.

The views of the participants on the motion ‘Mahatma Gandhi's policy of non-violence is valid in today's troubled times also’ impressed all present. Rama Bhanot, managing trustee, Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust, congratulated the winners saying: "Non-violence is the need of the hour and the way these youngsters think is quite encouraging."

The trust awarded the first prize of Rs 10,000, second prize of Rs 5,000 and third prize of Rs 3,000 to the winners. An inter-college debate will be held on Friday October 3.



Special kids entertained
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 1
A group of special children, who had come from Delhi to visit Chandigarh, were entertained by a group of teachers of the DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali, led by their principal Jaya Bhardwaj. The school arranged a bus and took the children to a multiplex, Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake. The principal said her school took exclusive care of the special children and the school had a full-fledged counsellor to understand their problems and special needs. She said the school was adopting a special and separate method to impart education to such children.



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