C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No salary for 4 months
Schoolteachers block NH-21
Tribune News Service

Kharar, October 31
A large number of government aided school teachers’ today blocked the national highway-21 for nearly 40 minutes and shouted slogans against the Punjab Government for not fulfilling their long pending demands.

The teachers protested against the Punjab Government, which failed to solve their problems for past many months despite giving continuous representations and memorandums to the officials concerned.

The teachers alleged that they failed to get their salaries for past four months. “We will continue our protest and block roads everyday if our demands are not met”, said Ravinder Kumar Joshi, school principal from Sirhind.

The protesters raised anti-government slogans and cursed the Badal Government for delaying their salaries and other benefits. The teachers rued that they were forced to witness black Diwali this year due to careless attitude of the government.

The teachers blocked roads at Hoshiarpur yesterday and are planning to block roads at Jalandhar on November 3. The teachers came from Ropar, Kharar and Fatehgarh Sahib. They also blocked the Landran road for few minutes and traffic was diverted.

The teachers alleged that the Akali leaders, during elections, assured to resume the pension, which was stopped since 2003 and also assured to release the increased medical interim. The teachers demanded that the ban on the posts of clerks and principal should also be lifted immediately.



Scholarships for 15 PU students
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 31
“Sikh Lehar”, a US body engaged in promoting Sikh values awarded scholarships worth Rs 1,500 per month to 15 students of the Punjabi University's department of Gurmat Sangeet at a function organised here today.

Dr Jaspal Singh, vice-chancellor, said Sikh Lehar, will act as a stimulus in promoting the divine music. While appreciating the campaign, Dr Singh said institutions like Sikh Lehar should come forward to preserve Gurmat Sangeet.

Dr Gurnam Singh, head of the Gurmat Sangeet Department, said with the help of such organisations this dying form of music is revived. He said more than 50 students of the department are serving academic and religious organisations in the country and abroad. President of the Sikh Lehar, Dr Harbhajan Singh, said the selected group of students would be invited to the US for propagating Gurmat Sangeet.



3 held for attack on dera follower
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 31
The Patiala police has arrested three persons who were wanted in an incident of firing on a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, on September 6 at Bhikhi in Mansa district.

District police chief S.K. Asthana told that a police party of the CIA, Patiala, headed by inspector Jassa Singh, arrested three accused namely Didar Singh alias Dari of Baba Bakala, Amritsar, Bahal Singh alias Bal of Singhpura, Sirsa, and Ajmer Singh of Langiwali, Gudaspur.

The police recovered a motorcycle which was used by the accused in the firing incident at Bhikhi and also recovered 200 gm smack, one pistol, along with five cartridges from the possession of Didar Singh.

A case under Sections 21/61/85 of the NDPS Act, and Sections 25/54/59 of the Arms Act, has been registered at the Tripuri police station. During the course of investigations, Didar and Bahal confessed that on September 6, in connivance with Makhan Singh, they had fired upon Bhola Singh of Bhikhi, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, in the evening.

Prior to the incident of firing on September 6, Didar, along with the fourth co-accused who had an extremist record, reached Mansa and met Makhan on September 4 to plan the firing. Thereafter, Makhan sent his friend Bahal, Didar and another accused on his motorcycle to execute their plan upon Bhola.

As per the information, Didar is involved in 16 cases of heinous crime like murder, dacoity, smuggling etc. Makhan had already been arrested in the case.

The fourth accused is yet to be arrested. The police parties have been dispatched to locate and arrest him. It has also been established that Didar and the absconding accused have close links with dreaded terrorist Paramjit Singh Panjwar, based in Pakistan, and Bakhshish Singh alias Baba who is wanted in bomb explosion cases of Karnal at Dera Sacha Sauda chief.



Bank security a cause for concern
Our Correspondent

Kalka, October 31
In spite of an increase in the number of cases of attempted robbery at banks in the Kalka subdivision in the recent past, security in most banks, private companies and other financial institutions still remains an area of concern.

Miscreants recently struck twice at a bank at Karanpur, near, Pinjore. Security experts feel guns used by the security staff were not fit for commercial use.

A survey in Kalka, Pinjore, Parwanoo and Baddi revealed that most security guards had traditional firearms like single barrel muzzle loading (SBML) and double barrel muzzle loading (DBML) guns, which may prove useless in emergency.

These guns are only used for crop protection or self-protection and are not fit for commercial purposes.

Gun experts opine that such guns are cumbersome to use especially in situations requiring quick response.

Security guards deputed at such institutions usually have licence for self-protection. Instead, they should be provided with licence in the name of banks or firms, they feel.

According the Arms Act, a lincensee can use the gun for personal protection or crop protection and not for the protection of bank or any commercial institution.



Indira Gandhi remembered
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, October 31
Hundreds of Congress leaders and workers of the area led by former council president O.P. Tangri today commemorated the martyrdom day of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as “Balidan Divas” by organising an impressive function at Lions Bhawan. Rich tributes were paid to the former Prime Minister.

Addressing the function, Tangri termed Gandhi an “iron lady”, who sacrificed her life for national integration.

On this occasion Congressmen took the pledge to fight against the anti-national forces and to work for the communal harmony and national integration. Two minutes silence was observed to pay respect to the departed soul.



Tunnel-digging at Ambala Jail
Prisoners interrogated
Our Correspondent

Ambala, October 31
SHO of the Baldev Nagar police station Suraj Bhan today interrogated the four prisoners of Ambala Central Jail who were allegedly involved in the tunnel-digging incident. The police had registered a case against Masood Akhtar, Sanjeev Kumar, Rajan and Anand for hatching a conspiracy for escaping from the jail by digging a tunnel a few days back.

Suraj Bhan produced the report of interrogation in the court of Ilaka Magistrate Sunita Grover today noon.

According to information, the police in its report, said the accused had confessed their crime before the police.

Meanwhile, the Ilaka Magistrate held a temporary court on the jail premises this evening. All four accused were produced before the Magistrate.

The court remanded them in judicial custody till November 13.

It is to be mentioned that on October 21, as many as four of the prisoners of condemned cells had dug a tunnel on the jail premises to get an easy escape but the jail administration had foiled their attempt.



Coop societies employee alleges harassment
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
An employee of the Punjab Cooperative Societies, who was terminated from the service in 1984 and resumed his job after around 24 years, today alleged harassment at the hands of senior functionaries of the society.

In his complaint to senior officials, Kaka Singh said he had won the case in the labour court after being terminated from the post of secretary by the managing committee in May, 1984. He arrived at the office with court orders but was not allowed to resume work.

“In spite of having all documents and letters of joining, I was not allowed to join work as secretary. After much persuasion, I was allowed to join but senior functionaries were now harassing me on one pretext or the other,” Kaka Singh said.

“Senior officials are asking me to come with some local Akali leaders if I really wanted to join work. They told me that mere documents would not serve any purpose,” he alleged.

He added that senior officials said they would only listen to Akali workers or leaders to get back his job.

He alleged that the officials were now harassing him mentally by not interacting him “decently” and marking him absent without any reason.

Demanding action against the erring staff for not allowing him to join work, he said the post of secretary should be given back to him.

Deputy registrar of societies Harbans Singh said he was aware of the problem.

“I have told him umpteen times not to indulge in writing complaints against anyone. He had been complaining against his colleagues and seniors by writing letters to senior functionaries of the society. When we are sitting here to patch up the problems he should not run elsewhere,” he said.

He assured to solve the problem in the coming days.



Getting tough with drunk drivers
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, October 31
In an attempt to check drunk driving on the Panchkula-Kalka highway, the police has decided to get tough with such drivers.

Police sources said an alcho-sensor would be provided to police personnel at a post which would be set up near Surajpur. The post would become operational within a fortnight.

Those caught with 100 ml of alcohol in their blood, would be booked and those with 300 ml would be arrested and their vehicles impounded.



Enhancement of PU Retirement Age
HC dismisses bunch of 70 petitions
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Panjab University (PU) teachers, seeking the enhancement of retirement age from 60 to 62, did not get any relief from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

After hearing arguments for over seven hours on two consecutive days, a Division Bench, comprising Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Rajan Gupta, today dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by them.

As of now, the Bench has pronounced just one-line dismissal order in the open court. Detailed judgment in the matter is expected to follow soon. The Bench had time till today to adjudicate the case, as October 31 was the deadline set by the Apex Court.

Legal luminaries insist the order has come to force with immediate effect, as time for moving the Apex Court against the Division Bench judgment was not sought by the petitioners.

The order is expected to affect the service conditions and promotion avenues of the entire faculty, besides directly affecting over 130 teachers belonging to different departments. A substantial number of teachers are, as of now, serving post-60, following interim orders allowing them to continue till the decision on the writ petitions.

Benefiting from the interim orders, some of the teachers, who had attained the age of superannuation at 60, had continued till 62. It is believed that the interim orders automatically stand vacated with the dismissal of the petitions.

The issue of enhancement of retirement age has been pending before the high court since 2000 and was taken up by the Bench in August end. The significance of the judgment can be gauged from the fact that almost 70 petitions were filed by the varsity staff for benefiting from the move to enhance the retirement age.

The Government of India, following the revision of the pay scales of the Central government employees, on the recommendations of the fifth pay commission and after taking into consideration the UGC recommendations, had decided to raise the pay scales of the teachers in the central universities.

In fact, the scheme of revision of pay scales was made applicable to the teachers in all central universities and colleges. The scheme had also provided that the age of superannuation of university and college teachers would be 62.

One of the questions before the Bench was whether PU was a centrally funded university. But the Union ministry of human resource development (Department of higher education) had made it clear that PU was neither central varsity nor a centrally funded institution. It could only be treated as an inter-state varsity.

In one of the petitions filed by Dr A.C. Julka of the Economics department, directions had been sought to quash letter dated July 23, 2002, vide which the Union of India had refused to approve the regulations framed by the PU for enhancing the age of retirement of varsity teachers from 60 to 62 years.



High Court
PIL seeks helmets for women riders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Social activist Hemant Goswami has moved the High Court, seeking complete implementation of helmet-for-riders provision.

The petitioner has also sought directions for compensating women riders, who have lost lives or suffered injuries in road accidents due to “illegal relaxation” on wearing headgears granted to women of all classes and religion.

Quoting the law, the petitioner contended Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act stated every person driving or riding should, while in a public place, wear protective headgear, conforming to the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards, provided that the provisions of this sections shall not apply to a person who is a Sikh, if he is, while driving or riding on the motorcycle, in a public place, wearing a turban.

Counsel Anil Pal Singh Shergill added it was the duty of all respondents to enforce and implement the law. The only exemption was granted to a “Sikh” of any gender wearing such a turban. It did not provide relaxation or concession on the basis of gender. The matter will come up for further hearing on November 21.

Bansal appears in court

For the first time after the cash scam surfaced, Haryana’s former law officer Sanjeev Bansal appeared before a three-judge Bench.

The scam came to the fore in August after Bansal’s clerk erroneously delivered Rs 15 lakh at the house of Justice Nirmaljeet Kaur.

The CBI is currently probing the matter. Bansal, arrested in the case, has been bailed out. But Justice Nirmal Yadav, whose name surfaced in the statements of accused as the alleged intended recipient of the money, is currently on leave.

Bansal’s presence before Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Surya Kant created quite a flutter in the High Court. He was heard by the Bench on a petition filed by subdivisional engineer (Mechanical), PWD, Vijender Kumar Gupta and others. They are seeking the framing of a fresh joint seniority list.



District Courts
Two acquitted in rape case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi today acquitted Mansa Ram and Rajjan in a rape case at district courts.

According to the prosecution, both accused were accused of raping the victim after abducting her in 2006. The police on the complaint of Penny, the victim’s father, had arrested the two. An FIR was lodged against the two on June 9, 2006.

The victim got her statement recorded under Section 164 of the IPC that she had willingly gone with the accused and didn’t want to go back to her parents.

However, during the trial the victim turned hostile. She stated that Mansa Ram abducted her and took her to his sister’s residence at Panchkula.

She added that the accused took her on bicycle to Ambala and then to Amethi. The accused were acquitted, as the prosecution was not able to establish the case.

Charges cleared

A local court acquitted Varinder Kumar of charges of sodomising a a minor.

According to the prosecution, on July 21, 2004 Avtar Singh made a complaint to the police that on July 19 night his wife told him on the telephone that the accused had taken away his minor son.

The accused allegedly took him to a secluded place and tried to sodomise the child. The accused was booked under Sections 377 and 511 of the IPC.

The court stated: “The prosecution has failed to prove that on July 19, 2004 the accused had taken away the minor son of the complainant or he tried to sodomise him. Even the prosecution has not been able to give any explanation regarding delay of two days in lodging the FIR, because as per the version of the prosecution the occurrence is of July 19, 2004, whereas the present case was registered on July 21, 2004 on basis of statement allegedly made by Avtar Singh.”



Custodial Death
Cops acquitted as witnesses turn hostile
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 31
The seven policemen accused in the custodial death case of Jogi, a resident of Shahbad Markanda, have been acquitted after all witnesses in the case turned hostile.

Earlier these cops were granted bail in the month of September when the post-mortem report of Jogi confirmed that the injury marks were not fresh and a board of doctors from the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, stated that the death was caused due to heart attack.

A case under Section 304 was registered against accused SI Haripal Singh, head constable Bhagwan Das, constables Raghupal, Shan Singh, Chander Pal, Pawan Kumar and Joginder Singh of the CIA staff on December 18 following which they were arrested.

Jogi (30) was allegedly picked up by a team of Panchkula CIA staff from his residence at Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra on December 8. After he died in their custody, his body was taken to the local General Hospital on December 17.

The accused policemen were suspended on December 18 when relatives of the deceased, protesting against the custodial death, blocked the Barara road at Shahbad. They also staged a dharna at the General Hospital here.

Later on January 21, Jogi’s widow Shinder filed a petition in the high court against the state of Haryana, Panchkula SSP and others, demanding to hand over the investigation to the CBI. In her petition to the court she claimed that the accused police personnel were influential and they demanded money for the release of her husband.

However, the court of Raj Rai Gupta, Chief Judical Magistrate, Panchkula, acquitted all accused after the witnesses, including the mother, wife, father and father-in-law of the deceased took a ‘u’ turn in their statements.



One booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
A.K. Bansal, legal manager of Punjab Information Communication Technology Corporation Limited, filed a complaint, with the police alleging that Satish Sharma sold the industrial shed, allotted to him in Industrial Area, Phase 8, Mohali, on the GPA and submitted fake permanent registration certificate, with the application of transfer of ownership of the shed. A case under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 17 police station.

Illegal possession

Daya Ram, a resident of Sector 26, filed a complaint with the police alleging that Bahadur Singh, Anil Kumar, Vimla Devi and Rajni Devi possessed his rented house at Mani Majra illegally. A case under Sections 420, 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station.


Jaspal Singh, a resident of Sector 21, filed a complaint with the police alleging that his Activa scooter (CH-01-L-8020) was stolen from Sector 18 during the intervening night of October 29-30. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 19 police station.

In another case, B.S. Kahlon, a resident of Sector 41, filed a complaint with the police alleging that his scooter (CH-01-R-8028) was stolen from in front of his residence between October 6 and 9. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.

In yet another case, Saurabh Mishra, a resident of Mauli Jagran, filed a complaint with the police alleging that Asha Ram, a resident of Mani Majra, has took away his TV set and two speakers from his house on October 30. A case under Sections 380, 454 of the IPC has been registered at the Mani Majra police station. The accused has been arrested.

Liquor seized

The police arrested Rashid Ali and Ashok Kumar, both residents of Uttar Pradesh, for carrying illegally 36 boxes of wine in a specially fabricated Tata-407 (UP-15-J-8427) during the intervening night of October 29.

A space was made in the floor and cabin of the truck for this purpose. A case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered at the Sector 19 police station. Both accused were arrested and bailed out later.



Two purses snatched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Two unidentified motor cyclists snatched a woman’s purse from Sector 38 this evening. According to the police, Jyotsna, a resident of Sector 38 West, lodged a complaint alleging that she was going somewhere when two unidentified youngsters, riding a black motor cycle, snatched her purse containing Rs 800 and three cards near the taxi stand of Sector 38. A case has been registered.

Also, Gurdip Kaur, a resident of Sector 39, filed a complaint with the police alleging that two unidentified youths riding a black motor cycle snatched her purse containing Rs 1,000 cash and credit card from near her residence today.



ICL season 2 fails to pull crowds
Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, October 31
The Indian Cricket League (ICL) season 2 had a cold start as the stands remained empty at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector 3, during the first match between Chandigarh Lions and new entrants Dhaka Warriors under floodlights here today.

Claims of the ICL officials to draw crowds with quality cricket and not with the dance performances of Bollywood stars fell flat.

“People come to watch sixes and fours, not the dance performers and we are confident of drawing good crowd this time,” said an ICL official two days before the match.

Only a few spectators came to witness the hyped event, which started with the glitzy dance performance of cheerleaders supporting their respective sides before the teams took to the field.

Admitting that such a low turnout was not expected, an ICL official said: “It’s the first day in the city that is why there is not much crowd, we expect good number of people in the coming days.”

At the entry gates, the police and private security guards seemed relaxed as there was no rush. The ticket sales counter, too, wore a deserted look.

The few number of people, who had come to the stadium, were also seen making their way to their homes soon.

“I had come here to have a good time, but a small number of people and no star performances this year is disappointing,” said a spectator while leaving the stadium.

“Twenty20 cricket is a blend of entertainment, excitement and game. You can’t take away anything from it. People demand much more than cricket in the shortest version of the game,” said Rakesh, a spectator at the stadium.



Bakshi clinches u-18 title
Misses overall Faldo Series crown by five strokes
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, October 31
Rahul Bakshi clinched the under-18 title in the Faldo Series Grand Finals by a big margin of 14 strokes over his nearest competitor in Brazil today.

Eighty golfers from all over the world sweated it out for the different age-group titles at stake in the Faldo series. Rahul Bakshi and Rashid Khan qualified from the Faldo Series Asian finals held earlier this month. Age of the amateurs ranged between 12 and 21 years. A Class-XII student of Chandigarh's DAV Model School in Sector 15, Rahul came very near to clinching the overall Faldo Series (under-21) title, but he faltered with double bogey on a windy final day playing a card of 76 for a three-day card of 218. This was five strokes behind England's Steven Brown, the overall Faldo Series champion, who finished with a final tally of three under par 213.

Besides clinching the under-18 title, Rahul, who turned 18 on October 5, also finished fourth in the under-21 category.

Rahul must have set his sights on the overall Faldo Series title when he entered the greens on the final day having fired a grand 69 on the second day after a 73 on the opening day. But the windy conditions and long course saw him double-bogeying for a 76 card on the final day to fall out of contention.

Rahul also had the opportunity of getting his golf swing checked by Nick Faldo personally, who suggested a couple of changes. Rahul is determined to work on the suggestions once he gets back on the Chandigarh greens.

Following rounds of 72 and 69, 21 year-old Steven Brown's final-round 72 in windy conditions gave him a three-under-par total of 213, four shots ahead of Scotland's Andrew Wallace, who carded a 73, and overnight leader James Watts from England who struggled to a 79.

Nick Faldo presented Brown with the u-21 trophy and the Harold Riley Prize for the Faldo Series champion, a title previously won by European Tour players Nick Dougherty and Oliver Fisher. Brown receives an invite to the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China and an amateur invite to the European Tour's 2009 INTECO Russian Open.

Rashid Khan strung together his best round of the tournament, a three over par 75, but it was too little too late. With a three-day total of 235, he failed to leave any sort of impression. He would hope to get back to his winning ways when he tees off in the next tournament on the LG Indian Amateur Tour in Chandigarh. The LG Samarvir Sahi Amateur will be played at the Chandigarh Golf Club from November 11 to 14.

Scores (overall): 1 Steven Brown (213); 2 Andrew Wallace, James Watts (217); 4 Rahul Bakshi (218); 5 Andrew Palmer, Rafael Becker (219); 38 Rashid Khan (235).



St Kabir make it to semis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Divjyot Singh’s scintillating all-round performance, who contributed 60 runs and claimed four wickets, enabled St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, beat DC Model, Panchkula, by 25 runs to enter the semifinals of the 11th Blessed Edmund Rice Cricket Tournament being held at St John’s High School, Sector 26.

Electing to bat, Kabir team put on a very good total of 153 runs in the allotted 25 overs. Divjyot Singh was the top scorer with 60 runs.

Yash Maindola contributed 38 runs. For the DC Model team, Navdeep took one wicket for 22 runs. In reply, DC Model team fell short by 25 runs and were bundled out for 128 runs.

For the Kabir team, Divjyot Singh took four wickets for 22 runs while Nikhil took two wickets for 20 runs.

In another match played today, APJ, Kharar, beat DAV-15 by 21 runs. Batting first, APJ team put on a meagre total of 87 runs. Sarthak single handedly took APJ team to that total with a fine innings of 51 runs. For DAV, Abhishek, Aayush, Anubhav took two wickets each.

In reply, the APJ team proved, too, much for the DAV team as they were bundled out for 66 runs. For the APJ team, Sarthak, Karanveer and Anubhav took two wickets each.



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