C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Violence on PU campus again
Law students, lab operator hurt in clash
Tribune News Service

Broken windowpane in the Computer Science Department. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, November 19
Bhupinder Singh, a law department student, was seriously injured while his classmate Vikram Kumar was hurt in a scuffle with a lab operator in the Computer Sciences Department of the Panjab University here this morning.

According to sources, the incident took place when the students went to the computer sciences lab as they had some problem with their wi-fi connection. Lab operator Anil Kumar, along with others, was busy as the server system of the wi-fi facility was down and they were repairing the fault.

The students entered into an argument though Anil tried to explain to them his inability to do it immediately. Their heated debate took a violent turn and they clashed with each other. In the process, Bhupinder hurt himself when his hand crashed into a windowpane.

According to the sources, Bhupinder, a boxer, went to the hospital and was later rushed to the Sector 16 hospital from where doctors referred him to the PGI.

Vikram and Anil were discharged after medical examination. The police said the medical examination of Vikram and Anil Kumar confirmed that they sustained simple blunt injuries. They were booked under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC.

About Vikram, the police said action would only be taken on the basis of his medical examination.

Meanwhile, Anil and other boy who were arrested were later bailed out.



Panel to probe incident
Smriti Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The alleged assault on a non-teaching staff member of Panjab University by two students of the university today once again brought to light the cruel reality about students’ psyche who seemed to have found one solution to end all problems that is violence.

Barely a month has passed when a few students had assaulted another student in front of the vice-chancellor’s residence. But today’s incident has perhaps crossed its limits with two students assaulting a non-teaching staff member in full public view.

Immediately after the incident, the entire top brass of the university swung into action and reached the spot. Interestingly, though everyone was present on the spot, no body, except Anil, the victim himself, went to the police station to lodge a complaint.

Condemning the incident, president of the Non-teaching Staff Association Dharma Pal said there was an urgent need to check violence.

“If the students can dare to attack a non-teaching staff member today, it will be teachers tomorrow and in that case nobody is safe on the campus”, remarked a university teacher.

Later in the day, the university authorities constituted a committee to look into the matter, along with DUI (Dean, University Instructions) Prof S C Vaidya, dean, students’ welfare, Prof Naval Kishore, staff members of the department, legal retainer of the university Anupam Gupta, Dharam Pal and others.

After deliberating over the incident, the committee members decided that the university authorities would lodge a complaint on the behalf of the university with the police against the students.

Hostel rooms of both students in hostel number 4 have been sealed and they have been suspended from the hostel. It was also decided that a departmental inquiry would also follow against the students. Prof R C Sobti, VC, said, “Enough is enough. Such incidents will not be tolerated at all. Appropriate action is being taken in this matter. Those responsible will not be spared”.



Brick flies into pol sc class

Chandigarh, November 19
As if the morning’s incident of assault by two students on a university employee was not enough, another incident took place in the evening wherein some students threw a brick in the department of evening studies when a class was in progress.

According to sources, the incident took place at around 8:45 pm when students of BA (I) were attending political science class being taught by Dr Mohammed Khalid in arts block 2 on the first floor.

Suddenly, a brick came flying into the room and two windowpanes were broken. Luckily, nobody was hurt in the incident. Later the university security reached the spot to take stock of the situation. None of the officials were available for comments. — TNS



Cop nailed for abetting suicide
Head constable had illicit relations with Napelese woman: Kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A day after 42-year-old Kamlesh Devi allegedly hanged herself to death at her residence in Sector 20, the police today arrested her husband, head constable Jagbir Singh, on the charges of abetment to suicide.

Earlier in the day, Kamlesh Devi’s family met the UT inspector-general of police and lodged a complaint against Jagbir Singh holding him responsible for her death. They alleged that Jagbir had illicit relations due to which Kamlesh was under depression and the couple used to quarrel over the issue several times.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station Ram Gopal said Jagbir was arrested after registration of a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code against him on a complaint lodged by Kamlesh’s mother, More Dei. The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination later in the day.

Talking to mediapersons at the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital Kamlesh’s elder brother Azad Singh alleged that Jagbir had relations with a Manimajra-based Nepalese woman. The couple had strained relationships on the issue and they had tried to solve the issue amicably numerous times, but Jagbir refused to mend his ways.

More Dei stated that her daughter called her up on the fateful morning. Kamlesh told her that she had a dispute with her husband, who was not caring his children, whose future would be ruined. The phone call was disconnected abruptly and after about 20 minutes she got another call informing her about Kamlesh’s death.

More Dei further alleged that she had seen scratch mark on Jagbir’s face and neck indicating that he had a scuffle with Kamlesh. She blamed that the police did not take any action on her complaint last night and was dilly-dallying over the issue.

After the family met the senior police officers, DSP (East) PK Dhavan reached the hospital and supervised the investigation assuring the family of fair probe. The SHO, however, confirmed that no injury marks or scratches came in the medical report of Jagbir Singh.



Bus kills polytechnic student
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 19
A young student of Polytehnic College, Khooni Majra, was killed by a rashly driven bus near Bhago Majra. The student, Gurvinder Singh, was studying mechanical diploma from the college. On Tuesday, he boarded a PRTC bus to go to Banur and further Lalru. As the bus reached near Bhago Majra bus stop, the driver of bus Ranjit Singh, a resident of Patiala, drove very rashly and took a sharp turn.

Gurvinder Singh, who was standing at the rear door of bus, lost his balance and fell on the road. He sustained head injuries. He was rushed to the Sohana hospital and further referred to the PGI. Battling with the death, he succumbed to his injuries today afternoon at the PGI Chandigarh at 1:15 pm.

He was a resident of Ramgarh Roorkee village, Lalru. The police has booked the bus driver on the statement of deceased Gurvinder's classmate, Gurmail, who was accompanying him.



PGI-Siswan road to be four-laned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The fourth meeting of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GAMADA) held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today approved the construction of four-laned road from the PGI to Siswan T-junction in the jurisdiction of Punjab.

A spokesman of the Punjab government said here today that the proposed road project would be executed by GMADA. The authority also gave approval for the execution of land for the mix land use and for the construction of the road from Kharar to Mohali. The authority also approved the land acquisition for the construction of road connecting knowledge city in Sector 81 with the Kharar-Banur highway.

In another significant decision, the authority also approved to allot permanent booths to the shopkeepers of unauthorized Khoka Market of Phase 3B-1 at the old rates.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, chief secretary RI Singh, principal secretary to the Chief Minister DS Guru, principal secretary finance SC Aggarwal, secretary, Housing and Urban Development Arun Goel, and chief administrative GMADA VP Singh.



German Tourist Rape Case
Police adds rape in challan amid dilemma
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
After much discussion and brainstorming, the Chandigarh police today finalised the challan with rape and other charges in the alleged rape case of a German tourist. The challan will be filed in the court tomorrow.

The police remained in a legal dilemma over compiling the chargesheet in the case pertaining to case till this evening.

Though the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) report stated that the tourist had been raped, police sources said the victim, in her earlier statements under Sections 164 and 161, CrPC, had stated that she was not raped.

Following contradiction in the victim’s statements and the CFSL report, the police remained in a fix over adding rape charges in the chargesheet even as long sessions of discussion were held between senior police officers and the prosecution branch yesterday and today.

The predicament could have caused a delay in the filing of challan in the court.

“The contradiction had put us in a dilemma on whether to add rape charge in the case or not. To resolve the predicament, we held a long discussion with our legal experts. The victim’s earlier statements had made the matter complicated,” said ASP Madhur Verma, under whose supervision the inquiry into the case was conducted.

He added that even some law experts were of the opinion that rape charge should not be included.

Citing the Barnala rape case, a lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court also held that the statements of the victim under this Section carried a lot of weight and allegations pertaining to rape could fall flat if she (the victim) reiterated her stance during trial.

In Barnala rape case, CFSL report had confirmed rape but the victim had turned hostile.

“Though the police was finding itself in a catch-22 situation over the issue, the investigation agency had sufficient evidences - circumstantial as well as the statements of the witnesses - regarding other allegations, including kidnapping, assault, outrage of modesty of woman, wrongful confinement and cheating,” said Verma.



Mock parliament to discuss national issues
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Leaving behind the issue of getting 33 per cent women reservation in Parliament or the Assemblies, women groups are now gearing themselves for getting well acquainted with the parliament procedures so as to show their impact in these democratic institutions to become future women leaders. The unique and experimental model of ‘Women Parliament’ has been framed by the women and for the women by the National Alliance of Women (NAWO), a non government organisation (NGO).

A three-day mock women parliament is being organised as part of this programme in which women candidates elected by the women themselves from all over the country would participate. As many as 525 women candidates are expected to take part to discuss national issues.

In the first round, a mock women assembly of women legislators from Punjab and Haryana will be held in the month of February next year. For participation, women legislators will be elected by the women electoral only from the assembly constituencies as demarcated by the NGO. The women candidates and voters, from these areas, are being trained to participate in the coming mock elections of the assembly by the trainers of this organisation.

For this entire project, NAWO has already trained 20 women candidates from all over the country of various panchayats, women group, NGO, Dalit groups of grass- root level, to impart training about proceedings of Parliament and Assembly to other women candidates in the country.

When contacted, vice-president of NAWO, Dr Pam Rajput, said the trainers would soon start training of the candidates and voters in their respective states. The purpose of this mock model is to get the women trained and make them familiar with the proceedings of Parliament. She said to generate funds for this huge project, NAWO would launch a campaign to collect Rs 1 from each woman who is going to participate in the programme.

While talking to The Tribune, Valley Rose Hungyo of Manipur, who has been selected as the leader of NAWO Progressive ruling party, stated that it was a challenge for women to get themselves acquainted with all procedures and become active in the decision-making bodies. Sharing her experience of Manipur, she said the first woman MLA of Manipur, on completion of her tenure, had stated, “It is very sad that when I started understanding the proceedings of the Assembly, my term is over.”

Hungyo said this was not the only case of untrained women candidate in the country but the list of such candidates was very long.

While talking to The Tribune, Dr Neelavalli, Leader of the Opposition Party, NAWO democratic, said this would be a unique experience for the women to participate in a system, which was framed and run by them. She said the party was preparing a list of the agendas, which they were going to raise in the House.



Veer Vikramjit, a poignant play
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, November 19
A popular folk drama “Veer Vikramajit” was staged on the second day of the ongoing three- day Yuva Haryanvi Saang festival at the Tagore theatre here today.

Written by the legendary folk maestro Pandit Lakhmi Chand, the play was presented by the theatre ensemble of RKSD College, Kaithal, under the guidance of Anup Lather, director, Youth Welfare, Kurukshetra University. Veer Vikram is based on a popular legend and a saga of sacrifice of the Raja of Ujjain.

The three saangs being staged would be the respective winners of the university youth festival and cash prize worth Rs 51,000, 31,000 and 21,000 would, be presented to them, project director BS Balhara said.

Earlier, the Haryanvi festival opened yesterday with the presentation of a saang, Chaap Singh- Somvati, a royal love legend staged by artists of th Government College, Jind.

Written by the great Haryanvi playwright poet and thespian, Pandit Lakhmi Chand, the dance drama left the crowds spellbound that effectively depicted the Haryanvi pastoral culture in tone and treatment.

Earlier, Haryanvi folk theatre lovers turned in large number to relish the three-day Yuva Haryanvi Saang Festival, which commenced at Tagore Theatre here yesterday. The first ever festival aimed at promoting the traditional folk theatre form of Haryana among the youth has been organised by the department of information and public relations, in collaboration with the youth welfare department of Kurukshetra University. All three saangs being staged were winners of the university youth festival.

The festival opened with the presentation of a saang, “Chaap Singh - Somvati”, a royal love legend staged by the student artistes of Government College, Jind. Written by Haryanvi playwright Pandit Lakhmi Chand, the dance drama kept the audience spell bound. The saang depicted Haryanvi pastoral culture in tone and treatment.

Having lost his father Jaswant Singh Raja of Gadhnotanki, the protagonist prince Chaap Singh is adopted by emperor Shajahan, who falls in love with another princess of Kashmir, Somvati. With many twists and turns, the saang advocates for moral values and truth.

Vinod, Sandeep Sharma, Vikas Parveen, Ravi Satbir and Parmod played important roles.

Chief guest B. R. Berry, OSD to CM, Haryana, inaugurated the festival and honoured the artistes.



Admn to re-inspect old CTU buses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Chandigarh administration is not ready to compromise with the safety of the passengers, and hence, is making an attempt to get “roadworthy clearance” for its old fleet of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses is any indication.

Also, the decks have not been cleared for the CTU to fabricate the bodies for 17 bus chassis, rotting at its depot for the past six months, which, apparently, forced the Chandigarh administration to flout the High Court directions and the Motor Vehicle Act by “re-inspecting its worn-out buses”.

Home secretary Ram Niwas, who is also the chairman of the State Transport Authority (STA), said he was not apprised of any High Court directions. “If it is so, then we would certainly rethink before passing these buses. No compromise could be done on the safety of passengers”, he said.

According to official figures, around 37 CTU buses of 1999 and 2000 were declared as ‘condemned vehicles’. The STA’s Board of Inspection, more than once, had declined to issue a certificate of fitness for renewal of registration by declaring them ‘unfit’ for plying on the roads.

The defects pointed out by the STA were that most of these buses had lived their engine life, emanate smoke upto 95 per cent, loose wiring, defective acceleration, starting problem and jammed emergency doors.

Still, the process of re-examination of these buses is underway at Sector 41. Fixing the life span of the vehicles, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, in reference to vide MC Mehta vs Union of India and others (JT 2001(4) SC 201), case has directed that no commercial vehicle, including government vehicle, which is 8-years-old would be permitted to run.

In view of the larger interest of the public, the directions issued by the court further say “if the old CTU buses are passed in violation of the above directions issued by the court, it will result into contempt of court and may put the administration in an awkward position”.

Meanwhile, CTU sources said the department could not finalise the tender procedure for fabrication of as many as 17 buses, licking dust at Depot No 2, Industrial Area, for the past six months. The reason, they say, was the department could not submit the proposal to the administration yet.

Nevertheless, the divisional manager, CTU, had filed an appeal to the administration against the non-grant of certificate of fitness to these 37 buses by the Board of Inspection and the administration ordered to re-examine the old buses.



Relief for vehicle operators as entry tax cut
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, November 19
Giving relief to operators who plied their vehicles on a contract basis, the Punjab government has slashed entry tax and also allowed them to pay it on a quarterly basis.

As per the government notification dated November 10, the vehicles plied on contract carriage permits, on all-India tourist permits that were registered in other states would now have to pay the tax on reduced rates along with an option of paying it on a quarterly basis.

According to the new notification, motor cabs

(having six or less number of seats) would now have to pay a tax of Rs 100 per day, when the vehicle entered the Punjab area, while maxi cabs (six seaters or above) would have to pay a tax of Rs 200 per day on entering the state.

The tax fixed on a quarterly basis for motor cabs was Rs 3,000 while in for maxi cabs the amount was Rs 6,000.

The notification stated there would be no change in the rates of motor vehicles tax in respect of other vehicles.

Sources said according to an earlier notification, motor cabs registered with other states had to pay a tax of Rs 300 per day on entering Punjab and in the case of maxi cabs the tax was Rs 600 per day.

Vehicle operators had demanded the government should reduce this tax, as it was on the higher side. Moreover, operators who entered Punjab more frequently demanded that the option of paying it on a quarterly basis should be made available.

Welcoming the new notification, DTO Balbir Singh said the government had conceded to the demand of the operators plying their vehicles on a contract basis. He said the notification was being implemented with an immediate effect and the operators should deposit the required tax promptly, irrespective of what action would be taken against them.



Cycle tracks to be fully functional soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Cycle tracks in the city may soon become fully functional, encroachment free and better maintained. In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the inspector-general of police (IGP) and the UT chief engineer (CE) to take an appropriate action on the basis of a public interest litigation seeking the optimum utilisation of the cycle tracks and the removal of the encroachments.

Taking up the petition filed by city resident Gaurav Goel against the UT administration, the IGP, the superintendent of police (traffic), the UT CE and the municipal corporation of Chandigarh, the division bench of chief justice Tirath Singh Tahkur and justice Jasbir Singh asked the respondents to pass appropriate orders.

In the petition through counsel Ashwinie Kumar Bansal, the petitioner had sought directions for making compulsory the use of cycle tracks for the cyclists, rickshaw pullers and other slow moving traffic.

Directions were also sought for the optimum utilisation of Rs 7 crore public funds spent by the respondents on the project. Besides this, the counsel for the petitioner had stated that encroachments should be removed and the tracks maintained.

He had added that the decision to lay the tracks was taken way back in 2004. On September 4, 2006, the chief administrator ordered that rickshaws would not ply on V-2, V-3 and V-4 roads where cycle tracks had been laid. But even these orders had not been enforced.

The development is significant as the cycle tracks running throughout the length and breadth of the city had turned injurious to health with potholes, ditches and heaps of garbage scattered all along the pathways.



Ludhiana man tortured by Ambala cops
Probe ordered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
A 35-year-old resident of Ludhiana was allegedly tortured by the CIA staff of the Ambala police resulting in fracture of his hipbone.

The victim is undergoing treatment at a private nursing home in Ambala city.

An inquiry into the incident was ordered by Ambala SP Sibas Kabiraj in the incident after the family of victim Nirmal Singh reported the matter at DGP office here today.

According to Balwinder Kaur, wife of Nirmal Singh, the Yamuna Nagar police arrested him in a case of dacoity a fortnight ago. Later, the Ambala police took him into custody on November 7. The next day, the Ambala police got the remand of Nirmal Singh in a case of dacoity in which he was accused of looting tyres from a truck two years back in 2006.

The family, however, came to know about the incident on November 15 only when on the expiry of police remand, the court was informed by the police that Nirmal was admitted at the hospital after he got injured slipping in the bathroom while taking bath.

The family, however, alleged that Nirmal was tortured by the police.

Kabiraj, while confirming the incident said, prima facie it was case of third degree use.

He, however, asked the assistant superintendent of police to conduct an inquiry into the matter and send the names of police personnel involved into interrogation of Nirmal so that legal proceedings could be initiated against them, added the superintendent of police.



Marital Dispute
Industrialist, wife reconcile
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, November 19
Reconciliation sessions by the Chandigarh police in the high-profile matrimonial dispute between local industrialist and his wife have finally paid off.

Nupur Aggarwal, who had levelled allegations of harassment, torture and wrongful confinement against her in-laws, including her husband Rishi Aggarwal, agreed to settle with them, the police said.

“Last night, Nupur went to her husband’s residence at Sector 18 after the couple decided to reunite. A compromise in writing in this regard was submitted to us,” said woman and child support unit (WCSU) DSP Kulwant Singh Pannu.

Rishi Aggarwal owns Globe Toyota Agency and a factory that manufactures bodies of buses and trucks at Lalru.

“We held numerous sessions with the couple and their family members to resolve the dispute,” said Pannu.

The dispute came to light when Narinder Nath, father of Nupur, contacted the WCSU of the police, here on Friday night, alleging that his daughter was being tortured — physically and mentally — by her in-laws, including the husband.

The next day, Nupur turned up at the women cell and gave her complaint in writing to the police.

The couple has two children — a six-year-old daughter and a three-and-a-half-year-old son.



Sangharsh panel holds protest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 19
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee, Sectors 76-80, today held a rally in protest against the failure of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to hold a draw of lots for plots allotted to them around seven years ago.

The protesters raised slogans against GMADA officials. They said the authority had failed to give possession of plots that had been allotted earlier and had not held the draw of lots for the remaining plots.

They also criticised cooperatives minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh for failing to help them in the matter.

They claimed that he had given an assurance before the Punjab assembly elections that plots would be allotted to them on a priority basis if the SAD came to power in the state.

Two years had passed but the minister had not looked into the matter. A large number of persons were being deprived of their right by not holding the draw of lots, they alleged.

Committee president Sucha Singh Kalour said GMADA authorities were not holding the draw of lots for the remaining plots even when chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was also the chairman of GMADA, had given orders in this regard.

The protesters said various employees’ associations had extended their support for their cause.



Welfare body meets MC commissioner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A delegation of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations, Chandigarh (FOSWAC) submitted a memorandum of their demands to MC commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria here yesterday.

The delegation sought strict enforcement of malba bylaws.

They said plying of unauthorised rehris carrying malba should be stopped and action should be taken against those removing and pruning dead trees.

They urged the authorities to tackle the increasing menace of stray dogs, pet dogs, monkeys and bees.

They also sought a solution to deteriorating sanitation condition in the city caused by unchecked dumping and littering of garbage and other waste articles at unauthorised spots by providing Sahaj Safai Kendras in every sectors.

Besides, development and maintenance of green belt and neighbourhood parks in sectors must be carried out keeping in view the levelling and landscaping, they added.

They also sought upgrade of civic amenities in the southern sectors.

The delegation also met adviser to the UT administrator Pradip Mehra to discuss these issue.



‘Something for everyone’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
With the theme of “Nachley Chandigarh”, the two-day extravaganza — Chandigarh Carnival — promises to have something for every age group. This was stated by home secretary Ram Niwas at a press conference here today.

He was accompanied by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, CITCO managing director Niharika Rai, SSP S.S. Srivastava, public relations director R.S. Verma and tourism director Samwartak Singh. UT administrator S. F. Rodrigues will inaugurate the carnival on November 22.

Playback singer Shreya Ghoshal will mesmerise the audience on the first Bollywood musical nite on November 22, while group Stereo Nation accompanied by laughter champions Partap Foujdar and Khayali Saharan will entertain the audience on November 23, the home secretary said.

Four countries — Hungary, Japan, Germany and France — are participating in the carnival this year and will exhibit their art and culture.

For the first time, an Air Force display by the IAF will be part of the carnival, he added.



Land grabbers on sale spree
Deals need to be cross-checked: DC
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, November 19
Facing severe penalties, land grabbers in Zirakpur are now on a sale spree. Following an action by the district administration, which has come down heavily against the land grabbers, these encroachers are trying desperately to sell their illegal properties to the less discerning.

“It has come to my notice that some property owners and dealers are trying to sell semi-built showrooms and plots on the land that actually is a part of a choe. The public is appealed to be very careful and guarded before buying any property anywhere. All aspects of the deal should be cross-checked,” said SAS Nagar deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari.

The past years have seen unabated illegal construction in Zirakpur but for once violators and encroachers are on the back foot. The district administration and the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have in the past few months cracked down on many of those who have been encroaching on the choe and shamlat lands in this area. This has led to many of the violators resorting to under hand sales taking advantage of the buyer’s ignorance.

“In the choe areas no sale purchase of constructed property and land would be allowed till a no objection certificate is taken from the drainage department. For other areas the buyers should ensure that the land deed is clear. Help can be taken from the district’s tehsil office and the local municipal council’s office,” said Bhandari.



CAT relief for GMSH-16 doctor
Issues directive to health director

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has told the director of health services to pass appropriate orders for grant of leave for period as admissible under the law along with full pay and allowances to Dr Dimple Kandhar who had taken maternity leave.

Dr Kandhar, the applicant, had stated before the tribunal that she was appointed as senior resident in Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, on contract basis. She stated that she had applied for maternity leave from May 21.

She further submitted a representation to proceed on leave for six months on May 23.

However, the respondents passed a memo on June 25 that no leave other than one day was allowed. Dr Kandhar stated that she was granted leave for May 21 to August 20 without pay and no further extension was granted.

The counsel for the applicant stated that under the 6th Pay Commission, maternity leave, which was earlier of three months, was now of six months.

Pronouncing the orders, CAT held: “After careful consideration of the matter, we are of the view that if daily wagers or females are entitled to maternity leave by giving them benefit under the Maternity Benefits Act, female employees on contract are also entitled to this benefit along with benefits like pay and allowances for the period she remained on maternity leave according to the entitlement under the rules applicable to regular employees.”



No drainage system in councillor’s sector
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, November 19
Interestingly, the area councillor and chairman of the water supply and sewerage committee Jagjit Singh Kang never thought of taking up the issue of laying of water drainage system in his own area in Sector 40 in any of the committee meeting chaired by him in the last one year.

Surprisingly this committee meets every month and approves the proposals of lakh of rupees for the city, but Kang did not bother to table this long pending demand of residents of his area in any of the meetings.

Kang said he used to visit his area every morning but never found any major problem about the drainage system in the area.

One of the resident revealed that since the area has developed, no drainage system has been laid by the authorities. The residents had requested every area councillor who was elected from this area about this but no action has been taken so far.

Even after repeated representations by the residents to the councillor and the corporation authorities about the problem, no action has been taken till now.

After the recent visit of mayor Pradeep Chhabra to the area, the department started the work of laying of drainage system but the work is going on at a snail’s pace and the residents commented that whether it would ever be completed.



Seminar on media on Nov 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC) is organising “Chandigarh Footprints 2008”, a media and communication seminar for young media aspirants and students, on November 23 at CII auditorium, Sector 31. The seminar is expected to be a must attend for the students, who are planning to enter the field of media at the undergraduate and postgraduate course and become a part of the media and communication industry.

The event that is a unique initiative of the first year postgraduate and undergraduate students of SIMC has roped in eminent speakers like H.K. Dua (Editor, The Tribune) Naresh Kaushal (Editor, Dainik Tribune), Uttam Sengupta (State Editor, Dainik Bhaskar), Hardeep Chandpuri (Founder, Academy of Broadcasting and Radio Buzz)

Indubala Singh (Author, documentary maker), Gaurav Chhabra (Independent filmmaker), Vivek Atray (Associate Director, PWC) and Dona Suri (Associate Editor, Hindustan Times).

Along with panel discussion, the event will also feature activities like photography competition-cum exhibition, just a minute session, an advertising quiz and an NGO exhibition where we will be displaying promotional material of NGOs to help them communicate about their activities and thus help in their fund raising efforts.



Keeping chikungunya at bay
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
With chikungunya infection surfacing in Panchkula, it is time to take a look at this viral infection and simple precautions to avoid it.

As per figures available with civil surgeon, Panchkula, three suspected cases of chikungunya have been reported in last three days.

In fact, Haryana has already reported 20 positive chikungunya cases. However, no case had been reported in Chandigarh.

According to experts, this is a viral disease that is generally not fatal but has no known treatment.

It is characterised by high fever lasting between seven and 10 days, painful joints, headache, vomiting, fatigue and nausea and is spread by the same vector as dengue aedes aegypti.

Experts fear that those returning from states like Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra may bring the virus into the state.

“The only way to combat Chikungunya is the same as fighting dengue — reducing the presence of the vector. And because the vector has already caused dengue in city and surrounding areas, it’s just a matter of time before Chikungunya too enters the city.”

Experts warn that people should not let water accumulate in their flowerpots, coolers or AC chambers.

“Persons who have visited any area where Chikungunya virus transmission occurs and who develop high fever along with unexplained joint pain in the 12 days after their return, should seek medical attention,” a doctor said.



Sec-15 apni mandi back in business
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Apni mandi in Sector 15 began functioning again from the same place today following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Recently, the municipal corporation had banned holding of this mandi in Sector 15 on the plea that it was being done under the directions of the court.

After some residents had approached the High Court against the opening of old book stalls adjacent to Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan, the court in its order on September 6, 2007 observed that the site on which apni mandi is being held should be shifted keeping in view the feasibility and the place be developed as a green park.

The order was misinterpreted and taken as a direction by the court to shift apni mandi from Sector 15.

Against this order, a welfare society of Sector 15 became a party and pleaded that the closure of mandi was a great loss to residents of Sectors 15, 16, 11, 12, 14, 24 and 25.

Anu Chatrath, councillor from ward No. 2, argued the case in person and got the orders of the court clarified. Finally, the order of restoration of the apni mandi in Sector 15 was procured.



Integration week begins with cycle rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 19
A cycle rally was the highlight of the start of a national integration week (Quami Ekta Day) here today.

Home secretary-cum secretary education Ram Niwas flagged off the rally in the morning.

Students from different schools and volunteers of several NGO participated in the rally, which started from Parade Ground, Sector 17, and culminated at Sukhna Lake.

A press note said different themes had been given to each day of the week. While November 19 was observed as national integration day, November 20 will be observed as welfare of minorities day.

The other designated days are: November 21(linguistic harmony day), November 22 (weaker section day), November 23 (cultural unity day), November 24 (women’s day) and November 25 (conservation day).



Smart card for PDS in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Chandigarh has taken the lead in the implementation of the smart card scheme for PDS, which is to be implemented on a pilot basis in the city.

The scheme will streamline the functioning of the food and supplies department by ensuring efficient service delivery. The smart card system envisions setting up of POS (point of sale) terminals in all fair-price shops of the city.

The identity of the smart card holder will be established by means of biometric impression of the smart card holder on his inserting the card in the POS terminal.

The implementation model for the project will be the BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) model. Price Waterhouse Coopers are the consultants for the project and the software of the smart card scheme will be developed by NIC and customised as per the specific requirement of the city.



Punjab, UT staff hold protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The joint action committee of Punjab and UT employees held a protest rally against the “anti-employee” policy of the Punjab Government, Sector 34, today.

Over 700 members raised slogans against the Punjab government for delaying the release of dearness allowance installment and fifth pay commission report, including filling of vacant posts on a regular basis, regularisation of daily wagers, grant of bonus, abolition of contract system and giving of flats to allottees.

Leaders R.S. Sandhu, Ranjit Singh, Kartar Singh, Gurmel Singh, Sunil Kumar, Parkash Sharma, Sukhdev Ghuman and Dilbag Singh addressed the gathering and condemned the government for not keeping its promises.

They also threatened to intensify the agitation and announced that the next rally will be held in December.



Youth’s Death
Autopsy confirms asphyxia by drowning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The autopsy of Vikas Kashyap, who allegedly jumped to death in Sukhna Lake on Tuesday, today confirmed that the death was caused due to asphyxia by drowning.

Police station-3 SHO Har Sahai Sharma said the post-mortem confirmed that the death was caused due to asphyxia due to drowning. The doctors have sent the viscera for chemical examination to verify this.

Sources said an injury mark was found on the left side of his chest and another injury mark on the right wrist. Vikas’s father told the police that the injuries were old and did not express any doubts.

On the other hand, the police gave a clean chit to the girl with whom Vikas was reportedly in love.



Encourage kids, says Rodrigues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Strongly advocating the need for compassion, care and concern by improving the quality of life of children, Punjab governor and UT administrator, S.F. Rodrigues, today called for a mass movement to develop their potential and make them productive members of society.

Presiding over a state-level function of Children’s Day celebrations at the Punjab Raj Bhavan here today, Rodrigues emphasised the need to adopt a holistic approach in responding to the requirements of children and to implement various childcare programmes, particularly for the girls.



Accident at Sec 31-32 rotary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A minor accident between two cars coming from opposite directions took place at the rotary of Sector 31-32 here this evening.

A red Swift car (CH 04 E 8389), going from Sector 31 towards Sector 32, collided with a Chevrolet car (CH 04 6602) driven by K.D. Arora. The passengers escaped unhurt in the accident. The police reached the spot and started the investigation. No case had been registered till the filing of the report.



Rs 15-lakh grant

Chandigarh, November 19
The union ministry of tourism has sanctioned a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh to the UT administration for Chandigarh Carnival to be held on November 22 and 23. The carnival is an annual tourism festival of the administration under which cultural activities, including star nites, are held. — TNS



City parks fail to serve purpose

Most of the city parks, including the one located in Sector 20-A, Chandigarh, are not serving their real purpose and are being used to park cars, while, the cycle and motorcycle riders are using the park’s drives as a means of bypassing adjacent streets. Moreover, the joggers add to the nuisance. By running anti-clockwise, it becomes difficult for the passers-by to move around in the parks, especially, when there are many aged people around. Also, those who walk in groups, disturb others in the parks, as a result of which one has to be vigilant while he/she is trying to relax. I hope the authorities concerned will look into the matter and do the needful.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

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PU told to issue roll numbers to cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
A local court today stayed the orders of the IGP and asked Panjab University to issue roll numbers for the course of LLB to SI Hardit Singh and SI Charanjit Singh Virk.

Hardit Singh, Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, and Charanjit Singh, SI crime branch, had filed a petition before the court wherein they have sought for injunction to allow them to continue their course.

The plaintiffs appeared in the entrance exam to take admission in the three-year course of LLB this year and were selected for the session that was to start in July, 2008. Thereafter, the plaintiffs sought permission and were allowed with letter dated June 24. The plaintiffs specified that two other cops, SI Harjit Kaur and SI Ram Rattan, were also permitted to appear in LLB and MA courses respectively in the same letter. Subsequently both plaintiffs deposited fees of Rs 6,316 and they started attending evening classes. The plaintiff received order dated September 1 wherein permission to appear in LLB that was withdrawn with immediate effect on administrative grounds.

The plaintiffs gave representation against the order but no action was taken. Furthermore, the plaintiffs were informed on November 10 that their admission would be cancelled and they would not be allowed to appear in examinations for want of attendance of classes.



From Schools & Colleges
Campus placement at Landran College
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Bank of America recruited 12 students of Chandigarh Business School, Landran, yesterday testing them on the basis of their presentation, interview, group discussion skills and a written test.

The officials said the Bank of America’s Asian network covered the region, with over 2,000 professionals offering a comprehensive range of products and services. He further added the organisation and its affiliates primarily served multinational corporations with business interests in Asia, financial institutions, large local businesses and government agencies.

Play staged

A group of visually challenged children presented ‘Tulsidas’, a play depicting the life of this renowned medieval poet, directed by Indira Chibber. The play that was sponsored by the Inner Wheel Club came across as a unique initiative.


The students of Advanced Diploma in Child Guidance and Family Counseling, department of child development, Government Home Science College, Sector 10, launched a project ‘Smiley’, a workshop to develop self worth and self control among children.



Dikshant School celebrates founder’s day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
More then 750 children of Dikshant International School participated in the Founder’s Day celebrations held at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, here today.

Kalki Koechlin, a French actress, Anurag Kashyap, director/ script writer of famous movie “Black Friday”, and Captain V.K. Verma, chairman, Indian Public Schools conference, were the chief guests. The children presented a guard of honour to them. The highlight of the function was ballet based on the story of Buddha in which all kids participated, portraying the human situation of sufferings.



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