C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


28 bonded labourers freed
Were detained by kiln owners for 3 months
Tribune News Service

Balbera (Patiala), December 12
Freedom virtually dawned upon the faces of as many as 28 bonded labourers, including six women and 13 kids, when their release was secured from the clutches of owners of a brick kiln here today by the district administration officials on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The bonded labourers, most of whom were kids, aged between four and 14 years, and women, were allegedly not paid a single penny for the last about three months by the owners of the kiln, Sunil and Joginder Pal.

The district level vigilance committee on bonded labour, too, seemingly failed to take any notice even as about 32 bonded labourers, hailing from Tarvedi village in Karnal district of Haryana, virtually remained detained at the kiln without any wages for the period. It was only the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which finally turned out to be an effective tool, and led to securing of release of the labourers.

A team of district administration officials, led by SDM Gurmit Singh, not only managed to secure release of 28 of a total of 32 bonded labourers but they were also ferried to their native village with the help of transport arranged by the administration after their release.

The freedom came calling for the alleged bonded labourers as Roshan Lal, a resident of Tarvedi village and one of the bonded labourers, filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, stating that he and his close relatives were being subjected to the bonded labour by the kiln owners. He also sought immediate release of his relatives and family members. Acting on the petition, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the district magistrate and the officials authorised by him to take necessary action to secure freedom for the bonded lot of residents of Tarvedi village.

Acting on the court orders, the district magistrate, Vikas Garg, formed a team under the leadership of SDM Gurmit Singh, who raided the kiln, resulting in release of bonded labourers, who alleged that they were given meagre quantity of food which was barely enough for their sustenance. Those, who were freed by the raiding team, were identified as Saroj, wife of petitioner Roshan Lal, his minor daughter and son, Pinki (8 years) and Ravi (6), brothers Raj Kumar (25), Sompal (40), Sobir (35), mother Sarbati (60), cousin Gulab (38), cousin Birsain (38), cousin Ram Bhawan (30), nephew Rakesh (10), cousin Davinder (42), nephew Ravi (11), nephew Sachin (03), niece Neelam (5), niece Suman (13), brother-in-law Ram Kumar (38), sister Somti (36), his minor nieces and nephews, Preeti, Sarita, Shital, Shabnam, Rohit, his cousins, Ramesh (50), Ram Pal (40) and Dheer Singh (40). Roshan Lal’s other relatives, who could not be found at the place at the time as they were away to their native place, included Kajal, Jarnailo, Usha and Pushpa.



One killed, 12 injured in accident
Tribune News Service

Ambala, December 12
One person was killed and over a dozen were injured, when two buses rammed into a stationary truck on the national highway no. 22, near ChamanVatika, here.

The accident happened in early morning due to the dense fog. Zaheer Khan, the conductor of the Uttrakhand Roadways bus, died on the spot, while the injured were admitted to the civil hospital.

The bus driver, Mohan Singh, said a car overtook him, and with visibility being poor, he was unable to see the truck parked on the roadside. Meanwhile, a tourist bus, coming from behind, crashed into the bus.



Peace march by residents
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 12
Divya Pandove, the convener of the Citizens Awakening group today organised a candle peace march with BIG 92.7 FM to pay homage to the victims of terrorism and awakening people to take social responsibility and help the government, authorities and society to tackle terrorism.

The peace march started from the city centre near railway crossing No 22. Residents lit a candle in their hands spreading the message of awakening and reached Baradari Gardens where all participants took oath to take personal responsibility in helping the authorities.

The march passed through the streets of city and the local people joined to spread the message. Station head Alok Tripathi, from BIG 92.7 FM said the march was organised to remember the victims, brave army and policemen who lost their lives.



Man, 12 sheep run over by train
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, December 12
Around 12 sheep were crushed to death while owner of the sheep was injured when they run over by a passing train near here today.

Sources in railway police said Bhagat, a resident of Dera Bassi, was injured, while 12 sheep were killed after the Allahabad-Chandigarh train crushed them at around 6 pm.

The police said the 
man had been rushed to the civil hospital, where doctors referred him to GMCH-32, Chandigarh.



Hooda approves Tipra bridge construction
Our Correspondent

Kalka, December 12
The Tipra colony residents’ long-awaited demand for the construction of the Tipra bridge over the Sukhna, near Rambagh, seems to end as the Chief Minister, Haryana, has nodded for the construction.

The deputy commissioner, Panchkula, Rajender Kataria, said today that the administrative approval worth Rs. 223.70 lakhs had been accorded by the financial commissioner and principal secretary to the public works department, Haryana.

The construction of around 55-metre-long bridge is likely to be taken up soon by the PWD (B&R) after receiving competitive tenders from the approved contractual agencies.

The demand of construction of the bridge was lying pending for more than two decades, which was supposed to connect the Tipra Colony with adjoining areas of Kalka.

The residents had only one bridge on Sukhna connecting the colony with Kalka, which was washed away about two decadeds back. And no official agency was bothered to get it reconstucted, Vijay Bansal, former secretary of the Congress, said.

Moreover, in the absence of the bridge thousands of commuters have to go to Kalka either via Pinjore, a 7-km-long stretch, or through Tipra village and Khatik Mohalla.

The residents alleged that situations worsened during the rainy season. The Market Committee, Kalka, had constructed a small bridge over the Sukhna, seven years back that collapsed during the rainy season.

Residents of Kanguwala, Bitna village on the edge of Kaushalya, HMT Colony and Christian Colony also have to cross the river to reach Kalka.

They also alleged that for the past 15 years, they had personally brought the matter to knowledge of the then Chief Ministers of Haryana, Bansi Lal and Om Prakash Chautala, but nothing has been done so far. They had also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, during his visits to Kalka and Pinjore.

It must be mentioned here that the colony came into existence in 1980. It has more than 2200 houses, including 300 retired railway employees. Having a population of over 20000, the colony has more than 3500 voters.



Dhundia group trashes graft charges
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 12
Even as electioneering for office-bearers of the Rajindra Gymkhana and Mohindra Club reached a crescendo today, the group led by Vinod Dhundia rubbished charges of graft levelled by a candidate in the fray for the post of president, Bhopal Singh.

Addressing a press conference, Vinod Dhundia, accompanied by executive members of the club, threw an open challenge to the Bhopal Singh group, saying that the present team was ready to face any punishment if any of the charges was proved to be correct.

Dhundia debunked charges of the Bhopal Singh group and said the outgoing team, when it took over office in September 2003, had been saddled with a deficit of Rs 72 lakh. There were heavy liabilities, including statutory payments like provident fund of employees, and ESI that had not been cleared.

He said his team cleared all these payments and simultaneously undertook development works that were unprecedented in the history of the club.

Dhundia said, besides clearing the outstanding dues, the club was now comfortably placed on the financial front.

The ambience of the club had undergone a massive transformation and the old glory and grandeur of the club had been restored. He expressed confidence that his team, including Santokh Singh (president), Dr N M l Tandon (vice-president), Vinod Sharma (honorary secretary) and Shailender Jain (treasurer) were bound to romp home victorious in the elections scheduled for tomorrow.

Incidentally, neutral observers in the club pointed out that Dr Navin Saronwala and Dr Balbir Singh had consolidated their positions for the post of president and honorary secretary, respectively.

Though the two belonged to different groups, Dr Saronwala and Dr Balbir were a way ahead of their rivals and were in much stronger position over them.

Dr Navin Saronwala is known to be close to the former legislator from Samana and president of the NRI wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Surjit Singh Rakhra, while Dr Balbir Singh has a popular base among the club members.



Man killed in car-van collision
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 12
One person was killed and two others were injured when the car, in which they were travelling, met with a head-on collision with a school van near the toll plaza at Samana, near here, today.

The deceased has been identified as Gaurav, a resident of Ludhiana, who was driving the car. The persons, who got injured, have been identified as Manpreet Kaur and Manjeet Kaur, both of whom are employed at Victoria school, Samana.

The injured have been admitted to the Government Rajindra hospital today. A case has been registered at the Dakala police post.



Theft in showroom
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, December 12
Thieves continue to strike in the town, giving a slip to the community police officers (CPOs). Earlier, they targeted the temples, and now, the private shops, making community policing scheme a total failure.

Last night, thieves struck at Charlie Garments outlet on main road. They broke the wall of the showroom, and stole garments worth lakh, cash and LCD. Devinder Singh Kohli, owner of the showroom, lodged an FIR with the police.

Surjit Singh Dhanoa, SHO, said the police had intensified the night patrolling and hoped that thieves would be arrested soon. He said the CPOs would also be made more accountable for the incidents of thefts in their respective areas.

According to Kohli, the dog squad was pressed into service, and a team of forensic experts was also summoned by the local police.



400 attend cardiology summit
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 12
As many as 400 cardiologists and other specialists particularly from the field of controlling the dreaded disease of diabetes assembled in the local medical college for attending the Punjab Cardiology Summit here today.

The summit was organised by the Punjab Cardiology Forum and the Patiala Branch of Indian Medical Association under the umbrella of Punjab Medical Council.

Internationally renowned cardiologist and an expert in echo-cardiography Dr Naveen C. Nanda from the US conducted a live echocardiography workshop and examined more than 25 patients suffering from different ailments and diseases. Dr Nanda highlighted the diagnostic benefits of echo-cardiography to the experts.

He also delivered Dr S. S. Jolly memorial oration lecture and later he along with Dr K. K. Talwar, director PGIMS, Chandigarh, another eminent cardiologist of the region, was awarded the lifetime achievement awards by the Punjab Medical Council for their outstanding contributions in the field of modern cardiology and echo-cardiography.

Dr Nanda also announced the formation of the Punjab Chapter of International Society of Cardio-Vascular Ultrasound with Dr Manmohan Singh as its founder president. The panel discussions were held by eminent experts in cardiology and diabetic diseases during the scientific session.

Former DRME, Punjab, Dr Ajmer Singh, joint DRME Dr P.P.S. Coonar, principal of medical college, Patiala, Dr Jaswinder Pal Kaur Shergill, president of IMA, Punjab, Dr Amrik Singh Arora, members of the Punjab Medical Council and IMA and faculty members of the local medical college attended the conference.



HC bolt for former IAS officer
Quashes orders to release land
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Haryana’s former IAS officer R.S. Malik’s nine kanals and 10 marlas in Panchkula district is again part of the land acquisition process. Acting on a petition alleging adoption of pick-and-choose policy in de-notifying areas from the acquisition process, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has quashed the March-3 orders releasing the land.

Malik had claimed that a school and a residential building were constructed on the land in 1979 and 1990 after the sanctioning of the building plans by the authorities concerned in the state. His counsel had further submitted the land was sought to be acquired due to his personal grievance with former chief minister Bansi Lal. In 1981, the move to acquire the land was initiated, but it was ultimately released in 1984 on account of the fact that a farmhouse was constructed on the land in 1979 with state government’s prior approval.

The directions to quash the release orders were issued on a petition filed by Panchkula district resident Mirdula Joshi. In the petition placed before the Bench headed by Justice M.M. Kumar, she had challenged the notification dated March 16, 1999, under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act. A declaration under Section 6 of the Act was also challenged. The public purpose was to acquire the land for developing the area for commercial, institutional and recreational purposes.

Her counsel, during the course of hearing, had earlier contended that though the award was announced way back in 2002, land belonging to certain influential persons was being released. Counsel also drew the court’s attention to the March-3 order, passed in favour of R.S. Malik, Valley Public School, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula.

Joshi, in her petition, had claimed that the state and other respondents had, in fact, released the constructed and vacant land belonging to Malik. The Bench, during one of the hearings, had observed that the position of acquisition proceedings was the same in her and Malik's case. But it was a mystery as to how the land belonging to him had been released from acquisition by order dated March 3.

The Bench had also issued notice of motion to the state and other respondents, including Malik. The notice to Malik was issued after the court impleaded him a party in the matter on the petitioner’s oral request. He and the other respondents were asked to show cause why the order dated March 3, releasing his land from the acquisition process, be not set aside.



High Court
PGI denies charges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The PGI today denied the allegations of negligence in a case pertaining to the death of an accident victim while he was being taken from the institute to Solan. The matter was brought under the high court scanner by the World Human Rights Protection Council.

In a petition filed through chairman Ranjan Lakhanpal, the council had alleged medical negligence on the part of PGI. Acting on the petition, the premier healthcare institute’s director was asked to file a report.

On the director’s behalf, the head of the neurosurgery department said the patient was in a stable condition at the time of discharge. Only nursing care was required.

The exact cause of the death could not be ascertained as the body was not brought back, it was added.

The NGO had earlier asked for directions to UT administration and PGI director to “fix responsibility” regarding discharge of Rakesh Kumar on September 13.



Relief for women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a petition seeking complete implementation of helmet-for-riders provision. With this, women riders can continue travelling without helmets.

Concerned over the death of women riders, social activist Hemant Goswami had moved the High Court. The petitioner had also sought directions for compensating women riders, who had lost lives or suffered injuries in road accidents due to “illegal relaxation” on wearing headgears granted to women of all class and religion.

Quoting the law, the petitioner contended Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act saying every person driving or riding shall, 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 a motorcycle, in a public place, wearing a turban, provided further that the state government may, by such rules, provide for such exceptions as it may think fit.



Rs 4,500 snatched from man
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Jimi, a resident of Dhanas, filed a complaint with the police alleging that Rajesh of Sector 35, Deepak and Ranjit, both residents of Bhaskar Colony, grabbed cash Rs 4,500 from him near Sector 25 on December 9.

A case under Sections 382, 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 39 police station. All accused have been arrested and sent to the juvenile home.


The local police registered a case on the complaint filed by Sanjay, a resident of Faridabad, alleging that Ravi Bhardwaj, Budh Dev and Ratti Ram, all residents of Faridabad, have beaten and threatened him and his wife on the High Court premises yesterday. A case under Sections 323, 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 3 police station. All accused have been arrested in this case.

In another incident, a resident of Sector 27 Harbir Singh lodged a complaint alleging that Rajbir Singh Gill of Sector 27 beat him at his residence yesterday. He was injured and admitted to GMSH-16. A case under Sections 323, 506 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 26 police station.

In one more incident, Arun Kumar, a resident of Sector 33, filed a complaint alleging that three unknown motor cyclists have beaten and threatened him near the lights point of Sectors 31-32 yesterday. He was injured and admitted to GMCH-32. A case under Sections 323, 506, 34 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.


Ajay Kumar, a resident of Sector 45, reported to the police alleging that his stereo has been stolen from his car (DL-3C-L-0776), which was parked in front of his residence during the intervening night of December 10-11. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 34 police station.

In one more incident, the local police registered a case on the complaint of Subash Chand, a resident of Sector 43, alleging that cash Rs 20,000, a mobile phone and $ 1200 (US dollars) and some documents have been stolen from his house yesterday. A case under Sections 454, 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.



Dowry case registered
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 12
The local police has registered a case on the complaint of Komal Preet Kaur, a local resident, against Pavneet Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Kamaldeep Kaur, Joginder Singh and Amarjit Kaur, the wife of Joginder Singh, all residents of Amritsar, in a dowry case.

According to police sources, she alleged that the accused had been harassing her for dowry.



Test Match
Sale of tickets from today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 12
The sale of tickets for the 2nd Cricket Test Match between India and England to be played in PCA Cricket Stadium from December 19 to 23 will start from December 13 at the following branches of the Central Bank of India.

Mohali branch: Sector 70, Chandigarh branches: Sector 32, Sector 35 and Sector 15 and Panchkula branch: Sector 10. Apart from these branches a counter for the sale of tickets in PCA Stadium has also been set up at Gate No 5. The tickets will be sold from 10 am to 5 pm.

However, on Sunday the tickets will only be sold at PCA Cricket Stadium.

Rates of Tickets: A.C. lounge- Rs 7,500 (season), Pavilion terrace- Rs 2,500 (season) and Rs 800 (daily ticket), North pavilion- Rs 900 (season) and Rs 300 (daily ticket), VIP block- Rs 500 (season) and Rs 150 (daily ticket), Chair block- Rs 200 (season) and Rs 50 (daily ticket), Student block- Rs 60 (season) and Rs 20 (daily ticket), Members block- Rs 100 (season) (maximum two tickets) and Rs 300 (daily ticket) (additional two tickets) for PCC members only.



Simi clinches sixth leg of golf tour
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, December 12
Simi Mehra, the seasoned golfer from Kolkata, fired a sizzling three under 69 to clinch the sixth leg of the DLF Women's Professional Golf Tour on the par-72 greens of Classic Golf Resort in Gurgaon today.

Simi had a good day on the greens as she hit 12 greens in regulation and converted four of them into birdies. She tallied one under 215, with the nearest rival Shalini Malik finishing 14 strokes behind.

Simi turned at the front nine at two under 34, with birdies on the fourth and sixth holes. She went on to birdie the 10th hole only to drop a shot on the par three 11th and then she birdied the 18th to finish three under for the day.

Shalini Malik returned a card of two over 74 taking her three day total to 229.

Vandana Agarwal, who started the day at tied second place, had a disappointing round of eight over 80 to finish tied third along with Nalini Singh.

Chandigarh’s Preetinder Kaur and Parnita Garewal finished fifth and sixth at 29 over 245 and 32 over 248, respectively.

Parnita gave a better driving display today hitting eight greens in regulation. But she had only one birdie against two double bogeys and a string of six bogeys.

She had a better front nine being three over 39 at the turn. A string of bogeys saw her finish with a six over back nine and a card of nine over 81.

Preetinder Kaur was seven over 43 at the turn. A four over back nine with a lone birdie on the 17th saw her finish at 11 over 83.



Football Tourney
St Stephen’s, John’s in quarterfinals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Quarterfinalists have been spotted in the Chandigarh State Football Championship (Under-13) for St Kabir Trophy being hosted by St Kabir School, under the patronage of the Chandigarh Football Association, here today.

At the conclusion of the league phase St Stephen's School, Sector 45, (Pool A), St John's High School, Sector 26, (Pool B), St Kabir School, Sector 26, (Pool C) and St Xavier's High School, Sector 44, (Pool D) emerged their group leaders and remained undefeated.

Propped up by Anirudh Thapa's hat-trick, hot contenders St Stephen's School-45 blanked St Xavier's High School of Panchkula by 4-0 to top Pool A with two victories. Exhibiting his shooting prowess, Anirudh completed his three-in-a-row feat within a span of five minutes. 



Handball c’ships from Dec 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Chandigarh State Junior Handball Championships for Boys and Girls will be held at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, from December 15 to 18, according to association secretary Rahul Talwar.

Players born on or after January 2, 1989 are eligible to take part in the selection trials.

The selected players will represent Chandigarh in the Junior National Handball Championship to be held in Kolkata from December 23 to 29.



Basketball C’ship
Kabir, Xavier's storm into semis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
New Public School (NPS) of Sector 18 will lock horns with Little Flower of Panchkula and St Kabir will challenge St Xavier's of Chandigarh tomorrow in the semifinals of the Inter-School Basketball Championship for St Kabir Trophy being played on St Kabir School courts.

While today after winning their quarterfinals, St Kabir School, Sector 26, St Xavier's High School, Sector 44, Little Flower of Panchkula and New Public School of Sector 18 qualified for the semifinals.

New Public School today defeated St Xavier's School of Sector 44 by 34-20. NPS attack revolved around Neha Sangwan who demolished Xavier's attack by top scoring with 24 points. She was given good support by Smiti Kaura (8). For Xavier's Kankanwar (6) and Rosy (5) were the main scorers.

Brief scores: St Xavier's-44 (Mankanwar 5, Rosy 10, Deepkirat 2) bt Holy Child, Panchkula (Gulwalia 5, Arisha 2, Tanya 2) by 19-7.

St Kabir-26 (Rupandeep 6, Kriti 4, Rupika 4, Shreya Sharma 5, Naina 2) bt Mount Carmel-47 (Komal 1, Sumita 6) by 23-11.

Little Flower, Panchkula (Anubha Gupta 4, Meenu Thakur 22, Isha Sharma 2, Prachi Rawat 2, Shubhangi Garg 20 bt Mount Carmel-47 (Sumita 5) by 33-5.

New Public School, Sector 18, (Neha Sangwan 24, Smirti Kaura 8, Komal 2) bt St Xavier's-44 (Rosy 5, Sukhmaneet 3, Mankanwar 6, Riya 2, Iejoma 4) by 34-20.



Cambodian Open
Mann fires 7 under to be tied seventh
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 12
Gurbaaz Mann, a big-hitter from Chandigarh, set Siem Reap Greens on fire as he fired a seven under par 65 to climb up the ladder to be tied seventh at seven under 137 in the US $ 3 lakh Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open in Cambodia today.

Twenty six-year-old Gurbaaz carded a par 72 on the opening day. But today's seven under card has given a boost to the Chandigarh golfer's chances of making it among the top 10 in the Asian Tour event.

Last year Gurbaaz had just one top-10 finish on the Asian Tour.

Gurbaaz is just four strokes away from the leader Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand, who played a six under par 66 after his opening day's five under card and a tally of 11 under 133.

Bunched together in second place one stroke behind the leader are Corey Harris (the US), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand) and Anthony Kang (the US).

Korea's Park Jae-bum is a further shot back in fifth place with a 135 total.



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