C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Accident cuts short six young lives
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 15
Five students of the Swami Devi Dyal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Golpura, were crushed under the wheels of a speeding truck after the auto-rickshaw in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck on National Highway No. 73 near Mouli village, about 30 km from here, today.

The auto-rickshaw driver also died in the mishap.

The dead were identified as Sri Kant, a student of mechanical engineering from New Delhi, Jasbir Singh, B. Tech mechanical engineering student from Haripur Hinduan village, Mohali, Deepak Nain, civil engineering diploma student from Narwana, Hardeep Singh, diploma in mechanical engineering student from Narwana, Kamaljeet Singh B Tech mechancial engineering student from Sangrur and auto-rickshaw driver, Deep Chand.

The injured are Manjit Singh, diploma in electronics (Panipat), Devender Narwal, civil engineering (Jind), Saddam Hussain, B. Tech (Firozpore Jhirka) and Harvinder, B.Tech, (Bartana, Zirakpur) were referred to the PGI, while two others Navjot, Bachelor of Dental Sciences, (Sangrur) and Narender, civil engineering (Jind) were admitted at Swami Devi Dyal Hospital. Their condition was stated to be serious.

While Panchkula deputy commissioner Rajender Kataria has ordered an inquiry into the mishap, a hunt has been lodged for the absconding truck driver, Khem Chand of Sarkaghat (HP).

The mishap reportedly occurred at about 9.15 am when the students, a majority of whom who were staying as paying guests at nearby towns of Barwala, and Derabassi, were on their way to the college. There was dense fog in the area at the time of the accident.

Eyewitnesses said after seeing the approaching truck, the auto rickshaw driver sharply turned his vehicle to the left in a bid to avoid collision, but the auto overturned and students fell on the road when the speeding truck, coming from the opposite side, crushed the hapless students after hitting the auto.

Large pools of blood and books strewn around on the road bore mute testimony to the unfortunate accident. The mangled remains of the auto rickshaw clearly depicted the gravity of the collision.

Navjot, one of the injured, said they boarded the auto rickshaw at Barwala to reach the college. He was sitting alone at the rear of auto-rickshaw, while 10 students were sitting on other seats. He said the accident took place at about 9.15 am when they were about to reach the college.



GH-6 doctors indifferent: Victims’ kin
Archit Watts

Panchkula, December 15
It was a double whammy for families of accident victims, who could be seen running from pillar to post to know about the condition of victims for more than five hours. There was no one to help them out at General Hospital, Sector 6.

The families started arriving at the hospital soon after the accident. But after the repeated attempts to know about the condition of their sons, no official was there to give any information till 2.30 pm.

Exhausted of moving here and there, Uma Shanker, hapless father of the deceased student Srikant, fell unconscious for a moment. However, he regained the consciousness after students from the college, who also reached the hospital by that time, sprinkled a few drops of water on him and offered him to drink a glass of water.

Uma Shankar, a resident of New Delhi, is posted at Rohtak in a nationalized bank.“I came here in the hospital from Rohtak after hearing about the accident”, said Uma Shankar. “Despite my repeated efforts, no one told me about my son”, he said. “It seems the authorities have no sympathy with us,” said Uma Shanker.

“The officials of the hospital are not supporting us, even a single visit was not made by any doctor. The callousness of the hospital authorities are clear as civil surgeon was present there, but did not come out of her office. Not only this much, the police also reached after 2 pm,” said Surinder Singh, another relative of the deceased student, sitting outside the mortuary.

The relatives of the deceased alleged,”We met the civil surgeon of the hospital, but she made no satisfactory reply”.

Kamla Singh, civil surgeon, said, “The police officer will come and give any further information about the deceased, I can only say that we have shifted five dead bodies in the mortuary.”

But the police came at the hospital after 2 pm and till that time no one was aware about the condition of the students.



Celebrations turn sour
Archit Watts

Panchkula, December 15
The celebrations turned into sorrow for the family of Deep Chand (autorickshaw driver) who was to return home to join his family as a family was to reach his house with the proposal of the marriage of their daughter with him.

“Puttan bina kahda jeena” were the words of utterly crying mother of Deep Chand and the whole village was shocked, when the news of his death reached at Bhagsi village (Dera Bassi).

Deep was among the six youths killed in road accident on NH-73 in autorickshaw-truck collision.

Hundreds of residents from the village gathered at the house of the deceased when this correspondent visited his house in the village.

“The would-be bride’s family members were to come to his house to see him in the evening, but now everything has changed. We have told them about his sudden death,” said his mother.

“Deep was the only hope of the poor family as his brother and two sister are younger to him and were very much attached to him,” said a neighbour.

Mahipal, father of the deceased, said he was making arrangements for the marriage of his son as the family of his would-be bride was about to reach and most probably he was to tie the nuptial knot this winters only.”

Deep was declared brought dead at General Hospital, Sector 6, where his body was handed over to his family after the post mortem.



Evaluation of land cost
Admn’s laissez-faire approach costs exchequer dear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The laissez-faire approach of the Chandigarh Administration while evaluating the land cost for its “mega projects” has allegedly cost the state exchequer “mega losses”, running into several hundreds of crores.

According to an estimate, this loss amounts to over Rs 300 crore to the administration’s kitty due to wrong calculations while evaluating the land price for mega projects of Theme-cum-Amusement Park at Sarangpur village.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that for a particular project, major chunk of the land has just been “gifted” away by the administration. Even the bank guarantee deed in lieu of the performance security from the private players, who are supposed to develop these mammoth projects, has also come under scanner.

Questions are also being raised over the alleged double standards adopted by the administration to “bestow” land at different prices for two projects, to be developed on corresponding land falling in the same village.

Who is accountable for this huge loss? The cash-rich administration apparently seems to be least bothered about it.

According to the official plan of the Theme Park, to be set up over an area of 73.65 acres on rural land of adjoining Sarangpur village, 5 acres was demarcated for a “budget hotel” and the rest of the land was to be developed for amusement purposes, which included games, rides, parking etc. The cost of this land was calculated at Rs 93.75 crore.

However, the areas allocation for the budget hotel was subsequently increased to 14.73 but the cost of the land was surprisingly not changed. The official committee, which examined the various parameters, charged the same price as that of 5 acres and thereupon the same annual licence fee to be applicable for 5 acres, instead of 14.73 acres.

The official committee, after inspection of the area two years ago, pointed out the “premium” cost of hotel site for 5 acres to be Rs 93.75 crore (5 acre X Rs 18.75 lac) and the rate of remaining agriculture land, after deducting 5 acres, for 68.65 acres was calculated out to be 106,32,51,200 crore (3,32,266 sq yd X Rs 3200). The total cost charged by the administration came out to be Rs 200.07 crore.

Papers in possession of The Tribune carry an official not ing that the licence fee be worked out on the basis of formula of ground rent, as stipulated under rule 13 of Chandigarh lease hold of sites and building rules 1973, comes to Rs 5.5 crore including taxes, for 33 years. This amount has been calculated @ 2.5 per cent.

Nevertheless, the evaluation for actual 14.73 acres demarcated for the particular part of the project comes out to be Rs 276.18 crore (14.73 acre X Rs 18.75). The annual licence revenue @2.5 comes out to be Rs 13 crore. The total revenue collection would have been Rs 429 crore, whereas as per earlier calculation, the revenue calculated comes out Rs 181.5 crore. This implies straightway loss of Rs 247.5 crore in the revenue share.

Vivek Aditya, an RTI activist, who procured all relevant papers, disclosed that the whole misappropriation of public exchequer has been brought to the notice of the Advisor to Administrator Pradeep Mehra.

n Legal experts feel that the bank guarantee for these projects stands null and void as the place for mentioning the “date of completion” of the project has been left blank. Besides, the date of commencement of the project (January 2, 2007), the date of validity of the bank guarantee (January 2012) has been written “by hand” only but without bearing anyone’s “initials” over it.

n Pradeep Mehra, advisor to administrator, said, “Since I was out of town, I am not apprised of this misappropriation. But it definitely calls for attention. I would definitely scrutinise the matter tomorrow.”

n Hemant Goswami, a social activist, said, “ Those involved in this scam should be prosecuted for abusing their positions for criminal breach of trust under Section 409 (13.1 (d))of the Indian Penal Code 1860.



Nod to conversion of leasehold land in Industrial Area
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to allow the conversion of leasehold land into freehold in the Industrial Area.

Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar informed that the process for drafting rules in this regard had already started and would be completed soon. He further informed that suggestions would be taken from representatives of various industry associations.

The decision is consequent to various difficulties being faced by the lessees of these plots and in view of the fact that residential plots were allowed to be converted from leasehold to freehold basis.The matter was taken up with the Government of India several times but the matter remained pending.

In view of the repeated representations being received from various industrial associations, the administration decided to re-examine the whole matter.

Meanwhile, M.P.S. Chawla, president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, has welcomed the administration's decision. As many as 1540 industrial sites of different sizes, mostly in Industrial Area, Phase I, were allotted on a leasehold basis for 99 years.



Anuradha Murder Case
Daughter turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
After model Noor Kataria turned hostile in the sensational Anuradha murder case, the daughter of the deceased Osean Sandhu also turned hostile in the court of additional district and sessions judge S.K. Aggarwal at district courts today.

Deposing before the court, Osean Sandhu retracted from her statement recorded before the judicial magistrate first class (JMIC), P.K. Lal, and denied that her parents Anuradha Sandhu and Baljinder Singh Sandhu, alias Talha, had strained relations. The school going child stammered while getting her statement recorded. She stated that on the night of May 17 her father had left for a party at a disco and when he returned Anuradha was dead. She stated that she gave a call to the servant Vijay, who just replied “hello” and disconnected the phone, which is contrary to her statement before the magistrate wherein she stated that the servant Vijay had answered to the call saying “the work is done”.

Declaring that Osean has turned hostile, the court held, “The witness is declared hostile, as she is suppressing the truth so far with regard to strained relation between her parents.”

Meanwhile, Noor Kataria, during her cross-examination in the court, stated that she had recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Cr PC under police pressure and added that while her statement was being recorded in the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMIC), P.K. Lal SI Amanjot was present in the court.

Following this, the court questioned Noor that if she raised objection to the presence of SI in the courtroom, Noor said she was not aware that she can raise objection.

Noor further added that she had made statement before the magistrate under pressure, as she had come with the police and the police had tortured her during interrogation after her arrest on May 23. On the night following her arrest, she was asked to stand the whole night, Noor said, but she didn’t inform magistrate about it, as she was not familiar with the proceedings of the court.

She further agreed that Talha had called her after his wife Anuradha was found dead. The case was adjourned to January 6 for the remaining cross examination of Osean, while Anuradha’s sister Rekha will be coming on January 16 to get her statement recorded.

During the court proceedings, SI Amanjot entered the courtroom to which the court objected and asked him to move out of the courtroom, as Amanjot was neither the investigating officer nor the witness in the case.

Anuradha was killed in her bedroom while her minor children where sleeping in the adjacent bedroom on the night of May 17 at her residence in Sector 38 West. Baljinder had gone to a party that night for an alibi.

The case took a sharp turn when a disfigured body, supposed to be that of Vijay Pal, who was initially the prime suspect, was found at Ropar. However, investigations revealed that the body was not of Vijay but that of his friend, Sunil.

A hunt was then launched to trace Vijay Pal, who was nabbed in Nalagarh. He then revealed Baljinder’s plot.

The police claimed that an extra-marital affair of Baljinder with a city-based model, Noor Kataria, was stated to be the main reason for the murder.


Flat Transfers
GPA holders want PC to intervene 
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
With the Chandigarh Administration dragging cold feet on the issue of framing a "people-friendly" transfer policy for flats in the cooperative house building societies, the general power of attorney(GPA) holders today again urged the union home minister P Chidambaram to intervene in the matter.

Satish Chandra Sharma, general secretary of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Council, in a representation to Chidambaram through Pawan Bansal, union minister of state for finance, claimed that 15,000 families holding occupancy rights in the cooperative societies on GPA had been up in arms against the levy of hefty "unearned increase" for effecting transfer of flats on their names.

Earlier, in an apparent "anti-people" decision, the the administration had proposed "unearned increase" ranging from Rs. 3.8 lakh to Rs. 5.25 lakh depending on the category of flat and year of allotment. However, following a representation of the council, home secretary Ram Niwas, who is also the secretary cooperation, agreed to reconsider the issue of the proposed hefty charges for the transfer. The registrar of cooperative societies (RCS) had now proposed nominal transfer charges ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs 30,000 to the home secretary.

The RCS proposal had given a sigh of relief to the GPA holders as these conform to the practices and rules being adopted by adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the coordinating agency for the allotment of land to the cooperative societies, has been incorporated under the Haryana Housing Board Act, the representation added.

"Ironically, the ‘unearned increase' was reportedly proposed under the rules which were no longer a part of the statue books as revealed in information procured by me under the RTI Act," Sharma claimed.

"The administration, especially the finance department, is caring two hoots for 'people-friendly' rules being followed in adjoining states of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. The administration relies on Punjab/ Haryana rules while implementing major policies but is feeling shy in case of the GPA transfer."

UT administrator SF Rodrigues had okayed a substitution policy in 2006 for the cooperative societies under which the general body of the societies was authorised to levy the substitution charges. It is fervently requested that the administration should be directed either to replicate the substitution policy in the GPA transfers or implement the Haryana pattern as proposed by the RCS," demanded Sharma.



Citizens Council meets Rodrigues
Approval of building plans
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
A delegation of the newly-formed Chandigarh Citizens Council, led by its chairman MPS Chawla, today met UT administrator SF Rodrigues to discuss important issues concerning the city residents.

In a representation to the administrator, the council demanded a faster and time-bound procedure for the approval of the building plans.The transfer of leasehold rights for all industrial plots should be permitted at par with freehold plots.

Besides, the transfer of flats allotted to various cooperative group housing societies should be allowed through GPA on nominal charges as prevalent in the neighboring states, it added.

Demanding the beautification of the industrial area and sector markets and construction of flyovers and underpasses for the smooth flow of traffic, the representation wanted that the auction of property should be done on the old pattern instead of 90-day payment time schedule.

The council also demanded rationalistion of the VAT structure in Chandigarh on the pattern of the neighbouring states. Besides, the commercial buildings should be permitted up to 200 KW electricity load, the council demanded.

Clarifications on various building bylaws already announced by the Chandigarh Administration and more amendments in the commercial and residential building bylaws for the benefits of the general public were the need of the hour to make Chandigarh a world class city, the representation added.

The council is a group of eminent people of the city beautiful who are concerned with the development and welfare of the city and will keenly participate in socio-cultural and charitable causes. Council members have been selected on the basis of their personal and professional expertise and experience drawn from several years of running businesses, professions, industry, societies and welfare bodies.

Meanwhile, besides Chawla as the chairman the following were elected as the other office-bearers vice-chairmen Charanjiv Singh,M.S. Chadha and Rishi Sahni; finance secretary--Sanjiv Mahajan; general secretary--Chander Verma; joint secretaries--Sanay Dahuja; and advisers--Taran Inder Singh, Diwakar Sahoonja, Baldev Aggarwal and Arshad Khan.



Power dept sleeps as ‘kundis’ flourish
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, December 15
Illegal power connections in every nook and cranny of the city lay testament to the inefficiency of the UT electricity department in curbing the menace.

The department has been suffering losses amounting to lakhs of rupees and shortage of power supply on account of ‘kundi connections’.

A survey of various sectors revealed that in most parts, illegal connections were being brazenly used with no checks in place. The situation is worst in developing sectors of the city.

Even teams have been constituted by the electricity department to curb power thefts, but “kundi” connections continue to flourish, putting a big question mark on the working of the department.

“We pay Rs 500 to officials of the electricity department for the connection. How can they remove the connection or fine us? It is a cheaper way to get electricity,” said a resident of Sector 15 using a kundi connection.

“It seems officials have turned a blind eye to the issue. Our children can’t play out in the open, as such connections pose a danger to their lives. If the department can’t take any action, let people take steps to check the menace,” said Amrit, a resident of Sector 39.

Some people have even lost their lives while managing illegal connections but this has been a little deterrent to the practice of stealing electricity and causing losses to the electricity department.



Guesthouse Murder Case
Body of Deepak handed over to family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Chandigarh Police today handed over the body of Deepak, the manager of the Himachal Guesthouse in Mani majra, who was stabbed to death by unidentified goons on Friday, to the family after post mortem.

According to the SHO of the Manimajra police station, no clue about the killers had came to fore so far. He added that the police learnt that Deepak had a heated argument with a group of persons who came to the guesthouse seeking rooms. Both parties entered into a scuffle following which the guesthouse staff intervened.

The SHO said a cook in the guesthouse told the police that he could recognise two of the persons with whom Deepak had a scuffle. On the basis of the description provided by the cook, the police was getting prepared sketches of the suspects.

The police said they would not release the sketches, as they wanted them to be flashed to other police stations in the adjoining states secretly to nab the suspects unaware.

Meanwhile, the post mortem report revealed that the victim died of stab injuries. A board of doctors conducted the post mortem. Deepak was stabbed by unidentified goons outside the guesthouse on Friday night. He was severely wounded in the assault and was rushed to the civil hospital by his colleagues, from where he was referred to the PGI. He later succumbed to his injuries at the PGI in the wee hours of Saturday. 



Science can help grasp religion better: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Religion and spiritualism as understood with a scientific frame of reference only can help one understand the complexity and divinity of heaven and hell.

These thoughts formed the essence of a public lecture that was delivered by renowned spiritual campaigner and educationist Dr Vinod C. Khera to mark the 158th birth anniversary of Bhagwan Devatma, the founder of Dev Dharma, a purely science-based religious movement, here yesterday.

Organised by Dev Dharma Mission at Subhwati hall, Sector 18 D, the public lecture by Dr Khera, who is also the director of Chandigarh Coaching Centre, was on “Hell or Heaven Right Here On Our Earth”.

Dr Khera chose some of choicest of real life stories to drive home the concept of “happiness and sadness as mental states” not necessarily justifiable by the exact sequence of events on their face value.

Dr Khera asserted that human beings very often had the tendency to fill their lives with miseries by developing low compulsive hatred for pain and by nurturing compulsive low love for what are pleasing and comfortable aspects.

The mundane phenomenon of taking loved ones for granted and regarding them in contempt at times and showering attention upon the least caring fellows were some instances that were dwelt with by Dr Khera.

Dr Khera eulogised the vital role of Bhagwan Devatma in showering the divine wisdom and highest spiritual light, which is the only ray of hope for mankind to live peacefully. Balbahadurji presided over the lecture.



Residents fall for cheap, unsafe helmets
Harpreeti Bassi & Sheetal Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 15
“Demand hai to supply hai; sasta hai to chalta hai”. Well that literally sums up the tale of the flourishing business of cheap non-ISI marked helmets in the city.

In spite of regular notification by the Chandigarh administration for ban on the non-ISI mark helmets, more and more roadside vendors selling substandard quality helmets are mushrooming and that too right under the nose of the police.

“We keep only ordinary helmets as they fetch us more profits compared to the branded ones. The high quality helmets are more than double the amount than the helmets we sell, so people themselves prefer to buy these,” he claims.

These vendors are scattered across the city, reducing the possibility of missing them out. However, the police often makes the excuse of not coming across any vendor liable for a challan. Meanwhile, R.K. Rao, deputy commissioner (UT), remained unavailable to comment on the issue.

Along with poor quality helmets, these vendors also trade secondhand helmets, irrespective of their condition. They take even cracked helmets and people jeopardise their lives by purchasing such helmets to prevent a challan. “I exchanged my old broken ISI helmet with a brand new non-ISI one. I got rid of the embarrassment of carrying around a broken and soiled helmet and that too for free,” said Shekhar Guleria, a college student.

“You can get a good helmet for Rs 300. It is a myth that ISI mark helmets are unaffordable. There is hardly any margin in the price of an ISI and a non-ISI mark helmet, still people risk their life for peanuts,” says Anil, a shopkeeper in Sector 21.

Contrary to the popular notion, there are still some cautious riders. It is all about priorities. “For some, safety comes first and for the rest, helmets are just a disguise to cheat the cops and prevent a challan. For me it is more of a necessity than a liability,” says Ritwick Jaswal.

Statistics from the police reveal that around 130 fatal accidents took place till November. Out of these, a substantial number of accidents occurred because of head injuries where the riders were either not wearing helmets or wearing one without an ISI mark.



‘Dead’ shock for Colonel’s father
Deprived of 43 bighas by submitting fake papers 
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, December 15
A serving Colonel’s father was in for a shock. He found that not only had he been declared “dead” 20-year ago but also deprived of his agricultural land worth crores of rupees.

Surinder Singh, who retired as joint director in the ministry of agriculture, met the Mohali deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari, along with his son Col Ranjit Singh, to prove that he was alive.

According to sources, the father of the Army officer owned 43 bighas and 3 biswas at Behlolpur village near here which was allegedly transferred in the names of Satnam Singh, Gurbaksh Kaur, Amrik Kaur, Sukhwant Kaur, Baldev Kaur and Surinder Kaur.

The sources said Bhandari has requested the SSP to initiate criminal action in the case.

Surinder Singh gave a letter to the DC on December 5 in which he stated that he had owned 43 bighas and 3 biswas of agricultural land in Behlolpur “as a result of partition of inherited agricultural land measuring 189 bighas and 6 biswas in 1982 among my brothers”.

He further said when he visited patwari Trilochan Singh and introduced himself, he was told that somebody from Hoshiarpur had come and told him (patwari) that Surinder Singh had “died” in the 1980s. This appears to be a mischievous act, added Surinder Singh.

In the letter it was also stated that Surinder Singh had two sons (Col Ranjit Singh and Sarvjit Singh) and a daughter (Harjote Kaur). He belonged to the ISS cadre and retired from the government job in September, 1990. He lived in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. He requested Bhandari to take necessary action in the matter.

The DC then asked the tehsildar to inquire into the matter and submit a report.

The tehsildar submitted his report to the DC on December 12 in which he stated that Surinder Singh had presented himself before him and alleged that some fake documents were prepared by a land mafia to deprive him of his agricultural property.

Patwari of the Behlolpur area was asked to furnish all revenue records in connection with the land of Surinder Singh which were scanned by the tehsildar. According to the report of the tehsildar, Surinder Singh’s name figured in the revenue records but he was allegedly shown as unmarried, without having any children, and with six persons as heirs to his property.

The death certificate that was produced for allegedly getting the land transferred on the names of six persons had shown Surinder Singh to have “died” on May 5, 1987. This certificate was issued by upper district registrar, births and deaths, Hoshirapur, on November 27, 2008.

The tehsildar further stated in his report that getting the land of Surinder Singh transferred by allegedly presenting fake documents was part of a big conspiracy and demanded strict action.



200 attend medical camp
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 15
More than 200 patients were examined in a medical camp organised by a team from Dera Bassi Civil Hospital at Dhakoli medical dispensary here today.

The camp was organised in view of viral fever among more than 100 persons of Dhakola and Dhakoli villages in Zirakpur were reported on Friday.

On Saturday around 115 residents of both the villages were reportedly suffering from viral fever, typhoid and water-borne diseases like stomach infection and fever in Zirakpur area. Few of them referred to PGI and GMCH-32 for further treatment by local doctors.

Dr Ram Kumar, SMO, Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi stated that the team of doctors conducted a survey in the area today. During the camp around 215 patients were examined in which more than three cases of typhoid were reported and others were suffering from various fevers. He also stated that the medical team also took the blood samples of 50 patients and medicines distributed among them.

He stated that the medical team also took water samples from the both villages Dhakalo and Dhakoli and report would be within a week.

The doctors team also educated the residents about the precautionary measures and distributed tablets among the villagers. He advised the residents to adopt preventive measures and maintain cleanliness.



Sambhar bitten to death
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 15
Hounded by the dogs, a Sambhar was bitten to death in Zirakpur near construction site along the Sukhna choe here this afternoon. The Sambhar had reached Zirakpur in search of refuge.

According to Yograj, who was working at a construction site revealed that around 2 pm when he was working at the site, he saw that a group of stray dogs had caught the Sambhar in their grip, injuring the animal in the process.

As the employees managed to shoo away the dogs, the Sambhar too tried to escape from the scene. In the process, he got entangled in the barricades and got injured. The injured animal was taken to traffic police. The traffic cop then escorted it to Chhattbir zoo.

Yograj asserted that when they reached the Chhatbir zoo with the injured animal, the doctor was not present. By the time the doctor came, the Sambhar had its last breath. After this they brought the animal back to Zirkapur and buried it near the site.



Sekhon Majra Youth’s Murder 
Sohana SHO suspended
Assailants get police remand
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 15
The SSP, Mohali, today suspended the SHO, Sohana police station, Mohinder Singh, for not taking action against the armed persons who on Sunday tried to take forcible possession of a disputed shamlat land in Sekhon Majra village here.

In the land dispute, Harvinder Singh, a 19-year-old youth of the village, was killed after being shot by the armed men following a land dispute in Sekhon Majra village.

SSP JS Aulakh said inquiry by the DSP, City, revealed that the SHO had not taken timely action in the land dispute. The dispute was in knowledge of the SHO.

Yesterday, villagers had alleged that the youth was killed as adequate police force was not rushed in time despite being repeatedly called by them.

The victim was shot at by Jaswant’s son Ranbir Singh, the police added. Other assailants, identified by the police, Gurdeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Manjit, Kanwaljit Singh, Balwinder, Davinder and Gurpreet Singh, have been arrested by the police. They were remanded to two-day police custody.

The DSP recorded the statement of the villagers who alleged that the police failed to act on time as the armed men, carrying crude weapons and guns, let loose a reign of terror in the village.

“Just two cops were sent despite being informed on time. The moment they reached the spot, the assailants started firing. The cops ran for cover seeing the strength of the armed men,” said Raja, a villager.

The armed men, who were in an inebriated state, gathered at the spot at around 7 am and started raising a boundary wall around the disputed land. Pritpal, an eyewitness, told the police that he was standing along with the deceased on the disputed land when suddenly the assailants started firing. “I saved myself by throwing myself on the ground. But Harvinder was not so lucky,” he added.

Meanwhile, the last rites of the victim were performed at Sekhon Majra village amidst heavy the police presence. There was apprehension that family of the victim would react against the family of the assailant, who also lives in the same village.

But no untoward incident took place. Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA, Kharar, also visted the village to express his condolence with the aggrieved family. Earlier, the body of Harvinder was handed over to the family after the autopsy at the phase 6 civil hospital. 



Law student assaulted by PUSU chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Tall claims of Panjab University regarding restraining the entry of outsiders on the campus fell flat when a student of first year of the department of laws was allegedly assaulted by a PUSU leader accompanied by a few outsiders near Law Auditorium 
this evening.

According to sources, the incident was the fallout of yesterday’s argument between a first year girl student of the department of geology and Harkanwal, when the former apparently sat on one of the judge’s chair during the competitions being held as part of the youth festival. Harkanwal, who also happens to be the cultural coordinator of SOPU and as also assisting in organising the activities of the youth festival, asked the girl to leave that seat and sit somewhere else. According to the sources, after this, an argument followed between the two.

According to inside sources, when Harkanwal was sitting inside the Law Auditorium, some unidentified youth asked him to come out of the hall on some pretext. As soon as he came out, he was allegedly slapped and pushed by Tejpal Cheema, PUSU president, who was accompanied by some youths. Immediately, the assaulters fled the spot in a black Maruti Swift.

It has been alleged that the girl was a PUSU supporter.

The university authorities as a measure of precaution closed all entry gates of the university to prevent the assailants from escaping. However, the car could not be traced inside the campus indicating that the assaulters were successful in escaping the university.

Till the filing of the report, no case had been registered.



North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival 
Day of mime and mimickry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The third day of the 24th North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival being organised by Panjab University witnessed loads of cultural and artistic activities.

In the events of mime and mimicry which was held at Law Auditorium, 14 teams participated in the mime and gave meaningful messages through their presentations. GND University, Amritsar, presented mime on mother, GADVASU, Ludhiana, presented mime on role of technology, LPU, Phagwara, presented “Eklavya ki Kahani”, CDLU, Sirsa, highlighted the ills in the society relating to religion, dowry, marriage.

Beside this, the University of Jammu presented mime on female foeticide, MDU, Rohtak, presented mime on the incresing use of mobile phone in the present day scenario, KU, Kurukshetra, presented modern Dropadi, JMU, Delhi, highlighted the importance of friendship, PAU, Ludhiana, showcased comparison between bygone years of peace and the recent looming threat of terrorism on India, Punjabi University, Patiala, gave the message of unity and strength through their performance, PTU, Jalandhar, emphasised on the freedom of girls and women empowerment.

There are 15 teams who participated in mimicry section. A participant from the University of Jammu presented the item based on fake encounter and the item from CCSU, Meerut, with mimicry of birds was very much appreciated by the audience.

In a play, eight teams participated which included Kumaun University, Nainital, presented the play titled “Panch lett”, KU, Kurukshetra, performed Vir Nirupam, CDLU, Sirsa, presented play titled “Puttr Bali”, JMU, Delhi presented play named “Mera Kya Kasoor”.

In the section of light vocal solo, 17 teams participated which performed geet, bhajan and ghazals and six teams participated in the classical instrumental solo (non -percussion).

In the debate category, 15 teams participated in the poetry recitation. For on-the-spot painting competition, 17 teams participated in the collage-making competition on the theme of terror attack on Mumbai.



PU hospitality fails to woo participants
Harpreeti Bassi/Sheetal Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 15
“Hospitality of Panjab University is not up to the mark”. These are the words of the guest students from different universities, who are here to participate in the five-day 24th North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival being held on campus.

If the students are to be believed, the sports hostel, where the stay arrangements for all the girl participants representing various universities have been made, there is a shortage of drinking water. The girls claim, “No one from the university has ever come to check if we have any requirements”, said a participant from Aligarh Muslim University. “The condition of the toilets is pitiable. On top of that there are not enough geysers, we seldom get warm water for bathing”, said another participant.

The students also claimed that there was hardly any interaction with other participants.

“We have been to various other universities to participate in youth fests. In Kanpur University, they used to organise bonfires every evening, which helped us to know the participants of other universities. But no such initiative has been taken here. Every one minds their own business and goes to their respective rooms as soon as the performances end”, says Shailendra from CDLU (Devi Lal University), Sirsa.

Top it all, we are given moist, foul smelling rugs to sleep on. Lack of rest is affecting our performances, complained another participant from Sirsa.

Though most of the participants have appreciated the atmosphere of the university, but there were some who feel otherwise. “We feel like aliens here”, says Shireen and Naveet Tramboo, a duo from Kashmir University.

Prof Naval Kishore, dean student welfare, claimed that the university has been extremely hospitable and denied all the allegations and also assured to do the needful.



Resource book on environment education
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 15
To make environment education more interesting, the teaching methodology and the curriculum must be made more interesting. Equally important is the training of teachers to impart knowledge on environment in a practical manner.

With this in mind, the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) has developed a set of resource books for teacher educators of D.Ed, B.Ed, and M.Ed level.

To train the resource persons, a three-day orientation-cum-dissemination workshop by CEE and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) began at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Sector 67 here. Dr Dalbeer Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab School Education Board, inaugurated the workshop.

This orientation workshop draws its links and references to India’s National Policy on Education (1986) which made Environmental Education (EE) a part of general education at all levels. The 2003 ruling of the Supreme Court of India further strengthened this by making EE compulsory at all levels of education.

Considering the need and urgency of teacher training in environment education, NCTE, with the help of experts, developed National Teachers Curriculum Framework 2005. Based on the framework, CEE developed the books in English and Hindi. Now, the NCTE plans to orient a group of master trainers in the country to use these resource books effectively.

Around 25 to 30 senior lecturers from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi are attending the workshop. 



Special package for research scholars 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
To boost the ongoing research in Panjab University, the authorities have decided to give financial incentives to outstanding researchers and their research papers from the next academic session.

During an interaction with faculty members today in Panjab University, R C Sobti, Vice-Chancellor made an announcement of special package for researcher scholars.

While sharing about the package, Sobti said the authorities have decided that those research scholars who got index factor above five in their research paper would get the award of Rs 1 lakh from the coming session. Even for those who got index factor between 3 and 5 in their research papers, the award of Rs 50,000 would be given to them.

While referring to the long-pending demand of the faculty for fellowship to the research scholars, Sobti said from the coming session, if any research paper would have index factor above seven that scholar would not only be awarded by the cash of Rs 1 lakh.

But, a fellowship would also be given to that scholar.



Symposium on orchids on December 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Orchid Society of India (TOSI), established in 1984, has been promoting the cause of Indian orchidology by projecting the importance of orchids and orchid-based vocations. The society has decided to celebrate its 25 th year of inception.

The celebration shall be launched on December 16 at PU, wherein, Prof SP Vij, founder secretary of the society, has convened a National Symposium on Orchids: Science and Art (December 16-17, 2008), based on invited lectures.

Dr Promila Pathak, department of botany, Panjab University , Chandigarh, has been entrusted the responsibility of its organisation.

Several orchidists, including Dr Manju Sharma, M Sanjappa, Akhilesh Tyagi, LMS Palni, K Natarajan and Sathish Kumar are participating. Dr MK Huda and SK Bhadra are joining from Bangladesh .

Prof RC Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University , Chandigarh, shall inaugurate the symposium.

Orientation course

Prof Darlene E. Clover and Prof Catherine McGregor from the department of educational psychology and leadership studies, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, interacted with the participants of the 80 th Orientation Course being conducted by the academic staff college, Panjab University , Chandigarh. The topic of interaction was Gender Affirmative Action in Democracy here today. 



Village school gets Rs 1 lakh aid
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 15
Difference between urban and rural areas was increasing as far as the basic amenities were concerned. Students who were getting education in the rural schools were being devoid of the basic facilities, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab cooperation minister, while speaking at the annual function of Heritage Public School, Jagatpura village, here yesterday.

He appreciated the school management for opening the schools in the rural areas. The minister while donating Rs 1 lakh for the school said a stipend of Rs 5,000 per student would be given annually to five meritorious students of the school. Brig Jagdev Singh, chairman of the trust, said the stipend would be given to 15 per cent of the students.



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