C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Operation Cover-up
DC spots illegal mining
But made to believe otherwise
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 21
The mafia involved in illegal mining has deep roots in the district. This came to light when all machinery, besides officials from the mining department and the police got together to allegedly cover up the matter even as Deputy Commissioner Rajender Kataria detected illegal mining here today.

While police personnel and the mining department denied any such incident through the day, it was only in the evening when the media kept inquiring about it that a case was registered against the accused identified as a close relative of an INLD leader.

According to information, Kataria, who was on the way to Bunga village, spotted some tractor trailers with stones and sand on the road. When the vehicles were signalled to stop, the drivers fled the spot leaving the vehicles behind.

The DC, accompanied with the Additional Deputy Commissioner and the District Forest Officer, then decided to visit the mining area. The official from the mining department deputed at the royalty office was found missing and labourers involved in loading the trucks also fled after seeing the officers.

The DC ordered the staff with him to take away the keys of the vehicles and asked the mining officer to confiscate the vehicles and get an FIR registered against the accused.

The DC, however, was later informed by the mining department that there was no vehicle at the spot. Deepak Hooda, mining officer, when contacted, said there was no illegal mining and people present at the spot panicked when they noticed some VIP had come and fled.

Officials at the Chandimandir police station also denied any such incident. Later, a case was registered against Jagdeep Chaudhary, a local resident, for violating mining rules.



SDO found dead in Sector 46
Dispute with father cited as reason
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Ashok Karwal (50), an SDO in the Bhakhra Beas Management Board, was found dead near the green belt in Sector 46 here last night.

He reportedly had a property dispute with his father and the victim’s family alleged that his father and younger brothers were responsible for his death.

According to the DSP (South), Jaswant Singh Khera, doctors had not given their opinion on the death yet and they would sent the viscera for chemical examination to ascertain the cause of death.

Punam, Ashok Karwal’s daughter, alleged that her father was being harassed by her grandfather and her uncles over the possession of a room in their part of the house for the past over three months.

Her grandfather had gone to her father’s office, saying that his son was harassing him. At this, her father told his colleagues that Tuesday would be his last day in the office and came home.

He went out in the evening, leaving behind his mobile phone and wallet. When he did not return for a long time, her brother went to the Sector 34 police station, where he was told that a body had been recovered from near the petrol station in Sector 46 and sent to the GMCH-32. Virat went with the police and identified the body of his father.

Punam said her brother was very upset and visited his grandfather’s house, where he had a quarrel with his grandfather who, along with their uncles, roughed him up and also tore his clothes.

However, Sadhu Singh, their grandfather, maintained that he had already disowned his son for “unruly” behaviour, adding that Ashok had forcibly taken possession of a room in the house, which belonged to him.

The matter had been reported to the police and he had been booked under some Sections of the CrPC on October 14. The matter was pending in the court of the SDM (South).

He admitted that he had gone to Ashok’s office to meet his boss, but said he had not lodged any complaint against his son. He claimed that he had only sought the intervention of Ashok’s boss to resolve the matter amicably.



31 bonded labourers freed
Tribune News Service

Lalru, January 21
The SDM of Dera Bassi rescued 31 bonded labourers from a brick-kiln located at Jouli village in the Lalru block of Mohali district today.

Seven families from Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh were rescued after a team headed by the SDM, Puneet Goyal, raided the brick-kiln. Of the total rescued people, 14 were adults and 17 children.

The SDM had received a directive from the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday to get these labourers released from the brick-kiln and a detailed report in this connection would be submitted in the court tomorrow.

The medical examination of the rescued people was conducted at the government hospital here and the SDM provided them immediate relief of Rs 5,000. He also directed the police to register a case against the owner of the brick-kiln.

The SDM said the brick-kiln owner had forcibly employed the labourers on the pretext of having given them money in advance.

Officials said an inquiry had been initiated into the case and stern action would be taken against the owner of the brick-kiln. They also said checks would be undertaken in the future also so that such incidents did not recur.



3 appointed PGI Emeritus Professor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Three former PGI doctors — Dr GK Khullar, Dr SK Gupta and Dr Sudha Suri — have been appointed Emeritus Professor at the PGI here.

Professor Khullar retired in September after putting in 31 years of service, including 13 years as head of biochemistry department, PGI. Dr SK Gupta, former professor and head of cytology department, and Dr Sudha Suri, former professor, PGI, were also awarded Emeritus Professor status after retirement.



DAV students expelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The DAV College authorities have expelled, Shaminder Singh, Jajwinder Singh and Arshdeep Singh based on inputs provided by the police in connection with the brawl between two groups here yesterday.

“I have expelled these students for creating ruckus in the college. There was a scuffle in the college and these three allegedly hit two others with a ‘khurpi’. I struck off their names from the college rolls after the police approached me and confirmed their involvement,” BC Josan, Principal, said.



Police vehicle to cope with disaster
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, January 21
The police is going to purchase a disaster management vehicle equipped with special instruments to deal with any disaster in the city. The UT administration has sanctioned a sum of Rs 17 lakh for this purpose.

It is for the first time in the region that the police is purchasing a disaster management vehicle. These vehicles are being used by the Delhi police successfully.

Giving the information, a senior police officer said within a month, the vehicle would be put in service to deal with disasters like earthquake, flood, fire, terrorist attacks and accidents.

“The money has been sanctioned by the administration and soon we will purchase the chassis of a truck. It will be added to our fleet next month,” DSP (traffic) JS Cheema, who visited Delhi to inspect the vehicle, said.

The idea was to prevent the loss of lives and minimise loss to property as it was the fastest way to undertake rescue and rehabilitation operation, the DSP said.

A traffic police official said: “The use of old methods is not practical as it is very difficult to control a situation arising out of a disaster, but the new vehicle will be of immense help.” Cheema said the vehicle would work as a crane and would be equipped with a cutter, flood lights, electric power inverter, air compressor, generator set with power extension board and a wireless public address system with loud speakers.

It would have all instruments required to deal with major disasters and would also be equipped with portable traffic signals to avoid traffic jams and variable message signs to show the sign of diversion.


Faux Pas?
Assault by ASP
Centre ‘marks’ probe to Rajasthan DGP
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
In a curious turn of events, the Union Home Ministry has forwarded the representation of local shopkeeper Arvind Kumar Pandey, who was allegedly thrashed by ASP Madhur Verma, for a CBI probe to Director-General of Police (DGP) Rajasthan for “appropriate action”.

What on the face of it seems to be a faux pas, Pandey’s letter to the Minister of State of Home Affairs, Sriprakash Jaiswal, for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a judicial probe into his allegations, has been sent to Rajasthan DGP KS Bains.

While Pandey is thrilled with the development and is claiming that his demand for an “impartial probe” has been met, the Chandigarh Police has received no such information.

Producing the letter received from the minister’s additional private secretary Ajay Bhatti, Pandey today claimed that he was hopeful of getting speedy justice. However, UT IGP SK Jain expressed ignorance about such inquiry being ordered and maintained that their probe into these allegations was “near completion”.

A senior official, on condition of anonymity, said there seemed to be an error in forwarding the letter to DGP, Rajasthan.

He said such letters, sent to Home Minister, Prime Minister, President, were “routinely” sent to senior officials with remarks for “appropriate action”.

Pandey said he was fed up with the tardy inquiry being conducted by the UT SP (traffic) on his complaint and had lost hope of getting justice from the local police. He said he had already lodged a complaint with UT SSP through CBI officials, but nothing had been done on it.

The inquiry officer of the complaint, SP (traffic) HS Doon, said the probe was in its final stage.

He had cross-examined all witnesses in the matter and had viewed the CCTV footage.

He had called Pandey to record his statement on Friday. Pandey’s statement would be crossed-examined with the facts coming up during the probe and the report would be submitted to SK Jain the same day for necessary action.

Doon, however, refused to divulge the details of the probe conducted so far or give the number of witnesses examined during the inquiry, which almost lasted a month.

Pandey, who is a complainant in a bribery case against sub-inspector Sanjiv Kumar registered by the CBI in November, last year, had been alleging that the police was trying to shield the officer involved in the incident.

He had claimed that Madur Verma had beaten him up in his office along with his gunmen.



Fire extinguishers at PU outdated
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
No activity can be allowed to take place in any of the buildings of Panjab University if the authorities go by fire and safety norms, as all fire extinguishers installed on the campus have outlived their utility.

Visiting all auditoriums in the university today it was found that various events were taking place but all of the fire extinguishers installed had expiry date of April 30, 2008. In fact in the English Auditorium and Golden Jubilee Hall where every week events were organised by various departments not even a single fire extinguisher had been installed.

Strangely in the Law Auditorium of the campus where national and international events were held, only single extinguisher had been installed whose expiry date was also April 2008.

It seemed that the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had never taken the trouble of monitoring the execution of the National Building Code of India 2005 in any of the campus building according to which each building should have to fulfill the fire safety requirements.

In the administrative block it was found that on each floor more than five fire extinguishers were installed but not even a single had been refilled. Strangely, in the office of the Vice-Chancellor not even a single fire extinguisher was visible.

While visiting various departments it was found that the situation was not different.

Interestingly, in one of the departments a single fire extinguisher had been installed on which it was indicated that it had been rejected on January 24, 2005. As per the norms whenever the fire extinguisher was rejected it had to be disposed off by the authorities on the same date.

University registrar SS Bari stated that the department used to monitor the status of the fire extinguisher in all departments. He said building maintenance branch was responsible for supervising these equipment on regular basis.



Rally by Mulazim Manch
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Members of Chandigarh and Punjab chapter of the Mulazim Manch held a rally in support of their demands at Sector 17 today. The employees demanded early release of the pay commission report, regularisation of daily wagers, scrapping of public-private partnership policy, restoration of old pension scheme and reinstatement of dismissed leaders.

Speakers condemned the economic policies of the government, which they claimed had resulted in millions of people suffering.



MC forms 11 committees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Chandigarh municipal corporation yesterday constituted 11 committees. The committees have 99 members on board.

The committees formed today include those for roads, house tax assessment, environment and city beautification, electricity, fire and emergency services, apni mandi and day markets, sanitation, enforcement, slum colonies and village development, arts, culture and sports.

The chairmen of the respective committees would be elected soon. Besides, an F&CC committee headed by the Mayor under the rules was also formed.



Sec-37 firm told to rectify defect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked Global Engineers and Associates, Sector 37, to remove defect in water proofing treatment of the roof of a school.

The forum held that if the roof was still found to be defective, the company had to refund the incurred amount of Rs 26,080 to the school.

The authorities at Vivek High School had stated in their complaint that they had handed over the job of waterproofing treatment in the school to Global Engineers and Associates for which Rs 26,080 was paid to them.

It was stated that the water was found leaking immediately after the execution of the work and the company was informed about it but it was not repaired. No one appeared on behalf of the company.



Teachers to go on 2-hr strike today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Approximately 10,000 teachers working in five universities, 54 government colleges and 170 non-government colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh will go on a strike for two hours in the colleges and university tomorrow.

The Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations (PFUCTO) announced that the teachers would be on the two-hour strike tomorrow. Spokesperson of the association revealed that the strike is called as the new UGC pay scales were notified by the MHRD government of India on December 31, 2008.

According to which the Government of India has announced that it will bear the additional financial burden arising out of the pay revision up to the extent of 80 per cent for the period from January 1, 2006 to March 31, 2010.

Even mass casual leave and rally at Chandigarh on January 28 has been planned by the PFUCTO.



4-day theatre fest begins
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 21
An immaculate staging of a Punjabi play “Terrorist di premika” by off stage company, Moga, at the Randhawa auditorium gave a grandiose start to “Nawan Punjabi Rangmanch”, a four-day theatre festival of plays. The festival organised by the Punjab Arts Council in collaboration with NZCC will feature the plays written and directed by eminent playwright thespian Pali Bhupinder on diverse themes. The play “Terrorist di premika had been adjudged the overall best performance at the Panj Pani International Festival-2006 at Lahore.

The play dwells on a sensitive romantic theme of love and hate in its varied manifestations under different situations. The playwright has fairly reflected in his perceived view that one can do away with love and not hate or hate is an extension of love in a bold presentation. Structured in gloomy days when the terrorism has assumed threatening proportions on all fronts and the excessive police atrocity the play excavates the contrasting inner psychological mindset of a terrorist and police officer. It was a celebration of womanhood.

Sachin Kohl playing a terrorist, Anita Shadbush as Aneet and klumar Ajay as DSP were simply superb while Gurwinder as policeman created some lighter moments. Former Mayor and PAC chairperson honoured the artists. Prof Rajpal Singh, secretary general, PAC, lamenting the low presence of local theatre practitioners disclosed that a slap comedy play RSVP will be presented tomorrow.



Health team issues 30 challans
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 21
In a bid to make Mohali smoke free, officials of the health department cracked down on persons selling cigarettes and other items containing tobacco as well as those smoking in public places here today. The team conducted raids in Phases-1, 8, 9, 10 and 11 and challans were issued to shopkeepers and others under the Anti-Tobacco Control Act -2003. A total of 30 challans were issued out of which 20 were against the shopkeepers for violating the act. As many as 10 persons, who were smoking in public places were also challaned.

Civil surgeon Dr Avtar Singh set up a district-level team headed by Dr SP Surila, district health officer, to conduct the raids. The team found that the shopkeepers were selling cigarettes in various shops without putting mandatory display boards showing the ban on sale of cigarettes to persons below the age of 18 years. Surila educated the shopkeepers and smokers about ill effects of smoking and also provided information about the Anti-Tobacco Control Act.

Surila said so far 73 challans had been issued in Mohali and Kharar. More such raids will be carried to make Mohali smoke free. Other members of the team were Jasbir Singh, state coordinator (Anti-tobacco cell, Punjab), Dr Sikandar Singh, Harinder Singh Dhindsa, Amarjit Singh and Surinder Singh.



‘Need to revamp architectural perspective’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
While the city’s well-planned layout continues to mesmerise many but for architecture students from University of Washington and University of Wisconsin it’s high time that we revamp our architectural perspective to further accentuate Le Corbusier’s creation.

Currently visiting Chandigarh College of Architecture for two different joint workshop programmes, the group from Wisconsin is studying the architecture of the city for their research on Indian cities while those from Washington are out to reinterpret the structure of Sector 17 Plaza in response to the forces of globalisation.

“The complex comes across as a vibrant and happening structure at the first glance with huge open spaces but couple of visits put it across as a chaotic place which is hard to navigate. I have visited it 30 to 40 times in the past two weeks and every time I visit I see new good architectural features and anomalies,” said an excited Mease.

While most of them based on their preliminary reviews feel that reduction of chaos and clutter is must for Sector 17 to adapt to the changing globalisation forces.



Multi-disciplinary approach required: VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Panjab University has taken a lead by setting up Centre in Emerging Areas in Science and Technology and Centre for Emerging Areas in Social Sciences. This was said by Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti today, while inaugurating the two-day Chandigarh Social Science Congress at the university.

Prof Sobti said the social reality had become more complex, multi-dimensional and prone to change. In this backdrop, the single dimensional approach in social sciences should pave the way for multi-disciplinary approaches in teaching and research. He further said in the era of globalisation, future lied in promoting areas in teaching and research, which were inter-disciplinary in character and relevant to society.

Dean, faculty of arts, Prof BS Ghuman said the globalisation was multi-faceted phenomenon and hence its comprehension required integration of social sciences. He also stated that the need of the hour was a paradigm shift at the policy level. The government’s implicit approach towards social sciences should be replaced by a well-articulated social science policy on the pattern of science and technology policy. The major aim of such a policy should be to promote good quality teaching, research and training in all social sciences.

Prof SL Sharma, former dean, faculty of arts, Panjab University, said the globalisation had resulted in skewed distribution of fruits of development. The developed countries had gained more as compared to the developing world and further rich had reaped more benefits from the globalisation and the poor had suffered more.

With a view to deal with the issues, social sciences needed complete revamping including in the area of research methodology. In research methodology, qualitative approach was emerging a better substitute of quantitative approach in order to understand the complexity of human behaviour.



GMCH-32 to start MD in psychiatry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has been granted recognition for commencing postgraduate course (MD in psychiatry). The Postgraduate Committee of the Medical Council of India took the decision.

According to press note issued by GMCH-32, the council considered the compliance submitted by the GMCH-32 authorities and gave the nod for this course. The number of seats restricted to one student per year. The course has been started keeping in view the high demand for it.



Students participate in Gita recitation competition
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 21
Local chapter of the Gita Prachar Samiti, Panchkula, celebrated Gita Diwas by organising Gita recitation competition at Bhavan Vidhyala, Sector 15, today.

More than 100 students participated in the contest. The winners were given cash prize of Rs 2,500, Rs 1,500, Rs 1,100 and books. The main attraction of the event was reciting of one full chapter of Bhagvad Gita by more than 10 students.

The main aim of the samiti is to organise such programmes in various schools to apprise children about importance of moral values and as a part of national integration and harmony because Gita is the only holy book in the world, which teaches us to work selflessly for the welfare of mankind.

Besides this, the samiti also organised bhajan sandhya, Gita pustak mela, Gita jayanti festival, discourses on Gita and providing refreshments during the solar eclipse mela to tourists at holy land of Kurukshetra.



PU physics dept gets Rs 2 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 21
The Panjab University’s Department of Physics, a UGC centre of advanced study in the subject, has been recognised as "DST’s FIST-sponsored department".

Under the FIST programme of DST, the department has been given grant of Rs 2.10 crore for strengthening research laboratories, teaching laboratories, library, networking and computational facilities.

The present faculty of 34, including emeritus professors and emeritus fellows, is engaged in research activities and has produced more than 600 research papers, published in the journals of international repute. According to Dr Manmohan Gupta, chairman of the department, informed that from the academic session of 2008-09, the department had started two self-financing courses, BSc hons and MSc hons in physics and electronics, which had already attracted the attention of some of the foreign universities.



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