C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Immolation bid at Kali Mata temple
Victim succumbs to injuries; traders close shutters
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 1
A deceptive calm gripped the city when news of death of Ramesh Kumar Pappu filtered in, leading to the complete closure of shops amid growing tension among residents.

Pappu had sustained 80 per cent burns when he, along with his accomplice Vinod Kumar, had attempted self-immolation in Kali Mata temple during the second day of Navrataras on Saturday.

Both Pappu and Vinod Kumar were protesting the setting up of an advisory committee by the district administration to oversee arrangements pertaining to the distribution of langar to the devotees.

After the incident, he was shifted to the local Rajindra hospital and doctors there later referred him to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he breathed his last this morning.

His body was brought to the city in the evening by his family members and hundreds of activists of the Hindu Suraksha Samiti immediately took control of the proceedings.

Once news of his death came in, the district administration went into an overdrive and cops were placed at strategic points in the city to ward off any untoward incident. At certain sensitive points in the city, particularly the Hindu dominated areas, heavy police arrangements could be seen.

In an emergent meeting held here today, the district administration, led by Deputy Commissioner Deepinder Singh, met representatives of the Hindu Suraksha Committee and Shiv Shakti Seva Dal, which was overseeing langar arrangements at the Kali Mata temple when the incident occurred, apparently in an attempt to smoothen flared tempers.

The DC said the state government had given Rs 5 lakh to the family of Pappu because he was the main bread earner of the family. “His wife, too, would be given a job commensurate with her qualifications at a later date,” the DC added.

Political parties, sensing an opportunity to garner publicity, were quick to jump into the fray with sitting MP and Congress candidate from Patiala Preneet Kaur rushing to the PGI to express sympathy with the family when Pappu was admitted there.

The body was later cremated at the Rajpura road cremation grounds amid tight security arrangements.

Thousands of devotees throng the mandir complex and the distribution of langar has always been a controversial affair. For the last 30 years, the langar arrangements were made by the Shiv Shakti Seva Dal but this year the district administration set up an advisory committee to make arrangements.

Certain activists of the Shiv Shakti Seva Dal, particularly Pappu and Vinod Kumar, were objecting to the setting up of this very body.



Hotline connection claims three lives in 2 years
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Bhari (Bassi Pathana), April 1
Three linemen have lost their lives during the past two years at 66 kV grid of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) situated in the village. The hotline connection provided to two other villages of Bassi Pathana from this grid is responsible for the mishap.

This grid serves 54 villages of Bassi Pathana, Khanna, Fatehgarh Sahib and other surrounding areas. During power cuts, villagers allegedly gherao the grid and pressurise linemen on duty to repair the fault in their lines at the earliest.

“Such kind of pressure leaves the linemen confused. The fourth cable wire is of hotline connection wherein current runs even when there is a power cut in the entire area. Current supply to this cable has to be suspended before initiating any repairs, but confused linemen forget this. So far three linemen have been electrocuted in the last two years,” said an employee at the grid requesting anonymity.

According to department officials, three linemen - Avtar Singh, Kirpal Singh and Harcharan Singh - have lost their lives during the past two years due to the pressure of villagers who demand resumption of power to their village with a wink of an eye.

This hotline connection has been given for the past 10 years. The state government is slowly phasing out this scheme and suspending this function throughout Punjab. Out of 54 villages connected to the grid, only two are now getting hotline connection namely Jalanpur and Hargana for the past 3 to 4 years.

After the deaths of three linemen nobody in the village was ready to take over the work. Sub-divisional officer Harvinder Pal Singh Sethi when contacted said, “Now the electricity board has decided to remove the fourth hotline wire due to various flaws.”

He added that, “We have forwarded all paper formalities in this connection and soon the fourth wire would be removed from the grid.”



No-confidence motion
Councillors protest against admn
Tribune News Service

Ambala, April 1
The no-confidence motion against the president of the municipal council has left the councillors and residents with no-confidence in the administration.

The no-confidence motion, which was scheduled to be conducted in a special meeting of the MC house yesterday at 11 am, was postponed indefinitely as the SDM, who was authorised to chair it, called in sick late last night. He had to go to Chandigarh for treatment.

The SDM, who was said to be in his 40’s, was an unlikely candidate for such a medical situation, said many councillors, adding that it seemed to be only an excuse to avoid going through the exercise of a no-confidence motion, especially with elections just a month away.

Unhappy with the turn of events, 28 councillors today blocked the Ambala-Jagadhri state highway. Traffic disrupted on the highway for over three hours.

The matter was resolved only after the Deputy Commissioner convened a meeting of the MC and assured the councillors that the meeting would be convened again and also reminded them that action could be taken against them for causing disruption on the road.

The councillors protested that the no-confidence motion had been stalled on pressure by the government as the MC president belonged to Congress, which did not want to send a wrong impression before the elections. Talking to The Tribune, Deputy Commissioner SP Srow said he had received the medical leave late last night and he would be issuing fresh orders soon.

It may be mentioned here that the councillors have been having a problem with the president for the past over a year.



Coop societies want regular Asst Registrar
Our Correspondent

Kalka, April 1
Hundreds of employees of co-operative societies, group housing societies, tube-well societies, milk societies and non-agriculture societies of Kalka, Pinjore, Raipur Rani and Barwala have sought a regular Assistant Registrar (AR) of co-operative societies at Panchkula, as they have been facing much inconvenience due to this.

The employees said they had to go to the office of Assistant Registrar of Naraiangarh, fallowing under Ambala district, for their works, due to which their time and money get wasted.

The official sources of Registrar, co-operative societies, Panchkula, confirmed that the Assistant Registrar of Naraingarh had additional charge of Panchkula district.

The employees said only Panchkula had more than 800 societies. They urged the state government to depute a regular Assistant Registrar at the district.



37 students assured jobs
Tribune News Service

Bassi Pathana, April 1
The Mehar Baba Charitable Trust (MBCT) today held the valedictory day to award diplomas to 140 students of Lala Kanwal Nain Saluja School of Fashion Designing, Bassi Pathana, and students of Mata Harnam Kaur Learning Centre who completed a six-month training in computer basics and spoken English.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma was the chief guest who presented diplomas to students.

Around 25 girls have been placed at the Winsome Industries, which deals in manufacturing garments while 10 students were appointed by the Saketri Institute, Mansa Devi. Two students of Mata Harnam Kaur Learning Centre have been offered jobs as instructors at their training and vocational centre.



Train runs over man
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, April 1
A man died after being hit by a train on the Ambala-Kalka railway track here today.

The deceased has not been identified yet and the body has been kept at Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi for identification.

According to Lalru Railway Police in-charge Rampal, he received the information at about 4 pm today that a body was lying at the railway track behind Mubarikpur village here.

On reaching the spot they found that the body was cut into two pieces. It was established that he had died after being hit by the Ambala-Kalka passenger train. The deceased was apparently 30-year-old and seemed to be a migrant, he added.



Brother-in-law booked for rape

Rajpura, April 1
The Rajpura police today booked brother-in-law of a girl who allegedly committed suicide after being repeatedly raped by the accused for the past some time.

The deceased has been identified as Pooja, a resident of Lalru. Pooja’s sister was married to a property dealer in Rajpura. According to police officials, Pooja was staying in a separate house and was frequently visited by the accused, identified as Kishori Lal. He had been raping Pooja for past some time and was also harassing Pooja’s sister over petty issues.

A case has been registered against Kishori Lal on the complaint of girl’s parents. — TNS



One arrested with 1.25 kg smack
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 1
The police had arrested one person with 1.25 kg smack here today. The accused had been identified as Sukhinder Singh alias Maan Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village at Zirakpur.

The SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, said the international value of the narcotics would be around Rs 1.5 crore. He said the accused was arrested during the special operation launched by the CIA staff to prevent smuggling of drugs and narcotics in the district.

The police party successfully nabbed the accused while he tried to escape during the search of a bus at the GT Road, Sirhind.

A case under Sections 21, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act had been registered against the accused at the Sirhind police station. The interrogation was likely to reveal his further connections with drug smugglers.



Crop worth Rs 7 lakh gutted
Tribune News Service

Lalru, April 1
A sudden fire broke out in the wheat fields spread over 27 acre at Malakpur village today. The owners of the fields, Tarlochan Singh, Baljeet Singh, Jagtar Singh and Randhir Singh, called fire brigades to the spot. The farmers told The Tribune that the loss occurred was estimated to be around Rs 7 lakh.

After getting the information, a police party reached the spot and inquired the matter. The reason behind the fire has not been ascertained yet and the investigations into the case were on. The owners of the fields had demanded the claim.



Appointment of PEC Registrar
Suman moves HC against cancellation orders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Shiv Kumar Suman today asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court to quash the orders cancelling his appointment as Punjab Engineering College Registrar.

In his petition against the Chandigarh administration, the Home Secretary and three other respondents, Suman said the minutes of the selection committee, in which the petitioner was recommended for appointment, were signed on March 12.

The minutes were sent to the chairman, board of governors, for approval. But late in the evening, a call was received by IAS officer-cum-selection committee member Raji P Srivastava stating that the Homes Secretary had directed the withholding of the appointment letter.

Suman referred to newspaper reports carried the next day on allegations levelled by some union of the engineering college against him.

The chairman of the board of governors took cognizance of the reports and conducted a summary inquiry.

Eventually, the minutes were approved and sent to the director, asking him to issue appointment letter, which was indeed issued.

But again around 11.45 am, a letter was received from the Home Secretary directing against the issuance of letter till further orders.

Around 4.16 pm, another letter was received from the Home Secretary by the director, referring to some irregularities in the appointment; “and also invoking of the model code of conduct”.

Counsel said the authorities had taken shelter of the model code of conduct. He pointed out that no such reference had, in fact, been made to the EC for grant of approval.

After hearing preliminary arguments, Justice SK Mittal issued notice of motion for May 19 to the Chandigarh administration and others.



Man duped of mobile phone; 1 held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
The police arrested a Delhi resident on charges of duping a man of his mobile phone by replacing it with a dummy phone. The police recovered four mobile phones and 11 dummy phones from his possession, while his accomplice managed to flee.

The accused told the police that they targeted teenagers who wanted to possess expensive mobile phones without paying much.

According to sub-inspector Rajpal, the accused had been identified as 28-year-old Rizwan of Delhi. He is a tailor by profession and is a father of two.

The police said Harshmeet Singh of Sector 22-B had filed a complaint alleging that two persons in Sector 17 plaza had duped him of his Motorola V-8 mobile phone on Tuesday afternoon.

He told the police that the accused showed him several high-end mobile phones and offered 35 to 40 per cent discount on those.

The accused gave a demonstration of the features of the phones and convinced the victim that the phones were original.

He told the two that he did not have the requisite money with him, to which they offered to replace their phone with the one he had, a police officer said quoting Harshmeet.

Harshmeet alleged that he handed them over his mobile phone and the two put the phone shown to him in a packet before giving it to him.

When he reached home, he found a dummy phone instead of an original one in the packet.

He went back to the scene where he was duped and reported the matter to the Neelam police post in Sector 17.

The police tracked down the accused near the municipal corporation building in Sector 17.

A police officer said the two were apparently looking for another target. The two were on a scooter (DL 7 SAA 9384). While the police managed to arrest Rizwan, his accomplice fled.

Rizwan was produced before a local court, which remanded him in three-day police custody.



5 held with stolen railway property
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A team of Railway Protection Force (RPF) today arrested five persons, including a city-based junk dealer, with 2 tons of stolen railway property.

According to sub-inspector Sukhdev Raj of the RPF, he received a tip-off that stolen sleepers used in railway tracks were being off-loaded from a truck (HP 63 2903) at a junkyard in Industrial Area, Phase I, here this morning.

The sleepers were stolen from Shimla and a Shimla-based junk dealer was accompanying the persons who had brought the material to the city to dispose it of.

Sukhdev Raj constituted a team and reached the scene, where goods were being off-loaded from the truck.

The miscreants had camouflaged sleepers under other junk material. The police waited for the removal of the rest of the junk and when the railway material was being off-loaded they swooped down on the accused and arrested them with the stolen property.

The accused have been identified as Lala Khushi Ram, a junk dealer in Industrial Area, Phase I, Madan Singh, a Shimla-based junk dealer, Rajinder, truck owner, Puran Chand, truck driver, and Kuldeep Verma, cleaner of the truck.

A case under Section 3 of the Railway Property Unlawful Possession Act has been registered against the accused.

Sukhdev Raj said the Chandigarh police assisted them in the raid, which was supervised by RPF Commandant, Ambala, SZ Khan.

He said the accused were apparently involved in stealing of railway property earlier also and were part of an organised gang.

More cases of theft of railway property were likely to be solved during their interrogation.

Sukhdev Raj has been instrumental in busting of gangs involved in theft of railway property on earlier occasions and has arrested around 60 persons in the past.

He was recently given the best investigation officer award by Union Railway Minister Lalu Prashad Yadav.



Thieves strike at Industrial Area shops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Thieves struck at a series of shops in Industrial Area, Phase II, and made good with cash and documents.

According to the complainant, Balwinder Singh of BS Furniture in Industrial Area, Phase II, the theft came to light when his neighbour Krishan Goel of Goel Poly Products reached his shop around 8 am and found its locks broken.

His shop was ransacked and the locks of four more shops in the vicinity were also found broken.

Krishan informed Balwinder and others about the theft and they reached the scene. The police was also informed about the matter.

Balwinder alleged that a sum of Rs 15,000 were stolen from his shop along with documents, while a sum of Rs 2,000 was stolen from Goel Poly Products.

Another Rs 3,000 and some articles were stolen from Mann Auto Center.

He added that though locks of other two shops were broken, no loss of property was reported.

Balwinder Singh alleged that though the police reached the scene, it did not call for any forensic experts to lift fingerprints from the crime scene.

The police station-31 SHO said a case of theft had been registered in this regard.



Four booked for forgery
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
The Panchkula police has booked four persons for forgery and impersonation in an attempt to sell the land owned by a Hisar resident.

A case under the Sections 419, 420, 406, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B was registered against the accused identified as Gurnam Singh, Gyan Singh, Ashok Kumar and an unknown person who impersonated as the owner of the land.

According to the police, a resident of Kanauli, Udham Singh, alleged that the accused attempted to sell two acres land to him located at Bhador village near Barwala.

A resident of Khangesra, Gurnam Singh, and a resident of Raipur Rani, Gyan Singh, along with Ashok Kumar introduced him to a person claiming that he was the owner of the land, Sudhir Pannu. He even made a payment of Rs 8 lakh after the negotiation against the advanced money to the said accused, Udham Singh said.

Later, he came to know that they cheated upon him to dupe and the owner had no knowledge about the sale of the land. The police said while the three accused had been identified, the accused impersonating as Sudhir was yet to be identified.



Youth found dead
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 1
Body of a 24-year-old youth was found under mysterious circumstances lying in the fields of Barwala, here today. The deceased, identified as Rinku, a resident of HMT colony, was missing since yesterday.

Baljit Singh, father of the deceased, said Rinku left his home yesterday and did not return failing which the family was looking for him since then. His body was spotted by a farmer in the fields. Rinku, who was mentally upset, used to work as labourer.

The cause of death would be ascertained only after the postmortem as there was no injury mark on the body, said the police.



One held for snatching
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
A case under Section 379/356 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in the Sector-26 Police station, on the complaint of Chote Lal of Sector 26 against Roshan Lal of the same sector, who was caught while snatching a purse containing cash Rs 300 and some documents from the market of Sector 26 on Monday. The accused has been arrested.

Wine bottles seized

The Police has arrested Dalip Sahu of Sector 52, Chandigarh, from Kajehari Village on Monday evening and seized 12 bottles of country wine bottles from his possession. The case has been registered in the Sector-36 Police station under Section 14 of the Excise Act. The accused has been released on bail.


Mohinder Sethi of Sector 9 reported theft of his Swift Car No. CH-03-Y-4540m from his residence on the intervening night of March 28 and 29. The Police has registered a case under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code in the Police station, Sector 3.

The Police has registered a case under Section 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal code in the Police station, Sector 39, against Varinder of Solon district in U.P. who was caught while stealing a rickshaw of complainant Rajinder Yadav of Sector 37. The accused has been arrested.



Gurdwara chairman told to join probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Shekhar Attri yesterday directed Swaroop Singh, chairman of Gurdwara Sant Sar Sahib, Sector 38, to join investigations while granting him interim relief in a case of forgery lodged against him.

The police had registered a case against him for helping a criminal, Gurbhej Singh, alias Sonu, in procuring a passport using the forged documents.

A case was registered against Swaroop Singh, along with two others, under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 12 of the Passport Act on February 25.



Ropar Assn drub Bharti Vij Academy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
An unbeaten valiant century of Subir Hyer of Bharti Vij Academy, Sector 28, went in vain as the team was defeated by Ropar Cricket Association Academy by six wickets during the under-16 Inter-Academy Cricket Tournament for APJ Trophy being conducted by Chandigarh Cricket Association here on the Guru Nanak Public School ground in Sector 36, on Wednesday.

Hyer’s knock of 114 runs was stitched with 12 fours and one six. He played shots all around the ground to help Bharti Vij Academy pile a total of 246 for three in allotted 40 overs.

Sunny Pandey (42) was other contributor to the team. While Mahavir gave his team’s batting average a boost in the later part of the match as he struck a quick fire 26 in nine balls. For Ropar Academy, Karan bagged 2 for 45.

Batting second, Ropar Academy got a flying start, as its openers Lovelish (98) and Harmanjit (46) paved the way for the coming batsmen.

Chahat and Avinash were the other contributors scoring 24 for 17, respectively. With this the team easily achieved their target in 35.2 overs by scoring 249 for 4.

For Bharti Vij, Danish bagged 2 for 44.

In another league match played today on Mohali’s PCA ground, Mohali Cricket Association Academy registered an interesting two-wicket win over APJ Academy of Kharar.

APJ Academy won the toss and elected to bat. Gurpartap Singh (3 for 26) and Manish Kumar (2 for 23) were mainly responsible to restrict their innings to 116 all out in 35 overs. Anmol Singh top scored for APJ by posting 31 runs. Balwinder Singh was the second highest scorer with 25 while Kapil contributed 18 runs.

In reply, MCA Academy achieved their target by scoring 117 for 8 in 32 overs. Shamsher Yadav remained not out for 27, Shubham Rana and Pukhraj Singh contributed 21 and 19 runs, respectively. For APJ Academy, Parteek and Anshul captured two wickets each.



Haryana pugilists lift trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Haryana boxers bagged top honours in the 3rd Junior and 4th Youth Women National Boxing Championship held in Panjim, Goa, from March 25 to 30.

Haryana Youth Women Boxing got three gold, two silver and two bronze medals to clinch the overall team trophy in the 4th Youth Women National Boxing Championship.

While Haryana boxing team bagged the top honours in the 3rd Junior Women National Boxing Championship. The team got five gold, two silver and three bronze medals in the Championship. Neelam of Faridabad was adjudged the best boxer in the 38Kg category.

As many as 109 boxers (Junior) from 23 state and 185 boxers (Youth) from 27 state participated in the championship.

Alka of Gurgaon got bronze medal in 36 kg category. Sonia of CHSBA got bronze in 38kg category. While, Neelam of Faridabad and Neelam Saini of CHSBA claimed gold in 38kg and 46 kg category respectively.


46kg: Mamta of BBC- silver medal

54kg: Sonia of SAI, Hisar- gold

57kg: Rajni of SAI, Hisar- bronze

60kg: Pooja Rani of CHSBA- silver

69kg: Kavita of SAI, Hisar- bronze

75kg: Nirmala of Faridabad- gold

81kg: Nidhi Chopra of SAI, Hisar-gold.



Golf Meet
Mann, Ranjit in pre-quarterfinals
Donald Banerjee

Chandigarh, April 1
Big-hitter Gurbaaz Mann and Ranjit Singh of Chandigarh entered the pre-quarter-finals of the SRF All-India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship as one of the top favourites, S.S.P. Chowrasia, bowed out of the Rs 20 lakh prize money tournament at the Delhi Golf Club in Delhi today.

Mann and Ranjit Singh were the only two Chandigarh golfers who made the last-16 stage with other city golfers like eighth-seeded Harendra P. Gupta, seasoned Amandeep Johl and Randhir Singh Ghotra. Another seasoned city golfer Harmeet Kahlon licking dust on the opening day yesterday.

The tournament follows a knockout format, wherein, matches up to the semifinal stage will be played over 18 holes.

Gurbaaz defeated Amit Dube 2 and 1, while Ranjit sent Sanjay Kumar packing by a similar 2 and 1 margin.

Randhir Singh Ghotra fell 2 and 3 to top-seeded Mukesh Kumar while Gaurav Ghei got past Harendra Gupta.

Third-seeded Rahul Ganapathy edged out Amandeep Johl 2 and 1. Key players who were ousted today were top favourite S.S.P. Chowrasia, defending champion Arjun Singh and 6th seeded C. Muniyappa.

Joining the city golfers Mann and Ranjit in the pre-quarterfinals are top contenders Mukesh Kumar, Gaurav Ghei, Ashok Kumar, Shamim Khan and Rahul Ganapathy. The biggest win of day was Pappan's 6 and 5 win over 2008 Indian Masters champion Chowrasia. The pre-quarterfinals and the quarterfinals will be played on Thursday.



PU Inter-College Meet
SGGS Khalsa College break DAV’s bastion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
SGGS Khalsa College, Sector 26, broke thirty six year old supremacy of DAV College, Sector 10, as the Panjab University inter-college champion, this year.

SGGS bagged 838 points to bag first position and to annex the Sir Sadi Lal Trophy in sports excellency for 2008-09. This is college’s first-ever victory since its establishment. The college has been the runners-up for the past eight years in the inter-college championships.

“We have been working on getting this position and I think our hard work has paid off this year,” said Gurcharan Gill, physical education lecturer of the college.

While DAV-10 could only score 710.5 points and had to satisfy as runners-up. “We take it as a good sportsmanship, last year we had about 690 points and this year we have improved. SGGS also had more participation than us, that gave them an edge over us,” said Satish Gandhi, head of department physical education.

Meanwhile, the overall women championship was bagged by MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, which got 414.5 points. The runners-up trophy in the women category went to GGS for Women, Sector 26. The college was right behind the champions, as they scored 406 points.



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