C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


2 injured in fire at factory
Machinery, chemical worth crores destroyed
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, April 18
Two persons sustained burns and machinery, including chemicals, worth crores was damaged in a major fire that broke out at a factory of Punjab Chemical and Crop Protection Limited (PCCPL) here in the wee hours of today.

The victims have been admitted to a private hospital, where one of them was discharged after first aid. Around 25 employees were present at the factory when the incident took place. The fire was reported in one of the four units at the factory.

At least six fire engines from Mohali, Dera Bassi and the surrounding areas were rushed to the site. Dera Bassi fire station officer BS Sandhu said the fire broke out due to a short circuit. Expensive chemicals and machinery were reduced to ashes. He said the company had full operational fire-fighting equipment.

According to information, the fire broke out at 5.30 am on the second floor of the agro division of the factory when a short-circuit occurred and a wire fell on a chemical drum that immediately caught fire.

The employees tried to control the fire, but had to abandon their efforts as the fire spread quickly and gutted the agro division of the plant.

The fire engines reached the spot in 15 minutes. The employees said some blasts also took place due to the chemical stored in drums. The fire was controlled in three hours.

Factory officials said around 2,000 lt of foam was used and they helped the fire staff during the operation. The fire officer said the fire spread due to highly inflammable benzene stored in the factory.

The director of the company, Avtar Singh, said the agro plant had been destroyed and raw and ready chemicals worth crores had been burnt. He claimed that the estimated loss would be more than Rs 10 crore, but the exact loss would be confirmed only after going through the stocks details.



Liquor vend gutted
Tribune News Service

Fire-fighters at a liquor vend in Chandigarh.
A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 18
Fire broke out in the storage room of a liquor vend at Daria village here this evening. The blaze that started due to a short circuit gutted several cartons of liquor. No loss of life was reported.

Fire officials said the owner of the vend had stored a huge stock of liquor in the storeroom due to the onset of summer as the demand for beer shoots up.

The fire started at about 3.30 pm after power was restored to the area after a scheduled shutdown. Sources said the liquor contractor had stored the liquor illegally and had not made adequate fire-fighting arrangements. A number of such vends had not adhered to fire-fighting norms.



Corporal Punishment
When guru turns monster
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Is corporal punishment for “under achievers” at schools justified? Rules say “no”, but some feel that “fear” is necessary as it induced a child to study, regardless of the fact that the trauma suffered in school affects a child throughout his life.

The death of an 11-year-old student of a Delhi school following harsh punishment has raised doubts about the education culture prevailing in the country. Her fault was that she could not live up to the expectations of her teacher.

Discipline, as and when required, has to be firm, but gentle. Deriding children before the whole class only instills hatred in them towards school.

Supreme Court guidelines state that a child should not be humiliated physically. It’s the instant reaction that compels a teacher to assault children. Some teachers habitually hit children. This is a serious issue. Counselling can help maintain a healthy rapport between teachers and students

— CBSE national child counsellor

The role of parents is equally important, especially in nuclear families. Parents become too possessive about their children and don’t want them to be scolded even if they make mistakes. The best way is to involve parents if such a situation arises rather than target children

— Teacher/national awardee

Two days ago, a five-year-old child at a school in Sector 44 was beaten up so badly by his teacher that his ear started bleeding. His blunder was that he was talking in class.

The father of the child, a Sub-Inspector with the ITBP, brought it to the notice of the principal and things were settled “amicably”. The child, however, is scared to go to school.

Senior officials of the education department claim that all inquiries were fair, but in the absence of a transparent mechanism for such probes, some questions remain unanswered. A few weeks ago, around 50 students of GMSSS-32 were made to stand in scorching heat for coming late. The department ordered a probe, but no concrete action was taken.

DS Bedi, president of the Independent Schools Association, said the disturbed emotional status of a teacher often led to physical assault on students. To maintain discipline, a sort of space had to be maintained between students and teachers, but it should be done in a cordial manner. The child should be in the driver’s seat and the teacher should be the navigator to put things on track.

Madhu Behl, CBSE national child counsellor, said the Supreme Court guidelines stated that a child should not be humiliated physically. “It’s the instant reaction that compels a teacher to assault children. Some teachers habitually hit children. This is a serious issue. Counselling can help maintain a healthy rapport between teachers and students,” she said.

Surinder Singh, a national awardee, said: “The role of parents is equally important, especially in nuclear families. Parents become too possessive about children and don’t want them to be scolded even if they make mistakes. The best way is to involve parents if such a situation arises rather than target children.”



Bansal’s assets stand at Rs 3.52 cr
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The assets of the Congress candidate and MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, have more than doubled in the past five years. As per the affidavit filed by him along with his nomination papers here today, his assets, including property, jewellery, cash, share, bonds and debenture stand at Rs 3.52 crore.

This, in contrast to the details filed by him during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, is more than 100 per cent. His assets were worth Rs 1.64 crore then. As per the 2004 affidavit, Bansal had commercial and residential buildings, including an SCO and a house in Sector 28 in which he had 50 per cent share, one bigha land at Mehrauli, Delhi, and a flat in Nav Sansad Vihar Corporative Group Housing Society at Dwarka (Delhi). While the value of the flat was then stated to be Rs 25 lakh, the cost of half SCO was Rs 60 lakh. The cost of the Mehrauli land was Rs 5 lakh and the half share of the Sector 28 house came to Rs 65 lakh.

In his current affidavit, the Sector 28 house stands at Rs 3 crore and the Mehrauli land at Rs 5 lakh. His gains owe it to the rise in the market value of his property, shares purchased in the name of his wife and loan given to an educational society.

In 2004, Bansal had given a loan of Rs 9,88,736 to a heritage educational society, which has increased to Rs 28,46,598 this year.

In 2004, Bansal and wife had jewellery worth Rs 5,77,500 and Rs 40,980 in savings and policies of the LIC. Today, he has shares worth Rs 27,10,000 in the name of his wife and Rs 1,22,200 in tax savings and bar association benevolent fund.

In 2004, he had Rs 2,15,000 in cash, which has now gone up to Rs 4 lakh, including his wife’s income. Bansal had the same car then as now, and it’s cost has declined to Rs 1,25,000 from Rs 1,75,000.


Candidates file nomination papers
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Haffiz Anwar with his supporters in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 18
Four nominations papers were filed on the second day by the candidates of various political parties and independent candidates with four covering candidates. The candidates who filed their nomination papers included Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Indian National Congress and Haffiz Anwar-ul-Haq from the RJD and two independent candidates namely Gurcharan Singh Giani and Des Raj.

Bansal lead in filing the nomination papers at the Chandigarh Election Commission office.

He along with wife Madhu Bansal, CTCC president, B B Behl, Mayor Kamlesh , Councillors and supporters were also present when Bansal filed his nomination papers at 11: 20 am.

Behl has filed the papers as his covering candidate. Bansal has submitted Four sets of nomination papers to the Election Commission.

Bansal declared his assets worth Rs 3.52 crore, including property, jewellery, cash, share, bonds and debenture and cash deposits in banks and Behl has showed the property of Rs 10 crore in nomination papers.

Haffiz Anwar-ul-Haq from the RJD also filed the nomination papers at 12 noon today.

The low asset holder in today’s nomination was Gurcharan Singh Giani, who has property worth Rs 6 lakh whereas Des Raj another independent candidate has Rs 1, 80,462 in cash, house in Kurukshetra and one booth in Sector 20, Chandigarh
RJD candidate was seen wearing a garland of currency notes after filing his nomination. This is even though the Reserve Bank of India has been warne against the use of such garlands. "Such actions deface the bank notes and shorten their life. Bank notes should be respected as they are a symbol of the sovereign and misusing them enhances their life," the Central bank said in a statement issued on Wednesday

Des Raj, Independent Candidate, also filed his nomination papers and while talking to media revealed that he came to file the nomination yesterday also but his form was rejected, as it was not filled properly.

He said he was only middle pass so it was difficult for him to understand English in which the form was available.

He said he got his form filled by someone else. That fellow filled it wrongly so he had to purchase another one today. He demanded that forms should be available in Hindi and Punjabi also.

Raj has given the details of his assets at Rs 1,80,462 in cash, Rs 1,34,500 as bank deposit and jewellery worth Rs 20,80,000.

Another independent candidate Gurcharan Singh Giani also filed his nomination papers.

While talking to the media he stated that if he won the election he would make Chandigrah similar to Switzerland or Paris.

Meanwhile, spokesman of the commison revealed that as per the Election Commission of India’s decision, only five persons, including the candidate, were allowed entry in the RO's office and the complete process of filing of nominations was videographed.

Deputy magistrate did not allow anybody to file nomination papers before Congress candidate Bansal. Gurcharan Singh Giani alleged that when he reached the election office today he was asked to wait till Bansal files his papers. Even Haffiz Anwar-ul-Haq of the RJD believes that No 9 is very lucky for him, so he wanted to start his procession at 9 am from house No 9, Sector 9 for which he had made a request to the commission a week earlier. He said he got a message from the election commission’s office that he should come after 12 noon as Bansal was to file his papers in the morning.



Anwar’s assets Rs 2 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Accompanied by party president, Ravinder Kishan and thousands of his supporters, RJD candidate Haffiz Anwar-Ul-Haq, filed his nomination papers for the Chandigarh parliamentary seat with great fanfare and on the beat of drums.

In his declaration, Haq stated that he had assets of Rs 2 crore, which he and two of his wives and two children were holding jointly.

As per the affidavit, Haq is having cash Rs 60,000 and his wives and children have Rs 1,10,000. In banks he has Rs 9646 deposits and his wives and children have Rs 2,10,000. Haq has shares in listed companies worth Rs 1,83,388 and shares in unlisted companies worth Rs 1,50,000 and wives have shares of Rs 1,00,000.

Also, his children have an insurance policy of Rs 2,30,000. He has motor vehicles worth Rs 37,00,000 and his wives have vehicles worth Rs 5,00,000. The jewellery, which Haq has, is worth Rs 1,68,000 and his wives’ jewellery is worth Rs 14,56,000. He has an agricultural land in UP worth Rs 20,00,000 and a house in UP worth Rs 20,00,000.



IPL fever: Parties may rejig their campaign
Smriti Sharma

Tribune News Service

City residents glued to television on the first day of the second season of the IPL in one of the markets in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, April 18
Soaring temperature and the IPL fever may force the parties to rejig their election campaigns. After pushing the campaigning in the early morning and late evening hours due to the rise in the day temperature, now the parties are planning to make necessary changes in the timings keeping in mind the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, which began today.

While the venue of the IPL matches have been shifted to South Africa, nevertheless the frenzy among cricket buffs in the city remains unruffled.

Perhaps keeping this is mind, the parties are mulling over the possibilities to reschedule their campaigns for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Since IPL matches are not happening in India this time, so the frenzy may not be as much as it was in the last season. But since cricket fever is much bigger than anything else in our country, IPL cannot be taken lightly. So we will observe if it affects our campaigning and public meetings and if needed, we would reschedule the campaign”, said Keahr Singh Koundel, in charge BJP media cell.

The RJD functionaries whose candidate, Anwar-ul-Haq, filed his nomination papers today expressed similar views.

“The party is concentrating on youth. So for us it’s important that they be involved. And with cricket, youth particularly get involved. So we are definitely going to wait and watch and then reschedule the campaigning accordingly.

The BSP it seems is unfazed by the cricket popularity partly because of their target votes accumulated in the surrounding villages. The villagers are concerned about their basic needs than cricket. As of now, we don’t need to reschedule our campaigning. But, it cannot be ignored in the days to come, said a BSP spokesman.

With the Opposition contemplating the rescheduling of the campaigning, the Congress cannot be far behind. However, none of the party officials were available for comments on this issue. . With so many local cricketers playing in different IPL teams, one may expect cricket frenzy to overtake the electioneering.

Political observers also believe that with the IPL season spread over 40 days and coinciding with the last phase of campaigning, the cricket fever is bound to ball over the campaigning and candidates.



BJP, Cong activists join BSP
Tribune News Service

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal at the Election Commission office to file his nomination papers in Chandigarh on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, April 18
While BSP candidate Harmohan Dhawan promised better living conditions for the housing societies, Congress candidate Pawan Bansal stressed on the need for providing “affordable houses.”

While addressing people at Kendriya Vihar, Sector-48 B, Dhawan said poor infrastructure in the housing societies in the southern belt had been affected due to red tape.

“There are a few buildings that have not being passed hence the registration of the flats are not being done and owners who have paid lakh are feeling harassed,” he added.

He further stated that some housing societies were being charged commercial rates for water and electricity, which nobody had taken care.

Addressing another gathering at Sector 45, Dhawan assured that the residents of the housing board colony that the transfer rights of these houses would be initiated with the Chandigarh Housing Board on the priority basis.

Later in the evening Dhawan addressed public meetings at Sector 28 and Khuda Lahora.

Congress nominee Pawan Kumar Bansal today gave a clarion call to all those who wanted the ‘nation-building’ process to continue to give mandate to the Congress.

Speaking to a few persons at Makhan Shah Lobana Bhawan in Sector 30, Bansal stressed on providing affordable houses in the city. Clarifying the word “affordable”, Bansal meant that no employee would pay more than 30 to 40 per cent of his monthly salary as installment, which will not spread out more than 10 years.

“These houses will be allotted to the government and private sector employees accordingly and will be constructed on an area ranging from 300 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a rally organised by the INTUC in Sector 21 here, Bansal spoke about schemes like setting up non-polluting units in the residential areas.

Echoing the sentiments of the government employees of Chandigarh regarding the implementation the Sixth Pay Commission, Bansal said the delay was due to its non-implementation in Punjab. Provision for the Budget for this purpose had already been earmarked for the UT employees and it would be released to them as soon as Punjab implements the same.

Meanwhile, there was shuffling of activists in the parties today. The Congress and the BJP today received a setback when large number of their supporters joined the BSP.

Similarly, a large number of part workers and activists joined the BJP today Prominent among those were Pawan Kumar Mopy, president and general secretary Praveen Kumar Vicky of youth wing of the RJD, Prakash Kaur, general secretary, Chandigarh Mahila Congress, and youth club Maloya president Kamaljeet Singh.

Earlier addressing public meetings in Hallomajra and Group Housing Societies of Sector 50, BJP candidate Satya Pal Jain held the Central government and the Congress responsible for the price rise.

Jain today walked to Sector 18 and Indira Colony Mani Majra. He also addressed a meeting of senior citizens in Sector 35. 



Goyal promises better sports facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Ajay Goyal, an independent candidate, has promised to make the Chandigarh a sports city of India. Being an active sportsman he is contesting for the Lok Sabha elections from here.

Addressing a press conference today, Goyal promised to extend his support for the betterment of sports. “I will give at least 25 per cent of my discretionary fund to sports and will bring all necessary investments and supports required for making it the sports city,” said Goyal, who is himself a distance runner, golfer, sailor and a skier.

Expressing his dismay at the lack of making sports facilities accessible to the public, community centres and world class-sporting infrastructure Goyal said he would give topmost priority if elected Member of Parliament from the city.

Goyal also suggested cleaning up the empty plots in the city of rubbish and rubbles. “About two to four community centres can be set up with facilities like indoor sports, library, an online computer and sports equipment on loan to kids. I am confident that the UT administration, private sector, individuals and NGOs will join us in such initiatives,” he added.

A large number of sportspersons and coaches attended the press conference.



‘Curb misuse of technology to avoid disasters’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Observing that technology has to be used not only for early warning of disasters but also to manage relief operations at the fastest pace, Lt Gen Ashok Agarwal (retd), president of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), said misuse of technology should be curbed to avoid disasters.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the valedictory session of the two-day symposium of “Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management”, General Agarwal said cyber-crime and resultant disasters related with cyber-space and information were examples where misuse of technology was creating havoc.

The seminar was organised jointly by the IETE and Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) here.

Dr Pawan Kapur, director, CSIO, said we were in an area of hyper-specialisation where there had to be convergence of technologies through a synergic approach for mitigating misery caused by natural or man-made disasters.

Earlier, technical sessions were held on data networks, security and encryption devices, and intelligent sensors, devices and systems for public safety.

Speaking about intelligent sensors, NS Mehla from CSIO said such sensors could be used to monitor the health of strategically important civil structures like nuclear power plants. Dr AK Sahni, Professor Emeritus, Panjab University, touched upon the geo-physical aspects of earth, which he said was like an oasis in space.

Earlier, delivering the 21st Lal C Verman Award Lecture, Manohar N Sonnada from ISRO emphasised upon the importance of the methodology of reliability in satellite systems for space applications.



Smouldering Tinderbox-III
An apology for fire safety
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A visit to the sub-city centre comprising Sector 34 showrooms exposes major violations in buildings with fire-fighting equipment in a shocking state and hardly any safety measures having been adopted.

Most buildings here have major violations. Fire extinguishers are absent, parts of wet risers are missing and smoke alarms leave much to be desired. Negligence on the part of building owners to ensure fire safety measures makes this area another red alert zone. The Tribune team found that instead of mounting fire extinguishers at a proper place and refilling these on time, dust-laden fire cylinders had been kept in the storeroom along with spare parts.

The caretaker of the building claimed: “We had tried mounting these on the walls several times, but people would either steal the metal on the equipment or take away the entire set to sell at a cheaper rate.”

Electricity meter on the ground floor of another building was found next to a wet-riser, which could be dangerous in case of a spark. Also, temporary wooden shelves were near the meter, making the place prone to accident.

Even after repeated reminders and several visits by the fire department, followed by notices to showroom owners, no concrete action has been taken, a manager at one of the buildings admitted.

The Delhi Fire Prevention and Safety Act was extended to the UT in 1991. Most of these showrooms were constructed before that, but even after notices, the scenario is not any different.

“Most of these showrooms are owned by big shots and they do not take any action on notices,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.

Even simple measures like putting up an electric leakage circuit breaker to avoid damage in case of a short circuit are not being followed.

A tenant in one of the SCOs who runs a travel agency said: “Even as rental income from these commercial buildings is touching new heights, it is surprising that the owners do not take any initiative or spend money on safety measures. Will they wake up when some lives are lost due to a fire accident?”



City lacks effective trauma care: Doctors
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
The healthcare in city hospitals may have progressed by leaps and bounds, yet areas like emergency care for critically ill patients still lag behind. According to a PGI doctor, the lack of trained paramedics, hotline facility and ambulances often leads to more deaths.

As per figures available with the PGI, less than 20 per cent of emergency patients, including those coming to Chandigarh from outside, reach the hospital within the golden hour (the hour that stands between life and death). As a result, most of the patients lose their lives due to unavailability of timely medical aid.

What appears more alarming is the phenomenal rise in the number of missed rescue operations, where calls for help were received but could not be executed. Explaining the reason, the doctor said, “Delays occur due ?to late ?arrival ?of ambulances and that matters especially in highway accidents ?which are more severe.”

Also, when patients ?with emergencies have to reach hospitals during peak hours, there are delays. This brings us to another startling fact - that of the estimated 300 hospitals and nursing homes in and around city, only few have well-equipped emergency facilities.

Additionally, of the 12 to 15 ambulances ?that ply in the city, barely 10 per cent are equipped for providing pre-hospital care. What is more worrisome is the lack of “ambulance hotline.” As a result, ambulance could not reach the destination on time.

Head of the Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Prof Sunit Singhi also stressed on the importance of emergency care during the ongoing National Update on Pediatric Emergency. He said the timely recognition and appropriate treatment in the first few hours make a lot of difference to the patient’s life.

He further added that the need of the hour was to have trained personnel who could do the needful at the site during emergency. Presently, there is almost zero per cent training in emergency care.

Meanwhile, the conference deliberations during the day included respiratory emergencies, with special emphasis on pneumonia, upper airway obstruction, hemoptysis and wheezing. Chairing the session on respiratory emergencies, Prof Lata Kumar, the founder of pediatric pulmonology in North India stressed that every pediatrician should have good clinical knowledge for detecting and treating respiratory emergencies.



Plot allottees protest against GMADA
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 18
Members of the Plot Allotment Sangharsh Committee of Sectors 76-80 staged a dharna here today in protest against the failure of the GMADA authorities for holding a draw of lots for the remaining plots and also demanded the suspension of the GMADA Estate Officer (EO) for allegedly delaying the work of handing over allotment letters to plot owners.

The protesters raised slogans against the GMADA authorities and said if the problems of the allottees were not sorted out on a priority basis, they would stage a protest outside the residence of EO Subash Chander Rana on April 29.

Members of the committee alleged that the EO was deliberately holding up letters of allotment of plot owners and was not fixing a date for a draw of lots for the remaining plots. They said the EO had allegedly misplaced some documents from the files of the allottees.

Rana, however, said the allegations, being levelled against him, were baseless. He said the members of the committee had met him and he had told them that the letters were not being released because the election code of conduct had been enforced. He said he had asked them to get permission from the Election Commission in this regard, after which the letters would be handed over to the allottees.



Constable injured as pistol goes off
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 18
A constable of CID, Haryana, was injured with a gunshot under mysterious circumstances at the residence of a Punjab MLA in Sector 4 here today.

Rajesh Kumar, the injured constable, however, said the bullet passed through touching his temple after his pistol went off accidentally. He was cleaning the pistol when it went off, resulting in the injury to him at the residence of MLA Rana Gurmeet Singh, he said.

Rajesh, who was posted as gunman with Haryana DIG (crime) Shatrujit Singh, remained posted at the residence of Sodhi till recently.

Amarjit, a friend of Rajesh, said after the incident, he was shifted to the hospital by other security guards present on the spot. The staff of hospital said the victim seemed to have been suffering from depression. Rajesh was living with his family at Majri village. His wife Sudesh, however, denied any such condition of Rajesh. “He left the home for duty in the morning and was fine till that time,” she said.

Rana Sodhi, however, could not be contacted as his phone was found switched off, while the staff present on his residence said he had left for Punjab.

Panchkula Superintendent of Police Amitabh Dhillon said the police was looking into the matter. No case was registered till filing of the report.



Give peace a chance
Nidhi Arora

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
“We can move the world from culture of war to a culture of peace,” the followers of Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) carried the message today through photographic panels at the UN-supported exhibition.

BSG, Indian affiliate of Soka Gakkai International, an NGO, aims to promote peace across the world through an international exhibition “Building a culture of peace for the children of the world”.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof RC Sobti, who was also the chief guest, at the Government Museum and Arts Gallery, Sector 10, inaugurated the exhibition.

The 15-day-long exhibition consists of nine thematic segments on panels like barriers to peace, pattern of peace, action areas for peace, paths to peace, how to transform culture of war into culture of peace, etc.

The exhibition focuses on the power of each individual, especially the children and youth, to contribute in building a world of peace, says Anupama, one of the organisers.

Shreya Jain, a volunteer and member of Bharat Soka Gakkai, said: “It’s a wonderful experience being a part of this organisation and exhibition. I’m glad to share this hope with everyone that the real peace comes from within.”

Zufiquar Khan, president Theatre Age, said: “I feel encouraged seeing these young children participating and promoting peace through various panels. Even if one of these kids implement the displayed sayings/ teachings in real life, the changes will be visible. Preaching is easy, but it’s very difficult to implement.”

“We not only pray for ourselves but for the peace throughout the world, even for those we don’t even know,” smiles Gopal Sharma, who is a part of the organisation since 2000.



Guard’s Murder
Kin to undergo lie detecting test
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 18
Finding no headway in the murder case of Harjinder Singh, security guard of the main post office, who was murdered by unidentified persons on January 4, the police has decided to conduct a lie detecting test on the family members of the deceased.

The Superintendent of Police Amitabh Dhillon said the police was working on many theories and after investigations, it was apprehended that there were some missing links in the statements of relatives of the deceased.

40-year-old Harjinder of Jaisinghpura village had been missing since the intervening night of January 3 and 4, when he was on night duty. The post office was also found ransacked, however, nothing was missing from the spot.

Later, on January 5 his stabbed body was found lying in an isolated area in Sector 26.

Harjinder, who was working at the post office since 1992, was known for not opening the office gate in the night under any circumstances. The involvement of some acquaintance was not ruled out by one of the brothers of Harjinder.

“There was every chance that Harjinder had opened the door only after finding some one very confident on the door,” said Swaran Singh, younger brother of the deceased.



Atta dal scheme to woo voters
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

A hoarding shows promotion message of the atta dal scheme by SAD in Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, April 18
After cashing on its populist ‘atta dal scheme’ by printing a message ‘Koi ghar Na Rahae Rukha, koi Ghar Na Sonve Pukha’ on ration cards distributed recently, the slogans are now seen on roadside hoardings across the city.

It is pertinent to mention that the Election Commission had pulled up the government, when the manner in which the Akali government had found a novel way to bypass the model code of conduct, was highlighted in these columns. Photographs of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Pratap Kairon, ‘adorned’ with the above-mentioned message on the ration cards that are being distributed here recently.

A ration depot holder said timings of the paid advertising campaign was in an apparent bid to appease the “targeted” voters in the polls. Various families registered under the scheme are party’s potential voters.

The instructions of the Election Commission are that under the code, the announcement of new projects, programmes, concessions or financial grants, which have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power, was prohibited.



Peacock makes cops panicky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
A peacock, which injured itself by repeatedly putting its neck in an exhaust fan, created panic on the premises of the Punjab Police Headquarters in Sector-9 today. The peacock was spotted at around 10 am in the election cell office at ground floor. It sneaked into the office through the corridor adjacent to the office balcony from an underground parking.

An eyewitness revealed that the peacock could not find an exit. It got attracted by wind passing through the exhaust fan and tried to find its way out and in that process its neck got stuck in it. This made the officials panicky.

“What worried us was the fact that the bird was injuring itself again and again as it could not find an exit, ” said SP Paramdip Sandhu.

The PFA was called for rescuing the peacock.



Kingfisher starts direct flight to Jammu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Kingfisher Airlines today started a direct flight from Chandigarh to Jammu and Srinagar thereby making access to the Vaishnodevi Shrine for the city residents easier.

The 66-seater aircraft will fly at 9.30 am daily. With no direct train connecting the city with the Vaishnodevi Shrine, this direct flight has come as a relief for the devotees.

“The traffic to Vaishnodevi shrine has increased manifold and hence the need for starting a direct flight from the city was felt, ” said an airline official.

Sources revealed that besides devotees the flight is likely to become popular among corporate executives also, who are frequently visiting Srinagar recently.

Inaugurating the flight, Airport Controller, Sunil Dutt, said: “It’s an achievement for the airport as well, as we have crossed the mark of 10 departures per day now. We are eagerly waiting for the new terminal to come up, so that we can raise the standards of Chandigarh Airport even more.”

According to experts, tourism is likely to get a boost and the number of visitors to the city will increase as those coming from Mumbai can stop here rather than at Delhi while on their way to Jammu.



BSNL launches special schemes for broadband users
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
BSNL has launched a special scheme for the broadband users. It will offer discounts to those using broadband beyond their free limit.

The customers who are using 1GB to 5 GB will get 15 per cent discount, those using 15 GB to 10 GB will get 30 per cent discount while those using more than 10 GB will get 40 per cent discount.



PU: Free education for visually impaired
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
In a major decision taken during the Syndicate meeting, Panjab University is all set to provide free education to its visually impaired students.

The decision of granting 100 per cent relaxation in fee will be implemented from the coming academic session.

Next session onwards, the university will increase and reserve around 100 Army personnel seats in off campus management courses like PGDM in International Business and PGDM in entrepreneurship management. The forms for these seats will be available in Sector 14 and 17 post office and applicants with work experience will be given a weightage of 20 out of 100 depending on years of service.

“The decision was taken in the wake of Western Command’s appeal to reserve seats for the people with Army background, but we didn’t want to harm the general candidates so we increased the seats from 383 to 483 and then reserved 100,” asserted a syndicate member.

According to the sources, among other issues that rocked the house was the faulty constitution of selection committees as reported in certain sections of media. Tasrem Bahiya’s complaint to the Chancellor was discussed and many Syndicate members sought a clarification.

Meanwhile, most speculated decisions on the enrolment fee, delay fine on colleges, change in the name of Masters in English were deferred till next meeting.



Tips given to adolescents on health
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Under an adolescent education programme (AEP), a one-hour workshop for girls of classes VI, VII and VIII was organised at KB DAV School, Sector 7, here today.

Dr Ruchika Seth delivered a lecture and interacted with girls. A movie on growth and development was also shown to girls.

The session was one in the series of “Mother and Daughter Education Programme”. Girls participated in the discussion followed by a lecture from Dr Manisha Sahni, Simply Health Plus director.

Girls were also given tips on balanced diet, right amount of exercise, health and hygiene.

The in-house school doctor from Simply Health Plus Dr Sonia talked to students regarding the myths associated with menstruation. Students discussed their concerns about the hormonal changes.



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