C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman foils robbery at P’kula BJP chief’s house 
Four miscreants try to hold family to ransom
Tribune News Service

Fire in air

The miscreants put the gun at Sanjiv’s temple and fired three shots in the air from the window of the car. Sanjiv said the miscreants were carrying seven guns and they didn’t try to hide the weapons even at the Ambala toll plaza.

‘100’ fails to respond

The police control room number failed to respond once again. “As soon as the robbers fled, I dialed 100 but it was engaged. I then dialed 101 but the person on duty refused to pass on the information to the police,” said Sumedh.

CCTV grab

The police has got the CCTV grab of the robbers from the toll plaza. Sources said the Panchkula and the Himachal police have sealed the escape routes at Baddi and raids were on to nab the miscreants. 

Panchkula, April 25
Presence of mind and courage shown by the wife of a tenant foiled a robbery bid at the house of Panchkula district BJP chief Sham Lal Sachdev here today.

The woman, Veetu, raised an alarm forcing the miscreants to flee. However, before escaping, they fired two bullets at Veetu. The robbers also took away a new Mercedes car of Sachdev, which was later recovered from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.

It was the handiwork of highway robbers, who, finding not much with the BJP chief’s son Sanjiv Sachdev, whom they waylaid near Karnal last night, kidnapped him and took him to his house at Panchkula with a motive to hold the family to ransom, said the police. Sanjiv’s mother Lakshmi and son Sumedh were accompanying him in the car at the time of the incident.

Sanjiv, who is working with an export company in Delhi, said he, along with his mother and son, left Delhi at around 10.30 pm in his Mercedes car. They had tea at a ‘dhaba’ at Murthal and it was after he crossed the toll plaza at Karnal, a Honda CRV stopped in front of his car and signaled him to stop.

A smartly dressed youth came out of the car and told him that the rear tyre of his car was bubbling. As soon as he got down, the youth took him at gunpoint, asking him to sit in his vehicle. The two of the three youths took control of his car and threatened to kill his mother and son in case they raised an alarm, alleged Sanjiv.

All four youths, in their mid-twenties, spoke Hindi and Punjabi and seemed to be conversant with the topography of Panchkula, he said. Taking him hostage in one car and his mother and son in the other, the miscreants asked Sanjiv details of his family. They then decided to take them hostage at their house in Panchkula. Reaching Panchkula, they asked all members of the family to assemble in the drawing room.

After the six family members, including Sanjiv’s wife and daughter, reached the drawing room, the youths asked Sanjiv’s son to call the tenant’s family in the room. “I knocked at the door and Veetu, the wife of the tenant, came out without switching on the light. She asked the reason for coming at this time,” said Sumedh.

A miscreant told her that there was a kitty party in Sachdev’s house and they were supposed to reach there immediately. Suspecting something wrong, Veetu reached the rooftop and raised alarm, forcing the miscreants to flee in Sanjiv’s car. However, before fleeing, they fired two shots at Veetu. 



Poll door slammed on 5
Tribune News Service

In Fray

Pawan Kumar Bansal (Indian National Congress), Satya Pal Jain (BJP), Harmohan Dhawan (BSP), Haffiz Anwar Ul Haq (RJD). Goswami Vishwa Bhushan (Janta Dal United), Paras Nath, (Apna Dal).

Independents: Ajay Goyal, Kafil Ahmad, Khem Lal Bansal, Darshan Singh, Des Raj, Maya Devi, Ram Pal Hans, Vijay Setia and S.K. Suri

Chandigarh, April 25
SAD (Amritsar) contender Vansen Massey and BSP (Ambedkar) contestant Subhash Tamoli were among the five candidates whose nomination papers were rejected following discrepancies in their credentials during scrutiny today.

Terming it as autocratic attitude towards minority communities, both candidates raised protest against officials of the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner’s office.

The reasons cited by the Returning Office for Vensun Massey was that he did not sign on Part III and III-A of the nomination papers while in Subhash Tamoli’s case, his proposer’s voter no 322 at Serial No 8 did not match the official electoral roll list.

The first timer Vansun, meanwhile, refused to accept the intimation letter about the rejection of his nomination papers at the RO office. “I am going to seek judicial intervention. When the nomination papers were being accepted, the officials at the RO office should check it.

Subhash Tamoli, too, was taken aback after receiving telephonic information at 12 noon from the RO office about the rejection of his nomination papers. He accused Congress activists of having malafide intentions. “When I reached the RO office, the Congress activists were already sitting in the RO office. Moreover, I was not handed over any written explanation of rejection of my candidature. I was informed through telephone only”, he said.

Independent candidate Surinder Pal Chauhan, too, was depressed for cancellation of his candidature. The objection raised by the RO office was that he had not signed part III-A of the nomination papers.

Surinder Pal claimed that contents of the columns in Part III-A were not applicable to him and as per footnote of form No 26, there was least necessity to sign it. “I have not concealed any facts in Part III-A as I was not involved in any criminal case till date, neither any case was pending nor have I ever been convicted in any criminal case. So I just struck off as this part was not applicable to me. Even if it was required, I must have been informed but still we should be given chance to rectify it keeping in mind the interest of thousands of my supporters and voters, ” he said.

The papers of another Independent candidate Gurcharan Singh Giani was also refused as the particulars of only seven of his proposers were furnished instead of mandatory 10, in part II of the nomination papers. His proposer Naresh Kumar also did not mention his age in Part III of the nomination papers and the electoral roll of the proposer at Sr. no. 10 had been mentioned as 413, which did not exist in the official electoral roll.

Nevertheless, Independent candidate Ajay Goyal was lucky enough to file two sets of nominations. Despite minor variation in one set, his other set came to his rescue.



15 barred from taking engg exam
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
At the Chandigarh College Of Engineering and Technology, 15 students were barred from appearing in the examination on the pretext of not having attended requisite number of classes though they had got their admit cards well in time.

As per norms, admit cards are only issued to those students only who have requisite attendance levels, but in this case, realisation dawned on the authorities only on the day of examination, when according to these students, not only they were forced out of examination hall but were also marked absent for the paper.

The incident that happened day before shocked all of them as according to them the college prior to this had never informed them about it and they had even got their roll numbers without any difficulty.

“If our attendance will have been short as per the norms, we will not have got our roll numbers until it was complete. When we had our admit cards, how could they bar us from appearing?” said one of the students.

“This is not justified. As per norms, we should have been informed about short attendance well in time so that we can complete our lectures in remaining days of the academic session, but the college never did so. Even though as per rules, the students with short attendance are not given their roll numbers, but we got them easily so had no idea. We came for the examination and they forced us out and marked us absent. How could they do so?” added another.

DS Pabla, Principal of the college, said, “They just have got a reappear in that specific subject and that too because their lectures were short in it.”

His reaction has surely infuriated the students, who plan to approach PU authorities against him, accusing the college of causing them academic loss because of its callousness.



Passengers forced to get down from HR bus
4 CTU buses stopped in retaliation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Around 50 passengers were forced to get down from a Haryana Roadways city service bus HR-68-0886 (route PGI to Ramgarh) at the Sector 17 ISBT at about 6.30 am today. Reason: conflict between employees of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) and the Haryana Roadways (HR) over the plying of buses on each other’s routes.

In retaliation, three hours later, several HR employees stopped four CTU buses on the road between Sector 9 and 17 in Panchkula.

Tempers ran high between the employees of the CTU and HR later, which resulted in the halting of six HR buses at the Sector 17 ISBT, putting the passengers to great inconvenience. These buses were scheduled to lift passengers for route no 90. (from PGI to Ramgarh).

The CTU drivers did not let passengers board the HR buses and these empty buses were found parked at the Sector 17 ISBT. The CTU employees also objected to the stationing of HR buses at the CTU counters.

The HR driver Dharam Pal also accused the CTU workers of stopping his bus No HR-68-9358 at Sector 16-17 lightpoint last evening also.

“Around 30 passengers for Panchkula from the PGI were made to get down midway and I was threatened with dire consequences by the CTU employees against plying of our buses on this route,” said the driver.

The HR workers said that as per the inter-state reciprocal agreement, the HR buses had been scheduled to run by the Chandigarh administration only, as the CTU buses were running in Panchkula.

On the other hand, CTU Union general secretary Raj Kumar said the CTU buses had been running in Panchkula for the past 30 years. “But as per the CTU policy, no state transport undertaking bus could run beyond bus-stand points at Sector 17 and 43.”



Crash diet for zero size ‘dangerous’
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Thin is in and almost every young girl in the city today is striving for that hourglass figure or that zero-size Karishma Kapoor look by going on crash diet or even starving.

But this, in the long run, can end up with serious eating and psychological disorders (called anorexia nervosa), which could lead to serious body dysfunctions affecting kidney, liver and thyroid, say experts.

Dr Manju Mathur, head of nutrition at the GMCH-32, says: ‘‘With the aggressive marketing strategies, most of which comprise skimpily clad models, teenagers are getting caught in this vortex where they want to starve themselves to look good.’’

In the bargain, they end up with menstrual disorders, brittle nails, hair loss and increased growth of fine hair all over the body. In extreme situations, menstruation stops altogether, says Dr Mathur. “The disease is more common in higher socio-economic groups,” she adds.

After a level, both anorexia nervosa and its sister disorder, bulimia nervosa are more psychological than physiological. Bulimia is the condition in which an individual will incline, usually on high-calorie ‘‘comfort foods’’ like chips, pastries and chocolates and then adopt inappropriate methods of weight-control like vomiting. Often they will go so far as to use diuretics or laxatives to ‘‘purge’’ themselves.

‘‘Both are psychiatric disorders and can also be the symptom of some other underlying psychiatric disorder. Bulimia is often associated with anxiety or with obsessive compulsive disorders when the person is trying to eat himself or herself out of a tension,’’ says Dr BS Chavan, head of the psychiatry department at the GMCH-32.

Dr Chavan, who has handled at least three anorexia cases in the past one year, says, “there might be more adolescent girls suffering from anorexia, but only a few cases come out in the open.” Not only girls, eating disorders have young boys in its grip too. However, the ratio is 1:10 (1 male per 10 females).

The lack of awareness among parents adds to the problem. Most of them do not understand the severity of the problem, say psychiatrists. According to western studies, almost 5 to 20 per cent of anorexia nervosa patients die as a result of the disorder. And 25 per cent remain chronically ill.

‘‘Parents tend to ignore it when their kid’s food habits become irregular. And when it becomes severe, they approach a general physician. They should rather go to a psychiatrist as the disease is more psychological,’’ says Dr Savita Malhotra, head of psychiatry department, PGI.

A case study of 15-year-old Amrita (name changed) in this context is an eye-opener. She came the GMCH-32 with distortion of body. She lost 14 kg weight in one month and refused to eat anything with a drop of oil in it. Dr Manju Mathur said her weight was 59 kg and she reduced to 30 kg in seven months by going on a crash diet even on starving.

Whenever she felt hungry, she used to drink only water despite doing several hours of heavy exercises. Though she got a thin look, she ended up in hospital with anorexia nervosa - or loss of appetite.


Corporate sector urged to fight poverty 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A national conference and business summit on corporate sector's contribution in poverty alleviation in India was organised by Dr IT Group of Institutes at CII auditorium here today.

People belonging to various fields participated in the event.

The symposium was inaugurated by Justice JS Narang (retd), director general, State Judicial Academy, Chandigarh. Prof SC Vaidya, dean university instructions, Panjab University, was the keynote speaker.

Candidates for the Chandigarh Parliamentary seat Pawan Kumar Bansal and Satya Pal Jain shared the dais, though in different sessions, to air their party's views on poverty.

While welcoming the distinguish guests and explaining the objective of the conference, Deepti Batra, CEO of the Institute, said the prime focus of the conference was to evaluate the role of corporate sector's contribution to the poverty alleviation programmes and its impact on the overall economy of the nation.

She said they were also looking at developing an understanding about poverty in India by providing common platform to policy makers, academia, researchers and industry professionals to exchange dialogue and share their ideas.

Justice Narang described it as one of the major concerns of the country. He said a serious effort was sought from the policy makers of the country and also by the corporate sector to get rid of it.

Dr PP Arya, MD, Dr IT Group of Institutes, said the contribution of the corporate sector had been restricted to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and it remained more of a propaganda mileage rather than real contribution to the welfare of the poor.

He said the corporate sector should design a policy to contain the poverty and socio-economic inequalities, which prevail in our society. Prof Vaidya informed the audience that according to a recent estimate of the World Bank, one-third of the global poor now reside in India.

He said a 2007 record by the state-run National Commission for Enterprise in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) found that 77 per cent of Indians earn less than Rs 20 per day with most of them working in informal labour sector with neither job nor social security, living in abject property.

The country had been left as one of the world's poorest countries, said Prof Vaidya.



Ray of hope for Super Bazar staff
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
Employees of the erstwhile Super Bazar have another chance at hope. Taking up an appeal filed in the matter, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the administration to see if they can be absorbed, or in alternative given the benefits of the voluntary retirement scheme.

As the matter came up for hearing, the Division Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur observed: “We are of the considered opinion that it will be appropriate to direct the Finance Secretary, UT, Chandigarh, to examine the matter and file an affidavit as to whether the employees of the erstwhile Super Bazar can be absorbed or whether the employees are entitled to the benefits of the voluntary retirement scheme".

Before parting with the orders, the Bench also fixed July 15 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Over 200 employees were depending upon the bazaar for their livelihood. They have been facing uncertainty since long with the case witnessing twist and turns.

In March, 2003, the high court had quashed the orders directing the winding up of the bazaar with about 50 outlets. Challenging the orders of winding up the bazaar and the appointment of a liquidator, Hem Raj and other petitioners had earlier contended that it was violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.



Lawyer, cop enter into scuffle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
A lawyer entered into an altercation with a security guard at a District Courts gate while inspecting judge of the District Courts Justice K.S. Garewal was busy inspecting the courts complex here today.

The altercation took place at 11am when constable Kulbir Singh stopped advocate Bhag Singh Sihag for checking when he was entering the court complex.

The security guard, ASI Kuldeep Singh, also insisted on checking the lawyer that added fuel to the fire and other lawyers came in support of advocate Bhag Singh Sihag. The president of the District Bar Association intervened and tried to solve the matter.

Lawyers alleged that the ASI on duty was drunk, however, nothing came out after medical test of the cop.

The lawyer and the cop later entered into a compromise and no FIR was registered.

Meanwhile Justice K.S. Garewal held an annual inspection of courts. He observed the proceedings of the courts. He requested judicial officers to expedite the trial of old cases. While addressing the lawyers at the Bar Room, Justice Garewal exhorted the lawyers to cooperate with the courts in reducing the pendency of cases.



Golf Club elections today
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 25
Decks were cleared for the 2009 elections to the Chandigarh Golf Club with the court dismissing a civil suit filed by Col B.S. Goraya seeking permanent injunction against five former governing council members of the club here today.

The elections will be held tomorrow soon after a general body meeting scheduled for 10 in the morning. The counting of votes will be held on Monday.

There is a straight contest between Birinder Singh Gill (Gilly) and Lt-Col A.P. Singh (AP) for the post of president.

There are 14 members in the fray for 11 governing council seats. Those in Gilly's panel are Col A.D. Singh, Alamgir Singh Grewal, Balbir Singh Mangat, H.S. Kang, I.P.S. Mann, Jaspal Singh Sidhu, Madhu Brar, R.S. Bedi (Tony), Satwant Singh Sandhu, S. Kumar and S.P.S. Ghai (Nippy).

Col A.P. Singh' s panel includes Col Gurdeep Singh Gill and Col S.S. Gill (Sardul), while T.L. Verma is in the fray as an independent.



Govt schools get week to upgrade computer labs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 25
The Education Department has directed the authorities of the eight government schools, which were inspected today, to upgrade their computer labs within a week.

A departmental team led by DPI (Schools) Smawartak Singh visited three government model senior secondary schools in sectors 10, 23 and 37, three government model high schools in sectors 37, 41 and 36, Government High School in Sector 41 and Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 37.

The team found that these schools lacked infrastructure. These schools neither had any Internet facilities in the computer labs nor were the computers placed properly.

Sources revealed that during visit to the three government schools in Sector 37, it was found that not even a single computer lab was having Internet connection. Officials stated that in a few schools the labs were established in a single room were so congested that the students could not use computers comfortably.

The officials stated that these eight schools had been directed to install multi-user Internet facilities in their labs. The team had directed the schools authorities to make the computer labs functional within a week.

The team also inspected the science labs and libraries in these schools. The officials stated that the authorities had been asked to equip the science labs with the latest facilities so that the students’ knowledge could be updated.

The officials stated that the team also directed the authorities to subscribe newspapers, periodicals and the books for students at the earliest.



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