C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Patiala Blast
Police yet to find source of scrap bomb
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 28
The police is still groping in the dark about the source of the “scrap bomb” that killed five members of a family here yesterday. This was the fifth such incident in five years, exposing the laxity of the administration in dealing with unregulated sourcing of metal scrap in Patiala and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the SSP, Arpit Shukla, has sought help from the Army authorities to determine the type of explosive, a team of Chandigarh CFSL forensic experts visited the blast site at Sikriband mohalla today. They collected samples of shrapnel from the bodies of the victims and the walls and roof of the house.

“We want to know if it was an Army explosive. Since, Paro, who had apparently found the scrap (of which the live bomb was a part), was killed, we have no clue about the source of the bomb. She might have purchased or picked up the scrap from somewhere in routine. We are trying to ascertain the source of the scrap,” the SSP said.

Sources said a large portion of the scrap used in the industry and foundries was sourced by some parties from abroad also and the “scrap bomb” might have been a part of such a consignment.

Though the administration is on its toes whenever such incidents take place, nothing concrete has ever been done to contain the problem of unregulated sourcing of scrap by people in the trade.

In 2005, Dimple Kumar, a scrap dealer, had got killed in a similar explosion at the Lehal area of the city, followed by another expolsion at the Badungar locality in 2006, wherein three persons lost their lives.

The other explosions took place at Bahadurgarh and SST Nagar in 2008. The sources pointed out that most explosions had taken place when people dealing in scrap had tried to extract brass from round objects, which in fact were said to have been live Army bombs that found their way in scrap after improper disposal of old scrap items by the Army authorities.



Accounts officers irked over pay scales
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 28
Discontentment is brewing up among the Punjab State Accounts Service Association. The association has expressed its discontentment over the pay scales recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission for members of the association.

The association has stated that their scales were lower than the scales implemented by the Central government, particularly when compared to the section officer and accounts officer of the Central government.

The pay scales of the Central government senior account officer is Rs 15,600-Rs 39,100 plus Rs 5,400 as grade pay, whereas the Fifth Pay Commission, Punjab, has recommended the pay scales of Rs 10,300-Rs 34,800 plus Rs 5,400 as the grade pay for the state government employees.

Association president Darshan Singh Saini and organising secretary SP Sharma said as per the recommendations of the commission, the grade pay determined seniority of the scales.

Hence, the scales of the Central employees were higher than the Punjab scales. Moreover, their scales had been clubbed in pay band-2 with junior assistants and senior assistants, who were group “C” employees.

The posts of controllers (F&A) or additional directors alleged that Saini and Sharma had been downgraded with the pay band of Rs 15,600-Rs 39,100 plus Rs 8,400 as the grade pay, whereas the pay band-5 (Rs Rs 37,400-Rs 67,000) had been given to pre-revised scale of Rs 14,300-Rs 18,600.

Besides this, the Central government has recently given the pay band-5 (Rs 37,400-Rs 67,000) to Lieut Colonels whose unrevised scale was Rs 13,500-Rs 17,150.

The association demanded better pay scales from the implementation committee as their cadre officers had to work with different heads of the departments and had to do multifarious duties relating to fiscal work, Central schemes, purchases, estimates committees, DDO powers, meetings, etc.



Traffic disruption continues on Day 2
Commuters stranded for over two hours

Our Correspondent

Kalka, April 28
Traffic disruption continued for more than two hours on the second day on Kalka-Charnia road that connects NH- 22 to NH-21-A (Pinjore-Nalagarh highway).

Due to the traffic congestion, hundreds of daily commuters to Baddi remained stranded. Schoolchildren suffered the most as school buses to Kalka, Pinjore, Parwanoo and the adjoining area also remained stuck in the traffic jam. The students reached their school late.

It is pertinent to mention here that the department of Railways yesterday started the repair work of approach road surface and rail track of level crossing Gate no-138-B (Pinjore-Nalagarh road). The maintenance work was being carried out between 8 am to 8 pm in context with repack and necessary periodic maintenance of the rail track to prevent further deterioration.

There was a dire need of repair work for the safety of train operations that continued today, causing traffic jam on the Kalka-Charnia road.

The residents of Kalka and Pinjore have sought an immediate construction of the proposed Surajpur-Manankpur village on NH-21-A mini bypass.



Rude shock for ex-MLA
Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Bumb (Samrala), April 28
Five years ago, former MLA, Amrik Singh Dhillon, accompanied by a former Ropar MP, Shamsher Singh Dullo, laid the foundation stone of a dharamshala in the village seeking votes for the Congress candidate from the Fatehgarh Sahib seat, Sukh Dev Singh Libra, the former MLA.

On Monday, while addressing a gathering in the courtyard of the complex, villagers reminded him of the building that was still waiting for an electricity connection. However, grant had been released for the building.

In the absence of electricity connection and other basic amenities, the public money spent on the building was going waste. When the Tribune team confronted him on the issue, Dhillon was caught off guard before he could ask his supporters on the issue, one of them said panchayat had no money to apply for the connection.

Old timers remembered that on January 31, 2004, the MLA had laid the foundation stone of an extension of the building. The building constructed by the Rural Development and Panchayat Department was in bad shape.



Devinder vows to fight corruption
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 28
Former deputy speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Bir Devinder was welcomed by 
supporters at his ancestral village Kotla Bhai. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and local Akali leaders were also present during the occasion.

Bir Devinder said he had joined the Akali Dal to fight against corruption. “Whenever I raised a voice against corruption, I was given a notice by the high command. No leader would have received so many notices,” he said.

Sukhbir Badal said their party had become stronger with the joining of Bir Devinder. He alleged that the Congress was responsible for disrupted power supply in Punjab for the last few years.



Cancer, diabetes awareness camps
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, April 28
A local Mehar Baba Charitable Trust organised diabetes and cancer awareness and women empowerment camps at Peerjain village, near here, yesterday.

Prof HS Mejie, founder trustee MBCT, inaugurated the camp. Narinder Singh Mejie, adviser, presided over. Prof Mejie said the trust had initiated diabetes and blood pressure awareness camp in the 135 villages adopted by the trust. Besides, “cancer rook” a breast and cervix cancer awareness project with the support of the MKC Trust, England, had also been started.

The MBCT Ladies Field officers briefed the women about diseases and registered the village ladies for free check up. He said a mobile cancer bus equipped with Siemens mammography machine would visit the villages for check up.

Bawa Singh, president Block Samiti, Kulvir Singh, sarpanch, Jaspal Singh, former sarpanch, Harpreet Kaur, ASHA worker, Daljeet Kaur, Aganwari worker and Bhag Singh, panch also addressed.



Annual day at Kendriya Vidyalaya
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 28
Kendriya Vidyalaya No 3, Patiala, today celebrated its annual day on its premises. SPS Khurana, education officer, was the chief guest on the occasion. AS Sandhu, principal, welcomed the guests.

Students presented a cultural programme, including Rajasthani dance, and Punjabi dance. A Hindi play, “On duty”, highlighted corruption prevailing in society and English play, “The Merchant of Venice”, presented by the senior students were highly praised by audience.

The other items like Himachali dance, group dance and group songs were equally enjoyed and applauded by all participants and the audience. The annual report was presented by the senior students to highlight activities and achievements of the school during the session 2008-09.



Workshop on soft skills
Tribune News Service

Banur, April 28
Hero Mindmine Institute conducted a one-day workshop on soft skills at Aryans Institutes of Management and Technology (AIMT) yesterday. Ramanpreet Singh, a business development manager, and Raman Grewal, a trainer, were the speakers on the occasion.

The workshop was organised for over 150 students of BBA and BCA with the objective of stressing on the importance of communication skills among the students especially while going for placements.



Panel to check candidates’ expenses

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 28
District election officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Surjit Singh today formed a three-member committee to examine expenditure of candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

He said as per directions by the Election Commission it was important for all candidates to disclose the entire sum of money spent in the campaigning process. — TNS



Arms Seizure
Police remand for cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
A local court today remanded Balbir Singh, a head constable of the Chandigarh police, from whose residence illegal arms and ammunition were seized yesterday, in one-day police custody.

Sources in the police said Balbir Singh had been misappropriating with case properties lying in the malkhana of police station-17, where he was posted as malkhana in-charge from 2001 to 2004.

Besides three revolvers and three pistols of various calibre and 83 live cartridges, including six empty ones, the police seized five cameras, two camera flashes, three ceiling fans and 70 other sundry items, which were also case properties kept at the malkhana.

The police said they would verify the records and match the entries to find out when and how the accused managed to misappropriate with the malkhana property.

The way the accused had been taking away the case properties had surprised the police department.

A police officer monitoring the interrogation of the accused told the TNS that the accused had taken away the weapons for the sake of possessing them, as he had not tried to sell them.

Moreover, the weapons, which are rusted as these have been lying unused for years, could not fetch him much.

The police said they would verify the records to find out if any other police officer was involved in the stealing of case properties.

The police said a committee was formed in 2002 involving top police officials, including DIG, SSP, DSP and SHO of the police station, to dispose of the case property after the disposal of case by the court.

There firearms were seized during the days of insurgency and notifications regarding the disposal of case properties were passed by the administration from time to time.

The investigators will check the notifications to find out the prevailing guidelines at that time. Only then will they be able to pinpoint the responsibility of the supervising official.

Sources said the police would also take up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner’s office requesting them to check their records regarding the disposal of case properties.

ASP (central) Madhur Verma said they were verifying the records.



Disproportionate assets case
HC suspends Jerath’s sentence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Less than a fortnight after a special court convicted Chandigarh’s former Chief Engineer KK Jerath in a disproportionate assets case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court not only suspended the sentence awarded to him, but also admitted his appeal.

In a petition placed before Justice Rajiv Bhalla, Jerath contended that the special judge “erred in law and facts by convicting the him, through the impugned order dated April 10”. As the impugned order was against law and facts, it was liable to be set aside.

Elaborating, Jerath contended that the special judge erred by concluding the income and assets of relatives BK Khanna, Kapil Jerath and Savita Jerath were to be considered his income and assets, as there was ample evidence to prove that they had their own independent resources and income.

Kapil is the former Chief Engineer’s son, while Savita is his wife. Khanna is Kapil’s father-in-law.

Jerath asserted that the special judge wrongly held that an industrial plot in Panchkula belonged to him even though there was overwhelming evidence on record to suggest that Khanna and Kapil Jerath had jointly purchased it for their business. It was duly established that the appellant had no link in any manner with the purchase of the plot.

Again, the special judge erred by treating a plot in Panchkula to be Jerath’s asset, counsel Deepak Sibbal asserted.

The plot was purchased by Savita Jerath through her independent resources. Agricultural land, too, had been purchased by Savita and the special judge wrongly held the money obtained by her from the HUF account to be treated as money provided by the appellant.

Sibbal added that in view of the law settled by the Supreme Court and the High Court, the special judge erred in relying upon the statements of witnesses before the income tax authorities to return the finding of guilt against the appellant.

Besides, the special judge wrongly treated the entire jewellery found at the house and in the jointly held locker to be Jerath’s asset, despite documentary and oral evidence to the contrary.

Sibbal concluded that the financial transactions of the appellant’s family could not have been linked with Jerath in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in “DSP Chennai vs K. Inbasagaram”, which was cited before him. The appellant’s case is fully covered by the judgment.



Consumer Courts
Negligence costs GMCH-32 Rs 10 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the GMCH-32 to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to complainants from Ambala in a case of negligence. Holding the hospital authorities guilty of callous attitude that led to the death of 24-year-old Harsh Sudan, the forum also asked the institute to refund Rs 3.5 lakh incurred as medical expenses, along with Rs 2,500 as cost of litigation.

MP Sharma, father of the deceased, said his son met with an accident near Dera Bassi in 2004. He was taken to the Civil Hospital at Dera Bassi, from where he was shifted to the GMCH-32.

He was given traction by Dr Raj Bahadur and his team, as his left femur was fractured.

His parents said Harsh complained of chest pain the next day, but the doctors ignored it. Later, the doctors received medical reports stating that he had developed fat embolism, but he was still kept on traction.

On April 19, his condition worsened and the doctors informed them that there was no spare ventilator in the hospital. Thereafter, the victim was shifted to another hospital where he died on April 25.

The GMCH, however, denied that fat embolism had developed due to the negligence of its doctors.

The hospital further clarified that ICU beds were occupied that day and the facility of a ventilator could not be extended to the patient.

While pronouncing the orders last year, the forum observed that out of the 19 ventilators in the hospital, 15 were non-functional. There was no report by any doctor on when a report was made regarding the defective ventilators.

The commission held: “In view of the discussion we find that there was glaring medical negligence and administrative deficiency in service on part of the hospital in providing medical care to the deceased. It is also unfortunate that in spite of availability of abundant medical literature on the subject confirming that in such cases immediate surgery was life-saving procedure, the committee of doctors under Dr R Sen has tried to justify the delay in operating the patient even though admittedly basic parameters of the patient at the time of admission in the hospital were stable and he could have been easily operated upon at that time.

Such an effort on part of doctors only reinforces perception in the mind of general public that doctors firstly do not come forward to give any expert opinion in cases of medical negligence to prove the same and they only give views to cover up negligence on part of doctors.”



Rape Case
Court frames charges against two
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 28
A Panchkula court has framed charges against the two accused of raping wife of defence personnel at Command Hospital under Section 376 of the IPC.

District and Sessions Judge SP Singh on conclusion of arguments in the case yesterday framed the charges. Earlier the court rejected the bail plea of one of the accused on March 4.

The case dates back on November 22, 2008 when two employees of Command Hospital allegedly raped the wife of an Air Force officer when she went to the hospital for her treatment.

According to the complaint lodged, the 39-year-old victim alleged that she went to the hospital for physiotherapy of her shoulder when Naik Hottam Singh, ward in charge, raped her.

She alleged that Naik Iftikhar Khan, a nursing attendant, also molested her. Later, Hottam Singh told her that another person, Raj, had filmed it. While Hottam and Iftikhar were arrested, the police during investigation revealed that no such person in the name of Raj was involved and the accused also forced the victim not to complain.



Property dealer kidnapped, shot at
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 28
A 25-year-old property dealer Gulraj Singh Randhawa was seriously injured when four armed youths shot him in the Industrial Area Phase VII late this night. The victim was kidnapped by the assailants from near the Hanuman Mandir in Phase 3-B2 and dumped near Quark City after being shot at.

Police sources said that a property dispute was behind the incident.

Presuming that Gulraj had died the assailants fled in their black colour Tata safari. A profusely bleeding Gulraj was taken to the civil hospital in Phase VI where doctor after attending on him said his condition was stable.

Talking to The Tribune a close associate of the victim said Gulraj along with his doctor friend Jai Singh Chimma and a college friend Manu Singh were having a stroll when the Safari screech to a halt near them. On the pretext of talking, one of the assailants Ramnik Maan who also work as a property dealer in Panchkula pulled Gulraj into his vehicle and sped away along with his accomplice.

When his friends raised an alarm the police logged a search to track down the kidnappers. The victim was finally track down to an isolated spot near Quark City. Later taking to The Tribune, Gulraj said one of the identified assailants had a property dispute with him. He said first the gun was aimed at his chest but when it was fired the shot accidentally hit his legs. The police after recording the statement of the victim has registered a case and launched a manhunt for the assailant.



Lakshay upsets top seed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
The second day of the ongoing YMCA Total Tennis Championship saw top seed Sanchit Thakur of Panchkula eliminated by unseeded Lakshay Sofat in under-14 category during the second round by 6-1 in just 25 minutes’ time. The event is underway at Sector 11 YMCA courts, here.

In another tie, top seeded Sumit Pal Singh of J&K was too good for his unseeded opponent Iman Guron in the boys’ under-10 category. Sumit registered a one-sided affair defeat to Iman 6-0 in just 20 minutes.

Second seed Rishabh Sharda of Chandigarh beat Arvind Sethi by conceding just one game by 6-1.

In the boys’ under-12 category, top seed Sumit Pal Singh and second seed Santbir Singh beat their respective opponents with an identical score of 6-0.

The results:

Boys’ under-10 second round:

1. Sumit Pal Singh beat Iman Guron 6-0

2. Manoneet Singh beat Prusharth Dhull 6-2

3. Himank Chawla beat Savneet Singh 6-2

4. Sagar Bains beat Shivam Vij 6-5 (7-1)

5. Anmol Rattan beat Rashbeg Singh 6-0

6. Adeesh Bansal beat Gaurav Seth 6-2

7. Shrome Kapoor beat Krishnam Gupta 6-4

8. Rishabh Sharda beat Arvind Sethi 6-1

Boys’ under-12 second round:

1. Sumit Pal Singh beat Aditya Srinivasan 6-0

2. Ketan Sood beat Karanvir Hooda 6-0

3. Aankush Nagpal beat Harshdeep Trehan 6-1

4. Aditya Kansal beat Sanchit Dhiman 6-1

5. Vaibhav Rattan beat Aniket 6-4

6. Sachit Malhotra beat Harsehaj Singh 6-4

7. Anchit Gupta beat Aniket Singh 6-3

8. Paras Mittal beat Rishabh Sharda 6-5 (7-3)

9. Birgurman Singh beat Sidharth 6-1

10. Sahil Yadav beat Sahil Rawat 1-0 conceded

11. Lakshay Sofat beat Harshwardhan 6-1

12. Sarthak Bhardwaj beat Prusharth Dhull 6-0

13. Yogesh Dahiya w/o Devamardeep

14. Ayush Verma beat Prabhman Thapar 6-2

15. Sameer Vats beat Savneet Singh 6-0

16. Santbir Singh beat Anmol Rattan 6-0

Boys’ under-14 second round:

1. Lakshay Sofat beat Sanchit Thakur 6-1

2. Prithvi Grewal beat Paras Mittal 6-5 (10-8)

3. Sunny Singh beat Anchit Gupta 6-2

4. Rohtas Singh beat Prabhsimran Bal 6-5 (7-5)

5. Manjot Singh beat Abhi Goswami 6-4

6. Dhruv beat Samir Vats 6-0

7. Nikhil Kaswan beat Aditya Bansal 6-5 (12-10)

8. Rahul Seth beat Ankush Thakur 6-0.



Gurkirat, Shivika chess champs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 28
Gurkirat with 15 points and Shivika with 9.5 points emerged winners in the under-13 boys’ and girls’ segments, respectively, on the concluding day of district-level Chess Championship on the premises of The British School here today. While Navjot and Kshitij bagged gold medals in the under-11 and under-15 categories, respectively.

The tournament was organised by the Chess Association of Panchkula, an affiliate of the Haryana State Chess Association, and recognised by the Haryana Olympic Association and School Game Federation of India.

The joint Secretary-cum-regional officer of the CBSE, DR Yadav, was the chief guest on the occasion. Around 300 children participated in the event. Meanwhile, secretary-general of the association Kuldeep Sharma said the winners would represent Panchkula district in the state-level championship to be held in Jind from June 12.



Bhullar all set for Rs 20 lakh PGTI event
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 28
Gaganjeet Bhullar of Kapurthala, who turned 27 yesterday and is ranked 14th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, leads the challenge in the Rs 20 lakh prize money PGTI Players’ Championship which gets underway on the greens of the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur tomorrow.

Also in the fray are Chandigarh golfers Harendra P Gupta and seasoned Harmeet Kahlon, who will be rubbing shoulders with the top names of Indian professional golf such as Mukesh Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Shamim Khan, Rahul Ganapathy, Rahil Gangjee, Mohd Siddikur Rahman, Anirban Lahiri, C Muniyappa and Vijay Kumar in the event to be held from April 29 to May 2.

The Aircel-PGTI combine is instrumental in bringing men's professional golf back to the Pink City after a gap of 17 years.

“The sand-based greens will give a tough exposure to the professionals,” said captain of the course Madhukar Chaturvedi.

“The Jaipur Players' Championship is yet another step forward in our endeavour of taking golf to every part of India,” said PGTI director Padamjit Sandhu.



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