C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rape in Nari Niketan
For UT Admn, it’s part of society
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Unruffled by the incident of a mentally challenged Aashrey inmate having allegedly been raped by a sweeper of her previous abode Nari Niketan, the UT denies any lapses on its part, maintaining that such incidents are “part of society”.

When confronted about the administration overlooking and being in a constant denial mode even after the repeated media reports about security lapses at homes like Nari Niketan(Sector 26), Aashreya(Sector 47) and Snehalya (Maloya), Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, asserted that all was fine.

“Who says security is not tight? I visited the place this evening and everything was fine. The administration has never overlooked anything. Now, after the revelation of this incident we have got the guilty arrested and even terminated,” he said.

While he almost swore by the security arrangements, he had to mark an inquiry when The Tribune reported the case of a 13-year-old mentally challenged girl having gone missing from Aashreya on April 1. Though the girl is untraceable till now, the administration recently issued instructions to beef up security by setting up barbed wires, grills etc. A visit to these institutes brings one face to face with the high risk these inmates are subjected to.

These special homes were recently inaugurated with great pomp, but the administration has ruthlessly ignored certain basic directives. Low boundary walls, minimum surveillance, lone surroundings and in cases like Snehalya adjoining girls and boys hostels are just certain things that have so far failed to catch the attention of those at the helm of affairs.

Worse still is the persistent attitude of hushing up the matters. When The Tribune highlighted the escape of an inmate from Snehalya on March 20 (Snehalya fails to provide that human touch) and pointed out various anomalies like plastic fence, no gate and no guards, the administration not only insisted that all was fine but also victimised the NGO suspecting it for informing the media.

Meanwhile, the girl’s claims of having been raped allegedly by this sweeper inside the toilet with one of the female employees’ aid have raised several questions. Despite the directives regarding the entry of males in such homes, how come his 
activities went unnoticed? As per the rules, such mentally challenged girls ought to get regular counselling, if it was being done wasn’t any behavioral change noticed? Were they not able to detect her missing periods during their medical checkups? When she was shifted from Nari Niketan, wasn’t her pregnancy detected in the mandatory transit medical checkup? 

To seek abortion nod from HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Chandigarh administration will seek permission from the court for Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) of the Sector 26 Nari Niketan rape victim.

Confirming the move, Home Secretary-cum-Health Secretary Ram Niwas told The Tribune, “We will move an application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court tomorrow for seeking permission of MTP.”

A decision was taken in a meeting held at the Home Secretary office today. “The rape victim is an adolescent with 10-week pregnancy. Also, she is mentally retarded. We will follow the court directives,” said the officials. 


Mr HS, entering Aashreya is a child’s play
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Contrary to tall claims by the Chandigarh Administration and UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas, entering the so-called “secure” Aashreya, where mentally retarded patients, including the 16-year-old girl who was raped in Nari Niketan, are lodged, is indeed a child’s play.

The Tribune took reality check of the situation and this correspondent not only entered the compound by scaling the back wall but also went around the campus unchecked and then walked out of the gate without anybody checking her and asking the purpose of her roaming around freely.

The walls of Aashreya are short in height, enabling a trespasser to scale and enter it easily.

Initially I was sure of being caught considering tall security claims by the administration, but, alas, these proved wrong.

For full 15 minutes I walked around the compound, crossing the security guard at the gate at least twice, and then even went inside the building and chatted with the inmates with ease. Though the conversation with them made no sense, the mere thought of how easily vulnerable they were left me amazed.

As I entered the premises no one questioned me about my identity. I climbed the stairs and reached the first floor corridor where the “restricted entry” sign welcomed me. I smiled and walked on, as there was no one to restrict me and reached the room where the inmates were lazing around.

The only time I was asked a question was when I approached an attendant to inquire about the whereabouts of the rape victim from Nari Niketan. “Are you from GMCH-32,” the attendant asked and when I said no, she just walked off.

After my chat with her, I decided to walk through the main gate hoping that at least the guard will question me. But that also didn’t happen, leaving me wondering how easy it was to get in and get out of the campus and what security arrangements Mr Niwas was referring to.



Samples of accused, foetus taken
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The Chandigarh Police has taken samples of Bhupinder Singh, accused of raping a 16-year-old mentally retarded inmate of Nari Niketan, and the foetus for matching to confirm whether he had impregnated the victim.

The police officials said though the victim nodded in affirmative when the accused was produced before her in the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital yesterday night, yet they do not want to take any chance. The police said as the victim was not mentally fit, the scientific evidence would help in taking the case to its logical end.

Sources in the police said the investigators today took the victim to Nari Niketan in Sector 26 to reconstruct the events. A police officer said the girl was incoherent in speech and was also confused in narrating the sequence of events. She required assistance from a psychologist or some social worker to be able to explain the incident. According to sources, the police is also probing the probability of the victim being misled or used to word somebody else’s tune.

A senior police officer said they were even contemplating getting a statement of the victim recorded before the magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As the victim was not mentally fit, the psychiatrist or some other person, in whose company she feels comfortable to narrate the incident, would be required, he added.

The police is also examining the role of two women, Kamlesh and Kamla, employed in Nari Niketan, who were named in the first information report. The case was registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by a social worker - Pragati Pandey - of Mohali, who works as medical and social worker at Aashreya Home for Mentally Retarded Children in Sector 47.

She told the police that the victim came from Nari Niketan to Aashreya on March 13 this year. She was complaining of uneasiness for the past over 10-15 days, she added.

The victim was medically examined on May 16 in which she was tested positive for pregnancy. On being asked, the victim told them that Bhupinder had allegedly raped her six-seven times. The matter was then reported to the convener of Aashreya - Mani Ratnam - and the victim was taken to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital on Monday. The medical examination again confirmed that she was eight-ten week pregnant and the matter was reported to the police.

A police officer said the timing of the pregnancy and the shifting of the victim from Nari Niketan to Aashreya were also creating doubts over where the victim was raped. The police said the DNA matching would give a direction to the probe and they would initiate action against the persons suspected and named in the FIR accordingly.

Meanwhile, Bhupinder, a resident of Maloya, pleaded not guilty and maintained that the DNA samples would bring out the truth. Bhupinder is married and is a father of two. He has been working in Nari Niketan for the past four years. He was produced before a local court today which remanded him to judicial custody. 



Victim in a state of shock
Anuja Jaiswal/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Sitting on a bench in the compound of Nari Niketan, 16-year-old rape victim Rekha (name changed) is yet to come to terms with her traumatic experience.

The last few days have been quite hectic for her - she was medically examined first to check her pregnancy and then again to verify the age of the foetus - and since yesterday, she has been questioned by many to get her account of the story.

Shy and reserved, but yet playful, Rekha, who is mentally retarded with an IQ level of 61 per cent, is smart enough to not to talk to strangers and visibly gets uncomfortable with a new face around. However, after much persuasion and assurance from a nurse that “talking to didi” (this reporter) is safe, she starts narrating her horrific experience in her stuttering and not-so-clear voice. “I was taken to the bathroom, where Bhupinder bhaiya (the accused) asked me to take off my clothes. When I refused, he slapped me and forcibly undressed me and made me lie down on the floor,” she told this correspondent, who had managed to sneak into the “so-called” high-security Nari Niketan, where Rekha was brought for questioning by the GMCH 32 staff.

When asked who took her to the bathroom, Rekha said that the “moti” (fat) Kamla, a sweepress, had taken her there. She said this had happened at least four to five times and then she was shifted out of Nari Niketan.

As she narrates the incident, the sight of fat lady walking in the compound angers her and she retorts, “Yehi woh aunty hai jo mujhe le jati thi. Yeh pagal hai.” She said Kamla used to call her out of the dormitory usually late in the evening after other inmates had slept off and take her to the toilet where Bhupinder was waiting.

While none of the officials at Nari Niketan was willing to talk about the incident, some inmates claimed that there was a lot of “mismanagement” there. They also claimed that some women were even physically abused by the staff.



Aashreya inmate missing
Police still clueless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The police is still clueless about the whereabouts of Sunita, a 13-year-old mentally retarded inmate of Aashreya, an institute for mentally retarded, in Sector 47 who ran away fro the home.

Following the escape of the inmate, an inquiry was marked following which grills were installed as Sunita jumped across the low-lying wall on March 18. The authorities concerned have just registered a DDR at the Sector 31 police station.

When questioned finance secretary Ram Niwas said, “I had marked an inquiry following which the decision was taken to improve the security at home. To beef up the security, the grills were installed as the walls were too short and appropriate measures were taken.” The girl was shifted from Nari Niketan to the institute on March 13 this year. The escape of Sunita from the home is an indicator of the poor security arrangements and living conditions at the home.

It seems that the administration is also taking the issue lightly as the mentally retarded inmate has been missing since March 18 and she is still not traceable.



Jail warder held taking Rs 5,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Sleuths of the CBI caught red-handed Satish Kumar, a warder of Model Jail in Burail, while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a relative to of a jail inmate. The accused had reportedly promised to provide better facilities to inmate Jaswinder Singh Rocky, who is lodged in the jail in connection with the Dimpy murder case, against the money.

According to CBI (anti-corruption cell) DIG Mahesh Aggarwal, the accused was arrested after laying a trap in which he was caught red-handed while taking the bribe.

Satish was arrested from his residence in Dadu Majra Colony in the wee hours today. It was alleged that besides promising facilities to Rocky in the jail, he also threatened the family of the inmate that in case they failed to meet his demand, he would harass the inmate in the jail.

Rocky’s cousin Gurvinder Singh of Fazilka lodged a complaint with the CBI following which the trap was laid. CBI sources said the accused told to deliver the amount at his residence. A CBI team also searched Satish’s residence after arresting him. A case under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused.

Satish was produced before a local court, which remanded him to one-day police custody. While pleading for a custodial interrogation of the accused, the CBI said they wanted to recover a mobile phone from the accused on which he made demands for the bribe. 


Health Hazard
Industrial units carry out spray painting in the open
Tribune News Service

Spray painting on a steel almirah under progress at the Industrial Area phase II.
Spray painting on a steel almirah under progress at the Industrial Area phase II. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 19
Not caring for the prescribed norms, several shops in the Industrial Area-II here, dealing in the manufacture of almirahs and steel furniture etc have been executing the spray painting job on their products on open government land.

This poses a danger to the health of workers in adjoining units who have to bear the brunt of harmful chemicals from the paint squirt.

When a Tribune team visited the Industrial Area II, it was found that the paint job on steel almirahs was in full swing in the open by Krishna Steel Furniture.

PJS Dhadhwal, Additional Director, Environment, when apprised of the situation, said, “It is absolutely illegal to have the spray paint job in the open. I can understand the pitiable conditions under which the adjoining traders have to live. I will personally look into the matter on a priority basis,” he assured.

Proprietors of Shiva Appliances Private Ltd, adjoining this plot, rued that they had been suffering from this menace for the past five years.

“We have requested Krishna Steel to do the paint job either within their plot limits or at the back of the market, but it does not pay any heed to it. Now, the whole day the paint job is done here in the open, which is public land and we have to tolerate the smell of harmful chemicals throughout,” said Inderjeet Singh, director of Shiva Appliances.

Similar violation was noted at Ganesh Steel Industries at plot no 550, where spray painting was under way in the open.

Ravinder Kalsi, a trader, complained that the matter had been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned many a time but in vain. “ I have been writing complaints to the environment, health as well as the industries department on many occasions but till date nobody cared to check this nuisance,” he said. 



Sec 42 lake closed for cleaning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
With the Chandigarh Administration undertaking the process of cleaning the new lake at Sector 42, the water body has temporarily been closed for the general public.

According to a press note, it will involve the removal of lake impurities by completely drying it up and refilling it with fresh water. The process will take around 15-20 days.

The man-made lake, like any other artificially created water body, requires cleaning up periodically, as silt starts to deposit with time along with aquatic algae of other unwanted growth, underlining the need for regular cleanliness.



Rain brings relief

After days of scorching heat, Chandigarh cools down after a short spell of heavy rain on Tuesday.
After days of scorching heat, Chandigarh cools down after a short spell of heavy rain on Tuesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 19
A light spell of rain accompanied by winds this evening brought relief to residents of Chandigarh, who had been witnessing sultry and steep rise in temperature for the past few days.

According to the meteorological department, the city received 2 mm of rain. The maximum temperature recorded was 41.6 degree Celsius and minimum temperature went down to 29.6 degree Celsius. The residents enjoyed the first rain of the month with black clouds hovering on the horizon in the evening. There was an expression of smile and relief on their faces, as in the daytime hot winds continued to blow with ferocity. — TNS



Car turns turtle as vehicles collide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Occupants of Tata Safari and Tata Indigo car had a miraculous escape this afternoon when both vehicles collided in Sector 46, here. According to eyewitnesses, Indigo car was coming from Sector 32 and entering Sector 46 when Tata Safari coming from the other direction rammed into the co-passenger side of Indigo car.

The impact was such that Indigo car turned turtle before landing on the road divider.

The occupant of the car, identified as Arjun, escaped with minor injuries, while the driver of Safari car sped away.

He was later intercepted and both parties reached a compromise, said the police.



Face-off between woman, ASI
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 19
A Punjab Police ASI lodged a complaint with the police that a woman resident of Chandigarh used abusive language against him and tried to tear his uniform today. The woman, Aruna Kumari, has also lodged a counter-complaint that ASI Ram Darshan hit her when she was at her friend’s showroom in Phase VI here.

Aruna Kumari was arrested and the ASI was also booked.

The police said Ram Darshan was called to the showroom by the woman’s friend. The woman friend called him on the pretext that she would effect a “compromise” regarding certain complaints and counter-complaints lodged earlier with the police by Aruna Kumari and Ram Darshan against each other.

When the ASI reached the showroom, he was not aware that Aruna Kumari was also there. Aruna Kumari appeared at the showroom and allegedly abused him and tried to tear his uniform, the police added.

Ram Darshan and Aruna Kumari were involved in some dispute. Their earlier complaints against each other are being inquired into by the SP (City) and a DSP.

The police registered a case under Sections 353, 186, 506 of the IPC against Aruna Kumari who was later arrested. Ram Darshan was also booked under Sections 506 and 323 of the IPC.



Monika, Manzur Alam shine in poetry contest
SD Sharma

Panchkula, May 19
The Forum of Senior Citizens in Education (FCSE) organised a poetry recitation contest on the theme, “National Integration”, in collaboration with the Haryana Urdu Akademy at their complex here today. Since India is a multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi- cultural country, it is imperative to make people aware about the significance and importance of national integration, disclosed general secretary Dr S Kumar.

Besides students from various schools, non-formal education institutes like madarsa and senior citizens too participated in the contest.

Contestants from the madarsa were more articulate and expressive. Poet Shamas Tabrezi led panel of judges.

Winners in respective categories, including Monika, Gaurav Sharma and Dulari from schools, Manzur Alam from madarsa, besides RK Jain and Satinder Trikha in the senior citizens category were presented mementos.

The forum also honoured eminent poet litterateur Padamshree KL Zakir for his immense contribution in the field of literature and education.

Earlier, forum president SS Kaushal welcomed audience and elaborated objectives, future plans and programme of the forum.



Those who could not vote

Name Address

Kedarnath Gosain 101, Sec 27-A, Chd

Ravinder Gosain ,,

Neena Gosain ,,

Sanjeev Sachdeva 2167, Sec 22-C

Amanpreet Sachdeva ,,

KD Sharma 13, Bana

Madanpura P’kula

Chaman Lal 1683/2, Sec 29-B

Rajeev Prakash 1192, Sec 8-C

Rajkumari 285, Sec 32-A

Anil Kumar Bhayana ,,

Punam ,,

Gurmel Singh 2909/1, Sec 42-C

Gurinder Kaur ,,

Simardeep Singh ,,

Nimardeep Singh ,,

Bandeep Kaur ,,

Mohinder Singh Dhillon 2412, Sec 35-C

Harbir Kaur ,,

Krishna Rani SCF 17, Sec 21-C

RM Talwar ,,

Manju Talwar ,,

Abhishek Talwar ,,

Vikas Talwar SCF 20, Sec 21-C

Nidhi Talwar ,,

Ajit Talwar 3295, Sec 21-D

Ruby ,,

Jasjit Singh Ahluwalia 145, Sec 36-A

Hardev Walia ,,

Santosh 54, Sec16-A

Surjit 1612, Sec7-C

Sunil Arora 1144, Sec18-C

Col HS Gill 224, Sec 36

Sat Pal Puri 971, HIG, Sec70, Mohali

Krishna Puri ,,

HS Randhawa 82, Sec 27-A

Balbir Kaur ,,

Janak Chand 356, Sec 45-A

Ajit Singh 2231, Sec 37-C

Rajinder Kaur ,,

Kuldeep Singh ,,

Amrik Singh ,,

Nirmal Kaur ,,

Gurmeet Kaur ,,

G Surjit Singh 563, Sec10-D

Simrat 563, Sec10-DJagdish Mitter Kausch 1013, Sec18-C

Chander Kausch ,,

Harbhajan Singh HL-499, Phase VII, Mohali

Paramjit Singh Bedi 305, Sec38-A

Sunder Dass 226, Sec19-A

Janak Raj ,,

Kewal Krishan ,,

Santosh Rani ,,

Geeta Rani ,,

Kashmiri Lal 1058-B, Sec41-B

Santosh Kumari 1058-B, Sec41-B

GS Aggarwal 1876, Sec34-D

Sudarshan Arora 17, Sec15-A

Roshan Lal Chopra 151, Sec9-B

Sheil Chopra ,,

Jyoti Sharma 152, Sec11-A

Balbir Singh Sohal 197, Sec11-A

Berinder Sohal ,,

SS Virdi 199, Sec16

Dr Gurdeep Kaur ,,

Vijay Kumra 621, Sec18-B

Veena Kumra ,,

Krishna Kumari ,,

Ashok Kumra ,,

Neerja Kumra ,,

Deepak Kumra ,,

Kanchan Kumra ,,

Amit Kumra ,,

Manan Kumra ,,

Kamlesh Sehgal 683, Sec12-A, P’kula

Suman Kumar 384/1, Pipliwala Town, Mani Majra

Mulkh Raj 2539/3, New Indira Colony Manimajra

Ajit Kumari ,,

Sunil Datt ,,

Seema ,,

NK Sharma 2304, Aastha Apartments 
Sec 48-C

Pishori Lal Passi 3863, Sec 32

Khasti Rawal 1617/1, Sec 40-B

Bahadur Singh Rawal ,,

Ramesh Singh Rawal ,,

(To be continued)



New Courses at PU
BSc in Tourism

The course is available at University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism, Panjab University.

Requisite qualifications: The students who have qualified 10+2 examination with any subject combination can apply. Admission will be on merit basis for this year only, after which there will be an aptitude test.

Professional edge: The course opens the immense job opportunities at all levels in the ever-growing tourism industry. The course is first of its kinds as it gives the requisite vocational training in the field at graduation-level. Post this course one can look for options in places like Tourism Ministry or entities like Incredible India, Travel Agencies and Travel magazines. Moreover, this course being provided by this university lends it a brand value to be encashed in the job market.

Director’s take: “The Tourism industry is growing and this course is designed keeping in mind its need. The fact that it’s a graduation-level course sets it apart from others, as the applicants shall be way ahead from their counterparts going in for such courses after graduation. Admissions to this course will be started from this academic year and will be on the basis of Class 12 marks,” said Prof Lalit K. Bansal, director-In charge (UIHMT).

For details contact: Hotel Management and Tourism (UIHMT), operating through office of CIIPP (near SBI) Panjab University, Telephone No. 0172-2779426.



PEC, PU face power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Students of Panjab Engineering College and Panjab University had to face inconvenience today because of prolonged power cuts. According to the students, there was no power since 7 pm.

“There is no light either in hostels or library. How do we study for our exams scheduled for tomorrow? We have been trying to speak to our authorities to get information from the electricity department but nobody is bothered. Many have headed to the food street with a hope of having some light there,” said a PU student.



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