C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


It’s official. Highway robbery solved
75 revolvers and pistols, one carbine, 10 shotguns and cars recovered
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

SI’s son involved too

Jaipal, another member of the gang, was also arrested by the Punjab Police today. Jaipal, who is a son of a sub-inspector in the police, was a most wanted criminal. Though the place of arrest was not confirmed, the police raided some hideouts of the gang at Ferozpur and Hoshiarpur.

Behl not contacted

Interestingly the Haryana Police, claiming to have arrested the robbers involved in the two incidents in the tricity, did not bother to contact the victims even for the verification of the accused.

While the family of the Sachdevs at Panchkula had been to abroad, Behl, who was their latest victim on May 27, said he came to know about the arrest of the accused when he saw the news flashing on TV channels only.

“I was never contacted by the police in this regard and I even was not informed whether the Honda Civic recovered from the alleged robbers belonged to me,” said Behl.

“It was on Thursday only that I contacted the Chandigarh Police to enquire about the progress of my case when they told me that the Haryana Police had got some leads in the matter,” he added.

Panchkula, June 6
The Haryana Police today formally announced the arrest of a notorious criminal, Rajiv alias Raja, in connection with the sensational highway kidnappings and subsequent robberies at the residence of Lalit Behl in Sector 33, Chandigarh, and the Sector 12 residence of Shyam Lal Sachdev here. The Tribune reported about Rajiv’s arrest yesterday.

A huge cache of arms, comprising 75 revolvers and pistols, one carbine and 10 shot guns, which the suspect and other members had stolen from an arms shop in Hoshiarpur, have also been recovered. The police has also recovered two luxury cars, including the Honda Civic stolen from Behl.

Giving details about the breakthrough in the case, which had raised serious questions on the security on the National Highway 1, Haryana Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal said the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed to crack the daring kidnapping-cum-robberies, had also arrested Raja’s three other accomplices.

They have been identified as Rekha Rani of Ferozepur and Ramandeep alias Romi and Bhupinder alias Bhupi from Amritsar and Delhi, respectively. Some gang members were still at large, he added.

Dalal confirmed that this gang was involved in both Chandigarh and Panchkula cases. He said the final breakthrough in the case achieved last night when they arrested some gang members from Issargarh village in Kurukshetra district.

The vehicles of Behl and Sachdev were stopped on the stretch near Kurukshetra. While the suspects had succeeded in robbing Behl’s family on May 27, they had to flee from Sachdev’s residence on April 25 when a tenant had raised an alarm.

Dalal said the gang was also active in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and a majority of its members were from Punjab. He said the gang members were living a rich stylish life, travelling in swanky cars and using credit cards of banks.

He said in a bid to mislead their victims about their identity, the suspects used to speak different languages and Haryanvi dialect, despite being Punjabis. Raja, who was a cameraman with a cable TV channel at Ludhiana before entering the world of crime, admitted to have committed over 20 heinous crimes, including murders of some jewellers at Ludhiana.

Giving details of their modus operandi, Dalal said they were smart enough not to use any “local” person in their operation and used to operate in small groups to keep their nefarious activities well under wraps.



Rape in Nari Niketan
UT shielding accused, says lawyer
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
An advocate today added a new dimension to the Nari Niketan rape controversy. Appearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, counsel Rajvinder Singh Bains said the UT Administration’s petition for terminating the pregnancy of the “mentally retarded” victim could very well be an attempt to eventually protect the accused.

As the hearing of the case resumed before the Vacation Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Augustine George Masih, Bains, assisting the court to reach a conclusion on the controversy, said the administration, by moving the high court for getting the pregnancy terminated, was trying to project “vegetable existence” of the victim.

He added that this could be a far-sighted move aimed at compelling the trial court to conclude that reliance could not be placed on the testimony of the victim as she was a mere “vegetable”. He added that sometimes even children of tender age came out with startling revelations during their testimony.

The development is significant, if viewed from the angle of questions being raised on the legitimacy of the administration’s move to approach the high court for seeking its stamp of approval on the abortion issue instead of taking an administrative decision in the matter. Even the Bench has time and again asked the administration the reason behind approaching the court.

Also assisting the court, lawyer Tanu Bedi asserted any action taking away the right to motherhood, without the victim’s consent, could not be termed legitimate. Give her a chance was Bedi’s basic argument.

Bedi vehemently argued that the law made the consent mandatory. The only exception was minor or the mentally ill. The victim did not fall in either of the two categories, as she was “mentally retarded”.

Referring to medical journals and other literature, she said mentally retarded were slow to understand, but, if given time and chance, could lead a normal life.

Deriving support from American and Canadian law, Bedi said to begin with, efforts were to be made to seek the victim’s consent. She summed up her argument by contending that the judgment in the case should be based on the victim’s point of view and should be in sync with the decision she would have taken.

The victim was reportedly raped at Nari Niketan, Sector 26. A case of the rape and criminal conspiracy has already been registered under Sections 376 and 120-B of the IPC. Doctors have recommended an abortion, but in the case of a “mentally challenged” girl, the parents or guardian’s consent is necessary.

In the victim’s case, records available with the UT administration say neither her parents, nor her relatives are traceable.

In its petition, the administration had earlier asserted that the victim was aged between 19 and 20 years and was now an inmate of Ashraya, a home for mentally challenged children at Sector 47. The decision to go in for the medical termination of pregnancy was arrived during meetings of the medical board constituted for this purpose.



Drowning of Zirakpur Youth
Family alleges foul play
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur/Kiratpur Sahib, June 6
The Zirakpur-based family of Rohit Handa, a 30-year-old youth of Sarv Mangal Society, Lohgarh, who is feared to have drowned at Kiratpur Sahib on Thursday, has alleged foul play behind his disappearance.

The victim, who worked as a lab attendant with Singla Construction Company, was taking a bath at Kiratpur Sahib at around 7.30 pm when his foot slipped and he was pushed away by strong current of water.

The family was intimated about the incident after 12 hours. Though his colleagues in a statement given to the police stated that their efforts to search him proved futile as the flow of water was high, brother-in-law of the victim, Vicky, said Rohit never went for the bath in open and he did not know swimming.

He was a low profile person. “No one from the company has contacted us though he has been with the company for the last three years”, added Vicky.

Police officials said they had tried to locate his parents’ phone number from his mobile phone but could not as the deceased’s phone was locked with a security code. It was only on Friday that the police could inform his parents.

Divers have been pressed into action to locate the body. Along with the course of water, the body could have drifted into Ropar and further into Sirhind canal. Till the filing of the report, the body had not been found.

Back home, the family of the victim is hoping that their child would return. The last call from the victim was received by his mother at 6.30 pm.



Admn issues fresh threat to principals, teachers
Tribune News Service

Poor results of govt schools

Home Secretary Ram Niwas announced that non-performing principals would be demoted and asked to seek compulsory retirement and, in case of teachers, they would be charge-sheeted or suspended and their increment would be stopped. The non-performing contract teachers would be terminated
  • Principals and teachers have been asked to come to school for four hours to take the classes of weak students.
  • Students should not be sent to attend any VIP function without the permission of the DPI.
  • A new pledge will be introduced in the schools.
  • Sanitation week should be organised in schools.

Chandigarh, June 6
Even after its repeated claims of taking strong action against the school authorities responsible for the “dip” in government school results, all that the administration could do today at the principals’ meet at Tagore Theatre here was to issue a fresh threat and frame a new policy.

In what came across as a sheer display of the “toothless” attitude of the education department, both Ram Niwas Home Secretary and Samwartak Singh, DPI (S) could neither fix any responsibilities nor punish anybody. Surprisingly, when confronted with the lack of action on part of the DPI in several cases, the Home Secretary coolly maintained that he was the best for the department. Though everybody had gathered there to see the dormant department finally take some action, the officials after a short spat with some media personnel retorted to publicising the newly framed policy directives.

“It’s high time that we go hi-tech now and don’t communicate through letters only. Principals need to take more responsibility and arrange teachers if required. They should also teach weak students for some extra hours,” said Ram Niwas.

He further announced that non-performing principals would be demoted and asked to seek compulsory retirement, and in case of teachers, they would be charge-sheeted or suspended and their increment would be stopped. According to him, the non-performing contract teachers will be terminated. He also directed the principals not to send any teacher on any official duty during duty hours without the orders of the DPI.

Surprisingly, when principals refused to take it as their fault and raised the issue of lack of infrastructure, teachers and regular unofficial duties in various function, nobody from the education department had an answer to it.

“They are blaming us. We went to the DPI so many times, saying we needed teachers but he didn’t listen to us,” asserted one of the principals.

Meanwhile, according to some, this meet was actually the fallout of the increasing pressure on the DPI for the long-pending promotions of several UT-cadre principals.

It was surprising that Samwartak Singh did not present the result of those principals on deputation from Haryana in front of the Home Secretary. We are being singled out and it’s a just a ploy to postpone the issue of our promotions,” said one of them.


Without power for 16 hrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The route just opposite to the Chandigarh Golf Club these days has been flooded with water.

Reason: the main supply line, just at the end point of the golf club, has been damaged and the water is being flowing up till the road.

On the other hand, due to low pressure, the residents of Sector 52 had to fetch water from the supply pipe in their meter boxes on the ground floor.

For power, the residents of Sector 45-C (block no 2219 to 2245) had a horrendous experience a day before the last night, when there was a total blackout in the whole wing at about 9 pm. When this correspondent called up the XEN concerned, GS Mast, to know about the status of the “technical snag” and the inefficiency on the part of his squad, he said, “You are no body to ask me. I do not bother. Whatever you want to know, give us in writing.”

The chief engineer, Surinder Pal, could manage to make the power men on job next morning, but also showed his inability to ask for any explanation from the alleged erring XEN.

However, the electricity staff could not detect the fault easily and the power could be resumed only after 16 hours.

“It was a terrible time for me. The power men kept on telling us that the power would be resumed soon, but I doubt if they had done any efforts,” said Gurmail Singh, a resident.

The collapsing of the system of basic necessities, like water and power, apparently leading the city to a development disaster, thereby citing the clear-cut lack of planning on the part of the civil affairs wing, Municipal Corporation, and the administration.

The erratic supply of power and water, which has been haunting the city residents for the past over 20 days, has exposed the hollow claims of the administration to meet the crisis.

The interruption in power supply has further led to water crisis. The water supply is being disrupted in Sectors 15, 22, 23, 24, 35, 38 and from 45 to 52. The MC officials said, “The supply will be normal tomorrow, as the overheads have attained the requisite level of water.”



Panel moots merger of HMT with defence PSUs
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 6
With state-owned Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) being in dire straits, a high-level panel has strongly recommended merging the company with other public sector undertakings.

“It is strongly recommended that in order to make the company viable, it would be essential to integrate its various units with other government establishments like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Railways and the Indian Air Force,” a parliamentary panel has stated.

According to the recommendations, the technical requirements of the aforementioned organisations ought to be first met by products of HMT, paving the way for strengthening it as a viable commercial organisation. Besides machine tools and other technical items, HMT, set up as far back as 1953, had made forays into critical and strategic areas like defence, railways, aerospace, nuclear science, automobile and general engineering.

Even today, the company has the technical capability for undertaking projects in in specialised fields, particularly space and atomic energy, but is plagued with various problems having a direct bearing on its workforce. “Inept handling on the part of the government and the management has done irreparable damage to the future of the company,” the panel observed.



Handwriting can be improved in 3 hours: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
Contrary to popular perception, handwriting can be improved in a short span of 3-6 hours giving a boost to the academic standards, said handwriting expert Mohan Ray, here yesterday.

“Healthy handwriting is not any pre-decided methodology. It is a tool that can repair poor handwriting and help the beneficiary write legibly and purposefully with speed even under stressful conditions,” Ray said at a press conference at the Chandigarh Press Club.

Lamenting that there was no national handwriting improvement programme, Ray stressed the need for formulating a national policy on handwriting to improve the academic standards.

Lakhs of students lose marks just because of their poor handwriting every year. In fact, handwriting improvement is never taught in our schools beyond Grade 1 and senior students start assuming that they are too old to improve their handwriting, he asserted.



SHO suspended for negligence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The SHO of the Mani Majra police station, Kehar Singh, was today placed under suspension on disciplinary grounds.

The acting SSP, HS Doon, told The Tribune that the SHO had not turned up at the spot yesterday night, where an agitated mob blocked the housing board road in protest of police’s inaction against the culprits, who attacked Shambhu Banerjee, a leader of the Trinamool Congress.

Doon said such indiscipline could not be tolerated. However, he showed ignorance on where the SHO was at the time of the incident.

“When even the DSP JS Cheema and all the force was there on the spot, the SHO was not available. And on the basis of the inquiry report submitted by the DSP, the SHO has been placed under suspension,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vijay, Sewa, Sanjeev and Ashu, all residents of Chandigarh, who allegedly beat up and threatened Shambhu at his residence, have been arrested. A case under Sections 147, 148, 323 and 506 of the IPC has been registered in the Mani Majra police station.



Play presents women’s plight
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 6
A play on “Female foeticide and women empowerment” was staged at Shastri Model School, Phase 1, here today.

Through the play, students raised issues like abuses related to women, female foeticide, etc. To celebrate the occasion, 15 social workers were honoured with siropa and mementos for their services to community in their respective fields.

Among those honoured were Narinder Kaur, an educationist, Jaswant Kaur, a regular blood donor whose name figures in Limca Book of Records, Dr Uma Sharma, president of Bharat Vikas Parishad, sarpanch Kulwant Kaur Mann, Balongi village, and vice-president Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi, Municipal Council, Mohali.

Principal R Bala said in today’s world it was important to educate girls and made them self-dependent.



Forum of bank unions stages dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The United Forum of Bank Unions today staged a dharna in Bank Square, Sector 17, which was followed by a demonstration in the afternoon.

Employees of various banks, owing allegiance to various bank unions, were demanding wage revision since November 2007, introduction of compassionate appointments on case to case basis and that pension benefits be extended to all bank employees.

“This is the first part of our agitation. An all-India-level strike will now be organised on June 12,” said forum’s vice-president Vijay Magon.



Office-bearers elected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
KS Chahal (ETO) has been elected as president while Major DP Singh has been elected as executive president of the Chandigarh Korfball Association during the elections held in Chandigarh Club.

The others who have been elected unanimously as office-bearers for a period of four years are: Senior vice-presidents: Dr DS Bedi and Vijay Garg (ETO), secretary: Krishan Kumar, treasurer: Prof RS Duggal and organising secretary: Sanjay Kurl.



On Campus — Admissions 2009
A students’ guide
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
The exam time is over and even before students can take a summer season off to rejuvenate, comes the admission dilemma. Anxiety of the results coupled with the confusion of where to seek admission next has kept the students on their toes.

What college to seek admission in? What subjects to choose? What course to opt for? What are the cut-offs in various colleges in the city? All these questions flood the minds of students seeking admissions.

Here we offer answers to these questions in this columns exclusively for Class XII pass-outs, beginning with Panjab University.

PU at a glance

For more than 125 years now, Panjab University has had a history of teaching and research in science and technology, humanities, social sciences, performing arts and sports. Since its inception in 1882 at Lahore (now in Pakistan), the university claims to have a faculty that includes some of the most distinguished scientists and academicians in arts and humanities.

Panjab University with its 51 teaching and research departments has more than 173 affiliated colleges spread over Punjab and Chandigarh, regional centres at Muktsar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Vishweshavaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies (VVBIS&IS) at Hoshiarpur.

The campus

The main campus at Chandigarh is spread over 550 acres in Sectors 14 and 25, Sector 14 having the main academic and administrative buildings, besides a health centre, a sports complex, hostels and residential area.

The library

The Central A C Joshi Library of Panjab University has a holding of over 6.9 lakh volumes which include 1.25 lakh periodicals. In addition to this, the respective departments have their libraries containing books of related subjects.

The Indian Council of Social Science Research has set up its North-Western Regional Centre on the Panjab University campus. The centre runs a library, a seminar complex and a guesthouse for visiting scholars under its study-grants programme.

Gandhi Bhawan on the university campus is known for its architectural structure, its library and also for its auditorium.

The additions

Panjab University has four museums, a Botanical Garden and a Garden of Medicinal Plants on the campus.


Panjab University offers seven hostels for men and five women hostels accommodating about 2,000 and 1,500 students.

Extra-curricular activities

The Students’ Council organises youth festival, academic debates, literary and cultural events and educational tours.Various departmental activities also take place, which include festivals like Cyanide, Soch, etc.


The University has been recognized by the UGC as the “University with Potential for Excellence in Bio-Medical Sciences” with facilities for Stem Cell Research and Drug Development.

What’s new?

The university has introduced many new courses in emerging areas and vocational studies during the past few years. These include courses such as Honours School in Computer Science on the Campus and BBA and BCA in the affiliated colleges.

It has also launched Off-Campus Management Programmes in the University Institute of Applied Management Sciences, UIAMS, to offer innovative market-driven programmes. In addition to this, University Institute of Hotel Management & Tourism has started in the session 2009-2010, Institute of Forensic Science & Criminology in 2009-2010, Educational Multimedia Centre (2009-2010), School of Lighting Designing ( Certificate Course in Lighting) 2009-2010.

Whom to contact ?

For any queries regarding your desired course call

PU inquiry 0172-2534818

Or log onto www.puchd.ac.in <http://www.puchd.ac.in> for information about forms.

Details of Bachelors courses being offered on the campus/ Regional Centres

1. B.E. ( Bachelors in Engineering )

Chemical, Food Technology, Biotechnology, Electronics & Communication Engineering, Information Technology, Computer Science & Engineering Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering.

New course- BE (Chemical) with MBA-5 year integrated course

2. Other professional undergraduate courses

BDS, LL.B., B.Ed (4 year integrated)

New course- B.Ed. ( Special Education in Learning Disability)

3. B.Sc (Hons School)

Biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science & applications, microbiology and zoology, anthropology, biophysics, biotechnology, geology, mathematics, physics, 5-yr integrated BSc and MSc in fashion & life style, physics and electronics.

4. Certificate courses

Chinese, French, Functional Punjabi, German, Persian, Russian, Tibetan, Urdu. Also certificate course in Art Appreciation, Short-Term Course in Instrumental Analysis.

5. Diploma courses

Chinese, French, Functional Punjabi, German, Persian, Russian, Tibetan, Urdu

New Course- Heritage Tourism.

6. Advanced Diploma Courses

Chinese, French, German, Proficiency in Interpretership for Tibetan, Persian, Russian and Urdu.

7. Department of Evening Studies

B.A., B.Com.

8. Distant Education from P.U.

BA (Three-Year Integrated Course), Bachelor of Commerce (Three-Year Course), and Bachelor of Library & Information Science (One Year Course).



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