C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Morning stalker nabbed
Took to crime to recover money lost in lotteries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The UT police said today it had at last managed to apprehend the stalker suspected to have robbed elderly women who were out on their early morning walks after hitting them on the head with a blunt object.

With his arrest, the cops claimed to have solved six incidents of car lifting, snatching and theft, adding that it had recovered four stolen cars from him.

The suspect, 34-year-old Inderjit Singh, a resident of Sector 35, told the police that he took to crime to make up for the money he had squandered in lotteries.

Father of a seven-year-old boy, he lived in rented accommodation with his wife, who was seven months pregnant and was not aware of his activities, the police said.

Inderjit said he used to hit the women on their heads with an iron rod to make them unconscious and then took away any valuables and cash they had on them.

He added he targeted elderly women as they were fond of wearing heavy jewellery.

Apart from assaulting Vimla Vinayak in Sector 33 and Tripta Hans in Sector 35 a few days ago, he also assaulted and robbed a woman in Sector 40 on October 2.

“I have spent a lot of money on illegal lotteries being run in Zirakpur and was in dire need of money. I would steal a car during night and go out to rob old women early in the morning. I abandoned stolen cars after the crime or when they ran out of fuel”, he told reporters.

When asked why he chose such a gruesome manner to rob elderly women, Inderjit replied: “I learnt from my past experience that one should never share his secret even with his accomplices. I had been arrested twice and decided to commit the crime alone, though at least two people are required for snatching something from a person. I decided to make the victims unconscious to make it easy for me to rob them while alone”.

He added, “I used to steal cars, but it was difficult to dispose those of and the chances of being caught were higher. I found this (robbing elderly women) the easier way out”.

“I have ruined myself and my family. My wife is innocent and is not aware of my activities. I am a dead man now. I became a demon and had I not been caught, I would have gone on committing such heinous crimes,” he said while breaking into tears.

Addressing the large number of mediapersons gathered, UT SSP SS Srivastva said the police had set up a team to study the odd pattern of attacks for the past couple of weeks. He added that the cops were puzzled over the suspect’s modus operandi.

Acting on a tip-off, the police laid a picket on the street separating Sectors 42 and 43 under the supervision of Sector 36 police station SHO Anokh Singh and nabbed Inderjit along with a stolen Maruti car.

A verification of the car’s documents revealed that it was a stolen one with fake registration number plates.

During interrogation, Inderjit admitted that he had robbed three women in the city after attacking and hurting them.

In 2002, the Chandigarh police had arrested him along with two accomplices, recovering eight stolen vehicles. In 2005, he had again been held for thefts and burglaries.

He had resumed his criminal activities about two months back, the police added. A local court remanded him to four days’ police custody.



Bylaw Violations
Admn to get tough with schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The UT administration is all set to get tough with various schools guilty of blatantly violating building bylaws. All private schools will soon be asked to furnish their occupation or completion certificates to the Education Department by the end of this year or face stern action, which may include the cancellation of affiliation. The decision follows findings of a survey conducted early this year by the Education Department in collaboration with representatives of the Estate Office and others, after which many private schools were notified.

According to findings of this survey, many private schools were found guilty of violating their approved construction plans and building bylaws. The department asked them to rectify the same and explain the lapses in writing, but most of them did not respond. After six months of issuing of this notice, the department decided to take the final call.

“They are taking things for granted now. We had intentionally conducted this survey, which had representatives of all departments, including the STA, the Estate Office and the Fire Department, so that the authorities could be made aware of all lapses at one go and could rectify those. Most of them had constructed illegal structures and thus, lacked proper certificates from the Estate Office,” said a senior department official.

If they failed this time, stern steps could be taken, which might affect the renewal of affiliation of many, he stated. Many schools had also been notified earlier this month by the department.



Expensive project machinery gathers dust at PU
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Expensive machinery installed at Panjab University’s AC Joshi library for one of its most coveted projects, worth nearly Rs 2 crore, has been gathering dust. Cobwebs in the drop-box and the mud-filled self-check unit, installed hardly six months back, speak volumes about the poor maintenance of the equipment.

Initiated over a year back, this project of radio-frequency identification (RFID) in the PU library is at its final stages now.

Panjab University is among the few institutions in the country to have stepped forward to instal such a system, which will simplify the process of returning books.

Despite its merits, the lack of maintenance of the expensive machinery has been a cause for concern, even among students.

The system would have been operational much earlier, but subsequent to failure of the universities of Pune and Kashmir in installing the RFID system, those involved in the project in PU wanted it to be error-proof. The librarian, Preeti Mahajan, when contacted, claimed that the machinery was in order. “The equipment is in order and the RFID will be activated soon for the students,” she said.

Meanwhile, a software problem is said to have caused postponement of the project. “The old software, Teclibplus, has its limitations and we are working on the data transfer. If the work is done in haste, there can be a problem and we want to be sure before doing it,” said an official of the library.

Earlier, there was also a proposal to construct drop-boxes in hostels as well to enable students to have access to the system.

But nothing had materialised on this front yet. “That will be a supplementary provision and will require a separate budget,” said the official. Meanwhile, about one lakh books had already been tagged to switch to the RFID system.



Child confined in classroom after school hours
Tribune News Service

Five-year-old Namrata with her parents at St Xavier Primary School in Panchkula.
Five-year-old Namrata with her parents at St Xavier Primary School in Panchkula. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, November 20
A five-year old KG student of St Xavier Primary School, Sector 20, was allegedly confined in a classroom by teachers after the school was over as his parents had refused to pay Rs 80 as contribution for the annual function held today.

Only after about an hour-and-a-half, when reporters arrived at the school, did the authorities allow the child’s parents to take her home.

School principal George Sheer, however, denied that the child, Namrata, was confined in a classroom.

He said the teacher insisted on her mother depositing Rs 80 for the annual function fee when she reached the school to fetch her daughter.

“The controversy, unfortunately, arose due to some misunderstanding on the part of the child’s parents”, he added.

The parents, however, had another story to tell. Nisha, the child’s mother, said she went to the school every day at 1 pm to fetch her daughter.

“Today, when I kept on waiting and Namrata did not turn up at the school’s gate even after all the other kids left, I decided to go to her classroom, only to find that she was made to sit there alone after being told she could go only after the Rs 80 annual function charges were deposited”, said Nisha.

“Though I told the teacher I did not have the money at that time and it would be deposited on Monday, she refused to listen to me”, she added.

Namrata’s father, Naresh, who also arrived at the school, said he had been out of the town today and was on his way home when his wife called her up to tell him about the incident.

He said he reached the school by 2:30 pm, only after which was the child allowed to leave the school.

“The school authorities later relented, perhaps due to the arrival of some reporters by that time”, he added.

“The school, in fact, had held its annual function a few days ago, for which it had demanded Rs 80 from each student”, said Naresh.

“I had written in Namrata’s diary that she could not be charged for the function as she would not attend it”.



Sham Mall surrenders Rs 3.92 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Following the survey conducted by the income tax department on the business premises of Sham Mall, Sector 34, yesterday, the owner of the mall made a voluntary surrender of concealed income of Rs 3.92 crore.

Teams of income tax officials, under the supervision of Income Tax Commissioner (CIT II) AK Kaushal, launched the survey and recovered several incriminating documents. He said the mall owner surrendered undisclosed income of Rs 3.92 crore.

Mr Kaushal said Devender Khurana, owner, surrendered an undisclosed income of Rs 2.75 crore on account of excessive stock in the garments section and Rs 1.17 crore on account of discrepancies in the jewellery section.

During the survey, which continued till today, incriminating documents pertaining to the stock of garments and other material, besides computer data and bank records, were seized by the IT sleuths. Several key functionaries of the firm were questioned and their previous returns of income were examined. A team led by Additional Commissioner (Range IV) Ajay Sharma started the survey yesterday, which continued till this evening. The survey, said sources, was conducted on the basis of a tip-off regarding discrepancies in stock.


Bansal comes to Babla’s ‘rescue’ 
‘Asks’ Mayor to cancel special meeting of house
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
To “shield” the absconding Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla from being suspended from the membership of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the Congress high command has again come to his rescue.

Sources said it was on the directions of the Congress leaders that Mayor Kamlesh cancelled the special meeting of the house that was to be held today.

If sources in the Congress are to be believed, Babla had sent a letter to the Mayor, requesting her to grant him permission for exemption from attending the general house meetings till December due to some personal reasons.

Considering it as a routine matter, the Mayor sent the letter to MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria and asked him to take up the matter in the special house meeting called for today and get it approved. As the Congress is in majority in the house, the ruling party thought that the agenda would be approved in the meeting without any hurdle, said sources.

Sources in the Congress revealed that sensing trouble on the tabling of the agenda, Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal reportedly directed the Mayor to cancel the meeting.

A senior official said there was no doubt that the agenda about Babla’s exemption from the house would have been approved, but according to the Punjab Municipal Act, the Chandigarh Administrator was empowered to reject any agenda approved by the house, which would have proved a stumbling block for Babla.

According to the Act, if any councillor remains absent from the house for three consecutive months without informing the house, his or her membership could be cancelled.

Insiders of the Congress revealed that after directions from Bansal, the Mayor, along with one of the senior officials of the MC, drafted a letter for the cancellation of the meeting. After drafting the letter, councillors were called to get it signed and submit it to the authorities.



Chandigarh Carnival from November 28
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Department of Tourism, in collaboration with the Chandigarh Carnival Society and the Chandigarh administration, is holding the annual two-day Chandigarh Carnival at the Leisure Valley on November 28 and 29. Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues will inaugurate the carnival.

This time, 16 teams, troupes of folk dancers from Jordan, Hungry and France will showcase their talent to make the event lively and global. Besides, a film city will be set up by the ITFT Institute to promote Chandigarh as a destination of cinematic tourism.

Another attractive addition will be the carnival parade that will go around the city, especially the Rock Garden, decked with funny floats and colourful tableau of different cultures made by school and college students.

Director Tourism Amandeep Kaur said 42 stalls would be set up by NGOs to exhibit musical instruments, rare photographs, replicas of Le Corbusier’s art works and a souvenir shop highlighting the creation and coming up of Chandigarh between 1952 and 1965.

She said the carnival would also hold a “Laughter Challenge Nite” featuring Bharti Singh, alias Lalli, Banwari Lal Johal and Bollywood actress Upasana Singh on November 28. On the last day of the carnival, a mega musical night will be held.



Water augmentation scheme approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, has sanctioned the augmentation of water supply scheme from Phases V and VI for Chandigarh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in a meeting held under Dr M Ramchandran, Secretary, Urban Development, today.

The total cost of the project would be Rs 171 crore out of which 80 per cent grant of Rs 134 crore would be given under the JNNURM from the Government of India and 10 per cent each will be shared by the Chandigarh administration and the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Municipal Corporation Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria said the project was necessary to sustain the per capita availability of water in view of increased population and increased FAR and to move towards 24X7 water supply system.

He said it was an important project to make water available in the upcoming sectors and colonies and 25,000 flats for the economically weaker sections, slum dwellers and to meet the increased requirement of water in the industrial Area, the
IT Park and the institutional area. 



UT falls back on Corbusier’s legacy to promote tourism
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 20
In what is apparently a desperate bid to shed the city’s image of being just a stopover destination, the Chandigarh administration is enthusiastically showcasing its tourism potential - particularly Le Corbusier's legacy - at the ongoing 29th India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi.

Memorabilia and souvenirs of the ‘City Beautiful’, the architectural masterpiece created by the Swiss-born French architect and his team, find a place of pride at the Chandigarh pavilion, spread over 403 square metres at the country’s biggest industrial and trade exhibition.

Mugs, plates, key rings, ties and wall clocks encrypting Le Corbusier’s art work are the attractions offered by the UT tourism department.

“The showcasing of Chandigarh's vast potential will go a long way in promoting the city as a major tourism destination”, UT industries director Vandana Disodia told a group of journalists at the IITF-2009 here yesterday.

Though the range of exhibits at the pavilion, including readymade garments, handicrafts, ‘phulkari’ dresses, artificial jewellery, handmade paintings, organic food and health products, soft toys and stationary items, was limited, the trade enquiries seemed to be encouraging.

“Till this evening, there had been 1,143 trade enquiries and three bookings with a total business of about Rs 1.32 lakh”, she informed.

In fact, the participating entrepreneurs seemed to be enjoying attention from overseas visitors as it was located adjacent to the fair’s international section.

“Though we have received a number of export queries, there are no confirmed orders as yet”, said Sonia of Kush Art.

Pushpa Bajaj of Pushp Handicrafts stated their hand-engraved gift items were getting a good response and visitors were looking for unique items.



Flats occupied by riot victims vacated
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Greater Mohali Area Development Authority has got vacated at least four flats in Sector 70 here that had been forcibly occupied by riot victims recently.

A total of eight MIG flats had been illegally occupied in sectors 66 and 70 here.

Officials of the GMADA enforcement staff got four houses vacated. Another one could not be vacated as a woman occupied it.

Claiming to be genuine riot victims in possession of the flat, the occupants have filed cases in different courts seeking the allotment. But since they did not have stay, GMADA got the houses vacated.

GMADA has sought police force and duty magistrate to get the remaining houses vacated.

Each valued at lakhs, the authority has earmarked some of these houses for allotment to the genuine riot victims in light of the amended rehabilitation policy for the victims.

Earlier, GMADA had decided to auction the flats. But now they would be allotted after PUDA and GMADA adopted the government policy on allotment of flats to riot victims.

The allotment will be made on the basis of claim applications submitted to the Deputy Commissioner. But the allotment will be made on the current allotment price, varying between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 43 lakh, depending upon the respective category of flats.

As per the rates in 2007, the price difference to be charged from the allottee for the low income and middle-income flats was Rs 33,000 and Rs 88,000, respectively.



Ruchika Molestation Case
Prosecution closes arguments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The prosecution today closed arguments in the ongoing in-camera-on-camera proceeding in the high-profile Ruchika molestation case.

The trial of the case was shifted on November 5 on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court from a Patiala court to the CBI court of J Sidhu in the district courts complex.

Meanwhile, with the closure of the argument form the prosecution side, the defence will start argument tomorrow in the proceedings, which are being held on a day-to-day basis.

The incident took place in 1990, allegedly involving the then Director General of Police, Haryana, SPS Rathore, who was also the president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association at that time. The association was being run from its makeshift office at the residence of Rathore.

It was alleged that on August 12, 1990, Ruchika, a trainee tennis player, was called at the association office and was allegedly molested by Rathore.

Ruchika’s friend, Reemu, who had accompanied her, also witnessed the incident, about which they informed their parents who later filed a complaint with the police. In 1993, Ruchika committed suicide under mysterious circumstances.

SPS Rathore was chargesheeted by the CBI under Section 354 of the IPC in 2000 after a case was filed by mother of Ruchika’s friend mother, Madhu Prakash, who had moved the HC. Following this, a case was registered with the CBI.



IPS association mourns death of DIG Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 20
The IPS Association, Haryana chapter, today expressed grief over the demise of DIG Attar Singh Ahlawat, a Haryana-cadre IPS officer.

The association, in a press statement issued here today, said throughout his service spanning more than three decades, Ahlawat had been known for his commitment, sincerity and dedication to the organisation. He was always kind and considerate to his seniors as well as juniors, the association said, adding that his demise had not only left a void in the lives of his family and friends, but also in the hearts of all those who knew him and worked with him. 



Biomedical scientists’ conference ends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The 30th conference of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists (IABMS) concluded today.

The best paper awards for clinical sessions went to Sarika, medical physicist of nuclear medicine department, for the study in which 99mTc-Ciproflxoacin singe vial kit that was developed indigenously and used in patients for the diagnosis of orthopaedic infections in patients ranging from tubercular infection, implants infection and diabetic foot infection.

For another session on oral presentations, the best paper award entitled “Optimisation of the labelling of Doxorubicin with 99mTc for the pre-clinical evaluation of the resultant radioligand in the early detection of cancer and prediction of treatment response” went to Pardeep Kumar, a PhD scholar from the department of nuclear medicine, PGI, Chandigarh.

Amardeep Singh, again from the department of nuclear medicine, bagged the best paper award in the poster category. In this study, the clinical utility of the CT-based breast attenuation correction was demonstrated in myocardial perfusion imaging for the diagnosis of perfusion defect in the female patients. 



NCC shooters return with 10 medals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Shooters from the Chandigarh NCC Directorate returned home today after bagging 10 medals at the 53rd National Shooting Championship that concluded at Jalandhar yesterday. They won three gold, three silver and four bronze medals at the games.

Cadet Shikha Dhall of Khalsa College, Sector 26, bagged individual gold by securing 588 points out of 600 in the .22 prone category. She also bagged a gold, a silver and a bronze in team events.

Cadet Shivendu Sharma of DAV College, Sector 10, bagged an individual silver medal in 50m free pistol as well as a team gold in the same category. Two gold medals were won by junior women’s team in the .22 peep sight prone category and the junior men’s team in 50m.

Brig Rajendra Singh, Deputy Director-General, NCC Directorate, Chandigarh, congratulated the team for its excellent performance and exhorted its members to continue their good work for the forthcoming National Games and trials for the Commonwealth Games.

According to Col Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Commanding Officer, the team included cadets who had taken up shooting as a sport in June this year only. He cited the example of cadet Sarita of Government College, Sector 42, who took to shooting in August and scored 584 out of 600 in the .22 peep sight rifle in the nationals. She was placed 4th in the junior women’s category.

The Chandigarh NCC Directorate is supporting cadets by providing them with weapons, ammunition and administrative support. Last year, three cadets, Hema KC, Shikha Dhall and Meera represented India in various tournaments held at Islamabad, West Germany and Czechoslovakia.



Journal gets PGI affiliation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
|For the first time, Annals of Neuroscience, the official journal of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences, will be affiliated to the Department of Neurology, PGI, Chandigarh.

It will also have an office in New York to attract research publications from the USA, says Dr Akshay Anand, editor-in-chief of the journal.

Dr Akshay Anand from the PGI is the youngest-ever editor of any biology journal from India. The new issue of the journal has been restructured and is ready to take on other regional journal such as those from China, Japan and several other countries.



Delhi lab finds 11 positive for swine flu
No need to shut schools completely, says advisory panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The Delhi-based Dr Lal Path Lab, which had been collecting samples to detect the H1N1 virus without taking permission from the UT administration, had tested 22 samples from the city of which 11 were found positive.

According to UT nodal officer for swine flu HC Gera: “In response to the UT administration’s query, the lab promoters informed about the details.”

Meanwhile, to review the preparation to meet any untoward situation, an advisory committee meeting was held today under the chairmanship of the Director, Health Services, Dr MS Bains.

As cases of swine flu among school students continue to rise in the tricity, the advisory committee discussed the matter in detail and found that the complete closure of schools was not the solution to curtail the infection. “Existing guidelines will be followed by the health department in which we suspend the individual class where one positive case has emerged and if there are three or more cases, the school will be shut,” said Gera.

Another Ryan student has H1N1

Two persons, including one more student from Ryan International School, tested positive for swine flu on Friday, taking the tally to 113. This is the second case from Ryan and this time victim is the student of class VII. However, the school authorities have already closed the school for a week after one of its students tested positive for H1N1. UT health officials have home quarantined student along with his family members.

A 40-year-old resident of Gurgaon also tested positive for swine flu. “We have informed the health officials of Gurgaon for quarantining their family members,” said Gera. 



Yes Bank launched in Ambala
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
Yes Bank commenced operations in Ambala through a branch, which was inaugurated by Ambala Deputy Commissioner today.

The high-tech branch is spread across 2,518 square feet. Rana Kapoor, bank's managing director and CEO, said the bank was committed to strengthen the financial infrastructure of Haryana.



Spreading awareness on Indian culture
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 20
Pratibimb, an NGO involved in creating awareness about Indian culture, mythology and saints will be delivering discourse in tri-city schools.

Satya Pal, founder member of the NGO, said to celebrate the birth anniversary, the NGO would go to schools to deliver the discourse.

The subject would be Indian mythology, life of Indian saints and Sikh gurus.

The NGO has been conducting quiz programmes in various schools.



Car dealer told to pay Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20
The District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed Prithi Pal Singh, proprietor of Car Zee Centre, Sector 7, and Sukhwinder Singh, to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to a complainant for subjecting 
him to mental and physical harassment.

The forum has also directed the dealer to refund Rs 1,20,000 along with interest. The complainant, Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 38, purchased a Ford Ikon (2001 model) car from Pirthi Pal Singh for Rs 1, 25,000. He was assured by him that it would be their responsibility to get the car transferred in his name and he was asked to pay Rs 1,20,000 at the time of deal and the remaining Rs 5,000 was to be paid after transfer of the car in the complainants name.

However, after a few days he noticed that the registration certificate of the car was not original but only a laminated photocopy. The complainant contacted the car dealer and asked for original documents along with a no objection certificate He even reported the matter to the police on where Pirthi undertook to provide the necessary certificates, but in vain.

When he inquired the matter from the Registering and Licensing Authority, Haryana, he was shocked to learn that the vehicle was under the process of transfer in the name of one Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 40, Chandigarh.

In his reply, the car dealers submitted that the complainant knew that the vehicle was registered in the name of M/s Finetech Consultants and that he had told the complainant that the vehicle would be first transferred in favour of Mahesh Kumar and subsequently in his name. It was submitted that the ownership of the car was transferred in the name of Mahesh Kumar and he contacted the complainant many times and even served a legal notice on the complainant for collecting the registration certificate of the car and the getting the same transferred in his name but he was reluctant to do so. 




Chandigarh, November 20
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations organised a seminar on “Enhancing English language skills of children” here today.

Sean Hayde, director of the university, stressed upon the importance of skill-based learning in terms of listening, reading, writing and speaking. “Cambridge young learners English tests will now be available for children in three levels starters, movers and flyers. These tests will help children demonstrate their English language skills,” Sean added.

Cambridge ESOL will also offer teacher-training programmes to help school teachers acquire skills to deliver training programmes in schools. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |