C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nari Niketan Case
Baby's DNA confirms employee raped victim
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The matching of DNA samples of the newly born baby of the Nari Niketan rape victim, the first substantial evidence in the sensational case, has confirmed a security guard in Aashreya, the home for orphaned mentally retarded children Sector 47, raped the mentally challenged woman.

The police investigation had been focused on Nari Niketan even as doubts were cast on the role of Aashreya employees. Though the cops had taken samples of suspects from Aashreya, yet they failed to gather any strong evidence against them. The arrest of the prime suspect, Chhotu Ram alias Madho Ram, 32, was affected only yesterday after the police received the DNA report establishing his role in the rape, giving the case a new twist.

Sharing the information, DSP Kulwant Singh Pannu, in charge of the special investigation team (SIT) set up to probe the case, said the police received the DNA report from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), Sector 36 on Monday, which said samples of Chhotu Ram alias Madho Ram, a former employee of Aashreya, matched that of the victim’s newly born daughter.

Pannu claimed Madho had confessed to his crime and admitted he had raped the victim during the night at Aashreya. The police had sent samples of 23 suspects to CFSL and had taken samples of the victim and her newly born daughter soon after the latter was born on December 5.

The DSP added on the basis of the report the police arrested Madho at the Government Medical College & Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32 on Monday, where he has been employed as an attendant since April this year. He was produced before a local court, which remanded him to police custody till December 26.

Madho, a father of two minor children is living in Phase II, Ram Darbar with his wife. He was posted as a security guard at Aashreya before he was shifted to GMCH.

Pannu said Madho hails from Kangra district in Himachal and came to the city in 1998. Madho had been suppressing information and was misleading the investigators, and had been flatly denying his involvement in the case so far, the DSP added.

The police had earlier arrested Bhupinder Singh, a watchman at Nari Niketan, on May 18 when the rape was detected. On June 11 the cops apprehended Kamla, a sweeper-cum attendant, and Jamna Dass, another watchman at Nari Niketan. The police had also arrested Varinder Singh, another employee of Nari Niketan, in the case.

Later on June 19, Maya, a nurse-cum-attendant, was arrested and the police then said she was instrumental in the rape and had abetted the crime by helping Jamna Dass, an ex-serviceman, who had raped the victim several times in an inebriated condition. The police also held her responsible for destroying crucial evidence by tearing away a page of a register in which the record of the menstrual cycle of every inmate was maintained.

The police had submitted a charge sheet in the court on August 13 against the accused. When asked why the cops failed to suspect Madho Ram’s role in the case during the course of investigation, in which they had arrested five people, Pannu said they were gathering “strong evidence” to proceed into the matter. He, however, denied any kind of pressure on the investigating officials.

The victim’s friend had also accused the police of distorting the facts and her statement indicated the possibility of the victim being raped in Aashreya. It was also alleged that the police acted under pressure and arrested the accused in “haste”.

However, Pannu, denying any pressure was put on the SIT, said the cops only proceeded in the case after collecting strong evidence. He also added many vital clues were expected from Madho during his sustained interrogation and those found guilty would be proceeded against.



Rent Reality — II
Correction in commercial property
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
After commercial property rentals hitting the roof in the city last year, these are showing downward trend now.

With the corporate sector yet to recover from the global meltdown, the commercial rentals are passing through the “correctional phase”, property observers say, adding that the boom seems to be a distant reality in the near future.

Sector 17, the main commercial hub, which saw the rentals skyrocket early last year with the entry of big corporates, has taken a beating this year. In the plaza area, which hit the headlines in the wake of a showroom being rented for over Rs 20 lakh a month, the rent last year was in the range of Rs 500-700 per sq feet. However, now the rentals are reported to be in the range of Rs 400 to Rs 600 per sq feet. In the non-plaza area, the rate was Rs 300-500 and Rs 250-450 for 2008 and 2009, respectively.

“Till a couple of years ago, the spurt in rentals was due to the craze of MNCs to have a brand presence in Sector 17. However, as the recession took its toll, major brands started shifting from the plaza area to the non-plaza area and other spacious commercial accommodations in other parts of the city,” JPS Kalra, general secretary of the Sector 17 market association, says.

The situation in other major commercial areas is no different. Property in Sector 22, which was available at the rate of Rs 100-300 per sq feet, is now available in the range of Rs 100-250.

Another major commercial centre, Sector 35, which catches the fancy of big corporates, offered commercial property at the rate of Rs 150-300 against Rs 150-350 last year.

With no major distances between sectors, major retail chains, fast-food joints and restaurants have started spreading out from traditional commercial centres like Sectors 17, 22, 34 and 35.

The poor response to the recent commercial auction by the estate office is largely blamed on the declining rentals. This coupled with the sale of commercial property on a leasehold basis, where the commercial property owners are expected to pay lakhs of rupees as lease money to the Administration, was the main reason for the slump in the rental market.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal has demanded the abolition of the leasehold system for commercial property. The scrapping of the leasehold system would result in the revival of commercial property rentals, it hoped.



Anuradha Murder Case
Daughter complains against SI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
After turning hostile in the murder case of her mother, Anuradha Sandhu, Osean today got her statement recorded in the case against an investigating officer.

In her statement, 12-year-old Osean alleged that she was pressured to give a statement against her father Baljinder Singh, prime accused in the case.

She had claimed in her petition that her father was falsely implicated in the case. She also alleged that Sub-Inspector Amanjot took her to the Sector 24 police station a day after the murder and forced her to give the statement under Section 164 of the CrPC against her father.

She alleged in the court that on December 14, 2008, around 1.30 pm, SI Amanjot came to their house to take her as she was to appear as a witness in the case.

Anuradha Sandhu (35), a boutique owner and wife of Baljinder Singh, a leading property dealer from Mohali, was found brutally murdered in her Sector 38 (West) house on the intervening night of May 17 and 18, 2008.

Barely hours after the discovery of the murder, the Ropar police had found the body of her servant, Vijay Pal Singh, alias Nikku, who was initially suspected to be behind the killing.



I could never play tennis again: Aradhana
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Aradhana with her parents Anand Parkash and Madhu.
Aradhana with her parents Anand Parkash and Madhu. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 23
The memories of their teen years together are still fresh in Aradhana’s mind. Even after 19 years of the unfortunate incident, tears still roll down the eyes of Aradhana, then a 14-year-old girl and Ruchika’s best friend. “When I think of that moment, I get horrified,” she says.

Aradhana, the lone eyewitness in the case, says though they were studying in different schools, they were very good friends and lived nearby. “She was my co-player in tennis and after the incident, when she stopped playing the game, I never picked up the racket again,” recalls Aradhana.

Their friendship was further strengthened with Ruchika’s closeness with Madhu Parkash, Aradhana’s mother, as her own mother was dead.

Married for nine years, Aradhana also has had her share of torment. “Rathore tried to contact us when I was in Hyderabad with my husband. I kept evading him and after that we migrated to Australia,” she says.

“In a country where priorities change after marriage for a woman, I was fortunate enough to retain mine,” she says, adding that her in-laws and husband always supported her and never asked her to retract from her statement.

Aradhana, who came to India in 2005 to record her statement, says that the journey has been very long and tiring, and the sentence is too less. “My parents have struggled a lot, but the result has been anything but satisfying. Rathore deserves a harsher punishment,” she says.

Her parents, Anand Parkash and Madhu, have literally lived in courtrooms from one court complex to another ever since they took it upon themselves to take the case to its logical end.

Like Ruchika’s family, Parkash also had to go through hardship. He was asked to quit a year before his retirement as chief engineer from the Haryana Mandi Board. It was only after he fought a legal battle that he was reinstated.

Defamation cases were also filed against him, and are still pending in court. The CBI offered protection to the family in these circumstances, but he rejected it. “Rathore could not scare us and I was convinced to bring out the truth and get justice,” he states.



4 more die of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Four more persons succumbed to swine flu here today, raising the death toll to 41. The number of H1N1 patients has risen to 293, with new cases being reported during the day. Of these, two patients are from Chandigarh, three from Haryana and one from HP.

The global pandemic continues to spread in the city and surrounding areas. Deaths were reported from Panchkula, Nabha, Nahan and Pinjore. The deceased have been identified as 22-year-old Manju from Pinjore, Rani (38) from Nahan, Priya (17) from Nabha and Shivkant (28) from Panchkula.

So far, the maximum number of 17 deaths have been reported from Punjab. Haryana comes second with 13 deaths. HC Gera, nodal officer for swine flu, said with the fall in temperature, the rate of viral infection increased.

A doctor at the PGI said the weather was favourable for the spread of infections and swine flu cases would increase. Students and office goers are at a higher risk of contracting the infection.

How to be safe

  • Use disposable tissues and cover the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing. Dispose of the tissue carefully.
  • There is always some virus on tabletops, telephones and computers. Try not to touch eyes, nose and mouth frequently.
  • Washing and sanitising hands frequently is a very effective way of staying away from the infection. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitisers are efficient in killing the virus.
  • There is no restriction on food and drinks as swine flu is not a food-borne disease. It is transmitted by air-borne droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or from germs on hands, or germ-laden surfaces.
  • Wearing a well-fitted mask in public places is advisable. But only a mask can’t save you from the disease.
  • Drink loads of water and get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is an unhealthy habit and could affect the immune system.
  • Stay at least 3 ft away from people with respiratory infection.

If you already have it

  • Confine yourself to a room and wear a mask.
  • Keep yourself away from public places to avoid spreading the infection to others.
  • Swine flu is most contagious in the initial five days. In the case of children, it can be contagious up to 10 days.



Tribune Impact
Merit, waiting lists out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The UT education department today released the merit and waiting lists for teachers’ recruitment on its website. The move came after The Tribune highlighted that violating all norms, the department did not reveal the merit of the selected candidates and the waiting list of the recruitment done last month.

The department has now released the percentage secured by the selected candidates in the examination and interview and has also released the list of roll numbers on the waiting list for various posts.

The department ran into troubled waters when it “evaded” the declaration of the list, claiming that the entire record was in the possession of an external agency.



MC house meeting likely to be stormy
Oppn councillors to corner Mayor over exemption to Babla
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
This year’s last meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation house scheduled for tomorrow may again be a stormy affair. Sources say some members are in a mood to corner the authorities for not sending the minutes of the last house meeting, in which the agenda of exemption from house to Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla was approved, to the councillors.

The opposition is planning to raise the issue in the house as to how Mayor Kamlesh had fixed the date of the next house meeting till the confirmation of the minutes of last meeting had not been prepared.

Sources in the MC revealed that the minutes of the last house meeting were not sent to the councillors with the agenda following a controversy between MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria and Mayor Kamlesh on the words dictated in the minutes on the issue of Babla exemption from the house.

So the confirmation of minutes could not be prepared on time to be sent to the councillors with agenda, sources added.

Talking to The Tribune, Akali Dal councillor Harjinder Kaur said they ask what was the status of exemption to Babla as the councillors had not discussed it in the previous meeting and the Mayor herself had passed the. She questioned when the house was not aware on what grounds an absconding person was asking for exemption, how they could approve it?

BJP leader Gurcharan Dass Kala said like the last meeting, the Mayor plans to send the minutes of the meeting without even tabling it in the house for confirmation.

He said if the Mayor does not want that the councillors should see the proceedings and raise objection on it. He said she is aware that the way the agenda of Babla’s exemption was approved was against the MC Act. He said the BJP would not allow the house to take up the business till the confirmation was tabled and discussed in the house.



10% rent hike for food street outlets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
If the present allottees of kiosks at the Night Food Street in Sector 14 wish to continue to run their eating outlets till January 15, 2010, when the municipal corporation will make fresh allotments, they will be required to pay an additional 10 per cent over and above the existing rent to the civic body within two days.

This was decided at a special meeting of the MC’s special finance & contract committee (F&CC) convened under the chairmanship of mayor Kamlesh.

It was called to fix the responsibility of officials for the delay in reallotment of eight kiosks, whose last date expired on December 5, as also to decide the new date for re-auctioning the kiosks.

Sources said MC officials decided to ask the current allottees to either pay an additional rent of ten per cent for using the kiosks on the Night Food Street or vacate them by tomorrow. They also decided if the civic body incurred any revenue losses due to delay in reallocation of the kiosks the officials responsible would have to pay the amount from their own pockets.

The sources added the MC officials also informed the committee about four employees who have been asked to explain the delay in re-auctioning the kiosks.

The F&CC set up a three-member panel comprising two councillors - Jatinder Bhatia and Anu Chatrath -as its members along with one of the department officials to draw up a report on fixing the new rentals for the kiosks. It was also decided that till January 15 the authorities would complete the entire process of re-auctioning the kiosks.



Residents feel the chill as mercury dips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
With the festive season around the corner, the chill persisted in the city and its adjoining areas here today with the minimum temperature recorded at 4.2.degrees Celsius. However, those planning to go out of town for Christmas-New Year celebrations can breathe a sigh of relief as the meteorological department predicted the absence of dense fog in the coming days.

“The minimum temperature recorded early this morning was 4.2 degrees C while the maximum was 21.4 degrees C. The mercury is likely to drop further in the coming week due to snowfall on the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh," a Met official told TNS.

Weathermen predicted a clear sky tomorrow. "There is no possibility of dense fog in the next few days. We expect very slight fog/mist during night and morning." they added.

Train and air traffic was disrupted due to early morning fog in the region. The 4888 Jodhpur-Chandigarh-Kalka train, which was scheduled to arrive at Chandigarh station at 5:15 am, reached at 8:30 in the morning - late by over three hours. Similarly, the Jet Airways morning Delhi-Chandigarh flight was cancelled due to poor visibility.

With no creature comforts the poor were seen sitting in groups, getting relief from makeshift fire arrangements. Whether it is summer or winter, they are the worst sufferers. With every passing day the temperature is falling in this part of the region and chilly winds have begun to disrupt the lives of hundreds of poor here. For them, booth corners and shop corridors remain their only home.

Rickshaw-puller Avadh Narain from Bihar said the acute weather was a testing time for people like him. He said their daily "business" dwindled as there were very few commuters on the streets. "You feel the cold while driving a rickshaw. Even after toiling so much we aren’t able to get two square meals a day,” he lamented.

Woollen hosiery products including body warmers, jackets, gloves and pullovers are selling in the city like hot cakes. Manoj Sharma, a shopkeeper at the Sector 19 ‘rehri’ market, said the maximum number of such products are sold in December and January.



Emphasis on employee recognition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The international conference on “Management and Valuation of Intangibles” being organised by University Business School, Panjab University, concluded at English department here today.

Technical sessions, spanning over two days, focussed on the problems in identification, accounting and reporting issues, emerging components and future challenges in the field of intangibles.

Intellectual property disclosure, green marketing, branding, mergers and acquisitions, human capital, organisational culture and organisational commitment were some of the many intangibles that were discussed.

Emerging practices in the field of service quality, corporate social responsibility, research and development and brand loyalty were also discussed.

Participants from different nations and universities presented their research papers ranging from human resource accounting to brand equity and reporting and disclosure practices of intangibles.

These deliberations were chaired by senior academicians and professors like Prof GC Maheshwari, Dean, faculty of management studies, MS University of Vadodara, Prof G Srinivasan, NITIE, Mumbai, Prof Rakesh Chopra, Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, and Dr Sudhir Kapur, deputy general manager, MMTC.

Following the technical sessions, there was a panel discussion on “Human Resource Competencies and Business Competitiveness”. The speakers included Sudhir Kant, president, Millipore India, Sunil Dutt, president of Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard India Sales and others.

Sudhir Kant laid emphasis on human resources being a critical organisational driver contributing to organisational success.

Ashwini Prashara enlightened the audience about the growing significance of employee recognition and development.

Sunil Dutt discussed leadership qualities emphasised by Sun Tzu and their effective utilisation to build creative human resource strategies.

Joji Sekhon Gill shared her own international experiences with technology rich organisations such as Microsoft and also brought out the pros and cons of human resource competencies of Indian companies as compared to those of the US.

The deliberations were followed by the valedictory ceremony presided over by Prof GC Maheshwari, Dean, faculty of management studies, Baroda. Sunil Dutt, president, Hewlett Packard India Sales, was guest of honour.



Website connecting Indian, UK artistes on cards
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The new regional director of India and Singapore, British Council, Ruth Gee, was here last week with a message that the key purpose of the council remained the same, only the medium was undergoing a change.

The council would be launching new projects, including “Sound Pad”, which aims at connecting artists in the United Kingdom and India.

The council that had drawn flak for closing down its few libraries in India, is now expanding, Ruth said, who visited British Library here.

Ruth said the council might have closed three libraries in the past eight years, but was increasing the scope of its activities in India. For instance, in Kerala where the council had closed down a library, it had expanded in other spheres, she said.

Former English teacher Ruth said the council was working on innovative themes, in the field of entertainment, education and others.

She said young musicians could avail the new project based on cultural exchanges through music. The project revolves around a website connecting Indian artists with their UK counterparts and vice versa.

Ruth said education projects included providing new generation cards as aids in teaching primary schoolchildren, besides training teachers on how to promote sports as a part of curriculum. “We are also imparting leadership training to those between the age group of 18 and 25,” she added.

Ruth said the council had a network of climate champions between the age group of 18 and 21, who were selected after a competition, where in they demonstrated project ideas.



Looking Ahead: 2010
Mohali skyline set to change
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Construction underway for new bus stand at Phase I in Mohali.
Construction underway for new bus stand at Phase I in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 23
Fighting infrastructural shortcomings, the gateway to Punjab is slowly chugging its way to progress. The year ahead is expected to be eventful as some of the projects announced by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) will be taking shape.

Though not much is expected as far as improving the standard of basic amenities is concerned, residents are hoping against hope that putting political differences aside, the ruling-Congress councillors and the SAD-led councillors will join hands for development of the city.

Even in the coming year, the three-year-old district will remain bereft of basic administrative infrastructure like the district administrative complex, district courts and police-related infrastructure. A political analyst observed that compared to Bathinda or politically important districts, Mohali despite its economic status does not have strong political representation. This could be one of the reasons for low pace of development and misplaced priorities of the Akali government.

Referring to the past, residents are apprehensive about frequent transfers of the DC and the SSP, which also affect the development and redressal of public grievances.

Coming back to development, work on Punjab’s first 20-storey bus stand-cum -commercial centre has started in Sector 57 here.

Also the concept plan of the Central Business District (CBD), Sector 62, designed by Singapore-based consultant, Jurong Ltd, was also released this year. Barring four laning of roads around the proposed CBD, no major constructive groundwork could be initiated by GMADA, which attributed recession for it. The proposed IT tower project for Sector 67, which will provide working space to IT companies, is also expected to be launched next year.

The master plans of Mohali, Mullanpu, Kharar, Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and Lalru released by the Department of Town and Country Planning will also be taking shape in the coming year. One of eventful happening of 2008, the MOU between the Union Aviation Ministry and the Punjab government did limp towards progress. Apart from forming a joint-venture company, no groundwork could be initiated. “In 2010, the Airport Authority of India is expected to start work on the airport and work on the connecting roads is also expected to start”, said a GMADA official.

Work on the sites allotted to major giants and important research centres in Knowledge City , Sector 82, is expected to start. As far as public initiatives were concerned, the Punjab government allowed conveyance deeds at original rates. This brought relief to thousands of allottees, who had otherwise had to pay fee at prevailing rates. Not much was done on many other mega housing projects launched in 2008.



‘Combat stress with sudarshan kriya’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
With increase in the stressful working conditions, strained relations and deteriorating health, city residents are facing drastic changes in lifestyle.

These revelations were made at a press conference on “Drastic changes in the lifestyle in Chandigarh, an increase in stressful living and how to combat” by faculty members at the Art of Living centre in Sector 35 here today.

They said psychologists and councillors across the city were concerned over the mounting stress and other related problems due to stress-like dependence on harmful drugs in the city.

Teachers also narrated the manner in which stress was taking a toll on the professional as well as the personal life. A reference was to some cases that the teachers have come across during their courses, which indicate a dire need to combat the situation fast.

“The reasons for stress are in our own minds, but we do not realise that the secret of our mind is in our breath itself. Combating stress is very easy and does not take much effort. The power of breathing techniques like sudarshan kriya is amazing and is much more than what can be visualised. It cleanses toxins and deep rooted physical, mental and emotional blocks from the body,” said Gaurav Sood, a faculty with the Art of Living.

The faculty members of the organisation would organise a “holiday special three-days workshop” on the weekend at SOREM School, Sector 36-C, December 25 to 27.

The motive of the workshop is to introduce people to sudershan kriya, a unique, world-renowned, breathing technique that brings enormous joy, stress-free mind, healthy body and blossomed life. The technique was devised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living Foundation and is being practiced by millions of people in 150 countries, they said.



Get NoC or face action, DTO to taxi drivers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 23
The District Transfer Officer, Karan Singh, has urged those plying taxis bearing registration number of other states to get no objection certificates from authorities concerned for getting their vehicles registered here failing which heavy penalties would be imposed after December 31.

He said such taxi operators had been given time from November 26 to do the needful so that they could be given the required permits, but action would be taken against such operators after December 31 if they violated the rules.

He said a number of vehicles bearing private numbers were being used as taxis. As many as 117 persons who had got their vehicles registered here had been given permits. However, those bearing the registration number of other states would have to get an NOC. His office would also be holding a camp to provide help to such operators, he added.

Earlier, he said, 85 private buses were challaned which were plying illegally in the area. He said buses bearing registration numbers such as those of Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland and Delhi plied in the state without paying the required tax at the barrier. Such buses plied between 11.30 pm and 4 am.

The DTO said there was a proposal for setting up a traffic park in Mohali on the pattern of the traffic park located in Sector 23, Chandigarh. He had talked to the Deputy Commissioner in this regard. A site lying vacant behind the ground of the Phase VI Government College could be used as a traffic park for the time being.



Security gates in Sec 15, 21 soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
To do away with night rowdyism, theft, burglary and minimising other incidents of crime during night in the city, the UT administration has initiated a pilot project of installing security gates in Sectors 15 and 21.

A meeting in this regard was held today under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ram Niwas. SS Srivastava, SSP, apprised that a joint survey was conducted by the Chief Architect, representatives of the Resident Welfare Association’s (RWA), the police in Sector 15 and seven points were identified for installing the security gates.

The Chief Architect will give the designs for the same within a week’s time. It was further deliberated that drop gates should be built similar to the gates on railway crossings with a small cabin.

The design for the security gates will be provided to the RWA that will get the gates installed within a stipulated time of one month. The security gates will be having reflecting tapes, information of entry timings, speed limit, etc. The putting up of rumble strips before entering the gate was also proposed.

The Home Secretary said once the gates were installed, the police would be in a better position to nab the roadies, bikers, other anti-social elements, who create nuisance for the residents of the sectors and would also bring the crime graph down along with curtailing incidents of accidents.

He further said once the project in the two sectors is complete it would be replicated in other sectors of the city after incorporating necessary changes.



Stray Cattle Menace
Home secy asks MC to take strict measures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Local Bodies Ram Niwas today convened a meeting to deal with the stray cattle menace in the city.

He directed the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to take stringent measures to tackle the stray cattle menace in order to safeguard the lives of city residents.

He directed the officials to increase the fine as it would be deterrent to the owners for getting the impounded cattle released. He proposed that if the same cattle was impounded twice, the cattle should not be released and rather be auctioned.

It was deliberated that the cattle owners would be held responsible for the liabilities arising on account of accidents due to stray cattle and would be prosecuted by the SDMs under Section 133 of the CrPC.

He sought the cooperation of the residents and NGOs to keep the city free from stray cattle and inform at mobile No. 9872511284 about the same.



Sachdeva is 12 Wing chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Air Commodore Rajeev Sachdeva took over as the Air Officer Commanding 12 Wing here today. Prior to this, he was the Chief Instructor at the Fixed Wing Training Faculty at Air Force Station, Yelahanka.

He took over from Air Commodore SRK Nair, who has been nominated for the course at National Defence College in New Delhi. A ceremonial parade was organised to mark the change of guard.

Air Commodore Sachdeva has over 7,000 hours of military flying to his credit and has served with the IAF’s VIP Squadron. An alumnus of College of Defence Management and National Defence College, he is an Air Force Examiner and has over 7 years of instructional experience. He has visited 24 countries in the course of duty.

He had earlier commanded the 48 Squadron here, the lifeline to Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, Neeta Sachdeva, a graduate from MCM DAV College, Chandigarh, took over as the president of the Air Force Wives’ Welfare Association (Local) from Geethanjali Nair.



Rehabilitation centre inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Inaugurating the Don Bosco Navjeevan Rehabilitation Centre for special children in Sector 47 here today, UT Administrator SF Rodrigues said it was societal responsibility to extend all basic facilities and possible help to special children, to enable them to lead lives of dignity, respect and confidence.

Inspecting the living rooms of the centre, Rodrigues said special gadgets were required for different handicaps to help the disabled children to learn latest techniques, which can be helpful in overcoming their handicap and making them proficient in their fields of endeavour.

Addressing the gathering, Sebastian Jose said the Don Bosco Society started its work in 2001 and today they were working in 17 slums and 15 villages of Chandigarh.

Earlier, the Administrator visited Chandigarh Engineering College in Sector 26 and inspected the hostel rooms of the NCC wing and told officers in charge of Army, Naval and Air Force wing to launch a cleanliness drive and improve the living conditions of the students. He told the officers concerned to come up with complete renovation plan to raise the living standard of the students staying at the hostel.



Musical bonanza at Tagore Theatre
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 23
The musical and entertainment bonanza organised by Sports and Recreation club of Accountant General (A and E), had a glorious chance to assess, appreciate and audit their artistic capabilities and potential at their annual meet at the Tagore Theatre here today.

Commencing with an invocatory vandna by Indu Kapur, Prabhleen presented a dance, Kamal Kant a song, Haryanvi folk by OP Dhammi and a short play titled “Majma”staged by all amateur artists spelt laughter.

Haryanvi folk dances presented by the accomplished artists of department of culture affairs, Haryana, Shiva stuti “Bamm Lahiri” by Harwinder Rana and troupe, traditional dances loor and khodiya by Anita and party and specially designed dance on folk instrumental music by Reena and others delighted the audience.

The musical programme concluded with a boisterous bhangra dance.

Earlier, SS Dhadwal IAAS, deputy AG, greeted the chief guest S Murugiah, principal accountant general Punjab and UT Chandigarh, who later released two books authored by Pushpa Rattan and Manjit Meera.



Mystery shrouds woman’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Mystery shrouds the death of a 27-year-old married woman after her brother accused her in-laws of harassing and mistreating his sister. The woman, Kirti, who was an acute kidney patient, died at the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital last night. Her brother, Gaurav, had met her yesterday at the hospital where she was admitted a couple of days back, said the police.

The police said after the death, the family had taken the body and informed Kirti’s parents about the death. Her brother reached here and levelled allegation against Vishaldeep’s family. He insisted that her sister was tortured following which the police took the body to the hospital, where doctors conducted a post-mortem. The police later handed over the body to Kirti’s parents following the magistrate’s orders. The doctors had sent the viscera samples for chemical examination to ascertain the exact cause of the death.



Estate officers appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Chandigarh administration has appointed the following officials as Estate Officers, UT, Chandigarh, under sub-section (g) of Section 2 of the Capital of Punjab Development and Regulation Act 1952.

They include PK Sharma, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, TPS Phoolka, Joint Commissioner, MC, and Kamlesh Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of the MC in respect of the properties falling under its jurisdiction of the civic body. Jaswinder Kaur, Secretary, Chandigarh Housing Board, will be the Estate Officer in respect of the properties falling under the jurisdiction of the board.



Parking contract terminated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The Market Committee has terminated the contract of the parking lot near Jogindra Flour Mills in Grain Market, Sector 26.

According to a press note, earnest money deposit of Rs 50,000 of the contractor has been forfeited. The process for fresh allotment of parking contract will be started soon.

Certain complaints were received that the parking contractor was allowing the ‘rehries’ in the parking in violation of the terms of the contract. The contractor was issued a show-cause notice for this violation and the reply submitted by him was not found to be satisfactory, the press note added.



From Schools
Plays, dance mark Anees annual function
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 23
The seventh annual function of Anees School, Sector 69, was held today with grandeur and enthusiasm. District education officer Niranjan Singh was chief guest. The cultural event started with class III students presenting ‘Saraswati vandana’. Students of play classes participated in a glittering ramp show, showcasing the best of dresses and attitude.

LKG students participated in rain dance flaunting colourful umbrellas. The legend of ‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Three Bears’ came alive on stage with students enacting in the play. UKG students presented Barbie dance. Class I students gyrated in Arabian dance and classes II and III students presented in ‘Sweetness of Salt’ play. The Rajasthani folk dance of classes IV and V with foot-tapping music drew big applause.

The burning issue of global warming, too, was highlight in a play wherein students of classes V, VI, VII and VIII put across the message with an appeal to save the mother earth.

Christmas cheer

Students at Manav Mangal Smart School celebrated Christmas with enthusiasm today. Many children arrived to the school dressed as Santa Claus distributing sweets.

A special chariot was arranged for the kindergarten wing decorated with red and white balloons. The children went on a ride outside the school. The students of the kindergarten also had a special celebration where they presented a skit on Christmas and sang carols.

A multimedia presentation on the story of Christmas was shown to the students of classes III to IX, followed by a movie Fred Claus - a comedy film based on the brother of Santa Claus.

Christmas was celebrated with great fervour and gusto at Ashmah International School. The school was decked up with the festive lights, festoons, balloons and ribbons. A Christmas tree was also decorated.

The highlight of the day was a play based on the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The play motivated the students to follow the teachings of Christ and lead a virtuous, action oriented and meaningful life.

Santa distributed saplings as gifts to the students and told them that planting the trees would get the planet rid of all problems.

Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector77, celebrated Christmas with pomp and show.

The celebrations began with a speech, shedding light on the life and teachings of Christ. The gala atmosphere was enhanced by singing of Christmas carols by the young learners. The knowledge of students about the birth of Jesus Christ was enriched by staging of play on the nativity of dear lord. The play was enacted by the school students themselves who gave scintillating performances.

Tiny tots celebrated Christmas by wearing colourful Santa Claus dresses and by receiving gifts from their beloved Santa Claus.

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, celebrated Christmas with traditional fervour and gaiety. The campus was abuzz with activity as children celebrated the festival with gusto and fervour. The students gave a benevolent touch to the entire celebration by sharing their joy with the Missionaries of Charity, Sector 23, Chandigarh. One of the teachers had dressed up as Santa Claus to distribute sweets and gifts to the children. The children sang Christmas carols for the inmates. A cheque for Rs 21,000 was donated as a token of love and affection to Sister Annalisa for the noble cause.



PU not to be ‘petty’ any more
To directly transfer small amount into bank accounts
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
Panjab University has finally woken up to the issue of giving petty cheques of Rs 15, Rs 20 etc to its faculty members and staff. The practice of issuing cheques of such small amounts, each of which costs the administration Rs 100 in addition to the man-hours involved, will now be discontinued.

The amount will now be transferred to employees or faculty members’ bank account.

The decision was made after realising the fact that such a practice had been disturbing university administration’s work.

The effort is one of the many initiatives being taken to expand and improve the system in university’s finance department in the coming year.

“Since years, such small things had been going unnoticed and this is one of the steps being taken for the betterment of the department. Each cheque used to cost the university more than Rs 100, be it of Rs 20 or any such small amount. On the other hand, it also used to waste a lot of time of employees,” said Vikram Nayyar, FDO, Panjab University.

A majority of these cheques used to be issued for the examination and the evaluation duties.

Besides, a proposal by the finance department to create a Management Information System (MIS) at Panjab University is also in the pipeline.

The system would equip the university with updated statistics about number of faculty members, details of salaries, accounts, research figures and other details.



‘Priyadarshi Ashok’ performed at DPS
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 23
“Priyadarshi Ashok”, a dance-drama, was presented by Delhi Public School (DPS), Sector 40, at Indradhanush Auditorium, Panchkula, as part of their annual day celebration.

Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal was the chief guest. Other eminent guests included Ambika Soni, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, Uday C Soni, pro-vice-chairman, DPS Chandigarh, and members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly.

The show commenced with the school choir presenting a melodious song. The guests released the brochure to commemorate the occasion. A multimedia presentation of the school annual report portrayed the milestones achieved by the school in the recent past.

Then came the showstopper of the day, “Priyadarshi Ashok,” a period dance -drama showcasing various phases in the life of Ashoka.

The multimedia presentation recreated the golden period of the Mauryan dynasty with the support of grand sets, excellent light design, impressive film and vibrant costumes. The in-house production unfolded exquisitely in the form of reminiscences of Ashoka through his diary entries, depicting Ashoka as an able administrator, a relentless conqueror and ultimately a follower and propagator of Buddhism.



NSS volunteers for youth fest in Orissa
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, December 23
As many as four NSS volunteers of Chandigarh will participate in the XV National Youth Festival being held in Bhubaneswar from January 8 to 12, 2010.

Dhiraj Singh Taank, Pushpinder Singh (boys) of DAV College, Sector10, and Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, and Rashmi and Jaskamal Kaur of Government PG College (boys), Sector 11, and Government College for Girls, Sector 42, have been selected to participate.

Bikram Rana, State Liaison Officer, NSS, Chandigarh administration, said a communiqué had been received by the State liaison office, NSS cell, Chandigarh, from its NSS regional centre. The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will organise the festival in collaboration with the Orissa government.

Gurpreet Kaur, NSS programme officer, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, Chandigarh, has been appointed contingent in charge.

The NSS participants should also bring photo identity cards signed by their respective principal, along with indemnity bond with two recent passport-size photographs.

The communiqué has directed the contingent in charge to report at Bhubaneswar with the team by January 7. The assistant programme adviser, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, New Delhi, said the theme of the festival would be “Celebrating Diversity”.



Sakham wins Chandigarh round
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 23
Sakham Gakhar from Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, battled with students from 41 schools to be crowned winner of the Chandigarh round of the HDFC Standard Life Spell Bee - India Spells 2010 at the Manav Mangal School here yesterday.

Sakham would now participate in the grand finale of the competition, to be held in Mumbai on January 9, 2010.

Ajoy Sharma, the chief guest at the final round, awarded a certificate to Sakham. Sakham also received a cash benefit of Rs 20,000 from the organisers of the event.



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