C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Class XI examination
Answersheets go missing from govt school
Sumedha Sharma
News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
In a shocking incident, answersheets of the Class XI examination conducted yesterday have gone missing from the UT Administration-run Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18.

Even after 24 hours of the incident coming to light, the school authorities did not care to either register an FIR or officially apprise the education department of the seriousness of the situation which impacts a number of students.

Confirming the incident, UT District Education Officer Chanchal Singh said, “We have only received a verbal communication with regard to the untoward incident. There is nothing official about the issue till we receive a written complaint. The school authorities are probably searching for the papers in the school before they send us a formal complaint,” he added in a hopeful tone.

Informed sources said after the conclusion of the examination yesterday, the invigilator carried copies to the examination control room. The official in charge at the control room was missing from his spot. The invigilator merely left the papers on the table of the control room and left the venue. Hours after the closure time, it was detected that certain answersheets had gone missing from the bundle.

Requesting anonymity, a school teacher said, “More than the incident, it is the callousness of our head and the education department which is more perturbing. As per norms, an FIR should have been registered immediately. Even if the papers are found, there is no guarantee that the papers would have not been tampered with.”

Teachers come to blows

Keeping the issue of missing answer-sheets under wraps yesterday, the school authorities today called a staff meeting to look into the matter. But instead of serious deliberations, the venue turned into a free-for-all fight. A small session of allegations and counter-allegations was followed by a session of abuses by the very teachers whose profession it is to set an example for the young minds. The matter reached its crescendo when a teacher bashed his colleague with a stick.

Ironically, the fisticuff session was preceded by a morning prayer meeting conducted by the teachers themselves. They had prayed for “communal harmony”, “peace of mind”, “respect for others” and “love for fellow humans”. “There were no students but we had come to the school to do a mandatory morning assembly. We all prayed. After this we sat for the staff meeting where one of our colleagues (name withheld since he was not contactable for his version) started levelling allegations against his colleagues. When we answered him back, he abused me very badly and hit me with his walking stick. “Is this justified? I have written to the DEO about the matter,” said Pradeep Kumar, a music teacher, who filed a written complaint with the department today.

The incident has left many feeling the need for counselling for the teachers and to educate them on maintaining decorum. Convener of the UT Coordination Committee of Teachers Harbir Singh condemned the incident, saying, “If teachers start beating each other, what will they teach to students? The incident has put entire fraternity to shame.”



Admn raises toast to dearer liquor
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Come April 1, saying cheers will cost bacchus lovers more in Chandigarh. Though all kinds of liquor, including beer and light brands, will get costlier, city residents will still be able to enjoy their drinks at cheaper rates in comparison to their counterparts in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

Nevertheless, the across-the-board hike in both the excise duty and the additional license fee, which form part of the much-delayed UT excise policy for 2010-11 fiscal year announced here today, spells bad news for bacchus lovers.

While the excise duty on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and imported foreign liquor (IFL) has been hiked by 33 per cent from Rs 15 per proof litre (PL) to Rs 20, the same on beer having alcohol content up to 5.25 per cent has been upped from Rs 3 per bottle to Rs 6 per bottle.

For strong beer having an alcohol content exceeding 5.25 per cent, the revised cost now stands at Rs 10 per bottle from the existing Rs 6.

For lighter drinks like wine, champagne, cider, RTD and liqueur, the excise duty has gone up from Rs 4 to Rs 10, while the poor man’s drink i.e. country liquor will also cost more following an increase of Re 1 from Rs 5 per PL.

Following a hike in the excise duty and other charges on liquor vends, prices of medium brands like Peter Scot and Blenders Pride will cost around Rs 275-280 from the current Rs 260 per bottle.

While the prices of lower brands like Royal Stag and McDowell No. 1 will go up to Rs 150- 160 from the existing around Rs 140 per bottle, country liquor bottles’ price will rise to Rs 65 from the existing Rs 55.

“The consumers of the lower and medium brands will be hit hard by the UT decision,” said Satpal, a liquor contractor.

UT’s Excise and Taxation Secretary Sanjay Kumar claimed that the administration’s endeavour was to provide good quality liquor at reasonable rates and facilitate a switch from hard to light liquor.

Sources claimed that the new rates would go a long way in checking large-scale smuggling from Chandigarh to neighbouring states, particularly Punjab.

In fact, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal had recently met Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator on the issue. Last year, the UT administration had raised VAT on liquor from 4 per cent to 12.5 per cent, bringing it on a par with Punjab.

Though, officially, the UT does not concede liquor smuggling to adjoining states, it is a known fact that Chandigarh is a bootleggers’ paradise.

“Since there is still a substantial price difference, large-scale smuggling will only be checked to a certain extent,” Satpal claimed.

Meanwhile, the wholesale licence of foreign liquor fee has been increased by 25 per cent. The licence fee increase for bars from Rs 2.25 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh will mean that sipping beer in summers will burn a hole in drinker’s pockets.

Quick Peek

n Revenue expected to go up from Rs 175 cr to Rs 190 cr
n Whisky, beer, wine, champagne to cost more
n Maximum liquor vends to remain same at 217
n New policy may not check smuggling from city



Councillor, kin thrashed at police station
Akash Ghai/Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Miffed over alleged partiality on part of the Chandigarh police in a group clash case, a group of around 50 persons attacked the Industrial Area police station here tonight.

The mob pelted the police station with stones and broke windowpanes of the SHO’s room.

The attack came in the wake of alleged partiality by the police in a brawl that reportedly took place place in front of SHO Yashpal Rana and other officials on the premises of the police station around 10 pm today.

During the brawl, Hari Shankar Misra received grievous injuries on the face. His wife Raj Kumari Misra, councillor of ward No. 20, their son Anup Kumar Misra and nephew Pankaj Misra also received injuries in the brawl.

They were attacked by members of another group led by Guru Rana, who allegedly came along with his supporters and thrashed the family at the police station. The family had gone to the police station to lodge an FIR against the attackers.

The Misras alleged that members of the Guru group had yesterday gone to their place and threatened them. “We were attacked by the Guru group in connivance with the police, which had called them (Guru group) to the police station to facilitate a compromise,” alleged Hari Shankar, adding that the policemen on duty remained mute spectators as four persons thrashed them right in front of their eyes.

The mob that attacked the police station also belonged to the Guru group, he alleged.

On the other hand, the police maintained that it had arrested three persons - Lala, Om Parkash and Beeru - for threatening the Misras. “The allegations of partiality are baseless,” said DSP (east) JS Cheema. The police officer added that they were identifying the attackers and two cases under appropriate Sections had been registered in this regard.



Twins trouble at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
After having being told by gynaecologists at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, that she was carrying twins, 30-year-old Babita of Sanjay Labour Colony, Industrial Area, Phase I, and her family were all excited when she was taken to the labour room at the PGI for her delivery this morning. But they were all in for a shock when they were later informed that she had delivered only one girlchild.

Apprehending that the PGI had played foul and “stolen” the second child, Babita’ family raised a hue and cry and even called the police. However, as things turned out, the diagnosis by the GMSH 16 was proved to be faulty as Babita’s ultrasound taken at the PGI prior to her delivery clearly showed that she was carrying only one child and not twins.

According to eyewitnesses, high tension prevailed in the labour ward on the third floor of Nehru Hospital when Babita’s family discovered that she had delivered only one child instead of twins. The police was summoned and after preliminary investigations, it sealed the ward to avoid media’s access to Babita and her family.

The commotion continued for almost five hours and the issue was sorted out only in the evening, when the PGI authorities succeeded in convincing the family about the wrong diagnosis by the GMSH doctors. The family agreed only after seeing the ultrasound report and cross checking with the GMSH doctors.

Talking to The Tribune, Babita’s father-in-law, Tulsi Ram, claimed that the GMSH doctors, where she was earlier taken, had told them about the twins. “We were referred to the PGI by the GMSH authorities only as they said that Babita had some complications,” he said.

When asked if he had any proof to support his claim about the GMSH doctors diagnosis, Tulsi Ram said they were not given any documents except the admit card.

Dr NK Arora, Medical Superintendent, GMSH, admitted that Babita had come to the hospital and the doctors had “presumed” that she was carrying twins after a clinical examination. “She was 34 weeks pregnant and may be the doctors didn’t see clearly,” he said.

According to a PGI spokesperson, the clinical examination of the patient had shown only one child. “They are both fine,” said the statement issued by the hospital late in the evening.


Dr NK Arora, Medical Superintendent, GMSH-16, admitted that Babita had come to the hospital and the doctors had “presumed” that she was carrying twins after a clinical examination

The diagnosis by the GMSH-16 was proved to be faulty, as Babita’s ultrasound taken at the PGI prior to her delivery clearly showed that she was carrying only one child and not twins



5 hand grenades recovered
BKI ‘terrorists’ were planning to blow up many places in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 23
Two months after two hand grenades were found at Nabha village near the air force station, the Mohali police today recovered five Pakistan-made hand grenades from the alleged BKI terrorists, who were arrested a few days back.

Denying the possibility of the hand grenades being used during public events like tomorrow’s IPL match at the PCA stadium here, Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said investigations were on ascertain the purpose of procuring the grenades. The explosives were recovered from Siswan village in Mullapur.

The village is 15 km from the PCA stadium in Mohali. The SSP said on the basis of interrogation of BKI terrorist Parshotam Singh, alias Pamma, who was arrested last week, raids were conducted and grenades were recovered. These grenades are made in Pakistan and have “P-86” imprinted on them.

The accused were arrested in a joint operation with the special cell of the Delhi Police. “During interrogation, they told that they had plans to conduct blasts at various places in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. So far, we have not found any threat to the PCA stadium and we have made foolproof security arrangements there,” said a senior police official.

Sources in police said the grenades had been delivered to Purshotam through another person who was yet to be arrested. A case under Sections 17, 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Act, 1884, and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.


Cement Racket
Report out; key suspect suspended
SDE chargesheeted, services of 2 others terminated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Following a departmental inquiry report submitted by the chief engineer regarding the cement pilferage racket, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria has initiated action against all those employees involved in this scam.

SDE (civil) Gurshan Dass has been chargesheeted on the ground that he had allowed the indent of 2,000 bags of cement on two consecutive days for the work of improvement and development of existing infrastructure of Sector 17.

The commissioner has placed assistant engineer (civil) RK Dhiman, a prime suspect in the case, under suspension with immediate effect for his alleged involvement in the scam. He was on a deputation with the MC. The commissioner has ordered termination of the services of Chhedi Lal, a chowkidar, and Thakur Singh, a mason, with immediate effect.

Contractors AK Sood of Panchkula and Sarvpriya Building Products Chandigarh have been debarred for tendering in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation for one year. Further action will be taken after receipt of the vigilance report, the commissioner said.

On March 20, the vigilance had nabbed a private truck carrying 200 bags of cement from the MC store in Sector 17.




2-day police remand for accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A local court today sent Munshi Thakur Singh, who was allegedly involved in pilferage of cement bags, in two-day police remand.

He surrendered before the police today. The police had seized a truck carrying 200 cement bags from a MC store in Sector 17 to a factory owned by Jawahar Lal at Barwala on Friday night.

Munshi Thakur Singh and watchman of the store Chhedi Lal were allegedly in constant touch with the accused. The court has also sent driver Harwinder Singh, Chhedi Lal and Jawahar Lal, who were arrested yesterday, in judicial custody till April 5.



Two new flights from city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
All the airlines operating to and from Chandigarh have geared up to meet the summer rush and the upcoming Commonwealth Games from March 28.

While Jet Airways has decided to introduce Boeing 737, Kingfisher is coming up with two new flights using airbuses (ATR) on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Delhi route with change in timings.

The Jet Airways’ Delhi-Chandigarh flight, which used to land in the city at 9.35 am, would arrive at 8.15 am and depart at 8.55 am to facilitate more passengers.

“Booking has been very strong and Delhi and Mumbai continue to be strong contenders for the top tourist spot from the city," said John, managing supervisor for GoAir Airlines.

As per Kingfisher sources, it will also start a new flight to Bangalore from Chandigarh via Delhi and Mumbai from March 28. It has also decided to add additional flights to Delhi from Chandigarh around the same time.



New standing counsel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Sanjay Kaushal, grandson of Jagannath Kaushal, former local MP, was appointed senior standing counsel to the UT Administration here today.

He replaces Anupam Gupta, a close confidant of Gen S F Rodrigues, former UT Administrator.



Watchman found murdered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A watchman at a factory was found murdered today in Industrial Area, Phase 1, today morning.

The murderers also took away two quintals of zinc from Sehra Casting factory after killing the watchman, Ram Singh, last night, the police said.

The matter came to light when Sameer Gupta, the owner of the factory, reached there and found Ram Singh lying in a pool of blood. The victim was stabbed three times in the stomach, while a knife was found stuck in his neck. There was also an injury mark on one of the hands.

DSP (East) JS Cheema said it seemed that it was a handiwork of four people who could be known to the victim. “The main gate has small hole to see the visitors. As the main gate was found opened, it showed that Ram might have known the attackers and himself had opened it for them,” said Cheema. He added that a pick-up van was used to take away the material. Before leaving, they also destroyed a CCTV camera, said Cheema.



City students to go ‘on air’ against polluting Yamuna
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Innovative and peppy radio jingles produced by students from 14 schools of the tricity will now be “on air” across the country from March 25 onwards for creating awareness on consequences of polluting the Yamuna.

Breaking the monotony of recurrent and much hyped environmental campaigns, the Population Research Centre (PRC) of Panjab University in a unique initiative has engaged the schoolchildren to create jingles and 15-minute programmes for cleaning up the Yamuna to be aired on FM.

As a part of social engineering component and as partners in the Union government’s second phase of the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP-II), the PRC organised an event “Radio masters” to train the city school students to record the jingles. These jingles and programmes will now be aired on the All-India Radio, Rainbow channel (107.2) from March 25 to March 30 at 7.45 pm and on the Internet radio, www.radiochandigarh.com<http://www.radiochandigarh.com> <http://www.radiochandigarh.com> from April 10 to April 30.

“The motive is to create awareness among rural illiterate population in six towns of Haryana, including Sonepat, Panipat, Gurgaon, Yamunagar, Karnal and Faridabad, which adjoin the Yamuna and where maltreatment is high. In the YAP-I, the emphasis was on cleaning the river. Now in the YAP-II, the government realised that only cleaning would not solve the purpose. “Instead, social involvement is a must since people are actual source of pollution,” said PRC director Mohinderjit K Teja at Panjab University.

The Haryana government has now engaged the PRC, which is funded by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to participate in three categories of programmes related to the cleaning up of the Yamuna.

These include school health and hygiene, community toilet complex and town specific innovative programmes, which include solid waste programmes.



Poor response to online aptitude test
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Hinting at the poor reaction to the new trend of online management exams in the country on the lines of GMAT and GRE exams, vital statistics revealed that out of 90,000 candidates who appeared in the online Management Aptitude Test (MAT) in September 2009, only 6,000 students preferred to give the test online.

Wing Commander VS Bejoy, director, AIMA, made significant observations today in an exclusive interview with the Tribune on his visit to the city.

Informing that no immediate alterations are expected in MAT, the director pointed out that accepted by more than 500 business schools in the world, MAT is the largest such test in the world.

“The demand of the online test is less as compared to the total number of students. Although we have 30 centres ready for the online exam every three months, only 15 centres are utilised. For the paper pencil format exam, more than 90 centres are utilised nationally,” said Bejoy.

On being questioned about the technical hitch faced in conducting the online test, he pointed out that much depends on the agency hired to perform the task.

MAT online exam, which is held four times in a year for entry to various MBA colleges, was conducted in September 2009, December 2009 and in February 2010 and the next one is scheduled on May 2, 2010.

“The exam will continue to be in both online and paper pencil format, as the students still do not prefer the online pattern,” informed the director.

Bejoy spoke during a national seminar on the challenges in management education in India organised by Aryans School of Management at the PHD Chambers today.



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 |