C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops, courtesy don’t go together
All-men’s team raid girls’ PG accommodation in Sector 15-A
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Over 100 girl students living in paying guest accommodation at Sector 15-A found their dinner rudely interrupted on Friday night by at least a dozen male policemen, who decided to conduct a raid without warrants to investigate verbal ‘complaints of theft’ and ‘to verify illegal residents’.

The raids left landlords and the female paying guests (mostly students) sore over the fact that the police team did not comprise any woman constable.

“When I saw 10 to 15 policemen standing outside my door, I got scared at first. They asked me that they needed to go upstairs to check the rooms where my paying guests (all girls) were staying and verify if the photographs pasted on forms were those of the girls staying in the rooms. I was shocked to see so many of them without even a single woman constable, but then who can argue with cops,” said a landlady on the condition of anonymity. She said she was scared that she might incur the wrath of the police if she was identified.

When contacted, Sector 11 station house officer (SHO) Sukhbir Rana, who led the team, claimed that woman constables had accompanied the team, but all landlords and paying guests who this correspondent, accompanied by chief photographer Manoj Mahajan, met this morning said they had not seen any woman constable.

The SHO, who was oblivious to the insensitivity involved, described it just as a ‘routine exercise’ conducted following ‘complaints of theft’ to ‘verify illegal residents’ and check ‘inconvenience being caused to sector residents by male students’.

Although landlords and paying guests felt harassed by the unwelcome nocturnal visit, none of those this correspondent met complained of any misbehaviour by the policemen.

Many female paying guests, all in the 20-25 age group and hailing from far-flung towns like Bathinda, Una and Hisar, that this correspondent spoke to said, “The policemen had our paying guest forms in their hands when they came to our rooms. They asked each one of us as to who is staying here.”

Some of the landlords and paying guests said the police had conducted a similar raid in the late hours without a woman constable two or three months ago. A visit to another all-girl PG accommodation in the same locality brought forth the same story.

“It is always discomforting when so many policemen enter the premises together. It looks as if there is something wrong going on in our house. Last evening, it happened again, but this time, I told the cops that I would not allow all of them to go to the rooms. The girls at that time are usually relaxing and may even be dressed in their nightwear. It is very uncomfortable for them. If they want to come at all, why can they not come in smaller groups, which can be a little comfortable for the girls,” asked another landlady.

SSP Speak

When contacted, City SSP Sudhanshu Shrivastava said it was the norm to include policewomen in any search or raiding team, but sometimes, they might not be able to do so. “If this is what occurred last night, I will issue instructions that policewomen must henceforth accompany such teams,” he stated.



Desperation Galore
MA, LLB, BE among wannabe constables
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The desperation for employment among the youth in Punjab was on full display, with many postgraduates, law graduates and candidates with engineering degrees figuring among 14,000 aspirants from across the state who applied for a mere 77 posts of constable in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) here today.

In addition, there were numerous graduates (BA/BSc) among the aspirants. “I have no other option but to apply for a job that requires one to be a mere matriculate due to poverty,” said a young candidate, an MA in history, hailing from Samrala, about 50 km from here.

Satwinder Singh, another candidate with a civil engineering degree from Patiala, said he had scored a first class in his professional degree. “I have been trying in vain for the last two years to find an engineering job. How long can I wait to find a proper job? It is a shame to be dependent on my ageing father, who ensured that I got every opportunity to

pursue a proper career. I never expected to be jobless after all the hard work I did for the degree. I want to earn my bread even if it comes through any type of job,” he said.

There were many others with professional qualifications and degrees in specialised areas such as BCom and postgraduate diplomas in computer applications from recognised universities. And, many of them had high scores, too! “I have spent nearly Rs 300 to get here for the physical test. I may not get the job, but there is no harm in trying,” said an applicant from Anandpur Sahib.

Many candidates said the high turnout was because each one of them seemed to think that they stood a better chance to get recruited as constable than as peon or clerk. “The number of applicants for the post of peon or clerk invariably runs into tens of thousands,” said an aspirant.

The physical test, under way at the ITBP complex on the Chandigarh-Ambala road, was likely to continue for a month to fill the vacancies, which required matriculates in the 18-23 age group. The ITBP had formed three selection committees, each of which were entrusted with the physical test of 70 candidates everyday.



Mountview turns into fortress
Guests, customers pay for cricketers’ star status
Sumedha Sharma/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The weekend crowd during late-evening hours at Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 here were in for a rude shock on Friday night when the Punjab Kings XI team returned after yet another defeat.

The hotel resembled a fortress, with policemen swarming the area and gates closed for entry, even to hotel guests and genuine customers, from 11 pm.

The move, according to sources, was an attempt to help the cricket team skip public glare and the media.

When this correspondent, accompanied by photographer Vicky Gharu, reached the hotel, several groups could be seen arguing with the police, which responded by shooing them away.

The near-paranoid cops even asked some of the guards employed by the hotel to vacate the parking area. One of the guests, who claimed to be an invitee at UT Adviser Pradip Mehra’s son’s wedding, scheduled for Monday, was seen getting into an argument with the police.

“This is not fair. These guys have barred us from coming to the lobby and have asked us to remain confined to our rooms after 11 pm. I came downstairs to fetch a bottle of milk for my child from my car and it took them 20 minutes to understand that being a guest, I had the full right to re-enter the hotel. Is their hospitality confined only to VIPs,” he asked.

“I came here with a couple of friends for a cup of coffee, but they would not allow us inside. Are we all guests not the same for them? This is not a private hotel, but is owned by the UT administration. Everybody who pays for service should be treated equally,” said Ritu Verma, a local fashion designer.

Hotel manger RP Singla attributed the inconvenience to ‘security reasons’. “We did not bar entry to the coffee shop. Youngsters come there to get autographs, but they do not place any order at the coffee shop. For a few hours, we stopped people, saying only hotel guests were allowed. We did not confine anybody to their rooms,” he said.

His reasoning, however, failed to justify the need for such security when the ‘D’ Block, where the cricketers were staying, was already blocked.

The frenzy, meanwhile, continued till the wee hours today as visitors kept waiting to get entry while VIPs like Katrina Kaif and Ravi Shatri continued to pour in for the party.



PU Senate Meeting
Student body chief back as visitor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
In a landmark decision, the Panjab University authorities today decided to revive the practice of permitting the president of the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) to be present at the university’s senate proceedings. The senate was scheduled to meet tomorrow.

The PUCSC president would be permitted to sit in the visitors’ gallery at the senate hall after almost a decade following a meeting of a specially constituted committee. The issue of whether such a practice should be revived was raised at the last senate meeting held on December 5.

The PUCSC president had subsequently submitted a memorandum, seeking permission to be present at the senate meeting. “I have received an invitation letter to watch the senate meeting on Sunday,” confirmed PUCSC president Amit Bhatia.

The students’ union was expected to submit a written memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor, seeking a senate debate on the issue of placement after newly introduced self-financing courses.

Despite charging hefty fees, students enrolled in courses such as petroleum geology, forensic sciences and University Institute of Applied Management Sciences had not found satisfactory placement.

Two months ago, the student council launched a ‘reach-out programme’ to note down problems being faced by the students.

The council was unable to present this list of problems to either the Vice-Chancellor or the dean, students welfare. “We will put forth demands now,” said PUCSC secretary Deepika Thakur.

Besides the issue of placement, problems expected to figure in the memorandum included inadequate infrastructure and shortage and the perceived unsatisfactory performance of teachers of the new departments.

The senate meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 am, would be preceded by a meeting of the 15-member university syndicate at 8 am.

All proposals submitted before the senate first have to be cleared by the syndicate, which forms a core group in the decision-making process.



Eight judges move out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
It was farewell time at the district courts here for last two days as the staff were busy organising functions for eight judges who had relinquished charge.

All judges would join their duties at their new place of work from Tuesday. District and Sessions Judge KK Garg was transferred to Gurdaspur. He would be replaced by SK Goel from Hoshiarpur. Garg had joined the local courts in October 2007.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, the District and Sessions Judge claimed that he had disposed of more than 25,0000 cases, a majority pertaining to traffic violations, during his tenure. He had also set up a mediation centre and ordered death sentence to Kamleshwar Paswan for murdered his three children.

Lalit Batra from Faridabad would take charge as Additional District and Sessions Judge from Ravi Kumar Sondhi, who was transferred to Karnal. Batra had, only recently, given a verdict in the Beant Singh assassi- nation case.

Ram Niwas Bharti from Ambala would join in place

of Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Rahul Garg, who would move to Hisar.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Shekhar Attri would move to Moga and would be replaced by Gurbir Singh from labour court, Chandigarh.

Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate Mahesh Kumar was sent to Karnal and Sanjay Kumar Sharma was transferred from Sirsa in his place.

Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate Anupmish Modi from Panchkula would replace Balwant Singh, who would move to Siwani. Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate Manisha Jain would move to Jalandhar and Ranjeev Kumar from Jagraon would take her place.

Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate Sumit Ghai was transferred to Fazilka and was being replaced by Barjinder Pal Singh from Nakodar. Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate Gurpartap Singh from Malerkotla was posted here.

All civil judges were on recall from deputation.


Your pocket, health at risk here
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
In what may be termed as an apparent violation of consumer rights, commuters at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17, are being forced to shell out extra money for purchasing eatables. Even worse, hygiene here has taken a backseat.

Shopkeepers can be found selling patties, cream rolls, pastries and ‘samosas’ exposed to dust and flies even while charging high prices from consumers. For every packet of biscuit or chips or a soft drink bottle, shopkeepers overcharge passengers.

A 500-ml soft drink bottle with an MRP of Rs 22 is being sold for Rs 25. Not satisfied with overcharging, shopkeepers have devised a novel method. Customers are handed over a packet of chewing gum, which does not carry an MRP, against a change of Rs 5.

To avoid objection from customers, all shopkeepers, but one, prefer not to display a rate list of items. At least four of the shops selling eatables, including a ‘dhaba’ near the subway, have given hygiene the go-by.

While ‘bhaturas’ and ‘samosas’ ae kept in the open, exposed to dust and flies, the shopkeepers do not cover patties, cream rolls and pastries displayed at counters. “Who has the time and energy to waste by making rounds of police stations and consumer redressal forums? Do you think that the authorities are ignorant of this breach? It is just that they enjoy a share in the illegally earned money,” alleges Varun Kumar, a Gurgaon-based IT professional, on a visit to his family here.

CTU Director ML Sharma keeps a regular check on such violations. “I pay surprise visits to bus stands and impose heavy penalty, between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000, on offenders. Complaints continue unabated and efforts will be made to keep a strict watch on such shopkeepers,” he says. 



Young journalists honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The Seventh Young Journalist Awards by the Simmi Marwaha Memorial Charitable Trust were given to young journalists at a function held at the Chandigarh Press Club here today.

The awards are a tribute to 24-year-old Simmi, who died in a road accident in 2003. The award for best work performance in English journalism was given to Indian Express reporter Aneesha Sareen. Nidhi Sharma of Dainik Jagran, Kapurthala, got the award in Hindi journalism category. Topper of Panjab University PGDMC (correspondence) Satinder Kaur was also honoured on the occasion.

Trust’s managing trustee Rajinder Rosy said it had been seven years that she lost her daughter, who was a budding journalist, in an accident and the trust had been working for a cause. The awards are held every year on the birthday of Simmi Marwaha. She died on March 22, 2003, in a road accident at the Sector 43 roundabout when a rashly driven truck ran over her. Veteran journalist VP Prabhakar was the chief guest on the occasion. 



GMCH gets ayurvedic centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Punjab Minister of Health and Family Welfare Laxmi Kanta Chawla today inaugurated the Ksharsutra Centre and continuous medical education programme on anorectal diseases at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

This centre will provide treatment for anorectal diseases using graded ksharsutra therapy - a concept of ayurvedic surgery.

According to experts, ksharasutra is a medicated thread which is prepared by applying coatings of apamarg kshara and haridra churna with snuhi ksheer as the binding agent. The thread is then sterilised by ultraviolet radiation. The cumulative effect of the three drugs exerts a powerful debridement effect on the fistula tract and induces healing by the fresh and healthy granulation tissues.

The technique has been scientifically developed and clinically evaluated. The Indian Council of Medical Research, the apex body of medical research in India, has conducted clinical trials of ksharsutra therapy at four centres, including AIIMS.

Health experts say that while modern medicine has made progress in several fields, ayurveda often offers hope to patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, paralysis, arthritis, gout and piles for which modern medicine has no cure.

Prof SK Sharma, adviser, AYUSH, said: “Each pathy has its own potential and it is for practitioners to recognise each others strengths and refer patients accordingly.”

Speaking on the occasion, the health minister emphasised on the role of ayurveda in modern era and pledged to start similar centres in Punjab. 



Virtual angiography surgery exhibited
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The two-day course on neuroradiology, including head and neck imaging, organised by the department of radiodiagnosis and imaging, concluded at the PGI here today.

The focus of the academic programme on the second day was on neurovascular interventions. Dr NK Mishra, head of the neuroradiology department at the AIIMS, New Delhi, delivered lectures on endovascular management of intracranial aneurysms and fistulas.

Aneurysms were abnormal outpouching of vessels and fistulas were abnormal communication between vessels. In endovascular techniques, catheters were introduced percutaneously through the groin and tracked under imaging guidance till the level of vascular abnormality in the brain.

Embolising agents like coils were then delivered through the catheter to block the aneurysm or fistula. Other topics covered were imaging of epilepsy, thyroid, larynx, backache and head injury.

Another attraction of the conference was the virtual angiography set-up for demonstration. This included a simulator that provided a complete and true-to-life simulated environment for hands-on practice for performing interventional endovascular procedures.

Using this facility, postgraduates could get a realistic visualisation of the human anatomy and perform endovascular procedures on virtual patients without doing those for the first time on actual patients.

The programme concluded with the valedictory function, wherein Prof N Khandelwal, chairperson of the course, and Dr Paramjeet Singh, organising secretary, thanked all those involved in the organisation of the course as well as the delegates for their active participation. 



HUDA razes 50 sheds at Sec 11
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 3
Hundreds of people lost their shelter as the anti-encroachment wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) today demolished about 50 illegal tenements set up by the migrant labourers on the commercial sites at Sector 11 here today.

As soon as the HUDA officials, accompanied by a police team, started the operation the people residing in the tenements protested against them and started pelting stones at the officials. One of the reporters and a photographer of a regional daily present on the scene were also trapped in the clash between the officials and the protesters. However, they escaped unhurt.

DSP Iqbal Kaur immediately sought the services of the additional contingent of police to tackle the agitating people. After the arrival of the additional force the police lathicharged the people forcing them to move away from the site. After feeling helpless, the protesters started removing their household goods from
the tents.

The HUDA officials pressed the JCB machine into service to remove the tenements, which had been set up on about eight showroom sites. The enforcement wing also removed the rehris and other items from the site by loading these on a truck.

The migrant labourers said the officials had not informed them about the drive in advance so that they could remove their household goods to some other place. They alleged that their pleadings with the officials for removing the household goods failed and most of the goods were damaged by the JCB machine.



Old students honour their mentors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
It was a nostalgic time for 30 old teachers of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on the school premises as students of the 1985-batch honoured them. In a bid to bridge the gap between the old students and the present generation of students, the old students association has also formed a new community on social networking website Facebook.

“We decided to hold this reunion in school and wanted to say thanks to all our old teachers who are responsible for what we are today,” said Sudanshu Srivastva, SSP, UT.

Nearly 70 students along with their spouses and children attended the 25th reunion of the old students of GMSSS-16. “In a special gesture to the teachers, students honoured the families of Kalia sir and Tewari sir,” said a former student of the school.

BK Chawla, former principal, who was honoured on the occasion, said it was great to be a part of the reunion. 



16-year-old girl sets herself ablaze
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 3
A teenaged migrant girl set herself on fire in Sector 12 here this afternoon after her mother refused to marry her to the boy of her choice.

Saroj (16), a native of Uttar Pradesh, was rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, with more than 80 per cent burns.

Relatives of Saroj said she had an affair with a boy, also a resident of Uttar Pradesh, and wanted to marry him. However, her parents were against this. They said that today she had heated exchanges with her mother over the issue. After failing to convince her mother, she went to the backyard of the house and set herself ablaze.



National eligibility test on June 27

Chandigarh: UGC-NET will be conducted on June 27. There would be online registration this time, said Panjab University officials. Students are required to register at www.ugc.ac.in before April 26, 2010. The last date is on April 30, 2010.

Students are required to submit a copy of the online application form, attendance slip and admission card to Prof Nahar Singh, coordinator, UGC-NET, department of Punjabi, Panjab University. — 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 |