C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops follow up new lead in double murder, seek motive
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The police has ruled out revenge as the motive behind the sensational murder of two private security guards whose bodies were found dumped under a bridge in Daria village yesterday. With the mystery over the cause of the murder deepening the police is now pursuing a fresh lead to find out where the stolen water pipes, said to be a possible reason for the killing, had gone.

With the elimination of the revenge theory the double murder has become more baffling. According to the police, investigations conducted so far hinted at the water pipes as the reason behind the crime. The cops are also trying to find out where the stolen pipes had disappeared.

The investigators are keeping an eye on drug-addicts who roam around in the vicinity of the crime scene. Junkies are reported to be using the jungle in the adjoining area as a safe haven for their activities.

The police is making a list of the addicts in the area who are under the scanner to find out whether anyone of them was involved in the murder.

It is also learnt that the cops have conducted a through search of both factories where Sucha Singh and Gurdial Singh were working. Police officials are reported to have picked up some vital clues but are reluctant to share any details about the searches.

The initial police reaction to the murder of the two men - Sucha Singh,45, and Gurdial Singh, 65 - was that they had been killed in revenge for being instrumental in the arrest of three thieves who allegedly stole the water pipes.

Both Sucha and Gurduil had lodged complaints against Rattan Kumar Yadav and Manoj Sharma on April 26 and Peshambar Kumar on April 23, following which the three were arrested. Some family members of the deceased alleged yesterday the murder could be the handiwork of the accomplices of these three suspects.

Sources said the police today thoroughly quizzed Peshambar, whose health is very poor and can barely walk as his feet are infested. He has no home and reportedly lives in a cremation ground. He was later released on bail on grounds of his bad health.

The police had also interrogated both Rattan and Manoj in jail, who told the investigators they had no idea of both murders. UT SSP SS Srivastva said the police was working on various theories and had not found any substantial clues in the case as yet. “We have rounded up several suspects and are questioning them, but so far nothing tangible has come out at this stage”, he added.

Meanwhile, a board of doctors conducted a postmortem on the bodies that were later handed over to the deceased’s family members.



Chargesheet filed against gangrape suspects
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 2
Four months after an 18-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped and gangraped in a car in Kalka, the local police has submitted a charge sheet against the suspects to additional chief judicial magistrate Raj Gupta.

The charge sheet was filed under sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her to marry), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 376G (gangrape) of the Indian Penal Code.

It may be recalled on January 9 four men, later identified as Vikram Chaudhary of Jalandhar, Sushil, Sumit and Madan Yadav (all belonging to Uttar Pradesh), kidnapped the girl, a resident of Broad Gauge Railway Colony, Kalka, at about 6:30 pm when she was returning home. When she neared the Pinjore-Kalka highway, the suspects, waiting in a car, dragged her inside and sped away towards Dharampur in Himachal Pradesh.

Upon seeing a police checkpost when they reached Dharampur, the suspects took a sharp turn, ramming the car into a truck. All the suspects were injured. The police took them to a hospital from where one of them was referred to PGI, Chandigarh. Sushil, however, managed to flee. The girl escaped with minor injuries.

All four men had a criminal record and were involved in numerous criminal incidents in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Later, one of the eyewitnesses told the Dharampur police he was beaten up and thrown down from a height of at least ten feet by the suspects when he tried to save the victim.



Prof: Someone’s after my car, he’s on camera
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Miscreants smashed the windowpane of a car parked at a house in Sector 21 here on Friday night. Prof Nirmal Parkash, who lodged a complaint yesterday, said it was the fourth such incident.

He said someone attempted to smash the windowpane of his car on Tuesday night by hurling a brick, but the rear windscreen was not broken.

After the second incident, he installed cameras at his residence and captured the unidentified miscreant hurling a brick on his car on Friday.

Teaching at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, he said he had twice reported the matter to the police, which had recorded daily diary reports.

“The police has, so far, not been able to track down the miscreant. Yesterday they came and took photographs of my car,” he said.

The SHO of the Sector 19 police station, inspector Ram Gopal, said they had deployed policemen in plainclothes in the area and were investigating the matter.



UT admn helpless
‘Leave aside washing hands, there is no water to drink’
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
While the CBSE is asking schools to get on with the latest “wash your hands” scheme, several city schools claim to be struggling with water woes. “Leave aside washing hands, our students do not get drinking water after 11 am, by which time we are only done with three periods.

We do try to store more water, but it gets exhausted before the break. Students bring water bottles, but the water doesn’t last for the entire school time. The school gets water supply only for an hour. Do you think it’s enough for over 300 students?” the principal of a rural government school asked.

“We have arranged for a tanker once or twice. We cannot afford to spend so much money every other day or go begging for donations. We have apprised the education department, but nothing has happened. If they cannot do anything about the water supply then they should arrange for the tankers.” another principal stated. Their private counterparts are no different, but have managed to deal with the situation by arranging for water tankers.

“All schools are facing water crisis. We usually get water for only an hour. We did speak to the authorities, but nothing has been done. Like government schools, we cannot wait for them to act. Members of our association are arranging tankers everyday to meet the needs of students,” the Independent School Association president, HS Mamik stated.



Sanitation catches CBSE’s fancy
Tribune News Service

Aamir Khan roped in

The ministry of human resource and development has roped in Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador. Aamir Khan, who was holidaying in Paris with his children, came to Delhi to take up his new “role”. Minister Kapil Sibal said he expected the actor to lend the “3 Idiots” effect to the initiative

Chandigarh, May 2
“Wash your hands” seems to be the latest “reform” that the CBSE seeks to bring about in its affiliated schools. Having launched the national school sanitation initiative a couple of days ago, the board has asked all its affiliated schools to set up health and wellness clubs which would not only sensitise school students, but also the community towards the importance of washing hands.

The initiative, which is a brainchild of the board and a collaborative effort of the human resource development ministry and the urban development ministry, aims at making schools zero tolerant towards poor sanitation.

“According to a survey, at least 45 per cent of Indian schools do not have separate toilets for girls. In schools where we have all facilities, hardily any attention is paid to the inculcation of health habits. It was shocking to know that 91per cent of students do not wash their hands before eating,” claimed Anshu Vaish, secretary school education, CBSE, adding that the initiative was an effort to change this to attain the larger goal of sanitation.



Dreams do come true, say campus placement toppers
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The one common factor that binds together this year’s maximum salary package holders from Panjab University (Ankur Chowdhary with Rs 10.5 lakh a year) and PEC University of Technology (Mohit Gupta and Mridul Gandhi, both placed at Rs 7.8 lakh per annum) is that all of them got placed in the very company they had “dreamt about” during their studies.

A “consistent and focused approach” is what a student requires to bag a placement offer by his or her dream company.

The formula was simple as the three put it, in different words of course: “Intention, attention, manifestation”. “What you think and put your determination into actually manifests into reality, says Mridul, who is now placed with Cisco, the leading Internet, hardware and networking firm.

“Besides my resolve to enter Cisco my internship experience and a constant motivation from parents prove instrumental in my success,” said Mridul, who is pursuing his information technology engineering degree from PEC.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, what stood out in the conversation with the three achievers was their belief that “dreams come true”.

“There was no formal preparation from my side, just that I was confident of my answers and my determination to get into my dream company did the trick for me,” added Mohit, an engineering student at PEC. He added contrary to the general perception a college education helps a great deal in grabbing a placement offer.

“I was not even looking at the pay package. All I wanted was a job in the public sector unit and I had set my sights on Power Finance Corp, in which I ultimately got placed,” said Ankur, an MBA (finance) student of the prestigious University Business School (UBS) of PU. Ankur was offered a profile of ‘officer (finance)’ with Power Finance Corp at an annual salary package of Rs 10.5 lakh.

“A focused approach on my dream sector coupled with the efforts of my college and seniors did the trick for me,” he added.



Open House
Safety a casualty on the city roads
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Harcharan Singh, a senior citizen living in Sector 41, called the emergency number of the Chandigarh Police, recently, saying a group of three men was frequenting his locality from the past three days. The group stood in a particular corner, during different parts of a day, and the talks looked shady.

A PCR gypsy rushed to the spot, immediately and rounded up the group members. After interrogation, nothing indiscriminating was found against them. They were working on interiors of a building in the neighbourhood and would assemble, at the particular point, near the residence of the old man before and after their job hours.

The old man's reaction is just a pointer towards the changed psychology of the city residents, in wake of a spree of snatchings and daylight burglaries, more in the recent past. The fear factor, particularly for those staying alone, is an important statement. The epitaph of "harrian jhhadian and chhitian daarian da sheher"(City of green bushes and white beards) is a thing of the past. Residents are not secure on the city roads, anywhere, because the incidents of roadside snatchings have occurred at different places, all over the city. Fancy for new cars is a fetish with the thieves as is evident from the analysis of the disturbingly rising graph of motor vehicles in the crime chart.

There are strong indications of organised hands seeping into the city environs and carrying out the illegal activities. As their luck would have it, small distances and porous boundaries make their entry and exit easy into the neighbouring states. There are also cases where the culprits have been traced to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and other states. The problem lies in the long procedural work involved in our police teams visiting those states and coordinating with the local police, there, to expedite the matters.

In simple figures, the number of burglary cases has increased from 24 in 1966, to 107 in 1992, to 257 in 2009. As many as 88 cases have already been registered this year, till date. The number of theft cases has risen from 192 in 1966 to 523 in 1992. As many as 1991 thefts were registered in 2008. A total of 445 cases have been registered till date, this year.

The organised crime might not be comparable to the dark underworld of Mumbai, or other big cities, however, there is nothing wrong in sizing up the situation and preparing for future.

Unsafe roads

  • April19 - Four elderly ladies, on their morning walk, were robbed by motor-cycle borne youth, in different parts of the city
  • April 20- A 60 year old morning walker was robbed off her ornaments by youth brandishing pistol.
  • April 21- Robbers stuck at 10 shops in Sectors 7, 24, 27 and 26.

The spate of snatching and burglaries in the recent past and the screaming headlines in the local dailies makes one think he was living in a 'jungle raj". The police was at absolute bay in tracing gangs operating in the city. Few arrests have been made, however, the police have not put a stamp of authority over a possible end to the uncomfortable scenario where even walking on roads had become unsafe. The elderly, particularly those living alone, have every reason to worry.

Motor thieves’ paradise

Chandigarh Police recorded 1117 motor vehicle thefts in 2009 and 1094 in 2008. Majority of the vehicles lifted, largely from the crowded markets, are high end vehicles particularly SUVs.

The police managed solving less than 20 per cent of the vehicle thefts in 2009 and not more than 25 per cent in 2008. Cops site close proximity with borders of two states as the biggest reason for vehicle lifters making an easy run. The thieves just lift the vehicle and drive out into a safe zone beyond the city borders, not more than 12 kilometres on any side.

In 2009, Chandigarh Police claimed to have busted seven inter-state gangs of vehicle lifters. Majority of those involved were outsiders and sold the cars in the markets of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and even Nepal.

Gang listing on the rise

Chandigarh Police claimed to have busted 18 gangs involved in different crime during 2009. The crime included auto thefts, laundering fake currency, snatchings, dacoities, robberies and burglaries.

The city does not have a strong base of any gangs like the bigger metropolitans of Mumbai. The city has never had names like Dawood Ibrahim or Chhota Shakeel ring in the corridors of the police circles, like in Mumbai. Going by the economic scenario and the socio-political set-up, crime of that order, probably, can never come. However, the police records do mention small gangs in the labour colonies.

To make the matters a little complex for the local police to handle, majority of organized gangs are operating from outside the city. Teams of Chandigarh Police frequenting villages and towns in the neighbouring states and more particularly in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, on a crime trial, are a matter of fact. However, things become a little difficult in following up the case to a logical conclusion. There is certain procedural wrangling, like getting permissions and sanctions involved the process. In majority of the series of thefts, burglaries or car lifting, it has been found that the strikers came from the other states.

The law and order situation is better here, as compared to majority of cities of comparative population or size, however, the recent incidents need to serve as strong wake up signals to the police planners.

Disturbing trends in neighbourhood

Series of burglaries in Panchkula on Saturday is a small pointer to the crime scene in the neighbouring town of Panchkula, in particular, which has a direct bearing on the security in the city.

An organised gang ran away with Rs 18 lakh, at a gun point, from the office of the power distribution agency, recently, in Panchkula. The incidents are not rare occurances as there have been more than a dozen burglaries, during the past one year.

The Panchkula police claimed to have busted as many as 23 gangs involved in vehicular thefts, robberies and snatchings in 2008, alone. The number of recorded thefts was 427 and there were 52 snatchings, both categories showing traces of organised crime.

The Mohali Police has recorded lesser increase in per centage of burglaries or thefts, however, car theft is a problem which is on aa massive increase.

Poor cop numbers not encouraging

The contradictory figures of dwindled number of cops and the burgeoning population are big indicators to the fallen standards of general policing and public expectations.

The UT has only 2,712 police personnel against the sanctioned strength of approximately 5,000. A sizeable portion of the security caters to the VIP list of more than 50 names from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, senior officials of Punjab, Haryana and UT governments and a very long list of politicians, to name a few. As many, 346 are deployed on the VIP security, while 406 police personnel are attached to the Police Lines.

In 2009, police provided cover to 253 rallies, 152 demonstration, 64 processions, 5,644 meetings, 33 anti-encroachment operations, 142 cultural events, 307 examinations, 411 religious functions, 222 relay fasts, 53 special search operations, 105 sports events, 23 assembly sessions and 809 miscellaneous events.

Gone are the days of beat constables when everyone in the neighbourhood knew the cop in his area, by name. On the basis of the existing ground conditions, it is not going to be easy getting the beat constable system back in action, at least in the near future.

The concept of private security guards probably also needs to be studied for the residential areas. The Resident Welfare Societies can think about convincing citizens in paying for their own security. Only the government need to be careful in giving agencies only to the certified agencies unlike the shoddy exercise being carried out in the name of private security, at the moment.

The spate of burglaries and snatchings in the city has raised many an eyebrows in the public life as well as the police circles. Rising graph of the motor vehicle thefts too is a matter of concern. Please write to us, not exceeding 250 words, your perception on the current situation, your experience, if any and suggestions for a safer city environs. Write at openhouse@tribunemail.com to the Incharge, Chandigarh Tribune, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.


No end to woes of power of attorney holders
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The woes of thousands of general power of attorney (GPA) holders in the cooperative group housing societies seem to be unending, with the Chandigarh Administration and society managements allegedly giving them a raw deal.

While the society managements continue to put road blocks in the implementation of the transfer policy, the administration, on its part, is yet to implement the policy in letter and spirit. It was decided in principle that the GPA holders, who have paid the dues in respect of cost of land, cost of construction and lease dues to the society and have obtained no dues certificate for such amounts from the society would be entitled to the transfer of their even if these amounts have yet to be deposited with the competent authorities by the managing committees of the societies.

In a “pro-people” decision, on March 2, 2009, the administration decided to transfer flat/share on the name of the GPA holder against the payment of prescribed fee(ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000) but subsequently took no interest in its monitoring. As a result, managing committees took arbitrary decisions on the transfer, putting brakes on the process, the representation alleged.

Despite representations to the UT Administrator and the Adviser to the Administrator, the policy is yet to be notified and implemented, a representation by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Association to Home-cum-Cooperation Secretary said here today.

This besides the recent faux pas committed by the administration on the implementation of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court passed on a civil writ petition (CWP) filed by the Indian Express Society, Sector 48, has further compounded the problems of the GPA holders.

In this order the finance department misinterpreted the word " administrator" as "administration", the Joint Registrar Cooperative Societies(JRCS) issued directions to the presidents/general secretaries to stop/suspend the process of the transfer of the flats in the name of the GPA holders. Neither the cooperative department got opinion from the law department nor has it addresed the issue so far, the representation claimed.

While the decision on the issue on the representations to the Administrator and the Adviser is awaited, the GPA holders are left high and dry, it alleged.

The representation demanded that a GPA holder, who has obtained no dues certificate from the society should be permitted to enjoy benefits under the transfer policy. It is the managing committee of the society which is under obligation to pay to the department concerned the amounts it has collected from the residents. Denying the GPA holder, who does not owe any amount against the flat occupied by him in the society, the right to transfer the share in his name is an arbitrary act which needs administration’s intervention, it added.

It also requested that the JRCS should verify societies that have collected all dues from the alotteees/GPA holders and are yet defaulters of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). This is important as no dues certificate from the CHB is mandatory before applications for transfer under the March 2, 2009, are taken up by the cooperative housing societies, the representation asserted.



Estate office lifts sealing orders
Asks for removal of violations within 25 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Following protests by traders in Sector 17 over sealing of the basement of a commercial building, the UT estate office yesterday lifted the orders on the condition that the violations will be removed within 25 days.

Sources claim that the move comes following a three-day protest by members of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and a section of traders who were up in arms against the sealing of a building.

Superintendent (misuse and enforcement branch) of the estate office yesterday lifted the orders on the condition that the occupants/tenants will get the violations removed within 25 days. Sources claim that more buildings could be sealed if violations were not removed voluntarily in Sector 17.

Notices were also served on the occupants of the basement of a building in Sector 17 before it was sealed about four days back.

However, the protesting traders claimed that no prior intimation was given to them and the sealing had adversely affected their business. They claimed that the ownership of the building was yet to be established and all these months they were kept in the dark about the ongoing legal process.

They had also demanded withdrawal of this arbitrary power to the estate office to seal any portion of the building on the pretext of misuse where as the cases were pending in courts.



Cops accused of being soft on dowry givers
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
According to the law, taking dowry is as much an offence as giving it. However, the ground reality is quite different - only dowry seekers are taken to task. The local police appears to be at its wit’s end when faced with piquant situation of how to resolve cases where action is sought against the dowry givers.

During the past two years the police registered only three cases under Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act (for giving dowry) while, on the other hand, 117 cases against those seeking dowry were filed in the period from January 1, 2008 till date. Police officials tried to explain this ‘double standard’ by maintaining it had received just three complaints against dowry in the past two years and had filed cases on all of them.

Refuting the police’s claims, members of the Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) asserted the cops were “hiding the actual information”. The members claimed to have knowledge of several men who had lodged complaints against their wives and in-laws for giving dowry. “There could be many such instances where the police was sitting over such complaints”, said a representative of the foundation.

Gaurav Saini, co-coordinator of SIFF’s Chandigarh chapter, said Tejinder Singh, a resident of Rajpura, had filed a complaint on January 4 and Lakhminder Singh, a Sector 37 resident, had filed a complaint at the public window (PW201001412) on March 19, 2010.

He said during the same period Pankaj, a Sector 44 resident, had filed a complaint through the public window (PW200906821) on December 17, 2009. Tejinder Singh Saini, a Sector 37 resident, registered his complaint through the public window (PW20100025) on March 19, 2010, Ravinder Singh Dhanju, a resident of Attawa, filed a complaint through the public window (PW200905473) on October 1, 2009 and Virat Karwal, a Sector 46 resident, had filed a complaint through the public window (PW200907041) on December 12, 2009.

The police did not provide the information with regard to the status of the above mentioned complaints even under the RTI filed by SIFF, Saini added.

One of the complainants, Dhunju, had reported he had married a Hisar resident on December 26, 2004. She filed a case against her husband on November, 2008 in Hisar alleging her family had spent Rs 18-20 lakh on her wedding. Dhunju filed a counter complaint that is still gathering dust at the police quarter

The story of Virat Karwal, a resident of Sector 46, is no different as are the stories of main others.

DSP (WACSU) BS Negi said he was not aware about the contents of any complaint where action was sought against dowry givers. “Most of the complaints in this category were filed only to counter cases already registered against those who allegedly demanded dowry”, he stated.



False dowry harassment cases
Affected families told about legal action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Members of the Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) today organised an interactive session at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10 here for the families implicated in false dowry harassment cases.

Gaurav Saini and Nitin Gupta, who have started the Chandigarh Chapter of SIFF in July last, said three families had approached them seeking help. The families claming innocence alleged that they were implicated in the false Dowry Prohibition Act cases.

Saini said they informed the families about the legal action they could take and would assist them in contesting their cases. He said at present, SIFF Chandigarh had 75 active members. SIFF till date has helped more than 250 affected families and are still actively involved in guiding the affected families.



PGI meet may skirt issue of working hours
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
Even as the PGI authorities have called a high-level meeting tomorrow to discuss the demand charter submitted recently by the Association of Resident Doctors, the former likely skirt the contentious issue of long working hours that has been irking medicos for long.

“We will discuss all the issues related to basic amenities and facilities that are lacking in hostels,” said Dr Vinay Sakhuja, Dean of PGI and chairperson of the Resident Welfare Committee. He said the issue of the duty roster might not be taken up, as it needed to be sorted out by individual departments. A committee comprising eight faculty members, including the superintendent engineer, will deliberate on the matter in detail tomorrow.

In a six-page memorandum addressed to PGI director Prof KK Talwar, the RDA had urged the administration to work on improving not just the duty hours of doctors but also the facilities in the hostel and the mess.

On the canteen, the memorandum said it’s a relic of the past and a rich source of infections due to the unhygienic conditions there.

Referring to pitiable condition of the hostels, the memorandum mentioned that they were unbecoming of the class of this premier institution.

Admitting to structural deficiencies in hostel rooms, Dr Talwar said these buildings were built 50 years ago so much cannot be changed in them. However, the new hostels that are coming up will be modern and better. On the issue of long duty hours, Dr Talwar admitted that this was happening in a few departments but not all.



Post surgery, woman walks after 20 years
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 2
“Surgery has given me a second birth and walking straight is like a dream come true and now I will be able to live a better life,” said Reema Vasundhra who is able to walk after a gap of 20 years after undergoing a surgery at a private hospital here.

The 41-year-old school teacher, Reema, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, said while addressing a press conference here today that she had developed pain in her knees when she was studying in Class X. The pain was so bad that she had to leave school and pursue her higher studies sitting at home. Later, she got a job as a primary school teacher in a government school in Haryana. But going for work was very difficult for her as she could neither walk straight nor for a long time. Pain was unbearable and life had become difficult for her. The disease had deformed her knees decreasing her ability to walk day by day.

A jubilant Reema, who was operated upon on March 7 at Fortis Hospital, here, said she had lost all hope that she would be able to walk straight one day. But the surgery had changed her life for the better and she was able to walk like everyone else after a gap of nearly 20 years.



Batalvi’s lyrical magic reigns
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 2
The larger-than-life image of legendary Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalavi blossomed in the hearts of poetry lovers, who thronged the Randhawa auditorium here to savour the musical tribute to the poet today.

The live in-concert presenting RD Kailey and Komal Chugh was organised by the Gurulkul Vidyapeeth group of educational institutes, engaged in the preservation and promotion of India’s rich cultural heritage. Both singers brought alive the agony of unrequited love and pathos in their rendition of his poetry.

Be it “Kaun mere shehar”, “Mein riahm rupehali”, “Eh mere geet”, “Kandiyali thor”, “Dharmi babla”, “Umran de sarvar”, “Puniya da chandand” or “Yardiya”, they remained at their best in melodic and emotional expression, besides being in perfect sync with “swar”, “laya” and “taal”.

An old associate of the poet, SD Sharma gave a majestic start to the concert, doling out popular Shiv Batalavi numbers like “Adhure geet” and “Tarkalan daliyan”. Benaras “gharana” tabla maestro Satish Mishra, Surinder, Chhinda, Debashish Dhar and Deepak provided matching accompaniment.



Reporters' Diary
Dating in the lap of nature is in

The city boasts of the finest green cover in the country and is definitely among the best in the entire country. Over the past few years, parks all over the city have emerged as the busiest spots for dating by the city youth.

A casual visit around the city will reveal youngsters in shocking embraces and more striking postures at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, Rose Garden, Sector 16, and Terraced Garden, Sector 33, and nearly all others.

“Times have always changed in the past. The pace of change is too fast this time. Probably the pace is correlated to the pace of computers and information technology, which have become a permanent part of our lives,” says Dr Sham Singh, a retired teacher of history.

A former teacher at a government school, he remembers a recent incident at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, when he happened to stand next to a couple engaged in “funny antics” while he was on a morning walk. “This is none of your business. You are history,” the girl told him. “I am still shocked. How did she know I was related to history,” he wondered.

Lake, too

During a recent visit to the Sukhna Lake for mediapersons, usual visitors were taken by surprise. It was organised by the UT administration in the afternoon to clear the air about the lake.

When the top brass of the administration, along with journalists, walked from the regulator end, it was quite disturbing for young couples. With many photojournalists around, the couples had no option but to run for cover, giving fuming looks.

Sukhna, RIP

Never in all these years has the Sukhna Lake been in such a pitiable condition. Heaps of algae taken out of the water every morning by a group of hired boatmen is enough affirmation of the delay in saving it. The green patches, that have now extended upto the landmark tower, seem to have enveloped the entire lake.

This tale of its sad demise can best be narrated by those lovers of the lake who saw it as they grew older or grew up. A friend who visited the city a few days back said her entire school had once been taken for “shramdaan” to the lake almost 15 years back and asked if it was still going on. This correspondent politely declined to drive her down to the lake, saying there was nothing much to see there now.

Being unfair

The adjournment of a meeting of the municipal corporation House last week following a walkout by councillors did not go down well with a large number of councillors. A nominated councillor said, “It is unfair to go prepared on certain issues and not being allowed any discussion by elected representatives. They need to keep in mind expectations from them and the expenditure incurred on each meeting.”

Whither power?

Residents of Panchkula are in a dilemma as to whom they should contact for getting certificates attested. With the notification regarding a municipal corporation for the town by the state government, powers of municipal councillors to attest certificates are gone.

Though various resident welfare associations have taken up the issue with the Deputy Commissioner and the commissioner of the corporation, nothing has been done so far. There is some improvement on the garbage front as committees have been formed for lifting garbage from various sectors.

Protest point

With the shifting of a number of state-level Punjab government offices to Mohali, the frequency of “dharnas” and rallies by employees is increasing. Sector 62 here has been turning into matka chowk, adjoining the Rose Garden in Chandigarh, once a favourite of protesters. With “dharnas” and rallies come the problem of law and order.

Agitating employees of the Punjab School Education Board and the Punjab Panchayat and Rural Development Department had recently threatened or tried to commit suicide here. Anticipating trouble in the future, the Mohali police had written to the Deputy Commissioner to invoke Section 144 of the CrPC in the sector.

Contributed by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Smriti Sharma Vasudeva, Neha Miglani, Arun Sharma, Sanjay Bumbroo and Rajmeet Singh



Revaluation fee will be refunded promptly: PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 2
The Panjab University administration today condemned the “propaganda by certain students of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) and a section of the print media” over the issue of refund of revaluation fees, claiming the system of refunds was “proposed and passed” by the varsity itself without any representation from students.

The students, however, pointed out there was a “strange alphabetical pattern” in the cases of those reappearing for the fifth semester exam of the department of laws. “The first few students of the batch whose names begin with the letters A to G have got a notice asking them to reappear for the exam while the rest have cleared it. This clearly indicates a major discrepancy in the evaluation system which needs correction,” said Harsh Vardhan Singh, presidential candidate of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU).

He stated that despite the public statements made by some students to a few newspapers not even a single student representation regarding the issue was made to PU officials till date.

Meanwhile, clarifying the university’s position in the case, PU public relations director Sudhir Kumar said according to the varsity’s rules the students would be refunded the fees. “Not even once did the university state it would not refund the fees and the same shall be done immediately.”

On being asked about the demand for a probe into the matter of “mass reevaluation” of law students, Kumar replied PU was “working on assessing the situation,” adding implementation of the BS Brar committee’s recommendations on examination reforms was a “measure in that direction”.

The students, who demanded an investigation into the matter, said they would meet PU officials on May 4 to get the refund cheques issued.

“The evaluator who initially checked the papers must be penalised. The same incident happened with our batch last year also. We paid Rs 1,100 for reappearing in the exam and Rs 450 for reevaluation,” said Jaskaran Singh, a fifth semester student.



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