C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Proposed BKU Rally
Entry points to city from Punjab to be sealed today
Decision taken following failure of talks between BKU leadership, Punjab govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Going by the bitter experience of arson and violence during the farmers’ rally in September last year, the Chandigarh Police today said that all entry points from Punjab would be sealed on Tuesday to prevent protesting members of the Rajewal faction of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) from entering the city.

Today’s decision to prevent the entry of protesting farmers was taken in the wake of the failure of talks between the BKU leadership and the Punjab government. The leaders had threatened to stage an indefinite protest in the city to press for their demands.

Soon after getting information of the proposed rally, the UT administration and the police launched a slew of measures to prevent disruptive activities in the city.

UT SSP SS Srivastva said they were establishing 20 outer border checkpoints, which would be manned by 50 to 60 policemen under the supervision of deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) and inspectors. As many as nine DSPs, 44 inspectors and 1,600 other ranks and Home Guard volunteers and Indian Reserve Battalion companies would be deployed on special duty. Besides, 17 movie cameras, 20 CTU buses and six recovery vans have been arranged as part of the arrangements for the rally.

The SSP said all 20 entry points to the city from Punjab would be sealed and the protesters would not be allowed to enter the city. He said if need be they would close the roads and impose diversions on certain routes and request the general public to cooperate with the police.

Going by the incidents of violence, sabotage, assault on the public and policemen and arson last year, the SSP said this time they would not take any chances. “No one will be allowed to take the law into his hands. We have demanded five companies each from the Punjab and Haryana police. Besides, two companies of para-military forces will also be deployed in the city,” the SSP said.

The SSP said they had briefed the entire force about the arrangements and police teams would patrol the city during the night. He added that they had also asked the SSP (Traffic) of both Mohali and Panchkula for assistance in regulating traffic in the city tomorrow and would make a plan for traffic diversions so that minimum inconvenience is caused to passengers in the city.

The UT administration has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (banning unlawful assembly) in the city except at the Sector 25 Rally Ground until August 15. The administration has also imposed a ban on carrying firearms, weapons or lathis in the city during the period. Around 32 liquor vends and some petrol stations at critical locations dotting the border areas would be ordered to close down.

Police not to take chances

Going by the incidents of violence, sabotage, assault on the public and policemen and arson last year, the SSP said this time they would not take any chances. “No one will be allowed to take the law into his hands. We have demanded five companies each from the Punjab and Haryana police. Besides, two companies of para-military forces will also be deployed in the city,” the SSP said. 


BKU (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said protesting farmers would assemble near Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Phase VIII, Mohali, and would march towards Sector 17. They warned to block roads and create a jam wherever they were stopped.

Rally routes

Though the police has decided to ban entry on all 20 entry points to the city from Punjab, the preferred routes of the protesters would be the road dividing Sectors 51 and 52, on which they had decided to march, the Chandigarh-Zirakpur entry point, the entry point near the Sector 39 Grain Market, and the road from Manimajra, Mullanpur and Nayagaon.

Alternative routes

1. Ropar/Mohali NH to Vikas Marg up to the Sectors 43 and 44 dividing road.

2. Himalayan Marg from Sectors 43 and 44 dividing road to ISBT Sector 17 roundabout.

3. Jan Marg from Sectors 42 and 43 dividing road to the Cricket Stadium roundabout.

4. Udyan Path from Sector 41 and 42 dividing road to Yatri Niwas roundabout.

5. Vidya Path from Sector 40 and 41 dividing road to the Sectors 14, 15, 24 and 25 roundabout.

6. Dakshin Marg road coming from Zirakpur side towards The Tribune roundabout. 



ADC accuses DSP, SHO of leaking info
Secret operation on getting booths vacated from shopkeepers 
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The UT Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) has accused DSP (South) Vijay Kumar and the SHO of the Sector 39 police station of leaking information about a secret operation of vacating 13 booths illegally occupied by shopkeepers in Sector 41-C.

The ADC, in his report to the UT home secretary, also alleged that SHO Janak Rana had deliberately slowed down the booth-vacating operation to favour shopkeepers.

Sources said the incident was just a tip of the iceberg of a major nexus between government and police officials with presidents of the market associations who are encroaching on government properties in the city.

Sources said the report, forwarded to Home Secretary Ram Niwas for action, mentions that the police and estate office officials appeared to be hand-in-glove with the shopkeepers. They had asked officials of the estate office to make changes in their complaint to show that the booths were not locked. The report stated that the DSP had a telephonic conversation with ADC PS Shergill, saying the shops were not locked, hence the complaint should be changed. The ADC said the DSP told him that the latter was shielding his employees.

The report said that contradicting the police claims, officials in the estate office held that the booths were locked and they had the keys of the locks in their possession. Apart from the DSP and the SHO, the report had indicted superintendent of Rehri Market Branch Ashok Bish and inspector Vir Singh.

The ADC has asserted that he along with SDM (South) Prerna Puri and assistant estate officer Hargunjit Kaur, constituted a team to catch the erring 14 shopkeepers in the Sector 41-C Krishna Booth Market, who had illegally occupied the shops on July 23.

The police had registered a case under Section 448 (trespassing) and watered down the case by invoking inappropriate section. The police released the arrested shopkeepers on bail later that day.

The ADC, in his report, has maintained that he had doubts about the involvement of government officials behind the illegal possession of shops and had kept the entire operation secret. The ADC had spoken to UT SSP SS Srivastva and sought security for the operation. DSP Vijay Kumar was briefed about it and a team of 100 policemen was constituted for the same.

DSP (South) Vijay Kumar was sitting in his car. The ADC said though he had briefed the DSP a day earlier to keep the operation a secret, he was surprised to see a police vehicle stationed at a distance from the market. They only took positions after they arrived on the scene. Police officials had videographed the entire event. The report also questioned the role of market president Rajeswar Pathak at whose behest the booths were illegally occupied saying he had keys of the shops illegally occupied. 



Another Bulbul-like tragedy averted
P’kula hospital denies admission to woman, delivers in auto-rickshaw
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 9
Another Bulbul-like tragedy was averted here today when doctors at the Sector 6 General Hospital reportedly turned away a poor resident of Mansa Devi Complex area writhing in labour pains, forcing her to deliver the baby in an auto-rickshaw.

The baby is safe as the couple managed to reach near the house of a midwife just before the delivery. The midwife, identified as Sunita, a resident of Bapu Dham Colony of Sector 26 in Chandigarh, attended to the mother and helped her deliver a baby girl in an auto-rickshaw in which they had arrived at her house.

Sunita said it was around 8.45 am when Rani’s husband, Rajesh, a resident of Bhainsa Tibba in Mansa Devi Complex, reached her home to inform her that his wife, seated in an auto-rickshaw, was in labour pain. Sunita said she immediately rushed to the auto-rickshaw and attended to Rani.

What is shocking is that doctors at the General Hospital refused to admit Rani when they reached there around 3 am saying that she had not undergone diagnostic tests. Disappointed, the couple rushed to the Mansa Devi dispensary in Sector 4, of which they had an OPD card, only to be turned away for the same reason.

“When I examined Sunita in the auto-rickshaw, it was found that the baby was stuck,” said Sunita. “I covered the doors of the auto-rickshaw with bed sheets and conducted the delivery there and then. I then took the baby to my home to clean her,” she added.

When contacted, General Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr V K Bansal said there were clear instructions to the staff that no patient would be denied treatment under any circumstances. He said he would look into the facts of the incident before commenting anything.

Insensitive staff 

Doctors at the General Hospital in Panchkula neither admitted the would-be-mother nor arranged any ambulance to shift her to a hospital in Chandigarh. Being a poor labourer, Rajesh, too, did not rush his wife to a Chandigarh hospital since he apprehended a high fee, said Sunita. 

GMSH case

It was barely a fortnight ago (July 21) when Bulbul, a patient in labour pains, was forced to go from one room to another at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh, resulting in her having to deliver her baby in the OPD counter area. The baby died after it fell on the floor.



City players prove their mettle
Players of top teams trained at the Chandigarh Football Academy, Sector 42
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
When Punjab and West Bengal were competing for top honours in the Santosh Trophy at Kolkata yesterday, it was a pleasure to watch players from the city in the two sides.

Five players from the Chandigarh Football Academy, Sector 42, were part of the two finalist teams.

It was for the first time that five former players from the state-run academy had booked berth in the final of the football tournament.

While four footballers, Narinder Singh, Randeep Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Ravinder, were pillars of the Punjab team, Robin Singh was a key player of the opponent team.

The five had honed their football skills at the Sector 42-based academy under the guidance of coach Harjinder Singh in the first batch of the academy, which had started in 2000 here.

Presently, Robin Singh and Ravinder Singh have been signed by the East

Bengal Club, while Narinder Singh, Randeep Singh and Gurpreet Singh are playing for the JCT Club.

Elated with the achievement of his disciples, Harjinder, former Indian captain, said: “Yesterday’s match was special for me and our academy as well. In both teams we have the representation of our academy.”

All players were part of the first batch, which had passed out from the academy in 2007. Except Robin, who hails from Delhi, the rest four players hail from Punjab.

“I am happy for my disciples, who have made it big in the game despite all odds,” said Harjinder.

“All players are between the 20 to 22 years. I am sure they will bring laurels at international level, too,” said the coach.

At present, 36 players (18 in senior category and 18 in junior category) have been honing their skills at the academy, where necessary facilities are being provided to them free of cost.



Youth killed by SP’s vehicle, booked
Case withdrawn following protest by villagers
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 9
In yet another case of police high-handedness, a bike-borne youth was killed after colliding with official vehicle of the SP and later booked for rash and negligent driving by the police.

The accident occurred this morning when Jaswinder Pal Singh Sidhu, SP (headquarters), was on his way from Patiala towards his office. The official Bolero Jeep he was travelling in collided with the bike of Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Jalvehra village.

The accident took place near Faggan Majra village situated on the Sirhind-Patiala road. Kamaljit was rushed to a nearby hospital with help of police officials. Doctors declared him dead on arrival.

As per the villagers, the police instead of registering a case against the driver of SP’s vehicle booked Kamajit for rash and negligent driving. The villagers blocked the Patiala-Sirhind road in the evening demanding justice for the deceased.

The police succumbing to the pressure of the villagers withdrew the case late in the evening. The mob lifted dharna only after Fatehgarh Sahib SDM Gurpal Singh Chahal and DSP Amarjit Ghuman assured to register a case against the driver of SP’s vehicle.

The Mulepur police station in charge said that ultimately a case was registered against the driver of SP’s vehicle under various sections of the IPC. The driver has been identified as Gurdeep Singh.

Sidhu while talking to TNS said that he was sitting on the rear seat of vehicle and his head banged into the windscreen all of a sudden. He pointed out that Kamaljit was carrying a bottle of liquor and was perhaps drunk. The post-mortem report would reveal the truth in the coming days, he added.

Cops’ audacity

The police instead of registering a case against the driver of SP’s vehicle booked victim Kamajit Singh for rash and negligent driving. The villagers blocked the Patiala-Sirhind road in the evening demanding justice for the deceased.


Now, laser show, musical fountain at Sector 17
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Sector 17, the heart of the city, is all set to have a musical fountain and laser show for the entertainment of visitors and shoppers.

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has floated a global tender for the Rs 3-crore project, which will make the sector an entertainment hub, given the unique features of the musical fountain-cum-laser show project.

Sources said the existing fountain at the Plaza would be utilised for the installation of musical fountain-cum-laser show. The eye-catching musical fountain will use water and light to beautify the environment bringing a host of entertainment options for the visitors, sources said.

A MC team comprising chief engineer SS Bidda and area councillor and former Mayor Pardeep Chabbra visited Kolkata recently to watch the presentation by “Premier World” about the project. The visit was primarily to get acquitted with the technology that would be used for the new project.

Officials said a computerised control room would be set up to manage the musical fountain and laser show which could in turn be used for beaming the live telecast of any event in any part of the city. Besides, a projector could be used for beaming social messages and feature films for the entertainment of visitors. Since the water screen can be used for the advertisement purposes also, the maintenance cost could be recovered from the corporate world using this facility, a senior official said.

“For long, the visitors to Sector 17 had been complaining of lack of entertainment facilities. With the setting up of this facility, the sector would emerge as major entertainment spot for the visitors,” Chabbra said.

General secretary of the Sector 17 Traders’ Association JPS Kalra hoped that the new musical fountain-cum-laser show would help revive the shopping activity and enliven the otherwise dull environment of the major commercial hub of the city.



Delaying tactic over water tariff hike
Mayor refers proposal to DOEACC
Aarti Kapur/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In another delaying tactic, Mayor Anu Chatrath has referred the proposal of the water tariff hike to the Department of Electronics and Accreditation of Computer Classes (DOEACC). The department has been asked to submit a report on the percentage of increase in the water tariff.

Surprisingly, the calculations sought by the Mayor from the DOEACC were already available in the agenda which was proposed to be tabled in the previous House meeting of the MC. However, it was postponed at the last minute on a plea that officials had proposed excessive hike in the water tariff. Rather than asking the department concerned to decrease the proposed water tariff hike, the Mayor sent it to the DOEACC, which has nothing to do with it.

Sources said on the recommendation of the Mayor, the department is conducting a mock exercise under which it has sent a proposal of water tariff hike to the DOEACC to work out that if the proposed rates were implemented in the city, how much more a person will have to shell out in each slab.

MC officials said that due to illegal connections, 25 per cent of the water available in the city is misused. MC records reveal that lakhs of rupees were due from the defaulters and even there are complaints of commercial establishments using water illegally despite their water connections being disconnected by the authorities.

Last year also, former Mayor Kamlesh had avoided this agenda and at the fag end of her tenure.



UT Secretariat
Nothing ‘Deluxe’ about this building 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
One of the most important buildings in terms of public dealing and daily footfall, the additional deluxe building of the UT Secretariat in Sector 9 is a nightmare equally for employees as well as visitors. While the officials of the UT Administration who have their air-conditioned cabins on different floors may have never noticed, but the other staff is facing problems not only inside the building but outside as well.

At the very first sight, it is the filth in the corridors that welcomes the visitors and it becomes worse when they are unable to walk through as the old almirahs are lined up in the corridors.

Interestingly, the UT Administration has imposed a ban on smoking at public places, and right under the nose of officials, the staff of different departments can be seen smoking openly sitting in the corridors. A testimony to these is the cigarette butts and bidis.

Worst hit are the female staff members of the Engineering Department, who are forced to use toilets on other floors. Thanks to the office of the DPI (schools), which has reportedly locked the toilet hence forcing the female staff members to make a beeline on the other floors during the lunch hour.

Another pending issue of the staff is the canteen in the deluxe building. The staff members claim that there have been proposals in the past to have a separate canteen for hundreds of employees working in this building. At present they all have to visit the canteen in the main secretariat building.

The employees’ union members said that they had requested the authorities time and again to visit the building, including the Home Secretary, and even the Chief Engineer.

As if the problems inside the building were not enough, the parking lot where most of the employees park their cars and visitors too park their vehicles has recently witnessed a spate of theft incidents from the cars parked outside.

The employees have also met the senior functionaries in this regard.



Non-functional streetlights dot Mohali roads
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 9
Some areas of Mohali continue to reel under darkness, as the authorities concerned have failed to maintain streetlights, especially on the main roads, causing inconvenience to residents.

The position of streetlights in the Industrial Area and residential pockets is also far from being satisfactory even though the authorities claim that complaints received in this regard are attended to promptly.

Streetlights in some parts of the town are being maintained by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), while in others, it’s the MC’s responsibility to look after the maintenance of these.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala, municipal councillor, said about 80 per cent of the streetlight points on the road leading from Mohali village to Spice chowk and then extending to Phase VII of the Industrial Area had been out of order for long. Complaints made in this regard remained unattended. Streetlights were also not functioning on the road leading from the JCT chowk to Quark and from Kumbra chowk to the Phase IX bridge. Streetlights on the road leading from Phase X to XI were repaired after a month.

Barnala said streetlights installed at parks in Phase XI were also non-functional. GMADA tried to run these lights by linking those with the streetlight cables but as the additional load created problems, employees responsible for maintaining streetlights often disconnected those points.

The road leading from Phase III-V chowk towards Phase VIII and the dividing road of Phase VII and Phases III B-1 and III B-2 had remained in darkness for the past one week. Municipal councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi said the transformer of the area was out of order and the Punjab State Power Corporation employees failed to rectify the fault despite complaints made by residents.

Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the municipal council, said repair work got delayed because of the monsoon. The number of faults also increased due to rain. Employees having two vehicles were on the job and efforts were made to attend to the complaints promptly. The work of maintaining streetlights on main roads was given on contract and a fine of Rs 200 per point was imposed if the complaint was not attended to within two days.



Spreading awareness on legal reforms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
In order to spread awareness among students regarding judicial reforms in India, a paper-reading contest was organised at department of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh, here.

Avinash Rai Khanna, member of the Rajya Sabha, who was the key speaker in the valedictory session, said: “The judicial reforms can only be successful in India if the role of compromise is promoted and recognised.”

Anupam Gupta, senior advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, said: “Those who criticise the problem of judicial delays in India are not conversant with the philosophical, legal and sociological dimensions of justice.”

“Bookish knowledge and the red-tapism are the major hindrances. For this transparency has to be brought about and we have to improve the character since the practical implementation depends on students. Law institutes need to become role models for legal education.

Disputes must be solved mutually and with the new ADR system the number of cases will come down,” said Shashi Sharma.

PS Jaswal, chairperson, department of laws, PU, said, the process of justice rests on different situations and circumstances. If the number of judges in different courts were not increased in direct proportion to the increase in the number of cases, the problem of delay and the malfunctioning of the judicial system would continue to stay here, he added.



More wait for new tubewells
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, August 9
Local residents may have to wait a few months more for the installation of 10 new tubewells here. For, the task of installation has been handed over to the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

GAMADA, which was to install tubewells in the town earlier, will provide funds for the purpose.

According to official sources, the tubewells will be installed in the town shortly as per the site designated by the local municipal council.

It has been decided that the water supply department will install tubewells after consultation with the municipal council.

The official sources add the estimated cost of the project is Rs 3 crore and each tubewell will be 1,200 foot deep.

A private company will be appointed to install tubewells for which tenders will be invited by the water supply board, they add.

MC officials say 34 tubewells have so far been installed in 15 wards. The demand for water has grown due to the mushrooming of residential colonies in the area.

To meet the demand, residents have been demanding more tubewells from the council.

The sites are being finalised at Baltana village, Shivalik Vihar, Dashmesh Colony, Pabhat, Anand Vihar, Krishna Enclave (Dhakoli), Highland Cooperative Society, Swami Enclave, Dhakoli, Preet Colony, Zirakpur, and in front of the Tribune Colony, Baltana, MC official added.

In addition to the 10 tubewells, the council will install four more tubewells here soon.



Mohali gets two more fire engines 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 9
The keys of two new fire engines were handed over to the fire brigade employees by Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu at Municipal Bhawan here today. But the irony of the whole situation is that there are no drivers to run these additional vehicles.

Two new fire engines were added to the fire brigade about two months back and by including the two engines given today, the total number of vehicles with the fire brigade has gone up to nine. But the sad state of affairs is that it has only four drivers for round-the-clock duty. As each of them has to give eight-hour duty, only one driver is available at one time. One is reserved as a “rest keeper”. Station fire officers have to drive vehicles themselves in case of emergency.

Repeated requests by the civic body authorities to the Director, Local Government, Punjab, to give permission for recruiting at least 20 firemen and four drivers to properly run the fire brigade, which is plagued by staff shortage have fallen on deaf ears.

In a letter sent to the Director, Local Government, Punjab, in June by the then executive officer of the civic body it was stated that the local fire brigade had only one leading fireman against the requirement of 12 and had only four drivers against the need of 12. Against the sanctioned strength of 46 firemen, the fire brigade only had two of them working on a regular basis. Nine firemen had been employed on contract.

The fire brigade at present has five fire engines, one mini fire engine, one water bouser and two fire jeeps.

Rajinder Singh Rana, president of the council, said that the authorities concerned had repeatedly been informed about the staff shortage. He said that GMADA had now released a grant of Rs 15 crore for the fire brigade. A fire engine with a hydraulic platform worth Rs 6 crore will be purchased to tackle fire in high- rise buildings. Two sites- one near Fortis Hospital and second near Sohana - are being given to set up the fire brigade offices.



Admn gears up for BKU protest rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The UT administration has taken steps to tackle any untoward incident in the city during the Bhartiya Kisan Union’s protest rally planned for tomorrow. A coordination meeting was held under the chairmanship of district magistrate Brijendra Singh today to review the arrangements to deal with the proposed protest rally by the BKU.

It was observed at the meeting that all preparations had been made to stop the protesters at the UT border with adequate police staff. All arrangements are in place to check the protesters for any violation of law and order. Brijendra informed the officers that section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed all over the union territory, which banned gatherings of five or more people. Liquor vends adjoining the UT border with Punjab have also been closed. Even petrol stations in some critical locations have been shut down.

At the meeting the SDMs and executive magistrates were familiarised with the concerned police officers on duty at the various ‘nakas’ (checkposts) on the UT border. Sufficient numbers of fire tenders and ambulances have been kept in readiness.

Arrangements for videography for recording proceedings of the day have also been made. Adequate numbers of buses have been kept ready to shift lawbreakers to prison.

Brijendra and the SSP reiterated that officers posted at the ‘nakas’ must ensure that the protesters should be persuaded to not to disrupt the law and order situation and ensure the protest is peaceful. They also urged BKU leaders not to exhort their followers to indulge in any violence or breach of law and order.



PGI sets up OPD at Leh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The PGI gesture to provide staff and equipment to set up an operation theatre at Leh has proved to be a shot in the arm for healthcare agencies in the cloudburst ravaged region as the locals have also started contributing in the restoration work.

The PGI authorities have decided to dispatch the second consignment of equipment to Leh tomorrow morning. It was on Saturday that the PGI authorities sent ventilators, an ultrasound machine and anaesthesia apparatus to set up an operation theatre at Leh.

While the PGI authorities would dispatch pressure regulators required for the operation theatre, doctors at Leh have already fixed the surgeries for tomorrow. 



Awareness about Haryana heritage

Panchkula, August 9
Marking the 68th anniversary of “Quit India Movement”, the archives department of Haryana has organised an exhibition on its office premises here today.

The exhibition inaugurated by department director Phateh Singh Dagar would remain open for public till the Independence Day.

Dr Rajwanti Mann, deputy director, archives department, said the main aim to display these records was to create awareness about the heritage of the state preserved in this department.

The main exhibits displayed included map of Haryana in 1808, a telegram dated May 10, 1957 regarding mutiny, arrest orders of Mahatma Gandhi for Dandi March, list of jewels worn by Bahadurshah Jafar and the last Mughal emperor at the time of his arrest by Britishers, which were assessed worth Rs 66,905 in 1957. — TNS



Pensioners urge govt to reconsider demands
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 9
Members of the Defence Accounts Pensioners Welfare Association have expressed resentment over the meagre increase in the family medical allowance demanding that the government should reconsider the genuine demand of pensioners.

General secretary of the association HS Pasricha said the medical allowance was increased from Rs 100 to Rs 300 only when the pensioners were demanding that the amount should be raised to Rs 1,000 keeping in view the sharp rise in the prices of essential commodities, including medicines.

It was also alleged that members were being harassed by empanelled hospitals. The matter was brought to the notice of the authorities concerned, but to no avail.



Maid’s son dies at Snehalaya 
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Raju, the six-year-old son of a housemaid, who was shifted to Snehalaya, a shelter for destitute children, in Maloya three weeks ago, died this morning. The child was staying there ever since his mother, forced by poverty, left him at the shelter’s doors on July 17.

Parvati Rani, the deceased’s mother, got regular reports on her child doing well in the institution, run by the UT administration, before she received a message last night that her son had begun to vomit profusely.

Raju was first shifted to the Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16, at about 1 am. Unable to help him recover doctors there advised the child be shifted to PGI around noon.

The young boy had begun to adjust to his life alone in Snehalaya and was attending classes at the Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan. All those contacted, including his mother, declined to offer any comments suspecting a “cover up” in the death.

The mother is learnt to have given it in writing to Snehalaya that she did not suspect any foul play. Father Sebastian Gose, head of the Child Welfare Committee, said, “The exact reason for the child’s death will only be known after the postmortem report. We rushed the child to the hospital as soon as we were informed about his deteriorating situation”.

Amit Kumar, warden of Snehalaya, said, “Raju vomited at 12:30 am today and was having a problem in breathing. An ambulance arrived and he was rushed to GMSH at 1 am. I think his vomit entered his windpipe.”



Baba Nidhan Singh remembered
Gagan K Teja
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 9
A seminar on the life history of Baba Nidhan Singh Hazur Sahib Wale was organised at Punjabi University, Patiala, on Wednesday.

Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president, was the chief guest on the occasion. Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Jaspal Singh presided over the function. Historians and eminent speakers from all over Punjab attended the function.

Talking about the contributions of Baba Nidhan Singh, Makkar said he was one of the forgotten heroes of Sikh history whose contribution towards mankind was beyond comparison.

Vice-Chancellor said Baba Nishan Singh had to overcome a lot of difficulties to provide basic facilities to travellers on their way to Hazur Sahib. He said the seminar aimed at making people aware about the history of Baba Nidhan Singh and to encourage them to follow his footsteps.

He said the university would be starting two projects-water management and waste management shortly.

Dr Kirpal Singh, Dr Prithpal Singh Kapoor and Giani Balwant Singh Kothaguru threw light on the history of Baba Nidhan Singh. Baba Balbir Singh Seenchewal was the special guest on the occasion.

Reacting to Sajid Khan’s comment on martial art during a reality show, he said Sajid had committed a big mistake and must apologise for hurting the Sikh sentiments.



PHRC seeks police report on delay in action

Mohali, August 9
A day after the police filed a case under the Dowry Act against the in-laws of a married woman for allegedly attempting to set her on fire, the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) sought a report from the Mohali SSP to explain the delay in taking action against the suspects who reside in Phase 4.

The woman, Ranjit Kaur, wife of Jagmohan Singh and also a Phase 4 resident, had reportedly been tortured by her husband and his family members for not bringing an “adequate” dowry. After giving birth to a second female child, her husband and in-laws made an attempt on her life by sprinkling kerosene oil on her.

However, since Ranjit’s in-laws were said to have “connections” with a police official, the cops reportedly delayed taking action on the matter. The woman was admitted to Civil Hospital in Phase VI but no police official went there to record her statement.

Meanwhile, the police yesterday registered a case under sections 397 & 498 of the IPC against Jagmohan along with his father Gurdial Singh, mother Kanta Devi, brother Rajinder Singh, sister Manjit Kaur and the latter’s huband Kulwant Singh.

The victim alleged the suspects beat her up on August 7 at around 9:30 pm after locking her in a room. She said her brother-in-law and sister-in-law then poured kerosene oil on her and were about to set her alight but, on hearing her shrieks, neighbours came to her help and saved her. — TNS



Man threatens in-laws with ‘toy gun’

Panchkula, August 9
Threatening in-laws at gunpoint proved dear for son-in-law, who was not only beaten up by relatives, but was also handed over to the police here today. However, later it was found that the gun was a mere ‘toy’.

According to police, Ravi, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, was staying with his in-laws at Maheshpur village, Sector 21. Last month, he left the house leaving his wife with her parents. It was in the morning when Ravi returned and threatened them with his pistol. He told them that he had come to collect his belongings.

As soon as the police reached the spot, he tried to flee. The relatives overpowered him with the help of neighbours and thrashed him before handing him over to the police. Later, both parties reached mutual compromise. — TNS



Candlelight march held

Chandigarh, August 9
In pursuance of the decision of the Active Resident Welfare Association, Sector 38 (West), a candlelight protest march was organised under the banner of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association (FOSWAC) this evening to express their anguish over the inaction of the police to nab the culprits who had committed the cold-blooded murder of 22-year-old girl Neha on July 30.

The police has failed to nab the culprit. There was a concern about the deteriorating law and order situation in the city especially in and around Sector 38(West) and a common person was feeling insecure, a press note issued here alleged today. — TNS



Leh students worried about kin
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
The disrupted telecom services in Leh following flash floods have given anxious moments to nearly 50 students of Panjab University, hailing from villages close to Leh.

They are finding it hard to contact their parents back home. Most of the students belong to Choglamsar town, one of the worst-affected areas by the flash floods.

On Sunday, a prayer meeting was held in a temple at Khuda Alisher in which nearly 100 students from city colleges and university participated. “The roads to Leh have been blocked. The only way we can communicate with our parents is through phone. But the telecommunication network is poor to Leh and we cannot make a call to our families. However, our parents and relatives can make a call to us from Leh,” said Stenzin Yarphel, a student of MPhil (sociology) at Panjab University.

In these testing times, students from Leh-Ladakh from across the city have joined to pray for their families, relatives and friends back home.

Recalling incidents narrated by his parents over phone on Monday, Stenzin Angchok, a college student, who hails from Taru village, said, “The banks have been washed away and the people who survived fury of the nature have no money to spend.”

“Two major hospitals have also been damaged completely. It is a terrible time for the people of Leh,” he added.



Protest against joint placement drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) in a protest here today at the UIET block, Sector 25 south campus of Panjab University (PU), expressed its strong disagreement on the joint placement drive started by the PU authorities.

The protest started around 12 noon and continued for nearly 90 minutes. Close to 50-60 PUSU workers protested at the department.

As per the joint placement drive initiative of PU, students of the UIET department and students of the regional centre, Hoshiarpur, would be on par for the placements.

Another issue concerning the students raised by PUSU was introduction of the CGPA system in the UIET department.

PUSU supporters said the DSW had called a meeting tomorrow at 12 noon with UIET staff and had promised the students that their demands would be fulfilled soon.



Battle lines drawn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
After hectic days of campaigning by two major teachers group, battle lines are finally drawn for the Panjab University Teacher’s Union (PUTA) election to be held tomorrow.

There are 640 teachers in the present voters’ list for PUTA election. PU’s dental college has 51 votes, UIET has 75 votes, arts lobby has nearly 160 votes and science has 251 votes, which includes professional courses as well.

According to sources, there is a tough competition between presidential candidates Jaspal Kang and Akshaya Kumar.

The Kang lobby, under the flagship of Panjab University Teachers’ Democratic front is believed to be strong in science lobby, while Akshaya lobby has its strength in the arts.

Opponents of Akshaya claim that not fielding any science teacher as an office-bearer in the PUTA could prove dear. The Kang lobby, on the other hand, has been dominating in the arts lobby and appears strong in UIET and Dental College so far.

In the group 1 (arts), Akshaya-Manjit lobby had strong support in the last election. The voting process will start by 8:30 am and will continue till 1:30 pm. The results are likely to be announced by 5 pm.

Candidates announced

l President- Jaspal Kaur Kang (Guru Nanak Sikh Studies) and Akshaya Kumar (English)

l Vice-president- Naveep Goyal (physics)

l General secretary- MC Sidhu (botany) and Mohammed Khalid (USOL)

l Joint secretary- CN Kumar (physics) and Shivani Sharma (philosophy)

l Treasurer- Jitender Grover (USOL) and Dinesh Kumar (law)



Defacement goes unchecked at Zirakpur 
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, August 9
The battle of ballots at Panjab University has virtually left Zirakpur defaced.

Even though the election’s date is not announced, hundreds of posters of candidates have been put up on the pillars of Zirakpur flyover.

Though defacement of public property is not new, with the authorities concerned turning a blind eye to the menace, the problem has only worsened.

The Chandigarh-Zirakpur road is dotted with posters of candidates.

Ankur Sharma, an executive manager with a private bank, said it seemed that nobody was concerned about the defacement and deterioration of public property. “We want the authorities concerned to remove these posters and take steps to curb the menace,” he added.

Raghav Dyal Gupta, an advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, asserted that violators should not be allowed to contest election.

“These student leaders are not interested in studies and are inclined more towards politics,” he added.

The work pertaining to maintenance of the Ambala-Chandigarh highway has been outsourced to the GMR company.

AK Patel, an official of the GMR, said the matter was not in his knowledge and he would take up the issue with the higher authorities.



Syndicate orders regular panel to probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
At a meeting today on the Panjab University campus, the Syndicate decided to form a regular committee for the examination branch corruption case.

The case came to light from the investigation in the change of examination centre for PUSU leader Simrandeep Dhillon.

Earlier, in the same case, a committee headed by SK Sharma had given a report and had shortlisted nearly 24 employees, who were involved in corruption cases.

Another committee was formed in which KK Talwar, VK Sibal and RP Bambah were the key members.

The members of the committee have now asked the Syndicate to form a regular committee to scrutinise the case.

On the affiliation issue of Panjab University’s Dental College, the Syndicate members today questioned director of the college, Krishan Gauba.

A reply would be sent to the dental council informing about the new recruitments and allocation of hostel to students, said a Syndicate member.

Several other members of the Syndicate claimed that the university could consider filing a case against the Dental Council of India.

Another decision taken by the Syndicate members was the recruitment of contract lectures to meet dearth of teachers in colleges and university. These lecturers will be paid Rs 25,800 per month.



Issues of global concern discussed

Chandigarh, August 9
St John’s High School, Sector 26, organised an inter-school model United Nations (UN) conference yesterday.

Around 100 delegates from four prestigious schools of Chandigarh, namely Carmel Convent, Vivek High, Bhavan Vidyalaya and St John’s, took part in the conference. An eight-hour conference from 8 am to 4 pm simulated one-day session of the UN.

Students donned the role of delegates and represented a country while discussing issues of global concern. Three committees of the UN were simulated at the conference. The general assembly discussed human trafficking with its chair and two vice-presidents, Rajat Jain, Pearl Ahluwalia and Pia Bakshi, respectively.

The economic and social council with its chair Rohan Jain and vice-presidents, Deeksha Bhardwaj and Navdeep Kaur, discussed the post Copenhagen climate change and disarmament and the security council discussed the situation in Afghanistan. — TNS



DAV College seeks to cancel student polls
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Perturbed over incidents of student violence both on and off campus, the DAV College administration has recommended student elections be cancelled to ensure peace and discipline.

“The last time I had warned all student leaders if any more incidents on the campus are reported I would cancel elections, but they don’t seem to have taken me seriously. Year after year the spats are getting more frequent and bloodier. Given the prevailing conditions, the college cannot handle the student polls and will cancel them to ensure discipline,” said DAV College principal BC Josan, who today dashed off a letter to the UT home secretary expressing the college’s inability to hold the elections.

The move comes after a recent clash between supporters of the Students Organization of Panjab University (SOPU) and the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) on the college campus, which left one student seriously injured. The police filed a complaint against five students in that case.

Josan said although he agreed elections were a “necessary activity in a democracy” he felt student leaders appeared to have failed to “shoulder their responsibility”. “Consequently the college is facing the brunt”, he added.

“I know elections are a must but we cannot let student leaders hold the college to ransom. We have categorically told the UT administration that if it thinks elections are necessary then it will have to shoulder complete responsibility. It will have to design a policy and provide complete police security. The college will not play any role in this. Last year I thought things would get better, but I’ve been forced to repeat my act. I’ll not compromise on the college’s well-being at any cost,” Josan averred.

Last year too nominations of all three presidential candidates were cancelled and the college had no president on its student council. The step was a fallout of the violence that marred the election eve on the campus last year as activists of the three leading student groups indulged in a free for all, with glass bottles, gas cylinders, chairs and even bricks flying in all directions. Almost a dozen students were injured in the clash.

Students face expulsion

College principal BC Josan said students involved in the recent clash between members of the PUSU and SOPU groups would be expelled from college. “We are in the process of obtaining details from the police”, he added. Meanwhile, the college has strengthened security arrangements on the campus to bar entry of outsiders. Group campaigners have also been prohibited from entering the campus until further orders. The police has installed metal detectors in on the campus and claimed it was “equipped to enforce discipline”.




Cultural event

Chandigarh: Ryan International School, Sector 49, organised a cultural event on Monday. Students of class IX performed various acts on the life of Lord Krishna, an act of Ramayana and changing shapes and colours of the National Flag. Children looked beautiful in historical attires.

Health activities

“Simply Health Plus” associated with KBDAV, Sector 7, organised various health activities on the school premises on Monday. Special adolescence sensitisation programme was conducted for girls by Dr Seema Sharma, MD, gynaecology, ex-Registrar, PGIMER. The students were made aware about various myths regarding adolescent age and the problems the girls face during this growing age.

TAL contests

Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, organised technology-aided learning (TAL) fortnight competitions in the school. The event is organised in association with the Intel Koshish Club to promote the technology-aided learning amongst students and teachers.

Welcome party

Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Panchkula, organised a welcome party for freshers of class XI today. It started with a welcome address by students of class XII. A talent hunt was also held, in which new comers introduced themselves. The talent hunt was followed by a mesmerising performance by the school band.

Fresher’s party

Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, gave a warm welcome to the new students of class XI by organising a fresher’s party on the school premises. There was an atmosphere of celebration and exuberance in the senior secondary wing of the school as the students dressed in colourful attires were in a gala mood. At the end, the chairman welcomed the students and hoped that the students would take the school to a new height with their dedication and hard work. — TNS



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