C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Suicide bid by girl sets PU officials right
Was declared failed in wrong subject
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
A suicide bid is what it took Akashdeep Kaur to clear her BA (I) examination. She would have cleared her exam a year ago, but for the blunder of Panjab University.

The indifferent attitude of the university authorities to correct its mistake left the girl so helpless that today she reached the roof of administration block, along with a suicide note.

According to Kuljit Nagra, former Senator, the university officials kept calling the girl to assure her that things would be rectified soon.

Her parents said: “Since she was under depression and was not happy, we were worried. She left home this morning without informing anyone and when we tried to call her, she said she would either get her results today or end her life. We reached the university and found her on staircase. She was carrying a note addressed to her mother.”

The trial of Akashdeep from Bassi Pathana, a student of Government College-46, started in April last when the university declared her failed in the examination.

When she applied for re-evaluation, she was declared a compartment case and asked to re-appear in public administration examination.

Akash Deep re-appeared for the examination and cleared it, but was shocked when she went to collect her result. The authorities in the university told her that she was supposed to take re-appear examination in some other subject.

“When she went to collect her result, she was told that she had got compartment in political science and by mistake university authorities told her to re-appear for public administration examination. She was forced by the university not to tell this to anyone. When we came to know about the case, we submitted a representation to the university last year, but nothing was done,” said Nagra.

The incident has raised several questions on the university’s tall claims of transparent examination system.

We counselled the girl and tried to rectify the mistake. The university has rectified its mistake and will not tolerate such callousness. The Vice-Chancellor was out of station today, but he promised to take strict action against the erring officials. — Naval Kishore, Dean, Students Welfare, Panjab University



Youths fire shots near Burail jail
Commando on naka injured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali, August 12
Despite heightened police presence on the Chandigarh-Mohali border in the wake of the agitating farmers of the BKU (Rajewal faction), unidentified car-borne youths fired around five rounds of gun shots, injuring a commando of the Punjab Police near Burail Jail.

The victim, Rakesh, was on naka duty of Chandigarh Police on the road dividing Sectors 50 and 51 when a splinter-like object hit him on his face, following which he fell. Later he was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32. The Mohali police tried to play down the issue by stating that since no fired rounds were found on the spot, it was not sure whether firing had taken place or not. However, Chandigarh Police official confirmed that three to four rounds of gunshots were fired. Till late night cops were using searchlights to look for empty cartridges.

As per police version, around three rashly driven cars, including a white colour Lancer, were heading towards Chandigarh on the road dividing Sectors 50 and 51. It appeared that the drivers of the cars were chasing each other. Just few metres from the Chandigarh naka, a youth from one of the cars started firing at the occupants of the other cars. But the occupants got alerted due to police presence and took a U-turn towards Mohali. But the Mohali cops sitting on their side of the naka failed to chase the cars.

The confusion over the jurisdiction of the area prevailed before the Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar clarified that since the incident had taken place in Phase IX, Mohali police would register a case. But he was quick to add that Mohali Police and Chandigarh Police would jointly probe the case. The incident led to panic in the area as a lot of residents take their evening stroll on the road that has recently been linked with Chandigarh.



Excise raids at Golf Culb, CGA Range
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Continuing with its drive to check malpractices in various clubs under the excise and taxation laws, the UT’s department of excise and Taxation today conducted a late-night drive at the Golf Club and CGA Range.

During the drive, officials of the department challaned both the CGA and Golf Club under the Excise Act. The authorities at the club and the range were not able to produce the mandatory register under the excise laws.

The team also confiscated documents pertaining to VAT (Value Added Tax) from both places for verification and further investigation. Assistant excise and taxation commissioner, Naresh Dubey said that the drive would continue to check any malpractices by clubs and any tax evasion under the Excise and Taxation Laws. Dubey said the case would be taken up further by the additional commissioner excise and taxation for decided the penalty on those who had been challaned. At Golf Club, the caterer is Colonel Cuisine, while at the CGA Range, the catering is done by the Hot Millions group.

It must be mentioned that a similar drive was conducted on Wednesday night at Chandigarh Club, Sector 1, and the team of officials had seized all sales-related documents pertaining to the caterers namely Amrozia, Silver Spoon and Commando caterers of the club.



HC respite for KK Talwar
Stays re-advertisement of PGI cardiology dept head’s post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Less than three months after the Central Administrative Tribunal held that Dr KK Talwar could not function as the head of the Cardiology Department while being the director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, he today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Giving respite to him, the high court stayed the re-advertisement of the Cardiology Department head’s post.

In a petition, Talwar had impugned the directions given by the Tribunal on his functioning as professor and head. He had also sought directions to quash the impugned order dated May 26 to the extent it partly allowed an application holding that Dr Rohtas Kanwar Yadav had a ‘locus standi’ to challenge his appointment.

He contended thatYadav filed an original application to quash order dated April 7, 2008, whereby the appointment to the post of director was approved up to March 31, 2009, for a total tenure of five years. Approval was also conveyed for functioning of Talwar as professor and head of the Department of Cardiology.

Opposing Yadav’s application, the petitioner asserted it was not maintainable, as Yadav did not have any locus standi to maintain the plea. The petitioner also opposed the application on the ground of delay.

Talwar’s counsel Deepak Sibbal added in the application that Yadav had also challenged his functioning as professor and head, Department of Cardiology. Yadav belongs to the field of radio-diagnosis and not to cardiology. As such, he had absolutely no reason to throw a challenge. He could have not been aggrieved by the petitioner’s functioning as professor and head. But the Tribunal erred by holding that he had the locus standi to maintain the original application.

Elaborating, Talwar said: The Tribunal vide order dated May 26 held the applicant had a ‘locus standi’ to challenge the appointment of Talwar. As such, the plea is held to be maintainable….

“This application is partly allowed on the point of locus standi and maintainability, as well as with regard to the objection of the applicant that Talwar while holding the post of the director is also holding the portfolio of HOD Cardiology, which is a separate, distinct and independent post….



Fire at PGI
12 infants evacuated from labour room
Tribune News Service

4 fire incidents reported last year

PGI authorities seem to be waiting for a major tragedy to happen before taking remedial measures to stop such incidents. While four fire incidents were reported from the hospital last year, it is the third time that a fire broke out in Nehru hospital this year.

On January 15, a fire broke out in a transformer following a short circuit in the lecture theatre at Nehru Hospital.

On June 13, a minor fire erupted on the third floor near the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) ward due to a short circuit.

Chandigarh, August 12
About 12 newborn babies were among 39 persons, most of them women in labour or new mothers, who had to be evacuated from the PGI’s labour room after a fire broke out in an electricity junction box today.

No major loss was reported. The electricity wires were burning and the thick smoke, reached the labour room on the third floor through a duct, sending the patients and staff present there in a tizzy.

Eyewitnesses said it was around 10 am when smoke was noticed in the labour room. While the patients were immediately shifted to safer places, a few employees started locating the origin of the smoke, which was traced to a junction box located near the dispensary on the ground floor.

Though the fire, which was reportedly due to a short circuit, was controlled immediately, it took some time for the patients and their attendants to heave a sigh of relief.

A PGI spokesperson said the fire broke out as the wires got heated up due to the overloading. The building is taken care by six electricians even though it comprises critical departments, including the emergency, general wards, trauma ward, operation theaters, dialysis facilities, labour rooms and offices of different departments.

There were old electricity wires at many places in the building. The load of power was multiplying due to the installation of air conditioners and new equipment, sources said.



Protocol violation
Jr fire officer to lead I-Day contingent
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Not the first time

Last year also, the department had assigned the duty to lead the contingent of fire department to leading fireman, Magal Chand, who was acknowledged as the sub-fire officer during rehearsal. But as the matter was highlighted in The Tribune, he was charge-sheeted by the department for the faux-pas

Chandigarh, August 12
In contravention of protocol, a junior officer of the Chandigarh fire and emergency department will lead the contingent of the department before the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil during the Independence Day function this year.

Baljinder Singh, who is a leading fireman, will be acknowledged as station fire officer during the ceremony. Surprisingly, Baljinder Singh will adorn the uniform of station fire officer, having three stars, during the rehearsal of the Independence Day parade for which he is not entitled. A leading fireman is entitled to have only one bar and no stars.

Meanwhile, a senior official will lead the parade of the department in the function being organised by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Station fire officer Sham Singh has been assigned the duty of leading the Independence Day parade being organised in the MC where Mayor Anu Chatrath will take salute from the contingent of the fire department.

When contacted, Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka stated that he would look into the matter, as he had taken over the charge of the department only two days ago.

As per the records of the department, Baljinder Singh and Magal Chand were assigned additional duty as sub-fire officer in two fire stations against the post of station fire officer (SFO) during vacancy.

Even after the two posts of SFO were filled by promotions recently, Baljinder Singh and Magal Chand had not been reverted till date. On the basis of this, the department has prepared the list of commanders who will lead the parade on the Independence Day.

It may be mentioned that last month the local government department had issued an order that no official be assigned the duty of another post and if any post is lying vacant, it should be filled through promotion only. But the fire department has not bothered to adhere to that order.



I-Day Celebrations
14 to get commendation certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to award 14 commendation certificates to public men and employees of the administration and six Administrator’s Police Medal to police personnel on the Independence Day function.

The certificates are given to them for rendering outstanding services in their respective fields of work.

Bhupinder Singh, warder, Model Jail, Chandigarh; Dr Vidhur Bhalla, urologist, Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16; Sanjay Daniel Banerjee, assistant director (hospitality); Rajiv Tiwari, district treasury officer, Central Treasury, Chandigarh; and Chaman Lal Gupta, superintendent grade-I, Chandigarh Administration, will be awarded the commendation certificates for their public services.

Kanwal Jit Kaur, director Nari Niketan, Chandigarh; Neena Singh, trustee, Bharat Prakash Foundation; and Amarjit Kaur Dhillon, social worker, who cremates unclaimed bodies, will also be given award for their exceptional works in social service.

Harpreet Singh and Amandeep Singh have been selected for their outstanding performance in the field of art and culture.

Dev Dutt Sharma, a resident of Kajheri, Chandigarh, will be awarded for showing exemplary courage.

Himani Sood and Vipin Kumar have been selected for the award for their exceptional contribution in the field of sports. Devinder Pal Singh will be awarded for his contribution in the field of art and craft.

The police personnel to be awarded with the Administrator’s Police Medal include Sub-Inspector Parveen Kumar and Constable Kuldip Singh for their distinguished services. Sub-Inspector Kulvir Kaur, Assistant Sub-Inspector Mahi Pal, Constable Sat Pal and Constable Kartar Singh will be awarded for their meritorious services.



Group clash at GC-46
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Two groups of boys clashed in the canteen of Government College, Sector 46 (GC-46), today when one group allegedly passed lewd comments at a first-year student.

According to a written complaint received by principal JS Raghu, a student of BA first year was sitting in the canteen when two boys passed lewd comments at her. While she ignored them initially, she slapped them later when they refused to stop their act.

Meanwhile, several friends of the girl chipped in and entered into a brawl with the miscreants. The spat continued for about 15 minutes when college officials informed the police and rushed to the spot.

“I have got a complaint from the girl. The moment we got to know of the brawl, we rushed to the spot but the miscreants had already left the place. They have been identified as the students of BA second and final year. Though they escaped today, we will take strict action against them,” said Raghu. The incident, led to huge resentment among girl students, who claimed such incidents to be a regular scene on the campus, especially with freshers.

“I have joined the college this year and many seniors pass comments or sing songs whenever I happen to see them in the canteen. We have many a time informed our teachers, who do scold them but they refuse to change. What happened today in the college canteen is a routine matter, its just that this girl slapped them to teach a lesson. We will write to the principal, demanding some discipline officials in the college canteen to deal with this nuisance,” said a student of BA first year.

The police reached the spot, but did not file any complaint.



Records of criminals to be a click away
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Keeping criminals on their toes

n CCTNS will focus on modules like registration, investigation, prosecution, crime prevention & reporting, collaboration, emergency response management, citizen & external interfacing and traffic solutions

n The project is a comprehensive and integrated system for improving effective policing and efficiency at all levels, and especially at the police station level, through adoption of e-governance and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of a state-of-art IT tracking system

n The project includes hardware, communications infrastructure and data centre, CCTNS application, digitisation of historical records and capacity building

Chandigarh, August 12
The records of any criminal will soon be only a click away for the police to access throughout the country. On the lines of the US CIA and FBI, widely regarded as the world’s top investigating agencies, the police is in the process of introducing a high-tech software called CCTNS (Crime & Criminal Tracking Network and Systems).

An initiative of the home affairs ministry on information & communications technology (ICT) in policing, the project, which will be launched in all the states, is set to be operational in the city shortly.

The software, which will enable cops to have a database wherein the details of all criminals will be available to any police department in any state, will be able to see the details and verify the antecedents of any criminal.

To initiate the process in the city a first videoconference was held today in which the inspector general of police PK Srivastava, UT home secretary Ram Niwas and the SSP (headquarters), who happens to be the project’s nodal officer, participated. The hour and a half long conference, which was held from the home ministry’s headquarters to know the progress on the initiative, had officials of eleven different states connected.

A pet project of the ministry, CCTNS aims at modernising the country’s police force.

“We’re in the process of appointing a consultant and within a week we intend to shortlist the name. Once launched the software will enable the police to easily verify the antecedents of any criminal wherever he gets caught”, said Niwas. The pilot project will be launched in Chandigarh.

CCTNS will provide a networked infrastructure to police departments in all the states, which would assist them in speeding up investigations, detection of criminals and increase overall efficiency. The National Crime Records Bureau is the central nodal agency that will manage the project.



Providing new ‘disha’ to alcoholics
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Once hopeless chronic alcoholics who waged a lonely battle for years, they are now changed human beings, thanks to their self-belief, faith on the Almighty and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

The “recovering” alcoholics at a meeting dwelt at length how Disha Group of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provided a new “disha” (direction) to those looking for elusive sobriety as the group celebrated its 11th anniversary here today.

“I had a heart-breaking obsession that by some miracle I will be able to control my drinking. A day came when I was unable to imagine life without alcohol. It was a hopeless state of mind and body when I came to the AA. Perhaps God had other plans for me and today life is simply beautiful without alcohol,” a member said.

Disha Group is one of the seven groups of the AA in and around Chandigarh, a worldwide fellowship of members who try to stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety by sharing their experience, strength and hope with each other.

Victims of alcoholism are usually forced to wage a losing battle, not only against the ravages of the disease, but also against the ignorance of society that refuses to regard the alcoholic as a sick person. Besides the physical sensitivity, the alcoholic has a mental obsession for alcohol as it implies compulsive drinking resulting in inevitable insanity or premature death, a member informed.

However, there is the third alternative and that is complete sobriety achieved through the simple easy-to-follow 12 step recovery programme of the AA.There are no charges for membership. Personnel anonymity of members is safeguarded even during counselling at AA’s 24-hour helpline (94170-37358), the members said.

A spouse of a recovering alcoholic recalled how peace returned to the family. “Difficulties that sparked off bouts of anger previously are tackled with patience and acceptance,” she added.


Erratic power supply
Residents lay siege to road
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 12
Protesting against the erratic power supply to their area, residents of Modi Kunj in Pabhat godown area blocked the Chandigarh-Ambala highway for over an hour today morning.

Raising slogans against the Powercom authorities, residents parked their cars on the highway. As a result, hundreds of vehicles, including ambulances, were stuck in the traffic jam.

Residents of Modi Kunj rued that their area had been facing frequent power cuts for the past five days. They also accused the area junior engineer of misbehaviour.

They claimed that the power supply was suspended on Saturday and restored in the Sunday afternoon for a few hours. But the power supply again went off in the night. The water supply also remained suspended due to power failure, they said.

Vandana, a resident of the area, rued that there had been no electricity and water from the past five days. Sandeep, another resident, said: “Powercom employees ignored our requests failed to restore the power supply.”

DSP (Traffic) DS Maan and Zirakpur SHO Yogi Raj reached the spot and assured the protesters to discuss their problem with the officials concerned. However, Powercom official said that due to strike by the power workers on Wednesday, repair work was not carried out. The work has now been initiated and the problem will be resolved soon, said the official.



Protesting farmers seeks support against admn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The protesting farmers of the Rajewal faction of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) today sought support of various organisations against the UT administration’s decision of not allowing them entry into the city.

The farmers today sat on road under the sun to mark their protest on the third consecutive day. The state as well as local leadership of the Communist Party of India (CPI) met president of the protesters Balbir Singh Rajewal and extended support to their agitation.

Among others, Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann supported the agitation of the farmers. Talking to Rajewal on phone from the US, he supported the cause of the farmers and he was made audible to the protesters through loudspeakers.

Rajewal said representatives of the various organisations struggling for the rights of the common man should come forward and oppose move of the UT administration to crush their right to protest by banning rallies in the city invoking Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In a bid to take their message to the public, the farmers today offered ‘parshad’ to commuters while explaining their motive behind the agitation.

Rajewal again asked the UT administration and the police to open the road for the people so that no one should be put to inconvenience.



PGI lets ex-employee retain room after retiring
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Though PGI always claims to be short of hospital rooms for patients because of the huge rush, it has permitted a former employee to retain his room in the advanced paediatric centre for over a year. This privileged retiree’s has even attached the prefix ‘Dr’ with his name displayed on the door of the room situated on the fifth floor of A block of paediatric surgery.

According to sources, he retired in May last year as an operation theatre supervisor. Since then neither has he bothered to leave the room, which he has been allotted in an official capacity, nor have PGI officials bothered to get it vacated. Enquiries revealed most PGI employees were aware of the matter but no one had dared to raise any objection, saying the man was “well connected”.

What is more intriguing, however, is that how PGI officials allowed a retired technician to call himself a “doctor”. A visit to the advanced paediatric centre revealed the room he had been allotted was locked. The sweepers and security staff confirmed the room was opened every day and the retired technician spent some time there before locking it again. However there was no “fixed time” when the room was opened, they added.

When contacted, department head Dr KLN Rao claimed no knowledge of the matter.



Cop thrashed by colleagues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
A constable of the UT traffic police tasted highhandedness at the hands of his colleagues, who thrashed him near the Sector 26 grain market late last night.

Sources said the victim, identified as Constable Rakesh Kumar, alleged that Sub-Inspector Baljinder Singh posted at the Sector 26 police station and Constable Surinder Singh beaten him up and fled.

The incident occurred around 12.30 am today. A daily diary report (DDR) had been recorded at the Sector 26 police station about the incident when Rakesh lodged a complaint.

Confirming the incident, the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Inspector Shri Parkash, said the medical examination report of Rakesh Kumar was awaited and his statement had been recorded regarding the incident. Baljinder Singh had been sent for medical examination and further action would be taken after getting the reports.

Rakesh alleged that he was waiting for someone, who owed him Rs 10,000. At the same time, Constable Surinder Singh reached there and asked him what he was doing there. He told him it was none of his business. However, refusing to budge, Surinder insisted on him to disclose his purpose of staying there and an argument broke out between them.

When they exchanged heated words, Surinder called Baljinder Singh, who thrashed Rakesh and later the duo fled from the spot.



Humour, satire rule the roost
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 12
A living contrast of didacticism or wisdom and sordid orthodoxy in our day-to-day life was brought alive through crisp humour and satire in a collage of four short stories by Hari Mohan Jha on varied themes enacted by artistes of Rang Virasat at the Randhawa auditorium under the title “Station” here today.

Designed and directed by NSD alumnus and acclaimed actor Vandana Vashisht, the performance commenced with staging of a story titled “Shastra Arth”. The learned scholar who had been all along boasting of his supremacy failed to cash on his ability while engaged to empower others.

“Chikitsa” is an encounter between old ayurveda practitioner and a young man and the vaid stopped the hick ups of the young man after concocting a story, which spelt humor. “Chanchala” depicted the doubtful attitude of her old husband, who realised his mistake after wounding his relative. The concluding “Saraswati” provided a series of laughing sequences, as the highly educated Sanskrit scholar wife and illiterate husband fight for their identity and supremacy only after straining their marital relationship. The actors maintained perfect timings to weave the sequences and generate classic comedy to the delight of large audience.



PCR men to be more visible in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
In order to make the Police Control Room (PCR) personnel and vehicles more visible in the city, the Chandigarh Police has decided to base them at the main roundabouts of the city in the peak morning and evening hours till midnight.

Besides, the PCR will be equipped with light emitting diode (LED) blinkers to make them more visible at their respective points during evening and night hours. The staff posted on these PCR vehicles has been provided gloves to lift burnt, injured and dead bodies.

The police said masks had also been provided to the PCR personnel to protect them from catching infection while lifting the injured and dead bodies.

The police said anyone in need could contact the PCR on 100, 0172-2749194, 0172-2746509, 0172-2741900 (extension nos. 1351, 1300), 0172-2741652 (fax no) and on mobile phone 94651-21000 for sending sms.



200 examined at health camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Celebrating its silver jubilee, the All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation organised a health camp at Patiala today. State Bank of Patiala managing director Ashok Nayar inaugurated the camp.

More than 200 members were examined at the camp. The members were diagnosed for hypertension and respiratory diseases.



PU to have anthem soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
If everything goes well, Panjab University might soon have its anthem.

In order to promote and project the unique national character of the university, RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, announced the desire to introduce the anthem.

“PU would invite well-wishers/ alumni/students to participate in the process of making Panjab University anthem. They are required to submit their entries for the anthem, reflecting its national character, spirit and vision to the director, public relations,” he said.

The entries will be screened and examined by a committee of experts duly constituted by the university.

The entry, which is adjudged to be the Panjab University anthem, will be given first prize and citation in the forthcoming convocation.



Free English coaching classes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
The department of life long learning and extension, Panjab University, has planned to start free English coaching classes for BA, BSc, BCom undergraduate students belonging to the SC, ST and other minorities from September with financial assistance from the UGC under the Scheme of General Development Grant.

Both regular students attending institutes, colleges and private students are eligible.

More than 300 students belonging to the SC, ST and other minority communities are expected to enrol for the coaching. The classes would be held at the department.



Teej celebrated
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, August 12
Tiny tots of Magical Garden Play School on Thursday celebrated Teej on the school premises in Green city, Dhakoli.

The students dressed up in traditional attire danced on various songs and celebrated the festival with great zeal and enthusiasm.



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