C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Death of panchayat auditor
Family members allege foul play
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 18
Family members of Mohit Phalswal, panchayat auditor with the Local Audit Haryana Government, who recently died in a car accident, are alleging that his death was a murder and not an accident.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into his death, his family members state that his death is related to the audit report he had finalised of about 70 panchayats falling under Barara in Ambala, which reflected some serious financial irregularities.

Mohit was declared dead at the MM Institute of Medial Science and Research, Mullana, after his Hundyai Accent car met with an accident on the night of July 13 at Kalpi near Barara. A resident of Chandigarh, he was on his way home from Barara.

The family suspect foul play as the car had the final report of the audit, which is now burnt. It was Mohit’s last day of work and he was to submit the report the next day.

Around 10.30 pm he called up his wife telling her that he had a minor accident as his car had gone off the road into a ditch and due to the persistent rain from the past few days the car got stuck in the slush and a tractor was helping him pull it out.

This was near the link road joining Barara to the state highway. Aarti claims that she received another call from him a little later telling her that he was on his way and was driving slowly as the car was a bit damaged. He also told her that he was being harassed by a few motorcycle-borne youths who were not letting him drive.

However, an hour later she was informed that he had died in an accident. The family members allege that the sequence of events just does not match. The spot of the second accident is just 5 km from the first accident spot. He was driving slow and had not consumed liquor.

Also, while the car was completely burnt, Mohit had no burn mark on him except an injury on the back of his head.

The family suspects that he was murdered first and the car was burnt later as a cover up. Besides, his body was found far away from the car, while the police claimed that Mohit lost control over the car and hit a tree and it burst into flames.

“What explanation does the police has that his body was found so far away from the car? Also the tree that the police claims the car had hit is on the right side and a metre off the road, while the car was found burnt standing on the road,” questions his wife Aarti Verma.

The family members have made numerous trips to the local police station and also met the SP, Ambala, in this regard. However, they state that the police is just not prepared to look into the angle of fowl play and brushes them aside. “They are not even registering our complaint. We are confident that he was murdered and it has something to do with the audit report, but only if the police will investigate,” she sobs.



Traffic partially restored on Morni-P’kula road
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Morni (Panchkula), August 18
Even as the vehicular traffic on the Panchkula-Morni road has been restored, landslides completely damaged the 20 feet stretch near Plathra village on the Morni-Raipur Rani road.

The residents of Plathra village would now have to cover more than 60 km to reach Raipur Rani. Employees working in various public and private departments are facing problems in reaching their offices in time.

Even the studies of the college students were affected, as they could not attend classes in the absence of any transport facility.

The sub-divisional officer, Parveen Chaudhary, said it would take about one month for the department to restore the traffic on the 24-km stretch between Morni and Raipur Rani.

He said tender had been invited for the project and the contractors advised to submit their tenders by August 27.

He said about 150 feet deep gorge had been created, damaging about 20-feet road affecting the vehicular traffic on the route. He said the work on the damaged road on the Morni-Panchkula road was going on a war-footing and they expected to fully restore the vehicular traffic on the road.

Meanwhile, officials of the PWD (B&R) have been working round-the-clock trying to repair the road by filling the gap with earth.

But their efforts seems to be going waste as the earth being filled to rebuild the road berm was going down the hillock in the absence of any base and it may take more than two days to complete the work.

Dr Harmesh Agnihotri, former district president of the Congress, Promilla Devi, sarpanch, and Urmila, member of the Block Development Board, demanded that the JCB machines should be permanently given to the area so that work could be started immediately in case of landslides.



World Photography Day
10,000 pictures on display
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 18
To mark the World Photography Day, a photography exhibition, “Patiala Photo Fiction-2010” was organised by Picslights and Patiala Photographers’ Association at Springfield Palace here yesterday.

Photographers from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh participated in the exhibition. Youth Development Board chairman Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna, Punjab, was the chief guest on the occasion.

A blood donation camp was also organised in memory of photographer Inderjeet Singh Tony, who died in a road accident. Around 41 units of blood was collected during the camp. Raju Khanna informed that a state-level directory of blood donors would soon be maintained so that they could be contacted in case of emergency.Various companies, including Apple, Olympius, Canon, Nova, Apson and Intex exhibited the photographs using their latest models. Around 10,000 pictures were displayed on the occasion.



Molestation Case
Two senior officials of BSNL booked
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 18
The police today registered a case against two senior officials of the BSNL regarding the complaint made by their woman colleague on August 12.

The complainant, a junior technical officer, complained that RK Dabra, general manager (infrastructure), misbehaved with her and tried to make advances.

Then she brought up the matter to the chief general manager (telecom) AK Gupta.

On her complaint the union leaders raised the issue with Gupta on August 12 and threatened if action against Dabra was not taken, they would go on strike. The union has also reported the matter to the National Women Commission. The higher authorities of the BSNL suspended Dabra.



Water-borne diseases
People urged to take preventive measures
Tribune News Service

Ambala, August 18
In a bid to prevent water-borne diseases from spreading in the rainy season, the district administration has urged people to use clean drinking water and put chlorine tablets in their water tanks.

In his appeal today, Deputy Commissioner Sameer Pal Srow urged the residents not use ice during rainy season. They were also advised to wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.

The health department has already taken measures to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, cholera and enteric fever.

Necessary instructions in this regard have been issued to all health centres in the district.

Civil surgeon Narender Chaudhary said supervisory medical teams had been constituted to coordinate with district health officers and take effective measures to check the spread of diseases.

Instructions have been issued to acquire adequate stock of essential medicines and insecticidal sprays in the district as and when required.

Water samples from various sources were being tested to ensure safe drinking water and all sources of drinking water were being chlorinated. Medical officers were supervising their respective areas, he added.

He urged people to eliminate possible breeding sites of mosquitoes to prevent disease. Infection could spread if virus got inside the body through skin abrasions, mouth and nose.

The civil surgeon said around 800 cases of diarrhoea, 1,100 patients with skin ailments and over 525 patients suffering from fever had been reported in the past month.

Srow said fogging machines had been put in place to counter the spread of diseases.

The administration was trying to maintain cleanliness, he added.



Student run over by bus

Ambala, August 18
Agitated students of the ITI, Ambala City, blocked the Model Town road and broke the windowpanes of a Haryana Roadways bus after a student was run over by the bus near Polytechnic Chowk today.

The injured, identified as Shokatali, sustained serious leg injuries and was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh. According to information, a number of students boarded a Haryana Roadways bus. Shokatali, who was standing by the door of the bus, slipped and suffered a fall. His leg was crushed under the tyre of the bus. SHO Baldev Nagar Sheetal Singh reached the spot and pacified the students. — OC



Fate of dental students continues to be in a limbo
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The fate of 100 students admitted to the fifth batch of BDS course at Panjab University’s Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences continues to be in a limbo.

Even though Justice Ranjit Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice of motion to the Union Ministry and dental council over a week ago, the respondents failed to file their response to the petition. As a result, the hearing in the matter had to be deferred for about a week.

As the case came up, the university counsel Bar-at-Law Himmat Singh Shergill told the Bench that the notices were served on the respondents dasti or by hand at Delhi on Friday. The respondents, on the other hand, contended that they had only recently received the documents and had to go through them before filing the response.

As Shergill pressed for stay on the denial of the permission to admit the fifth batch in BDS course, Justice Ranjit Singh gave a short date and fixed the case for further hearing on August 24.

The university had earlier sought quashing of the Union of India’s action of “arbitrarily” denying it the permission to admit the fifth batch in BDS course.

Directions were also sought to the Union Ministry for granting it the permission to admit the “fifth batch in BDS course with 100 seats for academic session 2010-11”.

The university is arguing that certain deficiencies pointed out by the ministry were removed and a compliance report was submitted. Yet the permission was denied.

The ministry acted in a mechanical manner and without application of mind. The action, as such, is arbitrary and illegal, the university contended through Shergill.

He asserted that the Union Ministry on July 12, 2006, granted permission to admit 100 students to the BDS course for a year for the session 2006-07. On July 14, 2007, it renewed the permission for the second year. Again on August 18, 2008, the permission was renewed to admit 100 students for the third year. In July 2009, the permission for the fourth year course for the academic session 2009-10 was granted. But on May 5, the deficiencies were pointed out to the university. The deficiencies were removed. But on July 23, the petitioner received communication from the ministry denying the permission for admitting the fifth batch.



Controller of Exam
State gets 2-day ultimatum to fill post
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
In another two days, the Punjab School Education Board will advertise the post of Controller of Examination (CoE) if an officer is not transferred in or sent by the state on deputation to the board. The officer, at present holding the additional charge of the post, will cease to exercise the powers within the next four weeks.

As a petition filed by the board’s law officer, Sukhwinder Kaur Saroya, came up for hearing this morning, Justice MM Kumar and Justice Ritu Bahri were told a letter was written to the state on July 21 for sending on deputation or transfer an officer to the school board.

Counsel for the board and the chairman said so far a reply to the letter had not been received and “if in the next two days the situation continues to be the same, they shall advertise the post in accordance with regulation 3 of the Punjab School Education Board (Employees) Services Regulations, 1988, for filling the same by way of direct appointment or by transfer or deputation”.

The Bench made it clear that Charanjit Singh Meelu, currently holding the charge, would not act as the CoE if no alternative arrangement was made within four weeks from today. The Bench also fixed September 20 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Going into the background of the controversy, the Bench observed on September 23, 2009, a detailed order was passed expressing the view that the CoE was a strategic post and the Bench granted permission to the board for making a stopgap arrangement by a person as the CoE by way of deputation or transfer.

It was clarified any party to the litigation shall not be given the charge even on a stopgap basis. The Bench observed Jagtar Singh Khatra was appointed CoE by ignoring the order dated September 23, 2009. Khatra was removed on July 21, but the post continues to be filled by giving additional charge. The court had earlier quashed the appointment of Pavittarpal Kaur as board secretary and the respondent chairman was directed to make temporary arrangements and appoint the secretary on a regular basis within three months.

Challenging her appointment, Saroya had claimed she too was in the fray for the post, but Pavittarpal Kaur was preferred over her. Saroya had asserted Pavittarpal Kaur was “involved in a criminal case of serious nature of service misconduct”.



GMCH suicide case
Abetment charges against 2 students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Additional district & sessions judge Gurbir Singh today framed charges against two students of Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, Ajay Singh Parveen and Deepak Vashist, for creating the circumstances that led a third semester MBBS student at the college, Jaspreet Singh, to commit suicide. During the trial the deceased’s father, Charan Singh, identified his son’s handwriting in the latter’s suicide note that was reportedly recovered after his death.

Both Deepak and Ajay received summons and the court framed charges against them today. The case was adjourned to October 18.

The court had earlier framed charges against Goel on July 24, 2009 under section 306 of the IPC and section 3(2)(VII) of the ‘SC/ST’ Act.

On September 11, the police had filed a ‘challan’ against Goel in the case, based on an inquiry report submitted by a GMCH committee, the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report of the deceased’s suicide note and a reevaluation of the examination paper. On January 28, 2008, Goel and the two GMCH students were booked for abetting Jaspreet to commit suicide.



1-year term for man’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
A local court today sentenced Girvar Singh to one-year imprisonment for the death of a labourer due to negligence. According to the prosecution, the victim, Chotte Lal, was digging a tunnel for laying a sewerage pipe near the rehabilitation colony at Sector 52 on October 22, 2002.

He was working under contractor Girvar Singh. The tunnel between 13 and 15 feet deep and between three and four feet wide when it collapsed. Only Chotte Lal was digging at that time. The victim was rushed to hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Woman acquitted

A local court today acquitted Sarla Devi in a cheating case after a trial of nine years.

The complainant, Devinder Kaur, had complained that Sarla sold a flat to her in connivance with her son Kuldeep and executed a sale deed in favour of Narinder Thukral.



One booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 18
A resident of Mumbai has been booked by the Mohali police on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust.

According to the police, Devinder Singh Sandhu, a resident of Chandigarh, had complained that he had decided to make a movie titled “Chak de Fatte” in 2007 and told the story on which he planned to base the film to Samip Kang, a resident of Usi Varu Link View, CHS, Yogeshwari West, Mumbai.

Kang, who had met Sandhu in Phase VI, Industrial Area, Mohali, had told the latter that a sum of Rs 1.11 crore would be required for making the film. The film could be sold for Rs 1.70 crore. He alleged that Kang had made the film in 2008 and sold it to different companies.

The police has registered a case under Sections 406, 419 and 420 of the IPC against Kang.



Inter-College Rowing Meet
SGGSC-26 sail home with honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, emerged overall champions in the Punjab University Inter-College Rowing Championship 2010 held at Sukhna Lake here today.

The college won all four events — single scull, double scull, coxless pairs and coxless four — held during the day.

While DAV College, Sector 10, secured the second spot, PU Campus and Post-Graduate Government College, Sector 11, finished third and fourth, respectively.

The results: Single scull: 1 Mandeep Singh (SGGSC) (3.47.02), 2 Kanav Dosanjh (PU Campus) (4.00.94), 3 Ravinder Jit Singh (PGGC-11) (4:08.39).

Double scull: 1 SGGS (Mandeep Singh and Gurcharan Singh; 3.51.71), 2 DAV-10 (Parmesh Kumar and Sukhdev Singh; 4.04.74), 3 PU Campus (Kanav Dosanjh and Pawan Kumar; (4.48.61 sec).

Coxless pairs: 1 SGGS (Sharma Singh and Rajinder Singh; 3.59.02), 2 DAV College (Robin Rawat and Sukhdev Singh; 4.18.05), 3 PU Campus (Kanav Dosanjh and Vikram Gehlawat; 6.04.60).

Coxless four: 1 SGGS (Rajinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Sharma Singh; 3.51.21), 2 DAV College (Robin Rawat, Kuldeep Singh, Gurwinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh; 3.51.21), 3 PU Campus (Kanav Dosanjh, Paramvir Singh, Pawan Kumar and Vikram Gehlawat; 5.07.48).



Rain plays spoilsport
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Rain played spoilsport in the first two-day match of Punjab against Hyderabad in Buchi Babu Tournament being held at Medical College ground, Chennai.

As the play was called off due to unavoidable circumstances, both teams shared one point each in their first outing.

Earlier, Hyderabad opted to bat first after winning the toss yesterday and added 265 for four in 65 overs when rain interrupted the proceedings.

Opener Ravi Teja remained unbeaten on 135 runs. Punjab’s Taruwar Kohli, Bipul Sharma and Gunjot Singh scalped one wicket each.

Rain continued throughout the night, rendering the pitch unplayable on the second day.

The match was called off at 1.30 pm with Punjab and Hyderabad splitting one point each.

Now Punjab will take on Tamil Nadu in the second match, starting on August 20 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.



Golf camp for kids begins
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 18
A two-month junior golf camp began at the Chandigarh Golf Club Academy here today. Being conducted on the guidelines of the European Golf Teachers’ Federation, UK, the camp is restricted to 10 children. Chandigarh Golf Club honorary secretary GS Sandhu inaugurated the camp and gave complimentary Golf Plus magazines and visors to the trainees. The youngest trainee is six-year-old Japijyot Suri. Eight-year-old Oliver Brian from England is also among the trainees.

The kids, all beginners, started learning the grip and posture on the first day from EGTF coach Ajay Gujral, who is also the CGC Academy’s joint director. The trainees will be taught all aspects of the game in the two-month training period.



Rajinder stars in Nav Bal Niketan win
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Some fine bowling by Rajinder Singh and Pankaj Sharma helped Nav Bal Niketan School, Sector 29, beat Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, by 40 runs in the UT Cricket Triangular (U-19) Series-2010 here today. Batting first after winning the toss, Nav Bal Niketan School were bowled out on 70 runs in 15 overs. For GSSS-44, Rajesh emerged as the highest wicket-taker claiming three for six, while Narinder took two for eight.

Nav Bal Niketan bowlers Rajinder Singh and Pankaj Sharma snapped seven wickets between themselves for just 11 runs. Rajinder claimed four for seven while Pankaj scalped three for four, restricting the rivals to just 30 runs in 13 overs.



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