C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Anuradha murder case
Life term for husband, two accomplices
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Case timeline


l May 18, 2008: Anuradha Sandhu, 35, a boutique owner and wife of a property dealer, Baljinder Singh Sandhu, was brutally murdered in her Sector 38 West home. Baljinder, who claimed to have returned home from a party at a local disco at about 1:15 am, reported the murder to the police

l May 20, 2008: Baljinder was arrested in the evening on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the statements of Vijay. He was booked under sections 302 & 34 of the IPC (murder and common intention)

l May 23, 2008: Chandigarh police arrested a city-based model, Noor Kataria, who was suspected to be having an affair with Baljinder

l Nov 27, 2008: Noor turned hostile saying Baljinder never proposed to marry her. The prosecution maintained she had told the police during its investigations that Baljinder had promised to marry her and “keep” her in the US where he would stay with her for six months a year

l Oct 4, 2009: Baljinder moved an application in court saying he was willing to undergo a narco analysis test for himself and police subinspector Amanjot Singh, the investigating officer

l Dec 17, 2009: The key witness in the case, Anuradha’s brother, Harish, turned hostile

l Sept 18, 2010: Anuradha’s younger brother, Sandeep, deposed in court that his sister had “cordial relations” with her husband

I’ve been framed: Sandhu

Baljinder Singh
Baljinder Singh

Visibly upset after the judge’s pronouncement, Sandhu expressed his resentment against the police as also the court’s decision. “I’m innocent - there’s no truth in the case framed by the police. I’ll appeal in a higher court”, he averred.

Chandigarh, November 17
Bringing to an end the long drawn out trial in the sensational murder of Anuradha Sandhu, a boutique owner, in May 2008, additional sessions judge Gian Chand Garg today sentenced her husband, Baljinder Singh Sandhu, alias Talla, a property dealer, along with two accomplices, his servant Vijay Pal Ram alias Nikku and his mate, Ashok Kumar Shoki, to life imprisonment.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 and six months’ imprisonment on each of the convicted men in case of default in payment of the fine. All three were sentenced under section 302 read along with section 120B of the IPC.

Sporting a white shirt and light blue jeans, a confident looking Sandhu entered the court with a calm face. Justice Garg came inside the courtroom at about 12:30 pm. While the order was being pronounced, Sandhu exhibited signs of nervousness and then shock when the verdict was delivered.

Also present in the court were Sandhu’s brother, Karamjit Singh, his nephew, Sunny, and his uncle. However, no one among Anuradha’s family members was present on the occasion. Sunny said the family would appeal the verdict in the high court.

Vijay and Shoki were additionally awarded seven years’ imprisonment under sections 460 read with 397 of the IPC separately.

Sandhu was taken to the Sector 17 police station to take his fingerprints after the pronouncement of the judgment. He kept on repeating he was innocent and had been framed by the police. Vijay and Shoki did not offer any comments on the verdict.

Anuradha was brutally murdered in her Sector 38 West home on May 18, 2008. Her body was found with her throat slit in a large pool of blood in her bedroom on the first floor of the duplex house. She had been beaten up and allegedly administered an injection. Her husband, who was the first to report the matter to the police, was however arrested the next day.

It may be recalled that, barely hours after the murder was detected, the Ropar police found a body said to be that of her servant, Vijay, near Ropar, who was initially suspected to be behind the killing. He was later found to be alive and part of the conspiracy to murder Anuradha.

The judge observed in his 119 page order that “the motive behind the crime was there as the suspect, Baljinder Singh Sandhu, wanted to get rid of his wife Anuradha to marry Noor Kataria. Sometimes a motive plays an important role and becomes the compelling force to commit a crime”.

Meanwhile, Sandhu’s lawyer, Sukhija, said: “I won’t comment on the case because I’ve not gone through the details of the judgment. The affected party has the freedom to approach the high court and I won’t be able to comment on this front too. I don’t think I can give you the phone numbers of the family members because at this moment they wouldn’t like to say anything on the case.”



Two more ATM card cloning cases reported
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

HDFC ATM also targeted

In yet another case of ATM cloning, Rohit Malik, a resident of 281, Phase 3B1, Mohali, reported theft of Rs 10,000 from his account through the ATM of HDFC Bank in Sector 8-C, Chandigarh, on November 13. A case under Sections 379 and 420 of the IPC was registered.

Tips on ensuring security

l Avoid e-bookings at insecure sites
l Don’t reveal your ATM card number to anyone, even to close acquaintances
l Don’t leave your card unattended
l Ensure no one is inside the ATM cabin when using your card
l Track your bank account regularly
l In case of misplacement of card, immediately inform the bank
l Don’t use your ATM card at ATM counter which has no security guard

SBI version

The AGM (public relations) said the bank was making adequate security cover at all SBI ATM counters in the wake of the earlier reported cases in the city. As far as the hacking aspect was concerned, a technical team was at the job for an early answer.

Panchkula, November 17
Two more cases of ATM card cloning of the State Bank of Patiala (SBP) surfaced in Sector 20 here today, causing anxiety among bank customers who have operated this ATM.

One of the complainants Nandlal Thukral, retired Superintending Engineer, Panipat Thermal Plant, in his complaint to the police, said someone had withdrawn Rs 32,400 in two transactions (Rs 20,000 and Rs 12,400) on November 14 from the SBP’s branch in Dera Bassi.

He said he had a pension account in the SBI at Panipat and used the ATM in Sector 20 to withdraw pension, as he had shifted to Panchkula after retirement. He said he had withdrawn Rs 3,000 from the Sector 20 ATM on November 10. He had approached the SBI branch in Sector 20 in this regard, which advised him to file a complaint with the Dera Bassi police.

Thukral said the SBI officials in Sector 20 told him that they had warned their customers to withdraw the money or block the ATM who had withdrawn the money from the Sector 20 ATM on August 22. The officials further said he was not informed about the same as his account was at Panipat.

Jai Bhagwan, a resident of Shakti Enclave, Dhakoli, in his complaint to the Dera Bassi police, said Rs 36,800 had been withdrawn from his account on November 15 from the SBP’s ATM in Dera Bassi.

A retired Army officer and now working in a Dera Bassi-based factory, Bhagwan said he had a pension savings account with the SBP in Phase X, Mohali.

Last night he, along with his wife, went to Panchkula for filling petrol in their vehicle. They were shocked when an employee of petrol pump told them that there was only Rs 72.47p in their account. On Wednesday, he visited the Dera Bassi branch and inquired about his account, where he came to know that somebody had withdrawn Rs 20,000 and Rs 16,800, vide two transaction numbers 3595 and 3596. He said last time he had operated his ATM on November 8 in the same branch.

AGM SBP Sanjeev Gupta said they feared that more such cases were likely to surface, as some of the customers of their bank were yet to check their accounts.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the managers of bank’s branches in the tricity was held at the SBP’s regional office in Sector 5 here today. The authorities here have sought report from all SBP’s ATM located in various parts of the state here today.

Confirming the same, Deputy General Manager PC Sethia said they had sought a report from all their branches in Haryana, which would be forwarded to the bank’s head office in Patiala. He said they would also seek approval for the posting of security guards at the bank’s ATMs in the state. They were seeking legal opinion from the bank’s legal adviser with regard to filing complaint with the police.

SP Maneesh Chaudhary said they had received two complaints in this regard but was yet to receive any complaint from the SBP authorities. He said if the bank authorities submit any complaint, it would be clubbed with those submitted by the customers for further investigation.



Patient from MP deprived of Rs 1 lakh in PGI park
Tribune News Service

Now penniless

The amount was in a bag, which the snatchers took away from his mother Basanti Devi at around 3 am. Basanti Devi was sleeping in a park on the hospital premises with the bag under her head, when the snatchers pulled it off. The couple is left with not even a single penny now

Chandigarh, November 17
Pushpinder Kumar, a resident of Baratma village, district Atna, Madhya Pradesh (MP), who is undergoing treatment at the PGI here, lost Rs 1 lakh to two snatchers in the wee hours in a park of the hospital today.

The amount was in a bag, which the snatchers took away from his mother Basanti Devi at around 3 am. Basanti Devi was sleeping in a park on the PGI premises with the bag under her head, when the snatchers pulled it off. Basanti Devi, who woke up immediately, raised an alarm.

“Some people were sleeping nearby, but nobody came to help my mother,” said 20-year-old Pushpinder, adding that he was not around when the incident occurred.

Basanti Devi said both snatchers had covered their faces and sped on a scooter after the incident. Narrating his story with tears in his eyes, Pushpinder said he had come to the PGI for his stomach ailment around one month ago. “I was told by a doctor that the treatment expenses would be around Rs 1 lakh, so we came with the cash worth Rs 1.10. In the absence of any accommodation, we used to sleep in the open in the park,” said Pushpinder.

“We are left with not even a single penny,” rued Pushpinder, adding that he had taken a job with one of the parking contractors in the PGI to support his treatment.

Meanwhile, the police has started investigations after registering a case in this regard at the Sector 11 police station.



Onions bring tears to aam aadmi
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Why the hike?

l Less production due to rains, floods in onion-producing states
l No ban on onion exports by the central government
l Increased demand due to the ongoing marriage season

Chandigarh,November 17
Onion, the essential ingredient of the Indian cuisine, is bringing tears to the homemakers, with almost 100 per cent increase in the price of the essential commodity during the past two months.

With the skyrocketing prices of the vegetable, onion is virtually going out of the reach of the aam aadmi.Less yields in the onion-producing states, particularly Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in the backdrop of heavy rains and floods is largely blamed for the price rise.

While small onions were priced at Rs 15 per kg a couple of months back, the same are available at about Rs 30 per kg. Similarly, big onions, which were quoted at Rs 20 last month, were now available at around Rs 40 per kg.

“The onion has toppled my daily vegetable budget in November and we have considerably reduced its consumption due to high prices,” rues Anuradha Sharma, a homemaker.

Ram Sumer, a vegetable retailer, explained that the vendors had to increase the rate as the prices had suddenly shot up in the wholesale market.” The wholesalers were blaming the steep hike on reduced supplies from the onion-producing states,” he quipped.

While the supplies have suddenly dipped, the demand has virtually remained constant as the marriage season was in progress.”We are not increasing the rates for orders booked in advance.But for new orders, we will be forced to increase the rate as the onion prices will push up the preparation costs,”Vinod Polka, a caterer, asserted. The situation on the onion front has been compouded due to onion exports. India’s onion production is pegged at around 130 lakh tonnes in 2010-11 and the country has already shipped more than 10 lakh tonnes of onion so far in this fiscal, said SK Khosla, a Sector 40 resident. Residents demanded that when there was an acute shortage of onions in the country the least the government should do is to ban the onion exports.



17-yr-old schoolgirl raped by 3 youths
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
In a shocking incident a 17-year-old girl residing in the Dhanas locality was reportedly gangraped on Saturday night by three youngsters of the same area. The victim is a class 12 student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, while all the youths are in their early twenties.

One of the suspects, Gaurav, is said to be a friend of the victim and reportedly took her on a drive in his car after she had finished with her tuition class at about 8:30 pm on the fateful night. She was taken to a storeroom of a water tubewell in Mianpur village and raped by Gaurav and his two friends, Sukha and Nony.

Apart from the trio, three more friends - Lucky, Shoki and Avtar - were present at the scene. After she was raped Avatar reportedly threatened the victim to keep quiet about the incident telling her he had made an MMS video of her.

Giving details of the incident, the police, which is yet to apprehend the suspects, said the victim’s brother had accompanied her to the tuition class from where she had gone for a drive with Gaurav, Shoki and Avtar in a car.

“Avtar was driving the car. When they told her they were going towards Nayagaon the victim requested them to turn back. She was then forcibly taken to a tubewell in Mianpur village where Sukha, Lucky and Nony were already present. The girl was raped by Gaurav, Nony and Sukha,” said sources close to the police.

The victim’s mother had filed a complaint about her daughter missing at about 10:30 pm at the Dhanas police post on the fateful night. However, the next morning she again contacted the cops informing them her daughter had returned home safe and sound. The suspects had dropped the victim near her home at around 6:30 am on November 14.

Today the girl’s’ family members approached the police again and filed a complaint against the suspects. A report of the victim’s medical examination confirmed rape.

The police has registered a case under sections 363, 366A & 376G of the IPC at the Sector 11 police station. “We are conducting a search for the suspects who are expected to be arrested soon,” said subinspector Kirpal Singh, in charge of the Dhanas police post.

In a somewhat similar case two years ago, a German tourist who had come to the city to attend her friend’s wedding was abducted from the parking lot of the Taj hotel in Sector 17 on September 27, 2008 and was gangraped in a storeroom of a water tubewell in a village near Ambala. Within four months local courts convicted all the five suspects.



Fire in chemical unit
Two injured workers killed
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, November 17
Two factory workers, who were injured in a fire that broke out in a chemical factory near Dera Bassi on Tuesday evening, succumbed to their injuries in the PGI today.

Four workers were injured when fire suddenly gripped Anuja Healthcare Limited situated in industrial focal point Mubarkpur at 6.30 pm on Tuesday. They were admitted to the PGI Chandigarh in a serious condition.

The dead workers are Ram Sakhal Chaudhry and Mohan Sharma.

According to fire officials, the incident occurred when a reactor in the company was being filled with chemicals manually and suddenly a blast took place. After the blast, fire gripped most part of the plant. After the death of the factory workers, the police changed the case against the factory management.

Factory officials said the reason of the fire and estimate of loss could not be ascertained yet and proper compensation would be provided to the families of the deceased.


MC ‘generous’ with fire dept staff
Despite audit objections, over two-dozen drivers continue to get special allowance
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Against norms

The audit report of 2006 states that as per the UT administration norms, special allowance can only be claimed by the ministerial staff having long working hours, but the operational staff of any department cannot avail this facility. The report has directed the fire department to recover the money of special allowance from the drivers availing the facility since 1996

Chandigarh, November 17
Despite audit objections five years ago, the Chandigarh Fire and Emergency Department is continuing to dole out special allowance of Rs 3,600 annually to over two-dozen drivers of the department.

Records of the MC show that out of the 48 drivers of the department, 26 recruited in 1996 were availing the special allowance of Rs 300 per month since their recruitment. But the department rejected the special allowance plea of 22 drivers of whom 15 were recruited in 2006 and nine in 2010.

When contacted, MC Additional Commissioner (I) TPS Phoolka said the department was looking into the matter on which grounds the drivers recruited in 1996 were availing the special allowance facility.

The audit report of 2006 clearly stated that as per UT administration norms, special allowance could only be claimed by the ministerial staff, which have long working hours, but the operational staff of any department couldn’t avail this facility. The report further directed the fire department to recover the money of special allowance from the drivers availing this facility since 1996.

Sources said that after the internal audit objection from the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the fire department sought a legal opinion about the special allowance to its employees from the UT Finance Department. The finance department also confirmed in its communiqué that only ministerial staff could avail this facility ranging between Rs 250 and Rs 1,000 per month.

Sources revealed that the fire department again sent the case to the MC legal cell for opinion as to whether the fire department drivers were entitled to avail this allowance or not. 



Badal’s ‘breakfast poltics’ fails to mollify Kang
Our Correspondent

Municipal councillors absent

Though a large number of persons had gathered at the residence of Kang when Badal reached there for breakfast, the Chairman of the Mohali District Planning Board NK Sharma,municipal councillors owing allegiance to SAD and other local party leaders were absent.

Mohali, November 17
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s “breakfast politics” aimed at wooing former All-India Youth Akali Dal president Kiranbir Singh Kang back into the mainstream SAD affairs failed to make much headway here today with the latter declining to cool down and announcing that any conciliatory talks would have to begin from the point of time when he quit as head of the youth wing.

Badal met Kang and his parents at his house in Sector 69 and had his breakfast here. Later, the Chief Minister told newspersons that it was merely a “social visit”. “We have family relations with Kang apart from political links. When the Congress targeted our family after coming to power in the state, Kang’s family members had provided us the big support”. He, however, claimed that political matter was not at all discussed while meeting Kang and his parents. He said that Kang was not a disgruntled leader and was not annoyed with the Badals’. “He is like Sukhbir to me”, added the Chief Minister.

Though Badal kept talking about the achievements of the Punjab Government, he left soon after mediapersons started asking questions in connection with Kang.

Badal said that sangat darshan would be held on November 19 in Sohana. The aim of holding the sangat darshan was to reduce the communication gap between the government and the public. He claimed that the development brought about in Punjab by his government in the past three years was what the Congress could not have done in 30 years.

Badal said that a committee comprising top doctors from the country was formed to give suggestions to the Punjab government so that health system could be made foolproof. A sum of Rs 350 crore will be spent in one year in providing proper buildings, equipment and doctors at health centres. District complexes will also be provided to house offices apart from going in for computerisation. He said the government was also making efforts to improve education and make the state power-surplus.

Kang, who talked to mediapersons after Badal left, said that Badal was like his father and he had full regard for him. He, however, said that the Chief Minister while meeting him and his parents had made no offer to him and if he was given any responsibility he would perform it sincerely.

Although party sources said that one of the proposals made by Badal to Kang at the breakfast meeting was an offer of a Rajya Sabha nomination whenever a seat fell vacant, Kang did not confirm this.

Kang said that there was great resentment among youth supporters of SAD as their contribution was not recognised. They were feeling ignored and his fight was in their support. Recognition should be given on the basis of worker’s contribution and not on the basis of his relation with senior leaders. He said he had resigned because youth were not being given their due.

Kang said that he was not offered a ticket to fight the Lok Sabha elections from Ropar and had this been done the Congress would not have won the seat.



Fiza at it again
Accuses her neighbour of trespass bid
Our Correspondent


Mohali, November 17
Fiza, alias Anuradha Bali, the estranged wife of former Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana Chander Mohan, today alleged that her neighbour tried to scale the boundary wall of her house and when she objected to it, he threatened her.

Fiza, who was talking to mediapersons at her house in Sector 48-C, said when she was offering namaz at around 8.30 am, she saw her neighbour scaling the boundary wall of the rear courtyard of her house. She left her prayers and objected. She even clicked a photograph of her neighbour’s activity on her mobile phone, which was shown to mediapersons.

Fiza alleged that her neighbours were harassing her every now and then and the police had failed to take action against them.

However, her neighbour, Ram Krishan Fulia, refuted the allegations and said: “On the contrary, we are at the receiving end. She keeps on throwing banana peel, empty bottles and other things on the roof of a bathroom built in the courtyard of our house.”

Fulia said he had only gone down the balcony of his house to clean the roof of his bathroom and did not scale the boundary wall of Fiza’s house.



High drama at PGI
Attendants accuse doctors of ignoring patient
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
High drama was witnessed at the PGI emergency ward yesterday night when attendants of a patient had an altercation with a doctor on duty and called the police alleging that the patient was not being attended properly.

Later, they shifted the patient to a private hospital in Mohali alleging that the patient was being ignored at the PGI even though his condition was deteriorating.

According to the complainant, Pravish, he accompanied Murari Pandey, production manager at a Baddi-based pharmaceutical unit, who suffered serious head injury at Baddi yesterday night. After Pandey was admitted in the emergency ward, the doctors attended him only once even as his condition was deteriorating. “On their repeated request, the doctor concerned got irritated and asked the security personnel to throw us out. On this, we had to call the police,” alleged Pravish.

“In the morning, another doctor came and asked us to go as they cannot treat the patient. Following this, we decided to shift the patient to a private hospital,” he alleged.

The police post in chare confirmed that Pravish had lodged a complaint regarding the misbehaviour by a doctor. However, a doctor also lodged a complaint against the attendants in this regard stating that they were misbehaving with doctors and interrupting them from performing the duty.

Denying allegations, PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said the patient was taken away by the attendants against the medical advice. The patient was being looked after and his condition was improving, still the attendants manhandled doctors on duty and took the patient without informing the hospital authorities. A police complaint in this regard has been lodged by a doctor.



Despite 3 offices, RLA unable to clear backlog
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Even though it has three offices in the city, the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) continues to be plagued by a growing list of pending cases. With almost 200 new vehicles coming on the roads every day and over 6,500 pending files, the authority needs to catch up soon with the ever-increasing number of people lining up to get their vehicles registered.

While the UT administration had opened two more offices in the city’s east and south a few years ago to ease the burden on the central office in Sector 17, the number of pending files including those on vehicle registration has crossed 5,000 in the office of the SDM (south) alone. The remaining 1,500 files are pending at the SDM (east) office located in Manimajra.

Sources said the reason for such a huge backlog at the SDM (south) office was the fact that it was not networked with the other two offices. Moreover, with the paucity of staff in that office, only about 20 out of the almost 60 files accepted daily were being processed in a day.

However, officials claimed with new employees having been recruited the situation would improve in the days to come.

Recently the RLA office also faced a shortage of cards for driver’s licenses and registration certificates after the company supplying the cards was unable to provide the required number. The officials claimed the shortage had now been taken care of and the backlog would be soon cleared.

A number of complaints regarding slow and delayed delivery of documents have been pouring in, especially at the south office. Despite the authorities’ repeated assurances on speedy delivery of vehicle registration documents city residents have to often return empty handed at the RLA’s Sector 42 office.

The SDM (south) office is entitled with handling all work pertaining to registration of vehicles for residents of the city’s southern areas while the SDM (East) takes care of those residing in Manimajra and adjoining sectors.



Two BJP councillors to attend convention
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC) Gurcharan Dass Kala and councillor Sarita Sharma will participate in the two-day national convention on urban good governance at Lucknow on November 19 and 20.

According to a press note, the convention, which has been named as “Nagariya Suraj Sankalp Sammelan” is being held under the aegis of the BJP’s good governance cell. Mayors, Deputy Mayors, chairpersons of the standing committees, house leaders and opposition leaders will be participating in the convention.

Also, all the urban development ministers belonging to the BJP-ruled states will also be participating in this convention. Party national president Nitin Gadkari will be inaugurating the convention on November 19, while party general secretary and former Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar will deliver the valedictory address. A total 150 delegates from all over the country will participate in the convention.



Business council flays MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Chandigarh Business Council has criticised the auction of parking lots by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh in various parts of the city on November 15.

At its meeting held under the chairmanship of its president Jagdish Arora yesterday, council members said even as the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled out the decision of the Chandigarh Administration for not considering the withdrawal of resolution of paid parking and given direction for review it, the MC had auctioned the parking sites for hefty amount, a press note said.

Recently, a deputation of the council had called on the Municipal Commissioner with a memorandum urging the implementation of the high court decision.



Bali Ka Bakra marks end of theatre fest
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 17
The fifth edition of the Chandigarh Theatre Festival organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy concluded with the staging of Kannad playwright Chandershekhar Kambar’s play “Bali Ka Bakra” under the aegis of Rang Virasat at the Bal Bhawan auditorium here today.

The play virtually juxtaposed the hypocrisy and unethical means adopted by politicians to secure power and misuse it later had many twists and turns immaculately handled by director Vandna Vashsisht, an alumnus of NSD.

The protagonist, Parkash, an academician and poet, hopefully professes a change in the political scenario with a film star in the fray, but distressed to find violence, corruption, subjugation of the poor and women, land or house grabbing on the rise.

NSD alumnus actor-director Asif Ali and Chakresh excelled, while Vijay, Ritesh Jyoti and Parkash (76) justified their roles.

Earlier yesterday, a Hindi play, an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s play “Metamorphosis” was staged by the Mask Theatre in the festival under the direction of young director, Ravinder Ravi.

The play attempted to portray the psychological mindset of a man when situations depress to reduce him to the form of a cockroach, a symbolic of a week person.

CSNA chairperson Kamal Tewari expressed gratitude to artistes and audience for overwhelming response to all five editions of the CSNA’s Chandigarh Theatre Festival pioneered by the academy.



Classical music comes alive
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 17
The grandeur and magnificence of Hindustani classical music came alive as the soulful and melodic strains emanating from three violins played by three generations of violin wizard Padma Vibhushan, Dr N Rajam wafted across Tagore Theatre hall here today.

The captivating concert veritably titled “Three Generations of Violinist” featured Dr N Rajam, daughter Dr Sangeeta Shanker and granddaughter Nandini Shanker, besides celebrated Ustad Akram Khan on tabla.

The trio opened up with an exposition of raga Jog through a short alaap played by them simultaneously, before Dr Rajam led them to delineate the melodic essence in a composition set to slow paced (vilambat lya) ek tal. The trio went on to embellish the bandish in madhya lya and drut lya displaying their dexterity and command in executing taans, gamaks and electrifying jhalla. Rajam presented a bhajan “Prabhu ji maine..” on violin before bringing alive the serenity of popular raga Bhairavi through two compositions to enrapture the elite music lovers.

The trio wove a series of engaging sequences on their violins to sculpt a cohesive melody for the enraptured audience. It was a delight to watch them perform individual small solo pieces comprising mutually embracing notes, which melted into the next sequence played by the trio in perfect synchronisation.



Artiste’s death mourned
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 17
Folk art lovers mourned the sudden demise of celebrated drummer and bhangra dance guru, Garib Dass (70), who was killed in an accident.

He was returning from Sohana after a bhangra coaching session.

Expressing grief over the sudden demise, Prof Rajpal Singh, president Punjab Sahit Akademy, said Garib Dass was the only folk drummer from the region, who taught the folk dance rhythmic patterns to American students at the Santa Barbra University.

A noted American drum player, Gibb had completed his MPhil in dhol playing under the guidance of Garib Dass, added Rajpal.

He had performed in the US, Canada, UK, Dubai and the Festival of India in France.



Youth ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A resident of Naya Gaon, identified as Dinesh Kumar, reportedly committed suicide by jumping into Sukhna Lake.

The police has fished out the body after a passer-by noticed the body floating in the lake. There was no injury marks on the body, said the police.

Dinesh, who worked as a salesman at a chemist’s shop in Sector 16, left his house on Sunday afternoon but did not return. The brother of the deceased claimed that he was normal when he left the house.

However, the police has ruled out any foul play behind the incident.

Meanwhile, Garib Dass, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony, was killed when a mini-truck hit his cycle on the road separating Sectors 40 and 55 yesterday.



Teachers to work for one more hour
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Teachers’ Duties

n Maintain regularity and punctuality in attending school
n Complete syllabus within specified time
n Assess learning abilities of each child and accordingly supplement additional instructions
n Hold regular meetings with parents and guardians and apprise them about regularity in attendance, ability to learn, progress made in learning and other relevant facts about students
n Abstain from engaging in private tuitions

Chandigarh, November 17
Come next session and UT teachers will have to work more by one-and-a-half hour. Teachers in private and government schools who used to leave by 2 pm will have to stay back till 3:30 pm for academic planning.

With Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, coming to force from next session, all teachers will be required to devote a minimum of 45 teaching hours per week as compared to 36 so far.

The extra nine hours would be devoted for academics and syllabus planning, which will now be an important part of teacher’s schedule.

“It is applicable to both private and government schools. RTE makes planning an integral part of teacher’s duty so that the classes can be more productive. With the Act coming into force, the teaching hours will be extended upto 45 per week. We are yet to finalise on school timings, but adding one-and-a-half hour extra daily is more convenient in the afternoon rather than in the morning,” said DPI (S) PK Sharma.

The postulate, however, has failed to elate teachers, as a local teacher union representative claimed: “What will we do for one-and-a-half hour without students? It’s not that we are taking classes for all six hours in a day.

On an average every teacher has two free periods daily that are used for academic planning. We should be allowed to choose the way to complete prescribed hours rather than increasing our school hours.”



Academic standards in PU-affiliated colleges
Committee to form guidelines
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Despite admitting to dire shortage of faculty in certain affiliated colleges and a poor pass percentage in the much-flagged Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelors of Computer Applications (BCA) courses, Panjab University is yet to devise a mechanism to check academic standards of its affiliated colleges.

In the expensive self-financing courses, including BCA, the overall pass percentage was 33.3 per cent this year across all colleges.

Accepting the gaping loopholes in its “dealing” with the colleges in the past, university officials claimed that the basic issues of poor infrastructure and absence of teachers in the colleges must be dealt primarily before monitoring the results.

In a meeting of college principals and PU dean, college development council (DCDC), held recently, a team comprising certain college principals was formed to prepare mandatory guidelines for the colleges. Only on the fulfilment of the conditions laid down in these guidelines, would affiliation be granted to the colleges.

Surprisingly, at the same meeting, a college principal highlighted that PU inspection committees seldom visit colleges that enjoy permanent affiliation.

“We have identified certain areas for improvement and are already in the process of forming guidelines to grant affiliation to courses in the colleges. A three-member committee of college principals was formed at the meeting recently for this purpose. The system of inspection in the colleges has already been revamped and we are strict in dealing with the issues like shortage of teachers and infrastructure now,” said new PU DCDC Naval Kishore.

Alleging that the colleges with poor results in certain subjects are actually deteriorating the academic standards of the university, a college principal on the condition of anonymity said, “The university is the examining and evaluating body and it also awards degrees to lakhs of students enrolled in the affiliated colleges, a poor result is a reflection on its academic standards as well.”

Putting forth another plea, PU dean university instructions (DUI) Bhupinder Brar said, “There are several cases in which university students score more than college students with the same syllabi and same question paper. The colleges must also be in a self-introspection mode. PU, at its own level, is preparing a fresh draft of guidelines for standards to be maintained in the colleges.”

“We have started plugging in all loopholes. Only on the fulfilment of all parameters, would the colleges be given extension to enrol students in the self-financing and other courses,” said Brar.



Bypoll for Senate post today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The byelection for a Senate post in the principal constituency will be held at SD College, Sector 32, tomorrow.

A meeting of observers was held today to discuss the integrities of voting that would commence at 9 am.

The election is being held in lieu of the exit of Satish Sharma, former principal of DAV College, Jagraon, Moga, and have Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal Guru Nanak College, Doraha, and Preet Mahinder Pal Singh, principal SGPC College, Garh Shankar, as two contenders.

Out of the total 65 voters, principals of five city colleges, DAV, Sector 10; Dev Samaj, Sector 45; Khalsa College for Women, Sector 26; MCM DAV College, Sector 36; and SD College, Sector 32, will be casting their votes tomorrow.



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