C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ATM Fraud
No light in sight yet
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, November 27
The police is still groping in the dark in ATM card-cloning cases, through which residents of the town have lost more than Rs 10 lakh in the past two weeks.

The accused have been targeting SBI and SBoP ATMs located in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana as there are no security personnel around these ATMs. The police and the bank officials are still clueless about the accused while people continue to lose money through such fraudulent withdrawals.

According to police sources, investigations conducted so far have revealed that thieves withdraw Rs 40,000 daily from every single account, making two transactions of Rs 20,000 each. The police says the accused must be aware that both banks allow their customers to withdraw Rs 40,000 in a single day.

Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said they were taking the help of their counterparts in Chandigarh and Mohali as earlier incidents had taken place there. He said policemen in mufti had been posted outside ATMs.

Sanjeev Gupta, AGP, SBoP, said all cases had been referred to the bank’s legal cell for opinion regarding action to be taken. He said compensation, if any, would be given only in cases where a lapse was found on the part of the bank.

Rs 73,100 More Gone

Another card-cloning case has come to light, with Charanjit Sharma of Greet City at Zirakpur reporting a theft of Rs 73,100. An Army officer posted at Srinagar, he had come to his house for Divali. He had a salary account with the SBI at Srinagar. He said someone withdrew Rs 40,000 on November 14 and Rs 33,100 the next day from the State Bank of Patiala’s branch at Baltana in Zirakpur. He said he had used his ATM card at the SBI ATM in Mohali.



This is how it is done
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
Even as there is no breakthrough in fraudulent ATM withdrawals, bank officials, on their own, have started making their clients aware of the modus operandi of the miscreants.

Sources said over 80 ATMs had been used for cloning or fraudulent withdrawals, depriving account holders of lakhs. The biggest withdrawal, of Rs 4 lakh, was reported from the account of a Panchkula resident yesterday.

Punjab National Bank senior manager MK Bhardwaj, posted at Regional Staff College, Sector 6 here, said the miscreants used equipment which was installed on ATMs to record both the ATM card number and the PIN of the user.

The equipment used for capturing the ATM card number and the PIN were cleverly disguised to look like a part of the ATM.

A skimmer was mounted on the front of an ATM card slot, which read the ATM card number and transmitted it to criminals seated nearby, possibly in a car.

A wireless camera was disguised to look like a leaflet holder and mounted in a position so that it could capture the pictures of the ATM keypad.

When an ATM user would enter the PIN, miscreants could detect it through the hidden camera. Following this, the thieves copied the cards and use the PIN to withdraw the money, he said.

Even if one did not suspect any mischief using an ATM, it should be ensured that the view of the ATM keypad was covered while entering the PIN so that any hidden camera was unable to capture the activity, he said.



Charred body of realtor found
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 27
The charred body of a 25-year-old Panchkula-based property dealer was found in a burnt Maruti Swift car near Siswan village on the Mullanpur-Baddi highway late last night. The charred body of Suresh Kumar, who ran a property business at Kharar, was found lying in the rear seat of the car.

Suspecting a love triangle, the police had reason to believe that the victim was murdered before the car was set on fire. So far, the police was clueless about the assailant(s) as the vehicle was found completely burnt at an isolated spot on the highway.

“As there was no visible sign of struggle between the victim and the assailant(s), it appears that Suresh was murdered somewhere else and dumped here before setting the vehicle on fire to conceal his identity,” said a police official.

Since the body was completely burnt, the police had a tough time ascertaining the identity of the victim. “It was only through the engine and chassis number that we came to know that the vehicle was registered in the name of a Baddi-based woman, who told us that the vehicle was in possession of her brother,” said Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar.

While leaving his residence at Sector 4, Mansa Devi Complex, he told his family that he was going to watch a late-night movie in Chandigarh. The victim’s sister told the police that he appeared to tense when he came to see her a few days back.

Last night, some passersby travelling on the highway noticed the burning car and intimated the police. Security had been tightened in the area due to the visit of Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to a function at a farmhouse in Seonk village.

Though the central investigating wing of the Mohali police had been entrusted with the probe, sources said all partners in the property business of the victim were quizzed and his family was asked about suspects.

The police also found that the victim had two mobile phone connections and efforts were being made to get records of the incoming and outgoing calls. The SSP said a case of murder was registered at the Mullanpur police station.



Cash, goods worth Rs 3 lakh stolen in P’kula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
Keeping the police on its toes thieves once again targeted business and residential buildings in various sectors of the city and decamped with cash, jewellery and goods worth Rs 3 lakh.

Thieves targeted a junior engineer’s house in Sector 25 besides four shops in Sector 2.

Anil Singla, a resident of Sector 25, who works as a junior engineer in the Block Development and Panchayat Office at Raipur Rani block of the district, said he had gone to Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh along with his family members on religious trip on November 20.

He said he noticed the theft when he returned to his house at 9.30 last night. “Though the main gate and doors were locked properly, we were shocked to see the whole house ransacked and were hoping that the thief must be still inside the house,” said Singla. But after searching the whole house they found window of the kitchen open with the grill and the glass pane removed.

He said the thieves had taken away cash, earrings, silver coins and utensils worth Rs 1.5 lakh. He said his children had saved about Rs 30,000 in piggy bank, which had also been taken away by the thieves.

In another incident in Sector 2 market thieves broke the locks of four booths located few metres away from the police post. Shopkeepers said total loss from the theft was around Rs 1 lakh.

The robbers targeted Jai Maa Department Store, AN Medicos, Punjab Store and SP Medicos.

Lashing out at the police patrolling in the area, shopkeepers stated that though the police post was only a few meters away, thieves managed to execute their operation.

Fingerprint and forensic team visited the spots and collected samples. Separate cases have been registered and the police has started the investigation.


Fin secy Issue
Patil returns to city today
Projects may be probed

Chandigarh, November 27
With UT Administrator Shivraj Patil returning to the city tomorrow, all eyes will be set on him to decide the fate of the departments that were held by UT Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar, who has proceeded on leave until the end of his tenure with the UT administration.

Important projects of all departments that were sanctioned by the finance department besides all important projects of construction, which lie with the engineering department held by Sanjay Kumar, have been pending since his sudden exit over alleged forgery for obtaining life-time membership of the CGA (Chandigarh Golf Association).

Sources claim that while the departments are yet to be distributed among the present officials of the UT administration, with Home Secretary Ram Niwas and CHB Chairman Mohanjit Singh being the probable names, the administration is also mulling over initiating inquiry into projects that Sanjay Kumar handled during his tenure as Finance Secretary of UT administration.

Also, with the Administrator returning to the city tomorrow, it may also be decided if a CBI inquiry should be conducted against Sanjay Kumar for his alleged forgery. — TNS



No room for separatist forces in city: BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
“Being a responsible political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party will not allow the city to become a platform for separatist forces,” said Sanjay Tandon, president, local unit of the BJP, while addressing mediapersons at the party headquarters, Kamlam, in Sector 33, here today.

This comes in the wake of the November-25 incident when during a seminar organised by the International Democratic Party at Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35, separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was allegedly manhandled.

If the IDP wanted to raise the issue of Kashmiris, why doesn’t it raise the issue of Kashmiri Hindus, who have been forced to live as migrants in their own country because of terrorists/separatists of Jammu & Kashmir, he said.

Criticising the role of the Chandigarh police, Tandon said they were supporting separatists and torturing nationalists.

“They booked innocent people who were raising slogans against Mirwaiz for his anti-national remarks,” he said. Instead of registering a case of sedition against Mirwaiz and the organisers, the police registered a case against patriotic audience.

In spite of listening to their voice or cause, the organisers and their goons along with Kheta Singh and Karnail Singh started pushing and manhandling innocent public, and threw them out of the seminar hall. The police also registered false cases against peaceful protesters who were raising their voice against anti-nationalist people.

He said while the Chandigarh administration denied permission to the BJP to organise “Abhinandan Samaroh” in Sector 27 and even prevented farmers from protesting within the city, it allowed anti-national and separatist leaders to take part in a programme in the city.

A delegation of the BJP will meet Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil on November 29 demanding a probe into the episode.

He also demanded the booking of those who assaulted BJP activists and Kashmiri Pandits during the seminar and stern action against them. He also sought the withdrawal of case registered against party activists, failing which the party would start a “jail bharo” agitation.



Honour for 2 PGI doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Dr Chetana Vaishnavi, additional professor, department of gastroenterology, PGI, has received the prestigious ISG-Zydus-Alidac Oration Award in recognition of her outstanding research work in the field of gastrointestinal infections.

She had delivered an oration on “Clostridium difficile: Clinical spectrum and approach to management” during the six-day 51st Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology that concluded on November 25 at Hyderabad.

Similarly, Prof Jagat Ram, Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, has been awarded “Dr PN Sinha Oration”, the highest honour of the Bihar Ophthalmological Society for his contribution towards paediatric cataract surgery.

He was awarded a medal and a citation.

He had presented an oration on “Pediatric Cataract Surgery” during their two-day Annual Conference concluded at Gaya, Bihar, on Sunday.

The oration is awarded in the memory of Prof PN Sinha, a legendary ophthalmologist who performed cataract surgery on India’s first President Dr Rajender Prasad. Dr Sinha was also president of All-India Ophthalmological Society in 1965.



Enhancement charges unequal, say residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
Irked over the notices of enhancement charges to residents by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), a delegation of group housing societies at Sector 20 has submitted a memorandum to local MLA PK Bansal.

SK Jain, president of the action committee, said their main concern was inequality in distribution of enhancement cost. The total amount of compensation was Rs 127.88 crore for 254.75 acres, he stated.

He said the open space, dispensary, schools, roads and health centre covered 83.16 acres while the area allocated to the societies was around 99.32 acres.

Jain said the cost of 83.16 acres was not allocated to commercial buildings, grain market, private schools and societies of the income tax department, the Haryana Housing Board and the Chinmaya Mission, area of which was 72.27 acres.

He further said HUDA had charged development charges on private builders without allocation of open space to them. He said common facilities would be utilised by residents of private societies.

He further claimed that as the private schools in the sector were charging high fee from students, these institutions should be charged enhanced cost of land.

The residents alleged that enhancement cost to the mandi and commercial buildings was Rs 52 lakh per acre while for residents it was Rs 92 lakh per acre.

They further said the total number of societies was 110, covering 101.45 acres, but HUDA was showing only 93 societies on record, covering 91.25 acres.

The methodology adopted by HUDA to allocate the enhancement cost of land was against the principles of equality, the residents asserted.



Kashmir issue was settled in 1947: Dogra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Kashmir issue was irrefutably and irreversibly settled in 1947 and no Indian Government was politically empowered to negotiate as it was non-negotiable, as per a unanimous special resolution of the Indian Parliament.

The only issue to be worked on was the restoration of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to India. The Prime Minister was clear that he had no mandate to negotiate the transfer of Indian territory and that he was not willing to accept a second partition. This was stated by PC Dogra, former Punjab Police DGP and president of the Forum on Integrated National Security (Chandigarh), while addressing a press conference here. This was in reaction to the recent attack on Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference. Dogra said people were now reacting against voices of separatism. He said, “Umar is a strong supporter of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s four-point proposal, including demilitarisation and joint control of India and Pakistan over the valley. It is just handing over the valley to Pakistan on a platter. Pakistani ‘jehadis’, who are well-entrenched in the valley, will ensure that India loses out in the shortest period of time.”

“Whose aspirations are these separatists leaders talking about? The people of Jammu and Ladakh, who constitute almost half of the state’s population and occupy nearly 89 per cent of the land area, have nothing to do with the ongoing secessionist movement.

They have been demanding complete integration into India and abrogation of Article 370, which is mainly responsible for the state remaining out of the national mainstream,” he said.



‘Peace, security must for human development’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
Stating that the concept of peace and security constitutes important basis of human development and progress of nations, Prof Biswas Chatterjee from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, said the concept had moved beyond the narrow canvas of demilitarisation to the domain of development that is the basis of comprehensive security.

Speaking at a two-day seminar on ‘Cooperative development, peace and security in Asia’ organised at the Centre for Research in Industrial and Rural Development here, he said that the need for peaceful and cooperative development has assumed importance in the context of the Asian region where links between development indicators and peace indicators were significant.

The holistic approach to peaceful development through cooperation among nations and bilateral and multilateral negotiations as experienced by ASEAN, he said, could be of immense benefit in developing peace and security in the region.

In his talk on South Asia in Transition, Prof R.S. Ghuman from Punjabi University, Patiala, said South Asia as well as other some countries beyond this region had experienced an all-round transition in the past about six decades. He said the region has moved up from low growth and low per capita income to a reasonably high growth trajectory. This, he added, has helped these economies to address their problems of poverty and low level of human development.

Speaking on regional economic stability, Dr Kamal Mannoo from Pakistan said the short history of Pakistan and India was mired in rivalry, mistrust and frivolous point scoring and that a serious soul searching had to be done on both sides to realise that cooperation and amalgamation of long-term economic interests was the only way forward.

Other issues discussed at the conference today included counter-terrorism cooperation, proliferation of small arms in south Asia and climate change and environmental security.



BRO merges, redesignates junior ranks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has merged and redesignated some posts in Group-B in the General Reserve Engineer Force as part of its overall exercise to restructure the force. These posts are related to the technical cadre comprising civilians.

According to a policy letter , the post of the Overseer has been redesignated as the Junior Engineer (Civil). The posts of the Charge (Electrical) and Change (Mechanical) have been merged with a new designation of the Junior Engineer (Electrical and Mechanical).

Holders of these posts are diploma holders placed in the grade pay of Rs 4,200 per month. The rank insignia of these posts has also been changed. Earlier, incumbents used to wear three stripes on the sleeve. They will now wear a single stripe on the shoulder. 



Pregnant woman falls from bus, dies
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 27
A 26-year-old pregnant woman died after falling from a moving mini bus while alighting from the vehicle near Best Price at Zirakpur on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway this morning.

The deceased has been identified as Renu Sharma, wife of Mahinder Pal Sharma, a resident of street number 10, Preet Nagar Colony, Dera Bassi.

She was employed with Best Prize as a sales promoter. Her husband, employed with Parabolic Drugs factory in Dera Bassi, said Renu was on her way to her work. She told the bus driver to stop near Best Prize, but the driver slowed down the bus instead.

Renu jumped from the moving bus and her dupatta got entangled in the door. She fell on the road and sustained severe injuries. She was rushed to the GMCH-32, Chandigarh, where doctors declared her brought dead.

Mahinder said that Renu was two-month pregnant. She is survived by her husband and two daughters - 6-year-old and 5-year-old. The police has sent the body for the postmortem at Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, after registering a case.



10 breeds to compete in dog show
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 27
Dogs of 10 popular breeds from the tricity will compete with each other in the dog show organised by the government pet clinic, Sector 3, here tomorrow.

Among 10 breeds of canines that will walk on the ramp at Panchkula are Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Pomeranian, spitz, pug, Labrador, Dalmatian, golden retriever and German shepherd. Dr RM Bhardwaj and Dr GS Bedi would be the judges of the show.

A show of its own kind, only 10 breeds have been invited for participation in the dog show, irrespective of the fact that they are registered from the Kennel Club of India (KCI) or not.

The competition will, however, not see the dogs doing any tricks or obedience test. The organisers are expecting that it would be the finest show in view of the passion for dogs among the residents of the city. The show would be held from 8 am to 2 pm.

Giving further details about the show, in charge of the pet clinic Dr MR Singla said around 100 canines of 10 different breeds from the region were expected to participate in the show. He further informed that the only purpose of the show was to bring awareness among the general public about the pure breeds of the canines and to encourage them to maintain the purity of the breed.

Dr Singla said services would be offered to the participating dogs like medicated bath, vaccination and de-worming free of cost.



Devotees take part in Rath Yatra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The Chandigarh branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised Lord Jagannath’s 22nd Rath Yatra in the city with religious fervour here today.

Hundreds of devotees from all over the country and abroad took part in the procession, according to Nand Maharaj Dasa Prabhu, co-president of the local unit.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev and Devi Subhadra were offered bhog and aarti at the Sector-15 market. The Rath Yatra started around 10 pm from the market.

A number of sanyasis swept the road ahead of the chariot while other devotees pulled it.

Local residents, who had turned out in large numbers, also joined the devotees as they chanting hymns and danced during the procession.



A tribute to 26/11 victims
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 27
The Theatre Arts, a leading city ensemble specialising in street theatre genre, paid an emotional tribute to the victims of 26/11 carnage in Mumbai by staging a play “Mission Mumbai-Doh Saal Baad” at the Plaza here yesterday.

Written by Ashwini Sawan, the street play depicted sequences of the heinous crime sponsored and

executed by terrorists from across the border, besides juxtaposing the chinks in the governance and system for failure in giving justice to the affected innocent families.

The environment around became emotionally charged as the intrusive audience watched the play ably directed by Rajiv Mehta. 



Implementation of RTE
Govt schools, too, need a look
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
While the UT education department is pulling up city private schools for not implementing the Right To Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, many of its government schools may not even qualify as apt institutions to implement the Act, as they fail to fulfil the specified teacher-pupil ratio.

“Of course, we are paying attention to the skewed ratio. According to the Act’s specifications, we have already put in a request to get more teaching posts sanctioned. We are already on the job to implement all specifications of the Act in government schools,” clarified DPI (S) PK Sharma. The situation has, however, irked private school managements, which accuse the UT education department of bullying them without even trying to keep their own house in order.

“They have never practised what they have preached to us. They want us to seek recognition from them to prove that we qualify to implement the Act. The administration is talking of imposing fines, but it is not paying any attention to the poor condition of its own schools. There are not enough teachers, classrooms, benches and even toilets in some cases and they talk of rectifying us? What penalty will they impose on themselves for such a condition of their schools?” questioned Independent Schools Association president HS Mamik.

According to Section 25 of the Act, within six months from date of commencement of the Act, the local authority or government shall ensure that specified teacher-pupil ratio is maintained in schools. It further adds that for maintaining this ratio no teacher posted in a school shall be made to serve in any other school or office or deployed for any non-educational purpose other than population Census, disaster relief duties or election duties. Section 19 further states that no school shall be established or recognised unless it fulfils the norms and standards specified in the schedule.

Skewed Teacher-Pupil Ratio

Specifications under the Act

From classes I to V

Number of students Recommended number

in school of teachers

Upto 60 Two

61-90 Three

91-120 Four

121-150 Four

Above 150 Five plus one head teacher

Above 200 Teachers (excluding head teacher) not to exceed 40

From classes VI to VIII

1. One teacher per 35 students

2. At least one teacher per class for following subjects

l Science and mathematics

l Social studies

l Languages 

Teacher-pupil ratio in schools as

per DISE report 2009-2010

Name of school Teacher-pupil ratio

GPS (Burail) 1:64

GMSSS, Sector 16 1:76

GMSSS, Sector 37 1:38

GMSSS, Sector 33 1:47

GHS, Colony No.4 1:64

GMSSS, Karsan 1:56



Protest at Yoga College
Students threaten to go on hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 27
The ongoing agitation at the GCYEH (Yoga College), Sector 23, against the current principal KL SODHI intensified today with ABVP members joining in.

The student organisation joined the protesting teachers and students who have accused the principal of harassing them and passing lewd comments.

It was alleged that he did not fulfil requisite qualifications for being a principal.

The protesters have demanded that the principal be removed, failing which they would go on an indefinite hunger strike from Monday. The protesters condemned both the UT administration and Panjab University authorities, as the “failed” to take any action till date.



From Schools & COLLEGES
Conservation Day

CHANDIGARH: The Vasundhra Eco Club of Government High School, Mauli Colony, UT, celebrated the Conservation Day. A rally was taken out, in which 250 students took part. It was flagged off by headmistress Sushma Jain.

Students of St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, perform during the school’s annual function
Students of St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, perform during the school’s annual function on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Model making

Students of GMSSS-35 prepared a model on the theme “Community Health and Environment” organised by the SIE. The working model on reuse of “Tetra Paks” was prepared by Parvinder Kaur, teacher coordinator for TERI, and Vinay Sharma. Graphic display was presented by Sahil and Akhil. The model won the first prize. Sahil has been selected TERI’s brand ambassador. Principal Bharat B Gupta motivated the participants and appreciated their efforts.It was a day full of creativity, enthusiasm, curiosity and new experiences for all who were part of the event.

National Integration Week

National Integration Week was observed by GMHS-28. Students and ETT trainee teachers presented a cultural programme that started with a melodious patriotic song. Class IX students presented a skit on national integration.

Annual day

Banyan Tree School organised its annual day and prize distribution ceremony at the Tagore Theatre today. Ram Niwas, Home Secretary and Education Secretary, was the chief guest. Principal Ratna Dhar read out the annual report.


Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 27, organised a blood donation camp to pay homage to Hardyal Mahajan on his 14th death anniversary. The camp was organised in collaboration with the PGI Blood Transfusion Society. The NCC cadets, senior wing , Old Students Association, and parents participated in the event.


The departments of Sanskrit and philosophy of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a regional seminar on “Reconsidering Classical Indian Thoughts”. The seminar was sponsored by the Indian Council Philosophical Research, New Delhi, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Socrates declared by UNESCO as World Philosophy Day. Prof Ramakant Angiras, former professor of Kalidas Chair, Panjab University, was the chief guest. Prof emeritus Dharmendra Goel, a renowned scholar in analytical tradition in philosophy, was the guest of honour. Prof KK Sharma, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, was the key speaker . Dr Sham Lata, vice-principal and programme convener, welcomed the distinguished speakers and guests. She said every person had his own philosophy, ethics and thoughts of life, but the classical Indian thoughts taught one how to practice these correctly. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |