C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tearful adieu to Khushpreet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
It was a heart-rending scene at the cremation ground in Sector 25 here this afternoon, where the lifeless body of five-year-old Khushpreet was cremated.The body reached here amid wailing family members and relatives after its post-mortem examination was conducted at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16.

In a huge congregation of grief-stricken parents, wailing relatives and a huge posse of police, the father of the child lit the pyre of his son.

The mother yearned to hear her son’s voice one last time. “Please talk to me once, wake up, you cannot leave me like this, I want to listen to your voice, please get up,” cried Khushpreet’s mother Kulwinder Kaur on seeing her young one lay on a log of wood.

“Mera Khushi chala gaya,” she cried. Kulwinder also fainted many a time when the last rites were being performed.

The father of the child, Lakhbir Singh, stood silent as he performed the last rites. After the rituals were over, the father sat on the cold cemented bench and wept uncontrollably as relatives tried their best consoling him.

A wailing Kulwinder Kaur then cried for her elder son Inder and hugged him tight while he stood shocked, trying best to comprehend the trauma that has befallen on his close-knit family.

Despite adverse weather conditions and having no connection with Khushpreet’s family, hundreds of residents of the city made it to the cremation ground. There was commotion when the body was taken inside the ground.

The police had a trying time managing the huge rush and a traffic jam was witnessed outside the ground. The traffic police diverted vehicles coming from the Sector 25 side and closed the road opposite the ground for the time the child was being cremated.

Due to the presence of a large crowd, the family was finding it difficult to perform the rituals. The police had to form a human chain to keep the crowd away. After the cremation, Khushi’s family members directly went to a Sector 15 gurdwara to pay obeisance. “When the family needed the police the most, police showed a completely laidback attitude and failed to recover the child. We do not need the police now, our world is over,” cried a relative.

Meeting IG

Earlier, Khushpreet’s father, along with some relatives, met the UT Inspector-General of Police, PK Srivastava, at the police headquarters in Sector 9.

A closed-door meeting of the IG and Khushpreet’s family lasted for over an hour, during which Lakhbir Singh narrated his woes and demanded stringent action against the erring cops.

“I told him that the negligent attitude of the police killed my child. The IG assured us that he will act within 10 days as an inquiry is being conducted,” said Lakhbir Singh. After meeting the IG, Lakhbir went to the hospital and signed the papers, giving his consent for the post-mortem examination of Khushpreet, which began at 1 pm and was over by 4 pm’ when the body was directly taken to the cremation ground.



Cops failed to nab suspects within 1-km area
Kidnappers unlikely to have left tricity with boy
Sanjeev Singh Bariana/TNS

Chandigarh, January 7
Shocking as it may sound, Khushpreet’s body was recovered barely a kilometre from where he had been kidnapped 16 days ago, indicating that the kidnappers had probably been residing in the same area. More shocking is that the Chandigarh Police failed to search the small area.

Moving through crowded streets, Khushpreet’s house in Burail is not more than 1,000m (aerial distance) away from the garbage dump adjoining Manav Mangal school in Phase X, Mohali, where his body was disposed of.

That the crime did not extend beyond the tricity is indicated by the fact that the ransom of Rs 4 lakh was paid on the second day at Desu Majra, not more than 15 km from his house on the Kharar road. Call records showed that the mobiles in the kidnapping episode were being used within a close radius of the tricity.

Logically speaking, no kidnapper would have first carried the boy outstation and later risked to get him back to the city when the case had hogged headlines. The police will have to explain how the kidnappers managed to keep him in the small area for more than a fortnight, away from public sight. The body must also have been carried out of the vicinity of crowded streets to be thrown at the dump yard. There was no interaction between the Chandigarh and Mohali police. SSP Mohali Gurpreet Bhullar said they had not been contacted. An inquiry later might point at the loopholes, however, in a situation when a child had been kidnapped in the neighbourhood, there is no reason why the Mohali police did not get on the job automatically.

l The entire episode is ringing with instances of intelligence failure. The total intelligence input, including tie-up with residents, was a collapse. There seemed to be a poor feedback on the topography of the area for staff movement and mobilising residents. There is virtually no example of the local residents coming to the help of the police.

l Questions will be raised on the tracking device of the police lying nonfunctional. The SHO is learnt to have been hooked to a parallel line on the kidnappers’ calls on the mobile of the victim’s uncle. The talk, however, was never recorded. The basic policing apparatus should have been in order.

l In April, the police selected three police stations (located in central, east and south subdivisions) on a trial basis where police personnel were deployed on beat duty and assigned the job of gathering information at the grassroots. Interestingly, the jurisdiction of these police stations did not include the areas in which recent incidents of robberies, burglaries and chain snatchings had occurred.

l Recent figures indicate that the UT has a total of 2,712 police personnel from the rank of inspectors to constables, out of which 346 are deployed on VIP security while 406 are attached to the Police Lines. 

Sordid saga

l December 22: Khushpreet returns from school around 1.30 pm and takes off his turban and tie before going out to play in the street. Kulwinder Kaur, his mother, goes to get her elder son back from school. On her return, she finds Khushpreet missing. The family lodges a report with the police around 4 pm and gets a ransom call at 4.30 pm. This is followed by two more calls from different numbers.

l December 23: The police forms a 60-member team and deploys 16 vehicles. Kidnappers call the boy’s uncle around 11 am and again at 12 noon asking for Rs 10 lakh. The family pleads that it could not afford more than Rs 4 lakh and the kidnappers agree. The spot of delivery is not revealed. The boy’s uncle, Sukhwinder, is asked to catch a bus and go to Kurali. Midway, he is told to go to Kharar and later to Desu Majra, adjoining Mohali. The police follows Sukhwinder up to Kharar. He boards a bus for Desu Majra, but the police is unable to recognise the bus he boards from among two more plying on the same road and lose track. The snatching of the bag containing the ransom has no eyewitness.

l December 24: Kidnappers go silent. Lakhbir Singh, father of Khushpreet, complains of a sinking heart. He is taken to the PGI. Family gets a false alarm on a call which said Khushpreet was seen in a bus going towards Tarn Taran. The SIM card of the kidnappers is activated for a while. Parents protest against police inaction.

l December 27: False alarms continue. Missing mobile of Khushpreet’s uncle found abandoned in Terrace Garden, Sector 33.

l January 6: Body of Khushpreet found in a garbage yard in Mohali. Clad in his school uniform, his “patka” is tied around his neck, suggesting he had been strangled. Violence erupts on roads.



speaking out
Khuspreet Case
Parents of young kids express disbelief...

Khushpreet’s murder has triggered intense shock, disbelief and concern among parents of young children in the city, many of whom now feel unsafe to permit their children to play alone in parks. When a Tribune team interacted with parents, a few shared their apprehensions about the law and order situation while others were not even willing to come on record about the case.

“I have been more vigilant about my two young children and have instructed the servant not to let children play outside in the park. Khushpreet’s murder is not just a shocking incident, but a warning for parents of young children in the city. I am a working woman and am really scared to leave my children alone at home.

“Leave aside the park, I do not feel safe to permit children to play in the lawn outside the house now. For parents, this incident is a cause of extreme concern. In my opinion, only the intervention of the UT administration and better policing can improve the situation and make parents feel that their child is secure.

“It is not just about one child. This case has triggered concern for every child in the city. Reports in the media were very disturbing. As parents, we are more cautious now.

While others look at the larger picture

“There are doubts in the minds of local residents. Such is the atmosphere that nobody knows who the next victim is. Is the police only for lathi charge? The Administrator must direct UT schools to strengthen security on school gates and instal CCTV cameras.

— Netali Khanna, class IX student

“The police must be more visible in the city than taking care of VIPs. It is not just for challaning citizens for not wearing seat belts. Parents, on the other hand, need to be more cautious.

— HS Mamik, president, independent schools association

“It is a low point in human values. Khushpreet’s death is an extremely sad incident and was avoidable. The cohesiveness and bond of connectivity is diminishing within families and in neighbourhoods. More precaution by parents and good neighbourliness are needed. This incident is an outburst of change in social behaviour of people over a period of between 10 and 15 years.

— Harpreet Kanwal Chabbra, head, department of psychology, PU

“This murder was an insane act and not a stray incident. The victim was chosen, the kidnapping was planned and then, the boy was murdered. To avoid such incidents in the future, we need to undo the thinking ‘nobody cares for nobody’ among people in the city. This incident compels us to be more caring towards our neighbours and be more cautious about not just our children, but every child in the city. It is not one person’s failure or the carelessness of the police, but the failure of the entire social system.

— Dr Jitender Mohan, psychologist and emeritus professor



Reliving the trauma
Members of families whose children were kidnapped and later released, relive the horrifying moments when their children were in the hands of kidnappers
Rajmeet Singh and Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service
Daman Chinna with her daughter Mehak at their residence in Phase X of Mohali on Friday.
Daman Chinna with her daughter Mehak at their residence in Phase X of Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali/Panchkula, January 7
“I wish Khushpreet was alive. One can imagine the pain and agony parents go through when their children are kidnapped,” said Daman Chinna, mother of six-year-old Mehak, who was kidnapped on February 24 last year from Phase X, Mohali, and released a day later by her kidnappers after reportedly being paid ransom.

Not only the family of Mehak, at least two more families in Panchkula relived the terrifying moments that Khushpreet’s parents went through for 15 days, before his body was found.

“It was so scary. The kidnappers had complete knowledge about our moments. We simply did not know what was happening till we got our child back,” said Mehak’s mother, handing down advice to parents to be watchful about the persons around them.

Talking at her Phase X residence on Friday, she said, “If one is clear-hearted, one thinks the same about others. One cannot doubt everyone, but one can be watchful,” she said.

Malkit Singh Kang, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula, and grandfather of Jiya, who was kidnapped from her residence on October 29, 2009, said the police of Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh should coordinate to catch hold of criminals, who seemed to be taking advantage of poor coordination between them.

“We had urged the police administration to not intervene in the case so that we could get the child back. The kidnappers would have definitely killed the child had they got to know that we were providing information to the police,” he said.

Two-year-old girl Jiya was kidnapped by a scooter-borne youth and was released after the kidnapper was reportedly paid Rs 25 lakh as ransom.

ML Bansal, grandfather of Arnav, who was kidnapped from his house at Sector 7, Panchkula, on October 6, 2010, could not find words to explain the trauma his family went through till the child returned home safely after 18 hours in captivity.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Arnav, son of a businessman, was playing in the courtyard with his twin brother and cousins, nine-year-old Anika and seven-year-old Lakshya, when a youth wearing a blue T-shirt and a helmet entered the house and picked him up.

He was released only after the kidnapper was reportedly paid a ransom of Rs 20 lakh.



Strangled, but not tortured

The preliminary postmortem findings on Khushpreet confirmed that he had been strangled a maximum of 24 hours prior to his body being found and had not been tortured. The discovery of undigested food particles in his stomach suggests that he had been fed only a few hours before his death, giving rise to speculation that the kidnappers decided to kill him on the spur of the moment. The absence of any injury marks on the body indicates that he had not been tortured by his perpetrators during his fortnight-long captivity. The solitary injury mark on his lips, however, seem to have been caused by a rat bite as a part of the flesh was also missing. The viscera has been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to determine the exact cause of death. The report is expected in three weeks.

Other postmortems delayed

With a 28-hour stalemate over conducting a postmortem on Khushpreet’s body beginning Thursday morning, the postmortem of Tej Pal Bunty, a Mauli Jagran resident whose body was found near Colony No. 4 on Tuesday, was postponed for tomorrow. Mehar Singh, a relative of Bunty, said they had been running around since Thursday morning for getting the postmortem conducted, but they were asked to wait till the postmortem on Khushpreet’s body. The highly decomposed body of Gurbal Maninder Mann, who was found dead at her residence in Sector 21 yesterday, had to be sent to the PGI for a postmortem.

Work comes to a standstill

Administrative work at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 has come to a standstill since Thursday. SSP Naunihal Sngh and other UT Administration officials, including Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill, kept visiting the hospital to take stock of the situation. With senior doctors, including the medical superintendent, remaining busy in making arrangements, administrative work has been suffering. 



Woman died of natural causes 9 days ago: Postmortem
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
In a U-turn to what appeared to be a sensational murder of septuagenarian Gurbal Maninder Mann, mother-in-law of Punjab’s acting Advocate General Rupinder Khosla, the postmortem report today termed the death of the woman as “natural” and ruled out any foul play. The report also revealed that the body was at least nine days old.

The report came as a major relief to the UT police which received egg on its face as the news of the sensational murder in Sector 21 sent shock waves across the city, especially among senior citizens residing alone.

The postmortem report, however, stated that no injury was inflicted on the body and that it was a natural death. “The circumstances in which the body was found gave the initial impression that it was a murder. The body was highly decomposed,” SSP Naunihal Singh said.

The family had earlier claimed that Rs 5 lakh had been found missing, but it was recovered from the house following a search. “Thus, robbery too was ruled out,” Naunihal said.



Robbery Bid: Computer shop employee stabbed
Tribune News Service


Chandigarh, January 7
A computer shop employee sustained knife injures in an attack by six unidentified assailants at the busy Sector 33-20 roundabout here this morning. He, along with another employee, was on his way to deposit cash when the robbery was attempted.

The incident took place at 11.30 am. Narinder (25) and Rajinder (23) were on their bike and were going towards Sector 22 to deposit Rs 5 lakh in a bank.

Narinder had hung the bag on his shoulder while Rajinder was riding pillion. They were intercepted by six men near the Haryana AG’s office in Sector 33. One of the accused hit their bike with a rod and they fell.

They were then attacked with rods and the accused tried to snatch the bag. Both victims fought back and held on tightly to the bag. Narinder,who was assaulted with a knife on the neck, started to run towards Sector 20. The accused then fled in an open Jeep parked at some distance.

The police was informed and Narinder was rushed to the GMCH-32. He sustained 18 stitches on his neck.

Sanjay Sharma, victim’s employer, alleged that the police initially refused to register an FIR, but later came under pressure from the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and Chandigarh Computer Association. Later, shopkeepers held a protest rally causing traffic jam in Sector 20 for hours. They dispersed only after the police arrived and confirmed that a case had been registered.


Twilight years, and now, a time to be watchful
Negligence on the part of children of Gurbal Maninder Mann, the 75-year-old resident of Sector 21 who died a natural death a few days ago, is of great concern for senior citizens, who are left high and dry at this age by their offspring, either by turning them out or by going abroad or other parts of the country to earn a living.

Family members cannot absolve themselves of the responsibility to keep in touch with elders. A majority of senior citizens are not exercising safety precautions like bolting doors and locking main gates at their places. In fact, the elders staying alone should shift to old-age homes.

— Surjit Kaur, resident of Sector 18

The concept of ‘friendly neighborhood’ is finished. Nobody seems aware about people with whom they share the walls of their houses. The first step towards friendly neighborhood needs to begin from home. The role of the government machinery comes much later. It is the responsibility of children, of the aged to provide them a safe and secure life.

— Sashi Kuthiala, resident of Sector 27

Rather than depending on the police force for safety, senior citizens should make security arrangements at their residences on their own. A number of hi-tech security equipment are available in the market, which aged persons staying alone should instal in their houses. It is not humanly possible for the police to keep track of all anti-social elements and activities in the city.

— JS Grewal, resident of Sector 35

The aged in the city need to take care of themselves as nobody has time to look after them. When our near and dear ones do not have time to keep a tab on our well-being, how can we blame the government or the system for some mishap?

— Balbeer Kaur, resident of Sector 46

Self security is the need of the hour in the tricity. All senior citizen associations of the city should form sector-wise committees of elders in their areas, who should contact each other on a day-to-day basis. A system can be worked out to take care of each other’s needs. The police can pay weekly visits to senior citizens’ homes.

— DS Bindra, resident of Sector 47

I was a victim of a hit-and-run incident at Sector 48 a month ago, but there was no follow-up by the police. All details were given to the police, but till date, there was no response. What can a senior citizen expect from the police if anything serious happens to us?

— Devinder Pal, resident of Sector 48



NRIs concerned, too
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, January 7
Concerned over the increasing attacks on senior citizens in the tricity, non-resident Indians are seeking the support of a local NGO to ensure the safety of their parents here. They are contacting agencies to look after daily needs of their parents.

“I am looking for a voluntary caretaker for looking after the safety of my father and his day-to-day errands as he is opposed to shifting to an old-age home” is one such e-mail received by the Chandigarh branch of Helpage India, an NGO, from an NRI in the UK.

Indeed, the inbox of the NGO is full of similar queries from NRIs, whose aged parents are residing alone in the city. On an average, Helpage India receives 10 to 15 calls or e-mails every month from overseas. There are also requests from different parts of the country for providing personal assistance in the safety and well-being of aged parents.

At least 200 senior citizens in the city who are staying alone are listed with two of the senior citizen associations. The number of queries from NRIs residing overseas has increased in the recent past following reports of attacks on senior citizens in the National Capital and other parts of the country.

An elderly couple residing alone says in addition to advising them to take precaution, their children are seeking the support of various other people in the city, particularly friends and acquaintances, to take care.



Sun brings little respite, chill to persist
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
People covered themselves in woollen clothes as icy winds lashed the tricity today. Their winter woes were compounded as the cold wave continued and the minimum temperature dipped to 4.4 degree Celsius from 5.7 degree Celsius yesterday, making the cold unbearable.

In the city, the day temperature rose to 11.8 degree Celsius, up by 1.8 degree as compared to 9.0 degree Celsius, recorded on Thursday. The weather has took its toll on air and rail traffic.

According to sources, Shimla had been experiencing sunny days for the last over a week whereas the city was having foggy days. That was why Shimla was warmer than Chandigarh at 16.6 degree Celsius.

Chandigarh Met director Surender Paul said, “The entire north and north-east is under the grip of a cold spell and there will be no let-up in the situation for the next 48 hours in the region. As the gap between minimum and maximum temperatures has narrowed down, it makes the chill all the more intense.” A warning mentioned the probability of ground frost developing over isolated places in Punjab and Haryana during the next two nights. According to the Met department, the recent intense cold conditions had been caused due to icy winds coming from northern hills.

These would now be replaced by western winds. While mild sunshine graced the city today, the chilly air maintained its grip on the city and rendered the marginal increase in maximum temperature ineffective. The temperature would not drop much following the change in wind direction.

“The icy winds are the result of snowfall in the hilly regions of North India. The wind direction is expected to change from Sunday, as a result of which the temperature will remain around 5 degree Celsius,” said the Met director.

Daily wage labourer Rita, who lost her husband during the cold wave last winter, had been supporting her family of four, including her differently abled brother.

“We neither have a place to stay, nor do we have any identity card or ration card. Wherever we go, we are turned away. We are battling the cold by burning the garbage,” said a distressed Rita.

Dr GS Gill, an agriculture expert, said seven hours of sunshine was needed for crops to grow normally during normal conditions in this weather.

“There was little sunlight in for the past two or three days. This kind of prolonged chill can be harmful to some delicate crops. Though the standing wheat crop will not be damaged, the colour of leaves change to yellowish due to respiration losses. Farmers are hoping for bright and sunny days,” he said.

The Met department forecast a partly cloudy sky during the next 24 hours, with mist or fog. The maximum and minimum temperatures were likely to hover around 13 and 5 degree Celsius, respectively, tomorrow.



Development works to be completed within six months
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 7
Zirakpur municipal council (MC) president Narinder Kumar Sharma today fixed a deadline to complete all pending development works within a span of six months.Sharma visited four wards of Baltana and asked officials concerned to speed up the development works in the area.

Talking to The Tribune about the development works, Sharma said he had asked officials of the Punjab Sewerage Board to lay down the sewerage pipes in Punjab Modern Complex at ward number 12.

He said the re-carpeting work of roads would be starting next month. He had asked the officials concerned to re-carpet the roads of Harmilap Nagar, Saini Vihar Phase I, II, III, IV and V, Anand Vihar, Yog Vihar and other areas.

Sharma said the installation work of tubewell in Anand Vihar had completed. He asked the officials of the electricity department to give power supply connection to the tubewell within a week. The work of park in Saini Vihar, Phase III, has been started, Sharma added.

The re-carpeting work of Baltana to Sector 19, Panchkula link road, has been started.

The MC president claimed that the development works would be completed within six months and Rs 15 crore would be spent on it. Tenders for carpeting of the Pabhat godown area roads would be floated next month, he added.



Budget proposals discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
A meeting of secretaries of different departments was held under UT Adviser Pardip Mehra here today.Budget proposals for the next financial year 2011-12 were discussed by the representatives of different departments of the UT administration, including UT engineering department, Chandigarh Housing Board, municipal corporation, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), education and others.

Initiating major development works for improving the quality of life, the administration had recently submitted proposals worth Rs 912.12 crore for the annual plan 2011-12.

A lion’s share of Rs 180.21 had been proposed for the education sector, apparently to implement the Right to Education Act, as against the current budget outlay of Rs 89.72 crore.



Fearing raw deal through MC notification
Cong councillors set to move court
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 7
Councillors backed by the Congress are all set to challenge in court a notification expected any day for the formation of the new Mohali municipal corporation if injustice was done to them by the government.

The councillors, who claim that they have been given a raw deal, say the expected notification on the new corporation will be in contravention of a resolution cleared in this regard by the general house of the current municipal council.

Asserting that they would not accept such a situation, council president Rajinder Singh Rana today said he would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for relief after the issuance of the notification by the government.

Rana said they were not against the formation of the corporation but it needed to be done in accordance with the resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the general house.

But according to reports, the government was only upgrading the council to the level of a corporation without extending the limits.

He said he could not understand the haste in upgrading the civic body when the term of the elected body was to expire in around eight months.

The only reason for doing this, claimed Rana, was to unseat him as all earlier efforts to remove him had proved futile.

As such, he would be compelled to go to court against the government notification for seeking relief if injustice was done, he added.

Congress’ Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is an ex officio member of the council, said the government would do injustice to councillors if the notification was issued at this juncture.

The area of the new corporation would not be extended immediately as the work relating to census was in progress and would be completed by March 31.

Even the four sectors (66 to 69), which were currently being taken care of by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority would not be included in the municipal limits before March 31.

Development work related to laying of premix carpet also came to a halt in the winter due to excess cold.

Sidhu alleged that the government had always wanted its hold on the local civic body and as all earlier efforts had failed, the only weapon to remove Rana now was to dissolve the council by forming a corporation.

He was not against the formation of the corporation but it should be done in accordance with the resolution passed by the house and, still better, if it was done after elected representatives completed their five-year term instead of cutting it short, added the MLA.

Sharma allays fears

Mohali, January 7
The councillors who will be unseated after the Punjab Government issues a notification for the formation of Mohali Municipal Corporation have been given an assurance by an SAD leader that they will be nominated as members to the new civic body. As many as 10 councillors today met with Mohali District Development Board chairman NK Sharma to discuss the issue related to their nomination.

Rajinder Prasad, councillor from ward No. 2, said he along with Parkashwati, Manjeet Kaur, BB Maini, Amrik Singh, Harpal Singh, Paramjit Singh Kahlon, Gurmukh Singh Sohal, Phool Raj Singh and Gian Chand Aggarwal were part of the delegation. Sharma assured them that all councillors would be nominated to the new body. He added that he would facilitate a meeting of councillors with the Punjab Chief Minister. The councillors, whose five-year term would be cut short by eight months with the formation of the corporation, were unhappy as they feared that they would not be nominated to the new civic body. Under the rules, nomination could only be done after the government carried out an amendment in this regard. — OC



Varsity, college teachers stage dharna
Demand implementation of UGC scales
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
Hundreds of college and university teachers from the state today staged a dharna outside the office of department of higher education in Sector 4 here demanding immediate implementation of the UCG scales.3

Led by Wazir Nehra, vice-president, Haryana Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (HFUCTO) under the aegis of AIFUCTO, HGCTA and HCTA raised slogans against the state government for its failure to implement the MHRD recommendation in toto regarding the 6th CPC benefits for college and university teachers.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda through Dheera Khandelwal, Commissioner, department of higher education.

Addressing the protesting teachers Nehra said the government should not dilute the UGC recommendations and demanded withdrawal of the departmental circular regarding the increase in the workload and stay hours of the college teachers. He said the government should also resolve the erroneous implementation of the Rural Area Policy at the earliest besides ensuring the timely disbursal of the salaries to the teachers serving in the government-aided colleges of Haryana.

Rajbir Prashar, general secretary, HFUCTO, talking to the Tribune said that Khandelwal while accepting the memorandum assured the delegation that the notification in this regard would be issued soon.



Proposed fire station in Sector 28
Hydraulic platform fire tender planned
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 7
In view of the coming up of several high-rise buildings in the town, a hydraulic platform fire tender, costing around Rs 6 crore, is being planned for the new fire station to be set up in Sector 28.

According to sources, the municipal council has urged the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to provide the hydraulic platform fire tender as several high-rise residential and commercial buildings were coming up in various parts of the town.

HUDA has already earmarked a site in the new sector for setting up the fire station in view of a large number of residential and commercial buildings in the area.

The district currently has one fire station situated in Sector 5, which is over 30 km from Kalka and Raipur Rani towns.

Residents of the towns run the grave risk of fire especially during summer, when water and power supplies are severely affected.

Executive Engineer KK Jain said the MC would purchase three more vehicles, including a fire tender, water mouser and small fire engines for around Rs 80 lakh.

He said the new fire station was being set up across the Ghaggar, which would cater to the needs of Raipur Rani and Barwala blocks of the district.

Jain added that old cables were being replaced by new ones on the main roads across the town at the cost of Rs 95 lakh. The work would be finished within the next few weeks and it would help restore streetlights.

Thereafter, the work on replacing damaged streetlight poles with new ones would be undertaken. On the stray cattle menace, Jain said the MC was planning to set up a gaushala in the town. They had urged HUDA to allot a piece of land in this regard.



‘Tension-free mind necessary for long life’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 7
“Simple living with controlled and normal dietary habits and a tension-free mind is absolutely necessary for a healthy and longer life.” The didactic advice came from Harmohan Dhawan (70) the chief guest at the New Year-welcome function organised by the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association (Chapter -6) at the Guru Nanak Public School auditorium -37 here today.

Former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan shared his personal experiences with the audience and gave valuable tips to control diabetes and other diseases in the interactive session. Former association president SS Lamba and VP Parbhakar honoured him.

Earlier, Surinder Singh, Arjun Singh and Dr GK Nanda presented songs while Ranjna Kapur gave a dance recital. Well-known poets including HSA awardee poet Gurbux Saini, GS Sindra, HS Walia, Chaman Lal Chaman Gurdarshan Mavi and others regaled the audience with choicest poems.



Candle-lit march at PU for Khushpreet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Student’s Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today held a candle-lit march starting from Gandhi Bhawan at Panjab University to express solidarity with Khuspreet Singh’s family and pay condolence to him.

The student leaders said that the student community was shocked at the incident and wanted better policing in the city.

“The incident has been unfortunate and PU students were with Khushpreet’s parents in this traumatic time,” said Vikramjeet Singh of SOPU.



8 more cases registered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 7
The horticulture wing of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) today got complaints registered with the police against occupants of eight houses in Phase IV for allegedly cutting trees in a park. Executive engineer (horticulture) Devinder Singh said the complaints had been lodged at the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for necessary action.

In the past few days, GMADA has lodged 16 complaints against residents for cutting trees without seeking permission.

Sources in GMADA said every year during winter residents indulged in cutting of trees to get sunlight. In most cases, permission was not sought from the department.



Hike in Rates of Re-evaluation Forms
Student leaders protest outside VC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Protesting against hiked rates of re-evaluation forms by Panjab University authorities, student leaders of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) today protested in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office.To get the demands fulfilled student leader Sunny Mehta sat on hunger strike at 12 noon, which was later called off after the dean students welfare (DSW)Naval Kishore, arrived on the spot. The DSW agreed to the demands of student leaders and held a meeting of student leaders later at 3pm.

The student leaders protested outside, the VC office violating the guidelines set by the varsity of not protesting outside the VC office, which was issued in a circular in 2010.

“The university gets away by increasing the rates of forms and course fee and no action is taken till some protest takes place. But today the officials met the demands of students immediately and this benefit would be drawn by thousands of students who apply for re-evaluation,” said Sunny.

“Why is the effect of inflation visible on forms and fee whereas the teachers on campus get handsome salary? The university is getting grant from the Central agencies hence it must make food subsidised on the campus. How does inflation affect the cost of forms?” he added.

The university officials however added that as per the guidelines from the Union Government, the university had to increase its resources each year and nominal increase in forms was done because of these guidelines.



New academic session begins at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
Major HPS Ahluwalia (retired), chairman, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, inaugurated the new academic session at PGIMER here today.As many as 110 candidates have joined the MD/MS course of major specialties, including anesthesia, medicine, nuclear medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, orthosurgery, radiodiagnosis, general surgery, microbiology and pathology.

Thirty-two others have joined the DM/M.ch in cardiology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, urology and surgical gastroenterology. As many as fourteen students will begin their Ph.D from the new session.

Delivering his address “Summit of the mind”, Ahluwalia recounted his valuable life experiences that taught him to give others what he lost in the 1965 India-Pakistan War. Ahluwaiia was injured in the war that left him on a wheel chair.

Later, he founded the Indian Spinal Injury Centre, in Delhi. He was the member of the first successful Indian expedition to Mount Everest. As the chairperson of the Rehabilitation Council of India he promoted conquering disability by organising workshops and conferences.

Professor Sneh Bhargava, former director, AIIMS, New Delhi, and one of the leading radiologists of the nation, while congratulating the new residents on the occasion said, “Institution builds character and makes you, but you make the institution and sustain it.” She opined that while other sectors were booming in India, health care had been in a sorry state. It was the responsibility of the students to find innovative ways of giving boost to this sector and catering to millions of people who had health facilities out of their reach.

Earlier, Professor KK Talwar narrating the achievements of PGIMER said more than 20 per cent of poor patients were treated absolutely free of cost at the hospital. Professor Amod Gupta, sub-dean and chairman, Institute Functions Committee, conducted the pin-up ceremony for resident doctors. 



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 |