C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Wireless Scam’
CBI court rejects closure report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
In a new twist to the Rs 5.25 crore ‘wireless scam’ that rocked the Punjab police in 2006, a CBI court today ordered further investigations by the investigative agency while rejecting the closure report filed by the latter. Observing there was further scope for investigation, CBI Special Judge Darshan Singh said the case would not be closed.

The scam had made headlines in 2006 when the CBI filed a case against senior police officers for allegedly embezzling crores of rupees over a period of three years (2000 to 2003) in connivance with suppliers of wireless communication sets. The Punjab & Haryana High Court had, while handing over the case to the CBI on May 30, 2006, directed it to probe the scam on a public interest litigation filed by two lawyers who had alleged large-scale irregularities in purchasing the wireless sets.

In its FIR the CBI had named eight senior and middle rung police officials including a DGP rank officer, three additional DGPs, two IGPs, one DIG and one SP. These included then DGP (home guards) KK Attri, former additional DGP (vigilance) Izhar Alam, former additional DGP DR Bhatti, former additional DGP SC Jain, former IG (crime) GD Pandey, former IGP RC Prasad (since deceased), former DIG (intelligence) RP Singh and former SP (Lokpal) Malvinder Singh Sidhu, all of who were booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

These officers, who had served in the police’s communications & wireless (C&W) wing when the scam was committed, had allegedly connived with private firms dealing in wireless sets to embezzle money to buy substandard sets.

A charge levelled by the CBI was that the wireless sets did not meet the specifications laid down by the directorate of coordination (police wireless) of the home affairs ministry. The officers had billed Rs 2.77 crore as the cost of the wireless sets when in reality only Rs 18-19 lakh was paid to purchase low grade instruments.

Besides these officers, Bangalore-based Motorola India, New Delhi-based Sanchar Antenna Ltd & Communication System and Surya firm and its managing director Ajay Vir Sehgal have been named as suspects in the investigative agency’s FIR. The CBI had filed the closure report in 2009 citing lack of evidence as the reason for the closure.



PU moots barring students with criminal past from polls
Neha Miglani/TNS

Chandigarh, January 25
Fed up by the reoccurrence of violence during student elections, the Panjab University administration proposes to include a clause in the new admission prospectus, beginning from the next academic session, which would debar “any student involved in criminal activity, major or minor, from not just contesting student council elections but also participating in any election activity”. The proposal is expected to be discussed by the varsity’s 15-member syndicate, its decision making body.

The additional clause in the PU prospectus would imply that any student with a criminal past would not be permitted to even canvass for the polls, participate in rallies or take part in elections in any form. Incidentally, the proposal figures as the first recommendation listed in a report prepared by former high court judge KC Gupta after the student council elections held last year. The report was tabled at a syndicate meeting held on January 21.

Speaking to the Chandigarh Tribune today, senior administrative officials of the varsity including vice chancellor RC Sobti and dean of students welfare Naval Kishore expressed their helplessness to tighten the screws on students involved in both “major and minor violence on campus” due to legal loopholes in such cases.

“There has to be some provision in the law that helps universities and colleges to ensure peace on the campus. Each time we enforce stricter rules to keep such students away from the campus, they file an appeal before the courts and seek permission to appear in exams. According to the provisions in the law we can’t deny admission to any one,” said Sobti.

In the wake of the ongoing debate over the acceptance of this report, this proposal to add a clause in the prospectus is being seen as an effort to neutralize resentment brewing among students as well as certain PU syndics and even senators. Passing the buck to the local police with regard to recent cases of campus violence, a senior PU official said on condition of anonymity: “In the case of the violence that occurred at the PU student centre on November 8, 2010, in which a few policemen were injured, one of the cops who was seriously hurt had remarked ‘it was just a scratch’. The cops backed out when it came to filing a complaint against the students involved in the incident even as newspaper clippings showed them as being seriously injured on that day”.

Meanwhile, those who had alleged the Lyngdoh committee’s recommendations were ignored in the student council elections held in September 2010 today said a public interest litigation would be filed in the case. They added they would seek the courts’ intervention to ensure a fair investigation was conducted in the student election violence case.

Complainants, who alleged that Lyngdoh committee recommendations were violated in the student elections held in September, 2010 today said that a public interest litigation would be filed in the case. They also added that intervention of the court would be sought by them to ensure a fair probe is done in the student election violence case.



Padma Shri for Neelam Man Singh
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 25
Theatre thespian Dr Neelam Man Singh Chaudhary has done the city proud and added one more feather to her cap, with the Centre today announcing her name for the coveted Padma Shri. The President will present her the award at a national function.

Talking to the Tribune correspondent, Dr Neelam Man Singh said, “In all humility, I only wish to say that the honour has, in fact, come to all my actors, my family and my admirers, who have inspired me to keep the meaningful theatre moving.”

Neelam Man Singh belongs to a small group of female theatre personalities who has won accolades for her directorial abilities at the national and international levels. She has also made a mark as an academician, artiste and thinker.

A doctorate in Punjabi theatre and diploma in acting from the National School of Drama, she has already been bestowed with the prestigious Ford Foundation award, Sangeet Natak Academy award and Shiromani Natakar award, Punjab Bhasha Vibhag. She also held the post of the chairperson of the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University.

Her plays include “Naga Mandala”, “Yerma”, “The Mad Woman of Chaillot”, “Phaedra”, “The Un-posted Love Letter”, “Kitchen Katha”, “Sibo in supermarket”, “The Suit”, “Little Eyolf”, “The Wife’s Letter”, “Blood Wedding”.

The works of Neelam Man Singh have won rave reviews at the international festivals, including Sadlers Wells (2009), Festival d’Avignon (1995), LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre (1993-1995-1997), Perth, Canberra (2000), Tokyo in Japan and Kyoto (2004-2007), Pakistan (2004-2005-2006), Dubai (2003), Singapore (2001) and Germany (2003).



NHAI selective in digging trenches
Illegal access in front of farmhouse of SAD leader and head of Zirakpur MC NK Sharma left out
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur/Mohali, January 25
Call it coincidence or an intended move, officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the local administration, while carrying out a drive to plug unauthorised access to the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway on Tuesday, left out the illegal access in front of the farmhouse owned by senior SAD leader and president of the Zirakpur municipal council NK Sharma.

The unauthorised opening is close to the take-off point of the Zirakpur flyover on the highway. When asked, NK Sharma said he was not aware of the drive, but was quick to add that no one was above the law.

Explaining their part, officials of the NHAI said, it being a day-long exercise, the direct access to the farmhouse could not be closed. It would be closed in the next round of the drive on January 27 and January 28.

Meanwhile, while carrying out the drive, the teams closed 21 illegal entries. Dera Bassi Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Puneet Goyal said the drive had been carried out to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the highway. The remaining illegal entries to the highway would be closed soon, he claimed.

The direct access to the highway of Silver City, Bristol Hotel, Gulistan Farms, Swami Motors, Sethi Dhaba, Marble Zone, Yuvraj Estate, Tony Motor, Eicher Motors, Dasmesh Marbles, Garg Farmhouse, Inderjit and Kuljit Granite, Marble Centre, Indian Properties, New Shere Punjab Dhaba, wine shop and other establishments were closed.

Officials said over 100 establishments on this 35 km-long highway stretch had a direct access to the highway without permission of the NHAI. These approaches were not only posing danger to the highway traffic but also blocking the rainwater outlet.

The steps have been initiated after the project director of the NHAI brought to the notice of the District Magistrate that property owners, along the national highway, had violated rules, resulting in traffic chaos. Instructions have been passed to the officials concerned to act tough with the violators.

Acting on the request of the NHAI, the District Magistrate, while invoking Section 174 of the CrPC, has also restrained owners of the business establishments from having direct access to the national highway by filling up road portions dug up to lay service lanes. The owners would have to take permission from the Ministry of Surface Transport and National Highways to gain access to the highway.

Other highways to be cleared of encroachments

After targeting encroachments on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway, the district administration has set its eyes on the encroachments along national highways Mohali-Kharar and Mohali-Fatehgarh Sahib.

In the past few days, fruit and vegetable vendors along the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway have been removed and booked under Section 283 of the CrPC and a survey of the permanent encroachments along the highway has also been done. The purpose of the drive was to ensure free flow of traffic on the road in the wake of directives issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Similarly, the Mohali district administration has planned to initiate action against the encroachers sitting along the other highways. Directions have already been issued to streamline the parking of trucks at the sales tax barrier of Balongi and Lakhnour. Haphazard parking of vehicles at the sales tax barriers were causing traffic jams.

In case of the Mohali-Sohana-Landran road, a number of persons had encroached upon land in front of their shops in Sohana and Landran.


BJP activists protest against J&K govt
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Hundreds of BJP workers here today organised a protest rally near the Deputy Commissioner’s office at the mini-secretariat in Sector 1 to protest against the Jammu and Kashmir government for arresting its national leaders in Jammu yesterday.

Addressing the protestors, state general secretary Veer Kumar Yadav said the Central and state government was hand in glove to stop the “Rashtriya Ekta Yatra” being organised by the BJP Yuva Morcha to hoist Tricolour at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar on the Republic Day.

Yadav said it was unfortunate that while on one hand, the nationalist forces were being stopped from unfurling the national flag in Srinagar by the state government headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, on the other hand, it was trying to provide protection to anti-national forces in the state. Former MP Rattaan Lal Kataria and other senior BJP leaders, including VK Sood, Shyam Lal Bansal, Gyan Chand Gupta, and MC vice-president BB Singal were among those who sat on dharna from 10 am, which continued till 1.30 pm.



16 cops to get Police Medals, commendation certificates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Twelve police officials of the Chandigarh Police, including two Inspectors who cracked the recent Tanishq heist, will be awarded Administrative Police Medal for distinguished or meritorious services on the occasion of Republic Day. Besides, three police officials will be awarded commendation certificates.

Police officials selected for Administrative Police Medal include four Inspectors, two Sub Inspectors (SI), one Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), three Head Constables (HC) and a Constable.

Inspectors Hardit Singh and Gurmukh Singh, both of who are posted with the police cyber cell, are being awarded medals for meritorious services for cracking the Tanishq dacoity case.

Inspector Tripta Devi and ASI Charanjit Singh are being awarded the medal for distinguished services, while Inspector Bhupinder Singh, SI Reena Yadav, SI Ghansham Singh, ASI Sushil Kumar and Head Constables Hari Om, Ravinder Singh and Vijay Kumar, Constable Ved Parkash are being awarded medals for meritorious services.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Roshan Lal, Inspector Sita Devi, Home Guard volunteer Puran Singh and ASI Rakesh Rosila will be awarded commendation certificates. 



President’s Police Medal for ITBP DIG
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
HS Goraya Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) HS Goraya has been decorated with the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service on the eve of the 62nd Republic Day. He is presently head of the ITBP’s Basic Training Centre at Bhanu near here.

Goraya, who hails from Batala, was conferred the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry in 1982 for showing exemplary courage and daring rescue work to save a foreign coach who was attacked during the Asian Games at Delhi.

Besides other decorations, he is also a recipient of the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service for meaningful and substantial contribution to the force. He is the only ITBP officer to be awarded these three medals.

SS Harta, DIG (Operations) at ITBP Headquarters, Delhi, who hails from Shimla and has also served in Chandigarh earlier, has also been awarded the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service.

An excellent sportsman and trainer, he represented India in the First Indian Police Contingent to UN-CIVPOL Mission in Bosnia in 1996-97, where he served as Regional Human Rights Officer. He was the Commander of the ITBP contingent when it was adjudged as the best marching contingent for the first time during the Republic Day parade. His decorations include the Police Special Duty Medal, the UN Medal, the Director General’s Insignia (3 times) and the Indian Police Medal for meritorious service.



Cops, sportspersons among 23 to be feted
Tribune News Service

Ropar, January 25
Cops, a farmer, educationists, sportspersons and an agriculture officer are among 23 people from Ropar who would be honoured on the occasion of Republic Day.

Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Nangal, Vijay Kumar would be honoured for his contribution in the field of education. Kumar has to his credit writing several stories for children, which are included in the syllabus of classes V, VIII and X.

Chief agriculture officer Balwinder Singh Sohal would be honoured for propagating direct paddy sowing technology that saves underground water.

Farmer Gurjatinder Singh from Kandhola village in Chamkaur Sahib would be honoured for his fishery farm spread over 250 acres, which has set an example for others.

SHO, Bhagwantpura, Inspector Varinderjit Singh would be honoured for solving a murder mystery and recovering the body of a victim from Rajasthan. SHO, Anandpur Sahib, Inspector Manvir Singh would be honoured for being declared the best SHO in 2009 and for also making large recoveries under the NDPS Act. Havildar Balvir Chand, head munshi, police station, Nurpur Bedi, would be honoured for being declared the best head munshi in 2009 in Punjab.

Multipurpose health worker Gurjinderjit Kaur would be honoured for working actively in the sphere of family planning and motivating couples to plan their families.

Dr Bhanu Pratap Singh Parmar would be honoured for holding free medical camps, career counselling camps and helping people.

Sportsperson to be awarded at the occasion include gold medallist in Asian Athletics Meet (veteran), Kuala Lumpur, 2010-11, Mahinder Singh from Dhamana, hockey player Lavraj Singh from Khalsa School Ropar, hockey player Jagajot Singh from Sant Karam Singh Academy, Ropar, handball player Rajni Bala from Khalsa School, Ropar, weightlifting champion Sukhdeep Singh from Bharatgarh and kho-kho player Manpreet Kaur from

Bharatgarh. Kulwinder Kaur and Parminder Kaur from Bharatgarh, Harmanjit Singh from Ropar, Piyush from Ropar, badminton player Ramandeep Singh from Ropar, kabaddi player Amandeep Kaur from Bharatgarh, kabaddi player Tripta Devi from Bharatgarh, Rajwant Kaur from Majra Jattan and weightlifter Jagtar Singh from Bhago Majra.



Former Canada minister Axworthy visits PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Having attained the status of a centrally-funded institution, Panjab University can now explore opportunities to host joint educational programmes in collaboration with leading foreign universities. PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sotbi said this during a discussion at PU’s Golden Jubilee Hall today, where a lecture was delivered on “The growing influence of India” by Dr Lloyd Axworthy, former foreign minister of Canada, currently the president of the University of Winnipeg, Canada. The event was organised by the PU’s Department of History.
Dr Lloyd Axworthy delivers a lecture at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Dr Lloyd Axworthy delivers a lecture at Panjab University, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Dr Axworthy recounted how the Canadians have over the years become a more caring society and have made efforts to propel the world towards being more caring. World cooperation and cooperation between humans is the order of the day, he pointed out. Giving the example of the Ottawa

Treaty, which banned the use of anti-personnel mines and which treaty he got ratified by most of the countries of the world, Dr Axworthy said the use of these mines was considered absolutely essential for the defence of a country for a long time. However, the harm that it caused to civilians, women, children and old people was far more and lasted much more than a war did. As such there was a case to have these mines banned from warfare. And that under his persuasion most countries decided to do so without compromising their safety and security. A similar effort will be needed to do things for the cooperation between nations, he said.

Prof Ronki Ram of PU raised the point that while India had a lot of morality and goodness in its history it was only recently that India has begun to acquire power. And at this stage the world is asking India to relinquish power and not develop any more power and authority. To this question Dr Axworthy said, “The question is not just of using or misusing power.” The question is about ensuring the survival of mankind, he said. 



MC cancels awards to 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Municipal Corporation (MC) here today cancelled the list of employees to be honoured on the occasion of the Republic Day by the Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh.

This was due to the objection of the Mayor that the list of awardees of various departments of the corporation, prepared by the authorities, had not been got approved by him.

As per the official orders, three employees - Mahesh Nain, supervisor of community centres (roads division), Leading Fireman Amarjit Singh-I, and Fireman Amarjit Singh-II - were shortlisted for the awards.

The Mayor said as he had not been informed about the names of awardees earlier by the authorities, he had directed that the awardees list be cancelled.

Pali said at the last meeting of the art, culture and sports, it was decided that five war widows would be honoured by the corporation on Republic Day. He said no list of awardees had been tabled by the authorities at the committee meeting.

Meanwhile, the five war widows who will be honoured on Republic Day are Swinder Kaur, Karamjeet Kaur, Neelam, Shamsher Kaur and Kulwinder Kaur.



Six P’kula cops to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 25
Six police personnel from Panchkula district would be honoured at the Republic Day function to be held in Parade Ground, Sector 5, here tomorrow.

The press release issued yesterday said six police personnel, including Aman Kumar, SHO, Sector 14 police station, Dalip Kumar, SHO, PS, Pinjore, ASI Surinder Singh, ASI Shish Pal, in charge of the Sector 16 police post, ASI Naib Singh and head constable Pavitar Singh, had done exceptionally good work.

The release further said Inspector Aman Kumar had played a vital role in apprehending the wanted criminals involved in kidnapping that took place on June 17 last year at Bathinda (Punjab).

Inspector Dalip Kumar tried to stop some thieves in a car on June 20 last year and was hit by the car in the process. However, his devotion and alertness borne fruit and the accused were arrested and sent to jail.

ASI Shish Pal had handled his area well, which also had slum areas, and prevented crime there. ASI Naib Singh, posted in traffic staff, had played a vital role in implementing the traffic rules in the city and had challaned maximum numbers of offenders.

ASI Surinder Singh had achieved success in tracing and arresting accused women involved in theft and
snatching cases on July 25 last year near Nada Sahib Gurdwara. Pavitar Singh, posted in CIA staff, played a good role in tracing many incidents of thefts and robberies in the district, the release added.



‘Apratim-11’ on March 4
Tribune News Service

Students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, watch the air show in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Students of the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, watch the air show in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 25
The Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET) today announced the launching of its first ever cultural-cum-technical festival on its campus.

This techno-cultural fest has been named “Apratim-2011” and will begin on March 4. The fest was today inaugurated officially with an air and car show on the college premises which was followed by the formation of a human chain.



Patient jumps to death in PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A 40-year-old labourer, who was undergoing heart treatment at the PGI, allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the third floor of the Advanced Cardiac Centre here this afternoon.

Ram Kishan was a resident of Nawanshahr.

He was operated twice in 1997 and 2007 for the replacement of a heart valve. He was again admitted on December 22 last year after some problem resurfaced. He was accompanied by his wife Surinder Kaur and they were told that a heart valve needed to be replaced.

Today Surinder Kaur went to bring some medicine for him. After she left, Ram Kishan stepped out of his room and killed himself by jumping from the third floor of the B block.

The police said he was suffering from severe depression because of his illness and had lost all hopes of recovering. The family had spent around Rs 6 lakh on previous two operations and now they had to make arrangements of more than Rs 3 lakh for the third operation. His body has been kept in the mortuary and will be handed over to the family members after postmortem. Ram is survived by his wife and three children.



39,000 foreign tourists visited city in 2010
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The number of foreign tourist visiting city in 2010 touched 39,330 as against 37,967 in 2009. According to a press note, the number of domestic tourists crossed a figure of nine lakh as per the occupancy register of various hotels and guesthouses in the city. 

However, this data doesn’t take into account foreign and domestic tourists who visit the city from nearby places or pass through the city spending some time for sight seeing and excursions as Chandigarh acts as a gateway to many tourists going to the adjoining states.

Last year, Chandigarh received tourists from the UK, France, Italy, Canada, UAE, Pakistan, the US, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other SAARC nations, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Iran and other countries.

As per the statistics collected during the last two months, 2,931 tourists visited the city from the UK followed by 1,162 tourists from Germany and 1,116 from the USA.

The arrival of tourists during the happening of events like the Chandigarh Carnival, the Rose Festival, The New Year Extravaganza, the Chandigarh Theatre Festival, the Chandigarh Crafts Mela and the World Tourism week is very high. The month wise data of tourists shows that tourist arrival during the month of October and March are higher than the remaining months.



Voters’ day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Adviser to the UT Administrator, Pradip Mehra, today inaugurated a state-level national voter’s day function at Government College of Education, Sector 20 in Chandigarh.

Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh said after the first general elections in 1952, Indian democracy had flourished.

Congratulating the young voters on getting their voting right, he urged them to come forward and exercise their right.

He said to mark the national voter’s day, the Chandigarh administration was organising functions at 166 locations covering 422 polling stations. Mehra also distributed voter cards. 



PGI OPDs closed today
Chandigarh: All OPDs in the PGI will remain closed on Wednesday on account of Republic Day, a gazetted holiday. Emergency services will, however, function as usual. — TNS



Expedite work on NH-21

Zirakpur, January 25
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Praveen Kumar today asked the officials of Powercom, Forest and PWD to speed up the construction work of service roads on both sides of the National Highway-21. He has also issued directions to complete the project within the scheduled time period.

PWD officials were asked to complete the construction of drain and service roads on time. — TNS



24-hour shuttle service at PU soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Shuttle service in Panjab University that enables students to travel from their hostels to the main library in buses, will soon become a 24-hour service. The decision was taken at a meeting of student leaders and PU Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Naval Kishore this afternoon.

“There was a proposal by students to extend the service within the campus from limited hours to 24 hours. We already have two buses for students on the campus and we are now purchasing two more to improve the shuttle service,” said PU DSW.

“There was a suggestion by students to issue passes to PU students and yet another student suggested that Rs 100 be charged. But we have not yet decided on the matter and the service may be free for all students on the campus. They may get in and get out from any point within the campus,” he added.



Patriotic fervour pervades Tagore Theatre
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, January 25
The patriotic fervour pervaded the Tagore Theatre, as the city students presented a colourful bonanza of music and dance to mark the Republic Day celebrations here today.
Children of DAV School, Sector 15, participate in a cultural bonanza on the eve of Republic Day at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Children of DAV School, Sector 15, participate in a cultural bonanza on the eve of Republic Day at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

The captivating programme organised by the Chandigarh Administration commenced with an invocatory Saraswati Vandana presented by students of GMSSS-40. A skit by GMSSS-47 on the right to education was well enacted. The Haryanavi dance by GMSSS-33 brought alive the twang of Haryana, as also the boisterous bhangra dance by GMSSS-32 students. An action song by DAV-15 gave varied expressions as the artistes were attired in regional costumes on the theme of unity in diversity.

Chief guest Pradip Mehra, IAS, in a detailed speech maintained that today India is at the forefront in every field of life. He complimented the education department for organising the colourful event. Home Secretary Ram Niwas; chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, Mohanjeet; joint secretary finance and director higher education, Ajoy Sharma; director cultural affairs, Kamlesh Kumar and other senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration were present during the function.



CHB workers seek pension scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
A general body meeting of the CHB Coordination Committee was held yesterday for the implementation of pension scheme and its present status of pension, besides other issues such as regularisation of daily wage workers.

The members decided to hold a gate rally on January 28. A dharna will also be held on February 1 on the CHB premises for the implementation of the pension scheme.

The committee also urged the UT Adviser for recalling SK Jain, regular chief engineer of the CHB, who is currently on deputation.



Follow secret voting system: Councillor 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) councillor Jagjit Singh Kang today said the MC should follow the secret voting system in the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) elections scheduled for January 28.

In a memorandum to UT Adviser Pardip Mehra, Kang demanded that the UT Administration should ensure free, fair and secret elections of the F&CC committee members. He said the administration should issue directions to the MC authorities not to allow usage of mobile phones inside polling booths. Referring to the Mayoral elections, Kang alleged the Congress councillors used their mobile phones in the polling booths to click photographs of their ballot on the directions of their party leaders, which was against norms of the secret ballot. 



Rathore’s stabber at it again
Attacks Arushi’s father in Ghaziabad
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
Hitting headlines for wrong reasons yet again, Utsav Sharma, a student of National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, stabbed Arushi’s father in Ghaziabad today. The boy had stabbed former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore last year outside the district courts, Chandigarh.

In his statement to the police, Utsav said he had committed the act in a fit of rage.

He had expressed anger over the quantum of punishment meted out to Rathore. When Rathore’s punishment was enhanced to 18 months following the CBI’s appeal, the 29-year-old had regretted his act and termed it ‘shameful’.

Suffering from a mental disorder, Utsav had come especially to Chandigarh in December 2009. He said the delay in pronouncement of the punishment had ‘disturbed’ him. He was staying at a rented accommodation in Panchkula. He posed himself as a photojournalist.

Utsav is a gold medallist from Banaras Hindu University and was a topper throughout.

“I am trying to forget the incident. I am concentrating on my future and have big dreams in life. I was wrong, I shouldn’t have taken law in my hands,” he had said while talking to mediapersons a few days after the incident when he was out on bail.

However, today he was again in the news for stabbing Arushi’s father in Ghaziabad.

He had also attempted suicide over a petty family matter when he was 11-year-old.

His father S K Sharma is a professor at Banaras Hindu University and mother Dr Indira Sharma teaches psychiatry at the university. 



AIE students again passed over for R-Day function
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
In complete contravention of its self-proclaimed commitment to ensure equal opportunities for over 7,500 poor students enrolled in the city’s alternative & innovative education (AIE) centres, the UT administration’s education department has yet again overlooked inviting them to participate in the Republic Day function. While students from several “mainstream” schools will be presenting cultural shows, these children, however, continue to wait for a chance to showcase their talent.

Admn’s lame excuse

They (students in the alternative and innovative education centres) did not participate in the Republic Day function last year. There’s no practice of organising any special programmes for these children. Moreover, it’s not viable to get every one to participate - not all students from mainstream schools are taking part.

UT district education officer Chanchal Singh

“Are our children just meant for charity shows? We make them practice singing and dancing all year round, but they never get an opportunity to perform anywhere because they aren’t considered worth it. Our students had organized a talent show but it was abandoned midway. Administration officials claim to be committed to eventually including these children into mainstream education. But the fact is that they have never treated these students as equal to others. These kids are not only meant to get academic help but also to get trained in cocurricular activities. There are no sports facilities, no excursions and no cultural programmes for these students. At the most these children are acquainted with functions where ‘prominent’ people donate them things and to get their photos clicked,” said a coordinator of an AIE centre.

The UT administration receives crores of rupees for the overall development of these out-of-school children under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan scheme. While it appears to have put in efforts to uplift the students academically, the administration is yet to provide vocational or extracurricular training or opportunities to these children.



UT to take over dyslexic students centre in Sec 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25
The UT administration will fully take over the centre for dyslexic students, which has been running at the premises of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8. This was decided at a meeting convened by education secretary Ram Niwas with officials of the Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan scheme and the education department.

The department will provide free training, education to these children who suffer from learning disability, in addition to books, copies, uniforms and stationary materials, etc.

During the meeting it was further decided the department would provide education to these students completely free of cost and also recruit special teachers for the purpose.

The move comes in the wake of complaints received against NGO, Joylal Memorial Educational Society, which was running the centre. It was reportedly charging from Rs 1,500 up to Rs 3,000 per month from parents, which was against the guidelines for such centres framed by the education department in 2008.



Shifting of institute’s site questioned
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 25
With just two days left for the proposed foundation stone laying ceremony of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra Institute of Advanced Studies in Sikhism at Patiala, a member of the SGPC Hardeep Singh has questioned the decision of the SGPC president to shift the site of the institute from Mohali to Patiala.

In a statement issued here today, on November 10, 2005, Parkash Singh Badal, along with the then, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, had laid the foundation stone of the institute near Amb Sahib Gudwrara in Phase VIII here. The function was held a few days ahead of the SGPC elections.

At the function, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Kirpal Singh Badungar, Sucha Singh Langah, Alvinder Pal Pakhoke and Sewa Singh Sekhwan were also present. Reminding the SGPC president and the Akali leaders of the previous site of the institute, Hardeep Singh said though enough land was available at Amb Sahib Gudwara, the site of the institute had been shifted for reasons best known to the top leaders. Interestingly, the project has again being revived after a gap of six years ahead of the SGPC elections.



From Schools
R-Day celebrations

Mohali: Republic Day was celebrated at St Xavier’s. A scene from Bhagat Singh’s life was enacted. A quiz was also held. Students presented a dance. A fancy-dress competition was organised.

Small Wonders

At Small Wonders School, students came dressed in orange, white and green coloured clothes. Students of all classes presented a march past followed by colourful songs. Principal Herdip Nama spoke on the importance of the day.

Shivalik school

At Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, a programme was held. It started with a song on ‘Youth’ written by Dr APJ Kalam. Students recited beautiful poems. Students of classes VI and VII presented a skit on the life and works of Dr BR Ambedkar School.

Hansraj school

Panchkula: Students and staff of Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula, today celebrated 62nd Republic day. Spirits ran high as principal of the school Jaya Bhardwaj hoisted the National Flag. Students presented a disciplined march past and a colourful drill and paid tributes to freedom fighters through various speeches and poems. — TNS



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