C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hotel supervisor beaten to death
Was engaged in brawl with known persons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A 42-year-old kitchen supervisor working at the Western Court Hotel restaurant in Sector 43 was allegedly murdered by three to four assailants late on Thursday night.The victim, Vijay Kumar Dabole, a resident of Butlera village near here, had earlier returned home on Thursday night with injuries on his head and face.

However, he refused to take medical help and went off to sleep. His condition deteriorated on Friday morning and he was declared brought dead at the Government Multispecialty Hospital in Sector 16.

The police has made no arrests so far in the case and the exact motive behind the crime has still to be ascertained. However, prior enmity is said to be a possible reason. Sources close to the police said the victim engaged in a violent brawl with some people with whom he was acquainted, adding investigations are on to arrest the suspects, two of whom have been identified.

The victim is survived by wife and two children. The police has filed a case of murder against under sections 302 34 of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 39 police station.

Vijay’s wife, Anita, told the cops her husband used to come back home after completing his night shift at the hotel’s restaurant at around 1 am as was his routine. “Yesterday he returned at 1:30 am and was in a pitiable state with a swollen eye and torn clothes. He refused to take medical help and went to sleep,” she told the police.

Anita stated her husband had told her before going to sleep that he had been beaten with hockey sticks and rods by a former hotel colleague, Harvinder, a resident of Kajheri, along with some other people, one of whom he had identified as Harneesh.

Vijay woke up in the morning and began to vomit. He was rushed to the hospital and fell unconscious on the way. On reaching the hospital doctors declared him brought dead. Hospital officials then informed the police. The cops then questioned employees of the Western Court Hotel and were told Vijay had left the restaurant with three people in a Fiat Punto car. His scooter was found parked outside the hotel. Sector 39 police station SHO inspector Charanjit Singh Virk said both the suspects identified are residents of Kajheri and were missing from their respective homes. “It’s suspected they brought the victim to Kajheri and killed him there. The motive behind the murder as well as the exact number of accused is still unclear,” he added.



POs on the run: 2,321 and counting
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The ever-increasing list of proclaimed offenders (POs) with the Chandigarh police has touched a new high. The number of POs at the end of February this year reached 2,321, which is the highest ever with the police. Notwithstanding the number of POs arrested from time to time, the number of those absconding from the law is on a steady rise.

The number of POs with the police was 840 at the end of 2006, following which the figure touched 1,824 in 2009 and 2,321 as of February this year.

Of these, 1,384 POs hail from outside the city with a majority of them from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The police admits that a large number of them, many of whom have been absconding for as long as a decade and a half, have managed to flee overseas.

The Sector 17 police station, the oldest in the city, tops the chart with 507 POs. The Sector 34 police station is a distant second with 296 POs.

The police had formed a special cell to apprehend POs in December last year. However, there are only 15 police personnel designated for the cell and an acute shortage of staff has prevented the cell from functioning effectively. Even though the cell arrested more than 50 POs within a month, the police staff strength has not been enough to match the growing numbers.

A majority of POs are wanted in cases related to cheating, forgery, theft, robbery, gambling and under the Excise Act.

Compared to their rising number, arrests of these POs have been few and far between. In 2010, the local courts declared 83 new POs. The police, however, managed to arrest only 36.

PO arrested

A 54-year-old proclaimed offender (PO) with the Punjab police, Ajaib Singh, was arrested amidst high drama from the Punjab and Haryana High Court today. Ajaib Singh was arrested by the UT Police and subsequently handed over to Rajpura police, where a case was registered against him. He was accused of dowry death. The case was registered after the mysterious death of Gagandeep Kaur, daughter-in-law of Ajaib Singh, in their house. Ajaib objected to his arrest and argued he was not a PO. However, he was shown the documents available with the Rajpura police and then arrested.



Cong, BJP set for showdown today
Admn clamps Section 144 throughout city
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, March 11
The Congress party and the BJP are all set for a showdown in the city even as the UT administration imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (unlawful assembly of five or more people) on Saturday.

While the BJP is adamant on ‘gheraoing’ (protest by surrounding) the residence of union minister for parliamentary affairs, science & technology and earth sciences Pawan Bansal in Sector 28 for his alleged protection of the city’s “booth mafia”, as the PS Shergill report has stated, the Congress announced it would hold a counter protest outside the BJP office in Sector 33 on Saturday morning. With this, "agitational" politics appears to have staged a comeback in the city in the runup to the municipal corporation elections later this year.

In fact, it was a day of allegations and counterallegations levelled by both political parties. Senior BJP leaders including its UT president Sanjay Tandon and former MPs Harmohan Dhawan and Satya Pal Jain were quick to condemn the UT administration’s move to impose Section 144 in the city under the “influence of Pawan Bansal.”

Terming the imposition of Section 144 in the entire city as an “undeclared emergency”, the BJP leaders claimed party workers would move towards Bansal’s residence on Saturday to demand his resignation. BJP firebrand MP Navjot Singh is slated to lead the protest.

BJP workers were seen mobilizing shopkeepers in various markets for taking part in Saturday’s protest against Bansal. There was tension in the Sector 22 Shastri Market as shopkeepers showed black flags to the BJP leaders and workers.

The Congress was quick to condemn the BJP for what it called the latter’s “mischievous and unethical designs to settle political scores by using a politically-motivated officer’s preconceived report.” The decision to ‘gherao’ the BJP office has the concurrence of Bansal, who arrived in the city on Friday.

“The BJP has a history of taking anti-people stances and the current protest is no exception. The Congress has always stood for the poor and downtrodden sections of society. The BJP’s motive in raking up the booth allotment issue is only to divert people’s attention as they have failed to live up to the expectations of the people as the responsible opposition”, alleged Pardeep Chhabra, Bansal’s media coordinator.

Security beefed up

Close on the heels of imposition of prohibitory orders in the city, the Chandigarh police is taking no chances. “Elaborate security measures have been made to avoid any untoward incident. In fact, over 400 police personnel besides riot control and tear gas shell vehicles as well as water cannons will be deployed to strictly implement Section 144,” said DSP (security) Kulwant Singh Pannu.



e-challan’ pilot project faces hiccups
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
The Punjab police’s pilot project on issuing electronically generated receipts for traffic violations has been virtually grounded owing to snags encountered in operating the machines. Though the initiative was introduced on January 13 with much fanfare in Mohali (along with Amritsar and Jalandhar) by Punjab director general of police PS Gill, none of the ten handheld GPRS enabled devices issued to the traffic wing have been effectively used to issue ‘e-challans’ (fines issued electronically).

The machines can accept fines for up to eleven out of a total 101 compoundable offences listed at a single time.

Those handling the devices point out to a number of flaws in operating them.

According to sources, at a recent meeting between the ADGP (traffic) RP Singh and a representative of the firm that has supplied the devices, the police has listed at least a dozen problems in operating the devices. “The procedure to issue a ‘challan’ is so lengthy that the patience of those operating the devices runs out”, said a policeman.

Defending the project, a middle-rung officer, however, said the project was in its initial stage and the hitches would soon be rectified. The GPRS-enabled device linked with a central server enables traffic cops to access the police’s centralized database on stolen vehicles along with details of traffic violators. In the long run traffic wings in all districts of Punjab are to be linked with the central server.

There are also plans to create a traffic police web portal where citizens can log in to get updates and information references to their driving license violations.



RTE: Admission deadline postponed
UT to restart awareness programme
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Failing to get any takers so far for admission to 25 per cent seats reserved in city schools under the Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the UT Education Department has postponed the last date of admission by 10 days from March 14 to March 23.

While schools authorities have for long blamed this lukewarm response on lack of awareness about the Act among the target group, it took an order from court to get the education department to pull its act together.

Acting on an interim order received on March 1, the UT Education Department has not only decided to re-issue a public notice but also advertise the admissions under the Act on local cable channels. In addition, the department is also mulling starting a door-to-door awareness campaign, which aims to reach out to the poorest of poor having no access to information technology. It is for this damage-control exercise that the UT Education Department has postponed its admission dates. “We have got an order from court asking us to re-advertise the admissions in print and the electronic media. We are also working on a door-to-door campaign. It is bound to take some more days for us to spread awareness,” said a senior education department official.

A recent directive of the UT Education Department has asked the schools to reserve 25 per cent of the seats and make admissions to them on a random basis by March 14.

Following this, The Tribune highlighted the rampant ignorance about the Act among the economically weaker sections of society, which eventually resulted in a majority of schools not receiving any applications. An RTE awareness program has proved to be a non starter. All that the UT Administration managed to do was issue a public notice asking “those who think themselves to be eligible should approach schools in their neighbourhood”.


Protest by PWD workers turns violent
Over 350 agitators arrested, 6 cops hurt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Chandigarh police today arrested over 350 agitating members of the PWD Coordination Sangharsh Committee for pelting stones at the cops during a rally along the Chandigarh-Mohali border today. Six policemen were injured as the workers pelted stones at the policemen, who prevented them from entering Chandigarh.

The police have registered a case of rioting, criminal intimidation, assault on public servants under various sections of the IPC. Besides, scores of the protesters have been arrested for preventive measures under Section 107/151 of the CrPC.

The members of the PWD Coordination Sangharsh Committee staged a protest pressing for their demands and were planning to march towards the Vidhan Sabha when they were stopped by the police. The workers were seeking regularisation of services, hike in pay scales of over 3,500 workers of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department who have been working on contract for over 20 years.

The workers first tried to enter Chandigarh via Sector 52/61 road where they were stopped at a police barrier. They then changed route and tried to enter the city from Sector 52/53 road when they were again stopped by the police. A drama was witnessed when the workers pelted stones at the police following which the cops resorted to lathi-charge and hurled tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

Heavy posse of police force was pressed in to take stock of the situation. Six policemen were injured in the incident. They were rushed to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where they were discharged after first aid.

“We had initially told the agitators that it’s a prohibited area and they won’t be allowed to proceed further. However, the workers were adamant and attacked the cops on duty. We had to resort to cane charge and tear gas shells to disperse them,” said Inspector Sukhbir Rana, SHO, Sector 36 police station.



Students manhandle CTU driver
Traffic blocked for two hours near PGI
Tribune News Service

Injured driver Sanjay Kumar talks on a mobile phone at the PGI roundabout in Chandigarh on Friday.
Injured driver Sanjay Kumar talks on a mobile phone at the PGI roundabout in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photos:Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 11
Irked over manhandling of a driver, CTU workers blocked the traffic in front of the PGI here today.Traffic came to a stand still causing inconvenience to commuters for more than two hours.

Ambulances remained struck in the traffic jam, as the police had a trying time dispersing the jam.

It was around 1.30 pm when three car-borne youths reportedly students of Panjab University had an altercation with Sanjay Kumar, a CTU driver, and roughed him up.

The Ford car of the students was brushed by the bus resulting in a dent.

A scuffle ensued between the driver and the students.Soon the youths, along with several accomplices, dragged the driver out of his cabin and started bashing him up.
Shanti Rani, a resident of Jagadhari, with her baby, who underwent a surgery at the PGI, waits for a CTU bus.
Shanti Rani, a resident of Jagadhari, with her baby, who underwent a surgery at the PGI, waits for a CTU bus.

They also damaged the windshield of the bus. This infuriated the CTU employees, who protested against the manhandling and parked their buses on both the sides of the road blocking the traffic.

The road leads to main entry points of the PGI and University.

An ambulance carrying a patient bleeding from his ears from Ambala was also found stuck in the traffic jam.

After a lot of struggle, the ambulance was finally given a way.

An ambulance carrying a patient from Ambala stuck in a traffic jam.
An ambulance carrying a patient from Ambala stuck in a traffic jam. 

The police intervened and after the traffic situation was resolved, both the parties were rounded-up and the matter ended in a compromise.

The students alleged that the CTU driver had initially manhandled them causing an outrage among them.

“A compromise has been reached between both the parties and both the parties were equally at fault,” said Inspector Anokh Singh, SHO, Sector-11 Police Station.



Mixed response to draw of lots in city schools
Tribune News Service

 With anxiety writ large on their faces, parents wait for the result of the draw of lots for admission to a minority school in Chandigarh on Friday
ANXIOUS PARENTS: With anxiety writ large on their faces, parents wait for the result of the draw of lots for admission to a minority school in Chandigarh on Friday.

Chandigarh, March 11
Following a series of controversies, the draw of lots for admission to 650 seats in the city minority schools was held today.Anxiety, apprehensions and nervousness dominated the scene at Sacred Heart School, St John’s School in Sector 26, St Anne’s in Sector 32 and Carmel Convent in Sector 9 before the draw. While the results brought smiles to many, some broke into tears of joy.

“Ever since my child was born, I have dreamt of admitting him to a convent school. The process started in December and the past four months have really been a testing time for me. With one or other hurdle coming on the way, the process kept on delaying and I was anxious. I can’t express the magnitude of my relief,” said Reena, whose son was admitted to St John’s.

Following anxiety stretching for months, Reena, a parent, breaks into tears on hearing that her son figured in the list of successful candidates
TEARS OF JOY: Following anxiety stretching for months, Reena, a parent, breaks into tears on hearing that her son figured in the list of successful candidates. 

“You can never understand the joy of getting your child admitted to a good school.

My daughter was eager to go to a school and would keep talking about what will she do when she will get here.

I was scared of being denied but thankfully she has turned lucky and got admission here,” said Uma Kapoor after getting her daughter into Sacred Heart, Sector 26.

Interestingly, even unsuccessful parents seemed quite satisfied with the draw, as Umesh Singh, an applicant at Carmel Convent, Sector 9, said, “These admissions appeared to have been jinxed. We were scared that we might end up facing a dubious exercise but everything was transparent and organised.”



PU to advertise top posts again
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Having failed to fill up key administrative posts, including that of Registrar since the last two years, Panjab University is all set to re-advertise these posts for the fourth time.In a meeting of syndicate members held on Thursday, members gave nod to the re-advertisement of posts like Dean College Development Council (DCDC) and Director Public Relations (DPR).

These posts would be filled up within 40 days, the members resolved.Earlier, applications were invited for these posts in June 2009, January 2010 and November 2010.

This time, for the post of Director Public Relations (DPR) two candidates turned up but the selection committee did not find them suitable. However, for the other three profiles errors were found in the screening process of applications.

“Lapses were found in the screening process of the candidates. We want to be sure that the rules are followed,” said Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti.

Stating that certain candidates did not attach supporting certificates with their applications, a syndicate member, GK Chathrath, said the screening committee had raised an objection on this. “For the post of DPR, two candidates were interviewed who were suitable for the post of Public Relation Officer but not for director, public relations,” he added.

An advertisement will be placed for the post of PU Registrar for the fourth time, whereas for Dean College Development Council and Director of Public Relations would be advertised for the third time.



PSEB Class XII exams begin
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 11
Second semester exams of the senior secondary schools conducted by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) began today.This is for the first time that the Education Department and the PSEB has deputed a Centre Controller of the affiliated schools at the centres located in the government schoolsto check instances of mass copying.

Apart from the staff deputed on the exam duty, additional staff has been put on surprise checking in different districts of the state.

The exams would end on April 8. Officials in the PSEB said around 3.40 lakh students appeared for Class XII examination. Apart from it, hundreds of students appeared for the compartment exams of Class middle, X, XII. 



CBSE to offer specialised sports courses

Chandigarh, March 11
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now decided to offer specialised sports courses in the array of vocational courses introduced in Class XII. According to its recent circular, the board has invited applications from its affiliated schools to introduce “Body Science - Fitness, Aerobics & Health” as an optional subject in Class XII.

Calling it an attempt to make sports more important in curriculum, CBSE regional director RJ Khanderao said, “Sports for long has been considered a pass time. In Class XI and XII physical education ends up being considered a soft and scoring subject. Introduction of this course is an attempt to standardise and streamline study in sports. The introduction of such courses will offer an opportunity to students to explore job ventures right after Class XII.”

According to a circular, a school interested in taking up the course will be required to have a Gym as minimum infrastructure on school premises or should have such facility nearby for practical lessons. — TNS



Admn to seek legal opinion on CBI probe
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
With the demand for a CBI inquiry into the booth scam involving political and bureaucratic bigwigs as alleged in the PS Shergill report gathering momentum, the UT administration has decided to seek legal opinion from its Legal Remembrancer (LR).

While the final call on the ordering of a CBI probe has to be taken by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil, the vetting of the recommendations for a CBI probe, as contained in the report, will be carried out by the LR, sources said.

Contrary to earlier reports that Patil could call for the report directly from the Deputy Commissioner (DC) since the name of the Adviser to the UT Administrator, Pradip Mehra, figured in the report, sources said the report would be routed through the existing chain of command.

The Deputy Commissioner, who had reportedly been handed over the report by the Assistant Estate Officer (AEO), Hargunjit Kaur, would send it to the UT Home Secretary next week. He in turn would route the report to Patil through Mehra after seeking legal opinion, sources said.

Requesting anonymity, a senior official said legal opinion was being sought to avoid any complications as the report was “very sensitive” in nature as it had indicted Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Pawan Bansal, UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao, former Mayor Pradip Chhabra and former Assistant Estate Officer Ashwani Kumar besides several other estate office officials.



Satya Gopal to be CHB chairman

Chandigarh, March 11
Satya Gopal, a 1988-batch IAS officer of the UT cadre, will be the new chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), reliable sources said here today. Satya Gopal replaces Mohanjit Singh, who held the charge of the chairman since July 2006.

The new chairman is currently posted as the Administrator, Daman and Diu. Sources said his initial orders had come for a posting at New Delhi, which faced opposition from Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit. — TNS



MC issues notice to 8 contractors

Chandigarh, March 11
The Municipal Corporation has issued notice to eight contractors today for delay in commencing the works allotted to them for laying pave blocks in various sectors of the city.As per the notice, all contractors had been given three-day time to start the work allotted to them or the corporation would cancel their contract.

Action will be taken against the contractors under Clause (3) in which penalty could be imposed on the contractor if he delays to commence the work allotted to him by the authorities. All the contractors were allotted the work of laying pave blocks in the city. Official stated that earlier relaxation was given to the contractors for not undertaking the work in time, as there was acute shortage of availability of raw material. — TNS



Nod to 9 posts at GMCH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Union Ministry of Finance has approved nine posts, including a professor and four senior residents, for developing a unit for acute pain service at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

Pain management, also called pain medicine, is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with pain. The typical pain management team includes medical practitioners, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and nurse practitioners.

At GMCH, specialists in the department of anaesthesiology have taken this mandate and they themselves have been putting their input in comprehensive management of pain. The department successfully manages acute pain, chronic pain and provides service to labouring mother in the form of labour analgesia.

In this vein, GMCH also urged the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the creation of posts for developing an acute pain service in the department of anaesthesia in the hospital.

Giving consent to the proposal, the Union Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, has approved the creation of one post of professor, four posts of senior residents and four posts of staff nurse, specifically for developing a unit for acute pain service in this hospital.



Govt teachers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 11
Teachers of various government colleges organised a dharna in support of their demands here yesterday.The protesters said the notification of 2009 had not been fully implemented and demanded that arrears since 2009 should be released soon. A proper seniority list should be prepared and additional increments should be given to those who had done MPhil or PhD.

They also demanded that the syllabus in all the state universities should be same and there must be uniformity in the holiday period as well.



Focus on skill development: Preneet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Union minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur has said that the major problem facing the country in a highly competitive environment today was not unemployment but ‘unemployability’ of our youth.

Addressing students during an interaction on “Human capital and skills development for economic growth: Challenges and opportunities” organised by the women wing of the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) in its 44th foundation year here today, the minister said: “We need to pay attention to human resources development and equip our youth with the knowledge and skills for better performance. To prepare youth for the competition in the national and global markets, we need active involvement of all the stakeholders - academia, industry and the government.”

She said a recent Planning Commission report estimated that by 2020, India needs to generate 200 million jobs, including 120 million jobs in the service sector, which had emerged as the major engine of economic growth and employment generation.

The Planning Commission estimates show that more than 80 per cent of Indian workforce does not have skills consistent with job market requirements. The skill gap is the key factor for India not being able to develop a diversified and competitive export manufacturing base,” she added. 



Bumpy welcome to ‘Punjab’s Paris’
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Next to Rs 57-crore ultra modern Punjab Forest Complex, a weather-beaten road greets commuters at Sector 68 in Mohali.
Next to Rs 57-crore ultra modern Punjab Forest Complex, a weather-beaten road greets commuters at Sector 68 in Mohali. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, March 11
March 8 (Tuesday): Time - 9.30 pm: A Panchkula resident, Vikas, was speeding his newly-bought Maruti Swift car to attend his friend’s marriage in Sector 68 when he almost lost control over his vehicle after one of its wheels hit a gaping pothole on the road separating Phases X (Sector 64) and XI (Sector 65). Due to non-functional streetlights, the driver was unable to spot the pothole.

It is almost a neck-breaking experience for hundreds of drivers using the road to Mohali, touted as ‘Punjab’s Paris’ by the ruling Akali Dal. However, the Municipal Corporation has not been able to repair the road, despite repeated filing of complaints. A few months ago the public health department ended up creating a pothole while laying a pipeline. The pothole is yet to be repaired.

March 9 (Wednesday): Time - 8 pm: Ramandeep, a resident of Kharar, hit a pothole despite trying to carefully manoeuvre his car through zooming vehicles at a non-functional traffic light near the Forest Complex in Sector 68.

These are not isolated potholed spots in Mohali. It seems ridiculous, but the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, riding high on a professed development agenda in Mohali, has not bothered to repair several such troubled spots in this city. “All that the Municipal Corporation needs to do is some patchwork on the spots. It involves only a few lakh rupees,” said Amardeep Sharma, a Phase IX-based entrepreneur.

While moving from Balongi to Phase XI, motorists come across several spots where the road had withered away or potholes have surfaced. Near the 66 kV sub-station in Sector 71 and also the Forest Complex in Sector 68, unattended road cuts have transformed into potholes.

Commuters frequently using the roads complain that the suspension assemblies of their vehicles often get damaged. “There is a technical flaw in the previously laid foundation of the road. The road is being redesigned to withstand traffic load,” said a senior official in the Mohali Municipal Corporation.

Another important road linking Sector 56 of Chandigarh to Phase VI of Mohali is the worst affected. For years together no repair work has been carried on the road. The woes of Mohali residents do not end here. The inner roads in several sectors and the parking areas are also in need of urgent repair. 



BJP councillors submit representation to DC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 11
Four BJP councillors and municipal council vice-president BB Singal highlighted the poor condition of civic amenities in the city in a representation submitted to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar here yesterday.

The councillors VK Sood, Laxmi Devi, Chander Kanta Goel and Ashish Garg stated that roads in the city, including the Industrial Area, Sectors 19, 12A, 8 and 7 are deteriorating in absence of any repair work.

Besides, footpaths, pavements need immediate repair if not done immediately, may result in more expenditure.

Nearly 30 per cent of streetlights in the city are lying non-functional and complaints in this regard are not being attended, they stated.

All projects and functions were getting delayed and affecting the civic amenities.

The problems were more so due to the non-involvement of elected representatives, said the councillors.



Zirakpur MC staff goes on strike

Zirakpur, March 11
On the call given by different employees’ unions of the state’s municipal councils, the employees of the Zirakpur Municipal Council went on an indefinite strike here today.

Meanwhile, people visiting the MC office for their works were inconvenienced due to the strike. The employees organised a rally outside the Municipal Council office.

MC employees said the agitation would be intensified in case the government failed to accept their demands. They were demanding regularisation of the services of the ad hoc, daily wage and contractual employees. — TNS



Tributes paid to Faiz Ahmed Faiz
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 11
A larger than life image of legendary Urdu litterateur Faiz Ahmed Faiz swelled in the minds of intrusive Urdu poetry lovers at a special function held at the Haryana Raj Bhavan under the aegis of Haryana

Urdu Akademy in collaboration with the DPR Haryana to mark his birth centenary (1911-2011) celebrations here today.

After welcoming chief guest Jagannath Pahadia and other dignitaries, Dr KK Khandelwal presented an exhaustive paper on the life and achievements of the invincible poet.

Saluting the literary prominence of the poet, Dr Khandelwal maintained that endowed with a vision, wisdom and the courage to defy social injustice, Faiz had left an indelible print in the annals of Urdu poetry.

In an impressive and affectionate deliberation, Lahore-based Begum Salima Hashmi, daughter of Faiz, shared his concerns as a loving father and prolific poet of romance and rebellion whose outlook extended far beyond his times into the future.

The Haryana super cop poet, Rajbir Deswal dedicated his popular nazam “Aaj gustakh huyi jaati hai vaade naseem..” to Faiz, as also Dr Kamlesh Mohan which won applause.

Prof Ali Zaved presented a concise and captivating paper. The akademy honoured over 30 writers, including Begum Salima Hashmi, Dr BN Goswami, Dr KK Khandelwal, Ramendra Zakhu Sahil, Rajbir Deswal, Dr Chander Trikha, Nirupma Dutt, DS Saroya, CR Moudgil, VK Sibal and others.



Kathak danseuse casts spell

Chandigarh, March 11
An impressive and innovative kathak classical dance recital by USA-based danseuse and medical professional Dr Jaysi was a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. The programme organised by Pracheen Kala Kendra at the Randhawa Auditorium marked the 162nd “Baithak Musical Soiree”.

Jaysi commenced the recital with her favourite dance item “Lamps on Lilypads,” replete with the elements of Hindustani music, poetry partly in English and story-telling, which proved to be a contemporary inter-cultural experience in kathak dance. Instead of borrowing the usual theme from mythology, she depicted a socially relevant thematic content, originally reflecting Jaysi’s personal protest against the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Gujarat riots and the persistent communal strife in India and everywhere. — OC



Inquiry report submitted to PU
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A much-awaited inquiry report into fraudulently changing examination centres by two Panjab University students has been submitted to the university authorities. Simranjit Dhillon and Navjot Saini, both students of the sixth semester of LLB, had allegedly got their examination centres changed from Chandigarh to Muktsar on medical grounds.

Conclusions of the inquiry conducted by retired Judge KC Gupta, which is second probe in the case, are likely to be discussed at the next Syndicate meeting. Incidentally, after an initial inquiry conducted, it was found that neither the doctor nor the hospital named by these students existed. The inquiry was then taken further to explore the possibility of more such fraudulent cases involving employees of the PU’s administrative block. The initial probe conducted by senior faculty member, SK Sharma had also unearthed the connivance of certain employees of the university’s examination branch in changing the examination centres of not just Dhillon and Saini but other students as well in the past.

The committee questioned nearly 15 such employees and had recommended strict action against a few of them. However, this “contentious report” was cornered by a decision taken by the university Senate last year and another inquiry was set up under Justice Gupta.

After Justice Gupta interviewed these examination branch employees again, he has reportedly laid down certain “stringent instructions” for the university to follow.

Confirming that the report has been received by the university, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today said, “The report has been submitted to me by Justice Gupta. However, the contents will be revealed to the Syndicate members first and the Syndicate members would take a decision on the matter. I have not gone through the report yet.”

Following a round of discussion in the Syndicate, the report is likely to be taken up for discussion at the Senate meeting scheduled for March 31 at 1.30 pm.



Emmar MGF directed to refund Rs 5.65 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The UT District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed Emmar MGF Land to refund Rs 5.65 lakh to a Himachal resident, besides giving him a compensation of Rs 10,000 for not allotting the plot on time.

In his complaint, Pawan Kumar Jain, a resident of Kangra district, had stated that he had submitted an application for allotment of residential plots in “The Terraces” at Sector 108, Mohali, along with a down payment of Rs 2 lakh.

The balance was to be paid in instalment. The complainant claimed that the project was not started on time and the company had issued only provisional certificate, so he could not avail loan from the bank for making the balance payment.

Feeling cheated, the complainant cancelled the booking and sought refund, but the company refused to do so.

In its reply, the company denied the allegations and contended that the payment plan was changed from time linked to construction linked in order to facilitate the complainant.

The forum comprising Madanjit Kaur Sahota and presiding member Rajinder Singh Gill observed that as the company was not adhering to the terms and conditions of the payment plan and demanded hefty amount without any construction, they were liable to refund the amount of Rs 5.65 lakh, along with a compensation of Rs 10,000.



Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Kamla (54), Cleaner, The Tribune, died here today after a brief illness. She is survived by her husband and two sons.

The funeral procession will start from her house no. 3089 at Tribune Colony, Sector 29-D, to Sector 25 crematorium tomorrow. 



Quiz show for students

Chandigarh, March 11
To reach out to students in a better way, Mind Solutions is organising a quiz show, “Kaun Banega Student of the North”. It is one of its kind of the events, which is based on the concept of a quiz game show.

To be a part of this grand event, students need to log on to a website “www.padahilikhai.com” and have to undergo an online test, said Prajit Khandelwal, director, Mind Solutions, here yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mind Solutions has also come up with a unique corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative wherein the students would be counselled for their career, college options and even job placements online, he added. — TNS



From Schools & Colleges

CHANDIGARH: A UGC-sponsored national conference organised by the department of physical education (TE&L), Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, on “Physical education - The key for holistic interdisciplinary collaboration” was inaugurated on Friday. Dr Kusum Joshi, head of department, histopathology, PGMIER, was the chief guest and Prof Avinash Sidhu, former chairperson of the Laxmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior, delivered the keynote lecture. A cultural evening was also organised. The conference will conclude on March 13 with a valedictory note by Prof Mandeep Singh, head of department, orthopaedics, PGMIER.


The NSS unit of the Dev Samaj College of Education organised a rally at Butrela village to enlighten people about universalisation of elementary education by community ownership of the school system. Bikram Singh Rana, state liaison officer (NSS), UT Administration, flagged off the rally. The students also staged a “Nukkad Natak” titled “Shiksha Sab Ka Adhikar”.

Annual function

Green Castle Public School, Sector 47, organised its annual function. The celebration began with Saraswati Vandana, which was followed by a jungle play and a vegetable show. Children also performed dandia, couple dance and bhangra. School headmistress Mankotia read out the annual report and highlighted special achievements of the school. Chairman Rajesh Kapoor and managing director Sunita Kapoor were also present on the occasion. — TNS



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