C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teacher alleges harassment
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 31
A teacher of a school here has alleged harassment at the hands of District Education Officer (DEO).

In her complaint lodged with the senior education department functionaries and education minister, Charanjit Kaur alleged that the District Education Officer (DEO) used abusive language when she was transferred to DEO’s inspection team on August 6,2009, from Jalla High School.

After lodging the written complaint, she rejoined Jalla High School. “I was again forced to join the inspection team. False allegations were levelled against me. Despite having submitted a medical leave, I was accused of not teaching students,” said the teacher.

She alleged that no action was initiated to stop the harassment despite having written a number of times to the director-general of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.

The teacher rued that she was forced to knock the doors of High Court to seek justice.

District Education Officer Jatinderpal Singh when contacted refuted all allegations and said the teacher was facing departmental enquiry for her involvement in embezzlement of money to the tune of Rs 1.7 lakh. The department, due to her misconduct and pending enquiry, did not regularise her, which in turn infuriated her and she began levelling false and baseless allegations, he added.



Rahul Gandhi puts up at Pinjore

Kalka, March 31
National General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee Rahul Gandhi made a sudden visit to the Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore, on Wednesday night, after enjoying the semifinal of the ICC World Cup at Mohali.

Official sources said Rahul Gandhi reached here amidst tight security around 1.30 am and stayed in the motel of the garden. He also visited the garden in the morning along with his close friends. The sources said Rahul also visited the Rang Mehal of the Mughal Gardens. Rahul mixed with some officials and class IV employees of the garden, the sources added. — OC



HMT’s Pinjore unit struggling to stay afloat
Hemant Kumar

Kalka, March 31
Thousands of workers and executives of the Pinjore unit of public sector Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) Ltd have sought the intervention of the central government to ensure the survival of the plant. The unit, located midway between Chandigarh and Kalka, is undergoing a severe financial crisis these days.

Sources close to the company said due to what they called the apathetic attitude of senior HMT officials, the unit was on the verge of closing down unless it was provided a special financial package. They added before 2000 the unit used to be a profitable concern and had surplus funds to even pay the salaries of employees of other HMT units in the country.

The sources further said there was a dire need for expeditious clearance of a revival package for the HMT tractor division, which manufactures a wide range of tractors. This division not only provided employment to thousands of people in the area but also generated the spirit of entrepreneurship. Many small-scale units sprouted in Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali to manufacture components and provide services to the Pinjore unit.

The revival plan, besides other things, includes developing technological capabilities for achieving statutory Bharat TREM-IV emission norms, expected to come into force in 2011. Due to its failure to implement payscales announced in 1997, HMT has been hit by a depletion of skilled manpower.

“The central government had revised the salary of its employees twice in 1996 and in 2006, while the revised payscales for employees of HMT’s Pinjore unit have yet to be implemented on the excuse that the unit was incurring losses”, the sources added.

INLD leader Vijay Bansal, who is also president of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, told The Tribune: “During the last couple of months delegations of the HMT Karmik Sangh and the HMT Officer’s Association have met and submitted memorandums to central ministers Selja Kumari and Pawan Kumar Bansal as well as heavy industry minister Santosh Mohan Dev on various demands. Selja also wrote to Dev and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the various demands of HMT, Pinjore employees.”



Improvement Trust sets Rs 75 cr income target
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 31
The Patiala Improvement Trust (PIT) has unanimously passed the budget estimates for the fiscal year 2011-12. As per information, income target of Rs 75.52 crore has been fixed in the budget for the next fiscal year. Presiding over the special budget meeting held at the Trust office here yesterday, PIT chairman Inder Mohan Singh Bajaj tabled the budget before the trustees. As per the proposed budget, the expenditure on Establishment Branch has been earmarked as Rs 3.40 crore.

“From the estimated income of Rs 75.52 crore, the total capital expenditure on development has been pegged Rs 21.23 crore. Funds to the tune of Rs 36.29 crore have been earmarked for the salaries and other expenditure. Overall the budget is very good as the trust is expected to make profit of Rs 18 crore for the fiscal year 2011-12,” said Bajaj, while speaking to The Tribune.

He further stated that funds amounting to Rs 9.50 crore would be pumped in the Self-Finance Scheme for the construction of flats in the city.

The major source of revenue for the trust would be sale of property. As per the budget estimates, the trust would get Rs 28.50 crore by selling off its property lying vacant in various areas of the city. “The trust would get Rs 20.44 crore in the form of instalments of the properties sold during the previous year. Besides, it would also receive an amount of Rs 14 crore, which is pending as loan towards the Patiala Municipal Corporation,” informed Bajaj.

Arun Gupta, Chhaju Ram, S.S.Sethi, Seema Sharma and Amar Chand, all trustees, were present in the budget meeting.



Goods worth Rs 12 lakh gutted in factory
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, March 31
A cotton factory on the Dera Bassi-Barwala road faced a heavy loss during a fire that broke out yesterday in a factory. As per reports evergreen cotton factory was gutted and machinery and other material lying in the factory premises got destroyed.

The factory had faced loss of nearly Rs 12 lakh in the fire. The managing director of the company had alleged that the factory had faced a loss as fire tenders reached late despite informing them on time. Fire tenders reached nearly 35 minutes after receiving information of the fire incident.

Fire officer Avtar Singh said while one fire tender was on the VIP duty in Mohali, the other vehicle reached at the site after 10 minutes of receiving information.



Evening courts to start today

Ambala, March 31
As many as four evening courts would start in Ambala court complex from April 1. Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Judge Justice Daya Choudhary would inaugurate the evening courts.

The evening court has been set up with a view to reduce the burden of cases in regular courts. It would function from 5 pm to 7 pm daily. The chairman of the Ambala Bar Association, Satish Jain, welcomed the decision of the government as it would grant relief to a number of clients. — OC



Asked to pay toll, Cong workers block traffic
Our Correspondent

A traffic jam that was caused due to the conflict between Congress workers and Dappar toll plaza employees on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway near Lalru on Thursday.
A traffic jam that was caused due to the conflict between Congress workers and Dappar toll plaza employees on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway near Lalru on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Dera Bassi, March 31
Congress workers of Haryana, who had come to attend a rally of the party at Chandigarh today, blocked the traffic on the national highway at Dappar toll plaza. Due this traffic blockage hundreds of commuters were put to inconvenience for one hour.

As per reports, Congress workers were agitated when they were asked to pay tax at the toll plaza by the employees of the GMR company.

Vaibhav Sharma, an official of the GMR, said Congress workers of Kurukshetra, who had come in cars and vans, did not pay toll despite being asked by the employees concerned. Party workers blocked the traffic on the national highway for about one hour.



Samples of eatables taken
Our Correspondent

Bassi Pathana, March 31
The health department team, led by SMO Dr Ranjit Singh and food inspector Puneet Sharma, took samples of eatable items in the town on Tuesday. The team succeeded in taking six samples of essential commodities like sauce, ghee, turmeric, salt and tea. As the news regarding the sampling spread in the town most of the shopkeepers pulled down their shutters and fled away.

Dr Ranjit Singh said anti-adulteration drive was launched in the district and the sampling was a part of that. He said these samples would be sent for analysis and action would be initiated accordingly.

Leading NGOs of the town alleged that the sampling process was just an eyewash. They said the samples were taken as per the wishes of respective union presidents, who grease the palm of the health officials on monthly basis.

They said the samples of neither milk nor milk products were taken despite the fact there were so many dairies and milkmen supplying adulterated milk to the residents. NGOs demanded surprise checking by the higher authorities.



Teacher recruitment scam
CBI questioned for not registering case

Chandigarh, March 31
The Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to spell out the reason why a formal case was not registered in the UT teachers recruitment scam.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia made the observation during the resumed hearing of a petition filed in public interest for a CBI probe into the scam.

The CBI has also been asked to explain the result of the investigation, its findings and the action taken if any.

UT’s former Director Public Instructions (S) Samwartak Singh, allegedly involved in the scam, too, was arrayed as respondent in the case. But, the court made it clear that Samwartak had no right to be heard at this stage. The Bench turned down the request of Samwartak Singh’s counsel that demanded report of the amicus curiae. — TNS



Drug haul case
Three get 12-yr jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Lalit Batra today awarded 12-year imprisonment to three persons under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The Narcotic Control Bureau in December, 2007, had arrested Baljinder Singh of Ludhiana, his son Sukhjinder Singh and John Kennedy of Nigeria and seized 8 kg heroin from their possession.

On December 11, 2007, the NCB had got a tip-off that heroin was being smuggled from Nakodar and would be delivered to a Nigerian national at Chandigarh. The officials of the NCB laid a trap near the Sector 43-44 roundabout and seized the contraband from their car.

Baljinder Singh had brought the contraband from Nakodar, while Kennedy had come to the city to take the delivery.



Two women commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
A 28-year-old housewife allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence in Palsora today. The police has booked her husband for abetting suicide under Section 306 of the IPC. The incident came to light around 3 pm when Jyoti’s body was found hanging from the ceiling fan by her 10-year-old son.

The police was informed and the body was lowered. No suicide note was found from the scene. The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital in Mohali where doctors declared her brought dead.

Palsora police post in charge Karan Singh said Jyoti’s first husband had died some years ago and she had remarried Sunny, a taxi driver, two years ago.

The victim had recently learned about Sunny’s illicit relationship with another woman and had confronted him on the issue several times. The police said Jyoti was suffering from severe depression. On a complaint filed by the victim’s mother, a case of abetting suicide has been registered against Sunny at the police station-39.

In another case, a 20-year-old resident of Bapu Dham Colony committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan here this evening.

The incident came to light at 5 pm when Ritu, a student of Khalsa College, was found hanging by her mother. No suicide note was found from the scene and the police is investigating the reason behind the victim’s step.



Two killed, one hurt in accidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Two persons were killed while a home guard volunteer was injured in separate road accidents in the city in the past 24 hours.

A 52-year-old man was killed after he fell off a moving bus on the road separating Sectors 9 and 10 this afternoon.

The victim has been identified as Anil Kumar, a resident of Raipur Rani. He was travelling in a Haryana Roadway bus.

The incident occurred when the victim tried to alight from the bus and the driver, Om Prakash, accelerated the vehicle. Anil Kumar was crushed under the rear wheels of the bus.

He was taken to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead by the doctors. The bus driver was arrested and was later released on bail.

A case under Section 304A, Indian Penal Code, has been registered at the police station-3.

Also, an unidentified man was killed in a road accident in the wee hours of today. The victim was spotted in a pool of blood by a passerby near Sindhi Sweets in Sector 8.

The police was informed and the victim was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, where he was declared brought dead by the doctors.

The police said the victim was in his early 20s.

In another case, a UT home guard volunteer suffered serious injuries after being knocked down by an unidentified car near Kali Badi trafficlights. The victim, Narinder Singh, was on VIP duty near the Sector 31-47 Kali Badi trafficlights when the incident happened yesterday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cavalcade was about to pass from that spot after the India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal match when the mishap took place.

The volunteer was hit by a rashly driven Maruti car when he tried to stop the vehicle as the road was closed for commuters. The driver fled the scene.

Narinder Singh was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and was admitted with fractures in the left hand and leg.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC has been registered at the police station-31 against the unknown driver.



Cash, jewellery stolen in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

The owner examines his house that was ransacked by thieves at Sector 25 in Panchkula on Thursday.
The owner examines his house that was ransacked by thieves at Sector 25 in Panchkula on Thursday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, March 31
Thieves took away cash and valuables worth more than Rs 3 lakh after breaking into a house here in Sector 25. The owner of the house, identified as Anil Kumar, along with his family members, was out of station at the time of the incident.

According to the police, the theft was noticed by the owner when he returned home this morning. In addition to cash, valuables, including jewellery, watches, digital camera, and a handycam, were found missing, said the owner.

Woman ends life

Panchkula: A 22-year-old woman ended her life by hanging herself at her house in Saketri village here last night. The deceased, identified as Chunni Devi, had been stated to be going under depression.

According to the police, Chunni Devi was found dead at her house by her husband Rahul in the morning. She was taken to hospital where she was declared brought dead. Rahul told the police that his wife had been going under depression as they had no baby from their four-year-old marriage.

Motorcyclist killed

Mohali: Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Raipur Kalan village, Sohana, was killed when his motorcycle rammed into a stationary truck on the Sohana road here last night.

The police said Gurdeep Singh was on his way to his home when the accident took place. He was rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh, where he died during the treatment. The police has registered a case against the truck driver, Anil Kumar, a resident of Jhajjar, and arrested him.

12 booked for trespass

ZIRAKPUR: The police today booked more than 12 persons for trespass on the complaint of Bhanu Dutt Sharma, a resident of Panchkula.

The accused have been identified as Jasbir Singh, a resident of Sada Shiv Complex, Amarjit Singh and 10 other unidentified persons.

According to the police, Sharma said he took a house in Baltana on rent from Jasbir Singh on Rs 6,000 per month in June last year for opening a school. Sharma said he placed tables, chairs and other things in the school and locked it. He alleged that few days back, Jasbir Singh, along with other persons, trespassed his rented place after breaking the locks and also put another lock.

The investigating official stated that a case has been registered against Jasbir Singh, Amarjit Singh and other unidentified persons.

345 boxes of liquor seized

Lalru: The Handesra police has seized 345 boxes of liquor from a truck near Handesra on Tuesday. The liquor was brought from Chandigarh on cheaper rates for the purpose of selling in Haryana on a higher rate.

SHO, Handesra, Harit said on the basis of secret information the police had set up a naka near Handesra and arrested Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Barnala village, Ambala district, and the truck was impounded.

The police had also received a one-day police remand of the accused after presenting him in Dera Bassi court. He was booked under Sections 78 and 61 of the Excise Act.

Rs 10.5 lakh robbed

Fatehgarh Sahib: With most of the police force, including the Fatehgarh Sahib SSP and other senior officials, busy in security arrangements at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, two robbers robbed Rs 10 lakh at gunpoint from busy Shashtri Nagar of steel town Mandi Gobindgarh.

The incident took place on Tuesday around 7.15 pm. The victim, Rohit Mittal, an employee of a Parwanoo-based industrial unit, used to collect payments from clients in Mandi Gobindgarh on behalf of the industrial unit.

Mittal was on a bike and robbers were following him on a two-wheeler. The miscreants fled away after firing two gunshots, though Mittal escaped unhurt. Police officials from the Mandi Gobindgarh police station reached the spot and sealed the area to nab culprits.



16-yr-old hit by truck, dies
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 31
The Panchkula-Parwanoo national highway no. 22 claimed another life yesterday when a 16-year-old boy was hit by a speeding truck near Mallah Morh in Pinjore.

The deceased was identified as Pawan Kumar, a resident of Nadda Sahib.

ASI Jaswinder Singh said Pawan had gone to Pinjore with his uncle Mahender Singh to take an exam. He said the duo was waiting for an auto-rickshaw at the bus stop near Mallah Morh when a rashly driven truck hit him resulting in a fatal accident. Pawan was rushed to the Sector 6 general hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Driver of the truck fled the spot. The body will be handed over to family after an autopsy.

The Pinjore police has registered a case against the unidentified drive. The police has impounded the truck, while the driver is absconding. 



Man held for firing gun at banquet hall
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, March 31
A firing incident was reported at a wedding banquet hall situated on the Zirakpur-Panchkula highway on Thursday. A man who was reportedly under the influence of liquor fired two shots in the air while celebrating the victory of the Indian team over archrival Pakistan at the World Cup cricket semifinal match held on Wednesday night in Mohali. Those present at the hall ran for cover after hearing the gunshots.

The incident occurred at the Sekhon Marriage Palace where the match was being telecast on a large screen.

According to the Zirakpur police station house officer, the suspect, who has been identified as Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 25, Panchkula, was booked under section 336 of the Indian Penal Code for firing shots in the air with a licensed gun.

The officer investigating the case said he was patrolling along with a police team near the banquet hall when he was informed about the firing incident. The police searched the hall and arrested the suspect, seizing his licensed gun, the officer said, adding he was later released on bail.

During interrogation Kumar told the police he was watching the cricket match between India and Pakistan and as the Indian team won he “celebrated” the occasion.

Meanwhile, despite the Mohali deputy commissioner’s order prohibiting carrying of firearms in wedding banquet halls, incidents of guns being fired continue to be reported. Last week such an incident occurred at the Sohi Marriage Palace.

On March 18 Mohali DC Parveen Kumar imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 directing people to not to carry firearms during weddings and other functions at banquet halls from March 19 to May 18, 2011.



Off to clearing final hurdle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
Both the cricket teams left the city this afternoon. While the ‘Men in Blue’ were seen fully charged for ‘Mission Mumbai’, disappointment writ large on the faces of Pakistan players. Zaheer Khan’s close friend Isha Shabrani was also seen in the hotel.

(From left) MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh; Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul leave the city on Thursday.
(From left) MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh; Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul leave the city on Thursday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Around 100 fans were present outside Hotel Taj in Sector 17 to catch a glimpse of their favourite players.

“We came here to wish luck to Team India, especially Sachin Tendulkar. But the police did not let us enter the hotel,” rued Anjali, Seema and Rajat, all students.

Pakistan players were the first to leave the hotel at around 1 pm.

“I was happy to see Zaheer Khan,” said a young girl cheerfully. “Now we want our heroes to lift the World Cup trophy,” said Narinder Singh and Ajay Sharma.



Cricket trials on April 3
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 31
To select the Chandigarh district team in the under-15 age group, the Chandigarh Cricket Academy (CCA) affiliated with the Punjab Cricket Association will conduct trials at Banyan Tree School, Sector 48, on April 3 at 2.30 pm.

“Thirty-six players will be selected during the trials,” said Mohinder Singh, secretary of the CCA. He added that those selected would be divided into three teams that would vie in the Chandigarh Premier League Cricket Tournament.

“The final team to represent the district team would be selected on the basis of individual performance in the tournament. It will be a 50 over-a-side match,” said Mohinder Singh.

Only those players who are residing and studying in the city are eligible for the trials. The interested players may contact Parveen Sharma (9876105032).



CGA to tap talent in schools
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 31
“Schools to Range” is the new slogan of the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA), which is all set to tap talent in all government schools of the Union Territory. CGA president JS Cheema has roped in the Chandigarh education department to promote golf in schools.

Principals of 20 government schools of the city along with children keen on learning golf are expected to take part in the “Schools to Range” programme to be held at the CGA Golf Range on April 1 at 5.30 pm. According to CGA secretary Ashwani Sharma, DPI (schools) Sandeep Hans will be the chief guest during the launch of the programme, which will also be attended by Joint Director (sports) JPS Sidhu. Cheema said the joint initiative of the CGA and the education department would go a long way in tapping talent with an eye on the 2016 Olympic Games, when golf would be introduced as a medal sport.



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