C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Suspect didn’t know IAS couple’s daughter
Police searching for two accomplices in blackmail case
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Preliminary interrogation by the police of Simarjot Singh, 20, who was arrested on Thursday for blackmailing an IAS officer couple, Shashi and Sunil Kumar Gulati, has prima facie revealed he did not know their deceased daughter, Anandi.

Simarjot was apprehended following a complaint filed with the police by the parents of Anandi, who committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of her school, Bhawan Vidyalya, Sector 27 on June 1. He had allegedly demanded Rs 1 crore from them by claiming he had some “objectionable” photographs of their daughter which he said he would post on the Internet. The suspect was remanded to police custody for four days.

On Friday sources close to the police said the latter did not find any photo of the deceased from Simarjot’s possession. After scanning the hard disk of the suspect’s computer the police sent it along with his cellphone and some other items belonging to him to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory for further analysis.

The sources added during the interrogation it emerged the suspect did not know Anandi. “After reading about Anandi’s suicide Simarjot conspired with his friends, Harish and Vishal, to blackmail the IAS officer couple. They made four or five phone calls to the couple on which basis the police arrested Simarjot. The mobile number from which the calls were made was found saved in the name of Harish in his phone”, said a police official.

The police said the suspect purchased a cellular SIM card at a Sector 22 store on June 3 and that his phone had now been switched off.

Simarjot later told the cops the mobile phone belonged to Harish, who is yet to be apprehended. “We are conducting searches to nab Simarjot’s accomplices”, the police said.

‘Inveterate swindler’

The police has found Simarjot Singh, 20, to be a habitual swindler. So far the cops have recovered a platinum credit card issued by HDFC Bank in the name of one Gurnam Singh, several scanned bank statements and other documents belonging to various people and other “objectionable material” from his possession. “We’re trying to find out Gurnam’s whereabouts and his relationship with the suspect,” the police said. Simarjot is also said to be involved in preparing counterfeit driver’s licenses, voter ID cards and various identity cards. The Amritsar police has also filed a case of rioting against him.

Simarjot, lived with his mother, Jagdeep Kaur, and younger sister in Sector 70, Mohali.



Govt schools sell unprecedented 7,000 forms on Day 1
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 10
It’s not just the Class X or XII CBSE results, UT government schools seemed to have outdone their private counterparts even in Class XI admissions. Selling an unprecedented around 7,000 forms on the very first day, the schools surely top the list of admission seekers who seem to have preferred them to swanky classrooms and ‘hi-tech’ education.

“The preference for government schools has been increasing year after year. Though we expected a good number of applications, this has come as a surprise to us. It is for the first time that we have sold so many forms that, too, on the first day itself. The impetus behind this response is quality education at affordable prices. Results of the last two years, where we outshone private schools, has proved that high fee and big names do not guarantee good education,” said DPI (S) Sandeep Hans.

A majority of students seek admission to the science courses at government school as the schedule is “tuition friendly”.

“Science stream classes at government schools conclude by 12.30 pm, making it convenient for students to take coaching classes for engineering and medical entrance examinations. Unlike private schools, we do not force students to come to school till the very end or threaten to withhold roll numbers. So, a number of science students switch from private schools to government ones every year,” said a principal.

Forms for admission to over 11,000 seats in the science, commerce, humanities and vocational streams in 80 government schools are being sold and can be submitted at five government schools from 9 am to 1 pm by June 20.

Meanwhile, admission centres were supposed to detach the ‘acknowledgement of receipt of form’ from registration forms and hand these over to students after submission.

However, in what comes across as a grave printing error, column number 8 is printed on the other side of the acknowledgement slip making it impossible to detach. The error was noticed when 26 students submitted their forms today and had to be handed out receipts on blank papers.

School Forms sold

GMSSS-10 1600

GMSSS-19 1057

GMSSS-21 817

GMSSS-40 1200

GMSSS-46 1000




Parsvnath, CHB directed to compensate complainants
Built-up flats not allotted within three years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Disposing of six complaints, the UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has directed Parsvnath Developers and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to refund the amount deposited by the complainants along with interest and asked the developers to pay a compensation of Rs 107.60 per sq metre of the super area of the unit per month to them for not offering them the built-up flats within three years.

The commission stated that the developers and the CHB were found deficient in rendering service as they neither delivered the possession of the flat within the stipulated period nor did they refund the money with interest. As per clause 9(c) of the agreement, the complainant only became entitled to compensation at Rs 107.60 per sq metre, the commission stated. One of the complainants, Naresh Kumar Batra, had stated in his complaint that he had applied for a residential flat and the total price of the flat was Rs 1.96 crore. He deposited Rs 10 lakh as earnest money and the rest of the amount was to be deposited in instalments. Thereafter, the CHB conducted a draw of lots and he was allotted a three-bedroom flat in October 2007. He again paid Rs 9.63 lakh in December 2007 to complete 10 per cent cost of the total price. He had paid Rs 52 lakh.

He came to know from the allotment letter that the construction of the flat was to be completed within three years from October 2006 and that the developers had not even laid the foundation of the flat yet. It was stated that despite the receipt of a legal notice, neither had they refunded the money to the complainant nor did they pay any compensation.



Punjab BSNL gives RCom seven days to pay dues
Threatens to encash Rs 3 cr bank guarantees
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
The seven-year-old standoff between state-owned telecom firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (Punjab circle) and private telecom major Reliance Communications Ltd over nonpayment of interconnection usage charges (IUC) of Rs 2.87 crore has reached a decisive stage with the former threatening to encash its bank guarantees worth Rs 3 crore to recover the dues.

According to sources, BSNL deputy general manager (TRF) fired a missive on June 8 to Reliance Communications "for recovery of IUC including access deficit charge (ADC) of WLL (wireless local loop) “unlimited cordless” service of RCom". The letter states that according to the provisions contained in the interconnect agreement the bank guarantee available with BSNL will be "encashed" if the payment of Rs 2.87 crore is not received within seven days.

The sources said the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal had given an interim order on April 18, 2011 in which it stated the entire principal amount along with 50 per cent interest be recovered from Reliance Communications within a week. After the latter failed to pay up BSNL passed “first issues disconnection” orders and has now issued the notice.

The sources further said Reliance Communications has submitted bank guarantees of Rs 50 lakh for basic phone service, Rs 1.5 crore for national STD (subscriber trunk dialing) and Rs 1 crore for IDD (international direct dialling).

According to a senior BSNL official the state-run telecom service provider will initially encash the bank guarantee for basic phone service.

As reported in these columns earlier, the dispute over the outstanding interconnection usage charges apparently has its genesis in the feud between the Ambani brothers since these payments pertain to the period when the elder one, Mukesh, owned the company. The sources added the dispute on IUC had arisen after international made from the Reliance Communication network under the WLL “unlimited cordless” service were erroneously shown as local calls by the service provider by allegedly tampering caller line identification, which reportedly caused heavy revenue losses to the government.


While the Ambani owned company altogether owes about Rs 492 crore to BSNL on account of interconnection usage charges in various circles in the country, Punjab BSNL has finally cracked the whip to recover its dues by issuing a notice asking the firm to pay up. The move follows BSNL’s decision to snap connectivity with Reliance Comm in April



35-year-old man sets himself afire
tribune news service

Mohali, June 10
A 35-year-old employee at a sweets shop in Phase X here allegedly committed suicide by immolating himself late this evening. The victim, who used to prepare samosas at the shop, went to the second floor and set himself ablaze after pouring kerosene in a toilet of the shop.

The owner of the shop, Daljeet Singh, said after the victim did not return for a long time he went up and saw smoke coming out of the bathroom. After seeing the charred body of the victim on the floor he informed the police. Daljeet said for the past few days the victim was upset due to some domestic reasons. 



UT denies stay on appointment of conductors
tribune news service

Chandigarh, June 10
Denying that a stay had been granted on the appointment of CTU bus conductors, standing counsel for the UT, Arvind Moudgil, said no stay was granted vide order dated May 20.

The court proceedings read that the “learned counsel for the applicant does not press the stay plea for the time being”. Moudgil was responding to the report “CAT stays appointments” published in these columns on May 21. It had been alleged that of the 144 candidates who were selected, 139 hailed from the home district of Home Secretary Ram Niwas.


Part of service road on Chandigarh-Ambala highway sinks
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 10
A portion of a newly constructed service road on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway sank here today. The traffic police cordoned off the road by putting up barricades. The road was closed for heavy vehicles.

Work on service roads on both sides of the stretch of the National Highway No. 21, between the UT barrier and the starting point of the flyover, had been completed recently and approximately Rs 4 crore was spent on it.

Traffic in charge Devinder Singh said that service road had been closed for heavy vehicles because of the sinking of the road. He said service roads on the highway were constructed to solve the problem of traffic jams on this stretch.

XEN PWD (Central Works Division, Ropar) Gurmukh Singh stated that he had asked the SDO concerned to inspect the site. He added that repairs of the service road would be done by tomorrow.



Tricity Scan


‘Keep shops open on Sunday’

A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal headed by its president Diwakar Sahoonja on Friday called on Ram Niwas, Chief Administrator, with a formal request to keep shops open on Sunday. The adverse impact on small and medium enterprises of markets, particularly of Sectors 17 and 22, was fall in revenue collections.

The Home Secretary gave positive assurance and forwarded the letter to the Assistant Labour Commissioner. Other prominent senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, who constituted the delegation were Anil Vohra, general secretary-cum official spokesperson; Jagdish Kapoor, advisor CBM; and Virender Guleria, secretary CBM and president of Progressive Trader Welfare Association, Sector 17.

Protest rally

On a call given by the Indian Council for Child Welfare Employees Union, those working in different crèches, prayas centres and Bal Bhavan, Sector 23, participated in a protest rally on Friday, criticising the council authorities for ignoring pending demands of its employees. The main demand was that they had not been given the revised grades in their salaries.


Six students from the city, three each from Vivek High School and Paragon Senior Secondary School, Mohali, have received a scholarship for attending a youth summer camp at Butzbach, Germany, from June 12 till July 2. Kavisha Mahajan, Srishti Walia and Sanya Gupta are from Vivek High School and Parampal, Sanjay and Amarjit Singh are from Paragon Senior Secondary School.


The Chandigarh Draftsmen Association has decided to extend full support to an agitation call given by the Punjab Draftsmen Association to go on a pen-down strike from June 20 till June 24 against non-acceptance of their long pending demands.

Free movie shows

To honour blood donors of the tricity, the Blood Bank Society is organising free movie shows at Batra (Pyaar Ka Panchnama) and Nirman (Kuch Love Jaisa) on June 14, World Blood Donors Day. The managements of both theatres have offered one free show each at 6.30 pm on June 14. The blood donors who have donated blood in 2010 and 2011 can collect their invitations on June 11 or June 12 from the Blood Bank, Sector 37, from 9 am to 6 pm, stated Niti Sarin, general secretary, Blood Bank Society.


Interactive session

Participants of the summer science camp at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) on its new campus, Sector 81, Mohali, visited Government Natural History Museum with their faculty Dr Shyan Sunder. An interactive session by Prof Arun D Ahluwalia (ex- chairman geology department, Panjab University), emeritus geologist-environmentalist at the Government Museum, was also organised.

Summer camp

Ashmah International School, Mohali, held an adventurous summer camp decked with various activities. The participants basked in creative paradise of dancing, singing, writing skills, art and craft and instrumental music. Children beat the heat with splash pool activity playing with water. Students and their mothers performed different dances and songs. A special exhibition was organised wherein all
creative items were displayed that the students had made during the summer camp. Principal Roopinder Ghuman said such camps helped children shed their inhibitions and recognise their talents, which was not possible in normal routine.

Slow progress

The joint secretary of the SAD and chairman of district planning board NK Sharma today pulled up officials of the water and sewerage supply board for keeping up the pace of development works in villages. He said in Sohana village, Rs 7 crore was being spent on development works. He expressed his displeasure on the slow progress of laying of sewerage pipes.

Awareness on use of poly bags

To make the public aware about the use of poly bags as per the guidelines of the carry bag (manufacturing, usage and disposal), Mohali SDM Amit Talwar on Friday held a meeting with manufacturers of poly bags. He said the instruments to measure the microns of the carry bags were being procured. During the meeting, field officials were directed to create awareness about the use of carry bags.


The Deputy Commissioner Service Providers’ Union on Friday wore black badges to register their protest against non-regulrisation of their services. Nishant Singh, president of the union, said their issue was not taken at the June 7 meeting of the Punjab cabinet. As a result, the union members wore black badges. A number of contractual employees are working in the Deputy Commissioner complex.


Visit to Pak gurdwaras

Devotees, wishing to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev in November, should deposit application with the district administration by June 29.  Stating this in a press note here on Friday, Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar said the pilgrims/jathas, who were willing to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan should submit their application by June 29, so that it could be forwarded to the state government by July 20. — TNS



PUSU demands inquiry 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Representatives of the Panjab University Student Union (Sukhjit faction) protested outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office today, demanding an inquiry into the incident where Sukhjit Brar was allegedly attacked.

Accusing senior officials of PU of inaction in the matter, PUSU supporters said an inquiry be marked into the matter by a retired judge. “We have been repeatedly demanding that the case must be investigated, but the DSW and chief security official did not lodge any official compliant with the police,” said Brar.

He added that on May 30, the infiltration by certain other student leaders was also caught on CCTV cameras.

The PU officials, however, did not respond to the allegations. After a meeting was held with PUSU leaders, the Vice-Chancellor assured them of considering their request. The university officials did not confirm setting up an inquiry headed by a retired judge.

Brar added that the university security had falsely accused them of getting involved in violence outside the law department the same day.

The protesters also demanded an inquiry against security officials who had publicly beaten up Gurpreet Singh Virk, who was protesting on May 31 in front of the VC’s house.



Art fraternity pays tributes to MF Hussain
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 10
“Bichhra kuchh iss terah se ke rutt hi badal gyi/ Ikk shaks sarre shehar ko veerana kerr gya”. The Urdu couplet is the authentic summation of the sentiments expressed by art fraternity at a condolence meeting organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi to pay tributes to MF Hussain here today.

Akademi chairperson Dewan Manna hailed MF Hussain as the true Indian artist, who had imbibed the best nuances of Indian culture and civilisation and translated the ethos of people in his paintings.

An artist of courage and conviction, Hussain will continue to inspire artists and art lovers in the ages to come, added Dewan, while introducing guest speakers, Krishen Khanna and Dr BN Goswami, world known art critic.

A contemporary of MF Hussain, Krishen Khanna delved deep into the life and achievements of the painting wizard and shared memorable moments with Hussain, which, however, reflected on genius and resolute resolves.



Punjabi scholar Dr Harnam Singh Shan passes away
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 10
The entire literary fraternity of the region has plunged into gloomy despair after learning about the demise of the city-based scholar of international eminence, Dr Harnam Singh Shan (88), at his sector 16 residence here yesterday after a brief illness. He had returned after an eight-month tour of the US last month.

Born at Dhamal (Pakistan), Shan did his post graduation in English and Punjabi before studying at London for his Phd and was later awarded DLitt from PU, Chandigarh.

Shan had 88 books, mainly on Sufi and Sikh philosophy to his credit, besides seven more awaiting publications. “So Says Guru Granth Sahib- An Analytical and Comprehensive Dictionary of the Thought of the Sacred Sikh Scripture” running into 1,428 pages (For Punjabi University, Patiala) is the apex of his genius.

Universally adored with 11 national and international awards, having held 110 positions in literary organisations, participation in 200 conferences in India and abroad, Dr Shan elicited appreciation for his address at the Parliament of World religion in Melbourne (Australia) in December 2009. It was indeed a salutation to his spiritually enlightened vision and literary prominence.

Dr Shan presented his paper and deliberations on the “Universality of Sri Guru Granth Sahib” to the 8,000 religious scholars of the world, besides participating in the panel discussions on different religions.

Incidentally one is reminded of the illustrious Swami Vivekanand who created history at the September 1893 session of this parliament by glorifying the grandeur of the Indian cultural heritage and philosophy of the religion.

Dr Harnam Singh Shan leaves behind his son and three daughters. As per Maj Gen Gaganjit Singh (retd), the funeral of Dr Shan will take place tomorrow at 2 pm at sector 25 crematorium.



Presentation on breast, cervix cancer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10
Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti inaugurated a special audio/visual presentation on breast and cervix cancer at the Senate Hall here on Friday. Dr Firuza Patel, professor (radiotherapy), PGI, Chandigarh, gave the presentation.

More than 100 women employees were examined. Dr Firuza advised the women employees to be careful with regard to this disease. She also advised the women to go for mammography and Pap-Smear test at regular intervals to diagnose this disease at an early stage.

According to Dr Firuza, if this disease is detected at an early stage, it can be cured completely.



Ghazal soiree mesmerises audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, June 10
The city elite art aficionados were treated with a traditional classical ghazal spell by noted ghazal and Sufi maestro, Prof GS Sehgal in a special programme veritably titled “Andaaz-e-Ghazal”, organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra here today.

An academician and a prolific author of a dozen books and AIR artiste, GS Sehgal brought alive the delicacy of ideas and literary beauty of couplets without resorting to needless clichés of complex technique and jugglery without heavy orchestration. Sehgal explained the intricate content of Urdu ghazals in chaste Punjabi.

While the choice of ghazals and voice quality merited for appreciation, the artiste remained low on confidence at times, as Tanwinder accompanied on tabla.

But the record elite audience relished their potent poetry sung in simple yet tempting style. 



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