C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4 juveniles held for murder of schoolboy
Killed Shubham as he had connived with his uncle to elope with sister of an accused, who was his classmate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
In a shocking incident, a class IX student of DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, identified as Shubham, was brutally murdered by four students of his age in Mauli Jagran on Saturday evening.

The murder came to light today after the police identified the decomposed body that was found near the railway tracks in Mauli Jagran last evening.

All four arrested accused are juveniles aged 15. One of the accused studies in the same school as that of the victim. The other three accused are class IX students of Shivalik Public School, Mani Majra, Sunbeam Public School, Mauli Jagran, while the third accused is a student of Government School in Mani Majra.

Inspector Rajesh Shukla, SHO, Mani majra police station, said all four accused juveniles as well as the deceased were known to each other as they are residents of Rajiv Colony. The police said the four killed him, as Shubham had connived with his uncle in helping him elope with the sister of the accused, who is his classmate.

The police had yesterday recovered the highly decomposed body of Shubham near the railway tracks and shifted it to the mortuary of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital Sector 16. Today, the victim’s father Pardeep approached the police and identified the body as that of his son Shubham, who was missing since Saturday evening.

Pardeep told the police that his son was last seen with the four boys, following which the police rounded up the four juveniles who confessed. The police said the four had a prior enmity with the victim as Shubham’s uncle had eloped with the sister of one of the accused and they got married. The four planned to settle scores with Shubham as they believed he connived with his uncle in helping them elope.

The four called Shubham near the railway tracks on Saturday when a heated argument followed. They attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon and gave him grievous injuries in the eyes and chest. They fled, leaving him. His decomposed body was noticed by passersby yesterday. A case of murder was registered at the Mani Majra police station.



Police fumbles over school molestation case
Omits inquiry official’s name in list of prosecution witnesses
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
In its investigations into the incident at the Army Public School in which in which a music teacher, SB Thapa, was reportedly found guilty of molesting 15 female students of class 5, the local police appears to have committed a major blunder while submitting a list of 14 witnesses for the prosecution before a local court. The cops failed to include the name of the official who had conducted an internal inquiry into the incident at the behest of the school administration.

It was on the basis of the report submitted by the inquiry officer, SS Saini, that school officials had decided to file an FIR against Thapa. However, the police dropped Saini’s name from the list of witnesses.

The list, which was accessed by the Chandigarh Tribune, shows the police included the names of Army Welfare Education Society director Col (retd) Sunil Kumar, school principal Lt Col (retd) NR Baberwal, four police officials, four of the alleged victims and their mothers as witnesses for the prosecution.

Said noted criminal lawyer Ravindra Pandit: “How can the Panchkula police drop the name of the prime witness from the list of prosecution witnesses? If the police has dropped the name of the inquiry officer from the list then there must be something suspicious about the matter that the cops are trying to hide. By not including the inquiry officer’s name police officials have weakened the prosecution’s case and this could help in acquittal of the suspect”.

Saini’s report was the sole basis on which the police filed the FIR against Thapa and began investigations into the case. Moreover the four alleged victims who had given written statements to the police along with their parents had first given their statements to Saini.

When contacted Panchkula superintendent of police Maneesh Chaudhary said he was not aware of any such development (the inquiry official’s name being left out from the list of prosecution witnesses). “The police officer investigating the case had submitted the list of prosecution witnesses before the court and if he has committed such a mistake I’ll inquire about the matter from him”, he added.

On November 30 last year the mother of one of the alleged victims reported the matter to the school principal. Thereafter, three more parents complained against the music teacher, accusing him of having molested their daughters. Following a complaint lodged by Baberwal against Thapa, the police filed a case of molestation against the latter under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code at the Chandimandir police station. However, the suspect had fled when the police searched his home in Sector 25, Panchkula. However, he surrendered before a local court on December 6 and was later released on bail.



Finally, firemen to get insurance cover
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The municipal corporation’s fire committee has finally given its nod to provide insurance cover to 261 employees of the fire department.

During a committee meeting, chaired by Devinder Singh Babla, here today, its members also finalised the company, National Insurance Company Ltd, that will provide the insurance cover to the firemen.

The committee members directed the fire department officials to get the formalities completed within one week.

The issue of the absence of rules to decide the seniority and promotion of firemen, resulting in a 20-year backlog, was also discussed during the meeting. During the last meeting, its chairman had asked the department to inform the committee about the procedure followed while deciding the seniority and promotion. The committee also decided to fill 362 new posts.

Instructions were also issued to the officers concerned to check fire safety equipment in institutes, restaurants, schools, colleges and other crowded places and give a detailed report.

The committee approved the purchase of new machinery, including a human life detector, a rock drill and laser binoculars.



Surya group head booked
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
The local police here tonight booked Rajiv Goyal, chairman and managing director, Surya Group of Institutes, Rajpura, under Section 306 of the IPC for abetting suicide. The police lodged an FIR after recovering the body of builder Ramesh Gupta, a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula, from a canal in Rajpura this evening.

In his complaint to the police, Sector-10 resident Shiv Kumar Gupta had alleged that his brother Ramesh Gupta was under depression as Rajiv Goyal was not paying Rs 2 crore to his brother as construction cost for two colleges of the Surya Group of Institutes in Punjab. In his complaint, which was lodged four days ago, he had further alleged that his brother had made several complaints to the Punjab Police against Goyal for the recovery of his payment but to no avail. Gupta had pleaded with the police to help him trace his brother.

The Panchkula police in the evening received information about the recovery of a body from a canal in Rajpura. Later, they learned that it was that of Ramesh Gupta. The police has registered an FIR against Rajiv Goyal and a few others. Gupta’s body has been kept at the mortuary of the government hospital at Rajpura. 



Low-cost computing devices for college students
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
In what may prove to be a major step towards advancing higher education by promoting the use of information technology, over 3,000 students of city colleges will soon be able to lay their hands on an affordable computing cum access tablet device as part of the National Mission on Education through Integrated Communication Technologies (NMEICT).

Though the scheme aims to benefit students belonging to economically weaker sections of the population, all students of government colleges in the city may end up getting one with the cash-rich UT administration considering a move to buy a device for every student at a minimal price of Rs 2,000 each.

Hundreds of such computing devices will be provided by the end of this month while the remaining would eventually come in later. The device, essentially a mini computer, has been developed by IIT, Rajasthan at Jodhpur under the project granted by the central human resources ministry with an aim to provide less well-off students a computing device.

The device is expected to provide only the essential functionalities and will do away with features that are not ordinarily used.

The device was reviewed and finalized at a two-day workshop organized by the IIT, Rajasthan, held on June 28-29 to introduce and test the device. Representatives of state governments, union territories, IITs and NIITs were invited.

Dalip Kumar, associate professor at the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, and Pardeep Singh Walia, associate professor at the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, represented Chandigarh there.

Talking of finances, the central government has allocated Rs 700 crore for procuring the computing devices during the current fiscal (2011-12). The state governments will be given the devices at a 50 per cent subsidy.

Therefore the total expected utilization of funds during the current fiscal is pegged at Rs 1,400 crore.


Bakery employee among dead
28-yr-old had been working in city for 4 yrs
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Kishan Kumar’s worst fears about the fate of his 28-year-old nephew, Charanjit Parel, who had been missing ever since the Kalka Mail tragedy at Fatehpur in UP on Sunday, came true this morning with the news of his death reaching the city.

Kishan, along with his wife, had been visiting the railway station here for the past two days, besides making calls to various helpline counters set up by the railway department, to enquire about the welfare of his nephew but without any success.

However, a relative who had gone looking for Charanjit at the accident scene and hospitals where the injured had been admitted called him up this morning and broke the news.

Sitting in the office of Station Superintendent Praveen Kumar, Kishan told Chandigarh Tribune that their hopes had been diminishing as Charanjit had not contacted anyone after the accident. “We were fearing the worst but there was a hope that he might have survived and sustained injuries,” he said.

Kishan said Charanjit was his sister’s son and was the lone earning member of the family.

Charanjit, whose father is a daily wager, had come to the city four years ago and had been working at Monica’s Bakery in Sector 8.

Kishan said Charanjit had left for Durgapur on July 3 to meet his parents and was returning when the mishap occurred. He said Charanjit was travelling in coach S-2, which was one of the worst affected coaches.

However, Praveen Kumar said though they had received no official information about Charanjit’s demise, they had made arrangements to send his uncle to Kanpur by the Uchahaar Express.

“His parents have already reached there and we will claim his body tomorrow,” said Kishan.

Meanwhile, Kumar said he had received no fresh update on the whereabouts of the other 38 passengers who were booked on the ill-fated train for the city. He said it seemed these passengers weren’t from the city as no one had come to enquire about them.

A city-bound passenger, Kamal Kant Das, was undergoing treatment in Kanpur but no inquiries had been made about him too, he added.



Never got plaint from victim, staff: Former in-charge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Deposing in the infamous Nari Niketan rape case here today, the then in-charge of the facility, Ritika Rathi, stated that she had never received any complaint from the victim or its employees that suggested the occurrence of any such incident on the premises.

Deposing before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Preeti Sahni, Rathi stated that she never observed anything suspicious in the facility during her tenure.

She added that women police personnel were stationed round-the-clock at Nari Niketan. Nobody could enter its premises without making an entry in the visitor’s register, she added.

She further informed the court that she was the overall in-charge of Nari Niketan from 2008 to 2009.

Meanwhile, investigating officer Kulwant Pannu also appeared before the court. The court has deferred the hearing for July 29.

The victim has already identified the accused - Bhupinder Singh, Jamuna Parsad, Kamla, Vijender and Maya of Nari Niketan; and Naresh, Bhagwandeep, Davinder and Chhotu Ram of Ashreya - in the district courts.

The victim was raped during her stay at Nari Niketan and was later shifted to the Sector 47-based Ashreya, a home for mentally-challenged persons.

She was found pregnant on May 16, 2009 by the Ashreya authorities. The UT administration had moved the High Court for termination of her pregnancy on medical grounds.

While the High Court had ordered the termination of pregnancy, the decision was stayed by the Supreme Court. The victim gave birth to a baby in December, 2009.

In December, 2009, DNA samples of the newborn had matched with those of an Ashreya employee.

Based on the CFSL report, the police had arrested Chhotu Ram, alias Madho Ram, after it was confirmed that the accused was the biological father.



EO notice to McDonald’s outlet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The local Estate Office today served a notice on a local branch of McDonald’s, an international fast food chain, for misuse of basement. The erring eating joint is located in Sector 35.

The notice, served under the Estate Rules, 2007, has asked the alleged violator to explain the use of basement for dining.

“Under the rules, basements of commercial sites can only be used for storage purposes. If it is to be used for any other purpose, the occupant has to procure permission from the local estate office,” said Ravinder Sharma, inspector (misuse and enforcement).

He added that all hotels and restaurants, especially discos, are on the radar of the estate office, as a survey was being carried out to check violation of the building bylaws.

“Once the report of the survey is out, we will initiate action against the violators,” said Sharma.

Most hotels, restaurants and discos in the city have been using basements for dining and dance purposes.

So far, the department has initiated action against some local discos, including Aerrizona and Arabia in Sector 9. The matter is sub judice.



Construction may be delayed by 6 months
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The construction of flats under the Chandigarh Housing Board’s UT Employees Housing Scheme may get delayed by another six months. Sources say the CHB is yet to get the mandatory environment clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest for its much-hyped project.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, a senior official of the CHB said it normally took around six months to get a clearance from the environment ministry. “After the requisite clearance, several other formalities, including approval of the building plan, tendering, etc, will have to be completed before the construction begins. Going by the current scenario, the construction work is likely to begin next year,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the CHB claims to have issued registration slips to all successful applicants. “We have dispatched the registration slips to all successful applicants of A and D categories under the scheme,” said the official.

The scheme was launched in 2008, when the CHB had come up with the project to provide flats in four categories — A, B, C and D — to administration employees in Sectors 52 and 56. However, the project hit repeated roadblocks due to litigation, causing financial losses to the applicants, particularly those falling in C and D categories (for class III and IV employees).



Woman receives burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12
Bhwana, a 45-year-old housewife, received burn injuries while preparing food at her residence in Sector 15 here today.

The incident occurred at 10.30 am when her husband Dinesh was not at home and her two children had gone to school. After hearing her shrieks, her sister-in-law living in the same house came to her rescue. Bhwana was taken to the Sector 6 general hospital, where doctors referred her to the PGI, Chandigarh, where her condition was stated to be stable. She had received 40 per cent burn injuries.



Think twice before having chips, burgers, samosas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Trans fats found in most of the packaged and fried foods available in the markets are playing havoc with the health of the people of the country and it is high time to initiate nationwide awareness drives to stress upon the healthy-food alternatives.

This was stated by cardiologist Dr HK Bali, who was interacting with mediapersons during a national heart failure summit. “Heart diseases have engulfed the country and four Indians die due to heart disease every minute. The cardiovascular diseases are estimated to kill around 10 million Indians every year by 2015. In order to reverse this trend, it is imperative that we target schoolchildren and educating them about the trans-fats they are consuming in the form of potato chips, burgers, samosas and other fried things,” he said.

The trans-fats are used to make food crispy and enhance its shelf life, but these lead to obesity, affecting the functioning of intestines and pancreas and leading to diseases like high-blood pressure, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, said the cardiologist. While the countries of Denmark, Sweden and two states in the US have already banned the use of trans-fats in the food items, India is yet to make people aware of its bad effects on health, said Dr Bali.

Earlier, Dr Bali presented the Heart Beat Lifetime Achievement Awards yesterday to three citizens of the tri-city for making a difference in the lives of the people. At a function organised at the Hotel JW Marriott, Chandigarh, Dr Bali said his The Heart foundation would be recognising people who have contributed to the society in one way or the other.

The Heart Beat Lifetime Achievement Awards for the year were conferred upon former head of the plastic surgery at PGIMER Dr PS Chari. The Heart Beat Award of Excellence was shared by former advocate general and senior advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court ML Sarin and his wife Niti Sarin for spearheading the voluntary blood-donation movement across the country.

The third heart beat award was presented to social worker Babbi Harbhajan Singh, who has been serving the poor children undergoing free-heart surgery at the PGI and the Fortis Hospital under the Rotary’s heartline project. The Heart foundation also felicitated a city girl, Harsimar, who topped the All India PMT examination of the CBSE this year.



Tricity Scan

chandigarh Scan
Biometric survey
A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by state president Sanjay Tandon and including general secretary Satinder Singh and councillor Rajkumari Mishra, met KK Sharma, Adviser to UT Administrator, and apprised him of the problems being faced by residents during the biometric survey conducted by officials of estate office for the rehabilitation of residents of various colonies. The delegation brought to the notice of the Adviser that there were several cases of names appearing in the biometric survey conducted in 2006, but missing from computer records. These persons had a biometric survey receipt, they said. Some persons were included in the survey in 2006 and their names were in the voter list, but these were deleted from the voter list in 2009 without their knowledge and included again in the 2010 voter list. In some cases, names included in the 2006 survey were not included in the voter list that year, but included in the voter lists of 2009 and 2010. The Adviser assured the delegation that he would look into the matter.

Child award
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has instituted the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement for children between four and 15 years of age who have shown exceptional abilities and outstanding calibre in fields such as academics, art and culture and sports. The award, a gold medal, will be given to one child at the national level. In addition, one child from each state and union territory will get a silver medal each.

Saplings planted
To observe Vanamahotsava, the department of forests and wildlife observed Eco Club Day on Tuesday. More than 1,600 saplings were planted in 40 schools. A function was held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47-D. VK Singh, Secretary, Forests and Education, was the chief guest.

INSO protest
The Indian National Students Organisation (INSO) staged a protest on Tuesday against the recent hike in MCA-II fee. INSO president Anil Ghanghas said the fee was increased from Rs 65,000 to Rs 71,000. The protesters met science faculty Dean Prof AK Ahulwalia and computer science department chairperson Dr Indu Chabra to give a memorandum, demanding an immediate reversal of the fee hike.

Legal awareness
The UT State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) and the adult education department organised a legal awareness camp on Tuesday. At least 150 members of the public attended the seminar. Jagdeep Jain, Additional District Judge-cum-member secretary, SLSA, said the purpose of the seminar was to spread awareness about the role and functions of the SLSA. Nareshanand addressed the audience on healthcare services. Saroj Mittal, deputy director, and Vinay R Sood, assistant director, adult education, spoke about services being provided by the department.

Bank dividend
The Punjab and Sind Bank has paid Rs 36.61 crore as dividend to the Government of India for the financial year 2010-2011. PK Anand, executive director of the bank, presented a cheque for the dividend amount to Pranab Mukherjee, Union Finance Minister. With a growth of 25.23 per cent on an year-to-year basis, the total business of the bank grew to Rs 102,555 crore as on March 31, according to a press note.

NCERT award
Government Model High School, Sector 37-C, has been selected for the NCERT award for 2010-2011. The school has been awarded for its experimental projects ‘Unified Holistic and Gramophonic Strategy to Enhance Reading Skills of English Language’. Team leader and headmistress Chandrakanta and coordinator Ratinder Kaur were honoured with a citation and the award in New Delhi recently.

Club president
Preet Harinder Singh was installed as president of the Inner Wheel Club Chandigarh during a function at the CII auditorium on Monday evening. She took over from Neelam Khattar. Highlighting her agenda, the new club president said she would boost the participation of the club in educating slum children, running the Maloya orphanage and old-age homes and supporting and educating woman inmates at the Nari Niketan and the Burail jail.

Cong challenge
Balbir Singh Sidhu, Kharar MLA, has given an open challenge to Mohali Planning Board chairman NK Sharma on the issue of development in the state. He claimed that ongoing development projects had been conceived during the previous Congress regime. He said Tarn Taran, Fatehgarh Sahib, Barnala, Muktsar, Moga and Mohali had been made districts by Congress governments. He added that all thermal power projects had been passed when the Congress was in saddle.

Ongoing works
All ongoing development works in Mohali will be completed within four months. This was stated by Mohali Planning Board chairman NK Sharma while speaking at function in Phase 1 here. He said road signage was being erected at different places. Tricycles and sewing machines were distributed among the needy.

Traffic park
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roozam has said a traffic park will be set up at Government College in Phase 6 here shortly. He was speaking during the road safety meeting organised here. During the meeting, various issues related to traffic problems in the town were discussed.

Water samples
With a view to check the outbreak of malaria and other water-borne diseases in the district during the monsoon, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar directed officials of the health department during a meeting on Tuesday to collect samples of water in sensitive areas of the district to ensure the supply of clean drinking water to residents.

Tribune Reporters



Admn to set up education protection authority
Another initiative to implement RTE Act
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Taking yet another initiative towards implementing Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the UT Administration is all set to constitute the Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA), mandated under Section 24 of the part VIII of the act.

The key role of committee shall be to ensure that no student denied the right to attend schools and students belonging to economically weaker section of society shall be provided free elementary education in neighbourhood schools, which will have to reserve 25 per cent seats for this purpose.

The act states that the state government concerned may take steps to set up a state commission for protection of child rights, however, till such commission is set up, it shall constitute an interim authority known as the Right to Education Protection Authority (REPA) for the purpose of performing functions specified in sub-section (1) of Section 31 within six months of the commencement of the act.”

Adopting specification of the act in toto, the committee to be constituted by the UT Administration shall consist of a chairperson, who holds high academic repute or has an experience of public administration and has done outstanding work for promoting the rights of children.

Two members with one mandatory being a woman are required to have long-standing experience in either of these fields: education, child healthcare and child development, juvenile justice or care of neglected or marginalised children or children with disabilities, elimination of child labour or working with children in distress, child psychology or sociology, legal profession.

“The modalities of constituting this body are already under way. It is mandatory that when the RTE is fully implemented in the city, we should have an authority to ensure it is abided by. We are thus planning to constitute this committee soon,” said a senior UT official.



Braving elements is taught here
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
The recent demolition drive at Kajheri has taken its toll on the government school here, where hundreds of students are being forced to sit in the open due to power failure. Education department officials claim ignorance about this fact as the principal has failed to inform them.

A schoolteacher said, “How can we sit inside without electricity? I know that it is a little sunny here, but we have made students sit in the shade and it is not sultry here. Studies have sufferred as we cannot have six or seven classes sitting in the same compound.”



Counselling on July 13, 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Counselling for admission to sociology will be held tomorrow from 9.30 am. in the Department of Sociology, Arts Block-IV, first floor.

Counselling for admission to women’s studies will be held on July 14 from 10 am at Department of Women’s Studies and Development, Arts Block-VI.

Department of art history and visual arts

The aptitude test-cum-interview for admission to MA part-I, semester-I, in history of arts will be conducted on July 14 from 9.30 a.m. at the department.

All applicants have to report at the office of the department by 8.30 am with original documents and all necessary testimonials. No separate interview letters are being issued.

Department of economics

Interviews for MA in economics (semester-I) are on July 16 from 9.30 am (general category) and July 18 from 9.30 am (reserved categories) at department of economics, Arts Block-III.

UCIM department

Counselling for MSc in instrumentation (semester-I) is on July 15 from 10 am at seminar hall of UCIM department. For MTech in instrumentation (semester-I), interviews are on July 18 from 10 am at same venue.

Department of political science

Interviews for admission to MA in political science (semester-I) will be held tomorrow from 9.30 am at the department of political science, Arts Block-IV.



PSEB releases result of visually challenged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
A day after the plight of students of the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, demanding release of their Class XII result by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) was highlighted, the board authorities declared the result today.

Twelve students of the institute, which is affiliated with the PSEB, had taken the examination this year.

Controller of examination SS Saroya said due to wrong code of subject written by the students, their awards were not traceable. But after a lot of effort, the problem was rectified and the result of 12 students has been declared.

The students had lamented that their result was declared only on the Internet and that, too, after about a month later from the result of other students. “The result of Class XII was declared on May 31, but our result was put on the Internet on June 29 only.”



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |