C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Eight class XII students seriously hurt in clash
Fought on the issue of sitting on front seats of class
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 25
Eight students of class XII of a government school received serious injuries today following a minor tiff over the issue of sitting on front seats of their class.

They entered into heated arguments in the class and then fought with sharp-edged weapons, iron rods and sticks near Shivaji Park in the evening.

The injured students included a nephew of a senior SAD leader who reportedly entered into heated arguments with his classmates when his school bag was allegedly thrown away by other students. Supporters of the leaders said the nephew was also beaten up by his schoolmates outside the school as well.

The injured students are studying in Pabra government school. Supporters of the leaders reached Civil Hospital in large numbers and expressed their solidarity with the injured students and the nephew of their leader.

Rajpura city SHO Krishan Kumar Panthe said the students entered into heated arguments over seat sharing in their class and then fought outside the school and received injuries near Shivaji Park.

Both factions warned each other and decided to fight openly near Shivaji Park in the evening following the tiff in the school. They reached the place with their respective supporters and entered in a fight in full public view. The group with more number of boys (16 or 17) overpowered another and the injured were rushed to Rajpura Civil Hospital where they are undergoing treatment. Some of the attackers were arrested from an office of a money exchanger near the Civil Hospital.

Panthe said five boys from one group and three from the other received injuries and their statements were being recorded. Four or five boys have also been rounded up in this regard but a case was yet to be registered.

Injured students undergoing treatment have been identified as Bikramjit Singh, Harmanjit, Simranjit, Kulwinder, Sukhdev from one group and Deepak Sharma, Vikas Laddi and Bhaskar from the other group.



First day for freshers at DAV-10 kicks off with brawl
Case registered against student who came to seek admission to college
Neha Miglani
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The first day of the new academic session began with a fight between members of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) at DAV College in Sector 10 here today, which resulted in the police registering a case against a student who came to seek admission to the college.

A case under Section 160 of the IPC for creating nuisance at a public place was registered against Supreet, who was at the college to seek admission to BA-I. A second-year student at the college, Chetan Munjal, was detained for investigation by the police. The brawl, which began inside the college canteen between Supreet and Chetan, both members of SOPU, resulted in them attacking each other with glass bottles, that scared away most first-year students in the canteen.

The heated argument eventually turned into fisticuffs outside the college gate, where Supreet and Chetan gathered along with their friends.

A heavy deployment of police personnel, who had anticipated unrest in the wake of past incidents, came in handy in controlling the scuffle.

Immediately after the incident, Supreet and Chetan were taken to the Sector-3 police station. The police began checking cars after the incident.

Following this, certain students were nabbed with fake VIP car parking stickers on their cars. In a rather amusing sight, students were made to scratch off the fake VIP parking stickers from their cars by the police.

The Sector-3 police station SHO, inspector Poonam Dilawari, who was present at the spot with nearly a dozen policemen, said, “A case under Section 160 of the IPC has been registered against Supreet. With this, they do not stand a chance of getting admission to a college under my jurisdiction. All DAV students creating a ruckus will be booked and we are determined to be very strict with them.”

The officiating principal of the college, Shashi Gupta, who had sought a list of all DAV students involved in past incidents of violence, said, “We have requested the Sector-3 police station to hand over a list of students involved in violence to the college for our record and action.”

Going strict

We have to be strict with students indulging in violence. From the current academic session, we are forming a discipline committee and a ragging committee to look into such cases. This committee will stay in touch with students to find out what leads to fights. No student involved in crime or violence will get admission.

Shashi Gupta, officiating principal, DAV College, Sector 10



For UT babus, cobbler, gardener, special educator on equal footing
All have been bunched together in the same minimum wage scale
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Do tea-making skills equal the job of a pharmacist dispensing medicines or can a washerman (dhobi) be placed equal to the demanding job of a special educator? The answer is in the affirmative if babus of the UT Administration, some of them belonging to the elite IAS, are to be believed.

For, according to the UT Administration’s babus, a cobbler, a barber, a mali (gardner), a special educator, a computer operator, a pharmacist, a steno, a dhobi (washerman), a hostel warden, a gym instructor, a telephone operator, a steno typist and a tea maker are all on a par for eking out a living in the City Beautiful.

All have been bunched together in the same minimum wage scale of Rs 7,000 or Rs 275 per day as per a new order issued by the UT Administration here today. The order notifies an increase in the minimum rates of wages, including dearness allowances for government employees.

Seems ironic but persons working at some of the above-mentioned posts like special educator and pharmacist engaged in the private sector are earning over four times more.

Not only this, but the minimum wage of a butler (for hospitality) and a halwai has been fixed at a higher monthly minimum wage of Rs 7,500 thus placing them above a special educator and pharmacist. On the other hand, an unskilled masseur (officially termed a massager) has been allowed Rs 12,000 per month .

At the same time, the UT Administration has decided to give the same pay to 62 posts that, interestingly, included waiter, head mali, mistri, cobbler, mochi with kit, barber, salesman and tea maker. The daily wages for these posts have been fixed at Rs 275 per day. Interestingly, there is no difference in the monthly minimum wage (Rs 7,000) of a head mali, an assistant mali, a mistri, an assistant mistri, a painter and an assistant painter.

While a tea maker is entitled to a minimum wage of Rs 7,000 per month, an information attendant is entitled to a salary of Rs 6,100 (Rs 240 per day).


n The daily wages for various posts vary from Rs 240 to Rs 373. The post of English Cook (for hospitality) topped the table with daily wages of Rs 373 (monthly wages Rs 9500), followed by grade 1 mason and carpenter, whose daily wages are fixed at Rs 334 (monthly Rs 8500).

n The UT Administration has today approved an increase in the minimum rates of wages including dearness allowance for the government employees. The revision of wages will become effective from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012 (both days inclusive). The order stated that the new rates of wages are applicable to all government offices, boards and corporations located in Chandigarh.



Martyr’s Pillar stands ignored
Awaits inauguration by VVIP in Terrace Garden
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The city's Martyr's Pillar, dedicated to 27 war heroes from the city killed in different wars, is still waiting for a VIP for its “formally" opening. It has been over a month since the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities have been trying to rope in a VIP to inaugurate the memorial raised at Terrace Garden in Sector 33 here.

In fact, the MC has missed a major opportunity, considering that today (Tuesday) marks the 12th anniversary of Vijay Diwas of the Kargil War during which, incidentally, four students of the local DAV College won gallantry awards, including Maha Vir Chakra.

But the authorities have so far been unsuccessful. In fact, the Martyrs Pillar has travelled a long journey, considering that it has finally been completed after a nine-month delay, which witnessed three postponements of its inauguration.

MC Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said a request for inviting the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil for the inauguration of the Martyr’s Pillar on August 14 was sent to his office a fortnight ago. However, till date, no confirmation has been received.

On August 14 last year, then Mayor Anu Chatrath had laid the foundation stone of the project. On that occasion, then MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria had announced that the work of the construction of Martyrs Pillar would be completed before the Chrysanthemum Show in December 2010.

MC sources revealed that the construction of the Martyr’s Pillar was completed in March this year. But the project still remained incomplete as the designs for installing grills around the pillar had to be sent to the UT architect department for approval.

The MC had had sent project details regarding land and design of the pillar for the approval of the UT chief architect department once earlier, which, however, had been rejected on the grounds that it went against Le-Corbusier’s design.

History of the project

n In 2007, nominated councillor Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri proposed the construction of the Martyr’s Pillar. It was suggested that to honour the martyrs of the city their photographs along with their service details should be displayed in prominent libraries or community centres in the city. But the proposal was rejected by the house.
n In 2008, it was proposed that some of the parks or green belts of the city should be named after the martyrs. But the councillors opposed this proposal also.
n In 2009, the MC decided to construct the Martyr’s Pillar and proposed its construction at the Bougainvillea garden in Sector 3; but Chandpuri rejected the site.
n In 2010, the UT Administration suggested constructing the Martyr’s Pillar at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10. But the MC rejected the site and later decided to construct it in Terrace Garden in Sector 33.

Deadlines missed

n In May last year, former Mayor Anu Chatrath had announced at a general house meeting that a Martyr’s Pillar would be constructed before August 15
n At the foundation stone laying function of the Pillar on August 14 last year, MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria had assured that the work of construction of Martyrs Pillar will be completed before the Chrysanthemum show in December
n In 2011, it was decided to inaugurate the Martyr’s Pillar on January 26. But as the construction of pillar was not complete, it was then postponed to Baisakhi
n On Baisakhi (2011), the MC again postponed the inauguration since the construction had still not been completed



UT police made our life hell to save SI: mother of accident victim
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Tears swell up her eyes as she recalls the tragic day when she was told that her 21-year-old son had been killed in a road mishap in Chandigarh. “It was one year after I lost my son in the mishap that I got to know of the bitter fact that the Chandigarh police had failed to act against my son’s killer and had in fact made my son an accused in the FIR. My husband chose not to tell me the reality and the tough time he faced with the police hushing up the case as the death of my son had already left me shattered,” said Gurvinder Kaur, mother of deceased Gagandeep Singh, who was killed in an accident at Aroma Light point in Sector 22 two years ago in June, 2009.

Although the youth was killed after his bike collided with the speeding car of Sub Inspector Jaspal Singh Bhullar as claimed by eyewitnesses, the UT police decided to close the case after carrying out an ‘investigation’. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a re-investigation into the case last week.

“After I learnt that my husband was fighting a lonely battle and was being harassed, I decided to accompany him to Chandigarh on every hearing. We ran from pillar to post and no senior police officer ever lent us an ear. Our statements and also that of the eyewitnesses were recorded after over six months. Investigation was transferred from Sector 17 police station to the Crime Branch and from there to the Special Crime Investigation Cell after Bhullar filed an application with the IG seeking case transfer. It seemed as if the entire top brass was hell bent on shielding the sub inspector,” she said.

“My husband, Balwinder, was harassed after the then SSP S.S. Srivastava and the investigating team headed by DSP Satbir Singh were trying their best to hush up the case as they wanted to shield Sub Inspector Bhullar,” she alleged. “I last spoke to my son that morning. He was so happy and looking forward to going abroad. He was hard working and intelligent,” she said.

“We were never handed a copy of the statements that we gave to the police. We managed to procure them only under the RTI Act. While we lost everything after the death of our son, the Chandigarh police made life hell for us,” said the grieving mother.

Meanwhile, Gagandeep’s father, Balwinder, alleged two persons on Sunday who introduced them as kin of Bhullar also approached him at their Faridkot residence to withdraw charges and again offered him money.


Collector rates go up by 25 pc in urban areas
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
The UT administration issued a notification to increase the collector rates for calculating stamp duty in the sale transactions of property by 25 per cent and 15 per cent for properties in urban and rural areas, respectively, here today.

The revised rates will come into effect from August 1.

Under the new norms, collector rates for residential premises in the urban area will be charged at Rs 49,920 per sq yd (from earlier Rs 39,936), whereas the charges for the same in the rural area will be Rs 6,240 per sq yd (from earlier Rs 4,992) in villages under the municipal corporation and Rs 4,160 per sq yd (from earlier Rs 3,328) in other villages of the UT.

The revised collector rates for agriculture land will be Rs 70 lakh per acre and Rs 17.50 lakh per two kanal in all UT villages. Earlier, these were Rs 60 lakh per acre and Rs 15.25 lakh per two kanal. For commercial sites in Phases I and II, Industrial Area, the new rates have been set at Rs 49,920 per sq yd (from earlier Rs 39,936), while the charges for other commercial sites are varying.

The administration has fixed the criteria for the calculation of value of constructed/covered area for charging the stamp duty. In the urban area, the charges will be Rs 920 per sq ft for construction less than 10 years old and Rs 460 per sq ft for others. In the rural area, the rates will be Rs 110 for “kuccha” houses and batten roof houses, Rs 202 per sq ft for 10 or more than 10-year-old RCC construction and Rs 405 per sq ft for less than 10-year-old RCC houses.



Teej Function
After marathon fiasco, MC outsources work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Learning its lesson from the recent mismanagement of a cultural event by the municipal corporation employees, the arts, culture and sports committee has decided to outsource, for the first time, the arrangements to be made for its upcoming Teej function.

At a meeting chaired by Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri here today, it was decided to organise a Teej function on August 6 with the budget allocation of Rs 3.5 lakh.

Brigadier Chandpuri said during the last committee meeting, the members had raised the issue of mismanagement of a marathon event held on April 3, as a majority of employees put on duty had failed to turn up at the venue on time.

The absence of officials not only spoiled the spirit of the event but also left the committee members, who had been rallying behind officials to make the occasion a success, embarrassed.

Referring to another faux pas, he said in January, a team of the Ranchi municipal corporation (MC), on a visit to the city, were handed over mementoes bearing the name of former Mayor Anu Chatrath instead of Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh. The arrangements were made by corporation employees.

The members stated that most events organised in the past four years had been messed up by the MC employees and to avoid a similar situation, the committee had decided to hire an event manager to organise the Teej function.

The officials told the committee members that it had become difficult for them to organise events properly due to the shortage of staff in various wings of the corporation.



Railways yet to wake up to threat perception
Absence of metal detector, scanning machine at railway station makes it accessible to unauthorised persons
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Nearly two weeks after the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, the Railways are yet to come out of their deep slumber to instal metal detectors at the Chandigarh railway station.

There is no metal detector to check passengers at any of the entry and exit points, which also being used by VVIPs to board trains for Delhi and other cities.

The station lacks even a scanning machine to check baggage of passengers at the railway station. Two police constables remain posted outside the platform area and there is no proper checking due to lack of proper infrastructure.

VK Katariya of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) said a round-the-clock vigil was being maintained by the RPF and the GRPF and they were thoroughly checking passengers with hand-held metal detectors.

He said they were closely monitoring activities in and outside the station through CCTV cameras. He said between 35 and 40 RPF jawans were being deployed in mufti in the area to thwart any attempt by subversive forces.

The station, having three entry points, including one from the Panchkula side, had thousands of passengers, including daily commuters, visiting it everyday.

As the station area was open, there were chances of unscrupulous elements entering it. The RPF had installed a metal detector at the entry point, but it was removed some time back as it developed a technical snag.

In view of the threat perception in the country, scanning machines had been installed to check luggage and other items in metropolitan cities, including Delhi and Mumbai, but Chandigarh was the only station without any such infrastructure.

It was not possible for four constables of the GRPF to guard the station. People from Mauli Jagran and Daria, villages nearby, with their bicycles, could be seen risking their lives by crossing tracks near the railway station to save time.



City had maximum malaria cases in June
The month was ironically observed as ‘anti-malaria month’ by health authorities
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
If figures are any indication, the UT health department seems to have made a mockery of the “Anti-malaria month” observed in June. While one would have expected the health authorities to be hyperactive at least while observing this month, figures, ironically, reveal that maximum cases of malaria were reported in June only.

Of the 69 malaria cases detected in June-end this year, 39 were reported in the month when the administration was busy observing the “Anti- malaria month” by putting posters and banners all across the city. These figures not only expose the claims of the UT administration of launching cleanliness drives and resorting to fumigation around the city to curb the spread of malaria but also put a question mark on the very purpose behind observing such occasions.

Data obtained from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Report (IDS) also reveals that more malaria cases were reported in June this year compared to the figure of 20 in the corresponding month in 2010. The overall figure of 69 cases of malaria till June end this year is also higher to the 64 cases reported during the corresponding period last year.

Interestingly, the data also exposes the myth that malaria and dengue are poor men diseases, with prevalence in slums and colonies, as a number of cases came from posh areas too. As per the IDS report, malaria cases were reported even in affluent Sectors like 16, 20, 21, 38 and 49.

According to figures, 20 positive cases of malaria cases were detected from 9,681 blood slides in June 2010. However, while the number of blood slides in June this year decreased to 7,181, there was nearly a 100 per cent increase in the number of positive cases, which reached to 39.

As per data available with Health & Family Welfare department (Central), Haryana has reported a larger number of malaria cases compared to the UT and Punjab. Till June 2011, 5934 cases have been reported in Haryana. Of these, 1,854 cases were from Hisar, 1,286 cases were from Yamunanagar and 68 from Mewat.

In Punjab, 695 positive malaria cases have been reported till June 2011 and largely affected areas are Muktsar, Taran Taran and Mansa where 138, 128 and 106 cases have been reported during the same period.

According to doctors, there are four types of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale. While Vivax malaria is a benign strain, which results in fever and shivering that lasts for a few days, Falciparum malaria is deadlier with high mortality rates.

Repeated attempts to contact UT Malaria Officer, Dr Naresh, proved futile. Though this correspondent managed to contact him on phone once, he refused to part with any information on the pretext of being “busy at a meeting with the DHS”. Later his phone was “switched off”.



Living in utopia? Wake up!
Insomnia a reality among city residents, even kids
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Chandigarh is often dubbed a laid-back city in comparison to the fast-paced life of metros like Mumbai and Delhi. Short distances, open roads, clean air — this city has everything to make life peaceful and stress-free. However, this seems far from reality.

The three words, “I can’t sleep”, are becoming so common, adults and aged can no longer claim exclusivity to them and one can catch even schoolgoing kids complaining about being sleepless in the city.

Call it the pressures of modern-day living — cut-throat competition, insecurity of career and jobs, peer and parent pressure for excellence, jealousies at work or at home, incompatibility among couples, scare of children falling in wrong company and going haywire, etc. — stress is taking its toll on people’s sleep like never before.

Though no data exists, doctors admit that there has been a marked increase in the number of patients suffering from insomnia and this trend has been rising steadily.

Unconfirmed statistics available on the Internet reveal that over 30 per cent of adults, almost every third person, suffer from insomnia but they are seldom reported and thus treated.

“There is no doubt that stress is taking its toll on people’s sleep and the disorder is not restricted to adults alone,” says Dr BS Chavan, head, psychiatry department, GMCH-32.

He says many insomnia patients are teenagers and blames high levels of stress for the trend.

“Having problems falling asleep is not an illness, but symptom of an illness,” he says, adding that 80 per cent insomniacs are diagnosed with anxiety or depression and are treated for the same.

Easy availability of sleeping pills has led to its abuse and people suffering from insomnia are indulging in self-medication by popping pills rather than seeking treatment for the disorder, he quips.

Doctors say lack of sleep more than doubles the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and can affect brain’s working in critical situations.

Sleep difficulties are closely associated with psychiatric disorders like depression, alcoholism and bipolar disorder. The National Sleep Foundation in the US says seven to nine hours of sleep for adults are optimal.

Doctors in the PGI agree that many people with no medical history are suffering from various ailments due to inadequate sleep.

“It’s a rather unique problem and the solution is not in the pill but a pillow,” says Dr Dheeraj Khurana, neurologist at the PGI.

He adds that sleep deprivation contributes to increased appetite and weight gain by raising stress levels.

Most people are ignorant about the repercussions of inadequate sleep. “Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue functioning optimally,” explains Dr Khurana.

“Lack of sleep is also associated with reduced ability to concentrate, digestive disturbances, trouble in learning, decreased attention to detail, a weakening of the immunity system and muscle coordination,” says clinical psychologist at the PGI, Dr Adarsh Kohli. Doctors advise that though pill is the ultimate answer to treat any ailment, before popping one under complete medical guidance, people should shun sedentary lifestyle and try exercise and yoga to lower stress levels. “They do work,” says a doctor, adding that he himself suffered from sleeplessness till he made yoga a part of his lifestyle.


Lack of sleep more than doubles the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and can affect brain’s working in critical situations. It is also associated with reduced ability to concentrate, digestive disturbances, trouble in learning, decreased attention to detail, weakening of the immunity system and muscle coordination



consumer courts
IndiGo directed pay Rs 10,000 for lost baggage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Upholding the district forum order, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Interglobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to Vipin Malhotra, a Mani Majra-based businessman, on account of negligence.

The commission comprising its president Justice Sham Sunder and member Neena Sandhu observed: “Condition of carriage of IndiGo, that all disputes were subject to the jurisdiction of the court at Delhi only, could not override the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. Since a part of cause of action accrued to the complainant at Chandigarh, the district forum at Chandigarh had jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. A lot of inconvenience and mental tension was caused to the complainant, as he went to Ahmedabad on his business trip and his sole purpose was defeated due to the loss of flat belt (textile machinery accessories), which was kept in the suitcase. Hence, he is entitled to some compensation, on account of mental agony, inconvenience and physical harassment, which, in terms of money, can be assessed at Rs 10,000.”

The counsel for the complainant stated that his client had booked an air ticket from Delhi to Ahmedabad and a return ticket from Mumbai to Chandigarh from Amrit Airlinks Private Limited (respondent No. 2) for his business as well as social tour. However, after reaching Ahmedabad, his suitcase, weighing 13 kg, was found missing and subsequently he lodged a missing report with the opposite party, which assured him of tracing his suitcase within two hours.

He made numerous calls to the opposite party to know about the status of his suitcase, which contained a business diary and a flat belt imported from Germany.

The counsel further stated that the the district forum had failed to appreciate that a lot of inconvenience, mental agony, hardship, frustration and disappointment was caused to the complainant, due to deficiency in service on part of the airlines and awarded a meager amount of Rs 2,600 for the lost suitcase against the claim of Rs 1.5 lakh.

The counsel for the opposite party stated that the district forum at Chandigarh had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as according to the conditions of carriage of IndiGo: “All disputes shall be subject to the jurisdiction of courts of Delhi only”.

It was further stated that, as per the baggage rules and conditions of carriage of IndiGo, in case of lost baggage, the airline’s liability for any loss, delay or damage was limited to Rs 200 per kg and the complainant was only entitled to a compensation of Rs 2,600.



Ahmedabad firm penalised Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered an Ahmedabad-based firm, Kohima Machine Tools, to pay Rs 25,000 in compensation for causing harassment to a Chandigarh-based industrialist, Vijay Kumar Sharma.

The forum comprising its president PD Goel, and members Madanjit Kaur Sahota and Rajinder Singh Gill observed that the machine provided to the complainant was found defective at the time of its installation and the respondents had not produced on record any cogent and convincing evidence to controvert or rebut that the defects did not exist in the machine.

The respondents also failed to prove that the machine was being used for commercial purpose. The counsel for the complainant stated that his client had purchased the machine, F-3/S72 Model, after he was shown the brochure by the respondents at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

On examination, the colour of the machine was found worn out, the third docket damaged besides the screw. He reported the matter to the engineer from M/s Pressline India Private Limited, New Delhi, who had come for installation.

He further averred that the machine was entirely different from the specifications mentioned in the brochure and he used the machine only after being assured by the respondent that the defect would be rectified. However, no one turned up to rectify the defect.

However, the counsel for the respondents contended that the complainant had purchased the machine for commercial purposes, hence he was not a consumer.

The respondents had never promised to deliver a machine having same features as in the brochure, as brochures were only general catalogues, he contended.



Rs 30,000 fine slapped on Bajaj Allianz for harassment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company to pay Rs 30,000 in compensation for deficiency in service and causing mental agony to a Sector-37 resident.

The district forum also directed the company to pay 18 per cent interest per annum on Rs 1.12 lakh, including Rs 30,000 compensation, to the complainant, Bhagwan Dass, from the date of filing the complaint till the date of actual payment besides the payment of Rs 7,000 towards cost of litigation. The forum comprising its president Lakshman Sharma and member Madhu Mutneja observed: “The mere fact that there was no damage to the front portion of the car did not necessarily lead to an inference that the accident did not take place in the manner pleaded by the complainant. Similarly, the mere fact that the driver did not receive any injury is no ground to disbelieve the version of the complainant regarding manner of accident.” The complainant stated that his vehicle Tata Ace, driven by his driver Ranbir Singh, met with an accident when he was going to Ludhiana. The driver steered the vehicle in order to avoid a collision with a stray animal, which came in front of the vehicle near Samrala.

However, the driver failed to control the vehicle, which rammed into a tree on the road. The vehicle was damaged and the complainant also received injuries.

The insurance company was informed about the accident and a DDR was recorded at the police station, Samrala. Thereafter, the complainant got the vehicle repaired from an authorised dealer of Tata Motors and submitted the bill of Rs 1.47 lakh to the opposite party. However, the firm repudiated his claim on the ground that the damage to the vehicle did not correlate with the cause of loss mentioned in the claim form.

The counsel for the respondent argued that as per report of the investigation agency, the accident did not take place in the manner as pleaded in the complaint.

Though the investigator assessed the loss to the extent of Rs 82,250, it was clearly mentioned by the investigator that the claim should be repudiated as the damage to the car did not correlate with the cause of the accident. They had rightly repudiated the claim, they contended.



60-yr-old woman murdered
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
A 60-year-old woman was found murdered in a flat at Swastik Vihar late last night. The victim, Gayatri Devi, was unmarried and had been living alone for the past five years in the flat owned by her.

The condition of the body suggested that she was killed at least three days ago. The flat had not been ransacked.

Neighbours informed the police last night about stench emanating from flat No. 209 of Group Housing 1 at Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5.

The police unbolted the door of the flat and found Gayatri Devi’s decomposed body inside.

A deep injury on the head confirmed that the assailants had used some heavy object to kill the victim, the police said.

Though the woman had two brothers in the tricity, she preferred to live alone in the flat.

The police has sent the body to the PGI, Rohtak, for a post-mortem examination.



A year on, P’kula cops fail to crack email accounts of slain NRI
Davinder was found hanging from a tree in Morni hills on March 24, 2010
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 25
It’s been over a year and yet the self-proclaimed high-tech Panchkula police has failed to even crack the three email accounts of a slain non-resident Indian (NRI) residing in Australia, which could have led to crucial clues in his murder case.

Soon after Davinder Singh, the 30-year-old NRI, was killed in Morni hills last year, his brother had tipped off the Panchkula police saying that the cracking of the deceased’s email accounts could help detect the identity of the murderer.

Davinder was found hanging from a tree in Morni on March 24, 2010. The police had recovered an abandoned Maruti car (HR-70-A-2370) near the spot. Davinder's family members had, however, claimed that the NRI was murdered.

On September 20, 2010, six months after the incident, the Panchkula police closed the case after the viscera report, prepared by the Forensic Science Laboratory in Madhuban, ascribed the cause of the death to hanging. Earlier, on July 23, 2010, police had received the chemical examination report of a cold drink bottle and a condom recovered from the spot, which was not linked to the case.

Rejecting the report, sceptical family members moved an application before top officials of the Haryana police, following which an Inspector-General of the Haryana Police eventually directed the Panchkula police to register a murder case in the matter.

On directions from senior officers, the Panchkula police on December 2, 2010, re-opened the file and converted it into a murder case. Subsequently, a fresh FIR against unknown persons was lodged under Section 302 of the IPC.

But all through the investigations so far, the Panchkula police has not bothered to crack Davinder’s three email accounts that were provided by the deceased’s brother.

When contacted, Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary said they had lodged an FIR and started investigations. “But in our investigation, we did not find anything which can say that it is a case of murder,” he said.

Chaudhary, however, admitted that they were yet to crack Davinder’s three email accounts. Giving a vague reason behind the delay in cracking the mail accounts, he said it was not easy to crack someone’s mail accounts.


March 24, 2010: Body was found hanging from a tree in Morni
July 23: Chemical examination report received, which was negative
September 18: Forensic report showed the cause of death to be suicide
September 20: Panchkula police decided to close the case
December 2: Cops converted it into a case of murder on the directions of senior officers

Online FIR System

The Panchkula police is planning to introduce online FIR system from next year. It is also going to start e-challaning in the district and will also introduce hi-tech security system by installing 67 CCTV cameras at various locations in Panchkula. When the Panchkula police is going this much tech-savvy, it is difficult to believe that it failed to crack three mail accounts for the last one year.



20 vehicles challaned for traffic violations
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 25
The Zirakpur traffic police today issued as many as 20 challans to traffic-rule violators, including a vehicle, for illegally using a red beacon atop the car.

Giving information, traffic in charge Devinder Singh stated that a police team laid a naka near traffic lights where the police checked documents and challaned violators.

They also stopped the vehicle driven by Munish Kumar, a resident of Panipat, for using a red beacon on the vehicle. However, the driver of the car failed to produce the document for the red beacon. He was challaned under the Motor Vehicle Act.



Pugmarks of panther spotted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 25
Panic gripped the area after pugmarks of a panther and its cub were spotted at the Central Soil and Water Research Farm near Mata Mansa Devi Temple here today.

The marks were spotted by RS Nain, the manager at the farm situated in the forest area near Sector 4 of Mansa Devi Complex.

Following this, the officials of wildlife visited the spot and confirmed that one female panther was roaming in the forest with two cubs aged nearing 6 months.

Though there was no risk to human beings from the animals, it was advised to take care before venturing into the forest.

The Ardent Welfare Association, MDC, Sector 4, has also issued appeals to the residents not to panic on seeing the panther and the cubs and to inform the wildlife officials if they are spotted.



Youth dies as car rams into truck
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 25
A student of Landran-based private college was killed in a road accident that took place near Sales Tax Barrier here last late night. The deceased was identified as Pankaj (24) hailing from Himachal Pardesh.

The investigating officer stated that the incident occurred when the deceased was returning from Zirakpur along with his friend Vijay, who was driving the car. When they reached the barrier, the car rammed into a stationary truck parked on the highway, the police added.

A passerby immediately rushed Pankaj to a private hospital in Zirakpur where he was declared brought dead. Meanwhile, Vijay did not receive any injury in the accident, the police said.

The police said the body of the deceased was sent for postmortem at Dera Bassi but the family members took the body without getting the postmortem done. They had taken permission of the higher authorities. However, no case has been registered, the police added.

One held in abduction case

The local police today arrested Varinder Singh, a resident of Gulabgarh, Dera Bassi on charges of abduction of a minor girl from Chhat village. The investigating officer, Rameshwar, stated that they got a tip off that the accused was roaming near chhat village along with a girl. The police raided the spot and arrested the accused on Sunday night. The girl was examined at the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, he added.

The investigating officer said the accused today was produced in the local court where he was sent to judicial custody.



Three snatching incidents in Panchkula in a day
Car-lifting reported, too; police patrolling ineffective
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, July 25
Monday was a day of snatchings and car lifting in Panchkula, as there were three snatching cases and one car-lifting incident reported here. These incidents have exposed the police patrolling in Panchkula.

In the first incident, snatchers targeted a woman who had gone on a morning walk with her dog in Sector 4. Two snatchers targeted Sector 4 resident Anita Garg and decamped with her gold chain.

Few hours later, the Panchkula police received a call regarding a car being lifted from Sector 4. After the call, the police blocked all the exit routes. Later, the police recovered the car from Sector 2 but the car battery was missing.

In the afternoon, snatchers targeted a Sector 17 resident when she was on her way to deposit her jewellery in a bank locker. In her complaint to the police, the woman had stated that she was on her way to deposit her jewellery worth lakhs in a bank in Sector 10 when two snatchers came from behind and snatched her bag containing jewellery near a temple in Sector 17,

In the evening, the snatchers targeted a Sector 15 resident Neelam. The police said that the snatchers had targeted Neelam when she was alighting from her car. The snatchers snatched her purse containing her mobile phone and other important documents. Panchkula SP Maneesh Chaudhary said they were investigating and would arrest the snatchers.



Tricity Scan
Chandigarh SCAN
Hepatitis camp

Rotary Club organised a hepatitis screening camp on Monday. Besides screening, visitors were counselled on different aspects of the disease, particularly treatment.

15 cattle impounded

Fifteen stray heads of cattle were impounded by the cattle-catching cell of the municipal corporation from Dhanas, Mani Majra, Dadu Majra, Indira Colony, Ram Darbar, Rajindra Park and Sectors 26, 47 and 50 on Monday. Over the past three months, the cell had impounded 825 cattle and defaulters fined to the tune of Rs 5,86,800.

Congress camp

The district Congress Seva Dal (rural) organised a camp at Colony No. 5. A list of 978 persons, whose names were not included in the survey of the estate office for rehabilitation, was prepared during the camp. Pradeep Chhabra, a former Mayor, was the chief guest.

Legal aid clinic

In order to achieve its objective of access to justice for all, the State Legal Services Authority, under Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, opened the second legal aid clinic at Government. High School, Colony No. 4. The aim of this clinic was to provide inexpensive aid for rendering legal services of basic nature.

Freshers’ party

A freshers’ party was organised at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, on Monday. The party began with the orientation given by principal Krit Serai about subject combinations available, career opportunities and top colleges in India. Students performed on various songs.

Saplings planted

District Education Officer Nalini Mimani launched a sapling plantation drive in the district on Monday. She planted a sapling each of ‘neem’, ‘peepal’ and ‘bargad’ trees.

Tribune Reporters



Day one is fun for freshers
No uniform, no strictness, big relief for new college-goers
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
From tasting delicacies in college canteens to exploring bookshops, classrooms and recreational activities, besides adorning trendy dresses, the first day at college for most freshers was filled with fun and relief from 12 years of school.

While a majority attended orientation programmes, organised by the colleges authorities to make first-year students well-versed with colleges rules and facilities and to welcome them, others were spotted checking out canteens and strolling in campus gardens.

Parents were seen accompanying children on Day One and guiding them, particularly hostel residents, at both postgraduate government colleges in Sector 11. Timetables were put up at most colleges today and students were spotted seen around notice boards to note down their respective schedules.

On being asked if there was any informal ragging, first-year students put up broad smiles and said, “With so much hype about ragging, even seniors are scared of it now. It was only an orientation day today and maybe we could expect some fun ragging in the coming days.”

“It is complete freedom here, free from wearing uniform all these years. Since not much activity is done on the first day, we are checking out all places on the campus,” said Anita and Savita, students of BA-I at PG Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

Most freshers were spotted walking in groups or with school buddies. “It is a nice feeling to explore college. We are just searching places to sit and hang out on the campus,” said Sarabjeet, a first-year student, who was accompanied by her friend Harpreet.

Certain others were receiving tips on how to behave from their parents. “My parents have come along on the first day since a lot of luggage has to be dropped for the hostel. They wanted to personally come and bid me adieu since I would put up in a hostel now,” said Neha, a BA-I student from Ferozepur, who was also accompanied by Arzoo and Jaskeerat.

At DAV College, Sector 10, students were spotted exploring places on the campus. “It is a fun-filled experience to enter college,” said Cheena Nirmal, a first-year arts student.

Yet another student Kritika added, “It was after coming to college that I discovered that many of my class XII batchmates had sought admission here. It was good to reunite in college.”



CISCE hiccup for law dept, admission of 5 stalled
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Confusion over calculating the class-XII percentage of passouts from the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) seeking admission to the five-year integrated course in law affected admissions at the Panjab University’s law department and stalled it at the regional centre in Ludhiana today.

Five CISCE students who secured admission after clearing an entrance examination were in for a rude shock when they were not admitted today as the university could not decide whether to stick to good old best-of-five policy to calculate their class-XII scores or stick to the CISCE’s conventional method of taking all six subjects into account.

While law department officials insisted upon the best-of-five policy as it was adopted by the CBSE as well and placed all students on a par, the convener for admissions reportedly asked the department to take six subjects into account.

“My son is from the CBSE. When we went to submit the admission form, we were told that admissions would not be done today as they had got orders from the PU campus in Chandigarh. We asked for a written copy, but were told that these were only verbal orders,” said a parent from Ludhiana.

“As per admission norms and practice, we take the best-of-five subjects into account while deciding class-XII percentage. I do not know where this confusion arose. The convener considered taking all six subjects into account. I cannot say what exactly happened in Ludhiana, but in Chandigarh, the Vice-Chancellor asked us to keep five seats aside and carry on. The issue will be resolved tomorrow,” said GK Chatrath, dean of the law department.

Best-of-five it is

While the PU formed a committee on July 26 to look into the issue, a meeting was called tonight. It was decided that they would stick to the best-of-five policy, irrespective of the board from which the candidate had qualified.



Josan issue may rock Syndicate on July 31
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 25
Though it did not figure on the agenda received by Panjab University syndicate members today, BC Josan’s request asking university to revoke his suspension is expected to storm the syndicate meeting scheduled on July 31.

Even as PU registrar AK Bhandari claims to be seeking a legal opinion over exercising his powers of revoking Josan’s suspension, members have already chalked out the agenda for the same.

“It is the most important issue at this moment. It will not only decide Josan’s fate but also set a precedent for future issues like use of special powers by PU officials, stature of affiliated college managements and combating issues of corruption. The members are surely divided on the issue but most of us agree that Josan has been a scapegoat and we wish to discuss the matter in detail in syndicate meeting,” said a syndicate member.

Course in social work

It has been proposed to start a five-year inter-disciplinary integrated course in social work from this session. If approved, this will initially have 20 seats to offer and admissions will be on merit basis. It is the second 5-year course to be introduced in Panjab University’s ART department, with one such course already being run in the department of economics.

Work experience issue

In what has surprised many, Panjab University, which failed to find a competent candidate for the post of Director, Public Relations, even after repeated interviews and re-advertising the post, has proposed to increase the requisite work experience from five years to eight years, following a committee’s recommendations.



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