C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police rejects plaints panel order
Declares it null and void; Absolves SI found guilty of adopting delaying tactics
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
In a dramatic turn of events, the UT Police has rejected an order passed by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in which the latter had recommended the suspension of a sub-inspector (SI) who was found guilty of adopting delaying tactics while arresting an accused.

The UT Police, while nullifying the order following a departmental inquiry, has given a clean chit to the SI and observed that “he is not guilty of any charge”. The police order marks a complete reversal of the order passed by the PCA in March this year.

The PCA, which recommended the suspension, comprised Justice (retd) NK Agrawal (chairman) and members Kanwaljit Singh, a retired IPS officer and Joyshri Lobo.

The development raises a question mark on the efficacy of the PCA, which was constituted by the UT Administration last year on orders of the Supreme Court.

Documents procured under the RTI filed by Tribune reveal that while the PCA held SI Kuldip Singh guilty of gross misconduct and held that he had spoiled the case, a subsequent departmental inquiry conducted by DSP Jagbir Singh absolved 
the SI.

The case

Divya Yadav, a Sector 46 resident, had filed a case against her husband Hemant Kumar Yadav and her in-laws with the Woman and Child Support Unit of the Chandigarh police. While she moved a complaint of torture, dowry demand and harassment in June 2009, her case was registered only in November that year after a delay of five months and 12 days.

The accused is absconding and was recently declared a proclaimed offender by the court.

She alleged that the investigating officer SI Kuldip Singh issued summons to the accused and raided his house when it was found that the accused was not residing at the given address in Noida. Divya alleged that the SI used to pass information to the accused prior to the raid and, thus, could never be arrested as he would always manage to flee in advance.

“The SI gave every opportunity to the accused to flee. Every time the accused got to know beforehand that the police party would be raiding his residence, he used to abscond,” she alleged.

PCA a toothless tiger?

While the case has made PCA a toothless tiger, experts blame it on the lacunae in law under which the PCA is constituted. “As per the law, orders of the PCA shall ordinarily be binding, unless for the reasons to be recorded in writing, the Administration decides to disagree with the findings of the Authority,” states the order by the UT Administration at the time of constituting the PCA.

Complainant harassed, loses all hope

“When the PCA had accused the SI of adopting delaying tactics, how can he be absolved? This shows that the PCA has no powers and that the police is supreme. When I went with my complaint to the in charge of the women cell, Superintendent of Police RS Ghumman told me that nothing would happen to them and that there was no police officer in India who was not facing a corruption charge. I went to the PCA with some hope but after a year of facing harassment, the case has still not moved,” said Divya Yadav’s brother Hemant. He also said that the police went on raids on his expenditure and the investigating officer used to always inform the accused beforehand.

Police Complaints Authority vs UT Police: Contradictory findings Findings of the Police Complaints Authority (March 1)

Sub Inspector Kuldip Singh has distorted and spoiled the case. His dubious motive is evident beyond doubt.

He sent false notices knowing fully well that the accused persons were not staying there, failed to pursue the case with the help of the clearest clues which were available from time to time. 

The investigating officer was well aware of the presence of the accused in Noida. It was gross negligence on his part that he failed to arrest the accused and let them abscond.

Findings of police departmental inquiry by DSP Jagbir Singh (June 24)

There is no lapse and malafide intention of SI Kuldip Singh to keep the matter pending deliberately.

All sincere efforts were made by the SI to trace out the alleged party. A police party accompanied by the complainant conducted raids at Noida, but no clue came to light.

SI not guilty; did not waste time; had initiated the inquiry and submitted a report with the recommendation of registering a case. A Proclaimed Offender challan was put in court. 



City-A’sar Duronto from tomorrow
Anxious moments for public as Northern Railway to declare fares today
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
With less than two days left for the maiden journey of the much-awaited Duronto Express between Chandigarh and the holy city Amritsar, the Northern Railway (NR) officials are yet to decide the fare of the journey, resulting in many aspiring passengers returning home without getting their tickets booked at the Chandigarh railway station today. The fare of the journey would be posted on the railway website by tomorrow.

It would be the first train to connect the holy city Amritsar with the state capital of Chandigarh. Earlier experiment by the Railways to run a direct train between Chandigarh and Amritsar via Ambala elicited poor public response due to long travelling distance.

The train, after leaving Amritsar at 5.25 am, would chug into the Chandigarh railway station at 9.30 am after covering a distance of about 260 km.

The train to be run for five days every week will have 14 coaches for passengers, including two air-conditioned chair cars. “The train will run five days except Friday and Sunday every week and start at 7 pm from Chandigarh to reach Amritsar at 11.15 pm,” said Praveen Kumar, station master at Chandigarh railway station.

The Railways chief public relations officer SK Sharma said the fares for the train would be uploaded on the website of the railways before noon tomorrow after which the passengers can make their bookings. “The delay in calculating the fare was due to three holidays,” said Sharma.

The train on its route will take an operational halt for power energy reversal (an exercise to change the locomotive) at Sirhind before resuming its non-stop journey through Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Beas. The passengers will be served breakfast and dinner during the journey the cost of which will be included in the fare.

Route of Duronto

Chandigarh-Mohali-Kharar-New Morinda-Sirhind-Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Beas-Amritsar

Schedule of train

Departure from Chandigarh 7 pm

Arrival at Amrisar 11.15 pm

Departure from Amritsar 5.25 am

Arrival at Chandigarh 9.30 am


First train to connect holy city Amritsar with Chandigarh

To be a non-stop train

To be run for five days a week

To have 14 coaches, including two AC chair cars

I go to Amritsar along with my family and many relatives three or four times every year by car to visit Harmandar Sahib. The Duronto will make our journey more comfortable.Dr Kuldip Singh Sachdeva, Chandigarh

This train will make the visit to the holy city easy and comfortable for the residents of the tricity. However, the morning hours of departure of the train from Chandigarh would have been a better decision. — Kiran Kapoor, Panchkula

I have to visit Amritsar at least thrice a month for my business purposes. The train will prove beneficial for several others like me. — Subhash Bhasin, Chandigarh

I used to find it difficult sparing time from busy schedule to visit the holy city of Amritsar. But through Duronto, I can reach Harmandar Sahib in night and after paying obeisance can return in morning as well. — Jagbir Singh, Chandigarh



Visa fraud victims hit dead end to reclaim money
After Healthyway, it’s the turn of Jet Placement Services to face wrath of job seekers
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 22
Unable to find a job in the country despite being an MBA from Punjab Technical University, Hardeep, a Patiala resident, took out a loan of Rs 2 lakh from a “commission agent” to pay a Mohali-based firm, Jet International Placement Services, to get a work permit for Switzerland. However, his dream was shattered when he read in newspapers about several cases of fraud being slapped against the firm’s proprietors.

“I was twice told by company officials that my money would be refunded and on three separate occasions I was given dates to come and collect it. But today (Monday) I found the firm’s office locked with no none around to respond to my queries”, said Hardeep, who had come along with his friends. The latter had also paid anything between Rs 40,000 and Rs 3 lakh to the firm to obtain work visas for Canada and other countries.

Meanwhile, in belated action, the local police has so far filed over 30 cases of cheating against the firm’s owners, Deepak Arora and Karandeep Singh, for failing to arrange work permits for their clients. Both are currently absconding. Another victim, Harmandeep of Sodan Kalan village in Moga district, who also came to Mohali looking for company officials, said he had paid Rs 1 lakh to Jet Point Immigration Consultancy Services, another firm owned by the proprietors of Jet International Placement Services, to get a Canadian work visa.

As the day progressed, a number of people whom the firm had allegedly cheated, and who had come from all over Punjab, began gathering outside the firm’s Phase 5 office to get back their money. All had been given the date of August 22 to get their refunds, but when they turned up at the firm’s office they found the doors locked and the proprietors nowhere in sight. “When we went to the police we were told our money would be recovered once the suspects were arrested”, said Kulwant Singh from Amritsar, one of the fraud victims.

The police said the employees were interrogated about the procedure that was followed by the firm while processing a large number of visa applications. They were also questioned about the agents involved and the reasons as to why visas of their clients were being rejected.

“The questioning was done to gather details about the exact modus operandi adopted by the accused and to obtain the identity of all those who formed part of the conspiracy. The employees were basically involved in bringing clients and convincing them to process their applications for migration overseas,” said Joshi.

Besides, the police also recovered a number of documents from the Sector 42 office of the company, including passports and visa applications.

A police team has been sent to all 14 banks in the region, which are under the scanner for conniving with the accused while opening fake bank accounts of their clients. The fake accounts were opened to enable the clients to fulfill requirements laid down by various high commissions/ embassies to qualify for a visa considering that the applicants were required to show that they had sufficient funds in their banks while applying for student visas. The police said they would be sending a letter to the Protector of Immigrants office tomorrow seeking blacklisting of the firm.

The FIR, registered at the Sector 36 police station, has named firm employees Kuldeep and Seema Dogra among others.

When we insisted our money be returned, we were threatened by bouncers engaged by the firm. — Pavitar SinghThe police was swift to apprehend one of the angry victims who carted away computers at the firm’s office, but failed to arrest Deepak Arora and Karandeep Singh, the company’s proprietors. — Gurdeep Kaur

}When we went to the police, we were told our money would be recovered once the suspects were arrested. — Kulwant Singh

I paid Rs 1 lakh to Jet Point Immigration Consultancy, another firm owned by the proprietors of Jet International Placement, to get a Canadian visa. — Harmandeep Singh

‘Modus operandi’ adopted by firm

First hand accounts given by the fraud victims reveal that to win over the confidence of visa seekers, the firm not only released advertisements on TV channels and billboards but also signed an advisory services agreement with the visa seekers on stamp paper to lend credibility to the exercise. On the receipts of fees the company officials specifically mentioned “If this work is not done this amount is totally refundable”.

Sukhdev Singh from Patiala, one of the fraud victims, said the firm used to ask for anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 4 lakh as “token” money to process a case for a work visa. Most victims returned to get a refund after paying the token money as the visas could not be arranged. “When we insisted our money be returned we were threatened by bouncers engaged by the firm”, said Pavitar Singh.

Cops accused of conniving with firm

The gullible visa seekers who gathered at the firm’s Phase 5 office in Mohali accused the local police of failing to take action on their complaints that had been filed since January this year, giving ample time to the firm’s owners to swindle them of crores of rupees. Citing just one instance, Gurdeep Kaur, one of the fraud victims, claimed: “The police was swift to apprehend one of the angry victims who carted away computers at the firm’s office, but failed to arrest Deepak Arora and Karandeep Singh, the company’s proprietors. The cops have now suddenly woken up and have filed over 30 cases while the criminals have slipped away with our money. If the Chandigarh police can arrest the owner of Healthyway Immigration Consultants Pvt. Ltd, another firm that allegedly duped visa seekers, the Mohali police has ample resources at its command to track down the owners of Jet International Placement Services”. 


Streetlights? Mere dark poles on the street
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The UT Administration’s step-motherly treatment towards southern sectors of Chandigarh is not new. However, the intensity of ignorance on the part of the MC and the administration can be gauged from the fact that the authorities have failed to solve the problem of non-functional streetlights on the road connecting Sector 52 to sector 51 for the past four years.

The Resident Welfare Society (RWS) has been continuously highlighting the problem and even wrote to Pardip Mehra, former Adviser to the UT Administrator, but the one-kilometer stretch is still in dark making it tough for the commuters and area residents during night.

The sectors bordering Mohali that were developed a decade ago are still crying for basic amenities.

President of the RWA KL Banga said that since the past four years, area residents are facing the problem of non-functional streetlights.

Banga said: “The MC claims that some anti-social elements cut the wires of streetlights that leads to darkness in the area. They claim that the solution to the problem is connecting the poles with wires above streetlights, which they say is the responsibility of the administration. The MC says we should contact the UT Administration, but both have failed to fix the problem.”

Banga added that they had approached the former Adviser in September 2007, bit in vain. “We have approached the successive Mayors of the MC in last four years. However, the problem still persists,” he added.

The issue was also taken up by the RWS in a recent meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC) held with MC Commissioner Prerna Puri and chief engineer SS Bida on July 27, but nothing has been done to resolve the problem, said Banga.

Anil Sood, another Sector 52-resident, said it’s unsafe to drive on road during night in the absence of streetlights. “As soon it gets dark, its unsafe to drive on the road even in a four-wheeler,” Sood said. 



MC conveniently forgets pending projects
Yet to complete work on roads, overbridges started months ago
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Ignoring public inconvenience, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is working at a snail’s pace in completing the repair works of roads and bridges in the city.

The classic example of this is the construction work of the overbridge in Mani Majra near Uppal housing project, which is awaiting completion for the past seven months. MC records reveal that the work had commenced in December 2010, but due to some differences with the contractor, the work was withdrawn twice resulting in its delay.

“It’s strange that instead of taking any action against the contractor who delays the work, the authorities are forcing people to face inconvenience,” said a shopkeeper of Mani Majra.

Residents of Mani Majra alleged that the MC top brass and politicians visited at site a number of times and assured that the work would be completed, but in vain.

Another example of the “lackadaisical” attitude of the authorities is the construction work of the concrete road in Industrial Area, Phase I, under the railway overbridge. The road was blocked around four months ago to lay a concrete road as the normal road was washed away due to waterlogging.

MC sources said that earlier the railway authorities had not given permission for undertaking the work and later the MC had to call tenders four times as no contractor turned up for taking the work.

When contacted, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said by the end of this month, the work of both the projects would be completed. Interestingly, last month also, he had assured that by the first week of July, the work of the overbridge at Mani Majra would be completed and by July 15, the construction work of the concrete road in Industrial Araa would be accomplished.

Similar is the story of the bridge road in Sector 36 near MCM College, which was dug up about seven months ago for re-carpeting. However, except barricading the road to block the movement of the public, nothing concrete is been done by the authorities to speed up its completion. As a result, daily commuters have to take long route to reach their destination. 



UT master plan likely to miss another deadline
Committee yet to submit suggestions
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
With the secretaries’ committee formed in June this year to make recommendations for the Chandigarh master plan yet to submit its suggestions, the draft master plan for the UT is set to miss another deadline of September 2011.

This would be the third time that the UT Administration would miss the deadline having earlier missed the December 31, 2010, and March 31, 2011, deadlines. The secretaries’ panel was expected to submit its recommendations by August 15.

A meeting under the chairmanship of Union Urban Development Secretary Naveen Kumar held here on June 29 had constituted a committee comprising urban development secretaries of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana to make recommendations in the master plan. The recommendations were to be incorporated in the Chandigarh master plan with a view to check haphazard construction in the city and its periphery.

Official sources said in the absence of concrete suggestions from the secretaries’ panel, the preparation of the master plan would be delayed.

The issue of haphazard constructions in the areas falling in Punjab and Haryana and adjoining the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary had assumed importance with certain big realtors coming up with mega residential projects. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given time to the UT Administration till September 2011 to formulate the city’s master plan.

While Chandigarh has a low-rise character, the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana have high-rise buildings with the elected government “succumbing” to populist decisions. The recent construction activity in Chandigarh’s periphery in the Sukhna Lake’s vicinity had reportedly posed a threat to lake’s fragile ecology and Chandigarh’s character. 

Checking haphazard construction

Besides checking haphazard constructions in and around the city, particularly the fragile Sukhna Lake, the committee was to make recommendations regarding coordinated development of the areas falling in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.



Littered garbage, broken streetlights — Call it amenities?
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 22
Heaps of garbage, encroachments on roads by ragpickers, potholed roads and broken streetlights have become a bane of Sector-9 residents.

VK Singla, president of Panchkula Residents Welfare Association, Sector 9, said they had approached almost all officials concerned, including those of Haryana Urban Development Authority and municipal council, in this regard, but to no avail.

“After failing to get any response, we went to the Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar’s office twice to apprise her of our plight, but had to return empty-handed as she remained busy in meetings,” said Singla.

While residents living in kanal houses have to bear the stench emanating from piled-up garbage at the rear end of showrooms, the road remains occupied by ragpickers.

Ragpickers’ families, including small children, keep squatting on the road throughout the day, making it difficult for motorists to use it. Some even take bath in the open, turning the area into a pool.

The two dustbins lying nearby have proved insufficient to contain garbage, which often gets littered, inviting stray animals to have a feast.

While there is no dearth of such nuisance in the sector, no development work has been carried out there for several years, claimed LL Joshi, a local resident.

A new building constructed to house a dispensary last year has been lying abandoned for want of a doctor or adequate infrastructure, he said.

Similarly, no attention had been paid to the maintenance of a community centre building that is in a shambles, he added.

Over 25 per cent streetlights are out of order but the authorities concerned choose to look the other way, says AP Gupta, another resident.

While Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar could not be reached, municipal council executive officer KK Jain said the contract of the old contractor had expired and the streetlights would be repaired once the commissioner to the recently declared Panchkula Municipal Corporation was appointed.



Residents speak
‘Tired of official apathy’

I have brought these issues to the notice of the local MLA, besides others. I have got tired of their apathetic attitude. — Jalmegha Dahiya, Local councillor

The authorities initiate work on the repair of roads just before the rainy season and suspend it midway on the pretext of rain. They never resume it once the rainy season is over. —VK Singla, president, Sector 7 Residents Welfare Association

Over 25 per cent streetlights in the sector have been lying out of order. However, the authorities are hard to find —AP Gupta, a resident

No development work has been carried out in Sector 9 for years. I wonder what the authorities have been bragging about? — LL Joshi, a resident



UT mulls geriatrics clinics 
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Waking upto the special healthcare needs of senior citizens, the UT Health Department has proposed two geriatrics clinics exclusively for senior citizen at the community health centre (CHC) in Sector 22 and Mani Majra under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The project will cost Rs 30 lakh and the UT Administration has sought funds for the same.

Confirming the move, nodal officer of NRHM Dr Sangeeta said: “Elderly people need more care, support and investigations for comparable levels of diagnostic accuracy. They need different dosages of medicines as their drug interaction varies. These clinics will provide comprehensive care to the elderly.”

According to a study “Health problems and loneliness among the elderly in Chandigarh” conducted by the department of community medicine, PGI, with a sample of 361 people above 65 years, it was found that loneliness was prevalent more in females (72.8 per cent) as compared to males (65.6 per cent).

It was also observed that hypertension was the most prevalent condition and it was significantly more in females (46.4 per cent) than in males (34.9 per cent). Also, diabetes mellitus was significantly more in females (18 per cent) than in males (6.4 per cent).

Explaining the project details, UT health officials said that separate counters would be established for registration with separate boards mentioning the services provided with room number. Services of eye specialists, dentist, dietician, physiotherapist, AYUSH doctors, and yoga instructor would be utilised from the existing manpower posted at the CHCs.

The implementation of proposed activities will benefit the elderly in terms of general, physical and mental health. Dietary advice and benefits of yoga will also be provided to the elderly, said health officials. 



600 families await GMADA’s response on relocation
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, August 22
Around 600 families of the local Ambedkar Colony are still awaiting GMADA’s response on the issue of their rehabilitation. Five months have elapsed since the Zirakpur municipal council had approached GMADA for the rehabilitation of the colony located on the Zirakpur-Kalka Highway, but the latter is yet to reply back on the issue.

An MC official said the department had not received any response from GMADA. He said the council had written to GMADA in March to provide them with a piece of land and construct houses offering basic facilities.

Area councillor Sham Lal urged MC president NK Sharma and Banur MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny to provide the colony with the basic amenities, the official added.

He said the colony would be set up under the slum rehabilitation project of the government after a proposal was mooted by GMADA.

According to sources, the colony came up on a piece of land owned by Northern Railway around 40 years ago. The railway authorities had issued 255 notices to squatters who had encroached upon its land at Dhakoli village.

An official in the railways said the encroachers had been told to appear before the railway authorities before August 27 to give their reply on the issue.

Ward No. 2 councillor Sham Lal said Ambedkar Colony residents were still waiting for basic amenities like proper road, sewerage and drinking water.

“We have not received any facility from the council. Officials contend that they are not authorised to do so, as the colony has been set up on land belonging to the railways,” he added.

The railway authorities had sent notices to the residents and asked them to appear before them on August 27, he added.

He urged that the local administration to provide them with a piece of land or construct houses for families living in the colony for the past 40 years.

No reply in 5 months

The Zirakpur municipal council had written to GMADA in March to provide them with a piece of land and construct houses offering basic facilities to rehabilitate Ambedkar Colony residents. The council has failed to receive any response from GMADA so far.



Industrialists celebrate Teej
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 22
Members of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) celebrated the Teej festival with enthusiasm at MIA Bhawan here yesterday. The programme was inaugurated by SP (City II) Sunita Rani.

Association president KS Mahal said the programme was organised to strengthen the ties among members and their families. Women and children participated in competitions like cultural song and poetry recitation, bhangra and giddha. A needle and thread competition, along with “gitiyan” and “peecho” contest, was also held.

The cultural heritage of Punjab was brought into focus and an effort was made to brush up the cultural knowledge of members. Sunita Rani distributed certificates and mementoes among participants.



Inspired principal talks Anna
Activists protest near residence of local MP
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
He was not standing in a group or raising slogans, but he conveyed his message to the commuters passing by him by holding a Tricolour in one hand and an umbrella and a poster of Anna Hazare in another.

Raj Krishan, who claims to be the principal of Government Senior Secondary School at Patta Mehlog in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, has adopted a unique method to support Anna Hazare in his ongoing nationwide movement against corruption by standing alone on the Matka Chowk with a Tricolour in his hand.

Not only he, but many other supporters of the “anti-corruption campaign” after showing their agitation in city beautiful from past many days held a protest in front of the residence of Union Minister and Member Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal at sector 28, today.

“We will hold a peaceful protest. After every 15 minutes, one of our protestors will go to the minister’s house and handover a copy of our draft of the Lokpal bill. We will now shift our protest to the greenbelt area till the time he expresses his views,” said a protester.

After BJP senior leader LK Advani demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister, former MP from the city Satya Pal Jain said at a rally in Dadu Majra: “The PM should visit the Ram Lila Maidan and get Anna Hazare fast ended by assuring the acceptance of the bill.”

Another leader Harmohan Dhawan also decided to sit on a fast in front of the MP’s house from tomorrow with the general public. 



Prohibitory orders near PM, ministers’ homes in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
With the UT administration imposing section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Chandigarh on Monday, the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and central ministers hailing from the city will be out of bounds for supporters of social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

The administration banned assembly of five or more people, taking out processions, making speeches, raising slogans and carrying of ‘lathis’ (sticks) within a 200 metre radius of Manmohan’s home (#727 Sector 11A) as well as those of ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal (#64 Sector 28A),Kapil Sibal(#29 Sector 5), Ambika Soni(#79 Sector 9A) and member of Parliament Munish Tiwari (#207 Sector 19A) for a period of four days till August 25.

However, the prohibitory order will not apply to the police, paramilitary or defence personnel or any other government employee on official duty. Others will have to obtain prior permission in writing from the district magistrate/subdivisional magistrate, Chandigarh, for holding processions or meetings. 



College elections have no real issues
Elected representatives have hardly any power, say student leaders
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
With no real issues of benefit to the student community and in the absence of any real authority in terms of participation in college affairs, student politics in city colleges has been more about violence than vibrancy in the past several years.

Barring demands related to infrastructure like installing more water coolers and fans, proper furniture and attendance-related issues, there has not been a single constructive issue highlighted by student leaders in city colleges or by nominated student council members in the past one year.

However, on the flipside, when it comes to violence, more than a dozen incidents have been observed where the involvement of college student leaders has been found.

Outside the DAV College, Sector 10, alone, about four or five minor incidents have been reported in the past one month alone. In the past, college campuses have witnessed exchange of blows and use of hockey sticks and swords.

This year, elections are likely to be held at GGDSD College, Sector 32, Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sectors 42 and 11, Postgraduate Government College, Sectors 46 and 11, DAV College, Sector 10, SGGS College and GGSCW, Sector 26.

Choosing a candidate unanimously will naturally be an ideal situation for the colleges towards avoiding election-related violence and disruption of academic environment.

At colleges, including Government Home Science College, Sector 10, Government Arts College, Sector 10, and MCM DAV College, a unanimous student council has been elected on most occasions.

Even as the vibrancy of student elections has been missing in colleges compared to the Panjab University (PU) campus. College student politics is more about hostel or infrastructure issues.

In colleges, including Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, local parties like Khalsa College Students Union (KCSU) and Khalsa Hostel Students Union (KHSU), have been dominating student politics.

Even popular student organisations at Panjab University, including Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), have been rendering indirect support to local or in-house student parties in such colleges in the past elections.

There are certain other colleges, including GGDSD, Sector 32, where in-house student organisations like SD Hostels Union (SDHU) and SD College Union (SDCU) have had a strong hold in the past few years despite the presence of prominent student parities of the PU.

‘Representatives toothless’

A major concern of student leaders in colleges is the lack of authority given to the student council members.

}College student leaders learn most things from Panjab University leaders and draw a clue of issues from there. But in most colleges, not even an office is given to student council representatives. The representatives themselves feel that they are more of a rubber stamp. The media has never highlighted the issues of colleges or of elections in colleges Amit Bhatia, former president, Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC)

Past trends

At SGGS, Sector 26, PUSU is likely to field its own candidate this year, although in-house student organisations, which have had PUSU and SOPU support in the past, being have been dominant. At Guru Gobind Sinch College for Women, Sector 26, KHSU has been in power. At DAV College, Sector 10, the PUSU candidate won the previous year, although the presence of a number of relatively new parties had been witnessed in the past two years. The last student council at the GGDSD, Sector 32, was being supported by SOPU, although the college accepted nominations of students as individuals and not as party members.

Poll-time violence

Saying on the condition of anonymity, certain student leaders active in city colleges have revealed that the main accused in recent cases of violence, particularly those from DAV College, Sector 10, have either been arrested or are absconding. The situation is the same for members of both major student organisations, SOPU and PUSU.

Poll only in name’

Students in local colleges are more concerned about academics. They do not want to risk their future by getting involved in violent activities. Even those students spotted with PU leaders are cautioned by the authorities. Paramjeet Singh Baath (Pamma), PUSU chairman, Chandigarh colleges

In colleges, most students are school passouts. Students doing graduation are not mature enough to get involved in politics or to understand how they can contribute to the student community. In colleges, students are scared of violence. They feel that student politics is just about violence and not issues. Manoj Lubana (Mauji), SOPU supporter

The PU elections are contested on the basis of pomp and show. In colleges, the party which advertises itself well wins. If you look at the situation in city colleges, elections are not true. There is no authority with student representatives to bring about a change or to put across students’ concern to the authorities. Somanshu, ABVP supporter, DAV College, Sector 10

An all-boys affair

In the past five years, college elections in the city have been primarily an all-boys affair. The vibrancy found in co-educational institutes in the city prior to elections and during the time of the poll is missing in all-girls colleges. If one goes by past trends, girl students seem completely uninterested in elections.



Fervour marks Janamashtami
St Paul’s International School

Janamashtami was celebrated at St Paul’s International School, Phase VI, Mohali, with fervour and enthusiasm. Tiny tots dressed up as Radhas and Krishnas presented ‘raaslila’. The whole premises echoed with chanting of ‘Hare Rama- Hare Krishna’. School principal Alka Mahajan exhorted the students to follow the philosophy of Gita.

Gian Jyoti Global School

Tiny tots at Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase 2, Mohali, celebrated Janamashtami with great fervour. Teachers and students performed ‘aarti’ and ‘puja’. Mannan and Khushi from pre-nursery played Krishna and Radha on the stage .The students were told about the significance of the day and they were shown a 45 minute movie Krishna on plasma screen which depicted the brief life history of Lord Krishna, specially covering his childhood.

Century Public School

Century Public School, Naya Gaon, celebrated Janamashtami on school premises on Monday. Various competitions such as fancy dress competition, mataki decoration, dandia stick competition were organised. Students of 
pre-primary came to school dressed as Radha and Krishana.

DPS, Ambala

DPS Ambala celebrated Janamashtami with fanfare. Students enacted various scenes from the life of Lord Krishna and the message of good prevailing over evil was spread. A group also performed a classical ‘bandish’ titled ‘Beg Darasdo Krishna Murari’.

Swami Ram Tirtha

The festival of Janmashtami was celebrated with great fervour, enthusiasm and gaiety at Swami Ram Tirtha Senior Secondary Smart School. The entire celebration had a celestial feel as it revolved around Lord Krishna and the children attired in colourful costumes depicted the ‘rasleela’ with their scintillating dances. The spectators were mesmerised with glimpse of the richness of a gamut of vibrant folklores. Director Sujata Sharma and principal Kiran Bhandari congratulated the participants for an amazing blend of innocence and perfection.

Sant Isher Singh

Sant Isher Singh Public School celebrated Janamashtami on the school premises. Students of both the senior section and the junior section took part in the celebration enthusiastically. Beautiful plateaus were erected and decorated beautifully in the theme display area of the school, showcasing the glimpse of Lord Krishna’s birth and life. Tiny tots of pre-nursery to KG were exhilarated in their Radha-Krishna attire. The senior schoolgirls of class VIII presented a dance on “Maiyaa Yashoda”.

Gem Public School

Janamashtami was celebrated with enthusiasm by the tiny tots of the Gem Public School. Children clad in Radha-Krishan’s attire, visited the nearby Laxmi-Narayan Temple. They were told the importance of the festival. Teachers related some famous legends about the childhood of Lord Krishna. Principal Divjot Kaur gave her best wishes to the children.

St Soldier’s, Mohali

Tiny tots dressed as Krishna, Radha, gopis and gwalas floored the audience as St Soldier’s, Mohali. Students performed ‘raasleela’ in the junior assembly. The activity in-charge, Deepa Sood, apprised the children about the birth and childhood of Lord Krishna. Principal V Tiwana conducted an interesting quiz comprising questions related to the family and birthplace of Lord Krishna. — TNS



Chandigarh scan
Appeal to PM

The All-India in charge of the legal & legislative cell of the BJP and former MP from Chandigarh Satya Pal Jain has urged the Prime Minister that it would be better if he personally visits Anna Hazare at the Ram Lila Maidan and asks him to end his fast by assuring the acceptance of the demand of a strong Lokpal Bill. Jain was addressing a gathering of residents in Daddu Majra during a protest organised after a padyatra by Mandal No. 6 of the BJP in support of the Anna Hazare movement.


The following have been elected office-bearers to the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 19-D. President BS Gill, senior vice-president NS Bhatti, general secretary Ajay Gupta, secretary Manbir Singh and treasurer Atul Mahajan.

CAs get degrees

Chartered accountants are capable enough not just to fight the economic downturn, but also guide the world on how to come out of it, said Governor of Haryana Jagannath Pahadia during the conferment of degrees to newly enrolled members of the northern region of the ICAI.


The two-day national homoeopathic conference was organised by the Hahnemanian Education and Research Forum (HERF) at Punjab Kala Bhawan. Senior Homoeopath Dr JBD Castro inaugurated the conference. He appreciated the role of the HERF in spreading the message of right homoeopathy. Dr Surmeet Mavi spoke on the role of homoeopathy in congenital and other challenged cases like mental retardation and cerebral palsy.

Sadbhavana divas

The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) on Sunday organised a “sadbhavana divas” to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the Rajiv Gandhi Congress Bhavan. Addressing workers, CTCC president BB Bahl said that Rajiv Gandhi dreamt of a strong, independent and self-reliant India. Other present on the occasion included Rampal Sharma, DD Jindal, JN Shastri, Gurbachan Singh, Pardeep Chhabra and Surinder Singh, besides others.

Trade unions merge

The Punjab and Chandigarh council of the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) declared its merger with CITU here on Monday. Raghunath Singh, state secretary of the CITU, termed the merger as a turning point in the history of the working class.

Mohali scan

Senior citizens’ elections

In the second elections of the governing body of Mohali Senior Citizens’ Association held at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali, the following have been elected office-bearers: President HS Mand, vice-president JS Thukral and executive members JS Chadha, Rakesh Koshal, IJS Sidhu, Jaipal Sethi and Mewa Singh.


The final year students of the Quest Group of Institutions, Mohali, brought laurels to the college by securing high percentile in MBA. Students on an average secured 82 per cent beating most of the students in the region. Harinder Kanda, vice-chairman congratulated teachers and students for their hard work, consistency and determination, which played a vital role in the success.

Panchkula scan


KD Sharma was elected as the president of the Panchkula Consumer’s Forum here on Monday. Other office-bearers of the forum elected include senior vice-presidents Vinod Kapoor and P K Bhandari, vice-presidents SS Gill and HG Chhabra. Ravinderr Prashad and GD Madhu were elected general secretary and finance secretary, respectively, of the forum. — TNS



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