C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC elections
Bigwigs wobble as poll panel reserves 12 wards
Affected Cong, BJP-SAD councillors scout for new turf
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The delimitation of wards of the municipal corporation, finalised today by the State Election Commission for the fourth term of the civic body, has dealt a major blow to the political ambitions of many sitting councillors, especially those of the ruling Congress.

Of the 12 wards reserved, seven have been set aside for women candidates, while five have been booked for SC women candidates. The remainder of the wards have been declared as general wards.

A number of wards held by senior Congress leaders for two consecutive terms or more have now been reserved for women candidates.

With the change of ward No. 1 from general to reserved (women), the ruling group’s plans of fielding Chander Mukhi Sharma (who has won the elections from the ward for two consecutive terms) have been shattered.

Now, the party plans to field him from ward No. 2, currently held by Anu Chatrath, said sources in the party.

In another setback, ward No. 12, the bastion of Kuldeep Singh Kajehri, has been reserved for SC candidates.

The delimitation was finalised by the State Election Commission after a meeting between representatives of political parties.

Plans of another old warhorse of the Congress, Subash Chawla, to contest the election from ward No. 4 have run into rough weather, with the ward being reserved for women candidates.

The party sources said there were chances of Subhash Chawla now contesting the elections from ward No. 11.

In yet another setback for the ruling party, ward No. 21, currently represented by sitting Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh, has been reserved for a woman representative.

Similarly, ward No. 14, from where Congress councillor Vijay Rana fought the last election, has been reserved for women.

The main opposition party in the House, BJP-SAD alliance, has also suffered a dent with ward No. 9, represented by Jagjit Singh Kang who fought the mayoral elections this year after rebelling from the Congress, being set aside for women.

In case of ward No. 20, plans of the Congress and the BJP to field Lalit Joshi and Raj Kumari Mishra, respectively, have been derailed as the ward has been reserved for SC candidates.

Senior leader and former mayor Lalit Joshi’s candidature was rejected in the last election as she was holding the post of chairperson of the social welfare board.

Odds stacked against Congress

  • While the Congress has started the process of chalking out its strategy to field fresh candidates from the newly reserved wards, held by its bigwigs, the records of the 2006 MC elections suggest that the Congress lost all those wards where it had fielded new faces.



Admn reprieve for Deep Colony voters
Gives back voting rights to those living outside ‘lal dora’
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Residents living outside the “lal dora” in five villages and the Deep Complex area under the jurisdiction of the UT administration will now be allowed to cast their ballot in the forthcoming MC elections. This was communicated by the UT administration to the state election commission today. In a communication, the administration said provisions had been made by the authorities under which the residents would be allowed to cast their ballot in the MC elections.

The Tribune had today highlighted the plight of around 5,000 voters of Deep Complex, as they had been deprived of their voting rights in the MC elections for residing outside the “lal dora” falling within the purview of the administration and not the municipal corporation.

As per the records, the administration had transferred five villages to the MC in 2007, and in 2008, Deep Complex was de-notified and merged with Hallo Majra, which came under the MC.

In 2009, the administration again de-notified the transfer of the revenue land to the MC, bringing the residents living outside the “lal dora” back under the administration’s control.



cyber crime
UT police to dig into 10-yr-old case in 45 days!
High Court issues directions to complete investigation, file report
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A red-faced UT police, which has been unable to solve the first-ever case of cyber fraud registered in the city almost a decade ago, has now assured the Punjab and Haryana High Court of solving it within the next 45 days, well before the next hearing scheduled for December 19.

The assurance came in the wake of Justice Nawab Singh directing the UT police today to complete the investigation in the next 45 days and submit a report before the next hearing. Earlier, the police had sought 60 days time. The case has been hanging fire since 2001.

The case had invited the court’s wrath in the previous hearing in March, when the police was fined Rs 10,000 for a delay in filing a reply. The police failed to take action even after the court’s strictures.

The complainant in the case, OP Bhardawaj, had filed a petition in the High Court seeking transfer of the case to the CBI.

The courtroom witnessed heated arguments when the counsel for the petitioner requested that the case be transferred to the CBI, saying the police had failed to make any headway in the case.

The public prosecutor responded with the plea that investigations had been hampered because the previous investigating officer, Inspector Hardit Singh, had suffered a stroke.

The case is being currently investigated by Inspector Neeraj Sarna, in-charge of the Cyber Crime Cell.

The case was registered in September, 2001 after OP Bhardawaj complained against Mohan Goyal, the then managing director of Techno Noble Infoway Limited, a private company in Sector 17.

It was alleged that the accused had hacked into the server of his US-based concern, IGSP, and downloaded confidential documents from the file transfer protocol (FTP) site in the USA.

A subsequent report by an authorised computer expert body, Shared Resource Management (SRM) in USA, had stated in 2001 that it was evident that hacking had taken place and that Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited in Mumbai owned the IP addresses from where it had occurred. However, the police has so far been unable to get to the owners of these IP addresses or get a substantial lead in the case.

“The police role in the entire case is murky since it has not given information on whether it has sought any information from the VSNL, Mumbai, about the owner of the IP addresses used to hack into the FTP server in the USA. The police had first closed the case in 2002 without bothering to investigate it. The court refused to accept the closure report when it was reopened,” said Sanjay Majithia, counsel for the complainant.

With the police being given 45 days time, the cyber crime cell is facing a grave challenge of solving the case. The server of the company was hacked after at least 15,000 attempts by the accused company on August 25, 2001.

Police dragging feet

  • During the previous hearing in March, the court had imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the police for its delay in filing a reply. The police failed to take action even after the court’s strictures



Heroin, charas worth crores destroyed
In August, the NCB had destroyed nearly 4,000-kg poppy husk at the same incinerator in Mohali
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today destroyed 53 kg heroin and 271 kg charas, valuing crores of rupees in the international market, seized by it during various operations conducted over the past one and half decades. Besides, the NCB also decided to hand over 18 kg opium to a factory at Neemuch (MP) for medical use.

The contraband was destroyed at an incinerator, Rainbow Environment, in Mohali under senior NCB and police officials’ supervision.

Nearly 4,000-kg poppy husk seized by the NCB was burnt at the same incinerator in August.

A senior NCB official said: “The contraband destroyed today had been lying in the storage as case property since 1998. The material brought here is related to cases that have been disposed. Even the appeal period in these cases has lapsed,” said the official, adding that the destruction was being carried out on the orders of the court.

The officials said though a large quantity of drugs had been destroyed, a significant quantity relating to ongoing trials was in their possession. They, however, refused to divulge the details of the same.

The destruction was supervised by representatives from the excise and police departments.



Telecom war
BSNL refuses to budge
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Even three days after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ordered the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to restore inter-connectivity between its landline and mobile phones of private service operators, the latter is yet to comply with the same.

In a communiqué to the Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL New Delhi, on October 18, Arvind Kumar, Adviser (I&FN), TRAI, had directed the BSNL to “immediately restore all points of interconnection” disconnected by it and submit a compliance report by October 21.

Lack of connectivity of the BSNL landline phones with private service providers has created problems for local people who want to know about the welfare of their near and dear ones living in other parts of the country or abroad.

Gurdev Singh, a resident of Zirakpur and a retired central government employee, said he was unaware of the standoff between the BSNL and the private service providers when he tried to contact his wife, who was away to Rajpura to attend a function, on her cell phone. A neighbour later told him to contact her from a mobile phone, he said.

As most of the public-sector banks, government offices and life insurance companies have BSNL landline phones, people have been finding it hard to know the status of their work or accounts.

The BSNL has, however, allowed connectivity of cell phones to emergency services on fixed lines of the police, hospitals and fire and ambulance control rooms.

The TRAI order says: “Unavailability of interconnection between networks of service providers results in non-completion of calls, causes disruption of service and inconvenience to the subscribers of both the interconnecting service providers and leads to deterioration in the quality of service provided by the service provider and is against the interest of the consumers and service providers.”

“In exercise of the powers conferred upon the authority under section 13, read with sub-clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (v) and (vi) of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 11 of the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (24 of 1997) and in order to ensure compliance of terms and conditions of the Basic Telephone Service Licence and the Unified Access Service Licence, effective interconnection between service providers and to protect consumer interest and also keeping in view the aforesaid order of September 30 by the TDSAT, the authority hereby directs the BSNL to restore all points of interconnection disconnected by it in the Punjab service area immediately and report compliance latest by October 21.”

However, the BSNL authorities said they had not received the TRAI order. BSNL Punjab circle general manager Naresh Sharma said they were yet to receive any directions from the headquarters.

TRAI Directive

  • On October 18, the TRAI had directed the BSNL to “immediately restore all points of interconnection” disconnected by it and submit a compliance report by October 21



Police Commemoration Day
Police remembers its martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, October 21
“The police force reaffirms its resolve to keep fighting and keep winning. The force is being modernised to deal with criminals effectively,” said the Director General of Police, Ranjeev Dalal, here today. He was speaking at a state-level function organised at the Police Lines to mark the Police Commemoration Day.

Tributes were paid to the police martyrs who had laid down their lives while performing their duties. A two-minute silence was also observed in their memory.

Dalal along with senior police officers paid floral tributes to 635 police martyrs of various state police establishments and paramilitary forces of the country, including ASI Om Parkash of the Haryana Police, hailing from Palwal, who laid down their lives while maintaining law and order at various places in the country this year.

A contingent of 20 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), led by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Karam Singh, had shown indomitable courage while fighting the Chinese army at an altitude of 4,681 metres.

Ten soldiers of this contingent laid down their lives while protecting the motherland, while the rest were made prisoners in a wounded condition.

The then Prime Minister, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, had declared October 21 as the Police Commemoration Day in the honour of these brave martyrs of the country.

Fatehgarh Sahib: The district police organised a function to commemorate the sacrifice of police martyrs at the Police Lines here today. Sixteen families of martyrs from the district were honoured.

Deputy Commissioner Yashveer Mahajan was the chief guest, while SSP RS Khatra presided over the function.

The Deputy Commissioner said the brave jawans and officers of the state police had faced terrorism with valour. It was their duty to extend help to those families who had lost their breadwinners while serving the nation, he added.

He called upon NGOs to come forward and assist such families.

The SSP said the district police and the administration had issued instructions to their staff and officials to sort out the problems of martyrs’ families on a priority basis.

He added that medical, educational and other facilities were being provided to these families from time to time.

Chandigarh: A commemoration parade was held at Home Guards ground near the Sector 17 police station in memory of policemen, who laid down their lives for the nation. Contingents of the Chandigarh Police and Punjab Police participated in the parade and paid homage by reversing arms.

PK Srivastava, UT Inspector General of Police, read out the names of 638 officers and Jawans, who lost their valuable lives last year.

The IGP lauded the sacrifice of these martyrs, who lost their lives, while protecting the security and integrity of the country and paid homage to these martyrs, by laying wreath on the memorial in the lawns of the Sector 17 police station. Other officers of police and para-military forces, serving as well as retired, followed him in paying the homage.

Police Commemoration Day is being observed since 1959, when a small contingent of Indian Police was attacked by Chinese troops as a result, 10 Jawans were killed. The day is observed in all states on October 21 and homage is paid to those valiant officers and men of police forces and para-military forces in the country, who laid down their lives, so that others could live. The names of officers, who made the supreme sacrifice, are read out at the commemoration parade.



Public information officer fined Rs 5,000
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
Disposing of an appeal that will have an impact on the practice of harassing applicants seeking information under the Right to Information Act, the State Information Commission, Haryana, has asked the Financial Commissioner and principal secretary of the Revenue Department to conduct a time-bound inquiry into the three contradictory statements that were made to an applicant by Panchkula tehsildar.

The commission has also asked the state public information officer (SPIO), Panchkula, to pay Rs 5,000 to appellant for the harassment he had suffered in his efforts to get information.

It was on June 18 last year that Parmanand, a resident of Panchkula, sought information filing an application with five queries. This information was furnished by Panchkula SPIO-cum-tehsildar on July 14. Parmanad, however, got another reply on July 30 containing the information contrary to what was furnished through the first reply. The applicant filed an appeal in this regard on August 19 with the first appellate authority who disposed of the same with orders directing the SPIO to furnish correct and complete information to Parmanand within two days. Parmanand then filed a second appeal on November 8.

During the hearing of case, Parmanand submitted that he had filed a complaint in 2006 with Lokayukta, Haryana, for action against Gulwant Singh Virk, the then tehsildar of Panchkula, regarding alleged fraudulent registration of sale deeds and he sought factual information in this regard. The first reply dated July 14 by SPIO was material evidence incriminating Virk, who at present is the District Revenue Officer, Panchkula, submitted Parmanand.

Virk, who was present during the hearing on July 20, 2010, however informed the Lokayukta that the information furnished by tehsildar was wrong.

Parmanand while submitting before the commission alleged that in order to save the skin of the accused, SPIO-cum-tehsildar, Panchkula, sent another communication on July 30, which was totally contradictory to the one that was sent earlier.



MC elections: BSP announces candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A few hours after the draw of lots for wards, the BSP was the first party to announce its candidates for the forthcoming municipal corporation elections today. BSP senior leader Hafiz-Anwar-Ull-Hakh said barring ward No. 10, candidates for the remaining 25 wards had been finalised. From ward No. 23, Anwar-Ull-Hakh’s wife Janat will contest the elections.

The other candidates are: Ward No. 1 Arpinder Kaur, Ward No. 2 Vedpal Behragi, Ward No. 3 Vikram Rana, Ward No. 4 Vinita Chaudhary, Ward No. 5 Harmesh Singh, Ward No. 6 Jagir Singh, Ward No. 7 Nirmal Devi, Ward No. 8 Sanjeev Baber, Ward No. 9 Devesh Yadav, Ward No. 11 Manav Mehra, Ward No. 12 Baljeet Singh, Ward No. 13 Baladeen, Ward No. 14 Aruna Parabha, Ward No. 15 Tarun Chatani, Ward No. 16 Sukhvinder Kaur, Ward No. 17 Vikas Malhotra, Ward No. 18 Mange Ram, Ward No. 19 Naresh Kumar, Ward No. 20 Malkeet, Ward No. 21 Mamta Sharma, Ward No. 22 Pankaj Jha, Ward No. 24 Gurmawti, Ward No. 25 S M Kahn and Ward No. 26 Jalil Ahmedh Kureshi.



Rally by health department
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 21
An awareness rally to check the spread of dengue fever was organised by officials of the health department here today.

The rally was flagged off from Paragon School, Sector 71, by the civil surgeon Dr Usha Bansal. The participants carried and banners to create awareness. Pamphlets were distributed by the employees of the department.

Bansal said fever survey was being carried out by teams of the Department. Containers were being checked to find out whether these were empty.

She said a medical camp was organised in Chanalon village where blood samples of 75 patients suffering from fever were collected. Two of them were suspected to be having dengue fever. The blood samples have been sent for testing to a laboratory.



16 gharial babies die at Chhat Bir
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, October 21
Four months after a gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) gave birth to 16 babies, at Chhat Bir Zoo, all the babies died even after the zoo employees did their best to rear them. The exact cause of the death is yet to be ascertained.

The zoo authorities believe the babies may not have been able to adapt to the changing weather. The possibility of improper environment leading to their death has also not been ruled out.

Sources said the authorities had shifted the babies to separate chamber near zoo hospital recently where all the babies had died within a week.

The authorities stated the postmortem of the babies have been conducted but no reason has been cleared from the report, zoo authorities added.

The exact cause would be confirmed after the report. A gharial was an endangered species and it was for the first time that it had given birth in a large number, said sources.



3 hookah bars raided
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
The Food and Drugs Authority Department today conducted raids at three hookah bars in the city and collected nicotine samples. The bars have also been served notices for selling nicotine without possessing a licence.

A team led by Panchkula drug control officer Pooja Chaudhary raided various bars and collected tobacco samples from Hose Head in Sector 9, Time Square in Sector 14 and Arabian Lounge in Sector 5 near Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Panchkula.

No hookah bars in the city are having licences and for this they have been issued notices. State drug controller RM Sharma said the department had also asked the three outlets to present record of purchase and sale of nicotine. “If they are found to be contravening any provisions of law, stern legal action will be taken against such defaulters.”



One more down with dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A fresh case of dengue was reported in the city today, taking the total number of people affected by the disease to 30. As per the data collected by the UT health department, 59-year-old patient from Dhanas has been diagnosed with the disease.

UT Malaria Officer, Dr G Verma, said: “Thirty cases have been reported since September 22. We have taken adequate preventive measures.”

He said health teams were constituted to spread awareness on the disease.



PU youth fest: Drama dominates Day 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The second day of Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival, 2011, saw activities like drama and ‘ghara’ songs. With Diwali break set to start tomorrow, thousands of students across the campus swooped to different auditoriums to enjoy fun-filled activities.

However, a few students were found complaining about the conduct of festival in auditoriums rather than in open as they didn’t get to watch it.

“The law auditorium, where drama was being performed was jam-packed, and I could not even get space to see it. Had it been in open more and more students would have witnessed it,” said a student of the fine arts department.

The aura was at its best in the evening when famous Punjabi Sufi singer Satinder Sartaj left thousands mesmerised with his voice.

Sartaj who pursued his degree in music from Government College, Hoshiarpur, and even taught in PU for six years, said he could never get over the nostalgia called campus.


Drama: GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, 1; DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 2 and Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 3; individual prizes in group items: Jahanvi Bansal, GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, 1, Divya Shahti, Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 2 and Arshad Iqbal , DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 3; histrionics: Reena Sharma, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1, Siddhant Chawla, GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, 2 and Mahak Sharma, DAV College, Sector10, Chandigarh, 3; ladies traditional & ritualistic songs: SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh, 1, Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 2 and DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 3; individual prizes in group items (individual item): Siddhant Chawla, Jaspinder Kaur, GGDSD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, 1, Sandeep Kaur, Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 2 and Jasanirit Kaur, Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 3; kavishris: Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 1, Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 2 and Panjab University Campus, Chandigarh, 3; individual prizes in group items: Sukhwinder Singh, Panjab University Campus, Chandigarh, 1, Almgir Khan, Government College for Boys, Sector 11, Chandigarh, 2 and Gurinder Singh Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 3; vaar singing: Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 1 and DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 2; individual prizes in group items: Shivani, Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 1, Dharmvir DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 2 and Gagandeep Kaur, Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, 3.



Workshop at MCM DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The environment committee of MCM College for Women organised a workshop to spread awareness about the significance of eco-friendly products and lifestyle on Friday. Students were given an opportunity to learn pottery using a potter’s wheel and were encouraged to use eco-friendly materials for making pots. The workshop emphasised the message: “Beware! Crackers may crack you!”

A message corner displaying posters discouraging the use of crackers was put up the students. Students were also encouraged to use healthy food products, eco-friendly decorative items and khadi cards on various occasions. The workshop also demonstrated through models, the repercussions of accidents involving use of crackers.



Contest at college
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The commerce department of Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised an inter-college commerce competition.

Principal Achila Dogra said mere education was not enough, one should learn to apply and use it practically. “Today’s generation should try to inculcate the values of honesty and integrity,” Dogra added. The campus was abuzz with activities throughout the day. Students of various colleges of Chandigarh participated in the competition. The function began with a business quiz that showcased academic excellence of students. AD-Mad show displayed the creativity of the younger generation. Students presented kaleidoscope of activities.



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