C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rs 8 lakh taken away at gunpoint
Police reconstructs crime, suspects victim’s theory
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
In a daring daylight robbery, two unidentified motorcyclists, one of who was dressed in police uniform, robbed Rs 8 lakh from a city resident at gunpoint on the road separating sectors 48 and 49 here today. The incident occurred at 12 pm on the busy road when Abir Malhotra, a web designer, was returning to his Sector 48 residence after withdrawing money from his bank locker.

In his statement to the police, Abir said he withdrew Rs 8 lakh from the Corporation Bank branch in Mohali and was headed to his house at Sangam Enclave in Sector 48 in his car. On receiving a call, he slowed down only to discover that someone had hurled a brick at his car.

“My car was moving very slowly when a brick hit it. A man dressed in police uniform and riding a motorcycle (with another person in civvies riding pillion) asked me to stop. I thought they were asking me to stop for traffic violation. As I rolled down the window, the man in uniform pulled out a revolver and threatened me. He then took away the bag containing the cash lying on the front seat and fled,” said Abir, adding that the money belonged to his brother-in-law.

The bag also contained the keys of the locker. The accused also took away the keys of his car. Their motorcycle did not have a number plate. The police said the entire incident occurred in less than 60 seconds. No CCTV cameras were installed on that road.

Past incidents of daring crime

Date/crime Status

November 10: An NRI woman robbed of Unsolved jewellery at gunpoint in Sector 35.

October 9: Armed assailants fired gunshots Unsolved at Vodoo in a bid to attack a bouncer in Sector 26 and fled.

August 29: Rs 4.39 lakh cash robbed from a Solved cyclist in Manimajra at gunpoint.

August 7: Driver robbed of carriage auto Solved at Kaimbwala village.


June 26: A Himachal-based businessman Unsolved travelling in a car was robbed at gunpoint by two robbers near Barwala block during the wee hours.

Wrong connectivity

After he was robbed, Abir dialled “100” to reach the Chandigarh police control room (PCR), but instead duty officers at the Mohali PCR received his call. They then gave him the alternative PCR number. Many times in the past too, incidents of crime on the Chandigarh-Mohali border have led to confusion as calls from Chandigarh reach the Mohali control room and vice versa.

Police doubts theory

Officials investigating the spot appeared doubtful of the entire theory. They said they were examining the statements of the victim as it is hard to believe that the assailant managed to take away the bag lying on the front passenger seat of the car by extending his hand through the half-rolled window by the driver’s side. Several police officers tried to lift a bag in that manner, but failed.



Video conferencing would’ve thwarted attack on Hawara
UT Admn failed to install facility despite undertaking
Rajinder Nagarkoti
tribune news service

Chandigarh, November 12
The attack on Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara by a group of Right-wing activists could have been avoided if the UT Administration had acted as per the undertaking given in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to make a three-way connection between Burail Jail, Tihar Jail and the district court through video conferencing by September 9. More than two months have passed, but the Administration has failed to rig up the facility with different departments of the Administration passing the buck.

Dreaded terrorists Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, assassins of the late Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, who had managed to escape from Burail Jail earlier, are transported from Tihar Jail in New Delhi to the district courts in Chandigarh on every date of hearing in connection with the jailbreak case. They had to be caught twice and with considerable difficulty.

But in the UT Administration, different departments are busy shifting the blame. Chief Engineer SK Jaitley said the engineering department had done its work and that it was up to the Burail Jail authorities to start the video-conferencing facility.

But this argument does not hold good with the jail authorities. Alok Kumar, UT police DIG holding the dual charge as IG (Prisons), says: “Our responsibility is to provide space for starting the video-conferencing facility. We have done the needful. It is for the information technology (IT) department of the UT Administration which has to complete its work.”

Like in the case of the jail authorities, there are no takers in the IT department. Blaming connectivity problem, Yogesh Kumar, the UT’s Director, Information Technology, said they had completed the set-up in the district court and in Burail Jail, but were facing a problem of connectivity. He added that only a few days ago they had received a letter from the BSNL mentioning connectivity as a problem for video- conferencing. However, he said the problem was expected to be sorted out in the coming days following which the video-conferencing facility would become functional.

Admn jumps deadline

In response to a public interest litigation filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had promised to begin video-conferencing by September 9. The petitioner, Viresh Shandilya, a resident of Haryana, had sought directions from the High Court to connect all jails in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh with the lower courts through video-conferencing.

Panchkula takes lead

Panchkula took the lead in the tricity by connecting the district court with Ambala Central Jail through video-conferencing facility in 2010. The facility has been functioning without a hitch.



Police remand for attackers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
A local court here today sent the four accused who had attacked Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara to one-day police remand. The accused have been identified as Nishant Sharma, Ashutosh Gautam, Ramesh Dutt and Manish Sood, all members of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti (ABHSS).

The accused were protesting against bringing Hawara and Bheora to Chandigarh from Tihar Jail in New Delhi. They said the trial proceedings should be done through video-conferencing because when they come here, they raise anti-India slogans.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel of Hawara and Bheora submitted a complaint to the Chandigarh police, seeking a fair inquiry into the attack on Hawara. A complaint had been submitted to the UT SSP and the SHO of the Sector 17 police station for a detailed inquiry into how the attackers managed to enter the court complex.

In a related development, the Phillaur police also moved an application for the production warrants of Nishant Sharma in connection with a case registered against him in Phillaur, which will be taken up on Sunday.



‘Khorana knew he would make it big’
Tribune News Service

Har Gobind Khorana Chandigarh, November 12
“You may not be familiar with his name, but the moment you open a biology book, you are studying Khorana.” This is one of the few lines that best describe the stature of Nobel prize winner Har Gobind Khorana who died at the age of 89 years on November 9 in the US.

Khorana was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work that helped unravel the genetic code. Khorana showed how the genetic material was translated into proteins that drive most human actions. In 1976, his team synthesised the first completely functional man-made gene in a living cell, that paved the way for genetic engineering.

Khorana was an epitome of a perfect success story that began in 1922. He was the youngest of five children of a “patwari” in Raipur (now in Pakistan).

A trailblazer

We were together in honours school. Despite his introvert nature, everyone knew Har Gobind would go places. One of the things that set him apart was his conviction and confidence in his dreams. We used to compete with each other for marks, but he always said his worth and destiny would not be determined by marksheets, but he would be remembered by future generations. He was not just another scientist, but a live example of dreams turning into reality.

Dr MN Lakhan Pal, Former VC, Jammu University

Khorana got Panjab University a recognition abroad. The moment a student goes abroad and tells that he is from the university, the first reaction is ‘Khorana’s university?’. Now, the university is known across the world for its scientific research.

RC Sobti, Panjab University VC

Khorana’s demise is a big loss to the fraternity as he epitomised love and passion for the subject in addition to dedication towards research. In today’s times when pure sciences are losing patrons to vocational courses, gems like Khorana have left an example to emulate.

Dr RP Bhambah, Former VC, PU


Service lanes not MC’s headache
With no policy put in place by civic body, encroachers have a field day
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
It seems that encroachers in every category are the favourites of councillors. In the past five years, they have neither bothered to set a policy on service lane encroachers, nor devised a policy on proper service lane maintenance.

Service lane encroachers continue to enjoy free residential facilities right under the nose of the municipal corporation (MC).The city’s master plan has earmarked these service lanes to ease traffic congestion in front of markets.

A majority of service lanes at Sectors 16, 18 and 21 are being used by residents for storing construction material, parking vehicles, having rooms for their maids or security guards and displaying their plants.

These service lanes are openly being used by washermen, who have constructed temporary ‘jhuggis’.

Concrete has not not been laid on these at Sector 20 to avoid making these a garbage-disposal site for residents.

These service lanes have been designed to keep backyards of houses clean. Plagued by garbage and sludge with the passage of time, these have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies.

Records of the MC revealed that officials had assured the General House two years back on framing a policy regarding the use of service lanes in various sectors of the city.

An assurance was given that encroachments would be removed immediately, but these had mushroomed manifold as no action had been taken against the violators.

Sachin of Sector 21 said despite repeated complaints to the MC about encroachments and the need for cleanliness, the authorities had turned a deaf ear to the problems of residents.

Amardeep Singh of Sector 16 said notices had been put on the entry to service lanes that trucks, cars and scooters were not allowed entry, but the order was being violated and no action had been taken despite complaints by residents.



MC Ward Woes
Parking blues, overflowing sewers & encroachment

Ward No. 14 comprises centrally located Sector 45 and Burail village. The ward has been neglected by the authorities in terms of providing basic amenities to residents. Bad roads, improper drainage system, poor sanitation and undeveloped green belts have been causing a lot of frustration amongst residents of the area.


The problem of parking has been a bane of Sector 45 but the corporation has not yet formulated a policy to streamline the parking of vehicles in residential areas. In the past, a proposal was mooted by the corporation to convert vacant pieces of land near residential areas into small parking lots. However, the proposal never saw the light of the day as it was not tabled in the House. Residents feel the authorities have been ignoring the real issues and focussing on providing facilities that are not even required.


Sanitary conditions in the ward are deplorable. Residents can’t remember the last time the roads or lanes of the inner areas of Burail village were cleaned or repaired. Safai workers of the corporation hardly do their job. In their absence, sewerage remains choked with garbage, which is often disposed of in the system. Drains are not cleaned regularly and piles of garbage are usually left on the road. There is no provision for house-to-house garbage collection. The residents have employed their own sweepers or housemaids to dispose of the household waste.


A majority of streetlights in the area remain out of order, making it hazardous for residents to venture out in the dark. Motorists and pedestrians virtually grope in the dark as most streetlights remain on the blink for weeks together.

Internal parks

The municipal corporation has been converting open spaces into internal parks without drafting a plan for their upkeep. As a result, residents have been left with untidy parks near their houses. A classic example of this is Sector 45, where parks exist in every nook and cranny but there is no one to look after these. The parks have been provided with water sprinklers, which never work. Even the lights in the park remain out of order.


The sewerage system in Burail is almost 30 years old and needs to be replaced due to increase in population. Residents have been urging the authorities to change the system as it has collapsed and can no longer meet their needs. In fact, the open sewerage poses health hazard for residents. It has also made the surroundings unhygienic.


The Burail market is strewn with encroachment. Scrap dealers, tyre re-treaders and blacksmiths scatter their wares all around, making passage of shoppers difficult. In fact, a number of drives have been launched in the area to clear the encroachment but to no avail. After each drive, encroachers are back in business.

No: 14 (Sector 45 and Burail)

Voter Population

Sector 45 35,000

Burail 50,000


Vijay Singh Rana


Ward development fund?

Out of Rs 130 lakh allotted in the past five years, a sum of Rs 103.01 lakh had been spent till March, 2011.

Tech know-how?

Has never responded to queries posted on Facebook or replied to e-mails of residents

Questions asked in House in 2010

Has not tabled even a single question in the General House.


  • e-Sampark centre, Sehaj Safai Kendra in Sector 45
  • Widening of internal roads, laying of paver blocks in Burail
  • Installation of tube-wells

Vijay Singh Rana‘Authorities have failed to act’

No doubt, residents have been facing sanitation problems in the ward, but the department concerned has been reminded about the issue time and again. Regrettably, the authorities have taken no action so far.

— Vijay Singh Rana, ward councillor



phase Revisited
Action replay, two months on
With MC, GMADA unmoved, Phase IV has not shown any improvement
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 12
It has beealmost two months since the unauthorised use of houses for commercial purposes, traffic congestion near the rehri market and poor maintenance parks at Phase IV were highlighted in these columns, but nothing had changed for the better.

Neither the municipal corporation, nor the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has bothered to redress problems of the area.

The illegal business of furniture shops from the rear of houses continues. Being close to the Madanpura rotary, the business activity often results in traffic chaos.

Parks in the sector are crying for attention. Greenbelts are being used to dump garbage and park cars. The stray dogs menace needs to be checked.

The area in front of the rehri market has become another source of nuisance for residents. During the evenings, haphazardly parked vehicles block traffic on the road.

The Bougainvillea Garden AND Unkempt plants need to be looked after. The musical fountain is yet to catch the attention of the authorities.

Local resident Amrik Singh said the issues of broken footpaths and uncovered manholes covers needed to be sorted out and non-functional streetlights were another problem.

NS Kalsi, another resident, said the new road between phases IV and V was not being laid as per the engineering parameters set.



Court forces MC action on stray cattle menace
Impounds 110 in 10 days, registers FIRs against two, may hike fine from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 12
At last, the menace of stray cattle has caught the attention of the Panchkula municipal corporation (MC). After being noticed by a Panchkula court, the MC has not only started catching stray cattle, but is contemplating to increase the penalty from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.

In the past 10 days, not only have 110 stray cattle been impounded, even FIRs have been registered against two offenders. MC executive officer KK Jain said, “We have issued 30 notices to people who were letting their cattle to roam free. Cases against 14 such offenders have been filed in court.”

Since November 2, 110 cattle heads were taken to the ‘gaushala’ at Pinjore and fines of up to Rs 2,000 were imposed on cattle owners. “In the future we are going to increase the amount of fine for this offence to Rs 10,000,” he added.

The much-awaited action by the authorities was taken only after Chief Judicial Magistrate Gurvinder Kaur took note of the issue.

On October 20, the court allowed temporary injunction on an application filed by a Panchkula-based couple, Pankaj and Sangeeta Chandgothia, who sought relief from the stray cattle menace.

On November 5, the judge issued a contempt-of-court notice to Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar, the Additional Deputy Commissioner, MC executive official KK Jain and the Deputy Commissioner of Police for disobedience of court orders to take effective steps to ensure that the menace was eradicated.



Top cop for effectiveness
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 12
“In order to make policing more effective, beat system will be strengthened,” said Anant Kumar Dhul, Commissioner of Police, Ambala. Dhul, who took over as the police chief of Ambala range, said prominent citizens of the area would be included in committees which will dispose of offences.

“Complainants will now get a copy of an FIR. Time limitation is being fixed and on completion of an inquiry, a copy of the same will also be provided,” said Dhul.

“In case a policeman does not cooperate with a complainant, there will be a provision for him to lodge a complaint through an SMS,” he added.

With the strengthening of the beat system in the district, a crime directory containing information about proclaimed offenders, bail jumpers and most wanted criminals will be released.

While police stations of Sectors 14 and 20 would be hi-tech, the remaining ones would be inter-connected.



Rafi’s melodies captivate audience
SD Sharma

Vyjayantimala presents a bouquet to Alisha during Rafi Nite in Chandigarh on Saturday
Vyjayantimala presents a bouquet to Alisha during Rafi Nite in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, November 12
All roads in the city led to the Tagore Theatre, the venue of the 25th Mohd Rafi Nite organised by the Yadgar-e-Rafi Society here today. The larger-than-life image of Mohammad Rafi swelled in the minds of audience as more than 28 songs immortalised by the maestro along with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle were presented by accomplished singers, including winners of the Rafi Memorial Competition held on August 13.

The star guest of honour, Dr Vyjayantimala Bali, was all praise for the participating singers and the audience. She complemented Raman Kant, the music composer, for his compositions.

In a rare gesture, she presented a bouquet to Alisha Deen and blessed her for her rendition of song “Tarap ye din raat ki” from film “Aamrapali”.

Besides Raman Kant, Dr Arun Kant, Sarmishtha Banerjee and BD Sharma performed well but audience had reserved applause for Roshan Lal, Alisha and winners of the completion.

Chief guest Dr KK Khandelwal and guest of honour SK Sehgal, chief general manager, SBI, also spoke.



Corporation elections
Poll expenditure observers appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
The State Election Commission has appointed election expenditure observers for various wards for the forthcoming municipal corporation elections.

MC chief auditor RS Kang has been appointed observer for ward Nos. 1 to 8; Assistant Controller (F&A) of Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26, VK Bali of ward Nos. 9 to 14; Assistant Controller (F&A) of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector-32, Uma Shankar of ward Nos. 15 to 20; Assistant Controller (F&A) of local audit department, administrative block, Panjab University, Sector-14, Ashvani Dogra and Assistant Controller (F&A) of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Jasbir Singh of reserved wards.



Club’s dog show today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 12
The Panchkula Kennel Club is organising its first dog show at Sutlej Public School grounds, Sector 4, here tomorrow.

The organisers have already received over 200 entries for 80 breeds, said club secretary Sikandar Singh. A seminar on breed and training of dogs would be organised on the occasion, besides a free anti-rabies vaccine programme, said Sikandar.





Arshkamal wins laurels

Bombardier Transportation in partnership with the High Commission of Canada to India organised a nationwide competition urging young artists and children from across the country in the age group of 10 to 18 years to submit their artwork on the theme “Smart Transportation”. In an award ceremony attended by senior officials from the High Commission of Canada to India and Bombardier Transportation, Arshkamal Saini (14), a resident of Chandigarh, was selected the winner amongst 36 finalists selected by the jury from over 300 entries received on creativity and expression.

Treasure hunt

The newly formed alumni association of St Stephen’s School will be organising its first event tomorrow. The Old Stephenians Society (TOSS) will be organising a citywide treasure hunt wherein participants will be required to solve clues while roaming around the city on bikes and cars.

Summit on HR practices

The Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology (GJ-IMT), Phase II, Mohali, organised the 4th HR Summit-2011 on “Sustainable people development- Best HR practices” at the CII, Sector 31, Chandigarh, on Saturday. In this national-level HR summit, reputed companies and educational institutes participated. Vikram Hans, chairman, CII, Chandigarh Council, was the chief guest. The programme started with the welcome address by JS Bedi, chairman, Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions. He said the purpose of the summit was sharing and building strong HR networking and to encourage corporate-academia interface. He talked about the sustainability of people not by changing the people but by changing the context. He said it was important to pay attention to the holistic development of human resources. The summit had two technical sessions.


Grief expressed

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday expressed profound grief over the sad demise of IG (retd) GIS Bhullar, who died yesterday at Mohali after a prolonged illness. The former IG was cremated with full state honour at the Sector-25 cremation ground. People from different walks of life, including the top brass of serving and retired civil and police officials attended the cremation. The Advisor to the Chief Minister, Dr DS Cheema, Chief Secretary SC Agrawal , Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Kaushik, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister DS Guru and Principal Secretary Home laid the wreath on the mortal remains of the former IG.


A rally “Clean City-Green City”, was flagged off by Amit Talwar, SDM, Mohali, from Diplast Chowk. The dignitaries present on the occasion were Nek Chand, creator, Rock Garden, MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, Dr Amarjit Singh Khehra, chairman, Mohali Senior Citizens’ Association and president of Mohali Industries Association, MS Mahal, Ashok Gupta, MD Diplast Plastic Limited, and Satnam Singh Dhanoia. As many as 400 senior citizens participated in the rally. — Tribune Reporters



‘Raeth’ rocks audience on Day II of PEC fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
The second day of PEC FEST 2011 was even bigger than the first day. The cultural event saw scores of students from more than hundred colleges in the region taking part in various contests and competitions. The second day of the fest had literary events like crosswords, conventional debate, Wordict - word puzzle, spell bee, etc.

The day also saw students showcasing their artistic talent in a rock band competition as well as crotchet, a solo singing competition.

The evening started with the final of EDC’s major cash cow competition called the Apprentice, which was an entrepreneur event, where the participants competed against each other in a series of rounds to prove their mettle.

The “Hip-hop Hustle” was also organised in the evening where participants showcased their dance moves and acrobatic prowess in front of a huge audience.

The day finally came to an end with the famous rock band “Raeth” coming from across the border to play and enchant the audience with their hit songs. The combination of the band’s melodious songs and students’ enthusiasm was simply breathtaking. The night ended with the filming of a movie at the college’s auditorium.

The three-day fest would end tomorrow with the performance of a Punjabi singer.



Seven get First Friday Forum Award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 12
First Friday Forum in its annual oration 2011 organised a symposium on Geography Architecture and Planning at Chandigarh College of Architecture yesterday. Seven professionals were honoured with First Friday Forum Awards for Creative Excellence (FFFACE) for their noteworthy contributions in their respective fields.

Dr Sharda Kaushik, director, Regional Institute of English, was the chief guest. She lauded the forum’s persistent role in educating the citizenry in aesthetic appreciation vis-à-vis artistic creation in the many forms of art of which India has the richest tradition in the world.

Guest of honour Architect Sangeet Sharma revealed fascinating aspects of architecture in his stimulating presentation on “The Mother Art.”

Dr SS Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and founder, First Friday Forum, delivered the theme-oration titled GAP-SEAL: Geography, Architecture, and Planning - Science, Engineer, Art, and Literature.

He pointed out that all the problems of the modern world like depletion of natural resources, thinning out of forest-cover, global warming are attributable to one factor: dismal neglect of geography he called the architecture of the earth’s crust. To bridge the GAP among the three primary disciplines he pleaded for their integrated education in professional courses.

Dr Krishna Mohan, former chairman, Department of Geography, Panjab University, with his distinguished expertise and diverse experience, laid bare little-known aspects of geography as the mother science.

Seven professionals were honoured with First Friday Forum Awards for Creative Excellence (FFFACE) for their noteworthy contributions in their respective fields. Professionals, prominent citizens, students of architecture and other disciplines, and the proactive public enthusiastically witnessed the function.



Demand to raise retirement age intensifies

Chandigarh, November 12
The demand for raising retirement age of Panjab University faculty to 65 years has intensified with the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) shooting yet another letter to the Vice-Chancellor in this regard.

According to PUTA, the university, which is ailing from staff crunch, is losing its faculty every month because of its lackadaisical attitude to the MHRD notification, which provides for enhancing the retirement age. PUTA president Akshay Kumar sought the status of inquiries announced by the VC for alleged delay in sending proposal to the MHRD. — TNS



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