C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Power cuts are back
Entitlement from Central plants cut from 8 pc to 5 pc
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
As the UT’s power entitlement from Central power generation plants has been decreased from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, rotational power cuts are back in the city.

The UT electricity department has started weekly day off on a rotational basis for industries. The department has also started regular power cuts between 7 am and 6 pm in residential areas.

Unscheduled power cuts have been causing a lot of trouble for residents as they are not able to fix their schedule. People are facing difficulties in watching television and getting hot water to bathe. Power cuts are spoiling children’s holidays.

According to information available, Central power generation plants like Anta, Chamera-I, Bhakra and Singrauli are not working properly.

This has resulted in a decline in supply of power to Chandigarh. To deal with the crisis, the department has started stopping supply from various feeders and sub-stations.

There are a number of 11-KV feeders at the Industrial Area, which supply power to various industries. The department is stopping supply from four or five feeders everyday.

By stopping the supply from these feeders on a rotational basis, the electricity department will be able to save between 4 and 6 MW of power.

Giving details of the power cut schedule in residential areas, a senior official has said there will be no power supply to various sectors between 7 am and 6 pm.



Contenders file papers
Raj Bala, Asha, Jannat in race for Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Stage is set for the mayoral elections of the Chandigarh municipal corporation scheduled for January 1, with candidates of different parties filing their nomination papers today.

While the Congress and the BJP-SAD alliance fielded their candidates on all three posts of Mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, the BSP, for the first time, fielded its candidate for the post of Mayor.

All parties have fielded first-timers for the three top posts. The nomination papers were filed at the office of MC Secretary Lalit Siwach. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on December 29 and 30.

BJP candidate Asha Jaswal was the first to file her nomination papers for the post of Mayor. Jaswal’s name was proposed by Heera Negi and Arun Sood. For the post of senior deputy mayor, Deshraj Gupta filed his nomination papers. The BJP did not field any candidate for the post of deputy mayor, lending its support to the SAD candidate Malkeet Singh.

On the other hand, Congress councillor Raj Bala Malik filed her nomination papers for the post of Mayor.

Malik’s name was proposed by Gurbax Rawat and Subhash Chawla. Rawat had earlier been short-listed by the party for the post. Darshan Kumar Garg, for the post of senior deputy mayor, and Satish Kumar Kainth, for the post of deputy mayor, were the others who filed their nomination papers.

Though it seems like a win-win situation for the Congress. this hasn’t deter the BJP-SAD alliance from pinning their hopes on nominated councillors, who were instrumental in Harjinder Kaur’s victory in 2006.

Harjinder had won the mayoral election by a margin of single vote at a time when the Congress was in majority.

The BSP had already announced its stand of not supporting either the Congress or the BJP as part of their national policy.

While their councillor Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq filed her nomination papers for the post of Mayor, the party did not field anyone for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

Jannat Jahan’s name was proposed by Naresh Kumar and Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala.

Accompanied by a large number of supporters, the nomination process witnessed a huge turnout of party workers and their leaders, including Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee president BB Bahl, former MP Satya Pal Jain (BJP) and BJP local president Sanjay Tandon.

There are 36 votes in MC house, including that of the sitting Member of Parliament.

Of these, the Congress and the BJP-SAD alliance have 12 votes each, while BSP has two votes and an independent councillor has one.

Besides, the nine nominated councillors have the right to vote. This year, the Mayor’s post is reserved for women belonging to the general category.

With the city electorate throwing up a hung house in the municipal corporation, the city’s “navratnas” (nine nominated councillors) are the most sought-after persons.

In fact, different parties have started wooing them, as they are set to play a deciding role in the elections to the top three posts on January 1.

Superstitious candidate

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq, who is running for Mayor, waited for half an hour at the MC office to file her nomination papers at 12 noon, as recommended by her astrologer



tribune impact
Postpone recruitment interviews, EC tells PU
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Leaving Panjab University (PU) red in the face, the Punjab Election Commission has asked it to defer all recruitment interviews to February as the model code of conduct is in force.

The letter, which came a day after the PU declared its recruitment drive, aimed to hire 280 teachers in 20 days, clarified that irrespective of the date of advertisement, interviews should not be conducted before January 30, the date of poliing.

The Chandigarh Tribune highlighted in these columns the fact that while the eligibility criteria for several posts was yet to be officially notified, the Vice-Chancellor’s office had issued a schedule of mass recruitment, raising doubt.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti could not be contacted. A senior official claimed, “A letter was sent to the Election Commission yesterday, seeking a clarification on posts advertised before the declaration of results. The commission wants us to wait till elections are over.”

The letter left all wondering on the hurry to declare the schedule of the selection committees before clarifying on the model code of conduct.

“The hastiness of the authorities has left us with no option but to take back our words. Had we sought this clarification earlier, we would have been saved this embarrassment,” said a

senior senator. “Five of our senators are contesting and many Punjab government officials are on different bodies. We obviously came under purview of the Act,” said the senator. The PUTA welcomed this early clarification. Its president Akshay said, “Had this taken some more time, the appointments would have been null and void. Before deciding on recruitment, we should check the legal issues involved.”



Neither quilt, nor mattress!
Players from Ludhiana sleep on mat-covered floor at PU
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
While city residents continue to shiver, softball players from Ludhiana staying at Panjab University (PU) sports hostel have not been provided mattresses or quilts.

The team is here to participate in an inter-college softball championship. They spend the nights on the mat-covered floor. Eight teams are taking part in the senior-level tournament for PU-affiliated colleges.

Director sports CS Grewal said the university had categorically stated that players would have to arrange for their own board and lodging facilities.

“They must have been provided mattresses as not many teams are touring the campus at the moment. The ground situation can only be confirmed by the hostel warden.”

“We are touring one of the best universities. We did not expect this treatment. Sweepers clean the toilets only today. The problem is that we cannot speak openly on the issue,” said a player, requesting anonymity. “We are here from December 26. We have been to participate only after getting limbs massaged by fellow players. It is almost impossible to play after sleeping on this cold surface,” said another player, on the condition of anonymity.

“We can, at the most, get quilts. How can the university expect us to carrying mattresses? These days, junior players get good facilities, but we are spending nights in the cold. Fifteen players are living in two rooms” said yet another player.

“I am not aware of the situation. I will take the matter up with senior officials. If there is a rule that teams should get there own mattresses, we will try to change it,” said Pushpinder, president of the Panjab University Campus Student Council.



Facility free, but users pay
No information about night shelters put up
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Announcements for free stay at night shelters by the Chandigarh Administration have no meaning as official information in this regard has not been displayed there.

Users continue paying Rs 20 per night at the night shelter in Sector 26 and Rs 40 per night at the one at the Sector-17 ISBT.

No banner or board has been put up to announce that the facility is free stay from December to March next. There has not been any official press note or advertisement in this regard.

The lack of an initiative among the authorities to spread awareness about night shelters in the city has led to many spending nights in the corridors of local markets.

There is no board or banner installed at the ISBTs in Sectors 17 and 43 to inform commuters about the facility of night shelters.

Balram Kumar, a daily wage worker at the grain market in Sector 26 said he was not aware of any such night shelter in the sector.

Ramjit Singh, a truck driver from Haryana, said looking at the condition of the night shelter, many of them preferred to spend the nights in their trucks. “The beds at the ‘raenbasera’ stink. We do not get any quilts,” he added.

The case of the night shelter at Sector 17, being run by the UT Red Cross Society, was no different. There was hardly any hoarding or board to inform travellers about it.

Sidharth Thakur, a frequent traveller to the city, said he had no idea about the facility at the Sector-17 ISBT.

“Whenever I visit the city I look for a low-budget hotel in the periphery. I do not feel that there are enough boards and hoardings at the ISBT to inform commuters about the facility,” he added.

Auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, aware about the night shelters, preferred to take travellers to hotels to earn commission.

An auto-rickshaw driver admitted that they took travellers to hotels in the periphery, where they were paid commission.

“Travellers are not aware of any such facility. There is no advertisement. We take travellers to hotels,” said an auto-rickshaw driver.



Temperature unlikely to near zero
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
This winter is likely to be normal in the tricity, with the minimum temperature hovering around 5 degree Celsius compared to the near-zero temperature recorded in December past year.

In the view of the dry weather due to western disturbances, there will be no major change in the minimum temperature. The maximum temperature is likely to go down further, causing a chill during the daytime. There will not be any rainfall.

Temperatures have remained above normal this year. The Met department

has predicted a normal winter, which means chilly nights, foggy mornings and bright days.

The department has forecast that days will be mainly sunny, with mist or fog during morning and night in Haryana and Punjab for the subsequent two days.

Surinder Paul, director of the department, has said the minimum and maximum temperatures in the tricity will remain in the same range and not fall further.

He has said the weather will remain dry and cloud formation can be expected on December 30 or 31. There is no possibility of rain due to western disturbances, he has added. The weatherman has predicted a mainly clear sky, with mist or haze in the early morning hours. The maximum temperature will be around 23ºC on Thursday and the minimum around 5 ºC on Friday.



Students can use Aakash till March 31
Were supposed to return it after feedback
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The lucky ones who have got the world’s lowest priced touch-screen Aakash will have the chance to use the pocket-sized wonder tablet until March 31.

Students were supposed to return the device after giving feedback. However, project coordinators have decided that the students can use the tablet till the end of the academic session.

As a part of the project, 20 lucky city college students had got Aakash on a trial basis and after using the tablet, they had to submit a feedback of the device.

The students had to rate it on various parameters of hardware and software.

Dr Dalip Kumar, an associate professor at the Postgraduate Government for Girls, Sector 42, and one of the technical experts who handled the implementation of the project, said soon after the feedback on Aakash was sent, the IIT-Jodhpur asked us that the students should surrender the device, which should be sent back to the IIT-Jodhpur.

“We have sought an extension so that the students can use the device till the end of the academic session, as they have been using the devices for their projects,” Dr Kumar said.

After the trials, the students had highlighted some of the negative aspects, which included long charging time, generation of heat after 30 minutes of use and repeated hanging while working.

Based on the feedback, the company manufacturing the device was supposed to revamp the device under same cost.

Dr Kumar said they had not got any further communication, as when would be the device available for all students. “The device after modifications was supposed to be put on sale, however, its’ not yet decided as when will the students be getting their own 7-inch touch screen computing and Internet device,” he added.


Nominated councillors
Selection criteria assailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
With the district court issuing notice to the UT administration on a petition challenging the selection of nine nominated councillors, the others who had applied for the posts of nominated councillor have started raising a question mark on the selection criteria.

Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman PC Sanghi said the nominated councillor should have the knowledge of the municipal administration and should be aware of the local problems.

He added that he had no idea about the criteria being followed by the UT administration to select these people.

Another aspirant for the post, Maj DP Singh (retd), said the administration could have adopted better criteria for selecting nominated councillors. He said the selection of persons from different categories could have brought specialisation to the post.

On the political affiliation of the nominated councillors, DP Singh said affinity towards a party was fine, but working as an active member of a political party was not fair. Besides, the administration should have considered the public dealing experience of these nominees, he added.

Requesting anonymity, another aspirant said there should be some criteria, otherwise “well-connected” people will always find a place on the list of nominated councillors, he added. At least 91 people had applied for the posts.



New MC team sworn in
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The newly elected councillors of the fifth term of the Chandigarh municipal corporation were administered the oath in a jam-packed general house today.

All 26 elected and nine nominated councillors were on time for the ceremony. In all, 11 Congress, 10 BJP, two each of SAD and BSP, one Independent and nine nominated councillors took the oath. The oath was administered by UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh and the proceedings were conducted by SDM (South) Parshuram V Kavle. The nominated councillor, Anoop Sunny Gill, was the first one to take the oath.

Several fresh councillors showed signs of nerves and fumbled while reading out their oath. Of the 26 elected councillors, three took the oath in English, six in Punjabi, while the rest took it in Hindi. Of the nine nominated councillors, only two took the oath in Hindi, while the remaining councillors took it in English. Interestingly, the seating arrangement was made according to the ward, and not party. The authorities had put up two plasma screens in the parking lots of the MC office to facilitate visitors. All prominent party leaders preferred to stay in the visitors’ gallery of the house to witness the ceremony. A majority of leaders had a tough time getting a place to stand in the gallery. In fact, a few of them stood on chairs in the gallery to watch the proceedings.

A large number of supporters watch the ceremony in the parking lot of the building.



Ticket to outsider
Dissidence surfaces in Akali leadership
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 28
A day after the SAD officially announced the candidature of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia for the Mohali constituency, dissidence has started surfacing in the local Akali leadership over the ticket being given to an outsider.

One of the aspirants of the ticket, Bubby Badal today organised a gathering here to solicit support for him.

His supporters gave an ultimatum to the Akali leadership to decide upon the candidate instead of bringing an outsider.

There was resentment among other local Akali leaders also. Adding another dimension to the case was strong possibility of the People Party of Punjab (PPP) fielding SGPC member Hardeep Singh from Mohali.

Hardeep could disturb the vote bank of the Akali and Congress.

Undeterred by the voices of dissent, Ramoowalia organised a gathering of local Akali leader in Phase 1 here today.

He said the possible Congress candidate, Balbir Singh Sidhu, was not a match for him, as he had served as a union minister and had far more experience in politics than others.



Speeding wrecks 4 vehicles on city roads
PCR Gypsy, car overturn; two buses collide; six injured
Tribune News Service

An overturned car at the Sector 18-7 roundabout; a PCR jeep that overturned near Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday; and A damaged bus, which hit a school bus at Sector 29 light point in Chandigarh on Wednesday
An overturned car at the Sector 18-7 roundabout; a PCR jeep that overturned near Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday; and A damaged bus, which hit a school bus at Sector 29 light point in Chandigarh on Wednesday.  Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 28
Three vehicles, including a PCR Gypsy, were involved in separate road accidents, leaving six injured, here today. All vehicles were reportedly travelling at high speeds when they crashed into other vehicles or overturned.

While four policemen were injured after a PCR Gypsy overturned near the Sukhna Lake, a four-year-old girl, travelling in a school bus, was injured after her bus crashed into a divider after hitting another bus. In the third mishap, a car overturned at the road separating Sectors 7 and 8, injuring four of its occupants.

The PCR Gypsy attached as an escort vehicle to the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr SY Qureshi, overturned near the Sukhna Lake this morning. Four policemen were injured, one of them seriously, in the accident.

The Gypsy (CH 01 G1 6259) overturned at the bend near the lake and was reportedly moving at high speed at the time ---of the accident.

The driver of the Gypsy, constable Manoj Kumar, sustained serious injuries in his right arm and was admitted to the PGI.

The others who sustained injuries included constable Mange Ram, and women constables Rajbir Kaur and Nikki Kumar.

While Manoj Kumar was admitted to the PGI, the other policemen were admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16.

The Gypsy was on its way to Punjab Raj Bhawan from the UT Guest House when the mishap occurred.

DSP PCR Roshan Lal gave the injured a sum of Rs 10,000 as aid.

In another accident, a four-year-old girl, Harpreet, was injured when a school bus hit another bus at the Sector-29 traffic lights here this morning.

The bus was on its way to pick students when the mishap took place.

The injured student was discharged after the first aid.

The bus belonging to Kids Are Kids school was coming from Sector 42 when it took a turn from the Tribune roundabout and hit another bus. The other bus, carrying nine persons, belonged to Baddi Pharma Company.

The school bus was being driven by Karamdeep of Mohali. The driver of the other bus, Raj Kumar, fled the scene, leaving his vehicle behind. The school bus crashed into a divider after the collision.

In the third mishap, a car overturned at the road separating Sectors 7 and 8. SL Srivastava, a Sector-19 resident, was driving the vehicle when the steering wheel jammed resulting in the mishap. Four persons seated in the car sustained injuries.



Police grappled with spate of murders, snatchings and thefts
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Police revived its two-decade-old practice of ‘Mashaal Parade’ as part of its Police Week celebrations
The Chandigarh Police revived its two-decade-old practice of ‘Mashaal Parade’ as part of its Police Week celebrations. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 28
Sensational murders, increased cases of assault, ruckus at discotheques, snatchings, robberies and thefts - the Chandigarh police remained on its toes throughout 2011, with the city witnessing a spurt in crime.

The year that began with the murder of a five-year-old boy, Khushpreet, after being kidnapped ended with the gruesome murder of two siblings in Sector 41.

Incidents of daylight snatchings, fatal accidents and kidnappings were the highlight of the year and the UT police invited wrath from the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) for its failure to provide justice to complainants.

The year also saw the joining of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) from Punjab and Haryana on deputation with the UT police.

While on the one hand, their joining resulted in factionalism within the force, on the other, the demand of the police to fill vacancies was finally catered to. In addition, 1,200 constables joined the UT police force this year.

The year also saw the revival of “Mashaal Parade” after a gap of several decades during the Chandigarh police week. Moreover, a mobile police van was launched to provide on-the-spot services to the residents.

The UT police also upgraded its weaponry and purchased an armoured troops carrier. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) costing several lakhs of rupees was inducted into the force and put to use during a rally by BSP leader Mayawati.


Tanishq robbery

Top police officers inpect the Tanishq showroom at Mani Majra where Chandigarh’s biggest robbery took placeThe UT police solved the biggest-ever heist case in Chandigarh - the Tanishq robbery at Mani Majra - with the arrest of all gang members within a week of the robbery of Rs 10 crore was reported in January this year. The police arrested Paras Soni as the mastermind who had 15 cases registered against him with the police of different states. The entire jewellery was recovered.

Top police officers inpect the Tanishq showroom at Mani Majra where Chandigarh’s biggest robbery took place. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Bapu Dham kidnapping

Learning a lesson from the Khushpreet murder case, the UT police solved a case of kidnapping for ransom within hours after the first ransom call. The police was swift to act and launched an intensive operation at Siswan village to arrest the kidnappers, as they came to collect the ransom. The child, Prince, was kidnapped by his uncle, who was his neighbour in Bapu Dham Colony, on February 8.

Healthyway fraud

By forming a special team to crack the whip on fraudulent immigration firms, the UT police arrested Amit Kakkar, owner of Healthyway Immigration, and slapped 11 cases of cheating on him. Hundreds of complainants had approached the police complaining of fraud.

Largest recovery of vehicles

The UT police recovered as many as 42 vehicles from an inter-state gang of vehicle lifters, comprising scrap dealers, insurance company surveyors and second-hand car dealers, who adopted a peculiar modus operandi of selling off stolen vehicles with the original documents of vehicles damaged in accidents. The police recovered 42 vehicles, including high-end cars and SUVs worth over Rs 2 crore following the arrest of five of an unknown number of gang members.

Facebook page

The UT traffic police launched a special page on Facebook, inviting residents to post pictures of traffic violations. The page has been a success, with over 800 challans having been issued by the police in response to the pictures.


Khushpreet murder

On January 5, the strangulated body of five-year-old Khushpreet, who was kidnapped for ransom on December 21 last year, was recovered from a pit in Mohali. Residents of Burial village erupted and staged a protest, hurling stones at the police. The victim’s family blamed the police for the killing, as they had failed to arrest the kidnappers who fled right under the nose of the police. Even though the case was solved in March, the case will go into the history as one of the biggest failures of the police in saving the child.

Rising crime graph

The city witnessed 841 vehicle thefts, 201 snatchings, 65 robberies and 261 burglaries this year. The recovery rate remained low and residents had sleepless nights, with the police failing to control the rising crime.

PCA orders

The Police Complaint Authority (PCA) passed 20 orders against police officers of various ranks, including a DSP, for their negligence in handling a case. The UT police failed to implement the orders in most cases, rendering the PCA a toothless tiger.

Tao, Voodoo ruckus

The police failed to keep a check on discotheques as they operated at late night hours beyond the permissible time. A ruckus was created at Tao in September when over 15 armed assailants barged into the disco and attacked the guests and staff. The police arrested some of the assailants. A similar ruckus and a shootout incident that took place at Voodoo is still unsolved.

Inspector suspended

An inspector and former SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Jaswinder Singh, was suspended after he was found creating a ruckus at Score discotheque. A departmental inquiry was marked and the inspector was soon reinstated even as the probe is pending.

High Court’s wrath

The police invited the wrath of the Punjab and Haryana High Court twice this year, as it passed strictures against the police for failing to file their replies in court. In one case, the police was fined Rs 10,000, holding a sub-inspector responsible, while in another case, the police was fined Rs 5,000 last month, holding a woman inspector responsible.

Neha murder case

The police conducted narco tests of suspects this year but failed to solve the sensational case of the murder of an MBA student, Neha, in Sector 38 West last year.


Functioning of the mobile police van, improved beat system, better servant verification system, increased police force and improved armory are on the agenda of the UT police



Crime graph shows upward trend
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Police officials show stolen vehicles recovered in Mohali
Police officials show stolen vehicles recovered in Mohali. file photo

Mohali, December 28
Increase in the incidents of snatching and stealing of vehicles kept the Mohali police on its toes during the year. Due to the increase in the incidents of dacoit, burglary, rape and cheating, there was a marginal increase in the total number of cases registered during the year as compared to the previous year.

Recent recoveries of stolen vehicles and snatched valuables did help the police in increasing its tally of traced cases. But the police was found groping in the dark to solve two cases of murder and at least six cases of vehicle snatching in the town.

The year might be ending on a positive note, as the police has been able to bust several gangs of interstate car thieves. But it remained unsuccessful in cracking a mysterious murder of a property dealer at Nayagoan and that of an unidentified person at Kambali village.

The percentage of detection in theft cases is still less than the number of vehicles stolen in the last one year. Of the roughly 125 burglary cases reported in the district, investigating officials managed to trace down the stolen property in 61 of the cases. Otherwise also, the changing economic profile of the district, especially Mohali town, is witnessing a sharp rise in the cases of cheating and forgery as compared to the previous year. Against 128 cases of snatching registered in 2010, 270 cases were registered this year.

Hard pressed with VIP duties, the investigating officials do find it hard to exclusively work on the theft cases. As a result, the acquittal rate remains much higher than the conviction rate. Compared to the conviction rate of 48 per cent in 2010, the conviction rate this year is 36 per cent.



Traffic Violations
16 motorists challaned a day
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 28
At least 16 motorists, on an average, were challaned every day for violating the traffic rules during 2011 at Zirakpur.

Of the total 5,750 offenders, at least 2,539 were challaned for riding without helmet. Traffic violations in the town were on the rise despite special drives conducted by the traffic police.

The traffic police issued 5,750 challans to vehicles till December 27 this year and recovered Rs 14.93 lakh in penalty.

In 2010, 4,886 vehicles were issued challans for various traffic offences. These included helmet-less riding, triple riding, vehicles in “no parking” zones, drunk driving and violations under the Motor Vehicles Act.

Sources in the traffic police said the local traffic police challaned 2,539 helmet-less riders and 555 auto-rickshaws drivers for overloading.

At least 203 challans were issued for using mobile phone while driving and 366 for triple riding.

Other violations included tinted glasses, using pressure horn, flag rod, red and blue beacon and driving without documents.

Besides, vehicles parked in “no parking” zones were impounded under Section 207 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the sources added.

The traffic in-charge, Naveen Pal Singh Lehal, claimed that the traffic police had been consistently punishing the violators.

“We will conduct special drives in the coming days to curb violations in the township and raise awareness among school students, Tempo unions and auto-rickshaw drivers about traffic violations through camps.”



New Year Extravaganza
Musical evening marks Day 4
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 28
The fourth day of the “New Year Extravaganza-2011” witnessed a musical evening today. Finance secretary VK Singh inaugurated the evening. The two-hour musical evening was a blend of old and new melodies, which entertained the gathering of all ages. The singers selected for the finale of “Voice of Chandigarh” performed on the occasion.

Around 35 participants who cleared the preliminary round participated in the “Voice of Chandigarh” for two categories i.e. junior and senior round.

The musical evening was unveiled with melodious performance by Aryan Vaid, a local singer, who mesmerised the audience with the song titled “Tum se achcha kaun hai”, whereas shortlisted singers of the “Voice of Chandigarh” sang songs of different era of Bollywood.

Deepashu Mahajan sang “Ae meri zohra jabeen”, Khoobi Mehta “Saat samundar dol gaya”, Smriti Sharma won applaud for “Parda hai parda”, Sanjeev sang song “khawab ho ya”, while Abhinanada Verma mesmerised audience with “Gulaabi aakhein jo teri dekhi”, whereas a few Punjabi songs were also appreciated.

In the senior category, Neetu Bhalla bagged the first position, whereas second and third prizes were bagged by Deepak Kumar and Sakshar Sharma, respectively. Special prizes were won by Abhinandan, Subhdeep and Harsaprandeep.

In the junior category, the first prize is bagged by Aryan, whereas second and third positions went to Subham and Deepanshu, respectively, whereas special prizes have been bagged by Sarabjeet Kaur and Tejasvini Sharma.



Tricity scan

Workshop concludes

The department of biotechnology (DBT) sponsored a two-week workshop on fermentation technology organised by the department of biotechnology, GGDSD College, Sector 32-C, which concluded here on Wednesday. Dr Rupinder Tewari, coordinator, Centre for Microbial Technology, Panjab University, stressed on the need of moral education and bioethics among the students that could not only be relevant but also help them to be a better human being.

Inquiry sought

A delegation headed by president Dilbagh Singh and general secretary SK Khosla, Welfare Association MIG-I Houses, Sector 40-C, met the Municipal Corporation Commissioner requesting vigilance inquiry in respect of work related to widening and carpeting of V-6 roads in Sector 40-C. The delegation explained to the Commissioner that, first of all, the work has started after about a decade and for all these years, residents of the area suffered tremendously for want of carpeting of roads. At last when it started, besides putting into physical inconvenience to the residents, they have to suffer monetarily as they have to incur about Rs 1,000 each for getting the roads repaired in front of their houses. Water pipes remained broken for days together owing to negligence of workers of the contractors.

Star performer award given

Metro Exporters Pvt Ltd has received the National Star Performer Award for the year 2009-10 from the Engineering Export Promotion Council in the category of medium enterprise. The award was handed over by Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, at a function held recently in New Delhi. The award was received by company’s director Kuldeep Kaul.

Anniversary celebrations
Girl students perform a dance during the annual day celebrations of Shivalik Public School in Mohali on Wednesday
Girl students perform a dance during the annual day celebrations of Shivalik Public School in Mohali on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

The 18th anniversary celebrations of the WWICS group at Toronto, Canada, were also observed at the launch function. Chief guest Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sports), and other dignitaries like Sylvain Payette, president and CEO of Renaissance Capital International Inc. and Garry Harris from Georgian College joined the celebrations. The event was also attended by the Continental Institute for International Studies (CIIS) students. The cake cutting, fireworks, cultural evening with Bollywood songs and dances by Saima Khan enthralled audience.

Agriculture credit camp organised

A mega agriculture credit camp was organised by Punjab National Bank (PNB) at the lead bank office, Mohali. The camp was presided over by AK Sharma, deputy general manager, circle head, Patiala. The camp was attended by more than 70 customers and managers of PNB branches in Mohali district. Sanction letters to the tune of Rs 5 crore were distributed to 111 farmers for agriculture credit. PK Jain, chief lead district manager, welcomed all customers and informed that PNB is dedicated to fulfill its responsibility to the satisfaction of customers. He appealed to all farmers to avail the facility of KCC. AK Sharma, DGM, welcomed guests and appealed to all farmers to take loan and refund it in time. — Tribune Reporters



Jyotirgamaya to go live for 72 hrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Jyotirgamaya, the Panjab University community radio station 91.2, will go live for 72 hours starting from December 30. The show will start from 11 am on December 30 and will conclude at 11 in the morning on January 2.

The show will be on in the studios of Panjab University’s community radio station with an objective of presenting a critical view on the life of a common man, ushering him in the New Year with new hopes, aspirations, resolves and decisions to have a better tomorrow.

“We are going to do a trial run of the programme schedule of Jyotirgamaya tomorrow for seven hours live from 1 pm onwards,” said one of the three radio jockeys (RJ), Neha Ralli.

“The format, which is a storyline based on the life of a common man will incorporate real persons and real-life situations, thus mingling the story with reality. This type of format is unique and has never been adopted by any radio station in the city till now,” says RJ Varun Chadha.

The pre-production stage is in full swing and all interviews have been scheduled. “We have called health experts, psychologists, cricket coach, spiritual guides, motivational speakers, media experts, security guards, florists, youngsters and musicians amongst various others representing the community at large,” said Srishti Choudhary, one of the producers for the 72-hour live show.



Resident’s reward for honest cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
A day after a team of the Police Control Room (PCR) was lauded for its honesty for returning a sum of Rs 19.47 lakh to the family of a victim, a city resident came forward to reward the policemen and gave them Rs 2,000 each.

Mahavir Singh Jagdev, a resident of Sector 8-C and an IIT engineer, sent an email to the Inspector General of Police, appreciating the staff of the PCR vehicle who had showed honesty by returning Rs 19 lakh to the family of deceased Mohan Pal Singh, a resident of Amritsar.

Mohan Pal, a jeweller, had suffered a massive heart attack and died at the ISBT yesterday.

A PCR team took him to the hospital, where a personal search was conducted and heavy cash was recovered from his body.

Mahavir gave Rs 2,000 each to constable Ganga Parshad, and woman constables Monica and Suman.

The IG had rewarded them with Rs 5,000 each yesterday.



1 lakh to participate in nagar kirtan

Panchkula, December 28
About one-lakh persons are likely to participate in the nagar kirtan to be held tomorrow to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

Bhupinder Singh, manager historic, Nadda Sahib Gurdwara, said the main feature of the nagar kirtan would be a special air-conditioned palki, in which the holy Guru Granth Sahib would be placed and it would be passed through various parts of the town. He said more than 400 vehicles, including cars, tractor-trolleys and mini trucks, would be a part of the procession.

Bhupinder said they had already sought permission from the district administration and police and proper security arrangements would be made for the devotees. He said various market committees, Sectors 12, 15 and 7 Gurdwara Singh Sabha and other social organisations had come forward to organise the community kitchen. — TNS



sho assault case
Accused plead innocence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Alleging highhandedness on the part of Chandigarh police, Manavjeet Kaur, a resident of Sector 8, who was booked for assaulting the first woman SHO three days ago, pleaded innocence and said the police registered a false case against her.

Manavjit showed the CCTV footage when members of the other party trespassed on her house, during a press conference today.

“The police is hand in glove with other party and all allegations against us are baseless. We have record of the CCTV footage and have given a complaint to the SSP,” said Manavjit.

“SHO Inspector Punam Dilawari summoned an unjustifiable huge contingent and posse of police force at our house. No assault of any kind ever took place and it was we who were at the receiving end as case has been filed against us, while no action was taken against those who are clearly seen indulging in violence in the CCTV footage. The SHO is biased against me and my family and are shielding the other party who trespassed into our house,” she said.

Manavjit has an ongoing property dispute with her relatives and alleged that the property was sold illegally despite a stay on the disputed area by the High Court.



housing societies
Residents rue denial of basic, estate services
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
Residents of housing societies today apprised the UT Administrator with the denial of basic and estate services to those living in group housing societies spread over Sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51.

Satish Chandra Sharma, chairman Group Housing Cooperative Society’s Welfare Council, said the Chandigarh Housing Board had not done its job properly and left the inhabitants of the societies without the basic and estate services.

“The cooperative societies are being adjudged as self-sustaining units by the CHB and hence it incorporated provision of these services up to the peripheral roads of the societies through Rule 7 and 8 of the land allotment letter to the 120 societies in the city,” he said.

A representation made by the residents stated that of the 120 societies registered in the city, 80 had gone for habitation in the allotted areas.

With managing committees entrusted with carrying out the planning, implementation and developing of the internal infrastructure for engineering wing, public health wing, horticulture wing, street lighting, drainage, road gullies as well as sewerage gutters, no concept was mooted as to how these society managements would carry out the entrusted job.

“The magnitude of the financial burden of developing and maintaining the infrastructure within the four walls of the societies does not seem to have been studied at any level by the administration, turning the present scenario as a clear case of discrimination,” Sharma said.

The representation stated that while the residents of the rest of the city were being provided with the basic civic infrastructure within the precincts of the society and estate services by the administration or the municipal corporation, their denial to the residents of the cooperative societies had become a clear case of discrimination.

The residents have demanded that the rules 7 and 8 of the land allotment letter issued by the CHB to the cooperative societies be reviewed and withdrawn to provide succour to the residents of the societies. Until then, a scheme to moot commensurate grants for maintaining the internal infrastructure for re-carpeting roads, street lighting provision and maintenance, pumping of water to the overhead tanks, upkeep of green belts and parks be formulated and implemented.



Six cabins of showroom gutted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 28
Six cabins of a showroom in Sector 12-A were gutted late last night causing losses of worth several lakhs to cabin owners. The six cabins, including drycleaners shop, boutique, homoeopathic clinic, clinical laboratory, hair saloon, beauty parlour, were completely destroyed in the fire. The major losses were suffered by drycleaners, boutique and clinical laboratory and machines and clothes worth several lakhs were destroyed in the fire.

Short circuit was stated to be the main reason of the fire. However, no loss of life was reported, as no one was present in the showroom at the time of the incident.

A fire tender was pressed into the service, while keeping in view the intensity of the fire, another tender was pressed into the service. It took about two hours for firemen to douse the fire.

According to information, the fire was noticed by policemen as they were on regular patrolling of the area at about 12.30 am. Suspecting that some thieves might be carrying out their nefarious designs, the policemen tried to open the shutter of the showroom.

However, as the shutter was hot, they then realised that the fire has erupted and informed the fire brigade.

Reena, owner of the clinical lab, said she came to know about the incident at 12.45 am and rushed to the site to save expensive testing machines, but everything was lost in the fire by the time she reached the spot, she added.



Murder convict who jumped bail held in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 28
Sagar Chauhan, serving life imprisonment in the Canter driver murder case of 2006, who had jumped bail has been arrested by the Ludhiana police. A .32 pistol with two live cartridges were also recovered from his possession.

During preliminary interrogation, Chauhan told the police that he had jumped the bail and further eloped with a local girl. He was living in Ludhiana ever since.

A senior police official said they were yet to get information in this regard and once they received the details, they would seek the production warrant of the accused.

Chauhan along with 12 other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment by Additional District and Session Judge Sanjeev Jindal on April 6, 2010 under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 364 (Kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 395 (punishment for dacoity) and 396 (dacoity with murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

The case dates back to August 6, 2008 when the gang, posing as excise department officials, intercepted a truck of Khushdil Transport Company of Sector 26, Chandigarh, laden with medicines submersible pumps and welding cylinders, on the the Mouli-Handersa road. The accused were travelling in Hyundai Accent and Tavera vehicles.

They introduced themselves to the truck driver, Kamal Singh, as officials from the excise department. The moment the driver and a 16-year-old boy, accompanying him as cleaner, got down of the truck, they overpowered the two and took them to Rohtak. The accused kept the two in hotels on sedatives.

Later, they took them to Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand with intent to kill and dispose of their bodies.

The accused then threw the driver into the Alaknanda after giving him sedatives. Also, they tied the cleaner in a sack, strangulated him and left him for dead.

However, the cleaner freed himself after regaining consciousness and informed the Uttarakhand police, which later led to the arrest of the accused. The police was, however, unable to recover the truck driver’s body.



Ruchika’s death anniversary today
Kin, friends hope justice will prevail
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service
Complainant Madhu Parkash along with the portrait of Ruchika at her residence in Panchkula on Wednesday
Complainant Madhu Parkash along with the portrait of Ruchika at her residence in Panchkula on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, December 28
On the 18th death anniversary of Ruchika Girhotra, her family and friends are still hopeful of getting justice. Ruchika had committed suicide on December 29 in 1993, three years after former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore molested her.

Madhu Prakash, complainant in the Ruchika molestation case, said though the CBI had given a clean chit to Rathore in two cases, they were still hopeful that Rathore would be punished in the last case, which was pending against him.

She added that the authorities should devise stricter laws so that offenders were punished without delay in such cases.

Madhu’s husband Anand Prakash said after the Ruchika incident, they had been striving to motivate people to fight against the corrupt system so that the common man could get justice.

He added that it was not just about Ruchika but a number of girls, too, who suffered at the hands of people like Rathore.

On her 18th death anniversary, Ruchika is still alive in their memories, he further added.

Having failed to gather any concrete proof against Rathore, the CBI had last year submitted a closure report, pertaining to two FIRs that were registered against Rathore, in an Ambala court.

The two FIRs were registered against Rathore on the complaint of Ruchika’s father and brother. However, a third case in which Rathore was booked for abetting Ruchika to commit suicide was still pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Restoring Rathore’s pension
MHA to challenge CAT verdict
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 28
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to challenge the recent verdict of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh Bench, of restoring former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore’s pension.

Sources revealed that the MHA has decided to file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and it is expected that it would be filed in January.

Recently, the Chandigarh bench of CAT had allowed Rathore’s petition for resumption of his pension. It was withheld by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after his conviction and later he had challenged the orders in CAT.

Rathore in his petition had stated that a departmental inquiry against him was dropped in 1994 after investigations. He had pleaded for the pension saying whatever allegations of misconduct were there, they were as president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Haryana, not as an IPS official. He was demanding pension as an IPS official.

Rathore had stated in the petition that the pension withholding order, which was passed on June 23, 2010, was in violation of the principles of natural justice as well because opportunity of personal hearing was not provided to the applicant.

The order passed by the CAT Bench comprising Justice SD Anand and member Khushi Ram reads, “In the light of the foregoing discussion, we are of the considered view that the competent authority could not have validly directed the withholding of pension on permanent basis.”

“On the view obtained, we have no hesitation in allowing the petition and directing the invalidation of the impugned order. The applicant shall be entitled to whatever consequential relief may be available to him with the invalidation of the impugned order.”



illegal flow of cash
Administration seizes Rs 22 lakh in four cases
Rs 8 lakh released after verification
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 28
On the second day of the exercise to check illegal flow of cash, exceediRavi Kumar and his mother Kaushalya Devi, both residents of Tandwal village near Ambala, got injured as they had a head-on collision when they were returning from Thana Chhappar on a motorcycle near Khan Ahmedpur village on the Ambala-Jagadhari road.ng Rs 1 lakh, the district administration today seized around Rs 22 lakh cash in four different cases at Balongi, Mullanpur, Kurali, and Kharar. Of this, Rs 8 lakh was released after verification.

District election officials had seized around Rs 47.50 lakh in cash in 10 different cases in the district yesterday. The seizure was primarily made during frisking of special nakas set up on the UT-Punjab border here.

Today, the highest seizure of Rs 8.64 lakh was made in the single case at a naka at Mullanpur. Officials on the election duty seized the money in the presence of a deputy director of the income department (investigation).

“The money has been seized as those possessing the money failed to provide documents of financial transactions. We have handed over the cases to the income tax department for further action,” said district election officer Varun Roozam.

In most of the cases, money was in the vehicle frisked by joint teams of the police and election department. It was a mela-like situation as a large number of people had gathered at the nakas to convince officials about the transactions. The entire exercise was video graphed and the State Election Commission was briefed about it.

“From the time of poll notification to the declaration of results, the banks will have to send a daily report to the district election officer (DEO) or returning officer (RO) furnishing the details of withdrawal of over Rs 1 lakh from any individual’s account.” ”If the DEO or RO feels that the withdrawal is suspicious in nature, he would report the same to the state election authorities and also to the top-most income tax officer in the district. In case, the transaction is traced back to any candidate, the IT department will initiate legal action as per the provision of law. The rule will be applicable not only to the individual account but also to NGOs and other oganisations,” the DC said.



Wrongly framed questions
PSEB fails to give grace marks

Mohali, December 28
Hundreds of students appearing in class XII examinations in the non-medical stream of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) have complained that the board authorities have failed to give grace marks in the mathematics paper that had at least 10 wrongly framed questions.

On being approached, the board authorities agreed to give seven grace marks in three of the wrongly framed questions but refused to give grace marks for other seven questions.

The students complained that the board had given grace marks for similarly wrongly framed questions asked last year.

“The marking of question papers has already begun. The board refuses to accept its mistake,” pointed out a number of students. — tns



AIPMT prelim on April 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 28
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be conducting the preliminary examination for All-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Test (AIPMT) on April 1, 2012.

Declaring the schedule today, the board declared that the main examination would be conducted on April 13.

The board has decided to go for online application this time through the official website. The schedule for submission of online application forms without late fee starts on December 26 and will continue till January 25. Being the first year of the online process, the board has established 172 facilitation centres, including one in Riyad and Saudi Arabia. Once the online submission is done, aspirants are supposed to send the confirmation page to the CBSE for the completion of the registration process.



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