C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Relative killed siblings: Police
Raids on to arrest him; photograph to be released today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
It was 26-year-old Rahul, a Raipurani resident and a distant maternal uncle of the two siblings, who brutally killed the two teenagers, Gaurang and Kavita Sahu, at their residence in Sector 41 here on December 16.

Sources in the special investigating team (SIT) of the UT police, formed to crack the case, today confirmed that Rahul masterminded the double murder and raids were on to arrest him. The police will also release his photo to the press tomorrow.

After almost 15 days of investigation, the UT police claimed to have solved the double murder, which had sent shock waves in the city.

The murder was an act of sudden provocation after Gaurang objected to Rahul’s gestures towards his sister Kavita as he came to their residence on the fateful day. Sources said Rahul was in touch with Kavita earlier and broke with her two years ago. They met again at a cousin’s wedding last month in November and exchanged phone numbers.

Sources said Rahul was a die-hard drug addict and also spent eight months at a de-addiction centre at his place. “Rahul is the son of Anand Kumar, cousin of their mother Malti Devi. He eyed her daughter Kavita and Gaurang had a strong objection to it,” said a police official.

On the day of the murder, Rahul came to their residence when he tried to get physical with Kavita. Gaurang strongly objected to this, following which a scuffle followed.

The accused then went upstairs to confront Gaurang where he took out a knife and stabbed him. He then came downstairs and stabbed Kavita, too, as she saw him with a blood-laden knife.

The police said the exact details of the modus operandi would be revealed after the accused’s arrest.

Brother got enraged

The murder was an act of sudden provocation after Gaurang objected to Rahul’s gestures towards his sister Kavita as he came to their residence on the fateful day. A scuffle followed, after which the accused went upstairs to confront Gaurang, where he took out a knife and stabbed him. He then came downstairs and stabbed Kavita, too, as she saw him with a blood-laden knife.



35 children fall ill after eating wild fruit
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 31
Thirtyfive children of a slum in Gate No 4 in Old Panchkula were admitted to the Sector 6 General Hospital for food poisoning here this afternoon. The children, aged between two and 17, were declared out of danger, but some of them had been retained in the hospital and were under observation.

Some children, led by Irshad Ali, ventured into the forest area across the Ghaggar around 11 am and ate some wild fruit. As the fruit seemed tasty, they not only consumed a large quantity of it but also distributed it among other children in their locality after returning from the forest.

A few among them fell unconscious, as they had reportedly consumed the seeds of the wild fruit also, which looked like almond. The children started vomiting and complained of loose motions. The parents of these children rushed them to the hospital, where they were administered glucose to drain out the poisonous substance from their body.

Senior officials of the district administration, including Additional Deputy Commissioner Jagdeep Singh and Women and Child Welfare officer Varinder Kumar, also reached the hospital to enquire about the children.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr VK Bansal, said all children were stable and 60 per cent of them had been discharged from the hospital. He said the other children were also stable and would be discharged after observation.



Kaura case: Police claims, autopsy report at odds
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 31
The Mohali police claim of cracking Chandigarh-based cardiologist Deepak Kaura’s murder does not seem to match the initial report on the postmortem of the victim’s body, throwing several questions about investigations in the case.

Panchkula couple, Deepak Sharma, his wife, Honey, and a PGI junior engineer (JE), Vishal, were arrested for the cardiologist’s murder whose body was found on the rear seat in his Tata Aria car, parked on the Dera Bassi-Habatpur road on December 22.

While the police claimed that the cardiologist had died due to an excessive dose of Fortwin drug injected in the form a single dose administered on his hip, sources revealed the board of doctors which inspected the victim’s body did not notice any injury marks or any mark left behind by the injection. Neither the syringe used to administer the dose had not been recovered nor the empty vials of the Fortwin drug had been recovered.

Though the final medical opinion would be based on the findings of the viscera report of the cardiologist, initial findings by the doctors indicated that some poisonous substance had passed through his throat, leading to his death, as there was blood oozing out of his nose and mouth.

In another contradiction, the police stated that Deepak and Vishal forcibly gagged his mouth with a tape and there were slight marks of struggle near one of his eyes and the face, but the initial autopsy is silent about any such marks. “Even if the assailants removed the tape from his mouth, there should have been signs of removal of the tape,” said a doctor.

SSP Mohali GPS Bhullar said on the basis of preliminary investigation, circumstantial evidence and questioning of the accused, it had emerged that the cardiologist had been given excess injection of Fortwin. The viscera report would pinpoint the exact cause of the death, he said.

Sources in the police said the victim’s body started turning blue and there were dark spots on his neck, arms and an eye. “Soon after being administered the injection, the cardiologist started snoring. After some time, Honey noticed that the doctor had started snoring and blood was oozing out his nose. When they saw the condition of the doctor worsening, they decided to dump him,” said the sources.

However, the family members of the accused contradicted the story of the police that kidnapping for ransom was the reason behind the murder. The father of Honey, BR Aggarwal, said his daughter had a six-month-old baby boy and his children never indulged in such activities. “My daughter has recently completed her PhD and she was full committed to her child,” he said. He said Rs 24,000, being in the victim’s possession, showed that kidnapping for murder was never the motive.

Meanwhile, the Dera Bassi court today sent the three accused to three-day police remand. Though the police had demanded a seven-day police remand, the court allowed three-day remand. The police said it was yet to arrest Dr Shekhar.

Gaping holes in police version on dose potency

  • The police has not been able to explain the potency of the dose injected to Dr Kaura. The vial and the injection have not been recovered. The place on the victim’s body where the injection was administered and the clarifications sought by the investigating officer from the doctors need to be probed

Suspicious movements went unnoticed

No one in the neighbourhood of Deepak Sharma seemed to have noticed an unconscious Dr Kaura (dead as per the police version) being lifted in the Tata Aria and being taken away



DAV School student found dead in hostel room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
A 17-year-old student of DAV School in Sector 8 here was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his hostel room. The deceased, identified as Vineet Sharma, a class XII student, hailed from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh.

The hostel staff said Tenzin Negi, a Vineet’s friend, went to his room at around 9 am and found the door locked from inside. When after repeated attempts, Vineet failed to open the door, Negi called the hostel staff.

The police stated that on finding the door locked from inside, the door was broken open at 10 am.

Vineet was rushed to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital 16, where doctors declared him brought dead.

One of the hostel residents said Vineet, after taking his dinner on Friday, had gone straight to his room, after which nobody saw him.

Vineet was alone at the time of the incident in his room, as his roommate had gone home a few days ago.

Police officials stated that the cause of the death could only be known after the autopsy.

Meanwhile, no suicide note was found from the room.

Sources said food samples from the hostel mess had been sent for tests.

The boy’s family was informed about the incident, which reached the city late in the evening.

A case has been registered and investigations are on.



Fire in FR eatery
Tribune News Service

Smoke billows from the Fun Republic building at Mani Majra in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Smoke billows from the Fun Republic building at Mani Majra in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, December 31
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a fire that broke out in one of the shops of a food court at Fun Republic, Mani Majra, today. The incident occurred in the afternoon when a short-circuit in the false ceiling of shop No. 6, Fen Fang, on the second floor led to a fire.

No major injuries were reported in the fire but an employee of the shop, suffering from asthma, fainted in the shop due to smoke.

An eyewitness, who had gone to watch a movie in the multiplex, said a stampede-like situation was created after the fire alarm went off in the theatres.

However, firemen and security guards of the mall assisted the rescue operation and moved people to safety.

A fire official said people were evacuated from the jam-packed multiplex, shops and food court with the help of the mall security.

However, due to thick smoke, the fire team had a tough time accessing the area where the fire had broken out.

The official said the fire was brought under control following quick reaction by two firemen — Varinder Kumar and Mange Ram.

He added their team stayed back at the scene for another half an hour to prevent the recurrence of fire in the shop.

MC Chief Fire Officer-cum-Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said a fire team would conduct an inspection of the malls, especially kitchens of the shops located in the food court, to ensure that such incidents did not happen again.

The official said a hydraulic platform each from Sector 17 and Mani Majra, a fire tender each from Industrial Area and Mani Majra, and one water boozer were sent to the scene to control the blaze.

The fire officials said the fire was controlled in time, as the fire system installed in the mall was in working condition.

Worker faints

  • While no major injuries were reported in the fire, an employee of the shop, suffering from asthma, fainted in the shop due to smoke



Music lovers bid adieu to 2011
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 31
Multitudes of the tricity music lovers and revelers converged at the Sector-17 Plaza and bade adieu to 2011 with a boisterous bonanza of music and dance organised by the Chandigarh Tourism here today. Every inch of the Plaza was occupied while audience listened to Punjabi star singer Satinder Sartaaj and danced along to his catchy numbers.

The invincible singer, Sartaaj, took over the audience only to spell magic with his popular songs, especially from his latest album “Sartaaj Live”. After the desi bonanza, 15 accomplished male and female dancers of HATA Group from Korea danced straight to the hearts of the audience.

The performance began with a traditional style Samulnori dance, based on the rhythms of traditional Korean folk percussion music. It was followed by Samdo Poongmul Garak (rhythm of three provinces of Korea).

The four traditional Korean instruments, Kwaenggwari (small hand-held gong), Jing (large hand-held gong), Janggo (hourglass drum) and Buk (barrel drum) were played simultaneously, which created an atmosphere of excitement and ecstasy.

The captivating Sogomu dance provided a grand finale to the weeklong extravaganza with an inspired message encapsulated in poet Nafs Ambalvi’s couplet, “Naye bars mein naye marhale talaash karen/Chalo safar ken aye silsile talassh karen.”



MC removes 107 hoardings, 723 posters
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 31
The Zirakpur Municipal Council (MC) has removed over 107 hoardings and 723 posters from the town in the past six days. The council had also issued notices to 11 violators. However, despite drives conducted by the MC, the political parties did not bother to follow the instructions under the model code of conduct.

According to MC sources, 93 hoardings of the Congress were removed, followed by the SAD (11) and BJP (three).


  • Congress 93

  • SAD 11

  • BJP 3


  • Congress 377

  • SAD 190

  • BJP 78

  • PPP 63

  • BSP 15

Similarly, 377 posters belonging to the Congress were removed, 190 posters of the SAD, followed by the BJP (78), People’s Party of Punjab (63) and BSP (15).

A MC official said the team had removed banners, hoardings and posters from the town related to political and other establishments. “We have submitted a report regarding the violations during the campaigning of Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections to higher authorities,” the executive official added.

He said the council would charge the removal cost of posters and hoardings from the political parties concerned after the declaration candidates from the Dera Bassi constituency.



Last-ditch efforts to muster support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
Prominent political parties held last-minute meetings with nominated councillors today to draw support for their mayoral candidates. Sources in the Congress said Union Minister and Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal convened a meeting of elected councillors to educate the first-time members about casting their votes in the mayoral elections tomorrow.

Last year, a furore over the issue of use of cell phones by Congress councillors during the casting of votes in the mayoral elections had left the party in a tight spot. Sources said the issue was, however, not discussed in the party meeting today.

Sources in the BSP said they had been directed by the high command not to support any party in the mayoral elections, as the party did not have an alliance either with the BJP or the Congress at the national level.

The party has fielded Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq for the post of Mayor. The Congress has fielded Raj Bala Malik, a first-time councillor, for the post, while the BJP-SAD alliance has fielded Asha Jaswal for the top post.

For the post of senior deputy mayor, the Congress has fielded Darshan Kumar Garg, while the BJP has fielded Deshraj Gupta.

Satish Kumar Kainth from the Congress will contest for the post of deputy mayor, while Malkeet Singh will be the BJP-SAD alliance candidate for the post. The BSP is only contesting the post of Mayor.

Plasma screens

To avoid chaos in the visitors’ gallery of the municipal corporation general house for a glimpse of the mayoral ceremony on Sunday, two plasma screens will be installed in the parking lot of the MC office. The elections process will start at 10 am.



Demolition Drive
Squad retreats as villagers hurl stones
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 31
A demolition squad of the district administration had to beat a hasty retreat after it came under attack from residents of Rajipur village, near Surajpur, Pinjore, here this morning.

Officials of the District Town Planning Department, municipal corporation, accompanied by a posse of policemen had entered the village with JCB machines to demolish over 10 structures located near the banks of a river when the villagers pelted the JCB machines with stones, forcing the officials to retreat. However, the officials had demolished a marriage palace by then.

According to sources, when officials of the district administration, led by SDM Manita Malik, District Town Planner Hitesh Sharma, tehsildar Anil Kumar, Executive Officer KK Jain, accompanied by a police team reached the village early this morning, hundreds of villagers, led by former sarpanch Naranga Ram and former panch Gurdev Singh, gathered there and demanded some time to remove the structures on their own.

However, when the JCB machines, after demolishing the marriage palace, tried to demolish another structure, where printing work was being carried out, the villagers prevented the machines from enter the building.

When a JCB machine tried to demolish the structure from the rear, the residents got agitated and started pelting the machines with stones, damaging the windscreens.

The villagers also threatened to block the Pinjore-Panchkula national highway.

Gurdev Singh alleged that the administration was demolishing their structures without serving them with any notice.

However, DTP Hitesh Sharma said notices had been served on the persons concerned twice. He said the demolition had been suspended till next week and that it would be resumed next week.

JCB machines attacked

When a JCB machine tried to demolish a structure, residents got agitated and started pelting the machines with stones, damaging their windscreens. The villagers also threatened to block the Pinjore-Panchkula national highway



Assembly elections
Software to assign duties
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 31
For the first time, the Mohali district election office has undertaken the rationalisation of duties of the staff on election duty. District election officer Varun Roojam reviewed the software for the purpose.

He said instead of manually assigning the duties, the job would be assigned with the help of a software that had been especially designed for this specific purpose. The administration would carry out the exercise of preparing new voter lists from January 2 to 4. He said political parties would be allowed to check voter lists after final revision.



Celebrating new year
Just another day for them
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
While New Year revellers hit the roads to celebrate the eve, for many it was just another day. Although the celebrations were held across the city, a section of people spent their New Year’s Eve snuggled around bonfires, braving the chill.

Muna Singh, a daily wager, said New Year did not have any relevance for them. “We look forward to having a peaceful sleep after a hectic day,” he said.

While families and couples headed towards restaurants and hotels for a lavish dinner in the evening, rickshaw pullers were witnessed cooking their food by the roadside as usual.

Ram Nath, a rickshaw puller, said for them nothing could match their food cooked on the stove and the sleep in the corridors of city markets.

“There is no New Year for us. It’s all about hard work and no celebrations,” Nath added.



City parties into the night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
From blaring music in discotheques to Punjabi singer night at the Sector-17 Plaza, New Year’s Eve had something for everyone. Those who are familiar with the clubbing scenario in the city headed to Zirakpur farms where DJ nites were organised.

As the traffic jam continued, youths got out of their vehicles and started dancing on the road. It is a tough time for four-wheelers, as most of the parking lots near hotels in Sectors 8, 9, 10, 26 and 35 were jampacked.

“There is nothing like celebrating in the open with a group of friends. We had a lot of fun and besides as most hotels and clubs allow only couples entry, this was the easiest and even the most economical option for us,” said Jasneet Singh, a student.

The police is at its toes to keep a check at different points in the city on the New Year’s Eve and has also put barricades to check drunk driving cases.



Ex-servicemen criticise MoD’s welfare department

Chandigarh, December 31
Ex-servicemen have flayed the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) in the Ministry of Defence over negative and anti-veteran attitude of its functionaries.

There is also resentment against the DESW for filing appeals in the Supreme Court against favourable verdicts rendered by various courts for disabled personnel. In fact, the department is known to continue challenging verdicts of the high courts and tribunals even after authoritative judgments of the SC on certain issues.

Sources said that even Chief of Army Staff had directed that no appeals should be filed in such cases in view of settled legal position, the lower level staff of the DESW continued to impress upon the MoD to direct the Army HQ to file appeals. "The DESW is also insisting upon filing review petitions in similar cases decided by the SC in favour of disabled," sources said. — TNS




Panchkula, December 31
The following have been elected office-bearers to the Maa Shakti Cooperative Group Housing Society Limited, GH 111, Sector 20, Panchkula: president — Rajbir Singh; vice-president — Amarbir Singh Sidhu; secretary — Kartar Chand and treasurer — Vandana. TNS



CBSE decides on one school pre-board
Says only one summative assessment or written test be conducted at the end of a term
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
In what is bound to relieve thousands of classes X and XII students across the city, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has barred schools from conducting repeated pre-boards, which run late into February at times.

Confirming the move, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said, “As per our latest evaluation system CCE, only one summative assessment or written test should be conducted at the end of a term. No schools, as per the law, can have pre-boards number of times or extend them late in February as a child has to appear for boards in March.”

A majority of the city schools conduct two to three pre-boards every year on the pretext of making students better prepared for the boards or simply as qualifying criteria to issue boards roll numbers. Many a times, a student who fails to get requisite percentage or grade in December pre-boards are made to reappear for examination in January or February and are not issued roll numbers till day one of the boards.

“If a child has requisite attendance and qualifies as per the norms set by the boards than no school can hold back any roll number or force students to reappear for pre-boards to get same. We have our instructions clear in this regard and will deal severely with erring institutions,” added Vineet.

The school principals, however, consider at least two boards need of the hour.

“The schools don’t conduct these exams for any pleasure. A majority of the students stop coming to schools from November, which initially leads to attendance issues. To deal with this problem conducting these exams come handy and moreover they provide revision to students. We have numerous examples where a consistent below average students ended up getting 70 per cent marks because he was made to sit for three pre-boards. Parents are with us in it,” said a principal on the condition of anonymity.



11 colleges yet to get re-accreditation
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 31
Only two, out of total 13 government and non-government colleges in the city, are accredited to the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous institution established by the University Grant Commission (UGC).

While Dev Samaj College, Sector 36, and Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College (SD College), Sector 32, have re-accredited, NAAC accreditation of all other city colleges has expired.

It seems that education in the city colleges has hit a low with only two colleges presently accredited by NAAC. The new methodology of assessment and accreditation was introduced in 2007 but a majority of the city colleges are yet to get re-accredited. NAAC now assesses an institution and rates it on the CGPA score based on which the institutes get a grade from A, B, C or D.

The NAAC has been set up to help all participating institutions assess their performance and set parameters. The NAAC accreditation is important for a college to avail grants under schemes introduced by the UGC, including potential for excellence and innovative programme for colleges.

Eleven city colleges whose accreditation validity period is over includes DAV College, Sector 10; Dev Samaj College, Sector 45-B; Government College, Sector 11; Government College, Sector 46; Home Science College, Sector 10; Government College for Girls, Sector 42; Government College for Girls, Sector 11; Government College of Education, Sector 20; Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26; Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26; and MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36.

After the completion of five-year tenure of accreditation, the colleges may seek re-accreditation. The colleges are assessed on the basis of seven principles.

When contacted, AK Nanda, officiating principal of DAV College, said they were going to review the situation and got into the accreditation process at the earliest.

Principal of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, JS Raghu, said they were aware that the college’s NAAC accreditation validity had expired and they were preparing to get the college re-accredited by NAAC.



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