C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Siblings’ murder
Photograph of accused released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
With the police failing in arresting the accused, Rahul, in the siblings’murder case following repeated raids across his possible hideouts in Haryana and Delhi, the UT police today released the photograph of Rahul who allegedly murdered Gaurang and Kavita Sahu at their residence in Sector 41 on December 16. The police announced that anyone providing information leading to the arrest of the accused would be rewarded a sum of Rs 2 lakh.

“We have been conducting raids at his possible hideouts across Haryana and Delhi over the last few days but he has managed to flee. We have sufficient evidence to nail him as all investigations point that Rahul, the 26-year-old maternal uncle of the two, brutally stabbed them to death,” said UT SSP Naunihal Singh.

Senior police officials said that the exact motive and modus operandi that led to the murder would be clear only after Rahul was arrested. Police sources said the accused also sustained injuries while stabbing the two, as the teenagers resisted the attack.

Relatives of the accused have also confirmed that the sweater that was recovered from the scene of crime belonged to Rahul, who is a drug addict.

Police investigations have also revealed that Rahul had stayed at the house of the siblings along with his elder brother Naresh and another person, who was the senior colleague of Naresh earlier. The police today questioned Rahul’s father Amar Chand and his two brothers, in connection with the double murder. Amar Chand is a government teacher appointed in a school in Panchkula district.

Why the police believes that Rahul is the killer?

n Accused Rahul’s sweater recovered from the spot identified by his relatives as his.

n ‘Beedi’ of a particular brand, which Rahul smokes, recovered from the spot.

n He is absconding since the murder

n Stole cash worth ~4,000 from his residence before absconding.

n Has a violent temperament and is a drug addict

n Had an affair with Kavita two years ago. After they broke up, he forced her to develop relations with him again. Gaurang was killed as he objected to Rahul eyeing his sister.

n A neighbour saw the accused entering the house on the day of crime.

Forensic evidence the police will rely upon

n Hair recovered from Kavita’s hand will be matched with Rahul’s hair by the CFSL once he is arrested.

n DNA samples recovered from the spot will be examined.

n Fingerprints from the blood-stained knife recovered from the spot will be matched with those of the accused.

n Statements of an eyewitness who saw the accused entering the Sector-41 house on the day of the incident.



Kaura Murder Case
Prime suspect posed as PGI doc
Even prescribed medicines to patients coming in his contact
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
For many, Deepak Sharma, one of the main accused in the murder of high-profile Chandigarh-based cardiologist, Deepak Kaura, was a respectable junior resident (JR) in the Department of Surgery at the PGI, Chandigarh, who would prescribe medicines to patients coming in his contact.

Since he hailed from a family of doctors at Jhajjar, Deepak, (who is a graduate) always believed that he was a doctor and took help of the second accused Vishal in the murder, who is a telephone assistant at the PGI, to prepare a fake Identity card of the junior resident.

While selling the vehicles stolen by him, he even presented himself as a doctor. In October last, he had taken out an advertisement in the newspaper “doctor’s scooter on sale” to dispose off Sureka Sharma’s scooter that was stolen from the PGI.

So far, the police is learnt to have traced five stolen vehicles. The modus operandi of Deepak and Vishal was that they used to steal the vehicles from the PGI, drive home the stolen vehicle to replace the registration numbers with a fake one and then again park the vehicles at the PGI. “The fact that he was the owner of the vehicle and a doctor at the PGI added credibility to the entire exercise”, said sources in the police.

After stealing the vehicles, the duo used to prepare forged documents with the help of computer and scanners and fix fake number of the stolen vehicles. The police has recovered the computer and related paraphernalia.

Vishal is said to be the masterminded behind the mobile connectivity between him and the accused couple, Deepak and his wife, Honey. Having access to mobile handsets and SIM of doctors at the PGI, he gave different numbers to Deepak to call up the persons to whom the stolen vehicles were sold. The mobile phones were used in such a manner that it was almost impossible to crack the murder.



Admn mulls 5% reduction in power tariff
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The senior officials of UT Administration are mulling over reducing the proposed power tariff hike from 50 per cent to 45 per cent.

Last week, the UT electricity department had made a proposal to hike power tariff by 50 per cent in the next financial year 2012-13 and the proposal was to be submitted before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).

Sources in the UT Administration said as the date of submitting the proposal before the JERC was January 15, officials were calculating how much hike could be reduced.

A senior official of the UT Administration said though the hike in power tariff would be applicable only after the approval of the JERC, still they were finding ways to lessen the financial burden on consumers.

With no power generation of its own, Chandigarh buys electricity from other states at a reported average price of Rs 5.42 per unit, while the average selling cost is around Rs 4.10 per unit.

Sources said in the present financial year 2011-12, the UT Administration was expected to spend Rs 838.77 crore with earnings from the power being Rs 487.11 crore, a deficit of Rs 351.66 crore.aThe hike will be the second major hike, as the UT electricity department had announced a steep hike in electricity tariff, ranging between 27 per cent and 31 per cent for domestic consumers and 22 per cent for commercial users, with effect from April 1 this year.



Lukewarm response to UT public darbar
Only 11 complainants turn up at the session
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The first public darbar of the UT Administrator Shivraj Patil received a lukewarm response at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, today.

Turning up of just 11 complainants in today’s public hearing session, which was held after a gap of one-and-a-half month, just corroborated the fact that the ‘official ritual’ had become a mere formality. Interestingly, out of the total 11 complainants, three were office-bearers of different local associations, who came to discuss general issues, which included reduction in diesel prices as well as misuse charges and permission to run business from top floors of houses in the city.

“Surely, 11 is a very small number for such a session, where the UT Administrator himself remains present along with senior functionaries of the administration to address the complaints of the general public,” admitted a senior official of the UT Administration, on condition of anonymity. There were instances when the sessions had to be postponed, as the number of complaints was less in number, added another senior official.

There was no session last month and the last ‘darbar’, held on November 22, had witnessed only four complainants. That session was wrapped up in just 20 minutes.

Notably, only eight sessions were held last year, whereas12 scheduled ‘dabars’ had been cancelled.

The ‘uncertainty’ over holding theses sessions was the main reason behind low turnout in the sessions, admitted the official.

UT former administrator SF Rodrigues had initiated this ritual and the number of complainants was much higher in the sessions held by him. “But after mid 
2011, the sessions have been witnessing a very low turnout,” said the official.

PEC faculty member seeks fair probe

Dr Geeta Arora, a faculty member at Punjab Engineering College, demanded a fair inquiry into her complaint of harassment and victimisation against her senior colleague AM Kalra following which UT Administrator Shivraj Patil asked her to submit an affidavit in this regard and directed the officials to initiate the necessary action. While coming out of the session on Monday, Arora said,“I was harassed at my work place and put under suspension on false charges on October 1, 2010. Though my suspension was revoked on July 7, 2011, I want a proper inquiry into the case so that my innocence can be proved. Since nobody was ready to listen to my grievances, I came to meet the Administrator.”



2,000 telephone connections go dead in Mohali
Thieves steal a 15-metre long underground telephone cable
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
Over 2,000 telephone connections in Mohali went dead last night after thieves stole 15-metre long underground telephone cable, disrupting telephone services at the Deputy Commissioner’s office and industrial/ residential areas from Phase I to Phase VI here.

This is the sixth incident of theft in the city in the last five months and the police has not been able to arrest any members of the gang involved in the theft.

Officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) realised the extent of damage in the morning when they saw that the thieves had broken the sealed lid of the underground chamber and removed the expensive cable near Phase I here. Incidentally, the theft took place just next to the rotary of Phase I and Phase IV here. “It will take another three days to reconnect the cables as it requires a lot of exercise”, said a BSNL official inspecting the repair work at the site.

A senior official in the BSNL said despite repeated requests made to the district police, no effort had been made in the past to catch the burglars who only target the underground cable. But the police seldom lodge an FIR and just daily diary reports (DDR) are lodged but no investigations have been done to track down the thefts, he said. He further said the Police Control Room (PCR) vehicles were not patrolling the areas properly.

“The telephone went dead this morning and I could not receive important business calls”, said Manjeet Singh, an entrepreneur in Industrial Area, Phase I.

The BSNL official believes that the cable had been stolen more to cripple the services of the service provider. The heavily weighing four cable were taken away in a vehicle, said a BSNL official. The thieves broke the sealed cover of the underground chamber to remove the cable.


fire department
Housing complexes in a shambles
Broken windows, cracked ceilings tell tale of its dilapidated condition
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
It seems that the annual maintenance of housing complexes of the fire department in the city is nobody’s baby. As for the last 15 years, neither the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) nor UT Administration is renovating or conducting repair of 92 houses of employees of the fire department.

The dilapidated condition of a house at a fire station in Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh.
The dilapidated condition of a house at a fire station in Industrial Area, Phase I, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Resultantly, the residential area located in the first fire station of the city in the Industrial Area, Phase I, is in a shambles.

During a visit to the fire station, it was found that all seven houses, which are located in the fire station, have broken windows, floor, cracked ceiling and dismantled electric wires. The houses are surrounded by wild growth of grass due to which snakes were usually seen in the houses.

Sources revealed that about one year ago, the department forcefully allotted the houses to firemen, but all of them surrendered them, as the condition of the houses was bad and they were not apt for living.

The sources said after the employees surrendered them, the authorities engaged a private contractor for their renovation. But after renovating it for five months, he discontinued the work without informing the authorities.

MC chief fire official Lalit Siwach stated that the department has sent 10 reminders to the MC chief engineer for renovation of these houses, but all in vain, as no action has been taken till date.

When contacted, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said in the next two months, the maintenance work of the fire department residential areas would be allotted to some other contractor.

In other fire residential areas, located in Sectors 11, 17, 20, 32, 33, 38, 46, Mani Majra and Industrial Area, Phase I and II, no maintenance work has been done for the last more than a decade. Due to which, a majority of the houses are in a dire need of renovation.



burail jail
Hitch in video conferencing facility
Work delayed as UT Administration fails to solve connectivity problem
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The video conferencing facility to link the Burail Jail with the district court complex in Sector 17 is getting delayed, as the UT Administration has failed to solve the connectivity problem.

To solve the connectivity problem, the UT Administration was communicating with the BSNL, but so far nothing has been finalised. Sources further revealed that the construction of a special room on the Burail Jail premises to start the facility was also not completed.

The UT Administration has already missed the deadline for the installation of the facility.

In a response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration had promised to begin the 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.

Due to the delay in the installation of the facility, a few right-wing activists attacked BKI terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara on the district court premises on November 11 last year.

Panchkula had taken the lead in the tricity by connecting Panchkula district court with Ambala Central Jail through video conferencing in 2010. This facility is functioning without a hitch.



Municipal corporation issues challans to 51 violators
Anti-encroachment drive in Sector 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
During a special anti-encroachment drive carried out by the municipal corporation (MC) enforcement wing today, 51 challans were issued to violators in Patel Market, Sector 15.
Members of the municipal corporation enforcement wing load seized material in a truck during an anti-encroachment drive in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Monday.
Members of the municipal corporation enforcement wing load seized material in a truck during an anti-encroachment drive in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Monday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

During the drive, material, including garments, shop counters and chairs, lying on the passages of the market were removed. Seven trucks were loaded with the seized material.

In addition, a drive was also held in the motor market, Mani Majra, where the enforcement wing of the municipal corporation lifted 10 cars, two cranes, one jeep and various types of machine tools and issued challans to 50 encroachers.

The drive was carried out under the supervision of enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh, along with seven sub-inspectors and supporting staff of the enforcement wing of the MC.



public darbar
Admn not interested in reducing diesel prices
Administrator directs Finance Secy to study rate structure of neighbouring towns
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
While dealers of petrol stations in the city continued to lose business in diesel sale due to higher rates of the product here in comparison of its satellite towns, the UT Administration does not seem interested in bringing the rate of the product at par with Mohali and Panchkula by decreasing the diesel rates.

Punjab Governor and Administrator Shivraj Patil listens to grievances at the public hearing session in Chandigarh on Monday.
Punjab Governor and Administrator Shivraj Patil listens to grievances at the public hearing session in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Though UT Administrator Shivraj Patil today directed UT finance secretary VK Singh to study the rate structure of diesel in the neighbouring towns and give him a feedback following an interaction with members of the Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers’ Association (CPDA) at the public hearing session. Some of the members termed it dilly-delaying tactics being adopted by the administration in the issue.

“We have presented our case many a time and the administration is well aware of all aspects of the issue,” said Amanpreet Singh, CPDA general secretary, adding that due to higher rates of the diesel here, the city has been losing Rs 10 crore business to Mohali and Panchkula every year. If the diesel rates come at par with the satellite towns, the revenue of the administration would also go northwards, he added.

“The main reasons of the highest rates of the product here is high charges of VAT and non-availability of oil depot in the city. While VAT here is 12.5 per cent (in Haryana VAT is 8.8 per cent, in Punjab VAT is 9.68 per cent), we have to give extra two per cent CST, as the city has no oil depot and we are getting the product from Ambala depot. If the administration brings VAT down to 9 per cent as in Haryana and get us oil depot here, the diesel rates can be brought down in the city,” said Amanpreet Singh.

Notably, a proposal of decreasing VAT from 12.5 per cent to 8.8 per cent on diesel was made by the UT Deputy Commissioner (DC) and was put forward to UT finance secretary VK Singh last year. In July, VK Singh had sent the proposal back to the DC after putting some observations on it. But after that no step was taken by the administration to slash VAT.

“We have to follow the directions of the Central government’s empowered committee, while the state can take their own decisions regarding fixing VAT,” said a senior official of the UT Administration, adding that slashing of VAT was not so easy here.

“We have to see pros and cons in the issue before finalising anything. If the rates of diesel are higher here, the petrol rates are also lower than Punjab. We will look into it and see what could be done,” said VK Singh.

Due to the difference in the prices of diesel, the city has been witnessing a drastic dip of around 9-lakh litre every month, claimed certain members of the CPDA. “An overall dip is around 40 per cent due to which the administration is also losing revenue of about Rs 7 crore per year,” said Amanpreet Singh.



Encroachments spread in town
Courtesy, staff crunch in tehbazari wing, absence of check
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 2
Shortage of staff in the tehbazari wing and lack of security cover by the police have led to encroachments by shopkeepers in verandas of various markets as the Mohali municipal council has failed to carry out a consistent drive to get these areas vacated.

The market verandas and other areas are encroached upon by shopkeepers in most parts of the town and encroachments multiply in the evening when other persons also put up temporary stalls.

The problem of illegal plying of rehris has also been a menace which has been condemned by residents several times.

Anti-encroachment drives are carried out by the civic body now and then but action has not been taken to deter shopkeepers from using varandas for stocking various items. Though the tehbazari wing is short of staff to properly carry out drives, even the police’s help is not forthcoming, despite several requests.

It is learnt that the tehbazari wing of the civic body has two vehicles and about eight employees who complain that they have to face the wrath of shopkeepers who get united when the civic body employees go to remove encroachments.

Sources said the executive officer of the civic body had requested the DSP in November to provide a security cover to council employees when anti-encroachment drives were carried out. Later in the month, the joint commissioner requested the SSP to provide police personnel. In December, the administrator of the council again requested for police’s help but a response in this regard was still awaited.

Market verandas in almost the entire town have been encroached upon by shopkeepers and persons frequenting the markets have to walk in the open under scorching sun as well as in rainy season. Owners of eating joints place chairs in parking areas for the convenience of customers without realising that they are creating parking hurdles.

No action against violators

Anti-encroachment drives are carried out by the civic body now and then but action has not been taken to deter shopkeepers from using varandas for stocking various items. Though the tehbazari wing is short of staff to properly carry out drives, even the police’s help is not forthcoming, despite several requests.



Harbhajan Mann campaigns for Balwant Ramoowalia
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
Singer Harbhajan Mann campaigns for SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia in Mohali on Monday. Punjabi singer Harbhajan Singh Mann, who is son-in-law of SAD candidate from Mohali Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, today campaigned for him. While seeking votes for his father-in-law, the singer said he was supporting Ramoowalia due to his clean image and social works being done by him. On a whirlwind tour of villages in the Mohali constituency, the singer attracted a large crowd.

Singer Harbhajan Mann campaigns for SAD candidate Balwant Singh Ramoowalia in Mohali on Monday. A Tribune photograph



Four injured in accidents
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
Four persons, including an infant, were injured in two separate accidents here today. A Zen car driven by a doctor jumped a divider after she lost control over it, injuring three persons, including the infant.

The car that hit a motorcycle on the road separating Phases II and IV in Mohali on Monday.
The car that hit a motorcycle on the road separating Phases II and IV in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Eyewitnesses said the car was coming from Franco Hotel side and was being driven at a high speed. While trying to negotiate a turn at the Diplast roundabout, she lost control over the vehicle and it hit a motorcyclist coming from the opposite side. The car also hit an aged pedestrian, who was carrying an infant in his arms.

The 60-year-old man has been identified as Mewa Singh, a resident of Phase IV. He was carrying his 10-month-old grandson. Side railings installed on the pavement got damaged due to the impact of the collision. The motorcyclist has been identified as Amit Kumar, a resident of Phase II, in Mohali. Amit also sustained an injury in his left arm.

The husband of the doctor on reaching the spot said she was running fever and due to an emergency call had gone to attend a delivery case at a hospital in Phase I.

All injured were taken to Indus Hospital, where Mewa Singh and Amit were discharged after being treated, but the infant was referred to a hospital in Chandigarh for CT scan. No case was registered till the filing of this report.

In the second accident, a truck rammed into a Qualis near the intersection of Industrial Area, Phases V and VII.

The accident occurred at about 7.30 am and the driver of the Qualis, Naresh Kumar, sustained injuries. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, Mohali. His condition is stated to be stable.

Fog could be the reason behind the mishap. The police arrested the driver and impounded the truck.



assembly poll
DC reviews security arrangements
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam today held a meeting with the police officials to review security arrangements for the forthcoming elections. The returning officers of Mohali, Kharar and Dera Bassi also attended the meeting.
A policeman removes a red beacon from a car of a woman, who claimed to be an office-bearer of the woman wing of Congress.
A policeman removes a red beacon from a car of a woman, who claimed to be an office-bearer of the woman wing of Congress. A Tribune photograph

Various guidelines from the Election Commission were given to the election staff. The DC and SSP discussed the deployment of police at the hyper sensitive and sensitive booths. The SSP said all anti-social elements were being rounded up. Those in possession of firearms were being asked to surrender those. After verification, the firearms will be returned to the holder, if the situation demands. Various static and flying squads were frisked commuters at check posts.

Liquor seized

The flying squad officials seized 12 bottles of imported liquor from an advocate and imposed a penalty of Rs 24,000. Similarly, bottles in small quantity were seized from other points in the district. 



Poor response to e -ticketing
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) go green campaign on e-ticketing received a lukewarm response as only Internet savvy people, especially youngsters, could respond to the campaign.

As per information, only three to four persons in a bogey of a train were able to show the e-ticket confirmation message simply known as virtual reservation message from their mobile or laptop. Virtual Reservation Message (VRM) is a screen-shot of the e-ticket displayed through laptops/palmtops/ mobile phones.

A senior railway official said the VRM was yet to become familiar with the people as most of the passengers did not know how to download the VRM on their mobile phones or laptops. He said the TCs had been provided training to check the VRM message on the mobile phones and laptops on their own, along with ID proofs of passengers.

If e-ticket passengers download the VRM, it will not only save paper, but also trees which are being cut to manufacture the paper.

Nearly, 3 lakh A4 size papers were being used by passengers everyday to print standard specified performa containing reservation particulars and instructions, which were being used by passengers, along with relevant authorised identification proofs, as travel authority for performing the journey.

The IRCTC, the largest e-commerce website in India, has urged the railway commuters to download ticket confirmation message (called as virtual reservation message or simply VRM) on their mobiles or laptops. The same can be shown to the ticket checkers (TC’s) along with their ID proofs.

The Railway Board cleared the IRCTC’s go green project on July 7, 2011, under which it was sufficient to carry the ticket on electronic mode as - mobile, laptop and i-pad. However, it was made mandatory to carry a valid ID, else, it would be considered as travelling without ticket.

Ranjit Singh (62), a resident of Sector 47, said though he could book his e-ticket using Internet, he did not know how to download the VRM on his mobile phone. “I am waiting for my son to return from Australia. He will guide me to download the message on my mobile phone,” said Ranjit.



Chill may not be good for your heart, say doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Winter poses an additional risk to those who suffer from heart problems or high blood pressure. Doctors say the risk of having a heart attack during winter might be twice as high as in summer.

Dr HK Bali, cardiologists, Fortis Hospital, said when the weather was cold, the heart also had to work harder as the metabolic rate of the body increased to maintain body heat. “The arteries tighten, restricting blood flow and reducing oxygen supply to the heart and blood pressure may also rise due to peripheral vasoconstriction during severe cold,” said doctors. Experts said there was also an increased risk of mild viral illness involving the respiratory system. Dark days and general gloominess of the weather can also create heart problems. 

Doctors suggest

n Wear a headscarf to protect ears and head.

n Make sure to keep your hands and feet warm.

n Don’t over-exercise: If you are not in the habit of exercising, don’t start in winter.

n Those suffering from high blood pressure should avoid early morning walks when it is cold.

n If you are used to regular exercise, stay away from a hectic exercise regimen. Instead, seek a doctor’s advice before starting a new exercise regimen.

n Control your diet: High-fat food combined with little physical activity can lead to high sugar levels. High blood glucose levels can increase the risk of heart disease.

n Avoid getting drenched: If you are diabetic or hypertensive, get an influenza shot to lower the risk of winter-associated respiratory illness. This can reduce chances of angina and heart attack.

n Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In case, you experience chest pain or uneasiness, consult your doctor immediately.



Poultry course for jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Burail Jail authorities today inaugurated a poultry course for jail inmates in collaboration with the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO). It is a six-day course, which will cover rearing, maintenance, marketing, etc, in the field of poultry.

Four batches, each consisting 25 inmates, are formed for the course. A certificate and Rs 600 stipend will be given after the completion of the course to the inmates. This certificate will help in getting small loans for self-employment. It will also provide employment in the field of poultry as skilled labour.



Fog delays flights, trains 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
As fog has engulfed the entire northern region, flights and trains continue to run behind schedule. The 12011 Shatabdi train from Delhi was late by one hour and 20 minutes against its scheduled arrival at 11.05 am, while the 14095 Himalayan Queen was also delayed by about 50 minutes against its scheduled time of 10.27 pm. Similarly, the 12231 Lucknow-Chandigarh express which was scheduled to arrive at 9.55 am was delayed by one hour and 10 minutes.

As per information, two flights of the Jet Airways departing from the city in the evening and morning had been cancelled due to dense fog at the Delhi airport. The arrival of the morning flights in the city was also delayed due to poor visibility.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 10.4 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal. The maximum temperature was recorded at 20.4, one degrees below normal. The maximum humidity was recorded at 90 per cent, while the minimum was recorded at 58 per cent.

Surinder Pal, director Chandigarh Met department, said there would be a gradual fall in the minimum temperature in the next couple of days. He said fog could occur in the morning and there was possibility of rain on Wednesday due to cloud formation in the region. aMeanwhile, weathermen have predicted a clear sky with fog or mist during morning and evening. “The maximum temperature on Tuesday will be around 20 degrees Celsius.



Command Hospital nominated as centre of excellence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
In recognition of the high standards of professionalism and dedication displayed by doctors, nurses and other staff members towards the well being of soldiers, veterans and their families, the Command Hospital, Chandi Mandir, has been nominated as a centre of excellence in the medical field.

Speaking on the occasion of the 248th anniversary of the Army Medical Corps (AMC), Lt Gen SR Ghosh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, said 2012 would be dedicated to medical care and devotion to patients. He also released the hospital’s information bulletin “Arogya” and awarded commendations to six doctors for their services.

These included Col SRB Singh, Col R Maggon, Col D Vivekanand, Lt Col S Maurya, Lt Col Anirudh Singh and Lt Col Shashi Vadhanan.

Events like a special sainik sammelan, sports competitions and a “barakhana” for all ranks of the corps and their families were also organised.

The Army Medical Corps is responsible for providing medical and health cover to the troops, veterans and their families.



Jyotirgamaya goes live for 72 hours
First community radio station to set world record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Panjab University (PU) community radio station, 91.2 Jyotirgamaya, achieved new heights by becoming the first community radio station across the world to have gone live for 72 hours.
Student RJs of the School of Communication Studies strike a pose at Panjab University.
Student RJs of the School of Communication Studies strike a pose at Panjab University. A tribune photograph

The record had so far been held by a community radio station at United States (US) for going live for 15 hours in 2011, while BBC has a record of 52-hour live programming, which was set in 2009.

The PU mass communication department has credited this achievement to a team of eight students, namely RJs Varun, Shweta, Neha, media advisor Nupur Malhotra and producers Prateek, Sonali, Srishti and Divya.

Jyotirgamaya coordinator, Prof Bhupinder Singh Bhoop, along with all chairpersons and experts who have been interviewed during the 72-hour live marathon were invited for the celebrations of the success.

PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti presented mementos to all eight students while appreciating their efforts and said, “It should not be viewed as 72 hours of radio programming, but 72 hours of community service. The initiative has realised the true aim of setting up of this radio station.”



Vineet’s Death
Parents point fingers at hostel warden
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Parents of 16-year-old Vineet Sharma, a student of class XII of DAV Public School, Sector 8, have refused to accept that their son died under mysterious circumstances and have raised fingers at hostel warden Ashwini.

Accusing him of torturing Vineet mentally and forcing him to accept being a drug addict, Vineet’s father claimed that his son had been murdered and the matter was being hushed.

While school principal Vibha Ray failed to respond to numerous calls made to her, the accused warden, Ashwini, said Vineet was a decent boy and he had given his side of the story to the police.

“My son always slept in shorts but when we saw his body, he had jacket, socks and shoes on. According to what we got to know, the school authorities never informed the police about the incident but got four boys to send Vineet’s body to the Sector-16 hospital and it was the hospital authorities which called the police,” alleged Devi Lal Sharma, Vineet’s father.

“My brother has been in hostel for four years, but there has never been a problem in the last three years. But ever since Ashwini became the warden, he used to mentally torture him. My father has had a surgery in the PGI and Vineet concealed his misery for long but a few months ago, he revealed that the warden was forcing him to confess being a drug and alcohol addict. In November, just before his exams, his almirah was set on fire. He gave us a call and told the warden was targeting him and even said he feared for his life,” said Vineet’s sister.

Sources in the school said death might also be an outcome of the ongoing rivalry between the groups of students belonging to Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

The family will be coming to the city tomorrow to meet SP Naunihal Singh and to demand speedy justice for Vineet who is known to be a decent boy.




CFSL team visits school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
A team of experts from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Sector 36, today visited DAV School, Sector 8, hostel and seized some items from the room of Vineet Sharma, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances on Saturday.

A team of CFSL today inspected room number 216 of Hari Ram Hostel, DAV School. Police sources said the forensic experts had seized some items, which suggested that someone used to smoke in the room.

Vineet was found dead in his room on December 31 and his family has lodged a complaint against hostel warden Ashwini Kumar alleging that the warden used to torture Vineet. The body has been handed over to the family members and it was cremated in their native village in Kullu. A special panel of three doctors did not find any internal and external injury marks on the body during the post-mortem examination.



Chandigarh Scan
New Year celebrations

New Year began with a cake-cutting ceremony at the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, Sector 8-C, Chandigarh head office. All staff members of the institutes participated in the ceremony. Chairman, Dr Zora Singh, and vice-chairman Tajinder Kaur spoke on the occasion. Tajinder Kaur while greeting the staff urged them to work whole heartedly for taking the group to new heights so that the students taking education in these institutes may feel proud of their alma mater.

Noble Cause: Students from Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, donate clothes and shoes to poor children in Chandigarh on Monday.
Noble Cause: Students from Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, donate clothes and shoes to poor children in Chandigarh on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Community kitchen organised

Thousands of employees of the health and family welfare department, Punjab, here on Monday held a religious ceremony on the first working day, wherein Shri Sukhmani Sahib path, followed with a kirtan by Bhai Lakhwinder Singh was organised by the Punjab health and medical directorate union followed by a community kitchen at the Parivar Kalyan Bhawan, Sector 34. More than 2,000 officials of the health and family welfare department, nursing and lab technicians’ associations, research and medical education department, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, National Rural Health Mission, food testing laboratory, state institute of health and family welfare and other institutions under the ambit of the health department took part in the ceremony. Dr JP Singh, director, health and family welfare, Punjab, and Dr Dalip Kumar, director family welfare, were the guests of honour. President Bhupinder Pipat and general secretary Parampreet Singh of the Health Employees Union informed that all arrangements in respect of holding the ceremony as well as langar were carried by collective efforts and contribution by all employees.

Faculty programme

The Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology is organising a faculty development programme from January 9 to January 13 on digital signal and image processing using modern software tools. It is the Punjab Technical University sponsored programme and is being conducted as per bylaws of the PTU applicable for this purpose. SSIET, Dera Bassi, arranged resource persons for delivering lectures.

Student wins laurels

Gurasis, a resident of Sector 69, Mohali, has brought laurels to his family by achieving first rank in the recently held National Cyber Olympiad, 2011, at the state level and 21st rank at the international level. Gurasis is a student of Delhi Public School.

Development programme

Punjab Technical University’s sponsored a five-day faculty development programme held at GGS College of Modern Technology. The motive of this programme was for total quality management to pave a beneficial way for educating technical faculty to get globally fit in the education sector. The total quality management is a technique where faculty can drastically transform classroom environment. — Tribune Reporters



Laxmi is best teacher
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
On the occasion of its founder’s day, St Soldier School organised a three-day akhand path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Dr Jaswinderjit Singh, president, Royal Vets Club, was the guest of honour.

The Aruna Memorial Saini Award for the best teacher, instituted by the Royal Vets Club, Chandigarh, was awarded to Laxmi Sharma, a mathematics teacher. Principal Vijaya Sidhu proposed a vote of thanks.



Govt smart school to be inaugurated on Jan 13
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
After being delayed for almost two months following the municipal corporation poll model code of conduct, the city’s first-ever government smart school, built in Sector 53, will be inaugurated on January 13.

The department is all set to admit or shift students to this school, having a capacity of around 2,000 students, which will eventually help in easing enrollment pressure on the nearby schools.

The smart school is the first government school to be built to accommodate integrated communication technology (ICT)-equipped classrooms with four more in the pipeline. The school aims at providing private sector like smart education but at affordable prices.

In addition to revamping the current education system, the school was being seen as a solution to the skewed teacher-student ratio ailing schools in the southern sectors like Government Model School in Sector 45.

“The file to inaugurate this school on January 13 has already been mooted. We could have shifted the students to this school earlier but doing so without a formal inauguration would have been an injustice to our efforts,” said a senior official of the department.



Students boycott classes, seek principal’s transfer
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
Students of Government Senior Secondary at Karanpur village in Pinjore block, near here, boycotted classes in support of their demand.

Students of Government Senior Secondary, Karanpur village, Pinjore block, stage a protest, in Panchkula
Students of Government Senior Secondary, Karanpur village, Pinjore block, stage a protest, in Panchkula. A Tribune photograph.

As per information, there had been a tussle between the staff members and principal for the past more than two years. Both the parties had been lodging complaints against each other. Today when the school opened, the students started raising slogans against the principal and staged a dharna outside the school. Soon they were joined by their parents and panchayat members of the village. Sarpanch of the village Mandeep Singh said the behaviour of principal towards students and staff members was not friendly which was why they had demanded her transfer. Last month, a request in this regard was sent to Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal, but nothing was done.

Principal Shashi Budhwar, when contacted, denied all allegations. I never misbehaved with any one in the school, she said. “I don’t know what was the provocation behind all this and even I will prefer not to stay here under such circumstances,” added the principal. District education officer Nalini Mimani said the complaints in this regard had been received and Panchkula Additional Deputy Commissioner, who was probing the matter, had scheduled a hearing for tomorrow.



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