C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth killed in midnight brawl
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
In a fresh incident of brazen violence, on the rise in the city, particularly during nights, a 28-year-old resident of Sector 55 was murdered following a scuffle on the road outside the Aroma traffic light point at Sector 22 here past night. Harminder had gone to the Aroma coffee shop when he had a scuffle with a group of youths. In the fight that ensued, he was hit on the head with a rod. He died on the spot. The incident occurred around midnight.

According to the complaint lodged by Dilshaad Ali, security guard with Aroma, six or seven persons came out of the coffee shop where Harminder, standing beside his Maruti car (CH03-9824), was having ice-cream.

The group got into a heated argument with him. Following heated arguments, they beat him up. As the group began to flee after bashing him up, Harminder took out a rod from his car and chased them.

As they reached the road on the rear side of the petrol station, the youths overpowered him and one of them hit Harminder with a heavy rod on the head.

The assaulting youths fled, leaving behind their Scorpio car (CH01AC-0195). A PCR van rushed the victim to the PGI, where he was declared brought dead.

The number of the Scorpio car was traced to a Sector-36 resident Sukjit Singh Sooch. Sooch was not found residing at the address located.

The police said it had identified some of the accused and raids were on to arrest them. The mobile phones of all of them had been switched off. The police said the attack was not preplanned and was a spur-of-the-moment reaction.

ASP (Central) Desraj Singh said preliminary investigations revealed that Harminder was heavily drunk when he chased the youths. A case of murder under Section 302 of the IPC was registered at the Sector-17 police station.

Harminder had recently returned from Ireland. An MBA student, he was unmarried. He was survived by his parents and elder brother Amrinder.

In the news earlier, too

Incidents of violence and lawlessness near the Aroma coffee shop at Sector 22 have become increasingly common, with the police acting as a mute spectator and failing to deter rowdy elements.

  • December 26, 2011: Inder Singh, son of a senior IFS officer of the Punjab cadre, and his friend created a ruckus. They misbehaved with and threatened head constable Ram Kumar at the Aroma traffic light point. The police let them off after merely issuing a challan for driving without seatbelt.
  • December 5, 2011: A 45-year-old woman, Taara Jamwal, was robbed of her gold chain, two bangles and two rings at gunpoint while she was seated in her car, parked near the light point.
  • October 29, 2011: A group of girls created a ruckus in an inebriated state at the light point late at night.



Endeavor a mystery

  • According to eyewitnesses, a speeding Endeavor car was seen at the spot after the scuffle. The police suspected that the accused fled in it, leaving the Scorpio behind. It was being investigated if the Endeavor ran over the youth and killed him.

Drunk? Brother says no

  • According to the police, Harminder was heavily drunk when he was killed. Amrinder said his brother had a fast yesterday and had not consumed alcohol. He added that Harminder left the house around 7 pm to attend the birthday party of his friend’s son at Phase V in Mohali, and went to the Aroma eating joint for a cup of coffee.

Utter police failure

  • There was no police presence at one of the most happening eating joints of the city, open 24 hours, when the murder took place. A PCR van, supposed to be stationed round-the-clock at the joint, was nowhere in sight. “The police was nowhere to be seen when my brother was being brutally assaulted. It failed to prevent violence and could not even arrest the accused,” said Amrinder. The PCR staff in the Gypsy got to know of the incident only when the police control room received a telephone call. At a press conference, Desraj Singh admitted lapses on the part of the police and said measures would be taken to step up police presence at the Aroma traffic light point.



Double murder
Police zeroes in on unidentified caller
Rules out role of Aanchal’s father
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 13
In its preliminary investigations into the case of murder of Shikha and her daughter Priyanka, the police has zeroed in on an unidentified person who had called up Shikha on more than one occasion from a particular number prior to the murder.

The victims were found murdered at their house in Har Milap Nagar at Baltana in Zirakpur yesterday. Priyanka’s elder sister Aanchal was among the four girls who had allegedly made an MMS clip of their estranged friend in October past year.

The police registered a case of murder against Pradeep Jindal, Aanchal’s father, and her boyfriend Vineet. Pradeep surrendered past night. The CIA team interrogated him and let him off after proper investigations, a police official said. Vineet was still at large, the police added.

The bodies of the deceased were handed over to the family after post-mortem examination at the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital. The SMO said the police found two used condoms wrapped in a newspaper from the spot, which were sent for a DNA test to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh.

One of the doctors who conducted the post-mortem examination said Shikha’s throat was slit with a sharp-edged weapon and Priyanka’s throat bore strangulation marks. The doctors sent the viscera of the victims to Patiala. The doctors also sought a chemical report to check whether any or both were physical abused.

Police sources revealed that more than one person was involved in the crime. A police official said it was too early to say anything about the involvement of the persons.

After questioning Pradeep, who had not been staying with the family, investigators ruled out his role in the incident. Aanchal had told the police that she suspected the role of her father in the murders.

The presence of used and unused condoms also made the police believe that more than one person frequented the place. A neighbour told the police that a number of persons used to frequent the house.

The sources said Shikha and her daughters had shifted from Saini Vihar in Baltana to Har Milap Nagar past year after residents of the area had objected to certain activities of theirs. Residents of Saini Vihar had also complained to the police, which gave the family a warning, the sources added.

Dera Bassi DSP Anil Sharma said, “We are suspecting the role of Aanchal and Pradeep in the crime, but the picture will be clear after proper investigations.” The police was working on various theories and the case would be solved soon, he added.



Sukhna depleting fast: Study
Water level going down 6 mm daily in winter and 8 or 9 mm in summer
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Two-thirds of the city landmark Sukhna Lake will dry out this year. It may sound shocking but is true. The National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, which is conducting a study on the water body, in its preliminary report submitted to the UT Administration, has stated that nearly two-thirds of the lake will dry out this year.

Sources revealed that in the report it was mentioned that the Sukhna water level is going down 6mm daily in winter and 8 or 9 mm daily in summer.

A senior official of the UT Administration said they had received the report and now on the basis of it the administration was planning to deal with the problems of low water level and weed in the Sukhna as well.

The sources added that the UT Administration would dig many parts of the lake two feet deep in the summer to deal with the weed problem. But the administration is yet to decide on the strategy of digging, they added.

The original area that the lake spanned had considerably shrunk. In 1958, the lake spread over 228 hectares. Today, it spanned 148 hectares, down by almost a third.

In recent times, the maximum water level of the Sukhna was 1,163 feet. During 2010 monsoon, the water level recorded was 1,162 feet while during last monsoon in 2011 the water level had dipped to 1,155 feet.

The water scarcity in Sukhna Lake has become a major concern for the higher authorities. Last week the administration had proposed to bring water from Kajauli water works to Sukhna Lake, particularly during winter, to tide over the water crisis. The UT Administration had demanded water for the lake during winter because the demand for water is naturally low during that season.

PU experts testing water

Recently, the UT Administration had awarded a two-year study project to the department of zoology of Panjab University (PU). Under this project the experts from the department would analyse water samples from the lake. The UT administration had agreed to pay Rs 10 lakh to the university to conduct the study.



Second EC notice to Ramoowalia
This time for presence of Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann at function
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
The SAD candidate from Mohali, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, was today issued notice by returning officer (RO), Mohali, to explain his position regarding the presence of Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann at functions being organised in support of the leader. The notice has been issued on the directions of the Election Commission after the Congress candidate, Balbir Singh Sidhu, lodged a complaint with the Commission that the star campaigner was performing for the SAD leader and it should be added to the expenditure of the candidate.

The RO, Amit Talwar, said the SAD candidate has been issued notice in this regard. Harbhajan Mann, who had yesterday accompanied him during filing of nomination papers, had said he was in close relation of the Balwant Singh Ramoowlia and his presence and campaigning for him should not be counted in the election expenditure.

Meanwhile, the returning office Dera Bassi Rajesh Tripathi issued notice to the SAD candidate, NK Sharma, following a complaint that there was a criminal case pending against him and the same was not disclosed in the nomination papers. A spokesman of NK Sharma said that there was no such case pending as the earlier the FIR had been cancelled.



Neighbours launch signature campaign against Fiza
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
A number of residents of the locality where Fiza, a divorcee of the former Haryana’s Deputy Chief Minister, Chander Mohan, lives today launched a signature campaign. The campaign was launched against her for allegedly entering into arguments with the residents and preventing their children from playing in ground in front of her house.

As a mark of protest, the children in the locality hanged posters against her in the ground followed by a press briefing by the residents. Fiza was, however, not available for comments as she was in hospital.

The neighbour, Sanjay Aggarwal, his wife, Neeru, and their three children also received injuries in the clash. While Fiza was admitted to the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, with head injuries, Sanjay Aggarwal was admitted to the Government Civil Hospital, Phase VI, Mohali.

Sources said since persons injured on both sides were under treatment, further investigation would start on the basis of medical records.

The arguments between Fiza and her neighbour Sanjay Aggarwal over the issue turned violent when both the parties exchanged brick bats. The DSP City-II DS Mann said an FIR had been lodged on the basis of medical examination of the injured persons.

Unconfirmed reports said that Dilip Mahjan, Fiza’s advocate, and another person named Tarun were also injured in the clash. Soon after the argument broke out, the police was called to solve the matter. But as the police left, both the parties clashed again.



IRCTC mulls advance booking of food
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Passengers would not have to carry food items while travelling on long distance trains as the Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was mulling to introduce advance booking of food with e-tickets.

The IRCTC has started Janata Meal, Jan Aahaar, Food Plaza and Dial-e-Meal schemes to provide meals to the passengers travelling on the long distance trains.

At present, this facility has been taken up as a pilot project on the Karnataka Express and Goa Express.

According to information available, this facility would be provided to passengers on confirmed tickets and the payment would not be taken online as it would be charged by the pantry staff after the delivery of food.

As contractors, appointed by the railway division, were providing food items, the amount was not being taken online.

Sources said the passengers would be able to book food in advance or at any of the railway stations falling on the route. The process of booking is easy and details about the food items were being displayed at the IRCTC’s website.

Chief regional manager RK Sondh said the pilot project of booking food with e-tickets had already been started in some trains in South India and the same would be started in the North if the project was successful there.

The IRCTC has provided this facility directly to the passengers and travel agents would not be able to book the tickets on their behalf. Once the ticket and food was booked online, the passengers would not be able to change or cancel the ordered food.

According to information, Rs 10 would be charged for vegetable cutlets and Rs 30 for egg biryani.

The food could be booked on the IRCTC’s website. The meals were available on fixed timings as per schedule.

Fact File

  • The IRCTC has started Janata Meal, Jan Aahaar, Food Plaza and Dial-e-Meal schemes to provide meals to the passengers travelling on the long distance trains.
  • According to information available, this facility would be provided to passengers on confirmed tickets and the payment would not be taken online as it would be charged by the pantry staff after the delivery of food.



Students enjoy Lohri warmth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The students and staff of the Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh, celebrated Lohri with fervour and gaiety today. A huge gathering of students, along with the faculty members, danced to the tunes of the latest foot-tapping numbers around a bonfire. The Students’ Council of the college arranged the celebration. The highlights of the celebration were a giddha, boliyan and a bhangra.

Meanwhile, the Lohri celebrations were in full swing at the Dev Samaj College for Women, with the sky finally getting cleared. The college campus reverberated with dhol beats and the traditional Lohri songs. Not before long the gathering was surcharged with the spirit of the festival and was seen enjoying and dancing to foot-taping music. Lohri sweets like gachak, ladoos and rewris were distributed among the revellers. The celebration continued till late as the students were seen enjoying the Lohri spirit, the fine weather and music in totality.

The students and the staff of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women celebrated Lohri on the college campus with great enthusiasm. The girls were traditionally dressed and they danced around a bonfire to the tunes of Punjabi songs. A special Lohri dinner was organised for the hostel inmates who were also given indoor games as Lohri gifts.

The NSS unit of Dev Samaj College of Education celebrated Lohri with great zeal and enthusiasm. The NSS volunteers visited Mother Teresa Home, Sector 23, and celebrated Lohri with its inmates. The prospective teachers sang and danced with the children and distributed sweets among them.

Functions mark festival at Mohali schools

Mohali: The DAV school, Mohali, celebrated Lohri with zeal and vigour. Groundnuts, revris and popcorn were distributed among the students. A few activities were also conducted in the classrooms. The Principal, Dr Rosy Sharma, extended good wishes to the students, their parents and all the staff members.

At Anees School, the students and staff members congregated to celebrate Lohri on the school campus where a huge bonfire was lit. A colourful function was organised to celebrate the festival. Aneet Goel, MD, Anees Group of Schools, was the chief guest on the occasion. Harpreet Grewal, Principal, Anees School, lighted the bonfire.

At Ashmah International School, Principal Roopinder Ghuman inaugurated the function by lighting a bonfire. Students were wearing traditional dresses. Boliyan was the most enjoyed part of the function.

The students and staff of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, celebrated the festival along with girls from nearby slum areas. The Chairman of the school, Col CS Bawa, encouraged the girls to get basic education.



Panchkula admn to tighten noose around illegal miners
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 13
The district administration Panchkula has decided to tighten noose against those who are indulged in illegal mining. Deputy Commissioner Panchkula, Ashima Brar, has directed the officers of the excise and taxation department to conduct strict checking of the vehicles coming from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and other neighbouring states at nine check points set up at various places by the department.

In recent past, many vehicles have been impounded by the local police for ferrying sand and stone extracted from local rivers illegally.

Brar, who was presiding over the monthly meeting of the officers at district secretariat today, also directed the officers of the public health engineering and power departments not to sanction water and power connections to those who are encroaching upon the government land illegally in the district. Brar asked the officers to stop forthwith setting up of new ‘jhuggis’ on the government land and to check the use of polythene bags in the vegetable markets being set up in their respective areas and issue challan to guilty.



Chandigarh scan

Advt norms in Sector 17

The Municipal Corporation will strictly enforce the advertisement control order and zonal control Order in sector 17. A meeting in this regard was attended by the UT Adviser, the Mayor and the Commissioner here on Friday. During the meeting it was decided that the zonal control order will be enforced strictly in the market and the other areas of Sector 17 and the improvement and development work of new plaza and the existing infrastructure in Sector 17 A and B will be completed soon.

Literary quiz

The newly formed Chandigarh Literary Society plans to organise a series of events to promote literary activities. For the first time, a literary quiz would be organised in Chandigarh next month, which would open to those above the age of 18 years. Prizes would be given to top three teams.

Mohali scan

Urological problems

Dr Priyadarshi Ranjan, Associate Consultant, Kidney Transplant and Urology, Fortis Hospital, while interacting with 150 senior citizens and members of Sahaayak, a support initiative for dialysis patients, on Friday spoke on “Urological Problems in the Golden Age” and “Living with Kidney Failure and Complications of Chronic Kidney Failure’. He said: “Urological issues are the third most common complaint among patients who are 65 plus. One of the most pre dominant problems is the lower urinary tract symptoms. The symptoms could include that urinedoes not come spontaneously, a person has to stand and wait for sometime before starting voiding, poor flow, straining to urinate, intermittent urination, feeling of incomplete emptying of bladder, etc”.

Faculty development

For implementing Noble Vision of the PTU on Faculty Development Programme, Sri Sukhmani Instistitute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, organised a five-day course on digital signal processing with focus on image processing using modern software tool its campus. Rajesh Tirpathi, SDM, Dera Bassi, inaugurated the programme.

— Tribune Reporters



Visitors’ entry to airport banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
Tricity residents visiting the Chandigarh airport to receive or see off their relatives will have to face inconvenience for the coming 15 days as the civil aviation authorities have banned the entry of visitors to the airport.

Airport Director HS Toor has said the prohibition, which will remain effective from January 15 to January 30, has been imposed in view of Republic Day.

During this period, only passengers would be allowed to enter the airport premises. Earlier, visitors were let in on production of a facilitation pass issued by the authorities. The decision in this regard has been taken in view of threat perceptions at the vital installations from anti-social elements.



Industry body distances itself from politics
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 13
A day after KS Mahal, president, RP Singh, general secretary, and Anurag Aggarwal, senior vice-president, of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) extended their unconditional support to the Congress candidate from Mohali, Balbir Singh Sidhu, the MIA has clarified that it was a non-political body.

At an urgent executive committee meeting of the MIA held today, it was decided in principle that the platform is used to take up the problems related to the industries and any particular political party or candidate would not use it. 



PUTA demands inquiry into low rating by UGC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13
The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA), in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, has demanded an inquiry to ascertain the reasons for the PU to have been rated low in academic and research standards by the UGC for potential-for-excellence grant.

The association has demanded the constitution of a high-powered committee to inquire the circumstances under which the PU has been projected poorly, pushing it to the seventh place of the 10 universities shortlisted for the grant. “According to UGC scores, the PU has weakened in terms of academic performance. It is unfortunate that the PU has scored only 76 points on a scale of 100. In contrast, Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar has scored 90 marks. The teaching community on the campus is shocked,” read the letter.

Will write to UGC

We are planning to write a letter to the UGC, demanding score details, as there is some discrepancy. We have the highest number of research papers and the best of facilities. How can we score so low?~

— RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University



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