C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cold, dark side of city: A Murder, ‘Black magic’ & suicide
Man involved in several cases stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A history-sheeter of the UT police was murdered following a scuffle over drug syringes with two persons in the Sector 25 colony here late last night.

The victim, Shammi Kumar, cycled all the way to his Sector 24 house from the crime spot after being stabbed and died some metres near his house. Shammi’s name features prominently in the “bad character” register of the police, as there were 23 cases registered against him. The police has arrested two persons, identified as Rajesh, alias Raja, and Sonu, for the murder. A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered in the Sector 11 police station.

The murder occurred late last night when Shammi had gone to collect money from Raja and Sonu, who were known to him, in Sector 25. All three of them are drug-addicts. While Raja is a pickpocket residing in the colony, Sonu, a Daddu Majra Colony resident, is the son of Gujri, a drug-peddler, who is also a history-sheeter.

Police sources said Shammi asked Sonu to supply him drug injections in return for the money the latter owed to him. Sonu refused to give injections to Shammi and told him that he never owed him any money. As a violent scuffle developed amongst them, Raja caught hold of Shammi, following which Sonu stabbed him with a sharp-edged knife repeatedly in the stomach and legs. The two then fled the spot.

An injured Shammi tied his bleeding stab wound with a cloth and cycled over 2 km from the Sector 25 colony to his Sector 24 house. He collapsed near his house in Sector 24 where he died. The police said he died due to excessive bleeding and a trail of blood was seen on the road all along the distance of 2 km.

A milkman saw the body lying in a pool of blood in the morning and informed the police.

The victim’s son Pradeep identified the body as that of his father. He told the police that his father had left home at 9.30 pm last night and had gone to meet Raja and Sonu, following which the police nabbed the two who confessed to their crime. Sources said Gujri’s relative Rupa, who supplies injections, was witness to the murder. Both Sonu and Raja had been involved in petty crimes in the past.

The post-mortem of the body revealed stab wounds on the chest, stomach and thighs. Shammi’s wife Veenu works as a safai karamchari with the High Court. He is survived by his wife and three children, a daughter and two sons.

Victim’s shady past

Shammi KumarWith his name in the “bad character” list of the UT police, Shammi’s cases with the UT police include 16 gambling cases, four theft cases and one case each under the Arms Act, Excise Act and one case of escape from custody under Sections 223, 224 of the IPC. The first case was registered against him way back in 1994 and he has also been convicted by court in five of the cases.

Shammi Kumar



Bones found near Sec 29, police investigation begins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A human skeleton and some bones were found near the Traffic Police Lines in Sector 29 here today.

A cyclist, who was on his way to Sector 17, spotted the bones and informed the PCR in the morning. After knowing about the incident, forensic experts of the UT police visited the spot and later a team from the CFSL was also called.

According to the primary investigation, the bones are said to be five or six years old and might be used for the purpose of black magic.

“It seems the bones and the skeleton had been used for the purpose of black magic. The forensic experts have taken the samples and the matter is under investigation,” said the investigative officer.



Maid hangs herself
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A 15-year-old girl, employed as a maid in a house of Sector 19, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the grill of a window here this evening.

Kiran, who hailed from a village near Kanpur, hanged herself from a dupatta on the first floor of the house.

According to members of the victim’s family, she had been working with the Sector 19-based couple for the past six months. Earlier, her sister-in-law used to work in the house but later she asked Kiran to join them.

No one was present in the three-storeyed building when the incident happened.

“We left her alone before going to a mall but when we returned in the evening we found the door locked from inside. When we broke open the door, we found her hanging from the window and called up the police,” said Ritu Goel, the owner of the house.

The members of the victim’s family alleged foul play behind her death. According to her brother Ravi Shankar, she was a calm girl and could never take such a big step.

“How can a 4.5-foot-tall girl hang herself from a window grill? How can she lock

her inside the room? What conditions led her to take such extreme step? I only want answers to these questions. The owner just called us up and told to come over there but never told us that she had committed a suicide. I will file a complaint, so that a picture would be clear,” said Shankar.

Kiran lost her parents in her childhood and had been staying with the family for the past six months. Her brother is a tenant in Kaimbala village. She is survived by two more brothers who live in her village.

According to Pargat Singh, Station House Officer (SHO) of Sector 19 police station, the police has taken the body to the Government Model Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, at around 7 pm.

“We received a call at 6.45 pm and after conducting a primary investigation brought the body here. No suicide note was found at the spot. However, the members of the victim’s family are alleging foul play. The inquiry will take place at the SDM’s level,” said Pargat Singh.



20 UT depts fail to spend 50 pc of annual budget
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
More than 20 Chandigarh Administration departments have failed to spend even 50 per cent of their annual budget under the Plan head despite less than two months to go for the current financial year.

The Plan budget is meant for the finalised projects of different departments. More importantly, in case the departments concerned fail to use the budget in the given fiscal, the remaining amount has to be surrendered. The administration, on its part, owes an explanation to the Centre.

“Basically it’s failure on the part of the departments if these fail to consume their budget in the financial year. If at this juncture (when less two months are left in ending of the financial year), less than 50 per cent performance of various departments just indicates that most of these would have to surrender their funds,” said a senior official of the UT Administration.

The UT Science and Technology Department has used just around 3 per cent of its total budget estimate (BE) of around Rs 17 crore. The Chandigarh Police has not performed any better. The BE of the Chandigarh Police was around Rs 28 crore, but the police department has so far spent just 4 crore, which works out to about 17 per cent till January 2012. Out of its total estimate of Rs 95 lakh, the office of the IG Prisons, till date, could spend only Rs 15 lakh only, which is just about 15 per cent of the budget.

Certain other prominent departments which have spent less than 50 per cent of the allocated budget included: Consumer Forum Social Welfare (34 per cent); Education (48 per cent); Environment (42 per cent); Health (50 per cent); Government Medical College (50 per cent); Sports (45 per cent); Hospitality (32 per cent), Tourism (48 per); College of Arts (49 per cent), Museum and Arts Gallery (26 per cent) and Public Relations (27 per cent).

Certain other departments which made less than 50 per cent expenditure included labour, Estate Office, Zila Sainik Board, Information Technology and Institute for Mentally Retarded Children.

At the same time there were only two departments including the Engineering and Labour Court which have spent over 80 per cent of their respective budgets till date. While the Engineering Department has used about 85 per cent of its budget of 318 crore, the labour court has spent Rs 5 lakh out of its budget estimate of Rs 6 lakh.



‘Servant’ arrested with stolen jewellery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The crime branch of the UT police has arrested a person who first enrolled himself as a servant with a potential employer and later fled with his jewellery. At least two cases in which the accused was wanted came to light following his arrest from the Industrial Area today.

The police is expecting more revelations after the prelimanry session of questioning.

Interestingly, the accused was arrested by the specialised wing of the police and had not been nabbed by the local police despite the fact that he was residing locally all these days ever since he committed the theft.

The police arrested Rahul from his hideout in the city. The entire stolen jewellery, worth over Rs 8 lakh, has been recovered from his possession.

Anuj Gupta, a businessman residing in Sector 30 here, told Chandigarh Tribune that a person named Rahul approached him on January 27 in search of work.

“We asked him for his verification papers. A person posing as his brother told us that he would bring them in the morning. The man, meanwhile, did some household chores and slept at our servant quarters only,” he said.

However, in the morning Rahul got an opportunity to be alone in a room for merely five minutes when he swept the almirah of jewellery in “no time”.

“The police of the Industrial Area police station merely lodged an FIR. A team, led by Inspector Neeraj Sarna and Inspector Amanjot, arrested the servant from the city within five hours after I informed them. It was quite surprising that the thief was in the city only all these days,” said Anuj.

Sources said the accused had ransacked other houses in city too by posing as a servant.



Heritage items found, theft accused held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Chandigarh Police nabbed the store in charge of the Chandigarh College of Architecture for stealing seven chairs, which were heritage items, here today.

Ramesh Kumar of Dadu Majra was arrested from a ‘naka’ outside gate 1 of the college. He was arrested while frisking the chairs in a rickshaw. According to sources, the accused kept the chairs on the college premises yesterday and after finding the time right, loaded those in the rickshaw.

“During checking, it was found that he was carrying the chairs covered under a sheet. He tried to misguide the police by making the excuse of shifting the furniture to Dadu Majra. On investigation, it was found that the chairs belonged to the college authorities,” said Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector-11 police post.

The police registered a case under Sections 457, 380 and 411 of the IPC. On the night of February 5, the seven broken chairs were reported missing from the store, following which the college authorities filed a police complaint.



Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A 28-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in Maloya here today.

Sanjay Verma, who, according police officials, was a drug addict, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with her sister’s dupatta at around 8.30 am.

According to the information, Sanjay was unemployed and was suffering from severe depression. He is survived by his sister, mother and the father. No suicide note was recovered from the spot.



WHO project for PGI on stillbirths
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
In an attempt to study the reasons for high stillbirths in India, recorded at 22 per 1000 births, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has sponsored a study project for the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Under the project, the PGI will set guidelines to help bring down the rate of stillbirths.

According to doctors, stillbirth is defined as the death of an unborn child in the mother’s womb during the last trimester of pregnancy (after 28 weeks’ gestation). A research in the British medical journal, Lancet’s stillbirth series in 2011, reveals that on an average, six lakh stillbirths take place in India every year.

According to sources, in Chandigarh, about 16-18 stillbirths take place at the GMCH-32 and about 20-22 in the PGI out of 500 deliveries per month. A senior gynaecologist at the GMCH-32 said that in the absence of any medical history of the mother, it becomes difficult to ascertain the actual cause of the death of the foetus.

Doctors also revealed that in India, stillbirths were not recorded seriously, as surveyors were more interested in recording the death of children after birth to assess the infant mortality rate (IMR). Experts at the PGI say that most number of stillbirths happen during intrapartum - the period between labour and delivery. These account for almost 50 per cent of such deaths. Doctors say that at the PGI, post-mortems are routinely conducted on the stillborn babies to ascertain the cause of death.

"It is a practice that we have followed for long, but not all hospitals can replicate this due to lack of adequate facilities. Congenital defect is the lowest common cause of death,” said Dr Lakhbir K Dhaliwal, head of the gynaecology department of the PGI.

She said once guidelines were formulated “we” would be able to reduce the number of stillbirths, as the reasons for the same would be known.

According to experts, the main causes of stillbirth are childbirth complications, maternal infections in pregnancy like syphilis, maternal conditions, especially hypertension and diabetes, congenital abnormalities.

Not recorded seriously

Doctors say that in India, stillbirths are not recorded seriously, as surveyors are more interested in recording the death of children after birth to assess the infant mortality rate (IMR). Experts at the PGI say that most number of stillbirths happen during intrapartum - the period between labour and delivery



Firing follows clash
PUSU activists fire at SOPU members, damage cars
Tribune News Service
One of the cars damaged during a shootout at Phase VII on Monday night, which bears a bullet mark, parked outside the residence of the vehicle owner at Phase X in Mohali on Tuesday
One of the cars damaged during a shootout at Phase VII on Monday night, which bears a bullet mark, parked outside the residence of the vehicle owner at Phase X in Mohali on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 7
A group of supporters of the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) had a narrow escape when supporters of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) fired five shots at them near a restaurant at the Phase-VII market here past night. The assailants fled in a Tata Safari within minutes. The police claimed that three gunshots were fired. The incident was apparently the fallout of the clash between SOPU and PUSU members during a blood donation camp organised at the student centre of Panjab University on February 3.

Though aimed at SOPU supporters, the gunshots hit two cars, a Skoda Fabi and a Hyundai Verna, parked outside the restaurant, Papa Chicken Corner. One bullet pierced a front door and another a window of the cars. The occupants of the cars were having their dinner at the restaurant.

An eyewitness said supporters of SOPU, led by Rashpal, were walking towards the restaurant when PUSU supporters suddenly came in a vehicle. The two groups exchanged brickbats before PUSU supporter Baljit Chaudhary allegedly fired at Rashpal.

On the basis of Rashpal’s complaint, the police registered a case under Section 307 (attempt-to-murder) of the IPC against Baljit, a resident of Ludhiana. Rashpal refused to talk on the issue. SOPU president Vikrameet said the incident was the fallout of the incident on February 3, when Baljit was beaten up by SOPU supporters.

SP (City) Harpreet Singh said raids were being conducted to arrest the suspect. The two vehicles damaged in the incident were released after Matour police station personnel conducted a probe. Sandeep Kakkar, owner of the damaged Verna, said he did not hear any gunshot and was shocked to see a bullet having piercing the body of the vehicle.

Most of the shops at the market were closed when the incident took place. Some employees at a sweetmeat shop said a PCR vehicle was parked at a short distance when the assailants fled. The assailants had an easy escape as there was not any ‘naka’ across the city to nab them.

Some major clashes between students at Mohali in the recent past

  • May 2, 2011: A student of Tangori college receives serious injuries in a clash between two student groups of Rayat and Bahra College at Kharar, near Landran
  • August 12, 2010: A group of students fire at another group near the Burail Jail
  • October 25 , 2010: Sword-wielding students of the Chandigarh Group of Colleges at Landran create a ruckus at the Phase-VII market


Police shuts eyes to drug menace
Sector 25 murder accused, victim were hardcore drug addicts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The murder of a notorious criminal in a colony of Sector 25 last night has brought to focus the increasing menace of drug abuse in the city and the failure of the police in taking stock of the situation. Both the accused as well as the victim were hardcore drug addicts and used to purchase injections within the colony, yet the police turned a blind eye towards them. The victim, Shammi’s name had appeared prominently in the bad-character register of the Sector 11 police station.

Statistics available with the police reveal that the sale and consumption of poppy husk, opium and injections in the city is high. The maximum number of seizures of drugs has been made from the colonies and villages of the city.

One of the arrested accused, Sonu, is the son of a notorious drug pedlar Gujjri. Sources said injections were being supplied to the colony by a relative of the accused and victim Shammi was a regular there.

“Had the UT police been vigilant in acting against drug pedlars, such incidents of violent scuffles could have been avoided,” said a colony resident.

The police, however, said it had been arresting persons involved in drug peddling from time to time but they took to the crime again once they were released from prison.



CTU ‘cannibalises’ six AC buses
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
While the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) is planning to add 86 buses to its existing fleet to cater to the increasing number of commuters, the department seems to have failed to utilise properly the buses of the existing fleet. The inefficiency of the Transport Department in operating buses can be gauged with the fact that six air-conditioned (AC) buses have been parked in the CTU workshop (no. II) from the past over eight months due to their non-functional ACs, leading to losses worth lakhs of rupees. On an average, each bus generates a revenue of Rs 4,000 per day.

It’s not the shortage of bus drivers or conductors that has led to the buses remaining off the road, but the delay in getting the buses repaired.

Sources said the ACs of those buses developed some problem following which they were parked in the workshop eight months ago. “Approximate expense on the repairs of the AC of each bus is around Rs 90,000. Tenders were called and a company offering the minimum bid was shortlisted. However, the buses have not been repaired yet,” said a source.

The CTU sources said as the buses had been parked in the workshop for the past few months, spare parts of these buses had been used to repair the other ones.

President of the CTU Workers Union Ranjit Singh Hans said they had also met the Director, Transport, and demanded that the buses be repaired and put back into service as soon as possible.

When contacted, Director, Transport, TPS Phoolka said he had issued orders to the CTU Manager for getting the buses on the road at the earliest. “We have already initiated the process and I have asked the Manager to get the buses repaired at the earliest”, Phoolka said.



Residents protest against builder
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 7
At least 100 residents of the Bollywood Heights here today staged a protest against one of the partners of the Hanumanth Builders and Land Developers for not fulfilling the promises mentioned in the brochure.

The protesters, including women and children, alleged that the builder, Sanjay Garg, had failed to provide the amenities promised to residents.

The residents stated that they had submitted a complaint to the Mohali Deputy Commissioner and the Zirakpur police against the builder for threatening them, adding that a case was also in court.

The allottees, including Sonu Mittal, MM Juneja, Achhar Singh, Sunny Sharma, RK Malhotra and KS Walia, raised slogans against the builder.

They alleged that the builder had forcibly put another lock on the servant room at the apartment where they had kept things after discussing the issue with residents there.

They complained that the builder had not been providing power backup to the apartment of Mittal though he had already deposited the money and had used substandard material for construction.

Garg claimed that the company had fulfilled all promises mentioned in the brochure. He further said the matter was in court and he would submit all documents related to the complaint.

He alleged that between 10 and 15 families were taking interest in the issue while the rest were satisfied with the services provided.

Refuting the allegation of trespass levelled against him, he added that the room was meant only for drivers and not for personal use.



Grey area in corporation policy on paver blocks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Municipal Corporation (MC) has adopted double standard with regards to the policy on the laying of paver blocks in the city. While on one hand a detailed survey of trees, roots of which have been damaged due to the laying of paver blocks around these, has been conducted, on the other the policy does not clarify as to how much distance has to be kept around a tree while laying paver blocks.

Last year, the corporation had framed a policy on the laying of paver blocks in the city as there was great resentment among the residents of the city against the laying of concrete paver blocks for “these affect the life of trees”.

Even though officials the MC have claimed that they are following the policy with regards to the laying of paver blocks in the city, during a visit to the internal roads of Sector 7, 10, 11, 17, 22, 33 and 35 it was found that on all the internal roads, where concrete paver blocks had been laid, no space has been left around the trees for the proper nourishment of the roots.

Even the freshly planted saplings in these sectors were found to be in a leaning position as they were not getting sufficient space to grow due to concrete surroundings.

The MC records show that in the past three years, about 10 or 15 old trees had fallen because of weakened roots due to the laying of concrete paver blocks very close to them. In some areas, even young trees had failed to grow properly because of the haphazard laying of paver blocks by the staff of the engineering wing of the MC.

In a special report prepared by the corporation it was mentioned that the laying of paver blocks on all open spaces in the city would have an ill-affect on the surface area. Report clearly states that the UT Administration is promoting rainwater harvesting to increase the water table but the ruthless laying of paver blocks on the entire surface area will result in further dipping of the water table in the city.

The report also points out that paver blocks will put additional pressure on the storm-water drainage. It has also mentioned that the indiscriminate fixing of paver blocks has defeated its basic purpose.

No breathing space

During a visit to the internal roads of Sector 7, 10, 11, 17, 22, 33 and 35 it was found that on all the internal roads, where concrete paver blocks had been laid, no space has been left around the trees for the proper nourishment of the roots.



LIC Housing Finance Ltd fined Rs 25,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Life Insurance Corporation Housing Finance Limited (LICHFL) for demanding Rs 22,500 as levy charges on a housing loan from a Panchkula resident.

The district forum, comprising president PD Goel and members Rajinder Singh Gill and Madanjit Kaur Sahota, observed: “We are of the considered opinion that the opposite parties were grossly deficient in providing proper services to the complainant. They have wrongly and illegally charged Rs 22,750 from the complainant on account of levy charges and they also failed to give any plausible justification in their favour”. The forum also directed the opposite parties to pay to the complainant Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation.

The complainant Neeraj Gupta, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula, submitted that the opposite party sanctioned a housing loan of Rs 12 lakh on August 26, 2004, at the rate of 7.5 per cent interest per annum with monthly instalment (EMI) of Rs 11,124. It is averred that the complainant was paying regular monthly instalments of the loan amount, without any default. In spite of that, the opposite parties increased the rate of interest as well as the period of payment twice, without his consent. Thus, the complainant approached the opposite parties for payment of outstanding loan amount, as he was unable to pay the high EMI.

The opposite parties issued a demand letter for Rs 11,37,519 and 22paise as principal amount on November 7, 2008. He deposited Rs 11,50,000 with the opposite parties on the same day. Thereafter, to his utter dismay, the opposite parties demanded Rs 24,350, out of which Rs 22,750 was shown to be as levy charges. He deposited this amount, though under protest, and also sent a protest letter to the opposite parties, but to no avail.

It is relevant to mention here that aggrieved over the dismissal of his earlier complaint by this forum on June 22, 2011, by this forum, the complainant went in appeal before the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. The commission on November 21, 2011, while accepting the appeal, set aside the impugned order and remanded this case to the district forum for deciding it on merit.

The counsel for the opposite parties contended that the complainant himself has accepted, in the agreement that the interest and foreclosure charges shall be charged in terms of agreement, policy of LICHFL as well as market practice, according to the guidelines issued by the RBI. It has been further averred that the demand of Rs 11,744,28 and 72 paise was made on account of the loan amount. It denied raising any further demand of Rs 24,350 from the complainant, as it was already in the knowledge of the complainant. It further pleaded that levy/foreclosure charges are in consonance with the guidelines issued by the regulatory authorities.



Events to mark Air Force Police’s Golden Jubilee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Air Force Police Headquarters, Chandigarh, today launched a series of events to commemorate its Golden Jubilee year. A motorcycle expedition and Zila Talmel Abhiyan, that would cover the areas under the jurisdiction of the unit, was flagged-off by Air Officer Commanding, 3 Base Repair Depot, Air Cmde Suresh Singh here today.

The headquarters, also known as 20 Provost and Security Unit, was raised on February 7, 1963 with Sqn Ldr RC Gaur as the first Commanding Officer. Besides Chandigarh, it covers 11 districts in four states, which include Panchkula, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kinnaur, Shimla, Solan. Kargil, Rupnagar and Mohali. During the motorcycle expedition, unit personnel will make special visits to each district for enhanced liaison with civil administration at district, block and tehsil levels as well as spread awareness about the Air Force as a career option.

The target is to extensively cover one district each month. Other events include hot air ballooning and skiing for airmen and their families, run-for-fun for the cross- section of society, para jumping for unit personnel as well as welfare and social activities.

The Air Force Police is responsible for maintenance of discipline amongst Air Force personnel, prevention and detection of crime among service personnel, apprehending absentees and deserters, liaising with civil police and other civil and military authorities and undertaking ceremonial duties. During war, it takes custody of prisoners of war. Provost and Security units are the field-level functionaries of the Air Force vigilance set-up.



Veritable mix of pathos, entertainment
SD Sharma

Artistes stage the play ‘Neon Jarh’ at the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University, on Tuesday
Artistes stage the play ‘Neon Jarh’ at the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University, on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 7
The budding virtuosos at the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University, presented playwright Ajmer Singh Aulakh’s popular Punjabi play, “Neon Jarh” under the direction of Dr Navdeep Kaur at the studio theatre here today.

Supported by audio-visual spectacle with narratives, the play replete with a powerful thematic content of social relevance opened to a majestic start where an unborn girl child confides to her mother about her anticipated death. The director had attempted to project the issue of female foeticide with the imminent consequences through an innovated treatment, a veritable mix of contrasting elements of pathos and entertainment, orthodoxy and modern thinking, drug abuse and career making in a family of a farmer.

Caught between the ambitions of his antipathetic mother (Jaspreet Kaur) to remarry for a male child and protests from his wife defending the female child, he (Kirandeep Singh) commits the mistake of aborting his wife who dies and so he remarries. Their blessed son turns out to be a brat, while daughter (Malvika Bhasker) becomes an IPS officer, which dispelled the orthodox belief that the sons are only the Neon Jarh of a family. Music, both recorded and live, was the lifeline of the play.



Bond in knots after the knot
Wife does not wish to stay with husband
Narinder shows a photograph of his wedding, at the mini-secretariat in Panchkula on Monday
Narinder shows a photograph of his wedding, at the mini-secretariat in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 7
Eleven months after the inter-caste wedding, the wife submitted before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) on Monday that she wished to stay with her parents and not with her husband.

Ramgarh resident Narinder Saini, in his complaint to SDM Sharandeep Kaur Brar, stated that he tied the knot with Seema (name changed), who belonged to the Jat community, at a temple in Baltana on March 9 past year.

As it was an inter-caste wedding, they had approached the high court, which ordered security for them. Narinder complained that his in-laws took away his wife on January 14 on the pretext of the treatment of her ear.

After that, they did not allow his wife to contact him, he added. The wife informed the SDM yesterday that she wished to stay with her parents. — TNS



Fresh probe on
Illegal felling, disposal of trees
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 7
The police today started a fresh investigation into the scam, worth lakhs, of illegal felling and disposal of 31 trees at the Barwala grain market.

After the fresh orders by the IG, Ambala range, the Panchkula police today questioned the employees of Barwala grain market at the Chandi Mandir police station.

Employees of the market committee had sold the trees past year without obtaining permission. On a complaint of committee officials, the Panchkula police had registered an FIR against auction recorder Rajkumar under various sections of the IPC.

The IG ordered the fresh investigation, suspecting the role of more officials. A senior official with the Panchkula police said it had recorded the statements, but no arrest had taken place.

Sources revealed that Rajkumar’s father came to the Chandi Mandir police station today. As he had been attached with a senior IAS officer, he came in a car with a red beacon atop to put pressure by showing his status.



Tricity scan

Terry Fox Run

The second annual Terry Fox Run took place in the city on Monday. The run was supported by the Union Territory, SD College, University of Fraser Valley and the Consulate General of Canada. Over 3,000 city residents participated in the run. Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann flagged off the event with the Consul General of Canada and chairman of Indo-Canadian Cancer Research Foundation.

Science exhibition

An exhibition of arts and crafts, science, environmental science, history, geography, uniqueness and unity in diversity of Indian culture was on display at Aanchal International School, Sector 41 here on Tuesday. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Brajesh Joshi, life member of NIMA (National Integrated Medical Association) and co-chairman, blood donation community (NIMA), Chandigarh branch. The main attractions were live projects of rainwater harvesting, thermal energy, causes of pollution, which emphasised the utilitarian value of science.

Sporting colours for cause
Students send across social messages through a face-painting competition at Aanchal International School in Chandigarh on Tuesday
Students send across social messages through a face-painting competition at Aanchal International School in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A tribune photograph

Gurpurb celebrated

Gurpurb of Guru Ravi Dass was celebrated at Guru Ravi Dass Gurdwara, a press release said here on Tuesday. The bhog was attended by a large gathering.

Bird race

The India Bird Races, supported by HSBC, have become a popular affair at several metros. These bird races are dawn-to-dusk events where teams of bird-watching enthusiasts spend the day birding in and around the metropolitan region. The Chandigarh Bird Race held recently will conclude at Mumbai on February 12.

NSS camp

A seven-day NSS camp was organised at Daon village by NSS volunteers of Shivalik Public School, Phase VI. Charanjit Singh, assistant director, Youth Services Punjab, Mohali, inaugurated the function.

Job fest

A mega job fest is being organised by Aryans Group on the college premises tomorrow. Around 35 companies are expected to participate in the event.

‘Enhance, carpet parking area’

Former Panchkula municipal council vice-president BB Singal submitted a letter to HUDA Administrator requesting to enhance the parking area and carpeting of parking area in the hotel lanes of Sector 10. He submitted that there are five hotel sites in Sector 10 and parking space provided by HUDA opposite hotels is inadequate which resulted in chaos. — Tribune Reporters



PU gets Rs 150-crore grant
No fee hike for students in 2012-13 session
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
In what is bound to change Panjab University’s facet, the University Grant Commission (UGC) today sent across a special maintenance grant of Rs 150 crore to it.

The first fruit of the grant, which comprises of Rs 147 crore from 2011-12 budget and pending Rs 3 crore from 2010-11 budget came in the form of a decision, which is not to hike students fee for the session 2012-13.

While an action plan for spending the same will be finalised at finance board meeting scheduled for February 17, the varsity plans to pay complete pensions and arrears, according to the Punjab pension scheme.

According to Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti, the grant will be dedicated in providing world-class academic and residential infrastructure to students and teachers in addition to completing pending construction projects.

“We have been running around for this and have finally got it. Top on my priority are getting more hostels and departments constructed to match up the demands of increasing enrollment percentage. We will also be giving all pending pensions and arrears to the employees. We have recently taken a loan of about Rs 45 crore to pay salaries, so it will also be repaid,” said Sobti.

Other than the usual infrastructure demands, the university plans to dedicate a major chunk of the grant into developing campus the highest seat of scientific learning in region.

“The labs will go for a major revamp to support the research being undertaken. We have put our heads together to work out a plan for scientific advancement and decided on a few points. I will also seek suggestion from the departments, PUTA and student council on several things we can furnish with this money. We are now in comfortable financial position,” added Sobti.

The detail expenditure plan will be put forth on March 1 Senate.



Entry of outsiders banned on Feb 14
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
In a bid to avoid any trouble on the Valentine’s Day, Panjab University (PU) has decided to ban the entry of outsiders on the campus on February 14. Seeking the UT police help to ensure the same, PU feels that the move shall go a long way in avoiding any incident of eve-teasing in PU.

“The students are allowed to have good time but nonsense will not be tolerated. We have noticed that it’s outsiders who create trouble, so will be banning their entry completely on February 14,” informed dean student welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia.

In addition to this, several police officials will be deployed in civil dress on the campus to ensure discipline. Special nakas around the campus, PEC and city colleges and schools will be put up to deal with hooligans on road. The student council, which wishes to plan a rose day on February 14, has been asked for support in maintaining discipline.

PU had hit headlines when SOPU members allegedly thrashed two outsiders at the student centre who reportedly come to donate blood at a donation camp organised by PUSU.

While security will be tightened, the UT police has promised to abstain from moral policing and bullying couples.

“We will be vigilant to ensure compliance with laws of lands. We will make special arrangements to deal with any incident of hooliganism or eve-teasing, so that it doesn’t bother any couple,” assured UT SSP Naunihal Singh.

Meanwhile, despite being the first day of the Valentine’s Week, fervour lacked at the campus where contrary to speculations, there was no activity at the student centre. The trend to celebrate the Valentine’s Week, which had picked up a year or two years ago, seems to have been confined to schools now.



Decision on mercy demand today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Punjab Engineering College (PEC) is going to decide the fate of three ME students demanding mercy tomorrow. After failing to get a minimum of 4.5 cumulative grade point average (CGPA), the admission of students was terminated after which the students have been demanding another chance from the college.

Students had also given a representation to Finance Secretary VK Singh, who is also secretary technical education, yesterday requesting his intervention in the case. “We have been asked to wait till tomorrow, as the college will be discussing our case, based on which the final decision would be taken,” said one of the students.

Fourteen first-semester students had failed to get the minimum criteria of 4.5 CGPA, but in a decision taken by PEC authorities, it was held that mercy would be granted to only eight students. The students who have been left behind had lesser scores in comparisons to the eight who have been given another chance by the college.

The decision to give another chance to the selected students was taken at an emergency meeting, following which the left-out students have been demanding that another Senate meeting should be called to discuss their case.

Those who have been given another chance by the college have given an undertaking that they will show improvement in the next exam.

Students said failing to get another chance to improve their performance, they would intensify their agitation and launch a protest.



Pvt schools to pay for CCTV cameras
Each school to shell out Rs 40,000 for installation
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
Faced with financial crisis, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has now directed private schools to pay for CCTV cameras to be installed at the examination centres in their schools. Each school would have to shell out Rs 40,000 to install the CCTV cameras.

A decision was taken at a meeting of board officials with the district education officer (DEO) and other officials involved in the conduct of annual examinations through semester system for classes X and XII.

Last year, the board has claimed nearly zero mass copying after it utilised its funds to install CCTV cameras at certain examination centres in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Pathankot.

In the meeting chaired by board chairman, Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, the DEOs were also told not to change centres’ superintendents and deputy superintendents deputed at each of the 4,000 examination centres.

The board also decided to deploy observers at certain centres instead of flying squads. In the last exams, the board spent over Rs 40 lakh on 600 flying squads deputed across the state. But later, the number of flying squads’ teams was brought down to 195.

Officials in the board said about 6.50 lakh students appeared annually at 4,000 examination centres set up across the state. As per the norms, which were amended last year, the minimum strength of students at each centre has been reduced to 125 students from 160.



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