C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Speedy Justice
Kidnappers convicted in four months flat
Two-year-old child was kidnapped for Rs 5-lakh ransom in February last year
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
In a speedy disposal of justice in a child-kidnapping case, the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini Nagpal today convicted two persons who had kidnapped two-year-old Prince for Rs 5-lakh ransom from Bapu Dham Colony last year. The trial in the case began in October last year and the entire prosecution evidence was recorded in just four hearings. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Tuesday.

The court convicted Amarpal and Suresh in the case. Two other accused are juveniles and their case is pending in the juvenile court.

Public Prosecutor Manu Kakkar said the prosecution examined 14 witnesses in all and the court had taken the case on a priority basis as it was a sensitive case involving the kidnapping of a small child.

Prince was kidnapped for ransom from outside his residence on February 8 last year and recovered by the police within six hours of it being informed.

The police, which had learnt a lesson from the failure of the trap after the infamous Khushpreet murder case, was swift in acting and had even arranged a helicopter.

The police had arrested all the four kidnappers following an intensive operation in Siswan village near Kurali.

As per the prosecution, Prince’s uncle Amarpal, a vegetable vendor, had kidnapped the child. He had roped in three fellow vegetable vendors known to him for the crime.

Four hours after the boy went missing, his father, Dinesh, had received a call on his mobile phone from a landline number asking him to arrange for a ransom of Rs 5 lakh.

At around 4 pm, the police laid a trap near Mullanpur, where over 60 policemen in plainclothes were deputed along a 10-km stretch leading from Siswan to Kurali.

The policemen waited incognito for the kidnappers on the highway and noticed two motorcycle-borne youths going at breakneck speed.

The pillion rider was holding a child in his lap. When the police team signalled the accused to stop, they tried to flee, but fell after the bike skidded.

The police team immediately nabbed Suresh and his accomplice, who was a juvenile, and recovered the child.



Death of Baby
GMSH doctors get clean chit
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
In a wishy-washy inquiry report, the Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH) authorities have virtually given a clean chit to doctors in the death of one-and-half-month-old Arnav, who died on February 8, hours after being administered DTP vaccine at a Ram Darbar dispensary, but have concluded that the controversy could have been “avoided” if the Emergency Medical Officer (EMO) had examined the child on arrival.

However, the report does not hold the EMO, Dr Neena Chaudhry, responsible for negligence as she followed “prevailing protocol and procedures” of referring all paediatric cases, except trauma, to Paediatric Emergency. The report, however, also does not conclusively say that the death was caused by the reaction of the vaccine on the grounds that this could only be established after a detailed CFSL analysis. The inquiry was conducted by Dr Sunil Bhalla of the psychiatry department.

Contrary to the initial claims of the hospital that the baby was brought dead, the report states that the child was pronounced dead at 4.40 pm, almost 40 minutes after the family had arrived at the emergency. As per the CCTV footage, the family had brought the baby to the hospital at 3.59 pm and was attended to by Paediatric Emergency at 4.08 pm.

The report states: “The paediatrician on duty, Dr Deepti (DNB student) was present in the emergency children ward and as soon as she examined the baby, she informed the attendant (probably father) that the baby was brought dead and immediately started resuscitation protocol as required under rules and was joined by Dr Paramjit Singh, MO, during the procedure. He officially declared the death of the baby at 4.40 pm on February 8 only after the team had exhausted all available resuscitation measures and cited the reason of the death due to aspiration asphyxia.”

The report concludes: “I will like to highlight that if the EMO on duty, Dr Neena Chaudhry, had examined the baby on arrival at the emergency duty room, the current controversy might not have arisen.”

Dr Rajeev Vadhera, Medical Superintendent, said we would seek an explanation from the EMO.



Fresh supply of DPT vaccine
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The UT health department today received a fresh supply of 50,000 DTP vaccines as a replacement for the stock (batch 994 of Biological E Limited) that was withheld after the mysterious death of one-and-a-half-month-old Arnav, who was administered a dose of the vaccine at the Ram Darbar dispensary on February 8. Another child, Radhav, had also reportedly developed seizures after the administration of the vaccine at the Sector 45 poly clinic.

The Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) Committee had ordered the withholding of the vaccines of batch 994, supplied by the Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited, last Saturday. Sources revealed that orders were subsequently issued to all hospitals and dispensaries in the city to discontinue the use of the vaccine.

Fresh supply was received from the same company this morning, and the batch was different. Sources said about 50-100 children were administered DPT vaccine in each of the 20 dispensaries every month.

While the vaccine was administered twice a week in the dispensaries, it was available every day at the PGI, GMCH-32, GMSH-16, Sector 45 polyclinic, Community Health Centre, Manimajra, and Community Health Centre, Sector 22. When this correspondent visited a few dispensaries this morning, the fresh stocks had arrived.

“We will start giving the vaccines right away,” said an attendant at a polyclinic.

The fresh supply had been distributed at all hospitals, dispensaries and community health centres.

Sources also revealed that they had received a total of 36,370 vaccines of batch 994 and 26,148 had been administered. The complications, if any from the vaccine, had been reported in only two cases so far. The batch was received in September 2011.



Corporation or council?
Legal opinion being sought on validity of civic body certificates
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 17
Even as the Mohali municipal council has changed the software used in the preparation of birth and death certificates, legal opinion is being sought on the validity of certificates issued during the past more than two months on which the civic body was shown as holding the status of a corporation as well as that of a council.

The computerised details mentioned on these documents issued since December last year showed the civic body as a corporation while an official stamp put on these documents showed it as a council.

JC Sabharwal, Administrator, said the software used in preparing the birth and death certificates had been changed.

He said an explanation of the official concerned had also been called in this regard. He said employees concerned kept saying that the software was not changed because a case in connection with the status of the civic body was going on in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but he was not convinced.

He said the birth and death certificates were very important documents and the senior official signing these should have taken note of the lacuna.

Legal opinion on the validity of these vital documents already issued was also being sought, added Sabharwal.

The municipal council was upgraded to the level of a corporation by the Punjab government in January last year.

Soon after the civic body started mentioning itself as a corporation on the birth and death certificates.

But the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the government notification on November 25 through which the civic body was given the status of a corporation.

Even though the civic body started mentioning itself as a municipal council in all officials records after the stay orders of the High Court, the software used in preparing birth and death certificates remained unchanged.

As many as 487 birth certificates and 496 death certificates were issued by the civic body without changing the software.



400 UT employees for civic body
Will help run dispensaries, primary schools

Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
About 400 employees of the UT Administration will be absorbed by the Municipal Corporation to run dispensaries and primary schools that have been transferred to the civic body. Confirming the development, UT Adviser KK Sharma today said that following the decision, the modalities to transfer the employees was being worked out. The employees would be given two options, either get absorbed or go on deputation.

Sources in the administration said the authorities had taken the decision in

principle that all employees transferred with road, primary education, health, green belt and garden departments will continue to be with the MC.

The administration is proposing to transfer these employees to the respective departments in the MC as the administration does not require their services.

Officials said several rounds of meetings had been conducted with the MC to discuss the proposed draft for the employees. Until a final decision on the issue was taken, the administration would disburse the salaries to the employees.

The administration is also drafting a proposal under which the transferred employees on deputation with the MC could go back to their respective departments. A senior official said the authorities would have to incur more expenditure if an employee opted for deputation as such employees got 5 per cent more perks.

Employees who were on deputation from their parent state would be repatriated if they disagreed to join the MC.

Sources said UT Administrator Shiv Raj Patil had approved the proposal to give grant for these departments this year, with the condition that the MC would work out the modalities to generate funds in future.

In 2010, the administration had transferred these departments with their staff to the MC on the condition that the staff would provide their services till March 2012. Sources said the administration had insisted that the corporation create its own cadre for managing these departments, while the exiting staff arrangement would continue as such.



Chandigarh scan
Valedictory function

Red Ribbon Club of Post-Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11, organised its valedictory function today. Shashi Joshi, convenor of the club, enumerated the activities and achievements of the volunteers of the club. She said that the volunteers participated in several activities round the year creating awareness.

Achila Dogra, principal of the college, congratulated the students for their initiatives and appreciated the efforts put in by them towards social awakening.

Interactive session

Renowned poet and writer Manjit Indira was invited by the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, for interaction with the students. Indira shared her poetry and her experiences with the students during the event. She also sung songs and recited a few poems before the students. Ravipreet Uppal, head of the department, Punjabi, made the students aware about the achievements, creation and awards that Manjeet Indira won in her career.

Mohali scan

Advanced laproscopic surgery

Laproscopic surgeons at Max Super Speciality Hospital have performed a single site laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy. Dr KS Dhillon, laproscopic surgeon at the hospital, said that a minimal access surgery was performed through the belly button for the treatment of menorrhagia and uterine fibroid and ovarian cyst by a 1 cm cut. Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods in which bleeding is abnormally heavy or prolonged. Dr Dhillon said the uniqueness of the surgery was that it was done through the umbilicus/navel which leaves no scars on the skin. Students bid adieu

Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase II, Mohali, organised a farewell party for the outgoing students of class XII in the school premises. The students of class XI presented an cultural programme and the seniors, attired in formals, sashayed down the ramp confidently.

The ceremonial lighting of the lamp of knowledge gave a befitting start to the function and was followed by dance performances. The dance performances on beats of Punjabi numbers were appreciated by everyone present. The seniors also participated in different games and lucky dips.

The highlight of the day was a fashion show in which both boys and girls participated. Jatin Garg was declared the best medical student while Rupinder Kaur and Priya were awarded with the title of best non-medical and commerce students respectively.

Cultural fest concludes

A three-day cultural function, Panache- 2012: National Techno Cultural Fest, organised by the Shaheed Udham Singh Group of Institutions, has concluded. SS Channy (IAS), Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce, Punjab, was the chief guest of the function. Various cultural, literary and technical events were held during the event. In the cultural events Giddha, Bhangra, and group dances were the main attraction. Twelve rock bands also participated in the festival.

Management of the SUS Group appreciated the effort, hard work, and the organising skills of the Panache committee to hold such a mega event with success. The management appreciated the dedication shown by Prof Sukhjeet Kaur, Dean Students Welfare in organising this event.

SS Channy gave away the prizes to the winners of various technical, literary and cultural events. In his address, the chief guest felicitated the management and the organising committee for planning the mega event so meticulously. The grand finale of the fest was a live performance by famous Punjabi singer Amrinder Gill in the evening.

— Tribune Reporters



Travel agents continue to fleece train passengers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Travel agents continue to fleece train passengers who are not aware about the presentation of ID proof to prove their identity to the ticket checkers (TC) during the course of journey in AC coaches.

According to information, about three to four persons were being fined in the air-conditioned coaches in a train for their failure to produce ID proofs. During interrogation they revealed to the ticket checkers that they had booked their tickets through the booking agents.

Rohit Kumar, a resident of Lucknow, said that he had booked the ticket about one month ago through a travel agent. He said he was given the ticket bearing the name of some other person. He said he was asked to produce one of the ID proofs such as driving license, passport; PAN card or nationalized bank passbook with photograph by the ticket checker while travelling in III-tier AC coach of Lucknow-Chandigarh Unchahaar express. He said as he failed to produce the documents mentioned above he had to purchase a new ticket besides paying a fine to the TC.

Earlier, the passengers with tatkal and e-tickets were required to carry original proof of identity during the course of train journey. With a view to prevent the cases of travelling on transferred tickets in AC classes, the procedure of carrying a proof of identity by passengers had been extended to AC class passengers also from February 15. The passengers of AC classes now need to produce proof of identities as when required failing which the passengers booked on that ticket will be treated as without ticket and will have to pay the fine. Railways Central Public Relation Officer SK Sharma, said that the procedure had bore fruits as only two to three cases were reported daily. 



Nodal officer, visitors’ board a mere formality, observes High Court
Says the condition at Nari Niketan and Ashreya not up to mark
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today minced no words to say the condition at Nari Niketan and Ashreya was required to be viewed seriously; and added the appointment of the nodal officer and the composition of the visitors’ board was an empty formality.

The High Court was more candid as it verbally observed during the hearing of the Nari Niketan case that the visitors’ board comprised VIPs and their spouses. The Special Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari, also orally called upon the UT Administration and other respondents to have on board more dedicated members.

As the case came up for hearing, the Bench observed in the open court that the contentions raised by the amicus curiae or the friend of the court, the UT counsel and the National Trust had made it clear that the conditions at the Nari Niketan and Ashrey needed to be viewed seriously by those at the helm of affairs.

The Bench also observed that the UT Administration too was not apparently responding to important issues requiring immediate attention. Before parting with the order, the Bench asked amicus curiae-cum-advocate Tanu Bedi to come out with suggestions on the next date of hearing.

The functioning of Nari Niketan came under the High Court scanner after a mentally challenged girl was allegedly raped by a sweeper there. She complained of abdominal pain after shifting from Nari Niketan to Ashreya. After the victim was medically examined, she tested positive for pregnancy. The matter was then reported to the police.

Passing orders against the termination of pregnancy of the victim, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan had held the medical opinion given by the PGI favoured the continuation of pregnancy. The court also laid special emphasis on the desire expressed by the victim to deliver her baby.

Subsequently, the High Court directed the UT administration to open a bank account in the name of the child born to the Nari Niketan rape victim. The National Trust too offered to appoint a special educator for the inmates of Ashreya.



Broadband complainants can approach consumer forum
Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Those aggrieved by issues relating to mobile and broadband connections, can once again, heave a sigh of relief. The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission comprising president Justice (retired) Sham Sunder and members Jagroop Singh Mahal and Neena Sandhu, has, in a recent order, distinguished the Supreme Court judgement, which said that telecom complaints were out of the domain of the consumer fora and could only be decided by way of arbitration under the Telegraph Act.

The District Forum-I had dismissed a complaint filed against Bharti Airtel as not maintainable. Complainant Tarun Gupta went in appeal before the commission, which set aside the order of the District Forum and directed it to decide the case on merits. The complaint related to delay in disconnection of a broadband connection and consequent wrong charging of the bill. The commission opined that the said dispute did not fall within the purview of Section 7-B of the Telegraph Act and therefore the Apex Court judgement was not applicable to the facts of this case.

Later, while slapping a fine of Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental agony and harassment suffered by the complainant, the forum headed by president PD Goel, directed Bharti Airtel to refund the wrongly charged amount of Rs 2,100. It also directed the company to pay Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation to the complainant.

Explaining the background, advocate Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, said, “It is relevant to mention here that the scope of consumer jurisdiction had been restricted due to a National Consumer Commission judgement in 2010, which excluded telecom/mobile disputes out of its ambit. The National Commission judgement relied on the order of the Supreme Court, in “General Manager Telecom Vs. M Krishnan & Another”, in an appeal No.7687 of 2004 filed by the BSNL, wherein it has held that the Indian telegraph Act was a special law and its provisions would prevail over a general law like the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

"It is a settled law that general law must yield to special law", observed the Bench and noted that there was a remedy prescribed under Section 7B of the Telegraph Act for resolution of all the disputes regarding telecom through arbitration. The Bench said since there was a specific remedy prescribed, it would oust the jurisdiction of consumer courts, added Chandgothia.

Nawal Manglani, a hassled mobile consumer who has been receiving inflated mobile bills, while welcoming the latest decision said, “CPA was specifically enacted for speedy and easy redressal of such petty disputes and this judgement will add to the consumer empowerment.”



Mayor visits Civil Dispensary
Tribune News Service

Mayor Raj Bala Malik listens to the problems of patients and their attendants at the Civil Dispensary in Sector 38, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, February 17
The Civil Dispensary of Sector 38 is in a pitiable condition as it lacks proper infrastructure and required medical staff.

This was brought to the notice of Mayor Raj Bala Malik by the residents of the area during her special visit to the dispensary today.

Some patients complained that during rainy season water got accumulated in the dispensary. Another patient said the washroom remained locked most of the time.

Dr Harjeet Kaur, Senior Medical Officer of the dispensary, said the administration had started the renovation work two years ago but after the dispensary was transferred to the MC, the work was stalled. She added that in the absence of ACs at the dental OPD, it became difficult for doctors to attend to patients. The Mayor said the matter would be looked into by the newly constituted primary health committee and the work would be commenced. Dr Harjeet lamented that employees of the UT administration had not vacated residential quarters so far.

The Mayor said she would take up the matter with the UT health department.

Doctors on duty said there was no radiographer in the dispensary. The Mayor said the proposal to give Rs 2,000 extra to every Medical Officer would be tabled in the next Finance and Contract Committee Meeting.



Parents of runaway couple give in
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 17
Deepa Sharma, the girl who had tied the knot with Dharminder Kumar against the wishes of her parents, was happy after her parents informed the court that they did not have any objection to the love marriage.

After the girl’s parents’ assurance, the couple withdrew their protection application from the Panchkula court.

Dharminder (24) was arrested for absconding with his lover, Deepa Sharma, who was a minor in March, 2010. Dharminder came out after the acquittal in December, 2010, and again absconded with the love of his life, who had now turned 18 and had been waiting for him all this while. Last week, on the protection plea filed by the couple, the court had sent the couple to protection home.

Outside the courts complex, Dharminder said it was their love that gave them the strength to fight against the girl’s parents. He added that when he came out of jail, he gave his phone number to one of Deepa’s friends following which Deepa purchased a new SIM and a mobile phone to contact him.

Deepa said her parents wanter her to marry someone else. She added that she had gone to Mani Majra with her parents when Dharminder came and both of them ran away. Dharminder said they had arranged a rented accommodation in Chandigarh and he would soon find a job.

Last time, the couple had eloped in March, 2010, when Deepa was a minor. In March, 2010, Deepa’s father, Mohan Chand, a resident of Sector 4, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, had registered an FIR against Dharminder at the Mansa Devi police station.

After the FIR, the police traced the couple to Delhi. During the trial, the Panchkula Police failed to produce evidence against Dharminder, which resulted in his acquittal on December 22, 2010.



Developers told to submit EWS status report
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 17
The Zirakpur municipal council has asked the developers of Group Housing Projects in the town to submit the status of flats constructed for economically weaker sections (EWS) of society.

Sources in the MC stated that the council had written a letter to the developers of the housing projects in this regard.

Sources added that the builders were to construct EWS flats for weaker sections as per terms and conditions of the government after getting an approval. The builders had been asked to submit the status report, the official added.

If the builder failed to submit the report and did not construct the EWS flats as per terms and conditions, the report would be submitted to the government, official added.

An MC official said a reminder would be sent to the promoters. He added that as per notification of the government, the colonisers had to reserve 10 per cent houses for weaker sections. But the council had decided to ask the private colonisers to reserve 6 per cent houses instead of 10 per cent in their housing projects. The official said the council had also stated that the beneficiaries would get the ownership of the two-bedroom flats after 12 years of possession.

It was stated that the beneficiaries would have to pay Rs 1,200 to get all basic amenities, including proper water supply, sewerage system, a community centre and a park in the area.

Zirakpur executive officer Paramjit Singh Saro said the council had received the status report of a few group housing projects.



Soon, two more police stations in Panchkula
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 17
Panchkula will soon have two more police stations as the proposal regarding the conversion of Morni and Barwala police posts into police stations has been submitted to the Haryana Police.

At present, the Morni and Barwala police posts come under the Chandimandir police station.

The Morni police post is at a distance of 35 km while the Barwala police post is 25 km away from the Chandimandir police station.

There are seven police stations in the district, including Sector 5, Sector 20, Sector 14, Chandimandir, Kalka, Pinjore and Raipur Rani. With these two new police stations, the number will go up to nine in the district.

Confirming the development, Commissioner of the Ambala-Panchkula police commissionerate, Anant Kumar Dhul, said they had submitted the proposal to the Haryana Police.

Anant Kumar Dhul, who was attending a police-public meeting at the Mansa Devi Police station, said they had also forwarded the proposal to increase the number of PCR vehicles and manpower in Panchkula district.

During the meeting, residents of Mansa Devi Complex were happy with the functioning of SHO Daleep Kumar and his team. Residents only pointed out the problem of accidents in the area, especially at the Mansa Devi light point.



WWICS running without licence since 2008
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
WWICS, a Mohali-based immigration firm, has run into trouble as a preliminary search by the UT police has revealed that the company has been running without a valid immigration licence since 2008 and has several complaints of cheating against it.

The counsel of the company, Raman Walia, said that they were cooperating fully with the investigation agency. Though the police has plans to re-conduct a search to access more documents, it has revealed that it has been approached by several complainants who have alleged that the company which has branches abroad has taken several lakhs from them and not arranged for their work abroad even after eight to 10 years of payment.

The company authorities however have refuted the claims saying that they have reapplied for license and informed the UT police about it.

“The very first time when the police raided us in Sector 22 we provided them with documents pertaining to renewal of license. Till date not even a single case has been registered against us anywhere in the world.

We are and will continue to cooperate with the UT police,” said a source close to the company owners.

The police has meanwhile arrested nine persons in past one week under different sections of immigration fraud. While its is being cited as a big achievement by the police, the companies are irked over being targeted.



In the fashion lane
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Aakriti 2012, the annual fashion show of Government Home Science College, was organised by the Department of Clothing and Textiles to showcase the in-house creations.

Models presented collections on 16 themes based on different moods. The titles of different rounds in the event were: After-hour, Psychedelic, Rush Blush, Sumptuous Spectrum, Rosealla Shore, Sangam- the ethnic, Fushchia, Sizzling Spirit, Beach Bound, Incredible indigo, Ripples, Bedazzle, Runway report, Hi- Ho- Blue, Elite Meridian, Scartella, and Bella Desire. The last round ‘Swarnim Array’ was dedicated to the golden jubilee celebration of the college.

The show was judged by a three member jury which included Kanwal Thakur Singh, national badminton player and an Arjuna Award winner who won medals in the CWG and Asian Games, Dr Kavita Marriya, former head of department, clothing and textiles, Government Home Science College, Chandigarh, and Simrita, head of the department, fashion design, NIIFT, Mohali.



Spiritual experience of love
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 17
Sans story and script, the Ceva Drama Repertory and Purple Mangoes presented an enterprising and newer dimension of theatre for most of the city audiences through their experimental production “Romeo-Juliet and Seven Clowns ” at the Tagore theatre here today. While Romeo-Juliet story provided only the take off point or a sound metaphor, the play dealt with the cardinal spiritual experience of love, the prime force sustaining life even beyond death. Young but visionary director Sukhmani Kohli relied on clowning, employing several clowns and making it the lifeline of the play.

The play reminds the audiences of the clown that is within each of us. The clowning is not only about putting a funny mask and playing funny tricks, but is about travelling through oneself and searching for ones authenticity, re-learning one’s freedom to laugh at the comedy of one’s blindness and to laugh in the joy of newfound insight. 



Bomb hoax at Aroma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The UT police went into frenzy late last night when they got a call from a local auto driver informing about a-bomb being planted at 24 hour eatery Aroma.

The auto driver, who rang up the PCR at around 2 am, informed them that he was ferrying two passengers who were talking about having planted a bomb in the eatery.

The police immediately got into action and searched the place but failed to find anything.



Two govt vehicles challaned

Chandigarh, February 17
Two government vehicles CH 18 d 5915 and PB 56 D 0202 were challaned by the UT police late last night for misuse of red beacon atop the cars.

Although the authorised officers were not in the car, the drivers failed to turn off the beacon and cover it as mandated by the law. — TNS



Students donate Rs 70,000 for ailing baby
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The members of DAV college’s student-run charity association Sankalp have donated a cheque of Rs 70, 000 for the treatment of a three month old baby who is suffering from a serious cardiac ailment and has hole in her heart. The students donated the money to the PGI for the treatment of the baby.

It all began when a few students of the college decided to do something socially productive during their college days, following which Sankalp, a charity organisation, was formed. The association aims to help critically ill children who cannot afford treatment.

The association donated a cheque of Rs 70,000 for the treatment of three-month-old Harkirath who is suffering from a serious cardiac ailment.

Harkirath's father is a truck driver and has spent his entire earning for the treatment of his child.

Mrigya Samyal a student of DAV college and member of Sankalp said that there are innumerable children in India who die simply because of being deprived of apt medical treatment due to lack of finances. “Sankalp renders them this help with a hope to secure their childhood,” she said.

Sankalp is also associated with the orphanage Snehalaya and conducts events such as donation day, festival celebrations etc.

Last month too the members of Sankalp had donated Rs 60, 000 for the treatment of a one-year-old boy suffering from a serious heart disease.



Teachers hold dharna at PU
Demand release of pay-scale arrears

Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Members of the executive committees of the association of Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, Panjabi University, Patiala, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, government colleges and non-government colleges of Punjab held a protest dharna at Panjab University campus today.

The demonstration was organised by the Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (PFUCTO) in response to the call given by the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO). The AIFUCTO is demanding the release of pay-scale arrears by the central and state government, stoppage of commercialisation of higher education, and the removal of anomalies in UGC regulations.

Addressing the rally, PFUCTO president Prof HS Kingra criticised the central and state government for their failure to release the arrears of pay scale revision even after three years. He said that the Punjab Government was responsible as it had refused to increase the retirement age. Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PFUCTO, said that the implementation of the report of Anomalies Committee for pay-scales is being unjustly delayed. He said that constitution of a review committee to look into the recommendations of Anomalies Committee is raising apprehension about the central government’s intentions. GCTA president Prof Jaipal Singh said that the Punjab government employees are the only ones who have been denied arrears.



PU students on hunger strike booked for suicide attempt
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Chandigarh Police today booked two Panjab University (PU) students for attempt to suicide. The students were sitting on an indefinite hunger strike outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office demanding that the food rates at hostels be reduced. The students have been identified as Sunny Mehta and Ravinder Mehta.

The police stated that PK Dhawan, chief of university’s security, complained that both the students were on hunger strike since February 15, thereby attempting suicide by sitting, following which they were booked.

Both the students were admitted to the Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, and a case under IPC, Section 309, registered against them. The case is under investigation.

This is probably the first time that the PU has initiated a strict action against students protesting outside the VC office.



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