C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Washing dirty linen in public not an issue now, divorce cases up
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
As the stigma surrounding divorce has weaned away over the years, an increased number of women are now approaching courts to seek divorce on the grounds of impotence.

With marital bliss becoming a rarity in today’s fast-paced life, the total number of divorce cases filed in the UT district courts in the last three years alone has touched 2,133.

Already, 115 divorce petitions under the Hindu Marriage Act have been filed in court in the first two months of this year. A total of 777 divorce cases were filed in courts last year.

The cases witnessed a rise as in 2009, when 648 cases were filed. In 2010, the number of couples seeking separation swelled to 708.

“Women are more assertive while seeking divorce compared to a few years back. They have no qualms in washing dirty linen in public and have become more independent, both financially and emotionally. They are coming out openly and expressing the desire for discontinuing marital life,” says advocate Anupam Gupta.

As per figures, on an average, 10 such cases by women seeking divorce on the grounds of impotence are being reported monthly compared to the one or two cases once in several months a few years back.

In one such case decided last month, Meena Kumari (name changed) filed a case in the district court, seeking annulment of her marriage on the grounds of impotence.

Her marriage was annulled by the court under Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act with grant of decree of nullity as there was no marriage in the eyes of law if the ground was proved.

“In this case, the opposite party chose not to contest the case. Based on the medical report of the woman, it was proved that her marriage had not been consummated owing to the impotence of the respondent and the marriage was annulled. With women being more aware of their rights, they are agitating in the court of the law,” said advocate Virinder Issar.

While older couples are citing incompatibility as the main reason, younger couples are blaming it on cruelty, desertion and impotence.

Moreover, the number of cases by mutual consent is 40 per cent of the total petitions. Other reasons for the rising number of divorce cases include stress, lack of communication, extra-marital affairs and failure to adjust.

In another such case, a 29-year-old woman had sought divorce on charges of cruelty. However, the husband accused his wife of torturing him mentally. The couple finally parted ways in 2010.



‘We Care For You’ seems a jokey 
Police vehicle hits another, no official carrying driver’s licence
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Practising before preaching is surely not the UT police’s style. Organising a traffic awareness and challan campaign, it is yet to get the traffic sense of its officials right.

A PCR vehicle rammed into a vehicle with the Sector-31 police station at Hallo Majra last night. PCR in charge Dharampal and two other Home Guard jawans were not carrying their driver’s licences.

According to the complaint of Sector-31 police station officials, they went to attend a spot at Hallo Majra when a PCR vehicle being driven by Dharampal hit their vehicle head on, damaging its fuel tank.

It was further reported that Dharampal, a Home Guard jawan, was neither a trained driver, nor was he authorised to drive a PCR vehicle.

“There were two others in the jeep. One was the authorised driver, but he let Dharampal drive. Dharampal probably started the jeep with his foot on the accelerator. It rammed into our vehicle, damaging the bumper and the fuel tank,” said a police station official.

“We have sent a detailed report on the incident to the department. We have also highlighted the fact that none of those present had their driver’s licences with them,” said SHO Jaspal Singh.

DSP (PCR) Roshan Lal stated that an inquiry had already been marked into the matter. “If they are guilty, they will not be let off,” he said. The incident of disregarding traffic rules by its own officials left the police red in the face. 




67.5 pc respondents not satisfied
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Contrary to the slogan of the Chandigarh Police ‘We Care For You’, a study on ‘Satisfaction of citizens towards the working of the Chandigarh Police’, conducted by the Centre for Police Administration, has revealed that 67.5 per cent of the people are not satisfied with the services provided by the police.

As far as behaviour is concerned, the survey indicates that there is a sharp decline in behaviour from cordial to rude as interaction between a complainant and police personnel increases.

The study further reveals that 40 per cent of the complainants have reported that police officials at the police station ignore them.

Ten per cent of the complainants have reported rude behaviour of police personnel while half of the respondents have reported cordial behaviour of officials attending them.

On the demand of the UT police, Prof Anil Monga, centre coordinator, and Mohit Verma, assistant professor, have conducted a study, which has been recently submitted to the police.

The study has been conducted after selecting one police station each from the three Chandigarh zones and 40 cases registered at each police station between March and May, 2011.

During the survey, 70 per cent of the respondents have said their complaints have been registered on the first visit to the police station, but the remaining 30 per cent have had to visit again to get their complaints registered.

The survey has also revealed that 95 per cent of the complainants have never received any communication after the registration of their complaints.

Regarding the behaviour of police officials during the follow-up process, the study has revealed that 32.5 per cent of the respondents have mentioned it as rude, 37.5 per cent ignoring and only 17.5 per cent cordial.

“A total of 97.5 per cent of the people reported that after they called up the PCR, the behaviour of the police was cordial. This percentage declined to 77.5 in case of the behaviour of the PCR official at the scene of the crime,” he explained.

“The percentage further declined to 50 in case of the behaviour of the police at police stations. The percentage went shockingly low to 37.5 in case of the behaviour of the police during the follow-up process,” he elaborated.




Residents ‘shoo away’ top police officials
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Contrary to expectations of the UT police, residents of Dadu Majra ended up virtually shooing away the police high-ups, including the IG and the SSP, here today.

Instead of welcoming mobile police stations, the residents vented their ire by raising slogans and accusing the police of coming out with swanky publicity gimmicks while core issues remained unresolved.

The drama started when Sonia, a local resident, questioned the authenticity of the police’s self-proclaimed devotion by pointing out that a ‘goon’ wanted for breaking into her house was sitting in the meeting while the police was on the lookout for him.

Sonia lodged a complaint on October 28 last year that 15 local goons barged into her house and virtually demolished it. The police nabbed a few, but a majority were on the loose. According to Sonia, the prime accused was sitting there.

When the IG questioned the SHO concerned, he said seven culprits in the case had already been nabbed and the role of person under question had not been established.

This further irked the residents. Krishna Devi (80) asked the SSP why the police had failed even after months to punish a local youth who had thrashed her, though it had his name and residential address.

As tempers rose, village ‘pradhan’ Dashmi Devi stood up and accused the police of being hand-in-glove with drug peddlers. At this, the IG and the SSP left, much to the annoyance of the residents.

They rounded up the SHO and started raising slogans. At this, a pro-police group started raising slogans in support of officials of the area.



kalka gangrape
Victim does not identify main accused in court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 22
In a major blow to the investigating agency probing the infamous Kalka gangrape case, the rape victim did not identify the main accused today. Three other accused had been awarded 10 years’ imprisonment after she identified them. Four prosecution witnesses, including the victim, failed to identify the main accused. It was the first appearance of the victim after her wedding and that too, with her newborn.

The victim, who appeared in court with her newborn, told the court that the main accused, Sushil Kumar, was not the one who had raped her.

She said the person who had raped her was very young and tall while the person present in the courtroom was aged and of medium height.

Sources added that the victim told the court that she could still identify the rapist among a number of people, but the person who violated her was not present in the courtroom.

Last year, her parents had requested the court not to summon their daughter since she had wed and her husband and in-laws were not aware of her traumatic past.

They had told the court that though they wanted the accused to be punished, they did not want to disrupt her life.

As the victim’s statement was crucial for the prosecution, the court had directed the victim to record her statement.

Earlier, the victim and her parents had given a statement against the three accused, who were awarded 10-year imprisonment.

The court had awarded 10-year imprisonment to the accused, Vikram Chaudhary, Madan Yadav and Sumit, residents of Uttar Pradesh.

On the night of January 9, 2010, the accused allegedly abducted the victim from the Kalka police post and gangraped her in a car. The police spotted the car when it was crossing the Parwanoo barrier.

Accompanied by a team of the Himachal Pradesh Police, the Panchkula police nabbed the accused when their car met with an accident near Dharampur.


* January 9, 2010: Victim abducted and raped; police rescues victim and arrests three accused from Dharampur

* April 29, 2010: Court frames gangrape and kidnap charges

* July 1, 2010: Victim identifies three accused in courtroom

* January 25, 2011: Fourth accused, Sushil Kumar, arrested

* March 8, 2011: Court awards 10 years’ imprisonment to three accused



Woman bludgeoned, robbed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
In a daylight robbery, Pritam Kaur, a 45-year-old housewife, was severely bludgeoned on the head with a baseball bat at her Phase-IV house by her maid, Pinky, who was employed six months ago.

A CCTV grab shows the maid.
A CCTV grab shows the maid.

The police believed that the maid’s husband, Raju, assisted her in the crime. 

Fleeing with cash and valuables, the couple locked the main gate of the house, leaving the victim bleeding profusely.

Doctors attending on the victim at hospital stated that her condition was critical. Being a baptised Sikh, she used to sport headgear, which reduced the impact of the baseball bat on her head.

The husband of the victim, Satinder Pal Singh, owner of Diamond Copy House, had employed the maid six months ago without police verification.

Family sources revealed that the maid, who had been given employment on the reference of a person at the Sector-22 gurdwara they knew, had also been given accommodation at a factory owned by the victim’s husband at Phase VIII, Industrial Area.

The preliminary investigation by the police revealed that the maid poisoned the family’s pet Labrador to death. “The pet never allowed the maid’s husband to enter the house. They eliminated the dog to gain obstruction-free entry,” pointed out Ranjit Singh, manager at Satinder’s factory.

SP (City) Harpreet Singh said police parties had been sent to different places to catch hold of the assailants on the basis of the details provided by the family. The police put the mobile phones of the couple on surveillance.

The incident came to light when Avtar Singh came to drop the victim’s 14-year-old daughter, a class-VIII student.

“I received a call from Satinder to pick up his daughter from school and drop her home. When I reached their house, the main gate was locked. I called up his wife, but her mobile phone kept ringing and she did not respond. I climbed up the gate to enter the house and found her lying in a pool of blood. We rushed her to hospital,” Avtar said.

The police found signs of forcible entry and the almirahs opened with keys, indicating that the maid was in the know of things.

Though the victim was found in the bedroom, there were traces of blood in the toilet. It seemed that the victim had been dragged to the bedroom.

Though the family was yet to ascertain the exact loss, it was learnt that around Rs 2 lakh was missing from the house.

Indifferent to verification

Police officials said the incident highlighted the indifference on the part of employers to get police verification of their tenants and servants done. In case of a crime, it was difficult to track down criminals, they said. The Mohali police was now planning to start a servant verification drive.



PGI’s new OT closed for repairs
Was made operational for trauma cases last year
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The new operation theatre (OT) complex on the third floor of the PGI’s Advanced Trauma Centre (ATC), made operational for trauma cases only last year, has been closed down due to structural flaws. The OT has been shifted back to the old Nehru building.

The swanky brand new building of the ATC, functioning partially for the last about nine months, has been reportedly giving continuously problems due to structural faults.

Last year, the false sealing had fallen off near the minor operation theatre. This year, flooring and water leakage problems forced the closure of the OT. Even the wall near the stairs had clear signs of seepage.

Confirming the closure of the trauma OT of the ATC, the spokesperson of the PGI, Manju Wadwalkar said it was closed last month for repair work and had been temporarily shifted to the old OT (room 22). She said the new OT of the ATC would be functional from March 1.

Between 8 and 12 cases were being operated per day in the old OT. However, the new OT was technically more advanced in terms of light system and had facility of onscreen surgery, not available in the old OT.

Sources said the PGI authorities had pointed out the shoddy construction work at the ATC to officials of the central public works department earlier too.

The building had been constructed at a cost of over Rs 30 crore.

The PGI’s engineering department had pointed out the flaws at Level III, where the OT complex was located. “The flooring of the store is lower than that of the OT, which leads to water collection in the store as there is no drainage there.

The edges of flooring in the OT are also not sealed and there is no exhaust in any autoclaving area, including the main autoclave area, the septic OT and minor OTs,” said officials.

Doctors at the ATC said though a majority of the repair work had been done, the rest would be completed within a few days.

In the new OT complex, there were five major OTs (for general, trauma, neuro and plastic surgery), but only the trauma OT had became operational last year.


Police to videograph lodging of FIR
 Legal experts maintain such exercise will not be admissible in court
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 21
To deal with the frivolous complaints, filed to settle score with others and victim’s turning hostile in the courtrooms, the Panchkula police has started to videograph the proceedings while lodging an FIR in the police station. Several past incidents, wherein people have lodged false complaints, has forced the police to start the new exercise, a move that the legal experts, maintained would not be admissible in the court during the trial.

Legal experts said when the victim can turn hostile after recording their statements under Section 164 of the CrPc and the parties settle compromise outside the courtrooms, then such recordings would not do enough for the police. Sameer Sethi, an advocate, said these recordings would be helpful for the police to show that the complainant was not under any kind of pressure while lodging an FIR with the police and it will help the police in ‘image building’ only.

Enquiries revealed that in many of the cases in the recent past, the complainants and victims had either changed their earlier statements or settled for a compromise with the accused party. The cases include a government college student's murder, Panchkula gangrape case and rape allegations levelled by the maid of Panchkula KC theatre owner against him.

Besides, there were incidents as well where people had cooked up false story to settle score with their rivals. Attempt to murder case against Ludhiana based doctor, Sumit Sofat, case against the BKU leader Guni Prakash and a separate case against Pinjore shopkeeper, Raj Kishore, for levelling false allegations against four persons, figures in the list of such cases.

A senior police official maintained that people always criticise cops for inaction. In majority of the cases, people turned hostile. The police is regularly facing such problems. To record the statements, every police station has been provided with a video camera, he added.

He further said that it would also help the police to take action against the complainants who will lodge false case. In such cases, the police can initiate action under Section 182 of the CrPC.

Cases where victims turned hostile and false complaints were lodged

July 2011: The BKU leader, Guni Prakash, had lodged a false complaint against his rivals under attempt to murder. But later, the police found that complaint was false and Guni Prakash was booked.

May 2011: A priest was acquitted from the rape charges as the complainant changed her statement on three occasions.

July 2009: A Ludhiana based doctor, Sumit Sofat, had lodged false case against Ramesh Pashan. Later, the police registered case against the doctor.

April 2009: 14-year-old died in a flat in Sector 20, Panchkula. Initially, parents alleged that she was murdered but later they withdrew their complaint.

March 2009: Panchkula KC theatre owner’s maid alleged that the owner raped her but later, she denied the same.

September 2008: A minor alleged gangrape by her friends but later changed her stance in the court resulting in the acquittal of two accused.

September 2008: A BA-final-year student was claimed to be murdered outside Government College in Panchkula. Later, his father changed his stand and the accused were acquitted.



Overloaded auto-rickshaws a peril on roads
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, February 22
Overloaded auto-rickshaws continue to ply on Zirakpur roads, raising a serious safety concerns. Only yesterday, a passenger was killed and six others were injured after the auto-rickshaw, they were traveling in, was hit by a speeding SUV at the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Sources said the auto-rickshaw was carrying around 10 passengers.
An overloaded auto-rickshaw on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal
An overloaded auto-rickshaw on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Despite the penalising by the traffic police, the drivers of the auto-rickshaws continue overloading their vehicles and violate the rules.

According to the information, in 2011, the traffic had penalised 555 drivers for overloaded auto-rickshaws and in 2010, they penalised 451 drivers.

The commuters complained that to make more money, many auto-rickshaws carry as many as 7 to 10 persons at a stretch. These drivers do not consider the rule and regulation, they rued.

A visit to the area revealed that overloaded auto-rickshaws were a common sight in Zirakpur. Despite the ruling that the drivers should not accommodate more than three persons at a time, they were carrying more than 8 to 10 persons. They do not even follow the traffic rules and stop the autos-rickshaws anywhere on the highway.

District transport officer, Sukhvinder Kumar, said that they had issued challans to overloaded auto-rickshaws.

“In the coming days, we will conduct a special drive to check and issue challans to the defaulters not only for overloading but also to those who run auto-rickshaws without permit or any other documents, he added. He said it was also a duty of the traffic police to penalise the overloaded autorickshaws.

A traffic official said that the cops were challaning the violators regularly.



8 bus drivers penalised

Mohali, February 22
The district transport officer penalised eight buses of the private schools in Kurali, here today. The DTO Mohali, Sukhwinder Kumar, stated that a team had laid a check post at Kurali and challaned eight bus drivers for violating various rules.

He said that they had penalised the drivers for overloading the buses, a few of them were plying buses without permit and they had no documents. — TNS



PSEB to install CCTV cameras
 Move to check copying menace
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 22
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has decided to install the CCTV cameras in the schools during the examinations to check copying. Videography will also be done as a part of the exercise to ensure the smooth conduct of the examinations said Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, Board Chairman, while talking to mediapersons, here today. He said earlier, the board had directed the schools to install the CCTV cameras, but private institutions were reluctant to do so because of the high cost factor.

It had now been decided that the board would install the cameras after hiring from the market. However, the school authorities concerned would have to get the videography of the examinations done on their own.

When asked whether the CCTV cameras would also be installed in the government schools too, Dhillon said this would be done only in the case of those government institutions from where many complaints of copying during examinations had been received. However, all the private schools under the board would be required to install the system.

Adopting the CBSE pattern, Dr Dhillon said the PBSE would also interchange the examination centres to check the menace of copying. The students of one of the schools could now be required to appear in an examination on the premises of another school. However, such centre changes would be carried out only within a distance of 2 km to 3 km.

He said that the schools had also been asked to provide the board with a list of observers to be appointed for the examinations. The person recommending the name of an observer would be responsible for the integrity of the appointee.

As a move to declare the results well in time, the board had decided that the marking of the practical examinations and that of the elective subjects would be done at the school level and the grading in this regard will be forwarded to the board in a week time, added Dhillon.

The board chairman said that it had also been decided that the examinations in the case of the subjects that required grading would be conducted at the end of the examination schedule. Efforts would be made to implement the steps from this year, but Dhillon was not sure whether it would be possible so soon. However, the decision would definitely be implemented from the next year exams.



Over 50 LPG cylinders stolen from govt schools
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 22
Many schools have reported thefts of the LPG cylinders, used for cooking midday meals, have been reported from the schools in the different parts of the district.

At least 50 cooking gas cylinders have been reportedly stolen from the government schools over the past months. The thefts had been more frequent in the Kurali area.

The DEO (Primary), Narinder Singh, said every government school had an LPG connection with two cylinders. There were no watchmen posted in the schools and the thieves broke locks open and decamped with the cylinders.

Some schools also reported that rice and wheat for the midday meal scheme were also stolen, Narinder added.



Canadian physiologist of Indian origin felicitated
Naranjan Singh Dhalla is executive director of International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences
Prabhjot Singh/TNS

Chandigarh, February 22
Naranjan Singh Dhalla, born and brought up in Batala in Punjab, is not only one of most honoured professor of physiology and cardiovascular sciences, but perhaps the only Canadian of Indian origin to have a statue in Winninpeg's Hall of Fame.

Naranjan Singh DhallaA pioneer in cardiovascular education and training, Dhalla is not only the executive director of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences -- one of the top three in the world -- but is also the distinguished professor of physiology and director of cardiovascular developments in the University of Manitoba.

Besides physiology and cardiovascular developments, Dhalla is deeply associated with the rich cultural heritage of Punjab in general and Sikhs in particular. The Sikh Heritiage and Cultural Foundation felicitated him here today. Incidentally, Dhalla is one of the founder members of the foundation whose first project of restoration of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Memorial at the Ropar Fort is nearing completion.

In fact, when Museum of Human Rights, one of the best in the world opens up in Winninpeg soon, credit for the 546-kg bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in it would go to Naranjan Singh Dhalla.

"My interest in cardiovascular diseases stems from the fact that it still remains the single largest killer in the world. Unfortunately, not much has been done the world over in cardiovascular diseases education," he says maintaining that the institute he heads has the best brains and hands in this specialised field.

Dhalla, who frequents medical institutions and universities all over the world, has 42 books on cardiovascular diseases to his credit besides supervising training of 150-odd M Scs and Ph Ds.

"I have never done a research paper in association with any of my students," he claims maintaining that the laboratories he works and conducts his research have more than 20 scientists working all the time.

When he left the shores of India in 1961, he wanted to be a pharmacologist. After studying at University of Pennysylvania and then at Pittsburgh, he worked as an assistant professor at St Louis before deciding in 1968 to make Canada his permanent home.

Besides pharmacology and physiology, cardiovascular science is an area for which he always nurtured a passion.

"Though I may not be brilliant in academics, but I feel I am truly blessed," he says.



GMADA has failed to check illegal colonies
Rajmeet Singh/TNS

Mohali, February 21
The lives of hundreds of residents of unauthorised colonies in Balongi, Jagatpura and Kharar are in danger because of the high-tension electric wires passing over their houses. At least two persons have been killed after accidentally coming in contact with these wires in Balongi.

Owing to the failure of the regulatory branch of GMADA to check unauthorised colonies, illegal structures have come up in Balongi. With politicians allegedly patronising violators, these structures under the high-tension lines are not being removed.

Last year a scrap dealer’s godown in Balongi’s Azad Colony area was reduced to ashes when a 66 KV high-tension wire fell on it. A nine-year-old boy from Khanpur village suffered serious injuries when a power cable passing over his house fell on him. In another incident, two children were seriously injured when they came in contact with a high-tension wire passing over a house in Saini Vihar in Baltana. A 20-year-old labourer was electrocuted on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway. All these casualties have been reported in the past two years.



mobile police stations
Officials face residents’ ire
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Aimed at providing police assistance to slum and colony dwellers at their doorstep, the mobile police stations, which took off amid a huge fanfare today, ended up facing residents’ ire over apparent departure of the department from its motto “we care for you”. These mobile police stations have been set up at a cost of about Rs 50 lakh.
Residents argue with a police official at Dadu Majra in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Residents argue with a police official at Dadu Majra in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

The police officials, including high-ups like IG PK Shrivastava and SSP Naunihal Singh, tried to reach out to the people asking them to trust the UT police and cooperate with it and they were actually left in a tight spot over people’s allegations of indifference, rudeness and inefficiency on the part of the police and its alleged involvement with the drug mafia.

The van which went to colony number 5 and Dadu Majra today got numerous residents flocking to it, apparently to find out if these vans will be managed by the same officials as those posted at the thanas.

“I had lost a scooter around 3 months ago and had visited the police station regularly for almost a month but was always shooed away. When this van will be managed by the same officials then what difference will it make? We don’t mind travelling to police stations but yes it’s the attitude of the police wallas which needs change,” said a resident at colony number 5 who refused to divulge his name.

“Instead of introducing new projects worth lakhs shouldn’t the UT police devote all its efforts to nab criminals? Will getting a complaint vehicle at my doorstep make me feel secure?” questioned a woman at Dadu Majra.

Meanwhile, allegations flew high that the police officials of the thanas concerned had got their ‘supporters’ from other sectors to sit in public interface with high-ups to cover the existent disinterest among the residents. The colony residents also claimed that the cases being taken up had already been settled in thanas and were being taken just to gain publicity. Meanwhile, the project in charge, DSP Ashish Kapoor, claimed that ridicule could not sum up the response to the vans.

“Though two persons criticised us, many even showed faith and came up with their complaints many of which were even settled and disposed of. This ire is the key reason why we needed this project. We can’t do anything about allegations but the fact is that these vans will change the facet of this city giving the people an easy opportunity to speak up. Is a single day enough to pass any judgment on a project?” he asked.

Day I progress

* Colony number 5: 4 missing complaints: 15 tenant verification: 2 character verification

* Dadu Majra: Complaints disposed of 5: verifications: 6

How do these police stations function

The mobile police stations will function for five days a week, i.e. from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm in winter and 10 am to 6 pm in summer. Saturday will be earmarked as a maintenance day for vehicle/records. The stations will be in close contact with the RWA, senior citizens and the panchayats. The mobile police stations will also undertake inquiries into complaints, verification of servants, tenants, PGs, passports, arms licences, etc. These will also lodge DDRs for non-cognisable offences and missing reports. Out of these reports any thing cognisable will be converted into FIRs in the police stations concerned. 



health notes
Heart-attack deaths on the rise
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
India is the heart-disease capital of the world! There are many things that put us at risk- a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet, stress, diabetes and even narrower arteries, experts say. A whopping 21.52 lakh Indians had died of heart attack from January, 2008, to June, 2009.

These disturbing revelations have been made from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the WHO and the Indian Heart Foundation, which have put India on a high alert to control cardiovascular diseases. By 2020, India will have the largest cardiovascular disease burden in the world, according to the WHO report.

Dr KK Talwar, renowned cardiologist and former Director of the PGI, said the roller-coaster lifestyle, coupled with our inability to deal with stress, was leading to this dangerous trend. Though women have heart attack at older ages than men, they are more likely to die from the attack within a few weeks due to the age.

When it comes to heart diseases, the thirties, it seems, are the new fifties. Dr HK Bali, heart specialist at the Fortis hospital, Mohali, said if the typical heart patient until five years back was in his mid-fifties, this no longer holds true. Now, the man with blockages in his heart is most probably in the 39-42 age group and with another health complication such as diabetes or hypertension.

“In India, 80 per cent of the patients visit a doctor when they have already had a heart attack. In the West, only 20 per cent have had a previous history of heart attack when they consult a cardiologist,” said the cardiac surgeon.

A heart attack is worst when it takes place between 1 am and 5 am. Researchers say the gravity of a heart attack and the subsequent left-ventricular function is significantly different based on the time of the attack.

A study in humans, published online in the reputed journal, “Circulation Research”, says: “The greatest amount of injury to a heart occurs when individuals have a heart attack between 1 am and 5 am”.

Agreeing with the study, Dr Bali, said: “There are different phases of sleep. Early morning sleep is called rapid-eye-movement sleep during which people dream. The body is asleep but the mind is awake. The autonomous nervous system is stimulated which releases hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase the activity of the heart which beats and works harder. But, the hormones constrict the blood supply to the heart.”

Dr Rohit Manoj, Additional Professor, department of cardiology, PGI, said: “Also, one main reason why a heart attack is worst at night is because people wait till morning to go and get an ECG done. Initially, they rubbish it by thinking it’s indigestion and take some antacids.”

In his presentation in 2009, Dr Manoj has mentioned that 12 per cent or 16 per cent of the Asian-Indians have premature CAD compared to 2 per cent or 5 per cent in the west and 3 or 4 times higher mortality in young Asian-Indian. An analysis of 1,003 patients of CAD revealed that, 4 per cent below 40 years of age and 20.6 per cent in the age group from 40 to 49 due to a sedentary lifestyle.


Did you know?

n A Sirhind-based jeweller has been arrested for committing robberies with five others today. Jeweller Gurmeet Bhola formed a six-member gang of looters around a year ago. P10


n Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause

n Every minute three women died in 2008 due to cardiovascular disease

n For men over 40, the lifetime risk of cardio-vascular disease is one in three, for women it is one in two

n One fifth of the deaths in India are from coronary heart disease. But by 2020, it will account for one third and a majority of them will be youngsters

n Coronary-artery-heart disease is the number one cause of death in India for both men and women


n Poor stress management

n Very little or no exercise

n A sedentary lifestyle

n Consumption of fat-rich food

Key messages to maintain heart health

n Tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

n Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day of the week will help prevent heart attack and stroke.

n Eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and limiting your salt intake to less than one teaspoon a day, also helps prevent heart attack and stroke.



Rail underpass to be delayed
Railways suggest separate ways for pedestrians, cyclists
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The construction of much-awaited railway underpass, which will come up at Mauli Jagran, will be further delayed with the Railways suggesting the Chandigarh Administration to redesign its road approaches under the project.

Earlier, the project was scheduled to kick off in a month or two following its approval by the Ministry of Railways, Government of India, and the UT Administration.

“Now, the project will be delayed further for at least six months as the redesigning of the project is underway according to the suggestions by the Railways,” said a senior official of the UT Administration on the condition of anonymity.

Under the project, two approach roads have been planned by the administration for which an estimated amount of Rs 9.22 crore has already been approved. The rest of the work of the underpass would be taken up by the railway authorities at a cost of about Rs 6 crore. All the drawings of the project have been prepared and sent to the Railways for its consent.

Now, the railway authorities have suggested the UT administration to construct a separate way for pedestrians and cyclists, to which the administration has given its nod.

“It’s a welcome suggestion and the administration is ready to act according to the modifications in the drawings suggested by the railway authorities,” said the official.

On being asked whether or not the project cost would increase with the construction of separate approaches for pedestrians/cyclists, the official said it would be ascertained only after the finalisation of the redesigned drawings that the administration has sent to the Railways.



Date for empanelling doctors extended

Chandigarh, February 22
The last date for the submission of applications for the inclusion of doctors in the central government panel for 2012-13 has been extended to March 9, 2012. The Central Government Employees Welfare Coordination Committee (CGEWCC) would constitute this panel in order to provide better health services to the central government employees and their families residing in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

The panel will provide services to the employees from May 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013. Doctors from Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula can send their applications to the Senior Regional Director, Health and Family Welfare, Chandigarh. — TNS



Abhijeet to enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Punjabi singer Amarinder will enthral the audience during the three-day rose festival beginning here from February 24.

Besides, there will be a live performance by Aditi Paul along with a fashion show where the contestants of Ms and Mr Rose Chandigarh will walk the ramp at Leisure Valley.

The 40th Rose Festival, which is likely to be attended by lakhs of visitors from the tricity region, will be inaugurated by Adviser to the Administrator KK Sharma at the Zakir Rose Garden in Sector 16.

While over 400 varieties of roses in the Rose Garden will be at display, a number of cultural programmes and competitions in flower arrangement, rose prince and princess, brass and pipe band, fancy floral hat, on-the-spot painting, rose quiz, folk dance, photography, antakshri, and kite flying will also provide an opportunity to visitors to participate in the three-day mega event.



24 illegal cabins razed in Sec 20
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Initiating action, the UT Estate Office today demolished at least 24 cabins, which were constructed illegally on government land behind showrooms in Sector 20 here today.
The enforcement staff remove illegal structures in Sector 20 in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
The enforcement staff remove illegal structures in Sector 20 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

After reaching the spot around 10 am, the team, under the supervision of UT Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta, also gave time to the businessmen to remove their illegal constructions on their own.

“About a dozen of them agreed to our directions and demolished their shops on their own. This way they also managed to save their items,” said Gupta. As the rest were found reluctant, we had to raze their constructions with a JCB.

Around 55 cabins were erected illegally in the market. The shopkeepers were also served notices by the department around six months ago.

“Earlier in the first week of this month, we had convinced around 30 shopkeepers to remove their structures on their own,” said Gupta.

“The ‘strategy’ worked as around 60 per cent of the encroachers demolished their structures on their own. This saved us our manpower and more importantly ‘clashes’,” said Rahul Gupta, the UT Estate Officer. 



Tibetans to skip Losar celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Tibetans in the city, in protest against the alleged oppression of their brethren by China, have decided to abstain from of the Tibetan New Year (Losar) celebrations here today. Today was the first day of Losar, said Gelek Jamyang, president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Chandigarh, while interacting with media persons at the office of the Global Human Rights Council in Sector 44.

This year all the Tibetans all over the world have decided to abstain from the celebrations on account of inhuman treatment of their brethren in Tibet, said Gelek.

Arvind Thakur, chairman of the Global Human Rights Council, said he, along with his team, would provide free legal aid to the Tibetans living in the city.



Notices served on violators
Constructions under high-tension wires put lives of 20,000 residents at risk
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Over 20,000 residents have been living under constant threat of electrocution with high-tension wires crossing over their houses or at workplaces in the city. MP Singh, Superintending Engineer, Electricity Department, Chandigarh, has claimed that only those certain residents, who have constructed their houses outside the Lal Dora of the UT villages, are in the danger zone.
A petrol pump under high-tension wires at Sector 56 in Chandigarh.
A petrol pump under high-tension wires at Sector 56 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: parvesh chauhan

Most of these constructions have come up in villages like Hallo Majra, Kaimbwala, Behlana, Dariya and Dhanas.

Notably, a policy decision on replacing the existing wires with the Aerial Bunch Conductor was taken around six months ago but the action on it is yet to be initiated.

“We are concerned about people’s lives. The work to replace the wires with the insulated ones would be started soon,” said MP Singh.

However, he added, the lines crossing over the residential areas or other places would not be replaced as it was their (the residents) fault if they had constructed their house under the power lines.

Meanwhile, the administration has served notices on all these residents. The UT Estate Office has also been apprised of the situation as a copy of each notice is being sent to it to take action against the violators.

Ram Mukand and Danish from Dhanas village said they had complained to the authorities concerned to change the power lines, which have been crossing over their houses and are very close to the building. “But nobody bothers about the danger under we are living,” said Ram Mukund. 



This February coldest in recent years
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Though the tricity region has experienced an increase in the day temperatures by about 6 degrees Celsius during the last two days, February continues to be the 
coldest compared to previous years.

An analysis of the data provided by the meteorological department reveals that the minimum and maximum temperatures remained two or three degrees Celsius lower compared to the temperatures recoded during the past three years.

In 2009, the day and night temperatures during February were recorded at 29.6 degrees Celsius and 7.8 degrees Celsius, respectively, while these were 30.4 degrees Celsius and 6 degrees Celsius in 2010. Similarly, in 2011, the maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 27.4 degrees Celsius and 6.4 degrees Celsius.

This year the minimum and maximum temperatures were recorded at 4.8 degrees Celsius and 27.3 degrees Celsius respectively.

The occurrence of western disturbances over the cyclonic area was cited as the main reason for this weather change.

This year the weather disturbances had occurred five to six times in January causing rain or heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Surinder Pal, Met Director, Chandigarh, said temperatures would fall in the next two to three days.

The clouds could appear on February 25 which might cause light rain or thundershowers further reducing the day and night temperatures.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature on Wednesday was recorded at 27.2 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 14 degrees Celsius, 5 notches above normal. The maximum relative humidity was recorded at 67 per cent while the minimum was recorded at 36 per cent.

The weather office has predicted mainly clear sky with mist or haze occurring during the morning and evening hours.

There would be an appreciable fall in the night temperatures.

There would be no major change in the day temperatures as the maximum temperature on Thursday would hover around 27 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature would be around 11 degrees Celsius. 



UT Admn notifies 4 per cent luxury tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The UT Administration today notified 4 per cent luxury tax on hotel rooms, banquet halls, and marriage palaces here. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, UT Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey said that the tax, which the administration had started levying from September last year, had been notified.

“All the local hoteliers, owners of restaurants, marriage palaces, and banquet halls have been asked to get their luxury tax registration numbers for the payment of tax,” said Dubey.

With the implementation of the tax, the rates of hotel rooms as well as organising functions in banquet halls or marriage palaces have already risen.

“With a range of taxes, like VAT (12.5 per cent), service tax (3.05 per cent), and luxury tax (4 per cent), one can easily guess the taxation scenario here. How can we be tourist-friendly with such a high tax structure,” said Ashok Bansal, general secretary of Hotel Association of Chandigarh.

Notably, owners of several restaurants have been charging 10-12 per cent service charge in addition to these taxes. The tax had been levied on the pattern of Punjab following its approval by the central government.



Police registers case after 9 months
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
After nine months, the Mohali police has registered a case of accidental death on the complaint of Jagtar Singh, a resident Sanoli, in which his brother Rajinder was found dead under mysterious circumstances. The body was found near bus stand, Phase VIII, Mohali, on May 28, 2011.

Rajinder’s body was eaten by stray dogs and an inquest proceeding was initiated. However, the matter was disclosed after the postmortem report in which it was found that the deceased was killed after an unidentified vehicle hit him.



Human rights seminar concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The two-day national seminar on Human rights organised by the Government College of Education, Sector 20, concluded today. Three technical sessions were held during the second day in which the participants presented their papers based on the various sub-themes of the sessions.

The resource person for the first session was Dr Swaranjeet Kaur, associate professor, Centre of Human Rights and Duties, Panjab University. The sub-theme of the session was ‘Capacity Building among Women Workforce’. She elucidated the need to understand human rights and said that the journey towards human rights started by maintaining the dignity and respect of women. She said that capacity building should be a collaborative exercise within organisations and appealed to the delegates to help women in the unorganised sector in whatever ways they can - be it our research projects, social platforms, or institutional collaborations.

The second technical session was headed by Dr Arvind Kumar Jha, associate professor, RBS College of Education, Rewari. He elaborated upon the various aspects of Human rights associated with the youth. “By participating in a meaningful way, we can make this world a better place to live. People should help themselves by taking charge of their lives,”  he said.

He also emphasised on the need for health and food security after dwelling on the current state of health care in India.

The resource person for the afternoon session was Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, DIG, Cyberbcrime, Punjab, who deliberated upon the sub-theme ‘Human rights and Indian Perspective’. He explained the current state of Human rights implementation in India and suggested ways of improving 
the same.



Chandigarh Scan

NSUI memorandum to PU VC
The members of NSUI, Panjab University, submitted a memorandum to Vice Chancellor RC Sobti today, demanding that the vacant teaching posts should be filled at the earliest. Students mentioned that in the absence of required faculty, the burden on existing teachers has increased manifold, adversely affecting their performance.

Lecture on healthy diet
Giving an impetus to the health promotion enterprise of MCM DAV College, a lecture by expert dietician Dr Shreya on eating habits for a healthy lifestyle was organised today at the college premises. Principal of the college, Dr Puneet Bedi, emphasised that such diligent associations are imperative to the development and refinement of one’s knowledge and persona.

Club concert
Rotaract Club of Chandigarh organised the 7th Heartline concert today at Panjab University. The event commenced in the evening with performances from upcoming singers, followed by inter-club fashion competition. The evening also saw a performance from the renowned Punjabi singer Harbhajan Maan who mesmerised the audience with his renditions. After the felicitation of the winners, the club magazine ‘Souvenir 2011-12’ was released in presence of eminent Rotarians, including Neena Singh, president Rotary Club of Chandigarh. Rotaract Heartline Concert is the flagship project of Rotaract Club of Chandigarh to raise funds to provide corrective heart surgery to children up to the age of 20 years belonging to the poor strata of the society. Rotaract Club of Chandigarh has been organising fundraiser concerts in association with Rotary Club of Chandigarh since 2006 to support Heartline.

MoU signed
SHRM India, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), USA, signed an MoU with the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) and organised a seminar on ‘Campus to Corporate’ at the PHD Chamber. The MoU was signed by Achal Khanna, Chief Operating Officer, SHRM India, and Dr Anshu Kataria, president, CMA, and chairman, Aryans Group of Colleges.

Accounts service body election
In the annual general body meeting of Punjab State Accounts Services Association held at Panchayat Bhawan, Sector 18, Chandigarh, the following have been elected as office bearers - Pritpal Singh (president), Preet Pal Singh Bawa (senior vice president) Piara Ram (vice president), Balwinder Singh Matharoo (general secretary), Karamjit Singh (office secretary), Gurnam singh and Som Nath Bhatt (press secretary), Davinder Singh (finance secretary) and Charanjit Singh (audit office).

New procedure to cure sinus
In a development that could ease the suffering of patients troubled by repeated sinus infections, a new procedure (called Balloon Sinuplasty) to cure the problem was conducted in Fortis Hospital, Mohali, on Vijay Verma, a patient from Ambala. The procedure was conducted by Dr Anish Gupta, consultant, ENT, Fortis Hospital, Mohali. Giving details of sinusitis, Dr. Anish Gupta said, “This is an inflammation or infection of the sinuses occurring secondary to the blockage of the passage responsible for the drainage of the secretions of the sinuses that surround the nose and eyes. It can cause swelling and facial pain, severe headaches and sometimes a purulent nasal discharge and nasal congestion. Till now, doctors have been enlarging the sinus openings by cutting out inflamed tissue and bone. While this sinus surgery is effective, it is painful and can cause extended periods of swelling plus scar tissue that may re-block the sinus.”

Help desk on SSP campus
Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, opened a help desk in the SSP campus for the convenience of JET aspirants. The help desk of SSIET is providing all necessary details related to the competitive examinations and admission procedure. The institute is providing a detailed brochure and information booklet of JET free of cost to the students. The test is to be conducted by Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Punjab, on May 19, 2012. Help desk facility will be available till the counselling procedure continues for the admissions in diploma wing.

Medical camp
A skin camp was organised at DAV, Mohali, by Dr Monika Mittal (skin specialist) in coordination with Health Plus. About 75 students and staff members were checked thoroughly. Skin problems were diagnosed and prescriptions were given accordingly. Principal of the instition, Dr Rosy Sharma, appreciated the help extended by Dr Deena in the camp.

Insurance body elections
The following have been elected as office bearers of the North Zone Insurance Employees Association union (Panchkula unit) Harish Chander (president), Veena Bhasin (vice president), Anil Kumar (secretary), Madhu Garg (joint secretary), Amar Jit Kumar (auditor), Gunjit Bajaj (cashier). Rakesh Sharma, Mamta Gupta, Rajni Sharma, Janak Rani, Kuldeep Singh Rana, and Jeet Singh Kandhari have been elected as executive members.



Special ‘Avsar’ for Students
PU launches website for campus placement drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
In a bid to bag placements for the students of Panjab University (PU), the Central Placement Cell and Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) are going to organise a campus placement drive ‘Avsar.’ The official website where students and participating companies would get themselves registered was also inaugurated.

The university has planned to organise a massive campus placement drive for students from various streams. The proposed dates for the drive are March 13-14, and would be held at the University Institute of Applied Management Sciences (UIAMS) and University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET).

The website ‘Avsar’ has up-to-date information on the proceedings and development of the placement drive. PU Vice Chancellor RC Sobti said that the drive, on the one hand, would help students to get themselves registered, and on the other, assist them in preparing for interviews. “The companies that are willing to participate in the drive can also register themselves through this web portal,” he said. To help the students prepare for tests and interviews, the university has organised a one-day interactive workshop where the HR heads of some leading organisations will be invited to guide the students.



Teachers’ strike paralyses work in colleges
Memorandum submitted to UT Administrator after rally at DAV -10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Work in the seven government-aided colleges of Chandigarh remained paralysed today with the condition tests and classes suspended till 11:00 am. The Joint Action Committee of Aided College Teachers and Non-teachingEmployees Union of Chandigarh had given the call for this strike to express their resentment at the Chandigarh Administration’s alleged discriminatory behaviour towards them.

The Joint Action Committee of Aided College Teachers and Non-teaching Employees Union of Chandigarh protests at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
The Joint Action Committee of Aided College Teachers and Non-teaching Employees Union of Chandigarh protests at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. tribune photo: s chandan

The staff is agitating because even after several promises, the UT Administration had failed to implement the revised pay-scales for the non-teaching staff. They held a rally at the DAV College today and submitted a memorandum to Shivraj V Patil, Administrator of Chandigarh, after being stopped at the college gates to proceed to the Raj Bhavan.

Speaking at the rally Prof Ghanshyam Dev, convener of the Joint Action Committee of Aided College Teachers and Non-teaching Employees Union of Chandigarh said, “It is a matter of extreme distress that the non-teaching employees working in the government aided colleges in Chandigarh are still awaiting the release of their revised pay-scales with effect from January 1, 2006.

“The treatment being meted out to the non-teaching employees of the colleges is most disappointing and biased. They are perhaps the only employees in Punjab and Chandigarh who are yet to get the benefit of revised pay-scales,” said Professor Dev.

Dr Jagwant Singh, the president of PCCTU said, “We have knocked on all the doors of the government but have only received assurances so far. The revision of pay-scales has been denied despite several orders regarding parity with counterparts working in Government colleges of UT.

He further said that the case was referred to the MHRD and after a lot of effort, the government of India approved the implementation of revised pay scales (Fifth Pay Commission) from January 1, 2006. The approval was given in October 2011. But nothing has happened so far.



PUTA protests at Gandhi Bhawan
Irked at against delay in clearance of research, medical bills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
On a call given by Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), teachers of the university assembled at the Gandhi Bhawan to protest against the total collapse of the account and audit branch of the university. Teachers belonging to different streams narrated their harrowing experiences caused due to the delay in processing of bills pertaining to their research. 

The speakers blamed the authorities for creating an environment in which arbitrary and ad hoc decisions were taken. The university has more than 175 principal investigators who are working on different research projects; these projects, sponsored by different research agencies, bring the university funds to the tune of Rs 40 crore.

The teachers resented the delay in processing of the bills, clearance of research schedules, permission for field travel etc.

Dr Mohammed Khalid, secretary, PUTA, said that the untrained daily-wage staff, which often find it difficult to handle the job, is given the sensitive task of maintaining accounts . “The inefficiency of daily-wage staff is further compounded in the wake of the long list of objections slapped by the audit branch of the university. Consequently, the medical bills submitted for reimbursement languish in the accounts branch for months together. The bills submitted for clearance are sent back time and again with objections which at times are very frivolous and flimsy,” Khalid said.

Prof Akshaya Kumar, president, PUTA, hit hard at the indifferent attitude of the administration towards the legitimate demands of the faculty involved in research. While pointing out the inefficiency of the accounts and audit branch due to shortage of trained manpower, he held the authorities responsible for the mess that the university had fallen into. He said the university administrative machinery had been allowed to degenerate beyond immediate recovery.

“While the number of the departments has increased substantially, there is no corresponding increase in the intake of trained non-teaching staff,” he said. 



200 delegates participate in biotech seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
A national seminar on ‘Biotechnology Revolution and its Socio-Economic Impact,’ sponsored by the University Grants Commission, was organised by the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, in collaboration with the Association of Biology Teachers. More than two hundred delegates from various parts of the country participated in the seminar.

Dr RS Khandpur, Director General, Puspha Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, elaborated on the future perspectives of biotechnology in our country vis-à-vis the lack of commercialism in our attitude. On the occasion, an e-Abstract Resource Book containing detailed proceedings of the seminar was also released.

Mani Bedi, principal and patron of the seminar, said that India held only a small share of the global biotech market, but had all the capabilities to become a dominant player.

Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma, additional director, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, discussed the need to ignite scientific temper among women to help them excel. 



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