C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


22 snatchers repeat offenders
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Even as the UT police is finding it hard to tackle the menace of snatching, repeat offenders have been spelling trouble and creating a ruckus in the city.

The police has prepared a list of 22 snatchers, some still in judicial custody and others out on bail, who have been arrested time and again in the last one year, but there is no stopping them.

Interestingly, a majority of these snatchers are neither drug addicts, nor do they belong to the city. Therefore, it is not easy for the police to keep an eye on them.

These snatchers commit the crime for the easy lure of the yellow metal or quick bucks. The police seems helpless in deterring them as they easily get bail from courts and commit the crime again.

Police sources say these snatchers have been released on bail in spite of many pending cases against them. Even those producing their sureties are unable to produce them for trial.

Each time they have been granted bail, they jump it. Whenever they have been arrested again for the same offence or another, they manage to get bail again without any hitch.

The sources have revealed that many of them are well in touch with their advocates and are getting advised not to attend court.

These snatchers stay in rented accommodation in the city, which they keep changing. Over 50 incidents of snatching have been reported this year so far and a large number are unsolved.

Rogue profiles

n Om Pal: From Amroha, UP. Age: 29 years. Crime branch arrested him on May 15 last year, but he managed to get bail and was arrested again on October 17. He is in jail and has 16 cases, including those of snatching, registered against him.

Police recovered 41 gold chains from him

n Israr Khan: From Babipur village, UP. Age: 26 years. He is in jail. Through his relative, Nawab Ali, he masterminded snatchings.

Nawab Ali was arrested recently

n Sahil Kaushal: Belongs to a business family. Age: 26 years. He did his BBA from Canada and returned to India in June, 2009, when he allegedly took to snatching to buy drugs.

He was arrested in 2010 for committing a series of chain snatching cases

n Others: Shane Ali, alias Aslam, Basu Verma, Vicky and Suraj 

key issues

n Courts easily grant bail to snatchers. As a result, they take to crime again.

n Some of the snatchers get bail on fake sureties. This makes it difficult to trace them if they jump bail. Last year, the crime branch had busted a racket dealing in fake sureties at the district courts.

n There is system to reform the prisoners in jail. This leads to their taking to crime again. 

What to do?

Repeated surveillance and a close watch on the activities of these snatchers once they are out on bail will provide an effective solution. Better coordination and exchange of vital information across various police stations as well as the police in neighbouring states will help curb the activities of these repeat offenders. Since these snatchers keep changing their addresses, maintaining their record is crucial. —Satbir Singh, DSP (Crime)



Rathore wins 0001 for Merc
Auction of fancy numbers in CH01-AM series at RLA
Tribune News Service

 SPS RathoreChandigarh, April 24
For an amount that may fetch a high-end model of the diesel variant of a sedan, former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore today bid Rs 9.05 lakh to buy the fancy number 0001 for his Mercedes car.

The auction of fancy numbers in the new CH01-AM series was held today. The craze for other fancy numbers fetched the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) here around Rs 80 lakh.

Though seating arrangements were inadequate and the organisers were not hospitable, those seeking the numbers waited till late in the evening to grab the numbers of choice.

Some of the buyers lined up their luxury sedans like Mercedes and Audi outside the RLA office at Sector 17. The second highest price, Rs 2.55 lakh, was fetched by the number 0002. This was followed by the number 0044, that went for Rs 2.25 lakh.

Among the other numbers that fetched a good price were 0003 (Rs 2.20 lakh), 0005 (Rs 2.15 lakh), 0015 (Rs 2.15 lakh), 0100 (Rs 2 lakh), 0011 (Rs 2 lakh) and 0096 (Rs 2 lakh). The number 1000 fetched Rs 1.01 lakh and 1111 Rs 1.60 lakh.

Registering and Licensing Officer Sanjeev Kohli said they had received 816 applications for 164 numbers. The advance amount for booking was between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000, depending on the number, he added.

Gift for MY wife: Rathore

During the auction, former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore bid Rs 9,05,001, the highest bid. He had bought the car for his wife Abha, a lawyer. “My wife is the number one woman in the world. I have bought the number in her name,” he said. He admitted that he had paid the advance amount for 15 numbers. Determined to take home the fancy number for the woman who stood by him in tough times, Rathore increased the bid amount by Re 1 four consecutive times before clinching the number. Asked if he would surprise his wife, he said in a lighter vein that they never hid anything from each other.



Former Mayor’s brother booked
Pet dog bites Subhash Chawla’s domestic help at Sector 23 on Monday night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
In yet another incident of dog-bite in the city, the UT police booked a Sector-23 resident, Ramesh Kumar, whose pet dog bit his brother’s servant last night.

The victim was a servant of a former Mayor, Subhash Chawla. The owner of the dog, staying on the first floor of the same house, was his brother. Chawla and his family were residing on the ground floor.

The dog belonged to the imported breed Rottweiler. It was banned in certain European countries due to its ferocious nature.

The breed needed to be kept under check. It was let loose by the owner without a leash. A team of the municipal corporation visited the Sector-23 residence and inspected the licence of the owner.

A neighbour said the dog was involved in more than 10 dog-bite cases in the recent past, before Anwar became its latest victim last night.

Ramesh was arrested when his dog bit the servant near his house last night. Anwar was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16 and discharged after treatment.

The incident occurred around 10 pm. Anwar entered the house and was attacked by the pet dog several times.

Amid high drama outside the house, the police arrested Ramesh and booked him under Section 289 of the IPC. He was later freed on bail.

Horrifying experience for youth

On April 8 this year, a 24-year-old MBA student was attacked by two pet dogs belonging to an advocate near his Sector-35 residence. Gurmail Singh, also residing at Sector 35, was on his motorcycle when the incident occurred. He lost balance and fell on the road when the dogs surrounded him, barking ferociously.

At least nine booked in a year

While incidents involving stray dogs are a common occurrence in the city, owners of at least nine pet dogs have been booked by the Chandigarh Police in the last one year. Four of the cases have been settled out of court, with owners agreeing to compensate the dog-bite victims.



Land purchase by 60 VIPs under scanner
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Punjab Government is probing whether land purchased by nothing less than 60 high-ranking officers in Chandigarh’s periphery was public. The government is also ascertaining whether its ownership was changed from private to public.

Information in this regard has been furnished by Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which is hearing a petition on the acquisition of property by the VIPs in and around Chandigarh.

Rakesh Singh told the Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Alok Singh that communications had been sent.

In an affidavit, Rakesh Singh affirmed, “...In case of 60 officers - serving or retired - who had land in Chandigarh’s periphery, information was not clear. The investigating officer was asked to further probe the matter and report within a month. The officer submitted that as per information collected and revenue record available, no public land was under illegal occupation of these 60 high-ups.”

Indicating that the government was going deep, Rakesh Singh asserted, “The government has written to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat, Forests and Local Government to scrutinise old record and report whether the land was ever public and if so, how it was changed or mutated from public to private.”

The issue had reached the High Court after Nayagaon resident Kuldip Singh filed a writ petition. Accusing a senior police functionary in a land-grab bid, he had sought protection and prayed for registration of an FIR and a CBI probe.


City stinks as garbage not lifted
Waste collectors protest against MC’s pilot project launched in Sector 22 on Monday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The city was stinking today, as all 5,000 door-to-door garbage collectors did not turn up to lift the garbage and staged a protest against the pilot project of garbage collection launched in Sector 22 yesterday by the MC.

Resultantly, the residents of the city were left with no option but to dump the garbage in their houses as majority of sectors have been converted into bin-free areas by the authorities. The employees staged a protest on the Sector 25 rally ground where they burnt an effigy of MC Mayor Raj Bala Malik.

Interestingly, in order to show their resentment against the mismanagement of the corporation, some working women residing in Sector 15 went to the residence of their area councillor Saurab Joshi this morning with their domestic garbage bags to inquire from him, as to where they were to throw their garbage, as no door-to-door collection employee had turned up to collect it from their homes for the past two days and the sector had no garbage bin where they could dispose it.

Similar is the case with other councillors whose phones rung consistently for the whole day complaining about the non-lifting of garbage from their areas.

Reacting to it Saurab Joshi took up the matter with MC Commissioner VP Singh for permanent solution of the garbage collection problem but no action had been taken by the department concerned.

In fact residents, including those of Sector 18, 21, 30, 45 and 56 made complaints to the MoH department for not lifting the garbage from their residential and commercial areas.

Door-to-Door Garbage Collection Society general secretary Om Parkash Saini admitted that no employee of Door-to-Door Collection Society lifted the garbage from any residential and commercial area in the city today. He alleged that the authorities had misled the existing employees of the private contractors that they would be merged in the pilot project of garbage collection, but not even a single employee had been employed in this scheme so far.

He said the employees had been asked by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil to call off their protest by tomorrow evening. The administrator had assured them that he would convene a special meeting to take decision on it.

MC Additional Commissioner TPS Phoolka said that the authorities had held a number of meetings with the door-to-door collection employees and asked them to join the contractor who would be given fresh contracts. He denied that the employees had demanded from the authorities to employ them on rolls and give them salary. He said that the employees could merge in the existing project.

Sec-22 residents lucky

Residents of Sector 22 were the lucky ones today as it was the only area from where the garbage was lifted by the gabage- collection employees who sent it directly to the garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra.



Authorities pay for faulty water meter at Sector-16 GMSH 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
The faulty water meter at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, cost the authorities dear as they had to make a payment of Rs 8.78 lakh for 2010-11.

The Principal Accountant-General (Audit), Punjab and UT, had objected to it and sought a reply from the UT health department. The GMSH authorities said they recently submitted the reply.

The matter of repair or replacement of the defective meter was taken up with SDE of the municipal corporation time and again, but to no avail.

The meter was not repaired and the latest reminder to the SDE was sent on January 27 this year, said the authorities. The report said it was found during the check of GMSH records that a water meter installed at the building was defective.

Bills amounting Rs 8,78,249, from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011, were made on an average basis. 



Maneesh Chaudhary to be Chandigarh SP (Traffic)
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
For the post of SP (Traffic) with the Chandigarh police, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has cleared the name of Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Maneesh Chaudhary, a 2005 batch IPS officer.

The Union Home Minister’s office had recently approved Chaudhary’s name and thereafter the matter was forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Sources added that now the DoPT had sent his name to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for issuing formal orders for his posting as the new SP (Traffic), which will be issued soon.

The government had asked the UT Administration about Chaudhary’s willingness, after which the administration had sought a reply from Chaudhary.

The Haryana government had sent a panel of three IPS officials, Maneesh Chaudhary, Hemant Kalson and Rajender Kumar. The administration had forwarded the panel to the MHA.

Thereafter, the Union Government had asked the UT Administration about Chaudhary’s willingness, after which the administration had sought a reply from Chaudhary. Chaudhary had informed the UT Administration about his willingness to join as SP (Traffic). After receiving the reply, the administration had forwarded it to the government.

Maneesh Chaudhary’s mother Meenakshi Anand Chaudhary is a former Haryana Chief Information Commissioner and a former Chief Secretary of Haryana. His father, Dr JL Choudhary, had retired as Haryana’s Director-General Health Services. Prior to this, the administration had objected to the panel comprising Sibhash Kabiraj, Saurabh Singh and Rajender Kumar, after which the second panel was sent.



Overloading leading to power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
As city residents have not come forward to declare the actual electricity load in their homes and the UT Administration has also done little to spread awareness among its consumers about declaring power load, frequent breakdowns of power supply has become a common feature in the city. Last year only 5,000 consumers approached the electricity department to declare their actual electricity load.

A senior official of the electricity department said that the total consumers, including domestic and commercial have increased from 1,30,000 in 1991 to over 2,20,000 currently. With the increase in number of consumers, the power load has also increased as the people have now started using air conditioners instead of coolers in summers. However, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of transformers as the UT administration did not have details on power load from residents resulting in frequent tripping of power supply, he added.

Sources added that the electricity department also did not perform its duties properly. They further added that though the enforcement wing carried out random checks, yet the department did not conduct any special drive to identify those consumers who had not declared their correct power load.

MP Singh, Superintendent Engineer (electricity), said that it would be wrong to say that the electricity department was not doing enough to encourage residents to declare their actual power load. He added that last year they had sent large number of notices to the residents asking them to declare their actual power load but to no avail.

He further added that now they would print information regarding declaring of power loads on the electricity bills so that residents could get information about it. He added that under Section 126 of the Indian Electricity Act, 2003, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had given power to the electricity department to impose a penalty to the tune of double the tariff rate for a period of up to one year preceding the detection of overdrawing.

Due to fault in supply lines today, there were power cuts in many sectors like 32, 41, 42, 45 and 46. 



Depot holders, consumers demand hike in quota
Revision of retail distribution of kerosene under public distribution system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Chandigarh Kerosene Depot Holders have protested against the move by the Chandigarh Administration to revise the retail distribution of kerosene under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the UT. The move follows the reduction in quota of kerosene by 45.89 per cent by the Petroleum Ministry.

The dealers staged a protest demanding increase in the allocated quota.On the other hand, the kerosene consumers in Sector 29 and neighbouring area today staged a protest outside the Sector 29 Kerosene Depot to protest against delay in issuing of kerosene quota by the depot holders. Hundreds of kerosene users waited outside the depot throughout the day and then blocked the road in Sector 29 to register their protest.



Summer special train to start from May 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Residents in the tricity region have a reason to cheer as the Railways has decided to run a summer special train to Bandra from the city from May 2 keeping in view the huge rush during the forthcoming summer vacations.

The press note issued to the media here today said that the summer special train 04511/04512 will run from Chandigarh to Bandra for about two months (May 2 to June 28, 2012 (nine trips each way). The timings, composition and stoppages will be the same as in the case of Bandra-Chandigarh 22451/22452 (already being run from Chandigarh on weekly basis).

The summer special train will depart from the city on Wednesday while it will depart from Bandra on Thursday, the press note said further.

To increase the connectivity between Chandigarh and Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, the first direct long-distance train from the city to Bandra was flagged off on March 19. The 18-coach train will connect religious, commercial and places of tourist importance like Gurgaon, Ajmer, Abu Road (Mount Abu) Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

At present, the express weekly train runs from the city every Sunday at 5.45 am to reach Bandra Terminus at 9.20 am the next day, and from Bandra Terminus it starts every Monday at 12.05 pm to reach Chandigarh at 16.20 pm the next day. The fare for the sleeper class is Rs 453, for AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier, it is Rs 1,219 and Rs 1,607 respectively. 



Short play “Mochi da putt” focuses on caste system
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, April 24
The City Entertainment Network staged a short play “Mochi da putt” in a street natak form at Plaza here today.

The play was staged before a sizable audience comprising of mostly the office goers. Written by legendary Gursharan Singh and directed by Gaurav Sharma, the play was based on social stigma such as caste prejudice which is still ailing our society. The play depicts life of a cobbler’s son who rose to a coveted post of bureaucrat. The play is suggestive of the fact that the caste is no measure to a person’s abilities and potential.

Mohan Lal Philloria, the narrator, came into the elite administrative services but choose not to reveal his caste. Later he gathered courage to embrace reality. The Play concludes when the narrator shows that God has created us as humans and not as Brahmins or shudras. Padam Sindra, Vishal, B Darapuri, Vicky, Gagan and Abhey played respective roles.



Missing girl found, statement recorded 
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
The Ambala police recovered Radhika, a third-year BDS student of Swami Devi Dayal College, Goolpura village, Barwala, who was missing from her college since the past 23 days during a raid in Mohali last evening.

The police sources said that on a tip off, the Ambala police and the sleuths of the Punjab Police jointly launched a search operation and recovered the girl from a house late last night. The sources said Radhika, who hails from Jammu, was produced in the district court today, in her statement to the magistrate she said that she was not kidnapped and had gone out of the hostel on her own.

She said that she was under depression, as she could not clear one of her papers. She said that she had first gone to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and from there she went to a friend’s house in New Delhi. She further informed that from there she went to Hyderabad and had recently returned to Mohali.

The case had been handed over to the detective wing of the Ambala police after the Raipur Rani police failed to locate the girl even after 21 days. The police sources said that Radhika’s mobile phone number provided by her mother had been kept under surveillance.

The Raipur Rani police had registered an FIR against the accused under Section 346 (kidnapping). Radhika’s mother in her complaint to the police had stated that they were trying to contact her daughter on her cell phone since April 2 but her mobile was switched off. After that she also spoken to the chairman of the college on his cell phone and only after that hostel warden Shipra talked to Radhika’s mother and she also gave her the mobile number of her friend Sandy, who lives in Chandigarh. 



Chandigarh scan
Power shutdown

Power supply to Sectors 46, 48, 49, 50 and Bair Majra village will remain suspended from 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesday. The supply of power will also remain suspended in Sectors 8 and 17 from 7 am to 9 am and Sectors 17, 18 and 22 from 7 am to 11 am

Video telephony service begins

BSNL today launched Video Telephony Service in Punjab Circle. BSNL is the first telecoms service provider in the country that is offering such high quality video calling service, a press release stated here on Tuesday. The service can be availed by BSNL customers on their existing broadband connection. While inaugurating the service, NK Gupta, CGMT-Punjab, said, “Videoconferencing, which was so far used to be very costly, will be now easily available to business and government offices. BSNL shall provide special PVC (private virtual circuit) on broadband connection through which traffic of video calls shall flow. This will ensure consistent quality of service due to BSNL’s robust MPLS-VPN network.”

Mass CL today

No conclusion came out in a meeting between the PGI administration and the Nurses’ Welfare Association held here on Tuesday. The association has therefore decided go on mass casual leave tomorrow. Lakhwinder Singh, president of the association, said despite several meetings with the director of PGI, Chandigarh, and medical superintendent of Nehru Hospital, PGI, Chandigarh, their demands were not accepted by the PGI administration.

Blood donated

As many as 480 devotees donated blood in a camp organised by the Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation at Sant Nirankari Satsang Bhawan, Sector 30-A, on Tuesday. Juginder Kaur, member in-charge, Parchar Vibhag, Sant Nirankari Mandal, Delhi, inaugurated the camp. The foundation has organised as many as 71 camps in different parts of the country today.

CII workshop

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chandigarh Council, organised a workshop on ‘Coaching for Engagement’ here on Tuesday. The workshop focused on achieving results through ‘powerful conversations’ through awareness of self, curious questioning, open listening, appreciative discovery, catalytic feedback and heightened engagement. The workshop was well attended by over 50 participants from various industries and institutions.

Water Conservation Day observed

Water Conservation Day organised at Blue Bird High School, in order to spread the message “Each Drop Matters” among the students. Coordinator Rita Bhalla said the students of Class VI volunteered to conduct the activity. During the special assembly, the students delivered speeches highlighting the importance of water and its proper utilisation. The students prepared attractive charts and slogans. Teacher discussed the topic and students were asked to write on the same, she added.

CCE workshop

CCE workshop was organised at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, by Crest Solutions. Principal Krit Serai spoke on CCE, mentoring and monitoring programme, its implementation and record keeping. Dr Deepali Sharma (head counsellor) of Crest Solutions focused on the co-scholastic areas emphasising on life skills, which is the need of the hour. All the topics were discussed which are based on CBSE guidelines and the seminar ended with an open house session. Principal Krit Serai said, “Staff training is an integral part of education.”
— Tribune Reporters



PU goes need-based
Teachers to be selected according to requirement 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Panjab University has decided to go ahead with need-based appointments of teachers before the coming academic session to meet the deficit of teachers.

The decision was taken in a meeting held today. It was after Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) had opposed bulk appointments, following the ending tenure of Vice Chancellor, the university formed a committee for making need-based appointments. The association had stated that no appointments should be made in hurry.

PUTA president Akshay Kumar, one of the committee members, said the university has agreed to appoint on need-based requirements. “Various departments have already submitted their requirements, which would be scrutinised by the committee before further recommending it to PU for making urgent recruitment,” said PUTA president.

Officials said the decision would also fulfil the demands raised by the students. They were demanding filling the vacant posts for teachers. Earlier, the students entered hunger strike. The strike was later called-off after PU assured them of making the required appointments.

“Efforts would be made to fill the posts before the next session so that the education doesn’t suffer,” officials added. No decision on making bulk recruitments has been made so-far. 



PU students demand extension of last date to submit CET form online
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Members of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor office demanding that the last date for the online submission of Common Entrance Test (CET) forms should be extended.

Three students sat on the hunger strike after their demand was turned down by the university. The protesting students said many students were not aware of the introduction of online system and therefore failed to submit their forms. They also alleged that PU’s server was down on the last day of filling the online applications. PUSU leader Sumit Goklaney said the last date for submission of forms was April 23; however, the PU’s server was not working following which the students could not submit their forms online. “Today after submitting their forms online the students went to deposit the fee in the banks. The banks refused to accept the fees,” he said.

Dean Student Welfare AS Ahluwalia said the students were making unjustified demand. “We have checked with the computer science department and they said the server was working properly on that day. The demand of the extension won’t be accepted,” he said.

DSW said it’s against the rules. Last date of submission can’t be extended just on the demands of few students. “At the most, the university can take a legal opinion on the issue before taking any further action,” he added.



Seats for EWS students not free: ISA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Independent School Association in a press release has refuted administration’s claims for provision of free seats for students under EWS category in private schools under the notifications of 1996, 2001 or 2005.

Harmeet Singh Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, said, “I will like to clarify in context of many newspaper reports regarding EWS reservations of seats from 5 to 15 per cent as envisaged in the notifications of 1996, 2001 and 2005 condition no. 18 (II). The reports indicated that the reservation of seats in schools was free. However, this is a misunderstanding and a misconception. Actually the policy reads: 'The fee charged from those students shall be nominal preferably the same as is charged from the students of a government institution."

He said the association will like to clarify that there has never been any condition of freeship in any of the notification in 1996, 2001 and 2005. All of them have always indicated that the schools would always be charging a fee from the EWS students."



Three PU students selected

Chandigarh, April 24
Three students from Panjab University’s UIET department have been selected for ‘Google Summer of Code 2012’ to develop software with international mentors. The students will get Rs 2.25 lakh as stipend during their three-month summer internship. 

Three students Nitin Chadha, Ankit Bhatnagar and Abhinav Badola have been selected. The students had to submit their proposals on development of software following which they were shortlisted by the Google. Nitin, one of the students, said, “The project would certainly help us in gaining global exposure. — TNS



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