C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girl acquitted in hit-and-run case
Lone eyewitness turns hostile; two persons, including a 7-yr-old child, were killed in 2010
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Mahesh Grover today acquitted a 21-year-old girl who was arrested by the police for killing two persons, including a seven-year-old boy, in a freak road accident in August 2010. The court acquitted Sukhmani Brar, alias Amanat, in a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC.

She was acquitted after the sole eyewitness to the accident and complainant in the case turned hostile, making the case fall flat.

The mishap had occurred on the evening of August 18, 2010, on the road separating Sectors 2 and 3 near Chandigarh Club. The speeding Honda Accord allegedly being driven by Sukhmani hit a motorcycle head-on. The victims -- 21-year-old Sukhwinder Singh and his seven-year-old cousin Harpreet Singh -- were residents of Kansal village and were declared brought dead at the PGI.

The police, which had received much flak for delay in arresting the girl at the time of the accident, failed to provide justice to the family of the victims as she was acquitted for "want of evidence".

The police had arrested Sukhmani 18 hours after the accident when she surrendered at the Sector 3 police station on August 19. Her uncle had accompanied her to the police station. The police had lost crucial time to get her blood samples examine, which could have ascertained if she was drunk at the time of the accident.

As per the case, Sukhmani was driving the car at "breakneck speed" and was racing with another car. After the accident, she fled in a Swift with her friends. Sukhmani had come to India from the US a week before the incident to attend a cousin’s wedding.

The police had seized the Honda Accord (CH-03-R-0018), which was registered in the name of Col (retd) JS Brar, a resident of Sector 36.

Prior to her surrender, her uncle misled the media by saying that his driver was driving the car and not Sukhmani.

VICTIM’S Father shocked

Dalbir Singh, father of seven-year-old Harpreet who died in the accident, said they were shocked at the verdict. “Our children will not return. We do not want to pursue the case, but are sad at the verdict. We were informed about the acquittal by our advocate,” he said. 

Witness son of UT police constable

In his statement to the police, the complainant and lone eyewitness in the case, Sarabjit Singh, had said he saw the two cars racing on the road and Sukhmani was driving the Honda Accord. After hitting the motorcycle, she fled in a Swift (PB-65-E-2040). However, Sarabjit, son of a UT police constable, took a U-turn in court and said he had not seen the accident take place and had reached the spot only after the mishap. He also failed to identify Sukhmani. Sarabjit is a resident of Khuda Ali Sher and was driving home when he "witnessed" the accident. 



Policeman accused of killing wife commits suicide
Parmod Mehta

Gurvishal Singh and his wife Surinder Kaur
Gurvishal Singh and his wife Surinder Kaur

Dera Bassi, June 7
A policeman who allegedly murdered his wife in Dera Bassi on Tuesday evening committed suicide by jumping in front of a train near here last night.

The railway police spotted the body at 11 pm and identified the deceased as Gurvishal Singh, a resident of Balajinagar in Dera Bassi.

After registering a case under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the body was sent for a postmortem and later handed over to his family members.

The police said no suicide note was found. But some bus tickets were found in the pocket of the victim, which revealed that he had fled to Hardwar after killing his wife Surinder Kaur.

He returned home yesterday only to commit suicide at night. Gurvishal Singh had reportedly killed his wife at his house on Tuesday evening. The tragedy came as a shock to their two children —17-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter—who could not comment on the incident. They were weeping inconsolably, saying they had been orphaned.

According to police information, a family dispute is stated to be the reason behind the incident.

The police was conducting raids to nab the accused for killing his wife, but was surprised to recover his body from the railway track.

Those who knew Gurvishal Singh said he was gentle, but some family dispute had led to the crime.



CBI court allows dera chief to go abroad
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
The CBI court has allowed Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Ram Rahim to go abroad for medical treatment. Baba Ram Rahim is facing three criminal cases.

It was yesterday that he had moved an application before the Special Judge, CBI, Haryana, Najar Singh, seeking permission for ayurvedic treatment at Nepal stating that he was suffering from back pain and gastroenteritis.

“Being a fair prosecuting agency we did not oppose the application and stated that the CBI had no objection if the application was allowed with certain conditions. The court allowed the application with a bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh against each of three cases being tried against the applicant”, said special CBI public prosecutor.


Subcommittees eyewash
Most have not come up with concrete decision or policy in last 5 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
It will not be a cakewalk for the chairmen of nine subcommittees of the municipal corporation (MC) as a majority of those have not come up with any concrete decision or policy in the last five years.

An example is the slum development committee, constituted in 2007 by then Mayor Harjinder Kaur, who was also the chairperson.

Meetings were held by officials that year. In 2008, the committee met thrice under the chairmanship of Manjit Singh Chauhan.

In 2009, two meetings was held, with Sheela Devi as chairperson. Last year, not even a single meeting was conducted by Arshad Khan.

The women empowerment committee, constituted five years ago to provide a better platform to women and formulate new projects, hardly came up with any concrete plan.

It got active only around Lohri to decide the theme for the rest of the year. Only routine monthly meetings were convened by the chairman.

Going through the minutes of a few of the meetings, one could find that no special programme for the welfare or uplift of women was proposed.

The chairman of the water supply and sewerage disposal committee was on leave from June to August and his charge was not given to anyone else.

Councillors had unanimously decided that seats of chairpersons would be shared and there would not be any election to the MC committees.

BJP-SAD councillors were to be appointed chairmen of the electricity, primary health or primary education, slum development and two apni mandi committees of the MC.

BJP-SAD councillors were also to be appointed vice-chairman of the enforcement, fire, road, primary health and primary education committees.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik had decided that a BJP-SAD councillor each would be nominated to the road, house tax, slum development and sanitation subcommittees.



GMCH sweepers protest, resume duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Protesting against delay in disbursal of salary and arrears, sweepers at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, went on strike here today.

Numbering over 200, they joined duty in the afternoon after the administration accepted a majority of their demands.

Members of the GMCH Safai Karamchari Union and the Contract Sweeper Union sat in 'dharna' outside the hospital building in the morning and raised slogans against the management and the contract system.

"While our salaries were hardly disbursed in time, the contractor did not release the arrears against the increase in salary for the last two months," said Anish Kumar, general secretary of the GMCH union.

Contractual employees were subjected to exploitation, he alleged. They were denied salary against national holidays, he added. They were not given uniforms for the last two years, said Kishan Pal Bohit, union leader.

The unions called off the strike in the afternoon after negotiations with the contractor and adminstration.

The administration agreed to immediately accept a majority of demands, including disbursal of salary and arrears, said Anish.



Encroachers challaned

Chandigarh, June 7
An enforcement team of the municipal corporation (MC) issued 50 challans to encroachers at the Shastri Market in Sector 22 here during an anti-encroachment drive today.

Material like readymade garments and shop counters and chairs lying in the passages of the market and artworks displayed along the roadside were removed.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh on the directions of MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach. — TNS



Anna, Ramdev two sides of same coin: Kiran Bedi
Tribune News Service

Kiran Bedi and Anshu Kataria, director of the Aryans Groups of Colleges, address the media at the PHD Chamber in Sector 31 of Chandigarh on Thursday.
Kiran Bedi and Anshu Kataria, director of the Aryans Groups of Colleges, address the media at the PHD Chamber in Sector 31 of Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, June 7
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi today said Team Anna and Swami Ramdev were two sides of the same coin in the fight against corruption.

Speaking at a press conference, she announced the renewal of the tie-up between the Aryans Group of Colleges with the Navjyoti Foundation, with which she was associated.

She said Ramdev’s fight against black money and Team Anna’s fight for the Jan Lokpal Bill were on the same lines for a corruption-free society.

Bedi asked the Prime Minister and the Congress chief to form a special investigation team to probe different cases of corruption.

She favoured the team to comprise retired judges. She made a reference to a list of 12 corrupt Cabinet ministers handed over to the Prime Minister.

The Aryans Group of Colleges signed the memorandum of understanding with the Navjyoti Foundation for another three years.



Save pet dogs from heat, says vet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
If you have a dog as a pet, it is time to protect it from heatstroke. The scorching heat in the region has made it a difficult time for canines.

More than three dozen such cases have already been reported at the Pet Animal Medical Centre-cum-Teaching Hospital at Panchkula in the last ten days.

"We have been receiving three or more such cases every day," said

Dr MR Singla, in charge of the centre. If not treated in time and properly it could prove fatal, he said.

Breeds from countries with cold climate required protection from the sun, he said.

Those should be kept in the shade, preferably in a room with a cooler, he added.

Other things to be kept in mind included taking the pet for a walk early in the morning or late in the evening. Those should not be made to do heavy exercise these days, he said.

In case of heatstroke, a cloth soaked in cold water should be put on the neck and forehead, he said.

He advised owners to take pets to veterinarians as soon as possible.

Early signs of heat exhaustion included fatigue, rapid panting, stiffness in body and gums turning red, he added.

The breeds prone to heat exhaustion in this region included pug, boxer, great Dane, St Bernard and Labrador particularly with black coat, he said.



Pulse polio drive in Mohali
Tribune News Service

MOHALI, June 7
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam today directed medical staff to make proper arrangements for the nation-wide pulse polio drive in the district.

"During the three-day drive, from June 17-19, every child below five years will be administered polio drops," said Roojam.

The DC said 1,38,469 children (below five) would be immunised. As many as 19 transit booths, comprising 37 transit teams, 40 mobile teams, 985 door-to-door teams, being supervised by 113 heads, would be set up.



Panther spotted near Mata Mansa Devi Temple
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 7
Panic gripped the area near Mata Mansa Devi Temple when a priest spotted a panther last night.

The wild cat, however, left the place after a few minutes.

The priest, Praveen Kumar, said it was around 11 pm when he saw the panther sitting outside. He rushed to inform the security personnel, but it had disappeared by then, he said.

The District Forest Officer (wildlife), RK Sharma, when contacted, said after receiving information, the officials from the department reached the spot. Pug marks of the panther were not found on the spot. However, some eye witnesses had claimed the presence of the panther in the temple last night, he added.



BCom online admissions from June 14 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The online admission to BCom in Panjab University affiliated colleges at Chandigarh and Ludhiana would commence on June 14 for over 4, 000 seats. The last date for filling the online application is June 28 and students will have to submit the hard copies of their application forms before June 30.

To end the inconvenience, the students applying for the colleges of Ludhiana will have the option of submitting printout of the forms filled online at PU’s regional centre in Ludhiana.

The advisory committee in its meeting held today finalised the dates for holding online admissions for BCom. “The admission process would start from June 14 and online registration will close on June 28,” officials said.

From this year the university has made it mandatory for students to give minimum five-preferences of the colleges and the city they want to opt.

“The admission forms of students who will not mention their college and city preferences will be cancelled,” officials said.

PU officials said that after scrutinising all the forms, a merit list would be prepared which would be uploaded on the PU website and sent to all the colleges. The students would then be alloted seats in colleges according to the merit and the preferences they gave. “The colleges would require to admit the students and upload the details of each student online, so that the university could have the information of the seats left vacant,” PU officials said.

The university in its recent decision decided to exclude the colleges of Hoshiarpur from the online admissions due to the low number of students opting for BCom. Meanwhile, two more colleges in the periphery of Ludhiana and PU’s evening department have been included in the list of colleges where BCom admissions will be held online. 

Seats: Around 2,050 seats in Chandigarh, over 2,000 seats in colleges of Ludhiana.

Tips to remember :

n Students need to fill minimum five college preferences and the name of the city.

n Students will have to pay more if they are applying for colleges of both Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

n Students will have to take admission in the college allotted to them as per merit within the stipulated time, failing which their seat would be transferred to the student next in the merit list.

Important dates

n June 14 - Online application begins

n June 28 - Online registration closes

n June 30 - Last day to submit hard copies of online registration forms along with the copies of class X and XII certificates at the UBS Chandigarh and PU regional centre in Ludhiana. 



Village girl secures 3rd position
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 7
It’s dream come true for a girl from a very small village as she has secured third position in Punjab with 93.8 per cent marks in class XII commerce stream here today.

“I am feeling on cloud nine today. Though I knew that I would secure good marks in the examination, securing a position in top three is really exciting,” was the first reaction of Manpreet Kauron hearing the news today.

Manpreet, who lives in Lohgarh Fiddey village, located about 10 kms away from here, proudly claimed that she did not go for tuition even for a single day.

“My parents, teachers and God are behind my success,” said Manpreet kaur, whose parents are matriculate pass outs.

The proud father Bant Singh, a farmer, said that his daughter has made him proud in the entire area. “Having a daughter like Manpreet is really a bliss. I have two sons but I am proud of my daughter,” said Bant Singh.

“I and my wife are matriculate and so are unable to help our daughter in studies. It’s her own hardwork and dedication which is behind her success,” said Bant Singh.

Manpreet Kaur is a student of DAV Public Senior Secondary School in Ropar. She had studied up to class VIII at her village’s government school.

Lauding the dedication of Manpreet, Naresh Gautam, principal of DAV school, said that he was very happy with Manpreet’s achievement. “She has maintained our school’s tradition as almost every year one of our student comes on top in the examination,” said Naresh Gautam.

Manpeet, who had secured 92 per cent in matric, wants to be a chartered accountant.



PSEB Class XII exams
No student from Mohali in merit list
Minister flays teachers for poor results; pass percentage in district 62.13
Kulwinder Sangha

Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka (right) and officiating education secretary SS Channi declare the Punjab School Education Board class XII results in Mohali on Thursday.
Punjab Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka (right) and officiating education secretary SS Channi declare the Punjab School Education Board class XII results in Mohali on Thursday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Mohali, June 7
It came as a big jolt to parents and students when no student from Mohali town managed to make it to the merit list of the Senior Secondary (Class XII) examinations of the Punjab School Education Board, the final results of which were announced here today.

The names of only four students from Mohali district - three from Kharar and one from Banur- figured in the long merit list of 306 examinees. They were all girls from the science stream. The names of these students are Sharanpreet Kaur (92.30 per cent), Amandeep Kaur and Ramanpreet Kaur (both 91.30 per cent). All three were from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Kharar. Prabhjot Kaur of Sant Baba Waryam Singhji Memorial Public Senior Secondary School, Banur, secured 89.80 per cent.

The pass percentage in Mohali district was low at 62.13, second last among the 20 districts of Punjab. The highest pass percentage was 94.16 of Taran Tarn district.

Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, who declared the results at the board headquarters, came down heavily on teachers for the unsatisfactory results. He said most of the teachers posted in Mohali and the surrounding areas had been posted on “sifarish”. He said the present attitude would not work and they would have to perform.

The minister said there was no shortage of teachers in schools in Mohali and the nearby areas and it was a matter of concern that the results were not up to the mark. In certain rural areas in Punjab, the results were better despite there being inadequate number of teachers in the institutions in question.

District Education Officer (Secondary) Vinod Kumar told The Tribune that in the district, apart from several private schools, 34 government schools were affiliated to the PSEB, one of which was in Mohali. He was of the view that the “cream of the students” preferred to study in CBSE-affilated schools and “mediocre” students generally sought admission in government schools.

Dr Vinod Kumar said he had held meetings with school principals to discuss ways to improve the performance of students. He said he had suggested that high achievers among students should be given special attention.



Conference on distance education concludes

Chandigarh, June 7
The national conference organised by the University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University, to mark the 50 years of services of distance education in India "Correspondence Education to Open and Distance: 50 years of Revolution and Challenges Ahead" concluded today. A total of 56 research papers were presented during the event.

In the two-day conference, several thrust areas and themes like, "Capacity Building", and "Empowerment through ICT" were covered where young researchers from different parts of India presented their papers.

Addressing the valedictory session in the afternoon Prof YK Sharma, Department of Education, HP University, Shimla, recalled how correspondence education got a tremendous response in the beginning but it carried the stigma of being a shadow of the conventional education system. Over the years distance education has evolved into an independent system inferior to none, he emphasised. — TNS



CBSE to restructure class X, XII paper formats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
It is not a sudden increase in students' academic capabilities or efficiency, but the format of question papers, which is responsible for the increase in the number of students securing tons of marks in class X and XII examinations.

Waking up to the fact that the existing question paper format encourages learning by rote, and does not require students to solve problems or view them from varied perspectives, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to reformulate and restructure class X and XII papers to encourage students to apply knowledge, rather than just memorise.

A special committee has been constituted for this purpose which will finalise a paper format to test a student’s intellectual capability and her ability to apply knowledge, rather than their mugging capacity.

The committee will get in touch with subjects experts from across the country and create a fresh bank of questions which will be used in 2013.

“The question papers will no doubt be in the same spirit as now, but the perspective will be different. The questions will judge students on the basis of their clarity of concepts, understanding, and application of thought. They will not have direct answers which can be mugged, and would require to think and derive answers,” said a committee member.

The committee has, in a bid to clarify its aim, has come out with a couple of examples. In English papers, a students would be given a passage to study almost two months before the exams, but the nature of questions will not be revealed. These will not be direct questions whose answers can be lifted from the passage, but will test them on their understanding and knowledge about the passage in toto.

Interestingly, the board also plans to impart modern value education through question papers where passages problem would hint towards issues like gender equality, child labour etc.

Rather than giving old mundane assumptions for profit and loss, the board will give questions about property division between siblings, with girls getting an equal share.



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