C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ATM card frauds haunt city again
Rs 58,500 withdrawn from SBI accounts of two Panjab University employees, police clueless
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Complaints of ATM frauds have once again returned to haunt city residents with the UT police increasingly getting complaints of such frauds.

Two employees of Panjab University have allegedly been defrauded of their hard earned money which was siphoned off from their State Bank of India (SBI) account without their knowledge. The UT police is clueless of these frauds.

In his complaint to the police, Rakesh Kumar, a clerk with the PU, reported that Rs 39,000 was withdrawn from his SBI savings account on August 18. He received four SMSes on his mobile phone about the transaction. On inquiry from the SBI, he was told that the amount was withdrawn from a Citibank ATM at Marine Apartment in Mumbai.

“My ATM card was with me and it was shocking that the money was been withdrawn from an ATM in Mumbai. It’s a clear case of card cloning and the police has not done anything on my complaint except lodging a daily diary report,” said Rakesh Kumar.

In a similar incident, Kulwinder Singh, a security guard at Panjab University, reported to the police that Rs 19,500 was siphoned off from his SBI account without his knowledge. “I have an account with the SBI for the past four years. My ATM card was with me and

the money was withdrawn at the same time from an ATM of the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) in Ludhiana. The amount is my three months salary. I have complained to the police,” he said.

Inspector Gurmukh Singh, station house officer, Sector 3 police station, said they were inquiring into the matter and would register a case only after the inquiry. 

What is ATM card cloning

ATM cloning or card cloning is the main card fraud in which criminals hack your ATM password from the magnetic tape on the back of the ATM card by skimmer device and wireless surveillance camera. A hacker installs a magnetic card reader over the real automated teller machine. ATM hackers also use a wireless surveillance camera or a modified digital camera to observe the user's PIN.

Be safe

  • When you are writing your ATM PIN, always cover hand over it. It will be helpful to avoid your PIN to be captured by a wireless surveillance camera
  • Always get your card swiped in front of your eyes
  • Keep changing your PIN frequently 


  • An ATM-cum-Debit Card of HDFC Bank belonging to a Ludhiana resident was cloned and misused by some unknown persons at a mobile shop in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on June 20, 2012. The conman had purchased a mobile phone from that shop and Rs 20,000 was withdrawn from Ludhiana resident’s bank account, which is also his salary account. The bank authorities investigated the matter and came to a conclusion that his card was cloned at some place where it was presented for paying bills. Later, the bank returned Rs 20,000 to him
  • Card of another Ludhiana resident (from the Kalsi Nagar area) was also misused by some unknown persons in Chandigarh. His card was misused at three different shops in the city. Both the residents had used their cards at a petrol pump

Past incidents

  • In April 2011, the crime branch arrested one Vinod Kumar for withdrawing around Rs 40,000 in two instalments from an ATM of the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) while fixing a matchbox stick behind the button of 'cancel' option of the machine
  • In 2010, over 20 complaints of fraudulent withdrawals through different ATMs in the city were received. The UT police has failed to solve any of the case till now. However, the bank compensated the complainants after they moved the banking ombudsman. The police received a complaint from the SBI officials on August 28, 2010. The complaint stated that over a dozen SBI customers had been cheated through cloning of ATM cards. The money had been withdrawn without the knowledge of the card holders from SBI ATMs in Sectors 30, 32, 22, 37 and 49. The complaint said a total of Rs 5.45 lakh had been fraudulently withdrawn from the ATMs
  • In 2011, a senior technician in Panjab University, Arun Raina, lost Rs 10,000 to fraudsters through a ‘hacked’ ATM machine of the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) in Mani Majra
  • In 2011, the police arrested a conman, Mukul Garg, and recovered a number of cloned debit and credit cards from him, which were being used by him for shopping



Depressed, 62-yr-old woman sets herself ablaze, dies
Tribune News Service

Wailing relatives of Pritam Kaur (right) at her Sector 41 residence in Chandigarh
Wailing relatives of Pritam Kaur (right) at her Sector 41 residence in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, August 26
Loneliness among the elderly residing in the city once again came to the fore when a 62-year-old woman set herself ablaze at her Sector 41 residence this afternoon.

The woman, who retired as a senior assistant with the Punjab Irrigation Department, was suffering from extreme depression ever since her husband’s death two years ago. While her son and one daughter are and settled in Australia, she was staying with her another daughter at Phase XI, Mohali. Her house at Sector 41, Chandigarh, used to be locked.

The victim, Pritam Kaur, had planned her suicide as she stole the keys of her Sector 41 house this morning from her daughter’s purse. Pritam told her daughter Gurpreet Kaur that she was going to her sister’s place in Sector 37 while she went to her Sector 41 house and immolated herself.

Pritam reached her house around 4 pm and locked the door from inside. She sprinkled kerosene on her body and set herself ablaze. Neighbours informed the police after hearing her cries and noticing smoke coming out of the house. The police reached the spot and found the charred body of Pritam lying on the floor in the bedroom.

No suicide note was found from the spot. Pritam Kaur had gone to Australia to meet her son and daughter last month and had returned on July 30. Her husband, Gurbaksh Singh, was a senior official in the Chandigarh Administration and had died two years ago.

Family members told the police that the woman used to feel lonely ever since her husband’s death and had gone into severe depression. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.

Elderly in city victim of loneliness

This is not the first instance when a senior citizen has died in loneliness. On July 8, a highly decomposed body of an 85-year-old man was found at his Sector 23 residence. The deceased, Harpal Singh Virdi, who retired as an executive engineer with the Punjab Irrigation Department, had died two days ago and the incident came to light only when the neighbours sensed a foul smell emanating from the house.



14-year-old boy escapes from kidnappers’ clutches in Bihar
Was bundled into a Maruti car near Kaushlaya Dam on August 24, taken to Delhi and then to Patna
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
A 14-year-old boy, who was allegedly kidnapped on August 24 by five youths when he was returning home from school near Pinjore, managed to escape from their clutches in Bihar. The boy called up his parents today who informed the police.

Rakesh, a student of Class VIII, was received by his relatives in Bihar who said that the boy was injured as he was beaten up by the kidnappers. The police suspected that the boy was kidnapped by a gang of human traffickers.

The victim, a son of a CRPF constable, was changing his clothes near Kaushlaya Dam to play with his friends when he was kidnapped.

“It was two ago when Rakesh did not return home after playing with his friends. His friends told that he was changing his clothes near the dam when they last saw him. His parents lodged a missing report at a police station,” said Subash Chander, a ‘munshi’ at the Pinjore police station.

“He was taken to Delhi and was drugged. The kidnappers then took the boy to Patna in a train. The boy somehow managed to escape from their clutches and called up his parents. During investigations, we came to know that Rakesh was kept at three places,” said a police official.

The boy is now residing with his relatives in Bihar. A police team and the boy’s father would be leaving for Bihar on Monday to bring him back, said the police.

“I got a call from my son this afternoon who said five men in a Maruti car covered his face and forcibly pushed him inside the car when he was changing his clothes near Kaushlaya Dam on August 24. When he resisted, they thrashed him,” said boy’s father Naresh Kumar.



Relatives squabble over bodies at GMSH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
High drama was witnessed at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, this afternoon when family members of a 30-year-old woman, who died along with her baby at the hospital on Saturday, indulged in heated arguments while claiming the bodies.

Manju’s family members, including her father and siblings, and in-laws entered into a heated argument followed by a scuffle over right to cremate the bodies.

The incident took place around 1 pm after the post-mortem of the bodies. Manju’s father Pawan Kumar accused her husband of beating her up a few days ago, which according to him led to complications during the delivery.

Constable Gulab Singh, said: “Manju’s husband said she had called him up 15 days ago to inform that her in-laws were ill-treating her. Her husband hit her on the abdomen following an argument between.”

Manju’s mother-in-law, Mammo Devi, who had taken Manju to the hospital and got her admitted on Friday, rubbished the allegations.

Her siblings also blamed Mammo Devi of not taking care of pregnant Manju, holding her responsible for the death. Manju’s brother Anil Kumar, said: “Manju’s mother-in-law took her to the hospital without informing any of us. While she was admitted here since Friday, she did not bother to even let us know about it.”

The scramble continued for more than 2 hours. Later, the police officials set the two sides apart and handed over the bodies to Manju’s husband.

A complaint has been sent to Director Health Services and Medical Superintendent as the family, until Saturday evening complained of negligence at the hands of the doctors.



12-year-old raped by stepfather
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
In a shocking incident, a 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather at their shanty in Sector 31-D today.

The police has booked accused Bunty Kumar(32), in a case of rape under Section 376 of the IPC. The accused managed to flee and raids are on to nab him.

The incident came to light around 4 pm in the shanties at the rear side of Sector 31-D market. The labourers here deployed for maintenance work at the Air force quarters.

The accused, who is also a labourer, locked the girl inside his shanty and raped her. The wife of the accused reached the spot on hearing her daughter’s cries and raised an alarm. She then called the police. Meanwhile, the accused ran away before the police could reach.

The victim is the stepdaughter of the accused and after the death of her father, her mother re-married.

The girl was taken to the Government Multi Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 where her medical examination was conducted, which confirmed that the girl had been raped.

The police said the accused was a labourer and hailed from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The girl told the police that her father had made unsuccessful attempts in the past too to rape her.

Instances of minor being raped on the rise

  • On August 11, the police arrested 19-year-old Rahul Kumar for raping his 12-year-old relative in Sector 56.
  • A case was registered on July 30, 2007, when a father raped his daughter and was held guilty in September, 2008. Gajjan Singh, the accused, was sentenced to life for the unpardonable act as described in the verdict. The accused was given rigrous imprisonment
  • In 2010, the court had sentenced a man to five years imprisonment for attempting to rape his minor daughter.



‘Drunk’ girl creates ruckus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
High drama was witnessed in Sector 8 this evening when a 20-year-old girl in an inebriated state created a ruckus and abused policemen finding a discotheque closed.

The incident took place when the girl, who came from Zirakpur to Score discotheque in Sector 8, was

infuriated to see the disco closed. She started walking towards the Sector 7/26 roundabout and abused the policemen who tried to stop her from creating a ruckus as she was shouting loudly at the passers-by hurling abuses.

The incident also resulted in a traffic jam on the busy road. She was stopped by two traffic policemen on duty at the roundabout who then questioned her. The girl raised a hue and cry and misbehaved with them. Finding it hard to control the girl, the policemen called the police control room. The girl was taken to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 where she kept on vomiting.

The police said the girl was declared unfit to record statement.



UIET students to save Sukhna
Five-member team formed after UT Admn asked PU to help
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
A group of five students from the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) has joined the UT Administration's initiative to save Sukhna Lake. Administration had approached Panjab University to assist it in saving the dying lake.

The team comprises of Subodh Khullar, Vikramjeet Singh, Minaldeep Singh Cheema, Siddharth Singh and Soumil Madaan, all final year students of BE-MBA (Mechanical) at the UIET.

The team members, who conducted a survey of the catchment area of the lake that had been turned into a residential area, stated that the problem was related to the lifestyle of the local residents. They said in order to overcome the problem, both engineering and management skills were needed.

Siddharth said that the level of water in the lake had been on a continuous decline since the past few years; finally, drying up this summer. Some major problems faced by the lake included silt accumulation, weed growth, low water level and poor quality of water, he said.

Suggesting some methods and techniques needed to overcome the problem, Siddharth said the silt accumulation could be checked by both natural and artificial techniques. The problem of eutrophication, i.e. weed growth could be checked by maintaining a correct level of minerals in the lake water, which may be done by treatment of water before it entered the lake, he added.

The team further suggested that the problem of low water level in the lake during the summer season could be resolved by ensuring a high inflow of rainwater into the lake during monsoons. Also, a new source of continuous water supply to the lake could be developed using sewage treatment plants, they said.

"Water from the original catchment area of the lake should be effectively diverted to the lake and arrangements should be made to maintain the flow of water despite obstructions caused by residential and commercial constructions in the area," said one of the team members.

The report being prepared by the students also mentions that the drainage system should be revamped, especially in the areas surrounding the lake, to ensure that the maximum amount of rainwater flowed into the lake.

The team, that is presently investigating the space and economic requirements for a sewage treatment plant, mentioned that a plant in the city was important to ensure a continuous flow of clean water into the lake even during the driest periods of the year.


gmch Study
75% buses without first-aid kits
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The government-run inter-state buses plying in the region are in a deplorable condition. The findings of a recent study conducted on 200 such buses plying across Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, determined that more than 75 per cent of the total 200 inter-buses surveyed were functioning without first-aid kits. The study was conducted by the Department of Community Medicine at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32.

The study also determined that out of nearly 246 drivers and conductors running these buses, merely 42 per cent were aware of the fact that it was mandatory for them to carry a first-aid box in the bus.

The level of awareness among the drivers and conductors was found to be least in buses of the Himachal Roadways (6.5 per cent), followed by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (7.5 per cent), Punjab Roadways (9 per cent) and Haryana Roadways (19 per cent).

The study concluded that the “drivers and conductors needed to undergo annual orientation programmes.”

Dr Naveen K Goel, head of the department, said, “After interviewing the drivers and conductors, it was found that more than 90 per cent felt that regular orientation programmes should be organised.” The interview further revealed that only 25.5 per cent of these buses had been undergoing regular inspections.

The survey conducted over a period of three months in 2010, also found that only 12 per cent of the buses had seats reserved for senior citizens, physically challenged passengers and women.

Also, 138 out of the 200 buses had torn, dirty and mutilated seats, while 130 had broken or blocked windowpanes.

Among these 200 buses, there were 50 each from Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Himachal Roadways, Haryana Roadways and Punjab Roadways, including a total of 75 long-route buses.

Kits mandatory in buses

According to the Motor Vehicle Act, it is mandatory for buses to have well maintained first-aid kits and change them periodically.



TV unit gutted in Mohali
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, August 26
A fire broke out in a TV manufacturing unit in Phase VII Industrial Area today causing a heavy loss to property. No loss of life was reported.

The fire started at around 10:00 am at CK Electronics, manufacturers of colour TV sets. Flames and thick black smoke rose from the building as people from the surrounding industrial units and passersby gathered. Being a Sunday, the TV unit was closed.

Four fire engines from the local fire station reached the scene after getting a call around 10:15 am. Vehicles from a local industrial unit, Sigma, also arrived for assistance in controlling the fire.

The fire brigade, which had to use foam and water to bring the flames under control, took about three hours to complete the task.

Personnel of the fire brigade said it was difficult to ascertain the cause of the fire immediately, but there could have been a short-circuit in the factory premises.

Harjeet Singh, chief operating officer of Sigma, who was at the scene, said that the fire was noticed by employees of adjoining units after which the fire brigade was informed. Two fire engines from his unit were also sent to fight the blaze. Employees also come for help. Employees from Vodafone, functioning from a unit located opposite the TV factory, also reached for assistance.

Manager of CK Electronics Sunil Kumar said there was nobody in the factory at the time of fire as it was a holiday. Soon after the fire broke out, the owner, Kamal Kothari, who lives in Delhi, was informed. Out of the three blocks, about half of the area was badly damaged by the fire. He said that the loss could run into crores of rupees as a large number of finished goods were destroyed, apart from other items.



‘Justice for Mehak’ gets overwhelming response from netizens on Facebook
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
The behaviour of the police’s in the Mehak case has not gone down well with the people who are enraged so much that now it has become an online campaign to get justice for the 23-year -old girl whose body was found under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws residence in Sector 16, Panchkula. Words of compassion, anger and support are being shared on Facebook page ‘Justice for Mehak’. The netizens have no kind words for the Panchkula police, not only in and around Panchkula, but the page has thousands of supporters from far off areas as well.

Dismayed by the attitude of the police, the family of Mehak has also filed a complaint with the National Commission for Women, India, in anticipation that the organisation will help them get speedy justice and that there is no chance of foul play.

It was on August 19 when the body of Mehak was found at her in-laws’ residence with a stoll around her neck, under mysterious circumstances. Her husband, Sandeep Garg is still absconding.

The family of the deceased created the page ‘Justice for Mehak’ on August 22 just three days after her death.

The page has wedding pictures of Mehak and pictures of her body in the mortuary in General Hospital, Sector-6, Panchkula.

The post mortem report of Mehak has raised suspicion, as it revealed injury marks and congestions in various organs indicating that she might have been given poison first and then hung in order to show strangulation.

It was on the night of the incident when Mehak’s in-laws were booked for dowry death as the victim was allegedly being tortured for dowry. No arrests have been made till now.

Unanswered questions

  • Why was there injury marks on her body before death?
  • Why is the husband absconding?

People sympathise

We are with Mehak’s family… It is not a matter of like or unlike, its about the social views… i 9 y the police do not take any actn bcoz they all r greedy.......... But dey dnt 9 dat god is here to punish them,, dey would definately pay 4 ds.



hit-and-run case
Erring driver still absconding
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
Even after 10 days of the incident, the erring cop driver who killed an auto-rickshaw driver and injured three others after ramming the police vehicle into an auto, is still absconding. The accused, Nachhatar Singh, who was posted at the Sector-26 police lines, was seen in a police vehicle yet he was not arrested.

When contacted, Narender Singh, station house officer of the Chandimandir police station, came out with the standard reply, “He is still absconding. We are looking for him.”

Singh was also brought to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, by the police under the pretext that he had also suffered minor injuries and then he was reportedly let off. Interestingly, even the medical test which is required to be conducted within a period of 24 hours of the accident to check whether the driver is drunk or not, was “forgotten”.

It was on August 17 when one person was killed and three others were seriously injured when the auto in which they were travelling was hit by the police vehicle belonging to the station house officer of Sector 5 police station near Sector 25.

Nupur Bishnoi, SHO, posted at the Sector-5 police station was not in the car.



open house response
Crime against women: Women are not safe even at home

Everyday several women are becoming victims of eve-teasing, abduction, rape, murders, acid attacks and murders. Whether she is a college student travelling in a bus or a working woman returning home; from a child of tender years to a lady of 65 years of age, no one is safe here.

The recent incident of a spurned youth barging into a Mohali house and stabbing a girl and her mother has exposed the lawlessness in the district and proved that women are not safe even in their homes. The attack on the mother-daughter duo could have been avoided had the Chandigarh police acted swiftly and shared the case with their counterparts in Mohali.

Such crimes of passion are a reflection of the brutal male mentality. The failure of the police to effectively tackle such incidents is also responsible for the repeat of such attacks. The accused in such cases should be tried under stricter law and punishment, too, must be exemplary. More and more policemen should be deployed around educational institutes and bus stops. Women should learn to raise a voice against harassment. There are enough laws to protect women; problem is that a very few know about it.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Absence of severe punishment encourages offenders

It is indeed a matter of disgust and distress that crimes against women are assuming alarming proportions with each passing day, and the male dominated society is not doing enough to curb the menace. Suicides by physically and mentally tortured girls, like Raksha Sharma, Gitika Sharma and Fiza, have become the order of the day.

Such crimes remain in limelight and evoke public cry for a few days and then quietly slip into oblivion. Absence of deterrent punishment has emboldened criminals and their cohorts to commit such crimes with impunity. The need of the hour therefore is not only to enforce the gender equality provisions with all seriousness but also to make the law enforcing agencies accountable for their failure to mete out punishment to morally sick males involved in crimes against women.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Government, police fail to provide safety

It is a dangerous world for women. They are subjected to cruelty and violence right from the time they are conceived. Even laws have failed to provide them a safe society to live in. The recent incident in which a jilted lover allegedly stabbed a woman and her daughter, points directly to this grim situation.

Though the issue is under investigation, yet the chronology of reports, which have been published in media, suggests that the motive was to intimidate the duo.

There have been debates on the issue in the Parliament and legislation has been drafted.

Though there are laws to protect women, yet spate of violence against women continues unabated. Dowry deaths, fraudulent marriages, sexual harassment in corporate areas, schools and colleges persist.

There is no stopping to the occurrence of violence against women.

All that is mooted for their protection from male violence is only on paper. When shall we stand up for protecting our women worshipped as Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Shakti?

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh

Crimes continues unabated in city

In the back drop of Master Khushdeep Singh’s kidnapping, everyday snatchings, murder of a businessman in Sector 22 followed by a stabbing case it is clear that the police is completely ignoring the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in its annual report of 2009-10 and National Police Commission. If there is no will to implement the guidelines for safe city, then there is no hope of improvement of law and order, rather the situation is likely to worsen.

As per the report of the Ministry of Home Affairs for 2009-10, the Chandigarh Administration/police was to install 60 fully-functional CCTV cameras in Chandigarh at various points for round-the-clock surveillance. However, it has failed to install the required number of CCTV cameras.

The infrastructure of the local police is also insufficient and not in tune with the guidelines of National Police Commission. As per norm, a police station is required to monitor around 60,000 people. If a police station registers more than 700 crimes annually, another police station may be created. Thus according to the above norms there should be about 18 to 20 police stations, whereas at present there are about 11 police stations in Chandigarh.

The Director (Services) of Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a direction to all the States and Union Territories (including Chandigarh), on March 3, 2010, that a State Security Commission be set up in Chandigarh. In view of deteriorated condition of law and order in the city and in order to restore the faith of the people in the law enforcing agencies, the above mentioned suggestions be considered.

Ajay Jagga, Chandigarh

Women should be empowered

The attack against a girl by her jilted lover has shocked everyone. The incident reveals that women and girls are not safe at all. The attack could have been averted if the police had taken timely action against the boys who had been stalking her for a long time. Harsh action should be taken against such attackers, stalkers and eve-teasers. The police needs to be on its toes for the protection of girls and women. Even women need to be strong and trained to protect themselves. Any cases of eve-teasing and stalking should not be ignored and should be reported to the police. The women of this nation should be empowered to curb such menace, which will help India to become a developed nation.

Isha Dahiya, Panchkula

Better coordination among police required

The recent incident of a jilted lover attacking a girl and her mother in their Mohali house has sent waves of fear among tricity women. Home, street, office, park, no place is safe for a woman. To prevent such incidents, there should be better co-ordination among the Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali police. They should be deployed in civil clothes around areas like eating joints, educational institutes, bus stops and parks. The presence of police would check the activities of men roaming around aimlessly and harassing girls. Women should also learn to protect themselves by learning self-defence techniques and even carrying self-defence items. The accused, who take a sadistic pleasure by leaving a permanent scar on their victims, must not be spared and should be subjected to severe punishment.

Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Girls should report about eve-teasers

The incident of Mohali is shocking as well as horrifying. India is a country where everybody has been given equal rights, be it girls or boys. Everybody has the right to take their decisions but it seems the youth in tricity are not happy when the girls use their right.

The girls know their rights, they know they can approach the police anytime if such things happen to them but they never do it. Instead they ignore the matter and they don't even realise how serious this problem would get in future. If girls take some serious step to prevent this then something positive will surely come out.

The police is taking care to prevent the problem as far as possible but girls should also come out and fight against it. One drawback of the police is that most of the times they just take bribes and let the accused go.

Guryog Kaur, Mohali

Crime against women on the rise

It is not for the first time when media highlighted a case of violence against women. There are various incidents where women are molested, kidnapped, abducted and raped daily in one corner of the country or the other. India has earned the dubious distinction of being the third worst rape offender in the world. The National Crime Record Bureau data (2006) reveal that every hour 18 women are raped in India. The number of rape cases has increased nearly 700 per cent since 1971.

Today we live in a time when crime against women, which climbed to over 2.25 lakh in 2011, is growing alarmingly. The data also clearly reveal that over the last couple of decades the incidents of rape have increased at a steeper rate than other serious crimes such as murder, smuggling and theft. Several cases go unreported because of the stigma attached with it.

Several measures to check crimes against women are put forward by the government, NGOs and others. But still we are miles to go to confer justice to women. It is shameful that the conviction cases of rapes have always remained less, because of non-registering of cases coupled with lengthy and cumbersome criminal justice delivery system. At present only two legal provisions of the Indian Penal Code deal with the issue of sexual violence against women. In certain cases, government gives monetary compensation to the victim. This is no answer to the increasing menace, rather a mockery.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


Open House Question

With the vehicular density increasing without any checkin the city, the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation have been proposing community parking or basements parking to solve parking related problem in residential areas. However, nothing concrete has come up so far than mere proposals from the Administration. Write your suggestion and opinion on the issue at openhouse@tribunemail.com



15-foot ditch lies open in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
Administration has learnt no lesson from the Mahi mishap. A 15 to16 feet deep pit is lying open on the main road separating Sectors11 and 14.

The authorities concerned claimed that some water drainage work is going there. However, it has been five days since the work has stopped. The ditch lies uncovered without any signboard in the vicinity.

“It is in the middle of the road. A child may fall in that any time. It seems the district administration is in deep slumber,” said Guncha Narang, a resident of Sector 12, Panchkula.

“My son comes walking from the dividing road of Sectors 11 and 14. Children often out of curiosity go nearby the ditch to see its depth. It is so risky. I am accompanying my child always to avert any mishap,” said Tarika Sharma, a resident of Sector 14, Panchkula.

Vishal Dhanda, another resident of Sector-12A, said, “Do the authorities take action only when a mishap has taken place. At least the district administration should know what is happening under its nose.”

He further added, “They will come into action when a mishap happens and then they will pass the buck on saying it was not their responsibility.”

The streetlights in the area are also not functioning properly. It becomes difficult to see the ditch during late hours due to poor visibility. Due to rains, the area has become quite slippery increasing the possibility of mishaps.

“We were going to attend the tuition classes when one of our friends told us about the ditch. We specially went and peeped inside and it was very deep,” said 8-year-old Raju, a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula.

When contacted, the executive engineer of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, Preet Mohan, said, “Actually we are repairing the circular drainage system. Due to rains, the work was stopped and we have ensured proper safety there.”



Loot may have been staged: Police
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 26
In an interesting twist to the Panchkula loot case, the robbers who were named by the victim are actually high profile criminals from Punjab. The police are wondering as to how the victim knows about the identity of the accused and that too of criminals. The police is also working on the theory that the loot may be stage-managed and on the lines of Guni-Prakash firing case.

Cash amounting to Rs 27 lakh were robbed from Sampuran Singh, a resident of Lalru, yesterday by unidentified youths after the latter fired shots in the air near Barwala. Singh had named three persons during the investigations.

“The persons, who the victim has named, are high-profile criminals from Punjab. We are working on the theory as to how he knows all of them,” said Narender Singh, SHO of the Chandimandir police station.

The Panchkula detective team will also investigate the case.

Sources also said that the police was working on the theory that the loot was staged. “In fact during investigations it was found that the victim was with these youths only when the incident happened then they had a scuffle,” said a police official requesting anonymity.

The police is relating the case to that of Guni Prakash. It was in July 2011 when Guni Prakash, president of Bhartiya Kisan Union, shot at himself, but alleged that five youths who had come in an Alto car near Barwala had shot at him. When Prakash was rushed to General hospital Sector6, Panchkula, he had named some persons who attacked him, in front of the police. Later, the police investigations showed that Prakash along with three of his accomplices had conspired to implicate his ‘enemies’ in a criminal case as they were his political opponents.

Victim Sampuran Singh was on his way back to Lalru after taking the token payment from a resident of Barwala as they had struck a land deal when the incident took place.

A case was registered at the Chandimandir police station.



100 ‘Walk the Lake’ against social evils
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The Punjab State IAS Officers' Association today organised an event "Walk the Lake" to show its solidarity with the public in combating social evils besides encouraging people to stay healthy.

Retired and serving IAS officers of the Punjab cadre with their families participated in the event, which saw an attendance of almost 100 participants. The participation was voluntary and the large turnout showed the enthusiasm of the officers to associate with this event.

Rakesh Singh, IAS, chief secretary, Punjab, accompanied by his wife Vandana Singh not only inaugurated the event but also participated in it. The walk started at 7.30 am with the ladies, followed by the children and then the gentlemen. Earlier at around 6.30 am the place began to fill up with people sporting in red T-shirts and bright orange caps.

All the participants were cheered on their arrival and treated to refreshments to replenish the sapped energy.



Mullanpur residents reel under power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Residents of Mullanpur, Nayagaon and Kansal have not received power supply since yesterday.

Due to fault in the 66 KV sub-station at Kharar, power supply to the entire rural belt in Mullanpur snapped yesterday morning. A senior official in the electricity department said the 66 KV cable had been punctured near Kharar, affecting hundreds of consumers.

Gurpreet, a resident of Kansal, said repeated complaints with the electricity department to rectify the problem fell on deaf ears. It was very difficult to spend nights without electricity, he said.



‘Frame policy on marriage palaces’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The Mohali Marriage Palaces Association has urged the Punjab government to frame a policy for marriage palaces at the earliest.

Shukdev Singh Sidhu, president of Mohali Marriage Palaces Association, while addressing a press conference said that delay on part of the government would create chaos and inconvenience to the public and would adversely affect the business at large.

"Banquet owners have been compelled to take support from different quarters due to the injustice being meted out to them. The business provides employment to the needy sections of the society," he said.

The association is planning to meet Chief Minister to find a solution to the problem. Going a step further, Sudhir Passi, general secretary of the association, said they were not given an opportunity to explain their situation.

Most of the banquet halls had already applied for permissions, but GMADA has been imposing the lock out orders under the garb of court orders. The GMADA has issued verbal orders to lock down about 20 marriage palaces. 



Rainfall deficiency drops to 26% from 44% in city
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Last 10 days of rainfall has sharply reduced the overall rainfall deficiency in Chandigarh. As per figures received from the local meteorological department, the figure has dropped to 26 per cent from 44 per cent on August 8.

The amount of rainfall received in the month of August this year, moreover, has crossed the last year’s figure, with still a few days left for this month to get over.

In August 2011, the city received 187.3 mm of rainfall. This year, the city has so far received 261.6 mm of rainfall in August with the last few days of rainfall making the major contribution. As per the data, August 21 received the second highest amount of rainfall for any day this monsoon season to the tune of 93.8 mm.

Surinder Pal, regional meteorological officer, said the last week’s rainfall had made a huge difference in the overall rainfall this season, not only in Chandigarh and the surrounding areas but also in Punjab and Haryana. “We are, in fact, expecting more rainfall in the next 48 to 72 hours in the tricity, and nearly normal rainy season next month too,” Pal said.

He further said Chandigarh had till date (June 1 to August 25) received 539.2 mm rainfall against a normal rainfall of 661 mm. Though, last year’s figure stood at 633.1 mm till August 25, the department officials were hopeful that the margin would get narrowed down by the end of the monsoon season.



breast cancer
400 women examined in mobile van
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The mobile van launched in the city as a pilot testing project aimed at effectively detecting breast cancer and osteoporosis in women, two months ago, has offered services to over 400 women in and around the city so far.

The services for mammography and DEXA scanning is being reviewed at a four-day workshop inaugurated at PGIMER’s department of radiology.



Chandigarh scan

150 students attend workshop

A personality development workshop for over 150 meritorious students of Classes IX and X from various government schools of the city was held at the Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24, on Sunday. Professional trainers gave tips on confidence building to the students to prepare them to face the outer world. The event, organised by non-governmental organisation Bharat Vikas Parishad, saw practical exercises to make the students believe in themselves. They were told that with confidence they could achieve any goal in life. Ashok Goyal, director of Saksharta Project, said in its endeavour to provide a facility to students from economically weaker sections of the society, the NGO organised regular workshops once a month for meritorious students.
LAN gaming enthusiasts take part in a competition organised by students of PEC University of Technology at Punjab Kala Bhawan in Chandigarh on Sunday
LAN gaming enthusiasts take part in a competition organised by students of PEC University of Technology at Punjab Kala Bhawan in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Freshers’ party

A dazzling evening of music, dance and cultural events marked the “Freshers’ Night” at the GGDSD College on Sunday. Punjabi comedian and film actor Bhagwant Mann presided over the function and awarded prizes to the winners of different events. His witty anecdotes and jokes added to the charm of the evening. Addressing students, he motivated them to imbibe good qualities and work hard to shape their future. Jigyasa Narang was crowned Miss Freshers, while Gurdeep Kaur and Aanchal Chauhan were adjudged the first and second runners-up.

Office-bearers honoured

Ravinder Talwar and Ranjender Nath, who have been elected as the secretary and the vice-president of the DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, were honoured at a ceremony on Sunday.
Students pose after being crowned Ms and Mr PTU at a freshers’ party in Chandigarh on Sunday
Students pose after being crowned Ms and Mr PTU at a freshers’ party in Chandigarh on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

The students of the KBDAV Public School presented a welcome song and devotional recitation on the occasion.The event, organised by Arya Samaj, Sector 7-B, was presided over by former principal of the DAV College, Sector 10, KS Arya. In his address, Dr Arya shared teachings of Maharishi Dayanand. A large number of dignitaries of the DAV institutions and Arya Samaj were present at the function.

Kirti crowned Ms Fresher

Kirti Kapoor and Jaanashi Mahindra were declared Ms and Mr PTU, respectively, at a freshers’ party organised at a local discotheque by the GCS Group on Sunday. Over 150 students took part in various party games on the occasion. The party also aimed at introducing the entire faculty, present on the occasion, to the students. — TNS



Final round of BCom admission at PU today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
The final round of counselling for admission to the 30 vacant seats of bachelor’s of commerce (BCom) at various city colleges affiliated to Panjab University will be held on Monday.

PU coordinator for online admissions Professor SK Chadha said 30 seats of BCom-I were lying vacant at various city colleges and 48 seats were lying vacant in Ludhiana.

“The physical counselling for Chandigarh colleges will be held at the University Law Auditorium on Monday, after lunch,” Chadha said.

Three seats each are left vacant at the DAV College, SD College, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, and Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42.

Two seats are lying vacant at the Post Graduate Government College, Sector 42, and a seat each is vacant at Dev Samaj College, Sector 45, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, MCM College, Sector 36, and Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46.

The maximum number seats, that is six, are lying vacant in Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, followed by five vacant seats at the Post Graduate Government College for Men, Sector 11.

Chadha said only those students who had applied online and were found eligible could attend the counselling.



student elections
Musical campaigning a new fad
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Continuing with the trend started during the student council elections in 2010, the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) has launched a song to gain popularity in the run-up to this year’s elections. The organisation has released a Punjabi song that focuses on again winning the elections. The election song has gained popularity and can be heard playing across the campus including at hostels and in cars.

SOPU chief Brinder Dhillon said the song was, specially, made for forthcoming elections to encourage and appeal to the party supporters to repeat the feat achieved in the last year’s student elections.

The lyrics of the song go like “PU de gabru te mutearo chalo pher baazi marro jette aapa phir toa dosto, SOPU SOPU pher toa karone dosto, mouji mouji PU che karone dosto! (PU’s youngsters come let’s win again; slogans of SOPU party should rule the campus once again.)”

The song is written, composed and edited by Harsandeep Singh Malhi who was assisted by Sukhbaj Singh Mann, both PU students.

Although, it is a Punjabi song, the party is also releasing a re-mix version that would blend it with some Rap music.

SOPU for the first time had come with a Punjabi Rap song with lyrics “Yaaran da saath, Rab rakhe abaad, mere naal kehna ajj, SOPU zindabad! (May God keep sustaining the togetherness of friends, say with me, long live SOPU.)”

The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) also has its party anthem that mentions the work done by the party for the student community.



Over 700 applicants fail to get a seat in Class XI after third counselling
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 26
Over 700 applicants have failed to get admission to Class XI in various government schools in the city, even after the third round of counselling got over.

Most of these applicants, numbering between 700 and 800, had a low cumulative grade point average (CGPA) between 4 and 4.5, an education department official said. Officials said the trend indicated an increase in the number of students that kept the overall CGPA high even in the periphery and rural schools.

An official said the last year almost all the students who had passed the Class X examination, including those having a low CGPA, got admissions by the end of the third counselling.

In the first counseling, the cut-off for rural schools was about 4.2, but it increased to 4.8 by the end of the third counselling. Most of the students who did not apply in rural schools in the first counseling failed get admission in the end, an official said.

Officials said it was a “clear case of demand and supply”. Despite, the department allotting more than 12,000 seats this year, that is 1,000 to 1,100 more than the last year, over 700 applicants still failed to get admission, they said.

Officials said these students still had some hope to get admission to Class XI, since seats were most likely lying vacant in six schools in rural areas such as Khuda Lahora, Khuda Alisher, Sarangpur, and Kempwala. Besides, some seats might be available in city schools too, they said. “The exact situation, however, will be known by the end of this month,” said UT education department official, Sunil Bedi. He said the department was scrutinising the availability of seats in all the government schools. Around 800 applicants, who were left without admission, had submitted their application forms at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, he said.

Demand and supply

UT education department officials said it was a “clear case of demand and supply”. Despite, the department allotting more than 12,000 seats this year, that is 1,000 to 1,100 more than the last year, over 700 applicants still failed to get admission, officials said.



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