C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dasehra dampner: Ravana rain-struck!
Vivek Gupta/ Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Mohali Oct 23
It’s sad day when the creation of an artist does not reach its final stage, said Ali Mohammad, an artisan from Muzaffarnagar, while looking helplessly at his effigies at the Sector 17 parade ground being damaged by unexpected rain followed by hailstorm on Tuesday evening.

Sector 17

Sector 46

Like Ali, several other artisans along with the organisers of the Dasehra committees of the tricity were seen disappointed as unexpected showers played a spoilsport on the Dasehra eve.

At the Sector 46 Dasehra ground, where the organisers had made elaborate arrangements for Dasehra, were dejected seeing the head of Ravana, the tallest in the city, tilted.

“We are praying to the god that it does not fall today night,” said Jatinder Bhatia, chief patron of the Sector 46 Sanatan Dharma Dasehra Committee, which had spent more than Rs 4 lakh on the Dasehra celebrations. One of the members, Upkar Singh, said it would be a sleepless night for us.

The Sector 46 committee had prepared the tallest Ravana of 83 feet besides the 75 feet effigies of Kumbhakarna and Meghanad. They had also planned showering of petals from an aircraft.

Sector 46

A random survey by The Tribune team revealed that effigies at most of the places in the city had been damaged due to rain. Another organiser Surinder Sharma, general secretary of the Azad Dramatic Club, celebrating Dasehra at the Sector 34 ground, said the real damage would be ascertained by tomorrow. The outer part of their effigies has been damaged, he said.

Though rain followed by hailstorm on Dasehra eve damaged effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna at several places in the tricity, effigies in the town were saved as these were yet to be positioned.

Madhu Bhushan, president of the Mohali Dasehra Committee, said they immediately covered the four effigies, including an effigy of corruption. "These are yet to be stuffed with crackers," said Madhu Bhushan.

The committee has prepared a 75 feet tall effigy of Ravana, which will be set on fire along with the three other effigies, as a mark of victory of good over evil at the Dasehra Ground, Phase VIII, tomorrow evening. The committee has spent Rs 3.20 lakh on effigies.

Giving details, Madhu Bhushan said there was no change in the programme.

"The unexpected rain has played a spoilsport," said Madhu Bhushan.

"Artisans from Saharanpur, who belong to a Muslim family, are making the effigies," said Bhushan.

"The gesture by our Muslim brethren is a matter of pride," added Bhushan.

The programme will begin at 4.30 pm and the first effigy will be burnt a few minutes before the sunset.



Another setback to DSP Raka Gira
 CBI wants registration of DA case 
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
In another setback to Mohali DSP Raka Gira, who was arrested last year in a corruption case, the CBI has recommended to the Punjab Government for registration of a case of disproportionate assets (DA) against her.

The CBI has sent a communiqué to the Punjab Government in this regard and has sought that the case of disproportionate assets be registered against her as assets recovered from her exceeded her monthly earnings. The CBI is awaiting the reply from the Punjab Government, said sources.

Raka Gira was arrested last year while accepting bribe of Rs 1 lakh and the CBI had filed a chargesheet in a court in the case earlier this year.

A CBI official said further probe by the investigating agency found a huge difference between monthly earnings and assets recovered from Raka Gira.

“As per our record, Gira's monthly salary was around Rs 40,000 and assets, including cash, fixed deposits (FDs), jewellery and property documents, which were recovered from her possession, have been valued at more than Rs 1.7 crore. We have written to the Punjab Government for registration of the case of disproportionate assets against her and are awaiting their reply. We have sought that the case be then transferred to the CBI once registered,” said a senior official.

CBI officials said they noticed the difference between earnings and assets when they compared statements of two of Gira's bank accounts with some of her salary slips.

Cash amounting to Rs 80 lakh and fixed deposits worth Rs 65 lakh and other property documents were recovered from her house on July 24, 2011. During the CBI custody, 1.5 kg gold jewellery worth Rs 24 lakh was recovered from her locker at the Sector 17 branch of the State Bank of India.

The CBI had arrested Raka Gira on July 25, 2011 on charges of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from a builder for settling his case. 



Student from Uganda eve-teased, assaulted
 BTech student among two arrested 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Two youths, in an inebriated state, allegedly teased an African girl student and assaulted her boyfriend in Sector 40 in the wee hours of Tuesday. The two foreigners, who hail from Uganda, were on foot when the incident took place at around 2.15 am. The police has arrested the two youths, including a BTech student, in the case. They were produced in a court and sent to judicial custody.

The foreigners, the girl and her boyfriend Hamis, who hail from Uganda, were returning to their residence when the incident took place. While the girl is pursing BBA from a private institute in Sector 34, Hamis is a student of BSc in Panjab University.

Hamis was going to drop his girlfriend at her residence when two youths on a motorcycle passed lewd comments in English at the girl. As her friend objected, the youths assaulted him. The foreigners then tried to run when the youths chased them to their residence. The youths then pelted them with stones and fled.

Hamis sustained injuries on his hand and called the police control room following which the police reached the spot and the two youths were arrested from Sector 40-B. They were identified as Karan and a BTech student, Mandeep Singh, both residents of Sector 40. The accused, Karan, was recently released from jail where he was lodged in an attempt to murder case.

The police said the two youths were returning from a birthday party when they assaulted the foreigners. Their medical examination confirmed that they were drunk.

The police has registered a case of outraging the modesty and threatening under Sections 341, 294, 354, 323, 427, 506, 511 and 34 of the IPC against the accused at the Sector 39 police station.

Hamis has been residing in India since 2008 and the girl came here in 2011. 



Give copy of transcript to defence: CBI court 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh October 23
The CBI court today directed the investigating agency to provide a copy of the transcript of the recorded conversation between SP (city) Deshraj Singh and SHO Anokh Singh to the defence counsel. The order is to be compiled by October 26.

Heated arguments were witnessed in the court when the CBI opposed the application of the defence and pleaded that the transcript could not be provided when the case was at an initial stage.

The defence counsel argued that since the contents of the transcript were mentioned in the FIR, they had the right to get a copy as they needed to get details of the investigations in case they filed a bail application in court.

The court then stated that the part of the transcript of the conversation before the registration of the case could be provided to the defence counsel.

Meanwhile, the CBI has submitted a copy of the FIR in the case to the UT Administration, which will be recommending suspension of the SP by sending a report to the MHA.

Deshraj Singh was arrested on October 18 while accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from Inspector Anokh Singh for giving a clean chit to him in the inquiries registered against him. Deshraj is in judicial custody.

Lonely Dasehra for SP (City) in jail
While last year he was commanding the arrangements on Dasehra as he was the ASP (Central), it will be a lonely Dasehra this year for the SP (City) as he will spend the day in prison. Sources said he spent the third day in jail reading books.

special treatment
Deshraj's brother and sister came to meet him in Burail jail on Tuesday. Sources said the SP was given a special treatment and he was allowed to meet them in the office of the jail superintendent. 



Dengue death toll reaches 5 in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
With another dengue death being confirmed at a city hospital today, the total number of deaths reported in the tricity has reached five this year.

The number of city residents contracting dengue has reached 192 while a total of 320 cases have been reported at city hospitals coming in from the region.

“The reports of the latest death in Panchkula reached today. A total of five deaths have been confirmed so far,” said Dr Naresh Sharma, head, anti-malaria unit, UT health department.

The number of patients visiting the OPD at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, everyday has doubled over the past one month. In order to accommodate the patients, the beds at the emergency ward have been shifted to the medical OPD and the waiting area.

At the city’s tertiary care unit, the PGI, the overall number of daily admissions is more than 500. At the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, the average number of patients (running high fever) visiting the OPD everyday has remained above 500 for the past one month, in addition to patients suffering from other ailments.

At the GMSH, Sector 16, a high-fever patient's clinic has been set up with five counters for conducting tests and four doctors being appointed for round-the-clock service. 

Cases so far
At city hospitals: 320
Affected residents: 192
Dengue deaths in city: 1
Dengue deaths in tricity: 5 (2 each in Panchkula and Mohali)

High fever, severe headache, severe pain behind eyes, muscle and bone pain, rash and mild bleeding.


Dasehra celebrated in schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
RIMT World School students learnt the lesson of victory of good over evil as they celebrated Dasehra with the traditional fanfare. Gunjan Verma of Class VIII enlightened the audience with the significance of Dasehra, highlighting the triumph of good over evil. Students enjoyed the glimpses of Ramlila shown through a PowerPoint presentation. 

Its narration was done by Lovepreet Kaur of Class VIII. A melodious group song presented by Class V students added charm to the celebrations. The effigy of Ravana was also set on fire. On the occasion, students were asked to get rid of their bad habits.

Satluj Public School

Panchkula: A special Dasehra assembly was held at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, here today. A skit conveying the message of “victory of good over evil” was staged by the students dressed as Lord Rama, Sita, Laxman and Ravana. A Dasehra quiz was also conducted on the occasion. Tall effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanad were prepared by the students. Garba was also performed by the students to mark Navratras. 



mansa devi shrine
Rs 1 cr offered this Navratras 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
Around Rs 1 crore were offered at the Mansa Devi shrine this year. As many as 4 lakh devotees visited the shrine during the nine-day fest that concluded today. During the last year Navratras, a cash donation of 81 lakhs was received while this year saw cash donation of Rs 1,00,35,000.

Moreover, the gold offered this time totalled to 52 pieces of jewellery, while pieces of silver jewellery totalled to 1,063.

Foreign currency was also offered at the shrine. By the end of the nine days, US $175, Aus $70, Canadian $55 and GBP 420 were received.

“Thankfully, Navratras concluded peacefully. The golf cart facility was also availed by around 2,000 people,” said chief executive officer DP Dattana.

“The security arrangements were fine this time, though the security guards misbehaved during the VVIP visit,” said Tanya Sindhia, a devotee.

As far as the cases of missing children were concerned, 62 children were lost and found his year. “This time the lost and found cases were only 62. Most of the children were between the ages of two to four, and they were reunited with their families pretty soon,” said an official at the announcement centre. 



Parking hazard: Action against Zirakpur shops soon
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 23
To check the parking hazard on the national highway, particularly on the stretch passing through Zirakpur, the authorities are contemplating to penalise those shopkeepers whose customers park their vehicles on the road.

The issue was discussed at a meeting attended by senior administrative and police officials of the district at the GMADA office today.

“It has been noted that the flow of traffic in front of shopping malls was being obstructed due to vehicles parked on the highway. Many a times, it leads to long traffic jams. So we are contemplating on imposing a fine on the owners of the shops, whose customers would park their vehicles on the roads,” said a senior official after the meeting.

He added that it was the duty of the owners of these malls to provide a parking space to their customers. “Action would also be taken against the vehicle owners, but the purpose behind initiating an action against the businessmen is to make them accountable for the hazard,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the district administration has initiated action against the offenders by issuing challans. “We have decided to station a PCR and a crane on the site to check the hazard. The parked vehicles would be towed away and challans would be issued against the offenders,” said the official.



Muslim craftsmen prepare Dasehra effigies
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
For the last one month these men are sweating it out to prepare the huge effigies of Ravana, Meghanad and Kumbhakarna that will be burnt on Dasehra. These craftsmen have been hired from places such as Agra, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur. What makes their contribution to these celebrations so special is the fact is that they belong to the Muslim community.

“I feel no difference in Hindus and Muslims. All have the same blood,” says 53-year-old Jamil Ahmed, a craftsman from Saharanpur, who has created effigies for the Sector 46 Dasehra celebrations. He and his fellow artisans have been preparing the effigies for over a month now. “It is after a lot of patience and hard work, we reach close to the perfection,” he says.

For most of these craftsmen who are preparing the effigies in the tricity, it is a family tradition that they are carrying forward.

Agra-based artisan Baqil Queshi, 32, says that this profession has been running in his family for the last 100 years, and he feels proud to carry on the legacy. He has made as many as nine effigies, including those for celebrations at Sector 34 and Sector 29.

24-year-old artisan Hedar Ali from Muzaffarnagar says that more than the money, it is the pleasure of contributing to the festivities of another community that has driven him towards this work.



Mann promoted as SP

Mohali, October 23
Mohali DSP (City 2) Darshan Singh Mann has been promoted to the post of Superintendent of Police here today.

Mann, who had played an important role during the days of terrorism, has served the department as a DSP in Patiala, Malerkotla and other districts of Punjab. He is yet to be given his place of posting.



P’kula Hospital cleaned for Fauji’s visit
New blankets, pillows given to patients; taken back after Chief Parliamentary Secretary leaves hospital 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 23
It was a ‘temporary makeover’ for the General Hospital when the authorities came to know that Chief Parliamentary Secretary Ram Kishan Fauji was to visit the hospital in the wake of increasing dengue cases in the city.

A woman cleans windows at the General Hospital ahead of Chief Parliamentary Secretary Ram Kishan Fauji’s visit to Panchkula on Tuesday
A woman cleans windows at the General Hospital ahead of Chief Parliamentary Secretary Ram Kishan Fauji’s visit to Panchkula on Tuesday. A tribune Photograph

Fauji had not even left the hospital premises when the new blankets and pillows, which were ‘temporarily’ provided to the patients in order to camouflage the poor arrangements, were
taken back.

Fauji made a visit to the hospital to check whether the patients are getting particular facilities or not.

Principal Medical Officer (PMO) Usha Gupta when asked as to why the new blankets and pillows were taken back from the patients after Fauji’s visit, she said, “There was some confusion among the staff. They gave wrong blankets to the patients in emergency ward. Those blankets were to be given to patients in the other ward. They were just taking back to give the right blankets.”

“I was lying on my bed when a ward boy came in hurry and said today he will provide us new blankets, pillows and bed sheets. At first I couldn’t understand because I was asking them for the past three days to change my bed sheet but they did not pay any heed,” said a patient requesting anonymity.

He further added, “The most shocking thing was that after Fauji left, the new blankets, pillows and bed-sheets were taken back and instead we got back the old things again.” Another patient, requesting anonymity said, “They did all the cleaning up just to camouflage the reality of the hospital. The hospital authorities are so insensitive that they took away the fresh blankets given to us.”

The whole hospital was washed and cleaned just ten minutes before Fauji’s visit.

Most of the patients also complained to Fauji that for the test of dengue they have to wait for hours together.



Bid to rein in unauthorised autos in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
To check the menace of unauthorised plying of autos within the tricity, but registered with transport authorities in other districts of Punjab and Haryana, the State Transport Authority (STA) has proposed a tricity agreement that will regulate and facilitate the plying of autos registered in the three cities.

The issue regarding fleecing, over loading of passengers, misbehaviour, and careless driving by private auto operators, which figured in the traffic advisory committee meeting led the STA to propose the inter-city agreements to regulate the auto operators. Before implementing the agreement, it has been proposed that adequate number of LPG filling stations should be opened in the tricity.

Sources said the proposed agreement would be in tandem with inter-state agreement between the UT and Punjab regarding counter signing of permits of the autos by the Transport Authorities of the States concerned for plying between Chandigarh and Mohali. No tax will be charged by the other state/UT from such vehicles. Regarding the jittery smoke billowing autos brought from other district of Punjab and Haryana, the STA today launched a special drive to challan such autos. Balbir Singh Dhol of STA said the focus of the drive was to check overloaded autos and those registered in other districts of the neighbouring states, barring Mohali and Panchkula.

A total of 20 autos were challaned and another 10 were impounded during the drive. “Though the rules say that an auto registered in a particular city can not ply out the city’s municipal limits, the rule is seldom being followed in Chandigarh”, said an official.

Hike in fare on the cards
Following a steep hike in the LPG prices, from Rs 45 per kilo to Rs 52 per kilo, the STA was contemplating to hike the fares by 14 per cent. The auto operators union is already demanding an increase in fares of autos and taxis.

Overloaded autos need to be regulated
There is wide spread complaint by commuters that the traffic police remain mute witness to autos carrying more than three passengers and there is no telephone number on which a call against a private auto operator can be made.



Queries leave police embarrassed
  During an interactive session with the police at IT Park, women professionals seemed annoyed over cops’ insensitivity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Interacting with IT professionals at the IT Park here today, the UT SSP, Naunihal Singh, reiterated the merits of “call 100” service and motivated women to take sexual harassers head-on. A volley of questions was shot at him that left all officials present there uncomfortable and embarrassed.

Some women narrated their experiences with policemen at the nakas, while some pointed out rude behaviour on the part of policemen and others complained of inaction.

Vinika Sharma, who works in IT Park, said, “About a month ago, a police officer stopped me at a naka near the Modern Housing Complex lights while I was heading for office. He told me to show documents and started asking me about my salary and as soon as I took out my documents, he snatched the money lying in my wallet. After reaching office I called up at the complaint number available on the Chandigarh Police website, but it turned out to be defunct. Later, I somehow managed to speak to the SP and the policeman met me on the same road to return my money. He cribbed about the complaint I made against him,” Vinika added. What should one do in such a situation sir? What if the policeman turns vindictive?” she asked the SSP at the gathering of more than 150 IT professionals.

As the narration followed, a huge round of applause, a sense of embarrassment prevailed among the senior officials, including the SSP, present during the interaction.

In response, Naunihal Singh, said, when such incidences take place one must try and record the happenings to ensure evidence. “The instant reaction should be to call at 100 number,” he said.

Another woman, who works at the IT Park explained how a person had been troubling her friend who worked in the same company by following her up to her home everyday. “We have been struggling to get a complaint registered against him. Even the SP had assured us that our problem would be resolved soon, but to no avail,” she said.

The embarrassed SSP said, “We assure you that some action will be taken by this evening.”

Wage battle against eve-teasers: SSP
While asking women to speak up, the UT SSP asked them to raise their voice, use their sixth sense and also gave examples from advertisements and movies urging them to wage a battle against eve-teasers.

Make use of technology
"All of you have a mobile phone. Why don’t you make the best use of it? Just click the picture of the accused or make a video. It will be extremely useful for our investigations."

Use your sixth sense
"Make use of your sixth sense. An intuition will always tell you if a person is wrong or not and is acting weird. Just call the police even before any incident takes place if you suspect something may go wrong."

Intimation to police most important
"Intimation to the police is most important. The situation has become brazen with increased vehicles. Guys are now even manhandling girls. We have the best control room in the country and a large fleet of vehicles. Call the police again if the same accused does it again on being released on bail. Girls should not be frightened to speak up. We assure that the identity of the girl will be kept under wraps" —
Naunihal Singh, UT SSP

Women ask valid questions
"Most of the times when we complain the policemen begin putting the blame on girls that is why they hesitate to approach them. They ask, “What were you doing there at that time?"

Can the police ensure that the social status of the accused will not affect the case?



Feasibility certificate a must before laying of paver blocks 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
The road wing of the municipal corporation will have to take a feasibility certificate from the public health wing for laying of paver blocks.

Recently, around 20 proposals were rejected by the public health wing saying it would not be easy to maintain underground pipelines.

MC Commissioner VP Singh had issued directions to the public health wing asking it to clear all proposals.

Sources said the directions were issued after a diarrhoea outbreak in Mauli Jagran when it became difficult for the public health department to monitor underground water pipelines to identify the cause as at a majority of sites paver blocks had been laid by the road wing. MC Public Health Superintendent Engineer RC Diwan said 15 sites were approved by the road committee for laying of paver blocks, but after monitoring their feasibility, none of the area was found suitable by the departmental team.

Protesting against the decision of the authorities, the road committee today approved five issues related to the laying of paver blocks in various parts of the city. Members unanimously decided that they would approach the Commissioner to cancel the policy of monitoring sites by the public health department.

The sources said a letter was sent by the public health wing to the MC Commissioner suggesting that the road wing should take the feasibility certificate from the public health wing. It was stated in the letter that due to the laying of paver blocks on roadside berms, the public health department had to face a great difficulty in maintaining underground pipelines and in case of any damage, the employees failed to identify the cause and the point where it occurred. It has also been proved that such concrete structures spoilt the ecosystem of the soil.



installation of  led screens
MC puts plan on hold
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, October 23
The Mohali Municipal Corporation's plan to make the town the first in the region to install big outdoor coloured LED screens has been put on hold by the government.

The corporation had decided to install five LED screens in various parts of the commercial area at a cost of about Rs 5 crore. The LED screens were to be installed by the civic body in the market areas of Phases III B 2, V, VII, IX and X. Tenders for the work had also been called. Such outdoor LED screens have so far been installed only in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Even as work in this regard was in progress, the civic body received a letter from the government asking it to put the plan on hold till further orders.

Sources said the corporation had received a letter from the Director, Town Planning, in which it was stated that no permission for the display of advertisements should be given till the government finalised the Punjab Municipal Outdoor Advertisement Policy, 2012.

The civic had earlier decided to put up LED screens at important road junctions, but later changed the sites keeping in view the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordering a ban on putting up big hoardings on main roads.

The sources said the LED screens were to be installed for displaying information of public interest given by the Punjab government and the municipal corporation apart from commercial advertisements.

It is learnt that each LED screens will measure 22 ft by 9.9 ft by 0.82 ft. The screen will display messages free of cost for 40 per cent of the total running time.

The rest of the time will be used for commercial advertisements. The contractor will have to run the LED screens for at least 15 hours everyday which can be extended to 24 hours. The advertising agency concerned will procure, install and maintain the LED screen at its own cost and also pay the necessary regular expenses throughout the contract period. 



Ban orders issued

Mohali, October 23
The Mohali district administration has restricted the use of loudspeakers and has imposed a ban on carrying arms in marriage palaces from 10 pm to 6 am under Section 144 of the CrPC.

However, permission can be sought to use loudspeakers on special occasions during such hours in keeping with the guidelines laid down under the Punjab Instruments (Control of Noises) Act, 1956.

In another order, the District Magistrate prohibited the carrying of arms in marriage palaces. The two orders will remain enforced till December 3. — OC



AC Joshi library
Book exhibition marks Foundation Day 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
AC Joshi Library, Panjab University, celebrated its Foundation Day by organising a book exhibition on Pt Jawaharlal Nehru on the campus today. This day has a special significance for the library as it was inaugurated on the same day in 1963 by Pt Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, after its relocation from Shimla.

On the occasion, a blood donation camp was also organised. Former librarians AK Anand, AR Sethi and Dr VK Anand shared their experiences while working at the library.

Prof Jaginder Singh Ramdev, first deputy librarian of the university, talked about the early phase of development of the library.

In the afternoon session, a panel discussion on “Changing Perceptions -- of Librarianship” was held. The panelists shed light on the advancements taking place in the field.



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