C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Suicide drama keeps police on toes
Sector 34 resident, who is involved in two cases, alleges harassment by police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
A 34-year-old property dealer sent the UT police into a tizzy for a major part of the day today as he threatened to set himself afire at the police headquarters in Sector 9 this morning. The property dealer, Pradeep Kumar Garg fled as soon as the police reached the headquarters and again tried to commit suicide in front of the DIG’s residence in Sector 16 in the evening. He was arrested in a case of attempt to suicide registered at the Sector 17 police station.

The police said Pradeep has two cases registered against him at the Sector 34 police station and he was demanding the closure of the cases. He alleged that the police was harassing him.

Pradeep called up a mediaperson in the morning and informed him that he would set himself afire at the police headquarters in Sector 9. At around 1 am, he reached the police headquarters with a bottle of kerosene and again called up the media. A fleet of six PCR vehicles immediately reached the spot. On seeing them, Pradeep fled the scene.

High drama was witnessed when the police cordoned off the police headquarters and began to search for him. Pradeep’s mobile number was switched off and the cyber crime cell of the police swung into action. The tower location of the phone was last traced to the police headquarters but the police could not find him then.

In the evening, Pradeep reached the residence of DIG Alok Kumar in Sector 16 at around 6 pm and poured kerosene on himself. The DIG’s security guards noticed him and raised an alarm. The SHO of the Sector 17 police station, Inspector Ram Gopal, reached the spot and arrested him before he could set himself on fire. Pradeep is a resident of Sector 34.

“Pradeep Kumar has two cases registered against him at the Sector 34 police station. One case has been registered under Section 294 of the IPC (obscene acts and songs) and the other a section relating to cheating, which is being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing. He was protesting police action against him. He has been arrested in a case of attempt to suicide,” said Ram Gopal.

Tough six hours for the UT police

11 pm: Pradeep calls up the media to say he will kill himself
1 pm: Reaches the police headquarters with a bottle of kerosene
1.15 pm: Flees the scene on seeing a fleet of PCR vehicles and a team of crime branch at the police headquarters
1.30 pm: The cyber crime cell begins work to trace the location of his phone
6.30 pm: Seen at the DIG’s residence in Sector 16 with a bottle of kerosene
6.35 pm: He is arrested



Tribune impact
Ex-DGP removes security tent
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

 	Structures outside Shashi Kant’s house intact
Structures outside Shashi Kant’s house intact

Chandigarh, November 28
Of the two former Punjab DGPs, who had encroached upon a part of the service lane on the rear side of their residences in Sector 18 here, one today removed a temporary shelter pitched on the service lane.

Punjab Former DGP AP Pandey has removed the tent pitched on the rear side of his house number 1257 in Sector 18. However, the other former DGP of Punjab, Shashi Kant, who is Pandey’s neighbour and resides in house no 1258, has not removed the tent, which is being used as a temporary shelter for security guards.

Encroachments in the service lane by these officials were highlighted in these columns.

Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, Enforcement Wing, MC, said yesterday that an Inspector of the enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation had visited the spot and told the occupants of both the houses to remove these encroachments on their own otherwise the MC would take action. Today, they came to know about the removal of one of the structures. They would soon take action with regard to the other security tent, he added

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered the removal of security tents pitched on government land outside the residences of VVIPs.

Earlier, Shashi Kant had maintained that it is not “an encroachment or any kind of illegal activity”. But, the local residents had complained that sometime during night hours security guards made a noise after consuming liquor. These guards also litter the area, they added.



suicide by professor
SHO sent to police lines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Finding glaring lapses in the conduct of Inspector Malkit Singh in dealing with a sensitive case in which a young professor from Ambala committed suicide, a departmental inquiry has indicted the SHO, who has been transferred to the Police Lines. Inspector Narinder Patial has now been designated as the SHO of the Industrial Area police station.

The inquiry was conducted by the SP, RS Ghumman, into the incident dating back to February where a resident of Ambala, Amit Garg, had approached the Chandigarh Police with the body of his mother.

The Inspector failed to take any timely action and sent Amit back to his hometown at a time when he was travelling with his mother’s body and was fed up of being turned back at all quarters. Amit, too, killed himself. A precious human life could have been saved had the SHO taken prompt action regarding the incident, states the report.

Amit, a professor at Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET), had committed suicide at a hotel in Mohra on February 22. He went there from Chandigarh after the UT police failed to act on his complaint. He had spent the entire day crying for police attention with his mother’s body lying in his car. His mother had committed suicide.

Amit had come to the office of The Tribune in the evening and threatened to commit suicide. The police was informed and Inspector Malkit Singh reached the spot.

However, instead of taking the body into his custody and informing the Haryana Police, the SHO let Amit leave for Ambala. The next day Amit was found dead in a hotel at Mohra and his mother’s body was still in the car.

The departmental inquiry was marked to look into the lapses on the part of SHO Malkit Singh. The inquiry report states that Malkit was grossly negligent in performing his duties and timely action by him could have saved Amit’s life.

Amit’s mother had reportedly consumed poison after she had a fight with his woman friend whom he had got home. She was taken to a hospital in Ambala where she was declared brought dead. While the hospital personnel were busy with paperwork, Amit put his mother’s body in his car and took her to Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and later to the GMCH-32 but was turned back at both the places.



Rs 30 lakh jewellery looted
Tribune News Service

The  owner of the shop shows a cash box; and (right) the CCTV footage of a thief in Sector 7, Panchkula on  Wednesday.
The owner of the shop shows a cash box; and (right) the CCTV footage of a thief in Sector 7, Panchkula on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Panchkula, November 28
At least four masked miscreants struck at a jewellery shop in Sector 7, Panchkula, and decamped with jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh after forcibly taking the guard of a nearby shop to Morni. In the morning when Kirpal Nath Sarao, the owner of the shop, Sarao Jewellers, came to the shop he found the lock of the front door broken.

The miscreants, who had come by an Esteem car, decamped with silver jewellery worth Rs 28 lakh and gold ornaments worth Rs 2 lakh. They cut off the wires of the CCTV cameras installed at the shop before carrying out the theft but CCTV camera installed at a nearby jewellery shop grabbed their movement as they were forcibly taking the guard away.

According to the police, the security guard deployed outside the nearby jewellery shop, Arora Jewellers, saw the miscreants striking at Sarao Jewellers. The miscreants wrapped him in a blanket and forcibly took him to Morni. The guard, Teja Ram said he came back to Panchkula walking at around 8 am.

The guard said it was around 2.30 am when he heard some noise at the shop of Sarao Jewellers. When he woke up and went near the shop, two youngsters came outside and took him away by force, said a police official. He further added, ? Ram said that he was wrapped in a blanket and when the other two also came outside after stealing the jewellery, they all forcibly took him into their car.?

According to the guard, his mobile phone was switched off and he did not know how to switch it on.

One can easily gauge the crime situation in Panchkula where robbers have become so active and are striking without any fear. It shows how badly the police machinery has failed, said Darpan Singh, a local shopkeeper.

A case under sections 365 (kidnapping) and 380 (theft) has been registered at the sector-5 police station here.

Earlier cases unsolved

At least five heinous crimes, including robberies, loot, murder and kidnapping, have taken place in Panchkula recently but the police has failed to crack even a single case.

Panchkula shop heist
The security guard said his phone was switched off by the miscreants and he did not know how to switch it on.
The guard said he came back from Morni walking, and reached Panchkula at 8 am.
The owner of the house just opposite the shop came out when he heard some noise and informed the police about it.


Encroachments by shopkeepers: MC to issue show-cause notices
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Rampant encroachments by shopkeepers in the Sector 22 market (Shastri Market), Sector 19 market (Sadar Bazar) and Patel market of Sector 15 have led to choking of passageways in these markets. The shopkeepers have not only rented out the shops in these markers but the sidewalls as well.

The shopkeepers have rented out sidewalls for Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000, depending on the location of wall. According to information the rent of sidewalls in Shastri Market and Sadar Bazar is higher as compare to Sector 15 market. The shopkeepers have put up rods on the walls to display goods.

These encroachments have choked almost the entire market, including the entry and exit points. Due to these encroachments, stampede like situation may take place in case of any fire incident. The shopkeepers also lacking fire-fighting equipments.

When contacted, Kashmira Singh, Superintendent, Enforcement Wing of MC, said they had carried out an anti-encroachment drive yesterday and issued challans to the shopkeepers, who had put up items on the sidewalls. He added that for the permanent solution of these encroachments, the Estate Office should take action against the shopkeepers.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said the MC officials had brought the issue into his notice. He assured that soon they would prepare a list of violators and issue show- cause notice to them. BJP Councillor Davesh Moudgil, who had raised the issue of encroachments in the MC house meeting, said it was not only about these markets but the MC Enforcement Wing officials had miserably failed to remove the encroachments from the entire city.



Patients face tough time as GMCH-32 toilets sans signs
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

A view of a toilet at the GMCH-32 in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
A view of a toilet at the GMCH-32 in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, November 28
Negligence of the authorities at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, in ensuring signage outside toilets on the hospital premises is costing women patients dear. Utter confusion prevails and embarrassment greets most of the women patients, who wish to use the toilets and mistakenly enter gents’ toilets in the absence of proper signs.

In the majority of toilets, the signage indicating whether it is a gents’ or ladies’ toilet has faded away, making it impossible for the user to determine where to enter or not. A sweeper at the hospital said there had been various instances when women entered the toilets and come out after realising that it was a gents’ toilet. The challenges for the patients and their attendants do not end here as many toilets in the hospital remain locked.

Ram Das, husband of Reema, who is a patient at the hospital, said: “The last time when we came to the hospital, my wife entered a gents’ toilet by mistake. It was quite embarrassing. After that, I had to check other toilets to ensure that she did not face the embarrassment again. I have come here after a month now but the situation continues to be the same.”

Two of the total three toilets, located near the pathology department in the Block B of the hospital, were found to be locked when Chandigarh Tribune visited the hospital on Tuesday. The situation was similar near the Pharmacy block where two of the three toilets remained locked.

Sources revealed that in the absence of regular maintenance facilities for toilets in the hospital, the staff deliberately keeps some of the toilets locked.

When contacted, Dr Raj Bhahadur, Director-Principal, GMCH, said: “The matter is already in our notice. I will immediately ask the officials concerned to ensure proper signages outside all the toilets.” While taps are missing in some of the toilets, others do not have proper flush system.



Govt Schools
'Herd mentality' leading to leave applications for child care
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The UT Education Department is seeing a sudden influx of applications for child care leave from government teachers. Following in the footsteps of the Punjab government, the Chandigarh Administration had recently endorsed the child care leave policy, which entitles a female government employee a maximum of 365 days of child care leave during her entire service to take care of a maximum of two minor children.

The influx of applications, however, is more in the Education Department, since more than 70 per cent of its teaching staff is female.

Sources in the department confirmed that the department had received more than 300 applications from the teaching staff. Many of these applicants have already been sanctioned leave.

Officials in the department said that a “herd mentality” could be seen among those trying to avail this leave. Citing sickness or impending examinations of their children, teachers have been submitting applications for leave. Only a few of these were genuine cases, officials said.

The most eager to avail this leave are those employees whose children are soon to turn 18.

An RTI activist, Swarn Kamboj, said that the department must make a comprehensive policy to safeguard the misuse of these leaves. Next month, there are exams in all the government schools. The administration must take this into consideration while clearing leave applications, he said.

Chanchal Singh, Deputy Director, School Education, said the department was being cautious while sanctioning leaves.

Many in the department, meanwhile, said that the child care leave should be granted to only those employees whose earned leaves had already been exhausted. 



Firm penalised for failing to cancel online order
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
A Noida-based firm, Timtara.com Infosecure Consulting Pvt Ltd, has been penalised for failing to cancel an online order placed by the complainant. The UT Consumer Forum has directed the firm to refund the amount paid by the complainant and pay Rs 3,000 as compensation for causing harassment.

The complainant had placed an order online for the purchase of a Sony Cybershot DSC-W630 16 MP digital camera and had paid Rs 7,650 through credit card. According to the complainant, he was assured that the product would be delivered within 10-20 days. However, when the opposite party failed to do so, the complainant contacted it through telephone and e-mails, but to no avail.

Finally, the complainant sent an e-mail and requested for the cancellation of the order. The opposite party informed that the order would be cancelled within 24 to 48 hours and the amount would be refunded within 7-10 days but it failed to do so.

According to the complainant, the failure on the part of the opposite party in returning the money amounted to deficiency in service. "As more than 30 days had passed, therefore, it was presumed that the opposite party had been duly served. None appeared on the behalf of the opposite party on the fixed date, hence, it was proceeded against ex-parte," reads the judgement .



Panchkula to have 24 sectors in extension II
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 28
The town will get 24 new sectors in the Panchkula Extension II near the Barwala Highway. This new township will also have Sector 13, which even the tricity doesn’t have. Sector 17 of this extension will be on the lines of Chandigarh’s Sector 17. Even the width of the roads will be double the existing ones of Panchkula. The Panchkula Extension II, also known as the new Kot-Billah-Alipur Township, will be spread over 6,767 acres on the National Highway-73.

“Under the plan, 24 sectors have been proposed, including residential, commercial and industrial sectors. While Sector 18 has been proposed as the institutional sector, including all government offices and banks square, Sector 17 will be on the lines of Chandigarh’s Sector 17,” said a senior official of the District Town and Planning Department.

Sector 18 will have the Governor house, all government offices, courts, hospitals, banks and other institutes. There will be Sectors 7A, 8A, 13A, 17A and 14A also.

“Currently, two licences have been finalised, one for the Panchkula Eco City and the other for the Konark Group Housing. We are just waiting for the land acquisition now,” said district town planner Hitesh Sharma.

The new extension, which is coming up in the foothills, will have roads double the width of the existing roads of Panchkula. As the existing B-roads are 40-feet wide, the new B-roads have been proposed as 80-feet wide. After the land acquisition, HUDA will acquire the rest of the sectors. HUDA will also come up with two multi-level parking within the residential area.

The Eco City would come up at an area of 50 acres and the Konark Group Housing was said to come up at an area of 10 acres, said the official.

The official said the township had been planned to cater to the ever-rising demand for land and check the haphazard growth along the highway and on the outskirts of Panchkula.

“In 2007, the approval for the part II integrated township was given. The township comprises the Alipur and the Kot Billah periphery-controlled areas on both sides of the NH-73. Around 6,767 acres will be developed under the plan for an approximate 2,73,700 people,” said a senior HUDA official.

He said the total proposed land use included 42,300 acres in Alipur and 5,509 acres of Kot Billah.

Besides, a 100-metre-wide green belt had been proposed on both sides of the Panchkula-Barwala Highway. An area of 647 acres had been proposed for parks, greenbelts, crematories, fuel filling stations and water bodies. For the better movement of traffic in the township, a proposal to construct flyovers on the highway has also been made.



Fire breaks out in Mohali factory
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 28
A fire broke out at an under-construction factory building in the Phase-I Industrial Area here today. According to reports, the building was taken on rent by a company engaged in making pizzas and other food items.

The fire brigade, which was stationed nearby, reached the scene on seeing the smoke blowing out from the building premises.

The flames reportedly damaged fibre sheets and other construction materials. It is suspected that the fire was caused by a short circuit due to an exposed electricity wire passing through the premises.



panjab university
Number of foreign students on rise
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The number of foreign students joining Panjab University (PU) and its affiliated colleges has steadily grown in the past few years. While 135 students took admission to the university and its affiliated colleges in 2009, the number has crossed 375 this year.

The student inflow is mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, Bhutan, Tibet and USA. As many as 255 foreign students are studying in the city colleges, while the remaining 120 are studying on the PU campus.

PU officials said that scholarships provided by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has encouraged students from Afghanistan and African countries to come to India for higher studies. A major chunk of the foreign students studying here are from Afghanistan and Ethiopia, officials said.

The students are pursuing graduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in various courses, including professional courses such as engineering, business administration and management.

With the aim to attract more foreign students to the campus, former Dean, International Students, Shelley Walia had proposed an online entrance test, especially for foreign students, a few years back. The move would have saved the prospective students from the trouble of spending money to travel to India for taking the test.

The issue has been introduced from time to time in the Senate meetings; however, the proposal is yet to get materialised.

Meanwhile, Panjab University celebrated International Students and National Education Day today. Foreign students performed cultural items of their respective countries on this occasion.



Rs 1 cr central AC system for PU library
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Panjab University’s AC Joshi Library is all set to get a central air-conditioning system that will not only make sitting in the library more comfortable, but also help in doing away with the noise made by fans.

The air-conditioning system already installed in the library was no more ineffective, and students often complained of noise made by fans. The university will soon be having a trial run of the new air-conditioning system, which will also provide effective cooling in the outer section of the library.

Vinod Grover, deputy librarian, said that since the library was constructed, the number of students using the library had increased. Moreover, since the temperature in summers is quite high these years, the earlier system had gone ineffective.

“During the next summer season, students will be able to avail the benefit of the new AC system, which would also be converted into a central heating system for winters,” he said.

The project, which will cost over Rs 1 crore, will provide cooling to the five-storeyed library building that houses more than six lakh volumes and has a seating capacity of over 600. Besides the two main reading halls, there are reading rooms in the periodicals and special collections sections, and an outer reading hall with an additional seating capacity of 200 for studying personal books.

A huge structure supporting the new AC system has been erected at the student center, behind the library.

Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Satinder Singh said that a long-pending demand of the students was being fulfilled, as during summers they were inconvenienced due to the ineffective air-conditioning system.



hunger Strike
GGDSD-32 gives nod to fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Students of GGDSD College, Sector 32, today called off their hunger strike after the college authorities agreed to the demand of holding a cultural fest on the college campus.

Within a day of seven students sitting on an indefinite hunger strike, the college management held a meeting with the students and resolved the issue.

Rachit Suri, a college student, through a press release, stated that they called off the hunger strike after the student council president was given an assurance by the college management that the cultural fest will be held in the month of February.

The press release stated that the decision related to the date and venue of the fest will be taken in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the college authorities claimed that the students had never demanded any special funds for organising such functions.



rte act
Private schools told to submit expenditure on each child
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The UT Education Department has asked all the private schools to furnish details about their per-child expenditure in the elementary classes.

The move, it is learnt, will help the department in finalising the per-child reimbursement to be made to the schools for the reserved seats, as per the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Rules, 2010.

As per the Act, private schools providing free education to students under the reserved category will be reimbursed to the extent of expenses incurred by the state government or the amount incurred by the private schools, whichever is less.

The Education Department will be calculating its own expenditure on the basis of the annual recurring expenditure incurred by it on the elementary education. Total salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff, wages, medical and office expenses, maintenance charges, mid-day meal charges and other expenditure are being considered for the overall calculation.

Senior officials of the department said that the expenditure of the private schools has been sought, so that the average per-child expenditure made by the government as well as private schools could be compared, and whichever is less can then be reimbursed.

The department has asked the schools to attach a certificate from a chartered accountant, countersigned by the principal, which should clarify the per-child expenditure for the particular year at the elementary level. The schools must ensure that the information sent to the department is true and correct as per the books of accounts of the school, said officials.



Harvard team to shoot documentary on Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
A team from Harvard University is coming to the city to shoot a documentary on Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, intended for an exhibition at the architect’s lone building at Harvard on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2013.

The carpenter centre of visual arts at Harvard University, located at Cambridge, Massachusetts, the USA, is the only building designed by Le Corbusier in the United States. It was designed and built at the same time as Chandigarh, back in 1963.

Since both of these projects are among Corbusier’s finest architectural works, they have many fascinating elements. The documentary, to be directed by film-maker and associate professor of the university Amie Siegel, will explore their wonderful similarities and differences.

The documentary titled “Double Architecture” will be filmed at several locations in Chandigarh, for which prior permission has already been sought from the respective departments of the UT Administration.

The documentary will cover the influence of Le Corbusier’s architecture on the academic environments of Panjab University and Harvard University, the supporting columns or pilotis of the high court, and ramps of the secretariat building and the government art gallery.

The shooting for the documentary will begin shortly in Chandigarh, for which a Mumbai-based production company has been hired for local assistance. The shooting is expected to get over by the second week of December.

A local official said that the documentary would be made with a very small crew and minimal equipments.



from SChools
Polish children present folk dances

Students from Poland partake of langar on the occasion of Gurpurb at Sector 8 Gurdwara in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Students from Poland partake of langar on the occasion of Gurpurb at Sector 8 Gurdwara in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh: Gurukul Global School in association with NGO Yuvsatta and the Ghungroo Musical Club hosted a 24-member delegation "The Children’s Folk Group Cepelia-Poznan" from Poland. The children presented folk dances that are performed at the time of harvest, on change of seasons and during festivals in Poland.

Conservation Day

The science club of Government Middle School, Maloya, celebrated Conservation Day on the school premises. The students exhibited various ways of conserving energy through posters, static models and plays. The celebrations concluded with a prize distribution function in which winners of inter-class science exhibition, speech competition, poster making and inter-class science quiz were honoured.

Science workshop

Dr Allen Klein, a research scientist at Harvard University, in a special session at Saupin’s School, motivated the children to learn and understand science. He explained various scientific methods of solving problems, not just related to science but also to day-to-day life. He also answered queries raised by students.

National Integration Week

National Service Scheme unit of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 38 (West), Dadu Majra colony, celebrated National Integration Week. The NSS unit was joined by the Peace Club and The Mahatma Gandhi Student Legal Literacy Club of the school in these celebrations. Different competitions were organised for the students to make them aware of national integration. Divya and Dixit won the slogan writing competition, while Rohit and Neetu emerged victorious in poster making. Meanwhile, Sheetal and Priya bagged the first prize for elocution, and Arun and Sheetal won top honours in the essay writing competition.

Workshop on peer pressure

Mohali: Major General Raj Mehta conducted a workshop on peer pressure for the students of classes XI and XII at St Soldier School. He advised the youth to abstain from vices such as smoking, drug addiction and eve-teasing.

Prakash Utsav

Prakash Utsav was observed at Lawrence Senior Secondary School with religious fervour. The school was decorated for the occasion. Students sang hymns from Guru Granth Sahib. The students were reminded of the message of sanctity, faith, trust, honesty, "karam" and "kirit", which forms the core of Guru Nanak Dev's message to the world. Students gave speeches and recited poems related to the life of the Guru. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |