C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Stalked, teased: Schoolgirls open up to SSP
Fear complaining against molesters may cost them dear; Naunihal gives them tips 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
"Boys chase us every day and pass abusive remarks. We are afraid of narrating such incidents to our families," said a girl while sharing her unpleasant experience of being eve-teased.

Another girl said, "A boy used to chase me continuously. One day he went to the extent of holding my hand. I told my parents about the incident. They complained to the police. Nothing much was done by the police.”

The problem of eve-teasing seems deep rooted in Chandigarh as several girl students of Government Model Senior Secondary School for Girls, Sector 18, shared their bad experiences during an interaction with SSP Naunihal Singh here this morning.

Today’s feedback for the SSP came six months after the Chandigarh police launched a campaign against eve-teasing, indicating that the police needs to do much more to control the menace.

Despite the police deputing policewomen in civvies at eve-teasing-prone points in the city, girl students shared their experiences on how boys often teased them at bus stops, on buses and at public places. A girl broke down while narrating her experience of how a boy harassed her on the pretext of proposing to her.

Naunihal Singh asserted that the girls in this age group were more vulnerable to eve-teasing than adults. They needed more assistance and awareness.

The SSP asked the girls to immediately dial 100 whenever they faced an eve-teasing incident. In case they did not have mobile phones, he asked them to note down details of the eve-teasers, including their car or mobike number, and inform the school authorities or parents about it.

Girls said complaining against eve-teasers was fraught with risk. "What if a boy throws acid on the face of a girl who complains against him?" asked a girl.

The SSP said they should not live in fear. "Things can be much worse if girls don't out openly against these incidents," he said.

A girl asked why the police often allowed the rich and influential offenders to go scot-free. The SSP said such influence did not work in Chandigarh. "If somebody tells you that he is son of a thanedar or a rich man, you simply tell him that you are the daughter of the SSP," he told the girls.

A girl made the whole crowd laugh when she said many girls wanted boys to tease them.

Quoting the Amritsar incident where an ASI was killed for trying to save his daughter from an eve-teaser, he said, "I don't want Amritsar-like incidents to happen here. This can be done if girls come out of their fear and inform the police the moment they face an eve-teasing incident."

250 complaints in three months

The SSP said his regular interaction with girls in colleges and schools resulted in 250 eve-teasing complaints being received during the past three months. As many as 62 cases have been registered and 52 arrests have been made. He said he would again start sessions in colleges from January 9 to know the response to the earlier sessions. 



Deshraj gets bail 
Tribune News Service

SP Deshraj Chandigarh, December 13
"Merely on the grounds that the petitioner is a senior police officer and will be in a position to influence witnesses is highly improbable," Justice Paramjeet Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled while granting bail to suspended UT Superintendent of Police Deshraj.

Justice Paramjeet Singh asserted, "Prima facie there is no such likelihood, much less evidence in this regard". Justice Paramjeet Singh said the court was also of the prima facie view that the petitioner would not be in a position to tamper with the evidence, specifically when he was under suspension.

"There is no apprehension of the petitioner fleeing from the process of law being an officer and tampering with the evidence, more so when the substantive evidence, which is sought to be adduced by the CBI against the present petitioner, happens to be documentary evidence i.e. voice recording on recorders."

"Therefore, in the opinion of this court, there is no question of the petitioner either intimidating the complainant or tampering with the evidence…."

Refusing to agree with the arguments put forth by the CBI that he was likely to influence the complainant in the case, Justice Paramjeet Singh asserted: "If the contention of the CBI is accepted, then bail is to be denied in each and every criminal case that comes before the court”.

In his petition for regular bail filed before the High Court through counsel SK Garg Narwana, Deshraj had earlier claimed that the conversation between him and complainant Anokh Singh did not reveal the demand for illegal gratification; and the bribe money was “planted”.

Taking up the issue, Justice Paramjeet Singh asserted: "The contention of the CBI is that evidence in the shape of voice recording clearly indicates the demand and acceptance of the bribe. The conversation and the statement of the complainant read together make out a prima facie case against the petitioner. This contention of the CBI cannot be appreciated at this stage. It is a cardinal rule that while deciding bail, the court is not required to consider technical questions."

He said, "Here in this case, the value of the conversation between the complainant and the petitioner is in the shape of voice recordings. To appreciate its evidentiary value at this stage is unwarranted. It will prejudice the right of both, the petitioner and the prosecution. It is the function of the trial court only."

Giving reasons, Justice Paramjeet Singh asserted, "In the present case, the minor daughter of the petitioner is already suffering from left bronchial plexopathy and is undergoing treatment at Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai. There is nothing specific that the amount was sought as a bribe. It is yet to be determined at the time of trial."

“The family and his minor daughter are suffering in the absence of the petitioner and even his daughter's further treatment has been delayed, which was fixed for December 3, 2012…."

"I order that the petitioner be admitted to bail subject to his furnishing bail bonds with two solvent sureties, each in a sum of Rs 2 lakh to the satisfaction of the Special Judge, CBI court”. 



Mayor's report card-2
Little done to clear garbage mess in city
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
Improving sanitation in the city was last on the agenda of outgoing Mayor Raj Bala Malik, if the state of cleanliness and the poor disposal of garbage in the city is any indication.

City residents were expecting that this year sanitation in the city would improve. The situation has instead worsened. From VIP areas to southern sectors and slums, heaps of garbage can be witnessed in the city.

PC Sanghi, president of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC), said during their monthly meeting resident welfare associations often complained that sweepers did not come regularly, which lead to garbage piling up in their areas.

He said in southern sectors such as Sectors 45, 50, 51 and 52, there were no Sehaj Safai Kendras (SSKs) and heaps of garbage, especially around garbage bins and roads, could easily be spotted. He said they had submitted a number of representations to the municipal corporation, but to no avail.

This year, the pilot project to lift door-to-door garbage was started in Sector 22. After protests by sanitation workers and political interference, the project was scrapped.

Yograj Sharma, a resident of Sector 30, said in his area, sweepers cleaned roads but did not lift garbage.

“When I asked them to lift the garbage which they kept outside my house after sweeping, they said it was the job of another department. Finally, I had to lift the garbage,” he said.

At a recent meeting of the MC, Congress councillor Subhash Chawla had demanded a list of sweepers and garbage lifters in his area. He had pointed out that on paper there were plenty of sweepers but in reality there were no sweepers in many parts of the city.

Social worker BD Belwal, a resident of Sector 45, said in his Sector every week two "apni mandis" were organised, which generated a lot of garbage. Sweepers often did not come to clean the ground for two to three days, which created problems for residents.

Besides roads, heaps of garbage can be seen in parks and green belts in the city. Garbage can be seen scattered in newly inaugurated green belts as well.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik said there was a shortage of staff in the department. To improve sanitation in the city, regular supervision was required for which more staff needed to be hired, she said.

She said this year a few decisions were taken to improve sanitation which were yet to be implemented.

Three mechanised sweeping machines, purchased at a cost of Rs 5 crore, failed to yield the desired results. The maintenance cost of the machines is very high, making it difficult for the MC to use these machines regularly.

Messy affair

  • Sweepers do not come regularly to clean streets
  • Garbage is not being collected regularly
  • Lack of supervisory staff to monitor garbage collection 

costly machines

Three mechanised sweeping machines, purchased at a cost of Rs 5 crore, failed to yield the desired results. The maintenance cost of the machines is very high, making it difficult for the MC to use these machines regularly. 


Dec 13 coldest day of season
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
City residents experienced the coldest day of the season with the Met Office recording minimum temperature at 11 degrees Celsius and maximum at 25 degrees Celsius today. Cold winds swept the city for the whole day and the people were forced to remain inside their homes.

Many trains were affected due to fog in the vicinity. The Himalayan Queen was delayed by an hour while the morning Kalka Shatabdi was delayed by 15 minutes.

There was thin traffic on the city roads. Those moving on two-wheelers had to cover themselves with extra layer of woollens. The worst affected were daily wage earners and roadside vendors.

"It's really cold and commuting on two-wheelers is very painful. But, we can't do much as tuition classes will surely have an effect on our board results," said Gaurav, a student who lives in Sector 50.

Employees in offices huddled around heaters or blowers and had rounds of tea. Markets were almost deserted during the evening. Shopkeepers selling jackets, sweaters, geysers and convectors reported a brisk sale.

For the poor in the city, there was no respite from the cold. Rickshaw pullers, slum dwellers and labourers waiting for jobs at roundabouts shivered throughout the day. For women and children living in slums and colonies, the day was spent collecting dry leaves and wood to be used for making a bonfire at night.

Met Office Director Surinder Pal Singh said rain was expected in the next 24 hours which would further drop the temperatures and fog would also became dense. He said the cold-wave conditions were likely to continue in the city for the next few days.

He said the clear skies in the day meant more cold in the evening. In the next three or four days the fog will ease. The cold-wave conditions will continue and fog is likely to return. The official confirmed that the ongoing weather conditions were just like "severe cold wave''.



Tribunal stays order for repatriation of 69 cops
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
A day after the UT police ordered for the immediate repatriation of 69 policemen to their parent states, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has stayed the order after 32 of the affected policemen moved the Tribunal today. A division bench of the CAT has issued notices to the Home Ministry, the UT Home Secretary and the UT Inspector General of Police (IGP) to file a reply to the petition by January 21.

The DIG, Alok Kumar, had yesterday issued orders for immediate repatriation of 69 policemen, including constables and head constables, to their parent states complying with the MHA directions.

A total of 32 policemen moved the Tribunal today seeking a stay on their repatriation orders. They stated in the petition that they joined the services of the UT police on deputation between 1978 and 1991 and have spent about 35 years with the UT police. While seeking a stay on the orders, the policemen stated that they had given up on their promotion all these years since they were on deputation and were brought at a time when there services were required here the most.

While seven of the 32 policemen, who moved CAT, are going to retire within six months, 22 of them are getting medical treatment for either themselves or their spouses from the PGI. Another 10 of the constables and head constables have their children getting education in the city and thus shifting mid term will not suit them.

They also alleged that when they were brought on deputation as per the Punjab Police Rules, there was no fixed tenure and they were not informed of any such rules for repatriation. They also said they were not given a hearing and were repatriated all of a sudden which is against the rules.

A majority of the 69 policemen who were repatriated are from Punjab while the rest from Haryana.



Golden jubilee PGI alumni convention tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
The PGIMER will organise golden jubilee alumni convention on December 15. More than 500 alumni of the institute, both from India and abroad, have registered to participate in it. Union Minister for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal will inaugurate the convention at 12 noon in Bhargava Auditorium, PGI.

The alumni convention will provide an opportunity for several alumni of the earlier periods who have qualified in 1960s and 1970s to come back and revisit their alma mater and meet their teachers a large number of whom are settled in the Tricity. Some of the eminent alumni from abroad who are listed to speak include Drs. Sabyasachi Mahapatra, Sanjeev Gupta, Brian Pereira, Anupam Agarwal, S. Bhusnurmath and D Panigrahi.

PGI with different educational courses and programme has produced about 6000 of medical specialists and superspecialists and a large number of graduates and postgraduates in allied and basic sciences such as nursing, radiodiagnosis, laboratory technology and physiotherapy.

Blood donation camp

The Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association will be organising a blood donation camp in Sector 37 at Kumar Rasoi to meet the shortage of blood.

The 13th Blood Donation Camp is being organised on December 15 from 9 am to 2.30 pm in Kumar Rasoi. Voluntary donors/social organisations are welcome to donate blood for the welfare of thalassaemics.

The camp will be conducted by a team of doctors and technicians headed by Dr Neelam Marwaha, Head of Department of Blood Transfusion.



MC to construct more road gullies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
A meeting of the Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh was held here today under the chairmanship of Mukesh Bassi and attended by members of the committee and senior officers of the corporation.

In the committee meeting, the members approved the construction of additional road gullies in Sector 40 D at a cost of Rs 3.69 lakh. Besides, a project to lay sewerage line and construction of road gullies in Sector 29 B at a cost of Rs 7.19 lakh was also approved.

The members also approved additional sewerage line and road gullies to check water logging in low-lying area in Badheri village at a cost of Rs 7.8 lakh.



CTU to ply separate buses for girl students soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will soon start separate buses for school and college-going girls. The decision has been taken taken to safeguard the girls from eve-teasing,especially inside buses. Officials of the department said they were at presently identifying the routes and the number of girl students, who could avail the service, following which the service would begin.

The issue was also discussed with the SSP at a meeting yesterday. CTU GM SP Parmar said the buses were expected to start by February or March next year. "Our new fleet of buses will also come by that time. Meanwhile, we are working on the route plan with the help of the Education Department and the police authorities," Parmar said. About the number of buses, he said 3 or4 buses would be made available for girl student but they would increase the frequency and the number of buses as per the requirement.

"Meanwhile, the department has increased the number of special buses from 20 to 25 on different routes for school students in the morning hours," he said.



Ban on setting up shops near national highway
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 13
District Magistrate Varun Roozam today imposed a ban on setting up shops along the Ambala-Zirakpur stretch of the national highway to avoid traffic hazards.

Roozam said it had been brought to his notice by the project director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Chandigarh, that fruit and other vendors had set up their shops along the National Highway from Ambala to Zirakpur, thereby causing serious traffic hazards to the commuters. In the interest of public safety and to maintain the smooth flow of traffic on the highway, it was necessary to remove and stop setting up such shops.

The District Magistrate ordered that no fruit and other article vendors or any other temporary shops would be allowed to operate on the national highway passing through SAS Nagar district.

Roozam said it had also been brought to his notice by the NHAI project director that some establishment owners, who had their premises along the national highways, might fill up the trenches dug on the adjoining national highway and access it in an unauthorised way, thereby occasioning the risk of obstruction to persons using the road.

He ordered that no establishment owners along the national highways passing through the district would fill up the trenches dug up by the national highways authorities or try to access the highways in any other manner without taking prior permission from the Ministry of Surface Transport and National Highways, Government of India.

The orders would remain enforce till February 3.



PU building lies unused
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

A classroom for MA students; and (right) a locked room in the building at the PU in Chandigarh.
A classroom for MA students; and (right) a locked room in the building at the PU in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, December 13
Despite the fact that a new building for the newly established departments at PU was inaugurated in July this year, the departments have failed to utilise the infrastructure provided to them. The departments, including the Centre for Human Rights, Centre for Police Administration and Center for Social Works and the University Institute of Fashion Technology (UIFT), are not being able to move to the places, allocated to them. Meanwhile, the students are suffering the most as they are being forced to attend the classes in the congested rooms.

The building was constructed for the departments, started by the university in the recent years. The departments, which were already suffering from the shortage of space, had shifted to the ground floor of the building in January 2011.

The facade of the newly constructed building at the PU.
The facade of the newly constructed building at the PU.

Interestingly, even after the five months of the inauguration of the building, the departments have failed to shift to the allotted places. The allocation of the floors to the departments has already been made, however, only the Centre for Women Studies and Development has shifted to the second floor of the building.

"We fail to understand why after the completion of the building, only one department could shift there. Why the remaining departments are reluctant to shift even after so many months and forcing us to attend the classes in the congested room," said a student of the Centre for Social Works.

Sources said that faculty of UIFT had also approached the coordinators of the remaining departments, urging them to shift to the space allocated to them.

Anil Monga, coordinator of the Centre for Police Administration, refused to comment on the issue. Swaranjit Kaur, coordinator of Centre for Human Rights, said all the departments were occupied with other work and soon they would shift to the floors, allocated to them.



Students donate Rs 70,000 for child’s treatment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
Continuing their efforts to help critically-ill children, who cannot afford treatment Nav Sankalp, a students run charity at DAV College, donated Rs 70, 000 for the treatment of a two-year-old child, suffering from a heart disease. They have already donated Rs 1.40 lakhs to patients this year.

Ishali Negi, a member of Nav Sankalp, said the money had been donated for the treatment of Ajit, whose parents were labourers at a construction site. The students have been raising the funds for medical treatment through various events. "We organise a mega charity event in the college named Sparkles and the money collected after selling tickets is utilised for helping children from economic weaker sections," Ishali said.

The students also raise funds through market collection. Earlier in August, the organisation donated Rs 10,000 for the eye implantation of a 15-year-old girl, hailing from Nepal. In February, the students had donated Rs 70,000 for the treatment of a three-month-old Harkirath, who was suffering from a cardiac ailment.

The students said they had collaborated with the child specialists at the PGI for the cause. The members of Nav Sankalp believe that a large number of children die every year because they are deprived of medical treatment and they want to help such children.



Chandigarh scan
Blankets donated

Vishav Mangal Ruhani Kendra, Navan Nagar, distributed blankets among poor people living at the PGI’s serais. The blankets were distributed among Rotary and Gurdwara serais at the PGI.


Jasbinder Kaur, Head, Department of Biochemistry at the GMCH, Sector-32, Chandigarh, has been declared the incoming president of the Association of Medical Biochemists of India (AMBI) in the 20th Annual National Conference of the Association of Medical Biochemists of India (AMBICON-2012), held at Bhubaneswar (Orrisa) from December 7 to 10. The honour has been conferred to her in recognition of her contributions to the field of medical biochemistry.


The Indian School of Business and Finance (ISBF), an affiliate centre to the University of London, organised a carrier counselling seminar at British Library, Sector 9. As many as 100 students from various schools of the tricity, along with teachers and parents, took part in the seminar. Charushilla Narula, Head, admissions and students affairs, University of London Programmes, ISBF, dispelled the doubts of students who often found themselves at crossroads after class XII. The students were guided to choose career options according to their aptitude. The seminar was based on the aspects of choosing the right course after class XII.

Funds donated

Desh Bhagat University donated Rs 51,000 to the Dhumi Youth Sports Club, Saunti village, for the promotion of kabaddi. The club and the Gram Panchayat of Saunti village, organised a three-day Kabaddi Sports Fair at the village and Desh Bhagat University rendered full cooperation in the matter. The goodwill gesture is being appreciated in the whole area. The Dhumi Youth Sports Club and the Gram Panchayat, Saunti village, thanked the Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University for the help and honoured him for his contribution to the cause of education and establishing a university in this area.


The All-India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations (AIFUCTO) today condemned the decision taken by the Cabinet of Punjab to repeal the pension scheme of 1996 meant for the staff of aided colleges. Dr Jagwant Singh, vice-president, AIFUCTO, said it was shameful that the government had been keeping the pension scheme, which was issued in 1996, in limbo on one pretext or the other and now in the face of an interim order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to implement the pension scheme it has withdrawn the scheme itself. He said it was highly regrettable that Punjab was the only state among the category ‘A’ states, which was not paying any pension to the staff. He said it was painful that when the court was about to deliver justice, the government took all steps to deny justice despite repeated assurances and promises by the Akali Dal in its manifestos to implement the scheme. It has been repealed despite the fact that the scheme was duly approved by the Punjab Assembly through unanimous resolution. — TNS



Scramble for admission forms

Chandigarh, December 13
Parents continued to scramble for buying admission forms at the city's four convent schools.

Like yesterday, hundreds of forms were sold at St John's School-26, Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, Carmel Convent, Sector 9, and St Anne's, Sector 32. An official of Sacred Heart School, Sector 26, said they had sold more than 500 forms today. H Mavi, press coordinator of St Anne's School said over 350 forms were sold today. — TNS



school notes
Annual sports day

The senior wing of Vivek High School, Sector 70, Mohali, celebrated the fourth annual sports day at the Stadium, Sector 46, Chandigarh, on Thursday . The sporting event was an excellent opportunity for the students to display athletic skills. The students participated with enthusiasm. The students enthralled the audience with Punjabi folk dance ludi. The synchronised taekwondo moves and the graceful formations on the tune of Vande Mataram were the highlight of the day . The programme lasted for about more than an hour. A variety of races were also held.

Disaster management

A team of the National Disaster Response Force, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Thursday and sensitised the students about about the chemical, radiological, nuclear problems. The team also demonstrated the methods to deal with a disasters and told about preventive measures.


The city is all set to host the KidFest-2012. The preliminary events will start on December 15 at Bal Bhavan, Sector 23. These events will culminate at the annual KidFest Show, to be held at Kala Gram on December 22-23. The known talent, including Chatura Rao, Lovleen Misra, Gurcharan Singh, Ankit Chadha, Fouzia, Shivani Dhillon, Laili Hazarika, Latika Mangrulkar, Ram Gopal, Preet Onkar Singh will participate along with a large number of schoolchildren in a number of activities like story-telling, music, drama, dance While giving details about the KidFest-2012, Nupur Singh, chief executive officer, Magic Makers, said: "Our objective is to bring about a change in the mindset of the younger generation towards literature, creative writing." — TNS



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