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panchkula murder
Jyoti’s cellphone found
Tribune News Service

Raids conducted in Punjab
Raids were conducted by the Panchkula police in Punjab to recover Chaudhary’s mobile phones and nab his accomplices, Gurmeet, Dharampal and Paramjeet, on Saturday evening.

MLA RK Chaudhary comes out of the General Hospital in Panchkula, after a medical examination. A file photo

Panchkula, January 12
In another major development in the Jyoti murder case, the police today claimed to have recovered one of the two mobile phones of the deceased from Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary. Both the mobile phones had been missing since the day Jyoti was murdered.

However, the police is tight-lipped about the place from where the victim’s mobile phone has been recovered. Sources said the cellphone had been recovered from Baddi.

The police had questioned the MLA about Jyoti’s mobile phones. Regarding his own cellphones, the MLA had told the police that he lost them on the day of election results when thousands of supporters thronged his residence at Sandholi, Baddi.

“One of the mobile phones of Jyoti has been recovered and the other still needs to be found,” a source said.

“The MLA informed us that on the day of election results, there was a huge rush at his residence with thousands of supporters thronging the house to greet him. He said not only his mobile phone but also his wife’s cellphone got misplaced in that rush,” said an officer of the Panchkula police.

The police today searched for Chaudhary’s mobile phones in Punjab where a high-profile leader had reportedly given him shelter.

The Panchkula police had recovered the car, which was reportedly used in the crime, from Chaudhary’s house on Thursday. However, the police is yet to find who actually used the car. The police had looked for major clues at a hotel in Baddi where Jyoti used to meet the accused quite often.

Chaudhary surrendered before a Panchkula court on Tuesday, the day he had to take the oath at a ceremony in the Assembly House in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The Panchkula police had got the arrest warrants of four accused in the Jyoti murder case namely Ram Kumar Chaudhary, Gurmeet, Dharampal and Paramjeet. The other three have absconded.

Jyoti (24) was found murdered on November 22 in Panchkula. The deceased, who hailed from Hoshiarpur, was reportedly in touch with the MLA and the other accused. The post-mortem of the body has revealed that the girl recently underwent an abortion.



Sukhna eco-zone
Ministry sets fresh deadline
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
While the UT Administration has failed to declare an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in the past two years, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has now set February 15 as the deadline for the Chandigarh Administration to declare the eco-sensitive zone.

In a strong-worded letter to the UT Administration, it has been stated that if the Chandigarh Administration does not meet the deadline, the ministry will declare a 10-km stretch around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary as the eco-sensitive zone, where development projects would be completely banned.

The letter issued by the ministry states that the Ministry of Environment and Forests is of the opinion that the state governments and the Union Territories should be given one last opportunity to submit their proposals by February 15. In case the sate governments and the Union Territories fail to submit the proposals within the stipulated period, the activities that have been prohibited under the guidelines would stand prohibited within 10 km of the boundary of the national parks and sanctuaries, the letter reads.

The ministry issued these directions to the states and union territories because two petitions filed in 1995 and 2004 in connection with the ESZ issue are pending in the Supreme Court.

In Chandigarh, a committee of experts, which had been constituted under the Deputy Commissioner to identify and recommend an eco-sensitive zone around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, had submitted its report to the UT Administration in February, 2012. But, the UT officials have failed to finalise anything in this regard.

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary catchment is around 36 km, of which only 2 km falls under the jurisdiction of the UT Administration and the rest under the jurisdiction of the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

Departments have different points
The office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and the UT Forest and Wildlife Department have submitted different points on the restrictions in the proposed eco sensitive zone. The DC’s office had maintained that construction should be allowed according to the UT building bylaws in the area from the boundary of the sanctuary till a distance of 500 metres. The Forest and Wildlife Department has submitted that the building bylaws will be changed over time and the height of structures should be fixed between 24 feet and 26 feet to save the wildlife and forest area.



Minor raped by driver
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A 14-year-old girl got three-month pregnant after she was allegedly raped by a driver. The accused, Vikas (19), who is a resident of Sector 25, has been arrested. The police has sent the girl to a ‘nari niketan’.

According to the police, the minor girl had gone missing from her house on November 29, 2012. Her father Ramesh Kumar, who is a class IV employee at Panjab University, had lodged a missing complaint with the police. Later, a kidnapping case was registered.

However, five days after she had gone missing, she returned home. She had told her parents that she had left the house on her own. A few days ago the girl complained of pain in the abdomen. Her parents took her to a hospital where it was confirmed she was about two-month pregnant.

The police, on a complaint of her family, got a medical examination of the victim done. The report confirmed she was raped.

The police said the victim was studying in Class V but her parents did not let her go to the school after the incident.

The court also referred her case to the Social Welfare Department and arranged her visit to a psychiatrist. The police has registered a rape case against the accused at the Sector 11 police station.



Neighbours ‘abduct’ 4-month-old baby
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A four-month-old baby was allegedly abducted by neighbours from her house in Sector 56, Chandigarh, yesterday. The neighbours, who used to take the baby to their house, have absconded.

The police said the baby was abducted in the afternoon soon after one of the neighbours, Neelam, took the baby to her house.

When the woman didn’t return with the baby, the parents started looking for the baby near the house. After some time they realised that she had been kidnapped.

Adam Ali, the baby’s father, alleged that his neighbours, Neelam and her husband Amit, had kidnapped his daughter. “The woman used to come to our home and take the baby along for the past few days,” he said.

Adam Ali, who works as a labourer, said on Friday, Neelam came to his house and took the baby along. “After 10 minutes, when my wife went to Neelam’s house to get the baby back she found that the couple had left the house,” he said.

The complainant stated that the couple was planning to leave the house and had shifted their belongings to some other place.

A case of kidnapping has been registered.



Few takers for vanity numbers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
In a withdrawal from the previous trend of an overwhelming response to the auctions of vanity numbers in Chandigarh, the Chandigarh Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has received only 264 applications for the auction of vanity numbers in the new CH 01 AR series.

Today was the last date for submitting applications. Though a total of 264 applications have been received by the RLA, only 38 numbers have more than one application. This means, for the remaining 158 numbers, there would be no bidding. As many as 900 applications were received for the auction of vanity numbers in the CH01 AQ series.

Officials attribute the poor response to the auction of vanity numbers to the start of New Year and the introduction of the UID card norm for applicants. The step of the RLA to amend the checklist for documents submitted as residence proof was also causing problem to many applicants.

Sources said the maximum number of applications had been received for the numbers, 9 and 55. “The entire exercise will conclude within a few hours,” said an official.


Opposition councillors boycott Lohri celebrations
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
While the Municipal Corporation today celebrated Lohri programme with much pomp and fanfare, the opposition councillors boycotted the function in the wake of death of 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim.

Though the theme of Lohri celebration at Sector 56 was 'say no to violence against women and girl child' yet the opposition councillors were against the much fanfare celebrations.

Moreover, opposition councillors were also unhappy because the city Mayor, Subhash Chawla, and MC officials did not consult them before finalising Lohri programme. Besides, the function was organised in the ward of Congress councillor.

BSP Councillor, Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq, said that she did not attend the celebrations, as she believes that MC should not celebrate function till the accused in Delhi gangrape victim gets punishment.

BJP Councillor, Saurabh Joshi, said neither they were consulted nor did the MC send any invitation card to them. He said instead of organising a programme of Punjabi singer, MC could have organised simple Lohri programme to mark respect to Delhi gangrape victim.

Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, city Mayor Subhash Chawla, Congress councillors, SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur and MC officials attended the Lohri programme, which was held in Palsora colony at Sector 56.

Bansal appreciated the initiative of Municipal Corporation for celebrating Lohri for a special cause on theme 'say no to violence against women and girl child'. He said that every men should respect women and girls and requested to stop violence against them.



Pinjore murder preplanned, says police

Panchkula, January 12
A day after a 65-year-old man was shot dead by five youths in Pinjore, the police said the motive was not robbery and it was a preplanned murder. The youngsters barged into his house late Friday night and also looted gold ornaments from the women.

The victim, Krishan Lal, was in the kitchen when the youths fired at him.

Police sources said it was a preplanned murder. Though the miscreants might have looted the gold ornaments of the women, their motive was to kill the elderly man, the police said.

“The way the miscreants fired at Krishan Lal shows that their motive was not to commit robbery. We are working on all the theories. It can be a family matter as well,” said a source in the Panchkula police.

The identification of the youths has still not been done by family members.

“The family members say they don’t remember the faces of the miscreants,” said Krishan Kumar Hooda, Assistant Commissioner of Police. — TNS



2 more swine flu cases reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Two more cases of swine flu were reported at the PGI here today. While one patient hails from Jharkhand, the other belongs to Punjab.

Both the patients have been put on ventilator. Now, the number of swine flu cases reported at the PGI has gone up to 18, of which 15 are from the region and three from the city. Yesterday, swine flu claimed the first life in the city.



rte act
No clarity over EWS seats
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
Even as the process of draw of lots has begun in the private schools, there seems to be no clarity over number of seats filled under the RTE Act for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and disadvantage group students so far.

Gurukul Global School was the first school in the town to draw its lots for the reserved RTE seats today. But as far as other schools are concerned, they have declared that their seats for the general category and reserved seats are yet to be filled.

Talking to the principal of DPS-40, Reema Dewan, she said the school had already reserved 37 seats for Economically Weaker Section students. Their forms are being scrutinised at present and soon the draw of lots, if required, will be conducted. APS Sidhu, principal of the Saupin’s School, Sector 32, said that they have already clarification from the department as how many seats would be reserved for the EWS category. "Moreover, we are waiting for the formal communication from the National Commission for the Minority Education Institutes about our minority status, he said.

As per the information, last year, the department had estimated about 1,180 reserved seats under the RTE Act in the unaided private schools here, out of which little over 50 per cent could be filled.

The uncertainty is looming large for next academic session as well. An RTE activist, Pankaj Chandgothia, said that the problem is that the private schools have no intention to admit the poor students. The administration on the other hand, too, has a lopsided and soft stand over the Act. “They have deliberately left the key issues of the RTE Act unaddressed to maintain the confusion over the implementation of the Act in the city, he said.

Sources in the department said that the number of reserved seats under the RTE Act may go down from the coming academic session as the Supreme Court's last year verdict has exempted as many as 13 city schools, enjoying minority status, from admitting 25 per cent children from the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and disadvantage group.

Besides, there are nearly seven schools that are already making efforts to attain minority status and there is confusion if they would fill their RTE seats.

Senior officials, however, clarified that the schools, which are seeking minority status, would have to adhere to the reservation under the RTE Act.

RK Sharma, District Education Officer, said that the department has a complete check over the RTE issue being filled by the schools here. Soon the information would be asked from them about the number of the RTE seats filled and vacant in the schools here.



draw of lots
More than 300 children lucky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
More than 300 entry-level seats for students were filled through the draw of lots held in three private schools here. The schools that filled the seats were Gurukul Global, Mani Majra, Strawberry Fields School, Sector 26, and Manav Mangal School, Sector 21. Strawberry school also conducted draw for its preparatory school at Sector 24.

Aruna Bhardwaj, principal of Gurukul Global School, Mani Majra, said the draw system remained satisfactory and smooth. A special videography was arranged for the whole procedure and parents were the one who picked up the ballot from the draw boxes, she said.

As many as 75 seats were filled for the general category and 18 for the EWS category through lucky draw, she informed.

In Manav Mangal School, Sector 21, a total of 90 seats were filled for the general category. School officials informed that more than 300 application forms were received out of which 90 candidates were selected through draw of lots.

The draw system held both at Strawberry Kindergarten School, Sector 24, as well as Strawberry Fields World School, Sector 26. Out of total 60 seats in Strawberry Kindergarten School, 45 were reserved for siblings’ alumni reservation and draw was held for 15 seats of general category.

In Strawberry Fields School, four seats were declared through draw of lots while 116 seats were reserved for siblings of staff and alumni and 40 for the EWS category.



from schools
Birth anniversary

Sharda Sarvhitkarai, Chandigarh celebrated Swami Vivekanand’s 150th birth anniversary. Seminars, quiz contests, debates along with talks on value education marked the long celebrations in the school. Green Field, Mohali, organised a lecture to mark the day. A poster-making competition was also held.


A workshop on theory of success was organised for the faculty at Gian Jyoti Public School, Phase II, Mohali. Valuable terms like IQ, focus, decision making ability and creative quotient were discussed.

Lohri celebrated

The students and staff members of Anees School, Mohali, celebrated Lohri on school campus where a bonfire was lit. A function was organised here on Saturday to celebrate the festival of lohri.

First aid programme organised

The four-day programme on ‘first aid and home nursing training’ organised by the Indian Red Cross Society St John Ambulance (India) at Shivalik Public School, Mohali, concluded here on Saturday. The programme was attended by all staff teachers. — TNS



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