C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jyoti’s 7-minute struggle for life
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 18
Minutes before 24-year-old Jyoti gave in to Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary and his three accomplices on November 22, she was jabbed with knees and kicked while she was being strangulated in a car. She put up a brave front for seven minutes before losing her fight for life.

The trauma suffered by the victim moments before she died came to the fore during the questioning of the assailants. To ensure that she could not be identified, the assailants crushed her face under the tyre of a truck.

Police sources alleged the MLA held her legs while his nephews - Gurmeet and Dharampal - hit her with their knees in her stomach and Paramjeet was busy strangulating her.

The assailants told the police that they could sense some movement in her body when her head was crushed under the tyre of the truck.

"Chaudhary said he held Jyoti's legs and Gurmeet and Dharampal hit her in the stomach while holding her hands and Paramjeet strangulated her," said a Panchkula police official.

When Jyoti tried to resist, Chaudhary and his accomplices thrashed her. "After a struggle of seven minutes, Jyoti gave up. When she was thrown out of the car half dead, the accused said her eyes were open and she could see the truck coming towards her. But she was helpless," added the police official.

The police will also collect Gurmeet and Dharampal's hair samples to match them with those found on the victim's sweater.

Truck driver Tilak Raj told the police that the accused asked him for his truck. "Tilak Raj said he had no idea why the accused was asking for his truck. As Tilak worked for Paramjeet, he gave him the vehicle which he later returned," said a police official.

Chaudhary had told the police that on the pretext of taking her for an outing for three days, he and Dharmpal picked up Jyoti. He tried to convince her saying he was busy as elections were nearing and did not want to continue the relationship.

But the victim started threatening him saying she would tell his wife that she was carrying his child. Following which, he along with Gurmeet and Paramjeet strangulated her.

"Jyoti used to call on the unofficial number of the MLA. Jyoti had purchased another SIM card using her sister Ishu's identity proof. She had called Chaudhary from that number. The phone call gave us the lead," the police added.

I am innocent: Chaudhary

"I am innocent, that's all I can say," said Ram Kumar Chaudhary, while talking to mediapersons in the court. Chaudhary said the police made him sign a blank paper.

Police remand extended

A local court on Friday extended the police remand of Ram Kumar Chaudhary by two days. The police is yet to recover the SIM card that was used at the time of the crime. The police will also cross examine Gurmeet and Dharampal. The defence has also moved an application urging the court to enable Chaudhary to take oath as an MLA in Shimla on a working day. On January 8, 2012, when other members of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha were taking oath, Chaudhary had surrendered in a Panchkula court. Chaudhary will be produced in the court on January 20.

Victim was thrown out of car half dead

When she was thrown out of the car half dead, the accused said her eyes were open and she could see the truck coming towards her. But she was helpless.



UT Admn earns Rs 4.03 lakh from RTI applications
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Right of Information (RTI) Act has become a tool for ensuring transparency, accountability and tackling corruption with residents using this Act to procure information from various departments of the Chandigarh Administration.

In the 2011-12 fiscal, the UT Administration received 12,942 RTI applications, an average of 35 applications per day.

The applications have increased over the years. In 2009-10, the administration received 10,031 applications and in 2010-11, the UT got 10,404 applications.

In a reply to a query filed by RTI activist RK Garg, the administration stated it generated Rs 2,37,071 in 2009-10, Rs 2,30,998 in 2010-11 and Rs 4,03,435 2011-12. The administration generated Rs 31 per application on an average in 2011-12.

RK Garg said the data provided by the UT Administration revealed that many applications were not filed before the departments concerned. The authorities should create awareness on the RTI Act, he said.

A total of 1,548 applications were transferred to other departments in 2009-10, 2,177 in 2010-11 and 2,232 in 2011-12.

Similarly, the number of rejected applications also doubled from 316 in 2009-10 to 678 in 2011-12.

A majority of RTI application were filed in the Home Department, the Estate Office, the Municipal Corporation and the police.

In 2011-12, the police received 4,503 applications, the Municipal Corporation 795, the Estate Office 2,117 and the Home Department received 592 applications.

12,942 applications received

The UT Administration received Rs 12,942 RTI applications in 2011-12, Rs 10,031 in 2009-10 and Rs 10,404 in 2010-11. The Administration generated Rs 2,37,071 in 2009-10, Rs 2,30,998 in 2010-11 and Rs 4,03,435 2011-12. The administration generated Rs 31 per application on an average in 2011-12



Licence of 13 liquor vends suspended
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Excise and Taxation Department of Chandigarh today suspended the licence of 13 liquor vends for their failure to deposit fee of over Rs 10 crore.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner ordered suspension of the licences under the Punjab Excise Rules as contractors failed to appear before the officials till January 14.

Commissioner (Excise and Taxation) Mohammed Shayin said the contractors had been given time till January 31 to deposit the fee, failing which the vends would be permanently sealed.

The vends in question are Industrial Area, Ram Darbar, Mani Majra, Daria, Hallo Majra, Sectors 7, 9, 17 26, 35, 51 and 52.

Though the last date to deposit the licence fee was October 31, 2012, the contractors failed to deposit the amount despite being reminded a number of times.

The contractors said due to fixed quota of liquor and corresponding less sales, they were finding it hard to deposit the fee.

As per the excise policy, a liquor contractor has to lift around 19,000 cartons of the IMFL in a year. But the actual counter sale does not exceed 8,000 cartons.

A contractor has to pay a fee of Rs 200 per carton for not lifting the same.

To reduce the quota, the contractors are now smuggling liquor within the city.

Last year, the Excise and Taxation Department was able to ensure that fee against the quota was paid as allocated quota had not been lifted. Under the current policy, the annual quota of country liquor is 27 lakh proof litre and that of the IMFL at 2 crore proof litre.



kidnapping case
Accused spend night at Panipat hotel
Outsmart police despite being trailed; new SIM card used each time a ransom call is made
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The accused couple in the kidnapping case of a three-year-old girl stayed at a Panipat hotel last night with the girl. A police team raided the hotel today, but the accused had left the place by the time the police reached there.

A separate police team has also been dispatched to Kaithal where the accused had stayed on Wednesday night with the girl and at the hotel in Panipat, sources said. The police today formed a special investigating team (SIT) under the supervision of Satbir Singh, DSP (Crime), for follow up on the case.

The police also rounded up a person, who had reportedly communicated with the accused inside the hotel and had heard the conversation between abductors. Police sources said the person refused to divulge details but confirmed that a girl child was there with the couple.

Priya Arora and Harish Arora, parents of the victim girl, have been accompanying the police parties that are conducting raids in different parts of Haryana ever since the girl has been kidnapped.

The police chasing accused Jagpal Beniwal and his accomplice Chirag traced the hotel and questioned the employees for clues. The police got vital information that the couple came there and the child Harmeini was in their custody.

Three-year-old Harmeini was kidnapped on January 15 by her father’s business partner Jagpal, who demanded a ransom of Rs 60 lakh from the family. The accused fled with the girl along with his girlfriend Chirag, who is also an accused in the case.

Three days have passed ever since the child was kidnapped, the police has not been able to recover the girl as the accused is frequently changing locations and switches off his mobile phone each time he makes a ransom call.

Yesterday, the accused had purchased a new SIM card to make the ransom call and the tower location was traced to Hisar. The police has also rounded up a person in Hisar.

Four separate police teams are on the job to trace the accused and recover the girl. Two teams have been sent to Narwana in Jind district, the native place of Jagpal, while another team has rounded up the suspects who are in touch with Chirag. A police team was sent to Delhi while another team was sent to Panipat today.

In the past three days ever since the girl was kidnapped, the police has raided various places in Haryana, Delhi, Jind, Kaithal, Hisar as well as Panipat to trace the accused but each time the kidnappers have managed to con the police.

Bank accounts sealed

The police on Friday sealed both the bank accounts of accused Jagpal as well as Chirag. The police said they couldn’t evade the police for long and were expected to surrender before them.

Child addresses Chirag as ‘masi’

Police investigations revealed that the kidnapped girl addressed the female accused, Chirag, as her “masi” and was extremely close to her.



School yet to be inaugurated
Was constructed over a month ago; pending administrative work leads to delay
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, january 18
Government Smart School that was constructed in Sector 53 over a month ago is yet to be inaugurated.

It is the second smart school in the city.

The school has high-tech facilities. Projectors have also been installed in all classrooms. The beautification work has also been completed.

Sources said the reason behind the delay was the pending administrative work.

The sources said the education department was not deputing teachers.

“The department is mulling over starting the school from the next academic session.

But when everything is in place, why the department is delaying the inauguration,” said an official.

Sources said the list of 854 students who would be shifted from GMSSS-45 and other government schools to the smart school had already been prepared.

It took the department more than four months to get the first smart school inaugurated last year. Its inauguration was postponed four times as the department took several months to complete the technical arrangements.

“There should be no delay,” said a official.

DEO Ram Kumar Sharma could not be contacted.

Three more smart schools are expected to start in the next academic session. Next in line is the smart school in Sector 54 the work on which is under way. Besides, there is a proposal to upgrade two government schools, GMSSS-16 and GMSSS-35.

An amount of about Rs 1.20 crore will be spent on the schools.


Inclement weather slows down speed posts, mails in city
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Residents enjoy the cloudy weather at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Friday
Residents enjoy the cloudy weather at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Friday. 
Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
People take shelter in front of the district courts in Sector 1, as it rained heavily in Panchkula on Friday
People take shelter in front of the district courts in Sector 1, as it rained heavily in Panchkula on Friday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, January 18
Bad weather for the past fortnight in the region has adversely affected the postal department services in the city. Due to cancellation of flights and delay in trains, the mails which are usually received by residents in three to four days have been delayed by a week or more. The worst affected are the speed post mails, which have been delayed by a fortnight.

One of the complainant, Major General (retired)HC Sachdeva, said that he was running from pillar to post for the past 10 days to enquire about the two speed posts which were sent to him by his son from New Delhi. But all in vain, as the officials of the department did not tell him the reason behind the delay in delivery.

Expressing concern at the gross inefficiency of the postal department he said that he had received his first speed post after six days and second after a fortnight, which were supposed to be delivered within a day as per the norms of the department.

This is not the only case in which the customers have been at the receiving end, in many cases, important documents have been received through the speed post after a week. The postal department has been flooded with complaints as the speed posts have been delayed in the last fortnight.

Jaspal Singh, assistant director, postal department, admitted that there had been delay in the delivery of mails in the city due to cancellation of flights and delay in arrival of trains. He said that to cope with the situation, the staff of the postal department was delivering the mails to the residents even on holidays. He said that the problem was temporary and would be resolved once the weather became clear.

Similar is the story of the routine mails. Akanksha Gupta visited the postal office twice in the past one week to enquire about the mail which her friend had sent to her. But the officials have the same reply that till the trains and flights reach the city on time no mail could be delivered to the residents on time.

Sources in the postal department said that today also no mails were delivered in the morning shift as the trains were late by nine hours. The workload was more on the second-shift staff they said.

It will continue to rain today

The Met department has forecast that there will be partly cloudy sky with fog and it will continue to rain tomorrow. The 35.2 mm rainfall threw life out of gear and the temperature dipped five notches. As per the report of the met department the maximum temperature recorded today was 15.8 degree Celsius and minimum 11.5 degree Celsius. Met officials stated that due to continuous rain in the past two days, the temperature would dip further in coming two days. The official said that it was due to the impact of the western disturbance that there was rain and hailstorm in the city.



Mohali resident tests positive for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
A Mohali resident tested positive for swine flu today. The patient has been admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

It was on January 15 when a patient from Solan died of swine flu at the PGI, raising the death toll to five.

The cases reported so far, include five from the city and 15 from other states, including Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. Four deaths were reported in the past two weeks, including the death of a Mani Majra-based patient, last week.



UT to form panel to keep check on functioning of clubs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The UT Administration has decided to form a committee consisting of officials of the estate office, excise department and finance department, to keep a check on the functioning of the city clubs.

The UT Administration plans to keep a check on the commercial activity going on in the clubs. Presently, the Chandigarh Administration is in the process of finalising the lease of the Chandigarh Club, Central Club etc.

Recently, the UT Administration had finalised the new lease deed of the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) with effect from March 16, 2008.

According to the new lease, the club was asked to shell out Rs 1.54 crore annually.

The UT decision was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the court had directed the UT and the golf club to settle the dispute amicably.

A senior official of the UT Administration said that they were yet to receive the certified copy of the High Court order.

He also said that they would soon hold a meeting with the golf club officials.

Regarding the formation of a committee, he said that they would also take views of the management of various clubs on the issue so that things could be worked out properly.



Road safety week observed

Chandigarh, January 18
As part of the 24th Road Safety Week-2013, the Chandigarh traffic police yesterday organised road safety workshops at Government College, Sector 46, Government Home Science College, Sector 10, Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42, Infosys’s IT Park, Institute of Hotel Management, Sector 42, Chandigarh, and DAV College, Sector 10.

Traffic marshals delivered lectures on road safety and distributed road safety literatures among the participants.

Films on road safety were also shown to audience to make them aware of traffic rules and regulations.

Reflectors were pasted on non-motorised vehicles at the ISBT-43 and the ISBT-17. More than 125 reflectors were pasted on cycle rickshaws.

A trauma response workshop was organised at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Sector 31, Chandigarh, for the police personnel of traffic, PCR and IRB. More than 184 policemen from the traffic, PCR and IRB attended the workshop. Dr Manpreet Singh and other doctors from the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care imparted practical training to the participants.

The DSP Traffic also delivered a lecture on the importance of trauma response for the police personnel. — TNS



Chandigarh scan
Teachers awarded

The Prof DN Trikha Excellence in Research Publication Award-2010 has been conferred on Prof A Manna, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Prof Vasundhara Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Sciences, PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh. The award has been instituted by Prof DN Trikha, an alumnus of PEC, former professor and Head, IIT-Roorkee, for encouraging research publications through papers in refereed international journals among faculty members at PEC annually.

Centre adopted

Taaleem India has adopted the Vividha Centre as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. Taaleem India will manage Vividha’s operations and fund the centre’s facilities like library and other sections. The idea is to develop a culture of education and knowledge acquisition amongst children living in villages. The mission is to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behavioural change that will enable village children, youth and adults to excel in all spheres of life, said Jaiprakash Hasrajani, cofounder and CEO, Taaleem India.

Mayawati’s birthday celebrated

Members of the BSP, Chandigarh, on Friday celebrated party supremo Mayawati’s birthday. BSP Chandigarh coordinator and councillor Jannat Jahaan Ul Haq, along with BSP, Chandigarh, convener Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq, distributed blankets, sweets and fruits among needy people to mark her birthday.

Sadbhawna Yatra

Satish Kainth, Deputy Mayor, Municipal Corporation, welcomed the Sadbhawna Yatra named "Gandhi Doot Sadbhawna Yatra", at the Municipal Corporation Office on Friday. The yatra started from Kashmir on January 12 and will end in Kanyakumari on February 14. — TNS



PU Controller of Exams joins as Deputy DPI
Would join PU after taking relieving orders from Punjab Government
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The newly appointed Controller of Examinations (CoE) at Panjab University has joined as Deputy DPI (College and Planning) with the Punjab Government. The CoE would now be joining PU after taking relieving orders from the government.

Parvinder Singh of the Punjab cadre was presently on deputation in Chandigarh working with the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42. In 2011, he was directly recruited as the principal through the Punjab Public Service Commission, and even he was selected as the CoE at PU in the same year.

The PPSC selections went under litigation and finally by the end of 2012, the selection process was completed. Singh’s selection made by the high powered committee as the CoE was opposed by PU Syndicate. It was finally during the Senate meeting held on December 22 last when the university gave a node to his appointment.

Parvinder Singh said before joining as the CoE at the university, he wanted to join as a principal. “As the post of Deputy DPI was vacant, I was appointed for the post and I preferred to join there first, and take relieving orders from the state government,” Singh said.

Singh said he was soon going to apply for the relieving orders from the government so that he could join the university as the CoE.

“I will join the university by February,” he said.

He added that after joining as the CoE, his top priority would be to streamline the examination process.



New Academic Session
SOPU announces panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today announced its new panel for the upcoming academic session. The new panel would lead the party in the student council elections.

While Rashpal Hakuwala would be the party president, Arshnoor Dhillon would be the campus president.

The other two names for the post of chairman and state president will be announced before the beginning of new session.

The ongoing rift within the party was witnessed during the function as Manoj Lubana, who is presently the president, and Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president Satinder Singh, who is also from SOPU, were missing on the occasion.

The SOPU party has already received a jolt after the heavy weight Brinder Dhillon, who had led the party for over six years, joined NSUI in Punjab. It is further going to have a tough time in the student council elections to be held later this year with Manoj Lubana keeping himself away from the party.

Party sources said both new leaders were backed by SOPU state president Vikramjit Singh Medukheda, following which Lubana and his loyalists preferred to stay away the from the formal announcement of the office-bearers.

The new SOPU panel, along with the party workers, took an oath to work for the welfare of students.



Zirakpur students prepare radio show for BBC

Chandigarh, January 18
Students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, scripted as well as enacted a captivating radio drama to be broadcast worldwide by BBC London in association with NASA as a Mars awareness programme. The Mars project of the students here won the first prize at the NASA’s Student Space Settlement Design Competition at the International Space Development Conference held in May 2012 at Washington DC.

Recently, NASA in collaboration with Julia Tcharfas, an artist and curator working on a series of exhibitions focusing on space colonisation design history for BBC London, had asked the school to develop a radio drama based on its first prize-winning project “Space Colonisation at Mars”.

The script is a fiction, set inside a space settlement on Mars based upon the students’ project on “Space Colonisation at Mars”. The involvement of the students in the project drove their imagination to the red planet - Mars. They wrote a fiction story covering different scientific concepts explained in the project.

The script, which is written by the students, revolves around the space settlement and two children who accidentally reach Mars, along with their scientist parents.

“The experience during the adventure trip is edifying, at times humorous, and also has suspense elements associated with it,” said Mitul Dikshit, chairman of the school.

The radio script was recorded in a studio in Chandigarh and will soon be aired worldwide by BBC London and Resonance 104.4 FM. — TNS



From Schools and Colleges
1,000 take part in painting contest

About 1,000 students from various schools across the tricity of Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali participated in the young artist painting competition at The British School, Panchkula. Expressions by children, their inspiring ideas, vibrant designs, confidence, and clear understanding of the topic, their remarkable composure while competing were some of the features these impressive paintings displayed effectively. The participants were given drawing sheets wherein they effectively showcased their talent in drawing and colouring. DK Bansal, MLA, Panchkula, was the chief guest on the occasion. Cartoonist Sandeep Joshi and artist RM Singh were the jury members.

Colloquium held

A colloquium was held to discuss the present education system at Panjab University on Thursday. Principals, teachers, students and even parents from across the tricity gathered to be a part of the discussion. The event had reputed panelists such as author Khushwant Singh, Renu Vig (Director, UIET), Dr Tankeshwar (Director, Computer Centre), Dr Manu Sharma and Gaurav Sapra to streamline the discussion. Differing point of views were recorded during the colloquium. Principals felt that the system had to be changed from the grass-roots level to bring about a change. They felt that small reforms were not enough, but a revolution was needed to change the system. As proved by the latest CTET exam in which less than 2per cent teachers got through, they felt that better teachers were needed. Teachers felt that workload should be reduced and better pay scales and new methods for teaching should be adopted for making it a better system. — 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 |