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Terrorist lands in police net
Had carried out blast in a Haryana Roadways bus near Kurukshetra in 1985
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Seventy-year old terrorist, who had been on the run for the past 27 years, was arrested by the crime branch of the UT police last night. The accused, who has been identified as Santokh Singh Bajwa, was wanted for a bomb blast that took place in a Haryana Roadways bus near Kurukshetra in 1985. Two persons were killed and 15 injured in the blast. Bajwa has been a national-level athlete and has served as an ASI in the Punjab police for over one year in 1963. A pistol, rifle and 24 cartridges have been recovered from Bajwa, who has been sent to police remand till February 16.

Bajwa, a resident of Adhoi village in Kurukshetra district of Haryana, was living under a fake identity as Balwant Singh in Shalai village, near Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh.

The UT SSP, Naunihal Singh, said the police on Friday received information that Bajwa, who was arrested during Emergency in 1975, was going to Kharar in his car bearing a registration number of Delhi to meet someone.

“The police also had the information that Bajwa had been living under a fake identity as Balwant Singh and had also procured a fake driver’s licence and a fake press card of a freelance journalist. The police was also informed that Bajwa was carrying illegal weapons with him,” the SSP said.

A ‘naka’ was set up near a small roundabout on the road separating sectors 37 and 38 and Bajwa was arrested at around 11.45 pm.

A .30-bore loaded pistol with five cartridges in the magazine was found on him. During a search of the car, a 12 bore rifle, two cartridges and a magazine with 19 cartridges of .30-bore pistol were recovered. A laptop, a video-camera, a CD and three video tapes have also been seized by the police.

The bomb, which was fitted on a transistor, was planted on a bus by the accused and his three accomplices. The accused managed to escape while three of his accomplices namely Gurbaksh Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Pritam Singh were arrested by the Haryana police in a case registered on May 10, 1985, at Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra district.





A run without medal for this ex-athlete

Bajwa has disclosed that he was a national-level sports person and had won a gold medal as a member of a 400m relay team at the national games held in Allahabad in 1963. Bajwa claims Milkha Singh was one of the participants in that tournament.

Bajwa stood second in the 400m race in an inter-university meet held at DAV college in Jalandhar, 1st in 200m and 400m races in Panjab University. He got a job in the Punjab police as ASI on the basis of his achievements in sports in 1963 and had served the force for one year. He had won 4 gold (200m, 400m 100X4m relay and 4x400m relay) in the All-India Police Sports meet held in Jaipur.

Bajwa, an MA in Political Science from Kurukshetra University, after quitting the police force joined as Hostel Superintendent at the ITI, Samrala, in Ludhiana district in 1965. He had served the ITI for two years and quit the job in 1967. In 1968, he went to Canada and got a job in the Parke-Davis Medicine factory. He had worked there for two years. During his stay in Canada, he came in contact with Hardyal Singh Bains, who was Justice Ajit Singh Bains’ brother and was the secretary of the Communist Party of Canada. Bajwa joined the party.

In 1970, he returned to India and started a monthly magazine, “Kirti Yug”. He was the Editor and Publisher of the magazine, which was printed in Chandigarh and published from Shahbad (Haryana). It had readers in the entire Punjab. After publishing 14 or 15 editions of the magazine, he stopped its publication as he was not getting adequate financial help to run it. From 1970 to 1975, he did farming at his village and during that period he came in contact with Gurbaksh Singh and Kuldeep Singh, both farmers from Shahbad, and Paramjit Singh of Ludhiana district.

In 1975, during Emergency, he was arrested and sent the Ambala Central Jail. From 1976 to May 1985 he stayed in Shahbad. After perpetrating the blast in a Haryana Roadways bus in 1985, he had stayed in HP, Punjab and Haryana under a fake identity for all these years.



‘Defective’ Nano
Row brewing between consumer, Tata Motors Ltd.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A controversy is brewing between a consumer and Tata Motors over the repair of a Nano, and the payment of compensation by the manufacturer, after a consumer court verdict.

Nearly six months ago, the UT State Commission ordered the payment of Rs 30,000 compensation to Punjab and Haryana High Court’s senior advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin for “physical harassment and mental agony” while ruling that the Tata Nano sold to him was “suffering from multiple defects”.

Alleging wilful disobedience of the orders, Sarin has moved the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission again. In his “execution petition”, Sarin has asserted that Tata Motors Limited and Hind Motors India Limited, through their Managing Directors, have made themselves liable to be punished with imprisonment, as they “have wilfully failed or omitted to comply with the directions”.

Tata Motors, on the other hand, has responded to the plea by seeking the dismissal of the execution petition and directing the complainant to accept the delivery of Nano. Claiming complete compliance with the orders, Tata Motors has asserted that it has got the vehicle repaired under the supervision of a “panel of experts” to make it roadworthy. But, the complainant was not taking its delivery. He failed to collect the vehicle, even though several letters were sent to him.

The company has also claimed that a cheque was issued to the complainant. But as it could not be en-cashed and has already expired, another cheque dated February 1 was being issued.

Sarin’s counsel, meanwhile, has refused to accept the cheque on the ground that the execution petition has been filed under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act for imparting "punishment". The hearing of the case has been postponed to February 20. Appearing before the Commission, the counsel, on a previous date of hearing, had contended that the Banarsi Dass automobile, having no connection with the matter, forwarded a demand draft dated August 6, 2012. It was posted on November 5, 2012, and by that time it had already expired.

The Commission, vide its order dated July 6, 2012, had directed Tata Motors Limited to replace the defective parts, repair the vehicle and pay the compensation. Comprising President Justice Sham Sunder and member Neena Sandhu, the Commission had also directed the company to extend the warranty of the vehicle by a year after it has been repaired and made roadworthy.



Pro-active UT Admn puts Pawan Bansal in tight spot
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
With the Chandigarh Administration taking a tough stand on the issues like the extension of the ‘lal dora’, imposition of house tax, demolition of illegal structures and the banning of transfer of leasehold industrial plots, the affected persons have now started approaching the Railway Minister and local Member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, putting him in a tight situation.

With the general elections scheduled for the next year, the pro-active approach of the Chandigarh Administration has sent alarm signals in political circles.

Batting safely, Bansal is now giving assurances to people that he will take up the issues with the authorities. He said he would take up the problems faced by industrialists, traders and many other residents of the city with the UT Administration.

UT Adviser KK Sharma could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Burning issues

Embargo on transfer of leasehold industrial plots

At a recent meeting between UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil and the senior UT officials, it was decided to impose an embargo on the transfer of leasehold industrial plots. According to sources, the Administrator is of the view that the plots were allotted for setting up businesses and not for the purpose of their further sale. The officials concerned were asked to legally find a way to repeal the provision of the transfer of industrial plots on leasehold. The UT officials have started the process to amend the Estate Rules 2007. Now, Bansal has assured the industrialists that he will take up the issue with the UT Administration.

Non-extension of ‘lal dora’

The Chandigarh Administration has decided not to extend the 'lal dora' (abadi deh), the boundary line beyond which any construction is declared as illegal. The UT officials would soon submit their reply to the Punjab and Haryana High Court where a public interest litigation (PIL) in this regard is pending. The UT Administration has decided that the Chandigarh Administration has limited land and the extension of the 'lal dora' shall be counter-productive in most cases. Last year, addressing a protest by villagers, who have constructed houses outside the ‘lal dora’, Bansal had stated that he would try to get the structures regularised.

House tax

On January 1, after the Mayoral elections, mayor Subhash Chawla, in the presence of Pawan Kumar Bansal, had announced that the MC would not impose house tax this year. But recently, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil had made it clear to Chawla that the imposition of house tax was a must for the development of the City Beautiful. Patil had also told him that the Administration had a legal right to directly impose house tax, but it was the duty of the MC to impose it.

Demolition drives

Recently, the UT Administration conducted a number of demolition drives and issued notices to the owners of buildings for their misuse. On December 28, a demolition drive to clear the marble market in Dhanas, which had come up in violation of the Periphery Control Act, turned out to be a damp squib with barely 25, out of 250-odd structures, razed by the MC staff. The drive, which started at 10 am, came to a halt when some local Congress councilors, besides Manish Bansal, son of Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, reached the spot and made “requests” to the officials to give the traders some time to remove their wares.



Ministry extends Deshraj's suspension
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
In a major setback to the UT’s suspended Superintendent of Police Deshraj Singh, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended his suspension for another 90 days, beginning January 31.

Deshraj had recently sought his reinstatement and written to the senior authorities requesting them to revoke his suspension orders. The UT Administration had forwarded his case to the MHA.

A communication in this regard has been received by the UT Administration from the MHA. A senior official of the UT Administration has said the review committee of the MHA has decided to extend Deshraj's suspension period for 90 days. The orders will be effective from January 31. The orders were issued under the Rule 3 of the All-India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969.

Deshraj, a 2008-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer, was allegedly arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from Anokh Singh, Station House Officer of the Sector 26 police station, in October 2012. He was granted bail in December by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


tribune impact
Enquiry office staff under scanner
CCTV camera footage shows them sleeping on three consecutive nights
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Following a report carried in these columns on Thursday, an inquiry marked by the medical superintendent at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, found personnel manning the enquiry counter had gone off to sleep for over three hours on three consecutive nights.

The closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage revealed the enquiry office staff switching off lights after 1 am for over three hours on February 3, 4 and 5.

The authorities have now relocated the enquiry office near the entry to the emergency wing to ensure a 24-hour vigil on the staff deputed at the counter.

Medical superintendent Rajiv Vadera has directed the in charge of the enquiry office to examine the CCTV camera footage of all the 30 nights preceding the intervening night of February 4 and 5, when the Chandigarh Tribune team surveyed the hospital.

During its visit, the team found officials at the enquiry office had switched off lights inside the cabin and were sleeping. Hospital attendants were also found missing from their seats outside the lady doctor’s room and in the maternity ward.



Already critical, newborn deprived of mother’s affection
Minor girl oblivious of motherhood; reportedly mentally unstable
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The two-day-old baby, who has been battling for survival at the PGI, is also being deprived of his mother’s affection. The minor girl, who gave birth to the baby two days ago, was reportedly mentally unstable before the pregnancy and the incident left her even more disturbed.

According to her father, the man who impregnated her had taken advantage of her mental instability and she was under a deep mental trauma following the incident.

“The innocent girl is not even able to realise the meaning of motherhood. She only says that she wants to go home,” said an official of the Childline, an NGO acting as the guardian of the girl and her baby.

The 17-year-old girl, who hails from Bareilly, delivered the child on Thursday. He is underweight and is currently under observation. The Childline official said the girl’s father had submitted a statement four months ago, stating the family would not accept the child.

The family had also requested for the girl to be aborted when she was already five-month pregnant. “At that time, saving the girl and her baby was our priority. The girl’s family, however, did not want the child. The girl’s father, therefore, gave us in writing that the sole responsibility of the baby will lay on us (Childline),” the official said.

The Childline got names of the girl and her baby registered at the Mother Teresa home, Sector 23.

“The Mother Teresa home will now take care of the child,” the official said.

“We suggested to the family after ensuring good health of the girl and her baby, they must lodge a complaint against the man who impregnated her,” the Childline official added.

The man had committed a heinous crime and should be placed behind bars, the official said.

“He took advantage of this innocent girl and might do the same with many others like her,” the official said.

The girl was allegedly impregnated by a shop owner in Bareilly.

She had undergone medical examination at Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, four months ago.

Counsellors at the hospital had told the Childline that many couples had shown interest in adopting the child.

It would, however, be the discretion of the Mother Teresa home to decide on the adoption of the baby, the official said.



Students donate Rs 50,000 to ailing infant at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A student-run organisation of the DAV College, Sector 10, Navsankalp, made the donation of Rs 50,000 for a four-month-old infant suffering from "Community Acquired Pneumonia", admitted at the PGI.

Ishali Negi, a member of the Navsankalp, said: "Sukhwinder Singh (24) is a helper and earns Rs 4,000 a month. He was unable to bear the expenses of the treatment of his only child following which we decided to extend help to him."

The cheque was presented to the father of the child in the college by the members of the Navsankalp. This was the fifth donation of the session by the students. A four-month-old Navjot is one amongst the 19 children who have been helped by the organisation, with a total donation of Rs 7.5 lakh to the PGIMER.

The donation was made during the auditions that were conducted for the mega charity event of the Navsankalp called Sparkles.

The two-day auditions conducted on February 8 and 9 were categorised into performances of dancing, singing, modelling, mimicry, poetry, dramatics and rock band performance, for which an overwhelming response was shown by the participants from different colleges to perform for the much awaited event to be held on February 19.



CAT cancels selection of 140 CTU drivers, fresh recruitment soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Central Administrative Tribunal has cancelled the selection of 140 Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) drivers who were recruited in 2010.

The tribunal cancelled these selections as driving licenses of the new recruits were yet to be verified.

The CTU had also allotted 30 per cent marks to the interview round without mentioning it in the advertisement.

The selection process will now be rescheduled.

The CAT was hearing a petition filed by candidates who had appeared for a dug test, meant for assessing skills of the driver, and had failed to clear the interview round. 



Artillery shell found at Ramdarbar
Tribune News Service

The police personnel inspect an artillery shell found at Ramdarbar on Saturday.Chandigarh, February 9
An artillery shell with a capacity to cause destruction, reportedly, over a 500-m radius was recovered from a forest area in Ramdarbar here today.

The police said it was an old artillery shell that had rust all over it. The shell was notices by two boys while playing cricket in the area.

They informed their parents, who called the police control room around 10.30 am. The police personnel, on reaching the spot, cordoned off the area. Sniffer dogs, bomb disposal squad and Army officers also reached the spot.

“The shell was one foot long and weighed 15 kg,” said a police official. The Army took it in its custody. The police questioned junk dealers in the area to ascertain, suspecting they might have bought the shell and later thrown it in the forest area.

The police personnel inspect an artillery shell found at Ramdarbar on Saturday. Triune photo: Manoj Mahajan



Young cancer patients celebrate never-say-die spirit
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
For seven-year-old Anjali understanding the meaning of cancer may not be easy but the sudden change in her mother’s emotional state has made her realise that she is different from other children of her age.

Though, she loves to have fried snacks like samosa, (abandoned for cancer patients), she understands why every person at her home has stopped eating it. The story is similar for other young cancer patients in the city, who gathered today to mark Cancer Survivor’s Day.

Anjali is a resident of Ram Darbar. “She was diagnosed with blood cancer two years ago. She used to fell ill and vomit frequently. Since then, she fears being admitted to the hospital and asks me to ensure hygiene all around as she knows that dirt will cause infection to her,” said her mother Reeta.

“She used to be very upset for the fact that suddenly there were so many restrictions on her eating and playing. She also had to discontinue her studies for few months as she was at risk of exposure to environmental infection. But the doctors helped us in managing her answers and keeping her motivated,” said Reeta.

As many as 12 children undergoing cancer treatment at PGIMER’s Advanced Pediatrics Centre today performed a dance during the Cancer Survivors’ Day celebration.

“My mother says I am not well and I need to listen to the doctors, otherwise I will fall ill again,” said Ritesh, a12-year-old child who is undergoing a treatment for blood cancer.

“He loves eating pizzas and burgers. But the doctors have asked us not to allow him any fried food. It was very difficult to make him understand the reasons for the restrictions, but gradually he understood. Even salads are not allowed for the time being. So, we all have stopped eating salads one year ago,” said Ritesh’s mother Meena.

The celebrations were organised by Sahayta Charitable Welfare Society at Government Home Science College, Sector 10. 



Juveniles allege police torture
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
In a horrendous revelation, three juveniles today were today presented before the juvenile justice board principal magistrate and gave evidence that the Panchkula CIA staff tortured them by giving electric shocks on their ears. The victims, below 13 years of age, showed their injuries to the judge.

While the counsel of the minors has also approached the Human Rights Commission, the victims also alleged they were being pressurised to take their statements back.

While two of them are 9 years old, the third one is 13 years old. The victims also said some of the Panchkula policemen approached them at the observation home in Ambala and asked them to take their statements back following which they would get them released on bail.

A letter has been written to the Haryana Director General of Police (DGP), SN Vashisht, calling for an enquiry report. Vashisht has ensured swift action in the case. One of the minors also showed his injury on his head and near his ear to the judge. It was said that the day they were arrested in a theft case that is on December 13, 2012 they were taken to the CIA staff office near Sector 26, Panchkula, where they were allegedly beaten up and given electric shocks. One of them was hit in his head.

It was on February 2 when the minors had moved an application before the judge through the Human Rights Commission stating the torture. The judge, taking serious note of the situation, has called for an enquiry report on the DGP’s level.



Awareness camp on legal aid held
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 9
Free legal aid could be availed by any person whose annual income is not more than Rs 1.5 lakh, said Gopal Arora, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary, District Legal Services Authority, at a camp held here today.

The camp was organised to train class IV employees to help spread awareness at the village level so that no person remains deprived of justice.Arora gave details of free aid provided by the Punjab Legal Services Authority and financial help by the government.



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