C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police blows lid off drug racket
15 lakh tablets, Rs 2.31 crore seized; 6 arrested, get five-day remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The crime branch of the UT Police today busted an international drug racket and recovered a huge haul of drugs in the form of 15 lakh tablets of pseudoephedrine, used to manufacture substances (heroin) banned under the NDPS Act. The tablets, weighing 176 kg, were recovered from a black SUV. Six accused, who were part of the racket, have been arrested. The police also seized Rs 2.31 crore from the accused’s possession. The consignment of tablets was to be sent to Myanmar and China, the police said.

The prime accused, 32-year-old Karan Kakkar, is the owner of a pharmaceutical company in Panchkula. The value of the seized tablets was estimated to be in crores in the international market, the police said.

On a tip-off, the police had set up a barrier at Mani Majra and stopped a Mahindra jeep with two occupants. A search of the vehicle revealed three huge bags of tablets without any strips. The police then arrested Karan Kakkar, a Sector 15 resident who owns a pharmaceutical company in the Industrial Area, Phase II, Panchkula. The other accused arrested along with him has been identified as Chanchal Nag, alias Ranbir, a resident of Guwahati.

The police seized a country-made unlicensed pistol of .32 bore and two live cartridges from Chanchal Nag’s possession.

After failing to show a licence to carry the tablets, the police took the bags in its custody. On interrogation, the two accused told the police that the tablets, containing pseudoephedrine, were used to make heroin. They said they were going to deliver the consignment to four persons, Zosanga, Sangchhunga, Lalnuhiua and Devitthag, who had come from Mizoram. These were to be smuggled to Myanmar and China. Later the four youths were arrested.

The tablets were examined at the spot with the help of a narcotics detection kit and the pseudoephedrine drug was found in these. The total weight of all three bags of tablets was 176.370 kg.

A case under Sections 9-A and 25-A of the NDPS Act and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered. The accused were produced in a court, which remanded them in five-day police custody. The police said a team of the Narcotics Control Bureau raided the accused’s pharmaceutical company in Panchkula.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said the accused belonged to middle-class families. Karan Kakkar had already sent a separate consignment of 20 lakh tablets to Mizoram earlier and had charged crores of rupees for it from the arrested youths.

“Interrogation is on to ascertain the exact modus operandi and who all were thier clients,” said Satbir Singh.

The police said the open use of pseudoephedrine salt was banned in the country.In order to use it while manufacturing some specific medicines, owners of pharmaceutical companies were required to take permission from the authorities. No such permission was taken in this case.

Tablets used for making heroin

The accused told the police that the tablets, containing pseudoephedrine, were used to make heroin. They said they were going to deliver the consignment to four persons, Zosanga, Sangchhunga, Lalnuhiua and Devitthag, who had come from Mizoram. These were to be smuggled to Myanmar and China 



PPCC chief, his men swarm PGI trauma centre; patients suffer
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa (in yellow turban) comes out of the Advanced Trauma Centre at the PGI on Monday; and (below) a security official requests the driver of a VIP vehicle, part of Bajwa's convoy, to move the vehicle away from the front gate of the trauma centre.
PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa (in yellow turban) comes out of the Advanced Trauma Centre at the PGI on Monday; and (below) a security official requests the driver of a VIP vehicle, part of Bajwa's convoy, to move the vehicle away from the front gate of the trauma centre. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, March 18
At least 30 supporters of Partap Singh Bajwa, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, swarmed the Advanced Trauma Centre of the PGI this morning with their shoes on, giving rules the go-by even as doctors pleaded mercy for patients.

All requests of the doctors went unheeded as Bajwa and his supporters did not care and gathered around Congress leader Rajwant Singh Shergill, secretary of the PPCC, who was shot at in Chamkaur Sahib yesterday. Bajwa and his supporters visited Shergill at the trauma centre today to know about his well-being.

His supporters refused to listen to security guards. As a result, patients were at the recieving end. Heated arguments took place between Bajwa’s supporters and the doctors present there.

Bajwa’s supporters allegedly parked their cars outside the trauma centre, blocking the passage for patients. Security guards were seen requesting them to clear the passage.

“It speaks volumes about the sad state of affairs. Usually, doctors do not allow more than one attendant with a patient. But In this case, a large number of people swarmed the trauma centre. They did not even bother to take their shoes off,” said an attendant on condition of anonymity.

Manju Wadwalkar, spokesperson for the PGI , said, “I am not aware of any such incident.”

“Why did the security fail to check the entry of so many persons into the trauma centre?” said Vindu, an attendant of a patient, who was not allowed to go inside the trauma centre.

A patient said, “The way they barged into the centre and started quarrelling with doctors and guards gave an impression as if they had come to attack someone. The guards should have lodged a complaint with the authorities.”



Firefighting system, smoke detectors were out of order
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The firefighting system and smoke detectors at the Punjab Mini-Secretariat in Sector 9, where a major fire broke out on Sunday, were non-functional.

Officials of the fire and emergency department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation have pointed out these lapses in the building of the Mini-Secretariat.

Chief Fire Officer Rajiv Gupta said the firefighting equipment on the seventh floor of the Mini-Secretariat building was non-functional. The nozzle of the firefighting equipment was missing due to which employees could not use the system. The MC had issued a notice to the Mini-Secretariat last year for allegedly breaching fire-safety norms. After getting a detailed inspection report from fire officials, the department would issue another notice, he said.

Station Fire Officer ML Sharma said the fire-detection system was not working in the building. Even smoke detectors were found to be non-functional. He said tomorrow they would visit the building again and submit a report to senior officials.

Probe under way

The Punjab Government today began a probe into the fire incident. At 3.10 pm, a call was made to the fire department that another fire had broken out in Sector 9 Punjab Mini-Secretariat building. When fire officials reached the spot, they were told that the call was made by officials of the Punjab Government to check how much time it took for them to reach the spot. Roshan Sunkaria, Administrative Secretary, General Administration and Parliamentary Affairs, said the room in which the fire out had been locked so that forensic department officials could collect samples. He said it was yet to be ascertained as to how many files were destroyed in the fire. Sources said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked for some documents related to contract farming, which officials could not find. The sources said the officials feared that the documents might have been destroyed in the fire.

Loopholes in system

The “long, tedious and limp system” of ensuring fire standards in buildings under the National Building Code “takes away the bite” from the law. A building is first issued a notice for a violation and given a time of one month to remove it. The building owner then gets an extension of one month. If the violation still continues, the case is sent to the Chief Fire Officer. He, too, issues a notice and can finally order the sealing of the property.

35 govt buildings violating fire-safety norms

At a recent inspection conducted by the fire and emergency department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, it was found that 35 government buildings in the city were not following fire-safety norms. The inspection had also revealed that some buildings were without the firefighting equipment while in some others, the system was non-functional.



Years on, little headway in scam cases
Various departments of the Chandigarh Administration and the municipal corporation have been embroiled in controversies over various scams being reported over the years even as action is awaited against the guilty and the cases are yet to reach a logical conclusion. The Tribune reporter Rajinder Nagarkoti takes stock

Pipeline scam

In 2008, military engineers services (MES) had requested the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to prepare an estimate for supply of additional 3 million gallon water daily (MGD) to Chandimandir from Kajauli waterworks.

The MC Public Health Department prepared the project report and estimated the cost around Rs 40 crore. But while giving project to the Spun Pipe Construction Company, the MC officials allegedly favoured the firm to a tune of Rs 3 crore. The project was of laying of 600 mm mild steel pipe over a distance of nearly 15 km for water supply from Sector 39 waterworks to Chandimandir cantonment in Panchkula. The MC officials had allegedly favoured the company by inflating the project cost. The Audit report has also raised the point in its report.

The report revealed that the department hypothetically worked out the price of Rs 58 per kg for 6mm mild steel sheet to be used for the pipe, which was actually Rs 34 per kg as per Steel Authority of India (SAI) rates prevailing at that time. The report also questioned as to why a single tender was accepted in the first two instances.

BJP Councillor Saurabh Joshi, who had raised the issue in the MC house meeting last year, said that on this issue the house had approved vigilance inquiry into the scam in May 2012. MC vigilance officer Lalit Siwach was asked to submit a report by June 2012 but to no avail.

Present Status

Inquiry is still pending with the MC Vigilance officer. MC’s Additional Commissioner and Vigilance Officer Lalit Siwach said that he would soon complete the probe and would submit the report in the MC house.


PGI MD/MS scam

Four of the accused in the PGI MD/MS scam in police custody.
Four of the accused in the PGI MD/MS scam in police custody. A file photo

The CBI sleuths in November arrested 16 people, including seven girls who were decoy candidates, using hi-fi gadgets to leak the post-doctoral degree examination conducted by the PGIMER at various centres. Two of the arrested accused were doctors who were helping the candidates in solving the papers by charging lakhs of rupees from them.

Those arrested include Gurivi Reddy, Mahindra, Jagdeesh, Thamin Khan, Afroz, Siddhartha Subhadra, Promila and Rahemu Nnisa. As per CBI officials, Gurivi Reddy, a resident of Hyderabad, is the mastermind behind the cheating gang, while the others are from Tamil Nadu and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. 


Present Status

The UT Police is yet to file the charge sheet in this case.

Booth Scam

Booths at the Krishna Market, Sector 41, in Chandigarh. A FILE PHOTO
Booths at the Krishna Market, Sector 41, in Chandigarh. A FILE PHOTO

It was following complaints from various quarters that UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil ordered an inquiry in March 2010 and the report was submitted exactly a year later. In his report, former ADC PS Shergill had said that the scam is worth crores of rupees and that the booths were illegally allotted to more than 100 people.

The booths were allegedly allotted to some affluent businessmen through the influence of officials on the basis of forged documents. According to Shergill's report, in most of the cases the allotments were made by defying rules. The allotment of booths by fraud was made particularly from 2002 to 2008.

In his approximately 1,000-page report, Shergill had pointed out the involvement of top politicians and senior officials, including city MP and Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, former UT Adviser Pradip Mehra, former Deputy Commissioner RK Rao and former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, among others.

Present Status

The UT Administration has submitted the action taken in the report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The three-member probe panel, which was constituted to take action on the PS Shergill's report in the scam, in its report submitted to the UT Administrator had stated that proceedings had been initiated in eight cases for the cancellation of the allotment. The panel had also recommended further probe into the monthly income profile in around 30 cases.

Teachers Recruitment Scam

In August 2007, the Education Department advertised 536 posts with detailed recruitment criteria. The legal hitch, however, delayed the overall process for two years. Even as it began in July-August 2009, the issues of corruption, procedural lapses and favoritism never left this recruitment process since then.

First in September 2009, teachers' cash for job scam surfaced after a candidate Kamalpreet filed a complaint alleging she was offered job in lieu of cash. While the two middlemen, Hardev Singh and Jolly, were arrested, the then DPI (s) Samwartak Singh also came under scanner following which he was transferred first to some other department in UT and later repatriated to his parent state in Haryana.

Even after these allegations the administration released the final merit list of 536 teachers but the media reports exposed major procedural loopholes in the whole recruitment process. Simultaneously, a petition filed by Karamjit Singh in the Punjab and Haryana High Court raised the issues of procedural lapses in overall recruitment process.

The investigation was handed over to CBI Chandigarh Branch. The court of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in its March 2012 ruling (on Karamjit Singh's petition), ordered the fresh inquiry into the whole issue and entrusted the task to the CBI, Delhi, as it found the role of the CBI, Chandigarh, dubious and doubtful. Several high profile officers name, including the then Home secretary Ram Niwas were also linked with this scam

Present Status

While the scam first broke in September 2009, it was in 2012 that a fresh criminal case by CBI, Delhi, was registered in connection with the teacher recruitment scam. After taking over the case, the Delhi CBI branch started the investigation with questioning of former UT DPI (S) Samwartak Singh. Both the investigation agencies in Chandigarh had probed the recruitment scam and reportedly given a clean chit to Samwartak. Now, a criminal case has been registered against Jolly, Hardev Singh and other officials of Chandigarh Education Department and the case is pending in court.

Two candidates, who failed to appear in the final merit list issued in 2009, managed to get permanent appointment from the UT Education Department about a month-and-half ago after the CAT’s order.

The move however instilled fear in the minds of all the 536 appointees recruited during the then tainted recruitment process. Since, two regular teachers out of 536 were terminated to make way for these two candidates.

One of the expelled teachers Arpana Mahajan has however gone to CAT, challenging her termination on the ground that she should not be considered the last candidate in her category as she her rank was above in the list as per the original 2007 recruitment rules. The matter is sub-judice and is soon be coming up for hearing in the Tribunal.

ASI Recruitment Scam

The scam first broke in 2008 when the Chandigarh Police arrested two constables for their alleged role in the ASI recruitment paper leak scam. One of them, Constable Amardeep Singh, had reportedly paid Rs 10 lakh to procure the question papers.

The scam rocked the Delhi and Chandigarh police as hefty amounts were charged by those involved in leaking the question papers to aspiring candidates. The accused reportedly took the aspirants, who paid them, to their hideouts in Karnal for showing them the paper. The candidates were then dropped near the examination centre.

The Chandigarh Police in 2008 had arrested four persons, including the prime accused Joginder Dahiya and three police constables.

Present Status

The trial of the case is presently pending in the court.

CTU Recruitment Scam

In September 2011, 13 people were arrested from different parts of Haryana in connection with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) recruitment scam.

The arrests were made in connection with the scam in the recruitment of 144 conductors. In 2010, about 85 per cent of the appointments were done on the basis of impersonation.

Among those arrested two were middlemen who had arranged the impersonators by charging Rs 15,000 to Rs 3 lakh from each candidate.

Present Status

A special investigative team has been constituted to probe the scam. When the samples of handwriting of 113 selected candidates were send to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in New Delhi, 66 specimens did not match with the candidates' handwriting.

MC Firemen Recruitment Scam

In December 2010, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cracked whip on the Chandigarh Fire Department. CBI arrested three firemen of UT fire department on charges of impersonation and cheating. They have been identified as Satbir, Tinku and Pawan. Satbir and Sombir were posted at Fire Station, Sector 17, while Pawan was stationed at Fire Station, Ram Darbar. They were under going training at Fire Station, Industrial Area, Phase II. A case under Sections 120-B, 419, 420 of the IPC have been registered against the accused.

The Chandigarh Fire Department conducted a recruitment test in May 2009 and as many as 50 people were recruited for the post of firemen, telephone operators and drivers.

On disclosure made by Sandeep, kingpin, in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) recruitment scam for the post of conductors, the CBI started to look into the appointments made the Chandigarh Fire Department.

After scanning all the records of people who have cleared the test, CBI found that three persons -Satbir, Tinku and Pawan -had made someone else to appear on their behalf.

Present Status

The case is pending in court.

RLA scam
Applicants at the office of the Registration and Licensing Authority in Chandigarh.
Applicants at the office of the Registration and Licensing Authority in Chandigarh. A file photo

In 2011, a special audit of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) had revealed a scam worth about Rs 26.5 lakh. In the same year another embezzlement worth around Rs 5.6 lakh was also reported. The employees of the RLA had not deposited the amount with the treasury. In the scam, the modus operandi of the employees was not to deposit the money collected at the counters that were assigned to them and not making further entries in the registers as well. Instead of depositing the amount with the treasury of the UT administration, they were pocketing the money.

Present Status

The administration had terminated the services of nine contractual employees and three government employees were put under suspension following the detection of the scam. 



Chandigarh’s Dolly bags 2nd big award
Vivek Gupta/TNS

Chandigarh, March 18
It was city-based actress-designer Dolly Ahluwalia's lively character of a Punjabi mother in "Vicky Donor" that bagged her this year's National Film Award for the Best Supporting Actress. The awards were announced in Delhi today.

Dolly Ahluwalia
Dolly Ahluwalia

It is second national film award for the multi-talented artiste who in 1996 won the national award for the Best Costume Design for Shekhar Kapur's 'Bandit Queen'. But she says that winning the national recognition for acting means a lot to her. 

"I am literally overwhelmed with such a prestigious award and have no words to explain my excitement, said Dolly whose namesake role as "Dolly Arora" in the movie has turned out be a milestone for her acting career.

A gold medallist (1979 batch) in acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi, she said she was always interested in expressing her self as an actor but "life was running at a pace where I deliberately chose to give preference to costume designing and achieved excellence in that role".

While in between, Dolly was appreciated for her small roles in movies like 'Aadharshila', 'Blue Umbrella', 'Water', 'Love Aaj Kal' but it is the 'Vicky Donor' that has given her a reason to take acting much more passionately than before. "Credit definitely goes to director Sujit Sarkar, who could see a good actor in me. He gave me an opportunity to deliver and the presence of excellent script and co-actors weaved the magic for the movie, she said. According to her, after this award, her responsibility as an actor has increased much more for other projects.

Other popular films awards are also showering on her. She has already won best supporting actress at this year's Apsara awards and Star Screen awards. She will be traveling for another popular awards in Canada soon.



India not a pushover: Natwar Singh
Tribune News Service

Former Union Minister K. Natwar Singh in Chandigarh on Monday.
Former Union Minister K. Natwar Singh in Chandigarh on Monday.

Chandigarh, March 18
Former Union Minister of External Affairs K. Natwar Singh today delivered a lecture on "India, US, China and Pakistan" at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) here. The lecture was full of anecdotal details which Natwar Singh drew from his long career as a diplomat and then in politics. He started the talk by remembering the contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru to the India's foreign policy.

Highlighting the success of Indian democracy, he maintained that it survived because India was not only good in managing crisis but also at managing contradictions. He ended his lecture on a positive note by maintaining that "diplomacy doesn't offer salvation, it offers hope. India is not a pushover third world country. What is right with India is infinitely greater than what is wrong with India". Earlier, Prof Sucha Singh Gill, Director-General, CRRID, welcomed the former minister.


UIET girl student suspended from hostel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
A final year girl student of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), who was reportedly found in an inebriated condition during the annual fest of UIET, last Saturday, was suspended from her hostel by the PU authorities today till the further notice.

The decision was taken by the special committee of six wardens on the basis on the preliminary enquiry. The girl was found creating ruckus in front of her hostel and also allegedly misbehaved with two policewomen in presence of other students on Saturday evening.

Terming the incident unfortunate, Dean, Student Welfare, AS Ahluwalia, said that the committee today suspended the girl from the hostel as part of immediate action but it was also trying to go deep into incident before taking final decision. He said, "While the university authorities are taking into consideration her future career since she is just two months away from completion of her degree.”

According to him, the committee after discussion with chairman of all the departments and other stakeholder was expected to revise guidelines for students' functions held in the campus. "While we have a long list of dos and don'ts, we think that these rules need specific changes with the time", said Ahluwalia

He said that there was always excitement among the students during such functions and peer pressure often carried one away but there was no justification for such incidents. 



Lax security at city railway station
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Commuters enter the railway station from the VIP entrance.
Commuters enter the railway station from the VIP entrance.

Chandigarh, March 18
Feel free to enter from any unmanned entrance of the Chandigarh Railway Station as the Railway Police Force (RPF) has not deployed any security personnel to keep a check on the commuters.

A classic example of how ill-equipped the station premises is can be gauged from the fact that on the Panchkula side, there are multiple unmanned entrances and no scanning equipment or metal detectors have been installed at the entry point, except deployment of two ill-equipped RPF officials for security check to avoid any untoward incident.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) PK Sangi said: “As the inflow of commuters from the Panchkula side is less, the authorities have deployed only two RPF personnel to keep a check on that side”.

He said there were no fresh proposals for enhancing security on that side. After the renovation of the building on the Panchkula side, security arrangements would be reviewed afresh.

A booth at the platform near the VIP entry point without RPF personnel.
An unmanned entry on the Panchkula side of the railway station. Tribune Photos: Manoj Mahajan

Making a mockery of the security check on the Chandigarh side of the Railway Station, the authorities have installed metal detectors at the main entrance, but the commuters are free to use any unmanned entry points to enter the railway station. Even they do not hesitate to enter from the exit point of the station without going through any check as no police personnel stop them there also. The VIP entry point at the station is also used by the commuters without any security check.

During a visit to the station, it was found that no RPF personnel was sitting at the police assistant booth at the platform number 1 for assisting the commuters. Records of the RPF revealed that around 50 RPF personal have been deployed in the city, out of which 8 to 10 were deployed at the railway station. While visiting the railway station after the departure of the third Shatabdi at 12 noon, the presence of RPF staff was hardly found on the platform.

Sangi said there was no need to depute additional RPF personnel at the Railway Station as the authorities would be able to handle the situation with the available staff.



Mahant deposits bid amount
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Much to the respite of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, the elusive Mahant Yogi Chhotu Nath today deposited the bid amount for the vanity number, “CH01 AR 0001”, which he had bought for Rs 10.05 lakh for his Rs 66 lakh Audi Q7, luxury SUV.

An amount of Rs 12,25,245 was deposited at the office of the SDM (East) in the evening.

“The “baba” apparently took refuge under the low rate of penalty for delayed payment. It is not for the first time intact. Bidders deposit the bid money at their will, as the penalty rate is abysmally low. At times, the auction of next series starts. This is a major anomaly in the rules,” said sources.

Feeling relieved after the bid money was deposited, officials at the RLA said the money was deposited 30 days after bidding for the vanity numbers.

“The deposited amount also includes the penalty on the delayed payment,” said officials.

As per rules, the payment of the auction money has to be deposited within three working days from the date of auction, failing which penalty at a rate of 10 per cent per annum as well as interest at normal rates of 10 per cent per annum on the balance amount is charged till the date of payment.

RLA, Mahavir Kaushik, said if the bidder failed to deposit the money, the amount deposited by him was forfeited and was barred from bidding in the next four auctions.

Auction for new series on March 25

The auction for new series “CH01 AS” will be held on March 25. Numbers like 0001, 0009, 0007, 9999 and 7777 have attracted maximum number of bidders. There are multiple bidders for 98 numbers out a total of 482 applications.



Seventeen constables were made to sit in an SUV
Were told that all other official vehicles were used for conducting raids in the Rs 130-cr drug haul case
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
All 17 police constables were packed like sardines in a Scorpio car on the pretext that all other official vehicles were being used by personnel conducting raids in the Rs 130-crore drug haul case involving boxer Vijender. All of them were told to adjust in the same vehicle and reach the parade venue somehow.

In order to avoid head-on collision with a truck, the driver lost its control over the vehicle, following which it fell into the gorge leaving six dead and 11 injured.

“Every Monday morning, we have our regular parade at the Police Civil Lines. Before starting our journey, we did point out that it will be difficult for all of us to travel in the same car,” said an injured lady constable.

She said: “We were told that there was no other option since all other official vehicles were being used by personnel conducting raids in the drug haul case.”

Finding no option, all of them stood in the open backside of the car.

Sukhdev Singh, driver of the vehicle, is still blaming himself for the mishap. “Whatever the case may be, Sukhdev is blaming himself to be responsible for the mishap,” said Baljeet Singh, a relative.

When asked as to why 17 of them were sent in a single vehicle on the pretext of other vehicles being used in conducting raids in the drug haul case, HS Mann, Senior Superintendent of Police of Fatehgarh Sahib, said: “I have no answer to this question. I can just say that the injured cops are being taken care of.”



Injured cops stable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
As many as eight constables of the Punjab Police, who met with an accident while they were on their way to the Police Lines, Fatehgarh Sahib, in a Scorpio Getaway for the usual Monday morning parade, were rushed to the PGI, Chandigarh. Their condition is stated to be stable now.

In order to avoid collision with a truck, the driver lost its control over the vehicle, following which the car fell into a gorge leaving six policemen dead and 11 injured.

The injured, including two lady constables, at the PGI have been identified as Sukhbir Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Amandeep Kaur, Ramesh Kumar, Inderjit Singh, Sukhbir Kaur, Pawandeep Kaur and Rohit. Though Inderjit and Rohit were operated upon, their condition is also stated to be stable now.

One of the injured has been admitted to Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and has been identified as Kuldeep Singh. His condition is also stable.

“We can just say that at least god saved their life. The injured policemen are still in a shock and are just keeping mum over the issue since then,” said Balbir Singh, a relative.

Balwant Singh, Superintendent of Police, Detective, who reached the spot, said everyone was being taken care of. On the issue of compensation, he said it would be decided soon and immediate help would be provided to their family members.



Colleagues rush to PGI

Panchkula, March 18
After the news of the accident of their fellow policemen spread at the parade venue, 22 constables and head constables immediately rushed from Fatehgarh Sahib to Chandigarh. They had come to the PGI to donate blood to their colleagues, if needed.

“We were shocked to hear about the news of the accident. So, we decided to rush to the spot so that if anyone required blood, we could save their life,” said constable Baljeet Singh. — TNS



Only 4 complainants turn up at Patil’s public darbar

Chandigarh, March 18
In the public hearing session of UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, only four complainants turned up today.
Desraj, a handicapped retired government employee, who was carried by his relatives to the public darbar, appealed the administrator to provide him relief from land grabbers. He complained regarding the illegal possession of land at Naya Gaon in Mohali district. Patil said it was a civil matter and advised the complainant to approach the court in the matter. Courts have the power to examine such cases and give a judgement, Patil advised the complainant.

Another complainant, Shashi Shankar Tiwari, chairman, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Colony Cell, came with the representation regarding various problems being faced by ration card holders. Tiwari urged Patil to direct the officials to look into the matter and take immediate steps in this regard. On his complaint, Patil said the matter would be looked into.

Kamaljit Singh, another complainant, represented the problems being faced by outsourced staff at the GMSH-16. According to him, the difference between the wages being remitted to the contractual staff as against the regular ones was vast.

Patil said: “The matter must be looked into carefully and steps should be taken to ensure that our outsourced staff must not suffer. Hence, we should work on bridging the gap between the remuneration being given to the outsourced staff as against the regular ones”.

Sadhvi Neelima Vishwas, General Secretary, Vishwas Foundation, requested for the re-allotment of land to Vishwas Meditation Centre. Due to the non-payment of 25 per cent of the total premium within the stipulated time, the letter of intent was withdrawn in 2004. To this, Patil said the case would be looked.

Follow-up exercise

A quick follow-up of the last public hearing session held on February 4 was also done. Regarding the complaint of Naresh Kumar Sharma, who had requested for the grant of pension to retired and serving employees of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), it was informed that the CHB was asked to answer certain queries by the Finance Department. Mohinder Singh Sangwan, a complainant in the previous public hearing session, had requested for conducting an inquiry and directing the SHO of Police Station, Sector 34, to lodge an FIR against the Nirvana Coop House Building Society and officials of Co-op Societies, Chandigarh Administration, for illegal approval of draw of lots of the houses to the members of the society. Regarding the same, it was informed in the follow-up meeting today that the applicant, Mohinder Singh Sangwan, has withdrawn the undertaking dated February 7, 2013. — TNS



No headway in Dell employee’s murder case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 18
The police has failed to make headway in the murder of a Dell employee whose body was found in a forest near the Siswan-Baddi area on March 14.

Although a case under Sections 302 and 120B of the IPC and the Arms Act had been registered against unidentified persons, the police has so far failed to identify the persons involved in the murder

The police is suspecting the involvement of few hunters in the crime. All people living in villages around the Siswan-Baddi area who possess .12 bore guns are under the scanner of the police. The police is checking the arms and license of these persons.

The postmortem report indicated that the Dell employee had probably been shot at with a .12 bore firearm. He is reported to have sustained an injury near the heart.

The body of Parsoon Aggarwal (27), a resident of Patiala, was found buried in the forest. It is doubtful whether hunters would normally carry spades when out for hunting in a forest.

The police had earlier ruled out the possibility of looting being a motive behind the murder as a car, a purse and other items were also reported to have been recovered after the crime.

The police had booked a Burail-based girl, Anuradha, on the complaint of the brother of the deceased. The murder had come to light when Anuradha had approached the police. The police has not yet conclusively established whether or not she had a role in the crime. 



UT to set up restoration centre at CCA
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The UT Administration has decided to set up a restoration centre to store and repair heritage items of the city. This centre would come up at Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA).

UT Finance Secretary VK Singh said that the administration was serious about the preservation of heritage items, which would be restored and repaired in this centre.He added that this centre would also help the UT Administration to ascertain the number of items, which can be reused.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had already approved the heritage report of the administration.

The Chandigarh Administration had already constituted the Chandigarh heritage conservation committee to prepare a detailed project reports on important herit

In the heritage report, architectural landmarks at the Capitol Complex, including the Secretariat, the High Court and the Open Hand monument, along with prominent precincts of Le Corbusier’s original office at Sector 19, the Government Press building at Sector 18 and the Chandigarh College of Architecture at Sector 12, had been placed under grade I for heritage status while four private houses, three at Sector 5 and one at Sector 4, had been placed under grade II.



Chandigarh Scan
Dharna staged

The All-India Secretary and the State Secretary Northern States Canara Bank Staff Union today observed dharna against the newly announced bank licensing policy.

The Reserve Bank of India, at the instance of the Central Government, has recently announced the new Bank Licencing Policy under which any private entity who can contribute Rs.200 crore initially would be able to open a bank of its own.

Foundation day

The 46th foundation day of the Chandigarh Management Association [CMA] was celebrated at CII, Sector 31, yesterday with interactive session on "building brand of SMEs in globalised era". R V S Minhas, CEO, Bharat IT services, S J Raj, Senior VP, New Gen Software, R S Bawa, VC, Chandigarh University were the speakers on the occasion. P K Vasudeva was the moderator while Manoj K Sharma, president of the CMA. presided over the event. Induction ceremony of 32 new members was also done on this occasion.

Threat to launch protest

The Punjab State DC office employees union has announced to go on a three-day pen-down strike throughout the state in protest against the non-implementation of their demands. The president of the Mohali unit of the union, Om Parkash, said despite repeated representation to the state government had stated that despite the FCR notifying the posts, the government was not filling the posts. On the other hand the workload had increased manifold but the staff strength had not been increased accordingly. A number of posts in the office of the DC, SDM and tehsil were lying vacant.

Rare surgery performed

A team of doctors from SGHS Hospital Sohana has successfully conducted a rare surgery on a 53-year-old female patient, suffering from advanced stage of ovarian cancer.

According to a SGHS spokesperson, the patient had a history of swelling abdomen and was unable to pass stool because the cancer had spread to the intestines.

Recruitment drive

Desh Bhagat University Organised a Mega Open Source Recruitment Drive, 'Moz-Connection' in collaboration with Mozilla (India) for the first time in North India. Mozilla is one of the most used web explorer throughout the world for last 15 years. The chancellor of Desh Bhagat University Dr Zora Singh, Vice-Chancellor Dr. S.S Chahal, Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Shalini Gupta and Directors of different schools of the University were present on the occasion. — TNS



Education Department to ensure better learning
Teachers to make academic plans on weekly basis
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
In a bid to improve the education standards, the education department has come with another policy. From the next academic session, it will be compulsory for all the government teachers to make the academic plan on weekly basis, for their classes to ensure the better learning outcomes.

The heads of the schools will be responsible for implementation of the whole plan in their respective schools and they will be accountable for any lapses therein. The performance of the teachers and heads in implementing the academic plan will also affect the ACRs.

This plan is a part of special focus laid on by the UT education department on the quality education and will be implemented from April 1. A meeting in this regard was held lately under the chairmanship of DPI (s) Upkar Singh with other officials and school representatives.

In that meeting, it was decided that teachers would make the academic plan that contained the week-wise syllabus and suggestive activities. They would also maintain their academic diary, indicating planning for the topic to be taught, further countersigned by the head of the school concerned.

To measure the competencies acquired by the students, the teachers will follow the source books, recommended by the NCERT, containing the detailed information as what the students are expected to learn after studying a particular lesson. As a constant reminder regarding the weekly syllabus to be covered, all the teachers would carry a copy of the academic plan to the classrooms.

An official said that the purpose of this whole exercise was to improve the learning process in the government schools. The academic plan will check whether the students have been able to learn the corresponding syllabus, covered up at a particular point of time.

11 committees formed for monitoring

The education department has also decided to form as many as 11 committees for the purpose of evaluating the academic plans of the teachers as well as to ascertain whether it has made any difference in the results.

These committees will be headed by - Deputy Director School Education-I, Deputy Director School Education-II, District Education Officer, Dy DEO-I, Dy DEO-II, Subject experts (Commerce and Home science), Additional Director, Adult Education-1, Additional Director, Adult Education-II and Mission Coordinator, SSA.

In the first phase, each team will be given two schools each to visit from April 1 till May 31 and intensively assess the classes till class V (all sections) whether the teachers are covering the required syllabus and whether desired learning outcomes are being procured.

The officials further said that these officials would actually sit in the classes to see the classroom transactions actually happening with the right procedure.

The committee members will also be given another 7 to 8 more schools each, which they will visit by the end of May for the basic sensitisation of school heads/ teachers about the quality interventions.

During summer vacation, in-depth study of the whole process of evaluation will be done by this group of 11 officers for further alterations and modifications.



From schools
Awareness programme organised

CHANDIGARH : As many as 22 students and three teachers of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, and 25 students and five teachers of Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, visited Botanical Garden for awareness programme on medicinal plants organised by the Environment Society of India, Chandigarh. Om Parkash Coordinator-cum-in charge Eco Clubs of Chandigarh imparted the information about the various medicinal plants, identification, medicinal properties and their uses etc. He had shown several species of herbal, sacred and fruit plants at the botanical garden.

Workshop on e-waste management

A workshop on “E-Waste Management” was organised by the Government Senior Secondary School, Sector-38 (West), Dadu Majra Colony, Chandigarh, in association with DEEKSHA- an NGO working in the field of environment awareness. The students were given valuable information through an Interactive session followed by a quiz contest. Tripat Parmar, director of the NGO conducted the workshop. Col Parmar spoke to students about healthy recycling practices and how students could adopt the 3R's (reduce, reuse and recycle) in their life to preserve the environment.

Annual fuction held

Students of Aanchal International School, Sector 41, in a jubilant mood during their annual prize distribution function in Chandigarh.
Students of Aanchal International School, Sector 41, in a jubilant mood during their annual prize distribution function in Chandigarh. 

Aanchal International School Sector 41 D, Chandigarh, celebrated its annual prize distribution function for the session 2012-13 today. Students who had excelled in various competitions and cultural functions held in the session were awarded for their hard work & excellence. Dr Ram Mehar, Sr Assistant Professor, Dept of Education, University School of Open Learning, Punjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest at the occasion and gave awat the prizes to the winners. He applauded the efforts made by children and also appreciated the efforts of the school management in developing overall personality of its students. Prizes for competitions like carol singing, making things out of waste, poetry recitation, rangoli making and other academics activities were given to the children. Principal Manju Sood, in her welcome address highlighted the achievements of the school in various curricular and co-curricular activities.

Red colour day

PANCHKULA: As many as 100 children of primary classes enthusiastically celebrated the RED Colour Day in The British School, Panchkula They were shown different pictures and objects of red colour. All the students were dressed in red. They added red colour to all the art and craft work and also made a booklet of the objects of red colour like apple, flower, tomato and ladybird. Audio visual aids were used to show the red coloured objects like letterbox and watermelon to the children.

Pre-school graduation ceremony

Students of Spring Valley Public School during their farewell function at Mohali.
Students of Spring Valley Public School during their farewell function at Mohali.

MOHALI: A pre-school graduation ceremony and a farewell function was organised at Spring Valley Public School, Mohali, for the students of UKG class. A colourful function was held in which all the students participated. The Tiny Tots of Playway, Nursery and LKG classes took part in various cultural items like Saraswati Vandana, ketchup dance, bhangra, Bengali dance,.dhandiya, boogi-woogie, jai ho, and all is well. The principal Ms Ravinder Kaur read the annual report in which various achievements of the school were illustrated. Later the school chairperson Ms Inderjit Kaur Buttar distributed the pre-school graduation certificates to the UKG students. Prizes were also given to student who stood first , second and third in various activities held in school during 2009-2010. — TNS



PU students raise demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Members of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) along with several PU students held a protest in front of Vice-Chancellor's office for their long pending demands.

In their memorandum submitted to the VC, the completion of the girl Hostel no-9 by May-2013 end and one more boys hostel in the coming session, were prime demands.

Members said that several of their issues were being ignored by the university authorities. They further said that there was no proper bus service from girl's hostel to UIET and BDS. "There is also a need to construct a new gate at the back of girl's hostel-6, inorder to avoid eve teasing and misbehaviour with girls", said members.

They said that promoting BSc students to MSc through 90 per cent credit system was also one of their long pending demands, besides the abolition of odd-even system in science examination structure. There was also a need of better equipment inside the university gymnasium, said one of the members.

"If these demands would not be met shortly, we would go for hunger strike", said president Arshnoor dhillon.



Education Dept may lose Central grant
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The UT Education Department is in tight spot over the issue of school uniform. The department officials feared that their Central school uniform grant of approximately Rs 4 crore, provided under Sarav Shikshya Abhiyan , might lapse since it could not spend even a single penny from this budget, even as the current financial year is about to end.

The delay is on the part of the education department in finalising a concerned policy.

Over 95% of the government schools failed to manage even a single financial bidding, when they issued the tender notices for school uniforms earlier this month.

Even as all the schools are again being instructed by the department to recall their tender notices and utilise the budget as early as possible, but not many are hopeful of successfully procuring the uniforms, given the tough technical specifications and lower rates.

A president of school management committee, Satpal Gupta said that the major problem with the policy was that the schools were given very short time to buy the uniforms. Further, the rates fixed by the department are not compatible with the market rates.



Two candidates shortlisted for PEC Director’s post
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The UT Administration has shortlisted two names for the post of Director at PEC University of Technology. The candidates are from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Roorkee.

The official sources said that the names of Dr Rakesh Arora of IIT Delhi and Dr Pradeep Garg of IIT Roorkee had been shortlisted out of the seven candidates.

As many as nine candidates had applied for the Director’s post however only seven had appeared before the selection panel for the interview on March 12.

A senior UT official said that the two candidates were the front runners and the final selection would be made soon. “These are the two most suitable candidates out of those who appeared before the selection panel”, official added.

Sources said both the candidates were from Civil Engineering Departments of their institutes.

In December, 2012, the secretary of the technical education had written to all the peer engineering institutes, including IIT, NIT, DTU, BITS, CSIO and IMTECH informing them about the constitution of selection committee seeking recommendations of candidates from these institutes for the post. The Administration had also mentioned that the candidates from the field of technical education, preferably from IIT or NIT would be preferred. The applications for the post were invited by the administration till January 31.



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