C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Three youths kidnapped at gunpoint, rescued
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Three youths were allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint in broad daylight by around 20 unidentified youths from outside Tawa Restaurant in the busy Sector 10 market of Panchkula.

Taking vital clues from the CCTV camera footage, the police managed to rescue the victims. The police has also rounded up 13 persons in the case.

The victims, Karanvir, Lucky and Sonu, are all residents of Mansa Devi Complex in Sector 5, Panchkula.

Property dispute is said to be the reason behind the kidnapping, said the police. The police said the victims owed Rs 30 lakh to the kidnappers.

Sources said the youths entered into a scuffle at the restaurant. They took the victims out and bundled them into a car at gunpoint. The miscreants then fled towards the toll plaza.

Station house officer of the Sector 5 police station Naveen Sindhu and Assistant Commissioner of Police Virender Sangwan rushed to the spot. Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi were also present.

The police swung into action and managed to trace the kidnappers and rescue the victims in the evening.

One of the victims, Karanvir, had been booked by the Kurukshetra police for forgery.

Security cover

The miscreants managed to kidnap the trio at gunpoint even as the police had stepped up security in Panchkula ahead of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s visit. The CM was in the town to inaugurate the ROR Bhawan at the MDC, Panchkula.



16-year-old girl abducted
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
A 16-year-old girl of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, was allegedly kidnapped by four youths today.

The victim was standing outside a housing society with her friends when the incident took place. This is the seventh kidnapping incident in Panchkula in the past 10 days.

The victim’s parents approached the police and suspected the role of their neighbour behind the kidnapping. However, the police personnel said they were busy with the CM’s function.

Later, a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC was registered at the Mansa Devi Complex police station.

“When I approached the police and said I suspected my neighbour, they made me sit for an hour at the police station. The police personnel said they were busy as the CM was in town,” said Ompal, the victim’s father.

When contacted, SHO Dinesh Chauhan said: “We are making efforts to trace the girl.”



City experiences coldest March since 2003
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
This March is the coldest since 2003 in the city. The Met department said the lowest maximum temperature recorded this month was 31.4° C, which was three degrees below normal.

The sudden dip in the temperature has been attributed to the western disturbance. The Met department expects weather to remain cold till April.

Statistics with the Met department reveal that the city received the highest rainfall of 5.2 mm in March 2011. The weather remained dry in 2008 and 2010 and 2 mm of rainfall was recorded in March 2012.

The city received 0.4 mm of rainfall today, with the maximum temperature touching 27° C and minimum of 16.9° C. Met Officials said the maximum temperature was 5 degrees below normal and minimum was one notch below normal.

Met department director Surinder Pal Singh said rain lashed the city due to the western disturbance in the south-west region. Rain is also expected in the first week of April, he said.

The weatherman has forecast partly cloudy sky and possibility of thundershowers on Saturday with the maximum temperature hovering around 27° C.



Students in a fix as exam dates clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Panjab University and Delhi University have fixed the same date for the law entrance exam. This has left students planning to appear in both the exams in a fix.

Both the exams are scheduled for June 9. Students have now started approaching the PU authorities for changing the date of the entrance exam.

The PU has already started the sale of forms for the test.

Sidharth Thakur, who wants to appear in both the exams, said: “The students will suffer if the universities fail to change the dates. We would have to make a choice between both the universities,” he said.

SOPU leader Vikramjit Middukhera said they had submitted a memorandum to the Registrar and the Vice-Chancellor urging them to reschedule the exam.

PU Registrar AK Bhandari said: “We have received a representation from the students which has been forwarded to the Controller of Examination.”



Jail inmate tries to end life, booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
An inmate of the Burail jail was booked for trying to commit suicide on the jail premises on Thursday.

The police said he banged his forehead against the iron grills in the barrack. He was admitted to the GMCH-32.

The police stated Sonu, alias Bakri, a resident of Mauli Jagran, tried to commit suicide. Inspector Diwan Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station, said Sonu began fighting with another inmate in the jail after which the jail authorities shifted him to another barrack. “The accused started behaving abnormally and hit his head against the iron grills. He also broke a bulb tried to chew it,” the SHO said. Sonu was a history sheeter with eight different cases registered against him, said the SHO. The security has been beefed at the hospital, he added.

A case under Section 309 of the IPC (attempt to commit suicide) was registered at the Sector 34 police station.



Alwar trader rescued from clutches of business rivals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
A 35-year old businessman of Alwar district in Rajasthan was rescued from the clutches of his business rivals, who abducted him over money dispute, from ISBT-17 on Thursday night.

Businessman identified as Ruchar Vohra was rescued near the Zirakpur barrier when an MUV, in which he was abducted, was intercepted following a phone call at the police control room.

The three accused have been identified as Youshif Khan and Safat Khan, both residents of Ajanta Chowk, Bhiwari district of Alwar in Rajasthan and Akhtar Ali of Delhi.

Police officials stated that the incident took place at around 8.30 pm when the accused had summoned Vohra to ISBT-17 for discussing the money dispute, but forcefully bundled him in their MUV.

The police officials said that Vohra was accompanied by his maternal uncle, a resident of Mani Majra, who made a call to the police control room about the kidnapping incident.

Following the call the police team intercepted the MUV and arrested the accused.

The police stated that during questioning the accused claimed that Vohra was not paying their money and their intention was not to kidnap him.

The family members of the three accused have been informed about the arrest.

The accused were produced in a local court today and remanded in police custody for one day.

A case was registered at the Sector-17 police station and an inquiry has been initiated.

Intention was to take back money from victim

The three accused have been identified as Youshif Khan and Safat Khan, both residents of Ajanta Chowk, Bhiwari district of Alwar in Rajasthan, and Akhtar Ali of Delhi. Police officials stated that the incident took place at around 8.30 pm when the accused had summoned Vohra to ISBT-17 for discussing the money dispute, but forcefully bundled him in their MUV. The police stated that during questioning the accused claimed that Vohra was not paying their money and their intention was not to kidnap him.


HUDA plots
Only 6 allottees turn up for draw of lots
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Resenting the allotment of alternative plots by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to plot owners at Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Sector 2 here, only six of the 33 allottees turned up for the draw of lots. After giving a week’s time, HUDA had called the allottees for the draw of lots today. Since others did not turn up, draw of lots was held for only six allottees.

The allottees, who were given plots at the MDC, Sector 2, were alleging harassment at the hands of HUDA officials. The authority had allotted the plots (14 marla, one kanal and two kanal) in January 2006.

The allottees also alleged that they were not informed about the exact time of the draw of lots today and were kept waiting till 4 pm. Before offering the alternative plots, HUDA did not reveal their details, thereby raising questions on the type of plots.



Maintenance of public toilets
GMADA ropes in Sulabh International
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 29
The town is all set to get cleaner and better-maintained public toilets with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) deciding to rope in Sulabh International for the job.

In a letter sent last week to the Sulabh International Social Services Organisation, Chandigarh, GMADA stated that it had decided to allot the work of operation and maintenance of nine public toilets, and the renovation, operation and maintenance of 24 other toilets for a period of 10 years. These toilets would be functional on “a pay-and-use basis”.

Sulabh International has been asked by GMADA to sign the contract within seven days of the issue of the allotment letter. The agreement will be signed next week.

There are a total of 33 public toilets in various parts of the town, out of which nine are in a usable condition while 24 will have to be renovated before making them functional.

GMADA has asked Sulabh International to present an estimate for the renovation of old toilet buildings.

The nine toilets, some of which were constructed on a BOT basis and others constructed recently, will be run by Sulabh in the first phase as no renovation work has to be carried out. These are located in Sectors 55, 56, 60, 62, 63, 64 and Phase III B-1. The remaining 24 will have to be renovated before being made functional.



MC forms 3 sub-committees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has constituted three sub-committees under the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1994.

These include roads committee, water supply and sewerage disposal committee and house tax committee.

Councillors Sat Parkash Aggarwal, Darshan Kumar Garg, Harjinder Kaur, Mukesh Bassi, Dr Amrit Tewari, Maj DS Sandhu (retd), Anoop Sunny Gill, Satinder Singh and Naresh Kumar will be the members of the road committee.

The names of Dr Shagufta Parveen, Satish Kainth, Pardeep Chhabra, Raj Bala Malik, Dr Amrit Tewari, Surinder Bahga, Gurcharan Dass Kalaa, Rajesh Gupta and Desh Raj Gupta have been included in the water supply and sewerage disposal committee of the Municipal Corporation.

The house committee will have councillors Babu Lal, Darshan Kumar Garg, Sheela Devi, Gurbax Rawat, Prof Aruna Goel, MP Kohli, Rajinder Kaur Rattu, Asha Jaiswal and Malkiat Singh as its members.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said: “No elections will be held if there is a consensus among members as far as the choice of the chairmen of the committees of the local civic body is concerned.”



Another setback for victim’s family
Central African Republic High Commission to ferry body only till Delhi airport
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
The family of Karna Bahadur, who was shot dead in an open fire by the French troops in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), suffered another setback when the CAR High Commission refused to ferry the body to his Panchkula residence in Sector 4.

The authorities at C.A.R. told the family that they would transport the body only till New Delhi airport and they would have to bring the body to Panchkula from there.

The body of Karna Bahadur reached Johannesburg from CAR this afternoon and it will be sent to India by the Saudi Airlines tomorrow.

Due to disturbances prevailing in the country, Bahadur was going to the Bangui airport in the capital of C.A.R to catch a flight to India when the French troops mistook the vehicle he was in to be that of suicide bombers and opened fire. Bahadur was one of the two Indians who were killed in the incident.

“The family is in a state of shock and how can the C.A.R. authorities expect them go to go to Delhi airport to receive the body? In fact they should send the body to his Panchkula residence”, said Dr Saroj Aggarwal, who is helping the family.

No official of the Panchkula administration turned up to help the family. “Even after the Indian Prime Minister expressed his regrets over the incident, no representative of the district administration came to ask about the well-being of the family,” said Kirti, a neighbour.

“We have lost everything. He has two small daughters. We don’t know what we are going to do now. Bahadur was the sole bread winner of the family,” said Dal Bahadur, father-in-law of the victim.

Victim Karna Bahadur’s family is residing at Sector 4, Panchkula, but they originally belong to Nepal. He was working as a cook in CAR and had gone there five months ago.

Panchkula MLA DK Bansal said, “It is sad that such an incident happened. I will be attending the funeral.”



Central excise officers postpone strike
Cadre restructuring proposal cleared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Central Board for Excise and Customs (CBEC) today informed excise and customs gazetted officers that their demand for cadre restructuring had been cleared by the Union Revenue Secretary following which they deferred their three-day strike starting tomorrow.

Central excise and customs gazetted officers had earlier announced a three-day strike starting tomorrow besides submission of mass resignations on April 30 in case their demands were not met.

The Tribune had earlier highlighted that Inspectors and Superintendents in central excise and customs had not got promotions for as many as twenty years whereas similarly placed officers in other departments, including Income Tax, were getting at least four to five promotions in their career.

Meanwhile, Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose said the CBEC was actively considering all the demands of the gazetted officers and that a decision on all pending issues would be taken soon.

Bose said the CBEC was also holding talks with the Association of Gazetted Officers.

Association office bearer, Chandigarh zone, comprising Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring states, said the 30,000 Inspectors and Superintendents had decided to defer their strike following an assurance by the CBEC chairperson that their file had been cleared by the Revenue Secretary and had been submitted to the Union Finance Minister for further action.

Sharma said since the CBEC had urged the association to give it some time to apprise the Finance Minister of the situation and get the restructuring proposal cleared on priority, the strike had been deferred as of now. Association general secretary Boota Singh and Inspectors Association general secretary Bhagwan Singh said since the CBEC had given a concrete assurance to resolve all pending issues of gazetted officers the strike was being withdrawn.



Ror Dharamshala inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 29
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, inaugurated the Ror Dharamshala at the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, here today.

While congratulating the Ror Mahasabha for constructing the dharamshala, Hooda said it would be a common place where the people of the community could sit together, share their views and redress their grievances through mutual dialogue.

Hooda said members of the Ror community had played a vital role in the Third Battle of Panipat.

Hooda also announced to give Rs 21 lakh from his discretionary funds to the Ror Mahasabha for purchasing furniture and sound system for the dharamshala.

He assured Ror Mahasabha members that their demands would be considered sympathetically.



Body found

Mohali, March 29
The police recovered the body of a person from Phase I here today. A passer-by saw Jatinder Singh’s (28) body lying near the Dasehra ground in Phase I.

He later informed the police about the incident. Jatinder was a resident of Mohali village. He is said to have died due to drug overdose. — OC



Dentists must promote dental tourism, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the dental surgeons’ fraternity to play a pro-active role in promoting dental tourism in the state.

Badal was addressing the galaxy of dental surgeons across the globe during the inaugural function of the three-day “First Punjab State Dental Conference” held here today at the auditorium of Government Medical College in Sector 32.

Underlining the need to provide best dental treatment at affordable prices to the dental patients for abroad, the CM said that presently updated health sector in the state could play a pivotal role in boosting ‘Dental Tourism’ in Punjab.



206 TGTs to become lecturers
Promotions hanging fire for past 22 years, unions welcome move
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
After a gap of 22 years, 206 government teachers are set to get the departmental promotion. They will be promoted to the post of lecturer from their present post of master/mistress under the trained graduate teacher (TGT) cadre.

Officials said the departmental promotion committee (DPC), especially constituted for this purpose, had already held two meetings and the list of promoted teachers was expected within a week.

“Every case is being scrutinised for the purpose of promotion, to be done on the seniority-cum-merit basis,” said a senior official.

Several pending litigations had delayed the matter so far. This time, however, the department decided to go ahead with promotions, subject to court’s decision, to give relief to teachers whose promotions were held up for over two decades now.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of UT Cadre Employees’ Welfare Union, said it was a welcome move. Now, there should be no further delay, he said. Vinod Sharma, president of Government Teachers’ Union, said the department should conclude the process of promotions at the earliest and release the orders within three to four days.

Nearly 160 teachers, reportedly, will be promoted from the master/mistress category, and the rest will be promoted from the language master/mistress category. A senior official of the department said the ratio between the master/mistress and language master/mistress categories had been decided on the basis of service rules as well as the current strength.

A TGT said several government teachers had retired without getting a single promotion. “Promotions, which are now likely to happen soon, will not bring any major financial relief to us, but will definitely boost our morale,” he said.

Guest faculty to go

Promotions will come at a cost for temporary teachers. Several teachers working on temporary basis as guest faculty on the sanctioned posts will have to make way for those getting promotions. A government official said they were planning to adjust some of these teachers, but nothing has been finalised so far.



Students’ stir continues at NIPER
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 29
Students of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) continued with their protest against the director of the institute for terminating services of a professor.

The students gathered near the gate of the institute and raised slogans against the director, KK Bhutani. They demanded reinstatement of Dr Parikshit Bansal and rooting out of alleged corruption on the campus.

Students today also met the director, registrar, faculty members and the administrative team to discuss the matter. The issue, however, could not be resolved.

Dr Bansal said students were being adversely affected due to the termination of his services. He said he was guiding as well as teaching a number of students.

He said project proposals were prepared by the faculty members on the basis of which funds were allocated by the Central Government. These funds were sent directly to the director, and their distribution was not disclosed to the faculty members who prepared the projects, he said.

Director KK Bhutani said two long interactive sessions were held with students. An appeal was also made to them to end the protest, he said. They were asked to form a panel of some students for submitting their charter of demands, which would be looked into, he said.

They, however, were asked to drop the issue pertaining to Dr Bansal, he said.

Bhutani alleged students were being instigated by certain faculty members. He maintained that there was no misappropriation of funds. The issue had been probed into by the investigating agencies, he said.

He said he could comment on the matter as it was pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Degrees conferred on 1,030 students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Degrees were conferred on as many as 1,030 graduates and postgraduates during the 56th annual convocation of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11.

The chief guest, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, congratulated students and said research and education should compliment each other in order to “push the frontiers of knowledge”.

He motivated students and the staff to be innovative and create a niche for themselves in today’s competitive world.

In the postgraduate category, 180 degrees were awarded in public administration, economics, dance, music vocal, music instrumental, botany, zoology, chemistry, sociology, English and computer applications.

Among the graduates, 140 received degrees for commerce, 70 for BCA, 170 for honours in arts, and 300 for arts. As many as 170 science graduates got degrees in the medical, non-medical and computer science fields.



PU: Dept buys laptops for faculty from lapsed library security fund, objections raised
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The recent move of the department of evening studies at Panjab University to buy seven laptops for the faculty members from the lapsed library security fund of students has raised many eyebrows.

The unclaimed security deposit, which is regarded as the income of the university, has been utilised for buying laptops for seven senior-most teachers, including a re-employed teacher.

Vijay Kumar Chopra, chairperson of the evening studies department, said the lapsed amount was the income of the university and could be utilised for any departmental purpose.

“There is nothing wrong in using the money for purchasing laptops under this particular head,” he said.

However, the audit branch of the university has also raised objections against the purchase of these laptops.

As per the PU norms, the lapsed amount can be utilised for providing any service or building departmental infrastructure that can be collectively used by students and faculty members.

A senior faculty member of the department, raising an objection against the purchase of laptops for some faculty members, said even if the fund was the income of the university, it should have been utilised for providing facilities to students.

“There is no computer cell in the department and the amount generated through the lapsed security fund should have been utilised for purchasing computers for students,” the faculty member said.

Another teacher of the department said purchasing costly laptops, that too when the university was not financially sound, was not appreciable.

Money should be spent on students

There is no computer cell in the department and the amount generated through the lapsed security fund should have been utilised for purchasing computers for students.

Senior faculty member, department of evening studies, Panjab university



1,500 students to ‘explore’ outer space
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Over 1,500 students from across the country will attend the 2nd National Conference on Space 2013 at Tagore Theatre on April 4-5.

The event is being jointly hosted by International Space Society (ISS), Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India (SPSTI) and Dikshant International School, Zirakpur.

Professor HP Singh of Delhi University will deliver the inaugural lecture on ‘Getting a measure of the Universe’. A lecture on ‘Astronomical Space Expedition’ by Suresh Naik, former group director, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will be the main attraction on April 5.

The other highlight of the conference is the night sky-watching and a quiz on astronomy for children to be conducted by Professors JS Bagla of IISER, Mohali, and Sandeep Sahijpal of Punjab University.

Suresh Naik, who is also the ISS chairman, said the two-day event aimed at creating awareness about space science through seminars and training programme for enthusiasts and also to create awareness about the fascinating field of space, besides the career opportunities it offers.

Mitul Dikshit, president, ISS, said the event would see participation of more than 1,500 students from across the country. There will be a special session on Careers in Astronomy’ on the second day by Professor Ranjan Gupta from Pune’s Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics.



Documentary films throw light on Sufism
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
On the concluding day of the Festival of Sufi Music and Documentary Films, various films exploring the philosophy behind Sufism were screened. ‘Qasba Sanskriti-Amroha’, followed by ‘Qasba Sanskriti-Bilgram’, ‘Khayal Darpan’ and ‘Making of the Taj’ were the short films screened today. These were followed by a discussion.

Qasba Sanskriti — Bilgram and Amroha — were showcased the ethnographic diversity and cultural traditions of two towns in North India. Making of the Taj was about the construction of the world-famous Mughal monument in Agra.

Khayal Darpan (A Mirror of Imagination), a feature-length film by Yousuf Saeed, an independent filmmaker based in Delhi, explored the development of classical music in Pakistan post-1947. It featured many famous khayal singers of Pakistan.



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