C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cop’s murder leaves UT police red-faced
Major chinks exposed in the response time of the police force despite claims of intensive patrolling
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The gruesome murder of UT police Inspector Sucha Singh in the late night incident near the Sector 17 police station has exposed major chinks in the response time of the police that has been boasting about its intensive patrolling across the city.

Bringing to light the sheer callousness of the force and an ineffective sealing plan in case of a major crime, the way the Inspector has been murdered shows that even the police is not safe in the city, not to speak of the common man.

Station House Officer Ram Gopal shows the poster carrying the suspected murderer’s photograph in Chandigarh on Saturday
Station House Officer Ram Gopal shows the poster carrying the suspected murderer’s photograph in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

On call of duty, Inspector Sucha Singh, posted with the Traffic Police, was on night checking along with his driver and Home Guards volunteer Jatinder Singh when they rounded up a couple who was walking down on suspicion at 2.15 am on Friday night. The youth, a fugitive UT police constable Basant, alias Bunty, wanted in the double murder case in Sonepat on April 18, stabbed both of them repeatedly and fled with his female accomplice after snatching their Gypsy, which they later abandoned. They were being taken to the police station in the Gypsy for verification when he attacked them.

The police has booked both constable Basant and his girlfriend Sarita for the murder.

The way accused Basant and Sarita made an exit from the scene of crime, which is just 60 metres from the Sector 17 police station in the police Gypsy and the failure of the police operation to track the accused even after they abandoned the Gypsy speaks volumes of the inefficiency of the police force.

The UT police has always been boasting of intensifying their patrolling, but not a single PCR van could intercept the accused as they made their way from Sector 17 towards the Sector 16 Stadium roundabout after turning left from the Sector 16/17 light point, then towards the Sector 16/24 roundabout before proceeding towards Dakshin Marg and then towards Dhanas side when they turned towards Ambedkar colony. A PCR constable on a motorcycle saw the Gypsy and waited for orders from the control room to fire. Sources said the orders came late and by the time the constable could fire, the accused had fled. The constable had twice passed on the message to the control room whether he should fire on not, he was then told to burst the tyre. There was no firing and crucial time was thus wasted as the police acted late.

Later, on reaching the dead end at Ambedkar colony in Dhanas, the accused couple managed to flee on foot right under the nose of the police. A massive operation was launched in the forest area of Dhanas to intercept the accused, but the police only tasted failure.

How the events unfolded that night

2.15am Inspector Sucha Singh rounds up the couple.

2.20am Couple asked to sit in the police vehicle, after which Bunty stabbed Inspector Sucha Singh and Jatinder.

2.21am A message was flashed about the incident to the police control room.

2.30am The Gypsy was intercepted and chased near Sector 38

2.35am The Gypsy was found abandoned, assailant along with the woman had fled.

SIT formed

The UT police has formed a special investigating team (SIT) headed by Satbir Singh, DSP (Crime), to crack the case and arrest the accused.

‘Killer’ with girlfriend roaming freely in the city

The murder also brought to light the failure of the police in arresting constable Basant and his friend Sarita, wanted in the double murder case at Sonepat, who were roaming about freely in the city. The police had booked Basant in a cheating case in April as he fraudulently got an SLR issued from the police lines and used that rifle to commit double murder in Sonepat. Both were frequent visitors to the city but the police failed to identify or arrest them all these days. Accused Basant had joined the UT police in 2011.

Constable on guard failed to act on time

A UT police constable who was on duty at the Old District Courts building in Sector 17 failed to react on time as he heard the screams of both Inspector Sucha Singh and Home Guards volunteer Jatinder. The constable rushed inside the court premises. He told the police that the gates were locked from inside and he had gone to bring the keys but by that time it was too late and the accused couple had fled.

‘Bunty use chhod do, Bunty,’ shouted Sarita

Home Guard volunteer Jatinder Singh, who identified the accused on the basis of photograph shown to him in the hospital, told the police that by the time they were attacked, the female accomplice on the rear seat shouted, “Bunty use chhod do.” Jatinder sustained serious injuries in the hand.

Spent 37 years in police service

57-year-old Inspector Sucha Singh was due to retire from service on January 31, 2014. He had been serving the UT police for the past 37 years. He had joined as a constable in April 1976. He was promoted as a head constable in 1981 and became an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police in 1988. He was promoted to the rank of a Sub-Inspector in 1991 and became an Inspector in 2008. He was posted at the Women and Child Support Unit, Traffic, Economic Offence Wing and the Operations Cell.

Police fraternity shocked, IGP holds meeting

The sudden murder of the Inspector sent shock waves in the police fraternity and colleagues remembered him as a very polite, responsible and endearing officer. “He was an excellent human being who gave his life to the police force and was looking forward to his retirement next year when he would settle down. It is a big loss to the police force,” said Satbir Singh, DSP (Crime), who remembered Sucha Singh as a hardworking officer when he worked with him. IGP RP Upadhyaya held a meeting with the police officials late on Saturday night and asked the police officers to have their gunmen along with them as Sucha Singh did not have his gunman with him.



‘Rupa’ was his last word at the PGI
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Minutes before succumbing to his injuries at the PGI this morning, Inspector Sucha Singh had called out his daughter’s name ‘Rupa’. His daughter Rupinder, alias Rupa, was shell-shocked after the murder of her father. She had never imagined that a routine call of duty would become a tragedy.

“Before he breathed his last, he called out my name. He wanted to talk but he was not able to,” said Rupinder, who was shocked after the incident.

As the gruesome tragedy befell on his family, the Inspector’s wife, Ranjit Kaur, fainted as she heard the news of he husband’s death.

“I was ill and he asked me to take proper care before he went on duty yesterday. Little did I know that he will never return. The accused constable needs to be hanged, my life is ruined,” she wept inconsolably along with her daughter. Besides Ranjit and Rupa, Sucha Singh is survived by his son Prince who is employed in Canada and had taken a flight yesterday to go there, but is returning midway. Sucha Singh had gone to Delhi to see his son off at the airport and returned yesterday. He had then left for the night duty.

“He was very happy as his son had got engaged recently. He told me that he had big plans for his son’s wedding,” said another relative. The post-mortem examination of the victim was conducted at the PGI and the body would be cremated tomorrow after Prince returned home.



Illegal construction on land earmarked for houses of judges
UT Estate officials stop the process
Tribune News Service

Food being cooked for a religious congregation on the encroached land at Sector 10-A in Chandigarh
Food being cooked for a religious congregation on the encroached land at Sector 10-A in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, June 8
Under the garb of organising a religious congregation, a religious body tried to encroach upon a large strip of government land that has been earmarked for Judges houses in Sector 10-A here. The management of the Pracheen Shiv Mandir and community hall was extending the boundary of the premises by five feet on all sides without seeking any permission.

The construction activity had been camouflaged with tents erected for the religious congregation.

On getting information, an enforcement team of the UT Estate Office descended on the scene late last evening and stopped the illegal construction. Apart from confiscating the construction material, construction tools were also taken away.

Officials of the Estate Office said the management of the Pracheen Shiv Mandir and community hall was extending the boundary of the premises on all sides without seeking any permission. The construction activity had been camouflaged with tents erected for the religious congregation.

Amarinder Singh, Enforcement (Tehisldar), said the illegal construction activity had been stopped.

An official in the Engineering Department revealed that about two years ago, single-storey type 13 (cheap) houses of the UT employees were demolished for multi-storeyed flats. But later the land was earmarked for the judges houses. But the land under possession of the community hall was coming in the way.

A visit to the spot revealed that construction material was scattered all over. The organisers of the congregation, however, claimed that they were repairing the boundary wall. Some residents of the area, who did not wish to be quoted, wondered as to how permissions was granted for the function on the land where Judges houses are to be constructed.


Residents fume at 36-hour-long power cut in Panchkula
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 8
Lack of vision by the power authorities today cost dear to hundreds of the residents of several Sectors in Panchkula. The residents of Sectors 10, 11, 12 besides parts of 12A and 14 and BEL Colony, are at the receiving end due to the 36-hour-long power cut, imposed by the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

The power cut has been imposed to upgrade the transformer, which is feeding these Sectors from 16 MVA to 31 MVA at 66 KV grid substation, located in the Industrial Area. The power cut began at 5 am today.

The authorities claimed that with the upgrade of the transformer, the problem of rotational power cuts in the area would be solved substantially. “The people should bear some difficulty for better results”, said an official. On the other hand, the residents were angry over the "timing" of the work. “Were they (the power authorities) sleeping before? Were the power authorities not aware about the need of upgrading the transformer in winter or spring when the electricity requirement was low, "asked Rajan Kumar, a resident of Sector 11. According to Manish Singla, a resident of sector 12, his family was forced to stay with their relatives in Chandigarh as it was simply not possible to stay at the home in such a situation.

The residents are also complaining about the shortage of water. With no power, water pumps installed by the residents on the ground floor to fill overhead tanks on the third floor could not function. “Our tanks are dry. Even, we do not have water to wash our hands,” Kalpana Sethi, a resident of Sector 11, said. “How are we supposed to cook or wash utensils,” she added. Even the food kept in the refrigerators, especially perishable items like fruit, curd and milk, also got spoilt in the heat. Simran, a 13-year-old child at Sector 10 was particularly upset after her ice-cream melted.

Similarly, Rajinder Soni, a chemist, said, “There are many medicines, which need to be stored under refrigeration and 36-hour power cut will harm them.” However, battery-powered inverters provided some relief to the residents for a few hours. “Had the authorities applied their mind and planned the maintenance schedule properly, the people, especially the aged and the children, would have been spared their ordeal,” Sanjay Mishra, a resident of Sector 14 said.



thursday’s thunderstorm
Dept takes stock of heavy losses
30 poles, 14 transformers besides supply wires damaged; five workers hurt too
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The UT Electricity Department has suffered heavy losses due to the high-velocity winds that hit the city on Thursday evening. Two days after the strong winds, the UT Electricity Department made an estimate that around 30 electricity poles and 14 transformers were damaged, besides massive damage to electricity supply wires.

In their attempt to restore power supply during the past two days, five employees of the department have also been injured in various accidents. One of the employees was admitted to the PGI with serious injuries.

Power restored across city

The electricity department, however, has managed to restore the power supply across the city. UT Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said the major problem was the damage of supply lines in various parts of the city.

Besides leading to a financial loss to the department, removing heavy trees from over the supply lines consumed most of the time, he said. Once that was done, power supply was restored immediately, said MP Singh.

The power helpline numbers received only 10 complaints today. Over the past two days, the department had received as many as 2,150 complaints from various parts of the city.

UT Powermen Union general secretary Gopal Joshi said the electricity department staff worked very hard in the past two days. He said officials should recognise efforts made by the staff, and drop the proposal of corporatisation of the electricity department.

‘Electricity dept does not face staff shortage’

UT Electricity Department officials have been claiming that the department is facing staff shortage. Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission, however, in its recent order, had stated that the department was not facing the problem of “staff shortage”, but was in fact “over staffed”. “Considering the all-India average of number of employees per thousand consumers, which is 0.403 as per the annual plan of the financial year 2011-12, it can be construed that the Chandigarh Electricity Department is still overstaffed,” the order read.



slum rehabilitation scheme
CHB losing revenue due to delay in allotment of flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
The Railgate involving former Union Railway Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal seems to have cast its shadow on the slum rehabilitation scheme of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

The work for allotment of 8,100 one-room tenements at Dhanas, which was going on in full swing a few months ago, has slowed down. Prior to the Railways scam, UT officials conducted several rounds of meetings to review the progress of work, as the Prime Minister was supposed to handover possession of the flats.

A senior official said construction of 10,016 small flats was nearing completion, and the process of registration of eligible beneficiaries was being initiated.

Sources said the CHB would be earning a monthly revenue of Rs 85 lakh through the rent collected from the jhuggi dwellers. By rough estimates, if the allotments had been made on time, the board could have earned a revenue of Rs 15 crore, at a time when it is passing through financial crisis.

Sources revealed that the CHB had so far spent over Rs 250 crore on the construction of 8,448 one-room tenements.



ASSN president poll
Court serves notice on Sector 21 Citizens’ Association
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
A day before the Sector 21 Citizens’ Association is to vote for its president, the election has come under the judicial scanner. A resident today moved a local court seeking directions to the association and other respondents against holding the poll.

The development is significant as the society has over 1,500 members. Taking up the civil suit and application filed by Rajinder Kumar Goyal, the court this morning issued notice to the respondents for Monday. This means the society will go ahead with the elections on Sunday; and the facts in issue will be decided by the court subsequently.

In the suit, Goyal has asserted that the society is a non-political organisation for “improvement of the environment and all-round development of the sector”; however, its president, Baljinder Singh (Bittu), was having “links with the Congress party at the time of election in June 2011”.

Goyal said the defendant could not function as the society president while being affiliated to a political party. He alleged that Bittu constituted the executive committee in July 2011 in complete disregard of the provisions of its constitution. Quoting an example, he said the outgoing president and the general secretary have to be the ex-officio members of the executive committee. The then outgoing president, PC Sanghi, and general secretary, KC Jain, were deliberately left out, he said.

Goyal said formation of the executive committee and the decisions taken by it, especially enrollment of new members, were illegal and unconstitutional. “The executive committee, which is illegally and unlawfully constituted, cannot enroll any person as a society member. Thus, enrollment of members after July 5, 2011, is liable to be declared illegal, invalid and contrary to the rules,” he said.

In the application, he stated: “The applicant/plaintiff will suffer an irreparable loss and injury if he is not granted ad-interim injunction… and the respondents go ahead and hold the election of the posts of president... Moreover, the suit will become infructuous or will increase in multiplicity of proceedings.”



MPs inspect infrastructure, ongoing projects at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
A seven-member parliamentary committee today visited various departments of the PGI to monitor projects being conducted at the premier institute. Sources in the PGI said the team visited the emergency department, eye-care centre and advance trauma centre during its visit. The MPs inspected the basic infrastructure at these departments.

Later, the members had a meeting with PGI Director, YK Chawla. They discussed various issues pertaining to the institute.

Sources said a detailed report of the visit will be prepared by the committee members, following which the MPs will submit the report to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for implementation of the recommendations.



grain market-26
Traders object to estate office survey
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
A delegation of traders from the Sector 26 grain market, have met UT officials to register their objections to the “sudden and unwarranted” survey being conducted by the enforcement staff of the estate office.

During their meetings with Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin and Assistant Estate Officer Rahul Gupta yesterday, traders, under the banner of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, accused the estate office officials of targeting them.

General secretary, grain market, Sunil Gupta told the officials that the traders were not encroaching upon any government space, but still were being targeted through the surveys that were not only being conducted outside their shops but also on the premises of the shops.

It was creating panic among the traders at the grain market, said Sunil Gupta.

Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Charanjiv Singh said in the current economic slowdown, only major violations should be looked into by the enforcement staff, rather than disturbing the traders who were doing their business legally and peacefully

“The estate office should not harass those traders who have not encroached upon the government land,” he said. Beopar Mandal chief patron Diwakar Sahoonja said their body and grain market association were committed to removing all kinds of encroachments.

The Deputy Commissioner and the AEO told the traders that the enforcement wing was only carrying out a general survey, and the staff would not harass traders.



BCom admissions
Over 600 students register online on Day 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Over 600 candidates registered themselves online on the first day of BCom centralised admissions to the city colleges and Panjab University’s (PU) Evening Department. There are over 2,030 BCom seats in the city.

PU officials said the applications started pouring as soon as the online registration was opened.

The university also received a large number of calls on its helpline from candidates having various queries.

“As there is physical counselling this year and there is no need to fill the preferences of colleges, the students unaware of the fact made calls on the helpline seeking details about the preferences of colleges to be given while filling the forms online,” the officials said.

Till last year, students while filling the forms online had to fill three preferences. Now, the candidates don’t need to give preferences.

The officials said the candidates having any kind of query regarding BCom admissions could send an email to the university. “We have mentioned the email ID on the PU website with all details regarding the admission,” they said.

The online registration will continue till June 23. The final tentative merit list will be declared by July 8. First physical counselling will be held from July 11 to July 14 at PU Law Auditorium.

Last year, around 9,500 candidates had applied for the admissions against 4,340 BCom seats in the city colleges and colleges in Ludhiana. However, with Ludhiana being excluded from the centralised admissions, the number of forms will be lesser this time.



Post-result helpline services
Counsellors have tough time advising students
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Counsellors appointed by the CBSE for post-result helpline services are having a tough time these days advising students about the possible career opportunities for higher classes.

“Even after getting a CGPA of 10, students are confused about the stream they should opt for,” said a city-based counsellor appointed for the board’s helpline services.

CBSE counsellor Madhu Behl and principal of KBDAV, Sector 7, said there was a lot of confusion among the students over the right career option.

“I am getting more than 40 calls everyday. Students are making frantic queries and even after a detailed discussion, they are not convinced,” she said.

She said the problem was due to the lack of awareness among students and poor implementation of the comprehensive and continuous evaluation in schools.

Many feel that the confusion is due to the lack of fair assessment of their capabilities under the present CCE system. The overall system of assessment and marking has become too relaxed in CBSE-affiliated schools and even after getting the perfect score, students are confused.

Experts said there was a need of a major improvement in academics.

“Both mid-term examination, summative assessment I and summative assessment II should be under the control of the board. There should be special sessions to guide students about their future career options,” said Dr Rakesh Sachdeva, a city-based CBSE counsellor.

Dr Rakesh said there was widespread confusion among students about their career options and it was not good for them.

The experts feel that there should be a special helpline service dedicated to career counselling.



Degrees conferred on 648 students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
“Indian chartered accountants are capable enough not just to fight the economic downturn, but also guide the world on how to come out of it,” said DS Bains, Principal Secretary (Home), Government of Punjab, during the conferment of degrees to newly enrolled members of the Northern Region of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s annual convocation, who have passed the chartered accountancy course, today.

While addressing the students and CA community, Bains stressed the need for good work ethics and appealed to the students to increase their working standards.

“Ethics must be the foundation of our profession as they enhance our value in society,” he said.

Degrees were conferred on 648 students hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh during the annual convocation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India held at a hotel in Sector 35.



Education briefs
Workshop on entrepreneurship

Six youngsters presented their innovative ideas to a group of mentors from the Punjab-Chandigarh chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) at the PHD House here today. Right from designing creative business cards, selling of bricks to helping children plan their future through a multiple-intelligence test was the range of ingenuity and lateral thinking that the young start-ups in their 20s presented to the TiE. Charter member Vinay Johar conducted the workshop for the budding entrepreneurs on developing a business model for a successful enterprise. Students of various business schools participated in the event.

Institute awarded

The Desh Bhagat University School of Engineering got the “Margdarshan Award 2013” from the Knowledge Resource Development and Welfare Group, New Delhi, for innovation and excellence in coaching, counselling and training. The award was conferred on the institution after a nation-wide survey conducted by the Knowledge Resource Development and Welfare Group. Dr JK Chawla, director of the University School of Engineering, received the award on behalf of Desh Bhagat University at a ceremony held at IIT, New Delhi.

MoU signed

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Mohali-based Taaleem College of International Studies (TCIS) and Talwar and Talwar Consultants to take up projects and proposals internally from students of the TCIS in order to set up their own enterprises. Jaiprakash S. Hasrajani, co-founder and CEO, Taaleem India, said: “The idea is to support and boost all facets of entrepreneurship by reaching out to society at large.”

Foundation day

Students, staff and management of the Aryans Group of Colleges today celebrated the 7th Foundation Day. On the occasion, a scholarship of Rs 7 crore was announced for the needy students in various courses at the Aryans. Dr Kataria, chairman of the Aryans Group of Colleges, said the scholarship was available in various courses, including BTech, MTech, MBA, BBA, BCA, Nursing and Polytechnic.

Tablet PCs

Tablet PCs will be given free of cost to all students taking admission to BTech and MBA programmes at any campus of the Doaba Group of Colleges. These Android-based tablet PCs have a 7-inch screen with high-quality capacitive touch, 1.0 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 2GB inbuilt memory, 16 GB Micro-SD card and 2 MP IP camera. — TNS



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