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Over 1,000 pilgrims return to city
Praise Army personnel for saving their lives; consider themselves lucky to be alive
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 23
Over 1,000 pilgrims returned from the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand today after beating devastation, mayhem and death.

The survivors said they had a providential escape from the flood-ravaged areas in the hill state. Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tajinder Pal Singh Sidhu, SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar and transit camp coordinator DSP (City 1) Rajinder Singh Sohal received the pilgrims at the ISBT-43, Chandigarh.

"Over 1,000 pilgrims reached the city today. We have made arrangements to send them home," said the DSP. The authorities pressed into service 20 special buses to ferry pilgrims home.

Appreciating the role of the Army in rescuing the stranded pilgrims, an NRI, Baltej Singh, said he wanted his sons to join the forces.

"There is no match of our Army. The way the jawans rescued the pilgrims and tourists is commendable. I will be proud to see my sons join the Army," said Baltej Singh, a Canadian citizen, who reached Chandigarh today.

"I pledge to donate my organs to jawans. I have no words to express my gratitude to their noble service," said an emotionally overwhelmed Baltej Singh, who lives at Brampton.

Baltej went to Hemkunt Sahib along with his five friends. The group was stranded at Gobind Ghat and was rescued by the Army.

"The jawans have saved our lives. The put their lives to risk to save others. We salute them for their dedication and bravery," said Jagjit Singh, another NRI, who had accompanied Baltej Singh to Hemkunt Sahib.

Another survivor, Sonu, from Amritsar, who lost his brother, Goldy, and two friends in the tragedy, said he considers himself lucky to be alive.

Narrating the horrifying tale, Sonu said his brother and friends, Manpreet and Sunil, were swept away during flash floods. "I was saved as I went to fetch water. They were washed away in front of my eyes and could do nothing to save them," said Sonu with tears in his eyes.



Survivors fight fungal infections
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Sonu, who lost his brother and two friends in flash floods
Sonu, who lost his brother and two friends in flash floods

Panchkula, June 23
After battling for life for several days in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, the survivors who returned to the town are now fighting fungal infections.

The damp terrain and muddy water has taken a toll on their skin. Dermatologists in the town have received more than 50 patients complaining of fungal infection.

“We receive seven-eight patients daily with complaints of infection on feet and toe nails. All of them have returned from the flood-hit Uttarakhand,” said Dr Vikas Sharma, chief dermatologist, National Skin Hospital, Sector 5, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula.

“The patients have been asked not to wear wet clothes. They have been advised to use anti-fungal powder,” said Dr Rajeev Kaura, dermatologist at the Sector 6 General Hospital, Panchkula.

“I saw red rashes on my toes and consulted a doctor. The problem occurred as our feet remained wet for a long time,” said Vishnu Goel, a resident of Sector 20, who was stranded at Kedarnath.

Rajinsih Sharma, a dermatologist at Sector 15, Panchkula, said: “Most of the patients are children and the elderly. They have developed red rashes on feet and toes.”

Common fungal infections

Athlete’s foot

It is a fungal infection of the skin between toes. It appears as a patch of soft, white, cracked skin, sometimes with red areas visible beneath. Athlete’s foot may cause itching, burning or stinging and can create an unpleasant odour. It spreads via wet floors and shared footwear

Nail infection

Fungal nail infection is often caused by the spread of athlete’s foot. The nail looks thick and discoloured (white or yellowish). The nail may be brittle or crumbly and parts, or all of it, may fall off

Jock itch

With jock itch, the groin and inner thigh become red and itchy. It is more common in men and often occurs if you also have athlete’s foot



Bansal, councillors forget their promise
Yet to provide aid to victim’s kin
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Former Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation have forgotten their promise to provide financial assistance to Harpreet Singh Sodhi’s family. Sodhi, who was a resident of Sector 45-C, was killed in an accident involving stray cattle.

Councillor Mukesh Bassi had appealed to the councillors to give their one-month salary to the victim’s family. All 35 councillors had declared during the MC House held in April that they would give their one-month salary of Rs 5,000 to the victim’s family.

At the meeting, Mayor Subhash Chawla, on the behalf of Pawan Kumar Bansal, had announced a financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh for the family. Bansal has, however, not deposited the amount to date.

Even after two months, only 11 councillors have given their one-month honorarium to councillor Mukesh Bassi, who is collecting cheques on their behalf.

Mayor Subhash Chawla said Bansal was committed to providing the relief amount to the family. Bansal will give his share after the councillors deposit their cheques

Bassi said during a recent visit to the city, Bansal had asked about the collection of salary cheques for the victim's family. He had also assured to give Rs 2 lakh from his personal account as a relief to the family.

The victim’s mother, Jagwinder Kaur, said the UT Administrator, councillors and the MC Commissioner had assured them of financial help and a job to Harpreet’s wife, but nothing had been done so far.

At the MC House meeting, nominated councillor Sat Paul Bansal had announced that he would give Rs 50,000 to Harpreet’s family, while BJP councillor Desh Raj said he would chip in with Rs 25,000. But they have also failed to deposit their cheques.

Harpreet Singh Sodhi (33), was killed in an accident on April 6. He and his eight-year-old son were riding a motorcycle when a stray cow came in their way, resulting in the accident.

Councillors who have deposited cheques

Mayor Subhash Chawla
Sr Dy Mayor Kashmiri Devi
Mukesh Bassi
Poonam Chauhan
Darshan Garg

Rajesh Gupta Bittu
Satinder Singh

Jannat Jahan Ul Haq
Naresh Kumar
Dr Amrit Tiwari
Babu Lal



Thieves strike at BJP leader’s house in P’kula
Family was away to Rohtak; cash, jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service
A CCTV camera grab of a miscreant leaving the house
A CCTV camera grab of a miscreant leaving the house.

Panchkula, June 23
Thieves decamped with cash and jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh from BJP leader Krishan Dhull’s house in Sector 12-A late last night. Dhull recently made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Municipal Corporation from Ward No. 14.

The family was visiting Rohtak when the incident took place. The closed-circuit television cameras managed to capture the footage of the thieves leaving the premises, as there was no power when they entered the house.

“The family was away for some work. The thieves jumped over the front wall and entered through the
A couple looks at the broken locks of the house where the theft took place in Sector 12-A , Panchkula, on Sunday
A couple looks at the broken locks of the house where the theft took place in Sector 12-A , Panchkula, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

kitchen after breaking the window grills,” said a police official.

The police said the CCTV footage showed three miscreants entering the house.

“While one kept a watch outside, two of them went inside to execute the crime,” said the police official.

The thieves had covered their faces with handkerchiefs and monkey caps.

One of them was carrying a haversack to carry the loot. Thirty-five tolas of gold jewellery, 75 grams of silver jewellery, silver idols and around Rs 4 lakh were stolen from the house.

A case of theft was registered at the Sector 14 police station. The police is conducted raids to nab the thieves.



Constable commits suicide
Shot himself with his service rifle
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 23
A Punjab Police constable reportedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service weapon, AK-47, at the Punjab State Cyber Cell building, Phase IV, Mohali, this evening.

The deceased was identified as 26-year-old Gurtej Singh. He was under depression. “Gurtej took the extreme step out of frustration,” said one of his colleagues. However, senior officers, who reached at the spot, denied this.

Gurtej, a resident of Isherhel village in Fatehgarh Sahib, was putting up at the Punjab State Cyber Cell building. He was posted as a gunman with DIG MS Cheena. The police said Gurtej shot himself after placing his rifle below his chin. He was alone in his room at the time of the incident.

One of his colleagues said they along with Gurtej Singh had a lunch at a dhaba at Phase IV.

Mohali SP (Vity) Swarndeep Singh and DSP HS Riar reached the spot. The body was shifted to the mortuary at the Civil Hospital. The post-mortem will be conducted tomorrow.

Gurtej has joined 5th Commando Force over a year ago.


Help pours in for flood victims
Tribune News Service

Workers of the Youth Congress load relief material on a truck at Congress Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Workers of the Youth Congress load relief material on a truck at Congress Bhawan in Sector 35, Chandigarh, on Sunday.

Chandigarh, June 23
Appeals made by the Administration and efforts of welfare associations are bearing fruits with help for flood victims in Uttarakhand starting to pour in.

After yesterday’s meeting of traders chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, Mohammed Shayin, relief in the form of funds and eatables has started reaching the UT Red Cross office. Two truckloads of eatables have already been dispatched, and another two trucks will be sent tomorrow.

The Chandigarh Golf Club today decided to contribute an amount of Rs 10 lakh to the Prime Minister Uttarakhand Relief Fund to help the flood victims. Manpreet Singh Waraich, chairman, media and publicity, Chandigarh Golf Club, said the decision was taken during the general house meeting held at the club today.

The club has also appealed to its members to make contributions in this hour of crisis. “We hope that after this initiative, other institutions in the city will also come forward to help the flood victims in the hill state,” he said.

Kumaon Sabha in Chandigarh, too, has intensified its relief operation in the city, with all its 40 units in the tricity opening donation camps in their respective areas. President of the sabha Bachan Singh said all the material collected at the 40 centres would be brought to a central place is Sector 32 here. From there, 15,000 food packets will be sent on three trucks by tomorrow night, he said.

City-based traders, who held a meeting at Sector 17 today, appealed to all the members of traders’ association, residents’ welfare associations, industries’ association and others associations in the city to come forward and help the sufferers by sending a cheque or demand draft in favour of Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, payable at New Delhi, to be deposited at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

Eatables and other items of utility can be donated at the Red Cross office in Sector 11, which is operating round-the-clock.

The Deputy Commissioner office will deliver all these items to the Air Force.

Major JS Sekri, president of Central Club, said the club would lend financial support in a couple of days.

Traders, social organisations lend support

Ambala: Several social organisations, market associations and educational institutes in Ambala have come forward to support the victims of calamity in Uttarakhand. The wholesale textile market, Ambala City, sent ~5 lakh and a truck containing food, clothes and other items of utility to Uttarakhand on Sunday morning. A five member team of the market association is also leaving for Dehradun to assess further requirements. PKR Jain Senior Secondary School, PKR Jain Vatika, Senior Citizen Welfare Society and Retired Engineer Association have sent two truckloads of rice, biscuits, blankets, medicines and other goods to the flood-ravaged state. All India Anti Terrorist Front has contributed Rs 31,000 to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Hari Seva Charitable Trust and Good Morning Club have jointly sent four trucks containing items of utility. Some temples performed yagnas seeking safe arrival of stranded pilgrims. The Sikh community performed ardas in various gurdwaras. International Sikh Counsel organised a condolence meeting to pay tribute to the deceased. — OC



Hope hanging by a thread
13 of 16-member contingent missing, relatives leave for Uttarakhand
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service
Harinand Bhatt
Harinand Bhatt
wife, Prabha Devi
wife, Prabha Devi

Chandigarh, June 23
Thirteen of the 16 devotees who left the tricity for the Char Dham Yatra around two weeks ago are missing from Kedarnath in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand since June 14.

The contingent included four members of Harinand Bhatt’s family from Sector 56 and 12 members of Pandit Sham Lal’s family from Mohali. They left together for Uttarakhand on June 10, but so far only Sham Lal’s wife and two of his other relatives have been rescued.

The local relatives are worried for their well being, and many have reached the hill state to look for them.

Harinand’s wife, Prabha, his elder brother, Jagdish Bhatt, and Jagdish’s wife, Rukmani Devi, were part of the contingent that left for the yatra. There was no clue about their whereabouts, said Harinand’s brother-in-law, Manohar Lal, a Sector 37 resident.

He said the whole family was deeply distressed ever since it had lost contact with them after the flash flood. Harinand’s two sons, Madan (24) and Sandeep Bhatt (20), who are in Chandigarh, are in a state of shock. They refused to speak to anyone.
Jagdish Prasad along with his wife, Rukmani Devi
Jagdish Prasad along with his wife, Rukmani Devi. Tribune photographs

Manohar Lal said everyone in the contingent was fine when the family spoke to Harinand (49) on June 12.

“After leaving Chandigarh, they first went to Gangotri, and from there they went to Kedarnath. Soon after they reached Kedarnath, we could not establish any contact with them. All the efforts made by us since June 15 went in vain,” he said.

“Although there is no report of the missing members for the past one week, our hopes are still alive. My elder brother is already at Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, looking for the missing relatives, and we are also leaving today,” said Manohar.

Sham Lal, a priest at a temple in Phase 3B1, Mohali, had gone on the yatra with his wife, two children and elder brother, Surinder, besides other relatives, some of whom joined them from Delhi.

Another priest at the temple, Rajinder Parsad Bhatt, said there was no report of any other member of Sham Lal’s family besides those rescued.

While Sham Lal’s wife was unconscious, the other two rescued relatives said they saw members of the contingent being washed away in Kedarnath. The survivors have not reached the city as yet.

City residents rescued

As per the information uploaded on the website of Chandigarh Administration, three city residents were rescued from Kedarnath: Dimjal Sharma (21), Ashutosh (42) and Omant (8). Another city resident, Lavish, was brought from Kedarnath to Guptkashi.

A Panchkula resident was also brought from Guptkashi to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. This information is based on the tracker facility sourced from over 40 lists released by the Uttarakhand government.

Chandigarh Garhwal Sabha president Kundan Lal Uniyan said the administration must step up efforts to locate those missing from the region.



It is second life for Bhatt family
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
It is like a second life for JP Bhatt and his family who got stuck in the flash flood during their visit to Kedarnath. Leaving their car at Fatta in Uttarakhand, they walked 60 kilometres, wading through water at times to save their lives.

Walking for over 14 hours, the family members have got swollen feet. Other than these physical ailments, they have also developed a phobia of rain after this ordeal.

“Putting this horrible experience in words is not possible. We had just gone for a family outing. After the flash flood, as I feared for my family’s well-being, it was very difficult for me to hide tears from them,” said Bhatt.

Narrating the incident, he said, “Since all the roads were damaged, I left my car on a road. At that time, the only thing on our minds was to somehow save our lives. Initially the water level was not that high, so we were asked to wade through it to cross the road. With each passing hour, however, the condition kept deteriorating.”

Just an hour after the Bhatt family vacated the hotel where they had taken shelter, it was completely damaged. They walked for 60 kilometres, before being rescued.

“People are in real trouble in the flooded areas, because they have to walk long distances without any food or water. The havoc caused by rain has left us with a fear of even a drizzle,” said Sudha, JP Bhatt’s wife.

Sudha is Sudesh Vashisht’s sister. Both the families had gone on the trip together. While Bhatts had reached Kedarnath, Vashisht, a resident of Sector 10 here, who was yet to leave for the holy place, returned from Uttarakhand on Friday night.

“Hotels are charging Rs 100 for a small cup of tea. The administration should have kept a check on such opportunism on the part of hoteliers,” said Sudha.



Website of Registrar Cooperative Societies to be launched soon
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
Members who become public nuisance in group housing societies are now going to be in the watchlist as their names will be put on the website of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS). The RCS is all set to launch its website.

The registrar of the cooperative societies, CR Rana, said the website would be launched soon. Not only would the names of such members be uploaded but they would also be barred from contesting elections."We will soon be launching a website on which members who come from out stations and purchase a flat here would be able to have access to their rights and duties," said Rana. The purpose of posting the names is also that if the person becomes member of the other society, the latter may have knowledge about his past background. "If any member still doesn't mend his habits, we have the powers to even suspend the particular member," said the official. "People don't have knowledge about their rights and duties. They need to know even about their voting rights and if they don't participate in the affairs for five years, say not attending the meeting, their voting right can also be taken away," said Rana.



open house response
Chandigarh Admn needs cohesive policy

The UT Administration has no electric generation of its own and is entirely dependent on outside sources. Thus, there is a great need to thrust upon the policy to generate and save more and more power. “Power saved is equal to power generation”. But in the UT there is misuse of power. To bring improvement in power position, the line losses should be reduced as in UT, it is about 18 per cent and needs to be reduced at an optimal level.

Apart from setting up solar plants in the city, the use of air-conditioners in government offices needs to be regulated. The Electricity Department should replace tubelight with 15-watt compact fluorescent lamps and change the copper chokes in tube lights with electronic chokes. It can bring power consumption down by 30 per cent.

Most important, theft through kundi connections under the patronage of bigwigs should be got surfaced. In one estimate, the administration in Chandigarh loses nearly Rs. 7.25 crore with 24 percent theft of power every year from 20,200 odd unauthorised connections.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Electricity dept failed to keep pace

The UT Electricity Department is in doldrums, just because it failed to keep pace with the manifold jump in the sanctioned load of lakhs of consumers and was clueless about the actual connected load. Its calculation to upgrade the transformers and pillar boxes had gone haywires in the absence of realistic figures particularly in densely populated pockets. More so, its efforts to assess the actual load consumption in comparison with the sanctioned load of each consumer in Chandigarh has gone for a six as it sent a self-load declaration form with an erratic basis of calculation.

A fresh drive to workout the actual load based on realistic yardstick is the need of the hour and upgrade the infrastructure in the over loaded sub-stations accordingly, in order to mitigate the sufferings of Chandigarh residents

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

Not enough capacity

The heat of ever increasing demand of power can be felt from consumer to the producer now days. There is not enough capacity with the UT to produce and deliver the required power to the consumers. Chandigarh has to depend on other power rich states to cater its demands at an exaggerating cost. Public parking bays where shed is required can be covered with solar panels to produce electricity. Panels can be mounted at high government buildings as well. There are small portable power-generating solutions available in the market which can efficiently deliver enough for a family. Government can offer subsidy on these products which will make them easily affordable.

Manjeet Singh, Panchkula

Disgrace in 21st century

Power position in Chandigarh is really poor. There are unannounced power cuts for almost 12 hours at a stretch in the scorching summers. It is a disgrace that even in this 21st century the UT Administration could not provide uninterrupted power to its residents.

The administration and the Electricity Department both turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the kundi menace in the colonies surrounding the Chandigarh. If these unauthorised kundi connections are removed, it will solve half the power problem of the city.

Rk Kapoor, Chandigarh

Actual power demand should be assessed

First of all, actual power demand should be assessed by doing survey. After that transformers should be upgraded according to requirement. Proper maintenance of transformers and switchgears must be done periodically, so that their failures are minimum. Consumers drawing more power than the declared load should be penalised.

Inder Pal Singh Anand, Mani Majra

Start hydro-power projects

Power quality determines the fitness of electric power to consumer devices. The need of the hour is to start hydro-power projects and create awareness about the benefits of solar energy to people, by presenting the use of solar lights and cells, in front of them.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Frequent power cuts in tricity

Frequent power cuts have made the lives of residents of the tricity miserable as the UT Electricity Department is finding difficult to meet the demand and supply gap due to the poor infrastructure. To ensure that supply should not get interrupted frequently, the solar energy sector can contribute significantly to plug the energy gap. Above all, the department should learn a lesson from the power crisis engulfing the city in every summer and do something to improve the quality of power supply.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Kundi connections must go

It appears that the problem is more self-designed than created by the concerned department or administration. If we want the perennial problem to go once and for all, we need to go frugal in terms of exerting more pressure on the consumption of each power unit that we consume. Unless we try to understand the value of each unit consumed, we won’t be able to find a lasting solution to the problem.

In the event of longer stay-outs, we must check the all lights and electricity-operated gadgets are switched off. Government offices and other establishments must also evolve a mechanism to check the power wastage. The illegal “kundi connection”, running with impunity under the protective patronage of power staff must also go!

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Check uncontrolled power theft

City’s power sector is bleeding because of uncontrolled power theft and rather than coping with inefficiencies and bad governance in power sector. The authorities always try to overcome those losses by unreasonable power tariff hike. Instead, the administration should gear up to penalise and impose fine on the erring consumers who were found stealing power through illegal kundi connections. No defaulter should be left connected with the power distribution system to check theft of electricity effectively. The administration should intensify the campaign against power theft and join hands with the general public to curb this menace.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Improve power distribution

Power crisis in the city can be solved by improving the power distribution network at the sector level. The load has increased over the years. But the Electricity Department has not account of the problematic points in the city. The mushrooming of slums in the city has also added to the load factor. The department needs to put in place a perfect mechanism to monitor the theft or over drawl of power.

Rajinder Sharma, Chandigarh


Open House Question

The UT Health Department claims to have conducted more than 10 advocacy camps across different parts of the city for creating awareness against malaria this monsoon. The department claims to have inspected various houses to check whether instructions on mosquito breeding were being adhered to or not. But these measures are not enough to check the disease. What all can be done in advance to check the spread of malaria. Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Now, fish to fight malaria, dengue
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 23
The Panchkula health department has found a new agent to fight mosquitoes. Gambusia is a fish that has a monster appetite for mosquito larvae.

The authorities will release the fish into ponds and other water bodies to check the breeding of mosquitoes. This, the authorities claim, will also bring down the cases of dengue and malaria in the district.

The administration has identified 77 water bodies where the fish will be released. The Sector 6 General Hospital is one of the sites identified by the authorities.

The authorities mooted the proposal to procure gambusia fish after the anti-mosquito sprays and anti-larva medicines failed to yield the desired results.

The fish was procured from Delhi and Kolkata last year and the department had set up mother hatcheries to rear it, said Dr Anil, district malaria officer. “The fish consumes larvae of anopheles and aedes mosquitoes, which spread malaria and dengue. The fish breeds in fresh water.

Authorities from Ambala and Kurukshetra have also procured the fish from Panchkula to fight vector-borne diseases.

However, the fish is not suited for dirty water as it breeds in fresh water. Gutty fish, breeds in stagnant and dirty water, also consumes mosquito larvae. However, it has not been procured by the authorities.

A total of 25 cases of malaria have been reported from the Raipurrani and Hangola belt in the past two months.



PGI parking lots a shambles
Tribune News Service

A damaged parking lot at the New OPD, PGI, in Chandigarh
A damaged parking lot at the New OPD, PGI, in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, June 23
Parking lots at the PGI have been lying in a neglected state. In addition to the tall growth of congress grass, flooding has emerged as a major cause of inconvenience for patients as well as the staff of the institute.

Congress grass has covered a major part of the staff parking at the New OPD Block. Also, muddy ways and parking slots reflect the negligence of the authorities in maintaining the parking area.

The condition of the parking lots in and around the Advanced Paediatric Centre is even worse. Some slots, especially in the two public parking lots in the area, remain waterlogged during the rainy season.

Despite paying the fee, the visitors struggle to find space at the parking lots.

The public parking in front of the PGI Library is in a poor shape but the authorities are yet to take note of it.



244 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association, Chandigarh, organised the fourth in a series of six blood donation camps this year at the PGI yesterday. A total of 244 units of blood were donated. The camp was inaugurated by Dr Raj Bahadur, head, department of orthopaedic.

He praised the efforts of association towards saving lives, especially during the summer months when there is an acute shortage of blood. He congratulated donors hailing from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh for this noble cause. The camp was conducted by a team of doctors and technicians headed by Dr Neelam Marwaha, head, department of blood transfusion.



2,588 take PU law entrance exam
Tribune News Service

Members of a student organisation distribute pamphlets among students
THE ANXIOUS moments: Members of a student organisation distribute pamphlets among students. Tribune photos: parvesh chauhan
A police official rounds up students after a clash outside an examination centre
THE Aggression: A police official rounds up students after a clash outside an examination centre
Traffic jam on the varsity campus after the entrance exam
THE CHAOS: Traffic jam on the varsity campus after the entrance exam

Chandigarh, June 23
As many as 2,588 candidates today appeared in the entrance exam for three-year Law course at Panjab University. There are around 600 seats in the morning and evening shifts of the course.

PU officials said that 3,170 candidates had applied for the entrance test against which 2,688 candidates appeared for the exam at 11 examination centers on the PU campus.

The candidates who appeared in the exam claimed that they had confusion in the multiple options given in the question number 31 in the D-series of question paper. “There was a mistake in one of the option mentioned in the question paper,” said a student. PU officials said, “There will be a physical counseling after the declaration of the results where students will have to present along with their original documents.”

The members of various student organisations were also seen camping outside the examination centers distributing pamphlets of their parties with the helpline numbers to assist the candidates, in a bid to attract them towards their party.

The students from June 24 onwards will also be allowed to erect their help desks at the PU campus.

An altercation between two youths was also reported at PU campus outside an examination center at the end of the law entrance exam. Both of them were later let-off by the police.



Six PU students arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
The police has arrested six students of the Panjab University under the preventive measures after they had allegedly planned an attack during entrance test for three year law course at the university.

The police has arrested PUSU president Yadvendra Singh and his accomplices Gurdarshan, Balwinder, Kulwinder and others.

The police said they had come to attack a student, Gur Avinder, owing to prior enmity. They had earlier got into a scuffle with Gur Avinder Singh Minhas and Baljit on June 18 and had come to avenge the previous fight.

Gur Avinder and Baljit had obtained interim bail from court in previous cases. Minhas had come to appear in the exam today when police got information that they had planned an attack and arrested all the six students, including Minhas and Baljit under the preventive measures.

Inspector Gurmukh Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station, said: "The students will be dealt with very strictly ahead of the elections if they get into a brawl or plan an attack."



Members of PUSU irked over police inaction, stage protest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Members of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) today staged a protest outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office to show their resentment against the Chandigarh police for not taking any action against those booked for attacking the PUSU leader.

PUSU president Yadwinder Singh was attacked near gate number 1 of Panjab University on June 18. Yadwinder, along with his friend, was in a car when the members of another fraction of the union allegedly broke the rear windowpane and lights of the car. The PUSU leader escaped unhurt in the incident.

Yadwinder Singh, who was leading the protest, said that despite a case being registered against the accused the police has failed to take any action against them. “One of the accused booked in the case is roaming freely in the university today in the presence of the police officials. This shows laxity of the police department,” said Singh.

Yadwinder said the PUSU workers who were present outside the examination centers during the law entrance exam were also threatened by one of the accused. “The police should take action against the accused to ensure peace on the campus,” he said.

Station House Officer (SHO) Gurmukh Singh of the Sector 11 police station arrived at the university to pacify the protesting students and assured them that necessary action would be taken against the accused.

A group of PUSU members later went to the police station along with the SHO for a meeting.

The PUSU members said that they want immediate action by the police or else they would launch a massive protest.



NEET: CBSE allows students to access answersheets, key
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
After initial hesitation, the CBSE has now allowed students to access their OMR answer sheets and answer key to the recently held NEET exam for undergraduate medical courses.

Students can apply for the same before July 31 by submitting a demand draft of Rs 500 and can get their answer keys, answer sheets along with response captured by the machine with calculation of marks.

This move, many believe, is important as it will help student to know the board's response to several questions in the NEET exam, which were found ambiguous and had more than one correct option.

Dr Arvind Goyal, a city-based PMT trainer, said even as the result of the NEET was declared, the board's answer sheet and its answer keys of the entrance exam would help the students to analysis their performance, which really came under scanner due to mistakes in the question paper.

"Ideally this step should have been done before the declaration of the results but students can still evaluate their overall performance by applying these documents," he said.

"Prior to the declaration of the NEET result, the copy of the OMR sheet was uploaded on the board's website but student did not get any benefit because these sheets were not evaluated and no answer keys were given. This time students will get all the documents required to analysis their overall performance," said Dr Arvind.

It is for the first time that the board has given the access of medical exam's answer keys to the students. Experts feel that it will help bringing more transparency and should be done every year but before the declaration of results.

A student, Akash, said: "The board's move has been welcomed by all the students. I am very eager to get the answers of some of the ambiguous question in the NEET exam. The answer key should have been provided free of cost to the students."

Another student said, "The board's notification on this issue is incomplete as it has not revealed the possible action if some students found their correct responses marked wrong in the OMR sheet."

A city-based trainer said the medical entrance exams had several doubtful questions but the students were never informed whether they were given any relief for those questions.



CU to sponsor ME (hons), PhD students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Chandigarh University has established the Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research at its Gharuan Campus offering ME (hons) and PhD degree in the fields of engineering, management and applied sciences.

A total of 72 students will be selected for ME (Hons) degree in mechanical, computer science, electronics and communication and electrical engineering.

The university will be sponsor the entire expenses incurred during the course. As many as 38 postgraduate students will be selected for PhD in engineering, management and applied sciences (Maths/ Physics/ Chemistry). They will get Rs 15,000 per month as a stipend during the course duration. An annual budget of Rs 4 crore has been earmarked for the research-oriented.



bcom Admission
PU receives 7,662 online applications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 23
Panjab University has received 7,662 online applications for the centralised BCom admissions in the 10 colleges in the city and PU’s evening department against 2,030 seats.

Today was the last day for filing applications online.

Officials said out of the 7,662 applicants 3,137 were from Chandigarh. The BCom first year admissions will be held in 12 institutes in the city. There are 1,120 seats in co-education institutes, 770 seats in women colleges and 140 seats in men’s colleges.

Apart from the evening studies department of the PU, the colleges in which the BCom admissions will be held include DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, Government College of Commerce and Business Administration, Sector 42, Chandigarh, Post Graduate Government College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42.

Last year, around 9,500 candidates had applied for admission against 4,340 BCom seats in the colleges in city and in Ludhiana.

Coordinator of BCom admissions RK Gupta said around 5,400 candidates out of those who have applied online have submitted the printout of their forms to the university.

The students who have successfully completed their online application forms require to submit the printout of the application forms with documents and demand draft to the university before June 26.

The students pursuing BCom will have to pay Rs 15,000 as fee.

The university has also clarified that there would be a common fee structure in all the affiliated colleges.



Girls outshine boys in BCom examination
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 23
The three first positions of the annual results of BCom (Accounting and Finance) final year declared by Mata Gujri College Fatehgarh Sahib today were bagged by girls. Alka Thareja topped the exam with 85.53 per cent, Simanjit Kaur secured second position with 81.6 per cent and Navjot Kaur got third position with 81.2 per cent.



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