C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Postmortem hints at rape
Tempers run high in Palsora village as irate residents block traffic; SHO shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A day after the body of an 11-year-old girl was found dumped in a jute sack, the postmortem examination of the body revealed that she was physically abused, indicating rape, before being killed. Blood was found on her undergarments and clothes yesterday.

Tempers ran high in Palsora village all through the day today with family members of the girl refusing to cremate her body following the postmortem and irate residents blocking roads for a major part of the day in protest against the failure of the police to trace the accused.

Pinki, the eldest daughter of a vegetable vendor, was found murdered yesterday. Her body had been dumped in a sack in Sector 52. She was missing from her residence in Palsora village since November 27. A rope was found tied around her neck, suggesting that she was strangled.

The postmortem examination revealed that the body was at least two days’ old and the report confirmed that the death was due to strangulation. Even as the UT police rounded up a few persons, including two women, for interrogation, it has failed to get any substantial lead in the case so far.

High drama was witnessed when residents of Palsora blocked the main link between Chandigarh and Mohali near Sector 56 for over five hours allegation police failure in tracing the accused. The traffic was diverted from the roundabout of the Furniture Market and the ISBT-43 during this period, causing harassment to commuters. The UT traffic police had a tough time managing the chaos and diversions were created for the traffic coming from Mohali towards the Sector 43 ISBT side.

Body not cremated; cops left high and dry

Later in the evening at 5 pm, the girl’s body was taken to the cremation ground from the hospital mortuary amid tight security after the police managed to convince the victim’s father, Ram Kirpal, not to take the body home to avoid public outrage. However, after the body was taken to the cremation ground in Sector 25, the girl’s mother did not come there as she was held back by the family members in Palsora as a mark of protest against the police. Ram Kirpal then went to Palsora and did not return, leaving the police high and dry at the cremation ground with the girl’s body.

The police again brought the body back to the Sector 16 mortuary from where the head of Guru Aasra Trust in Palsora took the body.

The girl’s body was kept at the Sector 55/56 roundabout for some time with the road blocked following which it was taken to the dera of the trust.

The cremation will now take place tomorrow.

Incidentally, a supporter of a terrorist front was seen with the family while shifting the body to the Guru Aasra Trust.

Six rounded up

As part of the investigations, the police rounded up six persons, including two women, identified as Mithlesh and Nirmala, residents of Palsora village on suspicion.

These two women had a dispute with the girl’s family earlier and were last seen near the girl’s residence.

The police also questioned a 10-year-old girl, Kanchan, who was Pinki’s friend. Kanchan told the police that on November 27 evening, she was with Pinki till 4 pm when she left for the market to buy something but failed to return after that. The police rounded up a neighbour of the girl in whose house a bag was found which was similar to the jute sack in which the girl’s body was dumped.

Ransom demand?

Ram Kirpal, the girl’s father, told the police today that his wife told him that a woman had come to their residence yesterday and demanded Rs 1 lakh for getting their daughter released.

Khushpreet’s father visits hospital

Khushpreet’s father Lakhbir Singh and his uncle Sukhwinder Singh today came to the Sector 16 hospital where the postmortem was conducted to offer their condolences to the aggrieved family.

“We have gone through a similar situation when we lost our five-year-old son Khushpreet due to police negligence,” said Khushpreet’s father Lakhbir Singh.



Dentist, 3 elderly persons robbed of cash, valuables
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Four persons, including three senior citizens (one of them 110 years old), were robbed of cash and valuables in two separate incidents in Panchkula during the past 24 hours.

Three youths posing as patients entered the clinic of a dentist in Ramgarh at 3 pm today and robbed him of cash and valuables at gunpoint. The youths tied up the doctor with bandages before committing the robbery.

They forced the doctor to part with Rs 10,000, a gold chain, a mobile phone worth Rs 30,000 and some other valuables.

The dentist, Anip Gupta, a resident of Peer Mushalla who runs a clinic in Ramgarh, was approached by three youths in the afternoon stating that they had tooth ache.

“As soon as Gupta started asking them about their problem, one of them allegedly took out a country-made pistol and hit the victim’s head with its butt and threatened him to hand over cash and valuables to them. One of the three youths had approached Gupta two days ago with the same problem, which, according to the police, was part of a recce.

After the robbers fled, the doctor freed himself and raised the alarm following which the police was informed. Additional SHO of the Chandimandir police station Sukhbir Singh said, “We have got substantial leads in the case and will arrest the accused soon.”

In another incident at Pinjore late last night, three passengers were robbed of Rs 12,000 by an auto driver and his accomplice. The victims had boarded the auto from the Kalka railway station. The victims, Hukum Singh (110), Ajay Singh (95) and Sati (74), were on their way to Dera Beas in Punjab on a religious trip from Rohru in Himachal and had hired the auto to reach the Chandigarh bus stand from where they were to board a bus for Beas.

According to Inspector Pawan Kumar, SHO of the Pinjore police station, the auto driver, identified as Harsh, alias Kala, and his accomplice Narender took the victims to a forest area near Nala Jabrot in Pinjore. “The victims were beaten up with rods and robbed of Rs 12,000 by the duo,” said Pawan Kumar. 



Councillor’s sit-in gets civic body moving on recarpeting work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A peaceful sit-in over the alleged failure of the MC to recarpet roads in in Butrela, Badheri and Attawa villages in Sector 41 and 42 by a local SAD councillor in true Gandhian style outside the office of the MC Commissioner today saw civic body officials finally moving into action.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh, along with villagers, sat in front of the MC Commissioner's office. Later, police officials also reached the MC building and took the councillor and the villagers to the Sector 17 police station.

In the evening, MC officials started re-carpeting of roads in Badheri village.

The SAD councillor said the Congress-ruled MC and its officials were meting out a stepmotherly treatment to residents of his ward and had not recarpeted the internal and "phirni" roads in these villages for the past many years.

He said due to his efforts, tenders for the recarpeting of roads were floated and awarded, but despite this, officials were reluctant to carry out the work. Last week, he had written to the MC Commissioner, but the work was still not started. Left with no option, he sat in protest today, he said.

The police also took the councillor and the villagers to the DC's office in Sector 17 and later released them. Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan and local BJP president Sanjay Tandon also reached the police station to support the SAD councillor's demand.MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh said there was no question of giving a stepmotherly treatment to the SAD councillor's ward as residents of all wards were equal for him. The machinery was occupied in some other parts of the city for re-carpeting of roads. As soon as the machinery was available, they started work in these villages, he said.



Winter is in, uniform in government schools isn’t
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The distribution of the winter school uniform is yet to begin in several government schools in the UT even though the winter has set in and the Education Department today revised the school timings.

Over 25 government schools are still waiting for the supply of the uniform. In many schools where the uniform supply has been received, it could not distributed among the students as the quality clearance from a government lab is pending.

Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, Nirmal Singh said the uniform delivered to the school had been sent for "quality testing". The report was expected within three days following which the uniform would be distributed among the students.

Another government school Principal said on condition of anonymity that the distribution of uniform in many schools would not be possible before the second week of this month since the delay in the lab test report was wasting crucial time. The schools which were yet to get the supply would take more time in distributing the uniform.

Vinod Sharma, head of Government Model High School, Sector 34, said the supplier would deliver the uniform this week after which it would be distributed among the students.

A local supplier, Surinder Talwar, who has the supply order of 15 government schools, said he had already delivered the uniform to government schools in Sector 28 and 24 and would deliver the uniform to other government schools before the deadline.

DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar said the distribution process was under way in most of the schools. He would look into the issue tomorrow and make sure that all students were given the uniform on time.

The process of buying the winter school uniform, it is learnt, began in October-end. School heads said there was a delay in placing the order due to initial lack of response from uniform suppliers. The summer school uniform was also distributed late among the students.



CAG finds fault with CHB
Says it spentRs 360 cr from bid amount of Parsvnath project 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
While the Pride Asia project of Delhi-based realtor Parsvnath Developers Ltd at Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) is stuck in arbitration with the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the board has been held responsible for spending Rs 360 crore from the bid money for the project.

In the audit report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pointed out that of the Rs 516 crore deposited by the developer, the Chandigarh Administration had spent Rs 360 crore on different projects. The funds were spent without the approval of the competent authority.

While the board said the expenditure was incurred on the directions of the Finance Department, the CAG pointed out that the UT’s Finance Department was not the competent authority to sanction expenditure from receipts, which were part of the Consolidated Fund of India.

The Administration, in December 2005, had designated the CHB as its nodal agency for the development of the RGCTP Habitat Project on 123.79 acres on a "Private Sector Partnership (PSP)" basis.

For this project, the CHB got the highest bid of Rs 821 crore from Parsvnath Developers.

The CAG has stated that the CHB retained the amount of Rs 516 crore in its own accounts, which should have been deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India.

Hearing in arbitration case today

The arbitration case of the Pride Asia project, being heard by Justice RV Raveendran as the sole arbitrator, will again come up for hearing on December 3. The case, which is at the arguments stage, will be heard twice in December. The developer had gone in for arbitration after the CHB issued a "default notice" to the developer for non-compliance with certain terms and conditions of the development agreement such as non-payment of the balance bid price, failure to obtain approval in the stipulated time and failure to achieve the stipulated milestones. The developer had invoked the provisions of the arbitration clause.

Scheme was launched 7 years ago

The developer and the housing board had launched the scheme seven years ago to develop costly flats and villas in the IT Park, Chandigarh. The housing board transferred 135 acres (freehold) to Parsvnath Developers for the residential and commercial project. Due to controversies between the parties on various issues, including passing of maps, the project could not be completed on time.in the audit report 



No lessons learnt from Khushpreet murder case

Senior police officers swung into action later in the day on Monday and transferred the SHO of the Sector 39 police station, Inspector Narinder Patial, to the operation cell for his negligence in handling the Pinki murder case. Incidentally, Inspector Patial remained suspended for quite some time after he was found negligent in handling the Khushpreet case in 2010. He was reinstated only last year. Patial was the SHO of the Sector 34 police station and had been punished for negligence in handling the Khushpreet case.

Inspector Gurmukh Singh has now been made the SHO of the Sector 39 police station while Inspector Malkit Singh is the SHO of the Sector 11 police station now. Inspector Jasminder Singh is the SHO of the Sector 19 police station. SI Rajendra Prasad of the Palsora police post has been transfered to the Police Lines.

The way the kidnapping case has been handled by the police is a grim reminder of the murder of five-year-old Khushpreet in December 2010.

In this case too, the police failed to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) and no public notice was issued or neighbouring police informed when the girl was found missing on November 27.

Moreover, the police even failed to flash the message of the girl’s kidnapping on the wireless set on that day when the girl was first reported missing.

The way the case has been handled shows that no lessons have been learnt from the Khushpreet murder case.



Man ends his life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Blaming his family members for harassing and mentally torturing him, a 56-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at his residence in Sector 27 last night. The victim, Daya Kishan, an employee of the Haryana Government Press, left behind a suicide note blaming his wife, daughter and son-in-law for forcing him to take the extreme step.

He consumed celphos tablets last night and was found dead in the morning.

The victim was spotted by his son, Yogesh. The police recovered a one-page suicide note from his house in which he held his wife Sangita, daughter Yogita, and son-in-law Ramesh responsible. The police said Yogita had married Ramesh against the wishes of the victim, which led to tension in the family. A case of abetment to suicide has been registered against the three.


Over 1,000 non-teaching employees hold protest outside DGSE’s office
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
Defying the orders issued by the Punjab Director General School Education (DGSE), Non-Teaching Employees Union, members of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)/ Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA), continued with their strike and over 1,000 employees held a protest outside the DGSE’s office, today.

The general secretary of the Union, Ashish Kumar, said, “Not even a single employee out of the total 1,400, joined their duties today in spite of the notice, that urged the staff to join back their duties or face termination.”

“Till the time our demands are not met, we will continue to fight for our rights,” said the general secretary.

According to sources, the DGSE today met the union delegation and assured them that a meeting will be arranged with the Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, in a day or two.

Meanwhile, representatives of several other unions including Punjab Subordinate Services Federation, Sangharsh Talmel Committee, PUDA, Democratic Teachers Front, Government Teachers Union, Computer Teachers Union, and Sikhiya Providers Union, also reached at the site of protest and assured to extend their support to the protesting employees.

The main demand of the Non-Teaching Employees Union is to give them 
pay scale equal to the teaching staff.



Contractor held for negligence
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 2
The Mohali police have arrested a contractor in connection with the death of a 14-year-old boy. The victim, Vishnu, had died after falling down in a pit at Madanpura roundabout on Sunday.

The accused has been identified as Ram Pratap, a resident of Jajhar Nagar.

The contractor had been hired by the authorities of Fortis Hospital for beautification of the chowk.

According to the police officials, the youngster had died due to electrocution, as live electricity cables were lying in the pit.

The post-mortem was conducted by a three-member board at Civil Hospital, Phase 6, here today. Mohali Senior Medical Officer Dr Adesh Kaur Kang confirmed that Vishnu died due to electrocution.

Notably, Vishnu was playing with his friends yesterday afternoon when he fell down in the pit and died due to electrocution.

A case has been arrested under Section 304-A of the IPC at police station of Phase I.

Inspector Dharampal, station house officer of Phase I police station, said the police have already initiated investigations in the case.

Meanwhile, the body of the deceased was handed over to the kin after conducting the post-mortem.



ISKCON opens one more centre in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) opened one more centre in Panchkula. The centre is situated in Sector 9.

ISKCON governing body commissioner Gopal Krishna Goswami established the centre today.

The event witnessed a massive turnout of audience, as ISKCON devotees from all over the world registered their participation to mark their presence on the occasion.

As many as 500 devotees took part on the occasion of the opening of the new ISKON centre.

The centre has been named ISKCON Naam Hatta Centre. The centre has been opened in coordination with ISKCON, Chandigarh.

Convener Vidyapuran Das, ISKCON, Panchkula centre, said, “My house has turned into a spiritual centre now.”

Activities will take place the same way it takes place at the Chandigarh temple, said the Vidyapuran Das.



Bilateral cooperation with Central Asia stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
While stressing that there is an immense potential for India and Central Asian countries to cooperate in the fields of security, economy and education, experts from India and several Central Asian countries felt that there was a need to create greater awareness in both regions about issues of mutual interest.

Speaking during an interactive session on cooperation organised at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development here today, experts also pointed out that Afghanistan was an important area for cooperation as in India there was still little information about the stand of Central Asian countries on the developments in Afghanistan.

Prof Umarov Khojamakhmad, Head, Institute of Economy and Demography, and Dr Sodat Olimova, Head, Research Centre Sharq, both in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, talked about India-Tajikistan relationship in the context of the agricultural sector and explained that the area of food industry could be important linkages to develop business between the two nations.

They also discussed security issues concerning India and Tajikistan in regard to Afghanistan where India has a strategic interest and Tajikistan shares a long border with it.

Dr Abdulkhay Muminov, Head, UNESCO Chair on Law and Human Rights at Tashkent in Uzbekistan, and Prof Murat Bakhadirov, an expert in international relations from that country, spoke about the bilateral relations with India in context of education, information technology and science. They said India could play an important role in exploitation and management of water resources in that region.

Baiken Altynbekov, from Astana, Kazakhstan, said there was a vast potential for India and Kazakhstan to do business in the sphere of agriculture as well as small and medium industries.



Compensation in medical negligence cases discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG) today held a meeting to discuss the issue of amount of compensation awarded in cases of medical negligence.

Doctors held that the recent compensations of “exceedingly high amounts” were unrealistic and have serious implications on the functioning of the medical fraternity.

The MLAG is a non-profit trust registered at Chandigarh by a group of allopathic doctors from across the country, who legally engage the Central Government regarding its various policies concerning medical profession, training and working conditions.

The group decided to request the government and the Law Commission to exempt doctors from the purview of the Consumer Protection Act or to put a cap on compensation that could be claimed and awarded.



World Disabled Day 

Chandigarh, December 2
World Disabled Day was observed at Prayaas, a rehabilitation centre for differently abled children, today. Children with disabilities from various institutions of the city participated in fancy dress, race, painting and dance competitions on the occasion.

As many as 100 children from special schools like Asha Handicapped School, Chandimandir, Panchkula; Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Chandigarh; Ashtha, Mohali; participated in the events. Students from far-off places like Phillaur, Jalandhar, also participated. — TNS



Councillors reach out to residents
Provide them services on doorstep to strengthen voter base for LS poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Councillors of the Municipal Corporation these days are busy opening new offices, forming teams of volunteers to help out residents and even hearing their complaints at weekends. Keeping in mind the parliamentary elections the next year, the councillors are working very hard and providing services on residents' doorstep to strengthen the voter base of their respective parties.

Councillor Mukesh Bassi, who represents ward no. 17 (which includes Sectors 18, 19 and 21) has opened up his new office at the Sector 21 community centre, where he attests ration card and other kinds of forms of the residents of his ward. Bassi said they had also formed three teams for Sectors 18, 19 and 21. The members of these teams will provide the forms for ration cards and voter registration, and facilities related to senior citizens on their doorstep, he added.

He said the members of the team would collect the forms from homes and after submitting the same, a submission slip will be given to the residents at their residences. The members will also provide transport facilities to the residents if their presence is required at office concerned, he added. Recently, he had distributed pamphlets in his ward mentioning his achievements as a Congress councillor in the last one and a half years. He had started development work worth Rs 14 crore in his ward, he said.

Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth attests various forms of his ward residents in the MC office on weekdays. Over weekend, he meets with the residents in his office in the Sector 29 community centre. He said not only his ward, but he is also holding meetings in Ramdarbar and Faidan village and even meeting residents at their residences.

Likewise, BJP councillor Satinder Singh is reaching on residents’ doorsteps to redress their grievances. He said though in the evening he met the residents of his ward at his residence in Sector 28, if required, he visited their home to solve their problems.

Gaurav Sharma, a social worker, said it was good that these councillors were providing such kind of facilities but they must ensure it should be a regular exercise.



Forensic experts to record evidence via video-conferencing
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Forensic experts in city hospitals are soon going to record evidence before courts through video-conferencing. The move will save the travel time for the experts and help them manage the load of post-mortems and medico-legal cases.

At a recent meeting of the representatives of all the three city government hospitals, the GMSH-16, GMCH-32 and the PGIMER, it was proposed that the respective IT centre of each hospital would be connected to the courts in city or other states.

On an average, each hospital conducts two or three post-mortems per day with the total number ranging between 800 and 1,000 per year. In addition, the forensic experts examine between 1,100 and 1,400 medico-legal cases yearly in each of the hospitals.

“The cases in which we need to record our statements are not limited to the city and the periphery. We often have to travel to farther cities like Karnal and many in Himachal Pradesh for recording statements. This involves almost a day’s time piling up autopsy and medico-legal reviews,” said Dr Dasari Harish, Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, GMCH-32.

Each of the hospitals has its IT centre in place. Under the new system, a forensic expert would be connected to the Judge in the respective court at a day and time specified in advance.

The system is running successfully in various cities in Haryana and in Amristar hospitals, according to the officials here. 



LPG consumers sore over delay in delivery of cylinders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
A number of LPG consumers at Burail are up in arms against the dilly-dally tactics adopted by the Sukh Gas agency in the delivery of LPG cylinders. The consumers, who had gathered outside the office of the gas agency, said the delivery of LPG cylinder was being delayed for over two weeks.

District Food and Supplies Officer (DFSO), Chandigarh, Parveen said action would be taken against the gas agency.

Chaman Parkash, one of the affected persons, said after booking an LPG cylinder on the phone, the agency cited short delivery notice for not booking the cylinder. His repeated visits to the office went futile.

Other consumers alleged that cylinders were being diverted to the open market.



Day 4: Colours of Haryanvi culture dominate Crafts Mela
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The fourth day of the Crafts Mela, under way at the Kala Gram, saw a host of colourful activities. The programme, titled “Colours and Sound of Haryana”, hogged the limelight in the evening and depicted cultural heritage of the state.

Live demonstration of different traditional art forms has dominated the ongoing mela. Around 10 artistes from various regions have put on display heritage crafts like Thanjavur paintings, Pattachitra, Warli painting, etc.

This year, the walls of the entrance to the mela venue are decorated by Artist Ankush and his team from Maharashtra with Warli art. Ankush said Warli paintings were simple and linear and had maximum use of triangular shapes. The artiste briefed the visitors about the Warli art.

The Tanjore/Thanjavur paintings displayed at stall no. G 93 by Arist V Panner Salvam from Tamil Nadu have also received appreciation. These paintings, generally of Hindu deities with gold work, were traditionally used in worship 400 years ago, said V Panner.

Orissa’s “Patachitra” displayed at stall no. G 72 is also attracting visitors. This art work is usually done on a palm leaf and depicts the mythological stories with deities as subject.

Sufi and folk singing by Ghaji Khan and party will be tomorrow's attraction.



Play highlights common man’s plight

Chandigarh, December 2
The Adakar Manch, Mohali, in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi, staged a play - Baat Soohe Phullan Di, at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, here today. Written and directed by Dr Sahib Singh, the play highlighted how wrong decisions by rulers affected the lives of the common people.

Mallika Singh, Neel, Arshdeep Singh, Sarthak Narula, Baninderjit Singh, Rajinder Rozy and Harmanpal Singh were among the main actors. Gaurav Rai composed the music. — TNS



Need for law to regulate live-in relationship

* Should there be a law to govern live-in relationship? In the wake of the SC framing guidelines for determining live-in relationship, Chandigarh Tribune spoke to local citizens on this issue.

Our society and cultural values do not approve of live-in relations. However, such a practice has increased tremendously and since it is increasing so rapidly, there is an urgent need for enacting a law to regulate live-in relations otherwise those people who have entered into such relations will not be the only sufferers in case of breakup but their family members will also be affected. With the changing times, society has to change the mindset about live-in relations and a good law regulating such relations will make them more acceptable. A law should be enacted to regulate the period of relationship, its resources and financial arrangements.

— Dr Vikas Sharma

I think live-in relationships should not be legalised, as it will undermine the importance of the great institution of marriage. It goes against the rich tradition and culture of our society. If a couple decides to have such a live-in relationship and even have children out of this relationship, then why not solemnise it into a marriage? This kind of relationship, if legalized, will only prove to be an easy way out to escape responsibilities and commitments and will further lead to degradation of society as a whole.

— Dr Bhavneet Goyal, a tutor

I feel a live-in relationship is an individual's choice. If the persons involved are comfortable, others should have no business in their personal lives. About seeking protection under law, I feel there are very few such laws that are significant in our country. I believe, the police or the laws hardly help. One has to be responsible for one's own actions.

— Megha Sharma, an IT professional

Society is still not ready for the concept of live-in relationships due to the traditional norms of marriage in India. In fact, these days, the elders are trying to revive the old tradition of early marriage of their children. Making a law for live-in relationship is only beneficial if it is implemented properly.

— NP Mohan, a senior citizen

Live-in relationship cannot give full guarantee to a secure future. There are more chances of betrayal in this relationship. Family never supports such relations, be it any circumstances.

— Deepak Pathania, a resident of Sector 5, Panckhula

“I feel society should accept the trend of live-in relationship as it’s an understanding between two persons, which everyone in society should respect. With the growing number of cases of live-in relationship in our society, there is need for having a law for them, for their safe future”.

— Nikhil, a resident of Sector 15, Chandigarh

There is a need for framing a law to sort out this issue as affected parties are seeking legal course to the problem in various courts and the judiciary is giving conflicting judgments on a case-to-case basis. In order to remove ambiguity, clarity and the support of law is required.

— Arvind Rana, a teacher



Keep residents' interest in mind

There is a little number of vacant lands left in the City Beautiful that are reserved for commercial and other usage.

Whereas a few acres in the city shopping centre, Sector 34-B, adjoining the residential area of Sector 33, are occupied most of time with various exhibitions, fairs, music shows and other such events. These are being held with a prior permission from the authorities without considering the parking and drainage facilities available at the place. These are also violating noise pollution and other norms.

There are also regular traffic jams in Sector 33-34 road due to the same.

The area is at present given on lease to different parties for temporary use.

Residents of Sector 33 living behind this area were a disturbed lot. There was a music show at the site on Sunday which held throughout the day without a break annoying the residents.

The residential area of Sector 33 is one of the posh areas of the city where majority of defence officers stay.

The Municipal Corporation should consider the interest of residents before leasing out such areas for commercial activities.

There are many other sites lying vacant in the shopping centre of the city where such activities should be organised.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Install traffic lights

The Singhpura junction between Zirakpur and Dera Bassi near the outlet of Best Price has become a major accident-prone area due to the increased flow of traffic.

There is no traffic signal at the point.

On every other day, major and minor accidents are occurring at this point and its nearby areas.

The National Highway Authorities of India, GMR Expressway Limited, and

The Zirakpur Municipal Council should look into the issue and get installed a traffic light at this junction.

Varun Kumar, Zirakpur



Biz news

Godrej and Boyce lift trophy

The Drishti Quality Circle from Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Unit Ltd, Mohali, lifted the trophy in the 26th CII Quality Circle Regional Final, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on Monday. The first runner-up trophy was won by Navyug Quality Circle from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Manesar, Gurgaon, and Nayee Rah Quality Circle from Secure Meters Ltd, Solan, bagged the second runner-up trophy. Parivartan Quality Circle from Tata Motors Ltd, Lucknow, and Joshilay Quality Circle from Godrej and Boyce Mfg Unit Ltd, Mohali, were awarded the consolation prize.

Airtel iCreate competition

The 5th edition of the Airtel iCreate witnessed over 350 entries in the competition organised recently. Covering the top business colleges spanning across the country, iCreate is open for students pursuing a full time MBA or an equivalent degree, irrespective of their specialisations. The executive summaries and business plans will be evaluated on different parameters. The final round will be held at the Airtel centre in Gurgaon, where the six selected teams will present their plan in front of the business heads. The business heads will then select a winner. — TNS



College takes out AIDS awareness rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Programmes to mark World AIDS Day continued in the city today.

While an AIDS awareness rally was organised by the Red Ribbon Club and the NCC unit of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, experts from across the city shared advisory on preventing AIDS.

The campaign began with the flagging-off of a rally by Principal Meera Modi on the college campus.

Volunteers carried placards and posters bearing slogans like, ‘Prevent AIDS Save Humanity’.

A large number of students took part in the rally.

The Principal appreciated the efforts of a student, Leena, who is the Red Ribbon Club Coordinator of the college, and Sunil Kumar, consultant (Youth Affairs), Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, who were present on the occasion.

Dr BR Das, president, (Research and Innovation), SRL Diagnostics Limited, said as per official reports, the nation has made impressive progress and was on track to meet the millennium development goal (MDG) of halting and reversing the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

However, with some 2.4 million Indians living with HIV-AIDS, it still ranks third after South Africa and Nigeria. In India, the epidemic was majorly concentrated among the high risk groups. It was a highly diverse and heterogeneous epidemic scenario, driven by sex work, unprotected sex among men who have sex with men, and injecting of drugs. In order to stay healthy it was important to visit doctor frequently with periodic monitoring of viral load and CD4/CD8 counts. Dr Das said.

Chief consultant dermatologist and venereologist, National Skin Hospital, Mansa Devi Complex, Vikas Sharma, said more and more patients were appearing with bacterial STDs that were resistant to various antibiotics. The reason was instead of consulting a specialist, patients on noticing initial signs and symptoms of STDs tend to take non-specific antibiotics.

Improper usage of non-specific antibiotics and that too for an improper duration tends to make the disease silent but it tends to persist and the patient feels as if he had been cured. But in fact the disease continues to spread in a silent phase making him/her 30-40 times more susceptible to acquiring HIV infection, he added.



PU to appoint professional counsellors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Soon, the Panjab University will be hiring professional counsellors to deal with student grievances and help them overcome the stress they face during academic sessions.

The proposal was mooted during the emergency meeting of the chairpersons and the heads of various professional institutes, convened today by Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover in the wake of the suicide by a dental college student.

It has been decided that a committee, constituted under the chairmanship of DSW (Dean, Students Welfare), will convene a meeting tomorrow to chalk out the modalities and the budget required for the purpose. The committee will also ask the PGI Director to help in hiring professional counsellors.

Apart from professional counsellors, the faculty recommended that students of education department courses in the university be engaged as internal counsellors for each department so as to counsel students from time to time.

The authorities also decided to constitute grievances redressal and counselling cells in all the professional institutes on the university campus.

The cases of students getting repeated reappearances in theory or practical examinations would also be considered by these grievances redressal and counselling cells. In case a student flunks an examination repeatedly and faced departure from the institute, the matter would first be reported to the university authorities for revision before it is conveyed to the student.

It was also decided in the meeting that the chairpersons of all departments will submit a status report of the cases received and amicably resolved by the cells.

Directions will also be issued to revive the grievance redressal cells in various departments.

Further, it was decided to expedite the process of assigning mentors to the first year students of the professional institutes. Each teacher would be assigned five to 10 first year students and would interact with them frequently to know their problems. Regular meetings of mentors would also be held so as to guide them in better mentoring and counselling.

The meeting was attended by the Registrar, Prof AK Bhandari, and the chairpersons and the heads of Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, University Institute of Engineering and Technology, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Institute of Legal Studies and Dr SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.

Probe panel to be formed

A special committee will be constituted to conduct an inquiry into the incident wherein a teacher of Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University, had been booked for abetment to suicide.



Timings of govt schools revised

Chandigarh, December 2
With the onset of winter, the UT Education Department today revised the opening and closing time of government schools. The revised schedule will remain effective till January 31 next year.

From tomorrow, the single-shift schools will run from 8.40 am till 2.40 pm. While students of classes I to V will now be attending school till 2 pm the students of classes VI to XII will be leaving at 2.40 pm along with teachers.

The morning shift in the double-shift schools will begin at 7.30 am. While students will leave school at 1.15 pm, the teachers will call it a day at 1.30. As far as evening shift is concerned, the school timings for students will be from 12.30 pm till 5 pm. However, teachers will report at 11 am and leave at 5 pm.

DPI (S) Kamlesh Kumar said the school timings had been revised keeping in view the dip in mercury and health of students of primary classes. The department could afford to start the single shift schools at 8.40 am but in case of the double shift schools, it was not possible to start classes early because the evening shift could not be extended beyond 5 pm as days were shorter during winters. However, the students of primary classes in double-shift schools would not face any problem since they come in the evening shift, he added.

The DPI (S) said so far, they have not taken any decision regarding the winter vacation but it would be student as well as parent-friendly. In case of harsh winters, the department might even extend the vacations this year, he said. — TNS

Single Shift schools

Classes I-V: 8.40 am to 2 pm

Classes VI-XII: 8.40 am to 2.40 pm

For Teachers: 8.40 am to 2.40 pm

Double Shift schools

Morning shift

Students: 7.30 am to 1.15 pm

Teachers: 7.30 am to 1.30 pm

Evening shift

Students: 12.30 pm to 5 pm

Teachers: 11 am to 5 pm

Effective till January 31, 2014



Varsity finalises schedule for meetings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, today finalised the meetings of various faculties of Syndicate elections, which will be held at the Senate Hall on the university campus on December 9 and 10.

The election of 15 members to the Syndicate would be conducted on December 9.

Arts faculty fellows and science faculty fellows would elect three members each to the Syndicate on December 9. It would be followed by meeting of languages, law and medical sciences fellows where two fellow members from each faculty would be elected to the Syndicate.

The meeting to elect three Syndicate members from combined faculty would be held on December 9. The meetings for election of dean, secretary and other business of law, medical sciences, dairying, animal husbandry and agriculture would be conducted on December 9.

The meetings for election of dean and for other business of faculties of arts, languages, business management and commerce, education, design and fine arts, science, engineering and technology and pharmaceutical sciences would be conducted on December 10.



School students’ date with veteran filmmaker
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Students of a Panchkula school may get a chance to work with veteran filmmaker GL Bhardwaj, who shot the iconic umbrella scene in the Raj Kapoor and Nargis-starrer Shree 420.

During his visit to The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula, today, Bhardwaj (80) gave some tips in cinematography to senior students of the school and asked them to send their works to him so that he could work with some of them.

The visit was a part of the workshop on photography conducted by the school for senior students.

The timing of the workshop could not have been better as it coincided with the celebration of 100 years of the Indian cinema.

"I had a highly interactive session with students. I started with a documentary on 100 years of the Indian cinema. The students were acquainted with the evolution of camera and lens - from 16 mm lens to contemporary high-tech cameras," said Bhardwaj.

"I have given my email id to the students and told them to send their works to me. Every month, the student whose work is found the best would be awarded. It is actually preparing the students to enter this field. You never know we may get a talented child to work with," added Bhardwaj.

School principal Harsimran Kaur said, "Every month, there will be an online photography competition, which will be judged by none other than GL Bhardwaj. We are looking forward to holding a summer workshop under the guidance of the veteran film maker in June next year."



Herbal garden comes up at GCG-42

Chandigarh, December 2
A herbal garden was inaugurated at Post Graduate Government College for Girls-42, Chandigarh, by Sandeep Hans, DHE (Colleges), UT, and Kuldeep Sharma, IFS, Deputy Conservators of Forests, UT, today.

The environment society of the college, in collaboration with Om Parkash, co-ordinator-cum-overall in-charge, eco-clubs (Schools), set up the garden on nearly 11,000 sq ft. The project began in March 2013 with planting of 10-12 varieties of medicinal herbs.

Hans and Sharma lauded the efforts of the society in setting up the garden. Sharma said under the guidelines of medicinal plants board in the city, efforts would be made to emulate the endeavour in other colleges.

A power-point presentation by Om Parkash highlighted the curing qualities of the herbs grown in the garden. The herbs can cure ailments like dengue, malaria, asthma, arthritis, cough and cold.

He added that the plants should be used under the supervision of Ayurvedic doctors or experts.

Earlier, college principal Mani Bedi welcomed the chief guests followed by plantation. The event concluded with donation of herbal plants to guests and faculty members. — TNS



Educationists awarded

Chandigarh, December 2
Santosh Sharma, principal of Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, and Rajesh Kumar, a Hindi teacher, have been awarded with the Navodya Vidyalaya Samiti National Incentive Award for administrative skills and innovation in the field of teaching and other co-curricular activities for the year 2012. 

The award ceremony was held at the University of Hyderabad. Union Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju and commissioner of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti G S Bothyal presented the awards. — TNS



PU notes

Additional charge

Panjab University (PU) Registrar Prof AK Bhandari has assumed the additional charge of the Dean of University Instructions on a temporary basis till further order. Prof Sanjay Chhibber, Department of Microbiology, will officiate as the Dean Research till December 6 as Prof LK Bansal is on leave.

Prof awarded

Puaadhi Punjabi Sath, Mohali, has honoured professor and chairperson, department of Guru Nanak Sikh studies fellow, PU, Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang with an award constituted in the name of Bibi Jasmer Kaur Kishanpuri. — TNS



School notes

AIDS awareness

Chandigarh: Godwin Education Society, an NGO, in collaboration with the Red Ribbon Club of Government High School, Hallomajra, Chandigarh, organised a face-painting competition to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS.

Annual day

Fun and frolic marked the annual day cultural fiesta of play-way students at RIMT World School, Mani Majra. Tiny tots performed various items on the occasion. As many as 30 kids recited the Gayatri Mantra and rhymes.

Saupin's student shines at QUANTA-2013

Ruhani Arora, a student of Class 10 at Saupin's School, Sector-32, Chandigarh, who took part in the 19th International Competition for Science, Mathematics, Mental Ability and Electronics-QUANTA-2013, was awarded the third prize in the debate "Biotech food will eliminate world hunger'. The competition was organised by City Montessori School, Lucknow, from November 16-19.

Red ribbons distributed

The NSS volunteers of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, Chandigarh, organised a rally and AIDS awareness programme at the Sukhna Lake. The morning walkers, who were present in large numbers, were given red ribbons.

Inter-House contest

A radio show was the highlight of the multicultural activities performed by students during the inter-house activity competitions held at KBDAV-7. Students indulged in making masks, charts and face paintings highlighting serious issues of global warming, water conservation, gender discrimination, female foeticide, dowry, eve-teasing and others.

Annual function

Panchkula: The Scholars Public School, Mauli Barwala, celebrated its third annual function "SPANDAN-2013". The programme began with the chief guest, Ashwani Kumar, Tehshildar, Panchkula, lighting the ceremonial lamp followed by Ganesh Vandna. On the occasion, students presented a circus show, an English play, puppet dance and bhangra among other items.

Story-telling competition

An annual story-telling competition was held in the UKG block of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula. Students narrated different stories by means of voice modulation and props. The mothers of students adjudged the contest on the basis of presentation, confidence and the props used in performance. — TNS



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