C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Student’s rape
Be sensitive to victim: Court to police
Tells them to keep her off police station; sends all five accused policemen to 14-day judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Already in the dock for taking the rape case of a minor girl lightly at the initial stage, the UT police was again at the receiving end in the court today. All five constables, accused of raping the minor girl, were produced in the court today.

The counsel for the complainant lambasted the investigating agency and told the court that the police kept the minor rape victim with it till 7.30 pm yesterday, much after sunset, which was against the Supreme Court guidelines.

The court directed that the counsel should always accompany the rape victim during police investigation.

Questions were raised by the victim’s counsel on the handling of the case by the special investigation team (SIT).

“Yesterday, when the victim joined investigations, she was taken for medical examination and was questioned separately by the UT vigilance and also by the SIT, which was a time consuming exercise. She was questioned by the police from 12.30 pm to 7.30 pm,” said victim’s counsel Gagan Aggarwal.

The police also received flak for uploading the FIR of the rape case on its website a day after the case was registered. The FIR was removed only when the victim’s family and BJP workers raised objected to it. Responding to this query, an official of the SIT said the police was already facing two inquiries — one by the UT vigilance and a departmental probe — for the alleged discrepancies. The victim’s counsel said the police should question the girl at her place rather than calling her to the police station each time to avoid harassment. The court of the Duty Magistrate then allowed and directed the police to meet the victim at her place. All five accused constables were produced in the court today and sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Two inquiries

DSP Ashish Kapoor, inspector Malkit Singh and sub-inspector Usha Rani are in the dock for adopting a ‘casual’ approach and not following the standard procedure when the case was first reported. SP Maneesh Chaudhary is conducting an inquiry into the victim’s allegations that the probe officer commented that it was a case of ‘love turned sour’. It was also alleged that the police recorded the victim’s statements in front of the accused. A separate inquiry is being conducted by UT vigilance into these allegations. The entire SIT was reconstituted after the allegations and now an all-woman SIT was investigating the case.

The five accused

Akshay Kumar: Joined the UT police in 2011. He was the first one to come in contact with the girl. Has admitted to the police that he had an affair with the girl, but he severed ties with her when she got in touch with Sunil

Sunil Kumar: The victim accused him of raping her at gunpoint. She alleged that Sunil forced her to take contraceptive pills.

Jagtar: He is in the dock for passing comments and harassing the victim

Himmat Singh: He used to stay in the same rented accommodation with Akshay and Sunil. He allegedly used to molest and harass the victim

Anil: He shifted to Mani Majra after he got married recently. His wife is also a UT police constable. He is in the dock for harassing the girl



Fresh recruits to get a lesson on conduct
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Following the arrest of five constables for raping a 16-year-old girl, the embarrassed Chandigarh police is planning to start a sensitising programme to tell fresh recruits about their responsibilities.

UT SSP Sukchain Singh Gill stated that the department was mulling over holding various programmes for the fresh recruits that would tell them how to conduct at work.

“The programme is the need of the hour as discipline is a necessary requirement in the police," the SSP stated.

The constables are put on various duties, including posting on PCR vehicles and roads.

Sources said the police department would be soon coming up with various reforms to ensure better services to society.

This is not for the first time when young policemen have been charged with committing such a heinous act. Earlier this year, constable Basant Kumar was arrested for murdering Chandigarh police inspector Sucha Singh. The police is also mulling over deploying experienced police personnel on PCR duty. The sources stated the duties of the PCR staff had been reshuffled. “The PCR staff deployed in southern sectors have been shifted to the northern part of the city," the sources stated.



Police seek second opinion
Samples collected from spot now sent to CFSL, Chandigarh
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
The Panchkula police have sent samples collected from the spot in the Jyoti murder case to Central Forensic Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) Chandigarh. The police are surprised how the report of hair samples, seat covers of the car and burnt tyres of the truck used in the crime sent to the CFSL, Madhuban, went in favour of Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, the main accused in the case.

“The samples have now been sent to the CFSL, Chandigarh, for second opinion,” said a senior police officer.

“The police had earlier sent samples of burnt tyres of truck, seat covers and hair found at the crime scene to the CFSL, Madhuban, for testing. But the report went against us,” said the police officer.

The Doon MLA and four others have been accused of killing Jyoti. She was found murdered on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula.

According to the charge-sheet filed by the Panchkula police, Jyoti, who wanted him to continue his relations with her, was allegedly eliminated by the MLA’s aides as she was coming in the way of Chaudhary’s political career.

Jyoti was allegedly strangulated and then a truck was run over her body to depict it as an accident.

The prosecution received a setback when the complainant in the case, Jyoti’s father, Buti Ram, failed to recognise Ram Kumar Chaudhary in the court on Monday.



Man held for wearing police uniform
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The police today arrested a vegetable vendor for getting his picture clicked in police uniform. The accused was arrested for wearing uniform used by a public servant with fraudulent intent.

The accused, Harmeet Singh (30), is a resident of Burial village. The police said the accused, who sold vegetables, had come to Sukhna Lake along with a friend to get his photograph clicked in Punjab Police uniform.

When a patrolling party asked the accused to show his identity card, he told them that he was wearing the uniform just to get a photograph clicked. He claimed that he did not know that it was an offence. He was later released on bail.

A case of wearing garb or carrying token used by a public servant with fraudulent intent under Section 171 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered in the Sector 3 police station.



563 wrong parking challans in 3 years
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
The Chandigarh Traffic Police are under the scanner for issuing wrong parking challans. The police have filed a total of 563 such sticker challans in the past three in which the addresses of the violators are wrong.

The information was procured by an RTI activist, RK Garg, who has now written to the IGP demanding an inquiry into the alleged discrepancy.

Garg said the police personnel noted down wrong registration numbers of vehicles for the reason best known to the. This way, 563 violators were never fined, he added. This raises a question on the working of the traffic police, said Garg.


Year ender 2013
A mixed bag for Mohali this year
Akash Ghai & Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, December 25
With holding two-day Punjab Progressive Investors Summit, in which top industrial and business houses across the country and abroad had promised to invest Rs 65,000 crore in the state in near future, and hosting dinner to Pakistan’s second most influential political figure Shahbaz Sharif at the Nature Park, the town came in the limelight in the last month of this year.

To hard sell itself as the most preferred investment destination, the Punjab Government had selected the town to hold its maiden investors summit, which had witnessed corporate czars like Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Arcelor Mittal chairman LN Mittal, ITC chairman YC Deveshwar, Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Hero Motocorp vice-chairman Sunil Kant Munjal, Biocon chairman Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, and other corporate top shots.

While the state got tremendous response with having signed MoUs of Rs 65,000 crore with the industry giants, the town would also see IT giant Infosys Technologies come up with a 20,000-seat facility in Mohali. Apart from that, several industrial projects would be initiated in this town, the ‘gateway of the state’, which would create job opportunities for lakhs of youngsters.

The other advantage of these high-profile functions, including hosting of dinner for Sharif, for the town and its residents as well, was that the town got facelift as the district administration had left no stone unturned to beautify Mohali to impress its VVIP guests.

New trains to religious destinations

The other major facility for the residents of the town and its periphery is a weekly train from Anandpur Sahib to Hazoor Sahib and two daily trains from Chandigarh to Amritsar and vice versa. Having halts at the Mohali Railway Station, these trains have been proving a boon for the residents of the town.

Major projects running behind schedule

Several GMADA projects, which included Aerocity, Ecocity and Knowledge City, construction of the new bus terminus, district administrative complex, court complex and Purab Premium Apartments, are running behind the schedule. Most of these projects have crossed the set deadlines for three to four times. The project of the construction of a 17-storeyed world class bus terminus, where only 30 to 40 per cent work has completed so far, had already crossed its set deadline for four times. The scenario is no different as far as the rest projects are concerned.

Kajauli waterworks

GMADA also remained engaged in the work of laying a pipeline from the Kajauli overhead waterworks to augment the water supply to residents. This will bring an additional 40 MGD of water to the Greater Mohali Area.

Construction of roads

The authority was also busy in the construction of roads like the road from the National Highway-22 to the National Highway-64, a 200-ft-wide road from the Aerocity junction to the Kharar-Banur Road and another one from the Mullanpur-UT Boundary to the T-junction of the Kurali-Siswan Road. The corporation undertook carpeting on internal roads.

Auctions of plots

GMADA received a lukewarm response from bidders at two auctions held during the year. At an auction held in June, 66 properties were put under the hammer, out of which only 18 could be auctioned. At another two-day auction in October, the response was poor as GMADA was not able to sell even a single residential site.

Illegal PGs shut

As many as 360 illegal paying guest accommodations in the town were shut down by GMADA and the police in August. The PGs were running without the necessary registration.

Missing files

The development authority had found irregularities in 196 files relating to applications for building plan sanction and completion certificates. These files were found lying abandoned at a secluded place on the GMADA office premises. A vigilance probe into the matter was okayed by the government.

Contentious issues for MC

The Municipal Corporation had to face contentious issues like the levying of property tax and the extension of the municipal limits during the year, apart from tackling residents’ difficulties, including a long water crisis in August.

No elected body yet

The corporation is yet to get an elected body even after almost two years of its formation. Residents heaved a sigh of relief when the corporation got a full-time commissioner in September, making things move in the civic body office. Earlier, officials had been given additional charge of the corporation and lacked adequate time to attend to the problems of residents.

Property tax

Property tax was levied for the first time on residents, which was opposed by Congress leaders and various residents’ welfare organisations. The collections were tardy in the beginning, but picked up later. The civic body was able to mop up over Rs 6 crore by mid-December against an expected income of over Rs 20 crore.

Extension of MC limits

After a gap of 18 years, an initiative to extend the municipal limits was undertaken. A preliminary notification was issued for inviting objections for including Sectors 66 to 69 and 76 to 80, industrial Sectors 74 and 75 and Sohana and Kumbra villages. The case was again sent to the government on November 5 for the final notification.

MC budget

In March, the corporation proposed a budget of Rs 7,469 lakh for the financial year. The amount was about 45 per cent higher than that of the previous year. The proposed expenditure was Rs 7,343.80 lakh.

Severe water crisis

A severe water crisis hit the town in mid-August following a pipeline leakage at the Kajauli waterworks, which continued for about 15 days. The residents had a tough a time for about a week after which the administration brought some relief through water tanker supply.

Spurt in criminal cases

Witnessing a major spurt in criminal cases, especially crime against women, it is nothing wrong in saying that ‘all is not well’ here.

The crime statistics of Mohali district (up to November 30, 2013) showed that there was a whopping increase of around 140 per cent in rape cases this year in comparison with the cases in 2012. Last year, as many as 21 cases of rape were reported in the district, which has touched the figure of 50 till November 30 this year.

There is also a sharp rise of around 380 per cent in ‘attempt to rape’ cases if these compared with the figure in last year. If the number of such cases was just three in 2012, this year as many as 11 cases have been reported so far.

Similarly, a whopping increase of over 300 per cent has been noticed in molestation cases in the district. In 2012, the number of molestation cases was just 27. This year, as many as 83 cases of molestation have already been reported in various police stations of the district.

An increase of about 65 per cent is also there in dowry cases. If last year as many as 111 dowry cases were reported, this year the number of such cases is 182 so far.

The murder cases also saw around 45 per cent increase here. Last year, there were 21 murder cases in the district. The number has touched the figure to 30 till November 30.

However, there is some relief if we talk about fatal accidents. As compared to last year’s figure, there is a minor decrease this year. While last year had witnessed a total of 276 fatal accidents (225 men, 23 women and 11 children), this year the number has come down to 262 (218 men, 23 women and 21 children). The story is no different in non-fatal accident cases. This year, as many as 310 non-fatal accidents have been reported. Last year, the number was 356.

However, the problem of security gates in the town remained unsolved.

Advocate's murder

The town was shattered with the murder case of local advocate Amarpreet Singh Sethi, who was shot dead by some youngsters (living as paying guests in Sethi’s neighbourhood) on a trivial issue of vehicle parking in front of his house at Phase 3A on February 27 this year.

Toll-free complaint centre

For the first time, the corporation set up a toll-free complaint centre for residents in December and framed draft bylaws for pet dog owners.



Psychiatry problem
Home-based treatment brings hope for families
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Parents of 46-year-old Payal (name changed), a psychiatry patient, gave up all hopes of her improvement and went on to the extent of calling the police when her hallucination took its toll and she began to hit everyone in the family with household articles.

Her father, a retired government official staying in Sector 48, had almost decided to leave her in a mental asylum before he contacted a team of psychiatry experts offering home-based treatment.

Five months down the line, the situation at her home changed completely. Her behaviour changed not only because of the treatment offered by the experts, but also because of the right way in which her family handled her illness and erratic behaviour.

“Since her teenage, she had a hallucination that she is going to marry a person. That person was in her imagination. We finally got her married to a well-educated man, but her illness continued. He soon left her. Over the past couple of years, her behaviour deteriorated. Whenever we would tell her that no such person exists, she would get hyper and aggressive. It was twice that she hit me on my head. But now, she even takes medication. We understood that we do not have to fight with her, but with her illness,” said Payal’s father.

For 31-year-old Manisha’s (name changed) parents, residents of Sector 40 here, the situation was even worse. Not only they failed to identify their daughter’s illness (personality disorder) since the beginning, but also ended up blaming her for deviant behaviour. As Manisha’s parents, husband and in-laws began to blame her for her extreme anger and stubborn attitude, she became extremely insecure and started confiding in the police.

“She once locked the main door of her house from inside and refused to open it. When the entire family kept calling her name, she called the police and blamed the family for troubling her. Even the police started suspecting the family. It was only after the doctors in the home-based treatment team told the police about her illness, they spared us,” said Manisha’s mother.

Handling 25 such cases of psychological problems emerging out of relationship conflicts, neglect or family history of mental illness causing erratic behaviour in seven months, the home-based treatment team, an initiative of the Government Medical College and Hospital, GMCH, Sector 32, has managed to attach 52 per cent patients to the OPD, while others have shown improvement.

The team is supported by the Union Bank of India that recently donated an ambulance to the hospital and Colonel Mehndiratta, who runs an NGO, Prayatan.

Advisory for handling psychiatry patients

  • Do not tie the patient’s hands while taking him or her to a hospital.
  • Understand that a patient gets violent in self-defence.
  • One has to win the patient’s confidence by making the environment calm.



BJP to consider abolishing income, sales tax: Gadkari
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is in-charge of preparing the party's vision document "India Vision 2025", said the party was considering on a proposal to abolish levying of income tax, sales tax and excise duty.

Gadkari said the party was presently deliberating the matter. He was addressing a conference of Trade, Industry and Investors, organised by the city BJP unit at the Baba Makhan Singh Lubana Bhawan, in Sector 30, here today.

He said they had received a good proposal in which there was a suggestion of complete abolition of income, sales and excise tax. The total revenue of the country was Rs 14 lakh crore and 1.5 lakh bank branches were operating in the country presently. If they would abolish these taxes and apply around 2 per cent of transaction tax, then the country would get revenue to the tune of around Rs 40,000 lakh crore. So those 3.5 lakh people, who are using beacons of various colours now, will not be required anymore as no tribunals or commissioners will be required.

Another proposal being deliberated by the party was the doing away of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for ushering in transparency, he said.

In this conference, former MP Satya Pal Jain, former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, Punjab State Minister Madan Mohan Mittal, city BJP president Sanjay Tandon and others were also present.

Railgate will be BJP’s national issue

Gadkari said corruption cases, including railgate involving the nephew of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, would be the party’s national issue in the coming parliamentary elections. Pointing towards Bansal and his nephew, Gadkari said at present nobody was happy in this country but people like Mama-Bhanja were happy. He said the country was rich but due to corruption and poor governance, people of India were poor.

City BJP president takes up local issues

City BJP president Sanjay Tandon raised local issues related to traders and industrialists before Gadkari. He said the UT Administration had failed to implement the MSME Act. Besides, it was imposing heavy penalties on traders and industrialists. The Administration had also stopped the conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold.

Anil Dubey meets Gadkari

Former BJP councillor Anil Dubey, who was removed from the BJP’s colony cell convener’s post on Tuesday, met Nitin Gadkari, along with his supporters, at former MP Satya Pal Jain’s residence. He complained to Gadkari about city BJP president Sanjay Tandon’s behaviour. On this, Gadkari told Aarti Mehra, who is BJP’s in-charge of Chandigarh seat, to look into the matter. Aarti Mehra will now meet Dubey and others on December 29.



Bansal submits complaint to IGP
Asks to inquire about abnormal increase of 12,000 likes on his Facebook page within 24 hrs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Local Member of Parliament (MP) Pawan Kumar Bansal today submitted a complaint to the UT Inspector General of Police (IGP) to inquire about an abnormal increase of around 12,000 likes on his Facebook page within 24 hours. UT IG RP Upadhyaya said the enquiry had been marked to the cyber cell.

Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Tuesday there were around 51,600 likes on his official Facebook page. But today, he found that there was an abnormal increase in the number of likes and it increased to around 62,500. It all had happened with 24 hours, which showed that somebody was doing it without my knowledge and for some ulterior purpose.

It was certainly a crime. Therefore, he had lodged a complaint with the UT police to conduct an inquiry, he said.

He said on a daily basis you expect 10-20 or maximum-to-maximum around 100 genuine likes. But, it was something unusual.

Recently, it was highlighted in various media reports that city BJP president Sanjay Tandon and another senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan got a huge number of likes from Turkish capital Istanbul.

Likes on Sanjay Tandon’s Facebook page from Istanbul had increased from two on December 18 to more than 11,000 within the next two days. Harmohan Dhawan, who has more than 52,000 likes on his Facebook page, is also popular in Istanbul.



mayor’s report card
Nervous end to a tense tenure
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Mayor Subhash Chawla witnessed several ups and downs during his tenure. The Opposition kept targeting him in every monthly house meeting. Even his own party councillors showed him their back.

He was appreciated for starting work on various projects that were already in the pipeline, including the multi-level parking in Sector 17 and inauguration of a new sewage treatment plant in 3 BRD, but at the same time he had to face the criticism for failing to take steps to check cattle menace that claimed three lives. His stint ends on December 31.

Unkept promises

The Mayor wanted to make the city clean. He aimed at tiding over the parking problem. Sadly, the problems were never addressed. He had also promised to make the city debris-free, but one can still see debris on roads.

Mayor takes a U-turn

Tall claims made by Subhash Chawla fell flat on his face. Even though the UT Administration wanted the Municipal Corporation to impose house tax, Chawla opposed the same and promised residents to roll back the tax, but he failed to do so. The proposal to increase the tax by 20 times is also under consideration.

Stray cattle menace

Stray cattle claimed three lives in the city. A victim's family demanded that an FIR should be lodged against the Mayor, which left Chawla worried. Finally, a DDR was lodged. He had to face the ire of the opposition and residents for failing to check the stray cattle menace.

General House

The General House meetings had to be adjourned a number of times, with the Mayor failing to discipline the house. The opposition councillors raised a question over his working and accused him of running the house at will. They said he never let healthy discussions take place.

Projects undertaken

  • The multi-level parking project in Sector 17 took off during Subhash Chawla’s tenure. Coming up at a cost of over Rs 46 crore, the parking lot will accommodate 931 vehicles.
  • The sewage treatment plant (STP) came up near 3BRD. The plant treats 11 million gallons per day (MGD).
  • The Management Information System (MIS) launched. After generating water bills, SMSes and e-mails are sent to consumers.


Subhash Chawla failed to improve sanitation and check stray dog menace. Colonies continue to reel under water crisis. His attitude and working style affected the house meetings, for which he blamed the opposition saying we deliberately disrupted the proceedings

Arun Sood, BJP councillor

During Chawla’s tenure, councillors were not given a representation for taking up issues of their wards which affected the development works

Malkiat Singh, SAD councillor

Infighting marred eight house meetings. He could start only one project during his tenure

Surinder Bahga, nominated councillor

City’s development was always on my priority list. The opposition councillors were against development works. I was always ready to debate. I will soon hold a press conference to enlist my achievements which are 20 in number.

Mayor Subhash Chawla



How long will the popularity of AAP last?

The Aam Aadmi Party is not a one-hit wonder. It is being seen as a deciding factor in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. The party will have to work for the development of the nation as a dedicated team. If it wants to remain popular among people, it will have to deliver.

Sanchi Verma, law student, Panjab University

If the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wants to sustain its popularity, it will have to keep its promises and ensure that corruption does not creep into its system. It will have to contribute towards the development of the nation to cements its base in politics.

Sahil Jadaik, PU student

The future of the party will depend on its performance. It's time to deliver on the tall promises that the party had made to voters. As all elected members are naive, they can't be assessed. But not many have pinned high hopes on them. The rift over the allotment of Cabinet berths has already cast aspersions on the survival of the party.

Puspinder Sharma, former president, Panjab University Campus Student Council

Youngsters have welcomed the change which they say is for good. The party envisages a better tomorrow for the youth. The patriarch of the party has assured the voters of working for their welfare. He is not there to rule but to deliver the moon. The party has a long way to go.

Harmeet Bindra, Panchkula resident



Open manholes a threat
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 25
Inviting instant death, 20-feet deep sewerage manholes are lying open on the main road in Panchkula. Most of them were seen wide open at the road separating Sectors 5 and 8, Sector 15, Sectors 9 and 10 and road separating Sector 16 and Sector 17, hence posing a major threat to lives of people.

Surprisingly, these open manholes have gone unnoticed by the authorities.

Veenu Batra, a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula, said, “As the school buses make a halt at the main road to pick up our children, rather than coming in the internal lanes of the residential areas, it is very risky as the manholes are lying open.”

She further added, “Everytime I have to go to the stop to make sure that my child doesn’t go near the manhole.”

Rhea Sood, a resident of Sector 9, Panchkula, said, “Why do the authorities have to always wait for a mishap to take place in order to initiate action? These open manholes are highly risky, anyone can fall accidentally in the same inviting instant death.”

Superintendent engineer of the public health wing of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), NK Verma, said, “We have not received any complaint so far. If this is the present scenario, I will definitely get it checked and get the manholes covered at the earliest.”

It was in 2011, when an uncovered manhole had claimed the life of a seven-year-old child, identified as Gautam at Raipur Kalan village in Mohali. The body of the deceased was found this morning at the sewerage plant near the house of the boy.



201-ft long cake cynosure of all eyes

Chandigarh, December 25
A 201-feet long cake was cut amidst thousands of visitors as a part of Christmas celebrations during the Chandigarh Winter Carnival at Fair Ground in Sector 34 here today.

The 13-day long Chandigarh Winter Carnival witnessed a group of special children, who especially came to attend the cake cutting ceremony on the occasion. These special visitors had brought laurels to the country in the recently concluded Asia Pacific Regional Games of Special Olympics held from December 1 to 6 at Newcastle, Australia. The organisers also, specially, invited 25 exhibitors, under the aegis of Him Bunkar from Himachal Pradesh, to display their handicraft and handlooms from tribal belts of Kinnaur and Kullu. — TNS



Crime graph soars in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
As the crime graph soared this year, the UT police claimed to have arrested a total of 88 persons involved in robberies. In a press release issued today, the police stated that from January 1, 2013, to December 15, 2013, around 127 persons involved in snatching were apprehended while 131 were nabbed for their involvement in burglary cases.

A total of 451 persons were arrested in theft cases.

The police recovered Rs 33,7350 in robbery cases, Rs 12,99631 in snatching cases, Rs 62,50945 in burglary cases and Rs 98,85310 in theft cases.




Victims, witnesses who turn hostile should be punished

This refers to the disturbing news report on "What led father to take U-turn?" (Chandigarh Tribune, December 24). It is very surprising and shameful that these days the rape victims or key witnesses ‘turn hostile’ and the rape accused are acquitted of all charges and set free by the courts. Even in the case being referred her, the key witness and complainant in Jyoti's rape and murder case, her own father Buti Ram, turned hostile and refused to recognise the culprit Ram Kumar Chaudhary in the court. There are reports of Buti Ram being offered bribes and even threatened of dire consequences, if he did not retract from his statement against the accused Doon MLA. It is very sad and shameful that the powerful rapists get away by either threatening the victims and their families to take back the case against them or by offering them bribes in the form of money to ‘turn hostile’ in the courts. It is not that the judges handling such cases are not aware of this ‘hostile’ trend. They are vey well aware of the proceedings, but still they acquit the rape accused and set them free. Don't know, why? I am of the view that those rape victims and the witnesses who ‘turn hostile’ and retract from their earlier statements by getting financial benefits from the accused must be punished for misleading the court and wasting its precious time. Such ‘U-turners’ must be sent to jail for at least six months and a penalty should also be imposed upon them. Even the rape accused should be given the same punishment. I am sure with such a system, the incidents of rapes, murders and other sexual assaults on women like eve-teasing etc. will start receding with an alarming speed and eventually will come to an end. The Supreme Court must intervene in such cases and issue a directive in this regard.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Awakening of masses to act as deterrence

The nation has earned the dubious distinction of being the third worst rape offender in the world and Chandigarh is not an exception. In Chandigarh, five cops have allegedly been involved in raping a 17-year-old girl at gunpoint not once but several times. Each and every pillar of our democracy such as journalists, judges, spiritual leaders and politicians seem to have involved in this heinous crime, but they are hardly punished to an extent which is the need of the hour. Looking into these horrible incidents can we assume that Indian males have uncontrollable libidos which compel them to indulge in making sexual advances towards girls and women and then later on murder them? Actually, males continue to be superior, born to be pampered and placed from birth on a pedestal, from where he can only look down at women. It takes only a moment of either madness or opportunity for men of deviant mind to cross the thin line to sexual harassment or rape. Though stringent laws, like capital punishment are must to be enacted, yet we should remember that real change will not come from laws only, as laws are not being implemented in letter and spirit as money and muscle power plays a pivotal role. Change can only begin at home. Feasibility to educate our youth regarding our moral values and ethics need to be taught in our educational institutions as well as at our homes. Awakening of the masses will definitely act as a deterrent.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Readers can send their feedback at letters.ct@gmail.com 



Counsellors for girls’ hostel soon
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Panjab University is planning to hire professional counsellors, especially for the girls’ hostels on the campus, soon. The proposal has been principally approved by the special committee constituted after the suicide case of a dental college student surfaced on December 2.

The committee decided that as a pilot project the counsellors will be hired for the girls’ hostel. The demand of the professional counsellors in the hostels was mooted by the wardens to the PU authorities.

In the meeting, wardens apprised the authorities of the present scenario. Wardens stated that after students get themselves enrolled in different courses at the University, a number of cases ranging from depression to loneliness were reported by the girl students.

Few wardens also referred to the three to four incidents reported by the first year students the previous year which made them feel a need of a professional counsellor to guide them.

Dean Student Welfare (Women) Nandita informed that the authorities are in the process of hiring professional counsellors after getting approval from the higher authorities.

“Depending on the availability of the finances the counsellors will be hired at the earliest for the girl students. A special focus of the counsellors will be on the first year students who usually go under depression in hostels because of staying away from their families for the very first time,” said the Dean Student Welfare.

According to source, wardens have also demanded a post of professional counsellors to be sanctioned for the hostels, may be on part-time, depending on the requirements.

In the meeting it was also pointed out that on an average around 350 to 360 girls reside in each hostel and deployment of part-time wardens will help combat their depression or loneliness, which otherwise go ignored a number of times.

During the meeting, the authorities were urged to appoint permanent wardens in the hostels for the well-being of the students.

Besides the PU authorities have also decided that a draft plan will be chalked out for the professional counsellors.



pending demands
150 teachers go on hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 25
Over 150 computer teachers and data entry operators went on a hunger strike at Masjid Ground in Sector 20 here today. The teachers, under the UT Cadre Educational Employee Union, demanded regularisation of the computer teachers, working under the PICTS society, in accordance of a letter put forward by the Punjab Government.

According to Swam Singh Kamboj, president of the association, protesters will put an end to the stir only when the UT Education Department accepts their demands of the regularisation of the computer teachers . “We will stop the hunger strike only if our demands are met,” said Kamboj.



Students showcase unity in diversity

Panchkula, December 25
The annual function of CL DAV Senior Public School Sector 11 was held today. Kumari Selja, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, was the chief-guest. The function was held at Indradhanush Auditorium, Sector 5, Panchkula.

Amidst a vibrant mix of cheer, laughter, music and dance an elite troupe of 800 students of the school staged a spectacular show titled “India Rising” as a part of their annual day celebrations.

The feisty and energetic youngsters took the audience on an enchanting journey across India through exquisitely designed presentation of various dances. Vibrant music, breathtaking colours and highly coordinated movement set the tone of “Gurus of peace” and “Dhol Baje” which depicted that unity in diversity is the beauty of our country.

The grand musical show culminated with a befitting finale.

Appreciating the efforts of students and staff Kumari Selja exhorted the students to steer ahead in life with faith and confidence and work hard for the betterment of this nation. — TNS



Special morning assembly

Students of Jainendra Public School, Sector 1, Panchkula, held a special morning assembly on the occasion of Christmas. Primary sections wore festive look as all were dressed as Santa Claus. Students were apprised of the birth of Lord Jesus and its significance. Importance of Christmas tree was highlighted through a foot-tap performance. A short play sending a message ‘Stay healthy and stay fit’ was also staged by students.

X’mas celebrated with enthusiasm

Students of Hallmark Public School, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas with a lot of enthusiasm. The well-lit Christmas tree was the cynosure of all eyes. The tree was decorated in the best possible manner with buntings and fluttering lights.

Students’ day out with Santa Claus

Students of The Sky World School, Sector 21, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas with Santa Claus. Students sang Christmas carols in chorus and spread the message of love. Senior students of the school also enacted a scene of the birth of Jesus Christ on the occasion. The Christmas tree, loaded with gifts was a rejuvenating experience for students. The profound message of ‘Giving and Receiving’ was beautifully conveyed to students by the principal, Santosh Bhandari.

Christmas carols sung

Junior section of Holy Child School, Morni road, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas on the premises of the school. The jaunty students, all attired in red, had a gala time partying around and dancing to the beats of music. Students also sang Christmas carols on the occasion.

British Schools mark X’mas celebrations

The British Schools, Sector 8 and Sector 12, Panchkula, celebrated Christmas amidst a lot of joy. The school premises were decorated with Christmas trees, bells, stars and snowman. Students decorated trees with balloons, cherries and bells. The whole school echoed with the holy hymns recited by the students. Sweets were distributed among students by ‘Santa Claus’.

Satluj Wizkids-2013

Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula, organised Satluj Wizkids-2013 for Classes IX and X and Satluj Little Champs for the middle section. Students took part in activities such as antakshri, carol singing, best out of waste, calligraphy, fancy dress competition, Christmas tree decoration etc. The principal, Krit Serai, said the aim of organising such competitions is to give a chance to students to come forward and showcase performing arts.

X’mas euphoria grips The Gurukul

Christmas euphoria gripped students of The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula, as the jolly old man in red with a big white beard brought whole lot of cheer and joy among the students. Message of love, peace and care were spread on the occasion. The principal of The Gurukul, Harsimran Kaur, said, “It is our endeavour to apprise students of the significance of all festivals by celebrating them in true spirit.”

Annual alumni meet

Mohali: St Soldier witnessed memorable moments at the annual alumni meet. All the ex-teachers of the institution were felicitated on the occasion. The programme began with invocation to the Almighty followed by cake cutting ceremony by president Karandeep Singh Brar and principal V Tiwana.

Students celebrate X’mas at PGI

Taking the spirit of peace, love and harmony to an all together different level, educators of Small Wonder School Mohali along with ‘Santa Claus’ visited the PGI to celebrate Christmas with underprivileged children. Students came dressed in vibrant red and distributed gifts to the underprivileged.

Christmas tree decorated

Students of Century Public School, Naya Gaon, celebrated Christmas by singing carols in praise of Jesus Christ. Competitions on decorating the Christmas tree and beautifying the X-mas Cake was organised on the premises of the school. ‘Santa Claus’ distributed sweets, candy cones, cakes etc. among students.

2,800 students don the Santa cap

Chandigarh: The ambience of KBDAV-7 was set in a festive mood with as many as 2,800 students all hued in winter colours and a ‘Santa’ cap. Over 400 ‘Saral Ahsaas’ students also joined their hands and celebrated the occasion with enthusiasm. To bring light to the lives of ‘Saral Ahsaas’ students, (the underprivileged children adopted for free education at KBDAV-7), whole school came forward and shared gifts, lighted candles, exchanged greetings and cut the cakes.

Sweets distributed among students

Christmas was celebrated with joy, enthusiasm and magnificence at Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 43. Students were made aware about the significance of Christmas celebration. The school choir presented various carols and other Christmas songs. Sweets were distributed among all students.

Tiny tots dress up as Santa Claus

The pre-primary section of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, celebrated Christmas in its entire splendour. Tiny tots dressed as little ‘Santas’ enthralled one and all present on the occasion. A small enactment from the holy Bible was also held which depicted the spirit of this festival. The celebrations ended with a dance performance and merriment party. The occasion was celebrated by one and all.

Cake cutting ceremony

Nursery students of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, celebrated Christmas enthusiastically. They came dressed up for the occasion and put their best foot forward to enjoy the Christmas party. Carols were sung on the occasion, followed by a cake cutting ceremony.

Play staged by KG students

Students of AKSIPS 41 Smart School celebrated Christmas with great fervour. The school wore a festive look and echoed with the tunes of traditional carols sung by the students. A special assembly was also organised, where the students of Class VIII enacted a small play depicting the birth of Jesus. The KG students apprised the gathering of the significance Christmas. The jovial mood of the approaching festivity was evident from the tastefully decorated campus. ‘Santa Claus’ delighted the audience and distributed sweets.

DAV-8, 94.3 FM celebrate X’mas

DAV Public School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, in collaboration with 94.3 FM organised Christmas Day celebrations to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. A special assembly was organised in which all the students, from LKG to Class XII, participated with great enthusiasm. An open quiz was organised to enlighten the children about Christmas. Kindergarten section made X’mas trees, Santa caps, bells and Santa faces and socks on this occasion and celebrated the day by singing the carol - ‘Jingle Bell’.

The Banyan Tree School celebrates X’mas

The Banyan Tree School celebrated Christmas with a festive spirit on the school premises. Christmas is a festival of joy and giving. It celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ who is the son of God. He is the harbinger of peace and harmony in the world. The school wore a festive look and a yuletide spirit prevailed all over. The whole school was decorated with streamers, buntings ,X-mas trees, stockings wreaths and Santa Claus cut-outs. Prarthana house conducted a special assembly on this occasion.

Fun activities organised

Students of Government Middle School, Sector 46, celebrated Christmas function. Raghav was the chief guest on the occasion. Different activities and games were performed by students. Winners were given prizes by Raghav. ‘Santa Claus’ distributed sweets to all the children, guests and teachers. The headmaster of the school RS Sandhu thanked the chief guest and gave blessings to students on the occasion of Christmas. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |