C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tanishq heist: 9 accused walk free
Convicted only of receiving stolen property; police fail to show CCTV footage in court 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Three years after a gang of armed robbers pulled off a heist at Tanishq showroom in Mani Majra, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Nazar Singh today acquitted all nine accused.

The accused have been acquitted in an armed dacoity case. The case was registered after the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

The accused were convicted under Section 411 of the IPC (receiving stolen property). The court stated that they had already undergone the sentence.

The acquitted include Manav Soni, Anuj Kumar, Nadeem, Bhoora Tomar, Sonu Raghav, Surinder Singh Tomar, Bhura Qureshi, Harjinder Singh and Ajay Singh. The prime accused in the case, Paras Soni, escaped from the prison while he was being taken to a court in Ferozepur last year and had been declared a proclaimed offender. Sources said the only eyewitness to the incident, security guard Swaran Singh, turned hostile during the court proceeding and refused to identify the accused. The UT police could not prove the case the case as technical surveillance and other loopholes were found in the prosecution theory. The police failed to show the CCTV footage and the case property in the court during the recording of evidence.

The heist was reported on in the wee hours of January 12, 2011, when a gang of 12 to 15 armed robbers, five of whom were dressed as policemen, barged into Tanishq showroom in Mani Majra and decamped with gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 10 crore by overpowering two security guards at gunpoint.

The heist, which was effected in 12 minutes, came as a major embarrassment to the Chandigarh Police. The accused were arrested from their hideouts in Delhi and Ghaziabad after four days in a joint operation by the Delhi and UT police. The stolen jewellery was recovered from their possession. The accused, especially mastermind Paras Soni, who fled from the police custody in Ferozepur, have a criminal background. Paras gave a tough time to the police of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. He escaped from the Rajasthan police custody in 2003. He is wanted in 15 criminal cases by the Punjab Police, including murders, robberies and burglaries, since 2001. 

The heist

A gang of 12 to 15 armed robbers pulled off a major heist at the Tanishq showroom in Mani Majra at 3.20 am on January 12, 2011. The robbers asked security guards Dina Nath and Swaran Singh to come to the rear of the showroom. They asked the guards whether they heard the sound of gunshots. Taking them to be policemen, the guards accompanied them only to end up being beaten up and drugged at gunpoint. The robbers then tied the hands and legs of the guards and took them to a nearby cremation ground. Three members of the gang kept an eye on the drugged guards. The others broke open the shutter, central locking system fixed to the internal doors with a gas cutter and snapped the sensory wires. Twelve minutes later, the gang members fled with jewellery in a vehicle. The police recovered a CCTV footage which showed the armed robbers taking away the jewellery. 

Policemen were rewarded

Termed as one of the biggest achievements of the UT police in recent years, a team of 10 police personnel was rewarded with cash, certificates and some of them even got out of turn promotions. 

Loopholes: Why the case fell flat 

* The main witness, security guard of Tanishq showroom Swaran Singh, turned hostile

* CCTV footage was not produced in the court

* Even technical surveillance and mobile records showing the presence of the accused in the area at the time of the heist could not come handy 



PPP leader Buttar shot at 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire at the general secretary of the People's Party of Punjab (PPP), Yadwinder Singh Buttar, at Sector 8 on Sunday night. He escaped unhurt. The assailants managed to flee. The UT police have recovered three empty shells from the spot. A bullet also hit Buttar’s Etios car. Buttar, a resident of Sector 21, suspected the involvement of a senior Punjab politician and a Punjab Police officer in the attack.

Buttar said he was attacked when he was on his way back home from a restaurant in Sector 8 with his friend Subhash Rana. The incident took place around 10.30 pm.

In his statement to police, Buttar said: “I dropped two gunmen at their rented accommodation in Kansal. While I was returning home from a restaurant at Sector 8, two masked motorcyclists appeared and one of them fired four gunshots on my car (CH-01-AQ-8605) and fled. I failed to note down the registration number of the motorcycle.”

“I was given a protection by the Punjab Police following an ongoing tussle with a senior minister of the state government and a DIG,” said Buttar.

The police have recorded Buttar’s statement. A case against two unknown assailants has been registered. Police have also recovered three shells from the spot, appeared to be fired from a 7.62 bore pistol, which is similar to .9mm pistol.

A case of attempt to murder (Section 307 of the IPC, Arms Act Sections 25, 54 and 59 have been registered at the Sector 3 police station.



Pinki murder case cracked, 2 arrested 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
A month after 11-year-old Pinki was found raped and murdered in the forest area near Palsora village, the UT police claim to have solved the case with the arrest of two persons.

The police have arrested the accused, residents of Palsora village. The accused have been identified as 18-year-old Anirudh Kumar, alias Jigra, and 20-year-old Rajkumar, alias Raja. Both are drug addicts, the police said.

They were first arrested on December 17, 2013, by the Punjab police for allegedly murdering a guard at an ATM in Dera Bassi. The cyber cell of the UT police brought the accused on production warrants in connection with the ATM fraud case registered last year. During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they had raped and murdered Pinki in Palsora on December 1, 2013.

The two were today handed over to the Sector 39 police by the cyber crime cell.

The court remanded them to three-day police custody.

Investigations revealed that the two were drug addicts and had allegedly murdered Pinky after raping her for four days. They saw her roaming in the market on November 27 and took her to the forest area. After keeping her hostage and raping her for four days, the accused stuffed her in a sack before strangling her to death. They dumped her body in the forest area in Sector 52. The body was recovered on December 1.

While Anirudh is a resident of Uttar Pradesh, Rajkumar is a bative of Lalpura in Nurpur Bedi. The two have a criminal background and have been committing thefts to satiate their desire for drugs, the police said. They had kidnapped Pinki after consuming a heavy dose of smack, the police said.

Pinki, an 11-year-old student of Class VI was found dead in the jungle area in Sector 52 on December 1. She was missing since November 27 and her family had lodged a missing complaint.

The cellphone tower location of the two indicated their presence in the forest area in Sector 52 when Pinki’s body was found. 

Sequence of events

June 30, 2013: The cyber cell of the police arrested two youths for their involvement in ATM card cloning cases. The prime accused, Mukul, said he hired Anirudh and Rajkumar for cloning ATM cards at petrol pumps in the city

December 17, 2013: Mohali police arrested Anirudh and Rajkumar for allegedly murdering a guard at an ATM

January 15, 2014: The cyber cell brought the two on production warrants for interrogation in the ATM fraud case

January 19, 2014: The accused disclosed that they raped and murdered Pinki 



Roadways strike: Gala time for taxi owners
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 20
With the strike by the staff of Haryana Roadways department taking off today, cab owners in Panchkula had a gala time and charged double the original fare from the passengers.

Alleging non-fulfillment of their demands by the Haryana Government, the Class 3 and Class 4 employees of the Haryana Roadways department are on strike for three days. A number of cabs were seen today outside the Sector 5 bus stand charging exorbitant fares from the passengers.

“I daily go to my college in Barwala through bus. But as the buses are not plying today, I was forced to use a cab which charged double the amount per kilometer. While I use to pay Rs 10 per km, today, I had to pay Rs 22 for the same,” said Deepak, a resident of Sector 11 Panchkula.

There were many who were not aware of the strike. Himanshu, a resident of Sector 17, Panchkula, said, “I urgently had to go to Karnal and because the buses are on strike, I have to use the cabs but they are charging exorbitantly.”

“The issue is between the government and the staff. Why is it that the common man has to suffer? asked Baani Kumari, a resident of Rajiv Colony.

Dharambir Singh, president of the Sarv Karamchari Sangh said, “Till the time the government would not listen to our demands which we have been telling them since long, we will not relent.”

From tomorrow, the staff of other departments of the administration in the district will also be going on strike.

The worst affected were those commuting between Chandigarh and Delhi using Volvo buses. There are around 16 Volvo buses of Haryana Roadways that ply from Chandigarh to Delhi and all were grounded today.



Day 2: No guards and no money 
As the banks fail to deploy guards, most of the ATMs were closed in Panchkula; customers suffer
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 20
For the second consecutive day, Panchkula residents were at the receiving end as most of the 50 automated teller machine (ATMs) remained sealed. The banks failed to adhere to the police’s directive of posting guards at their ATM kiosks.

Only three ATMs were opened to the users as the concerned bank deployed guards there. Yesterday, the police had swung in to action after the different banks failed to adhere to repeated directives of deploying security guards.

Though several bankers approached the respective police stations over the “sudden and overnight” decision of closing the ATMs, the police said they would open only after deployment of guards.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashwin Shenvi said, “Our priority is the security of residents. When a security guard is there, a sense of security prevails.”

“As I had to withdraw money urgently at night, I could not do the same because of the closed ATMs. When I went to the next nearest ATM, I found it

Closed too,” said Prajakta, a resident of Sector 5 MDC, Panchkula.

Another customer, AK Sharma, a resident of Sector 12 said, “After the ATMs, the police will seal the showrooms presuming that a theft can take place and they should deploy a security guard. And then the same thing will be implemented on residents as well even when it is the duty of the police to protect the public property.”

He further added, “For the time being, these bank authorities will deploy any person from a colony in a dress and say that a guard has been deployed but can that person fight the robbers. A robber has the fear of policemen and not a simple guard who is not even armed.”

Authorities of the State Bank of Patiala told the police on Monday that they will be deploying a day guard and have decided to shut their ATMs during the night hours temporarily until the security guards are arranged. “Our GM today communicated with the Panchkula DCP. We have asked the security agency and till the time guards are being arranged, we have decided to shut our ATMs at night,” said Controller of the SBOP Satish Dhawan.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashwin Shenvi said, “If the bank authorities have the alarm system at the ATM, that is also well and good but it would depend on the viability of the same.”

There have been many incidents when bad elements don’t even consider the presence of a guard. However, many attempts were foiled when an alarm system is installed at such places.”


City’s ability to go beyond disability impaired
Buildings and green belts were surveyed and it was found that the city lacked basic disabled-friendly infrastructure. Seeking a solution, Tribune Reporters spoke to a cross-section of people


As per guidelines and space standards for creating a barrier-free environment for the disabled (Disability Act-1966), government departments should follow recommended standards of provisions for the differently abled. They should also comply with general guidelines.

For civic bodies

* Building codes should specify basic architectural provisions that need to be incorporated in new buildings to make them convenient for the differently abled.

* The authorities should ensure, before granting permission, that there are provisions for the step-less system, lifts, adequate doors width for the entry of wheelchairs and accessible toilets in a building plan. 


Experts made a number of suggestions, with the authorities announcing a few future plans as well. "Implementation of guidelines and space standards for creating a barrier-free environment under the Disability Act, 1966, is being worked out," they said.


* All public buildings should have ramps

* Parking lots in the main shopping area should be reserved for the differently abled

* Stickers should be issued for the identification of their vehicles after due verification from health experts

* There should be dedicated slots in all public parking lots

* Parking slots, elevators reserved for the differently abled should not be used by the other people

Not up to date
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The city does not have a website for the disabled friendly. Last year, the Ministry of Personnel had asked all government departments to make upgrade websites as per guidelines of the Indian Government Websites (GIGW). As per the GIGW, it is mandatory for all government websites to abide by international accessibility standards and guidelines.

Director of the UT Social Welfare Department Rajesh Jogpal said despite reminders, the departments had failed to make the websites disabled-friendly. They were supposed to install a reader.

As per records, despite the allocation of funds, the departments had failed to do the needful. For the past three years, not even a single proposal has been tabled.

It is learnt that the UT Administration gets Rs 1 crore for disabled-friendly projects. It is sad that the departments have failed to initiate even a single project despite getting such a huge grant.

Jogpal said a majority of new buildings were disabled-friendly. He said officials concerned had been told to draft proposals. He said directions were issued to the Education Department to construct classrooms for differently abled students on the ground floor of schools. 

"The newly constructed government rehabilitation houses do not have ramps or elevators for the differently abled. The housing board should construct ramps in residential areas to make them disabled- friendly. If a physically fit person ties the knot with a differently abled, the government should extend financial support to the couple."

Kamlesh, chairperson, Chandigarh Social Welfare Board 

"We are mulling over earmarking slots for the differently abled in parking lots. As far as the provision for ramps in the MC building is concerned, the ramp in the RLA building does not connect to the MC building. We are working out modalities to see how a common ramp can be created for allowing easy entry to the differently abled. "

VP Singh, MC Commissioner

"There should be dedicated parking slots.  Low-floor buses should be added to the fleet of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking. Ramps should be constructed at public places. "

Dr Arvind Goyal, academician

"Green belts are not disabled-friendly. We will have to allocate budget for upgrading the infrastructure. Identity stickers can be issued to EWS families. "

HC Kalyan, Mayor

"Parks in the city lack basic infrastructure. The civic body should construct ramps. Special entry points to green belts should be created."

Sachine Sharma, member of the RWA, Sector 21

"Buildings should have ramps and elevators for the differently abled. Public toilets should have special arrangements for them. The provisions will make the city disabled-friendly. "

Manuj Wadhwa, Director, Max Elite Institute of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement



Child taken ill, parents cry foul 
Say started throwing up after being administered polio drops 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
A one-and-a-half-year-old girl had to be rushed to Government Multi-SpecialIty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, six hours after being administered polio drops on Sunday.

Officials of the UT Health Department have ruled out a link between the vaccine and the child’s illness.

Her parents alleged that she showed signs of dizziness within 30 minutes after the administration of the vaccine (at around 10 am) on Sunday.

"It was learnt that the child had been unwell. Since her parents are apprehending a connection between the vaccine and her illness, we are examining the case as per the protocol of the World Health Organisation," said Dr Soma, District and Family Welfare Officer.

The child's x-rays were taken today.

Her father, Vijay Kumar, who took her for vaccination on Sunday, said: “She showed signs of dizziness at 10.30 am. Her condition deteriorated and she started throwing up. We rushed her to the hospital at 4.30 pm."

“Doctors gave her some medicine and she slept. But after waking up at around 10 pm yesterday, she started crying," Vijay stated. On Sunday, as many as 59,000 children were administered polio drops across the city. 

WHO protocol

* Child’s symptoms to be closely observed and cross-matched with the common outcome of polio vaccination

* Vaccine’s clustering to be checked to see if any other child has shown the similar symptoms. 



Department wants excise policy before general elections
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The UT Excise Department is keen on rescheduling the announcement of the new excise policy (2014-2015).

The department wants to implement the new policy before April 30.

Officials said as the general elections were slated for April, the process to announce the new excise policy could be delayed.

Mohammed Shayin said the matter was being taken up with the Chandigarh Administration.

Sources in the Administration said ever since the excise policy 2013-2014 was introduced, the UT Excise Department had not been able to dispose of vends.

Despite six attempts, 96 liquor vends could not be allotted in the city.

The reserve price of the respective vends was reduced by 30 per cent. The earnest money for each application was Rs 35 lakh.

Though the total number of unsold vends was 96, 19 vends have failed to attract even a single bid in the past five attempts.

A hike in the amount of earnest money of liquor vends is responsible for the poor response.

The UT Administration had also decided to give limited time to successful bidders to deposit the amount.

The amendment to the excise rules aimed at curtailing the recent trend where liquor vends were being auctioned at higher prices and then surrendered to ensure monopoly of another contractor in the same area.

Liquor contractors lamented that there were a few takers as UT had increased the excise duty by 20 per cent to 300 per cent and assessment fee by 33 per cent. 

Failed attempts

Sources in the Administration said ever since the excise policy 2013-2014 was introduced, the UT Excise Department had not been able to dispose of vends. Despite six attempts, 96 liquor vends could not be allotted in the city. 



A new dawn breaks for jail inmates 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar today released the Volume VIII of 'Nai Subhah', newsletter of the Model Jail, Chandigarh. The newsletter highlights welfare activities. In also carries articles written by jail inmates. The Home Secretary was accompanied by IG (Prisons) Maneesh Chaudhary, Joint Secretary (Home) MM Sabharwal and Additional IG (Prisons) Balbir Singh Dhol.

The official inspected the jail kitchen and reviewed security arrangements. 



Teen’s kidnapping: Police still clueless
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Two days after 17-year-old Karan was allegedly kidnapped in a white Swift car, the UT police are still clueless.

The police have dispatched teams to Amritsar and Ambala to trace the accused.

A financial dispute over the immigration of the accused is said to be the reason behind the kidnapping. Monica, a resident of Sector 38, reported to the police that her brother was kidnapped by the accused for Rs 22 lakh. She runs an immigration agency and had allegedly taken Rs 22 lakh from the accused for sending them abroad.

The accused could not go abroad and asked for a refund. The police have registered a case under Sections 365 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code against Ramnish, Harwinder and others, all residents of Amritsar.

The police said they were hopeful of cracking the case soon. 



Phone numbers on posters do violators in
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The Municipal Corporation has nailed 130 offenders for defacing the city. The civic body traced these violators through their mobile numbers.

After clicking the pictures of posters, banners and pamphlets pasted by violators in different parts of the city, the MC provided the list of phone numbers, mentioned in these posters, to the UT Police Cyber Cell. The latter provided the addresses of the defaulters to the MC, following which the civic body issued notices to them.

The hoardings and posters are in violation of the West Bengal Defacement of Property Act-1976 and the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order-1954.

The violators include paying guest accommodation owners, tutorials, self-style ‘godmen’, property dealers, tour and travel operators and taxi drivers.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said they had sent notices to the violators. If they would not turn up to pay fine, the MC would move court and initiate criminal proceedings against them.

The civic body recently reframed the Defacement Act. Under the stricter Act, the fine has been enhanced (it is Rs 100 per square feet per day) and will be calculated for six months. Besides defacement charges, it will include labour or work charges for removing the advertisement, among others.

Defacement of public property

In case the violators fail to pay the fine, the MC will move court against them. The civic body has collected evidence against every single violator. It has prepared a separate file of all defaulters. According to MC officials, the civic body can file suit of recovery under the Civil Procedure Code in the district court to attach and sell violator’s property. The offenders can even be sentenced for at least six months. 



BSP to launch poll-khol campaign in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, January 20
Keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is going to launch poll-khol campaign in the city.

In this campaign, BSP workers will also highlight the railgate scam, in which the CBI had caught local Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew.

BSP convener Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq said in today’s party meeting it was decided that in their campaign they would expose the promises of Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and his false promises made to the city residents.

They would use the railgate scam to highlight the corruption issue, he said.

During the campaign, the party workers will go door-to-door to make people aware of false promises of the Congress. Besides, the workers will also encourage people to vote for the BSP’s Lok Sabha candidate Jannat Jahan. — TNS



Mohali turns into dump yard
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 20
Garbage is piling up in Mohali as the private sanitation workers have refused to lift waste generated from houses. The protesting workers are opposing the contract system for the lifting of garbage.

The sanitation workers, engaged in door-to-door collection of garbage, did not resume work even today. Residents are being forced to dispose of the trash at the garbage collection points. A total of 480 contractual workers have also not lifted garbage for the past three days. Residents say the bins in their homes are overflowing.

Pawan Kumar of Phase IV said he had to dispose of the trash at the MC’s dumping site. “Private sanitation workers are protesting against the government’s decision. They should have given a representation to the authorities get their grievances redressed. Putting residents to inconvenience and allegedly threatening the contractual workers was wrong,” he said.

The situation is the same in Kharar and Zirakpur.

MC Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said notices had been served on the 480 contractual employees, stating that disciplinary action would be initiated against them for not reporting to work. He said: “The contractual workers are ready to work, but they are being threatened by the private sanitation workers. The solid waste management project is yet to be introduced in Mohali, which the sanitation workers fear will adversely affect them.”

President of the Mohali unit of the Safai Mazdoor Federation Suraj Bhan said they had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister today. The Chief Minister said he would hold a meeting with representatives of the federation. The strike will be called off as soon as they get a call for the meeting.” 



Fog continues to hit rail traffic

Chandigarh, January 20
The delay in the running of major trains in the northern region due to intense fog and speed restriction have caused a lot of inconvenience to passengers, who were stranded for hours at the city railway station. Seven trains were delayed due to the dense fog. Unchahar Express was delayed by more than 11 hours, while Chandigarh-Dibugarh by three hours and Howrah-Kalka by more than three hours. Railway officials said there was dense fog in the northern region due to which all long-route trains were delayed for hours. The officials said there would be no relief to passengers for the next few days.

Met officials said the sky would be partly cloudy tomorrow and rain was expected in the city in the next 24 hours. Fog and mist would prevail during morning and night.

The trains that were delayed include Howrah-Kalka by 2 hours and 25 minutes; Unchahar Express by 11 hours and 45 minutes; New Delhi-Kalka by 2 hours and 40 minutes; Patliputra-Chadigarh by 1 hour and 10 minutes; and Paschim Express by 1 hour and 30 minutes. Besides, Sampark Kranthi was delayed by 1 hour and 25 minutes, and Chandigarh-Dibugarh by 3 hours. — TNS



Sec 27 gets e-Sampark centre

Chandigarh, January 20
The UT Administration today opened an e-Sampark centre in the Community Centre of Sector 27-D. Upkar Singh, Director, IT, inaugurated the e-sampark centre. 

Area councillor Satinder Singh, members of the Residents Welfare Association and Market Welfare Association were also present on the occasion. Satinder said with the opening of this centre, nearby residents could easily deposit their phone and electricity bills here. — TNS



GMADA seals three illegal marriage palaces
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 20
Initiating a strict action against the marriage palaces, which are being run illegally in the area, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) sealed three palaces, including the oldest Dara Studio, here today.

The other two marriage palaces are Libra Gardens and Celebrations. All the three marriage palaces are located on the sites meant for industrial establishments in Phase VI.

Today, a GMADA team led by SDO Sukhpal Singh sealed the doors of main halls of these palaces and pasted the orders, issued by GMADA’s estate officer Sanjiv Kumar.

When contacted, GMADA’s chief administrator AK Sinha said these marriage palaces were being run illegally. “These palaces were being run in violations of norms of the state’s policy on marriage palaces. We have begun action against all such marriage palaces in our jurisdiction,” said Sinha adding that prior notices were served to the managements of these palaces.

Notably, Dara Studio, the oldest studio, is owned by actor Vindu Dara Singh, son of renowned wrestler Dara Singh. Earlier the studio was used for shooting of Punjabi movies. Later, it was converted into a marriage palace.

Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, president, Punjab Marriage Palaces and Resorts Association, said instead of closing such palaces permanently, the authorities should regularise these by imposing fees.

“Out of total 90 marriage palaces, which fall under GMADA jurisdiction, around 44 have been rejected by GMADA for violations in building bylaws or other norms, mentioned in the state’s marriage palace policy. Though the authorities have assured to review these rejected palaces, we demand that the existing palaces should not be closed down. Something should be worked out so that these palaces would continue their business,” said Sidhu.

GMADA’s action left several persons, who had booked these palaces, were left high and dry. According to sources, there was a function booking in one of these three palaces today. “We have marriage function bookings till February so we have sought some time but the GMADA officials did not pay heed to our request,” said an official of a marriage palace. 



Police fail to produce Jagdish Bhola before court
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 20
The Punjab Police did not produce druglord Jagdish Singh Bhola before Mohali court for hearing today.

“Bhola has been under the Kapurthala police remand in the murder case of an ASI, so he could not be produced in today’s hearing,” said policemen before the court while giving an application in this connection.

Bhola was booked in the murder case by the Kapurthala Police on April 1, 2012, at Phagwara Sadar Police Station.

Meanwhile, the rest accused, Sarabjit Singh Saba, Maninder Singh Aulukh, alias Bittu, Jagjit Singh Chahal, Anup Singh Kahlon, Satinder Singh Dhama, Baljinder Singh, alias Sonu, and Deep Singh were present in the court. Saba, Bittu and Chahal were given the copies of supplementary challan of the case.

The court has set February 3 as the next hearing date in the case.



‘Ghost’ brings alive myriad human emotions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
A myriad emotions were brought to life during the staging of “Ghost” on the second day of the TGT winter theatre fest at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, on Monday.

Written originally by great playwright Henry Ibson in 1881 and translated in Hindi by Mohd. Kazmi, “Ghost” dealt with the consequences of the five characters that appeared during the course of the play.

Though the characters are closely connected to one another, the events force each one of them to face the truth about themselves. It encompasses a family tragedy and social drama.

The play revolves around Helen Alving — who is all set to dedicate an orphanage that she built in the memory of her late husband, Captain Alving.

Alving reveals to her spiritual advisor, Pastor Manders, that she has hidden the evils of her marriage, and has built the orphanage to deplete her husband’s wealth.

Pastor Manders had previously advised her to return to her husband despite his philandering, and she followed his advice in the belief that her love for her husband would eventually reform him. However, her husband’s philandering continued until his death, and Alving was unable to leave him prior to his death for fear of being shunned by the community.

During the course of the play, Alving discovers that her painter son — Oswald whom she had sent away so that he would not be corrupted by his father — is suffering from inherited syphilis, and worse, has fallen in love with Regina Engstrand, Alving’s maid.

Regina is revealed to be an illegitimate daughter of Captain Alving, and thereby Oswald’s own half-sister.

The play concludes with Alving having to decide whether or not to euthanise her son Oswald.

The cast and credits of the play included Sarah William, Aparna Kapoor, Sunil Sharma, Mridul Raj Anand and Sandeep Verma. The play was directed by Mushtaq Kak from Jammu. The play “Guilty or Not Guilty” will be staged at 6.30 pm on Tuesday.



Camp for disabled 

Chandigarh, January 20
A camp for the physically challenged was organised at Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board on Monday. The camp was organised in collaboration with the UT department of social welfare.

A large number people suffering from physical disabilities attended the camp and filled their applications to avail different facilities and concessions.

The chairperson of the board, Kamlesh, said, “The physically-challenged should avail maximum benefit from various schemes of the social welfare department.” Social welfare director Rajesh Jogpal urged the gathering to inform him if their applications had not been considered. — TNS



Business news

Digital baby monitors launched

Binatone, a consumer electronics brand and an official licensee for Motorola digital baby monitors, pet monitors and home security products, announced the launch of baby monitors in three different variants - Motorola Digital Audio Baby Monitor, Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor and Motorola Blink 1 Remote Digital Video Baby Monitor. The innovative baby monitors are designed for today's tech-savvy parents, making it easy for them to keep their baby safe and secure. These new baby monitors are priced from Rs 4990 to Rs 15990 and are currently available at major baby product stores, including all Mom&Me and Mothercare stores. Commenting on the launch, SP Singh, Country Head, Binatone, said: “All our devices are intended to give parents greater mobility and the convenience they need to simplify their life and yet giving them complete peace of mind that their little one is safe and well.” — TNS



Baby girl found abandoned 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Braving the chill for several hours before being spotted by the police, a fifteen-day old baby girl was found near the water storage tank in Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, in the wee hours on Monday.

A DDR has been lodged at the Sector 17 police station. The baby was admitted to a hospital. The police is doing investigations to find her parents and said there is a possibility that the child may be abandoned being a girl child.



Tricity scan


Shyam Sunder Arora, managing director of Paragon Avenues (P) Limited, has been conferred the “Global Indian of the Year Award” by former President Pratibha Patil. The award has been given to him in honour and recognition of his efforts in promoting all-round development of India and achievement in his field of activity for overall economic growth of the country. Arora has also been presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award”. The award was given at an international conclave organised by the Citizens Integration Peace Society in Pune.

Blood donation camp

The Central Bank of India in collaboration with the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Crime Organisation organised a blood donation camp. It was inaugurated by Jagdish Singh Diwan, national president of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Crime Organisation. KK Taneja, field general manager of the bank, said: “Blood donation is a unique collaboration of modern medical science and humanity”. A team of doctors led by Suchet Sachdev, Assistant Professor from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, conducted the camp. As many as 117 persons donated blood during the camp.

Interaction programme

The First Friday Forum organised its monthly interaction programme “a talk on wondrous body-mind-soul triad” by Dr SS Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture. - TNS




Parking bylaws in residential areas must

Chandigarh is known as the City Beautiful all over the world. Increasing population and the rising number of cars, scooters and motorcycles are making the life of residents difficult. Car owners are encroaching upon the space. The absence of parking bylaws for residential areas is adding to the woes of the residents. Scuffles for parking spaces are often witnessed among them. The UT Administration, while registering vehicles, takes an undertaking from car owners that they have sufficient parking space. No follow-up action in this regard results in the misuse of parking spaces meant for other residents. A periodic check on part of the Administration will help in identifying the defaulters. Framing of parking bylaws for residential areas will also help in restoring peace in day-to-day life.

Prem Singh, Chandigarh

Challan theory eyewash

The UT Administration had asked the Union Government to enhance the fine against encroachments in the city from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 10,000, but it has not yet taken any action. The Union Government has sought more time to settle the issue. The UT Administration is not interested in checking encroachments due to corruption. Encroachments are in booth markets of Sectors 19, 22, 15 and 46. Booth owners in these markets have given their outside space to unauthorised vendors, in connivance with the MC employees. The Enforcement Committee should know that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the corporation to put an end to encroachments in the grain markets of Sectors 22 and 26. It appears that the police have submitted a false affidavit to the court that they are not involved in “hafta vasuli” from the 26 Grain Market. The challan theory is only eyewash. The remedy to end encroachment is that the MC should give this work to private companies and provide police protection to them. The Administration should increase the challan amount. Power supply of defaulters should be disconnected for two months and affidavit should also be taken from them that they will not encroach upon land in future.

Sahil Garg, Chandigarh



PU VC gets court notice
Syndicate appointed VC’s wife by invoking emergency appointment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued a contempt notice to the Panjab University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, in a case pertaining to the appointment of his wife Dr Neera Grover in the varsity.

Notices were also issued by Justice Mahesh Grover to varsity Registrar Prof AK Bhandari and Syndicate members, including Gopal Krishan Chatrath, Gurdev Singh Ghuman, Dr BC Josan and Puneet Bedi.

The petitioner, Dr Rajinder Kumar Singla, alleged that the respondents had intentionally and deliberately violated the order dated November 13, 2013, passed by a Division Bench.

In the case, the university counsel had stated that Dr Neera Grover’s term was till December 16 last year, and further the term had been declined by the Syndicate.

However, in alleged disregard of the order, the university brought the issue of granting her extension before the Senate on December 8, 2013.

The issue of her fresh appointment was also approved in the Syndicate meeting held on January 4.

The appointment of Dr Neera Grover will now commence from the date she joins duty till July 31, 2015.

Dr Neera Grover’s appointment as professor of vocal studies, music department, Panjab University, had come under the judicial scanner after RTI activist Dr Singla filed a petition.

He had alleged that the prescribed procedure for the recruitment was not followed by the varsity authorities while appointing Dr Grover.

Seeking directions to quash her appointment and to fill the post through re-advertisement, Dr Singla claimed that the varsity invited applications with November 1, 2010, as the concluding date.

Following Grover’s notification as VC in June 2012, the academic and administrative committee of the music department held a meeting on July 5, 2012.

It recommended that the VC’s wife be offered an emergent appointment as professor against the vacant post.

Subsequently on July 17, 2012, Neera Grover applied for the post with a request of condoning the delay of one year and eight months for submitting the application. The outgoing VC condoned the delay, despite the fact that some candidates had already been shortlisted.

Dr Neera Grover was selected and the PU Syndicate appointed her for a period of one year by invoking provisions for emergency appointment.

She joined the department in December 2012.

“Where has that emergency disappeared if it really existed in the month of July 2012? Why did PU prefer to appoint Dr Neera Grover and kept waiting till she joined, instead of appointing somebody else who could be available to cope with the exigencies, if there were any?” questioned Dr Singla. 

Controversy Deepens

An RTI activist had filed a petition alleging that the prescribed procedure for the recruitment was not followed by the Panjab University authorities while appointing the VC’s wife, Dr Neera Grover.



Students raise issues plaguing society through plays at Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The students of GMSSS, Dhanas; GMSSS, Mani Majra Complex; and GMSSS, Sector 27, deliberated upon several societal issues through plays during the ongoing Children Theatre Festival at Sector 17 plaza on Monday.

The play ‘Insaniat’ highlighted labour issues in the country and depicted that despite toiling hard, daily wagers did not receive their due.

Another play ‘Jodi’s Fawn’ raised the issue of environment degradation and how human beings should harmonise with the nature. ‘Ho Gya Dipa Gol’ was the third play staged by the students.

On Tuesday, the students of GMSSS, Sector 8; GMSSS, Kirsan, Ramdarbar, and GMSSS, Sector 32, will stage ‘Apni Kahani,’ ‘Jhoot Bole Kala Kaaua Kate’ and ‘Meri Train Kahan Hai’, respectively.

On January 22, GMSSS, Sector 45; GMSSS, Dadumajra and GMSSS, Sector 20, will stage ‘Insaan’, ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ and ‘Darr,’ respectively.

The festival will conclude on January 24.



PU academic council elected for 2-year term
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The Panjab University Academic Council was elected for a two-year term on Monday.

Those who emerged victorious included Amit Sharma, assistant professor, JC DAV College, Dasuya; Bimlesh Kumar Gupta, associate professor, Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana; Dr BP Yadav, head of department of defence studies, PG Government College, Sector 11; Dr Gurmeet Singh, Ph.D (Punjabi), GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar (Ludhiana); Dr Harish Kumar, Ph.D, Malwa College, Bondli-Samrala (Ludhiana); Dr Lakhvir Singh, associate professor (Sanskrit), PG Government College for Girls, Sector-42; Dr Manoj Kumar, Ph.D, PG Government College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh; Dr Mohd. Saleem, associate professor, Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana; Dr Neela Pawar, assistant professor, MCM DAV College, Sector-36; Dr Sangeeta Sood, Ph.D, M.Ed, Partap College of Education, Ludhiana; Dr Sanjeev Kumar, assistant professor, Government College of Education, Sector 20; Dr Sapna Nanda, M.Ed, Ph.D, Government College of Education, Sector 20; Sarla Saggar, M.Phil, Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College, Raekot (Ludhiana); Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, Swami Premanand Mahavidyalaya, Mukerian; and SS Gill, M.Phil, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur City.



PU to seek funds for reading room 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Panjab University will table the proposal for the construction of a reading room for girls students during the board of finance (BOF) meeting to procure necessary funds for its construction.

The authorities on Monday finalised the drawings of the reading room, which will be constructed between hostels 3 to 7.

The authorities mooted an estimate of Rs 70 lakh for the project, of which Rs 20 lakh was sanctioned by Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal under the MPLAD Fund.

As per the plans, the reading room will be constructed on 5000 sq feet land, which has been earmarked by the authorities. As many as 275 girl students of five hostels can be accommodated in the reading room.

Navdeep Goyal, dean, student welfare, PU, said the reading room had been the long-pending demand of girl students.

Recently, the girl students had also demanded night-shuttle service due to the absence of a reading room in their hostels. Upon completion of the project, girls will be able to study near their hostel premises.



Live organ exhibition showcases intricacies of human body
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
More than 600 students of city schools attended a lecture on health awareness on the second day of the five-day Integrated Health Education workshop at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, on Monday.

Students of Moti Ram Arya Public School, Sector 7, Panchkula; St John’s School, Sector 26, and Guru Harkrishan Public School, Sector 40, attended the lecture-cum-demonstration on oral health, eye care, dental care and other important aspects relating to the human body.

Following the lecture, the students attended a medical exhibition showcasing human organs such as lungs, liver, heart, kidney, brain and intestines.

They were also shown how several organs were damaged due to the ill-effects of smoking, alcoholism and unhealthy food habits.

“The exhibition helped us to understand how the human body functions,” said a student.

One of the organisers, Asmita Mahajan, said students of various schools would attend interactive sessions on AIDS, oral hygiene, first aid, trauma management and lifestyle diseases till January 23. The students of KV-31, KV-47, GMSSS-35 and GMSSS-16 will attend awareness sessions and exhibition on Tuesday.

“We have also planned a special session for girls on breast cancer, menstrual problems and reproductive tract infections,” said another organiser, Arshpreet Kaur.

Dr Arvind Goyal, a local academician, who has been associated with the project for the last three years, said, “Health awareness among students is the need of the hour. Such activities should be promoted among children.”

As many as 3,500 students from various schools of the Tricity are expected to attend the five-day workshop, which will conclude on January 23.



From schools

Lecture on Swami Vivekananda’s teachings

CHANDIGARH: Swami Vivekananda Peace Club of GMSSS, Manimajra, celebrated National Youth Day in the school. A lecture highlighted the contribution of Swami Vivekananda in uplifting youth. Club in-charge Monika stressed upon the youth to come forward and work for the welfare of poor and destitute children. Principal Kund Bala emphasised on the role of students for the country’s progress.

Bhavan Vidyalaya felicitated

The Indian Development Foundation felicitated Bhavan Vidyalaya School, Sector 27, during a function held on the school premises. The Indian Development Foundation recognised the school’s contribution by presenting an Award of Excellence. School principal Vineeta Arora was conferred with the Social Action Award along with 24 students, who were given certificates and medals. Varnika Sharma of Class 12 was given a special mention as the highest individual students’ contributor in the country.

Students visit printing press

The students of Saupin’s School, Sector-70, Mohali, visited The Tribune office on Monday. The students visited various departments and printing press. They were curious to see the functioning of a newspaper. The press officials also appreciated the interest shown by the students.

Seminar on RMSA Scheme

Government Model High School, Sector 36, conducted a seminar to sensitise the SMDC members regarding their role and responsibilities in monitoring and utilization of grants, besides other components under the RMSA Scheme. Neena Singh, chairperson, Bharat Prakash Foundation highlighted the goals and objectives of RMSA.

Mock drill on fire safety

Sri Guru Harkrishan School, Sector 40, organised a fire safety mock drill on its premises on Monday. The experts delivered lectures and demonstrated safety measures in case of fire emergencies. The drill was a learning experience for the students and staff members.

Dental camp for students

A dental check-up camp was organised at MDAV, Sector 22. The team from Advance- Dental Care, Sector 21, examined the students and suggested treatment for dental problems.

Awareness camp on AIDS

The Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society organised an HIV/AIDS awareness and quiz contest at Government High School, Hallomajra, Chandigarh. As many as 300 students of Classes 9 and 10 participated in the programme. Jitender Dahiya, community consultant, Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society, also gave a lecture on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS to the students.

Students shine in dance competition

The students of GMSSS-46, Chandigarh, were adjudged as the best team in a state-level dance competition held by the education department, Chandigarh. The 18-member team has left for Bhopal to represent the state at the National Bal Rang Festival. School principal Sudesh Raghav and music teacher Kamaljeet Kaur are accompanying the students.

5-day yoga camp for students

MOHALI: A five-day yoga camp commenced at DAV School, Mohali, on Monday. The camp has been organised in collaboration with the District Yoga Wellness Centre, Mohali. Students of Classes 8, 9 and 10 performed asanas such as Tar Asana, Surya Namaskar, Bhujang Asana and Vajra Asana under the guidance of yoga instructors Dr Pritam Singh Doad, Amit Dhiman and Anil Tiwari. They were also taught asanas to increase their height, keep digestive system fit and increase concentration.

Fancy dress contest

PANCHKULA: A fancy dress competition was held at St. Soldier’s School, Panchkula. The students of classes UKG and 1 depicted different personalities of England. The audience lauded the efforts of students.



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