C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Robbers strike at will on city roads
Forcibly take away auto-rickshaw from driver, target 3 more residents 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
A gang of four or five auto-rickshaw thieves struck last night and created havoc in the city, targeting four city residents and fleeing away with cash after beating them up. The gang forcibly took away an auto-rickshaw from near the Piccadily roundabout in Sector 34 and committed three snatchings using it by robbing passengers and pedestrians. A red-faced UT police failed to even register a case in two of the four incidents that were reported.

Tall claims of the UT police of having an effective response system too fell flat as the police could not apprehend the gang members even though they targeted four persons in separate incidents and continued to move in the city in the stolen auto-rickshaw the whole night.

The first incident occurred at 12.35 am when auto-rickshaw driver Chander Kumar, a resident of Sector 52, reported to the police that he had dropped some passengers at the Piccadily roundabout when some pedestrians approached him and hired his auto-rickshaw (PB 65 X 1787). They pushed him out of the auto-rickshaw and beat him up. They then fled in the vehicle. A case was registered in this regard at the Sector 34 police station.

The gang then struck at the Sector 2/11 roundabout at 5.23 am when they saw a person on foot. Ajay, a resident of Nayagaon village, reported that the youths snatched Rs 800 from him and beat him up. He noted down the number of the auto (PB 65 X 1787). He got injured and had been admitted to the hospital. However, the police have not registered any case in this regard. Inspector Harjit Kaur, SHO of the Sector 3 police station, said they were verifying the facts.

Within minutes, the gang struck yet again at 5.34 am at the Sector 42 petrol pump when it targeted a vegetable vendor. Complainant Satbir Singh, a resident of Mohali, reported to the police that the occupants of an auto of the same number (PB 65 X 1787) snatched Rs 2,500 from him and fled. They also beat him up. A case was registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Another incident was reported from the Sector 19/27 light point at 6.22 am when Gurbir Singh, a resident of Sector 27, was attacked, supposedly by the same gang. He had hired an auto when the occupants beat him up and snatched his bag. In this case too, the police have failed to register a case. Inspector Anokh Singh, SHO of the Sector 26 police station, said they were investigating the matter. “The victim did not lodge a complaint; so we haven’t registered a case,” he said.

Chain of events

  • 12.35 am: An auto-rickshaw (PB 65 X 1787) taken away forcibly by members of a gang from near the Piccadily roundabout. The police register a case.
  • 5.23 am: The gang targets a Nayagaon resident on the Sector 2/11 road, beat him up and flee with cash. The police reach the spot; no case registered.
  • 5.34 am: The gang targets Satbir Singh, a resident of Mohali, and snatches Rs 2,500 from him near the Sector 42 petrol pump; case registered.
  • 6.22 am: The gang snatches a bag from Gurbir Singh, a resident of Sector 27, who hired an auto. The police reach spot; no case registered.

PCR system fails

The incident has brought to light glaring discrepancies in the working of PCR vehicles as the gang first forcibly took away an auto in Sector 34 and then robbed victims at three places. The auto continued to move on city roads with not even a single PCR vehicle being able to spot it even though a message of theft was flashed on the wireless.



Jyoti’s sister sticks to her stand
Says Doon MLA had promised to marry the victim, but backtracked 
Tribune News Service

Jyoti’s sister Ishu comes out of the court in Panchkula on Friday.
Jyoti’s sister Ishu comes out of the court in Panchkula on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, January 31
In the Jyoti murder case, the victim’s sister stuck to her stand today while recording her statement against Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary in a court here.

While deposing before the District and Sessions Court, Ishu, the victim's sister, said the MLA and Jyoti were in love with each other and he had promised to marry her, but ditched her after the elections. Ishu is one of the key witnesses in the Jyoti murder case.

In her statement to the police, Ishu said she had provided her ID proof for procuring a SIM card for Jyoti. She said whenever Jyoti used to come to Hoshiarpur from Chandigarh, she used to discuss her relations with the MLA. Jyoti had told Ishu that Chaudhary later refused to marry her citing the caste issue. He said that if he married her, his reputation would be tarnished.

Ishu also identified Chaudhary’s photograph in her wedding. She said the MLA came with his driver to her wedding and also got photographs clicked, which had been submitted by her father to the police.

During the cross-examination, Ishu said before Chaudhary's arrest, his wife Nidhi called her up and threatened her to state that she did not know the MLA.

Another key witness, then investigating officer Ajay Singh Rana who was the SHO of the Sector 5 police station at the time of the murder, said he had examined the spot and on the basis of the call details of the MLA and the victim, raided the premises along with a team.

He said he also took the hair samples of the accused. Later, the investigations were transferred to Assistant Commissioner of Police Virender Sangwan.

The defence has moved an application in the court seeking all reports of the FSL, Madhuban. The police had sent some reports for re-examination to the CFSL, Chandigarh.

What the ASI said

Interestingly, Assistant Sub-Inspector Mange Ram, who had seen the Alto car of one of the accused, Paramjeet (who reportedly went to Panchkula on Chaudhary’s directions to kill the girl), said he saw a car abandoned near Amartex and later when Gurmeet came, he released it as he knew him.

The case

The Doon MLA and four others have been accused of killing Jyoti, who hailed from Bhunga village in Hoshiarpur. The victim was found murdered on a road in Sector 21, Panchkula. The victim was coming in the way of Chaudhary's political career, as per the chargesheet. The accused strangled Jyoti and then her body was run over by a truck to show it as an accident case.

Buti Ram’s plea

On the application moved by the victim’s father, Buti Ram, for giving evidence again, defence counsel Aman Bindra and AS Sukhija filed a reply that perjury proceedings may be initiated against him. The order on this application has been kept reserved for tomorrow. Buti Ram requested the court to give evidence again as he had turned hostile under alleged pressure from the MLA.

Nine witnesses depose before court

Nine witnesses deposed before the court today, including a clerk from Hoshiarpur, who produced Jyoti’s SC certificate, Executive Officer of the MC OP Sihag, who had accompanied a police team with Chaudhary to the crime spot, ASI Mange Ram, who had found an Alto car reportedly used by one of the accused, Paramjeet, first investigating officer Kashmira Singh, second investigating officer Ajay Singh Rana and Inspector Naveen Sindhu, who had visited Baddi and arrested Harbhajan, MLA’s brother, under Section 216 (harbouring a criminal).



Defacement: MC to drag offenders to court
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Municipal Corporation (MC) is all set to file lawsuits against those who failed to pay penalty for defacing public property.

A list of over 211 defaulters has been prepared against whom recovery suits will be filed in the court. Criminal action will also be taken against them.

To tighten the noose around those defacing the city, the MC had started sending notices to them directing them to deposit fine for displaying hoardings in the city. However, the majority of the defaulters failed to pay the penalty within the stipulated seven days.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta stated that in a meeting held on January 27, it was decided that recovery suits be filed against the defaulters. “The defaulters are yet to pay the penalty even as they have been issued notices. Now, they will be prosecuted in the court,” Gupta stated.

The MC had given defacement notices worth several lakhs to the violators. However, it received the fine amount of around Rs 1.10 lakh only.

The civic body had recently decided to penalise the violators at the rate of Rs 100 per sq ft. It was also decided that any poster or signboard installed in violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order will be presumed to be present for the past six months and the defaulters will be penalised for the period.

The MC has also directed its enforcement wing to send the pictures of defacement along with other details to the District Magistrate for taking further action against the violators under the West Bengal Defacement Act, 1976.

The MC officials stated that they were targeting major markets in the city, including those in Sectors 17, 22, 34 and 35, to curb defacement.

The majority of violators are showrooms owners and those running paying guest and coaching institutes in the city.

Fact file

  • The civic body had recently decided to penalise the violators at the rate of ~100 per sq ft. It was also decided that any poster or signboard installed in violation of the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order will be presumed to be present for the past six months and the defaulters will be penalised for the period.
  • A list of over 211 defaulters has been prepared against whom recovery suits will be filed in the court. Criminal action will also be taken against them.



Youth awarded life imprisonment for girlfriend’s murder
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 31
A local court today awarded life imprisonment to a youth for murdering his girlfriend in the Mansa Devi complex. The girl was pressing him for marriage.

The accused, Sunil, was convicted yesterday. A fine of Rs 5,000 has also been imposed on him.

On October 19, Pooja (24), a resident of Bhainsa Tibba village in the Mansa Devi complex, was found murdered near an under-construction shop in the wee hours. Passers-by saw the body and informed the police. The postmortem report revealed that the girl was strangled.

Investigation revealed that her boyfriend Sunil strangled her on a bus with the help of one of his juvenile friends. Her hands were tied with a cloth meant for cleaning the bus. She was hung from a rod on the bus with her dupatta to give the impression of a suicide.

Sunil was earlier accused of being involved in an accident in which a woman and two children were killed. Interestingly, Pooja had got him released on bail, said the police.


Fog effect: Flights grounded, trains delayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Dense fog in the city led to cancellation of all the 18 flights scheduled at the Chandigarh Airport on Friday.

An official of an airline said, "Owing to poor visibility due to fog, no flight took off or arrived at the airport. Given the weather conditions, it is difficult to say if the air services will resume tomorrow."

The train operations were also disrupted as fog reduced the visibility to 200 meters. Five long-route trains were delayed today, including the Howrah-Kalka, the Unchahar Express, the Chandigarh-Lucknow, the New Delhi-Kalka and the Lucknow-Chandigarh.

According to the forecast by the Met Department, the weather conditions will remain similar tomorrow. There will be dense fog due to which visibility will be less than 200 meters. The maximum temperature will be 18 degrees Celsius and minimum will settle at 7 degrees. Light showers are expected in the next 48 hours.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 17.8 degrees Celsius, which is two notches below normal, while the minimum was 6.8 degrees Celsius. The city experienced drizzle in the tricity late in the evening. 

Trains delayed

12311 Howrah- Kalka 7 hours 45 minutes

14217 Unchahar Express 10 hours 25 minutes

12231 Chandigarh-Lucknow 1 hour 45 minutes

12011 New Delhi-Kalka 2 hours 25 minutes

12232 Lucknow-Chandigarh 2 hours



City LS seat: Race for AAP ticket hots up
Education, health, road safety, slum rehabilitation rank high on probable candidates’ agenda 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The race for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat has hot up.

Ranging from an NRI, a former PGI doctor and trader to a retired DSP, people from all walks of life have been shortlisted by the AAP.

The party shortlisted 31 candidates from the city yesterday. A total of 205 aspirants had applied for the seat.

The list of probable candidates has been uploaded on the party’s website and it has sought peoples’ feedback on them.

Dr JD Wig (68), former head, Department of General Surgery, PGI, currently associated with Fortis, Mohali, is one of the selected candidates.

Talking to The Chandigarh Tribune, Dr Wig, said, “If the party gives me an opportunity to contest the elections, I will stress upon education, health, road safety and slum rehabilitation. I will strive to provide good governance to the residents of City Beautiful.”

Munish Kumar Raizada, a Chicago-based doctor, is also among the shortlisted candidates. “My focus is to make Chandigarh a corruption-free city. I will also try to get more power for elected representatives of the City Beautiful. At present, they have limited power. A housing policy for residents is also on my agenda,” said Raizada.

Naresh Garg ‘Bobby,’ executive member of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, who has also been shortlisted, said, “I am aware about various problems plaguing the city. People residing in Chandigarh Housing Board flats, traders, industrialists, villagers, colony residents, nobody is happy. The Aam Aadmi Party will provide good governance to the residents.” Though the AAP was to release the first list of candidates between January 15-20, it could not 
do so owing to the high volume of applications.

The other names that figure on the list include Baljeet Singh, Charandeep S Grewal, Dr Dharma Paul Attrey, Dr Mahesh Hukmani, Gurpreet Singh, Gurpreet Singh Kang, HK Arora, Harbir Singh Nain, Harpal Singh, Hitesh Kumar Puri, Jai Dev Wig, Krishan Chander, Krishan Kumar Garg, Kuldeep Singh, Malvinder Singh, Manjinder Singh Aujla, Meena Sharma, Munish Kumar Raizada, Naresh Garg, Nikhil Sehgal, Palwinder Singh Bajwa, Pankaj Pant, Pawan Kumar Sharma, Prem Kumar Garg, Rahul Bhartiya Gupta, Rajinder K Singla, Ram Lakshman Mittal Kasiwal, Som Parakash Rehil, Tejinder Singh Bedi, Tirath Singh Saini and former UT police DSP Vijay Pal Singh.

vying for power

The party shortlisted 31 candidates from the city. A total of 205 aspirants had applied for the seat. The list of candidates has been uploaded on the party’s website and it has sought peoples’ feedback on them



Shivraj Patil honours NCC cadets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Governor of Punjab and UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, felicitated NCC cadets from Punjab and Chandigarh at a function at the Punjab Raj Bhawan here today. These cadets participated in the Republic Day camp-2014 in New Delhi.

As many as 122 cadets from Punjab and six from Chandigarh, including girls, attended the camp this year. Among them, 14 cadets were part of the NCC marching contingent at Rajpath.

Appreciating the role of the NCC in nation-building and character-building, Patil said a sense of adventure and the quest for excellence should be developed in the youth for better understanding.

The Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh NCC directorate bagged three gold medals in the Air Wing competitions of radio controlled and line-controlled aerobatic events. The directorate also bagged the best aeromodelling trophy, best aeromodelling directorate trophy and the overall second best air directorate trophy.

The directorate also bagged second positions in general proficiency and mandatory condition competition, national integration awareness programme competition and discipline competition.



Allottees under CHB scheme decry delay in possession
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
As the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) authorities are basking in the glory of being awarded for the slum rehabilitation scheme, the successful allottees of flats under the general housing scheme are crying foul over an "inordinate" delay in completion of the flats.

While the allottees of the Sector 63 General Housing Scheme are awaiting possession of their flats since 2013, the Sector 51 General Scheme is also running behind schedule.

CHB officials disclose that construction of 388 flats in one of the blocks was delaying the Sector 63 housing scheme. As many as 1720 flats under different categories are being built under the scheme. Though the construction of one, two and three bedroom flats is under way, the work pertaining to laying of pipelines and power cables had been delayed.

Now, the tenders for construction of the 388 flats have been allotted.

"Even if the construction of flats is completed, the issue of linking the sewerage network with that of Mohali is pending. The completion is going to take another over one year," said a CHB official.

In 2004, over 60,000 square yards of land was allotted to the CHB for construction of 2,108 flats. But after revision of layout plans and relocation of greenbelts adjoining the UT, the board was left with 48,000 square yards.

The final cost of flats will be calculated after construction completes. The cost of the project is likely to touch Rs 414.45 crore.

The allottees lament that while the prices of flats were likely to be revised following changes in the area allotted for construction of EWS flats, they were incurring loss due to delay in possession too.



Supply of medicines hit at PGI dispensary
Staff, poor patients suffer as chemist ‘fails’ to deliver at quoted 83 % discount
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Patients and employees of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have been facing inconvenience due to unavailability of medicines at the dispensary over the past 15 days.

Sources in the PGI administration revealed that the hospital recently entered into an agreement with a new chemist for supply of medicines.

In the new rate contract, the chemist had quoted 83 per cent discount on generic medicines, which turned out to be the highest at the PGIMER. However, the chemist was now unable to fetch medicines, said the sources.

The poor patients, who receive grant from state governments, and the PGIMER staff, which is entitled to receive certain medicines from the institute, have been spending a lot of time queuing up at the dispensary everyday.

“Expecting huge discounts, the institute initially discouraged patients from buying medicines from the market in case they were not available at the dispensary. Earlier, certain patients were reimbursed the cost of medicines bought from outside. However, there is a huge difference between the prices in the market and those quoted by the chemist. Resultantly, patients are left in the lurch with unavailability of medicines at the dispensary,” said a senior PGIMER official.

In view of the inconvenience caused to the patients, the PGIMER director is learnt to have issued instructions to the chemist to start supplying medicines at the earliest.

Sources confirmed that the PGIMER administration was also contemplating scrapping the contract with the chemist and invite fresh bids for supply of medicines.



Crucial time for Indian aviation sector: Law expert 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The 6th Aircraft Repossession Conference was organised by India-based law firm Sarin and Co. in association with Aeropodium, a London-based company, at a local hotel in Sector 35, here today.

The event was attended by officials from a number of foreign aircraft leasing companies, law firms, airlines and officials.

Law firms presented various presentations on a variety of topics such as the perfection of the implementation of the Cape Town convention on international interests in mobile equipment and the Aircraft Protocol 2001. Issues relating to risk mitigation strategies, unwinding of the vicious loop of aircraft finance leases, challenges in the Indian legal framework and repossession of aircraft in emerging markets were also discussed during the conference.

Nitin Sarin, Sarin and Co., said, “This is a very crucial time in the Indian aviation as number of aircraft leasing companies and banks have been unable to repossess their high value assets or planes, thereby making India a high risk country. Earlier, as per the norm, lessor would insist on two months security deposit from Indian airlines, but now they demand 10 months security deposit.”

On the occasion, Sarin urged the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Government of India to consider incorporating conventions terms into local law by passing an Act. Else our aviation industry would suffer, said Nitin Sarin.



More myths, less awareness on cancer: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Even as cricket icon Yuvraj Singh and actress Lisa Ray battled cancer successfully and there has been an “oversupply” of information on the dreaded disease, more myths exist among the youth.

“Out of 100 patients coming to the OPD every day, as many as 20 assume that they are suffering from cancer. While a majority of people think that if they have a family history of cancer, they are at a major risk, others relate it to general surgeries. A lot of our time is spent on just assuring patients that they don’t have cancer,” said Dr Sachin Gupta, medical oncologist, Max Hospital, Mohali.

He was addressing students at the Government Polytechnic College for Women, Sector 10, on the issue here today.

"There are a myriad questions and panic-stricken faces. What next? How long will I live? Would I ever lead a normal life? Patients ask me,” said Dr Gupta.

Cancer is a painful experience for many. However, it becomes a terrible ordeal when one assumes he is suffering from the disease. “It is better to educate children about cancer from an early age,” he added.

Other oncologists from the hospital, including Dr Vinay Kumar, Dr Sunandan Sharma, Dr Pankaj Kumar and Dr Shaveta Gupta also interacted with the students.

“Only 5 per cent to 10 per cent cancers are hereditary,” said the experts.

Dr Sunandan Sharma said, “A 23-year-old woman came to me and expressed her apprehension that as her mother was suffering from cancer, she too was. She wanted to undergo a test for breast cancer as she suspected she had a lump in her breast. Upon diagnosis, it was found that she was not suffering from the disease. Awareness on cancer is the need of the hour. Don’t just assume, get it diagnosed.”


As many as 500 students from different schools and colleges took part in a cancer awareness rally at the Government Polytechnic College of Women here today. Sandeep Hans, director of higher education, folk singer Pammi Bai and others took part in the event. 


  • All lumps are cancerous
  • All cancers are hereditary
  • Sugar is related to cancer growth
  • It is contagious
  • Hair dyes cause brain cancer
  • Breastfeeding causes cancer
  • Heating food in a microwave causes cancer
  • Any surgery and biopsy spreads cancer 



Cong high command to take the call
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Election Committee passed a unanimous resolution authorising AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to select candidates for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

In its meeting held at the Congress Bhawan and attended by AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, the committee decided to forward all the six names to the party high command to take the call. Earlier, the committee had decided to send a single name, that of sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, but when local leaders raised question over the functioning of the committee, it invited applications from the ticket aspirants. Subsequently, the committee received six applications of sitting MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, former deputy Mayor HS Lucky, former senior deputy Mayor, Bhupinder Singh Badheri, former councillor Chandermukhi Sharma, senior Congress leader Chaman Lal Sharma and Congress worker Kewal Ram.

Meanwhile, ticket aspirants have started lobbying in Delhi to ensure their candidature for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. MP Pawan Kumar Bansal is in Delhi and meeting senior party leaders. HS Lucky too is expected to visit Delhi in the coming days to meet party leaders.

Lucky expresses his 'independence'

To express his 'independence', Congress leader HS Lucky today posted a comment on a social networking site, which read "Angraii lekar ke jagi hey naujwani…sapnay naye hey aur zanjeer hey puranii !!!". Lucky was closely associated with the sitting MP for the last many years. However, he has demanded that a fresh face contests the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat on the Congress ticket.



YAD members burn Rahul’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 31
Leaders and workers of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) of Mohali district staged a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today and demanded that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi should reveal the names of the party members who were involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. They also burnt an effigy of Rahul Gandhi and demanded that he should be produced before the CBI.

The protesters including YAD leaders Jaswinder Singh Jassi, Raja Kanwarjyot Singh Mohali, Satinder Singh Gill and Harmanpreet Singh Prince, raised slogans against the Congress and members of the Gandhi family.

Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, senior vice-president, SAD, also joined the protest.

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's remarks on the 1984 Sikh massacre, Jassi demanded that Rahul should testify before investigating agencies and courts where the appeals regarding the anti-Sikh riots were being heard. He said the CBI should investigate Rahul Gandhi and he should be made to reveal their names. “A number of Congress politicians were responsible for instigating the violence against Sikhs. But very few were identified and cases were pursued amid hurdles. So, Rahul should expose all the culprits,” he added.

Describing the Congress as a “double-faced” party, Ramoowalia said the Congress claim secular credentials but it had never dissociated itself from the Congress leaders facing serious charges related to the anti-Sikh riots.



Construction site workers not covered under ESI Act
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 31
In a major decision, the appellate authority, Regional Director, ESI Corporation, has held that the workers employed by a construction agency at a site are not covered under the provision of the ESI Act, 1948.

The decision came on an appeal in the case of Chandigarh-based firm Karma Associates vs Authorised Officer Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, Chandigarh. The authority maintained that the workers provided by M/s Karma Associates to its principal employer Quarkcity India Private Limited at a construction site in Mohali from October 1, 2009, to February 28, 2010, were not covered under the provision of the Act.

Jasbir Singh, counsel for Karma Associates, said the Deputy Director of the Regional Office Employees’ State Insurance Corporation had issued an order on April 16, 2013, in which his client was directed to pay the ESI contribution worth Rs 8.93 lakh for the manpower provided by the firm to Quarkcity for the above-mentioned period.

“On July 29, 2009, the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, while replying to a query on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, had clearly stated that ‘construction workers working at a site are not covered under the ESI Act, 1948’. The authorities not only asked my client to pay the contribution but also imposed a fine of about Rs 19 lakh on him. After paying 25 per cent of the contribution (Rs 8.93 lakh), we appealed against the decision,” said Jasbir Singh.

Terming the decision in his case a landmark decision, Robin Nakai, a partner of Karma Associates, claimed the officials of the ESI had been collecting crores of rupees from contractors for providing manpower at work sites. Under the ESI Act, the authorities take 6.5 per cent of the wages of the workers being covered under the Act.



Flash mob promotes gender sensitisation

Students of Panjab University dance during a flash mob organised as part of the VIMARSH-2014 fest at Student Centre on Friday.
centre of attraction: Students of Panjab University dance during a flash mob organised as part of the VIMARSH-2014 fest at Student Centre on Friday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari 

Chandigarh, January 31
Students of the Panjab University performed a flash mob at the student centre, today. It was a vibrant and lively performance with pop numbers and old songs being played together.

The flash mob was performed as an opening for the upcoming student’s academic convention “VIMARSH-2014” scheduled on February 3. This was a promotional activity to promote the central theme of the fest - security of women through gender sensitisation.

The main objective of Vimarsh-2014 and its central theme is to spread awareness among students about the security of women, how it is at stake and how it is compromised and what can be done to make environment secure for women. Nearly 1,000 students registered for various competitions in the past five days. — TNS



Dry cold: Sore throat, chest infections rise
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The prevailing dry weather conditions owing to variations in the day and night temperatures are causing throat infections, thereby causing respiratory problems.

Keeping the body, particularly the throat, covered will protect it from the cold, say health experts.

“Chest infections due to dry cold cause difficulty in breathing and lead to viral infections. One should avoid going out in the cold and stay covered under the sun as well,” said Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, head, Department of Internal Medicine, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

The prevailing weather conditions have led to a rise in the severity of respiratory disorders and chest infections. 

Health advisory

  • Avoid exposure to cold weather by staying indoors during the early morning and late evening hours
  • Consume warm liquids such as soups
  • Eat healthy. Avoid oily food and cold beverages
  • Inhale steam twice or thrice a day to cure sore throat 



Skydiver walks for cause of thalassaemia patients 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Moved by the plight of her friend suffering from thalassaemia and the inadequate healthcare facilities for others like her in the state, a 28-year-old mountaineer and skydiver is on a noble mission.

Spearheading the cause of such patients, Sukh Brar, hailing from Faridkot district, has covered more than 10 cities on foot. Her awareness walk will culminate at PGIMER here on Saturday.

In collaboration with the Thalassaemia Society here, Brar will also organise an awareness programme.

Brar, who started the drive on January 10, has covered several districts of Punjab while raising awareness on the disease through workshops in schools and colleges.

She took the initiative after assessing the state of healthcare facilities and awareness levels among people on thalassaemia.

“I realised that while the incidence of the disease are highest in the state, the awareness levels are miserably low,” she told Chandigarh Tribune.

Brar has walked through Fazilka, Pathankot, Amritsar, Muktsar, Nawanshahr, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur, Malout and a few other cities in the past 20 days. 



health notes
PGI cardiologist wins first prize

As part of the South Zone Interventional Council Conference (SIC-CON) 2014, Dr Shiv Bagga, assistant professor, Department of Cardiology at the Advance Cardiac Centre, PGIMER, won the first prize in the case presentation competition held at Manipal University. The case pertained to a patient with complex blockade involving the left main coronary artery, conventionally treated through bypass surgery. However, considering the patient’s young age, he was advised a percutaneous angioplasty procedure. The case involved use of an unconventional technique “The reverse crush technique.” Dr Bagga successfully carried out this technique in a complex bifurcation case, highlighting it as an alternative to bypass surgery in a sub-group of patients with left main disease.

Blood donation camp for thalassaemia patients

A blood donation camp was organised by Suparas Homz at Sector 8 here today. A team of doctors from Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, conducted the camp. The company officials said the camp was organised to help thalassaemia patients. Satbir Singh Gehlawat, DSP (crime), Chandigarh Police, was chief guest. — TNS



Mystery shrouds college teacher’s death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
A woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances outside her top-floor residence in a housing society at Sector 49 this morning.

Ruchika (26), a guest faculty at the SD College, Sector 32, had left her house where she resided with her parents and after some time, her body was found on the ground floor with blood on her nose and mouth.

While the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, the police said it seemed to be a case of brain haemorrhage.

The incident came to light when a passer-by noticed Ruchika lying unconscious outside her residential complex with blood stains on her clothes. The passer-by informed the residents of the society, who rushed her to a renowned private hospital in Mohali where doctors declared her brought dead.

The residents then informed the Chandigarh Police. The body was sent for post-mortem examination.

"Ruchika's death is mysterious in nature as there is no injury mark on the body. Meanwhile, samples of the circumstantial evidences have been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) here," said Inspector Rajesh Shukla, SHO, Sector 34 police station.

A police official disclosed that the deceased was getting treatment for chronic depression from the Mohali hospital.



101-yr-old war veteran passes away
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Col Kartar Singh, the first Indian commanding officer of the 1 Mahar, passed away at the age of 101 in Mohali this week.

Col Singh had commanded the battalion, also known as the Fighting First, during the turbulent and challenging period from November 1947 to January 1951.

Born in April 1913, he was commissioned into the Licters British Infantry Unit at Jabalpur in 1937. In 1940, he was nominated for a foreign mission with the Frontier Force (FF) Rifles to Sudan and Egypt.

Under his command, the battalion saw heavy action against Pakistani raiders in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947-48 winning the Independent India’s first Maha Vir Chakra.

The battalion was honoured with the Theatre Honour - Jammu and Kashmir for its heroic deeds. He later commanded the 6 Mahar from June 1956 to July 1958.

After retirement in 1958, Colonel Singh served as the vice-president of Zilla Sainik Board, Jalandhar, for 25 years.

The Antim Ardas for the departed soul will be held on February 2 at Angitha Sahib Gurdwara in Mohali.



PU fee panel meeting cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The meeting of the fee committee, Panjab University, scheduled for today has been cancelled due to its incomplete quorum. It has to take the decision on the hike in fee of first-year courses from the next session.

The authorities had scheduled the meeting of the committee to get its approval before the publishing of the prospectuses so that there was no confusion among the applicants.

A senior official said this year the authorities had started the process to hike the fee well in time. Last year, the fee hike was announced in the mid-session and the students objected to it. As a result, the authorities had to withdraw it and were unable to increase the fee later on.

There are 21 members in the committee, which is headed by PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.

Sources said a majority of the members did not turn up for the meeting due to which it had to be cancelled.

A senior official said after the fee committee, the matter would be tabled before the Syndicate and the Senate for approval. If the committee delayed the issue, the efforts of the authorities would go in vain.

The sources said last year also, the meeting of the fee committee was called thrice. Due to incomplete quorum, the meeting did not take place and the decision on the fee hike was delayed.

One of the former members of the committee said the authorities should constitute a smaller fee committee comprising 10 to 15 members so that the decision could be taken in time.

Last year also on June 29, the Syndicate okayed 10 per cent hike in the fee for first-year students of the general courses and 20 per cent for the professional courses. Reacting to it, student unions held a massive protest on the campus, which forced the authorities to withdraw the decision.



DAV students hold protest

Chandigarh, January 31
The students’ union today held a protest against the authorities after being denied permission to hold star nite at DAV College, Sector 10.

The students alleged that the management had adopted a biased attitude towards the union. They said since a number of events were held in the college in the past, why were the authorities now denying the permission to them.

Anter Sindhu, chairman of the students’ union, said if the college management would not accept their proposal, they would go on a hunger strike. — TNS



Prof Bhandari takes over as PU DUI

Chandigarh, January 31
Professor AK Bhandari today joined as the Dean University Instructions (DUI), Panjab University. PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover has ordered that Professor AK Bhandari would also perform the duty of the Registrar as additional charge with immediate effect till further orders.

Earlier, in pursuance of the decision of the Syndicate dated January 2, 2014 (Para-6) and in anticipation of approval of the Senate, the Vice-Chancellor has appointed Professor Bhandari as the DUI for a period of one year from the date of joining, under the Regulation 1 at Page 105 of the Panjab University Calendar, Volume-I, 2007.

Before joining as the DUI, Professor Bhandari was serving the PU as the Registrar since December 21, 2011.

Professor Bhandari remained the PU Controller of Examination (additional charge) from 2007 to 2012. He served the PU as the Dean, College Development Council (additional charge), from August 2008 to October 2010 and the Registrar (additional charge) from October 2010 to December 2011. — TNS



from schools
Social studies exhibition

Saupin’s School, Sector 70, Mohali, held its annual social studies exhibition with a view to providing students with an opportunity to enhance their learning. The students of Classes VI, VII and VIII participated and showcased their creative talent. The theme of the exhibition was Egyptian, Chinese and Mesopotamian Civilisation. The models were accompanied with their illustrations and power point presentations to give elaborate details to the visitors.

Cultural fiesta

The cultural fiesta, a vibrant function, was organised by DAV Mohali with pomp and show in the newly constructed Maharishi Dayanand Auditorium. The programme started with DAV ‘gaan’ and Gayatri Mantra. A number of dances were performed by the students. The main attraction of the function was gidda. A theme-based choreography “Women Foeticide” drew huge applause. Principal of the school Rosy Sharma congratulated the students for their brilliant performance.

Mahatma Gandhi remembered

Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School, Mohali, remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his martyrdom day. The students were dressed in “khadi” to show their participation and enthusiasm to mark the Gandhian spirit of non-violence and truth. Three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi - “bura mat dekho, bura mat bolo, bura mat suno” were the main attraction of the event. The students delivered speeches and recited poems highlighting Mahatma Gandhi’s principles. — TNS



PFA seizes specimens of animals from school
Our Correspondent

Specimens of animals recovered from St Soldier International Convent School in Mohali on Friday.
Specimens of animals recovered from St Soldier International Convent School in Mohali on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, January 31
A team of the People for Animals (PFA) today conducted a raid at St Soldier International Convent School in Phase VII here today. The team recovered 15 jars containing preserved specimens of animal species.

The PFA team had come from Delhi after a complaint regarding the presence of the species on the school premises was sent to Maneka Gandhi, animal rights activist and a politician. The raid was carried out with the help of personnel from Matour police station.

Saurabh Gupta, raiding officer of the PFA, said a few jars kept in a science laboratory of the school had specimens of endangered species.

He said these were preserved in the jars for dissection purposes. The recovered specimens included lizard, frog, scorpion, sea fishes and snake.

Gupta said the specimens would be sent to the forensic laboratory in Dehradun and action would be taken after the receipt of the report.

The police have registered a case under Section 429 of the IPC and various provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The police said the director of the school, Karandeep Singh Brar, was arrested in this connection and later released on bail.

Vinender Tiwana, principal of the school, said no sample of animal species had been kept in the laboratory. The jars had been kept away in a corner after a CBSE circular was issued.

The specimens of endangered species had been thrown away and those dumped in the corner were not of such species, the principal said.



PU & College notes
Competitions mark IT fest

Students take part in a face-painting competition at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh.
Students take part in a face-painting competition at the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Dev Samaj College for Women on Friday organised an IT fest, TechMantra-2014. Students from various colleges of the tricity participated in the fest. Competitions, including face-painting, cartooning and best out of e-waste, were organised. The maximum entries were in the e-poster-making and best out of e-waste competitions. Short movies depicting various issues were showcased as part of the competitions. Keeping in view the prevalent political scenario, corruption was the burning topic. Innovative ideas were displayed in the best out of e-waste competition. UT Secretary (Estate) SK Setia was the chief guest. A prize distribution function was also held.

Self-defence training drive

To mark the conclusion of the 15-day self-defence training drive at the MCM DAV College for Women, the NSS unit of the college organised a ceremony on Friday. RS Ghuman, SSP, operations and training and vigilance, was the chief guest on the occasion. Students demonstrated self-defence skills, which they imbibed during the training drive.

PEC adds another feather to its cap

The PEC University of Technology added another feather to its cap with the launch of the PEC Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) on Friday. SK Vij, president, ASCE Northern region, launched the PEC Chapter of the ASCE. — TNS



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