C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Man kills 2 sons, commits suicide
Suicide note says he was taking the extreme step due to poverty, ailment; case registered
Tribune News Service

A file photo of the family in happier times
A file photo of the family in happier times. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 9
Apparently driven to poverty and suffering due to an ailment, a 38-year-old man strangled his two minor sons to death and then committed suicide by taking celphos tablets at his residence in Landran village here late last night.

Jagtar Singh, who was unable to walk properly due to his broken hip bone, strangled his two sons, Gauravdeep Singh (14) and Harshdeep Singh (12), to death and then took celphos tablets to end his life.

Before taking the extreme step, he sent his wife Charanjit Kaur to her parents' house at Malakpur Pannua village, Kharar, in the evening saying that her father was not well. His mother, Gurdev Kaur (70), was sleeping upstairs at the time of the incident.

The matter came to light when Gurdev Kaur went to see the family members in their bedroom at around 8 am today. The bodies of the trio were lying on the bed. The police recovered half a bottle of liquor, four pouches of celphos and a suicide note, which was lying under the mattresses of the bed, from the spot.

"In the suicide note, Jagtar Singh has stated that he was ending his life due to poverty and his ailment, and nobody should be held responsible for it. He said nobody could understand his situation. Despite selling his house, he was unable to bear the expenses of his treatment," said DSP (City II) Ajinder Singh, who visited the spot.

The DSP said circumstantial evidence indicated that he took liquor before murdering his sons in their sleep. "It seems the younger son, Harshdeep, woke up and tried to save himself. Some struggle signs were found in the room," said the DSP.

Gurdev Kaur said all family members had their dinner and went to sleep. "I don't know what happened after that," she said. Charanjit Kaur, who was brought home by a resident, went into a state of shock after seeing the bodies of her husband and sons.

The Punjab State Women Commission chairperson, Bibi Paramjit Kaur Landran, who is also a resident of the same village, said Jagtar Singh was frustrated due to poverty and his ailment. "He was unable to earn a livelihood and the family was dependent on Gurdev Kaur's pension. He also used to take drugs and alcohol," said Paramjit Kaur.

A neighbour said Jagtar's hip bone was broken in a road accident around two years ago. "He needed Rs 2.5 lakh for his treatment. However, due to poverty, he was unable to get proper treatment," said the neighbour.

The police have registered a murder case against Jagtar Singh on a complaint of his brother-in-law Chand Singh. The bodies have been sent to the Civil Hospital at Phase VI, where the postmortems will be conducted tomorrow.

Jagtar sent wife to her parents' house

Jagtar Singh had planned to kill his sons and then end his live. He sent his wife to her parents' house yesterday. According to a relative, he had also tried to send his wife to her parents' house on January 26, but she did not go then. "Yesterday, he forced her to go and meet her father by lying that he was not well," said the relative.

He was attached to his sons, says neighbour

Though Jagtar was reportedly frustrated over his ailment and poverty, he was attached to both his sons. "He loved his sons very much and used to take them along with him most of the time," said a resident. Both children, who were studying in a private school in Mohali, were bright students. We don't know what came to his mind that he took the extreme step, said the resident.

Jagtar's 2 sisters had also committed suicide

Jagtar Singh is not the first person in the family to have committed suicide. According to residents of the village, Jagtar's two married sisters had also ended their lives. "Jagtar's eldest sister, Paramjit Kaur, had jumped into a well in the early nineties. One of his other sisters, who was married at Rurkan village, allegedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire around 12 years ago," said Bibi Paramjit Kaur Landran. He had seven sisters.



army man’s death
Two months on, viscera lying dumped in P’kula mortuary
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
The viscera of an Army official, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Chandimandir in November last year, has been lying in the mortuary of the General Hospital, Sector 6, thanks to the “indifferent attitude” of the Panchkula police.

The report of the viscera could have unravelled the mystery and the exact cause of the death of the Army official, Bilal Ahmed, who was working at the Chandimandir Cantonment. He was found dead on the night of November 19, 2013, at his quarters.

The viscera is required to be sent within two days of the postmortem of the deceased to Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Madhuban, Karnal, by officials of the police station concerned. However, over two months on, the viscera is still lying in the mortuary.

The head of the postmortem department, Dr Sunil Gambhir, said his staff had sent several intimations to the police to take the viscera so that they could deposit it. "The postmortem had found that it was a case of poisoning. Our doctors sealed the viscera. In all such cases, the police officials concerned are supposed to dispatch the viscera within two days," said Dr Gambhir.

He said, "The viscera has to be sent on time as in case of a delay if can get spoilt and the cause of the death may not be known."

Police investigations had revealed that Bilal had taken poison accidentally. To know the exact cause of the death, doctors had sought further assistance by way of a chemical examination report.

An official at the hospital said, "Kin of the victim keep enquiring whether the report has been received. Today, we came to know that the police did not bother to dispatch the viscera."

The investigating officer of the case, Assistant Sub-Inspector Naseeb Singh, said he was not aware of it. He said, "I will look into the matter."

Not the first case

In 2012, the viscera of 13 persons, including that of a person who had died 10 years ago, was found dumped at the mortuary. An inquiry was marked into the case by the Health Department, which revealed that the police had failed to take the viscera and dispatch it to the FSL.



Woman found murdered
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 9
An unidentified woman was found murdered at Tripari village in Kharar here today.

The body of the victim, who appeared to be in her mid-thirties, was found lying in a field with her throat slit.

According to the police, the victim was wearing good clothes, indicating that she belonged to a well off family.

A former sarpanch of the village, Gulzar Singh, informed the police. "We called several persons of the area, but nobody could identify the victim," said the police.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered in this connection at the Kharar police station.



Patients suffer as PGI serai allots rooms to NGOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
While several poor patients who come from far off places to get better treatment at the PGI fail to get rooms at Nehru Serai, the authorities have allotted four rooms in the serai to security guards, NGOs and contractors for setting up offices. The serai is in poor shape.
Rooms lying locked at Nehru Serai at the PGI in Chandigarh on Sunday
Rooms lying locked at Nehru Serai at the PGI in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Of the nearly 25 rooms in the serai, these four rooms are relatively better maintained, but are not meant for patients.

Poor patients, who cannot afford anything beyond the nominal fee of Rs 10 per day at the serai, have no option but to put up in parks while waiting for the next date of consultation at the OPDs or the test reports.

At least 5,000 new patients visit the PGI OPDs and more than 100 rush to Emergency everyday. Among them, a majority are poor and cannot afford to return home and come back for consultation again after a few days.

Sample this: Mangat Ram (name changed), a 45-year-old TB patient from Abohar came to the PGI a few days ago after his chest congestion increased. Doctors asked him to undergo a few tests and come back with the reports. Mangat is a daily wager and was not in a position to afford money for travelling back home and then coming again in a few days. He visited Nehru Serai, but was disappointed to learn that no room was available there. Other serais in the vicinity were also fully occupied. "Luckily, I was carrying a few blankets with me and decided to put up in the park near the Director's office," he said.

Spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said these four rooms were with office-bearers of NGOs ever since the serai was inaugurated and permission had been granted for it.

An NGO, Lifeline, that collects the per day fee of Rs 10 in lieu of room services, does not come under the purview of the PGI accounts department and the money collected goes unaudited.

The condition of the rooms, having seepage and broken toilet doors, speaks volumes about the lack of utilisation of the money collected as fee.



Motorcyclist killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
A 30-year-old man was killed after his motorcycle rammed into a tree near the airport light point last night. The victim, Harbhajan Singh, was a resident of Rajpura near Patiala and was returning home when the accident took place. He was employed at a chemical factory at Phase II, Ram Darbar.

The police said Harbhajan Singh was overtaking a truck when he lost control over the motorcycle, resulting in the accident. The motorcycle was completely damaged in the accident.

The victim received head injuries was taken to the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The body was handed over to the family members after a postmortem. The victim was a divorcee and was staying with his father and brother. A case has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.

Hit-and-run case

Panchkula: In a hit-and-run case, a pedestrian was killed by a vehicle late on Saturday night in Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula. The victim, identified as Tikka Ram, was going home from work when the incident took place. A case has been registered at the MDC police station.


Better Chandigarh
City no longer a commuters’ paradise
The worsening traffic congestion and failure of the UT Admn to cope with it projects a grim profile of the City Beautiful. The number of vehicles keeps growing but little is done to accommodate these on the city roads
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The City Beautiful is no more commuter-friendly. The growing number of vehicles, coupled with the traffic coming from outside, gives a tough time to commuters. Traffic snarl-ups have become commonplace at many junctions during the morning and evening hours. Scenes of ambulances and other emergency vehicles stuck in the traffic are the order of the day.

Gone are the days when people could drive to any part of the city within ten minutes. Now, the time wasted in traffic jams has to be taken into account in order to reach the destination on time. The lack of foresightedness on the part of the Chandigarh Administration—that failed to synchronise the traffic lights—adds to the commuters’ woes. The system of controlling traffic lights from a central control room is yet to evolve in the city.

The proposal of constructing underpasses at various spots in the city to decongest traffic, which was mooted over seven years back, stills hangs fire. Finally, this year, the Municipal Corporation has decided to construct an underpass at only one of the eight locations.

Also, as the growth in public transport has not kept pace with the demand for the service, more and more people are forced to commute in their private vehicles, resulting in traffic congestion.

The bottlenecks Housing Board & Transport Chowk light points

The large flow of traffic from Panchkula and other neighboring towns, including Kalka, Pinjore and Parwanoo, clogs the road leading to Chandigarh. The stretch between the Housing Board light point and Transport Chowk light point is a commuter’s nightmare during the morning and evening hours. The distance, which a motorist can normally cover within seven minutes, at times takes 25 minutes to cover during peak hours.

ISBT-17 roundabout

Being located in the heart of the city, the Sector 17/18/22/21 roundabout witnesses a huge traffic flow. The traffic includes the buses moving in and out of the bus stand. Snarl-ups are usually encountered throughout the day. Although traffic lights have been installed, they are of little help.

Tribune Chowk

Travellers from the neighbouring states enter and leave the city through Tribune Chowk. Also, people residing in neighbouring cities such as Zirakpur use this stretch for commuting. In all, thousands of vehicles pass this roundabout every day, turning it into one of the busiest stretches in the city, With no alternative route available, people frequently get stuck here.

Piccadily roundabout

Most of the Mohali residents visiting Chandigarh on a daily basis cross the Sector 34/35/22/21 roundabout. During peak hours, commuters get stuck here for at least five minutes. This also affects traffic flow on all the connecting roads.

Traffic police absent at many junctions

There are not enough police personnel deputed to regulate traffic on the city roads. Commuters are left to fend for themselves during snarl-ups. Also, those on duty can be seen busy challaning the commuters, while showing little interest in regulating the traffic.

Highest car density the bane of city?

The 2011 Census revealed that Chandigarh tops the list of Union Territories and states in terms of the car density per household. The number of city households owning a car has increased by 10 per cent in the past decade. While in 2001, the percentage stood at 15.4, in 2011 it reached 25.7. The total number of motorised vehicles in Chandigarh has increased by approximately 75 times since 1971: from around 12,345 to around 9 lakh (in 2013).

What residents say

In the past few years, the traffic has multiplied manifold in the city, leading to frequent snarl-ups. The time needed to travel from one point to another within the city has more than doubled in these years. 

— Varsha Chauhan

There is a need to depute more police personnel on the city roads to regulate traffic. This needs to be done urgently at various points where traffic jams have become a routine affair.

— Jatin Kumar

The Chandigarh Administration needs to strengthen the public transport system and make it more affordable. Only then the congestion on the city roads will decrease.

— Parmod Dhiman

The UT Administration and the Police Department should work out a strategy to regulate the growing traffic in the city. Also, public transport should be strengthened to lessen the number of vehicles.

— Sakshi Thakur



BJP’s discipline plan goes for a six

Though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had decided that it will not accept application forms for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat after 5 pm on February 5, seven forms, of a total of 19, were received after 5 pm. Many party leaders condemned the receipt of forms after 5 pm. But after all the drama, leaders sitting in the BJP office, ‘Kamlam’, in Sector 33, still maintained they were ‘disciplined’ party soldiers.

UT officials seal wrong building

Officials of the UT Estate Office, which has gone into overdrive to check the misuse of buildings, sealed a property that was never put on notice. After the mistake was pointed out, a top UT official told the red-faced officials to rectify mistake or face action.

When PGI conference went out of focus

The faculty of the Oral Health Centre, PGI, came across an awkward situation during the announcement of a CME last week when the focus of the press conference shifted from dentistry to neurosciences. As the discussion on a stem cell research between a journalist and a neuroscientist, who was on a panel of doctors (addressing the media), stretched for nearly two minutes, the head of the centre pointed out that it was a very fascinating topic but the discussions should be based on dentistry, not neurosciences.

When Khushwant Singh sent back BBC team

Writer and journalist Khushwant Singh considers discipline the key to success. At a recent seminar organised on Khushwant Singh at Panjab University, his son Rahul Singh revealed that once the BBC channel obtained appointment from Khushwant Singh for an interview. The BBC team arrived about half an hour late. An annoyed Khushwant Singh refused to talk to them and asked them to try their luck some other time. He is of the view that those who do not value time are the losers.

Pleasant surprise for SAD supporters

Supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders were in for a surprise when they saw two of their senior leaders, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and Kiranbir Singh Kang, chatting very intimately during the inauguration of an air-conditioned vegetable market in Mohali. There have been several clashes among their supporters. “This is a good sign for the local SAD unit with the Lok Sabha elections round the corner,” said a supporter.

Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Ritika Jha Palial, Aarti Kapur and Akash Ghai



chandigarh ls seat
Jamwal, Arti Mehra to shortlist BJP candidate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
Amid serious infighting in the local unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and three main contenders eyeing the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, the election committee of the local BJP unit today authorised the general secretary (organisation), Ajay Jamwal, and in charge of the local party affairs Arti Mehra to shortlist the party candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

After the late evening meeting held at the UT Guest House, all 19 applicants, including Sanjay Tandon, local party president, Satya Pal Jain, former MP from Chandigarh, and Harmohan Dhawan, former Union Minister, reached a consensus to allow the two senior leaders to take the decision. The announcement of the candidate is expected to be made in the coming week.

Sources said Sanjay Tandon, who is one of the contenders, would not be part of the committee that would finalise the candidate for the seat. Otherwise, the president plays an important role in the selection of the party candidate.

Earlier, Ajay Jamwal and Aarti Mehra had one-on-one meetings with all 19 candidates. Though the party returned the application money of Rs 11,000 to the candidates, they refused to accept it and instead requested the office-bearers to deposit it in the welfare fund of the party.

Sources said being in charge of the party affairs in Chandigarh, Narendra Modi, the BJP’s PM candidate, was aware of internal politics and power centres in the local unit.

Satya Pal Jain has twice remained the BJP MP from Chandigarh. In 1996, Jai Ram Joshi was a serious contender when Satya Pal Jain was given the ticket from the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Meanwhile, the party executive met at Kamlam, the party office, in Sector 33 under the chairmanship of Sanjay Tandon.



Residents’ plea falls on deaf ears
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

A view of the waterlogged street at Tribune Colony in Kansal village near Chandigarh
A view of the waterlogged street at Tribune Colony in Kansal village near Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Kansal (Mohali), February 9
Residents of Tribune Colony in Kansal village are at the receiving end due to acute waterlogging problem in the area.

The residents claimed that some parts of their colony, including a public park and vacant plots have become virtual water pools due to the problem.

Some persons have filled a seasonal water channel with soil leading to the blockade.

“They wanted to sell plots by filling the water channel. After blockade, the water overflowed and accumulated in our colony and nearby areas,” said Manu Sharma, a resident of the colony.

Sharma said the waterlogging resulted in damages to several houses in the colony. “Apart from that, these water pools have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies and insects,” he said.

During a random survey, an electricity transformer was also seen standing amidst two-foot water. “One can easily imagine about the lurking danger,” said IS Mann, another resident of the colony.

The residents claimed that they had made several complaints to the authorities but to no avail.

“Residents’ Welfare Association approached the Mohali deputy commissioner around four months ago following which the SDM of the area had initiated legal proceedings under Section 133 of the CrPC and ordered the executive officer (EO) of the Notified Area Committee, Naya Gaon, to solve the problem. Even the environmental engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has recommended the EO to take immediate action in this regard. The orders are not being considered at lower level,” the residents alleged.



Cops challan 114 vehicles during special drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The Chandigarh police carried out a special drive last night to check the movement of anti-social elements. Nakas were set up and patrolling intensified during the drive that saw around 114 vehicles being challaned.

During the drive, 32 nakas were set up across the city between 5 pm and 8 pm. A total of 2,287 vehicles were checked and 39 were issued challans for various traffic violations. The focus of the drive was on two-wheelers driven by youngsters.

Besides, the Chandigarh traffic police also set up nine nakas to check drunken driving from 10 pm to 12 midnight. A total of 75 challans were issued, 36 for drunken driving, two for black film and 37 for other violations. Thirtysix vehicles were impounded.

A joint patrolling was also carried out by the PCR vehicles and police stations from 11 pm to 5 am, during which 153 auto-rickshaws bearing registration number of Punjab and Haryana were checked and the antecedents of the drivers verified.

Focus on young bikers

Thirtytwo nakas were set up across the city between 5 pm and 8 pm. A total of 2,287 vehicles were checked and 39 were issued challans for various traffic violations. The focus of the drive was on two-wheelers driven by youngsters.



Expert dispels myths about hip replacement
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The need for hip replacement in the 30-60 age-group has tripled in India in the last three years. The records reveal of nearly 10 lakh people who need hip replacement, barely 30,000 have undergone surgery in 2013. This was stated by the Director of the Max Elite (institute of orthopaedics and joint replacement), Dr Manuj Wadhwa, during a health talk on “hip replacement myths” today.

The health talk was organised at the Defence Services Officers Institute (DSOI) here. As many as 300 members of the DSOI attended the talk.

The incidence of hip arthritis was rising at a very fast pace in younger population, especially those who smoke, drink heavily and use steroids. If it goes unchecked, it would grow by 300 per cent by 2030. The most common reasons of hip arthritis in India were AVN (damaged blood supply of femoral head), trauma, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Talking about the notion among younger patients that they are too young to go for a hip replacement, she said in fact, hip replacement was related to need, not age.

A majority of people delay hip replacement out of fear, misinformation or a lack of awareness about their treatment options. The recent studies have shown that now hip replacement might be properly considered at an earlier stage.

Age irrelevant

Talking about the notion among younger patients that they are too young to go for a hip replacement, she said in fact, hip replacement was related to need, not age.



Birdwatchers out with their binoculars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The 4th Chandigarh Bird Race was held here today. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBCL) Limited and Yuhina Eco-Media, along with Chandigarh’s birding enthusiasts, organised the programme. The local coordinator for Chandigarh was Rima Dhillon.

Conceptualised by Mumbai-based naturalist and writer Sunjoy Monga, the India BirdRaces is a dawn-to-dusk event where teams of birdwatchers spend the entire day birding in and around cities.

The bird races are held in 15 cities across the country between November and early March. The race period coincides with the peak arrival of migratory birds.

This is the fourth time such an event is being held in Chandigarh. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded over the years in and around the city.



Snehalaya children have a gala time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The UT Department of Social Welfare and the Chandigarh Child and Women's Development Corporation, in collaboration with the Creative Arts and Promotion Society, an NGO, organised a carnival for the children of Snehalaya.

The UT adviser to the Administrator, KK Sharma, graced the prize-distribution function. The carnival was inaugurated by councillor Gurbaksh Rawat and Director (Social Welfare) Rajesh Jogpal.

The children presented a colourful cultural programme. A painting and rangoli competition was also held for the children, besides a puppet show. Stalls of eatables were set up. Students of Art College, Sector 10, made portraits of children and tattooed some.

Sharma assured the institution of all support on behalf of the administration for any activities for the welfare of the children.



Firing incident accused held
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, February 9
The accused involved in the firing incident at Zirakpur on January 29 has been arrested by the police.

The accused has been identified as Jagtar Singh, a resident of Jwaharke, Mansa. Notably, the accused shot at Gulshan Rai, a resident of Savitry Enclave at Zirakpur. The police also recovered the 12-bore gun, which was used for firing, from his possession. The police told that the incident took place when the victim denied of giving money to the accused.

After registering a case under Sections 307, 427, 120B, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Arms Act, the accused was presented in the Dera Bassi court and was sent to two days police remand.



Legal services body holds literacy camp
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Panchkula, organised a legal literacy camp at Rattewala village.

People were made aware of the eligibility criteria for getting free legal aid. This apart, they were also apprised about the functioning of the Public Utility Court at Panchkula, and the type of cases which can be filed in the Public Utility Court.

Chauhan also apprised people about the various rights of parents and senior citizens under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007.

It was told that under the said law, parents and grandparents who are unable to maintain themselves from their own income can demand maintenance from their major children or grand children.

“Childless senior citizens who are unable to maintain themselves from their own income can demand maintenance from their relative who is in possession of or would inherit childless senior citizen’s property after his death. It is the obligation of the children and specified relatives with sufficient means to provide maintenance for their parents and childless senior citizen, respectively,” stated Chauhan.

The DLSA has also decided to start a mega literacy awareness campaign for senior citizens at Panchkula.



Mohali police raid PG houses

The police check a bag at a PG accommodation in Phase VII, Mohali, on Sunday
The police check a bag at a PG accommodation in Phase VII, Mohali, on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 9
In wake of sudden spurt in crime incidents in the town in the past few days, the Mohali police today revived its special drive of checking of paying guests.

Credentials of over 150 paying guests were checked at various parts across the town following special directions by Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti in this regard.

Superintendent of Police (City 1) Swarndeep Singh said four different teams were set up for the purpose. “The teams checked several PG accommodations in Phase 3B1, 3B2, 7, Sector 70 and 71. Apart from checking the credentials, we also noted down the details of their vehicles, if any,” said SP Singh.

He said nothing suspicious was found during the drive and it would be continued. — TNS



‘5 Degrees’ was given sufficient time before sealing: HUDA officer
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
The ‘Five Degrees’ authorities in an appeal to the Chief Administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) said the lower officials sealed the premises without verifying the facts following which they were suffering huge financial losses.

Sandeep Chauhan, the authorised signatory, in his appeal said, “Without verifying the facts and giving us any further time, the lower statutory authority immediately ordered to seal the premises on the same day itself.”

Haryana Urban Development Authority estate officer, Vandana Disodia said, “We had given sufficient time. Proper hearing was held and they were listened to properly.”

A team of HUDA had later sealed the premises when a committee constituted for the purpose stated that no agreement had come into execution and the premises was illegal.

“We received the allotment letter giving us the license for running cafeteria building in Nirjhar Vatika by the HUDA office. We submitted the copies of allotment letter and they accepted the same as equivalent to agreement and issued the appropriate connections such as electricity, telephone, etc,” stated the appeal.

As far as the boundary wall and other construction are concerned, the Haryana Urban Development Authority officials were well aware of the same, said Chauhan.

As the excise department in a communiqué to HUDA had said that no liquor permission was given, Sandeep said, “The Excise said that we never took any permission. I have enclosed the documents of the permission of serving liquor on 31st night that was given by the department itself.”

The Haryana Urban Development Authority officials in the enquiry had found that Chauhan had deposed before the HUDA estate officer, Vandana Disodia, who had rejected their plea.

The eating joint remained in news after Jaipal, a gunman attached to senior Punjab-cadre IAS officer KBS Sidhu, was injured while he was reportedly accompanying the bureaucrat’s son, Sehaj Sidhu.

After the incident, the Punjab police have also ordered a probe into the matter and have withdrawn Sidhu’s security.



Open House response
Begging: Rehabilitation, strict enforcement of law needed

Implement Beggary Act in letter and spirit

The problem of begging has reached an alarming proportion in the city. It has marred the city’s image and presents a pitiable site to foreign tourists. Incidents of thefts being committed by beggars have also come to the fore. The problem is a consequence of poverty, lethargy and unemployment. However, of late, begging has become organised and turned into a racket by a few kingpins. The Beggary Act needs to be implemented in the letter and spirit.

Col (retd) RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Remove beggars from public places

Several incidents of beggars committing thefts, breaking the windowpanes of four-wheelers around traffic light points have been reported. There is a dire need to take strict action against beggars. They should be nabbed and removed from public places as they are a threat to motorists. The authorities concerned should identify beggars in the city and enrol their children in schools under the Child Welfare Scheme.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Multi-pronged approach need of the hour

From mobile fast-track courts to rehabilitation projects, the municipal corporation councillors should include measures in its campaign against begging. It should be a three-pronged campaign. The government should have a multi-pronged solution than just shifting them to reformatory homes.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Law alone cannot solve the problem

Begging has become a social problem and the law alone cannot address the issue. The authorities should identify such people and initiate legal action against them. Those who seek alms in the name of religion should be strictly dealt with. It has been notified under the Motor Vehicle Act that whosoever gives alms to beggars at traffic lights will be fined Rs 1,000. The notification was implemented by the Delhi Police and endorsed by courts. The government should enrol child beggars in schools.

Balwinder Bajwa, Chandigarh

Set up homes for beggars

Beggars are a nuisance and pose a threat to motorists at traffic lights. It has been reported that a few child-lifter gangs also operate the begging racket. We should not forget that beggars are also citizens of the country. The authorities need to reform them. A home for beggars should be set up in every city under the supervision of the government or an NGO.

Tejinder Singh Kalra, Mohali

Don’t give alms to beggars

Concerted efforts need to be made by government institutes, destitute homes, NGOs, sociologists and the police to eradicate this social evil. People should not give alms to the beggars and instead donate at temples.

Dr Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Adopt a strict approach, initiate stringent steps

Even as the UT Administration had initiated strict measures to control the growing menace, the problem has increased manifold over the last few years. City residents, particularly commuters and tourists, are targeted by these organised gangs. Strict implementation of the Beggary Act will help nip the menace in the bud. City residents also need to adopt a strict approach and not give alms to the beggars.

Madan Gupta Spatu, Chandigarh

Provide free education to child beggars

The city has witnessed a spurt in the rise of population of beggars. They can be spotted outside places of worship, traffic intersections, shopping arcades, markets etc. Strict implementation of the Beggary Act is the need of the hour. We need to understand the problem at a deeper level. We need to reactivate some of the projects aimed at rehabilitating those trapped in the whirlwind of begging. The government should motivate child beggars by offering them free education, besides boarding and lodging facilities.

Ramesh K. Dhiman, Chandigarh

Empower the destitute

Agencies and NGOs should come forward with innovative ideas to make the city beggar-free. Residents should give donations to charities that address issues such as poverty and beggary. Remedial measures such as free evening schools, empowering the destitute to choose their own field of work by offering micro loans etc can alleviate their status in society.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

For them, begging is ‘roti, kapda, makan’

Nobody wants to beg. Beggars are forced to seek alms as their economic conditions are deplorable. They beg to make ends meet. This might only be their source for ‘roti, kapda, makan’. To curb begging and rehabilitate beggars, we need to understand their problems and constraints. Adult beggars should not force their kids to resort to begging. Children are vulnerable and this can mar their future.

Aishwarya, Mohali

Build database of beggars in city

Begging is a crime under the Beggary Act in our country. Anyone found violating the Act can be sent to a home for destitutes or jail. The population of beggars has increased manifold in the city. Either the Beggary Act has not been implemented strictly or the authorities concerned are least bothered to address the issue. We need to understand the circumstances that force an individual to beg. The authorities should build a database of beggars in the city. They should rehabilitate such individuals as per their specific needs. A control mechanism needs to be put into place.

Dr Rajeev Kumar, Chandigarh

Send them to rehabilitation centres

The government seems to have no solution to tackle the problem of beggary. Beggars should not be allowed to roam around on the roads and near commercial establishments. If they are found doing so, the authorities concerned should take them into custody. They should be sent to rehabilitation centres.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Nab beggars and send them to schools

The UT Administration should convince the parents of beggar children to enrol them in reform schools, where they can learn about dignity of labour. They should be imparted basic education so that they can view the world in a different light. Active participation from the police is needed. Beggars should be nabbed and sent to reform schools. The authorities concerned should impose a ban on begging.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Involve NGOs to rehabilitate beggars

The UT Administration has failed to check the problem of begging in the city. The authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to the issue. While some seek alms to make ends meet, for some it is more of a family tradition. The administration should involve NGOs to come forward and volunteer to identify child beggars in the city. These children should be rehabilitated and sent to schools. Basic Education is the Fundamental Right of every child.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

Admn, NGOs must join hands

A majority of beggars are undernourished. They need healthy food, warm clothing and shelter. They need education and skills. Where is our Food Security Act? Where is our Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan? And, where is our MGNREGA programme etc.? Aren’t these programmes made for them? To make the Tricity beggar-free, the administration, NGOs, educational institutions, gurdwaras and private sector companies should come together and adopt each traffic intersection to make it beggar-free. They can serve free food to the beggars, besides imparting education and skills to them.

Gursharan Singh Bedi, Mohali

Ban should be imposed on begging

There have been incidents of children being kidnapped and forced to beg. Begging also encourages other social evils such as drug addiction, thefts and even murder. This is a blot on our society. It is high time that we draw up a blueprint to eradicate this social evil. Begging should be banned. Small shelters should be set up for beggars and skills should be imparted to them.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Encourage beggars to earn a livelihood

Beggars should be encouraged to work and earn their livelihood. They need motivation to quit the practice. The people should be made aware of the social evil. Special attention should be given to the physically-challenged and diseased beggars, besides orphans and destitute women in the city. The authorities should initiate measure to improve their plight.

Rita Raina, Chandigarh

Police don’t arrest beggars

It is a known fact that crippled and physically-challenged beggars are dropped at vantage points for begging by organised gangs. They can be arrested under the Beggary Act. Though there is adequate police presence at such crossroads, they fail to arrest or prevent people from begging. “Yeh hamari duty nahin hai,” replied a traffic policeman when asked about the issue. The SSP and IG should find an answer to the problem. Also, NGOs should contribute their bit to address he issue.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Shift beggars to temporary shelters

The problem of begging has increased manifold in Chandigarh and its surrounding areas. It leaves a bad impression of the City Beautiful to visitors, particularly foreign tourists. The police should initiate stringent measures to curb this problem by nabbing beggars and shifting them to temporary shelters. Beggars hailing from other states should be sent back to their respective destinations.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Administration should address the issue

Beggars seek alms in the name of religion by striking a chord with people. This practice needs to be stopped. It is a pitiable sight to see beggars at market places chasing people to drop them a rupee. The administration should look into the issue.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Rehabilitate beggars, provide them education

Rehabilitating the beggars will mean rewarding the irresponsible evaders of their duties. Beggars need not be pitted against rather should be dealt with sternly. The traffic enforcement staff needs to understand the hazards created by beggars, particularly at traffic lights. Beggars should be sent to reform homes for at least six months. Basic education should be imparted to them, they should be made to work for eight hours daily and free meals should be provided to them. This will go a long way in addressing the issue.

MPS Chadha, Mohali


Need for zero tolerance towards begging

Begging menace has assumed alarming proportions in the City Beautiful. Organised groups of beggars are ubiquitous at religious places, shopping arcades, traffic intersections and other busy spots in the city.It has indeed become a full-time occupation and thrives due to poor law enforcement. Beggars not only violate the law, but also disrupt traffic while putting their lives as well as those of commuters at risk.

Looking for alms, a large number of beggars swarm around vehicles, constantly tapping at the windowpanes of vehicles, trying to divert peoples’ attention while glancing over their valuables.

Though the Haryana Prevention of Beggary Act, 1971 (extended to Chandigarh in 2003), has empowered the police to arrest beggars, the latter continue to remain mute spectators.

Several efforts by the officials concerned to make Chandigarh a beggar-free city have failed to yield the desired results as there is no database of beggars.

Several letters by the Social Welfare Department to the Chandigarh Police to arrest beggars and shift them to destitute homes have failed to elicit any response.

The failure of the police to nip the menace in the bud stems from the ‘failure’ of senior officials in the Chandigarh Administration to recognise it as a social problem. Numerous reforms or rehabilitation projects started for beggars or destitutes, including the one started by the UT Education Department in 2008, have fallen by the wayside.

It is not the menace of begging alone. Some of their family members, posing as salesmen, move dangerously between vehicles while trying to sell their merchandise. In the process, commuters end up losing their valuables to thieves in the guise of beggars.

This has contributed to the crime graph as the police have failed to build a database of beggars and check their antecedents.

There is all likelihood that the victims of child trafficking are being brought to the city and forced into begging. To overcome the menace of child labour, several NGOs and the UT Administration have launched special campaigns to rehabilitate child labourers and beggars.

In January 2008, the Chandigarh Administration build a database of more than 7,000 child beggars and labourers, who cannot be enrolled in regular school systems.

They were provided food, educational facilities, clothing and even a stipend of Rs 250 per month to discourage them from begging. However, the scheme did not bear fruit.

There have been suggestions from different corners to act tough with beggars while rehabilitating them.

The Chandigarh Administration needs to take a cue from countries such as the US and Canada -- where not only panhandling (beggars using a pan to seek alms) was prohibited but even the law was strictly enforced.

In Canada, provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia have enacted the Safe Streets Act wherein the police conduct education outreach programmes and urge residents not to give in to panhandlers.


open house question

With increasing vehicular traffic, roads in the city are not only becoming chaotic but traffic jams at intersections and rotaries during the morning and evening hours are becoming the order of the day. The traffic police have failed to put in place a mechanism to regulate traffic lights depending upon the volume of traffic, so that the waiting time of motorists is reduced. Write your suggestions with a passport size photograph to openhouse@tribunemail.com



chandigarh scan
Right to health facilities soon: MP

The government will be implementing the right to health facilities soon. This was stated by local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, while addressing the residents of Colony No. 4 at the Industrial Area Phase I on Sunday. Bansal also tried to remove various misconceptions about subsidies on domestic gas cylinders and use of Aadhaar cards. He said earlier the LPG cylinders were being black marketed and people faced problems in getting these cylinders.

Talk on impact of energy poverty

In its monthly interaction programme, First Friday Forum organised a talk on energy poverty and its impact. The speaker, Dr Anil Kohli, an energy expert, told the gathering that the ever-increasing reliance on foreign energy supply was a threat to national security. Among the possible solutions, suggested by him, was large-scale penetration of renewable energy in the form of decentralised distributed energy, entailing resource allocation and efficient energy use.


RS Chauhan was unanimously re-elected as the president-in-chief of the All-India Rajput Students Aid Society at the annual general body meeting on Sunday. Hundreds of residents from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh attended the event. The society, formed in 1929 at Lahore, has constructed hostels to provide cheaper accommodation to students pursuing higher education or preparing for various competitive examinations.

183 attend soft skills workshop

Bharat Vikas Parishad organised a personality development workshop for meritorious students from the economically weaker section. Around 183 children studying in Class IX to XII at various government schools of Chandigarh attended the workshop. Former chief manager of the State Bank of India KS Chatwal shared with the students ways to achieve better results. He also motivated them and made them aware of techniques to set goals. Students also got to know about various career options.

Bansal interacts with students

Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal appealed to the students of Saint Hari Public School to work collectively for strengthening the country. Addressing a function, he said children were the future of the nation. He lauded the role of educationists who were imparting quality education to children. The MP also appealed to the teachers to ensure they inculcated right values in their students. — TNS



first hostel for women research scholars
PU arranges Rs 10 cr to begin construction
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
After much wait, the Panjab University authorities have finally been able to arrange Rs 10 crore for beginning the construction of the first hostel for women research scholars in the next financial year.

In the recent budget tabled before the university’s Board of Finance, Rs 3 crore were approved as the “seed money” for the project. In addition to this, various departments of the university are ready to share the financial burden to the tune of Rs 3 crore. The remaining Rs 4 crore will come from grants and special funds.

In a recent special meeting chaired by the PU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Arun Kumar Grover, the University Institute of Legal Studies and University Institute of Applied Management Studies agreed to divert the construction funds of their departments to this project.

Sources said that it was decided while the latter would provide Rs 2 crore, the former would contribute Rs 1 crore. In lieu of this, a few rooms of the upcoming hostel would be allotted to these departments, said the sources.

The Rs 2 crore grant for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe given by the All India Council of Technical Education will also be utilised for constructing the hostel. Another Rs 2 crore will be allocated from special funds of the university.

Sources said the estimated cost of constructing the hostel is around Rs 23 crore.

A senior official said the Vice-Chancellor has asked the engineering department to prepare the plan for this project and table it before the committee for its approval, so that tenders could be floated.

As per the fresh proposal, the hostel will be divided into two blocks--one block with cubical rooms with attached washrooms for the women research scholars and the other to accommodate students of the departments that will share the construction cost of the project. As per the plan, the hostel will be constructed over about 80,000 square-feet of land in the southern part of the campus.

Of around 1,000 research scholars at the university, 600 are women. The authorities had proposed that of the two new hostels in the pipeline—Hostel No. 11 and Hostel No. 12—one will be earmarked for women research scholars.



School gets special status
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 9
The Central Board of Secondary Education has accorded the "CBSE New Generation Schools" status to Doon Public School, Sector 21.

The decision was taken by the board after a review. School principal Captain Sanjay Anand said this recognition would inspire the management and faculty to provide world-class infrastructure and quality education to students.



Tourism seminar concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The two-day national seminar on green hospitality and tourism industry concluded at the University Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism, Panjab University, here today.

In all, 145 delegates from various parts of the country shared their research work during six technical sessions. They discussed ways to create a favourable environamnet for tourism.

Vice-Chancellor, Maharaja Agrasen University, Baddi, was the chief guest during the valedictory function.



from schools
Sports meet

Chandigarh: Aanchal International School organised its annual athletics meet on Sunday. Students took part in fun games including frog race, lemon-and-spoon race, one-legged race and three-legged race. Tiny tots also competed in a fancy dress competition. Students of different age-groups presented folk, classical and fusion dances. Vivek Vashisht and Roma Singh were adjudged the best athletes.

Traffic awareness

Mohali: Students of Gem Public Senior Secondary School were made aware of traffic rules. The interaction with the traffic police officers was organised in collaboration with Lion's Club, Mohali. The workshop commenced with club secretary JS Rahi explaining the hazards careless driving. Mohali traffic in-charge Inspector Gurmeet Singh also addressed the gathering.

Archbishop's visit

Archbishop Jonathan Ansar from the National Church of India visited Sherwood Convent School. Students welcomed him with song and dance performances. The archbishop motivated the students to become good citizens. — TNS



Annual conference begins at NIPER

Mohali, February 9
A two-day 11th annual conference of the International Society for Heart Research (Indian Section) was inaugurated by Panjab University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) yesterday.

The theme of the conference is ‘Changing Trends in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery and Development.’ Prof Grover emphasised on the need for having one common platform to pursue multi-disciplinary research.

Prof KK Talwar, president of the society, underlined the clinical competence of doctors in Asia. — OC



Experts dwell upon dentistry at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 9
The 11th Postgraduate Convention of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry was inaugurated today. Dr Amrit Tewari, former Dean, PGIMER, was the chief guest. As many as 120 delegates attended various sessions at the convention.

The experts dwelled upon rapid maxillary expansion, how to conduct a systematic review, basic life support, paediatric dentistry, stem cell research and resin infiltration technique courses.

Dr Ashok Utreja, head, Department of Oral Health Sciences Centre and Dr SP Singh from the Orthodontics Unit briefed the gathering on rapid maxillary expansion procedures in young children with deficient maxillary growth.

Dr Meenu Singh from the Department of Paediatrics discussed how to conduct a systematic review. Dr Akshay Anand from the Department of Neurology conducted a course on the basis of stem cell research.



Student honoured for innovating application

Rumaisa of Aryans College of Engineering, Chandigarh, being felicitated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for developing an Android application
Rumaisa of Aryans College of Engineering, Chandigarh, being felicitated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for developing an Android application. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 9
Rumaisa, a student of Aryans College of Engineering, was honoured by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for innovating a new app named, ‘Aryans Android App’.

The honour was given by the CM during the “Technical Education Summit” in the presence of more than 2,000 educationists and hundreds of students from across the state.

According to the organisers, Rumaisa along with her three friends Sadiya, Yusra and Zeenat developed ‘Aryans Android App’ to solve the problem of ban on SMS in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. — TNS



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