C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


LS Poll
Parties hunt for displaced voters
Do rounds of labour chowks, colonies in tricity in search of Colony No. 5 residents
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Since every vote counts, workers of various political parties are visiting labour chowks, colonies and villages in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali these days to trace the "missing" 9,500 voters of Colony No. 5, who have relocated in different parts of the tricity after the demolition of the colony.

The Administration had demolished the colony in November last year. Eligible slum-dwellers were shifted to the slum rehabilitation colony at Dhanas. Those who were not eligible shifted to nearby villages and colonies. Among the non-eligible, 10,000 had voter cards of Chandigarh. However, so far the Administration and political parties have managed to trace only 500 voters.

As these slum-dwellers shifted to various villages and colonies, political parties have increased their activities in these areas. During the past one month, only 500 colony residents re-registered themselves as voters, while 9,500 are yet to do so. These slum-dwellers have to re-register themselves, otherwise they will not be able to cast their vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

A senior BJP leader and contender for the party ticket for the city Lok Sabha seat, Harmohan Dhawan, said these 9,500 voters were crucial for the party. He, along with his workers, had fought for their rights. He had assigned the task to leaders of the BJP's colony cell to trace these voters and get them re-registered with the UT Election Department, he said.

Shashi Shankar Tiwari, Congress colony cell chairman, said last week he, along with party workers, visited Jagatpura village in Mohali as they had received information about some voters of Colony No. 5 having shifted their base to Jagatpura. There, they found around 40 such voters and their party helped them in getting themselves re-registered with the UT Election Department, he said. He said party workers were regularly visiting labour chowks, villages and colonies and gathering information about the "missing" voters. "It is not easy to trace these voters as they shifted to nearby villages and colonies. Some of them have even shifted back to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," he said.

Voter re-registration process under way

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said they had issued advertisements in various newspapers, held meetings with political parties and set up a special camp at Colony No. 5 for re-registration of these voters. The camp would continue till February 28. In the past three days, around 500 people have re-registered themselves. He said they would leave no stone unturned to trace these voters.

Why Colony No. 5 voters are important

Colony No. 5 was a huge vote bank of city politicians. In the coming Lok Sabha elections, the ‘missing’ 9,500 voters can make a difference. Political parties are trying their best to locate these voters. There were around 17,000 voters in Colony No. 5. While around 7,500 have made fresh voter cards in Dhanas, 9,500 are yet to do so.



UT violates EC guidelines
ADC Tanvi Garg continues to be posted in city
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Contrary to the directions of the Election Commission against posting officials in their home district, UT Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Tanvi Garg continues to hold the charge. The 2009-batch UT-cadre officer, who also holds the charge of SDM (Central), belongs to Chandigarh.

According to the directions issued the union territories and the chief secretaries of states, it has been clearly specified that officers deputed on election duty and others such as additional district magistrates, subdivisional magistrates, tehsildars and block development officers should not be posted in their home district.

In view of the coming General Election, the commission had recently asked the chief secretaries and chief electoral officers of the states to send a compliance report.

While effecting the transfers, the Chief Electoral Officer of the UT has to be consulted regarding the new person to be posted. According to the directions, the officers who have completed three years or will complete three years on or before May 31, 2014, should also not be allowed to continue in their present place of posting.

While Chief Electoral Officer, Chandigarh, Anil Kumar was not available for comments, sources in the Administration said the orders in this regard were pending with the top brass.

Officers who have stayed on

Last year, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued the transfer orders of two UT-cadre IAS officers, Tanvi Garg and Rodney L Ralte. Ralte is holding the charge of the Chief Executive Officer of the Chandigarh Housing Board. Though both officials had been transferred to Mizoram, they stayed on after the announcement of elections in north-eastern states.



UT police reinstate two inspectors
Were suspended on charge of insubordination during Vice-President’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
More than a year after two UT police inspectors were suspended for insubordination, senior police officials today reinstated the two police officers. Inspector Amanjot Singh, former in charge of the crime branch, and Inspector Neeraj Sarna, former in charge of the cyber crime cell of the Chandigarh police, were reinstated today.

Inspector Amanjot Singh has been posted with the IRB while Inspector Neeraj Sarna has been posted as Reserve Inspector at the Police Lines. However, the departmental probe marked against them was pending and would continue, sources said.

The probe is being conducted by SSP (Traffic and Security) Maneesh Chaudhery.

On October 6, 2012, the two inspectors were suspended on a charge of insubordination during the Vice-President's visit to the PGI in May 2012. The action was taken following a communication received from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which acted on reports of the Intelligence Bureau on the episode when the two inspectors allegedly disobeyed the orders of SP (City) Deshraj Singh, who was then the ASP (Central).

On May 7, 2012, during Vice-President M Hamid Ansari's visit to the PGI, Amanjot Singh and Neeraj Sarna were on duty in the outer security cordon at the venue. SP Deshraj Singh, who was later booked in a corruption case by the CBI and is now suspended, had alleged that the inspectors disobeyed his orders when he asked them to follow him to a spot where a few lawyers were holding a protest. The next day Deshraj, who was ASP (Central) at that time, had sent a report to the then UT SSP, Naunihal Singh, regarding the insubordination charge.

Inspector Amanjot Singh had earlier resigned on May 23 that year, alleging that he was being targeted by Deshraj Singh and the UT SSP and both inquiries against him were uncalled for and he was innocent.

However, on July 12, he withdrew his resignation after the Police Department decided to drop the two departmental inquiries against him following a meeting held with senior officers.

Deshraj Singh was arrested for taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Inspector Anokh Singh. He is currently out on bail.

Decision taken after review, says IGP

We keep reviewing the status of departmental inquiries from time to time. It's been quite a while since the two inspectors were suspended and they have been reinstated keeping in view the manpower requirement in the department and the existing number of vacancies. — RP Upadhyaya, UT IGP



Major reshuffle in UT police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
In a major reshuffle, three Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSPs), 13 inspectors and 39 sub-inspectors (SIs) were transferred today. A total of 10 police post in charges are amongst those who have been shuffled. DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh has been transferred to the Operations Cell. DSP Jagbir Singh has been transferred to the Crime Branch. Meanwhile, DSP Cheplaya Anjitha has been given the charge of DSP (East Division).

Inspector Poonam Dilwari has been designated as the SHO of the Sector 19 Police Station. Inspector Narinder Patial has been made the charge of the Election Cell.

Inspector Maninder Singh has been transferred to the Crime Branch from the EOW. SI Harminderjeet Singh has been transferred as the new police post in charge of Maloya.

SI Malok Singh has been made in charge of Bapu Dham Colony police post. SI Ram Rattan has been designated as in charge of Mauli Jagran police post. SI Harjit Singh is the new in charge of Sector 17 ISBT police post. SI Jaspal Singh has been made in charge of Sector 22 police post. SI Sukhjinder Singh is the new in charge of Sector 49 police post. SI Ranjit Singh has been made in charge of Dhanas police post. SI Satbir Singh is the new in charge of Burail police post. SI Zile Singh has been given the charge of Dariya police post, while SI Mini has been designated as in charge of Sukhna Lake police post.

New postings

  • DSP Satbir Singh is DSP (Operations Cell).
  • DSP Jagbir Singh is DSP (Crime).
  • DSP Chepyala Anjitha is DSP (East).


Better Chandigarh
Civic dispensaries ailing in City Beautiful
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
While citing reasons for the lack of quality healthcare at government hospitals in the city, the health authorities are quick to blame it on overcrowding at these institutions. It seems that hardly any efforts are being made by officials to dig deeper into the reasons for overcrowding. As the authorities of hospitals, including the PGIMER, the GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32, have been reiterating that patients with common ailments like mild fever and cold constitute a significant part of the crowd in OPDs, Chandigarh Tribune conducted a random survey across 10 civic dispensaries in the city to take stock of the facilities of the primary healthcare.

During the survey conducted in the past two working days, it was found that the number of patients reporting at the OPDs has gradually come down, compared with the situation reported a year ago by Chandigarh Tribune. It was also found that after 12pm, doctors were not available at some dispensaries and even common medicines for fever, headache and acidity were not available at most of the centres. In addition, ill-maintenance of infrastructure was another problem at the dispensaries.

The dispensaries visited included those in Sectors 34, 35, 27, 26, Hallo Majra, Ram Darbar, Kajheri, Dhanas and Sector 45.

Doctors not available after 12 pm

Doctors were not available at the dispensaries in Dhanas, Sectors 26 and 27 on Friday and Saturday after 12pm. The staff available at the dispensaries in Sectors 26 and 27 said the doctors were away for a meeting and suggested this reporter, who posed as a patient, to visit the next working day at 9am. The duty hours of doctors at civic dispensaries are from 9am to 3pm.

Darshana Devi (name changed), a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, who took her five-year-old son suffering from fever for a check-up to the Sector 26 dispensary, was asked to return after she kept waiting for the doctor for over 15 minutes here.

“They first asked me to wait for my turn. Later, a woman told me that the doctor had left for the day. I will take my son to the Sector 16 hospital as private doctors charge huge fees,” said Darshana Devi.

The staff at the dispensary in Dhanas said the doctor was on leave while there was no alternative arrangement.

Medical representatives visit docs in OPD hours

Medical representatives from pharmaceutical companies were spotted being entertained by doctors for promoting medicines and devices during the OPD hours. While the rules specify that medical representatives are not supposed to engage doctors during patient visiting hours, they were spotted at the dispensaries in Sector 34 and Sector 35 on Friday. There seems to be no check on this practice.

No water at Kajheri, Dadu Majra dispensaries

Lack of hygiene was found to be the common problem at each dispensary in the absence of water supply. A dispensary caters to more than 20,000 people living in the respective colonies. In the absence of water, the services were being hit. Even the toilets remained untidy forcing staff to fetch water from the neighbouring areas. The water shortage also forces the staff to touch needles and vaccines without washing hands repeatedly after administering medicines to patients. Toilets at each of these dispensaries were found to be crying for maintenance. Due to the lack of water supply, a foul smell emanates from the toilets.

Problems compounded after MC took over

The UT Administration handed over 20 Primary Healthcare Centres (dispensaries) to the Municipal Corporation (MC) in 2010. The MC has failed to constitute even sub-committees to deal with the functioning of the health centres till date. The Finance and Contract Committee during its meeting in February 2012 had approved a budget of Rs 23.90 crore to upgrade the Primary Healthcare Centres under the planned and non-planned heads. However, in the absence of the sub-committees, the budget could not be utilised. Residents from Mohali and Panchkula also rush to the dispensaries often as they are largely dependent on the health services in Chandigarh, said sources. At the civil dispensaries, both in Dadu Majra and Hallo Majra, pipelines for the connection of water tanks with taps are missing.

Patients told to buy medicines from market

At the dispensaries in Sector 34 and Sector 35, patients were being asked to purchase a few medicines from the market. One of the Chandigarh Tribune photographers posed as a patient at the Sector 35 dispensary complaining of sore throat (the copy of OPD card available). The doctor prescribed him some medicines. While the pharmacist gave him two medicines, she said the third one would have to be purchased from the market.


About the shortage of medicines, we had requested the Director Health Services to take stock of the situation. A tender has been invited for the purpose and the supply of medicines will be restored. In addition, we had recently approved the purchase of refrigerators, water heaters and dispensers for the dispensaries. The sub-committee will be formed shortly for better monitoring and budget utilisation of these health centres.~

— Rajiv Gupta, Joint Commissioner, MC

Suggestions to improve condition

  • Security staff should be deputed.
  • Proper information on availability of medicines should be provided.
  • Notices should be put up when doctors are not available.
  • Proper seating arrangements should be made.
  • There should be more counters for registration.
  • Tokens should be issued to patients to help them know when their turn will come.


Every time a patient goes to the dispensary, he ends up standing in the queue for 2 to 3 hours. There should be more staff available for handling the rush of patients. Despite being ill, a patient is forced to stand in the queue. Also, the lack of availability of medicines is always a problem. We are forced to buy medicines from the market.

Rakesh Kanojia, A resident of Sector 22

The government does not seem to be utilising the funds properly. While the buildings of some of the dispensaries are in a shambles, the supply of medicines also remains erratic. What is the purpose of going to a dispensary when one cannot find even basic medicines?

Pankaj Goel, a resident of Sector 41

There is a complete lack of security at the dispensaries and incidents of theft are also very common there. Nobody bothers to check the availability of seating arrangement for patients. Medicines are never available at the dispensaries. There have been days when we returned empty-handed.

Navneeta, a resident of Dadu Majra Colony



Typhoid: Five more taken ill
Chief Medical Officer visits Mansa Devi Complex; HUDA water samples pass potability test
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Rajiv Kaushal, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, who is suffering from typhoid. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, February 24
With five more persons taken ill due to the supply of contaminated water at the Haryana Employee Welfare Association, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula Chief Medical Officer (CMO) along with his team arrived to take stock of the situation today. The area has been mired in controversy ever since a girl here reportedly died due to typhoid and over 20 people were taken ill.

“I have passed instructions that ambulance services should be available at all times. The officials have to treat emergency cases on a priority basis. We have examined five patients. Their reports issued by private hospitals state that they are suffering from typhoid, but we are yet to verify the same,” said VK Bansal, CMO.

Area residents stated that they had been receiving contaminated water from the last four weeks but the authorities concerned had turned a blind eye towards their problems.

As many as five doctors examined the patients and provided medical aid. Bansal also alerted the staff at the emergency ward, General Hospital, Sector 6, to be on their toes.

Yesterday, health department officials had collected water samples, besides blood samples of patients.

The water samples were collected from the tubewell in the society, water tank, Government Dispensary in Sector 4.

The water samples of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have passed the water potability test.

“HUDA is supplying potable water to the area. Water could be getting contaminated due to the negligence of the area residents. This is an internal matter. Algae deposition has been found in water tanks and these are not covered. The pipeline also gets merged with the sewerage line,” said Bhupinder Cheema, XEN with HUDA.

A few area residents told Chandigarh Tribune that some people had converted one part of the balcony into a washroom, which had led to the merging of sewer line with the other pipelines.

On this, Cheema said, “People have encroached upon balconies. The enforcement wing has been informed of the same.”


DC, top officials did not visit area, say residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
Tempers ran high as the residents of the Haryana Employee Welfare Organisation, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, held a protest for the second consecutive day against the supply of contaminated water in the area. The residents stated that more people were falling ill due to the consumption of unhygienic water.

The police arrived and pacified the agitating residents.

Sub-inspector Amit Kumar, SHO of Mansa Devi Complex police station, said the situation had been brought under control.

Ranjeeta Mehta, president of the Haryana Mahila Pradesh Congress Committee and Abhi Mehta, local political leader, said, “The administration should make arrangements for fresh water until the problem is solved.”

Mehta said, “The CMO is the first senior officer from the administration to visit the area. Even in such an alarming situation, no other official, including the DC, have arrived here.”

Meanwhile, VK Bansal, CMO, sensitised area residents to consume only boiled water. “We will do our best to keep the situation under control. But people should maintain personal hygiene,” said Bansal.



Health Dept teams visit Mauli Jagran, Kajheri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Amid a significant number of cases of typhoid fever being reported from Panchkula, the UT Health Department while ruling out any case, has intensified checks in the border areas of the city. As a preventive measure, the health department has formed teams to visit areas such as Mauli Jagran, Kajheri and other neighbouring areas, which are adjacent to Panchkula and Mohali.

“No case has been reported from here. We have sent our teams to the peripheral areas to detect cases of the enteric fever,” said Dr Naresh Sharma, nodal officer for the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP).

Experts said though typhoid cases were more common during summers, cases were surfacing due to excessive exposure of potable water to sewage.

Dr Rajesh Kumar, head, Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, said, “Typhoid is reported mostly during summers. At this time, cases have surfaced due to exposure of potable water to sewage.”

Typhoid fever

It is a common bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. Diagnosis is through blood or stool test.



Row over foundation stone
Congress, SAD workers exchange heated arguments at village
Our Correspondent

Jagmohan Singh Kang, MLA, Kharar, protests at Government School, Nawanshahr Badala village, on Monday. a tribune photograph

Mohali, February 24
Tension built up between supporters of the Congress and the SAD over the laying of the foundation stone of an upgraded school at Nawanshahr Badala village, near Kharar. As tempers ran high, the police reached the scene to control the situation.

According to a scheduled programme, Ujagar Singh Badali, former SAD MLA, was to lay the foundation stone of the extended building of the school at 3 pm. However, the Congress MLA from Kharar, Jagmohan Singh Kang, in whose constituency the school falls, reached the institution earlier around noon along with his supporters and Charanjit Singh Channi, MLA, Chamkaur Sahib. Kang cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the beginning of work.

It is reported that Kang’s supporters wanted to remove the affixed foundation stone which had Ujagar Singh’s name engraved on it. However, villagers prevented them from doing so.

Kang’s supporters raised slogans. They also displayed banners condemning the SAD-BJP government and stating that democratic and constitutional norms were being violated by it. While speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, Kang said Badali had no constitutional right to lay the foundation stone of the building as the grant of Rs 80 lakh for the project was received under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan from the Congress Government at the Centre.

The Kharar MLA said he had made a complaint in this regard to the Deputy Commissioner and to the Secretary, Education Departmen, Punjab. He said raise the matter the Vidhan Sabha.

However, Badali, defending his action, said the building of the school was being constructed by the Department of Panchayati Raj, Punjab . His daughter, Paramjit Kaur Badali, was the Chairperson of the Zila Parishad and she was to lay the foundation stone.

When asked why his name had been written on the foundation stone, Badali said his daughter had used his name on it and she could do so. “She is my daughter, and she can use my name,” he said. The grant for the school building had come to the Punjab Government, which had released the amount for the project, he added.



PGI develops new technique for detecting infections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
In a significant breakthrough, the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the PGIMER, Chandigarh, has developed a new technique that has proven useful for accurately detecting orthopaedic and intestinal infections.

In the technique, a sample of the patient’s white blood cells is separated, labelled with a radioactive material and re-injected intravenously. The technique has been developed in collaboration with the PGI’s Departments of Gastroenterology, Microbiology and Radiodiagnosis.

In patients with suspected infection in multiple regions of the body, the specific infected site can be located by whole body PET imaging, avoiding repeated invasive procedures.

“Infection is one of the commonest problems in medical practice and may affect any organ in the body. While common diagnostic techniques like X-rays, ultrasound and CT scans play an important role, a final diagnosis is usually made by needle biopsy from the suspected region and microscopic identification and laboratory culture of the infecting organisms. However, these procedures are invasive and it may sometimes be difficult to reach the suspected site of infection as in infections affecting internal organs like the heart, skull base and intestines,” experts said.

As a natural defence response of the body, these radio-labelled cells accumulate at the site of active infection and appear as bright collections on PET imaging. A CT scan is also performed simultaneously on the same machine to provide precise structural details of the affected organ.

In the first such study in the world, this technique has been developed by Dr Anish Bhattacharya, additional professor in the Department of Nuclear Medicine. It has been used to detect abdominal infections in more than 120 patients with pancreatitis.

This work has been published in international journals and selected for innovative medical research awards at international conferences in Europe and the US.

In comparison, earlier methods required multiple imaging steps over two days. The image quality with the new technique is also far superior and easier to interpret. No adverse effects have occurred in any patient with this technique in nearly 200 patients investigated over the past three years. However, this investigation, which is not available anywhere else in the country, requires trained staff, specialised equipment and sterile working conditions during the five-hour procedure.



LS poll
Cong banks on Rahul Gandhi’s visit to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The Chandigarh Congress is hoping that Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the city will help it in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi met ex-servicemen at the Chandigarh Club in Sector 1 on the ‘one rank one pay’ issue today. The scheme was recently cleared by the Union Cabinet. Since there is a huge vote bank of ex-servicemen in the City Beautiful, the local Congress is anticipating a positive response during the polls.

Rahul Gandhi also met a few local Congress leaders today, which included Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) president BB Behl, local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi, Mayor Harphool Kalyan, and former Mayors Subhash Chawla and Pardeep Chhabra.

Behl said they would definitely avail benefits of the ‘one rank one pay’ issue in Chandigarh.

“No discussion on the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat could take place with him,” said the CTCC president.

Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi said Rahul persuaded the UPA government to implement the scheme at the earliest.

On the occasion, leaders of the Panchkula Congress including former MC president Tarun Bhandari also met Rahul Gandhi.

BJP’s slogan-writing competition

The city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced that prizes will be given to the winners of the slogan-writing contest titled, “Write for Modi”. The competition, which is a part of the BJP’s Mission 272+, was kicked-off in the city on February 17. The competition will be on till March 5. BJP’s state president Sanjay Tandon launched the merchandise, which will be given to the winners of the competition.

‘BSP respects women’

BSP’s Lok Sabha candidate Jannat Jahan alleged that the Congress and the BJP had never respected women. Jahan, in a door-to-door campaign in the city, claimed that except for the BSP, no party appreciates active participation of women in the politics. Jannat said every section of society would be treated equally after the party scripts victory in the forthcoming LS polls.

Traffic chaos

Chandigarh: Traffic chaos was witnessed on the roads owing to Rahul Gandhi’s visit at the Chandgarh Club this evening. Jams were witnessed as the convoy made its way back to the Chandigarh airport after the programme. Heavy traffic snarls were witnessed at the Tribune Chowk, Airport Light Point and Madhya Marg. Queues of vehicles were seen on the Madhya Marg at the Transport Light Point. The traffic police had a tough time clearing the snarl once the cavalcade passed.



Excise policy: Punjab puts UT officials in a quandary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The Punjab government’s move to revert to its two-year-old excise policy while announcing its new policy for 2014-15 has put UT excise officials in a quandary. Under the new policy, the government has doubled the number of groups (licencing units) to bring down the price of liquor.

It is also learnt that the government is trying to put a cap on the maximum retail price of liquor.

Being an election year, Punjab is trying to bring liquor prices at par with Haryana.

As per the existing excise policy, liquor prices and taxes are much lower in Haryana compared to Punjab and Chandigarh.

As a result, Haryana had emerged as a source of liquor smuggling.

Since UT follows Punjab in framing the liquor policy, the state government’s policy would reflect in this year’s UT excise policy. Last year, UT, while following Punjab, had increased the excise duty by 20 per cent to 300 per cent and assessment fee by 33 per cent.

However, this year’s UT policy turned out to be a damp squib. This is because of the total 256 vends, 96 vends remained unsold.

Of these, 19 vends failed to attract even a single bid in the past five attempts.

Reacting to Punjab’s policy, UT officials today convened a meeting to discuss the issue.

The matter will be taken up the UT Administrator to announce the policy.

Sources said the top brass was reluctant to announce UT’s excise policy 2014-15, before the Code of Conduct for the General Elections comes into force.

This means that the existing UT excise policy, concluding on April 30, would have to extend the policy until the elections are not over.



SI ‘manhandled’ by snatcher’s family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A Chandigarh Police sub-inspector was allegedly manhandled when he tried to nab a snatcher last night. On receiving a tip-off, the in charge of Maloya police post Harjinder Singh, went to arrest a snatcher from his house at Dadumajra.

However, the relatives of the snatcher allegedly manhandled the SI. However, the cop has denied the incident.

Sources said Ravi, resident of Dhanas, had complained to the police that when he was returning home from a mobile recharge shop, a group of four persons snatched his phone.

A complaint was lodged by his parents at the Maloya police post.

The mobile phone was put on surveillance and the police traced its location to Dadumajra.

Following this, a team headed by Maloya police post in charge Harjinder Singh went to arrest the accused. But the family of the accused, reportedly a minor, allegedly manhandled the cop.

However, the juvenile was nabbed and following his interrogation, three of his accomplices were also arrested.

Of the four accused, three are juveniles. One of the accused was identified as Ashu (19), a resident of Dhanas Colony.

His three juvenile accomplices, all residents of Dadumajra, were also arrested.



Lane driving enforcement a damp squib
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Confusion over the enforcement of lane driving continues to derail the basic purpose of the special drive being implemented in the city. In contrast to the guidelines on lane driving and instructions printed on signboards, the UT Traffic Police personnel themselves are ‘at a loss for words’ as to why buses and commercial vehicles were not being challaned for driving in the centre and extreme right lanes.

On the other hand, two-wheelers and four-wheelers are being fined for driving in the extreme left lane, meant for buses and emergency vehicles.

On Jan Marg, the road dividing Sectors 16 and 17, traffic personnel refrained from challaning buses, particularly CTU.

Buses and commercial vehicles could be seen changing lanes, between the middle and right lanes, though the left lane has been exclusively dedicated to them.

This has put two-wheeler riders at risk and road safety norms have been thrown to the wind right under the nose of the Chandigarh Traffic Police.

SI (traffic) Amar Singh —heading a challan drive near Shanti Kunj — said awareness was being spread on the traffic norm and 18 signboards were being installed at Jan Marg for the same.

“Overlooking all the above violations, the police is bent upon challaning two-wheeler riders, who are being forced to drive in the left lane. Buses and commercial vehicles intrude into our lane,” said Harinder Kaur, a motorist.



Slapping case: Cops record statements
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
A day after a sub-inspector (SI) of the Chandigarh Police allegedly slapped a constable while controlling the mob at the Rose Festival in Sector 10, the statements of both the police personnel were recorded today. Sources said both the sub-inspector and the constable had been asked to sort out their differences and resolve the matter.

DSP (cyber cell) Rajesh Kalia — who is conducting an inquiry into the incident — recorded the statements of SI Rajdeep Singh and constable Manjeet.

Constable Manjeet, currently posted in the VIP security, was on duty in civvies at the Leisure Valley in Sector 10.

In the evening, SI Singh, posted with the Crime Branch, was on duty and controlling the crowd.

When SI Singh was controlling a mob, constable Manjeet, who was standing near the group, was pushed away.

The constable expressed his resentment and entered into a verbal argument with SI Rajdeep. This resulted in the SI slapping the constable.

Later, Manjeet along with his fellow constables sought action against SI Rajdeep, following which an inquiry was marked.



Water-boosting station inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 24
A water-boosting station was inaugurated in Phase VII here by Amanjot Kaur, Chairperson, District Planning Board, today. The project, which will bring relief to the residents of Phase VII and other areas, was funded by the Municipal Corporation and built by the Water Supply and Sanitation Department. Expenditure of about Rs 1.13 crore was incurred on the project, which had taken about two years for completion.

Uma Shankar Gupta, Corporation Commissioner, said the expenditure estimates had been submitted to GMADA for the construction of boosting stations in Phases IX and XII and Sector 48 C.

An estimate for computerised monitoring and automation of the water supply system in the town had also been submitted to GMADA under the central scheme JNNURM, which was likely to enable the corporation to achieve its goal of 24x7x365 water supply.



Sambar strays into house in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Special visitor: A sambar strayed into a house at Phase VII, Mohali, on Monday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 24
A wild sambar strayed into a house in Phase VII here this morning much to the astonishment of the occupants of the house. The young animal was later caught by employees of the Department of Forests and Wildlife.

They initially had a tough time capturing the wild guest. The sambar’s eyes had to be covered with a piece of cloth to control the terror-stricken animal.

Swarn Singh, block officer of the department, said the male sambar entered a one-kanal house around 9.30 am.

Information in this regard was given to the police control room, which, in turn, informed officials of the department.

He said the occupants of the house had initially panicked after seeing the wild sambar.

However, they managed to confine the sambar to a part of the house from where it was caught by the department staff.

Swarn Singh further said the male sambar had probably strayed into the town from the Siswan area.

He was about two years old. He said his eyes had to be covered to calm him down. He would be released in the Siswan area, he added.



Girl died due to hanging, reveals autopsy report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The post-mortem examination of 24-year-old Puneeta Kapoor revealed that the death was due to hanging. The victim, Puneeta Kapoor, was staying as a paying guest in Sector 16. She was found hanging from the fan with a dupatta by her landlord on Saturday evening.

While the police have termed it a case of suicide, shocked family members and friends said it could be a case of murder as she was not the one who could have committed suicide.

They also raised these suspicions while their statements were being recorded at the Sector 17 police station in this regard.

The body of the girl was handed over to her parents. She was cremated in Patiala today.

Puneeta was working with a private firm in Mohali and hails from Patiala. Her father is an employee with Railways and she has a younger brother.

Sham Lal, grandfather of the girl, said the girl’s phone was missing and there were injury marks around her neck and face.



PSEB suspends eight employees

Mohali, February 24
Taking tough action, the Punjab School Education Board authorities today suspended eight employees on the charges of dereliction of duty relating during the annual examinations.

Five of the suspended employees are junior assistants and three are senior assistants.

The suspended employees are Mehar Singh, Shiv Narayan, Manjit Singh, Shiv Dayal and Jasvir Singh (all junior assistants) and Harjit Singh Gill, Harpal Singh Sidhu and Rajinder Singh (all senior assistants).

According to the authorities, the suspended employees had allegedly failed to report for duty yesterday when question papers were to be dispatched for safe keeping to bank branches located in various districts.

Reports said sealed packets containing question papers were to be sent by trucks to 48 designated places. As many as 110 employees had been assigned duty but only 102 turned up. — OC



Two flights delayed

Chandigarh, February 24
Dense fog, in the wee hours, led to cancellation of two flights, scheduled from Chandigarh Airport, today. Due to poor visibility flights of Jet Airways and Spicejet Airways, scheduled for Delhi at 8.10 am and 8.40am respectively, were cancelled. While two long route trains were also delayed due to fog.

Due to poor visibility these two flights failed to takeoff. However, as the day progressed the operation of flights started as per normal schedule stated the airport manager. Later in the evening, due to cloudy sky, Jet Airways' Delhi - Chandigarh flight took off with a delay of almost one hour. Railway official said Unchahar Express was delayed by seven hours and Howrah Kalka by two hours.

Met official said fog will continue tomorrow during morning and late night. There will be partly cloudy sky and in next 48 hours there are chances of light rain in the city. — TNS



CME on medico-legal issues held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 24
A continuing medical education (CME) on “Current legal issues in medical practice” was held at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Sector 6, Panchkula. The CME was organised under the leadership of forensic expert and in-charge of the Medico-Legal Department of General Hospital, Dr Sunil Gambhir. Forensic experts from across the entire Northern region participated in the event.

The conference was inaugurated by District and Sessions Judge RK Sondhi. Gambhir said the sessions with the police officials were held so that a better coordination takes place between the two departments in handling of cases. The CME was attended by a large number of medical officers of the North.



Players selected for karate meet

Chandigarh: Jaspreet Singh, Aditya Mohan, Anupam Singh, Mayank, Akshat Rana, Anandita and Rashi Guleria, all students of Saupin's School, Sector 32, are selected to play in the 8th International Karate Championship, being organised by the Nepal Shotokan Karate Association that is affiliated with the Nepal Olympic Association and the Nepal Sports Council. The championship is going to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from May 20 to 23. The management and school principal AB Sidhu congratulated the children.

National Finance Olympiad

Ryan International School, Chandigarh, won the National Finance Olympiad - 2013-14. In an highly competitive event, the school team, comprising Anshuman Makkar, Vishnu Prasad, Angad Singh and Jatin Sharma, students of Classes VIII, IX, X and XI, respectively, defeated its competitors Singhania School, Mumbai, Anandyalay School, Anand, Gujarat, Welham's School, Dehradun, and Mt Abu Public School and Modern School, New Delhi. The quiz, organised by the International Institution of Financial Marketing, New Delhi, in collaboration with the Education Times and National Commodity and Derivation Exchange Limited, had three rounds, two of which were conducted at regional levels across the country and the third at the national level at New Delhi.

Sports day

Chitkara International School hosted its 5th annual sports day. The event was organised to enhance students' physical skills and create awareness of sports among them.


Primary section of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, Chandigarh, organised quizzes on mathematics and general science. Participants were selected house wise after holding a class quiz. Students of Class III displayed their skills on the topics related to the earth, space, light, sound and force. Whereas students of Class IV exhibited their mathematical skills.

Baby Show

A baby show was organised on the campus of Green Castle Public School. Students up to UKG participated with enthusiasm to exhibit their talent. They were judged on the basis of their costume, smile, presentation, confidence and way of speaking.


Students of Class XI bid farewell to students of Class XII of Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary Model School, Sector 27. A grand party was organised by the Class XI students. The students of Class XII also presented some items.

World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day is being celebrated in the GMSSS - 56 on February 22, 2014, with enthusiasm by staff and the students of the school. A cultural programme was also presented by the students.

Visit to Science City

Students of Class IX of GSSS, Manimajra Town in Chandigarh went to the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, on Friday. Students enjoyed a movie in the Space Theatre Digital Planetarium, laser Show and dinosaur park.

Blood donation camp

The Chandigarh chapter of the Saupin's Community Service Organisation, an NGO, organised a blood donation camp at Saupin's School. The camp was organised in collaboration with the PGI. About 60 parents and staff members came forward to contribute towards the cause. In addition to this, medicines worth Rs 10,000 were donated to the thalassemia ward of the PGI.

Farewell party

Mohali: Class IX students of Green Field Public School, Mohali, organised a farewell party to bid adieu to the outgoing Class X students. Students presented various performances on the occasion.


A farewell function was organised for students of Class XII, Shastri Model School. The programme commenced with Sukhmani Sahib Path followed by Kirtan. Various Items were presented by host Class XI students.

Student wins laurels

Ashpreet Kaur Bajwa, a Class VII student of Anee's School, Sector-69, Mohali, won laurels by wining the AITA Cup (under-14) girls in a Lawn Tennis match held in Sector 10, Chandigarh. She also won the trophy as runner-up in the (under 16) girls category of the AITA Cup. — TNS



Star Nite on PU Campus
Cong, BJP-backed parties at loggerheads
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and the Student Organisation of India (SOI)-Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Congress and the BJP-SAD-backed parties, are at loggerheads over the issue of organising a star nite by the SOI on the Panjab University campus.

The NSUI today objected that while an ABVP representative, Disha Arora, who is a member of the PU students’ council, has taken the permission for organising the AASIA star nite on February 26, while posters and banners pasted on the PU premises are of the SOI.

The representatives of the NSUI registered their written objection with the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) and demanded that SOI banners should be removed from the campus as the permission was taken by the ABVP and the function is being organised by the SOI.

DSW Navdeep Goyal said he had received the objection from the NSUI. After discussing the issue with security officials, action would be taken against them.

NSUI college chairman Hardeep Singh said he was going on a fast from tomorrow as the authorities had failed to fulfil the assurance given to him that in an hour all banners of the event would be removed from the campus but no avail.

Panjab University Campus Students’ Council president Chandan Rana said it was strange that the university authorities, by giving the permission, had violated the PU calendar to please senior political leaders of the SAD, who were also participating in the event. He said for organising a drug awareness programme the authorities had given permission to a party, while only the council was allowed to hold any such cultural event on the campus.



PU to hold CHASCON from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Panjab University is going to organise the eighth Chandigarh Science Congress (CHASCON) from February 26 to 28. Many distinguished scientists and celebrated speakers would participate in the event. The theme of the event will be accelerating scientific research through interaction, inspiration, invention and innovation.

PU Dean, University Instructions (DUI), AK Bhandari said today that the event would provide a rare opportunity for young researchers to interact and learnt from various eminent personalities.

It would provide a scientific platform for capacity building, especially to researchers at the PU and its affiliated colleges, he added.

He said Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad Ramkrishna Ramaswami would deliver the keynote address on the inaugural day of the three-day congress. Prof SK Sarin, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Disease, New Delhi, would be the chief guest at the inauguration.

Many decorated scientists, including Padma Bhushan Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardees, Infosys science prize winners and fellows of the Indian Academy would congregate at the event, he added.

The Children Science Congress, as a parallel session, would also held at the university.

Over 1,200 participants are expected to participate in the event.



Share your vision: Rahul to NSUI members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
In the next 15 years, the Congress will select its Chief Minister candidate from student leaders of Panjab University (PU). Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stated this at a meeting with members of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) of the PU during his visit to the city today.

Sources said Rahul asked the NSUI representatives to share their vision because of which they won the council elections with heavy margins against the opposition parties.

Sources said around 50 NSUI campus students met the Congress vice-president. He asked them to suggest issues that could be included in the manifesto of the Lok Sabha poll. Appreciating the student manifesto programme agenda, which the PU had submitted earlier, he said they should add other issues also which the students want to be incorporated in the manifesto of the Congress.

Rahul stressed for mobilisation of sincere and dedicated students to join the party and campaign in the forthcoming elections.



SFS protests hike in fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
Students For Society (SFS), Panjab University (PU), staged an agitation against the decision of fee hike by the authorities from the next session. The SFS started a dharna and sat on a chain fast in front of the Vice-Chancellor's office from today.

SFS president Arishdeep said the recommendation of the fee committee and their approval by the Syndicate was shocking. The decision would make a huge impact on middle class and economically weak students and it was going to make education a luxury for a few.

Raminder Singh, another SFS leader, said the university authorities had tried to fool the students by stating that the fee hike would affect new students only. But the recent fee hike in the hostel and examination fees would also affect the old students in the next session.



Computer teachers’ agitation takes ugly turn
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 24
The protest by the Computer Teachers and Data Entry Operators Union took a serious turn when the local police stopped the agitators who threatened to start a "road walk" to meet Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at the Masjid Ground here this evening.

The protesters, who are agitating for the past 15 days, were stopped at the venue. Heavy force of police personnel was deployed.

"The police force stopped us and threatened to take strict action against us. The way Chandigarh Police personnel behaved with the teachers is shameful and we condemn their action. One of our computer teachers felt unconscious during the protest," said Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the union.

The body is demanding regularisation of services as per the Punjab pattern.



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