C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Black flags greet Kirron
Protesters raise slogans, hurl eggs; most of them Dhawan’s supporters
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Actor and BJP candidate Kirron Kher was met with black flags and slogans as she arrived in Chandigarh today. The disgruntled party workers also threw eggs at the BJP candidate. BJP workers, who were upset with the party high command for sidelining local party leaders and giving ticket to Kher, first showed black flags alongside the stretch from Hallo Majra roundabout to the Tribune roundabout on her route from the Chandigarh Airport to the BJP office “Kamlam”, in Sector 33.

The senior BJP leaders even changed her route to save her from the protesting crowd. But when Kher reached the party office along with her husband Anupam Kher, who is also an actor, many party workers waived black flags at her.

Thereafter, when she entered the party office and started addressing the party workers and the media, again a group of BJP workers interrupted her address and waved black flags at her inside the party office. The protesters were raising slogans “Kirron Kher go back”. To counter their slogans, some of the party workers raised slogans in support of Kher and BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi.

BJP workers even threw eggs at Kirron Kher’s husband Anupam Kher’s car, when he came out of the party office.

There was tight security arrangement made by the Chandigarh Police at the BJP office and also at her parent’s house in Sector 8. The police even rounded up four protesters from the BJP office. The BJP high command preferred Kher to city unit president Sanjay Tandon, former MP Satya Pal Jain and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, who were ticket aspirants. Today, only Tandon and Jain accompanied her to the party office. The protesters, who raised slogans against Kher, were mostly Dhawan’s supporters.

I am city’s daughter, not a paratrooper: Kirron

Kirron Kher, while interacting with mediapersons, said she was not a paratrooper candidate, rather she was the “city’s daughter”. On the protest by the BJP workers, she said people protest against big leaders and it was a part of political life. She said all were a part of the BJP family and all those who protested against her would come around. On Dhawan’s absence, Kher said he was their party leader and she would sort out differences after meeting him. On former minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal’s statement that she didn’t know anything about the city, Kher said she knew where Mani Majra and Dadu Majra were.

4 district presidents resign

Opposition against Kirron Kher’s candidature refuses to die down. To oppose Kher’s candidature from the Chandigarh seat, four district presidents resigned from their posts on Tuesday. With this, all five BJP district presidents have resigned following the development. The district presidents who resigned are BC Puri, Ravi Sharma, Devi Singh and Shakti Devshali. However, they will continue to be party members.

Had to leave party office in car

BJP workers, who were protesting against Kher, even used unparliamentary language and hurled derogatory remarks at BJP leader Satya Pal Jain. The workers were so agitated that Kirron Kher left the party office in her car with police protection.

BJP city chief meets Dhawan

BJP general secretary Aarti Mehra and city unit president Sanjay Tandon met BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan at his residence and asked him to come out openly in support of Kher, but nothing worked out among them.



Cadre war deepens as Home Secy writes to Haryana govt
Demands post of UT Adviser be given to Haryana-cadre IAS
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The cadre war in the Chandigarh Administration has reached a new low, with Home Secretary Anil Kumar, a Haryana-cadre IAS officer, writing a letter to the Haryana Chief Secretary stating that some of the decisions of the UT Administration have jeopardised the interests of Haryana state.

Blaming the UT Administrator and the UT Adviser, for sidelining the Haryana cadre officials, Home Secretary Anil Kumar, a 1988 batch IAS officer, wrote in the letter that to protect the interest of Haryana in Chandigarh, the post of the UT Adviser to the Administrator, which was presently for the UT-cadre IAS officer, should be filled with an officer from the Haryana cadre. “This will ensure a lasting solution and protection of Haryana’s interests in Chandigarh,” the letter reads.

In his letter, Kumar has written that since December 2011, the UT Administration has taken away all key departments from Haryana officials and given them to the UT-cadre officials, who are far junior.

“Being the Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration from Haryana, posted in its capital Chandigarh, the undersigned, is not only a party of the Chandigarh Administration but also has a duty to bring to the knowledge of the Haryana Government about the decisions of the Chandigarh Administration that have been harming and jeopardising Haryana’s interests in its capital. I strongly feel that it is the duty of all of us to protect and safeguard Haryana interests in its capital. Some of the decisions of the Chandigarh Administration have jeopardised the interests of Haryana.” The letter reads.

“Since the creation of Chandigarh and Haryana in 1966 till September 2011, all administrative departments in the Chandigarh Administration were either with the Home Secretary from the Haryana cadre or with the Finance Secretary from the Punjab cadre and none of the UT-cadre officers were entrusted with the charge of the Administrative Secretary. But in December 2011, when he joined as the Home Secretary, the charges of some of the important departments like the Chief Vigilance Officer, education, personnel, technical education, House Allotment Committee, food supplies, law and justice, urban local bodies and tourism were not restored to the Home Secretary. The charges of a majority of departments were entrusted to the UT-cadre officers and at present, the UT-cadre officers were holding 13 departments. Charges of the departments with the Finance Secretary from Punjab have remained intact,” the letter further reads. For the first time, more than nine DSPs have been posted from the UT cadre. They could have been taken from Punjab and Haryana. Such changes had demoralised the officers of the Haryana cadre (both IAS and HCS) and no one was ready to come to Chandigarh on deputation, said the letter.

Kumar said he had written the letter but didn’t divulge details. UT Advisor KK Sharma only said he was not aware of the development.

‘UT Administrator, Adviser sidelining Haryana-cadre IAS’

In his letter, Home Secretary Anil Kumar states, “Reason for promoting UT-cadre officers at the cost of Haryana officers is because the decision making in Chandigarh is with the Administrator, who is also the Governor of Punjab and Adviser to the Administrator, a UT-cadre officer. Haryana has no role in decision making”.

‘Punjab looks after its interests, but Haryana does not’

It was also mentioned in the letter that Haryana has not been keeping a close watch on the decisions taken by the Chandigarh Administration. “In one such case, when the post of Director Health Services (DHS), normally held by Punjab cadre officer, was given to a Haryana cadre doctor along with the additional charge, the Punjab Chief Minister immediately objected to it and wrote a letter to the Administrator for restoring the established practice. The UT Administration had to give in and the charge of the DHS was immediately restored to a doctor from Punjab”.

‘Raise issue before MHA, Haryana Vidhan Sabha’

Home Secretary Anil Kumar proposed that the Haryana government should take up the issue with the Chandigarh Administration and the MHA immediately and the matter should also be discussed in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha.



Bansal, Jannat Jahan file nomination
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Former Railway Minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal and BSP candidate Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq today filed their nomination papers before the Returning Officer (RO) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. A total of three candidates filed their nominations, including Independent candidate Deepak Shukla.

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan; and (right) Congress candidate Pawan Bansal arrive at the RO office to file their nomination papers in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

Bansal — who is a four-time Member of Parliament (MP) — arrived with his supporters at the Deputy Commissioner (DC)-cum-RO office in Sector 17.

Senior Congress leader BB Bahl, who is the covering candidate for Bansal, also accompanied him.

City Mayor HC Kalyan, Congress councillors, Bansal’s wife Madhu and son Manish were also present.

While Bansal filed the nomination paper, his supporters celebrated outside the RO office. Following this, Bansal addressed his supporters and thanked them for reposing faith in him. His rival BSP candidate, Jannat Jahan, who was supposed to reach the RO office around 11.30 pm, arrived at 1.30 pm along with her supporters, who took out a procession from Sector 34 to the RO office.

The procession caused a traffic jam on the city roads in Sectors 34, 22 and 17. Jahan chose to file her nomination paper on Tuesday, which happened to be her husband Haffiz Anwar Ul Haq’s birthday.


  • Chandigarh Police had a tough time controlling Congress supporters from entering the RO office. The flower vases placed in the corridors were damaged when a large number of supporters accompanying Bansal arrived there.
  • Many visitors, who had work at the DC office, faced inconvenience as they had to convince the police guards that they were not party supporters.
  • City roads witnessed traffic snarls due to the procession taken out by the supporters of BSP candidate Janat Jahan Ul-Haq, which started from Sector 34 and concluded at Sector 17.
  • For expenditure monitoring of the candidates, the Election Commission has appointed Shruti Agnihotri as the Expenditure Observer for the Chandigarh Parliamentary Constituency.



PU notes
National conference

Students of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, sit on a dharna outside the college campus in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan

The Department of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering, Desh Bhagat University, organised a two-day national conference on “Air Pollution: Effects on Health and Environment”. It was organised in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Hara Punjab Khara Samaj, an NGO, and Government of India. Eminent scientists, policymakers, scholars, teachers and students from different parts of the country took part in the conference. Desh Bhagat University chancellor Dr Zora Singh highlighted the objectives of the conference during the conference. “Preservation of environment and controlling the ever-increasing pollution have become the most important task for all of us,” said Dr Zora Singh.

Students hold protest

Members of the student union of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, led by president Gurjant Sandhu, protested against heavy fines for absenteeism. The protest was supported by ABVP representatives. The students gathered in front of the principal’s office and staged a protest there. Later, the college authorities assured the students of reducing their fines.

Training workshop

A two-week training workshop on “Capacity Building Programme for Faculty/Research Scholars in Social Sciences” began at the ICSSR, Panjab University, on Tuesday.


The Department of Laws, Panjab University, in collaboration with the Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, will organise a one-day seminar on the theme of “Clemency in Criminal Justice System” on March 19. This topic has social and political relevance in the present times in the wake of a number of cases of mercy petitions that have been dealt with by the Supreme Court, including various ‘politically motivated’ ones.

Online roll numbers

Panjab University has switched over to hi-tech system of providing roll numbers and date sheets to students online. Dispatching roll numbers by post has been discontinued with immediate effect. The roll numbers of all eligible candidates of undergraduate classes (regular, private, compartment and USOL) with their scanned photos, date sheets and venues have been uploaded on the PU website. Since the entry to examination halls will only be allowed on the basis of roll numbers with scanned photos, the students are advised to download their roll numbers well in advance, but after March 18 onwards.

Annual function

The Youth Welfare Department of Panjab University held its annual function in the Golden Jubilee Hall of the university on Tuesday. The function was held to honour the students who brought laurels to the university in the field of art and culture. PU Vice-Chancellor Professor AK Grover was the chief guest. — TNS



political notes
Jagjit Singh Kang new SAD chief

Jagjit Singh Gora Kang, the newly-elected president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Chandigarh unit, while addressing a press conference here today, thanked state Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal for showing faith in him. He appealed to all Akali workers to join the door-to-door campaign to accomplish the Mission 272 of Narendra Modi.

JDU offers seat to Dhawan

The Janta Dal United (JDU) candidate Surinder Bhardwaj today offered his seat to BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan if the latter agreed to contest from the JDU. Bhardwaj said Dhawan was an old friend and a political stalwart. He said Dhawan had won the Parliament elections on the Janata Dal ticket in 1989. However, Dhawan did not reply to Bhardwaj’s proposal.

No house will be demolished: Bansal

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal today assured the residents of Palsora that no house would be demolished. He was addressing the first public meeting after filing his nomination papers. Bansal said he was in favour that instead of acquiring the land, permission should be given to the landowners to change the land use as has been done in Zirakpur and other nearby areas in Punjab. Meanwhile, BSP leaders Rakesh Rocky and Bula Rani also joined the Congress.

Kanwaljit campaigns

CPI (ML) Liberation’s candidate Kanwaljit today carried out a door-to-door campaign in the Tenament Colony, Dhanas. Kanwaljit said the masses were fed up of the ‘empty promises’ of the Congress and the BJP. — TNS



Hike in rent
Residents of working women’s hostel up in arms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The inmates of the working women’s hostel of Sector 24, here, today demonstrated against the hike in the rent. The UT Administration had doubled their monthly rental charges from February. The decision was taken at a meeting of the UT Child and Women’s Welfare Governing Board as there had been no hike in the rent at these two self-financed projects of the Social Welfare Department for the past four years.

The authorities have increased the rent in all categories. There are 24 rooms in the old-age home, of which 18 are occupied by individuals.

According to the new rates, the individual occupants will have to pay Rs 9,000 per month against the previous rent of Rs 4,500 (excluding electricity, water and food). For rooms occupied on a sharing basis, occupants will have to pay Rs 2,500 per month, which was Rs 1,500 earlier, and for couples the rent is Rs 5,000 per month, which was Rs 3,500 earlier.

The department had intimated the inmates in advance. The governing board has also approved a hike in the rent for working women from Rs 1,780 to Rs 3,500 per month. Besides, girls will have to pay Rs 1,200 as mess charges and Rs 75 for using geyser. There are 24 rooms in the hostel in which 72 working women can be accommodated. Three girls each are accommodated in the rooms at the working women’s hostel.


The hike was steep but not unjustified. It is on a par with other hostels in the city. But I will take the representation from the inmates to the board. It is stated that the Chandigarh Child Women Development Corporation is running a working women’s hostel in Sector 24, here on a no-profit, no-loss basis.

— Rajesh Jogpal, director of the UT Social Welfare Department



Independent candidate files papers

Chandigarh, March 18
Independent candidate Deepak Shukla (43), an insurance agent, filed his nomination papers today. Shukla is a resident of Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26. He has movable assets worth Rs 2.25 lakh. He rides a scooter and has immovable property worth Rs 15.64 lakh, which includes a EWS house in Bapu Dham and a 450 sq.ft house in village Kansal, Mohali.

Jahan has assets worth Rs 22 lakh

BSP candidate from Chandigarh Jannat Jahan Ul-Haq’s movable assets are worth Rs 22 lakh. She has Rs 2 lakh in cash and has invested Rs 5 lakh in various policies. Jahan owns jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh. She does not own immovable property.

BSP defies order

Defying the UT Election Department’s orders about not bringing an elephant for party candidate Jannat Jahan’s procession in Sector 34, the BSP still brought in the animal. — TNS



Ambala votes 2014
Chander Mohan in fray from Karnal
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 18
Facing embarrassment after the Fiza episode, former Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chander Mohan was finally rehabilitated with the Haryana Janhit Congress supremo Kuldeep Bishnoi giving him an opportunity to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Karnal, this afternoon.

Chander Mohan, whose political carried was at a stake after the Fiza episode finally came to the main stream politics this afternoon.

Bishnoi, who is the younger son of former Haryana Chief Minister late Bhajan Lal, rushed to his father’s ‘samadhi’ in Adampur for seeking his blessings before launching the election campaign, claimed Shashi Sharma, district president of the Haryana Janhit Congress.

Chander Mohan will file his nomination at Ambala on March 22 and scores of supporters from the district will accompany him to the office of the returning officer, Ambala, said Sharma. Supporters and workers of the HJC were overjoyed when the news reached his home district.

The HJC leaders and workers reached at the Panchkula residence of Chander Mohan in a large number and congratulated him.

Raj Kumar Cong choice for Ambala

The Congress finally chose Raj Kumar Valmiki, a party candidate from the Ambala Lok Sabha seat, late this evening.

Raj Kumar, who had been camping in Delhi for the past two days, was on his way back to Panchkula late this evening.

Ravinder Rawal, a close associate of Raj Kumar, said after reaching Panchkula, the Congress candidate will launch his election campaign from Wednesday morning.

A resident of Panchkula, Raj Kumar, joined politics in 1985 and remained as the secretary of the Haryana Youth Congress from 1985 to 1991. He was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly from the Jundla constituency and remained a Chief Parliamentary Secretary from 1991 to 1996.

An undergraduate, Raj Kumar, contested unsuccessfully the Ambala Lok Sabha elections in 1998. He later served as the Chairman of the SC Finance and Development Corporation, Haryana, from 2005 to 2014.

Pinning hopes on the SC community in the constituency, Raj Kumar claimed that the BJP-HJC candidate would be his main opponent.

BJP forms campaign committees

The district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) constituted 13 election campaign committees to streamline the election process in the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency in the absence of its partner HJC here today.

A formal announcement in this regard was made by Vijay Seth and Gian Chand Gupta, district president and convener, respectively, of the district unit of the BJP, at the party office in Sector 2.

They said Rattan Lal Katria would file his nomination papers on March 19 at Ambala.

Gupta said a committee had also been constituted to monitor election campaign to avoid violations of the model code of conduct.

Jobs have been assigned to block heads to motivate voters for exercising their franchise, said Seth.

During the campaign, the alliance would educate and allure voters through street plays, public meetings, etc. The party will complete four rounds of door-to-door meetings, Gupta said.



Chandigarh votes 2014: kher’s candidature
4 district BJP chiefs quit
All five district presidents have resigned till now
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
It seems that opposition against Kirron Kher’s candidature — BJP nominee for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha — refuses to die down. To oppose Kher’s name from the Chandigarh seat, four district presidents resigned from their posts today. With this, all five BJP district presidents have resigned following the development.

The district presidents who resigned are BC Puri, Ravi Sharma, Devi Singh and Shakti Devshali. However, they will continue to be party members. The move is being cited as a major development as all five district presidents, appointed by the party, have resigned from their posts.

Party vice-president Rambir Bhatti, another vice-president Harishankar Mishra, district president Bhajan Singh Maru and Kisan Morcha president Jhujhar Singh have already put in their papers.

Besides, a number of other party office-bearers also announced their resignation. Meanwhile, heated arguments and a scuffle broke out between workers during a meeting at the BJP office in Sector 33. The workers allegedly threatened that they would not allow Kher to enter any colony or village.

“If a stage is set up for her rallies in village and colonies, we will demolish the same,” they said.

Didar Singh, a protester said, “Local leaders have been working for the party from the last many years. However, the party fielded an outsider. We’ll continue our protest until the party does not change the candidate.”



Bansal’s wife richer than him
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Former railway minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal’s wife is richer than him. The four-time Member of Parliament (MP) has movable assets of more than Rs 1.09 crore, while his wife owns movable assets of Rs 1.60 crore, which includes jewellery worth around Rs 47 lakh.

Madhu Bansal has a share capital of Rs 40.65 lakh in Theon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nalagarh.

She has also given a loan of Rs 50 lakh to the pharmaceutical company.

Madhu has deposits worth Rs 21.86 lakh in the bank and jewellery worth Rs 46.96 lakh, including gold and silver ornaments. Compared to his wife, the Congress candidate for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections has Rs 41.41 lakh in bank deposits and Rs 1 lakh in cash.

Bansal has also given a loan of Rs 26 lakh to the Heritage Educational Society, Chandigarh, besides Rs 30 lakh to Theon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nalagarh

The Congress leader owns a Maruti Esteem 1998 model and a Honda City 2013 model.

The leader owns gold jewellery worth Rs 50,000 only.

Bansal’s two-kanal house in Sector 28 is worth Rs 10 crore. He has 50 per cent share in the house.

The affidavit filed by Bansal along with the nomination papers mentions Rs 13.40 lakh as his annual income during 2012-13, while his wife’s annual income is Rs 27.81 lakh.

5 years on, Bansal’s bank deposits rise

In the last five years, the bank deposits of Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal increased from Rs 3.03 lakh to Rs 41.41 lakh.

Bansal has also given a loan of Rs 30 lakh to Theon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nalagarh, during the last five years. However, the amount of cash in the last five years has gone down to Rs 1 lakh, which was Rs 4 lakh before the Parliamentary elections in 2009.



Complaint against GMCH Professor
Experience letter not being issued, alleges ex-doc
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
A former demonstrator at the Department of Pharmacology at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has filed a complaint alleging harassment by Head of the Department, Prof CS Gautam stating that her experience letter was not being issued since she had complained of mental harassment against Professor Gautam two years ago.

In her complaint given to the Director-Principal, GMCH, Dr Atul Sachdev and UT Health Secretary, Anil Kumar, on March 14, the doctor has mentioned, “On repeatedly following up with the office (Establishment Branch II), I am told that Professor Gautam has refused to issue the experience letter."

"Are you aware that there is an inquiry to a complaint of misbehavior that I had filed against Professor Gautam. So am I to understand that the experience certificate will be issued if I take my complaint back? I was never informed that the matter was up for arbitration. It is more than a year since the inquiry and its results are still not public,” read the complaint (of which a copy is with Chandigarh Tribune) further.

The complainant has alleged that despite paying five visits to the institute and sending 10 reminders in the past 18 months, her experience letter has not been issued.

Rubbishing the complaint, Director Principal, GMCH-32, Dr Atul Sachdev said: "That doctor was relieved from here long ago.

Then how it be a continuing harassment? She is in Mumbai while Prof Gautam is here. The process of issuing her certificate is going on. Beyond that there is nothing in the case."

Asked about the previous inquiry, Dr Sachdev said, “The report is with me. We are looking into it.”

Prof CS Gautam, said: "It was the complainant rather, “who had been harassing him.” He said, “ The problem persisted after she started taking frequent leaves after getting married. As I pointed it out, she threatened me of dragging the matter to the court.

I had reported about the entire incident via a letter to the then Director. Later, she took all other demonstrators into her confidence. Besides, the probe report has not reached me. How can I explain until I receive it?”

In July 2012, the complainant, along with seven other doctors from the department of pharmacology, GMCH, had given a complaint to the then GMCH Director-Principal, Dr Raj Bahadur, alleging mental harassment by Dr Gautam.

The complaints alleged that Prof Gautam had been often scolding and misbehaving with all his subordinates in the department. The probe was conducted by Dr Jaswinder Kaur, Head, department of biochemistry.

Later KD Arora, a retired IAS officer, conducted another inquiry but the report was still in the custody of the GMCH Director.



A riot of colours in Mohali, festivities remain peaceful
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 18
The town had a peaceful Holi, the police claimed. Mohali Superintendent of Police (City) Swarndeep Singh claimed that no case of hooliganism, fight and eve-teasing was reported in the town yesterday. SP Swarndeep Singh, who claimed to have been making rounds of the town to check rowdism and other mischievous acts on the day, said some youngsters tried to create ruckus but were discouraged by the police.

“There was a heavy presence of policemen in the town on Holi. Some cases of rowdism were nipped in the bud. No police case was registered in this connection," said the SP.

However, he added that a total of 34 challans were issued for various traffic violations and nine vehicles were impounded yesterday.

By and large, the festival passed off peacefully, added SP Swarndeep Singh.

Nine injured: Nine persons, who sustained injuries during Holi celebrations, were admitted to the Civil Hospital at Phase 6 here.

Senior Medical Officer Dr Andesh Kang said one of them, Manjot Singh of Savraj Nagar, was critically injured and had been referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. “The other injured persons, who have come for treatment yesterday, included Raes Ahmed and Abdul Rasood from Bhagomajra, Mohan Lal from Industrial Area, Phase 8, Mukesh from Maloya, Sukhpreet Singh from Phase 4, Nitin Chand from Landran village, Keerti from Sector 56 and Rampal from Badhmajra," said Dr Kang, adding that all of them were recuperating.



Holi: Traffic violations galore in city
1,017 issued challans for flouting traffic rules, 108 vehicles impounded
Tribune News Service

(Above) Young revellers make the most of Holi celebrations in Chandigarh on Monday; and two youths indulge in eve-teasing. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, March 18
On Holi, the Chandigarh traffic police issued 1,017 challans and impounded 108 vehicles for various traffic violations. The traffic police had made elaborate arrangements to regulate traffic and enforce traffic rules. All the DSPs and Inspectors in Chandigarh traffic police were on field duty.

To ensure no traffic rules are adhered to, 215 personnel of the traffic wing and 60 personnel of the Chandigarh Police's security wing were deployed.

As many as 1,017 challans were issued for various traffic violations, including 21 for drunken driving, 598 (without helmet) and 19 for reckless driving.

Meanwhile, nearly 1,200 police personnel, including eight DSPs, 17 Inspectors and 11 SHOs,, were deployed across the city to keep a close watch on miscreants. The police checked as many as 4,265 vehicles on Monday.

Besides, a total of 2,364 calls were received by the Police Control Room and 458 spots, almost double than the normal days, were attended by its staff.

80 reach city hospitals with minor injuries

More than 80 persons, mostly youth in inebriated state, landed up at the government hospitals in the city with minor injuries sustained while celebrating Holi on Monday. However, none of them had sustained deep injuries and were discharged after being stabilised.

A total of 20 patients with minor injuries reported at the PGIMER’s Advanced Trauma Centre and five of them were taken to the eye centre. At Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, more than 20 cases of general medicine were reported.

The number of patients reaching the emergency ward of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, was 40. In most cases, patients had sustained injuries in inebriated state.



PGI eye centre celebrates founder's day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
The 8th founder's day was celebrated at the Advanced Eye Centre, PGI, in Chandigarh today. A continuing medical education programme in ophthalmology was organised on the occasion. Prof Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGI, was the chief guest. Prof Amod Gupta highlighted the achievements and activities of the department during the previous year.

Prof Yogesh Chawla appreciated the work done at the centre during the past few years and assured all possible help to the department in the near future.

Professor Chawla reiterated that the centre had now set a benchmark in standards of ophthalmic care in the country and was a role model for efficient patient care.

Prof Rajvardhan Azad, Chief, RP Centre of Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, delivered the founder's day lecture on 'Arts, Science and Commerce of Medical Education in India'.

The ND Lakhanpal Memorial Lecture was delivered by Dr Lalit Verma from New Delhi.



Fee hike
High drama on Panjab varsity campus
Nine SFS representatives booked, later taken to police station, cops thrash students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Nine students of Panjab University, who are the representatives of the Students for Society (SFS), were today booked on charges of outraging modesty of women, rioting, unlawful assembly and voluntarily causing hurt.

A protester being cane charged in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office on Tuesday.

Students close the shutters of shops at the Student Centre at Panjab University on Tuesday.

High drama was witnessed on the PU campus today afternoon when the students locked the Vice-Chancellor’s office and forced the students to vacate the Student Centre and classrooms. As the hunger strike by one of the students entered the seventh day today, they intensified the protest against the proposed fee hike by the university.

The students were badly thrashed by the policemen and were later taken to the Sector 11 police station.

“Some of the students misbehaved with women constables who were trying to pacify the protesters,” said a police official.

The Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh state unit, took exception to the thrashing of students. PUCL representative advocate Arjun Sheoran met the students, who were arrested by the police, at the Sector 11 police station.

“These nine students were not only beaten up at the peaceful protest site next to the PU VC’s office, but were also thrashed at the police station after being taken into custody. We saw injury marks on various parts of their bodies,” Sheoran said.

The arrested students include Daman, Arish (president of the SFS), Sachinderpal Pali, Sahil, Gurpreet and Dharminder Singh.

Girls also cane charged

The students, including girls, were also cane charged during the protest. “Raminder Singh of the SFS is on an indefinite hunger strike since March 12. When the Vice-Chancellor came in the morning, the students tried to talk to him about the issue of the fee hike. However, the Vice-Chancellor remained mum on the issue, ignoring all demands of the students. After the incident, the students tried to meet the DSW to release the students immediately. However, the indifferent attitude of the university authorities was seen when the DSW and other authorities did not respond,” said one of the protestors.

Section 144 imposed on campus

Late this evening, District Magistrate M Shayin issued directions under Section 144, CrPC, prohibiting rallies, protests, speeches, slogans, dharnas and carrying of lathis within the radius of 250m of the office and residence of the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University and administrative office with effect from March 19 till March 24.

“Groups of students are creating problems for the day-to-day functioning of the Panjab University. There is an ongoing violent protest by these groups of students on the campus. The next meeting of the Panjab University Senate will be held on March 22. They may resort to other agitational methods during the Syndicate meeting. There is every apprehension that such action may cause obstruction, annoyance or injury to the persons lawfully employed, endanger human life and property, disturb public peace and tranquility and cause riots and affrays,” read the communique issued.

Sikh student’s turban removed, hair pulled

“It was also observed that a Sikh student, Gurpreet Singh’s, turban was removed in the police custody and his hair was also pulled. This act of violence is not only arbitrary and amounts to misuse of powers but also an illegal act punishable under the law,” said PUCL representatives. The students have been protesting the proposed fee hike for the past 23 days, while one of the students has been on a hunger strike for the past seven days.

Protest against violence

Lokayat, a group of intellectuals, artists and activists, protested against the violence. “The students were beaten up using rifle butts, lathis, belts and fists by the police at the Sector 11 police station while they were in their custody. Lokayat believes that the exercise of democratic rights by the student groups must not be crushed using the police force,” said the representatives of Lokayat.



Class IX Punjabi paper leaves students in lurch
Was full of errors; union to take up the matter with DPI Schools and SGPC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Students appearing for Class IX final Punjabi examination were left baffled on March 15 as the paper had grammatical, spelling errors and wrong sequencing of questions. The matter was brought forth by the UT Cadre Educational Employees Union. The union members alleged that due to the apathy of educationalists towards the language, the students were being made to suffer.

According to information, the errors in the paper included numerous spelling mistakes and out-of-syllabus questions. Question numbers 11 and 12 were missing in the paper while marks were allocated to them. Some questions had no serial numbering on them and a few optional questions carried similar options.

A student said: “Almost 50 per cent of the question paper was out of syllabus. Marks distribution was also confusing. Most of our time was wasted while getting the corrections done from our teachers.”

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the union, said proofreading and editing of the question paper were not done before printing.

He said: “The paper was prepared under the guidance of Surinder Singh, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33."

Repeated attempts to contact Surinder Singh proved futile as he remained uncommunicative.

When the principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Indira Dhinra, was contacted on the issue, she said: “There were minor errors in the question paper. The subject teacher corrected them on the spot.”

Meanwhile, the members of the UT Cadre Educational Employees Union said they would take up the matter with the Director Public Instructions (DPI) Schools and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.



‘Jhankaar-2014’ begins today at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
“Jhankaar 2014”, a four-day annual festival organised by the National Student Union of India (NSUI), Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) and Dean Student Welfare (DSW), will begin at Panjab University from March 19. This is the 39th edition of the festival.

Two promotional events will be organised on March 19. A flash mob and an event titled ‘jago’ will be held at the Student Centre at 1 pm and 7 pm, respectively.

Professor Navdeep Goel (DSW) and professor Nandita Singh (DSW), along with PUCSC president Chandan Rana, today gave a green signal to the festival.

As many as 35 events, including two star nites, would be organised during the festival. Singers Satinder Sartaj, Garry Sandhu and Jazz Dhami are expected to grace the occasion.

The highlights of this year's fest would be 'mun' (law), marathon, radio jockey hunt and 'restro'.



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