C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Won’t replace Kirron: BJP
Tells disgruntled workers to abide by party decision
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
A day after the protest against BJP nominee Kirron Kher by disgruntled BJP workers, the party high command today rejected their demand for changing the candidate for the Chandigarh seat.

The party high command has taken a tough stand on the protest by a group of BJP workers. It has conveyed a message to the party leadership here through organising secretary Ajay Jamwal that Kirron Kher will remain the party candidate and party workers would have to work for her victory.

A meeting in this regard was held today between Jamwal, Kirron Kher, former MP Satya Pal Jain and city unit president Sanjay Tandon at Punjab BJP Bhawan, Sector 37. They agreed to support Kirron Kher, who will file her nomination on March 21. SAD’s local unit president Jagjit Singh Kang and party councillor Malkiat Singh have already announced their support to Kirron Kher. SAD leaders will honour Kirron Kher at the Sector 34 gurdwara tomorrow.

Kirron Kher said there was no resentment against her. All were part of a family and she would persuade all BJP workers, she said. The BJP would win the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat and Narendra Modi would become the Prime Minister, she said.

“All party leaders and workers are with me and I will visit every corner of the city to seek public support,” she said.

Kirron Kher today started her election campaign and met workers of the BJP industrial cell in the Industrial Area, Phase II. Later in the evening, she addressed a workers’ meeting in Sector 21.

Party workers withdraw resignations

After the party high command’s tough stand, a majority of the BJP leaders who had resigned from their posts today withdrew their resignations. A party worker said there was no harm in expressing their views, but now they would abide by the party’s directions and work for Kirron Kher’s victory. 

Dhawan calls meeting of supporters

Though a majority of the party leaders, including city unit president Sanjay Tandon and former MP Satya Pal Jain, are supporting Kirron Kher, former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan, who was also a front runner for the ticket, is yet to meet her. Dhawan has called a meeting of his supporters on March 21 to take a final decision.

What leaders say

The city BJP unit is with Kirron Kher. Workers are now working hard for her victory. She is like our elder sister.

— Sanjay Tandon, BJP city unit president

I don’t want to comment on the issue.

Harmohan Dhawan, BJP leader


I appeal to party workers to support Kirron Kher as she is the party high command’s choice. The decision was taken by 20 top leaders of the BJP and as committed party workers, we should all respect the decision.

Satya Pal Jain, former MP



UT clipped Home Secy’s wings soon after he joined
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The ground for the letter written by Home Secretary Anil Kumar to the Haryana Chief Secretary over the sidelining of Haryana officials in Chandigarh was prepared in December 2011 when Anil Kumar joined the UT Administration.

In December 2011, for the first time in the history of the Chandigarh Administration, the Home Secretary was divested of seven major departments, making him probably the weakest incumbent of the chair ever since its inception. Earlier, all these departments were under former Home Secretary Ram Niwas.

There were 20 departments under former Home Secretary RS Gujral, 27 under Ram Niwas and 21 under Krishan Mohan. However, the present Home Secretary was given the charge of 17 departments when he joined in 2011, but now he has only 14 departments under him. Anil Kumar has the charge of only two important departments -- Home and Health.

In September last year, Anil Kumar was relieved of the charge of Transport Secretary, which was given to Bhavna Garg, a 1999 Punjab cadre IAS officer. Earlier this month, the Administration had withdrawn the charge of eight departments from Anil Kumar, which was handed over to V Lalremthanga, a 2004 batch UT cadre officer.

According to the norms, 60 per cent bureaucrats in Chandigarh come from Punjab and 40 per cent from Haryana. The post of Adviser is reserved for a UT cadre officer.

‘Nobody sidelined’

A senior UT official said there was no question of sidelining any official. After 2011, many Secretary-rank officials joined the Administration and work was divided among them to ensure better functioning. Moreover, the Administration had sent a number of letters to the Haryana Government to send a panel of Secretary-rank officials, but to no avail, he said.

Anil Kumar wasn’t Patil’s first choice

Anil Kumar was not the first choice of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil for the post of Home Secretrary. In 2011, the Haryana Government had sent a panel of three Haryana cadre IAS officers -- PK Das, RR Jowell and Anil Kumar for the post. Patil had recommended Das’ name. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs named Anil Kumar as the Home Secretary.



Rs 8 lakh Panchkula theft case cracked
Main accused travelled by air to Bihar after committing the crime
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
The Rs 8 lakh theft that took place outside IndusInd Bank in Sector 9 here was not executed by an ordinary criminal, but had a connection with the notorious Kohra village in Bihar, which is infamous for carrying out such thefts across the country.

Interestingly, the main accused in the theft case, Chandan, travelled by air to Bihar after striking in Panchkula.

This was stated by Commissioner of Police Ajay Singhal. The police have arrested two persons, Aman and Dolly, in the theft case. Dolly has been sent to judicial custody, while Aman has been remanded in six-day police custody.

The police said a family belonging to Kohra village comprising Chandan, his wife Dolly and Chandan's brothers Neeraj and Aman had executed the crime. Chandan and Neeraj are at large.

On March 1, Rs 8 lakh was stolen from the car of GL Singla, a resident of Sector 8, by the thieves by breaking its windowpane. Singhal said, "Residents of Kohra village are infamous for thefts. Similar cases have been registered against them in Varanasi and other parts of the country."

The police said there were several gangs in Kohra, which operated in different parts of the country. The modus operandi of the gangs was the same. They had divided their areas and after committing a crime, they changed their place of operation.

"Chandan travelled by air, while the other gang members travelled by train. They assembled at their village in Bihar after the theft. They were not aware that our teams were already waiting for them there," said Singhal.

The police got leads from the CCTV footage and found the travel agent who gave the air ticket to Chandan.

A night before targeting Singla, the gang members stayed in Ambala. "They came to Panchkula in the morning and committed the theft.

The case

Singla, along with three relatives, had gone to a bank in Sector 11 to exchange currency notes amounting to Rs 12 lakh with notes of higher denomination. They then went to IndusInd Bank in Sector 9 to deposit Rs 4 lakh and kept Rs 8 lakh in the car. The thieves broke the windowpane, stole the amount and fled.



Thrashing of Panjab University students by policemen
Parents approach PU, want students released
Tribune News Service

Policemen deployed in front of the Vice-Chancellor's office at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Policemen deployed in front of the Vice-Chancellor's office at Panjab University in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, March 19
A day after the Chandigarh police thrashed and arrested nine Panjab University students on charges of rioting and misbehaving with women constables while protesting on the campus, parents of the students approached the university authorities demanding their release.

The arrested students were produced in a local court today, which sent them to judicial custody.

The PU authorities expressed helplessness as the case was with the police. PU Dean Student Welfare Prof Navdeep Goyal said: “We had requested the police not to treat the students as criminals. They suggested that seeking bail will be the only way out for the parents now.”

The parents later demonstrated against the arrest of the students. The other members, representing the Students for Society (SFS) group, vandalised the entire campus, forcefully asking students to vacate classrooms and the Student Centre.

Prof Navdeep said the authorities had been assuring the students that a provision for concessions in fee would be made for students from Economically Weaker Sections.

The students said imposing Section 144 on the campus from March 18 to March 24 did not deter them from demonstrating.

“Three organisations - SOPU, PUSU and SFI - have come in the open support of the Students for Society,” said a SFS representative.

“Our party strongly condemns the police action against the students who were protesting peacefully in the university. This struggle will continue till the demands are fulfilled,” SOPU president Aamninder Maan said.

Raminder Singh, who is on an indefinite hunger strike from March 12, said his strike would continue till the university accepts the demands.

Complaint filed

The All-India Human Rights Organisation on Wednesday filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the thrashing of Panjab University students by the Chandigarh police on Wednesday. The complaint filed under Section 12 stated that the respondents (Chandigarh Police) had violated the human rights of the students of the university. The complaint mentioned that the PU authorities, instead of seeking medical advice, called the police to deter the student from the hunger strike. The complainants also said the SHO of the Sector 11 police station directed the policemen to cane charge the students. The complaint has been filed by the chairman of Human Rights Organisation, Shiv Murti Yadav.

Protest continues

Gul Panag, Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, sits with students during their protest at Panjab University on WednesdayThe parents later demonstrated against the arrest of the students. The other members, representing the Students for Society (SFS) group, vandalised the entire campus, forcefully asking students to vacate classrooms and the Student Centre.

Gul Panag extends support

Gul Panag, Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, visited Panjab University to extend support to the SFS candidates on Wednesday. She said the students must be allowed to exercise their rights. “Being an alumnus of the university, I felt I must support the students here. The PU Administration should deal fairly with the students,” she said.

Gul Panag, Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, sits with students during their protest at Panjab University on Wednesday.



Rishi Kapoor visits cancer patients in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
The cancer patients, admitted at Fortis Hospital were in for a pleasant surprise, when they saw Bollywood yesteryears’ heartthrob Rishi Kapoor amongst them today evening.

The veteran actor visited the cancer ward to meet the patients to boost their morale.

A woman patient was seen very excited when her husband told her that the hero of Bobby movie was coming to meet her. “My wife was very happy when Rishi Kapoor shook hand with her and wished her early recovery,” said the person.

Not only the patients but their attendants also, especially the elderly ones, were very excited to see the actor amongst themselves.

“I am big fan of Rishi Kapoor. I never ever have dreamt of meeting him. It’s really very good day for us,” said another patient and her husband.

“Rishi Kapoor, who came to the hospital for his physiotherapy, wished to meet the cancer patients. It was really a very nice gesture on the part of the actor,” said an official of the hospital.

Rishi Kapoor is in the city for a movie shoot and has been coming for physiotherapy for past two-three days.

“His visit left the patients feeling rejoiced and happy,” said doctors, who accompanied the actor. 


Contestants train guns on Bansal
During open debate, accuse him of doing nothing for the city in past 15 years
Tribune News Service

BSP nominee Jannat Jahan and BJP’s Kirron Kher share a light moment during a break in the open debate
BSP nominee Jannat Jahan and BJP’s Kirron Kher share a light moment during a break in the open debate
Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal meets industrialists after the debate at the Industrial Area in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal meets industrialists after the debate at the Industrial Area in Chandigarh on Wednesday

Chandigarh, March 19
Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal’s fellow contestants in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections accused him of not solving problems being faced by the city residents during an open debate organised by the Joint Action Committee.

BJP’s Kirron Kher, AAP’s Gul Panag and BSP’s Jannat Jahan questioned Bansal’s performance in the past 15 years as the city MP.

Kirron Kher said that Bansal was the city MP for past 15 years and for past 10 years there was Congress-led government at the Centre. She said if Bansal, who claimed to be close to PM Manmohan Singh, could not solve problems of industrialists, traders and residents, the time had come to vote him out. The BJP candidate said Narendra Modi-led government would provide a business-friendly environment.

Gul Panag said, being the city’s daughter, she was aware of the problems being faced by its residents for past 15 years. She said AAP was there to change the “same old system”. She said if a sitting MP failed to work, people had the option to make him or her quit through elections.

Jannat Jahan said Chandigarh was no longer the City Beautiful. She said industries were shifting elsewhere and there were no job opportunities. The BSP nominee held Bansal responsible for this. She said being a daughter of a city-based industrialist, she was aware of all the problems.

Meanwhile, Bansal, speaking on the occasion, supported the committee’s demand for converting property in the city from leasehold to freehold and allowing internal changes in buildings. On the demand of making the MP a member of the Master Plan Approval Committee, Bansal said the Chandigarh Administration could take decision in this regard. Bansal said he was not in favour of a state assembly as it would put burden of taxes on residents. He instead proposed the mayor-in-council set-up that gave more power to the municipal corporation.

All the candidates assured the committee that they would be including their demands in their manifestos.

Gul Panag to file nomination tomorrow

AAP candidate Gul Panag will be filing her nomination papers on March 21. Today, she addressed a jan sabha at Maloya village. Residents apprised her of the poor government medical facilities in the village. They said the local dispensary did not have stock of the prescribed medicines. Panag said if people would vote for AAP, the party would take care of healthcare, education and sanitation in every area of the city.

Bansal takes out padyatra

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal met residents of the Sector 25 colony during the padyatra programme this morning. The party supporters highlighted various achievements of the Congress-led government. They also informed the residents of development works carried out in the city in the past five years.

Kirron Kher meets traders

A delegation of small-scale industrialists met BJP candidate Kirron Kher. She listened to the problems being faced by them and assured them of solving the problems if the BJP came to power.



post of adviser to administrator
LS candidates root for UT-cadre officer
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll from the city have come out in favour of the post of Adviser to the UT Administrator remaining with the UT-cadre officers.

They were reacting to a report regarding the UT Home Secretary’s letter to Haryana government wherein he had proposed that the post be given to a Haryana-cadre IAS officer.

Sitting MP and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal said the system set up in 1966, when Chandigarh and Haryana were formed, was a good one. If a decision regarding the post of UT Adviser was to be taken, then all stakeholders—Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana—should sit together and decide, he said.

Both BJP candidate Kirron Kher and AAP candidate Gul Panag said as Chandigarh was a union territory, the post of Adviser must remain with a UT-cadre officer, as is the present practice.

BSP Candidate Jannat Jahan said the interest of residents should be kept in mind while taking any decision. She said the post should remain with a UT-cadre officer who is aware of the local issues.



Modi’s hoarding proves costly for Chandigarh Golf Club
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Chandigarh Golf Club will have to pay a penalty of Rs 20,000 for displaying a hoarding of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on its premises.

Sources said the Deputy Commissioner (DC) who is also the Returning Officer (RO) has sent a communication to the municipal corporation (MC) for taking action against the club, which was found violating the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954.

The civic body will be serving a notice, as per the size of the hoarding, on the club.

Sources said Balbir Singh Dhol, Chairman-cum-Nodal Officer, Central Sub-Division, who is responsible for ensuring the enforcement of model code of conduct, in his report to the RO, Mohammed Shayin, said the hoarding in question was displayed on the club premises in Sector 6 on March 15. The report was further sent to the MC for necessary action.

In the hoarding, Narendra Modi was extending Holi greetings to the residents. However, after the matter reached the UT Election Department, the club management was quick to remove the advertisement.

An MC official said the club should have taken permission under the CACO, 1954, before installing the hoarding.

Sources in the MC said the enforcement team had reported that the hoarding was 20-by-10 square feet in size, and the club would be penalised at the rate of Rs 100 per square feet.

“A notice would be issued after the MC Commissioner gives his nod,” sources said.

The advertisement firm, which was allotted the space for commercial advertisements by the club, had maintained that they had the required permission to install the hoarding.

BSP candidate fined

The municipal corporation has imposed a fine of ~4,800 under the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order (CACO), 1954, on BSP Lok Sabha candidate Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq. The candidate has been fined for pasting 12 posters on walls of government buildings.



Cong making most of BJP infighting
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The infighting within the BJP over the nomination of Kirron Kher as the party candidate from Chandigarh seems to be working to the advantage of the Congress nominee, Pawan Kumar Bansal—at least for the time being.

Bansal’s potential detractors within the party, who had made up their mind to jump the fence if a local face was fielded by the BJP, can now be seen lobbying for the sitting MP. Many such detractors, who were wary of Bansal facing flak over Railgate and were crucial in engineering the revolt against him a few days ago, were seen camping at his Sector 28 residence. Some were busy chalking out schedule for Bansal’s election tour across the city.

One of the senior BJP leaders, Harmohan Dhawan, who was one of the front runners for the BJP ticket, has a sizable vote bank in colonies and villages. Last time, he had fought on the BSP ticket.

Sources pointed out that the BJP and Congress leaders were working hard to win over the disgruntled elements. The BJP candidate, reportedly, is trying to rope the disgruntled leaders in with the help of senior party leaders from Punjab. A meeting in this regard was held at the Punjab BJP office in Sector 37 here.

Political analysts, meanwhile, are waiting for the final nominations and withdrawals before predicting the chances of various candidates. 



Kirron jumps on Twitter bandwagon
Says slow and steady wins the race, praises party workers’ enthusiasm
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Actor Kirron Kher is now on Twitter!

The BJP candidate’s husband, Anupam Kher, who is very active on the microblogging site, informed his followers: “Finally Kirron Ji has decided to be on twitter. So friends! Send her your love, warmth & best wishes.”

In her first post on Twitter yesterday, Kirron Kher sought support for her campaign in the city.

She wrote: “Time I get on Twitter & make direct connection with all of U! I'm the BJP candidate from Chandigarh! Need all your support & best wishes.”

In just two days, Kirron has managed to get 1.19 lakh followers on her Twitter account.

Taking on those who are calling her a “weak” candidate, as opposed to sitting Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, she posted: “I may not be a marathon runner but I know slow and Steady wins the race. I love the Josh in our Karyakartas.”

In another tweet, she stated: “My father is 101 years old and still happening. He said, ‘Good Luck Puttar. You have always been winner.’ For me Life starts at 60.”

Interacting with her voters, Kher posted: “Good Morning Chandigarh! I am Ready to take on the world. Thank you for your support. Let's make a difference TOGETHER.”

Later, she posted: “Thank you all so much for your love and affection. It feels wonderful to be here! I promise to give my best to you.”

AAP candidate Gul Panag is already very active on Twitter, with around 7.92 lakh followers.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal and BSP candidate Jannat Jahan are active on Facebook, but not on Twitter. Bansal also has a website.

The first tweet

Time I get on Twitter & make direct connection with all of U! I'm the BJP candidate from Chandigarh! Need all your support & best wishes.



Booth information just an SMS away
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Confused as to where you can cast your vote during the forthcoming Lok Sabha election?

The answer is just an SMS away. UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tilak Raj said many voters in the city were not aware of the pooling booths where they are supposed to cast their vote. He said the Election Department has initiated an SMS service to assist such voters.

The voter just needs to type in “BTH” followed by the “voter identity card number” and send it to 9216164606 to get the information.

Officials said registered voters could only vote at the pooling booth that has their name in the electoral rolls.

“If the voter identity card number is wrong or the person’s name is missing from the electoral rolls, an SMS will be sent regarding it as well,” officials said.

Residents can visit the Election Department’s office in Sector 17 till March 22 to get their names added in the electoral rolls.



Dept encourages women to vote
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The Election Department joined hands with an NGO to organise a special voter awareness meeting for women at the Anganwari Complex in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26.

Over hundred women from nearby areas attended the meeting. The organisers motivated the attendees to vote. The women were asked to take a pledge to stay away from any type of pressure and influence while voting.

Security guards allowed to carry weapons

Relaxing the prohibitory orders, issued by Returning Officer Mohammed Shayin on March 7, that directed the residents to deposit their licensed weapons with the police, security guards posted with jewellers and banks have been allowed to carry theirs within the UT’s limit.Officials said the security guards must carry identity cards and authorisation cards issued by the bank or jeweller concerned. The permission is valid up to May 7.



Ambala votes 2014
CM to campaign in P’kula on March 23
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will lead a road show in the district seeking votes for the Congress candidate from the Ambala Lok Sabha seat on Sunday.

Starting from Panchkula, the road show will pass through Pinjore, Kalka, Barwala, Raipur Rani, Naraingarh, Yamunanagar and then culminate at Ambala, said Raj Kumar Valmiki, Congress candidate from the Ambala seat.

Raj Kumar was talking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the first press conference he addressed after getting the ticket last evening at a city-based hotel this noon.

“I will work with the Chief Minister to get a medical college and a university to my district, Panchkula,” he said.

He assured that the development works in the constituency would be carried out taking the CM in loop.

When asked if Hooda was interested in fielding senior Congress leader Phool Chand Maulana from Ambala, Raj Kumar not only denied the rumours but also claimed that this was due to Hooda’s efforts that he got the ticket.

He was the last contender who jumped into the election fray with a delay as the Congress awarded him the ticket on Tuesday evening.

“I will cover up the gap, developed with the delay in allotting the ticket by the party high command, with the help of my party leaders and workers soon,” said Raj Kumar.

Senior Congress leaders from the district, including sitting Congress MLA from Panchkula DK Bansal, former chief of District Congress Committee Om Prakash Devi Nagar, former presidents of the Panchkula Municipal Council Manveer Kaur Gill and Ravinder Rawal and other party leaders and workers congratulated and welcomed him.

Accompanied by party leaders and workers, Raj Kumar launched his election campaign by holding public meetings at different places. He also opened party offices at some places.



BJP-HJC candidate Rattan Kataria files papers
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
Eluding the district election authorities, a number of leaders and workers of the BJP-HJC combine accompanied their leader Rattan Lal Kataria to the HUDA Ground in Ambala for filing his nomination papers early this morning.

A cavalcade of nearly 600 vehicles from Kalka, Panchkula, Morni, Raipur Rani and Barwala reached Ambala to support their leader. Kataria’s supporters assembled at Kalka under the leadership of Bal Kishan Bansal, president, HJC, Kalka, while Shushil Sharma, president of the HJC, Panchkula, lead his men at the Majri Chowk in Panchkula.

BJP district president Vishal Seth and senior BJP leader Gian Chand Gupta led the party workers from Panchkula to Ambala.

Balwan Thakur, president of the HJC youth wing, Kalka, was also present.

Now, the question arises if the Election Commission will take note of vehicles accompanying the BJP-HJC candidate

Assistant returning officer (ARO), Panchkula, Gurmeet Singh, however, said his Ambala counterpart must have taken note of it.

After reaching Ambala, Kataria, along with his wife Banto Kataria, performed a ‘hawan’ at their rented house in Sector 7, Ambala, before filing the nomination papers. Kataria has hired the house for election purposes.

Banto would be the covering candidate of her husband and would file her papers tomorrow, a close associate of Katarias revealed.

INLD candidate to file nominations today

After completing four-days of election campaign here, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate for the Ambala Lok Sabha seat Kusum Sherwal will file her nomination in Ambala tomorrow morning.

Manoj Aggarwal, district president, INLD, said certain senior party leaders would accompany Sherwal to Ambala. After filing the nomination they would resume the election campaign in Panchkula in the evening.

Kusum Sherwal covered 28 villages in the Ramgarh and Barwala areas today.

Her husband Ashok Sherwal, state general secretary of the INLD, opened a party office in Sector 10, this morning, Aggarwal said.



Anandpur sahib votes 2014
SAD, Congress intensify election campaign
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 19
With the announcement of Himmat Singh Shergill as the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Anandpur Sahib constituency, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress have intensified their election campaigns in the town and its adjoining areas.

On the other hand, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has announced its candidate KS Makhan, a noted Punjabi singer, is being seen nowhere here as far as the canvassing is concerned.

The BSP was the first political outfit to announce its candidate from this constituency on February 25 during a small function.

Kuldip Singh, a close associate of Makhan, said they were busy in tapping voters from the rural areas.

“We will come to the town and its adjoining areas soon, said Kuldip,

“Party’s voter-base has been increased substantially in the constituency. With having about three lakh voter-base, we are hoping to get over four lakhs votes this time,” said the BSP leaders.

SAD appoints poll coordinators

On the other hand, to channelise and reach maximum people the SAD today appointed nine senior leaders as election coordinators in the constituency. These coordinators included NK Sharma, Capt RS Pathania, Tarsem Saini, Dharam Singh Saini, Kewal Krishan Chauhan, Harchand Singh, Satbir Kaur Manhera, Devi Dayal Prashar and Charanjit Singh Brar. They would help in coordinating with various wings, activists and leaders of the SAD-BJP combine, said Professor Chandumajra.

The party is going to hold a huge rally on March 24 at Dasehra Ground, Phase VIII, Mohali, which would be attended by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said SAD leaders.

Cong begins door-to-door campaign

The Congress too has started its canvassing in the area. Today, Bibi Jasbir Kaur, mother of Ravneet Singh Bittu, party’s candidate from the constituency, along with Daljit Kaur Sidhu, wife of Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, has started their door-to-door campaign from Phase 3B2, here. The women wing of the party had been constituted to meet women of the area and ask for vote in favour of the Congress, said Balbir Singh Sidhu, adding that small meetings with people of the area were on.

AAP candidate pays obeisance

AAP candidate HS Shergill has also started his election campaign today after paying obeisance at a local gurdwara here today. “People are fed up with corruption so they want change this time. We would leave no stone unturned to win the seat,” said Shergill. The SAD (Mann) has fielded Jaswant Singh Mann, partys general secretary from the constituency. Like Makhan, Mann is yet to start his canvassing in the area. 



mental harassment
Former GMCH doc approaches NCW
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Failing to get any response from the authorities of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, to her complaint of harassment against a senior professor, a former doctor of the institute has approached the National Commission for Women (NCW).

Dr Rupinder Kaur Hashmi, a former demonstrator at the Department of Pharmacology, said her experience letter was not being issued as she had accused the head of her department, Prof CS Gautam, of mental harassment two years ago.

She has moved the same complaint to the NCW. In her complaint, dated March 14, 2014, sent to GMCH Director Dr Atul Sachdev, UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar and the NCW, Dr Hashmi has stated: “On repeatedly following up with the office (Establishment Branch-II), I am told that Prof Gautam has refused to issue the said letter.”

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

Prof Gautam, meanwhile, maintained that he had only pointed out to her that she was taking frequent leaves.

Dr Hashmi, however, said the case against Prof Gautam was that of misbehaviour and the question of leaves taken by her was a matter of record.

She also stated: “If I was relieved long ago, then why did I have to write to and visit the institute for a simple experience certificate? The inquiry against Dr Gautam was a fact-finding report and KD Arora had recorded my statement in May 2013… the findings have not yet been revealed. Prior to this an intra-college enquiry committee had already been constituted. Let me tell you this is just a fact-finding committee. This shows the non-seriousness of GMCH in prosecuting a serial offender.”

In July 2012, the complainant, along with seven other doctors from the department, had complained to the then GMCH Director-Principal, Dr Raj Bahadur, that Dr Gautam was mentally harassing them. An inquiry was conducted by Dr Jaswinder Kaur, the head of biochemistry department. Later KD Arora, a retired IAS officer, conducted another inquiry, but the report is still in the custody of the GMCH Director.



Property tax
Mohali MC offers 10% rebate
Akash Ghai and Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, March 19
The recent announcement of Mohali Municipal Corporation (MMC) regarding depositing of property tax has again left local resident perplexed.

On the one hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Lok Sabha nominee from Anandpur Sahib Constituency Prem Singh Chandumajra continues to woo voters by saying that the residents need not to deposit the property tax as the state government has constituted a review committee. “We would ensure the roll back of the tax in question,” said the SAD leaders several times during their canvassing in the area.

On the other hand, the authorities of MMC today announced that the property owners would get 10 per cent rebate if they deposit their tax before March 31.

Satbir Singh Dhanoa, president of Mohali Citizens Welfare and Development Forum, said the residents were confused regarding depositing of the tax. “When the state government has already announced that the review committee has been set up in this regard then why the MMC authorities were trying to encourage the people to deposit the tax. What if the tax in would be rolled back tomorrow,” said Dhanoa.

Notably, the MMC commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta today stated that the residents, who were yet to deposit the tax, should deposit it by March 31 to get 10 per cent discount.

Two special counters have also been set up at the MMC office in this connection.



Six children of Shishu Greh taken ill
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
Six infants were reportedly taken ill at the Shishu Greh (children home) in Sector 15. Chief judicial magistrate-cum-secretary of the district legal services authority Sunil Chauhan rushed to the spot to take a stock of the situation.

During a check up at the pediatrics department of General Hospital, Sector 6, some children were diagnosed with “Delayed Milestone (delay in development of the child)” stated Chauhan. In his report to Panchkula Deputy Commissioner (DC) on February 25 Chauhan had stated that due to renovation work at the Shishu Greha, the district library in the same complex may be shifted so that children may get comfortable place to live in.

DC SS Phulia said, “Proper care is being given to the children. It’s a normal ailment. I have asked to shift the library to Sector 14 temporarily.”

He added, “We had thought of shifting the library to a place in Mansa Devi shrine for the time being but the residents said it would be incontinent for them to go so far. So this decision was taken so that the infants may get a comfortable place to stay in.”

Due to renovation work, as many as fifty kids were stuffed in two dingy rooms. “We had no option but to keep kids in two rooms because the renovation. The kids were taken to the pediatrics department General Hospital, Sector 6, and they are fine,” said an official requesting anonymity.

Delayed milestone

The doctors said among the other causes of delayed milestone, the atmosphere in which children are staying and lack of nutrition also plays a vital role.



LIC directed to pay double accident benefit
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
Coming to the rescue of Sulinder Singh, the Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services) directed the LIC of India to pay him the double accident benefit due to the death of his son.

The brief facts of the case are that Sulinder Singh purchased an insurance policy on the life of his son, Baljinder Singh. Baljinder Singh was murdered by Gurbax Singh and Gurpreet Kaur on February 5, 2011, and the culprits were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for life. Sulinder Singh approached the LIC for the payment of the insurance amount, which was partly paid but the double accident benefit was withheld alleging that it was payable only if Baljinder Singh died in an accident whereas in the case of intentional murder no such payment could be made.

Sulinder Singh filed an application before the Permanent Lok Adalat. Notice was issued to the LIC, which opposed the application. The Permanent Lok Adalat made efforts for reconciliation but when the same did not succeed the application was decided on merits.

The Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services), headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal, held that murder was not excluded from the payment of the double accident benefit under the insurance policy. It was held that the LIC was liable to pay the double accident benefit in the case of murder, which in the present case was not prompted by the deceased. This claim could be denied only if the case fell under the exclusions mentioned in clause 11 (b) of the insurance policy. The LIC was directed to pay the double accident benefit along with Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation within 30 days.



Institute motivates residents to exercise franchise
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
The Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology organised a march here today to appeal to residents to cast their votes.

The march was flagged off by chairman of the Gian Jyoti group JS Bedi, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar Thind and SDM Lakhmir Singh.

It began from the college campus and moved to the Madanpura roundabout then to the Phase 7 market. Later, it terminated in Phase 2.

Thind said the ballot paper was not just a piece of paper. It was a powerful weapon. It could change a government without shedding even a drop of blood and the right use of the ballot paper should be made by voting.

Bedi said elections were the core of any functioning representative democracy. He urged the students and the residents to make the government responsible and accountable by voting dutifully.



ADC: Need to create awareness among voters
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 19
Awareness at the grass-roots level needs to be created among voters so that they use their constitutional right to cast their vote in the Lok Sabha elections without any greed and fear.

This was stated by Additional District Electoral Officer-cum-Additional Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar Thind while addressing a meeting held under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme conducted with CDPOs, supervisors and anganwari workers at the office of the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), Kharar.

He said as the Department of Social Security was linked to the public at the grass-roots level, it could play a vital role in spreading such awareness.



City-based group to stage Mahabharata
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
“Mask”, a city-based theatre group, is geared up to create the era of Mahabharata all over again on the centre stage with its play “Andha Yug” at the Bal Bhawan on Thursday. Artistes of the Mask Theatre Group who vouch for the fact that times have still not changed and the mindset of human beings continues to think on the same tangent as it did decades ago, said the motive behind staging the play was to prove that the hunger for power still delves into the veins of human race.

“Though the script was challenging for us, we took a call for the play because the story depicts human relations, wishes, egotism and conflicts,” said Jyoti Aarya, narrator of the play.

Ravinder Singh, director of the play, said: “The play had been written by famous play writer Dharamvir Bharti, who drew inspiration from the World War II to pen down this script.” The members of the group claimed that the dialogues of the script had not been changed. The 80-minute Hindi play has 11 characters. Harshit Vartia who would be playing the character of Dhritarashtra, said: “It’s important to stage such plays. They not only entertain the audience but also promote the language in its true and purest form.”



Navratras no ‘VIP affair’ this time
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 19
In a relief to devotees, Navratras will not be a ‘VIP affair’ here. Sources said due to the poll code of conduct, the district administration would not be inviting Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda or any political dignitaries for the inauguration of the nine-day festival at the Mansa Devi shrine.

The festival will begin on March 31. Also, there would not be any cultural programmes during the festival. Every year Hooda used to inaugurate the festival and its each day was inaugurated by political dignitaries.

SK Miglani, chief executive officer of the shrine, said: “We have not received any invitation cards this year. Senior government officials were not invited this time due to the poll code.

Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia said: “We have not received invitation cards but would be having VIP passes.”

Sources said the festival would be inaugurated by non-political dignitaries.



Jet Airways penalised for deficiency in service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Jet Airways has been penalised for failing to provide any connecting flight to a city-based complainant from Delhi to Indore forcing the latter to halt at Delhi till the next day on his own expenses.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Jet Airways to pay Rs10,000 as compensation to the complainant for causing him mental tension and physical harassment and Rs 5,000 as litigation expenses.

The complainant, Vikas Jain, had booked a flight from Chandigarh to Indore for July 22, 2013. Due to urgency, the complainant had to prepone the booking from July 22, 2013, to July 21, which was confirmed by the airways.

The opposite party charged Rs 5,040 for preponing the date of flight.

On July 21, 2013, the complainant reached on time and boarded the already booked flight from Chandigarh to Delhi and the plane that had to take flight from Delhi to Indore was present on the airport. But, the airways refused to take the complainant and other passengers on that flight.

The complainant requested the opposite party to adjust him in some other flight for reaching Indore on time, but they refused. Ultimately, he requested them to at least provide accommodation for stay and other facilities, but to no avail.

The opposite party did not contested the contentions of the complainant.



‘Jhankaar-2014’ begins with flash mob at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
“Jhankaar-2014”, a four-day annual festival, started today with a flash mob, which took place at the Student Centre, Panjab University.

About 50 participants enthralled the audience with their performance.

The annual festival will be formally inaugurated on March 20 by Professor AK Grover, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University.

After the inaugural function in the morning, main events will begin. They include Model United Nations, RJ hunt as well as other literary events like quiz, client counselling, debate and declamation.

Singer Satinder Sartaj will entertain the audience from 6.30 pm onwards.



Violation of norms
Educationists prolong stay in city: RTI info
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The deputation policy of the UT Education Department has taken a backseat as over 180 educationists, including principals, lectures and teachers, have prolonged their stay in the city violating the norms. According to information procured through the RTI from various schools across the UT, many educationists from the adjoining states continue to serve in the city without clearing mandatory probation period in their parent cadre state.

An application filed by city-based RTI activist Swarn Singh Kamboj revealed that there were various cases where educationists had failed to comply with the Chandigarh Administration rules, which state that an employee has to work in his/her parent state for at least five years as per deputation policy before being sent or called on deputation.

While there has been staff crunch in the adjoining states, especially in the rural areas, the city continues to be flooded with the faculty on deputation.

The Punjab Service Rules, which the UT follows with regard to the appointment of teachers, clearly state that “the initial period of deputation may be extended up to five years by the Administrative Department concerned and in a rare case of special nature, if exigencies so require in public interest, such period may be extended beyond five years”.

As against the rules, there are several cases where teachers have served for over two decades in the city.

“A general perception has developed among the UT cadre that their merit is being sidelined in order to promote their counterparts from the neighbouring states as they enjoy political patronage,” said a teacher.

Swarn Singh Kamboj, president of the UT Cadre Educational Employees Union, said: “The service interest of the UT teachers has been adversely affected due to the prolongation of deputation period of their counterparts.”

Repeated attempts to contact DPI Schools Kamlesh Kumar proved futile as he remained incommunicado.



Khalsa college students observe hunger strike

Chandigarh, March 19
Students of Shri Guru Gobind Singh (SGGS) Khalsa College today observed a hunger strike against heavy fines for absenteeism. Yesterday, the students protested against the fines imposed on students for absenteeism during the last academic session.

“How will we pay such a huge amount? The fines have been defined arbitrarily per student. It seems that no system has been followed in calculating the fines,” said one of the members of the Student Council. — TNS



140 students visit Pinjore gardens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Society, Chandigarh, organised an excursion-cum-picnic for students of Special Training Centre (STC) of Mauli Colony, Cluster V, today.

The organisers said the trip was organised under leadership of Joginder Kumar, SSA in-charge of the centre. The aim of the trip was to make the students aware of important places.

Kumar said around 140 students, accompanied by the STC teachers, visited the Pinjore gardens.

He said: “The motto of the excursion was to provide the children with an opportunity to participate in curriculum-related activities, besides the normal school routine.”



Sohana college holds poster exhibition

Mohali, March 19
A poster exhibition on pharmacology was organised by Rattan Professional Educational College, Sohana. It was inaugurated by Rajiv Bhalla, Civil Surgeon, Mohali. The exhibition was evaluated by judges. Dr Bhalla distributed prizes among the winners.

The first prize was awarded to a poster on influenza vaccine made by Tanuja, Pardeep, Lavpreet, Navjot, Rekha, Rupinder, Renu Rani, Neelima and Gurpreet.

MSc (Nursing) students organised a role play to reduce errors in the administration of drugs. — OC



PU & College notes
Honour for city girl

Manisha Mohan, a girl from Chandigarh, has been selected for “Innovation Scholars In-Residence” at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. Manisha is the daughter of Prof Krishna Mohan at the Department of Geography, Panjab University. Under the scheme, Manisha would stay in the Rashtrapati Bhavan for one month. Four scholars are selected from the country every year in the scheme.

Applications invited

Prospectus and application form for the entrance test, CET-UG 2014, are available on the website, http://cetug.puchd.ac.in/. Students can apply till April 29. Admissions to BPharma and various (Hons School) bachelor degree courses would be based on the CET-UG 2014 and the marks in qualifying examination (+2).

Experts to deliver talk

A national seminar on “Active Noise Control and Its Applications” would be held on March 20 at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, PU. Experts from institutions like CSIR-NAL, Bangalore, IIT-Ropar, and IMMT, Bhubaneswar, working in the area of active noise control and active vibration control would deliver the talk and interact with the participants.

SAP-sponsored seminar

University Business School, Panjab University, will organise a SAP-sponsored national seminar on “Emotional Intelligence” on March 21 at ICSSR, PU, Chandigarh. The seminar would focus on “Emotional Intelligence at Workplace”.

Athletics meet

Gurdeep Singh and Shubham Dhara were declared the best athletes during the athletics meet of Indo-Swiss Training Centre. Gurdeep of fourth-year from Advance Diploma in Mechatronics and Shubham of fourth-year from Advance Diploma in the Mechatronics Department were declared the best athletes in the amateur category of boys and girls, respectively. Gurdeep claimed nine points, whereas Shubham claimed four points.

Seminar on justice system

The Department of Laws, PU, in collaboration with Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh today organized a one-day seminar on the theme “Clemency in Criminal Justice System” in the moot court hall of the department. Prof V Vijaya Kumar, former Vice-Chancellor, TNDALU, Chennai, presently Professor of Law and UNHCR Chair on Refugee Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, delivered the keynote address.

Talk on consumer rights

Prashasnika, the Society of Departments of Public Administration and Political Science of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, organised a talk-cum-interactive session on “Consumer Rights and Consumer Awareness” in collaboration with the Consumers Association, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Renuka Salwan, Deputy Director, Bureau of Indian Standards, Chandigarh, was the speaker. Achila Dogra, principal of the college, and dignitaries from the Consumers Association were also present. - TNS



from schools

Panchkula: A workshop on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) was conducted by Dilbaag and Anjali Singh at DC Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 7. The organisers said the aim of the workshop was to diagnose the ADHD children and to focus on their remedial measures. The counselling session will be an effective part of the school programme for 2014-15, which aims at give support to the children suffering from behaviour disorder. Dilbaag, in his address, stressed the importance of crucial role being played by the teachers as students spend maximum time in schools. The school authorities said regular parenting session would also be conducted to make parents aware of this problem so that a concrete solution could be taken to tackle this problem effectively.

Holi celebrated

Mohali: Holi was celebrated at Bachpan School, Naya Gaon, with gusto. Students and staff members took part in the celebrations. The teachers explained the significance of the festival of colours to the children. The students were encouraged to use herbal colours. They were also told about the harmful effects of synthetic colours. - TNS



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