C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Campaigning ends, liquor takes over
Major political parties ‘pump in’ booze, money in last-ditch efforts to woo voters ahead of the D-day
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
With just a day left for polling to the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat and campaigning coming to an end this evening, major political parties today allegedly pumped in liquor and money to woo voters across the city.

At some liquor vends, there was a scramble to get popular brands of whiskies such as Aristocrat, Royal Stag, 8PM, Bagpiper and Blenders Pride free of cost. To get a carton of liquor, all one had to do was to produce a signed slip, bearing a serial number, coded stamp and signatures of an office-bearer of the political party concerned.

Those who had more than one slip pocketed more than one carton of liquor. The "beneficiaries" were seen taking the “booty” in rickshaws, two-wheelers and four-wheelers. It was not only in violation of the model code of conduct, but also against the provisions of the Excise Act.

One of the parties was using the series on currency notes of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations to identify "beneficiaries" for the distribution of liquor. Voters were handed over these currency notes and asked to collect liquor.

Returning Officer Mohammed Shayin said he was not aware of any such violation. “ I will certainly look into the matter,” he said.

While trying to find out the freebies being offered by the parties, The Tribune team captured the scenes at different liquor vends in the city. In Sector 34, there was a minor scuffle between Bacchus lovers as they vied with each other to get hold of the bottles.

It seemed the parties were leaving no stone unturned to lure voters as similar scenes were witnessed at vends in Sectors 19, 27 and 43, Colony No. 4 and Mani Majra.

Representatives of the parties used a well-organised machinery to pass on money and liquor.

At Sector 34, liquor was being distributed at a vend a few metres away from the police station concerned in morning and later in the afternoon. The liquor was distributed in three shifts, first at 11am, then at 1.50 pm and again at 5 pm. After the morning stock was exhausted, people camped outside the vend waiting for fresh arrivals.

A salesman claimed that 380 cartons were distributed from this vend today. At Colony No. 4, the cartons were distributed on the production of currency notes of a particular series. Bottles of country-made whisky, including Naina Premium Whisky or Tractor Fine Whisky, were also distributed. To ensure proper distribution of the stock, the parties had hired musclemen at Colony No. 4.

What the Excise Act says

According to the Excise Act, as applicable in the UT, an individual cannot carry more than 18 bottles of IMFL and wine and three cartons of beer. However, people were seen carrying liquor beyond the permissible limit with impunity.

Liquor being distributed for past 4 days

“We have been distributing liquor for the past four days. We have no specific figures of the bottles and cartons distributed,” said a salesman. 

What the parties say

The Congress does not adopt such methods to win the elections. It is the BJP’s way of wooing voters and the party is trying to defame the Congress.

— BB Behl, City Congress president

I advise city residents not to get swayed by liquor and cash being offered by the Congress. The BJP condemns this practice.

— Sanjay Tandon, city BJP chief

This is how both the Congress and the BJP are contesting the elections in all parts of the country. The AAP is here to end the use of money, liquor and muscle power, currently prevalent in the system.

— Munish Raizada, campaign manager, AAP

We have formed teams to expose Congress and BJP leaders who are distributing money and liquor in the city to woo voters.~

— Hafiz Anwar Ul Haq, convener, BSP



Freebie bonanza for colonies, villages
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
From matchboxes carrying currency notes of Rs 1,000 to various brands of liquor, political parties have flooded colonies and villages with "election gifts" to woo voters ahead of polling for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Residents of colonies and villages, who account for 57 per cent of the votes in the city, have started getting these freebies from parties along with a request: "Please hamari party ka khyal rakhna".

Workers of a major political party are allegedly going to colonies and villages with matchboxes containing a currency note of Rs 1,000 each. They first interact with the head of the family and give a matchbox to him after he pledges support to their party.

Besides influencing voters with money, parties are also using liquor to woo them.

A party has invented a unique idea of distributing liquor among voters. Its leaders are using the series on new currency notes of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations to identify "beneficiaries" for the distribution of liquor. Voters are being given these currency notes and asked to collect liquor from certain vends free of cost. The owners of these vends match the currency notes with the list of numbers provided to them. After ensuring that everything is in order, they hand over a case of a specific brand of liquor to the person who brings the currency note.

Giving details, a party worker said a Rs 10 currency note meant that liquor brands such as Bagpiper, ACP and 8PM were to be offered. On a Rs 50 note, Royal Stag was being offered, while on a Rs 100 currency note, a case of Blenders Pride was being given to voters.

Another party is using signed receipts to offer "election gifts" to voters. The party has authorised only a few senior leaders to sign the receipt. In the receipt there are two columns — 8 PM and Bagpiper. The leaders sign the chit and tick mark one of the liquor brands. After showing this chit, voters get a case of a specific brand of liquor from vends. These chits are valid only for one day.

Yesteday, former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan had alleged that the Congress was distributing matchboxes containing money among voters. Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal had said: “Only Dhawan’s fertile mind can think of such ideas”.

Brand divide

In colonies and villages, workers of political parties are giving liquor brands such as 8 PM and Aristrocrat Premium, whereas in urban areas, the parties are offering liquor brands such as Royal Stag and Blenders Pride. 

Party ‘offering’ Rs 1,000 in matchboxes to voters

Workers of a major political party are allegedly going to colonies and villages with matchboxes containing a currency note of Rs 1,000 each. They first interact with the head of the family and give a matchbox to him after he pledges support to their party. 



As poll din ends, focus shifts to social networking sites 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
With the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections coming to an end in the city today, candidates, their family members and party workers have now switched over to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook in a big way for campaigning. They are also relying on WhatsApp and SMSes to reach out to the voters.

Though the candidates are directly not seeking votes on these sites, their workers are posting comments for them to woo voters. While Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal posted various photos of the last day's election campaign on his Facebook page , BJP’s Kirron Kher, AAP’s Gul Panag and BSP’s Jannat Jahan have also appealed to voters to vote for change through various social networking sites.

Congress workers are sending SMSes and posting messages such as: “Kindly vote for truth, vote for development 'n' progress, vote for your voice in Parliament, vote for a person who is next door; he is none other than hon'ble Sh Pawan Kumar Bansal ji.”

BJP’s Kirron Kher has posted on Twitter that whether she wins or loses, she will serve the city. Her husband, Anupam Kher, also appealed to his fans and city residents to vote for Kirron Kher on his Twitter account. He posted, “Dear voters, vote for development and women empowerment in Chandigarh.”

AAP’s election campaign manager Munish Raizada posted on his Twitter account, “The campaigning has come to an end in Chandigarh. Voting for the LS seat on April 10. Team AAP deserves all kudos for hard work.”

BSP’s Jannat Jahan has appealed to voters to think before casting their vote. On her Facebook account, she criticised the Congress, the BJP and the AAP, and appealed to voters to vote for the BSP on April 10.



Hit by vehicle, motorcyclist dies in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
A 36-year-old man was killed in a road accident after being hit by an unidentified vehicle at the light pint intersecting Sector 31 and the Industrial Area, Phase II, last night.

The incident occurred around 11.30 pm near Hallo Majra. The victim has been identified as Roop Kishore, a resident of Hallo Majra.

Roop Kishore was returning home on his motorcycle when the mishap occurred. He fell on the road after he was hit by a speeding vehicle and received a critical injury. He was wearing a helmet, which was found crushed as a result of the mishap.

He was spotted in a pool of blood by a passerby, who informed the police. The victim was rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO of the Sector 31 police station, said they were investigating and looking for any eyewitnesses to the accident.

The victim used to work as a mini-truck driver. He is survived by his wife and two children.

A case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 31 police station. 



Candidates chirp

Kirron Kher @KirronKherBJP

9.15 am: Good mor Chandigarh! Tuesday is d last day for campaigning. I will be travelling through d city seeking ur love & blessings. Aap sabki Jai Ho.

9.03 pm: Thank You Chandigarh 4 showering me with so much Love & Affection on d last day of campaign. I promise to serve u, all my life. Win or not.

Gul Panag @GulPanag

6.17 am: Early start. Last day of campaigning

7.23 pm: Tea never tasted better!!





Chandigarh votes 2014
Going gets tough for Cong, BJP
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerging as the deciding factor on the political horizon of the city, it will be tough going for traditional political rivals, the Congress and the BJP.

As many as 23,263 first-time voters can also decide the fate of the winning candidate.

Political analysts believe though AAP is trying to replicate the Delhi election model by roping in the middle class, 'Modi wave' is upsetting the calculations of the opponents.

Unlike the previous elections, when the Congress had an upper hand in villages and slums and the BJP in urban areas, AAP factor is eating into the vote banks of the opponents. BSP candidate Janat Jahan can also cash in on the vote bank in colonies and villages. Political analysts say as far as the third alternative is concerned, the fight is between the Congress and the BJP in certain areas while in the remaining places, its the BJP versus AAP. In certain areas, driven by community votes, it is the Congress.

In the BJP, the RSS cadre that had been roped in after resistance from local leaders was pushing hard for the BJP candidate, Kirron Kher. Commenting on the political scene, Parmod Kumar, director, Institute for Development and Communication, said, "Though largely it is a triangular contest, in certain urban areas, the fight is between the BJP and AAP. In certain areas, it is the Congress versus the BJP." Surveys conducted by intelligence agencies state that 34 per cent of the voters in colonies played a major role.

Deepak Kumar Singh, chairperson, political science department, said "AAP is new, the BJP has brought an outsider, the Congress candidate is experienced but anti-incumbency factor is at play." Consolidated vote banks of industrialists, ex-servicemen, regular UT employees, contractual employees, apart from the community vote banks, are important. 



Money plays a major role in poll
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
While candidates fielded by the national parties have spent lakhs on election campaign, the lesser-known faces who are in the fray, have managed to conclude their poll campaign by restricting their expenditure to less than Rs 1 lakh.

Out of the total 17 candidates, six submitted details of poll expenditure today.

Jasmer Singh, a building contractor, who is contesting the elections as an Independent, spent Rs 2,100 on campaigning. He had to pay Rs 25,000 as security.

Another Independent candidate Shamsher Singh, a rag picker, spent Rs 20,622 on the poll campaign (excluding security charges). Ajay Singla, a businessman, spent Rs 67,818.

Sources said candidates had spent a major chunk on fuel and photocopying. "Since Independent candidates didn't organise any political rally, their expenditure could not cross the figure of Rs 1 lakh," said an official. The remaining 11 contestants, including Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, BJP's Kirron Kher, AAP's Gulkirat Kaur Panag and BSP's Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq, will be submitting the details of poll expenditure on Wednesday.

Till April 2, the Congress had spent Rs 9.81 lakh, the BJP had spent Rs 8.21 lakh, AAP had spent Rs 7.50 lakh and the BSP had spent Rs 6 lakh on their election campaign. 

Poll expenditure includes Rs 25,000 deposited as security

Candidate Expenditure

Jasmer Singh Rs 27,100

Shamsher Singh Rs 45,622

Ramesh Chander Rs 59,140

Ajay Singla Rs 67,818

Amarjit Kaur Rs 68,433

Pawan Kumar Sharma Rs 69,583 

Campaign launched

Chandigarh: To promote voting, CII-Young Indians (Yi) Chandigarh Tricity Chapter, launched a campaign 'Show the ink, see prices sink' at the CII North Region Headquarters in Sector 31 on Tuesday. The campaign aims at encouraging voters to come forward and make the right choice. Shopkeepers are offering discounts on merchandise just to exhort the youth to exercise their right to vote. — TNS



Security stepped up as poll draws near
4,000 police personnel to be deployed at polling booths in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh April 8
The UT police will be on their toes to ensure fair, free and smooth conduct of the elections on April 10.

A meeting chaired by the UT SSP at the police lines in Sector 26 was attended by 4,000 Chandigarh Police Personnel, including all gazetted officers and inspectors, who will remain on guard on April 10. Police personnel were instructed to follow the model code of conduct. They were told to stick to guidelines. Of the total 519 booths in the city, 167 have been declared sensitive. Paramilitary forces will also remain on guard and more police personnel will be deployed in sensitive areas.

They were told to collect election material and to assist presiding officers, civil officers, building in-charges. The police officers were instructed to ensure that no liquor was sold between April 8 (from 6 pm) and April 10 (6 pm). "The force has been instructed to follow the guidelines," said UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill.

IGP holds meeting

A meeting was chaired by UT IGP RP Upadhyaya at Traffic Auditorium, Sector 29, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.

All DSPs and inspectors attended the meeting. Duties and guidelines regarding the poll arrangements were discussed. 

Awareness through plays

The Election Department in association with an NGO staged plays on 'Samay ki kimat samjh kar matdan kendar jana hai' at Hallo Majra, Ram Darbar and Sector 17 on Tuesday. The events aimed at creating awareness among residents and visitors. Artistes urged people to cast their vote on April 10. Awareness about EVM and NOTA was also created in Ram Darbar, Phases I and II.



Country’s salvation depends on Modi: Ram Jethmalani 
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
"Narendra Modi should be elected the Prime Minister of India as the salvation of the country depends on him," said Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani while interacting with mediapersons during a session on 'Modi's relevance in today's political scenario'.

Jethmalani said Modi was honest and also a good orator. Ruling out Modi's involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Jethmalani said in 1969 and 1985 when there were riots in Gujarat, Modi was not the Chief Minister. "He came into power in 2002 and 31 per cent of Muslims had voted for him as they had faith in him," said Jethmalani claiming that Modi is not communal. Jethmalani said he had become disillusioned with the Congress. He referred to various incidents that had taken place during Jawaharlal Nehru and Indra Gandhi's tenure.

Calling Congress leader Sonia Gandhi a murderer, Jethmalani said the party was full of murderers.

When asked if he was supporting the BJP or Modi, Jethmalani replied that he was an expelled member of the BJP and was supporting Modi. The senior lawyer said the Congress should be termed as 'maut kae saudagar'. "The party is blaming Modi but the reality is that it is responsible for the 1984 riots," he added. He said before Independence, the elderly used to tell him that every street would be flooded with milk and honey once India got freedom but nothing of the sort happened. 



P’kula society residents to boycott poll
Say none of the political parties intervened to get HUDA order on resuming society land rolled back
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 8
To vent their anger against political parties for not extending a helping hand in their time of need, residents of the Haryana Employees Welfare Organisation (HEWO) Society in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), which saw an outbreak of typhoid last month, have decided to boycott the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

As many as 1,200 people reside in 312 flats of the society.

After an 11-year-old girl died and many persons were taken ill, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had found that the sewage was getting mixed with the fresh water due to construction of illegal toilets.

The HUDA then ordered resumption of the society as officials found that the illegal toilets were built by the society residents.

A notice pasted on the notice board of the society stated that in a meeting held on April 6, the residents of the GH1 have unanimously decided not to cast their votes during the Lok Sabha elections. As no political party came forward for getting the resumption of society rolled back, they were fighting the battle on their own.

An executive member of the society, Deepak, said, “Our houses have been resumed and still no one helped us. Resuming the society is no solution.”

An 11-year-old girl,identified as Ashima Sharma, had died while over 50 people were taken ill following outbreak of typhoid in the society.

Case recall

* After an 11-year-old girl died and many persons were taken ill, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had found that the sewage was getting mixed with the fresh water due to construction of illegal toilets.

* The HUDA then ordered resumption of the society as officials found that the illegal toilets were built by the society residents. 



Mock polling session today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 8
After three rounds of rehearsals, the election staff will hold a mock polling session at the Mini-secretariat here on Wednesday. The exercise will be conducted in the presence of political agents.

After presiding over a meeting of micro observers today, District Election Officer Dr SS Phulia revealed that 37 election observers (EOs) were designated for Panchkula and Kalka constituencies and their postings would be decided on April 9.

The District Election Officer also directed the election staff to videograph the untoward incident, if any, taking place at polling centres. A presiding officer could visit, check and confirm that the EVMs were not tampered with, he added.

The person accompanying a visually impaired voter should be above 18 years and he/she will be allowed to enter the polling booth only once, Dr Phulia said.

Among those present in the meeting were ADC SP Arora and assistant returning officers of Panchkula and Kalka Assembly segments, Gurmeet Singh and Manita Malik, respectively.



Panchkula gets 2 companies from Gujarat to intensify vigil
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 8
Two companies of the special force of Gujarat Border Wing have arrived here to intensify vigil in the district.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi said, “We have received two companies of the Gujarat Border Wing. The 176 personnel of the wing would be deployed at various nakas and for the purpose of combing sensitive colonies, villages and pockets in the district.”

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia had asked the police to seal the Chandigarh-Panchkula border, Baddi-Panchkula border and Baltana-Panchkula border. “Already the Panchkula Police is short of force and around 750 of them were deployed at the Mansa Devi temple during Navratras. Still, the police was managing various naka duties. With the special force reaching here, checking will be intensified in the district,” said the DC.

Commissioner of Police Ajay Singhal said they had received forces from the BSF and the ITBP as well.

Meanwhile, a flag march was carried out in Panchkula to instill a sense of fear among miscreants. As many as 90 officials, including that of the ITBP and the local police, and 29 police vehicles were part of the march.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi led the march.



Liquor vends to remain closed in tricity

Panchkula, April 8
In view of elections in Chandigarh and Panchkula, liquor vends in the tricity will remain closed till 6 pm on April 10.

Restaurants, hotels and clubs have also been prohibited from serving liquor from 6 pm on April 8 till 6 pm on April 10.

While Chandigarh and Panchkula will go to polls on April 10, polling will be held in Mohali on April 30. The Mohali Administration ordered closure of liquor vends in the light of elections in the neighbouring cities.

The Panchkula Administration has formed a special surveillance team to keep a check on distribution of cash or gifts apart from liquor to influence voters. For the purpose, check points have been set up in the border areas. Special checking will take place in colonies falling in Panchkula district. — TNS



Newly dug 25-foot-long tunnel found near Kauna village
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Pinjore, April 8
Panic gripped the residents of scores of villages in the Doon belt as a newly dug tunnel was found on the outskirts of Kauna and Rampur Jhangi villages on the Pinjore-Nalagarh road last evening.

Noticing heaps of loose soil along a bank of a choe, Pradeep Kumar, a resident of Kauna village, informed the villagers and sarpanch Jagdish Chand. The villagers visited the spot. Apprehending suspicious activity, they informed the police and subsequently, an earth mover was pressed to dig the spot.

As news spread like wildfire, villagers from far flung areas started reaching the site and the count was nearly 50,000 by this evening.

Pinjore SHO Lalit Kumar along with Head Constable Ram Mehar and some others reached the site this morning.

At the opening of the tunnel, measured nearly 25-foot long with 3-foot wide, the police found five bottles of soft drinks, four bottles of mineral water and wrappers of chips and biscuits.

Equipped with torch and his service weapon, Head Constable Ram Mehar crawled almost 10 feet inside the tunnel but found nothing inside, claimed the Pinjore SHO.

The operation ended with the cops blocking the tunnel's opening towards the choe.

When contacted, Kalka Sub-Divisional Magistrate Manita Malik claimed to have no information about the tunnel. “I am busy with the Lok Sabha elections,” she added.

Fact file

* A resident of Kauna village noticed heaps of loose soil along a bank of a choe and informed the villagers.

* The tunnel was measured as nearly 25 feet long in length and three feet wide.

* Equipped with torch and his service weapon, Head Constable Ram Mehar crawled almost 10 feet inside the tunnel but found nothing inside, claimed Pinjore SHO Lalit Kumar.



Nine duty magistrates appointed 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 8
To maintain law and order on the polling day, District Election Officer (DEO) Dr SS Phulia today appointed nine duty magistrates for different police stations across the district.

Exercising his powers under Section 22(1) 23 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the DEO appointed Rajbir Singh Dhiman (mobile No. 09215060155) for Kalka, RK Sharma (09416473873) for Pinjore, Darpan Kamboj (09991353300) for Morni, Kanwar Daman Singh (09466110955) for Raipur Rani, Dr Vandana Dishodia (09878139000) for Sector 5, Panchkula, Dharampal (09416228505) for the MDC and Sector 20, Panchkula, Suresh Kumar (09416145082) for Sector 14 Panchkula, Hardeep Malik (0985558896) for Chandimandir, and Dinesh Sharma (0914643873) for Barwala.

Meanwhile, the election officers deputed for the Kalka Assembly segment have been directed to assemble at Government College for Girls, Sector 14, and those deputed for Panchkula have been asked to assemble at the Community Centre, BEL, Sector 14, Panchkula, at 8 am on Wednesday and to report to their respective assistant returning officers (AROs).

They have further been directed to report to their AROs at 5 pm after reaching their assigned polling stations along with the election material, including electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The polling officer have to send regular reports about voting trend and percentage at 8 am, 10 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, 5 pm and immediately after the polling process ends to the AROs and the DEO. The staff have been asked to report again to the AROs and the DEO after reaching their respective counting centres - Government College for Girls, Sector 14, and BEL, Sector 14, Panchkula, in the evening, Dr Phulia informed.



Navratras: Over 9 lakh pay obeisance at Mansa Devi temple
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 8
Over 9.7 lakh devotees offered prayers at the Mansa Devi temple during the Navratras.

Cash donations of Rs 1.5 crore were received as offerings during the nine-day fest that concluded today. Besides, 121 gold and 1,698 silver items along with foreign currency were received at the temple.

Devotees offered 155 US dollars, 140 Canadian, 135 Australian and 30 Singapore dollars, 50 Euros and 90 pounds.

Meanwhile, a devotee lost his gold chain at the temple. In her complaint to the police, Pooja, the victim, stated that she was standing in a queue to pay obeisance at the temple when she found her gold chain missing.

Voter awareness

The temple also turned out to be a good platform for spreading awareness among people to cast their votes on April 10. Banners and hoardings were put up to urge voters to exercise their right to franchise.

Legal awareness camp

The District Legal Services Authority held a camp at the temple.

As many as 1,000 complaints were received during the nine-day camp, which concluded on Tuesday. It is learnt that most complaints pertained to matrimonial disputes, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, and police inaction.

Recently, Justice SK Mittal also visited the camp and appreciated the efforts of the students of Law College, Barwala, who participated in the camp. Lawyers and para legal volunteers also rendered their services at the camp.

Special flexes stating the fundamental duties, main provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, and the Prohibition of the Child Marriage Act, 2006, were also installed at the camp.



Prices of eggs, chicken come down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
With summer setting in, prices of eggs and chicken have come down in the city. The per dozen cost of eggs has reduced from Rs 60 to Rs 50 on retail counters, while the per kg cost of chicken has come down by Rs 20 (from Rs 140 to Rs 120 now).

Sellers in the Sector 21 meat market said the demand of eggs and chicken had decreased by about 25 per cent in the past couple of days with rising mercury levels. Egg and chicken prices were likely to go down further in coming days.

In November last year, the price of eggs was increased from Rs 48 per dozen to Rs 60 per dozen. According to the sales figures available with the traders, the consumption of eggs in city households everyday during summer ranges between 40,000 and 50,000, while it doubles in winter.



Savita Bhatti highlights corruption through satire

Chandigarh, April 8
Savita Bhatti, the first choice of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), raised various issues such as corruption and violence through a satire on politics here today.

Floating the NOTA party, Savita, along with the members of the Nonsense Club, gathered at Sector 17. NOTA (None of the Above) is an option in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

She said the party was open for all politicians who were corrupt and had a criminal past. Accompanied by a drum beater, Savita and her supporters also sang a song, "NOTA party sone di", on corruption, holding currency notes in their hands.

Speaking about the satire, Savita said she was neither encouraging NOTA nor asking people to exercise this option on the polling day.

"We wanted to raise a larger issue that is corruption. Through our NOTA party, we asked corrupt politicians to join us," she said. Savita said political leaders being hit in public was another issue they wanted to highlight through the act.

The former AAP leader refrained from commenting on any political party or leader during the entire exercise. — TNS



Scrub typhus leading cause of kidney dysfunction: Study
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
While World Health Day celebrations that began yesterday are dedicated to reducing the scourge of vector-borne diseases this year, researchers at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have found scrub typhus infection as an emerging, yet neglected, public health concern in the region. A study conducted at the Department of Nephrology, PGIMER, found scrub typhus - a life-threatening infection due to mite bite - a leading cause of renal (kidney) dysfunction in most of the patients.

Out of the total 201 patients (from various parts of North India) with acute febrile illness, 49 tested positive for scrub typhus during the study. Kidney abnormalities were seen in 82 per cent patients, with 53 per cent patients having acute kidney injury. These patients were examined from September 2011 to November 2012. Blood samples of all patients, with unexplained acute febrile illness and/or varying organ involvement, were taken.

“Patients with acute kidney injury were sicker and more likely to die compared to those who did not have it,” the researchers found.

“These are new findings of public health importance and suggest the need to include testing for this condition in the diagnostic armory of patients with acute febrile illness,’’ said Dr Vivekanand Jha from the Department of Nephrology, PGIMER.

“The findings that have been reported in the open-source journal ‘PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases’ recently are contrary to the widespread perception that scrub typhus rarely causes renal dysfunction,” he said.

“The disease is not commonly recognised even by doctors. Since symptoms of the infection overlap with many other common infections, it is difficult to differentiate without appropriate testing,” said Dr Jha, who is also executive director, George Institute for Global Health, India.

While the commonly implicated conditions include malaria, leptospirosis, dengue, enteric fever, viral and bacterial infections, little is known about scrub typhus caused by the microorganism rickettsia and transmitted to humans by mites, which is endemic in Asia with an estimated one million cases occurring annually.

What is scrub typhus

Scrub typhus is transmitted by some species of trombiculid mites that are found in the areas of heavy scrub vegetation. The bite of this mite leaves a characteristic black scar, which is useful to the doctor for making the diagnosis.



Poll team seizes Rs 4.34 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
The Static Surveillance team today recovered Rs 4,34,400 from various nakas. Under the guidelines of the Election Commission regarding the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, three flying squad teams and three Static Surveillance teams, along with executive magistrates, are functioning in the city.

The teams headed by Parveen Mittal, executive magistrate, along with SI Jai Singh, laid a naka near Hotel JW Marriott, Sector 35, Chandigarh, and recovered a huge amount of cash from different persons.

Today, 1,500$ worth Rs 90,000 were recovered from Harbeer Singh, driver of an Innova car (bearing registration number CH-01AM-8679), Rs 1,15,400 were recovered from Suresh Bansal, driver of an Innova car (bearing registration number PB-29P-0015).

Cash worth Rs 1 lakh was recovered from Bhupinder Singh, driver of a Cruze car (bearing registration number CH-01AK-1976).

Another naka was laid near the Furniture Market on the road dividing Sectors 53/54. The teams recovered Rs 58,000 from Randhir Sood, driver of an Innova car (CH-05(T)-3510), Rs 71,000 from Gautam Kaushal, driver of an i-20 car (bearing registration number PB-10EF(T)-1248).

The seized amount was handed over to SHOs of police stations concerned for further verification and appropriate actions.



Mohali SSP marks inquiry against SP
Accused of misusing power to favour Chandumajra
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 8
The role of SP (City) Swarndeep Singh is under the scanner as Mohali SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu has marked an inquiry against him following directions from the Election Commission.

The development has taken place following separate complaints filed by residents of Mauli Baidwan village to the Election Commission against the police officer, accusing him of misusing power to favour Akali Dal candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra.

The election commission forwarded the complaints to Mohali SSP, directing him to look into the matter.

Confirming the development, SSP Sandhu said he has marked an inquiry to SP (detective) GS Garewal in this regard and asked him to submit his report as soon as possible.

Notably, in their complaints, the residents of Mauli Baidwan alleged that SP Swarndeep Singh was misusing his power to favour Chandumajra.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Avtar Singh alleged that the officer had been supervising the investigation of group clash, which had taken place between two groups of Akali Dal (BS Ramoowalia group and Kiranbir Singh Kang group) during zila parishad and panchayati elections in last July.

Notably, the complainants are also party in the group clash.

“Whenever we or other residents of the village go to him (SP Swarndeep Singh) for checking status of investigation or some other work, he told us to get recommendation from Chandumajra. He is working as an agent of Chandumajra,” alleged the sarpanch.

SP Swarndeep Singh termed all the allegations against him false and baseless. “In the group clash, all the involved persons were made accused and most of them had already been arrested. These persons (the complainants) are making false allegations against me just to divert the investigation in the case,” claimed SP Swarndeep Singh.

SSP Sandhu said now the investigation in the group clash has been entrusted to SP (traffic and security) SS Bains.



Police hold flag march
Our Correspondent

Kalka, April 8
In wake of the forth coming elections on April 10, a flag march of police personnel headed by ACP Purnima Singh was organised in Kalka, Pinjore. The flag march was organised to make sure the elections will be conducted peacefully. The flag march included Kalka Police and other police personnel of Traffic police, CIA staff and ITBP.

The flag March started from Surajpur, HMT, Pinjore, Model Town, Lohgarh, Dhamala, Basoula, Garida, Kiratpur, Charnia, Johluwal, Karanpur, Rampur Jangi, Kherawali, Tagra, through Kalka-Parwanoo bypass. The police have made adequate arrangements. Special police force of 72 police personnel of Gujrat has been deputed for this purpose, which would make a check and keep a special vigil on all activities of crime during the elections.



Business news

LIC’s Chandigarh division reports highest growth

LIC of India, Chandigarh division, has secured first rank across India on registering growth in first premium income as on March 31. The Chandigarh division reported 28.66 per cent growth on total first premium income this year from last year’s total first premium income of Rs 303.40 crore on the sale of 2,85,742 new policies. LC Meena, senior divisional manager, Chandigarh division, said, “Our division has achieved these accolades twice in the current financial year as it has already achieved its annual first premium target of 263 crore by 31st December 2013.”

Google launches ‘Know Your Candidates’ tool

Google today announced the launch of a new tool as part of its elections portal offering ‘google.co.in/elections http://google.co.in/elections’, called ‘Know Your Candidates’. The new tool will allow citizens to get easy access to relevant information about political candidates contesting from their constituency and their incumbent Member of Parliament.

Best Price celebrates ‘Summer Mela 2014’

Best Price Modern Wholesale, owned and operated by Wal-Mart India Private Limited, is hosting the first phase of ‘Summer Mela 2014’ for all its members until April 21 with a range of summer special products at low prices.

Free consultation at Dr Batra’s clinic

For the month of April, Dr Batra’s clinic will offer free consultation to mark the 259th birth anniversary of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD, founder of homeopathy on April 10. — TNS



PU forwards complaint to subject experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
The Panjab University (PU) authorities today forwarded the complaint of BCom first-year students to the subject experts to verify the fact that the English paper held on April 5 was not as per the set pattern of the university.

Controller of Examination Dr Parvinder Singh said the complaint was forwarded to the subject experts, who would submit the report within two days for further consideration of the Board of Studies. The report would then be approved by PU Vice-Chancellor AK Grover.

On April 5, a large number of students and faculty members had complained to the Controller of Examination that the English paper A and B was not as per the university's fresh pattern.

Meanwhile, the ABVP in a memorandum addressed to the PU Vice-Chancellor complained that the management accounting exam of BCom final-year held yesterday was not as per the set pattern. Due to a holiday in the university, the ABVP submitted the memorandum to the chief security officer.

In the memorandum, they complained that as per the rules there should be 30 marks each for practical and theory in the examination. However, the examination conducted yesterday mentioned 45 marks for theory and only 15 marks for practical.

ABVP representative Harmanjot Singh Gill said in their complaint they had also mentioned that two of the questions of the BCom final-year exam were out of syllabus.

The Controller of Examination said he had not yet received any complaint regarding the BCom final-year management accounting exam.



From schools

Avoid junk food, students told

Oakridge International School, Mohali, organised a seminar on World Health Day. The theme of the seminar was “eat healthy, say no to junk food”. Dietician Guneet of Ivy Hospital told the students about the importance of balanced diet and good eating habits. Guneet also highlighted the importance of green leafy vegetables and fruits. He advised the students to avoid junk food and drink plenty of water. The students were encouraged to play outdoor games. While speaking on the occasion, school principal Pranjala Das said healthy mind lives in a healthy body. She motivated the students to inculcate healthy eating habits in their day-to-day life.

Achievement Day celebrated

Achievement Day was celebrated at DAV, Surajpur, on Tuesday. Students from Classes VI to XII were honoured not only for their outstanding academic performance but also for their co-scholastic achievements. Chief guest Rakesh Mittal, senior LMC member, applauded the efforts of the students. Principal Anuja Sharma said: “One should always strive for excellence. All obstacles in life can be overcome by hard work, determination and courage.” Students were awarded prizes for excelling in inter-house competitions. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |