C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Girls lock themselves up in dormitory
High drama takes place as Snehalaya team arrives at the home to take away eight of the complainants 
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
All 18 inmates of Bal Niketan reportedly locked themselves up in a dormitory when a team of Snehalaya arrived there to take away eight of the complainants on the directions of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights yesterday night.

Today, after five complainants had been taken away by their parents last night, the remaining 13 inmates once again locked themselves up when two representatives of Snehalaya reached there at 2 pm.

Honorary Secretary, Bal Niketan Society, Amar Kulwant Singh said yesterday the warden along with the Snehalaya team visited Bal Niketan and asked the eight girls to pack their bags. Five of the girls, who have parents, requested the team to allow them to make a phone call to their parents before leaving the premises, said Singh.

The remaining three girls, who are orphans, denied to leave and threatened that if they were taken away forcibly, they would harm themselves, he said.

When the officials did not give heed to their request, all the 18 inmates, reportedly, bolted themselves in the dormitory. They also pasted a sheet of paper on the door stating that till the five girls were not allowed to call their parents, no girl would come out. The sheet also carried phone numbers of the parents.

The team and a counsellor who arrived to talk to the inmates failed to convince them. Finally, after two hours, when the team left, the girls came out. The five girls called their parents, who took them away at night.

Sources said a brother of one of the orphan girls staying in Snehalaya had asked his sister not to shift till he asked her to do so.

UT Social Welfare Director Rajesh Jogpal was not available for comment. Earlier during the day, he visited all the institutes under the department along with officials of the UT Engineering and Architecture departments.

Legal assistance sought

After the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights directed the UT Social Welfare Department to take over Bal Niketan Society, the department is seeking legal opinion on how to run it.

Police violate child protection Act

The UT Police Department is violating the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. According to its provisions, police personnel during a visit to any home for destitute children must be in civilian clothes. For the past three days, however, women police personnel have been visiting Bal Niketan in their uniform.

Main complainants left home earlier

There are 16 complainants in the molestation case involving Bal Niketan supervisor Manish Arora. Of the two main complainants, one left Bal Niketan on April 4 on the plea that she was sick and wanted to go to her guardian’s house. Her sister, who is the other main complainant, too, left the home for destitute children with her guardian to look after her sister on April 11.

Two orphan girls are adults

Three of the complainants who are orphan are still in Bal Niketan. Two of them are adults. Since April 2, the management of Bal Niketan has been communicating with the Social Welfare Department asking it to shift the adult orphans to Sudhar Ghar, under the juvenile Act. Despite repeated reminders, no action has been taken. 



Supervisor gets 14-day judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The accused in the Sector 15 Bal Niketan sexual harassment case and supervisor of the home, Manish Arora, was produced before a court today, which remanded him in 14-day judicial custody. The supervisor was arrested yesterday after he returned from leave. Girl inmates of the home had complained that he used to sexually harass them.

In his statement to the police, the accused said he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case.

Talking to mediapersons while he was being produced in the court today, the accused said he had been targeted by a group of girls as he was strict with them and did not permit them to go out and meet their boyfriends.

He said he used to interact with the girls only in the presence of his women assistant and never alone as had been alleged. He said the girls used to interact with the warden and he hardly dealt with them personally.



Shift Estate Office staff, DC writes to Finance Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
More trouble is in store for the staff of the enforcement wing of the UT Estate Office.

A day after UT Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer wrote to the SSP to register an FIR against the staff of the building branch, including the SDO (Buildings) and JEs, in connection with major building violations, the transfer of the entire staff is on the cards.

Taking serious note of the anomalies, the Estate Officer has written to the Finance Secretary to transfer the entire staff and post employees who have previously not worked there.

Sources said after the registration of the FIR, departmental action would be initiated against the erring officials.

At least five cases have been detected where the construction at the sites is not in conformity with the sanctioned building plans.

The sources said an inspection of the sites was carried out by the DC before going ahead with the action. More such sites could face a similar action in the coming days.

Private architects under the scanner

The Estate Office is contemplating strict action against the architects who submitted the building plans of the five identified properties under "self-declaration". If a declaration given by an architect is proved wrong, he can be blacklisted and face further action. An alleged nexus between architects and the erring staff is already under the scanner.

Two sealed buildings opened Chandigarh Beopar Mandal president Charanjeev Singh and Sector 17 Traders Association president Kalamjeet Singh Panchi took up the matter of the affected property owners with the Estate Officer, following which two of the four buildings, one in Sector 20 and the other in Sector 17, which were sealed yesterday, were opened today. SS Arora, who runs advertising business from the Sector 17 building, said he suffered a huge loss in the past two days.



Now, Punjab to stake claim to UT Adviser's post
Govt to take up issue with the MHA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
After Haryana, now the Punjab government will stake claim to the post of UT Adviser.

Sources in the Punjab government said after the elections in the state, officials and ministers would take up the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Sources said Punjab would stake claim to the UT Adviser's post, which is at present filled from among IAS officers belonging to the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) cadre. Punjab will also take up the issue of the 60:40 officer ratio between Punjab and Haryana in the Chandigarh Administration.

A senior official of Punjab said the state government was not happy with the way officials of the Punjab cadre were being sidelined in the UT Administration. After the election process, it would take up the issue with the MHA, he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had earlier also taken up this issue with the Union Government. In 2012, during the North Zone Chief Ministers' meeting, Badal had sought strict adherence to the 60:40 ratio in the allocation of posts between Punjab and Haryana.

The Punjab Chief Minister had urged the Centre to direct the Chandigarh Administration not to create unnecessary problems on this "extremely emotive issue".

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had then made it clear that the 60:40 staff ratio in the Chandigarh Administration would continue.

Haryana CM writes to ministry

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had recently shot off a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, demanding that the post of UT Adviser should be rotated between Punjab and Haryana, and no IAS officer from the AGMUT cadre should be posted in Chandigarh. Hooda had also opposed the appointment of Deputy Superintendants of Police (DSPs) in the city from the Delhi and Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Services (DANIPS) cadre in Chandigarh. He had demanded that all such DSPs in Chandigarh should be recalled. Besides, the 60:40 staff ratio between Punjab and Haryana in the Chandigarh Administration should be maintained, he had demanded.

Resentment among Punjab, Haryana officers

In recent years, several officials from the UT cadre have been posted in Chandigarh, leading to some resentment among officers from Punjab and Haryana. At present, an IAS officer of the UT cadre is posted as UT Adviser. Besides, there are five UT-cadre officers — two of the Additional Secretary rank, one Additional Deputy Commissioner and two SDMs. The Home Secretary is from the Haryana cadre, while the Finance Secretary is from the Punjab cadre. Another bone of contention among IAS officers from the Haryana cadre is that the powers of the UT Home Secretary have been diluted, with the charge of several departments being given to officers from the UT cadre.



Eco-sensitive zone around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary
Ministry seeks UT’s point-wise objections to Punjab’s proposal 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought point-wise objections from the UT Administration on the Punjab government’s proposal to reduce the radius of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.

The ministry in its letter to the Administration has also sent a copy of Punjab’s proposal, seeking a detailed reply on all the points that the UT feels can harm the wildlife sanctuary.

Recently, the UT Administration in a letter to the ministry had opposed Punjab’s proposal. The letter sent by the UT read, “Since the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is notified by the UT Administration, so it was desirable that the Forest Department of Punjab should have consulted the Chief Wildlife Warden of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary before sending such a draft recommendation to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. However, the same has not been done by them and they have forwarded a proposal of 100 metres from the boundary of the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary without carrying out the procedure as prescribed by the MoEF.”

“It is requested that the draft notification for the ESZ around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary (area falling in Punjab or in Haryana) should only be done in consultation with the UT Administration as the wildlife management of the sanctuary vests with the Chief Wildlife Warden of the UT,” the letter further read.

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 26 sq km. According to UT officials, the catchment area around the sanctuary is around 36 “running kilometres”. Of the total catchment area, around 2 km falls under the jurisdiction of the UT Administration, while the rest is under the jurisdiction of Punjab and Haryana.

In its draft, the UT Administration has proposed an area ranging from 2 km to 2.75 km as the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the sanctuary. Low-density and low-rise buildings are proposed in the area falling within the ESZ. “No mining or hazardous industry should be permitted in the ESZ, no expansion of the road outside the sanctuary should be allowed, no deep borewell should be dug for commercial or large-scale users and all existing water bodies and indigenous floral and faunal diversity within the zone should be protected,” the Administration’s ESZ draft states.


YAD roadshow in support of Chandumajra 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
The Youth Akali Dal (YAD) held a roadshow to show strength and woo voters in support of Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, the SAD-BJP combine’s candidate for the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat, here this evening.

More than 300 supporters on about 200 vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, jeeps and SUVs, took part in the roadshow. They raised slogans in the favour of Chandumajra and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The roadshow, led by YAD district president Harmanjit Singh Prince, Chandumajra’s son Simranjit Singh and former union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, started from gurdwara traffic lights in Phase 6 at around 5.30 pm. It passed through various markets of the town, including Phases 1, 2, 5, 3B2, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, before culminating at the YAD’s office in Sector 70.

“Roadshows have become a fad and is a new style of campaigning. We are satisfied with the response of people towards our roadshow,” said Prince.

Simranjit Singh sought votes for his father claiming overall development of the area and good governance.

Meanwhile, several participants of the roadshow were seen caring two hoots about the traffic rules. Cops on duty remained mute spectators to gross violations of traffic rules.



Silent, neutral voters will go with AAP, says Yadav
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Yogendra Yadav kicked off his election campaign in Punjab by holding a roadshow here this morning.

In around two hours, his roadshow covered the town and surrounding areas, including Kharar and Banur.

A former journalist and a member of the core team of AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Yadav rode an open jeep while canvassing for Advocate Himmat Singh Shergill, the party’s candidate from the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency.

In his 10-minute address at the Phase V market where the roadshow culminated, Yadav said the AAP provided an option to those voters who wanted a complete change in the system and a corruption-free government.

He targeted candidates of the Congress and the BJP-SAD combine claiming that they have looted the country by turns. “If voted to power, the AAP would provide you a corruption-free government,” claimed Yadav, adding that the silent and neutral voters would go with the AAP.

Earlier, Yadav was accorded warm welcome by the party’s supporters at Phase XI, the starting point of the roadshow. His cavalcade passed through Phases 10, 9, 8, 7, 3B2 and Phase 5. Later, Yadav left for Kharar and Banur. From there, he was reportedly scheduled to go to Patiala, Sangrur and Bathinda.

Poll code violated?

While the local AAP leaders boasted about participation of over 100 vehicles in the roadshow today, the fact has brought the party’s show under the scanner of district electoral office authorities.

The party had sought permission for only five vehicles and two rickshaws for the roadshow. Confirming this, Mohali SDM-cum-Assistant Returning Officer Lakhmir Singh said, “We got the information that the number of vehicles in the roadshow was much more. We would see the video footage of the show and an action would be initiated in case there was any violation of the model code.”

No traffic chaos

With AAP activists also regulating traffic at various points on the route of the roadshow, no traffic jam was reported during the campaign today. The participants adhered to the traffic rules and did not jump red signals.



2 members to be shifted to Amritsar Mental Hospital for treatment
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 24
Local health authorities are contemplating shifting Achlinder Singh and Amandeep Kaur, the brother-sister duo, who were rescued by a team of the District Legal Services Authority, Mohali, yesterday, to Mental Hospital, Amritsar, for further treatment.

Notably, the brother-sister duo along with their mother Jaswant Kaur, all mentally unstable, was shifted to Civil Hospital from their residence at Phase 9, where they had been living in isolation and pathetic condition for the past six years.

Jaswant Kaur’s husband Jatinder Singh Baidwan, who was living in a trust-run charity home at Phase 7 for the past few days, was also admitted in the hospital last night.Today, the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary of DLSA, Mohalii, Tarantarn Singh Bindra went to the hospital to see the patients. Tarantaran Singh Bindra issued instructions to the medical authorities to provide them treatment free of cost. The hospital’s Senior Medical Officer, Dr Adesh Kang, said Achlinder Singh and Amandeep Kaur needed to shift to Mental Hospital, Amritsar, while Jatinder Singh and Jawant Kaur would be treated at the hospital here.



Excise policy extended 

Chandigarh, April 24
After a long wait, the Chandigarh Administration has extended the existing excise policy till May 31.

An official statement issued by the Excise And Taxation Commissioner stated that the period of licencees which were to expire on April 30 have now been given an option to extend the period till May 31. All the licencees, (wholesale and retail sale) will be required to submit their consent for the extension on or before April 29. They will further be required to deposit the licence fee for one month in the form of demand draft. The licence fee will be calculated on pro rata (proportionate) basis by calculating it on annual fee charged for 2013-14.The basic quota allotted for 2013-14 will not be allowed to carry forward and the fresh quota allotted will also be on pro rata (proportionate) basis of the whole year.— TNS



Panchkula engineer secures berth in civil services exam
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
Consistency and perseverance have been the success mantra of Gaurav Kaushal, who cleared the civil services examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in 2012.

Kaushal, resident of Sector 9, secured the 38th rank in the second list of the selected candidates released by the UPSC today. With this, he has topped the Tricity in the second list.

Crediting the success to his father, Suresh Chand Kaushal, mother Sunita and younger sister Pooja, he claimed to have devoted 7-8 hours a day to studies. Besides this, he also exercised in the gym to keep his mind and body fresh.

Son of a city-based builder, Kaushal did his BE in Electronics Engineering from Punjab Engineering College (PEC). He did his schooling from Bhawan Vidyalaya, Panchkula, and Moti Ram Arya School, Chandigarh.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Kaushal claimed to have cleared the exam without any coaching. “Guidance from my seniors and teachers at Delhi helped me in achieving my goal. After completing BE in 2010, I started preparing for the civil services. Though I also took the exam in 2010 and 2011, the third attempt yielded the results.”

Kaushal’s father said, “I never forced him to join my business nor asked him to do any service. This is the result of his hard work.” 



Painting workshop ends at Nepli forest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
The three-day workshop on painting — to mark the World Earth Day — concluded at the Nepli forest today.

The workshop, held from April 22-24, was organised by the Department of Environment and Forest, UT Administration, in association with the Society for Development of Films and Arts, Chandigarh.

As many as 15 renowned artists of national and international fame participated in the workshop.

The artists exhibited their skills by painting several environmental issues concerning the Earth. The theme for the workshop was ‘Let’s paint the Earth’.

On the concluding day, Satya Gopal, secretary, environment and forest, was the chief guest and RP Upadhyaya, IG police, was the guest of honour.

While addressing the gathering, Gopal said, “The Earth is facing a huge crisis due to human action. This will affect mankind. The time has come for us to realise and take precautions so that the adverse impact to the Mother Earth is minimised.”




Chandigarh Tribune invites feedback from its readers on issues of public concern relating to Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and the nearby areas. Readers can email their views to

letters.ct@gmail.com They can also send their views to: Feedback, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh — 160029.

Letters sent by post must mention 'Feedback for Chandigarh Tribune' on the envelope and it should be signed and must contain the address and telephone number of the sender. It should not be more than 150 words. 



Panjab varsity postpones examinations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24
Panjab University (PU), has postponed the examinations for the reappear under mercy chance and improvement of performance candidates of MA/ MSc/ MCom/ MFC annual system Part I and II. As many as 150 students will be affected by the decision.

PU Controller of Examinations, Prof Parvinder Singh, said, “The examinations have been postponed due to administrative reasons. The revised date sheets will be notified shortly.”

He, however, clarified that the examinations of the regular MA/ MSc/ MCom/ MFC semester examinations will continue as per the schedule.

Singh said the date sheets of MA/ MSc/ MCom/ MFC (annual system) Part I and II for the Reappear under mercy chance and improvement of performance candidates, uploaded on the PU website, may be treated as cancelled.



Students recite shalokas
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 24
More than 100 students participated in an inter-school Sanskrit shalokas recitation competition organised by the Haryana Sanskrit Academy in collaboration with Allahabad Bank, training branch, Sector 14, here today.

The competition was organised to celebrate the 150th Foundation Day of the bank. Vagish of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 15; Dalsi of St. Xaviers, Sector 20, and Yogesh of Government Sarthak Senior Secondary School, Sector 12, were adjudged first, second and third, respectively.



From schools


Investiture ceremony

Chandigarh: The investiture ceremony was organised at Saupin’s School, Sector 32, today. The newly-elected members of the senior and junior wing pledged to perform their duties during the academic session 2014-15. Scholarships were awarded to students who excelled in academics and various sports activities, including archery, cricket, football, gymnastics and karate. A total of Rs 2.50 lakh was distributed among the deserving students.

World Book Day

The students of British School took part in various activities, including bookmark making, designing a book jacket, writing book reviews etc., to mark World Book Day.

Declamation contest

A declamation contest was organised for the students of Classes IX-X on the occasion of World Book Day at AKSIPS, Sector 45, today. The students presented their views on ‘Books are our best friends’. The students of Classes I and II made bookmarks and were briefed on the importance of copyright.


Sachin’s b’day celebrated

Doon Public School, Sector 21, today celebrated cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s 41st birthday. The trainees of Sree Sree Cricket Academy, students and faculty took part in the celebrations. The key event of the day was a six-a-side cricket match played between the women staff and girl students.

Workshop on science

A workshop on ‘Hands-on knowledge — Real time application of science and Vedic maths’ was organised for the students of Class X of DAV-8 today. The workshop was conducted by Shivani, an alumni of the school, who later did engineering from PEC.

World Book Day

Mohali: Oakridge International School organized World Book Day today. Several activities, including bookmark making, story writing, character parade, reading aloud, designing book covers etc, were organised. The main highlight of the event was the character parade wherein the students walked the ramp.

Story-telling competition

The tiny-tots of Classes I to III participated in a story-telling competition at Sant Isher Singh Public School, Phase VII, today. They presented various stories with enthusiasm. The winners were given prizes by school principal Inderjeet Kaur Sandhu. — 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 |