C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Outsider opens fire on PU campus
Was enraged over his sister’s friendship with varsity student; thrashes him
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Breaching the security cover right under the nose of guards deployed at Gate No. 1 of Panjab University (PU), a Sector 41 resident fired into the air after a scuffle with a student on the campus today. High drama was witnessed when the accused, who was enraged over his sister’s friendship with the student, beat him up along with his accomplices. According to an eyewitness, five outsiders came from Gate No. 1 near Hostel No. 1 at 1.20 pm and attacked MA (history) student Surjit Singh. The main accused has been identified as Karan Sharma, whose sister, a PU student, was a friend of Surjit.

It all started when Karan Sharma barged into the campus with his accomplices and confronted the victim, Surjit Singh. After a violent scuffle with him, Karan took out his revolver and fired into the air near the gate after which Surjit ran towards Arts Block I for cover. He was beaten up. During the scuffle, one of the MA (Hindi) students, Bakshi Singh, was also injured.

After the firing, the guards immediately closed the gate to cordon off the area, but the assailants managed to flee from the spot from a side gate.

Surjit told the police that he had friendship with Karan’s sister, but broke off a few months ago.

Karan accused him of indulging in loose talk about his sister and thus planned the attack, the police said. Surjit had a narrow escape and sustained minor injuries.

The police have registered a case of attempt to murder, causing hurt and criminal intimidation under Sections 307, 323 and 506 of the IPC and under the Arms Act against Karan Sharma at the Sector 11 police station. “The accused is on the run and the police are conducting raids to nab him,” said Inspector Malkit Singh, SHO, Sector 11 police station. An empty shell was recovered from the spot.

PU officials passed the buck on the police, saying that as a huge crowd had gathered at the spot after the firing, the guards were unable to make out who attacked the students.

PU security officer Ashok Kumar Gautam said the security guards had informed the police about the incident and action would be taken in the matter.

Acting chief security officer replaced

After the incident, the additional charge of the PU chief security officer has been given to Jatinder Grover, Assistant Professor, USOL, from Anil Monga. Officials denied that the charge has been taken away from Monga due to the incident and said the step had been taken to reduce the burden on him as he was already holding a number of posts in administrative committees.



Can’t compensate dog bite victims, Admn tells HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The Chandigarh Administration today made it clear that dog bite victims could not be compensated as it would not be financially viable. The Administration also told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it had implemented the “Comprehensive Scheme for Management of Stray Dogs in the Union Territory of Chandigarh, 2012”. Taking a note of the assertions, Justice Rajan Gupta asked the Administration to clearly spell out how it had so far implemented the scheme.

The scheme, implemented from January this year, makes it clear that capturing of dogs will be based on specific complaints, for which the municipal corporation will set up a dog-control cell to receive complaints on dog nuisance, dog bites and information on rabid dogs.

On receipt of specific complaint on dog nuisance or dog bite, it will be attended to on a priority basis, irrespective of the area from which the complaint comes. Details such as the complainant’s name, his complete address, particulars and nature of the complaint and other relevant data will be recorded in a register to be maintained for record.

As the case came up for resumed hearing, counsel for the Chandigarh Administration told the court that compensating dog bite victims would put additional financial pressure on the Administration, and the people in turn. In case 9,000 dog bites were reported in the city, and a compensation of Rs 10,000 was to be made to each of the victim, the total would come out to be Rs 90,000,000.

The High Court, on a previous date of hearing, had sought the MC's response on the issue of compensating dog bite victims.

The directions came after the corporation told the court that it was running a rabies vaccination clinic for providing treatment free of cost to dig bite victims through qualified doctors. However, the corporation had not framed a policy or scheme for providing compensation to dog bite victims in the absence of a statutory mandate.

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Kumar Gupta has already informed the High Court that 8,199 incidents of dog bites were reported at the rabies vaccination clinic in Sector 19, Chandigarh, from January 2013 to April 2014. Of these, 1,823 cases pertained to bites by pet dogs, while the remaining 6,376 incidents pertained to bites by stray dogs.



DSP Raka Gira case
Complainant turns hostile
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
In a twist to the corruption case involving Punjab DSP Raka Gira as the accused, the complainant in the case today turned hostile in the court. Mullanpur-based builder KK Malhotra refused to identify the DSP’s voice in the audio recording and expressed ignorance about the voice of the accused. He also failed to identify the accused in the video recording submitted by the prosecution and was thus declared hostile.

The CBI had arrested DSP Raka Gira in July 2011 after the investigating agency laid a trap at Gira’s Sector 15 residence and caught her taking Rs 1 lakh as bribe. The CBI had acted on a complaint of Malhotra, who had stated that the DSP was demanding Rs 2 lakh as bribe to free him of the cases registered against him and the deal was then settled for Rs 1 lakh.

The CBI had at that time recorded the telephonic conversation between Gira and Malhotra and also videographed the exchange of money.

As the video recording and telephonic conversation were played in the Special CBI Court today, Malhotra refused to identify any of the voices other than his. He also failed to identify the accused DSP following which he was declared hostile.

At the time the CBI had laid a trap in 2011, the search of the DSP’s Sector 15 palatial house had yielded around Rs 1.2 crore, stashed in various boxes in different parts of the house, and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees. Also, the CBI found fixed deposits worth Rs 75 lakh and other expensive artifacts. Gira was at that time supervising two inquiries registered against Malhotra under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.

Malhotra, in his complaint to the CBI, alleged that Gira had been harassing him and demanded Rs 2 lakh as bribe to free him from the cases.



Another twist in Morni mishap case
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
A youth, whose dialled number was found in the call list of the girl accompanying Saman Dhanak at the time when she claimed to be in Morni, had sent ‘New Year wishes’ to her creating a suspicion of a link between the two. On the intervening night of April 19 and 20, Saman, the grandson of a former Haryana Minister, died when his car fell into a 60-foot-deep gorge in the Morni hills. His female friend suffered serious injuries in the mishap.

An official of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case said: “The youth, Ali, a scooter mechanic, claimed that the girl used to get her Scooty repaired from him. However, we found the New year message sent from his mobile phone to her, that too saved in his phone.

Though she also replied to his message by writing “thanks”, we have recovered his phone to check whether anything has been deleted or not.”

The SIT has sent the phones of the girl, Saman and Ali to the Cyber Cell to get through the missing links. After messaging Saman to reach the CCD at 3.09pm, the girl called up Ali and after one minute, she again called up Saman.

During interrogations, Ali also said he stays mostly in Uttar Pradesh and the New Year message was the last message sent to the girl.

He did not have a word with her for the past five months and he only talked to her when she used to visit him to repair her vehicle. Even on the day of the incident, he did not answer her call.

Ali was working at a vehicle repair shop near the girl’s house in Baltana.

ACP Jagtar Singh, who is heading the SIT, said they were waiting for all call details so that they could match with the theory given by Saman's parents.



Delay in 108 Ambulance Service
Residents block highway
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
Residents of Sahoran village, near here, staged a protest last evening against the failure of the 108 Ambulance to reach the spot and take a youth injured in an accident to a hospital. The youth, Narang Singh, who was hit by an unidentified vehicle, later succumbed to his injuries.

As per reports, a large number of residents of the village blocked the traffic on the national highway in anger. The blockage, which started around 8.30pm, was lifted only around midnight. The body of the deceased was also kept on the road during the protest.

The police had to divert the traffic because of the road blockage.

The protesters said soon after Narang sustained injuries, calls were made to the 108 Ambulance service to reach Sahoran village for taking the victim to a hospital.

The ambulance did not reach the scene, resulting in the youth’s death, residents alleged.

They said requests were also made to a nearby educational institution to send its ambulance to the accident scene, but their pleas were allegedly declined.

Narang was a fruit and vegetable seller and had put up a stall for selling the same along the national highway.

The police have registered a case against the unidentified driver in this regard.

In another incident, traffic on the national highway was forced to almost come to a stop after a bus hit a cyclist near Daon village, near here, today.

As the bus veered off the road, a part of it remained on it blocking the busy highway. The vehicle had to be moved aside with the help of a crane.



Jyoti murder Case
Defence counsel points out loopholes in probe

Panchkula, May 9
Loopholes in the investigations by the Special Investigation Team in the Jyoti murder case were pointed out by the defence counsel in the court here today. "ACP Suresh said no independent witness was produced during the interrogation of the mobile dealer, Pankaj Bhandari. He also said no document was collected which bears the signature of Pankaj," said Amandeep Bindra, a defence counsel.

"He even failed to say when and on what basis he got to know that the conspiracy to murder Jyoti began. Regarding faulty investigations, he was not able to answer many questions," he added. During the cross-examination of ASI Surinder Pal, he said that he produced no independent witness during the recovery of the mobile phone and Honda city car of the nephew and co-accused of the MLA, Gurmeet. — TNS



Gang rape victim slits her vein
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 9
The 17-year-old gang rape victim, whose parents were arrested for forcing her into prostitution, allegedly slit her vein at Bal Sadan, a destitute home in Sector 12-A here, this evening. The victim was rushed to General Hospital, Sector 6. The doctors said from the injuries, it appeared that some sharp edged weapon was used to commit the act.

The superintendent of the home called the police and officials of the District Legal Services Authority on the spot.

The police officials and the DLSA came to know that it was after the victim had an altercation with another inmate, that she took the step. The statements will be recorded tomorrow as she was not fit for the same.

It was some time back when the girl told the police that her parents forced her into prostitution and sold her to a pimp. The victim's medical was conducted and the parents based at Punjab were arrested later.

The victim had informed that she was sold to a Zirakpur- based pimp who further involved two Chandigarh-based pimps. A deal was struck for Rs 20,000 per week.

Later, she was sent to the destitute home.



Admn all set to hold demolition drive today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
In the second biggest demolition drive after Colony No. 5, the UT Administration is all set to raze three colonies - Kuldeep Colony, Mazdoor Colony and Pandit Colony - spread over 36 acres in Sector 52. Around 4,000 illegal tenements in these colonies would be pulled down in an exercise that will start at 7 am tomorrow. To ensure that the operation goes peacefully, around 2, 000 policemen have been deployed at the sites.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said ten earth removers had been requisitioned for the purpose.

The Social Welfare Department has been asked to ensure that helpless or poor persons are taken care of.

Over the last two days, officials in the administration held flag march in the colonies to keep bad elements at bay. Persons with criminal background have been rounded up.

Yesterday, power supply to the area was disconnected.

Officials in the Estate Office said buoyed over successful demolition of the Colony No. 5, through which the Administration reclaimed 107 acres of prime land, they decided to hold demolitions in other illegal colonies.

Around 200 acres of prime land is under illegal occupation in 18 slums across the city. Other slum colonies will be demolished in a phased manner. Rehabilitation of eligible slum dwellers is already under way.

In the third phase, the Administration plans to take action against Nehru Colony, located in Sector 53.

Demolition drives are being conducted in illegal settlements to make the city slum free. As many as 23,841 eligible families are being relocated in small flats. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is also constructing two-room tenements for eligible slum dwellers.

Colony residents move HC

At least 25 residents of Mazdoor Colony, Nehru Colony, Kajehri Colony and Pandit Colony today moved a civil writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that despite meeting the requisite qualification they were deliberately being deprived of their fundamental right as well as constitutional right to get flats in rehabilitation colony while the Administration was demolishing their juggis. In the petition, they stated that despite a specific order of the Permanent Lok Adalat, they were not being given flats.

Rentals on periphery go up

While the UT Administration will carry out a demolition drive in Pandit Colony, Mazdoor Colony and Kuldeep Colony tomorrow, rentals in the areas nearby, such as Kajheri and Badheri have increased. As colony residents will be rendered homeless after the demolition drive, they have already started looking for rented accommodation in the areas nearby. One-room accommodations in these villages, which were earlier available on rent for Rs 2,000 per month, are being let out for anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,500.



Exodus precedes drive in Pandit Colony
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
With just a day to go before the UT Administration holds a demolition drive at Pandit Colony in Sector 52, residents rued that officials were making them nomads as they were being forced out of their homes where they had lived for so many years. “Where will I take my three daughters? In which school will they study? Nobody is offering shelter to my family. Rent of a single-room accommodation in the city is over Rs 4,000. Being a labourer, I cannot afford it,” whined Ranju Devi, a colony resident sitting outside her house with her children.

Many residents of the colony have already started packing their belongings but have no idea where to go.

Mohammad Shakir, a daily wage earner, said, “For over a decade, I have lived in this colony. And now just 21 days ago, I was told to vacate my house. To scare the residents, a large number of police force has been deployed here.”

Naveen Kumar, another resident of the area, alleged, “Though the Administration is aware of the total population in the area, as most residents are registered voters, it did not make any arrangement to rehabilitate them.”

Meanwhile, the Administration is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that exodus takes place peacefully. Due to heavy deployment of police force in the area, most residents have already dismantled their houses and are shifting their belongings.



Dog bite cases: MC claim on free treatment falls flat
Victims forced to buy anti-rabies serum costing ~430 from market
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
While the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MC) had submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that free of cost treatment is being provided to stray dog bite victims, the ground reality is completely different. A visit to Civil Dispensary in Sector 19, the only anti-rabies dispensary in the city, revealed that stray dog bite victims were forced to purchase anti-rabies serum from the market as it was out of stock in the dispensary from the last four to five months. A single dose of the serum costs around Rs 430.

The MC officials had told the court that the “MC Chandigarh is running rabies vaccination clinic, which is providing free of cost treatment for dig bites through qualified medical doctors”.

Nine-year-old Amrinder Singh, who was bitten by a stray dog in Khuda Ali Sher, was brought to the dispensary today. His father Ram Singh said doctors told them to bring ‘Equirab -Rabies Anti-serum’ from the market. The chemist charged Rs 430 for a single dose, he said.

“The MC and the UT Health Department should provide vaccination and serum free of cost to the victims,” Ram Singh said.

Sandeep Mehta (17), who was attacked by a stray dog in Sector 20, said at least, the government should provide these vaccinations on half rate, if not for free. He had purchased two doses of the serum, which cost him around Rs 900, he said.

Shanti, a resident of Sector 52, said her nine-year-old son Karan was attacked by stray dogs. At the clinic here, she was charged Rs 100 for vaccination and thereafter, staff told her to bring anti-rabies serum from the market. She paid Rs 430 for it.

“The government should provide free of cost treatment to poor people,” she said.

Health Dept responsible for shortage of serum: MC

MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta said the UT Health Department was responsible for shortage of anti-rabies serum in the Civil Dispensary. Though the Administration transferred some dispensaries to the MC, it did not transfer the complete functioning. At present, the UT Health Department purchases medicines. They had written a number of letters to the UT Health Department but the latter failed to purchase serum, he said.

Despite repeated attempts to reach UT Director Health Services (DHS) Dr Nirlep Kaur on phone proved futile.

Treatment for dog bite

  • Each dog bite victim requires anti-rabies serum besides five doses of vaccine.
  • The vaccine is being provided to patients at a cost of ~100 each while they are being told to buy the dose of anti -rabies serum from the market.
  • The serum dose is infiltrated around the bites so that the rabies virus does not travel to the brain.
  • The vaccine, however, takes at least 14 days to generate anti-bodies. Till then, the serum provides protection against rabies.



UT deals a blow to industrialists
Decides not to convert leasehold plots into freehold
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
While a parliamentary panel recommended converting industrial plots from leasehold into freehold, the UT Administration has decided against it. The move will affect owners of 1,540 industrial sites of different sizes in Phases I and II of the Industrial Area. The Administration was not in the favour of converting the leasehold industrial sites into freehold and has decided to stick to its stand.

A senior official in the UT Administration said as the parliamentary panel’s recommendations were not feasible, they decided to continue with the present practice of not allowing conversion of industrial plots from leasehold to freehold. Now, they would submit their reply to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in this regard, the official added.

Sources said the UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil was not in the favour of conversion.

The Sub-committee on the Administration of Union Territories of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, in its recent report submitted to the MHA, had recommended the conversion of industrial plots from leasehold into freehold.

At present, almost 50 per cent of the plots in the Industrial Area are freehold while the remaining are leasehold. Most industrial plots have either changed hands on the basis of the power of attorney or are under litigation due to family disputes, causing revenue loss to the UT Administration.

Industrialists believe that allowing conversion from leasehold into freehold would help industrial units grow. Chander Verma, chairman of the Chandigarh Industrial Converted Plot Owners Association, said the Administration would earn more than Rs 500 crore if it allows conversion of plots, which could further fetch an interest of around Rs 60 crore per year, 100 times more than the lease money.

The Administration should consider the long-pending demand of industrialists and businessmen, he suggested.

Long-Pending Demand of Local Industrialists

Conversion of leasehold properties into freehold is a long-pending demand of local industrialists. All industrial properties auctioned or allotted after 1980 were given on a leasehold basis. Before this, the properties were given on a freehold basis. As much as 50 per cent of the industrial properties are leasehold and industrialists contend that they could neither sell such properties nor get loans against these.



AAP supporter, kin attacked
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 9
An AAP supporter and members of his family were attacked allegedly by armed SAD men in Kumbra village here last night. Balwinder Singh Kumbra, the AAP supporter and president of the Zila Panchayat Union, his two sons, Mandeep Singh and Hardeep Singh, and his nephew, Surinder Singh, were reported to have sustained injuries in the attack.

Later, Balwinder and one of sons were admitted to a hospital.

Balwinder said he had campaigned for AAP candidate for the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency Himmat Singh Shergill during the polling on April 30. He said around 9pm yesterday certain alleged SAD supporters began unloading sand in front of his shops.

His pleas to them refrain from doing so were ignored.

He told the police that armed SAD men attacked him and when he ran to his house to save himself they followed him. His son and nephew, who tried to save him, were also beaten up. The attackers also misbehaved with his wife, he added. The AAP supporter said the police had so far not registered a case in this regard.



Sealing of booths: Krishna Market traders block road

Chandigarh, May 9
Shopkeepers of Krishna Market, Sector 41, today blocked the road separating Sectors 41 and 42 in protest against sealing of booths in the market. Raising slogans against the Chandigarh Administration and the Deputy Commissioner (DC), the protesters alleged that the booths were being sealed early morning and without giving any prior notice.

The Estate Office has sealed five booths in the last two days after verifying the credentials of their occupants.

The protesting shopkeepers even blocked the rotary of sectors 41/42 and broke window panes of a CTU bus. As a result, the police had to cordon off the road separating sectors 41 and 42. The blockade was lifted after MM Sabharwal, UT Director, Public Relations, reached the spot and arranged a meeting between the shopkeepers and DC Mohammed Shayin.

It is learnt that the DC assured the shopkeepers that a proper notice would be given before sealing a booth.

It may be mentioned that the Estate Office, during a verification drive, had detected 59 suspicious cases of ownership of booths. Following complaints, the office had started a probe into illegal sale of booths in different markets across the city. Officials maintain that booths sold in violation of the allotment rules were under the radar of the Estate Office. — TNS



No Power Supply
Lawyers strike work at District Courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Advocates in the district court complex went on a strike today protesting against the lack of basic facilities as there has been no power supply in the Lawyers Chambers Complex at District Courts in Sector 43 for the last four days. As there was no electricity supply in the Lawyers Chambers Complex since morning today, the advocates staged a protest and went on strike demanding immediate action to resolve the issue.

Advocate SPS Bhullar, convener of the Construction Committee of Lawyers Chambers Complex, said the complex does not have regular electricity connection and with the onset of summer there is major problem of electricity.

Bhullar further added, “We have currently 56 KW of sanctioned load which is not sufficient to meet out electricity requirement. There are 440 chambers and in most of the chambers ACs have been installed. With the current sanctioned load it becomes really difficult to use ACs.”

According to the lawyers in the District Court, the Bar Association has applied for the 1100 KW of electricity load which is yet to be sanctioned. Work was affected in the district courts and litigants were harassed as the lawyers went on a strike and staged a protest.



PU security proposals gather dust
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Due to the lackadaisical attitude of the Panjab University authorities, major proposals to tighten security on the campus are gathering dust for a long period. Resultantly, outsiders are fearlessly creating ruckus on the campus and flee from the spot. Records of the university revealed that five major proposals are pending for the past around three years.

In 2011, a proposal was submitted by the Security Department for installation of door frame metal detectors at the Vice-Chancellor’s office and the administrative block to keep a check on miscreants.

Another proposal was mooted to install high-powered CCTV cameras at seven sites on the campus, which includes five gates, three of the main campus and two of the south campus in Sector 25, Student Centre, Vice-Chancellor’s office and Law College.

The department recommended the need of high-powered CCTV cameras at these sites as a number of scuffles were reported at these places. Official suggested in their report that the CCTV cameras installed on gates should be hi-tech so that the registration number of vehicles and photographs of drivers entering the campus could also be captured in the cameras.

The demand of another security van, along with two motorbikes, for patrolling on the southern part of the campus was also made about two years ago.

Sources said the students had also demanded a toll-free emergency number for the campus, which could cater to the complaints of the students.



From Schools
Prize distribution function

Chandigarh: Delhi Public School organised the annual prize distribution function on its campus on Friday. The ceremony was graced by AK Gupta, Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, and MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. It began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. Budding artistes presented a cultural programme on the theme “Kutumb”. They expressed their love, appreciation and gratitude for their parents and grandparents through various songs, dances, skit and poetry.

Mother’s Day celebrated

Students of BMD Public School presented a special assembly dedicated to mothers on the campus on Friday. Tagore House presented a special assembly, followed by a speech exhibiting children’s love for their mothers. Various poems on mothers were also recited. An inter-house card-making competition was held, wherein students prepared cards to express their gratitude and love for their mothers.

Competitions held

Mohali: Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, participated in competitions organised by the Red Cross Society at Shivalik Public School, Mohali. The students bagged prizes in the senior and junior groups in the declamation and essay-writing competitions.

Workshop on making pots

Lawrence Senior Secondary School organised a workshop on making pots and different earthenware and utensils of mud. Students participated in the workshop and tried to learn the traditional technique of pottery. They also learnt how to dry common clay pot in a gas kiln. The kiln was made of firebricks, ceramic bricks and ceramic blanket to maintain the temperature. — TNS



Panjab University proposes 5% fee hike from next session
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
Panjab University has proposed to hike the fee by five per cent from the next session (2014-15). This was decided at a meeting of the Fee Committee chaired by PU Dean University Instructions AK Bhandari today. It was decided at the meeting that there would be five per cent fee hike in all courses of the university.

The members also decided that out of the total amount collected after the fee hike, 50 per cent would be spent on providing education to poor students from the next session.

Sources said about Rs 1.5 crore would be collected after the fee hike. Of the total amount, Rs 75 lakh to Rs 80 lakh would be spent on scholarships and free education of the poor students.

The proposal would be sent to the Syndicate and the Senate for approval so that it could be implemented from the next session.

The Students for Society (SFS) today submitted a memorandum to the PU authorities condemning it for not involving all party representatives in the fresh fee committee.

Arishdeep, president, SFS, said the authorities assured the students during their protest in March that all student organisations would be given representation in the fee committee from the next time. But, they had not fulfilled their promise.

Raminder Singh of the SFS demanded that the fee committee should be reconstituted.

Meanwhile, members of the SOPU gheraoed the Vice-Chancellor's office and staged a protest where the meeting of the fee committee was going on.

SOPU president Amninder Mann said his party had submitted a memorandum opposing fee hike by the university authorities.



Young music maestros regale audience at Strawberry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The amphitheatre of Strawberry Fields World School came alive as rhythms and beats of music reached a crescendo on the campus here today. The school’s maiden music concert, “One”, which was organised for students from Grades VIII to XII, strung together a harmonious blend of notes. For over two hours, music maestros in the making regaled the audience with their renditions varying from folk music to hip hop along with fused jazz numbers and remixed trance tracks.

Before the main event, there were three opening acts, presented by voluntary students and their guitar teacher. The musical voyage took off with Jasleen’s solo performance, which was followed by the Strawberry Fields band comprising students from Grades VIII to XI with Raika, Nikhil, Aayush, Rayvin, Amisha and Aryaman. The band performed numbers like “love the way you lie” and “counting stars”. Next in line to the school’s band, artistes from “Aayat”, city’s local band, took the centre stage. Their performance left the young audience spellbound as they set the momentum for the final act.

The pinnacle of the evening was the final act where aspiring DJ Aneesh gave an exhilarating performance. His mixed latest trance numbers earned him thunderous applause from the spectators as they roared for more.

While sharing his musical insights, Aneesh described electronic music in particular as being experimental and full of novelty. The evening ended on a high musical note.



Microbial diversity

Chandigarh, May 9
The Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) here has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutes (SRISTI), Ahmedabad, to explore the microbial diversity of the remote areas of the country and develop associated technologies. Microbial Type Culture Collection and Gene Bank (MTCC), a national facility located at IMTECH that is supported jointly by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Bio-Technology, will be the nodal laboratory for this activity.

The MoU was signed here by Dr Girish Sahni, Director, IMTECH, and Prof Anil Kumar Gupta, president, SRISTI. The activities envisaged under this MoU are conserving the unique microbial diversity of the remote areas of the country through ex-situ conservation at the MTCC, assessing economic value of the microbial resources, establishing value addition and product development through joint research and development programmes for commercial exploitation. — TNS




Aroma murder
Quantum of sentence on May 12
Victim’s mother moves court demanding Rs 5 lakh
compensation from convicts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
A day after the court convicted eight persons for killing a youth outside Aroma in January 2012, the court deferred the pronouncement of quantum of sentence to May 12. The deceased’s mother Harmesh Kaur today moved an application in the court seeking Rs 5 lakh compensation from the convicts.

The application seeking compensation submitted in court reads that, “Harminder Singh was about 28 years at the time of his death. He was a well educated person. The applicant is an old lady. Unfortunately on account of death of Harminder Singh, his father also suffered from depression and died during the course of trail. Although she has another son but he is practically living an independent life. Hence, she sought Rs five lakh from all the convicts for social as well as monetary support.”

Yesterday, the court had convicted eight accused for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the case of killing of Harminder Singh.

Harminder Singh, 28, had gone to the Aroma coffee shop in Sector 22 on the night of January 12, 2012 when he was killed. While Harminder was coming out, he accidentally brushed his shoulder with Harsimranjeet, one of the accused, and dropped his ice cream, leading to an argument and a minor scuffle.

Harminder took out a baseball bat from his car, but was overpowered by the eight men. After beating him mercilessly with sticks and his baseball bat, the accused fled, leaving behind their vehicle. Harminder was taken to PGI where he was declared brought dead.

Reportedly, all the accused fled in another SUV, which was later recovered. Eight people were arrested in the case and yesterday, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Kuldeep Kumar Kareer held the accused guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Meanwhile, the accused Sukhjit Singh Sooch who fled from court yesterday and later surrendered at night was produced before the court today and the court sent him judicial custody. While he was convicted in the case yesterday, another case of escape from custody has been registered against him.



Three held for sexually harassing woman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9
The UT police have booked three persons for allegedly thrashing a woman and her family members. The woman alleged that her neighbour Naresh tried to sexually harass her and has been bothering her for the last one year. The accused Naresh was arrested by the police.

The victim reported to the police that she was going home on her scooter from her office. As the victim reached service lane in front of Batra Theater, the accused Naresh Sharma and two others, blocked her way. The victim told the police that they were waiting for her in a car.

Victim said she tried to escape but Naresh took out keys of her scooter. She stated in her complaint that Naresh tried to pull her in the car but she raised an alarm. After listening to her shrieks, people gathered and Naresh along with his friends ran away.

After this late night Naresh along with his friends reached the victim's house. The victim alleged Naresh thrashed her along with her brother and mother. The police was called in after the victim was rushed to the GMSH, Sector 16, by her relatives. A case was registered under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.


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