C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


rape victims turning hostile
Conviction rate reaches new low
Over 70% cases decided this year have resulted in acquittal of the accused
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
A majority of rape cases registered by the UT police over the years have resulted in glaring acquittals in courts with the prosecution and the law enforcing agency seemingly being taken for a ride by rape victims who turn hostile. The UT police’s average conviction rate in rape cases this year is as low as 25 per cent with sensational rape trials ending in acquittals of the accused. Over 70 per cent of the rape cases decided by courts this year have resulted in acquittals, reveal police figures.

The statistics of convictions and acquittals in rape cases speak volumes of how trials in such cases take a different turn in courts.

The recent acquittal of former Panchkula District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Lalit Vermani by the court is a fresh example on how a rape case registered by the UT police, only two months ago, fell flat in the court after a U-turn by the victim.

In the first four months of this year alone, the district court decided 19 rape cases, 15 of which were acquittals and only four cases resulted in convictions making the conviction rate as low as 21 per cent in this period.

Out of the total 43 rape cases decided by the district courts in 2013, 25 cases resulted in acquittals making conviction rate close to 41.8 per cent. In 2012 too, out of the total 30 rape cases that were decided by the courts, 21 cases resulted in acquittals of the accused while only nine were convicted with conviction rate dropping to 30 per cent.

Cases that grab headlines when registered with the Chandigarh Police see the prosecution struggling with an uphill battle as victims and witnesses take a U-turn in courts.

Legal experts and advocates dealing with rape cases say the victims turning hostile from their statements given to the police in the court are the main reasons for the acquittals and account for over 80 per cent of the total acquittals. A number of cases in which the victims turn hostile are elopement cases. In such cases, the victims are minors and later tell the court that they had willfully eloped with the accused.

The experts also said that perjury proceedings by which courts could take action against hostile victims were few and rare which was unfortunate.


  • On March 31 this year, court had acquitted former UT Home Secretary NK Jain in the rape-on-wheels case after the victim turned hostile.
  • In November, 2013, court acquitted a Sangrur resident who was accused of raping an upcoming model after she turned hostile.
  • In 2013, court had acquitted a Yamunanagar-based doctor, Vageesh Gutiyan, after the victim, who was a medical student, turned hostile.
  • Last year, a man accused of rape was acquitted on the first day of the hearing after the victim turned hostile in court.
  • In 2009, former Punjab MLA Gaganjit Singh Barnala, accused in a rape case, was acquitted after the victim turned hostile.

Victims misuse law, blackmail accused: Advocate

The law is very stringent in cases of rape and the police are duty bound to register a case after the complaint is received. We cannot blame the police. However, most of the rape cases are consensual and it has been seen that in some of these cases women misuse the law and blackmail the accused after he falls into their trap. This is a very dangerous trend and there is a need to identify such women and take stringent action against them. — Rabindra Pandit, advocate



Mohali police form 14 teams to crack Zirakpur robbery
Ask villagers to hold community policing in their areas
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

The police inspect the crime spot in Sanauli village, Zirakpur, on Saturday. A Tribune Photograph

Zirakpur, July 27
The Mohali police finally woke up from deep slumber after the Kala Kachha gang struck at a mango orchard and a ‘dargah’ yesterday and constituted 14 teams today to make a headway. To trace any lead to the crimes, the police teams conducted raids and detained 24 suspects from Zirakpur (6), Dera Bassi (9), Lalru (7) and Handesra (2) areas. They were later let off after questioning.

The police have also passed messages to village sarpanches to organise community policing (thikri pehras) in their respected areas and inform the police in case of sighting any anti-social elements loitering in and around the villages.

It is also learnt that owners of farms houses, orchards, cattle sheds, and other establishments located on the outskirts have also been asked to inform the police of their respected areas to avoid similar incidents.

Sources in the police said that Swaranjit Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (D) had been assigned to keep a watch on areas under the Lalru and Handesra police stations, while Anil Sharma, SP, Dera Bassi, would look after Zirakpur and Dera Bassi.

Talking to The Tribune, Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, SSP, Mohali, claimed to have rounded up over two dozen suspects to find leads to the Zirakpur robberies. “We have intensified night patrolling in the remote areas especially during night and asked the villagers to hold thikri pehras,” the SSP claimed.

“The district police are also in touch with the police of neighbouring states and districts to nab the culprits of the robbery,” he claimed.

Three injured Dharmo Devi, wife of Dev Raj, the mango orchard contractor, Ram Chand and his wife Palo Devi were discharged from hospitals on Sunday. Critically injured Dev Raj, is still under treatment at the PGI.Dev Raj and his wife Dharmo Devi were admitted to the PGI while Ram Chand and Palo Devi were in Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

SHO shifted for lack of alertness

The Punjab Police have shifted Pawan Kumar, station house officer (SHO), Zirakpur, to Police Lines for his alleged negligence and lack of alertness, soon after the Kala Kachha gang struck at a mango orchard and a ‘dargah’ located on the Sanauli–Kishanpura road on the outskirts of Zirakpur on Friday night. Armed with batons, the muffled gangsters had attacked four family members of a Banur-based orchard contractor Dev Raj and robbed them of cash and jewellery worth lakhs. The Mohali SSP, Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, said the SHO was removed for his negligence and lack of alertness.

June 28

The Kala Kachha gang struck at a house near Bhagomajra village at night and seriously injured five members of a family, before decamping with cash and valuables. They attacked the house of an orchard contractor located on the Morinda-Kharar road.

July 24

The Kala Kachha gang struck at three farmhouses in the peripheral villages of Chandigarh and left three persons injured. While two of the targeted farmhouses are located in Seonk village near Mullanpur, the third is in Khuda Lahora, Chandigarh. The robbers attacked the occupants with rods and locked the farmhouses before fleeing with the booty.

About Kala Kachha gang

The Kala Kaccha gang refers to certain organised criminal gangs in Punjab and other states of the country. The Kala Kachha gang members are robbers and dacoits, who dress themselves in black shorts to evade detection. They put grease on their body as lubricant so that they cannot be caught easily.



Fire Dept tightens its noose around defaulters
Surveys private, government buildings in Sector 17; hunts for those violating fire safety norms
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

A team of the Fire Department inspects a showroom in Sector 17, Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 27
Those violating fire safety norms in Sector 17, the city’s commercial hub, are in for trouble. Irrespective of the status of ownership or possession of the property, be it government or private, the UT’s Fire and Emergency Department has launched a major hunt for those violating fire safety norms.

All 500 properties in Sector 17 are being checked. The detailed inspection reports will be sent to the Chandigarh Administration for necessary action.

For the past three days, three different teams of the Fire Department are going from door-to-door to serve seven-day ‘entry notice’ upon occupants before carrying out the inspection. So far, around 80 properties have already been served notices.

Fire Station Officer (FSO) ML Sharma said each and every building in Sector 17 will be inspected and served notices on finding inadequate fire-fighting systems. “Apart from the fire-fighting equipment, a report on various building violations will also be made which will be sent to the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and further to the Estate Office”, Sharma said.

Officials said that every government office would be checked during the inspection. Sources said that fire-fighting equipment should be as per the National Building Code of India Part IV.

Apart from checking the fire-fighting equipment, the officials have been briefed to also look for buildings that could hamper fire-fighting operations, as had been noticed in case of a major fire on June 8 at the Sector 17 office of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) and the July 3 fire at the Syndicate Bank head office in Sector 17.

For the first time, the Fire Department is also going to prepare a report on the building violations which will be sent to the UT Administration for necessary action.

A fire official said the ‘entry notice’ had to be served to the building owner in advance before entering the building for inspection.

A member of the team constituted to conduct the checks said that they would ensure that the entry and exit points of the buildings were not blocked and all the passages were clear for movement in case there was a disaster. “Also there should not be compartments in the corridors”, a team member said.

Looking for specific building violations

The fire-fighting teams will be looking for buildings, houses, banks and government offices that have raised concrete walls at exit points or have stacked combustible material and blocked the way. Such violations were witnessed at the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology. The loose electricity wires in the buildings will also be checked, as they lead to most fire incidents. These violations will be mentioned in the report. The building owners will then be asked to change them.

The past Practice

In the past, the Fire Department used to serve notice under the Fire Safety Act to violators. But the procedure to call the violators and the appeals heard against the notice at different levels exhausted the very purpose of the notice. But now, after one-time survey, the UT Administration will initiate action against the violators.



Residents making beeline for consumer courts
In first 6 months this year, 1,524 cases filed; most of these relate to denial of insurance claims
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
There has been consistent increase in the number of residents moving the consumer forum for the redressal of their grievances this year. In the first six months (till June 30), a total of 1,524 cases were filed. Interestingly, the fora were working on 120 days, and an average of 12 new cases was filed per day. Insurance, housing and banking sectors constitute more than half of the cases filed before the Chandigarh Consumer Fora from January 1, 2014 to June, 30, 2014.

Of the total, 288 cases (about 15 per cent) relate to denial of insurance claims. “Insurance has come to be the most prolific cause of litigation because it spans a vast area and covers a majority of the population in its fold. After privatisation of the insurance sector, there is heavy pressure on its employees to sell policies and meet targets. This has led to mis-selling of policies and mis-representations regarding expected returns. This translates into loss of trust and value leading to manifold litigation,” said Advocate Pankaj Chandgothia, president, Bar Association of Consumer Courts.

Further, 194 complaints are of deficiencies in services rendered by banking institutions and 242 cases are against builders and housing service providers.

The grievances before the consumer courts relate to a variety of issues, including banking, medical, mobile, insurance, housing, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), airlines and railways.

A total of 2,982 cases were filed before the Consumer Fora at Chandigarh in 2013, 2,865 in 2012 and 2,798 in 2011.

City leads in disposing of cases in lok adalat

Chandigarh leads the nation in disposing of cases by the “lok adalat” method as it has stimulated amicable settlement in almost five per cent of the total cases. About 3,100 cases out of about 62,000 cases filed since inception have been amicably settled by the intervention of the consumer courts. The city is followed closely by the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, where consumer courts have led to amicable settlement in about 3.5 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 2 per cent of its total cases to date.



UT Home Secretary’s post: Panel of 3 IAS officers sought from Haryana
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
The UT Administration has sought a panel of three IAS officers from the Haryana Government for the post of the UT Home Secretary. The three-year tenure of the incumbent Home Secretary, Anil Kumar, will come to an end on December 8 this year. He had joined the UT Administration on December 9, 2011. After receiving the panel of three IAS officers, the UT Administration will recommend one name for the post to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for final approval.

Recently, Home Secretary Anil Kumar had also written to Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda

stating that the UT Administration sidelined Haryana cadre officials.

In 2011, the Haryana Government had sent a panel of three Haryana cadre IAS officers, namely PK Das, RR Jowell and Anil Kumar, for UT Home Secretary’s post.

Then, the UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, had recommended the name of Das but the Ministry of Home Affairs chose Anil Kumar as the UT Home Secretary.

It may be mentioned here that the Haryana Government is yet to send a panel of three IAS officers for another secretary-level post reserved for Haryana cadre IAS officers.



ETT Teachers’ Union protest
Fast-unto-death enters Day 8
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 27
JS Sidhu, president of ETT Teachers’ Union, Punjab, continued with his fast-unto-death in front of the office of Punjab Director General School Education (DGSE) at Phase VIII here. Sidhu, who has been sitting on fast for the past eight days, was joined by his wife, Jaswinder Kaur; 14-year-old son, Simranjit Singh; and nine-year-old daughter, Navleen Kaur, who also sat on dharna with him.

Sidhu has been demanding to bring ETT teachers and schools that come under zila parishads under the Punjab Education Department.

Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, too, supported the protesting teachers and said that the state government should pay heed to their demands immediately.

The union members said they would bring the traffic to halt on July 31 by holding statewide “chakka jam”, if their demands were not met.

Union takes out procession

Hundreds of members of the ETT (Tech-1) Unemployed Teachers’ Union took out a procession to protest Punjab government’s failure to meet their demands.

The protestors, who started the procession from Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan, marched up to Phase I, raising anti-state government slogans.

“Some of our colleagues have been staying on a water tank for the past 11 days as a mark of protest, but the government has not woken up from its deep slumber”, said Jasbir Singh Bhullarheri, state president of the union.

The union wants the government to restart the recruitment process that was stalled earlier this year.

“The protest will be intensified in coming days,” said union members.



No headway in missing child’s case
Panchkula police to question school authorities for suspending student without prior notice
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 27
In the case of a missing Class V student, the school authorities may land in a soup for suspending the student without any prior notice. Further, the police are yet to get a clue on the whereabouts of the missing child.

It has been two days since Kuldeep, a Class V student of a school in Sector 12, Panchkula, went missing. Alerts have been sounded at various places and posters of the missing child have been put up at the Sukhna Lake, the railway station and other important places in the city.

“At least the child should have been served a notice. He shouldn’t have been tortured to such an extent. We hope he does not take any extreme step. We will question the school authorities tomorrow,” said a police official.

On Thursday, Kuldeep was suspended for a month after he allegedly wrote some comments about a teacher on a paper. The victim was residing with his paternal uncle in Sector 11 as his father had died. His mother had already left him.

A case under Section 365 (kidnapping) of the IPC was registered at the Sector 5 police station here.

According to the police, when the paternal aunt of the boy went to the school, the authorities refused to meet her.

“I was called by the school authorities. Since I was at work, I asked my wife to go and find what the matter was. After my wife met the teacher, she went to meet the principal but the latter refused to meet her. No notice was served and the child was suspended for a month,” said the missing student’s paternal uncle Sanjay, who is the personal assistant of a Haryana minister.

Meanwhile, the victim’s kin went along with the police team to several places but failed to locate the child. The Panchkula police are also coordinating with the Chandigarh police to find the missing child.

“He is very small and does not have a mobile phone, which can be put on surveillance. A team went to the residences of all his relatives but the child wasn’t found. Our search is on,” said Sector 5 police station SHO, Inspector Munish Kumar.

  • On July 24, Kuldeep, a Class V student of a school in Panchkula, was suspended for a month after he allegedly wrote some comments about a teacher on a paper.
  • He was residing with his paternal uncle in Sector 11 as his father had died and mother had deserted him.
  • He went missing following his suspension by the school authorities
  • A case under Section 365 (kidnapping) of the IPC was registered at the Sector 5 police station, Panchkula.



When ‘rival’ group in Admn celebrated transfer of four UT cadre officials

UT Electricity Department employees use a raised platform to install a masthead light at the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Several present and former UT officials celebrated as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued transferred orders of four UT cadre IAS officers, namely Satya Gopal, Prerna Puri, Tanvi Garg and Rodney L Ralte, to Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar. The officials, who belong to the ‘rival’ group of these officials, provided all the latest developments on the transfer of these officials to journalists. Officials even congratulated each other through SMSes and WhatsApp messages as these officials were transferred.

Plastic trees at Garden of Palms, Sector 42

While planting palm trees at the Garden of Palms in Sector 42, officials of UT Engineering Department went overboard as they ‘planted’ plastic trees on a walking bridge on the N-Choe there. Justifying the use of plastic trees amidst natural varieties of palm tree, an official claimed it was done for aesthetics as the sewerage water beneath the bridge was one odd point in the landscape of the place.

Confusion over location of new anti-rabies centre

Journalists and members of the Municipal Corporation’s Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) were left confused over the agenda to set up a new anti-rabies dispensary in the city. While the agenda was to bring up a dispensary in Sector 35, the committee decided to develop it in Sector 38. Even the press release issued by the committee mentioned that the dispensary will come up in Sector 35. When contacted, some MC officials and F&CC members said the dispensary will come up in Sector 38 while others said it will be set up in Sector 35. The confusion ended only after a senior MC official confirmed that the unit will come up in Sector 38, following which a revised press release was issued.

Influence matters

The father of one of the MBBS aspirants gave a tough time to the GMCH authorities during the second counselling held last week. When he was not allowed to speak to the GMCH director to make his point, he rang up the Chandigarh MP. A few minutes later, the director especially walked up to him while he (the father) was sitting in the room of the director’s PA. This time, the director asked him for a cup of coffee!

Busy-in-a-meeting fever grips Education Dept

The entire Education Department seems to be obsessed with the excuse, “busy in a meeting”, these days. Such is the effect of the excuse that recently, when the education secretary called up one of the principals, pat came the reply from her school that ‘madam is busy in a meeting’.

Crime up in UT police

The UT police apparently are going through bad times. They are caught in allegations of corruption, CBI cases and harassment these days. While an SHO had sent the police department in a tizzy by accusing a DSP of corruption, the CBI caught two policemen in separate bribe cases the following week. Furthermore, a constable shot his wife to death in a hospital and the family blamed the UT police as they never took their complaints seriously.

Admn apathetic to potholed road

The opening of the new railway underpass connecting Panchkula with Chandigarh at Hallomajra may have brought cheers for Panchkula residents but they lament the indifferent attitude of Haryana Administration in providing a smooth road link with the new approach road provided by the UT. The road near the Panchkula border in the Industrial Area is potholed.

(Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Rajmeet Singh, Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha Palial, Mehakdeep Grewal, Aneesha Sareen and Sunil Minocha)



Panchkula police go soft on big guns
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 27
It seems that Panchkula police is going slow in three heinous crime cases, involving VIPs. Be it a rape of a minor, or humiliating someone resulting in suicide or culpable homicide involving four deaths. If it’s a high profile person at the other end, one can’t expect arrests. The families of victims in all the cases are still awaiting justice.

The respective investigating officers of the cases came with a standard reply that the accused have not been arrested and investigations were going on.

It has been over one month that the owner of AKM resorts was booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Four persons including two children, a four-year-old and a ten-year-old girl were killed when the boundary wall of the showroom that belongs to owner of the AKM resorts collapsed in Sector 11 on June 18 but till now the accused have not been arrested.

Similarly, a big realtor who is also the Director of a well known school was booked by the police for raping his maid in the wee hours at his residence in Sector 7 Panchkula. The accused Pawan Bansal has not been arrested till date. On July 10, the minor girl approached the police with her parents that while she was sleeping in the kitchen and the accused raped her. According to the police, medical examination had confirmed the crime.

Sources said a very high ranking officer was sitting on the arrests in the cases.

“If the police delay the arrests in such heinous cases, the accused can influence the witnesses,” said panel advocate of District Legal Services Authority Manbir Singh Rathi.

The death case of PNB branch banker Ajay Sehgal that courted controversy on July 3 after he held circle head AK Gupta and field manager JK Gupta responsible for his death was specially transferred to the Panchkula police for speedy investigations. Till now the accused are roaming free. This is despite the fact the special investigation team got statements recorded from employees which told about humiliation. ACP Poornima Singh, head of the SIT, said the accused have not been arrested.



Quiz held

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) officially flagged off the 6th season of Mahindra Auto Quotient (AQ), a first of its kind pan-India Auto Quiz. More than 1,200 contestants participated in the zonal rounds which were held today at Chitkara University, Punjab campus. The finalists will be selected through city rounds that comprises of a written and stage rounds conducted across 4 zones, followed by studio rounds in New Delhi.

Immigration seminar

World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) conducted a seminar, here today, to apprise immigration aspirants about various opportunities of living, working, studying, or doing business in the country of their choice. With over two decades of expertise WWICS has become a name to reckon with in the immigration industry. Close to 1,00,000 clients have successfully immigrated to their dream countries like Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Sale season at Elante

The End of Season Sale at Elante saw nearly all leading national and international luxury brands offering up to 50 per cent discount and special offers today. More than 80 retail stores at Elante are out to make the shopping experience of their customers more rewarding through this special offer. Manoj Agarwal, Head of Operations, Elante Mall, said, “At Elante, it is our chaste endeavour to offer a quality shopping to our patrons.”

Livepure foundation starts campaign

Livepure foundation started a CSR initiative of SAR Group in collaboration with Sachin Tendulkar has launched ‘Shuddh Paani Swastha Bharat’. Rakesh Malhotra, founder, SAR Group, said, “Access to safe drinking water on sustainable basis constitutes a fundamental and inalienable human right. Livpure Foundation has been established to bring into focus this critical problem facing a large population globally &especially India since as per WHO more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence including war.” — TNS



Open House response
Joint efforts, hi-tech devices can check crime

Rising incidents of robbery across the tricity in the recent past have not only raised questions over the law and order situation but have also created panic among residents. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what needs to be done to prevent such incidents in future?

Cops should be deployed in sensitive areas

UT police personnel inspect a house ransacked by robbers at Sector 21, Chandigarh. A file photo

Robbery incidents have created panic among residents and shaken their faith in the police force. Top claims of decline in crime rate and providing safe and peaceful environment have proved wrong. How can the police deliver safety to people when its own staff are involved in corruption and heinous crimes? Police personnel should be deployed in sensitive areas and CCTV cameras should be installed in markets, commercial establishments and other sensitive areas.

Jagdishpal Singh Kalra, Chandigarh

Invent device to prevent vehicle thefts

Robbers and thieves use latest technology to commit crimes. They learn various techniques from television serials like Crime Patrol, CID and movies. To prevent theft of vehicles, it is suggested that a device should be invented that would send warning signal to mobile phone of the owner of the vehicle when it is being touched by anyone.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Separate coordination team should be formed

The main focus of the police is on challaning than effective policing. Earlier, criminals had fear of the police, but now incidents like snatching and ATM theft are increasing day by day. A separate coordination team of the tricity like SIT should be formed to deal with crime incidents and it must be equipped with modern technology, weapons, vehicles and a sufficient number of well-trained staff. The staff should be made accountable for any lapses.

Madan Gupta Spatu, Panchkula

More cops need to be deployed

To prevent incidents of robbery in the future, more police personnel need to be deployed in unfrequented areas. CCTV cameras should be installed at every strategic street and market. Moreover, residents should also remain alert. In fact, the administration should encourage them to form a society, which would help in supervising the lonely and locked houses.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali.

Ineffective Police Dept

Incidents such as murder, snatching, highway robberies, hit-and-run cases, rape, ATM looting, scams involving various government departments and are now a regular affair in the tricity. There seems to be a failure in the functioning of the Police Department.

Gurpreet S Malhotra, Kansal (Mohali)

Harsh punishment should be given

The fear of punishment seems to have washed away from those who indulge in such crimes and there is a dire need to make such miscreants realise the consequences of the same. The degree of punishment should be increased. Awareness and alertness on the part of residents as well as ‘watchdogs of criminal activities’ can help a long way in preventing such acts.

Aishwarya, Mohali

Monitor entry, exit points

There is a requirement of advanced surveillance, CCTV cameras and upgraded infrastructure. The authorities should closely monitor all entry and exit points and intersections of the tricity to check rising criminal activities in the area. Effective coordination is required between inter-state security arrangements to put pressure on criminals.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh.

Regular joint meetings of cops needed

To prevent such incidents, there should be regular joint meetings of tricity police officers, a strict vigil on borders and approach roads of the three cities.There should also be regular and surprise checking of vehicles and trained guards and watchmen should be deployed by residents in commercial and other areas.

Sanjeev Kumar, Chandigarh

Intensify patrolling

To prevent robberies, the police of the tricity together should prepare a concrete plan to mount the pressure on robbers and nab them in partnership with various communities. The police should intensify patrolling of areas to discourage robbers.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Coordination among cops needed

There should be a coordination among police personnel of the tricity. Miscreants must be dealt with strictly to create a fear in them.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Keep regular check on migrants

There is a need of better co-ordination among the Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar police in order to maintain law and order in the tricity. The police patrolling should be intensified especially in sensitive areas. There should be a constant and regular check on the migrant population. CCTV cameras should be installed at important points.

Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Evolve strategic security policy

In order to check the rising crime incidents in the tricity, Administrators of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are required to put their heads together to evolve a strategic security policy. The inter-city exit and entry points should be reduced to bare minimum and strictly manned 24x7. The residents should form residents welfare associations to deploy their own security guards to check trespassers at entry points.

Sewak Banwait, Chandigarh

Set up joint cell

The increase in the crime rate has exposed the law and order situation in the tricity. Criminals have lost fear of the police. There is an immediate need of setting up a joint cell of the three cities with a common control room. There is also need to plug the escape routes of criminals. The police should earn the faith of people.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Cops should remain physically fit

There has to be thorough coordination between the police of three cities – Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali. Only then, the authorities will be able to effectively seal the escape routes of robbers, as also other criminals. The porous borders have to be covered by police patrolling. They must also improve their training and remain physically fit.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

CCTV cameras must be in working condition

Robbery is a serious crime that creates a sense of insecurity among the public. Officials who fail to arrest criminals should face action. Banks, ATMs, jewellers and other establishments should deploy their own security guards. CCTV cameras must be kept in working condition.

PS Bajwa, Chandigarh

Policing needs to be modernised

The recent robberies and thefts in the tricity have created panic among residents of the tricity. The policing needs to be modernised itself with hi-tech devices. Moreover, what is needed is coordination among the Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali police as miscreants after committing crimes in one city escape to another.

Ranju, Chandigarh

Need for coordinated and effective policing
Rajmeet Singh

Repeated incidents of robbery in the tricity, besides the nearby townships, underline the need for coordinated and effective policing.

Against the national police-to-population ratio (policemen per 100,000 persons) of 137, the police-population ratio of Chandigarh is 584, which is higher than the National Capital’s ratio of 448. Still, criminals are able to strike at will. This is posing a challenge to the police.

The situation is truly alarming. In the past six-and-a-half months, cash and jewellery worth over Rs 2 crore have been either looted at gunpoint or snatched in different incidents in Mohali and Panchkula. During this period, at least 70 incidents of snatching have been reported from Chandigarh alone. In the daring robbery at Rajat Jewellery in Mansa Devi Complex recently, the miscreants appear to have zipped through Panchkula, unmindful of police nakas.

In yet another glaring example of police ineffectiveness, robbers stole a car from Sector 40 in Chandigarh recently and after a few hours used the stolen vehicle to snatch a mobile phone in Sector 17. After a few hours, they again snatched a bag from a Haryana Roadways employee in Sector 4, Panchkula. This shows the inability of the police to intercept a stolen vehicle as it was being used in a series of incidents. There have been many incidents where the criminals escaped under the very nose of the police.

As if the incidents of robberies in the urban pockets were not enough, five robberies by the ‘kala kachha gang’ have been reported from the periphery of Chandigarh.

Since it is not possible to deploy police personnel in every part of the city, the Police Department should be equipped with hi-tech CCTV cameras. The “open street” CCTV cameras are being used in major cities like London, New York, Sydney to fight crime.

There are a total of 180 CCTV cameras installed at different points in the city for monitoring traffic violators. But, many of them are non-functional. Even the Punjab and Haryana High Court has emphasised the need for installing better quality CCTV cameras with night-vision facility and having the latest technology. In Panchkula, a proposal to install 67 CCTV cameras at important locations remains on paper.

Besides these efforts, unless there is a public awareness and alertness, the police would not be able to make a difference, especially in the city’s periphery areas. It is impossible to police hundreds of farmhouses and housing conglomerates that have mushroomed around the city. Perhaps there is a need to introduce “thikri pehra”, a self-vigil system in such areas. The UT, Haryana and Punjab authorities should also insist on farm owners to seek prior permission before embarking on construction on their premises. This would enable the police to make a detailed security grid around the city.

Open house question

After getting complaints of poor maintenance of streetlights, the Municipal Corporation has decided to outsource the maintenance of streetlights in the southern sectors. Will the move improve the situation or it would be another futile exercise to burden the state exchequer. Write your comments to openhouse@tribunemail.com in not more than 100 words along with a passport-size photograph in JPG format.



Lack of basic amenities
Housing society residents hold protest in Zirakpur
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 27
Scores of residents of Motia Heights, Dhakoli, including women and elderly persons, held a protest in front of the housing society, here, today, against the builders for not providing them the facilities promised by them. Led by Rajinder Singh Sawhney, president of Motia Heights Residents Welfare Association, Dhakoli, around 50 residents staged a dharna and accused the builders of not providing them basic civic amenities promised to them.

At present, Motia Heights had 156 flats. As many as 130 families are staying permanently in this multi-storey building for the past three years.

Holding placards and banners, they also raised slogans against the construction company.

The protesters have been demanding completion certificate from GMADA, blue prints of the society, upgrade of the existing sewerage treatment plant, additional bore well to meet the water requirement, electricity generators for the power requirement, new electricity cables that would carry the adequate electric load, repair of water supply pipes, etc.

The protesters lamented to have spent their hard-earned money to buy the flats but the builders have betrayed them.

They alleged that repeated meeting with company directors failed to yield results. They warned to move the court if their demands were not met.

Refuting the allegations, CL Mittal, a director of Motia Builders, claimed that they had given possession of the society to the association after completing all formalities in July 1, 2011.

Mittal said the association had failed to maintain the society and the equipment and now putting the blame on them for reasons known to its office-bearers.



Encroachments obstruct traffic flow in Sec 9
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 27
Encroachments by vendors on the main road in Sector 9 lead to daily traffic congestion. Chaos prevails on Sunday near the rehri market and a temple in Sector 9 leave commuters a harassed lot. Despite several meetings by the senior officers of the administration and directions by the DC, Panchkula, residents continue to suffer with the encroachment problem.

“Somebody damaged my car when I parked it near the road. Now, who will take responsibility for the loss? Why the encroachers are not removed so that there is enough space to park and pass through,” said Vikas Bindra, a resident of Sector 8, who parked his car outside the rehri market.

Tina Sachdev, another resident of Sector 11 said, “The fruit and vegetable vendors have encroached both sides of the road and there is not even enough space to walk.”

Recently the police have started issuing challans to the encroachers but due to political reasons they came back again. The police had informed the MC officials as well but to no avail.

Meanwhile, in any encroachment issue, the Municipal Corporation (MC) and Haryana Urban Development Authority officials come with a standard reply that a drive was being conducted and the encroachers will be removed soon.



June 25 MC House meet declared invalid
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
The Municipal Corporation’s (MC) general House meeting held on June 25 and chaired by Senior Deputy Mayor Heera Negi has been declared invalid. The minutes of the meeting held on June 26 circulated among councillors mention that the 207th House meeting of June 25 was adjourned and held on June 26.

Since Mayor HC Kalyan was not present in the House, the senior deputy mayor chaired the meeting on June 25. With the meeting having been declared invalid, the House meeting on July 28 is expected to be a noisy affair.

Negi said according to the minutes of the meeting, the June 25 meeting was adjourned, which was possible only in case a meeting was held. “If the meeting was held, then the agenda items passed by the House should be considered as approved,” she added. Negi said she would question the Mayor that on whose call was the meeting declared invalid.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said as per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, the meeting cannot be declared invalid as 19 councillors had requested the senior deputy mayor to chair the meeting after the Mayor didn’t turn up. “The decisions taken by the House on June 25 should be approved,” the SAD councillor said.

Five development projects were approved in the meeting held on June 25, following which the additional commissioner adjourned the meeting.



Murder at GMSH-16
9-year-old performs mother’s last rites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Two days after a UT police constable gunned down his wife in the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16 here, their nine-year-old son lit his mother’s pyre at the Sector 25 cremation ground here today. Hundreds of relatives of the deceased, Dimple, and locals attended the funeral. However, the relatives of accused, suspended constable Anand Kumar, refrained from attending the funeral.

The UT police had advised the accused's kin against attending the funeral as it might result in a tense situation, sources said.

The deceased's son, Kavaya, was earlier staying with his paternal family and was today handed over to his mother's parents. Kavaya has a twin sister Kashish, who stayed with her mother.

Dimple was gunned down by Anand, a personal security officer (PSO) with a Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, in full public view after an altercation at the GMSH-16 on July 25. The accused had pumped four bullets into his wife and later, tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. However, the bullet hit under his shoulder. He is currently admitted in the hospital.



Panchkula robbery: Cops fail to nab accused
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 27
Even after two days after the Panchkula robbery that was committed by using the stolen vehicle of a Sessions Judge, the police have failed to nab the miscreants yet. A team of the Panchkula police yesterday went to check the CCTV footage of the locality in Sector 40, Chandigarh, from where the miscreants stole the Tata Safari vehicle of the Judge, Harpreet Kaur Jeevan. As it was a high security area, even the guards and other persons were questioned.

“We are checking the CCTV footage and the accused would be nabbed soon. We have got satisfactory clues,” said Station House Officer of the Setcor 5 police station Inspector Munish Kumar.

Despite spate of robberies in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, the alertness of the police was exposed when the judge’s car was stolen and later miscreants on the city roads committing two other loots.

The car was stolen at 12.51 am in Setcor 40, Chandigarh. Then at 3.15, mobile phone of Rahul Jaswal, a Himachal resident was snatched by the miscreants. At 4.45 on July 25, in Panchkula, they robbed a roadways employee of cash and other valuables on the road separating Setcors 4 and 11.



5 colleges put up trilingual board
Carries name of institute in English, Hindi, Punjabi at the entry gate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Five city colleges, including a government college, have written the name of the institute on the board installed at the gate in three languages: English, Hindi and Punjabi. The move comes 10 months after the UT Home Secretary passed orders in this direction.

The trilingual boards have been prepared by Panditrao Dharennavar, an assistant professor of sociology at Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 46, who has been making efforts towards promoting the issue.

Dharennavar said, “Two months after the orders were passed in September last year, I sent a request to all government colleges to allow me to put up these boards. I had also attached a copy of the orders. Except Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, none of the colleges responded to my letter.”

He said such an attitude showed how negligent these college authorities were towards promotion of Indian languages.

“To my surprise, response from private colleges was way better,” said Dharennavar.

The colleges where the boards were installed today are DAV College, Sector 10; GGDSD College, Sector 32; Dev Samaj College, Sector 45; MCM DAV College, Sector 36; besides PGGC-11.

The professor who hails from Karnataka said he had been trying to promote Punjabi since long by teaching underprivileged students. He has also translated many Punjabi religious scriptures to his native language.

Dharennavar said: “Punjabi is the most commonly spoken language in the city; however, educationists have been meting out step-motherly treatment to it. My own college did not allow me to put up the board in three languages.”

Upset about this, he said: “I have decided to go on leave till all government colleges put up their boards in Indian languages.”

The educationist said he would take up the matter with higher authorities and inform the Home Secretary about the attitude adopted by government college officials.



From schools
Saplings planted

Chandigarh: Government High Smart School, Sector 50, planted saplings of Arjuna plant on the eve of the first anniversary of Arjuna Eco Club of the school. The school authorities said the club was started to popularise herbal plants and to conserve the associated traditional knowledge for future generations. Teachers explained the importance of herbal plants to students. Children were also made aware of techniques to identify different types of herbs and their health benefits.

Eco Club Day

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33-D, celebrated Eco Club Day with great vigour. Slogan-writing and poster-making competitions were organised for students of Classes VI to X. Club in-charge Anju Mahajan elaborated the importance of celebrating the day. A plantation drive was also held. Principal Surendra Singh inaugurated the drive by planting Sita Ashoka sapling on the school premises. Saplings of herbal plants were also planted in the school garden.


Various activities marked the vanamahotsava celebrations at Government Senior Secondary School, Raipur Khurd. Students took part in poetry recitation, paper reading, essay writing and pot decoration. A cleanliness campaign was also held. Tree saplings were planted on the school premises. A lecture on ecology and environment was also delivered. Principal Neena Kalia, staff members and students planted saplings of ornamental and herbal plants.

Investiture ceremony

Amravati Vidyalaya organised its investiture ceremony. All members of the students’ council took a pledge to perform their duties with zeal and to be loyal and sincere while performing their duties. The principal honoured the elected members with sashes and badges. She encouraged the students to set an example for their juniors as well as the classmates.

Council takes oath

Members of the newly formed student’s council were felicitated at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2, Chandimandir. Jasmine Yadav and Amal Yadav of Class XII were selected the head girl and head boy respectively at the investiture ceremony. The members took the oath of integrity. Principal Alka Gupta congratulated them.

One-act plays staged

St Mary School held an inter-class one-act play competition for Classes IX and X. The students chose various themes with a moral message. Students of nursery and kindergarten, meanwhile, observed Fruits and Vegetables Day. Tiny tots dressed as different fruits and vegetables highlighted the importance of healthy, natural and nutritious diet. — TNS



Underprivileged children
Mothers attend counselling camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
Rotary Club, Chandigarh Shivalik, today organised a counselling camp for mothers of underprivileged children studying at Jeevan Mukt Nishulk School in Jagatpura village. Around 60 women attended the camp held on the school premises.

The organisers told the women the importance of ensuring their children attend school regularly besides the need to maintain hygiene, including washing of hands and brushing of teeth.

Nearly 20 members of the club, led by president ML Gupta and secretary Manjit Kaur, took part in the camp.

Earlier, over 150 members of Rotaract and Interact clubs associated with Rotary Club, Chandigarh Shivalik, took out a “Save the Environment” rally in Sector 48 and Jagatpura.

Members of these clubs, who are students of Shemrock Secondary School, Mohali, made the residents aware of the dangers of using polythene and the importance of growing trees.



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