C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Morni road caves in 
Over 125 villages disconnected, tourism affected, students worst hit
Tribune News Service

Morni, August 5
Direct link to over 125 villages was disconnected as the stretch of Panchkula-Morni road caved in at Thana village near here early this morning.

Nearly 80-ft long stretch of the road, laid on a part of hillock, rolled down in a deep gorge, thus snapping the road connectivity to scores of villages in Morni hills. However, No loss of life was reported.

Moderate rain in this part of the region for the past three days resulted in a landslide, said officials of the Haryana Public Works Department (PWD). After receiving information, senior officials, including PK Goel, superintending engineering; Vikas Surjewala, executive engineer of the PWD; along with their team, rushed to the spot and took a stock of the situation.

The PWD authorities have pressed heavy machinery and workforce for restoring the road network.

The public faced hardships after the landslide as they had to take the Morni-Raipur Rani road to rejoin the Yamunanagar–Panchkula Highway near Barwala to reach Panchkula after taking a detour of 30 km.

Surjewala said besides a workforce of nearly 35 department employees, heavy duty earth movers and JCB machines were pressed into service.

The executive engineer revealed that a stretch of around 80 foot was caved in due to heavy landslide.

“We have started cutting the side of a hill to make way for pedestrians and two-wheelers. The road would me made ready for light vehicles if there is no rain in the next 48 hours,” said Surjewala.

“It will take over three days to restore the heavy vehicular traffic on the new road link,” he claimed.

The exact loss to the state government has not been ascertained as yet.

Dr SS Phulia, Deputy Commissioner, and other senior officers from the district administration visited the spot this afternoon and inspected the restoration work. Residents of villages located in nearby areas demanded alternate road links to connect Morni hills with the highway.

Worst affected are students who have to reach their schools by taking shortcuts through the jungle by risking their lives.

Vijay Bansal, president of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, Haryana, said poor road network and mobile connectivity had not only hit the residents of this remote area hard but the tourism industry had also been affected.



Residents need to regulate parking: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear that the parking problem in residential areas is required to be “self-regulated” by residents, and the court cannot issue directions for continuous monitoring by the Administration.

The assertion by a Division Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Fateh Deep Singh came on a petition filed in public interest by Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal.

In his PIL against the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents, Lakhanpal had earlier sought directions to the respondents to allow the parking of vehicles in residential areas only on one side of the road, rather than both.

His contention was that parking of vehicles on either side of the road was creating traffic bottlenecks, making it tough for motorists to move about in residential areas.

“Having heard the petitioner, we find that no doubt the problem of parking in Chandigarh is increasing to an alarming proportion, but the directions which require continuous monitoring of the Administration, cannot be granted.”

“The parking problem in residential areas is required to be self-regulated by residents more than the Administration. We do not find any reason to issue any direction in this matter,” the Bench asserted, while disposing of the petition.

The High Court, in another matter, has already directed the Chandigarh Administration to earmark extra parking space in sectors to de-congest the parking problem in city markets.

The High Court has also been critical of parking of vehicles on road berms. Referring to the problem only recently during the hearing of a case, a Bench of Justice Rajive Bhalla had come down heavily on the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic). Justice Bhalla had described as unfortunate the failure to improve traffic facilities and bring down the number of increasing accidents.

The Bench has also been critical of the practice of leaving behind vehicles in green belts within sectors. At one point of time, the feasibility of creating community parking lots on vacant land was also mooted before the High Court.



Man gets 20 years in jail for minor stepdaughter's rape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
In an exceptional order setting a deterrent for those committing crimes against minors, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anshu Shukla today sentenced a 38-year-old man to 20 year-imprisonment for raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter. The court convicted the accused under Section 376 of the IPC and Section 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The court sentenced Thakur Prasad, a resident of Kajheri, to 20 years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him. Testimony of the 12-year-old girl in the court against her stepfather was instrumental in the conviction.

The case was registered on January 14 this year when the police had arrested the Thakur Prasad for the rape of his minor stepdaughter continuously for three days.

According to the prosecution case, the accused committed the crime when the victim's mother had gone to the village. The daughter told her mother about the incident after she returned. Her mother had complained to the police following which the accused was arrested.

The minor girl is a Class V student at a government school. Her father had died after which her mother married Thakur Prasad. After her second marriage, she had shifted to Kajehri. Thakur Prasad is a mason.

On January 3, the mother went to her village in Uttar Pradesh regarding some work. In the meanwhile, the minor's stepfather raped her from January 3 to January 5. The girl did not say anything to her father but narrated the incident to her mother after she returned.

The medical examination of the girl had confirmed rape.

Minor’s testimony led to conviction

It was the testimony of the 12-year-old girl against her stepfather in the court which was instrumental in the conviction. The girl had deposed before the court that her stepfather raped her for three days while her mother was away.



Seven members of gang arrested
On a tip-off, Mohali police arrest robbers from near a factory they were planning to target
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 5
The Mohali police arrested seven members of a gang involved in robberies at farmhouses and orchards in the surrounding areas.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Paramjit Singh Gill, IG (Zonal- I), said the police had got secret information last night that 12-armed persons were hiding near the boundary wall of a deserted factory near Sundar village under the Dera Bassi police station and planning to commit a crime. The police surrounded the deserted factory and laid nakas to arrest the suspects.

The police managed to arrest seven persons of the 12-member gang. While five of them were held during the operation, two were arrested later during nakabandi.

He said the suspects arrested were Raj Kumar, Birju, Bhalu, Jagga, Bittu, Shama and Raju. Raj Kumar was allegedly the leader of the gang. With the arrest of these persons, the police had solved five cases of robbery.

The police had recovered three sets of gold earrings, four gold rings and two sets of silver anklets from the arrested men. Also recovered were two countrymade .12 bore pistols and two live cartridges, two handles of hand pumps, metal rods , three “dandas” and three motorcycles.

The IG further said the arrested men had “admitted” that they had injured four persons and taken away cash and gold ornaments on the intervening night of May 26 and 27 from persons staying at an orchard near Paki Rurki village, near Kharar. They had also targeted two farmhouses near Seonk village on the intervening night of July 23 and 24 and decamped with cash and ornaments after injuring persons living there. On the same night, they had also struck at a farmhouse near Khuda Lahora village in Chandigarh and, after injuring three persons, decamped with cash and jewellery.

The IG said that on the intervening night of July 26 and 27 the gang targeted an orchard near Sanouli village, near Zirakpur, and looted cash and jewellery after injuring three persons. They also injured two persons at a “pir baba’s mazaar” and took away cash and jewellery. Last year on August 6, they were also involved in an incident of looting in Behra village under Dera Bassi police station.Gill said the police had earlier started night dominance operations and the maximum force was mobilised to arrest persons involved in looting incidents. On the directions of Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh, an effective campaign was started under SP (D) GS Garewal. Panchayats were also approached for cooperation. On the modus operandi of the gang, he said it became active between midnight and 3 am and targeted locations away from the populated areas. It was learnt that members of the gang first came to recce the area they wanted to target and then attacked on dark nights, he added. 



Three youths end their life in separate incidents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Three youths in the age group of 20 and 26 committed suicides in separate incidents in the last 24 hours.

All three youths hung themselves to death as they were under depression.

In the first incident, a 26 year-old youth, Gaganjoy, hung himself from the ceiling fan at his friend’s residence in Shastri Nagar, Mani Majra. The police said Gaganjot Singh went to his friend’s house in Mani Majra last night. Gaganjot and Maninder Singh, had drinks till late in the night and went off to sleep in separate rooms.

Maninder in the morning saw Gaganjot hanging with the ceiling fan in another room. Maninder was shocked and called the police and informed his friend’s family. Gaganjot was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

Gaganjot’s family informed the police that he was suffering from depression. After completing his education, Gaganjot was jobless, which was bothering him. No suicide note was found from the spot.

In a separate incident, a 20-year-old youth ended his life by hanging with a ceiling fan here in Sector 25. The victim identified as Amit Kumar was upset for the last couple of months. Following a verbal spat with his wife had left his home and gone to her parent’s house. Amit was found hanging with the ceiling of a room by his neighbours, who later informed the police. No suicide note was found from the spot.

Meanwhile, in another case, a 26-year-old man, working as a painter, was found hanging with the ceiling fan here on Tuesday morning. Vishal Vaid, staying at Hallo Majra, left behind a suicide note. In the suicide note he did not hold anyone responsible for the extreme step. The police said Vishal was also under depression for last few months. The police have initiated inquest proceedings in all the incidents. 



Nakodar resident booked

Mohali, August 5
The police today registered a case against Sukhjit Singh of Nakodar in connection with the alleged suicide by dismissed constable yesterday.

The case was registered at the Phase VIII police station on the basis of the suicide note found by the police.

Relatives of the victim demanded the arrest of Sukhjit. Pawan Kumar had allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at Nature Park in Phase VIII here yesterday.

The police said he was allegedly involved in cases of fraud, including those of cheating several persons on the pretext of providing them employment in the Punjab Police. Pawan was dismissed for his alleged involvement in a police recruitment scandal, which came to light in 2011. The police said a suicide note was recovered from the victim’s pocket. In his suicide note, the victim had said that Sukhjit was responsible for his death. — OC



Lack of planning comes to the fore
Having failed to organise inter-school meet, dept rolls back last year’s decision
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The sports branch of the UT Education Department has decided to roll back its last year’s decision of giving direct entry to top three teams of the Inter-School Football Tournament for Boys (U-17) to the national-level UT Administrator’s Football Tournament.

In the latest decision, the authorities have decided that only the finalists of the recently concluded Pre-Subroto Football Cup for Boys (U-17) will get a direct entry to the all-India cup that is to be hosted by the UT Administration in September.

The decision was taken after the sports branch failed to organise the inter-school tournament before the all-India meet. It is to be conducted in October.

“This year, only two teams have qualified for the all-India football cup. Both the finalists will get a direct entry to the championship. The decision has been taken as the department is yet to organise the inter-school football tournament,” said an official.

The decrease in the number of local teams getting a direct entry to the UT Administrator’s Football Tournament is set to dent Chandigarh’s chances of winning the trophy.

“While last year three local teams gained entry into the high-stakes all-India championship, organisers have now reduced the number of eligible teams. Moreover, teams that have qualified for the Subroto Cup Tournament to be held in Delhi will get very little time to prepare for the all-India meet. The local authorities could have easily scheduled the inter-school tournament before the all-India meet,” said the coach of a local team.

The hosts—Chandigarh Football Academy—have already announced that they would not be taking part in the tournament as they have no senior players.

Eligibility criterion to mar chances

In July 2013, the then UT Sports Secretary, VK Singh, had announced that three city schools that attain top positions in the Inter-School Football Tournament for Boys (U-17) will gain direct entry to the national-level UT Administrator’s Football Tournament. The step was taken to encourage local participation. Now, however, only the two finalists of the recently concluded Pre-Subroto Football Cup for Boys (U-17) will gain the direct entry. The eligibility criteria for taking part in the pre-Subroto meet and UT’s all-India tournament differ. Although, the age criterion is same in both, i.e. a player must be below 17 years of age, in the latter, participants must be studying in Class X or below. In the former there is no such restriction. This will restrict the two qualifying local teams from fielding players studying in higher secondary classes at the UT’s all-India meet. This will dent city’s chances of winning the title.



Digvijay, Khushbeen shine at CLTA-AITA tennis meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Digvijay Singh and Khushbeen Kaur came out victorious in the boys’ and girls’ (U-16) category, respectively, at CLTA-AITA Championship Series Tennis Tournament that concluded at the CLTA courts here today.

In the title clash of the boys’ category, Digvijay faced fellow CLTA trainee Vikrant Dahiya. In the initial set, Digvijay took a 4-0 lead, before Vikrant pulled up his socks to level the set at 4-4. In the next two games, both players broke each other’s serve to keep the set alive. Digvijay, however, once again broke Vikrant’s serve in the eleventh game before holding his serve in the next to claim the set 7-5.

In the next set, Vikrant came back strongly to take an early lead. Although, Digvijay tried his best to make a comeback, he went down 3-6. With the title at stake, both players used variations in the final set. Riding high on a better shot selection, Digvijay conceded only one game to win the three-hour-long match 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.

In the girls’ singles final, Khushbeen defeated Jahnavi in straight sets.

Losing only one game in the first set, Khushbeen won it 6-1.

Trying to turn the tables on Khushbeen, Jahnavi managed to take an early lead in the second set.

Khushbeen, however, maintained her steady game to win the set 6-4.

This 6-1, 6-4 win helped Khushbeen win her maiden title.



Arushi, Prabhreet make it to quarterfinals in girls’ singles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Arushi Kakkar thrashed Sakshi 7-0 while Prabhreet outclassed Jahnvi 7-1 in the second-round matches of girls’ singles category on the first day of the UT Open Tennis Tournament being conducted by the UT Sports Department.

In other matches of the same category, Arushi Sharma beat Priyanshi 7-1 and Nikita Bishnoi routed Nani 7-1 to enter the quarterfinals. Earlier, in the first-round matches, Sakshi Singh overpowered Prabhleen 6-2, Garima Mann beat Aditi Dogra 6-2 and Nani defeated Prachi 6-4.

Boys’ singles results

Second round: Ranjit Singh bt Abhimanyu 7-0, Sahil Yadav bt Aarav Joshi 7-1, Kapil Manrai bt Harmeet 7-1, Neeraj bt Parmeet 7-2, Gautam Mittal bt Sehajpreet 7-4, Param Pun bt Mitesh 7-0, Nihit Rawal bt Gurmehak 7-0, Sabrang bt Sarabjot 7-2, Praveen bt Nishant Sindhu 7-4, Manjot bt Sarthak 7-0, Rohit Barwal bt Sidharath 7-0, Himanshu bt Jagdip 7-4, Pranshu bt Abhinav Sharma 7-4.

First round: Parmeet Deol bt Jyot Shikhar 6-5 (5), Kapil Maharai bt Vaisal Chauhan 6-3, Nishant Kakkar bt Adesh Maharai 6-3, Gautam Mittal bt Tarun 6-2, Mitesh bt Saksham Saini 6-1, Gurmehak bt Ritvik 6-3, Saravjot bt Harsh 6-2, Sabrang Sandal bt Vivek 6-0, Parveen bt Rahul Gupta 6-1, Sarthak bt Raghav Dewan 6-1, Rohit Beewal bt Karan Thind 6-0, Himanshu bt Archit 6-1, Pranshu bt Rohit Ghangas 6-1, Saksham bt Palit Mehra 6-3.



GMSSS-20 boys, girls eye netball title
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Both junior teams of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, booked their place in finals of the Fourth St Soldier State Netball Trophy for Boys and Girls here today.

Playing their semifinal match in the boys’ (junior) category at St Soldier School, Sector 28, the GMSSS-20 team stood victorious 14-11.

In the second semifinal encounter, Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, squeezed their way through to the final, beating Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28, 10-9.

In the girls’ (junior) category, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28, defeated Sun Shine Club 11-9, while Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, beat Moti Ram School, Sector 27, 13-7, to set up the title clash.

In the girls’ (senior) category, Panjab University Campus Club beat Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, 18-11, while Dynamite Club overpowered Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 28, 14-12.

Meanwhile, Spartan Twelve Club defeated Lion Club 16-10 in the boys’ (senior) category.



Ryan International School win chess meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
Ryan International School, Sector 49, won the title at the Inter-School Chess Championship for Boys (U-19) held at Government Model High School, Sector 38.

In the final, they defeated SD Public School, Sector 32, 3-1. Earlier, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 56, claimed the third spot, defeating AKSIPS, Sector 41, 3.5-1.5. 



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