C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth falls to death at PU hostel
Had gone to university to meet friend where they allegedly took liquor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A 25-year-old youth, Amandeep Singh, a resident of Sirsa, died after falling from the first floor of Hostel No. 4, Panjab University, early this morning. The victim, who was in an inebriated state, was declared brought dead at the PGI, Chandigarh. The police said the victim slipped from the balcony of room number 27, Block No. 5, on the first floor of the hostel.

After having dinner, the victim, along with two others, went to his friend Raman Dhaka's hostel room where they took liquor. Later, around 1 am, the victim received a phone call from his fiancee and came out to the balcony to talk to her and fell. Students living on the ground floor raised the alarm.

The autopsy of the victim revealed that he suffered serious head injuries and was under the influence of liquor. According to the investigating officer, Amandeep had come to visit his friend Raman, a final-year student of BA (LLB) in Panjab University, on October 20.

The police have registered a DDR under Section 174 (mysterious death) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and have initiated inquest proceedings. "The viscera report of the deceased is awaited after which it will be established whether Amandeep was under the influence of alcohol or not," said Sukhnam Singh, the investigating officer.

Hostel inmate to face action

Dean Students Welfare Navdeep Goyal said the allotment of the hostel room to Raman would be cancelled as he illegally allowed three outsiders to enter the hostel without making an entry at the gate and served liquor to them in his room in the hostel, which was against the norms. PU chief security officer Jatinder Grover said Amandeep, along with two of his friends, entered the hostel premises without making any entry at the gate. In the wake of the incident, the authorities today issued directions to all wardens to check all hostels.

What the norms state

According to the university norms, hostel inmates have to make an entry of their guests before allowing them inside the hostel premises. There is a ban on the consumption of liquor in the hostel and the security staff usually keep a check on this.

2 complaints in six months

Records of the university revealed that during the past six months, two complaints had been made by the wardens of hostels, one each from the boys' and girls' hostels, on liquor consumption on the hostel premises. Both students against whom the complaints had been made were fined Rs 2,000 each by the authorities with a warning that if the same incident was repeated, the allotment of the room to them would be cancelled.



Manisha’s death
Autopsy hints at head injury as possible cause of death
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The autopsy of 20-year-old Manisha, whose body was found two days ago from a seasonal rivulet near the Shambhu barrier on the Rajpura road, while ruling out death due to drowning, has hinted at a severe head injury as the possible cause of the death.

The autopsy was conducted by a panel of three experts. The viscera has been sent for analysis to Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

While poisoning or drug overdose could not be ascertained, the exact cause of the death would be ascertained only after receiving the report from the CFSL. The autopsy has not ruled out sexual assault. Besides the head injury, no other prominent injury marks were found on her body. Sources in the police said there were signs of bleeding from the victim’s nose, indicating brain haemorrhage.

The police had arrested three youths -- Rajat Beniwal, a resident of Sector 51, Kamal Singh, a resident of Sector 56, and Dilpreet Singh, a resident of Mohali -- in connection with Manisha's death. According to sources, during preliminary investigation, the accused claimed to have taken heroin and said the victim died due to an overdose of the drug.

Victim’s mobile, ATM card, ornaments missing

A mobile handset, an ATM card and ornaments of the victim are missing. While the victim's father claims that his daughter was in possession of these three items when she left home, the police said no such claim was made by the family before them.

Accused produced before court

The three accused were produced in the court on Tuesday which sent Rajat Beniwal and Kamal Singh to judicial custody. The third accused, Dilpreet, a student of a private institute in Sector 34, was remanded in one-day police custody. While pleading for his custody, the police told the court that they had to ascertain the source of the drugs for which his custodial interrogation was required.



Murder fallout of old enmity: Father
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The father of 20-year-old Manisha, whose body was found on Chandigarh-Ambala Road on October 19, alleged that one of the accused, Kamal Singh, had hatched the murder conspiracy.

He said the accused, along with his two accomplices, killed his daughter to take revenge. He asserted that his daughter was robbed of ornaments, cash and an ATM card before being murdered.

Joginder (victim’s father) said Kamal Singh, one of the alleged accused, had scuffled with one of his employees over the payment of a bill a year ago. At that time, he was in an inebriated state. He was taken into police custody. Following this, Kamal came in touch with Manisha through Dilpreet, another accused and classmate of the victim, and killed her. “A year ago, Kamal had created a ruckus at the dhaba. He was under the influence of liquor. In order to take revenge, he killed my daughter. They threw her body in a drain,” said Joginder. He maintained that her daughter was carrying Rs 8,000 in cash, a mobile phone, an ATM card and was wearing gold ornaments. He ruled out the drug theory. “My daughter has never tried drugs. It is a case of killing,” said Joginder. Pankaj, elder brother of Manisha, said: “The probe should be fair.”



eviction case
HC passes strictures against Admn
Asks it to restore property to the petitioner & file compliance report
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
In a major embarrassment for the Chandigarh Administration, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has referred to it as “fence eating the plants which it ought to protect”. Justice K Kannan has also asserted that the personal liberties of a person were thrown to the winds in a property eviction case by private individuals, who empowered themselves by a mighty hand of the police.

The strictures came in a case where a tenant was locked out of the premises with the alleged connivance of the Industrial Area Station House Officer. The Police Complaints Authority has already recommended action against SHO Jaspal Singh after taking cognisance of a complaint in this regard.

Justice Kannan also directed the Administration to remove the lock within 24 hours from receiving the order’s copy and restore the property to the petitioner before filing a compliance report to the Registry in 48 hours.

Justice Kannan further imposed costs of Rs 10,000 on the Administration, the landlord and another respondent. The amount is payable to the petitioner, Yuvraj Singh. In his petition filed through counsel Kanwalvir Singh Kang, Yuvraj had claimed that he was carrying out the business of “fabrication and die machine tools”. The Station House Officer of the Industrial Area “actively engaged himself as an aggressor along with the respondents and dispossessed him from the premises before locking him out on July 2, 2011".

Acting on his complaint, the Police Complaints Authority in October 2011 observed that the SHO was guilty of gross abuse of power and misconduct.

His services were ordered to be placed under suspension forthwith to face departmental action. The UT Senior Superintendent of Police was also requested to order a fair and impartial investigation into the case and order restoration of possession. Kang contended that the direction came as no help to him and he had to file a suit before the civil court.

In his detailed order, Justice Kannan asserted: “On the other hand, it attempts to depict an active state machinery to support respondents to do an act which is patently unlawful. The action of the state machinery is bound to conform to the rule of law and shall be guardians of law. It is the proverbial fence eating the plants which it ought to protect. Here is a brazen attempt on the part of the Administration to support what is so seemingly an unlawful act of the respondents….

“Here is an eloquent case, where personal liberties of a person are thrown to the winds by private individuals, who are able to empower themselves by a mighty hand of the police to beat up yet another citizen.

“I am convinced that the petitioner will require the protection of the court to be forthwith restored to possession. The police and the Administration which have supported the respondents all along must now stand by the court's order on the pain of being inflicted with punishment for contempt if the lock is not removed from the premises and the petitioner allowed to be restored to possession….

“The institution of the suit was… surely the most appropriate remedy in a normal situation but if the petitioner is up against the state administration which supports the respondents not merely outside the court but inside the court as well by a conduct which is not appropriate, it requires the court to extend its arm of protection to the petitioner.”



Ram Lal was in touch with contract killer Supreet: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Police investigations into the murder of model Puneet Sandhu (27) on October 16 have revealed that Ram Lal, the third accused arrested yesterday, owned half a dozen mobile phones and was in constant touch with the contract killer, Supreet, a few days prior to the murder. The police are also examining the role of another suspect, Lali, in the case.
(From left) Anju, Supreet and Ram Lal, the accused in the Puneet murder case, being taken to the court
(From left) Anju, Supreet and Ram Lal, the accused in the Puneet murder case, being taken to the court. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

The police had initially arrested the victim’s live-in partner’s Amit Chaudhary’s sister Anju and Supreet for the crime while Ram Lal was arrested yesterday. Pleading for the custody of the accused, the police told the court that they had to scrutinise the call details of all phones of Ram Lal to unearth the conspiracy and needed his custodial interrogation. The application for the police remand was strongly opposed by the defence counsel stating that the police did not have an iota of evidence in the case and had nothing more to unearth. The defence also pleaded that Anju was married and was a mother and just on the basis of mobile details, the police could not prove the conspiracy. All three accused were then remanded in two-day custody by the court.

Puneet murder case

Puneet Sandhu, a 27-year-old model, was found murdered at her Sector 49 flat on October 16. During the course of the interrogation, it came out that Puneet’s live-in partner Amit Chaudhary’s sister Anju had hired his friend Supreet to eliminate her (Puneet). The immediate provocation behind the crime was that Amit had decided to get Puneet to his Sector 47 house, which the family did not approve of, the police had said. Puneet’s sister, in her complaint to the police, had alleged that Amit’s father Ram Lal had killed her as he was against their relationship. The police had then zeroed in on Ram Lal and he too was arrested on Monday.



It’s a frame-up, says accused
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Put behind bars barely six months after he was acquitted in the sensational "rape on wheels" case dating back to 2002, Ram Lal, the third accused arrested yesterday for conspiring in the murder plot of model Puneet Sandhu, called it an irony of sorts.

“There was a sword hanging over me for 12 years as the police booked me in the "rape on wheels" case involving former UT Home Secretary NK Jain and others as the accused in which all, including me, were acquitted in March this year. The police case is a frame-up yet again,” he said.

“My daughter Anju was a friend of the deceased and she has also been arrested. We have nothing to do with the murder. Anju used to frequently meet Puneet and both of them had gone to Malaysia some time ago. Will I conspire with my daughter and ask her to kill someone? Which father will do so. It's bizarre,” he said while talking to mediapersons in the court.

“The police are examining my call details and linking it to the murder plot. Will a father not call his daughter? There is no conspiracy and no evidence at all with the police in the case,” he said.

His daughter Anju alleged that not a single fact in the case had come to light. “My brother had a love affair with her? Why will I kill her?” she said.

Amit Chaudhary, the victim’s live-in partner, was also present in the court while his sister and father were bring produced.

“I had dinner with Supreet before I went to a friend’s house and then returned to my flat in Sector 49 where I found that Puneet had been killed. It was my father who suggested that I call the police; my father and sister are innocent,” he said.


City records sales of whopping Rs 72 cr on Dhanteras
Sales of automobiles, gold see a rise in comparison to the previous year; online shopping hits utensil traders’ business
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Braving huge traffic snarls and jostling for space in the markets, city residents made purchases of over Rs 72 crore on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras today.

While sales of vehicles and gold reported an upsurge this year, compared with the figures last year, traders in crockery and utensils segment said their sales figures could have been higher if people had not made purchases online.

A total of 45 kg of gold, worth about Rs 12 crore, was sold by various jewellers in the city and more than 1,000 vehicles, costing about Rs 50 crore, were purchased today.

Celebrating the joy of buying metal on the auspicious day of ‘Dhanteras’, residents hopped across various markets before they could find best deals in utensils and crockery. “The market certainly improved since yesterday; after a slump that we witnessed for over past several months. But the availability of utensils and crockery online affected our business severely,” said Arun Gupta, chairman, Bartan Traders’ Association.

“It is difficult to assess the exact magnitude of sales at the moment as more than 90 traders are associated with us and all of them have varied products. However, overall, there was some improvement today,” said Ram Bilas Aggarwal, president, Bartan Association.

According to the auto dealers, the demand for smaller cars, including Maruti Suzuki’s Alto 800 and Alto K10, Honda’s Brio and Hyundai i20, was the highest this year. While there were not many colour preferences, the booking were made for the day by almost all these 1,000 families more than a month ago, said Pradeep Sheoran, general manager (sales), Tricity Autos, Maruti.

The price of gold witnessing a fall to Rs 26,300 per 10 gram this year from Rs 29,700 resulted in rise in its sale this time, said Rajeev Sahdev, president, Jewellers’ Association, Chandigarh. 

45 kg gold, 1,000 cars sold in a day

* Over 45 kg of gold worth Rs 12 crore sold on Dhanteras this year while the figure stood at Rs 7 crore last year. The sales, however, were higher at Rs 20 crore in 2012.

* Sale of cars increased marginally from 900 deliveries last year to nearly 1,000 this year. 



Parking woes lead to chaos on roads as people flock to markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Waking out of slumber, the Chandigarh Administration this evening decided to utilise the grounds in government schools for parking of vehicles of people visiting the city markets. Ironically, the decision comes on a day when the festival season is nearing its end.

Confirming the development, UT Finance Secretary Saravjit Singh said the Administration has allowed parking of vehicles in government schools for two days.

Welcoming the move, Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), said it would be beneficial for both traders and customers.

The decision, however, had little meaning for the commuters who thronged the city markets today to make purchases on the auspicious day of ‘Dhanteras’. By the time the decision is brought into effect, the festival season will be almost over.

It took over one month for the UT officials to decide on the parking in government schools during festival season

Last month, the UT traffic police had sent the proposal to the UT Education Department to convert government school grounds into parking lots during evening hours, but the latter refused to agree stating that the school property could be damaged in case these are thrown open to general public.

For the past few days, traders had been demanding that the Administration should do something to end parking troubles in markets. In view of this, the Administration today approved the proposal to open school grounds for parking of vehicles.

Utter chaos prevailed on the city roads as people visiting main markets of the city searched for space to park their vehicles as the parking lots in the markets remained full. The situation was worst in the market places at Sectors 18, 19, 20, 22 and 35 where utensil shops are located.

Meanwhile, the traffic chaos on Madhya Marg worsened as the Haryana BJP leaders heded towards the UT guest house to attend a meeting. The traffic moved bumper-to-bumper on teh Madhya Marg and the Dakshin Marg during the afternoon and the evening hours.

During afternoon, a majority of roads in Sectors 7, 8 and 26 were jam-packed.

Roads worst-hit

* In front of shops selling utensils in Sectors 19, 20, 22 and 35

* Madhya Marg, Dakshin Marg and Udyog Path

Admn’s decision to open govt school grounds for parking came too late

For the past few days, traders had been demanding that the Administration should do something to end parking troubles in markets. In view of this, the Administration on Tuesday approved the proposal to open school grounds for parking of vehicles. 



Traders get new currency

Chandigarh, October 21
The Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM), in association with the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, organised a coin-cum-currency exchange mela in Sectors 17 and 19.

In the Sector 19 programme held at the ICICI Bank, new currency notes and coins of Rs 84 lakh were distributed among more than 300 traders whereas at the event organised in SBI’s Sector 17 branch, new currency notes and coins worth Rs 18 lakh were distributed. — TNS



Retired engineers pitch in for J&K flood victims

(From left) Bhupinder Singh, SL Vinayak, Narinder Sharma, KL Bhargava, Kishen Singh and Rajeshwar Sharma, all members of the Punjab Irrigation Retired Engineers Association, donate a cheque for ~6.31 lakh
(From left) Bhupinder Singh, SL Vinayak, Narinder Sharma, KL Bhargava, Kishen Singh and Rajeshwar Sharma, all members of the Punjab Irrigation Retired Engineers Association, donate a cheque for Rs 6.31 lakh. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 21
The Punjab Irrigation Retired Engineers Association has donated Rs 8.33 lakh towards the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for victims of Jammu and Kashmir floods. 

KL Bhargava, president of the association, said donations collected from 305 members of the association was sent in two installments of Rs 2.02 lakh and Rs 6.31 lakh. — TNS




Missing children
Police told to submit report 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the UT Police to submit a report pertaining to 55 missing children in the next two months.

The directions were issued at a meeting headed by chairperson of the commission Devi Sirohi.

Prof Devi Sirohi discussed a draft plan to track the children in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with police personnel and NGO representatives. She pointed out that in the past two years, more than 55 children, including 35 girls and 20 boys, had gone missing. The children belonged to economically weaker sections, she said. A format has been provided by the commission to the police. The commission has asked for a feedback within two months. The chairperson said the Supreme Court of India was taking serious note of the issue and that steps should be taken to address the problem.

The commission also organised a workshop which was attended by police personnel, NGO members and a few organisations working for the child welfare.

The workshop was chaired by Prof Devi Sirohi, chairperson, Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Kartar Singh and Neil Roberts, chairperson and member of Child Welfare Committee, Chandigarh. Neil Roberts, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Chandigarh, stated that efforts needed to be put in to trace the children, adding that the apex court’s guidelines should be complied with.



They cut corners wisely
Festive colours have lent a glowing tinge to the city. As residents are shopping, exchanging gifts and decking up their houses, Chandigarh Tribune speaks to a few families to know how they plan to splurge this Diwali.
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Preparations for Diwali began months ago, but things are different this time. There were days when families would focus on whitewashing and cleaning every nook and cranny of their houses while expenses were not as much a matter of concern. Now, saving money to buy the best available tops their priority list.

Chandigarh Tribune interviewed three families from the city to know how they managed the expenses during a series of festivals before Diwali and managed to save a bit for the festival of lights too. While not all were keen on sharing the exact family income, they all admitted that planning began much in advance and also the expenses during this time of the year turned out to be four-five times the usual monthly expenditure. 

Costing an arm and a leg!
For industrialist Chander Verma, the expenses have been on the rise each passing year. “The cost of all basic items and services have increased four to five times in the past couple of years. The increase in income is being commensurate with the rising expenses, so we need to start planning in advance.”


A costly affair
“No matter how much we spend on clothes or luxury items, including those of home décor or accessories throughout the year, we can never keep off fancy markets during Diwali. Discounts and special offers appeal much more to us and we end up buying things that were never listed on our list. I purchased clothes for everyone at home while we had decided not to start winter shopping before the second week of Novermber,” said Sagina Singh, wife of a city-based advocate Balram Singh, whose average monthly income is Rs 70,000.

Balram Sharma ended up spending 50 per cent of the budget this Diwali, apart from replacing some old electrical appliances with new ones. He said he might save some money as his children were not buying crackers this time, adding that exchanging gifts and travelling cost him a pretty penny. 


Money matters
Kalka Prasad, a government employee, who has two children and a wife, said: “We buy crackers from Kuarali to save on costs, but even then my children ended up buying crackers worth Rs 25,000 this time.”


Advisory on food safety

* Avoid sweets that look extra dark in colour. They may have excess synthetic colour.

* Prefer preparing sweets at home.

* Ask for a bill. Try and taste sweets before making a purchase.

* Ensure that the same quality of food, which you tasted, has been placed in the packet.

* For complaints, one can contact Food Safety Office at 0172102. 



Tributes paid to police martyrs 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 21
To mark the Police Commemoration Day, Mohali Police, today organised a function at Mataur Police Station, Phase 7, here today.

In the function, presided over by Mohali SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, several families of police martyrs participated. A special parade was also organised to commemorate the sacrifice of martyrs.

“As many as 650 officials of police and other forces had laid their lives for the country out of which 204 were from Punjab. We all salute them,” said SSP Bhatti.

Constables of the Chandigarh Police take part in a parade on Police Commemoration Day in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Constables of the Chandigarh Police take part in a parade on Police Commemoration Day in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Martyrs remembered

Chandigarh: The Commemoration Parade was organised at Chandigarh Home Guards Headquarters, Sector 17, today morning The parade was observed in the memory of the martyrs. On this occasion, two-minute silence was observed. AS Cheema, Deputy Inspector General of Police, along with other police officers paid homage to the departed comrades at the Martyrs Memorial. 



Minor girl’s suicide case 
Mohali SSP marks inquiry to DSP

Mohali, October 21
In a case of alleged suicide by a minor girl, following alleged delay by police in taking action on her kin’s complaint of harassment by two youngsters at Kansal, the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti directed the area DSP to inquire the case.

Notably, the victim had committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence at Kansal village on Saturday. “She was being harassed by two youngsters, Vinod and Sushil, also residents of Kansal. We have informed the police about it around 18 days ago but they did not take any action. The delay in police action resulted in suicide of the victim,” alleged the kin of the victim.

SSP Bhatti added that though no written complaint in this regard was made, still he asked the DSP to inquire into the matter and report to him as soon as possible.

“The accused has already been arrested under Section 305 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC and produced before the court,” said the police. — TNS



Aided college teachers not paid salaries

Chandigarh, October 21
Employees of aided colleges of the state are upset over the failure of the Punjab Government to release salaries under the 95 per cent salary deficit grant scheme.The employees have not received salaries for the past 15 months. 

In a statement, Dr Jagwant Singh, vice-president, Punjab and College Teachers’ Union, said their 15-day protest had failed to move the authorities. He said for them, Diwali gift would be Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa’s resignation. — TNS



Teachers demand hike in pay

Chandigarh, October 21
The state executive committee of the Government Teachers Union (GTU) held a meeting today. President GTU Dr Vinod Sharma discussed issues that were taken up by the union with the authorities. 

The committee members had demanded fixation of notional pay of UT cadre teachers, promotion of 60 JBT teachers and 60 masters/mistresses, increase in salary of part-time lecturers from Rs 12,000 to 25,000 and guest faculty from Rs 20,000 to 35,000. — TNS



From schools
Students celebrate Diwali

Chandigarh: Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40-C, celebrated Diwali. Students and staff pledged to celebrate a cracker-free Diwali this time.

GSSS-Raipur Khurd

Government Senior Secondary School, Raipur Khurd, launched an anti-cracker campaign. Students were told to say no to crackers.

Govt school, Hallo Majra

Government High School, Hallo Majra, Government High School (Smart School) Sector 50-B, Government High School, Sector 53, (Smart School) and Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, urged students to celebrate a green Diwali.

St Soldier school

Students of Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28-B, pledged to stay away from crackers. A special morning assembly was held.

St Joseph’s school

Students of St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, decorated the school with diyas, flowers and rangolis. More than 100 students made rangolis.

Green Castle

Green Castle Public School, Sector 47-C, celebrated Diwali. Students made rangoli, greeting cards and decorated diyas. Headmistress delivered a speech.

Shishu Niketan

Shishu Niketan Public School, Sector 5, Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, celebrated Diwali. Thali, candle and diya making competitions were held.

Blue Bird

Students of Blue Bird High School decided to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. They made posters and wrote slogans.

Satluj Public School

A special assembly was held to celebrate Diwali in Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula. The assembly started with a diya dance followed by a skit.

Amravati Vidyalaya

Students of Amravati Vidyalaya made a beautiful rangoli and prepared special Diwali cards. Pre-primary wing students recited poems.

St Mary’s

St Mary’s school celebrated Diwali. Chairman Rev Fr John K Jacob lit the traditional lamp.



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