C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Kidnapped boy found murdered
10 days after 6-year-old Mehram went missing from Mohali, his maggot-infested body found buried
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mehram Singh, the victim
Mehram Singh, the victim

Mohali, November 7
Ten days after six-year-old Mehram Singh Sandhu was kidnapped, his highly decomposed, maggot-infested body was recovered from a garbage dumping yard located opposite Mayo Hospital in Sector 69 here this morning.

The upper part of the body, including the face, was found burnt beyond recognition. The body was found buried in a 2-foot-deep pit, which was covered with five cement blocks. Only his foot with the shoe and hair were visible. The body was noticed by a safai karamchari, Veer Pal, at around 10.15 am, who informed his colleagues following which the local police were informed about the incident.

Mehram’s maternal grandmother being taken to the spot (right) where his body was found buried.
Mehram’s maternal grandmother being taken to the spot (right) where his body was found buried.

"After dumping garbage at the site this morning, I went near the spot to answer the call of nature. There I spotted the foot. I immediately informed Parvin Tak, president of our association, who informed the police," said Veer Pal while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.

Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, SP (Detective) GS Grewal, along with other senior officials, went to the spot.

Mehram's kin were called to the spot to identify the body, which was dug out from the pit at around 2.15 pm.

A part of Mehram's lower jaw, his other shoe and an earthen lamp were found around 10 metres away from the spot, where something appeared to have been burnt recently. "The condition of the body indicated that the child was murdered the same day or the next day of his kidnapping. The upper part of the body has been badly burnt, may be with some acid," said SP Grewal after inspecting the spot.

A forensic team and a dog squad were summoned to the spot. After reaching a nearby road, around 50 metres from the spot, the sniffer dog stopped.

The body was sent to the Mohali Civil Hospital at Phase VI for a postmortem.

SSP Bhatti said the medical report confirmed that the upper portion of the body was badly mutilated and had been eaten up by maggots.

"We are waiting for the report to know whether or not the child was sodomised," the SSP said.

Heart-rending scenes

Emotional scenes were witnessed when Mehram's maternal grandmother Jaswinder Kaur reached the spot. "Please say he is not our child. He can't leave us," she kept saying repeatedly after reaching the spot at around 1.15 pm. Mehram's maternal grandparents Balwinder Singh and Jaswinder Kaur were bringing him up since he (Mehram) was five-month old. "He was a caring child. At this tender age, he used to take care of us," said an inconsolable Jaswinder Kaur.

Mohali police did little: Kin

"The Mohali police did not do anything in the case," alleged the victim's kin and neighbours. The police didn't arrest members of Mehram's paternal family for reasons best known to them. They had booked Mehram's father Varinder Pal Singh, an Australian citizen, grandfather Nirmal Singh and paternal aunt and uncle, Parminder Kaur and Prabhjeet Singh, respectively, both residents of Phase I, under Sections 365 (kidnapping), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC at the Phase VIII police station but did not arrest any of them. "Why didn't the police arrest them? They did nothing to locate the missing child. Had the police acted seriously, Mehram's life could have been saved," said a neighbour.

She said a person was seen roaming around suspiciously by some children, who were playing with Mehram on the fateful day. "The police were given a description of that person, but they did nothing in this regard," she said.

The victim's mother Harinder Kaur told the police that she got a phone call from her estranged husband Varinder Pal Singh in the afternoon on October 28 (the same evening Mehram was kidnapped), who threatened that he would teach Harinder and her parents a lesson. "A case against Harinder's in-laws was registered on October 29, but the police did not arrest them," alleged one of the relatives.

The police, however, claimed they they did not leave any stone unturned to trace the child. "A special investigating team (SIT) was on the job. We had rounded up the suspects and interrogated them," SSP Bhatti said.

Prayers were held every day for Mehram’s safety

People of the area were holding prayers every day for Mehram's safety. "Everybody was praying for Mehram's well-being, but luck had something else in store for us," said a relative. Mehram's mother Harinder Kaur was inconsolable.

Was some tantrik involved?

As some material was found burnt near the place were Mehram's second shoe, a part of his lower jaw and an earthen lamp were found, the police believe that it may be case of witchcraft. "Maybe, Mehram fell pray to some 'tantrik' or any other such person. During Diwali time, such things happen at several places. Though it is too early to say anything, we will work on this angle too," said a senior police officer.

Patiala Zone IG visits spot

Patiala zone Inspector General of Police PS Gill also visited the spot. "We will nab the culprits soon," said IG Gill.

Case history

Mehram Singh was kidnapped from a park in his locality in Phase IX on October 28 at around 6 pm. Mehram was staying with his mother Harinder Kaur at his maternal grandparents' house after his parents started living separately. His father Varinder Pal Singh stays in Sydney, Australia, and a case of divorce is reportedly lying pending in an Australian court. After the child went missing, his mother and maternal grandparents lodged a complaint against Varinder Pal Singh, his father and other family members for allegedly kidnapping Mehram Singh.

Section 302 added to fir

After recovering Mehram's body, the police added Section 302 (murder) to the FIR against Varinder Pal Singh, Nirmal Singh, Parminder Kaur and Prabhjit Singh. However, no arrest had been made till the filing of this report.

Tight security at Civil Hospital

Fearing that some untoward incident may take place, a large number of policemen was deputed in and outside the Mohali Civil Hospital at Phase VI, where Mehram's postmortem took place this evening. "The entire premises was turned into a fortress," said a doctor.

Child identified from shoes, clothes
The child was identified from his shoes by his kin even before his body was dug out from the pit. "The child was wearing bluish-grey shoes without laces. He is Mehram," said one of the relatives who reached the spot to identify the body. The child was also identified from his clothes -- a blue Capri and a yellow and blue shirt — which Mehram was wearing at the time of his kidnapping.

A reminder of the Khushpreet case
The killing of Mehram has reminded people of the brutal murder of five-year-old Khushpreet Singh, a resident of Burail. Khushpreet Singh was kidnapped from outside his house on December 21, 2011, and his body was recovered from the roadside in Phase X, Mohali, on January 5 the next year. The Chandigarh Police had failed to recover the child and it later turned out that Khushpreet was kidnapped by his neighbours, who kept him in a house, just 50 metres away from his house in Burail village.



Woman assaulted, robbed of Rs 1.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
In a daylight robbery, a woman riding a scooter was assaulted and robbed of her scooter and Rs 1.5 lakh near Sector 38 this afternoon. The incident took place a few metres away from the police beat box. According to the police, the victim, Sushma Sangwan, a resident of Kharar, was on her way to a bank to deposit the cash when three motorcycle-borne miscreants with their faces covered intercepted her and pulled her stole due to which the victim fell on the road.

The accused assaulted her and took away her scooter that had the cash in the glove box. The incident took place at around 2 pm near a crowded market in the sector.

The accused managed to flee from the spot. The police control room was informed about the incident. ASP (South) Urvija Goel reached the spot. Eyewitnesses said the accused fled from the spot within two minutes.

The police later found the victim’s scooter parked on the roadside at Sector 25 near Panjab University. The victim’s mobile phone was also recovered from the glove box of the scooter. A team of forensic experts reached the spot and took fingerprints. The scooter has been impounded by the police.

Police said the victim’s husband runs a Verka booth in Sector 41. Usually, the victim’s husband used to accompany her to deposit the cash. However, today she was alone. Police sources said it appeared that the accused had information that the victim was carrying cash and they were following her.



Undertrial who fled from court nailed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Undertrial Sandeep Kumar, alias Sunny, who had fled from the District Courts Complex on October 6 and later forcibly took away a car near the Kalibari light point on October 12, was arrested by the crime branch of the Chandigarh police from Dhanas last night. DSP (Crime) Jagbir Singh said Sandeep was arrested along with his accomplice Honey, alias Deep, a resident of Ludhiana.

“We had information that Sandeep was coming to Dhanas village to collect money from a local resident following which a naka was set up near Milk Colony, Dhanas,” the DSP said.

The police, however, remained tightlipped over the identity of the person from whom Sandeep was supposed to collect the money.

The police said on noticing the naka, the accused, who were on a motorcycle, tried to flee from the spot. The police chased them and apprehended the accused. The police recovered six mobile phones and a motorcycle from them.

The accused used to snatch mobile phones and cash at gunpoint and used these mobiles to make extortion calls.

The police said they would investigate whether Sandeep was involved in other crimes after escaping from the District Courts. “Apart from carjacking, the accused are suspected to have committed other crimes,” the police said.

Sandeep has over half a dozen cases of heinous crime, including murder and robbery, registered against him in Chandigarh and Punjab.

The accused were produced in the court, which remanded them in one-day police custody.

Accused had threatened Station House Officer

The accused, Sandeep, had also threatened the SHO of the Sector 19 police station after the area police arrested three girls, including Sandeep’s sister, for creating a ruckus in a drunken state at the Sector 18/19 light point on October 24.

Carjacking incident
Sandeep Kumar, alias Sunny, had fled from the District Courts Complex on October 6 and later forcibly took away a car near the Kalibari light point on October 12.



Modi’s swachhta drive gets a pat from Patil
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil, who was at the receiving end of the local BJP leadership for his style of functioning, today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Inaugurating the Japanese Garden in Sector 31 today, Patil, against whom BJP councillors had raised slogans such as "Administrator go back" during a recent MC meeting, said the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was a good move.

“With such initiatives, we will be able to make swachh gaon, swachh shehar, swachh workplace and swachh surroundings,” he said.

Recently, city BJP president Sanjay Tandon had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the "dictatorial attitude" of the UT Administrator.

Stressing the need for cleanliness in his speech, Patil said by keeping "our surroundings neat and clean, the benefit will be ours". He said Chandigarh was not just a clean city but also beautiful and "it is our responsibility to make it more beautiful by keeping it clean and developing such gardens".

He said visitors would get a feel of the Japanese culture which the garden depicted. He said the UT would provide sufficient funds to the Municipal Corporation to develop more such parks.

Mayor praises Bansal, Selja

While UT Administrator praised Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, city Mayor Harphool Kalyan, a Congress leader, in his speech, praised former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and former Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja for providing funds for the Japanese Garden.

Only 10 councillors turn up for event

Of the elected 25 councillors, only 10 councillors, including the Mayor, were present at the event on Friday. Among those present were five BJP councillors, four Congress councillors (including the Mayor), and an SAD councillor.

BJP had hit out at UT Administrator recently
Recently, city BJP president Sanjay Tandon had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the “dictatorial attitude” of the UT Administrator.


Japanese Garden opens amid fanfare
Spread across 13 acres, total cost of garden is Rs 6.98 crore; houses pagoda tower, Japanese statues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil inaugurated the Japanese Garden in Sector 31 today. The project, supported by the Union Tourism Ministry, has been developed by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh.

On the occasion, Mayor Harphool Kalyan said, “The Municipal Corporation has completed the first phase of the Japanese theme-based park, which is being constructed in two phases. The garden is spread across 13 acres of which, 6 acres has been developed in the first phase.”

“The total cost of the project is Rs 6.98 crore of which Rs 4.5 crore has been spent on the first phase,” he added.

Deputy Mayor and area councillor Davesh Moudgil said, “The primary feature of the garden is the Pagoda tower, a tiered structure common in Japan and some other Asian countries. The design of the entire garden is based on Japanese architecture. There are natural stones, inscriptions in Japanese, statues of a Japanese couple welcoming tourists, Japanese style lanterns and a meditation hut.”

MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand said, “The Municipal Corporation is developing world-class gardens and parks in the city.”

He said the garden had a reception centre, bridges built over water bodies and an underground tunnel, which is being constructed to connect two phases of the garden. The garden also has various Japanese plants.

“The garden is bound to become a major tourist spot in the coming days,” added Anand.

The MC has completed the first phase of the park, which is being constructed in 2 phases.
It is spread across 13 acres, of which 6 acres has been developed in the first phase.
The garden has natural stones, inscriptions in Japanese, lanterns and a meditation hut.

patil praises MC
UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil lauded the Municipal Corporation for developing the underground multi-level parking in Sector 17. He said the MC should explore the construction of multi-level parkings in other parts of the city, for which the UT would provide financial support.



Fleet of 20 midi buses flagged off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
UT Adviser KK Sharma today flagged off a fleet of 20 new midi AC and non-AC buses purchased under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here today.

The buses will ply on local routes and will replace the low-floor white and blue-coloured buses.

Out of the 170 buses, which have been ordered, 20 have been supplied and the remaining 150 will hit the road by the end of this month. These buses are fitted with electronic gadgets i.e. cameras, GPS, electronic destination board and electronically controlled engine.

Major changes have been introduced in the seating arrangement in the new 24-seater buses.

Against the traditional design of putting chairs in the consecutive rows, the seating arrangement has been altered to give more space to stand and keep luggage in the aisle.

The driver’s seating area has been cut off from the passenger area so that the conductor remains among the passengers and the latter don’t sit on the engine hood.

In the traditional design, a pair of seats was arranged in rows and this used to leave little space in the aisle.

Transport officials said 130 more buses were likely to be received by end of December. The midi buses are 9 metre in length and equipped with electronic gadgets such as cameras, GPS, electronic destination board, electronically controlled engine and have Bharat stage-IV emission norms.

Certificates given to women conductors

UT Adviser KK Sharma also gave certificates to women conductors who had completed martial training here today. A few drivers and conductors were also given commendation certificates for their outstanding performance.

Fitted with electronic gadgets, including cameras, GPS, electronic destination board and electronically controlled engine.
Seating arrangement has been altered to give more space to stand and keep luggage in aisle.



Underpass at Sector 17 ISBT roundabout
MC dept copied design: Councillors
The 2 councillors also accuse civic body of passing the project in arbitrary manner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Two councillors today accused the MC Engineering Department officials of copying the design of the underpass to be built at Sector 17/18/21/22 roundabout.

Also, the councilors — Surinder Bahga and Rajesh Gupta, who are part of the special MC committee formed for the underpasses project in the city — in a letter to Mayor Harphool Kalyan said that two underpasses – at the Sector 17 bus stand roundabout and Aroma light point in Sector 22 — were declared passed in an arbitrary manner during the committee’s meeting on November 3.

The letter reads, “MC officials have copied the actual image of an underpass built at Bogota city of Colombia. With computer skills, it was altered and photo of Hotel Sunbeam and bus stand were pasted on it. Then it was projected to the committee as the conceptual scheme for the Sector 17 ISBT roundabout. It is a clear-cut offence of infringement of copyright. It is punishable for not less than six months of imprisonment, which may extend to three years, with fine which shall be between Rs. 50,000 to Rs 2, 00,000.”

The letter further reads, “The committee was formed to oversee the planning and designing of proposed eight underpasses in the city. Its first meeting was held on August 1, 2014, long after its constitution. In that meeting, certain points were raised. The MC has neither recorded the minutes of that meeting nor addressed issues raised then. Contrary to it, on November 3, 2014, the underpasses project was declared passed in an arbitrary manner. No signatures of the committee members were taken on both meetings.”

Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said he had raised important issues, such as MC officials ignoring Le Corbusier’s design, clash of Metro route and proposed underpasses, diversion of traffic and copying of the underpass design.

“However, without addressing these concerns, the MC officials passed the design in an arbitrary manner,” he said.

BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta, too, said the design was passed without the consent of all members.

MC Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand said the specifications of the underpass at Colombia were standard.

He said the design was not final yet.

“The final design will be prepared by the Chief Architect office. The councillors are unnecessarily leveling allegations against the officials,” he said.

Committee chairman Pardeep Chhabra said the point raised by Bahga and Gupta were addressed by the officials. On the Metro issue, officials were told to include this point in their proposal, which will be sent to the UT Administration.

“To discuss this issue further, a meeting was called today, but these two members did not attend it,” he said.

Earlier, the project was with CHB
The project of constructing underpasses in the city was hanging fire since 2007, when it was allotted to the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). The CHB had carried out topographical survey, geo-technical investigation, underground utility survey, traffic survey and decided to construct three underpasses at the Press Chowk, Transport Chowk and Piccadilly Chowk in the first phase. The project, however, could not take off due to unavailability of funds. In 2013, the project was transferred to the MC.



Railway station to be cordoned off from today
Move aimed at stopping supporters of Sant Rampal from creating ruckus; sect head’s hearing on Nov 10
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF), have decided to cordon off the Chandigarh railway station from Saturday.

Acting on intelligence leads provided by the GRP and RPF to avoid a similar situation wherein the supporters of Sant Rampal had created chaos at the railway station on Wednesday last, the railways police took this decision during a meeting held today.

The meeting was organised to review security arrangements in the wake of Sant Rampal’s hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 10.

Top officials of the GRP, RPF and Ambala Division attended the meet and decided that all entry points towards the station would be barricaded and an eye would be kept on the movement of commuters.

The District Administration would stop the vehicles of supporters at the border and will not allow them to gather at the station. The Ambala Division has been asked not to issue more than 10 tickets to a passenger for Chandigarh, on the day of hearing.

An extra reserve comprising 250 RPF personnel will be deputed at the station on November 9.

Only 3 metal detectors

A metal detector has been installed at the front entry when coming from Chandigarh and Panchkula. The VIP entry point does not have any check point.

Six unmanned entry points
There are as many as six unmanned and illegal entry and exit points at the station. As per the GRP report, they have 20-25 personnel on the premises. The authorities have been urged to deploy as much manpower to handle the supporters on the day of hearing.

Sec 144 imposed
To maintain law and order in the city during the visit of Sant Rampal on November 11, the UT Administration has banned processions, making speeches, raising slogans and assembly of five or more persons. Section 144, CrPC, will be imposed within the limits of the city from Nov 8-10.



Cops undergo anti-riot training

Chandigarh, November 7
Gearing up for Sant Rampal’s appearance at the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 10, the Chandigarh Police today held an anti-rioting rehearsal at the Police Lines in Sector 26.

Special body equipment will be provided to the police personnel. This includes elbow, knee and shoulder guards, besides helmets.

More than 3,000 cops will be stationed across the city on November 10. — TNS



caste remark
MC staff call off protest
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 7
After getting assurance from Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia that councillor Ravi Kant Swami will be arrested soon, the protestors of the MC, agitating in favour of Executive Officer SK Chauhan, called off the protest.

Vven today the work remained suspended and visitors were allowed to enter the MC office.

After convening a meeting with the Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta, DC and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rahul Sharma reached the spot and pacified the agitators.

Meanwhile, a police team has been sent to Rajasthan and other places where the councillor is suspected to have taken shelter.

Yesterday, over 1,000 agitators including representatives of Dalit community threw garbage outside the residence of Panchkula Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia.

A case under the SC/ST act has already been lodged against Ravi kant Swami for allegedly passing casteist remarks to the EO of Municipal Corporation. Protestors have given time till Monday. They said that if Swami is not arrested till Monday, they would sit on a dharna again.



Kalka-Katra biweekly postponed

Chandigarh, November 7
Due to the imposition of the model code of conduct in Jammu and Kashmir, the Railway Ministry has postponed the commencement of the Kalka-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Biweekly Express, which was announced to be inaugurated on November 11, 2014.

The ministry today withdrew the decision and communicated the same to the Ambala Division to postpone the inauguration of the train until further orders, said Anil Kumar Kathpal, divisional manager, Railways. — TNS



highlights of Literati 2014
Our minds are closed now and getting illiberal: Shekhar Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Indian minds are closing now and getting illiberal in the race to satiate their aspirations, said Shekhar Gupta, while delivering the keynote address on the inaugural day of the Chandigarh Literary Society’s litfest, Literati 2014, at Lake Club today.

Shekhar, a senior journalist and author spoke about the emergence of majoritarianism in the country giving rise to a wrong way of thinking.

“As per facts, 2012 was the most peaceful year in the Kashmir valley since insurgency broke in the state in 1989, as India lost only two soldiers, while Pakistan three. But the entire success policy was sabotaged with the news of beheading of a soldier,” he added.

Sumita Misra, IAS, Additional Principal Secretary to Haryana Chief Minister, who is the founder chairperson of Chandigarh Literary Society and the Festival Director for Literati-2014, said the event brought together writers, intellectuals and students.



Play captures Amrita Pritam’s life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The first day of the Chandigarh Literati or Chandigarh Lit Fest saw the staging of ‘Amrita – A sublime love story’ based on the life of Amrita Pritam, a writer, mystic and poet at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, here today. The play was directed by Sathyu of ‘Garam Hawa’ fame.

The role of the protagonist, Amrita, was played by Lavlin — an actor, poet and filmmaker — who Amrita fondly referred to Lavlin in her poetry as her soulmate.

When she was alive, Amrita also lived in the outer world. Her communication with the supernatural has played a major role in Amrita’s life and writings.

The story of the play came alive through a conversation between Amrita and time about herself. The character Imroze was convincing in his act. The play was a beautiful tribute to Amrita Pritam.



carjacking incident
Victim accuses police of not handing over ‘recovered’ car
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
A Mohali resident has accused the Chandigarh Police of not releasing his car that was allegedly taken away from him forcibly by some miscreants near the Kalibari light point during the wee hours on October 12.

The victim, Kamaljeet Singh, a resident of Phase VI, Mohali, said his car (bearing the registration number CH-01-AS-5236) was later recovered by the UT police from Sector 46, following which he visited the Sector 31 police station and identified the vehicle.

Later, however, the police denied recovering the car, he said.

Kamaljeet said: “I went to the police station and saw my car parked there. In fact, the police staff showed me my car.”

The victim said he had been visiting the police station for the past 15 days, demanding the officials to release his car after completing all the formalities.

“Every time I used to visit the police station, I used to see my car parked there. However, on November 3, I could not see my car, following which I along with a few other residents again visited the police station on November 5, demanding the release of my car,” Kamaljeet said.

“Station House Officer Kirpal Singh, however, said my car had not been recovered,” he said.

The SHO, when contacted, denied that the police had recovered any vehicle.

“The complainant is making false claims. We are yet to recover the vehicle,” said Kirpal Singh.

ASP Urvija Goel, too, denied the recovery of the vehicle.

The complainant said he would be approaching senior police officials, demanding a probe into the incident.



DG lauds upcoming NCC complex

Chandigarh, November 7
The Director General, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Lt Gen A Chakravarty, inspected No. 1 Chandigarh NCC Air Squadron, Sector 31, today.

He was briefed about the activities of the squadron by its Commanding Officer, Wb Cdr Jaideep Singh Jeji. The squadron had bagged top honours at the recently concluded All India Vayu Sainik Camp.

The NCC chief was apprised of the ongoing construction work of the new NCC complex. He lauded the efforts of the squadron. He emphasised on the role of the NCC in personality building and inculcating discipline among youth and motivating them to join the Armed Forces. — TNS



‘Seizures while driving threat to life on roads’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Neurologists from across the world, who gathered here at the PGIMER to attend the national conference IANCON-2014, pointed out that checking for history of seizures before issuing new driving licences and annual review of those already having licences are must to prevent accidents.

Dr IM Sawhney, professor of neurology at Wales, UK, who is also a former PGI faculty, said seizures while driving have affected several lives on roads, including those travelling using public transport.

“In the UK, when an individual has a seizure, he or she is disallowed driving for next one year. India must also consider such proposals,” said Dr Sawhney.



Youth hurt in firing
Tribune News Service

Mohali (Kharar), November 7
A youngster of Kharar sustained bullet injuries in his leg when his close friend opened fire on him following an altercation.

The victim, Amandeep Singh, has been shifted to a private hospital in Mohali where his condition is said to be stable while the accused Karamjit Singh has been absconding.

The police said te incident took place at the house of the accused at Kila Chungi area in Kharar around 1 pm. “Amandeep Singh is close friend of the accused and is said to have liking for his sister and wanted to marry her. As the other family members of Karamjit Singh are said to have approved the relationship, Karamjit Singh has objection on it. Today, he (Karamjit) was quarreling with his mother and sister when Amandeep came and intervened. The agitated Karamjit opened fire with his father’s double barrel gun,” said the police.

After hearing the gunshot, some neighbours came and snatched the gun from Karamjit Singh.

Amandeep Singh received the shot in lower part of his leg.



Toilets in govt schools without soaps
Mehakdeep Grewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, portrays a gloomy story of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. Toilets in this school present a filthy state of sanitation and hygiene maintenance. To make the situation worse, none of these toilets have soaps for students to wash their hands with. Interestingly, the school is located next to Sector 9 that houses the Secretariat.

The stench from toilets of the school spreads across the floors. Moreover, urinals are also in an unhygienic state.

Condition is no different at other government schools. Though on October 15 many schools had observed Global Handwashing Day where students were briefed about the importance of washing hands, with the schools not providing the facility of soaps to the students the exercise of marking the day has turned into a mockery.

Following the instructions of the MHRD, the Education Department had proposed a month-long cleanliness action plan for all government schools, under which on September 26, schools were instructed to ensure that toilets were cleaned properly.

Even after over a month, no initiative to maintain the hygiene of toilets has been taken by the authorities.

One of the teachers seeking anonymity said: “During the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, most of the schools cleaned only toilets located on ground floor. However, the toilets located on the other floors continue to remain in an unhygienic state adding to children’s woes.”

When principals of various schools were contacted on the matter they took refuge in the contention that students throw these soaps into toilets.

Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, Rajinder Kaur said: “The students take the soaps to their home. Though we tried to sensitise them many times, they fail to listen.”

Gaurav Gaur, a faculty at the Centre for Social Work, Panjab University, said: “Until and unless the authorities take the cleanliness campaign as their own liability and responsibility they cannot turn it into a success. There is a need to sensitise the students and also to teach them the right technique of how to wash their hands in order to maintain a healthy life.”

Education Secretary Sarvjit Singh said: “We will get soap dispensers installed in schools so that students can avail of basic hygiene facility.”



LED a revolution in lighting, says scientist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Noted scientist and science communicator Arnab Bhattacharya said today that Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is a revolution in lighting and it is getting brighter and cheaper with the advancement of technology.

Prof Bhattacharya was delivering the prestigious PU Colloquium at the SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) Auditorium on the Panjab University (PU) campus.

The brain behind the famous ‘Chai and Why?’, the outreach programme of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, Professor Bhattacharya spoke on the topic of ‘Seeking N-lightenment — The Bright World of Nitride Semiconductors’. Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover presided over the function.

Professor Bhattacharya said the LED-based lamp could transform rural lighting. The LEDs have long life of 50,000 to 1,00,000 hours. They have defined colours and are physically robust, environment friendly, cool and safe.

He said 200 years of lighting had shown complex interplay between lighting, human productivity and energy consumption. Light is supposedly consumed to increase productivity and not to waste energy.

Professor Bhattacharya outlined a short history of the blue LED, highlighting the contributions of the Nobel laureates of 2014 in physics - Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura. He gave an overview of the challenges and the exciting possibilities thrown up by the III-N semiconductors and illustrated that with examples, including some from epitaxial materials grown in our laboratory at the TIFR.

Professor Bhattacharya said the Nobel Prize for efficient blue light-emitting diodes leading to bright and energy-saving white light sources was the culmination of painstaking research over many decades into the world of nitride semiconductors.



Students display talent at tech fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
The Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology’s (CCET) annual techno-cultural festival ‘Apratim’14’ started with a roar.

The campus was brimming with excitement and noises could be heard in every corner of the college.

The fest was inaugurated by Sandeep Hans, Special Secretary Finance, UT, Chandigarh (PCS), who was the chief guest, and principal MS Gujral along with the faculty of the CCET.

The day’s zeal multiplied with a sequence of cultural events including dramatic events (street play, skit and twist a script), dance events (solo and duet dancing), music (antakshari) and fun-filled events (like ‘Face the bull’).

The winner of the skit was DAV-10. The theme for the street play of the home team was ‘religionism’.

The UIET, Hoshiarpur, won the first prize for the street play.

Literary events such as group discussions and conventional debate were also a part of the celebration.

Technical events of various engineering branches of the college gave participants a platform to exhibit their skills.

The main highlights of the day were mega events like folk dance, fashion show and DJ wars.



‘The Phantom of the Opera’ staged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
To mark the 41st founder’s day, students of St Kabir Public School staged a play, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, at Tagore Theatre today.

The play, adapted from the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, was designed and directed by theatre exponent Zubin Mehta. Nearly 120 students from Class IX took part in the play.

The story of the play revolved around a young soprano, Christine, who becomes an obsession of a disfigured musical genius, The Phantom, popularly known as ‘Opera Ghost’, and for her as ‘Angel of Music’.

The play takes a sharp turn when Christine falls for the charms of handsome noble ‘Viscount Raoul De Chagny’, her childhood friend, not realising her ‘Angel of Music’ is deeply in love with her. The play beautifully tackles the love triangle of insane jealousy, obsession and possessiveness of Phantom, sacrifice of Christine to marry the disfigured musician to save life of her beloved ‘Raoul’ and the attempt of ‘Raoul’ who is prepared to go to any extent to get her love of life back.

The lead character of ‘Phantom’ was played by Anshuman, ‘Christine’ by Sanya Sehgal and ‘Raoul’ by Pranav. Music by Paulus and Ondry Paul added to the flow of narrative. The choreography done by Puneet Jewandah and Kritika Sharma added to the dramatic spectacle.

Apt lights, costumes, and elaborated set design further strengthened the versatility.

Zubin said: “It was rather a challenge to stage a classic like such, but the students were determined and worked for nearly three months for it.”

“After giving a number of successful plays in the past, this classic that is diverse in theme, treatment and style, is an achievement. Theatre, I believe, personally help the students gain confidence, overcome their anxiety and make them sensitive towards life, said Gurpreet Bakshi, administrator of the school.



‘Parivartan-2K14’ kicks off at Landran college
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 7
In a spectacular show of creativity and display of extra-ordinary talent showcasing the diverse cultural ethos of the country, the campus of Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, near here, became host to the 9th State-Level Techno-Cultural Symposium, ‘Parivartan-2K14’, that opened with a mission ‘Clean India Green India’.

The two-day event began with the inauguration ceremony today by Sikander Singh Maluka, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Government of Punjab. Over 30,000 students from various schools and colleges of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan are participating in technical, non-technical and cultural events in the festival. Ten safai workers were given Rs 5,100 cash award for their contribution in maintaining cleanliness. Two safai workers from the MC, Kharar, were also honoured.

Nearly 57 university position holders from various streams were given awards by the chief guest.



Varsity holds business quiz
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Chitkara University organised ‘QuestIONS’, a business quiz, at Chitkara international School, Sector 25, here today.

The competition was held in two chapters in the morning and afternoon sessions.

The student chapter was attended by around 275 teams from various colleges and institutes of the tricity, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

The ‘corporate chapter’ of the competition was attended by 35 teams from various corporate houses.

Based on the scores in a written selector quiz, top 12 teams competed in two semi-final rounds and the final was held among the best six teams.

The quiz ended with a high-speed, high-impact buzzer round, where teams made a dash to the top of the scoreboard. Dr Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor of the university gave away the awards to the winners.

The team of Theo Thomas and Riyasat Ali from ICAI, New Delhi, was declared the winner and the team of Viraj and Sagar from Bombay University came second in the student chapter contest.

The winners
The team of Theo Thomas and Riyasat Ali from ICAI, New Delhi, was declared the winner and the team of Viraj and Sagar from Bombay University came second in the student chapter contest.



from schools
Students visit zoo

Students of Kindergarten and Class I of St John’s High School visited Chhatbir Zoo on Friday as part of the curriculum.They interacted with the zoo authorities, went around the zoo in electric trams and also saw the Lion Safari. The children were excited to see lion cubs with the lioness as the school has adopted a cub. The school authorities said this year, the school had adopted 10 animals and joined the national save the tiger project.

Inter-school competition

Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, Chandigarh, organised the 17th KJ Khosla Memorial Inter-School Competition on Friday in the memory of their former vice-chairman late KJ Khosla. Principal Taruna Vashisht welcomed chief guest RK Saboo, chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The theme for the event was ‘Aao Swach Bharat Banaye’ and it comprised two competitions - kavita path and clay modeling. Eleven schools from across the tricity participated in the contest.

Cleanliness campaign

Students of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Panchkula, participated in the mission ‘Swachh Haryana Swachh Bharat’ campaign initiated by the government. The students actively participated in the programme. An awareness rally was taken out through the roads of Sectors 15, 14 and 11. They also went to a slum area, Bhudanpur, to carry out the drive.

Founder’s day celebrated

Banyan Tree School, Sector 48, Chandigarh, celebrated its founder’s day with great enthusiasm in the memory of founder Dr Kulwant Rai on his 90th birth anniversary. The celebrations began with a special assembly where students rendered Sai bhajans. Headmistress Nitu Kapoor paid floral tributes to Dr Rai and shared his life history with students and teachers.

Student bags laurels

Arshita Bhardwaj, a student of Saupin’s School, Mohali, participated in the ‘Dream it, Win it’ competition, and clinched the first position in the tricity. It was organised by Tata. She has been awarded with a cash prize and was declared second at the national-level contest. Principal Surita Sharma congratulated her for the achievement. — TNS



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