C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Security blanket for Rampal’s appearance in HC
Tough time for commuters today
Road from Sec 17/18 roundabout in P’kula to Housing Board Chowk closed for public
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, November 16
Monday is going to be a hard day for commuters travelling in the tricity as the police have stepped up vigil in view of the scheduled appearance of self-styled godman Rampal in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh tomorrow.

Several nakas have been set up at various entry and exit points in the tricity to check the entry of his followers. Those travelling from Panchkula to Chandigarh will face difficulty as one of the busiest routes — the Sector 17/18 roundabout-Housing Board Chowk stretch — has been closed for the general public.

“Due to security reasons, we have closed the route from Sunday night till Monday evening,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rahul Sharma. The traffic will be diverted to the Kalka-Chandigarh highway and the IT Park route.

There are three routes from that connect Panchkula to Chandigarh — the Housing Board Chowk route, the Kalka-Chandigarh highway and the IT Park route. According to the police, the Kalka-Chandigarh highway should be avoided.

“A close watch is being kept on the Panchkula side of the Chandigarh railway station, which can be used by Rampal’s followers,” the police said.

Tight security arrangements have been made on the Panchkula-Chandigarh link routes to check the entry of Rampal’s followers into Chandigarh. All entry points will be videographed.

In Panchkula and Chandigarh, water cannon vehicles have been stationed at strategic points. Section 144 of the CrPC is already in force. Fifteen companies, including four from the Punjab Police, have been deployed to keep vigil in Panchkula.

In Chandigarh, 3,000 police personnel have been deployed. In all, six companies of paramilitary forces and 12 companies from Punjab, including two women companies, have been deployed. A two-tier security will keep vigil at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

800 cops to man entry points in Mohali

Nearly 800 police personnel will be deployed at all entry points to Mohali. Special nakas have been set up in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Lalru and other sensitive points in the district. In Dera Bassi, 250 police personnel and four companies of the Punjab Police have been deployed.

MC meeting postponed

A general house meeting of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, scheduled for Monday, has been postponed as MC officers have been put on duty related to the appearance of Rampal in the HC.

Tight security at railway station

The security at the Chandigarh railway station was beefed up on Sunday. An additional force of 500 personnel of the Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force was deployed. Officials said no gathering would be allowed at the station. All trains coming to Chandigarh, especially from the Haryana side, will be checked at the Ambala station on Monday.



CISF constable shoots himself to death
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A 45-year-old constable of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) reportedly committed suicide after shooting himself with his .9 mm carbine at the rear entry gate of the Haryana Civil Secretariat this morning.
The spot near the rear entry gate of the Haryana Civil Secretariat where constable JS Mishra committed suicide
The spot near the rear entry gate of the Haryana Civil Secretariat where constable JS Mishra committed suicide. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

According to the police, the victim, JS Mishra, was going to deposit the weapon after finishing his night duty when the incident took place. “The victim’s body was found in a pool of blood outside the rear gate next to the public parking,” police sources said.

The constable shot himself under the chin. On hearing the gunshot, security guards posted at the gate rushed to the spot and informed their seniors.

The victim was rushed to the PGI where doctors declared him dead on arrival. The postmortem will be conducted at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, tomorrow.

The victim was on night duty from 9 pm to 5 am and the incident took place at around 5.10 am.

Police officials said the victim was under depression due to which he took the extreme step. They said the victim was under debt.

The victim was staying with his family at a rented accommodation in Nayagaon. The victim is survived by his wife and three children. The victim was posted in Chandigarh around six months ago.

The police have registered a case at the Sector 3 police station.

Victim was under debt

According to the police, the victim, JS Mishra, was going to deposit the weapon after finishing his night duty when the incident took place. He was under depression due to which he took the extreme step. The victim was reportedly under debt.



Elderly couple crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 16
An elderly couple died in a road accident at Landran Chowk here this morning. The victims, identified as Jarnail Singh (62) and Joginder Kaur (58) of Dharamgarh village in Patiala district, were on their way to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan at Sohana to pay obeisance when their motorcycle was hit by a multi-axle vehicle at around 10.20 am.

The couple, which came under a tyre of the vehicle, died on the spot. The police identified the deceased from documents recovered from Jarnail Singh’s pocket.

ASI Bhupinder Kumar said the truck driver lost control over the vehicle and hit the motorcycle from the rear side.

“The multi-axle vehicle dragged the victims along with the motorcycle for around 20 metres,” said the police. Both victims were taken to the Mohali Civil Hospital, where they were declared dead on arrival.

The police have arrested the truck driver, Gurdip Singh. “The truck had come from Hanumangarh district in Rajasthan to deliver cement in Kharar,” said ASI Bhupinder Singh.

The bodies were handed over to the kin of the deceased after postmortem.



Mehram murder case
Victim’s mother, maternal grandparents quizzed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 16
The Mohali police summoned Mehram’s mother Harinder Kaur to the Phase VIII police station here where she was quizzed by Superintendent of Police (Detective) GS Grewal for around an hour today.

Harinder Kaur reached the police station at around 10.30 am along with her mother Jaswinder Kaur and father Balwinder Singh.

The SP said she was quizzed in the presence of her mother and father and other police officials. “She was very cooperative. We had summoned her to seek answers to some important questions and verify some facts,” he said.

The officer said she had been asked to provide a list of her acquaintances, relatives and people living in her locality, who were reportedly close to the victim, Mehram. “Her father and mother also answered our questions,” the SP said.

Asked whether the police had interrogated Harinder on backtracking on her earlier statements against her estranged husband Varinderpal Singh, who lives in Australia, and his sister Parminder Kaur and brother-in-law Prabhjeet Singh, the SP refused to comment. The SP said Harinder and her parents would be summoned again in the coming days.

Meanwhile, around 15 more persons were reportedly rounded up today by the police.

Kin lose hope

With each passing day, Mehram’s family members are losing hope of the gruesome murder case of the six-year-old child being worked out.

“Nine days have passed, but the Mohali police are yet to get any vital clue to the murderer(s). They (the police) are not telling us anything about the investigation. We have started losing hope,” said a relative of Mehram.

The highly decomposed body of Mehram, who was kidnapped on October 28, was found buried on November 7. Since then the police have so far rounded up and quizzed over 300 persons, including relatives, friends and acquaintances of the victim’s family.



daylight robbery
Traumatised, victim fears venturing out alone
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Till a few days ago, Sushma Sangwan was one of those independent women who prefer to go out for work. However, she has not been able to move out of the house alone since the day she was robbed of her hard-earned money in broad daylight near the busy Sector 38 market. Sushma and her husband run a Verka booth in Sector 41.

Sushma, who is yet to come to terms with the tragic incident, said she had realised that women were not safe in the city. “If such an incident can happen in broad daylight, then no one is safe while moving out of the house in the city during late hours,” she said.

Sushma was robbed of Rs 1.5 lakh on November 7 while she was on her way to a bank in Sector 38 to deposit the money.

Sushma reportedly gave a tough fight to one of the accused by catching hold of his arm. However, she failed to overpower him.

The victim said more than being robbed, what shocked her more was the response of people, who remained mute spectators to the entire incident. “Had someone come to my rescue, I would have been able to nab one of the three accused. People should feel ashamed of themselves,” she said.

Sushma said earlier she used to manage the business at the Verka booth alone. However, now she was scared of even sitting alone in the booth. “I have stopped going to the bank to deposit money,” Sushma said.

Her husband Naveen Kumar Sangwan said Sushma had suffered a major setback after the incident and that had affected their personal life too.

DSP (South) Urvija Goel said the case was still under investigation. Police sources said they had vital clues that would lead to the arrest of the accused.


was it suicide or accident? 
Mystery shrouds cop’s death
Family terms it suicide, Mohali police say accident; body found at police post
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 16
A Mohali Police head constable died under mysterious circumstances by a gunshot from his service weapon at the Majri police post, under Kurali police station, today morning.

The body of Nirmal Singh, resident of Sanana village, Roopnagar, was recovered from a room of the police post.

“The gunshot of .9 mm carbine had pierced the chin and head of the victim before hitting the roof of the room”, said a policeman on the condition of anonymity.

Though a few family members of the victim and other onlookers believed that the incident was an alleged suicide, the Mohali Police authorities ruled out the angle and termed it an accident.

“Our investigations revealed that Nirmal Singh was cleaning his service weapon today morning. During the process, he received the gunshot accidentally. Such accidents occur with carbine usually”, said Harpal Singh Sandhu, Mohali Superintendent of Police (headquarters).

However, eyebrows were raised as the police did not allow mediapersons to see the body and locked the chowki. Even the police personnel present on the spot could be seen trying to avoid mediapersons from meeting the victim’s family.

“If it is an accident, why are the police behaving so clandestinely”, said an onlooker.

The matter came to light when Singh’s family members called him up repeatedly around 6 am today but he failed to respond.

“We kept calling him following which, a cop replied and informed us that he (Nirmal Singh) had sustained an injury. He didn’t tell us about the incident and asked us to come to the police post”, said a family member.

Surprisingly, after a meeting with senior officers, the kin, too, evaded mediapersons.

The body was handed over to his family members after a postmortem. The cremation took place at Sanana village.

Following statement of the victim’s wife, Balwinder Kaur, the police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174, CrPC.



Batra’s mother tries to flee
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
High drama was witnessed today when mother of missing leader Vibhore Batra tried to ‘flee’ after taking her bag and baggage from their Sector 4 residence. However, the police on the naka caught her.

“Batra’s mother was going in a truck loaded with her belongings. She was shifting from here to Peer Muchhala,” said a police official.

The cops asked her that the shifting in middle of the month could not be scheduled. It was of late that the police got to know that Batra flew to Kathmandu.

Batra’s Innova was found abandoned at the Dehradun airport on November 4, giving a major clue to the police. The Panchkula police were already suspecting that Batra was in Nepal, as he had left his passport at home before going missing. After receiving the details from the airline and airport authorities in New Delhi, a police team is being sent to Kathmandu to trace him.

Batra has been giving sleepless nights to people, including high-profile persons in Punjab, after he went missing. Former Haryana Director General of Police Lakshman Das, too, fell into his trap and got a case of fraud registered against him after being allegedly duped of lakhs of rupees. Many businessmen, too, surfaced stating that Batra duped them in the name of investment.

On September 23, Batra’s mother got a missing report registered with the police. She said her son had gone to Delhi in connection with the ticket distribution, but did not return. Batra is a former senior vice-president of the Youth Congress. He had joined the BJP recently.



Elderly suffer official apathy
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 16
Despite the fact that elderly people have always remained a soft target for miscreants in Panchkula, the police here have never made any efforts for their security. Fear has gripped the elderly people staying alone in Panchkula.

A door to door drive for the elderly and verification drive of the servants was started last year during the tenure of former CP Rajbir Deswal but the same has been stopped.

There have been robberies, murders and snatchings but there is not even a helpline for elderly.

“My son stays abroad and I live alone at home. I feel unsafe,” said an elderly woman, a resident of Sector 7, on the condition of anonymity due to security reasons.

“Why is it that the cops swing into action only when a crime takes place? They are the most vulnerable. My mother is ill and when I go on official tours, I have to drop her at my relative’s house because I don’t feel safe keeping her alone in the house,” said Rajinder Singh, a resident of Sector 19.

Panchkula CP OP Singh claims to keep safety of elderly as his priority.

“We have security and well-being of elderly people on top of our mind. Particular attention will be given to those suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome—grown-up children living away from them. I have asked the DCP Panchkula to have a database of such vulnerable citizens and divide them into beats with a sensitised lady police official serving for 50-odd of them as response officers,” said Singh. He added, “I have also told him that antecedents of domestic help should be verified. Singh said a dedicated helpline is also in the pipeline to reach out to elderly on phone for help.




Lecture dwells on ‘rising tide of intolerance’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A senior fellow of the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, New Delhi, Siddharth Varadarajan, delivered a lecture on the ‘rising tide of intolerance and what we can do about it’ during the second Chetan Premani Memorial Lecture.

The debate on the issue covered all aspects faced by society due to intolerance. Sharing his own experience, the speaker talked about its effects on the lifestyle of the public in their day-to-day works.

In evening, a cultural event was held in which artiste Majma performed. A poetry by Prof Harjinder Singh (Laltu) on the theme, ‘Aaj ke Naam’ (songs of our times), was appreciated by the audience.

The event was organised in the memory of Chetan Premani, who was a scientist and retired from IMTECH, Chandigarh, in 2011. He spent 20 years in the city.



Dr Gupta is ISSH chief

Dr Ravi Gupta Chandigarh, November 16
Dr Ravi Gupta, Professor of orthopaedics, GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, was unanimously elected president of the Indian Society for Surgery of Hand (ISSH) at the 38th annual conference of the society held in Mangalore from November 14 to 16. 

Dr Gupta was also an invited faculty in the conference and he presented his work on diagnosis of difficult hand problems. — TNS



Diabetic foot can lead to limb amputation: Expert

Diabetic foot care is one of the most ignored aspects of diabetic care in India. A diabetic foot can lead to limb amputation and also heart ailments, if ignored. Dr Ravul Jindal, director, Vascular Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, stated this while sharing worrying facts about diabetic foot care in the Indian scenario with mediapersons here on Sunday. Dr Jindal said close to 70 diabetic foot patients are given consultations in his OPD every month.

Oral Health Month

The Indian Dental Association on Sunday announced the commencement of Oral Health Month (OHM) across the country. The oral care initiative, spanning October and November 2014, aims at creating nationwide oral health awareness to fight cavities and instil the importance of good oral hygiene through free dental checkups. The program will offer in-clinic free dental checkups in more than 1,300 cities and towns in collaboration with over 35,000 dentists. Free cavity checkups will also be conducted in mobile vans in 45 towns in schools, housing societies and underprivileged areas to encourage people to avail of the offer. — TNS



Farmers ‘ousted’ by middlemen at apni mandis
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Even as city residents throng apni mandis (daily vegetable markets) to buy vegetables — three decades after the concept originated — the purpose of these markets seems to have been defeated.

As against the original purpose, the vegetables sold in these mandis, across different sectors, are neither farm fresh nor cost-effective any longer.

Courtesy, the farmers are being gradually ousted by the middlemen at these mandis. Also, in the absence of any strict regulations by the Chandigarh Administration on these middlemen, mandis have also started selling a variety of goods other than vegetables (identified as encroachments).

Not only are the farmers dominated by the middlemen, while finding space at apni mandis to set up stalls, they are also discouraged with “irregulated fleecing by other vendors”.

“We jostle for space everyday at the mandi. While these mandis are supposed to be for us, all prominent locations — which are most accessible to buyers — are always occupied by the middlemen. There is no authority to whom we can complain,” said Gurbachan Singh, a farmer from Banur village, at the apni mandi in Sector 34.

The Punjab Mandi Board, which is the actual regulatory body for the apni mandis, has its control restricted to a handful of farmers. There is no authority regulating the cost of vegetables sold by the middlemen.

As per officials at the Punjab Mandi Board, the number of farmers seeking identification cards for setting up their stalls at the apni mandi has come down to 300 from over a 1,000 five-six years ago.

The day markets were set up by the Municipal Corporation, a few years ago, allowing other vendors such as like snack sellers and small goods to sit at the apni mandi, which further gave rise to the unauthorised entry of middlemen forming a majority at the mandi and sidelining the farmers.

Aslam Sami, secretary, Apni Mandi, Punjab Mandi Board, refused to comment on the issue. 

Sanitation hit

Sanitation has taken a backseat at the Mandi. The leftovers of vegetables can be seen lying in the apni mandi grounds until the MC staff remove them.

Original concept

y In the 1980s, the then chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, MS Gill, introduced the concept of apni mandi on the lines of Saturday market in Cambridge where farmers used to sell their farm produce once a week directly and at cheap rates to people.


Customer pays more.
Small-time farmers lose business.
Vendors bring old stock to mandis.



crafts mela
Tribal artefacts a hit among visitors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The third day of the National Crafts Mela, being held at Kala Gram in Mani Majra, witnessed heavy rush as hordes of visitors from different parts of the region thronged the venue today.

Apart from the arts and crafts stalls of various states, the stalls put up by The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), under the aegis of the Central Ministry of Tribal Affairs, displayed unique art and heritage culture of tribals.

As many as 25 tribal states from the country are participating in the event. Natural hand-made products, including interior décor, garments, organic body care products, stone and metal crafts, offering the gamut of India’s arts and crafts tradition, have been displayed.

Renowned Punjabi singer Sabar Koti performed in the evening and mesmerised the audience.



blood cancer
PGI study identifies proteins causing resistance to chemotherapy
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A pilot study conducted by the PGIMER has identified body proteins causing resistance to multiple drugs used in chemotherapy in children affected with leukemia (blood cancer).

As part of the study, 45 cancer-affected children aged up to 12 years, were examined.

Considering that the existing set of drugs used in chemotherapy did not show adequate response in nearly 20% to 30% of the children, resulting in the recurrence of cancer cells, the study was conducted to determine the cause for recurrence.

During the one-year study conducted between June 2013 and June this year, it was found that the lung-related protein was responsible for causing resistance to the drugs in 8 children (20%), out of the 45 examined.

The proteins were identified using a gene therapy. This is the first study of its kind to determine better treatment for blood cancer.

“Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), is the commonest malignancy in children, comprising 30–35% of all childhood cancers. With the advancements in chemotherapy regimen, 80-85% of children get cured completely. However, approximately 25% still develop disease recurrence despite receiving standard chemotherapy regimes,” said Dr Prateek Bhatia, assistant professor, Department of Paediatrics (Hematology Lab), PGIMER, and lead researcher.

Researcher wins award

Dr Prateek Dr Prateek won the prestigious JC Patel Best paper award (1st prize) for his oral presentation at the 55th Annual National Conference of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (ISHBT), in Hyderabad. His research work was entitled “Relationship between expressions of multi-drug resistance genes MDR-1, MRP and LRP and early response to induction chemotherapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia”. The study was carried out jointly by the departments of Paediatrics (Paediatric Hematology-Oncology unit) and Department of Haematology, PGIMER.



Celebrating motherhood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
As many as 250 expecting mothers from across the tricity took part in ‘Celebrating motherhood — a ramp walk with baby bump’, at Chandigarh Club today. Actress Savita Bhatti was the chief guest.

On the successful completion of 15 years, the doctor couple –obstetrician Dr GK Bedi and paediatrician - Dr RS Bedi, from Bedi Hospital, Sector 33, launched the concept “Celebrating Motherhood-An Infotainment Mom and baby’s day out”.

The activity was a part of the “Safe-mother-safe child and healthy families” campaign initiated by the doctor couple.

Dr Bedi said, “Motherhood is the most fulfilling experience. A little negligence can ruin this. So, care is needed.”

Meanwhile, Savita Bhatti said, “There was a time when women were asked to keep their pregnancy under wraps. But the scenario has now changed.”



46,967 children vaccinated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
More than 46,967 children in the age group of 0 to 5 years were vaccinated against polio under the Sub-National Immunisation Round.

The drive, which will also continue on Monday, aims to cover 173 high-risk areas. This will also include child beggars and ragpickers.

Meanwhile, Dr VK Gagneja, UT Director Health Services, said the drive would also include house-to-house activity.



Don’t mess with women conductors 

Misbehaving with lady bus conductors travelling in CTU buses could now cost you dear. Women conductors, who have been recruited recently, have been given special training to keep anti-social elements at bay. It indeed is women empowerment!
Mehram Singh’s mother with his photo
Mehram Singh’s mother with his photo. A File photograph

In waiting!

City Mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan is nearing the end of his one-year term. However, his message for city residents is still waiting ‘to be uploaded’ on the website of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The home page, carrying the Mayor’s photograph, shows ‘message to be uploaded’.

ICU or exam centre?

Similar to an operation theatre, the Panjab University Examination Branch also has a red bulb which is switched on when an important meeting on examination-related issues is being conducted. Until the red light is on, nobody is allowed to enter the room of the Examination Controller in the university.

Crime ignored?

The appearance of Rampal, head of Karontha’s Satlok Ashram, at the Punjab and Haryana High Court kept the Chandigarh Police on their toes with the investigation of various cases getting affected as police officials were engrossed in chalking out plans for the day. From the top brass to the lower-rung officers, the focus was on Rampal’s visit to the city.

Setting an example

Doctors at PGI, while hosting a conference on World Diabetes Day, also ensured that the lunch served to the delegates was also free from fat and sugar –- both trigger diabetes. Apparently, amid a host of salads and vegetarian food, the dessert corner was missing from the venue.

Different cells of BJP leaders

Differences between BJP leaders in the city have deepened. This is evident as they have set up different media cells. While MP Kirron Kher’s statement and photographs were released by a private public relations agency, being managed by a Punjab BJP leader, BJP president Sanjay Tandon’s statement and photographs were released by the media cell of the Chandigarh BJP. Not only these two leaders, but senior BJP leaders and former MP’s Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan also sent their press statements separately.

Agitation for show

The protesters in the ‘executive officer-councillor’ row were trying different ways to pass their time while staging a protest outside the MC office. They would start agitating only when an officer of the administration dropped in. Special raginis and jokes were being cracked to entertain the crowd when no officer was present.

Unique offer!

To boost development works carried out during his tenure in his assembly constituency, Dera Bassi MLA NK Sharma offered ‘curry-chawal’ to a few mediapersons and listed his achievements. Sharma called his supporters and directed them to place orders for ‘curry-chawal’ arranged for the visitors at a community kitchen at the venue.


When the local organisers of the 41st Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Science Exhibition (JNNSMEE)-2014 for Children were asked about the names of the special five models under Aspire, being displayed at the exhibition, they appeared clueless. The organisers failed to provide any information regarding context even though the models were made locally and selected by the organisers themselves. They didn’t have information about the models.

Contributed by Rajmeet Singh, Deepankar Sharda, Arti Kapur, Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha Palial, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Hina Rohtaki, Bipin Bhardawaj and Mehakdeep Grewal



Exhibition of mobile toilets

Giving impetus to PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and his mission to provide toilet facilities to everyone in the country, Diplast Plastics Limited today organised a workshop for training and awareness of over 350 plumbers and an exhibition of mobile toilets and other products at Dappar. Dealers from across North India along with their contingents of plumbers attended the programme.

Panchkula MLA honoured

In an executive meeting of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Gian Chand Gupta, newly elected MLA of Panchkula, was honoured by the members. Charanjiv Singh, president, while highlighting the activities of CBM during last two months said the traders of the city have high hopes from Gian Chand Gupta to solve pending problems of the business community of city with the intervention of central government. — TNS



Open House response
Dedicated cell needed to tackle cases of missing children

Three years after 5-yr-old Khushpreet’s murder, the killing of six-yr-old Mehram Singh Sandhu, a Mohali resident, has raised questions over the failure of the police to trace missing children. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what needs to be done to make the police more efficient

Make cops accountable

Accountability is the only way to make our police force effective. Their training should be made technology-oriented so as to match with the ever-changing techniques used by criminals to execute their nefarious designs. Promptness, alertness and accountability can change the face of the police system. Severe punishment and fast-track courts can act as deterrent against crime.

Ranju, Chandigarh

Set up common control room for tricity

It has become a challenge for the police to provide security to citizens, particularly school-going children. The police patrolling should be increased. There should be at least two to three toll-free emergency numbers, which should be well publicised. There is a need for coordination between the police forces in the tricity. A common police control room for tricity can prove helpful in checking crime rate and catching criminals.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Accord priority to kidnapping cases

The police must swing into action immediately after receiving a distress call or information about a crime. Messages should be flashed to all police stations concerned and borders sealed to prevent the perpetrator from fleeing to another state. Kidnapping cases need to be given the top priority so that the worst could be avoided with timely action.

Prabhpreet Kaur, Mani Majra

Police Dept needs an overhaul

The city police had failed in its ‘mission’ to trace the child despite mounting public pressure, for reasons best known to them. There is a need to overhaul the police department, making them more accountable and responsible, as lethargy and slouch on their part might spell doom.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Establish kidnapping cell

A separate ‘kidnapping cell’ shall be created wherein all cases of kidnapping can be lodged and dealt on a priority basis so that the abduction victim is traced as soon as possible.

Dr Navkirat Chauhan, Chandigarh

Deploy cops in mufti at children’s parks

There is a need to improve the existing system of investigation. Further, the police should be proactive and should not wait for a tragedy to happen before acting smart. All children parks must be guarded by policemen in civics.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Lay special focus on curbing child-related crime

The police have to lay special emphasis on checking crime against children. There should be a proper record of children residing in the city. Those vulnerable should be given special attention. Furthermore, police officials in civil dress should be deployed at parks, bus stands, outside schools and other areas that children often visit.

Pradyumn Gupta, Chandigarh

Recruit men on merit, not ‘sifarish’

There is a huge scope of improvement in the police force. First and the foremost thing is that only merit should be taken into account and not ‘sifarish’ or ‘money’ while recruiting men in the police.

Madhu RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Act against cops not taking timely action

Strict action should be taken against police officials who either refuse or cause delay in registering FIR or complaint pertaining to child missing incidents and other serious crimes. Reason: Immediate response in such cases is very crucial. Urgent action on the part of police can help rescue abducted children before they meet a fatal end.

Sanjay Srivastava, Chandigarh

Limit term at place of posting to 3 years

The problem lies with the different cadre of police officers in the country and their tenure at a place of posting going beyond three years. Ensure there is uniformity in the police cadre and no cop stays at a particular place of posting for more than three years. This will help make the police force more efficient, accountable and corruption-free.

Sat Pal Kansal, Chandigarh

Fix time frame to solve cases

A time frame should be fixed to solve a case. Police officers failing to crack the case within the stipulated period should be made accountable. A special cell may be formed to trace missing children before they are harmed.

IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Register FIR on complaints lodged via Internet

Complaints via Internet should be accepted for registration of FIR. This would not only bring transparency in the functioning of the police department but would also make it effective. Have standard operating procedures and teams be detailed in advance for such contingencies. Use electronic media to flash photograph of the victim. The photograph should also be shown frequently at TV screens at the railway station and the local TV channel. Launch a combing operation in the area where the child was last seen.

Wg Cdr JS Bhalla (retd), Chandigarh

Equip cops with latest gadgets, skills

Learning a lesson from the brutal murder of Mehram, the Administration should implement in toto the recommendations of the Law Commission, give the police the logistic support they need, equip them with the latest gadgets and skills, increase the number of patrol vehicles and fix duty hours to make it more effective in checking crime.

Ajit Singh, Chandigarh

Police have to be hi-tech

The police do not take responsibility whether it is a case of murder, theft, loot or accident. The recent case of kidnapping and killing of a six-year-old boy in Mohali is a fresh example. The police should be trained in investigative skills. They should follow the leads in a scientific manner to reach the culprit.

RK Kapoor, USA

Police should be proactive

The Punjab Police should be serious, honest and duty-bound. Also, they should instill a sense of fear among criminals and a sense of security among citizens. In the Mehram kidnapping-cum-murder case, the police should have acted tough just after the kidnapping. If they had done so, the child’s life could have been saved.

SK Mittal, Chandigarh

Cops only serving politicians’ interests

Policemen today are subservient to their political masters. They are discourteous to general public, spiritless, directionless and apparently do not even know the meaning of their existence. One cannot expect a remedial measure from the exploitive political leaders. It is for thinkers, the Press and the judiciary to make the police efficient and accountable.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

Onus on parents, not cops

If the parents or guardians are unable to take care of or ensure safety of a child, we have no right to blame the police for such incidents given their responsibility towards the entire city. There is no denying the fact that our police act slowly but we too have to be much more responsible, at least towards our wards.

Saransh Gupta, Chandigarh

Utilise Internet to crack cases

The police can utilitse Internet to disseminate information in an organised manner. It can also prove as a means to help prevent crime and crack serious criminal cases.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

No escaping for cops

Fear and tension grip tricity residents every time such an incident takes place. In these situations, the police become the first target of public. Cops are accused of being negligent no matter how hard they could have tried to solve the case. Since maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the police, they are blamed by one and all.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Punjab Police lack competence

The poor professional, physical and intelligence competency are the reasons behind shoddy investigations by the Punjab Police. The police stations need more manpower for investigations and day-to-day policing. VIPs further increase the shortage as they are provided with a security cover. Having men in khaki as personal guards is considered as a status symbol.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Police get cracking mostly under pressure

The police, particularly in Punjab, accelerate investigations only when they feel pressure from top officials. Had Mehram’s parents been IAS or IPS officers he would have been alive today.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Coordination needed in police of different states

Provision for extra forces should be made by the government to tackle situations like demonstration, agitation and VVIP security. Personnel of police stations located in different areas of the city should not be deputed at other places. Finally, an effective coordination among police of different states should be ensured to trace such merciless killers.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh

Form special missing children cell

The gruesome murder of Mehram Singh has necessitated immediate forming of a special missing children cell under the aegis of an IG and consisting of highly-trained, dedicated and motivated cops. There should be a provision of submission of weekly action-taken reports. For keeping the affected families in touch, a nodal officer may be appointed and an online help desk may be introduced.

OP Coushik, Zirakpur

Dedicated task force should deal with such cases

Had cops been at the police station to lodge an FIR and take a quick action, Mehram could have been saved. There should be a dedicated task force to handle such criminal cases within a reasonable time frame.

KC Rana, Chandigarh


Rajmeet Singh*

In most cases, police apathy the culprit

The brutal killing of an innocent Mehram continues to haunt city residents.

In most of the cases, many missing children could not be traced due to the police apathy in taking a timely action.

Official statistics compiled by the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights reveal that 55 children, including 35 girls, were reported missing from Chandigarh in the last two years.

Till October last, 25 children in the age-group of 4 to 14 years were reported as missing. As per the records of the Chandigarh Police, 54 minors have gone missing this year.

Seems ironical but true! The police seldom update their records regarding the missing children.

As per the national toll-free helpline, 52 per cent of the children reported to be missing are reunited with their parents/guardians but the same is not reflected in the official records. The police needs to timely register "missing" complaints and submit within 15 days the details of inquiries and investigations carried out to trace these children.

As seen in the case of Mehram Singh Sandhu or Khushpreet Singh, the police failed to act timely and did not activate its intelligence network. As we know, it was a neighbour who turned out to be the murderer of Khushpreet.

Also, there is a need to coordinate with the police in the neighbouring states whenever there is an alert about a missing child. Complaints about missing children need to be taken seriously.

The police and other government agencies have still not put in place a standard operating procedure as directed by the Supreme Court.

The police should act swiftly, conduct preliminary inquiries and register cases of kidnapping and abduction within the meaning and provisions of Sections 361-374 of the Indian Penal Code and take legal action under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000/06, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956.

There have been countrywide reports suggesting evidence about missing children being used in trafficking, flesh trade and begging rackets.

It is time the police pulled up its socks and we, as society, kept vigil on suspicious persons roaming in our neighbourhood.

(* The writer is Chief City Reporter)


Open House Question

The murder of Neelam Saini, a senior citizen, by her domestic help has revealed the grave risk that elderly, who live alone, are exposed to. A lot of schemes for the welfare of the elderly have failed to click. What needs to be done to improve the security of the elderly? Send your comments in not more than 100 words, along with a passport-size picture, to openhouse@tribunemail.com.



NSS volunteers
Panjab varsity mulls grading system
Agenda to be tabled in Syndicate meeting scheduled to be held on November 22
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
Panjab University is going to introduce grading system from the current session for NSS volunteers. The agenda in this regard is going to be tabled in the Syndicate meeting, which is scheduled to be held on November 22.

The decision in this regard has been taken as per the instructions of the Director, Higher Education, Chandigarh Administration, to ensure uniformity in the certificates from this session.

The grading system (A, B and C) will be introduced for the NSS volunteers of the PU campus and affiliated colleges.

Under the grading, the “A-grade” certificates will be provided to NSS volunteers who will complete two years and 240 hours of NSS work under regular activities. These certificates will carry 2 marks.

The “B-grade” certificates will be provided to the volunteers who will complete 240 hours

of NSS work and participate in a seven-day camp and two blood donation camps. Besides, participation in any one national activity such as national integration camp and youth leadership programme is also required. The “B-grade” certificates carry 2.5 marks.

The “C-grade” certificates will be provided to the volunteers who will complete 360 hours and attend two seven-day camps of the NSS.

For “C-grade” certificates, the minimum enrolment is of three years as a NSS volunteer. The “C-grade” certificate holder will get 3 marks.

The person who will complete one year and attend one seven-day camp will not get any grade and will be given one mark weightage.

Another issue that is going to be tabled in the meeting will be the revision of the honorarium to wardens of the hostels and the Dean Student Welfare by the university.

After 12 years, the authorities are going to revise the honorariums for both posts. As per the fresh proposal, the honorarium will be of Rs 5,000 for the DSW, which is at present Rs 2,000. For wardens, the proposal is of Rs 2,000, which is at present Rs 1,000. Transport expenses are also proposed to be increased for the DSW (Rs 2500) and the wardens (Rs 800).



Science students bust myths at exhibition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A spectacular show, ‘Voodoo Busters’, decoded the prevailing myths in society by demonstrating scientific experiments and left the audience spellbound at the 41st Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition (JNNSME) at the Leisure Valley, Sector 10, here today.

The magical show was put up by students of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali. The students presented a skit having different activities to demystify the prevailing superstitions and asked people to apply logic before believing in them.

In this show, the students took several examples such as arising smoke from water, outbreak of fire without any reason and burning the coconut by spilling water and explained their scientific reasons.

The event was organised by the Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India. The society also organised a talk on “Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014: Seeing is Believing - Biological Imaging using Optical Nanoscopy” by Dr Samrat Mukhopadhyay, IISER.

Another main attraction at the exhibition today was a laser show in which various special effects of lights were shown.



College notes
Over 5,000 appear for CAT

More than 5,000 students appeared for CAT from the region on Sunday. This year, the exam is being conducted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). With this, CAT brought to an end its five year association with US-based company - Prometric. As there are only two test days, the number of centres for the exam has increased in comparison to the last year.

Lecture at UBS

The Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) organised a lecture on “mind your mind” at University Business School (UBS), Panjab University. Marital Counsellor and Gemologist Col Gursewak Singh was the keynote speaker on the occasion. Dr Anshu Kataria, president, CMA, and chairman, Aryans Group of Colleges, presided over the event.

Workshop on research methodology

The Government College of Education organised a workshop on research methodology and statistics. Faculty of the college and MEd students attended the workshop. Prof BS Ghuman, Professor, Department of Public Administration, Panjab University, deliberated on the topic “objectives and hypotheses for effective research”. He also highlighted the need for qualitative research and triangulation in the present-day educational setup. — TNS



from schools
Overall champions

Chandigarh: Saupin’s School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, emerged overall champions in the Chandigarh leg of Jet Toy and Skimmer-Making Olympics. Champion school stood winner in both categories of Jet Toy and skimmer-making. Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, stood second in Jet Toy, while Millennium School, Sector 67, Mohali, placed second in skimmer-making.

Fashion show

A colourful fashion show was organised at DT Mall on Sunday. The contest was for the most fashionable boy and girl. Children walked the ramp with aplomb to show that they were style champions in the fashion arena. The children sashayed down the ramp showcasing the latest in store and collection of various brands. The young models put their best foot forward to impress judges with their trendy attire and actions. — TNS



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