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
Harrowing time for commuters
Tribune News Service

security personnel deployed near the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Security personnel deployed near the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Tribune photos: Nitin Mittal & Vicky Gharu

Chandigarh/Panchkula/Zirakpur, November 17
Commuters travelling to Chandigarh from the adjoining areas had to go through a harrowing time this morning in view of self-styled godman Rampal’s hearing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Security was beefed up on the border and nakas were set up by the police at all entry points to the city.

Traffic moved at a snail’s pace, causing inconvenience to the commuters for more than two hours.

Passengers had a tough time entering the Chandigarh railway station due to heavy security deployed there to avoid any untoward incident. Special ticket examiners were deployed at platforms by the Railway Protection Force to keep tabs on the movement of suspicious people.

The police checked vehicles at the entry points to the city, leading to traffic congestion, particularly near Fun Republic and on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur border. Roadways buses were also checked by the police.

The police had set up a naka on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near the flyover, which resulted in a traffic chaos.

Anticipating that Rampal’s followers would try to enter Chandigarh from Panchkula, the route from Sector 17/18 to Housing Board Chowk was initially blocked. However, after the police got to know that Rampal was not coming for the hearing, the route was opened. But due to heavy barricading, the traffic moved at a snail’s pace,

leading to a traffic jam.

“It was the first working day of the week and if Rampal hadn’t come, at least the police could have made efforts to ease the traffic congestion,” said Vivek Sharma, a resident of Sector 14, Panchkula, who was travelling to Chandigarh.

Shelly, another Panchkula resident, said, “My son is running temperature and I have to rush him to the hospital, but I am caught in a traffic jam.”

Passengers faced inconvenience as buses were checked to prevent the entry of Rampal’s followers.

Travelling on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway from Zirakpur to Tribune Chowk was a herculean task today. It took over 15 minutes to cover a distance of 3 km due to the traffic chaos.

2 ambulances caught in traffic jam

Two ambulances were stuck in a traffic jam, but were diverted to a slip road using the siren. Several commuters were seen calling up their acquaintances to inform them about the traffic jam.

1,500 security personnel on duty

Around 1,500 security personnel were deployed at the railway station to prevent any untoward incident. 



Youth killed, two injured as mobike crashes into tree
Were reportedly triple-riding at a high speed in Sector 22
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A 17-year-old youth, Pawandeep Singh (Mani), was killed while two of his friends, who were riding pillion, sustained severe injuries when their motorcycle crashed into a tree at Sector 22 here this morning.

Mani, who was reportedly in a hurry to rush back home and was riding at a high speed, lost balance over the motorcycle and crashed into a tree on a V 5 road near a gurdwara at Sector 22 this morning. Mani died on the way to the hospital while while his friend Paras received severe head injuries and is under observation at the PGI. His condition is stated to be critical.

The third victim, Atul, received internal injury on the right side of his head and is under treatment at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16. All victims were residents of Sector 22.

Mani’s family hails from Balongi, but lives at Sector 22 in a rented accommodation.

The victims were triple-riding without helmets at a high speed at the time of the accident. The bike was also damaged. According to police sources, one of the victims had borrowed a friend’s bike to visit another friend to wish him on his birthday. After gaining consciousness, Atul, in his statement to the police, said the bike was at a high speed, which resulted in the accident.

According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred at around 9 am. A person standing outside the gurdwara called up the police following which the trio was rushed the GMSH, Sector 16, from where Mani and Paras were referred to PGI, while Atul was kept under observation. Mani died on the way to the PGI while Paras is under observation at the Advanced Trauma Centre at the PGI.

Mani’s body was handed over to the family after a postmortem at the GMSH. The police have not registered a case. However, a DDR has been lodged at the Sector 22 police post. All three were on leave from their respective schools.

The deceased, Mani, was a Class XII student while Paras and Atul are students of Class XI and Class X at a local school. Mani’s cousin’s said, “He left the house in the morning to visit a friend to wish him on his birthday. We later received a call from the police about the mishap. He doesn’t have any vehicle. I have no idea about the owner of the bike.”



Booth Allotment to disabled person
HC raps UT Admn 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has virtually admonished the UT Administration for ineptitude and randomness. A Division Bench has in no uncertain terms asserted that the conduct of the UT Assistant Estate Officer and another respondent in dealing with the request of a person with disability for allotment of a booth in a rehri market spoke of “inefficiency and arbitrariness”.

The rap from Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Raj Mohan Singh came on a petition filed by Rajinder Kumar. He had challenged the order dated January 7, 2008, whereby the letter of intent issued to him was withdrawn. He had also challenged the orders dismissing his appeal and revision pleas against the order.

Suffering from 70 per cent disability, he applied for the allotment of a built-up booth in rehri markets in the city under the Chandigarh Allotment of Land to Person with Disability Scheme, 2001. In the draw of lots for built-up booths in the rehri markets in August 2003, he was allotted a booth in Sector 20-C. However, the petitioner did not deposit the amount within the time granted.

He, rather, deposited 25 per cent of the premium of the land cost after about 172 days and requested for condoning the delay. The request was forwarded to the Administration. But thereafter, an order dated January 7, 2008, was passed to withdraw the letter of intent and also to return the demand draft amounting to Rs 63,395.

Appearing before the court, his counsel asserted that both legs of the petitioner were polio-affected. He could not deposit the requisite amount due to his poor financial condition and mother’s illness. The delay was neither willful nor intentional. The respondents restored the site of another applicant in similar circumstances, but the petitioner was discriminated against.

Taking up the matter, the Bench asserted: “We have heard counsel for the parties and found that the request of the petitioner for condonation of delay should have been examined having humanitarian approach keeping in view the fact that the petitioner is suffering from physical disability to the extent of 70 per cent….

“Though there is a delay, the fact remains that the respondents have taken almost 44 months for withdrawing such letter of intent. The conduct of the respondents in dealing with the request of the petitioner for condonation of delay speaks of inefficiency and arbitrariness. The petitioner has alleged that in similar circumstances, a site was restored to Sushila Devi, but there was no reply to the said allegation.

“Keeping in view the disability of the petitioner and the fact that the respondents have taken long time in considering the request for condonation of delay, we find that the delay in deposit on behalf of the petitioner was required to be condoned….

“Keeping in view the physical disability of the petitioner and the fact that the booth allotted to the petitioner is lying unutilised for all these years, we deem it appropriate to set aside the orders and direct the respondents to re-issue letter of intent to the petitioner, subject to depositing the amount of Rs 60,375 to complete 25 per cent of the premium amount as well as Rs 21,675 towards the cost of construction/superstructure within a period of one month from today.” 



Civic body to recover Rs 22 lakh from councillors
Audit report finds fault with scrapping of day market project
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The municipal corporation has now written to its accounts department to start the process to recover Rs 22 lakh from councillors, who had supported the scrapping of an under-construction day market in Mauli Jagran.

Recently, the Audit Department had also raised the issue. The MC had already paid Rs 22 lakh to the contractor when the project was scrapped, causing a loss to the public exchequer.

The proposal for the construction of the day market in Charan Singh Colony, Mauli Jagran, was approved in 2011. However, the next year, the Congress proposed that the project be scrapped as the number of people demanding sites was much more than the sites being constructed. The proposal was approved amid a ruckus in a House meeting and the Rs 86 lakh project was scrapped.

With the help of nominated councillors, the Congress voted to scrap the project, even as the BJP-SAD alliance, the BSP and Independents opposed the move.

The annual audit report, prepared by the MC local audit department, pointed out anomalies and stated that a huge amount was already spent by different wings of the civic body before the Rs 86.44 lakh project was scrapped by the general House. It said scrapping the project at that stage was wasteful expenditure.

The report added that councillors who supported the agenda were liable for the wastage and the money should be recovered from them under Section 416 (1) of the MC Act.

Audit objection

The audit report stated, “A huge amount had already been spent by different wings of the municipal corporation before the project was scrapped by the general house of the municipal corporation, which lead to wasteful expenditure. According to provisions contained in Section 416 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, extended to the Union Territory, Chandigarh, every person is liable for the loss occurred and wastage of funds if it is reported by the Examiner, Local Fund Accounts, Chandigarh.”

“The responsibility for the wasteful expenditure is liable to be fixed on the part of the councillors and the audit report should be complied with,” the report states. 

Cong, nominated councillors voted to scrap project

Nominated and Congress councillors, including the present Mayor, Harphool Kalyan, had supported the proposal to scrap the project while BJP, SAD and BSP councillors had opposed the proposal. 



divorce papers
Mehram’s father told court in Australia he had no child
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
The mystery in the Mehram murder case deepened further when the police found that false information had been furnished by the victim’s father Varinderpal Singh, who lives in Australia, in his divorce papers in an Australian court.

“Varinderpal has mentioned ‘no’ in the ex parte divorce documents (which he had sent to Mehram’s mother Harinder Kaur here in India two years ago) in the column to specify the number of children,” said a senior police officer.

He said Mehram was nearly three years old at that time. The date on the documents is September 25, 2011. Mehram was born on December 5, 2008.

“It’s shocking that he furnished false information in the Australian court. This calls for his interrogation,” said the officer.

Confirming the development, Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said Varinderpal Singh had furnished false information in the Australian court. “We have sent him a message on his mobile phone to come to India to join the investigation,” said the SSP.

Asked about Varinderpal’s reply to the message, the SSP said he was not responding to the calls.

“If he (Varinderpal) doesn’t respond, we will start legal proceedings against him and get warrants against him from the court,” said the SSP.

Varinderpal, who is permanent resident of Australia, has already been booked along with his father Nirmal Singh, sister Parminder Kaur and brother-in-law Prabhjeet Singh by the Mohali police for allegedly kidnapping and murdering Mehram on a complaint of Harinder Kaur’s father Balwinder Singh. 



Consumer courts to get more teeth, says commission chief
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
“Consumer courts will soon be empowered to take suo motu action against sellers dealing in unfair trade practices, strengthening the consumer movement like never before,” said Justice DK Jain (retd), president of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, who is in the city to hold a circuit bench.

“According to the proposed amendments to the law, we will have the power to take suo motu action against unfair trade practices. The consumer courts can then take cognizance of any seller seen violating consumer rights and conduct search and seizure of documents/records/articles and other forms of evidence. The courts will then also have the power to summon delinquent manufacturers, advertisers and service providers to record oral evidence and direct production of documents and records,” said Jain.

Asserting that there was now increased consumer awareness with people from all age groups thronging the consumer courts for redressal, Jain said they had also proposed mediation for consumer cases at the pre-litigation stage.

“To reduce litigation and come out with an easy solution, it is also proposed that with cooperation of banks and insurance companies, mediation facility will also be made available in the consumer courts,” he said.

According to the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, the courts will be better equipped to deal with online marketing frauds. “It has been proposed that the consumers will not have to travel to the place where the company has its office and the cases involving online marketing frauds will be dealt with at the place where the consumer resides,” said Jain.

The amended Act is likely to have provisions to cover e-commerce companies and some other service providers such as the Railways and courier firms.

Most cases pertain to insurance, builders, medical negligence

Jain said the maximum number of cases that came up for hearing in the consumer courts involved complaints of unfair trade practices by insurance companies, builders and medical negligence cases. Rekha Gupta, member of the commission, said Chandigarh was a highly literate city and the level of consumer awareness was very high here. Being the capital of two states, it assumed importance in the movement for consumer protection, she said.

‘State govts not supportive’

Jain lamented that the consumer courts in some states had poor infrastructure owing to lack of government support. “There is a shortage of staff, lack of funds and poor infrastructure in consumer courts in some states, which comes in the way of our efforts to strengthen the consumer movement. Improving the infrastructure of the consumer courts is the need of the hour,” he said.



Two die of asphyxiation
Were carrying 10 ‘tandoors’ in a canter-cum-container to Baltana
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 17
Two workers of a Zirakpur-based catering company, died while two others are critical, as they were asphyxiated while travelling in a canter-cum-container carrying 10 ‘tandoors’ in wee hours on Monday.

Hailing from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, the victims were residing in Kajehri village, Chandigarh, and were on their way to unload the catering goods in a godown owned by the caterers in Baltana, when the tragedy occurred.

The deceased have been identified as Abdul Satar (60) and his son Raju (30). Kalim, alias Raju (30), brother in-law of Raju (deceased), and Salim (50) are unconscious struggling for life at a private hospital in Zirakpur.

Ashwani Kumar, in charge of the Baltana police post, said that the four were travelling in the closed-door container fitted in a canter (HR-37C-0050) to Zirakpur after executing a contract at a marriage party in Ambala.

The canter is owned by a Zirakpur-based Bhullar Transport Company owned by Sandeep Virmani, he added.

The canter driver found all the four lying unconscious when he opened the doors of the container outside the godown of the company at about 9 am, Ashwani Kumar said.

In an effort to save them, the employees of the cantering company rushed the four unconscious to the private hospital, where doctors declared Abdul Satar and his son Raju ‘brought’ dead, Kumar disclosed.

During preliminary investigation, the police found that the workers were asphyxiated due to the gas emitted by the ignited ‘tandoors’ as the container had no ventilation.

The police is also working on some other theories to find out the exact cause of deaths, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the bodies have been sent to the morgue in Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, till the family members of the deceased and victims arrive from Lucknow.

No case was registered by the police even though the statements of the owners of the cantering and the transport companies were recorded this evening.



Possession of CHB flats: Allottees cry foul
Say board earning interest on instalment money deposited by them 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
As successful allottees of flats have been crying foul over the delay in handing over possession of flats in Sector 63 here, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has been earning interest on instalment money deposited by the allottees.

The entire money towards the cost of over 2,000 flats of four different categories, running into around Rs 500 crore, has been deposited by the allotees by the end of 2013. “It has been over a year the allottees deposited the cost of the flats and the CHB is earning interest on the money at a rate of 9 per cent, but the possession of the flats has not been given to them”, lamented Ritu Khurana, an allottee.

The allottees have demand that the CHB should reimburse them for the delay in handing over the possession of the flats.

Pointing out the anomaly in rules and regulation, Dr Joginder Singh, an allottee, said because there was a delay of one day in depositing the installment, he had to pay Rs 3.25-lakh penalty.

In many cases, the allottees have taken loan from banks and are waiting to move into the flats.

On one hand, the CHB imposes penalty at the rate of 18 per cent, 24 per cent and then 30 per cent for the delay in payment of instalments from the scheduled dates.

CHB officials claim the delay was due to litigation, work of construction of 388 flats in one of the blocks had delayed the entire completion schedule.

Though the construction of one, two and three bedroom flats is under way, the work pertaining to laying of pipelines and power cables has not been completed.

In 2004, over 60,000 square yards of land was allotted to the CHB for the construction of 2,108 flats. But after revision of layout plans and relocation of green belts adjoining the UT, the board was left with 48,000 square yards.

The final cost of flats will be calculated after the construction is completed. The cost of the project is likely to touch Rs 414.45 crore.

Project delayed due to absence of Chief Engineer

The decision on technical issues such as approval of designs, technical sanction of estimates, approval of rates and floating of tenders could not be done in the past due to delay in appointing the Chief Engineer. Till date, no one has been appointed as the Chief Engineer despite applications being received and interviews being held on three different occsions.



Good news for transgenders
UT hospitals to include category of ‘others’ in OPD cards
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Six months after the Supreme Court allowed rights of identity cards to the “third sex” (transgenders), the UT Administration has proposed to include the category of “others” (in addition to male/female) in the gender field in OPD and IPD registration cards in the city hospitals.

In view of over 35,000 population of transgenders in the tricity, the Administration considered that the absence of the category may have been deterring individuals from accessing healthcare facilities from this category.

In fact, an official in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said that he came across patients who happened to reach registration counters but sneaked out as soon as they realised that they would have to specify their gender.

“The proposal is not limited to adding the field of others in the category of genders for transgenders. We want to recognise their potential by hiring qualified transgenders in government jobs. If they are equally qualified, why should they be devoid of these facilities?” said UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar. 

SC judgement

In April 2014, Justice KS Radhakrishnan of Supreme Court of India, declared transgender as the third gender in the Indian law. The decision came in a verdict of a case brought forth by by the National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa). “Seldom, our society realises or cares to realise the trauma, agony and pain which the members of transgender community undergo, nor appreciates the innate feelings of the members of the transgender community, especially of those whose mind and body disown their biological sex. Our society often ridicules and abuses the transgender community and in public places like railway stations, bus stands, schools, workplaces, malls, theatres, hospitals, they are sidelined and treated as untouchables, forgetting the fact that the moral failure lies in the society’s unwillingness to contain or embrace different gender identities and expressions, a mindset which we have to change.”Justice Radhakrishnan said that transgender people should be treated consistently with other minorities under the law, enabling them to access jobs, healthcare and education.



8 cartridges found near rly station 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh November 17
Eight live cartridges of 8 mm were recovered near the bus stoppage located at the Chandigarh railway station this morning.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) has lodged an FIR against unidentified person, said SHO Aman Singh of the GRP. He said that the cartridges were of countrymade weapon.

An official said that a call was made by a passerby after which the GRP reached the spot and recovered the cartridges. 



Crafts mela: Traditional jewellery selling like hot cakes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The National Craft Mela at Kala Gram continues to pull visitors for its unique spread of handicrafts and artefacts and even jewellery.

The highlights of the crafts mela includes unique traditional jewellery and accessories which are not normally available in the market and have become the hot favourites among women and youngsters.

The intricate jewellery are masterpieces as their designs and styles are unique. They have become a major attraction among women.

Odisha’s (Orissa) “tarakashi” or silver filigree is one of the most exquisite renditions of silver craft available here. Pahari jewellery from Leh Ladakh is made from the rock and gems brought from the higher reaches of Himalayas. These precious and semi precious gems with natural bold colours are worth buying.

This evening there was a kathak performance by Khushi Sharma, disciple of renowned dancer Guru Panna Lal. Khushi belongs to the Jaipur Gharana, she mesmerised the audience with her performance on “Maula de rang and Chhap talak” whereas renowned Sufi singer Mamata Joshi gave a thrilling performance, she opened the evening with the song, “Jalwa tera jalwa”, she belted out other hits like “Kulhi faker di, dum-dum karke, ni main jaana jogi”.



Sector 17 Plaza
UT Adviser inaugurates multimedia laser fountain 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
To bring more customers to Sector 17, UT Adviser KK Sharma inaugurated the multimedia laser fountain and green belt in the Sector 17 Plaza. He also opened the laser show by clicking the remote control.

Sector 17 plaza is facing tough competition from the malls in Industrial area and other parts of the city.

Speaking on the occasion the Adviser said that the dynamism of the cities changes by growing quickly and the change influence traditional markets for some time but the charm of traditional markets woo visitors again. He said that the municipal corporation was making all efforts to make the Sector 17 Plaza attractive. He said this would lure visitors.Mayor Harphool Kalyan said the southern part of the Plaza was deserted and there was dire need to uplift it and there was also persistent demand from shop owners. To meet their requirements, a multimedia laser fountain has been installed and this will definitely give impetus to tourism in the city .



NRIs to stage protest today
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
Agitated and harassed by the treatment given by the Punjab Police, some NRIs decided to come on roads to stage protest.

The NRIs, around seven in number, will stage a dharna in front of the Mohali deputy commissioner’s office at Phase 1, tomorrow. The leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) local unit will support them.

All these NRIs, most of them are from Canada, have become victims of politicians/other influential persons, who have grabbed their properties worth crores of rupees.

“The police are doing nothing in our cases. After being harassed for long, we have now decided to raise our voice through protests,” said the NRIs.

They alleged that all the claims of Punjab government on NRIs welfare schemes were false and the NRI wing of Punjab Police, which the state government has launched with much fanfare is nothing more than a farce.

Shockingly, Iqbal Singh Ramoowalia, brother of former union minister BS Ramoowalia (who is senior Akali leader at present), is also among the NRI victims, who will raise their voice, tomorrow. Iqbal Singh has leveled allegations of grabbing his property against his brother.



Connect, Huawei joint venture

Connect, a broadband and wireless services provider, has joined hands with Huawei to create fiber connected smart homes. In a unique partnership program, renowned builders and architects were invited to witness the benefits of FTTH technology over other traditional technologies, and were imparted technical know-how on deploying fiber in buildings at the time of construction.

Axis Bank organises painting competition

Axis Bank has organised season III of SPLASH, a painting competition in the main branches of Chandigarh and tricity as a part of Children Day celebrations. The third season of this competition marked participation of over 90,000 children’s across India. Each participant was awarded with a certificate while results will be declared in December 2014.

Habit offers free haircut

Habit Hair and Beauty Salon in association with Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, organised a two-day event on November 15 and 16. Habit provided free haircut to Vodafone customers. On this occasion, Vodafone customers were also given gifts and discount vouchers from Habit Salon and Vodafone India. Deepa Nagarkoti from Customer Service Department of Vodafone said they will continue to provide such services to Vodafone consumers in near future as well.

Orient launches Ecotech fans

Orient Electric launched Ecotech fans which consume 50 per cent less energy. Orient Electric, a part of the diversified Indian conglomerate CK Birla group, has brought to the consumers less energy consuming and pocket friendly Ecotech range of fans. Built on BLDC (Brushless direct current motor) platform, the Ecotech range of fans cuts power consumption by 50 per cent, while providing superior performance through constant speed and noiseless operation even at low voltages.

Central Bank launches two new schemes

Central Bank of India today launched two new schemes — Cent Aspire Deposit Scheme and Cent Home Double Plus Scheme. DS Saahi, field general manager, Central Bank of India, said Cent Aspire Deposit scheme offers customers to enjoy the liquidity of their time deposit. —TNS



Open manholes pose grave threat
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 17
Uncovered manholes are giving open invitation to mishaps in Panchkula. Despite frequent incidents of children falling into uncovered manholes in the tricity, the local Municipal Corporation seems to have turned a blind eye towards the same.

Such uncovered manholes were seen in Sector 16 here today. Children from BPL families were seen playing around these manholes, thereby posing a risk to their lives.

“My child used to stand here and wait for a bus. I have asked him to wait for the bus at some other point. Despite repeated requests to the authorities concerned, manholes are still lying uncovered,” said a resident.

“The MC itself should keep a note of such things. It seems that the councillors don’t take a regular round of their ward. Manholes are lying open in the market, which witnesses a heavy footfall,” said another resident.

Local councillor Bhavna Gupta said: “I wasn’t aware that the manholes are lying uncovered. I will look into the issue. No one made a complaint to me regarding it.”

She said: “In fact, some work is going on in the market. So, the manholes may have been left temporarily open by labourers. I will surely look into the issue tomorrow.”

On June 9, 2011, an uncovered manhole claimed the life of seven-year-old Gautam, who apparently fell into it at Raipur Kalan village. His body was found at the sewerage plant located near the house of the boy.

Similarly, on August 16, 2005, a seven-month pregnant woman constable, Jaswinder Kaur, died after falling into an uncovered manhole of a sewerage in Sector 30 here. She had gone to an open area along the CSIO boundary wall to ease herself when the incident took place.

Previous incidents

  • On August 16, 2005, a seven-month pregnant woman constable, Jaswinder Kaur, died after falling into an uncovered manhole of a sewerage in Sector 30.
  • On June 9, 2011, an uncovered manhole claimed the life of seven-year-old Gautam, who apparently fell into it at Raipur Kalan village.



Labourer falls to death
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 17
A 35-year-old labourer, Sanjay Kumar, died after falling from the third floor of a building at Sector 76, here, today.
The victim, who is a native of Bihar, was shifted to Sohana Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to sources, Sanjay was working at the under-construction building when he slipped from there.

He sustained serious head injuries and was immediately shifted to the hospital by other labourers.

After recording the statements of co-workers, the police initiated inquest proceedings in the case.

The police said the post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow at the Mohali Civil Hospital, Phase VI, here.



Potholed VIP Road cries for attention
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 17
Termed as the lifeline for residents of scores of housing colonies and societies in this densely populated area, the VIP Road is in a dilapidated condition for the past couple of years.

The Zirakpur Municipal Council authorities and local MLA NK Sharma, who is also having an office in the locality, seem not to be bothered about the woes of the residents.

Shopkeepers, property dealers and builders are also facing a lot of hardships due to deep potholes on the road.

Residents complain that clouds of dust have been putting them to great inconvenience on this damaged road. During the rainy season, the road gets flooded with knee-deep water and it also poses a threat to vehicles.

Ravinder Sood, a local resident, said: “Residents pay huge taxes and other development charges to the municipality, but they hardly get anything in the name of facility”.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Penta Houses, said the situation was going to worsen in the coming years with a number of other housing projects, restaurants and eating joints coming up in the area.

The problem will aggravate when the occupancy rate of the houses and flats would be 100 per cent, said Rajan Khetarpal, a Chandigarh-based advocate.

Parminder Singh, executive officer, said the Municipal Council had earmarked a sum of Rs 85 lakh for the repair and strengthening of the VIP Road.

He said the work had already been allotted to a construction company.



NCC Week celebrations begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
As part of NCC Week celebrations, the local NCC cadets visited Old Age Home in Sector 15 and the Institute for the Blind in Sector 26, here today and interacted with the inmates there. As many as 200 cadets from all three wings of the NCC participated in the events.

During the week, which began today, cadets would carry out public awareness rallies, undertake a run for fun, make a presentation on waste management, organise a blood donation camp and hold a ship modelling and an aero modelling display.



Youth attacked on PU campus
Assaulted outside Hostel No. 5 for being ‘friends’ with a girl; two students booked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A 22-year-old student of Panjab University was allegedly attacked by two other students outside Hostel No. 5 on the campus here today. The incident took place at 11 am.The injured, Gursimran Singh, was allegedly attacked by Sukhjot and Nitin, students of Physics Department, with sharp-edged weapons for being ‘friends’ with a girl student.

He sustained a deep cut on his right thigh in the attack. Following this, he was rushed to the GMSH, Sector 16, from where he was discharged after a minor surgery.

It is learnt that Gursimran is an active member of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), while Sukhjot and Nitin are from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Sukhjot is also the campus president of the ABVP. The Chandigarh Police have booked Sukhjot and Nitin in this regard.

Narrating the sequence of events, Gursimran, a resident of Mani Majra, alleged, “I had gone to Hostel No. 5 to meet a friend. When I was standing outside the hostel, three persons attacked me with sharp-edged weapons.”

Police officials said Gursimran, who claims to be student of Chemistry Department, was ‘friends’ with a girl whom Sukhjot fancied.

“A few days ago, Sukhjot had assaulted another person and his friend. However, the duo did not report the matter to the police,” informed a fellow student.

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 11 police station.

The police have identified two persons but no arrests were made till the filing of this report.

Room allotment of student cancelled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Taking a serious view of the attack by two students of Panjab University on an outsider at the gate of Hostel No. 5, the university authorities have decided to take stringent action against them.

Panjab University’s Dean student welfare Navdeep Goyal said, “It has come to our notice that the two students of the Physics Department, Sukhjot and Nitin, were involved in violence on the campus this morning.”

He said following the incident, the room allotted to Sukhjot in Hostel No. 3 on the campus will be cancelled.

He said, “This time, action would also be initiated by the department concerned against such students who mar the cordial environment on the campus to settle their personal grudges.”

Panjab University Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover said, “The injured student, Gursimran, who was attacked by the duo claimed to be a student of the Chemistry Department. But investigations have revealed that he took admission last year, but failed to clear the examinations.”

Sources said Gursimran was an active member of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), and used to take part in dharnas and protests staged by the party.

Meanwhile, the Student Federation for India has condemned the violence on the campus by the main student party and sought strict action against those involved in it. 

Accused is abvp campus president

It is learnt that Gursimran is an active member of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), while Sukhjot and Nitin are from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Sukhjot is also the campus president of the ABVP.



National Press Day at MCM DAV
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
To mark National Press Day, the Department of Mass Communication, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, organised an inter-college PowerPoint presentation competition on the topic ‘Press as the Fourth Pillar of Democracy’.

Students of reputed institutions and departments from the PU participated in the event.

The first prize was bagged by MCM DAV College for Women, while the second and third slots were bagged by MCM DAV College and School of Communication Studies, Panjab University, respectively.

Ravneet Sandhu from MCM DAV won the title of the best presenter.

College principal Dr Puneet Bedi lauded the participation of the students. She remarked that while on the one hand, endeavours such as blood donation brought to the fore the humanitarian value system of the college, platforms such as National Press Day celebrations gave students a platform to put forth their views.

656 donate blood at camp

A blood donation camp was organised by the NSS unit of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, in association with the PGIMER today. The event witnessed an overwhelming response from the students and staff members. The camp registered a total of 656 donors. The blood donors of MCM contributed a laudable total of 240 blood bags. The donors will be awarded certificates and donor cards, which will allow them to avail blood bags from the PGI in times of need. Various dignitaries, including Sanjay Tandon, state president of the BJP, Chandigarh, and Prof AK Bhandari, Dean University Instructions, PU, addressed the students.



PGI MD/MS entrance
Panchkula doctor tops in tricity

Chandigarh, November 17
The result of the PGI MD/MS entrance exam was declared here today.
Akash Bansal, a resident of Panchkula, has topped the tricity by bagging the 5th rank in the country.

Akash completed his MBBS from the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32. He wants to be an orthopaedician.

The All-India topper in the exam, which was conducted on Sunday, is Vivek Lanka.

Meanwhile, the examination was conducted amid tight security this year as a cheating scam was unearthed in the same examination two years ago. — TNS



Students protest discrepancy in fee structure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Students of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 42, staged an hour-long protest alleging that the authorities were charging different fees for various streams in the college. The students of arts and science streams staged the protest on the college premises.

Later, principal Mani Bedi intervened and assured the students that a new schedule for the fee structure will be released. She said in case of any discrepancy, action will be taken. Following this, the matter was resolved and the agitating students withdrew the strike. 

Arts, science students at the fore

During the hour-long protest, the students alleged that the authorities were charging different fees for various streams in the college. The students of arts and science streams staged the protest 



Former PGI doc gets award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Professor Ashok Utreja, former Head, Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGIMER, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Dr AV Arun’s outstanding Professor Award-2014’ by the Indian Orthodontic Society.

The award will be presented to him on November 21 at the inauguration of the 49th Indian Orthodontic Conference at Kolkata.

In recognition of his outstanding academic and clinical contributions in the field of orthodontics, the organising committee of the 49th IOC and the executive committee of the Indian Orthodontic Society have invited Prof Utreja to deliver the Dr V Surendra Shetty Oration at the upcoming conference in Kolkata.

Prof Utreja is credited with establishing the orthodontic treatment service for the first time in the region way back in 1974 and also for starting the MDS programme in orthodontics at the PGI.

He has been the team leader of the PGI’s cleft palate team since 2001 and under his leadership, the PGI cleft team has been providing state-of-the-art cleft lip and palate rehabilitation to hundreds of children.


Prof Ashok Utreja is a founder member of the Indian Society of Cleft Lip, Palate & Craniofacial Anomalies and was its third president in 2004. He was elected president of the Indian Orthodontic Society for the year 2006-07. He is designate co-chairman of the International Cleft Congress to be held in Chennai in Nov 2017. 




from schools
Sports meet concludes

Chandigarh: As many as 800 students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 38-D, participated in the annual sports day meet, which concluded at the Sports Complex, Sector 7.

Expression 2014

St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44-D, celebrated a cultural event – Expression 2014, within the school premises. The annual event was presided over by Ram Kumar Sharma, district education officer, of the UT Administration. As many as 271 students participated in the function.

Children’s Day celebrated

Children’s Day was celebrated at GMS-26, Bapu Dham Colony. On the occasion, various programmes were organised. The teachers took a pledge that they would strive to work for the welfare of students of the school. NGO Yuvsatta held a lecture on health and hygiene.

Arts and crafts exhibition

An arts and crafts exhibition was organised at the GMHS, Sector 12, on the school premises today. Students from Class I to X displayed their talent through collage work, acrylic painting, block painting, clay modelling, sand work etc.

Basketball tournament

A week-long staff basketball tournament was organised at St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School.

Sports Day

Adarsh Public School, Sector 20-B, organised a two-day annual sports day on the school premises. Students of the senior wing, including Classes I to VIII, took part in the march past.

Athletics meet

The annual athletics meet 2014 -15’ was held at Ryan International School, Sector 66, for students of Montessori wing. IG, BSF, Jagat Singh was chief guest.

Race competition

Mohali: On the occasion of Children’s Day, Anee’s School organised races for the students of Classes I to V. The students participated enthusiastically in races such as balloon race, spoon race, lemon race, frog race, hurdles and three-leg race.

Picnic for students

The students of Smart Wonders School, Sector 71, visited Will-O-the-Wisp, near Siswan Dam. The picnic was specially planned for the students and teachers of Classes UKG – IV.

Children’s Day

Children’s Day was celebrated at Holy Family Convent School with fervour and enthusiasm. The teachers prepared programmes for children. A show was organised right from the ancient to the modern age. — TNS



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