C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mehram, the victim
Mehram case cracked, neighbour held
26 -year-old accused youth a drug addict and alcoholic; police claim ransom was the motive behind the crime
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 19
Twelve days after the recovery of six-year-old Mehram Sandhu’s body from a garbage dumping yard, the Mohali police claimed to have cracked the case with the arrest of the victim’s immediate neighbour, Tajinder Pal Singh, alias Ganju (26), here today.
Paramjit Singh Gill (right), IGP, Patiala Zone, and RK Jaiswal, DIG, Ropar Range, brief the media about the case in Mohali on Wednesday
Paramjit Singh Gill (right), IGP, Patiala Zone, and RK Jaiswal, DIG, Ropar Range, brief the media about the case in Mohali on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

According to the police, ransom was the main motive behind the crime.

“Ganju, an alcoholic and drug addict, kidnapped and killed Mehram for ransom,” claimed Paramjit Singh Gill, IGP, Patiala Zone.

Ganju, who lives just 15 metres away on the first floor of a house opposite Mehram’s residence, was under the impression that the victim’s family had a lot of money. “The victim’s kin used to talk about shifting from the locality after purchasing a new house. He thought Harinder Kaur, Mehram’s mother, had received lakhs of rupees from her Australia-based estranged husband Varinderpal Singh. To earn a quick buck, he planned to kidnap the boy,” the police said.

The IGP said Ganju, who was a driver-on-call without any regular job, wanted to buy his own taxi. He murdered the child by strangling him with a piece of cloth within two hours of kidnapping him from a park near the victim’s house at Phase IX on October 28 evening. The child was kidnapped at around 6 pm. Ganju was keeping an eye on the child by sitting on the railing of the park on the fateful day.

Mehram’s mother Harinder Kaur claimed that she had seen Ganju sitting on the railing just before Mehram went missing, but she didn’t suspect him as he used to stay there.
Accused Ganju’s father (left) and brother.
Accused Ganju’s father (left) and brother. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

How the murder was executed

Ganju, who was friendly with Mehram, took him along on his scooter saying that he was searching for his (Ganju’s) nephew Anmol. He then took Mehram to a shop at Sector 69 to buy a chocolate and later to a deserted house in Sector 69. “He wanted to show Mehram to some of his friends, with whom Ganju used to gamble in the house in question or at the garbage dumping yard. His plan was that he would involve his friends in his plan and they would kidnap Mehram later. When he found nobody there, he took Mehram to Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan at Sohana village. After paying obeisance, the duo reached near the garbage dumping yard, where he strangled him.
Mehram’s mother Harinder Kaur (left) and maternal grandmother Jaswinder Kaur in Mohali.
Mehram’s mother Harinder Kaur (left) and maternal grandmother Jaswinder Kaur in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

After murdering the child, he returned to the locality at around 7.45 pm and started searching for the child with other persons of the area. He even went to the victim’s house and after seeing Mehram’s maternal grandmother Jaswinder Kaur from the entry door, he returned without talking to anybody.

“Just before kidnapping, Ganju switched off his mobile phone at 5.54 pm. He switched on his mobile at 7.40 pm after reaching near the locality,” IGP Gill said.

“During his interrogation, Ganju confessed that he committed the crime. Investigations are on to ascertain whether anybody else was involved in it,” he said.

Why Ganju decided to kill the child

Ganju confessed before the police that earlier he asked Mehram to stand outside the yard as he had to go to answer the call of nature. Mehram also insisted that he too wanted to answer the call of nature following which Ganju took him along.

While going inside, Ganju’s accidentally stepped on the child following which Mehram threatened that he would tell his maternal grandmother that he had hit him. Ganju, who was earlier scolded by Mehram’s “nani” for taking the child along with him for around 45 minutes to a nearby market two days before Diwali, got scared and immediately made up his mind to strangle the child to death. He covered the body with tree branches and other material lying there.

Area residents gather outside the residence of Mehram Singh Sandhu in Phase IX, Mohali,
Area residents gather outside the residence of Mehram Singh Sandhu in Phase IX, Mohali, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

After murder, Ganju visited spot thrice

After the murder, Ganju went to check the body at 9 pm to ascertain whether Mehram had died. Then he again visited the spot on November 4 (three days before the recovery of the body) to check whether there was any foul smell there. Using the light on his mobile phone, he dug a pit and buried the body in it. On November 5 at around 6 am, he again went to the spot and found that a foot of the victim was visible. He put cemented blocks on it in a bid to conceal it.

How police got the lead

DSP (City II) Navreet Singh Virk zeroed in on the accused after Jaswinder Kaur, maternal grandmother of the victim, and Harinder Kaur, mother, told him about the incident when Ganju had taken away Mehram to the market without informing anybody two days before Diwali during their interrogation two days ago. Following the tip-off, Ganju was summoned to the police station and during interrogation, he confessed to the crime.

Ganju was summoned earlier too

Ganju had been summoned earlier also by Inspector Kulbir Sandhu to the police station during questioning of persons residing in the area. “That time we didn’t find anything amiss and let him go,” said the police.

Accused shows no remorse

“Ganju showed no remorse and was smiling while answering our queries during the interrogation even after confessing to the crime,” said the police.

IGP lauds Mohali police

While lauding the teams involved in cracking the case, IGP Gill said the police had done an excellent job. “I have recommended the state authorities to honour SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, SP (D) GS Grewal, DSP Navreet Singh Virk and all members of the teams with “DGP Disc” and commendation certificates,” said Gill.

Kin express satisfaction

Mehram’s family members expressed satisfaction over the efforts of the Mohali police in solving the case.

Mehram used to address accused as ‘mamu’

Mehram was friendly with the accused and used to address him as ‘mamu’ (maternal uncle). Ganju’s nephew Anmol, who was also of Mehram’s age, was a good friend of the victim and both used to play together.

Ganju got idea of switching off mobile from TV serial

Whenever Ganju visited the crime spot, he used to switch off his mobile. He told the police that he got an idea of switching off the mobile to evade being tracked by the police from TV serial ‘CID’. “I had seen how the police tracked criminals through mobile call details,” he told the police.

Status of FIR against in-laws

“With the accused in the police net, we will quash the FIR against them but after further investigation,” said a police official.

Area residents in shock

The news regarding Ganju’s hand in Mehram’s murder has left area residents shocked. People started gathering in front of Mehram’s house soon after the news regarding the arrest of the victim’s killer broke. “Ganju’s mother Waryam Kaur is very religious and often used to take part in religious ceremonies along with Mehram’s maternal grandmother Jaswinder Kaur. “We are shocked,” said a woman, who lives in the locality.“After this incident, nobody will dare to trust any person, not even one’s neighbors,” said another woman, who lives in the locality.

Murder mystery unravelled

n WHO: Tajinder Pal Singh, alias Ganju (26), an immediate neighbour and part-time driver, killed Mehram.

n WHEN: Shortly before 7.40 pm on October 28 after kidnapping him at around 5.55 pm.

n WHERE: At an unauthorised garbage dumping yard in Sector 69.

n HOW: Strangled with a piece of cloth, which the accused had lifted from the spot.

n WHY: For intended ransom. However, the ransom call was never made by the accused. 

Who is Ganju

Tajinder Singh, alias Ganju, was born in the same house where he stays at Phase IX after the family shifted from Delhi in 1986. He is unmarried. The family comprises his grandmother Gurbachan Kaur, father Sher Singh, who retired from the Industries Department, mother Waryam Kaur, brother Avtar Singh and sister Manjit Kaur. Ganju, who has passed Class XII, is a part-time driver. He left a driver’s job with a local taxi operator just a month ago. The police said his brother, who lives at Garanga village in Mohali district, was booked under the NDPS Act and had undergone imprisonment for it. 

Accused gets 5-day police remand

The accused was produced before the court of Ilaqa Magistrate Surabhi Prashar on Wednesday evening. The court remanded him in police custody for five days.

Hang him in public, says maternal grandmother
“As Ganju strangled our son, he should be hanged in public so that nobody dares to commit such a crime again,” said the victim’s maternal grandmother, Jaswinder Kaur, with tears in her eyes.

Harinder wants husband called for interrogation

Harinder Kaur reiterated that her Australia-based estranged husband should be summoned to India for interrogation. “I still have doubts on him,” said Harinder Kaur. 

n Oct 28: Mehram kidnapped at around 6 pm from a park near his house. Members of Mehram’s paternal family rounded up late at night at around 1.15 am.

n Oct 29: FIR registered against Mehram’s Australia-based father Varinderpal Singh, grandfather Nirmal Singh, aunt Parminder Kaur and uncle Prabhjeet Singh for kidnapping him on a complaint of Mehram’s maternal grandfather Balwinder Singh.

n Nov 7: Mehram’s highly-decomposed body recovered from a garbage dumping yard at Sector 69. Special investigating teams, led by Mohali SP (D) GS Grewal, formed to crack the case.

n Nov 8: Mehram cremated

n Nov 9: Family holds candlelight march

n Nov 12: Bhog ceremony held.

n Nov 19: Case cracked. Ganju arrested. 

Ganju is being falsely implicated: Family
Ganju’s family members, comprising his grandmother Gurbachan Kaur, mother Waryam Kaur, father Sher Singh and brother Avtar Singh accused the police of falsely implicating him in the case. “We know our son, he cannot commit a crime. He has been falsely implicated,” said his grandmother while sobbing.

Unanswered questions

n If the sole motive was ransom, why didn’t Ganju make a ransom call.

n The body kept lying in the dumping yard for at least seven days till it was buried by Ganju on November 4 night. How come dogs didn’t drag it or eat it.

n If maggots had eaten up the body, how come the lower jaw was lying separate from the body (the jaw and one of his shoes was found around 10 metres away from the spot where the body was found buried).



Acquittal of 5 UT cops in Khuda Lahora rape case
Prosecution has utterly failed to prove guilt, says court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
In the judgment acquitting five UT police constables of the rape charge last week, the court has held that the prosecution has ‘utterly’ failed to prove the charges against all the accused and termed the rape victim’s (prosecutrix) statements as ‘untrustworthy, unreliable, incredible and unconvincing’, thus giving the benefit of doubt to the accused.

In its detailed order, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Anshu Shukla stated that the victim’s testimony does not inspire confidence and she has come forward with different versions at different times.

While the prosecution has stated that the victim was a minor, the court said it has no hesitation to hold that the prosecutrix was more than 18 years of age at the time of incident.

Grounds for acquittal

No connecting evidence

“The prosecutrix occupies the place of paramount importance in the realm of prosecution witnesses, but on perusal of her statement, I find that she did not utter a single word against the accused. A perusal of her statement reveals that she has given a clean chit to the accused and has not at all supported the prosecution’s version. She was confronted with her respective statements but she denied the same. In the circumstances, there is no cogent and convincing evidence on record to connect the accused with the alleged offences,” the judge said. “Needless to say that it was only the prosecutrix who could have substantiated the prosecution’s version but she failed to do so,” the judge added.

Different versions

In the order, the court held that the victim has come forward with different versions at different times. “In her complaint, she stated that the police personnel made her sit in a vehicle and took her to an isolated place and raped her. They also administered her with a drug and threatened to eliminate her. However, she deposed in the court that she had a love affair with Akshay, whom she wanted to marry and failed to identify the other accused,” said the court.

No medical evidence

The court held that there is no medical evidence on record to prove the fact that the accused sexually assaulted the prosecutrix forcibly. “No external mark of fresh injury was seen. The CFSL report is also not helpful to the prosecution to prove the charges against the accused,” said the court.

Victim not a minor

While the prosecution stated that the victim is a minor and her age is 17 years, as per the school record, her date of birth is August 30, 1996. On the other hand, the victim stated that her date of birth is March 29, 1996. Later, she stated that as far as she understands, her date of birth is March 29, 1995. The doctor who conducted the bone ossification test said her age was between 15 and 16-and-a-half years. “As per the proposition of law, the benefit of age on higher side should go to the accused and thus, as per medical opinion also, the prosecutrix was 16 and a-half-years of age at the time of the alleged incident. There is a contradiction in the age recorded in the school documents and the victim’s deposition. This goes to show that the prosecution has not been able to conclusively prove the age of the prosecutrix on the date of the occurrence and it is settled preposition of law that when there is a diversion of age, the benefit of doubt should go to the accused,” said the court.

Political pressure

“The prosecutrix admitted during cross-examination that she was pressurised by public to narrate and write the facts, which never happened. When she was brought to the court to record her statements, she stated that thousands of people along with various political parties with banners were agitating outside the court room and were directing her to spell out before the Magistrate whatever they have told her and accordingly, she made a false statement under their pressure,” said the court.

SC caution referred to

“The Supreme Court has, from time to time, cautioned that if rape causes the greatest distress and humiliation to the victim, at the same time, a false allegation of rape can cause equal distress, humiliation and damage to the accused. Therefore, the accused must also be protected against the possibility of false implication.”

– Excerpt from the judgment.

The acquittal

On November 11, the court acquitted five constables - Jagtar Singh (23), Akshay (24), Sunil Kumar (23), Himmat Singh (24) and Anil (25) - of the charge of raping a resident of Khuda Lahora. The constables were in judicial custody for the last 11 months.

The five were booked on December 19, 2013, following allegations of raping and molesting a ‘minor’ girl for months. The girl had alleged in her complaint that the constables raped her at gunpoint and also forced her to
consume contraceptive pills, following which the cops were booked. She had later turned hostile in the court. 



Cops to recover security expenses from Rampal
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Chandigarh Police are in the process of preparing a list of the expenditure incurred on the security of self-styled godman Rampal for his appearance in the Punjab and High Court and will recover it from him.

Police officials said all departments had been asked to prepare a list of the expenditure incurred on Rampal’s visit to Chandigarh.

Sources said apart from the amount spent on the security arrangements, the expenditure incurred on hiring cameramen and on the travel of policemen by CTU buses to different locations would be included in the bill, which would be sent to Rampal.

Rampal had been asked to appear before the court on November 5, 10 and 17 for which the Chandigarh police had made elaborate security arrangements anticipating that Rampal’s followers would also reach the city.

Over 3,000 personnel of the Chandigarh Police, six companies of paramilitary forces and 12 companies from Punjab have been deputed in the city in view of the ongoing case of the controversial sect head at the HC.

The police are preparing the security expenditure details on the directions of the HC.


200 rendered homeless in cold
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
As many as 200 people were left homeless following a demolition drive by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Sector 14 this evening. Despite the directions by the court to provide with an alternative place for the people in winters, people are out on the streets in the biting cold. Even the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, SS Phulia, showed his insensitivity towards these people when asked as to what alternative place has been given to them.

Putting the drive on hold during elections, the residents alleged that HUDA didn’t give them a notice prior to the drive. “We were not informed and these people have left us in the middle of nowhere. We have small kids. Where will we go in this cold?” asked Jamuna Singh, a slum dweller.

The Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, SS Phulia, and the HUDA Estate Officer, Gurmeet Singh, passed the buck when asked about the provisions made for the residents.

The Estate Officer of HUDA gave a brusque reply, “These people are not our responsibility. Why was HUDA land encroached at the first place? They have come from UP and Bihar and we don’t have a place for all of them.”

DC Phulia said, “HUDA has carried out the drive. Ask them. We have nothing to do with it.”

“The city’s DC is not concerned about us. Now, where will we go? How can the Panchkula administration be so insensitive?” asked Laccha Ram, another resident. 



Golf Club in trouble over ad hoardings
After UT’s letter, Municipal Corporation decides to take action against the club
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Municipal Corporation has decided to take action against the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) over the installation of advertisement boards of a liquor brand and a political party inside the club premises.

Recently, the architecture and finance wings of the UT Administration had written to the MC to probe the issue. The advertisements boards of a liquor brand and the BJP had been put up inside the club premises during the Lok Sabha elections.

Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said the MC had decided to take action against the club and the department concerned had been asked to prepare a report in this regard.

President of the CGC BS Gill said they had already submitted before the UT Administration that unipoles installed on the club premises were “facing inside”.

A senior MC official said under the Chandigarh Advertisement Control Order, 1954, the MC could ask the club to pay advertisement fee for these boards. Though the club management had submitted that these boards were not visible from outside, but these were visible from the road on the rear side of the club adjoining Sukhna Lake, he said.

The UT Administration, in its letter to the MC, had enclosed the technical sketch of the club to ascertain whether the advertisements were displayed according to the drawing/layout plan.

The initial inspection report of the UT Administration states, “A visit was made to the club on March 16 and 12 advertisements, up to a maximum size of 200 sq ft, were found. The hoardings were of liquor and some other companies. The hoardings were not visible from the main road as these were facing the club. The space where the advertisement of the BJP was said to have been displayed was found vacant. The size of vacant board was 20x10 ft.”

Golf Club’s submission

The CGC submitted before the UT Admn, “The unipoles put up on the Golf Club premises are ‘facing inside’ and the other side towards the road has been blocked. No person can see these unipoles from the road. Therefore, it is requested to advise whether such unipoles can be used by the club for advertisements?”

Questions before the MC

n Did the club have the approval for the sites to display advertisements?

n Whether unipoles, which are not visible from outside, can be used for display of ads or not?

MC will warn PGI, won’t impose fine

The MC has decided that instead of slapping a penalty on the PGI for putting up a hoarding for a neurology conference across the city without permission, the civic body will only issue a warning to it. A senior MC official said as the PGI was a government body, there was no point in charging money from one government department and depositing in another.

Modi’s hoarding was installed, removed

During the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, a hoarding was installed on March 15 this year to promote Narendra Modi, in which he was seen wishing residents on Holi. The advertisement read, “Rang anek, hum ek” “Holi ki shubkamnayein”. However, when the matter reached the UT Election Department, the club management was quick to remove the advertisement.



UP artisans steal the show at national crafts mela
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Artisans from Uttar Pradesh have put up the majority of stalls at the Chandigarh National Crafts Mela being held at Kala Gram here. On display are handicrafts and artefacts, including wooden crafted items, fabrics and jewellery. Many renowned artisans from different parts of the state, including Varanasi, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Lucknow, are participating in sixth edition of the fair.

The main attractions at the fair are woollen ‘dari’ and ‘panja dari’, which is made of sheep wool.

Women are the target customers at more than eight stalls from UP that have excellent variety of Benarasi sarees, dress materials, suits and silk bedsheets.

Blue pottery from the state is another attraction at the fair. The range of items is primarily decorative, such as ashtrays, vases, coasters, small bowls and boxes for trinkets. The colour palette of the items is restricted to blue and white.

Folk dance performances by artistes from UP are among the eye-catching events at the mela. 



disputes redressal
NCDRC chief apprised of problems faced by consumers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Justice DK Jain, president of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCRDC), today held an interaction with the presidents and members of the state commissions of Punjab and Chandigarh and the district forums of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali to understand the difficulties being faced by them in discharging their functions.

The meeting was organised by the Chandigarh Consumer Court Bar Association.

Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the association, submitted a memorandum of demands to Justice Jain outlining the difficulties in filing and procedure of consumer cases. He highlighted the cumbersome procedure of filing court fee in Haryana courts.

Justice Jain assured early solution to the problems that were adversely affecting the consumer disputes redressed.



RAmpal’s arrest
Security stepped up in P’kula, UT
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, Nov 19
Following the arrest of self-styled godman Rampal in Hisar, the security has been stepped up in Panchkula and Chandigarh late this evening. Sources said the police would be keeping him at a room in General Hospital. Meanwhile, a private room has been kept reserved for the purpose at the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh, too.

A large number of police personnel have been deployed on the border of Chandigarh and Panchkula. As many as 15 companies have been deployed in Panchkula.

Anticipating that Rampal may be brought to Chandigarh or Panchkula for medical examination, the security has been tightened at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, the PGIMER, Chandigarh, and the GMSH-16.

Over 2,500 Chandigarh Police personnel, six companies of paramilitary and 12 companies from Punjab have been deployed in different parts of the city. Vehicles entering the city were being searched by the police.



Empty wallets found in hospital toilet
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
Empty wallets were found in a ladies’ toilet at the General Hospital in Sector 6 here today. It is learnt that a class-IV employee was called as there was blockage in a flush tank. On checking, the employee found purses in the flush tank. She brought the matter in the notice of doctors following which the police were informed.

It is believed that the purses were dumped in the tank by some pickpocket.

In the past, over half a dozen foetuses were recovered from toilets in the hospital. 



policy for auction of car bazaar sites in Sector 7
MC seeks suggestions from public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Despite holding a special MC House meeting on framing of a policy for the sale and purchase of second-hand cars in the biggest car bazaar of the region in Sector 7 of the city, the MC has failed to take any decision.

As there was different opinion from different councilors — elected and nominated — the MC has now decided to seek suggestions/objections from the public, including the affected parties on framing a policy.

Recently, the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation had approved the draft policy, which was placed before the MC House meeting today for final approval of the House.

On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court, the MC had started the process of drafting a new policy.

The High Court’s decision to formulate a policy came after some dealers moved court as earlier only 43 dealers were functioning from all 60 sites in the market.

Councillor Subhash Chawla said that there was no act under which the MC could auction parking lot for sale and purchase of second hand car bazar.

If the MC was doing so then they should allow “pharis” in Sector 22, 19, 17 and other parts of the city too, he said.

Councillor Pardeep Chhabra, who is also a F&CC member, said the F&CC Committee had considered all the points and only after that they had drafted thi policy.

BJP councillor Arun Sood said as there was no clause of auction therefore the municipal corporation should file a review application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 

Sale and purchase of second-hand cars

The car dealers’ association has been engaged in the business of sale and purchase of second hand cars on a commission basis by way of car bazaar, which is organised every Sunday at Sector 7 alongside the Madhya Marg in front of showrooms in the parking place for the past 32 years. The MC is generating a revenue of nearly Rs 62 lakh annually from this car bazaar. 

The draft policy

In the draft policy, the F&CC had decided to auction all 60 sites in front of all showrooms in the market. Only Chandigarh residents will be able to participate in the auction. The site will be auctioned for two years which can be further extended for one more year. The MC had fixed Rs 2 lakh as reserve price for each site. Earlier, the MC was issuing slip for every Sunday to car dealers for Rs 2,825 for every single site.

"MC should take decision keeping in mind all affected parties — be it people who are engaged in the business, or have showrooms in Sector 7 and city residents who face inconvenience due to traffic jams." —— Mukesh Bassi, Congress councillor 

"Instead of making a temporary solution, the MC should look for a permanent solution. The MC should seek more time from the High Court." —— Davesh Moudgil, BJP councillor



Action plan on climate change approved
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Finally, the UT Administration is ready with its State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC). The UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, today approved the plan and now, the plan will be sendt to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). After a delay of more than 20 months, the plan has been finalised. The MoEF had recently directed the UT Administration to submit the SAPCC at the earliest. .

In the action plan, the UT Environment Department has given recommendations like imposition of congestion charge model, scrutiny of parking areas before vehicle registration, use of renewable energy and recycled water for large buildings among others.The action plan laid out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations that would be adopted in the city to address various environment related concerns. This will also include emissions of greenhouse gases. The initiatives such as promoting carpools, better public transport facility, introduction of Metro rail project, promotion of use of solar powered products, among others, have also been recommended in the SAPCC.

Santosh Kumar, Director, UT Environment Department, made a presentation before Patil today in a meeting at Punjab Raj Bhawan.

SAPCC focuses on improving green cover and use of more solar energy

The SAPCC has suggested that the green cover of the city should be increased. It has sought to promote solar energy and better traffic management system in the city. At present, the city is reeling under the threat of increasing pollution levels. It has also witnessed changes in pattern of monsoon rainfall, temperature levels in winter and summer in the last three decades. Chandigarh has a total area of 114 sq. km having green cover of nearly 52 sq. km, including the area of the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary that spreads over 26 sq. km.



Single-stitch surgeries performed with routine instruments
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Surgeons at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, have come up with a new technique for performing surgeries involving a single stitch that allows the patient to walk free within 24 hours.

The doctors at the hospital began conducting these surgeries two years ago.So far, the department has performed over a 100 such surgeries using the routine instruments till date.

The advantages of the surgery include no scar, no risk of surgical site infections, less expense, minimal pain and stay. “These day-care surgeries are precise and save patients from prolonged hospitalisation or bedrest,” said Dr Sarabjit Singh.

“This also reduces overcrowding in the hospital,” he added. 

"I did not feel any pain after the surgery. The very thought of a surgery gives jitters to most of us but I hardly felt anything when I was operated upon." — Jaswinder Kaur (47), a patient operated for appendix 

"I was told that the hospital had the facility of single-stich surgery. I was able to walk and revert to my daily routine the next day after the surgery ." — Baldev Singh (73), a patient operated for gall bladder



OSD to JP Nadda joins PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Union Health Minister JP Nadda, today joined the PGI. Dr Varender Garg today officially took charge and he will now be responsible for liason between the institute and the Union Health Ministry.

Dr Varinder Garg, a radiologist, was earlier posted as a Medical Officer at Civil Hospital, Sangrur. All documents, files and proposals will have to be routed through him before being sent to the Ministry.



Police week celebrations
Students get a peep into the working of police control room
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Students of various schools visited the Police Headquarters in Sector 9 during the ‘Police Week’. They were shown how a how a police control room practically works.

RP Upadhyaya, Inspector General of Police, UT, Chandigarh, interacted with the students at the Police Headquarters.

Roshan Lal, DSP (communication), briefed the students bout the step-wise working of police control room on receiving a call from 100 number. He told them that in case od trouble ar in distress they could dial 100 and seek police help.

As many as114 students, including 32 girls, visited the IRB (India Reserve Battalion) Complex Sarangpur, Chandigarh. During the visit, the student and teachers were told about the functioning of the IRB. As part of the police week, the Women and Child Support Unit of the Chandigarh Police had organised a rally on women safety at the Sector 17 Plaza. The rally was started from Plaza and ended at Leisure Valley in Sector 10, Chandigarh.



Plantation drive at General Hospital

Panchkula: The General Hospital, Sector 6, today celebrated the World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day by holding an awareness campaign. The campaign began with the planting of trees on the hospital premises.

The COPD is under diagnosed as life threatening lung disease.

On the occasion, free pulmonary function tests were performed on 30 patients. Inhalers were also provided to the COPD patients. — TNS



P’kula roads cry for attention, is MC listening?

With beautification of footpaths and maintaining cleanliness in the city on its mind, the Municipal Corporation, Panchkula, is laying paver blocks these days. However, the roads in the city are crying for the civic body authorities’ attention. The condition of roads is pitiable. Almost every road in the city is dotted with potholes. Though beautification of pavements is important, more emphasis should be laid on repair or re-carpeting of roads for smooth plying of vehicles. Interestingly, a few roads in the city were given a makeover ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit last month.

Vinod Jaidka, Panchkula

Dirty spots in City Beautiful

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide ‘Clean India campaign’ or ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ has been well-received by the masses and celebrities alike. A study conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) revealed that Chandigarh is the cleanest city in the country. However, there are certain spots that require authorities’ attention. Garbage and debris are dumped along the roads. Parks are not cleaned regularly and one often finds wrappers and waste paper painting an ugly picture. There is no provision of public toilets in all the sectors. As a result, people urinate in the open. The city has to overcome such dirty spots to live up to its name, the “City Beautiful”. However, the UT Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MCC) do not seem to be serious towards it.

ML Garg, Chandigarh



Meeting with school authorities
Girls’ safety tops commissioner’s agenda
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 19
In view of the safety measures to be taken by the school authorities, various school owners and administrators were addressed by the Commissioner of Police, OP Singh, today.

Focusing on the safety of the girl child in schools, Singh urged the authorities concerned to get a background check done of all the staff officials having interface with children, particularly girls, so that they are verified by the police.

“I have asked them to build an in-house mechanism to prevent any harm to the students. They must detect any such misadventure quickly and report any mishap to the police instantly,” said Singh.

The safety measures taken in school buses were also discussed on the occasion. “They have been urged to certify to the police that buses are in a good condition and they have speed governors, the drivers have a valid license, a teacher accompanies children in every bus (both to and from their houses) and the contact number of the school is displayed prominently on the buses so that people can report rash driving incidents,” added Singh.

The school authorities were also told to have an SMS-based alert system to keep parents updated in case regular hours get disrupted.

Singh deputed the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Sumer Pratap, as the nodal officer. The ASP will act as single-point contact for schools’ safety related issues. Not only this, the schools will be holding competitions for children for beat box design, preferably in the shape of a canopy with a box and a reception counter.

The best three of them, decided by an independent jury, will be given Police Commissioner Commendation Certificate and a cash award of Rs 1,000 each.

The police are planning to install beat boxes in public places frequented by a large number of people too. 



Another clash on PU campus
 UIET student receives head injuries n Was attacked outside Hostel No. 8
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
For the third consecutive day, students clashed with each other on the Panjab University (PU) campus. During the clash, one of the UIET students, Saurab Shikhawat, received head injuries when three students attacked him in front of the Hostel Number 8.

The incident took place in the afternoon when there was a scuffle between Saurab and two other students - Neeraj and Pawan - in the UIET Department on the issue of organising a fresher’s party in the department.

Sources said a group of students was against organising any such event in the department, while others wanted to organise it.

The matter was resolved after the intervention of Students Council president Divyanshu Budhiraja, who is also a student of the UIET. Later, the students had an argument in front of the Hostel Number 8 and two of them attacked Saurab. One student is yet to be identified.

He was immediately rushed to a hospital. However, he refused to lodge any complaint against any of the students in this regard.

Saurab continued to change his statement in the afternoon about filing the complaint against the students who attacked him. Finally, he mentioned in the police statement that he accidentally fell and suffered a head injury.

PU Dean Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal said he got information about the incident in the afternoon. However, no complaint was made to him by the injured student, so he could not take any action in this regard.

PU Chief Security Officer Jatinder Grover said: “There was an incident of scuffle in the department. So, he is going to send a report about it to the chairperson concerned and the DSW to take necessary action against the students who were involved in it”.

Jatinder said he had a copy of the complaint by the injured student in which names of those who attacked him were mentioned. The Security Department had already prepared a report on the basis of the complaint.

ABVP campus president missing

ABVP campus president Sukhjot, who was involved in attacking the student at Panjab University, is missing from the campus for the past two days. The authorities are yet to take any action against him as they have not received a copy of the police compliant filed by the victim.

Clashes in 3 consecutive days on the varsity campus

n On Monday, a 22-year-old student, Gursimran Singh of Panjab University, was allegedly attacked by two students outside the Hostel No. 5. The student was attacked by Sukhjot and Nitin, students of the Physics Department, with sharp-edged weapons for being ‘friends’ with a girl student. A case has been registered.

n On Tuesday, a SOPU worker had an argument with a girl outside the Hostel Number 2 on the issue of returning cash, which she borrowed from him lately. Both reached a compromise in front of the police.

n On Wednesday, two UIET students - Neeraj and Pawan - attacked Saurab over the issue of organising a farewell party in the department. No complaint has been made to the police.



Nikki Haley, Zora Singh, discuss quality education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Dr Zora Singh, Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, met Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, USA, at a seminar organised by the CII, Chandigarh, and drew her attention to the fact of quality education being imparted in India in higher education.

He offered to take the lead and promote sharing best practices followed in both countries for the mutual benefits of the students and grow stronger relations between the countries.

Nikki Haley, Governor, South Carolina, USA, while interacting with Desh Bhagat University Chancellor Dr Zora Singh and Pro-Chancellor Tejinder Kaur, acknowledged their views and appreciated the contribution of the university in the field of higher education and community services.

Giving details about the meeting with Nikki Haley, Chancellor Dr Zora Singh said the meeting provided an opportunity to share and exchange views, learn new perspectives, form new alliances, learn the latest proven approaches, regulations, trends, and ensure that our institutions remain competitive in the global environment of higher education.



Professor honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
The Professor of Punjabi, USOL, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and chairperson of Guru Nanak Sikh Studies, Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang, has been honoured at the 65th International Sikh Educational Conference.

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal presented an award of honour to Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang at an educational conference at Taran Tarn Punjab on November 16.



Students showcase skills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 19
Management Club Council students of the Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, Chandigarh, were given the opportunity to showcase their managerial skills. They gave exemplary performance by organising management games session.

Students of BBA participated in management games such as paper tower making, poke me, survival strategies and logo identification. Principal of the college Meera Modi appreciated the efforts of the management club members and also awarded the winning teams.



PU & College notes
Economics quiz

As many as 23 teams from across the tricity and the Punjab region participated in Quiz-e-Biz-2014 - 8th Inter-College Business Economics Quiz. It was organised by the Postgraduate Department of Economics of the MCM DAV College for Women, Chandigarh. The quiz consisted of two phases - prelims and mains. Four teams that made into the mains were - Sens, Rajans, Basus and Bhagvatis.

Students stage a "nukkad natak" at the Student Centre, Panjab University, on Wednesday.
Students stage a "nukkad natak" at the Student Centre, Panjab University, on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

JKSC delegation meets Haryana CM

A delegation of the Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC), Chandigarh Chapter, met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to highlight the activities of the centre and to apprise him of the problems faced by residents of Jammu & Kashmir while staying in Haryana and Chandigarh. The delegation led by the convener, co-convener and secretary of the centre included associations of Kashmiri Migrants, Mirpur Sabha and Ladhakh Students organisations.

Cleanliness drive

The Department of Music, Panjab University, on Wednesday organised a cleanliness drive as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on the campus. Chairperson of the department Dr Neelam Paul, faculty, staff members, students of the department and Horticulture Department participated in the drive and cleaned the outer side of the department. The chairperson said the department would take such kind of initiatives in future also to clean the surroundings of the campus.

Lecture delivered

Renowned Punjabi dramatist and critic Dr Swrajbir (IPS) on Wednesday delivered the Dr Kesara Singh Kesar Memorial Lecture in the auditorium of the Department of Evening Studies, Panjab University. In his lecture, Dr Swrajbir expressed his views on globalisation and Punjabi literature. He spoke on the topic “Globalization: Contemporary Challenges and Punjabi Literature”. — TNS



From Schools
Spell bee competition

Students take part in a spell bee competition at Tribune Model School in Chandigarh on Wednesday A spell bee competition was organised for students from Classes I to III at Tribune Model School. The students enthusiastically participated in the competition. The winners were given away prizes by Principal Vandana Saxena.

Students take part in a spell bee competition at Tribune Model School in Chandigarh on Wednesday. A Tribune Photograph

Lecture on health, hygiene

Dr Monika Kaushal and Dr. Anuradha delivered a lecture on health, hygiene, hand washing and adolescent health to students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra. The students took a keen interest in the proceeding and responded all queries put forth by the doctors. The students also took a pledge in which they reiterated that they would take care of themselves.

Students excel

Gopal, a student of Class X, and Chandani, a student of Class IX, bagged third position in a quiz competition and clay modelling competition held at Nehru Park, Sector 22. The students also received a cash prize of Rs 1,100 each.

Students of Saupin's School take out a rally during Anti-Spitting Campaign in Chandigarh
Students of Saupin's School take out a rally during Anti-Spitting Campaign in Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Theme-based activities

Various theme-based activities were conducted at AKSIPS-45 under the “Bal Swachhta Mission” held from November 14 to 19. These activities helped the children sensitise to different aspects of hygiene. Poster-making, role play, essay writing, etc, helped in spreading awareness about health and hygiene.

Anti-Spitting Campaign

Continuing with the ‘Anti-Spitting Campaign’, the Saupin’s Community Service Organisation (SCSO) of Saupin’s School, Chandigarh, organised a rally in the Sector 22 market. Student volunteers of the SCSO are determined to spread awareness on the harms of spitting and how it can cause diseases like TB, influenza, etc.

Students bring laurels

Students of New India Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Panchkula, brought laurels to the school by getting top positions in clay modelling, rangoli and drawing competitions organised by the District Child Welfare Department. Satya Prabha got the second position in clay modelling. Pooja Joshi bagged the first position in rangoli competition and Vineet and Satya Prabha claimed the first position in drawing competition.

Visit to Traffic Park

Students of Doon International School visited the Traffic Park in Sector 23 to learn the basic rules of the road. The children were made aware of traffic rules and road safety. Head constable Rajinder Kumar told children that the main reasons behind the spurt in accidents are traffic violations such as jumping red lights and reckless and irresponsible driving.

Question-answer session

To create awareness about cancer among its women staff, St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh, organised a seminar in association with Max Healthcare, Mohali. Symptoms of cancer prevalent in women and problems associated with them were also highlighted through a power-point presentation. Latest treatments and techniques available to prevent and cure cancer were discussed. Later, a question-answer session was also conducted. — TNS



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