C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth dies as car, scooter collide
Two injured critically; victims were triple-riding at Kumbhra light point in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Injured student Avtar Singh’s grandmother Palo and Manjit Singh’s father Sulakhan Singh at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Friday.

Mohali, November 21
An 18-year-old youth was killed while two of his friends were injured critically in a collision between a car and a scooter at the Kumbhra light point here this afternoon. Another person, Mandip Singh of Phase 3B1, who was driving the car, escaped with minor injuries while his six-year-old nephew, who was also in the car at the time of incident, had a miraculous escape.

The deceased has been identified as Harwinder Singh, alias Harman, alias Harry, a Class XI student of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B1. The two others who were critically injured are Avtar Singh (17), also a student of Class XI, and Manjit Singh (18), a Class XII student of the same school. Harry and Avtar are residents of Kambala village while Manjit Singh is a resident of Kumbhra village.

After the accident, the victims were shifted to Fortis Hospital in a critical condition from where their families decided to take them to other hospitals in Chandigarh against the advice of the doctors. Harry, who was shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh, late in the evening, was declared “brought dead” while Avtar’s condition is stated to be critical. He has been put on the Ambu support system at the PGI. Manjit Singh was taken to GMCH, Sector 32, where his condition is said to be stable. Manjit Singh received injuries on his spine, chest, arms, legs and face. Earlier, doctors at Fortis hospital had said that Harry and Avtar were brought to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest. “They were revived by a team of the Emergency. They continued to be in a critical state with injuries in the brain, internal organs and lungs,” said a doctor.

The incident occurred at around 2.15 pm when a Ford Figo car (CH 01 AL 1492) hit a scooter (PB 11M 3796), which the students were triple-riding. All three were without helmets and were reportedly jumping the red light. The students were on their way home from school and Manjit Singh was driving the scooter, said the police.

According to eyewitnesses, the car was moving at a high speed and the driver, Mandip, crossed the traffic light when the signal was orange. The car was heading towards Gurdwara Singh Shaheedan while the students were coming from the Phase VII side.

An eyewitness, Lakhwinder Singh of Kajheri village, said the impact of the collision was so strong that the scooter driver was tossed into the air before hitting the road. “The pillion riders, along with the scooter, came under the car, which overturned thrice before hitting the railing on the road divider around 40 metres away from the accident spot,” said the eyewitness.

The speedometer needle of the badly damaged car was stuck at 120 km mark, indicating that the vehicle was moving at a high speed at the time of the accident.

Blood, parts of vehicles, glass particles and shoes and bags of the victims were found scattered on the road.

A good Samaritan, Sarabjit Singh, of Kumbhra village claimed that the students remained lying unconscious on the road for at least 15 minutes. “As nobody was coming forward to help the injured persons, I, along with a Maruti car driver, took the injured students to the hospital,” said Sarabjit Singh.

The police came around 20 minutes after the accident even though the Phase VIII police station is less than a kilometre away from the spot, said an eyewitness.

The families of the trio reached the hospital. Avtar’s grandmother Palo and uncle Sukhwinder Singh said they did not allow their ward to go on his motorcycle. “He used to go by an autorickshaw. We don’t know why he came on a scooter today,” said Sukhwinder Singh. Avtar’s father is a taxi operator while Harry’s father works as a daily wager in Verka.

Mandip Singh has been admitted at Fortis hospital.

“A case has been registered against the car driver,” said Inspector Kulbir Singh Sandhu, SHO of the Phase VIII police station.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said the administration would honour good Samaritan Sarabjit Singh for helping the youngsters in need.

Past incident

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



Habitual thief gets jail, yet again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
In yet another order setting a deterrent for habitual offenders, the court of District and Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal today sentenced a thief to two-year rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on him. The court sentenced 32-year-old Nizammudin, a resident of Milk Colony, Dhanas, to two years in jail for the theft of a motorcycle.

He has been convicted under Sections 379, 411 and 413 (habitually dealing in stolen property) of the IPC.

According to the prosecution case, the accused was arrested on March 17 on a complaint of Mohammad Salim. He reported to the police that he worked as a production manager and had parked his bike near The Piccadily, Sector 22, on that day and found it missing later. Nizammudin was arrested on April 25 and on his disclosure the motorcycle was recovered from a house in Sector 23.

This is the fourth time this year that the accused has been convicted and sentenced in theft cases. The convict is a drug addict.

On October 15, he was convicted in another theft case, which was registered on a complaint of Satpal Singh, a resident of Mohali, whose bike was also stolen from Sector 22.

He had earlier been convicted and awarded seven-year jail for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The police records revealed that there were 11 cases registered against him.

He was awarded the same punishment in a similar case on September 16 while on September 9 he was sentenced to one-year imprisonment in another theft case.



No independent witnesses
Link between accused, crime well established: Court
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
While pronouncing the order sentencing the thief, Nizammudin, to two years in jail, the court of District and Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal stated that the connection between the accused and the crime had been well established by the prosecution even though there were no independent witnesses and all witnesses in the case were police officials only.

“The case of the prosecution cannot be thrown away merely on the grounds that the case hinges upon the testimony of police officials only. The statements of the prosecution witnesses cannot be brushed aside merely on account of their official status as it has not been proved that they had any old scores to settle with the accused. It is not a requirement of law that the case could be supported and corroborated by some independent witnesses. The court can very well understand the tendency of the public not to come forward to depose against a culprit because the same ultimately results in a rivalry between the culprit and the public,” said the court in the order.

“Therefore, the public shirks in deposing against a culprit in the court. The above witnesses were examined at length,” said the court.

The defence had stated that no independent witnesses were examined by the prosecution to corroborate the statements of these witnesses who, being police officials, were interested to “see the success of the case”.



Home Guards volunteer dies in hit-&-run
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A Home Guards volunteer of the Chandigarh Police died after a car hit his motorcycle from the rear side near the cricket stadium chowk in Sector 16. According to the police, the victim had been identified as Raj Kumar (35).

Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 38, in his complaint to the police, said he was coming back from Sector 22 after shopping on November 19 when he saw a speeding car hit the motorcyclist, who was riding ahead of him.

Dinesh Kumar stopped at the accident spot and found that the injured person was his neighbour. The police were informed who rushed the injured to the PGI. The injured succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Raj Kumar was returning home from his duty when the accident took place.

A case on the complaint of Dinesh Kumar was registered against the unidentified car driver at the Sector 17 police station.



2-year-old falls to death in Sec 38
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A two-year-old child died after he reportedly fell from the second floor of a house in Sector 38 this evening. According to the police, the victim, identified as Aman, was playing on the second floor while his mother was doing some work when he fell. The victim was immediately rushed to the GMSH, Sector 16, where doctors declared him “brought dead”.

The police were informed about the incident who have started an investigation into the case.

Gurmukh Singh, SHO of the Sector 39 police station, said the child’s body was handed over to the family members without a postmortem on their demand since there was no foul play.

The victim’s father, Suraj Kumar, is a driver with a government department.



25 years of neonatology course at PGImer
India short of 5K neonatologists: Expert
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
As the PGIMER marked 25 years of the facility and teaching of neonatology (newborn care) this month, founders of the course identified inadequate human resource as the key challenge before the field.

“For over 2.5 crore babies born every year in the country, we do not even have 1,000 trained and equipped neonatologists. We need at least 6,000 to ensure optimum care for our newborns,” said Dr ON Bhakoo, the founder father of neonatology course at the PGIMER.

Out of these 2.5 crore, at least 20 per cent need intensive care (ventilator support) and 10 need special care (basic ailments at birth). Besides, the right quality of care was available in a selected private institutes which were beyond affordability limits of the middle class, he added. The main reasons are inadequate training centres and facilities at the primary level.

“Hence, we need to properly utilise our resources in government centres and create much more qualified human resources. The government needs to strengthen facilities for neonatal care at primarily levels to motivate medical staff trained in the field to work comfortably (with latest equipment),” Dr Bhakoo added.

Session on infection control in newborns

A workshop was conducted on ‘Quality Improvement - preventing healthcare-associated infections” was conducted by Dr Gautham Suresh from the USA and Dr Sandesh Shivananda from Canada.

They emphasised the need to accurately collect and graphically represent data on infections, to define what is a sudden shift in infection rates and a trend in rates over time. Over 50 delegates from various parts of the country, including doctors and nurses, attended.

What mothers/parents need to do during infancy

  • Keep the baby warm by keeping him or her close to mother.
  • Breastfeed exclusively for first six months.
  • Hands and feet of baby should be pinkish. Consult doctor if these turn blue.

Overall infant mortality rate

  • In India — 29 per 1,000 babies born
  • In Chandigarh — 18 per 1,000 babies born.



Mehram murder case
Police record statements of two
To produce them as witnesses during trial to link the accused with the crime
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 21
In the Mehram murder case, the Mohali police today recorded the statements of two persons to connect the crime with the accused. Sources said those who recorded their statements were Jaswinder Kaur, the victim’s grandmother, and a neighbour and close acquaintance of the victim’s family. Both would be made witnesses against the accused, Tajinder Singh, alias Ganju, during the trial, the sources added.

In her statement, Jaswinder Kaur mentioned that Mehram had gone ‘missing’ for at least 45 minutes two days before Divali. Then, Ganju had taken the child without informing anybody in the latter’s family, the sources said, adding that the grandmother had accused Ganju in her statement. The other person, who recorded his statement, said he had observed that Ganju was not ‘normal’ when search for the kidnapped child was on.

“The statements of the two persons would be used against the accused during the trial,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.

Notably, the police claimed that after murdering the child on October 28, Ganju returned to the locality.

“He was seen looking for the child along with another resident of the locality, Mangu, that day”, said a relative of the victim. Besides, Ganju had also participated in the candle march held by the family members in front of the Phase VIII police station on November 9 evening and also attended the bhog ceremony at Phase IX gurdwara on November 12, added the relative.

Ganju, who has been under police remand for five days after his arrest on Wednesday, has reportedly confessed before the Mohali police that he killed the boy for ransom. Now, the police are in the process of collecting link evidences in the case.

Apparently, Ganju had committed the crime alone, but certain persons, including his four friends with whom he used to consume liquor and indulge in gambling, are still under scanner, the police said.



PGI performs first robot surgery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The urology department at the PGI today performed institute’s first surgery using a computer-assisted robot on a 20-year-old male suffering from congenial obstruction of the kidney causing recurrent pain.

“The operation performed was robotic assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty on a youth. He was suffering from congenial obstruction of the kidney causing recurrent pain. If the disease was not treated, the kidney would have been damaged gradually,” Prof AK Mandal, head, department of urology, who performed the surgery said today.

The potential benefits of this advance technology are three-dimensional magnified vision and precise tissue handling and suturing leading to early recovery and good outcome. This facility will now be available at the PGI on a regular basis, he added.

The surgery robot was long-awaited and running behind the schedule.

The department of urology, is the first to introduce the technology at the PGI. The launch was announced more than a year ago and the robot was purchased in August this year.

The Rs 20-crore robot had been lying unused since then. The concept of robotic surgery is already being used optimally in some of the other super-specialty hospitals in the country, including the AIIMS, New Delhi.

According to sources, the extensive set up of the robot was not being handled in the existing operaration theatres and more space was created to put it to proper use.

About the robot

  • A robot takes away the risk of trembling of surgeon’s hands while operating on a patient and also helps in ensuring quick control of bleeding and precision while cutting of tissues.
  • The system can be used for heart surgery, ENT-related problems or any surgeries over a limited portion.
  • In the current available system, only disposable arms are available. The material costs Rs 1 lakh. A separate set of arms is to be used for each surgery. The PGI is yet to decide the cost per surgery. The system is currently being used at AIIMS where the patients have to pay a nominal fee for the surgery.

Criteria for selection of patients

Any patient who needs to undergo laproscopic surgeries can be operated upon through the robot. The surgery, however, costs nearly Rs 1 lakh and only those who can afford this cost will be able to opt for the procedure at the PGI.



Women in 30s opting for bariatric surgery
The procedure at PGI boon for middle-class women; 70% borderline diabetic cases tamed by the operation
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Against the prevailing perception that weight loss surgeries are opted more by the urban affluent class, women aged in early 30s from the middle-class too are readily opting for bariatric surgery (weight-loss) at the PGIMER.

These women, facing family discord, depression and hit by diseases related to obesity were mostly from the tricity and also referred to psychiatrists for counselling, said Dr GR Verma, professor, department of general surgery, PGIMER.

In fact, in 70 per cent of the borderline cases, the disease was successfully controlled.

Talking on the sidelines of the a continuous medical education (CME) programme on advanced surgeries here at the PGIMER today, Verma also informed that these patients mostly reach them through the department of endocrinology and are often so fed up of the excess body weight that they ask the doctors to put them under the knife.

The experts warned that even after the surgery was performed a healthy lifestyle were a must to kep fit.

In fact, last year, a study conducted by the department of surgery, the PGI had found bariatric surgery scoring over intensive medical treatment among obese patients. In persons having body mass index above 32.5 along with lifestyle diseases like diabetes, bariatric surgery is a successful method to improve quality and longevity of life — against common weight loss measures, the study found.

In the PGIMER, 90 patients have undergone the surgery so far. Of these, 63 were women.



Now, UT police to come up with their anthem
To invite students to pen the lyrics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
After bringing out a coffee table book and a documentary, the Chandigarh Police have decided to come up with a police anthem for which they will be inviting lyrics from city students. RP Upadhyay, IG, Chandigarh, said students of local schools, colleges and Panjab University would be invited to pen the anthem. "We have decided that the length of the anthem should not be more than two minutes," the IG added.

The police official said the best entry would be selected and further refined with the help of professionals, who would also compose the music.

The police on Thursday had released a 15-minute documentary that showcases the history, organisational structure and functioning of the Police Department.

The UT police's coffee table book has five segments. One of the sections showcases the glorious past of the Chandigarh Police, including the first FIR registered in 1966.



Artists from south rule Day 8

Chandigarh, November 21
The eighth day of the 6th Chandigarh National Crafts Mela was dominated by various artists from the South Indian states at Kalagram.

People from the tricity and neighbouring towns thronged the venue in big numbers and moved around the stalls that were decorated and displayed with theme-based items from the temple states. Presented for the first time in such a huge way, the South-Indian states’ theme-based jewellery, clothes, handicrafts and cuisines are being widely appreciated by the local visitors.

The national artists from South India have participated in the mela displaying their craftsmanship.

It’s a real treat to see live demonstrations by National awardee craftsmen of traditional and heritage crafts like Thanjavur paintings and Pattachitra.



PU & College notes
Non-teaching staff up in arms

Panjab University non-teaching staff held a protest on the campus on Friday. They held the protest against the indifferent attitude of the authorities in resolving the issues that they were raising for the past several years. President of the association Deepak Kaushik said issues such as widow pension and job on compensation ground were raised a number of times, but till date no action had been taken.

Seminar on photonics

The University Institute of Engineering & Technology (UIET), Sector 25, Panjab University, in association with Optiwave Inc. Canada and Gigasoft India on Friday organised a seminar on photonics. The session comprised of designing advanced optical communication systems and components using Optiwave’s software.

World Philosophy Day

The MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36-A, Chandigarh, organised an Indian Council of Philosophical Research-sponsored lecture series and a host of other events to commemorate World Philosophy Day. Eminent scholars from various universities delivered lectures on the occasion. In his lecture on philosophy and literature, Dr Satya Pal Gautam, former vice-chancellor of Rohilkhand University and Professor of JNU, New Delhi, spoke about connection between two disciplines.

Guest lecture

Dr Hardeep Singh, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, delivered a guest lecture on the topic “Computing Trends” for students of the IT Department of GGDSD College, Chandigarh, on Friday. Dr Singh explained leading computing technologies and devices to the students.

Degrees conferred on 327 students

As many as 327 pass-out students of the Swami Vivekanand Group of Institute were conferred degree at their annual convocation held on their campus based in Banur on Friday. The degrees were awarded in MBA, MCA, BEd and BPharma, while 27 students received various medals and cash prizes for their outstanding performance in the university merit list.

Protest against ‘police repression’

The Students for Society (SFS) staged a protest against the ‘police repression’ that students have faced in the recent past while struggling against the anti-student policies and for their democratic rights and highlighting the most recent lathicharge on Punjabi University and Banaras Hindu University students. Student leaders of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha and the Ambedkar Students’ Association also addressed and condemned the incidents. SFS General Secretary Damanpreet Singh said the university authorities had always used such measures to suppress the student dissent. — TNS



Women two-wheeler safety helmet rally
Students suffer as chief guest arrives late
* Scooters lined up at 10.15 am
*Event was to start at 11.30 am
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A women two-wheeler safety helmet rally organised by the Chandigarh Police at Panjab University here turned out to be a test of patience for students who had to wait for almost two hours for the chief guest to arrive who was supposed to flag-off the rally. While the rally was to start at 11.30 am, scooters were lined up at 10.15 am. However, the chief guest, the ADGP of Punjab, arrived at 12.09 pm.

The rally to promote the use of helmet while riding two-wheelers had around 100 girl participants from various city colleges. Since the event was scheduled for 11.30 am, the students were asked to assemble at 10.15 am.

The girls kept on waiting patiently for the rally to be flagged off. They could not even leave their scooters and relax at the Student Centre.

It was at 11.50 am SSP Traffic Maneesh Chaudhary arrived followed by CSR Reddy, ADGP who was the chief guest.

The chief guest neither interacted with the students nor gave a speech on traffic awareness.

The rally was flagged off at 12.13 pm. It concluded at 12.36 pm at the Student Centre only.

One of the students participating in the rally said if the rally was to start late, they should have been told so that they could relax for some time.

“We kept on sitting on scooters for almost two hours,” she said.

Traffic marshals who were invited for the event also had to wait for long. Elderly traffic marshals also kept standing till the time the chief guest arrived.


10.15 am: Girl students queued up with their scooters for the rally.
11.50 am: SSP (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary arrived at Student Centre.
12.09 pm: Chief guest CSR Reddy, ADGP Punjab, arrived.
12.13 pm: Rally flagged-off.

  • The band of the Chandigarh Police was playing songs like “gulabi aankhein jo teri dekhin” during the traffic awareness rally to entertain the girls participating in the rally and crowd gathered at the Student Centre.

  • The stall for distributing literature regarding road safety and traffic awareness among the PU students was removed as soon the SSP (Traffic) left. Hardly a few brochures were distributed among the students.



DAV students keep human values alive
Collect money to purchase laptops for two visually impaired students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The phrase ‘charity begins at home’ suits members of the student council of DAV College who have started collecting money to purchase laptops for two blind students - Jitender Arora and Rajinder Kumar. These two students had lost their laptops in the college hostel around two months ago.

College student council president Sanjeev Malik said these two blind students, who are inmates of the college, lost their laptops. Despite lodging several complaints, the authorities failed to trace their laptops.

“As they both belong to economically weaker section, the student council decided to help them. Exams are approaching near and they are fully dependent on laptops for their preparations,” said Sanjeev Malik.

Donation will be collected from the students of the college for three days. The rest of the funds will be provided by the college management.

The president said both students were facing problems as books of Braille were not available and they were fully dependent on voice notes that were available online to study for their course.

The council is specially focusing on the hostel students for the collection of funds for this noble cause. Even the faculty and other administrative staff have also made contribution for this cause.

The students said they planned to collect the money for two days, but the college authorities allowed them an extra day for this noble cause.



Youths should set goals in their lives, says Kiran Bedi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Proud to be the first student of Panjab University who availed of two scholarships during her student days here, PU alumnus Dr Kiran Bedi, IPS (retd) said her dedication forced the then authorities to change their norms set for students availing scholarships on the campus.

The day she boarded a train from Amritsar to Chandigarh after excelling in sports and academics at the graduate level, she wanted to join a government job and work hard for it. She said this while interacting with students on the campus.

While sharing her dedication and love for subjects that she learnt at the university, she said today’s youths should set goals in their lives that would boost them in achieving the same.

PU Vice-Chancellor and president PU Alumni Association Prof Arun Kumar Grover released her book - “Kiran Bedi: Making of the Top Cop (An Illustrated Story)” - on the university campus.

The Department of Alumni Relations, Panjab University, Chandigarh, in association with the Department of Political Science, had organised the function to release Kiran Bedi’s book.

In her interaction with the students and faculty members of the university, Dr Kiran Bedi recalled her memories at the PU.

PU VC Prof Grover, former PU Vice-Chancellor Prof MM Puri, Director, Judicial Academy, Balram Gupta, PU Dean Alumni Relations Prof Anil Monga, Department of Political Science Chairperson Dr Pampa Mukherjee also spoke on the occasion.



Subject experts, women scientists attend meet

Chandigarh, November 21
A three-day Subject Expert Committee meeting on life sciences under the Women Scientists’ Scheme of the Department of Science and Technology concluded at the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University, Chandigarh, today. Fourteen eminent subject experts and 90 women scientists from all over the country participated in this meeting.

Prof Neeta Singh from the Department of Biochemistry, AIIMS, New Delhi, is the chairperson of the committee and Dr HB Singh is the member secretary of the committee. Prof Vijay Lakshmi, chairperson, Department of Zoology, was the special invitee. The delegates discussed “break in career” due to motherhood and family responsibilities by women. They told about the Women Scientists’ Scheme of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is an effort for providing opportunities to these highly qualified women between the age group of 27-50 years to re-enter into mainstream and to keep the interest of their subject alive by pursuing their research. — TNS



Panjab varsity launches Twitter handle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
After opening a Facebook account, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, on Friday took one more step on the social media front by launching its official Twitter handle. Noted social activist and PU alumna Dr Kiran Bedi, IPS (retd) and PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover launched the Twitter handle of the PU, country’s leading university. The twitter handle is @OfficialPU.

Dr Bedi read out the first Tweet at the function and announced the arrival of the PU on this powerful social medium.

She also retweeted the news of the launch, which got viral on the social media.

Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Grover said the university had always taken a step ahead to stay connected with students, teachers, alumni and others.

The handle would keep them informed about the university. He appealed the university fraternity and alumni to stay connected with the university.

PU Director Public Relations Vineet Punia said the Twitter handle would provide another powerful medium of connecting with the tech-savvy young generation.



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