Candle light march in Chandigarh in support of Ruchika

S P S RathoreChandigarh, Dec 28 : Hundreds of people of different age groups held a candle-light march here Monday evening to mark the day Ruchika Girhotra consumed poison 16 years ago after her molestation by former police chief S. P. S. Rathore. The marchers are seeking reopening of the case.

Carrying candles, placards and banners, these volunteers, including representatives of many city-based NGOs, sought justice for Ruchika. Rathore was given a six-month jail term and a fine of Rs. 1,000 by a court Dec 21 -- 19 years after the incident.

The marchers took out a peaceful protest in Sector 17, the commercial hub of Chandigarh.

Punjab to set up IT-knowledge park

Punjab to set up IT-knowledge parkChandigarh, Dec 28 : Punjab would have a self-contained integrated Information Technology (IT) and knowledge industry park at Rajpura town in Patiala district, an official said Monday.

Spread over an area of 1,276 acres, the IT hub would be the first facility of its kind being offered by the state for investment.

The decision to establish the IT park was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here Monday.

Haryana to get 600 MW power from new thermal plant

Haryana to get 600 MW power from new thermal plantChandigarh, Dec 28 : A greenfield thermal power project, completed ahead of schedule and expected to generate power at the lowest rates in the country, will provide additional 600 MW to Haryana after it is synchronised Tuesday.

Built in 35 months, compared to 39-42 months that such projects normally take to be set up, the Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Project (RGTPP) at Khedar in Hisar district, 300 km from here, will be synchronised by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

If Rakhi is in a movie, it can't be a good script: Mika

Rakhi Sawant, MikaChandigarh, Dec 28 : It seems Mika hasn't buried the hatchet with item girl Rakhi Sawant. The singer, who will make his acting debut in Punjabi film "Mitti", says he will never ever work with her.

"There is no question of working with Rakhi in future," said Mika who was here to promote "Mitti", slated to release Jan 8.

The two are at loggerheads since Rakhi filed a police complaint against Mika for allegedly forcibly kissing her on the lips at his birthday bash.

Mercury to dip further in Punjab, Haryana

Mercury to dip further in Punjab, HaryanaChandigarh, Dec 28 : With cold wave prevailing in most parts of Punjab and Haryana Monday, met officials are predicting a further dip in the temperature and the presence of fog during early mornings and late evenings.

According to met officials, Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest in the region Monday with a minimum temperature of zero degree Celsius.

Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab, recorded a temperature of 0.2 degree Celsius while Patiala registered 2.4 degrees Celsius.

Prakash refuses bravery award for fighting Ruchika case

Prakash refuses bravery award for fighting Ruchika caseChandigarh, Dec 28 - Anand Prakash and his family members, who have been fighting to get justice for Ruchika Girhotra ever since she was molested by former Haryana top cop S. P. S. Rathore 19 years ago, Monday refused to accept a bravery award from M. S. Bitta, chairman of the All India Anti-Terrorist Front.

"Our job is not done, we are still yearning for justice and an exemplary punishment for the accused S. P. S. Rathore. Till we get whole justice we are not liable for getting any award or anything," Prakash said here.

Ruchika molestation case: Ruchika alma mater in dock as PIL to be filed

Ruchika molestation case: Ruchika alma mater in dock as PIL to be filedChandigarh, Dec 28 : A public interest litigation (PIL) will be filed against the Chandigarh based Sacred Heart School, where Ruchika Girhotra studied. The school had expelled her under pressure from former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) SPS Rathore, the man who molested her.

Senior Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal has claimed that a case will be filed against every body involved in the Ruchika molestation case, including the school for expelling her.

Six swine flu deaths in Chandigarh

swinefluChandigarh, Dec 26 : Six people died of swine flu at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here Saturday, taking the toll in the union territory to 48, health officials said.

"Six patients - four men and two women - died here today (Saturday) of swine flu. They included three from Punjab and one each from Chandigarh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh," H. C. Gera, the nodal officer for swine flu, told IANS.

This was the maximum number of deaths on a single day in Chandigarh.

Anomaly in Ruchika's medical report: Lawyer

Chandigarh, Dec 26 - Lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj, who has fought Ruchika Girhotra's molestation case free of cost for the last 13 years, Saturday raised questions on the then medical report of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.

"We have observed some serious anomalies in the medical report, which played a crucial role during the court's trial. The report that was submitted with the police after Ruchika's suicide said she died because of excessive intake of obesity medicine," Bhardwaj told IANS.

Human chain formed for justice in Ruchika case

Human chain formed for justice in Ruchika caseChandigarh, Dec 26 - Representatives of Citizen Forum on Human Rights (CFHR), an NGO, along with volunteers from various sections of society, Saturday formed a human chain in Sector 17, the commercial hub of this city, to raise their voice against "injustice" in the Ruchika Girhotra case.

Led by Aradhana, the only eyewitness in the case, the volunteers also raised slogans against former Haryana director general of police S. P. S Rathore, who has been sentenced to six months for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika, an incident that led to her suicide three years later.

Punjab Congress legislator's brother-in-law held for fake passport

Chandigarh, Dec 26 - A Punjab legislator's brother-in-law, originally from Afghanistan but living here after allegedly procuring a passport with a fake identity and a wrong address, has been arrested, an official said Saturday.

Walid Khan, brother-in-law of Randeep Singh Nabha -- legislator from the Congress party -- was arrested late Friday after a complaint from intelligence agencies and the Regional Passport Office (RPO) here.

"Walid Khan had come to India in 1996 on a student visa after obtaining passport from Kabul, Afghanistan. After the expiry of his visa, he started living here on a refugee certificate that he got from the UN. We will also check the authenticity of this certificate," a police officer said.

Ruchika molestation case - chronology of events

Ruchika molestation case - chronology of eventsChandigarh, Dec 25 : The following is the chronology of events in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case and subsequent events.

* Aug 12, 1990: Haryana Inspector General of Police (IGP) S. P. S. Rathore, also the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association president, molests 14-year-old budding tennis player Ruchika Girhotra in his office room.

* Aug 16, 1990- Complaint made to chief minister Hukam Singh and home secretary.

* Aug 17, 1990- Hukam Singh asks Director General of Police (DGP) R. R. Singh to investigate the matter.

Dance your way to Dubai this New Year-eve

Dance your way to Dubai this New Year-eveChandigarh, Dec 25 : What could be a better gift than a free trip to Dubai this new year? The tourism department here will award free return air-tickets for Dubai to the couple who win the dance competition this New Year-eve.

"The couple, which wins the dance competition, would be given air tickets from Delhi to Dubai and back. Those who are interested in putting on their dancing shoes can register themselves by paying an entry fee of just Rs. 100," tourism director Amandeep Kaur said Friday.

CBI's role in Ruchika molestation case dubious, says lawyer

Ruchika Girhotra, S P S RathoreChandigarh, Dec 25 : Lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj, who has fought Ruchika Girhotra's molestation case free of cost for the last 13 years, says that the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) role in probing the charges against Haryana's former top cop S. P. S. Rathore seems dubious and termed the court's verdict "disappointing".

Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment for employees in Punjab

Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment for employees in Punjab Chandigarh, Dec 24 : The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospitals in Punjab would start offering ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment from 2010, an official said.

"Our department has already appointed ayurvedic doctors and pharmacists in the ESIC hospitals. The procedure of selection of homeopathic staff has also been completed and they would start functioning from January 2010," state Health and Family Welfare Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla said here Thursday.

Chandigarh mayor suspends all opposition councillors

Chandigarh Municipal CorporationChandigarh, Dec 24 : The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) was Thursday thrown into a political crisis with the mayor suspending all 11 opposition councillors after heated exchanges as the house met here.

"I have suspended all opposition councillors for their misconduct during the house meeting. They were all very restless and were not listening to anybody," the mayor, Kamlesh told IANS.

This decision had come in the last meeting during Kamlesh's tenure. Elections for the next term are slated Jan 1, 2010.

Court asks CBI not to close cash-for-judge case

Court asks CBI not to close cash-for-judge caseChandigarh, Dec 24 : A city court Thursday refused permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to close the cash-for-judge scam case for want of sanctions for prosecution of the main suspects.

A packet containing Rs. 1.5 million in cash was delivered Aug 13, 2008 at the residence of newly appointed Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmaljit Kaur but investigations later revealed it was meant for another judge.

Riot police protect Rathore's house from candlelight marchers

S P S RathoreChandigarh, Dec 24 : Riot police in full battle gear surrounded the house of former Haryana director general of police S. P. S. Rathore as local citizens took out a candlelight procession to protest the light sentence he had been given for molesting a teenager in 1990.

The marchers were heading towards his house in Panchkula, a town in Haryana about 10 km from here, police said.

Rathore had been sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of Rs. 1,000 for molesting 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra. He is also alleged to have later hounded her and her family till she commited suicide three years later.

Badal assures anti-Sikh riots' victims of help

Parkash Singh BadalChandigarh, Dec 24 : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has assured the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the state of all government assistance, as also allotment of vending booths and low income group (LIG) and medium income group (MIG) dwellings to the eligible beneficiaries, an official said Thursday.

"Booths, as well as LIG and MIG dwelling units, will be allotted to genuine claimants at Mohali, Patiala and Ludhiana at very reasonable rates in accordance with the policy guidelines of the state government," an official spokesperson said.

Chandigarh to have four more subsidised drug stores

Chandigarh-mapChandigarh, Dec 23 : In a bid to provide medicines at subsidized rates to poor people, Chandigarh administration would open stores where drugs would be available at cheap rates, an official said here Wednesday.

"The facility of Jan Aushadhi will be provided at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Government multi-specialty hospital, Sector 16 and at two other civil hospitals. They will provide generic medicines at one-fifth to one-tenth rate of the branded medicine," said a government spokesperson.

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