THE UT Administration on Friday ordered a high-level probe into the theft of a 50-year-old bell at the Postgraduate Government College for Girls Sector 11. A five-member committee has been constituted under the Director Higher Education to submit a report in the matter.
Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal told Chandigarh Newsline that other than Director Higher Education, who has been asked to probe the matter, even DGP Tajender Singh Luthra has been told to supervise the investigation personally.
DHE Rubinderjit Singh Brar said the committee has been told to fix responsibility and formulate a policy, which may stop such events from taking place in future. The committee comprises principals of various colleges as well as officials of the higher education department.
The bell was located in the middle of the premises, bang opposite the common corridor that is used by hundreds of students to reach their classes. The principal’s office is also located opposite the place where the bell was installed. The bell, weighing about 40 kilos, was purchased in 1968 for Rs 813 from Ambala.
A college official said that even the rope (used to ring the bell) was missing.
Police suspect the theft to be the handiwork of a college insider. As many as 30 employees of the college have been questioned by the police in connection with the theft. Station House Officer of Sector 11 Police Station, Inspector Lakbhir Singh, too, inspected the spot.
Investigating officer Sub-Inspector Mewa Singh said that they have questioned all the employees associated with the maintenance of the college, plumbers, electricians, contractual staff, caretakers and security guards but they have no clue yet. “The CCTV, too, does not cover the rooftop. Thus, it does not have any footage,” added the police official.
The police officials also inquired about the auction of old library books and newspapers on March 22. “The auction was held in the presence of the college management and one person who had bought the material has also been interrogated. But we didn’t find any clue,” said Singh.
A case of theft was registered at Sector 11 PS on May 2 based on a complaint lodged by the caretaker of the college.
Police, meanwhile, are checking the movements of the earlier arrested suspects in connection with the theft of heritage furniture items. Sources said four suspects, including two women, Sweety and Shakila of Sector 25 and scrap dealers Sunil and Faqir Chand would be examined in this connection. A police source at PS 11 said, “Apart from these four, there are a few more, who were arrested in connection with the theft of furniture and other items from government buildings. We are verifying them.”
Mewa Singh said, “Even college staff members were not sure about the exact date of theft of the bell. Initially, they tried to locate the bell on their own before lodging a police complaint later.”