Celebrations cancelled at many places, city rings in New Year on low-key note

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With a number of clubs and hotels having cancelled the New Year celebrations, the city ringed in 2013 on a relatively low-key note on Monday. In order to prevent any untoward incident, police had set up nakas in different parts of the city.

Celebrations were cancelled by Golf Club, CGA, Chandigarh Press Club, CITCO-run hotels, including Shivalikview and Mountview, as well as various other city hotels. Mourning the death of the 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi, the Chandigarh residents held protests in different parts of the city.

Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil cancelled New Year's celebrations at Raj Bhawan. Members of both Army Officers' Institutes at Chandimandir and Chandigarh conveyed their sentiments not to hold the New Year function. Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, the Army Commander, too, cancelled the celebrations.

However, at some places, celebrations continued as usual with people holding parties to welcome the New Year. Hotels and lounges had organised a variety of programmes. New Year celebrations were organised at 95 places in the city. As many as 1,700 policemen were on duty, including 300 women constables. Each PCR vehicle had two woman constables deputed. "The cheeta squads had started patrolling the city at 6 pm. Also, the women constables were deputed as the risk of trouble to women increases on days like these," said DSP (Communications) Roshan Lal.

A total of 20 nakas were put in place. Around 300 traffic police personnel had put up the nakas around the hotels and hot spots like Aroma, Sector 17 plaza, Sector 26, 9, 7 and 35. Madhya Marg had nakas to check overspeeding. Around all the hotels and Sectors 26, 7, 9, 22 and 35, a check was kept on drunken driving.

In Panchkula, security arrangements were beefed up to keep a check. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Panchkula, Parul Kush Jain said apart from setting up a strike force comprising 30 police personnel at Sector-5 police station and district police lines, the police teams headed by the station house officers (SHOs) concerned have also been constituted to ensure peaceful celebrations.

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