|Friday, February 4, 2000,
Cong, SAD pitch camp in
Punjabs plea in palace case
allowed with costs
Families lose earning hands
Sodhi warns of action against two
Mann accuses RSS, BJP of
Wadalas charge against Badal
Dalits house demolished
UK mission rescues 20-year-old
Arms exhibition attracts youth
Caliche girls impress
bus service to be resumed
Snap ties with Pak : Dogra
Lawyers observe protest day
Raid: DCs staff lays siege
Anil Kaushik is IGP, Operations
Couple killed in road mishap
Joshi to address GND University
Sainik school entrance exam put
Congress, SAD pitch camp in
PHAGWARA(Kapurthala), Feb 3 This industrial town has become a beehive of election activity as Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo Parkash Singh Badal and Congress stalwart Captain Amarinder Singh and their close confidants are camping here. Both the political parties are engaged in an electoral battle being fought about 35 km away in Nawanshahar to ensure their victory in the forthcoming Assembly byelection.
Mr Badal, who has occasionally been camping in the guest house of the JCT Mills for holding parleys with his aides and workers for chalking out electoral strategies since past one week, had to shift to guest house of another industrial house when in a surprise move the PPCC president moved in the JCT guest house on January 27, along with royal carvan comprising his personal staff and wares.
The Kapurthala district authorities spruced up the sprawling campus of the Indian Auto Industries when they belatedly found out on January 31 that the CMs resting place had suddenly been usurped by a swarm of Congressmen. The Chief Minister, however, is still using the private helipad located in the huge complex.
Located away from the bustle of the National Highway, the guest house of the Indian Autos was virtually converted into a cantonment overnight, particularly on the night of February 1, when the CM held a crucial meeting with his close confidants and Bibi Jagir Kaur, who has been excommunicated from the Sikh Panth by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Puran Singh.
Any visitor, intending to visit the guest house for meeting VIP with a Z plus security or even in his absence, is greeted by two metal detectors installed at the entrance and a posse of men in khaki, who establish the identity of the person before letting him enter the complex.
Though it remains deserted in the CMs absence, but when he turns up along with his cavalcade, party workers flock to the place. While he lends an ear to his close confidants in his room on the first floor, ordinary party workers meet him in the lawns where tents have been pitched for the purpose. After spending the night at the place, Mr Badal, known as a tireless campaigner, and his motorcade leave early for thebattle ground, Nawanshahar.
On the other side, the scion of the erstwhile Patiala State has converted the plush JCT guest house into his pucca thikana and has reportedly decided to stay put in it till February 17, when Nawanshahar Assembly segment is going to polls. The place comes to life early in the morning when select leaders start pouring in to seek audience with Captain Amarinder Singh. He sets out in his silver Ford diesel for touring the Nawanshahar constituency at around 10 a.m. along with a dozen odd securitymen. Before leaving the place, at times, Captain Amarinder Singh clad in his trademark dress comprising snow-white churidar kurta and black jersey , meets scribes to put forth his partys programme and strategy in the forthcoming poll and in the process his son Prince Raninder Singh lends a helping hand to him as he did during the Adampur Assembly byelection.
As to why both the
stalwarts have selected Phagwara as their
roosting place, a senior police
officer cited its proximity to Nawanshahar and location
on the National Highway as major factors which led both
the leaders to decide in favour of the city.
Moreover, we dont have proper place to
accommodate so many VIPs and others at
Nawanshahar, he quipped.
Punjabs plea in palace case
allowed with costs
CHANDIGARH, Feb 3 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the appeal of Punjab state in a case relating to land in Patiala on which the New Moti Bagh Palace and Malwa Colony was situated, and on which the state government would have suffered a loss of Rs 200 to 400 crore, had the judgements of the courts below been upheld.
The judgement was handed down by Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the High Court, which was made available today.
On a suit filed by Mrs Inderpal Kaur and six others who claimed to be successors of the owners of the land, comprising 110 bighas and two biswas of land, the Sub Judge had directed the state of Punjab either to acquire the land and pay compensation at the prevalent market price or to restore its possession to the plaintiffs.
According to the plaintiffs, the land was acquired by erstwhile state of Patiala but the Collector neither gave any award nor offered any payment to Lukman Singh and Hem Singh, owners of the land. The plaintiffs contended that according to Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act it was mandatory for the Collector to make the award and since this had not been done, the entire proceedings of acquisition had lapsed and they had become entitled to possession of the land.
The two defendants, on the other hand, had contended that not only was compensation fixed and paid way back in 1946, but the land had been vested in Patiala state and this was recorded in "jamabandis". It was stated that land owners had received compensation Rs 19,586 4 annas and 2 paise. After acquisition and with the passage of 50 years, the land has gone to the defendants of Harchand Singh Jaiji.
The state had further contended that 90 bighas 15 biswas was purchased by Maharaja Yadawinder Singh for Rs 2,85,372/- and this land after his demise passed to his son, Amarinder Singh.
The suit of the plaintiffs was decreed by the Sub Judge and the appeal of the state against his judgement was also dismissed by the district Judge.
The most sensational aspect of the case was that various state officials dealing with the case allegedly connived with the plaintiffs and did not produce the relevant records concerning its acquisition before the trial court.
The District Attorney advised that it was not a fit case for appeal. The same opinion was tendered by the Public Prosecutor and consequently the limitation for filing of appeal expired.
However, the Judge agreed to condone the delay of 120 days.
Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji observed that a reading of mutation no. 2903 (Ex D-1), sanctioned in 1946 shows that compensation of Rs 19,586, 4 annas 2 paise was paid to the land owners and ownership of the land was transferred in the name of the state. Subsequently, entries regarding ownership in the name of the state came to be recorded in the jamabandi for 1949-50 and it is not a dispute that till date, ownership of the state is being shown in subsequent jamabandis.
"Thus a reading of these two documents, (Ex D-1 and Ex D-15) proves two things that the land was acquired during the time when Land Acquisition Act (no. III of 1995 R.K., 1938), was in forces. The landowners had received compensation and for that matter, no grievance in this regard was ever made by land owners or their successors-in-interest for nearly 60 years. There is no explanation from the plaintiffs."
Administrative Secys to work on
CHANDIGARH, Feb 3 Computerisation and transparency are often used as synonyms in politico-administrative parlance. Punjab too has been bitten by the computer bug and it now has "information systems and administrative reforms department" carved out.
Although computers were first made available to Secretary-level officers a decade ago, it is a fact that a majority of them did not even care to lift even the covers of the equipment supplied. Much din was raised when Mr H.S. Brar became the Chief Minister in the wake of assassination of Mr Beant Singh. The proclamation was of "complete computerisation" of the CMO: Chief Minister's Office.
The powers that be tried to sell the idea that at the click of a mouse, the Chief Minister would get to know any information relating to governance of the state and progress of development activities. But this did not happen; not yet. Even the personal computers from the Chief Minister's chamber disappeared mysteriously!
These comment and apprehension as to why computerisation has failed to make a headway in the state administration have been made by the Director, Information and Public Relations, Mr P.S. Aujla, in an article "Computerisation a practical view" appearing in the January issue of "Occasional File"; an in-house "newsletter" of the Punjab State IAS Officers Association. The newsletter is edited by the Secretary, Information and Public Relations, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, who is also Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.
While Mr Aujla, writing from personal experience of having seen a world of difference in computerisation of public offices and secretariat administration in Maharashtra has made, as to given useful tips what Punjab should do. In a nutshell, he says unless the field and the secretariat staff is trained, the scheme will not work whatever "experts" may claim.
Taking a cue from that perhaps the Department of Information System and Administrative Reforms has prepared a scheme of setting up of "secretariat LAN" (local area network) in the main Punjab Secretariat. This is a major initiative. It is now put on the agenda of the next meeting of the administrative secretaries, convened by the Chief Secretary on February 7. The meeting itself is taking place after a long gap: no meeting was held after August, '99.
As per the proposed plan, to begin with, 100 superintendent level officers will be connected through 100 nodes and 25 to 30 administrative secretaries would also be connected. The programmes listed for LAN include file monitoring, telephone directory, village data base, office instructions, orders and circulars, up-date service rules, department wise pay scales, e-mail monitoring of secretariat at districts, VIP monitoring system, urban township data base, reception system, Punjab web-page, etc.
Each administrative secretary is required to name a joint secretary-level officer as the "nodal" officer to implement the scheme. The IAN provides a training lab at the secretariat with an intake of 16 persons at a time. A special module for administrative secretaries is being designed, first module requires 40 hours training and the second, 80 hours.
The meeting on February 7 will also decide if secretaries would prefer a desk or lap-top computer!
The second item on the agenda pertains to ensuing coordinated training schedule and avoiding multiplicity of segmented training for this a letter from the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration Director, Mr R.N. Gupta, has been circulated to invite suggestions.
Browsing through the minutes of all the administrative secretaries meetings held in 1998 and 1999, one gets the impression that even serious issues like "image" of the administration remained inconclusive despite "papers" having been submitted by senior officers like Mr R.N. Gupta, Mr B.R. Bajaj and Mr K.R. Lakhanpal.
The seriousness also gets reflected from the fact that the meeting did not receive reports on "revamping" the Department of Revenue (from Mr N.K. Arora) and Department of Controller of Stores (Mr I.S. Bindra). While the reports it received on Transport (Mr C.L. Bains), Excise and Taxation (Mr Y.S. Ratra) and Local Government (Mr K.R. Lakhanpal) were circulated but never discussed.
Certain decisions taken way back in February 1998, related to health department, for example, still remain unresolved. The same holds true whether Director, Prosecution and Litigation should be under the Home Department or the Legal Remembrances since "functionally" it is closer to the I.R. Even on "holidays" while secretaries wanted a "ceiling", in practice the opposite has been happening. There are no instructions on officers' tours and inspection of subordinate offices.
A cross-section of
bureaucrats admit that the real purpose gets defeated in
such a large meeting. Moreover, the political executive
has neither the will nor the finance to provide for a
clear direction or implementation of schemes. "When
the aim itself is out of shape, how could its image be
improved"? chided a senior bureaucrat, who was asked
by a minister to improve the "AKS" (image) of
the SAD-BJP Government.
Rs 45 cr for planned
CHANDIGARH, Feb 3 There is hope that the proposed centre of excellence in biotechnology, which has remained in the embryonic stage for a couple of years, may see the light of the day.The hope emanates from the Punjab Government decision to make available Rs 45 crore for the project to be set up at SAS Nagar from the states Rural Development Fund. The total project cost, including land, is estimated at Rs 61 crore.
While the project envisages nearly 200 acres, for the time being around 18 acres of land are available. The aim of setting up the autonomous institution is to promote application of biotechnology in three specific areas: agriculture, health care and environment, involving research, demonstration, commercialisation of the technology and a biotechnology park.
Even as the centre is yet to grow roots, the sponsors of the project, the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology, has geared itself for a three-day conference on Biotechnological strategies in agro-processing with two thrust themes: emerging biotechnologies in agriculture (including crop improvement, production and protection besides agro-industrial products); and emerging biotechnologies in agro-processing, including cereal and cereal products, fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat.
The key to the success of every project is money. Therefore, part of the conference will be a special session on Financial back-up for entrepreneurship development in agro-processing; and thoughtfully, a session on Information technology back-up for promotion and commercialisation of agro-processing has also been planned.
The councils executive director, Mr N.S. Tiwana, told TNS today that the three-day conference (February 9-11) is intended to bring about an interface between the scientists and industrialists and tell the nation where Punjab stands and leads in biotechnology application and research.
The Director (Biotechnology) at the council, Dr S.S. Marwaha, says having achieved much from the Green, Blue and White revolutions, it is time for Punjab to experience and gain from yet another revolution: The gene revolution or biotechnology. Genetic engineering, coupled with information technology, will be the thrust area in the new millennium. The council hinges on the hope that besides the state, private sector and government in Delhi will also be a participant in funding of the proposed centre of excellence.
The long-term benefits have to be understood as much as making Punjab compatible with the world since the World Trade Organisation regime is fast overtaking the economies of the countries. The application of biotechnology will enhance agricultural production, ensure value addition of the produce through better methods of cultivation, preservation and processing, better medicare and overall improvement in the quality of environment, says Dr Marwaha.
The existing institutions engaged in research and application in biotechnology, namely PAU, Ludhiana, GND Varsity, Amritsar, Panjab University, Chandigarh and also the local Institute of Microbial Technology have already contributed to improving health care, environment and food production, preservation and processing. The scientists have genetically screened different foodgrain and vegetable and horticulture crops to make them yield better and be disease-resistant; provided biological control of pests and insects; come up with biofertilisers; diagnosed genetic diseases and concentrated on human biology and human genetics; isolated chromosomes responsible for congenital cataract; concentrated on developing recombinant cholera vaccine and developing high alcohol producing yeast strains.
New processing technologies are being worked out. PAU has made available a beverage Malted milk, using milk and wheat extract in a 50:50 ratio; come up with flat-bread technology and ready-to-serve foods like pre-cooked daliah and suji; and an instant pudding using the versatile extrusion technology and ready-to-eat canned products.
Moreover, industrial effluents are also being taken care of biologically, so are agriwastes. Even technology for biobleaching of black liquor of paper and pulp is now available with the Punjabi University, Patiala.
In a nutshell,
biotechnology being the watch word in the new millennium,
the councils aim is to create a sense of awareness among
the students, entrepreneurs and scientists as to what
Punjab needs in the short and long-term given the plateau
agriculture has reached.
Families lose earning hands
JETHUKE (Bathinda), Feb 3 Mr Mithu Singh and Mr Boota Singh who lost their sons, Gurmeet Singh and Despal, during an armed clash between (Ekta) activists and policemen here on January 31, are in a state of shock.
Says Boota Singh: My son was killed by the police for no fault of his. He was working with a contractor for laying telephone cables on January 31, he was not among the agitators but was returning home from his job.
Will the Rs 50,000 grant announced by the Punjab Government bring my son back who was the backbone of the family? The policemen also beaten me brutally. Now I may not be able to do labour to earn a livelihood, he laments.
Mr Boota Singh has three daughters and is worried how he will gather enough money for their marriage. His other son, who goes to school will have to leave his studies to do labour and earn for the family, he says.
Mr Mithu Singhs plight is no different what will I do for the children of Gurmeet Singh who was killed while coming back from the fields, he asks.
Mr Joginder Dyal, Punjab Secretary, CPI, Mr Hardev Arshi, MLA, Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, MP, and Mr Jagjit Singh, district secretary, CPI, have submitted a memorandum to the governor, urging him to order a high-level judicial probe into the incident. They have also demanded that the guilty police officials be punished.
Mrs Parneet Kaur, member of Parliament and Mr Kewal Krishan Aggarwal, General Secretary, DCC, who, visited the bereaved families, demanded that a judicial probe be ordered into the incident as the magisterial probe ordered by the district administration was a mere eyewash.
Sources in the Civil Hospital, Rampura, said the post-mortem reports of the deceased showed that a bullet passed through the right arm of Gurmeet Singh while a second pierced the right side of his abdomen Despal was hit in the back.
The doctors who conducted the post-mortem refused to disclose the type of bullet that had hit Gurmeet Singh and Despal.
The Lok Morcha, Punjab, and the Revolutionary Centre, Punjab, have condemned the police fire on peaceful agitators.
Sodhi warns of action against two
JALANDHAR, Feb 3 Hinting of stern action against Mr Jagdish Sahni and Mr Satpal Gosain, the two BJP MLAs, who had levelled serious corruption charges against him and Punjab minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, the partys state unit chief today said the party would not tolerate indiscipline.
Mr Sodhi, who was talking to newsmen here today after holding a meeting of the partys office-bearers, said, indiscipline will not be tolerated at any cost. The example of former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh is before you. However, we will do something after a good deal of thought. The only possible way of reaching a compromise was the withdrawal of allegations by both leaders, he added.
Referring to the allegations of corruption against himself and Mr Tandon, Mr Sodhi said, I dont see myself and Mr Tandon as culprits. How can we indulge in such things at this age? He, however declined to face a probe into the allegations by the party high command by saying that there was no need for such an exercise. Had they discussed the matter in the party fora instead of going to the Press, I, on my own, would have recommended a probe by the high command. He said Mr Suresh Sehgal, the Mayor, had been included in the disciplinary committee which was looking into the matter.
Mr Sodhi claimed that Mr
Mandip Singh, the then Local Bodies Department Director,
was transferred by Mr Badal on his advice and not that of
Mr Gosain or Mr Sahni as there were several allegations
against him. We even have a list of people who had
recommended names of candidates for appointment in the
department which had recruited more than 300 employees in
1998, said Mr Sodhi while referring to the
corruption charges in the recruitment process.
Mann accuses RSS, BJP of
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 3 Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann, MP and President, Akali Dal (Amritsar), has warned that undue interference by the RSS and the BJP men in Sikh affairs may cause turmoil in the state.
Talking to The Tribune at his native Talania village today, he said the present chaos created in Sikh affairs by the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh is the handiwork of RSS men. Criticising the edict issue by Giani Puran Singh ex-communicating Bibi Jagir Kaur, he said RSS men were controlling Jathedars, Mr Badal, Mr Tohra and Bibi Jagir Kaur. He said the edict had not been issued according to Sikh tenets and traditions. It was issued in the absence of other Jathedars and Bibi Jagir Kaur was not issued any notice to explain her conduct.
He said Bibi Jagir Kaur and Giani Puran Singh were puppets in the hands of Mr Badal and both worked against Sikh principles.
Wadalas charge against Badal
JALANDHAR, Feb 3 Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic), has said the crisis in Akali Politics was the result of usurping of all powers by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal.
Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mr Wadala said Mr Badal had concentrated all powers in his hands.
Demanding that Bibi
Jagir Kaur should resign from the SGPC presidentship
before appearing at Akal Takht, Mr Wadala said Mr Badal
and others had violated Hukamnama by holding parleys with
her and jathedars of different takhts, who had challenged
it. Mr Wadala also announced that his party had decided
to support the SAD-BJP candidate from Nawanshahr, Mr
Jatinder Singh Kariha, to defeat the Congress.
Dalits house demolished
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 3 Mrs Bhupinder Kaur, a Dalit, is living in the open along with her children since January 31 when her house was demolished by officials at Shaunti village in Amloh subdivision of the district.
Her husband and the eldest son are at large due to intimidation by the officials.
Mrs Bhinder Kaur told The Tribune that on January 31 the sarpanch of the village, Mr Nirbhai Singh, accompanied by the SDM, the BDO, the tehsildar and the police reached her house and ordered that it be demolished. At that time sehaj path of Guru Granth Sahib was on. The officials disrupted the path and took away the granthi in a Gypsy to an unknown destination.
A crane brought from Gobindgarh reduced the house to a rubble in a few minutes. The debris was loaded on vehicles and taken away. Village women said there were 40 houses of Dalits in the village.
Mrs Bhinders house alone had been demolished. Mrs Bhinder alleged this had been done at the behest of the sarpanch who belonged to the SAD while her husband was a panch owing allegiance to the opposition group. Earlier, she said, the sarpanch had got her husband declared defeated. A petition was filed in the High Court and her husband declared elected. She alleged the sarpanch had been threatening her family with dire consequences if her husband did not join his group.
There is tension in the village over the issue. A former sarpanch, Mr Mohinder Singh, who is backing the Dalit family, said in 1986 when he was the sarpanch he had allotted shamlat land to 40 Dalit families who had got their houses constructed on the land. Now the house of panch Budh Singh, alone had been demolished and the other houses spared.
Mr Nirbhai Singh described the construction on the land as illegal. Sources said the BDO had lodged a report with the police against the construction and also asked for police help to demolish it.
Mr Ranbir Singh, an eyewitness, said the police sent a message to the villagers to reach the site as the Deputy Commissioner was coming to hold an on the-spot inquiry. As the villagers were waiting for the D.C, the demolishing staff began to dismantle the house. Mrs Surjeet Kaur, a panch of the village, pleaded with the SDM put in vain.
When contacted, Mr Rakha Singh Jangu, SDM, said he had only carried out the directions of higher officials.
A delegation of the
SAD(A) led by Mr Iqbal Singh Tiwana met the Deputy
Commissioner on the issue. Political parties have sent
fax messages to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, the Chief
Minister and human rights organisations.
UK mission rescues
LUDHIANA, Feb 3 The day dawned with a feeling of freedom for the 20-year-old British national being kept against her will with her relatives in India for the past 34 days, allegedly as punishment for disregarding her parents wishes of severing ties with her boy friend in the United Kingdom. Two officials of the British High Commission came to her rescue.
The girl, who did not wish to be named, told this correspondent, after being kept under watch for 24 hours a day for more than a month, I am now able to breathe freely. During my captivity, I often felt claustrophobic and had almost resigned myself to fate, but with these officials coming to search for me because of the efforts of my boy friend in the UK, I am elated.
This British national of Indian descent had been brought to India by her parents on December 10 after they allegedly conned her into believing that her maternal grandmother was on her death bed and had expressed a wish to meet see her grand daughter.
Back in the UK, she had befriended a Gujarati boy and had wanted to marry him. Her parents did not approve of her choice of a husband as he belonged to a different community. But not even in my wildest dreams could I imagine that my parents, whom I loved so much, would lay such a nasty trap of separating me from my boy friend, she says ruefully.
While she was accompanied to India by her parents, her maternal uncle and aunt and a younger sister, all of them left India on December 31 without her. They also took away her passport. Before they left, they told my other relatives to keep a watch on me, which they did. My maternal uncle also told me that I could come back to England after I had been married off to someone here, she said.
Even since her parents left her hear, she was taken from one relatives house to anothers. She stayed in various villages in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana during this time. At all these places, neither was I allowed to make a telephone call to anyone other than my parents in England, nor was I allowed to write a letter to anyone without someone scrutinising it. I was kept under a constant vigil and though I tried to slip a letter in a post-box, I was unable to do so.
Meanwhile, her boy friend in England got worried over her sudden disappearance though her family was back and he contacted the Foreign Office in London,which, in turn, forwarded the case to the British High Commission in New Delhi.
Says Ms Angela Slater,
First Secretary (Consular) with the commission, We
had a lot of difficulty in trying to trace her
whereabouts. From the immigration office, we found that
she was due to visit Chhabewal village in Hoshiarpur.
From there we traced her to Jamalpur village in Ludhiana
today. When we reached there, she narrated her ordeal and
asked to be sent back to the UK.
Arms exhibition attracts youth
FAZILKA: To inculcate patriotism and motivate youth for recruitment in the Army, an exhibition of sophisticated arms, ammunition and explosives was held at the local Army Headquarters here in connection with the golden jubilee celebrations of Republic Day.
It is the first exhibition in Fazilka subdivision, in which about 500 children of higher secondary classes of different schools participated. After the Kargil conflict of this border belt youth have been keen to get first-hand knowledge of weaponry used by the Army.
The exhibition organised by 17 J&K Rifles, displayed an array of self-loading rifles, light machine guns, medium machine guns, recoilless rifles, 9 mm pistols, AK-47 rifles, rocket and missile launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, automatic grenade launchers, mortars, explosives, anti-tank mine and anti-personnel mines .
Officers and jawans from the J&K Rifles also showed the working of the weapons. Major Ashok Chandel highlighted the Armys role in defence, its activities during peace time, including active support in social service, combating natural calamities and maintaining law and order.
He said youths could be recruited after completion of their studies at the plus II stage. Indian forces were keeping vigil over the Siachen glacier the highest plateau in the world and were capable of keeping the enemy at bay from these icy hill-tops, he added.
As the 17 J&K Rifles unit was stationed in the Kashmir valley from 1991 to 1994, its members had encounters with hardcore terrorists and Pak-sponsored subversives of different outfits. Officers and jawans of this Battalion narrated details of spine-chilling encounters.
Major Chandel, who has been awarded the Sena medal, revealed that he along with some jawans of his company had shot dead four terrorists in Mawar village of Kashmir and had recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition. They were also honoured with the Chief of Army Staffs Commendation Certificate of for their gallantry.
Colonel Ashok Nair,
Commanding Officer, who has also been decorated with Sena
Medal and Army Chiefs Commendation Certificate,
disclosed that his battalion had nabbed about 125
terrorists which included about 25 belonging to the
Hijbul-Mujaheedin. He said his officers and soldiers had
been ambushed nearly 20 times. Head Constable Subhash
Singh, whose leg had been amputated in a terrorist
attack, and Lance-Naik Gobind Thapa had shot dead Afghan
mercenaries and were awarded Army Chiefs
Cops protest against
LUDHIANA, Feb 3 The Punjab IPS Officers Association and the PPS Officers Association have also protested against the depiction of policemen in Hindi film, Mela. They have written to the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting to impose a ban on the movie.
What has irked the police officers here is that on the one hand, film industry is approaching the government for police protection against criminals in the wake of the attack on film producer, Rakesh Roshan, and on the other hand it is tarnishing the image of the police force through objectionable scenes like in the movie.
Policemen have demanded a ban on the movie, which they feel is humiliating and derogatory to their department.
Such depiction of
police officials shown to cinema viewers depicts extreme
degradation of the force which is dedicated to maintain
law and order in the state..., they maintain.
Gurmail Kaur, widow of sub inspector, who had filed a
suit against the film, its director and two actors has
also filed an appeal urging that an order be passed
restraining the defendants from exhibiting the movie till
the case was decided. Responding to the appeal, the court
has fixed the next hearing of the case on February 7.
Caliche girls impress
PATIALA, Feb 3 Caliche girls here today gave a preview of their harmonious crooning at a lively interaction with the press.
The lively songs of the group entertained the audience. The girls with husky voices sang on different levels.
The girls said they were able to harmonise with each other, as they had grown up together and studied in the same school. Leisl said both she and Candys mother were professional singers. She said both had taken training in classical music also. Cheryl said she had played the guitar before taking up singing.
The girls said they decided to go professional after watching a western all-girl group on television. They said the word Caliche had been derived from their names. They said they were into corporate launches earlier, besides accompanying foreign singers on their tour to India and lending their voices in secondary parts of Hindi films.
Local bus service to be
PATIALA, Feb 3 After a gap of nearly three years, local bus service is all set to be restarted in the city.
Ten buses will ply up and down on five routes selected by the district administration in collaboration with the Regional Transport officials, taking in account the demand of the public. The service will start in two weeks.
Disclosing this in a press release, Ms Praneet Kaur, Member of Parliament from the local Lok Sabha seat, said here today that the local bus service was one of the main demands of the residents of the city as experienced by her in the election campaign. She said the district administration had given approval to her project after taking permission from the state government.
A letter written by the
Secretary, Regional Transport Office, to the MP was
appended with the press release. It said in response to
her letters demanding a bus service, the department has
completed interviews to grant permits and the service
will start within two weeks.
Snap ties with Pak : Dogra
PHAGWARA, Feb 3 Punjab Hindu Shiv Sena president Surinder Dogra yesterday asked the government to snap all ties with Pakistan.
Talking to reporters
here, Mr Dogra said the bus and rail services should be
discontinued and diplomatic relations with Pakistan
snapped in view of its continued and open support to
Lawyers observe protest day
FAZILKA, Feb 3 The members of the local Bar Association abstained from courts here today in response to a strike call given by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Council on directive of the Bar Council of India.
According to Mr Anil Jain, President of the Bar Association, Fazilka, the members were protesting against the proposed amendments in the Code of Civil Procedure. Mr Jain has urged the government to drop the controversial amendment in interest of justice.
PATHANKOT: Members of the Bar Association, Pathankot, observed a "protest day" on Thursday against the proposed amendment in the CPC. Mr Ajay Lalotra, Vice-President of the council, sent a memorandum to the President and Prime Minister urging them not to press and implement the proposed amendment in the CPC. Lawyers also boycotted the civil and revenue courts of the tehsil.
ROPAR: Members of the District Bar Association observed a strike here today in protest against the proposed amendment to the Civil Procedure Code (CPC).
Rana K.P. Singh,
president of the association, said there was resentment
among the lawyers against the proposed amendment. He said
the lawyers would not allow the government to implement
the amended CPC as it would change its basic structure
and affect millions.
Raid: DCs staff lays siege
JALANDHAR, Feb 3 A raid by the local Vigilance Bureau to nab a clerk in the ammunition licensing office in the mini secretariat led to tension among the staff of the office of the Deputy Commissioner. They laid a siege to the office and prevented the officials from taking away the clerk.
The drama started at 11.30 a.m. when the Vigilance Bureau officials, acting on a complaint by one Mohinder Singh, started questioning Varinder Kumar Mohan in his office.
The complainant had alleged that the clerk had taken Rs 1,000 for making his arms licence valid throughout the country.
Other employees converged at the scene, protesting against the raid and prevented the raiding party from taking away their colleague to the police station.
The situation was brought under control when Ms Gurpreet Deo, Superintendent of Police (Vigilance) reached the scene and assured the agitating employees that she would personally look into the matter.
According to Ms Deo, the hand wash test had been positive. His pockets turned pink during washing, which showed that he had taken the notes but might have concealed these fearing the raid, said Ms Deo.
Anil Kaushik is IGP,
Couple killed in road mishap
JALANDHAR, Feb 3 A young couple was killed and one of their two children injured seriously when their car rammed into a stationary truck near Nangal Saproar village on the Jalandhar-Phagwara road this morning.
The accident took place
when Pawan Kumar and his wife, residents of Bashirpura
locality, who were travelling in their Maruti car along
with Sulabh (4) their son and daughter Chunni (5), tried
to save an animal crossing the road. In the process,
their car barged into a stationary truck parked on the
roadside, killing the couple and injuring Sulabh, who was
later admitted to the Civil Hospital.
Joshi to address GND University
AMRITSAR, Feb 3 Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, will address the 26th annual convocation of Guru Nanak Dev University being held on February 12 in the Dashmesh auditorium of the university.
Mr Jagmohan, Union Minister for Urban Development, and Dr N.S. Kapany of the USA will receive honorary degrees. This was disclosed here yesterday by Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar of the university.
Lt-Gen JFR Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab, who is Chancellor of the university, will confer the degrees on eminent scholars. Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, will read out the citations.
Dr Kapany who is a scientist in optoelectronics will be awarded the honorary degree in the Faculty of Humanities and Religious Studies in recognition of his services to promote Sikh history, religion, language, art and culture.
LUDHIANA, Feb 3 Dr Mohinder Singh Bajwa has been appointed Director, Research, Punjab Agricultural University, and Dr Kashmira Singh Sekhon has been made Dean, Postgraduate Studies.
A PAU press note said yesterday that the Board of Management of the University at its meeting on January 31 had also reappointed Dr Jaspinder Kolar Director Extension Education, and Dr Pal Singh Sidhu as Dean, College of Agriculture.
Besides, Dr M A Zahir,
Professor and Head, Department of Business Management,
had been chosen as Dean, College of Basic Sciences and
Humanities. But he would take the charge after the
retirement of the incumbent, Dr H S Garcha, on March 31.
Dr Surjit Singh Gill, Additional Director, Communication
Centre, Dr Santokh Singh Sokhi, Additional Director,
Extension Education, and Mr Malwinder Singh Tiwana,
Associate Director, Research, had been reappointed. Dr
Joginder Singh had also been appointed Head, Department
Sainik school entrance exam put
No takers for shopping plazas in
PATIALA, Feb 3 Even as the Improvement Trust is developing a large commercial area near the 22 number railway crossing , there are no takers for a number of shopping plazas which have sprung up in the recent past in the city.
Even the commercial centre developed by the Improvement Trust in the heart of the city around three years back in Chhoti Baradari has not developed as a market place with only showrooms and offices having opened there, not a single booth has been occupied by a trader.
The position of the other markets which have been opened some time back is even worse. The worst is the case of the Modi Plaza near Nabha gate. While the market has been constructed more than a year back, there seems to be no takers for it . On visit to the plaza it was revealed that only the promoter occupied a garment showroom, besides one other shop, which was opened. Talking to TNS, market promoter Rishi Modi said there was a slump in the market due to which no one was investing. Thirtytwo shops have been constructed in the plaza and there is parking space in front of it also.
The airconditioned shopping plaza in Tripuri has parking facility also and is bang on the road of the main bazar but still lies empty. Plaza promoter Col Surjit Singh said there were 70 shops in the market and that 43 had been sold. However, though 43 shops may have been sold, only few shops are doing business. There are a few gift shops on the ground floor and a lone garment shop on the first floor. Children are using the lift installed at the plaza for joy rides most of the time . Col Singh said one could not expect a plaza to succeed so soon and that it had only been one and a half years since it was established. However, the fact that even a free gold scheme has not roped in buyers is not very encouraging.
The Surya complex at Leela Bhavan has been more successful as the promoters have sold most of the shops in the complex. However even here most shops have been brought for speculative purposes and genuine business has taken a back seat. Due to this only a few shops have opened up in the complex. Complex promoter Naveen Saronwala said the slump in the market was the main reason why no one was opening shop.
Dr Saronwala himself says there is not much scope for new markets in the city as it was not a business centre and had a concentration of government employees. He said there was also the problem of unfair competitions saying food business in showrooms had to compete with those selling food from outlets on the pavement.
Mr Vinod Dhundia, who is
also interested in property matters , said plotting
virgin land and building showrooms had also failed as a
business in Patiala. He said an NRI had advertised a
market by the name of Mohindra Complex near the National
Institute of Sports around a year back and given the
scheme a lot of publicity. He said the situation right
now was such that he had even taken down his signboard.
Presently those who had bought shops in some shopping
plazas as investment were not selling them further as
there had not been much appreciation.
Substandard wheat enters market
PATIALA, Feb 3 Even as a large amount of wheat continues to be stored in the open, substandard damaged wheat stocks are entering many mandis in the state.
The damaged wheat is being auctioned at low prices by the Food Corporation of India through tenders. After the auction the wheat reaches various arhtiyas in small mandis where it is sold for making animal feed.
Even commission agents selling the wheat feel that the wheat is not fit for animal consumption. However, nothing can be done in the matter as the government itself is auctioning damaged wheat.
Talking to TNS, Mr Bal Krishan Singla, president of the Arhtiya Federation of Punjab, said the stocks lying with him were relatively clean. He said he knew some cases where damaged wheat was literally lying with some commission agents. He said the wheat was being bought for cattle feed at rates varying from Rs 100 to 150 per quintal depending on its quality.
Mr Singla said the quality of the damaged wheat stocks was such that some of it, which had been auctioned recently, had around 50 per cent mud in each bag. He further said usually water damaged the wheat lying in the open, especially when it was not covered properly.
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