|Monday, July 10, 2000,
table autonomy draft
3200 Punjab villages face water
Cabinet to decide pension for Emergency
Punjabs school drop-out rate
Pilot project on e-governance
Spurious soft drinks flood market
PPCC ready for mid-term poll
Cong steps up efforts for party unity
building Ram temple
Sikhs are not Keshdhari
defy SGPC ban on jathas to Pak
for probe into threatening letter to CEO
anti-employee policies flayed
for timely reimbursement of medical bills
for all Punjab villages
Inquiry on into womens detention
through fake marriages
6 districts chosen for education
SAD may table autonomy draft
SANGRUR, July 9 Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, and Secretary General of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today indicated that the SAD might present the Anandpur Sahib Resolution in the state Assembly to demand autonomy for the state.
Talking to newsmen at the local PWD Rest House this afternoon, Mr Dhindsa, in reply to a question regarding the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, said the resolution might be presented in the Punjab Assembly if Punjab Chief Minister and president of the SAD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, decided to do so.
He categorically ruled out a mid-term poll in Punjab and said the SAD would consider the issue of seat sharing with its alliance partners at the time of the next assembly elections. Regarding a demand of 50 per cent share in the allotment of seats for the Punjab assembly by Punjab BJP Chief, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, Mr Dhindsa said this was not the time to talk on the issue as elections were far away.
Sunam (FOC) Mr Dhindsa visited the family of Mr Bhagwan Dass Arora, Congress M.L.A from Sunam who allegedly committed suicide on July 3 last to express his sympathy with the bereaved family.
With regard to a local
demand for a Railway over or underbridge Mr Dhindsa said
that the Railways had sanctioned Rs 50,00,000 (fifty
lacs) for its construction and Punjab will contribute its
due share in time. Additional funds if required will be
met from his department funds. He also sanctioned funds
for the construction of an in-door stadium at Sunam.
SAD stand in Cabinet decried
AMRITSAR, July 9 The Dal Khalsa has attacked the Shiromani Akali Dal, for not supporting the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly autonomy resolution during the union Cabinet meeting.
The party chief spokesperson, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, said here today that the rejection of the resolution by the union Cabinet was a serious setback to the aspirations of all those States, including Punjab, which have been advocating a genuine federal set-up.
By rejecting the autonomy resolution, the Vajpayee Government has hinted that Mr Badal and others would also meet the same fate in case they join the autonomy chorus, he said.
He endorsed the views expressed by the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, that the terms of reference of the Constitution Review Commission were vague and the commission would not serve any purpose. The BJP, Congress and Delhis policymakers had always denied justice to the peripheral States, which was one reason why the demand for independence had gained currency in all the border States of India. All those national parties which have trained their guns on Farooqs autonomy resolution were the same who called the Anandpur Sahib resolution as a secessionist document.
Mr Kanwal Pal asked the
Shiromani Akali Dal President to table the Anandpur Sahib
resolution drafted by late Kapur Singh in the Punjab
Assembly. Since Mr Badal himself was a signatory to
the resolution, he should honour the objectives of the
Dharamyudh Morcha launched by the SAD way back in
3200 Punjab villages face water
BATHINDA, July 9 Raja Narinder Singh, Public Health Minister, Punjab, said that 3200 villages of Punjab were facing the problem of drinking water and the government was making efforts to solve all drinking water problem of rural areas.
Raja Narinder Singh, who was here yesterday in connection with the foundation stone laying ceremony of a Rs 22 lakh drinking water supply scheme for rural areas of Faridkot-Koglia village and to inaugurate drinking water supply project of Rs 2.29 crore at Kotshameer village of the district.
He added that Kotshameer water supply project would provide 100 litre water to every person per day for the next 15 years. He said that the government had installed 271 tubewells in the Kandi area and a water tank of 5000 litre capacity and the motor of three horse power had been installed for these tubewells. He added that Rs 40 would be charged from consumers of rural areas.
He said that now electricity supply would not be disconnected of those who had not deposited the water bill to the PSEB in the rural areas and this money would be given by Punjab government. He added that the Central government had released Rs two crore for various schemes and remaining amount of Rs 6 crore would be released soon.
He said that the Punjab
government was committed to providing drinking water in
every village of Punjab and within one and half years the
target to provide drinking water in villages would be
achieved. He added that the Punjab government had
contributed Rs 60 crore in various Centre-sponsored rural
water supply schemes and minimum need schemes.
Cabinet to decide pension for
SANGRUR, July 9 The SAD-BJP government at its next Cabinet meeting will work out details and modalities with regard to giving pension to the Emergency victims.
This was stated by Minister, Local Self Government, Punjab, Mr Balram Ji Das Tandon while addressing a press conference at the local PWD Rest House today after presiding over a function, organised to honour the Emergency victims. As many as 35 Emergency victims, belonging to the BJP and the SAD were honoured at the function.
Mr Tandon said the quantum of pension and date of implementation would be decided at the Cabinet meeting. He said the state government had already decided to grant pension to those Emergency victims who had spent at least three months in jail during the Emergency.
The minister said to identify the Emergency victims jail records would be made the basis for granting pension. Besides this, other sources of verification would also be considered.
Regarding the SYL issue, Mr Tandon said BJP stand was very clear on the issue. He said Punjab waters could not be given to other states till the demand of the state was fully met.
He sought more financial and administrative power for the states on the plea that no state could progress in the absence of requisite finances. He said the financial resources of the states were limited and all development work had to be undertaken by them. There was a dire need to strengthen financial resources of the states, besides a major share of finances for them from the central poll. He said this issue would now be considered by the newly-appointed Constitution Review Committee.
The minister said
mid-term poll in the state was not expected. He said 50
per cent share a demand made by Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, state
BJP chief, in the allotment of seats during the next
assembly elections as an alliance partner of the SAD, was
made to widen the BJP base.
Punjabs school drop-out
FAZILKA: For all-round development of any nation, the governments main priority has to be propagation of education. Progress and prosperity of any state lies in the optimum level of literacy. Governments have laid stress on achieving higher literacy and results have been encouraging. At the time of Independence all states were lagging behind in education, but the situation in Punjab was slightly better. In the post-Independence era, Kerala paid special attention towards enhancing the literacy rate but Punjab did not.
A comparative study between Punjab and Kerala reveals that Punjab is far behind the latter in education. In Punjab 90 per cent of eligible children seek entry into primary schools as compared to 98 p.c. in Kerala. Similarly only 68 p.c. of Punjab students get admission to middle schools, whereas 100 p.c. take admission in Kerala. The students drop-out rate in Punjabs primary schools is 22 p.c., whereas in Kerala the drop-out rate is nil. For middle school, the drop-out rate in Punjab is 52 p.c. as compared to nil in Kerala. After class VIII only 57 p.c. pursue their studies in Punjab as against 99 p.c. in Kerala.
Kerala today tops the states in literacy, but Punjab, which was in the seventh position a decade ago, is now in the 21st position, according to experts.
Ironically, Mr Tota Singh, Punjab Education Minister, at the time of assuming office three years ago had conceded that Punjab was having the 17th rank in country but now claims the 10th position. However, eminent educationists maintain that if the standard of education continues to decline at the present pace, Punjab would be relegated to the lowest position.
There are several reasons for Punjab lagging in education. First of all, the state spends only 2.5 p.c. of the states gross domestic product (GDP) on education, whereas the national average is 3.7. Secondly, it has earmarked proportionately lesser funds for education as compared to Kerala.
Besides, political interference in the states Education Department is so much that powers vested in department officers are actually exercised by politicians in power. In addition due to erroneous planning, thousands of posts of JBT teachers, lecturers, headmasters, principals in different schools and officers of the Education Department have been unfilled for long periods. Another reason is lack of basic infrastructure in schools.
Mr Raj Kishore Kalra, a
spokesman of the Government Secondary Teachers Union,
while calling for an absolute review of the education
policy in the state, laments that if one goes by the
statements of Chief Minister, other ministers and
officers of Education Department, it appears that they
are more concerned about the standard of education but
surprisingly their announcements are yet to be
implemented. He says that main reason for such an adverse
situation is the decisions taken by the department. If
the government is keen to improve Punjabs standing
in the education sector it should emulate the Kerala
pattern. More funds should be allocated for educational
projects, Mr Kalra added.
Pilot project on e-governance
FATEHGARH SAHIB: This district is the first in the country, for which the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, has sanctioned a pilot project on the E-governance Citizen-IT Interface project worth Rs 80 lakh. This project has been sanctioned on the recommendations of a high-powered team of the ministry headed by Mr S.P. Singh, Director, MIT, and officers of the Department of DISAR & NIC.
The team appreciated the work done by the NIC, Punjab and the district administration in introducing information technology in offices of the district administration.
According to Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, the project will provide speedier and efficient interface between government officials and public, besides ensuring transparency, efficiency, objectivity and accountability in the administration. It will help in providing quick, transparent, cost-effective and efficient services to the people.
On the one hand it would improve the quality of work and on the other it will create an accountable and responsive system. He said it would fundamentally change the working of the government offices and will bring in a new set of responsibilities for the executive, legislature and the citizenry.
He said, government departments providing services of electricity, water, telephone, public distribution system, sanitation, public transport will be covered under the project.
He said the project would be completed in a stipulated time period of six months by 2000. It will cover Deputy Commissioners office, SDMs office, tehsil office, municipalities, block offices.
Besides this, the Government of India has also sanctioned an ambitious pilot project worth Rs 63 lakh for the digitalisation of mussavies and field maps (lathas) of the district. The work would include, plotting of village maps, introduction of longitude and latitude using GPS, storage of scanned documents on CD-ROMS, and to develop query-based geographical information system. After digitalising the mussavies jamabandi data, it would be hyperlinked with the maps. In this way a complete GIS system will be built up. Any information can be had by clicking any point on the map. The district has already taken a lead in computerising its various offices. All the projects initiated by the then Deputy Commissioner, Mr V.K. Janjua, such a computerisation of Sub-Registrar offices, linking of block headquarters with the district headquarters through E-mail and Internet, computerisation of Jamabandies and various branches of the Deputy Commissioners office are running successfully.
According to Mr Navneet
Kukreja, Director NIC, Punjab, the Revenue Department has
already marched ahead in E-Governance/Citizen-IT
Inferface by successfully implementing the PRISM software
all over Punjab which has been developed for the
computerisation of registration of properties, at the
NIC, Fatehgarh Sahib. This project has not only saved Rs
1 crore of the state exchequer, but
E-Governance/Citizen-IT Interface has been set in motion.
Spurious soft drinks flood market
PATIALA, July 9 Next time when you plan to sip a cool and fizzy soft drink out of a bottle ... beware! before it is too late. It may contain foreign material that renders it unfit for consumption. Many cases already reported in the city and other areas speak volumes for it. The market is flooded with spurious soft drinks which are being sold off by shopkeepers without caring a bit for the consumer.
The local Excise and Taxation Department recently raided a soft drink dealer and seized many bottles of the soft drink. In yet another case, the authorities of the department reached the vegetable market in the wee hours when a truck carrying vegetables and fruits was being unloaded. Suddenly the owner started unloading the crates of a popular soft drink which were covered by sacks carrying vegetables and fruits. The authorities at once took a note of the whole process and the persons concerned are in the grip of the law.
According to Mr I.S. Chahal, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, the soft drinks that are carried into the city in the early morning are purchased by dealers from Delhi. These cold drinks are either of inferior quality that is rejected and held back by the companies to properly dispose them off, or of the expired stock that is discarded for not being fit for consumption.
It is learnt that the dealers get in touch with some workers in Delhi and buy this kind of stuff from them at a very low price. The process starts during the late hours and the material is loaded in the trucks which is later piled on with fruits and vegetables. The trucks then leave for their final destination. Not even the quality of the drinks is a suspect, the dealers also do not pay the sale tax to the government. In the papers it is shown that the truck is carrying vegetables and fruits and the sale tax for the vegetables is much less than the soft drinks.
Consequently the trucks carrying spurious soft drinks that too without the payment of sales tax reaches the vegetable market in the early morning. The whole process cannot be suspected in any case as the dealers operate very smoothly.
According to information available from the Excise Department, a 1.5 litre capacity bottle is bought for Rs 32 or even less. It is sold in the local market for Rs 40 or less. Many shopkeepers buy these bottles for much less than the agency price and sell on the actual price. Some of them even sell the bottles to the customers at a low price.
The department got the hold of this practice after a complaint by a city resident. After keeping an eye on the trucks entering the city the department caught two persons involved in this business. Those cases are under process and the offenders will be fined.
Mr Chahal said that the
department was getting more information that such cold
drinks were making their entry and were being sold
openly. He said that anybody found guilty by the
department would not be spared.
PPCC ready for mid-term poll
PATIALA, July 9 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), is well prepared to face the mid-term poll if conducted.
Stating this in a press release here on Friday, Mrs Parneet Kaur, MP and wife of Capt Amarinder Singh, President, PPCC, said the Congress was ready for the poll as the SAD-BJP Government had lost popularity among the masses. She said the internal fightings and division between the two parties was forcing Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, to think of conducting mid-term poll.
She was speaking in a
meeting held here. Prominent among those present were Mr
K.K. Sharma, Secretary, PPCC, Mr Vishnu Sharma and Mr
Kabir Dass, Organising Secretaries, and Mr Harchand Singh
Barsat, Political Secretary to Capt Amarinder Singh.
Cong steps up efforts for party
FEROZEPORE, July 9 Apprehensive of mid-term Assembly election in Punjab, the opposition Congress appears to have been bitten by the unity bug to ensure victory.
This time, the former Minister and a senior Congress leader, Mr Balmukand Sharma has jumped into the unity move. Already, some senior Congress leaders loyal to the warring party camps led by the state president Capt Amarinder Singh and former Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal have mended fences to give a united fight to the ruling SAD-BJP combine, whenever the Assembly polls are held.
Mr Sharma is learnt to have held a series of meetings in Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa districts with activists considered close to Capt Amarinder Singh to mend fences with the local leaders loyal to other camps of the party. Disclosing this to The Tribune, Mr Sharma said that he particularly advised the Muktsar District Congress Committee president to build bridges with the Faridkot Lok Sabha member, Mr Jagmeet Brar in the larger interest of the party. It is pertinent to mention that the Muktsar party president is loyal to Capt Amarinder Singh and at loggerheads with Mr Brar. Mr Sharma vowed to iron out differences in the party and said that he was aiming at organising a show of party unity in Malout in the days to come. He lamented that minor differences prevailed in the Punjab Congress, which had plunged into the leadership crisis with the assassination of the late Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh. He admitted that subsequent changes in the party leadership had disillusioned the people. The people were annoyed at the way the Congress replaced its Chief Ministers in quick succession, he said referring to the replacement of Mr Harcharan Brar by Mrs Bhattal after Mr Beant Singhs death.
People are as much
annoyed with the faction-ridden Congress, as with the
ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine, he pointed out. He added
that only unity could bring party to the position of an
alternative to the ruling combine.
BJP for building Ram temple
FEROZEPORE, July 9 The Punjab BJP President, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa who has advocated that the party be allotted 50 per cent of seats in the next assembly poll received support from Punjab Health Minister, Baldev Raj Chawla who said the party cannot distance itself from its presidents stand.
He sought to play down the controversy arising out of Mr Rinwas statement saying, The issue will not cast its shadow on the SAD-BJP alliance.
The alliance will last longer than anticipated. We have not forged it for merely five years rule, he said.
Mr Badal had criticised the remarks saying those holding responsible positions should think about the consequences of such statements, before opening their mouth on sensitive issues.
Referring to the
controversy arising out of the autonomy issue raised by
the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah,
Mr Chawla said that the BJP was committed to abrogating
Article 370 in Kashmir. Give us two-thirds majority
and see the results, he said and went on to say
that the BJP would go ahead with its plan to construct
Ram Temple in Ayodhya, whenever it was voted to power on
its own. He said it was only the compulsion of being a
part of the NDA government that forced the BJP to keep
its agenda on the backburner.
Sikhs are not Keshdhari
FEROZEPORE, July 9 Senior Akali activists, who earlier had courted arrest along with the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, during a series of agitations-including the one seeking separate Sikh identity through a constitutional amendment are asking him of break his silence on the issue.
Even as the BJP-led NDA government has set up a constitutional review panel, these activists are surprised why the party president is not pressing for such amendment. Although the party has decided to constitute a committee to present Punjabs case on federal structure, the larger question of Sikh identity has been left out.
This, the Akali activists feel is on account of Mr Badals political compulsions. Since the RSS considers the Sikhs as part of the Hindu mainstream, Mr Badal does not want to annoy the BJP, a coalition partner in the state by raking up any contentious issue.
Expressing concern over the partys attempt to put the issue in the cold store, these activists through an open letter to Mr Badal has asked him to incorporate the question of Sikh identity as well in the agenda before the committee.
In an emotionally surcharged letter, the copy of which is available with The Tribune, at least six Akali activists have reminded Mr Badal, how he had burnt a copy of Article 25 of the Condition that does not recognise Sikhs as separate from the Hindu mainstream during "dharma yudh morch. Reminding Mr Badal of the partys vow to get the controversial article amended, these activists remember having been jailed for participating in that agitation.
One of these activists, Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, lamented that Mr Badal was silent on account of his political compulsions. We only want to remind him that the Sikhs are not Keshdhari Hindus, as is construed by the RSS and he must get the Constitution amended to end the controversy.
Without naming anyone,
another activist, Mr Sucha Singh observed that a section
of party leadership had set aside the issue, simply to
keep the BJP in good humour. Its now or
never, he said pressing upon the ruling Akali Dal
to get the Constitution amended in accordance with
aspirations of the community. Among the rest of the
signatories of the letter are Mr Chanan Singh, Mr Jagir
Singh, Mr Ajit Singh Shehzadi and Mr Kamaljit Singh.
Mann to defy SGPC ban on jathas to
AMRITSAR, July 9 Overruling the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President, Bibi Jagir Kaurs direction, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Member Parliament, has decided to lead jatha to Pakistan to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November.
Talking to TNS, Mr Mann said he had deputed his senior leaders to procure applications from pilgrims who wished to visit Pakistan to pay their obeisance. Mr Mann said his party would approach the Pakistan Embassy in India directly for granting visas.
It may be mentioned here that the SGPC had requested not to violate the ban imposed on sending jathas till the Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PGPC) headed by Mr Javed Nasir, a former ISI chief, was disbanded. Mr Mann is also a senior member of the SGPC.
Mr Mann said of late there has been cacophony in the ruling SAD (Badal) against Sikh pilgrims going to Pakistan. He said if the management of gurdwaras had been shifted from the Waqf Board to the PGPC, managed by Sikhs, then Sikhs must appreciate this devolution of powers to the community rather than condemning it. He said if the ruling SAD was serious about wanting Pakistan to put gurdwaras under the control of the SGPC, then it should also ask the Indian Government to bring all Sikh shrines in India under the SGPC.
He said sending regular
jathas would help in normalising relations between India
and Pakistan. The Sikh jathas could be harbingers of
peace. Sending of jathas to Pakistan was in the interest
of Sikhs and India, Mr Mann asserted.
Engineers for probe into threatening
letter to CEO
CHANDIGARH, July 9 The Punjab PWD (B&R) Subdivisional Engineers Association has described the writing of a threatening letter to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) as a foolish act and said it was below the dignity of the esteemed class of engineers to indulge in such petty activities.
Mr M.S. Nijjar, president of the association, in a written statement said it appeared to be a mischievous act by certain vested interests aimed at maligning the image of the association.
The members took exception to the allegation by the CEO that the letter had been written by the PWD Engineers Association without verifying the facts. He said the CEO had acted in an irresponsible manner by jumping to this conclusion.
The association clarified that the standoff between the PIDB and the PWD engineers had ended with the intervention of the Chief Secretary, who had assured the Public Works Minister and the Secretary, PWD that works pertaining to the department would be executed and supervised by its engineers only.
The Secretary, PWD at a meeting with the association on June 30 had stated that the PIDB had agreed to the demands of the engineers.
The matter had been resolved as far as the association was concerned. The act of writing a threatening letter seemed to be a deliberate attempt on the part of vested interests who had not liked this amicable settlement.
Govts anti-employee policies
JALANDHAR, July 9 The Mulazam Action Committee, Punjab and the Punjab and U.T. Employees Joint Action Committee organised a joint state-level convention at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today in protest against the anti-employee policies of the state government.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari, convener, Mulazam Action Committee and Mr Sajjan Singh, Chairman, Punjab and U.T. Employees Joint Action Committee, criticised the state government for not accepting the right and just demands of the employees of the state. The main demands of the employees include the removal of disparity in pay scales and the release of the anomaly committee report, and the provision of time-bound promotions.
Mr Sajjan Singh flayed the government for its move to privatise a number of departments.
Among others who
addressed the rally included Mr Suchha Singh Khatra of
the Government Teachers Union, Mr Lal Singh general
secretary of the Punjab Polytechnic Teachers
Association and Mr Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Chairman,
Punjab Government Transport Workers Union.
Dang for timely reimbursement of
AMRITSAR, July 9 Veteran CPI leader and former Punjab Minister, Mr Satya Pal Dang alleged that the state government was violating the directives of the Punjab & Haryana High Court by not reimbursing the medical bills of government employees in time.
In a communication to the Chief Minister, Mr Dang said in many cases, the delay could cost the employees their lives. Quoting a case, Mr Dang said one Wishwa Mittar Bammi, a Punjabi teacher in Government Secondary School, Ladowali road, Jalandhar was a cancer patient who had to spend a huge amount on her treatment. He said her reimbursement bill, amounting to Rs 93,244 was pending with the government since January. Any further delay could prove fatal. What was worse was that her husband who had put in more than 28 years of service, could not even get a loan from his General Provident Fund for the treatment of his wife.
Similarly one Muni Lal, an 84-year-old freedom fighter also battling cancer could not get re-imbursement.
Mr Dang said while the
Finance Minister was claiming that there was no financial
crunch in the state poor patients were being denied
timely medical reimbursement, despite a binding judgement
of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
Latrines for all Punjab villages
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 9 A special rural sanitation scheme is being introduced under which latrines would be constructed in each village.
Rural Development & Panchayat Minister, Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, addressing a huge rural gathering at Baraichan village in Tehsil Amloh district of Fatehgarh Sahib today, said a special plan has been made to adopt undeveloped villages which had no source of income by fully-developed villages.
Inquiry on into womens detention
AMRITSAR, July 9 The Additional Director General (Crime), Mr S.V. Singh, has ordered a high-level probe into charges of the police detaining two women in illegal custody in the local C Division police station.
The two-member inquiry team visited various localities and the local Central Jail for an on-the-spot inquiry on the basis of the complaint lodged by Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, a BJP MLA.
Talking to TNS, here today, Ms Chawla said that the ADGP (Crime) had ordered the inquiry at the behest of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), headed by Justice V.K. Khanna. The inquiry officials also recorded the statements of other petty criminals detained illegally at the police station.
Ms Chawla claimed that police excesses had risen recently reviving memories of terrorism. She alleged that innocent relatives of petty criminals, especially women, were picked up from their houses and tortured in full public view. If they approach the politicians against the police high-handedness they were implicated in false cases.
In her complaint to Justice Khanna, Ms Chawla had alleged that the newly-wedded wife and mother of one Rajan, who was wanted by the police in a theft case, were detained for in C Division police station for more than a week in gross violation of the instructions of the Supreme Court.
If a woman had committed a crime, then she could be kept in a police station in the presence of a close relative, the Apex Court orders read.
Ms Chawla told the visiting inquiry team that when she approached the police authorities against the illegal detention of the women, they (the women) were implicated in false cases.
In a letter to the Chief Minister and Director General Police, Ms Chawla asked them to spare one day to see for themselves police excesses being committed in this city.
Cheating through fake marriages
ABOHAR, July 9 Two brothers of Kamalwala village in this district were allegedly cheated by a woman member of the gang reportedly active in Srigangangar district 40 km from here. The gang allegedly had been arranging fake marriages, police sources said, A case u/s 420 of the IPC was registered against Mrs Nirmala w/o Hari Singh r/o Meera Chowk, Sriganganagar.
Preliminary investigation said such gangs had been working in Yamunanagar city of Haryana and some other cities of Punjab. Those who visited some such offices at Yamunanagar also found the sign boards of property dealers at the single room office there. Such alleged cheats had been reportedly active at Ludhiana also who raised bills against advertisements published in prominent newspapers of the region and tried to recover the money from the advertisers under fake correspondence. All such elements derived inspiration from each other and had some sort of coordination also.
According to a story told to a senior police official at Sriganganagar by Mr Khan Chand (40) and Mr Lekh Raj (35) sons of Mr Jammu Ram Kamboj of Kamalwala village they had learnt that Mrs Nirmala had been working as middle woman for arranging marriages. They contacted her and the deal was allegedly struck at Rs 50,000 besides gold ornaments for arranging brides for both brothers. The marriages were reportedly solemnised at Nirmalas residence. She introduced the brides as her brothers sisters.
According to the complaint after few days of the marriage, Nirmala visited Kamalwala village and took with her both newly-wed girls on the pretext of some social obligation. The girls never returned. When Mr Khan Chand and Mr Lekh Raj visited Nirmalas residence and enquired about their wives, she was unable to give a satisfactory reply. Then they could realise that they had been cheated.
Sources said the police
during a raid was able to collect photographs of such
marriages solemnised in the recent past and was trying to
trace out the girls. Investigation revealed that another
woman of Purani Abadi had allegedly received huge amount
from a villager of district Bathinda for arranging his
marriage with her niece. The marriage was
solemnised at the bridegrooms village. Later a
person who claimed to be the brides brother visited
the village and brought her with him for a week. The
duped person later learnt that the niece
married to him was mother of two children and the person
who posed to be her brother was actually her husband. The
cheated person has not, so far succeeded in tracing out
his wife. Since the marriage had not been
conducted at Sriganganagar, the police said prosecution
could be launched only in Bathinda district.
Gargs remand extended
BARNALA, July 9 Police remand of Raj Kumar Garg, a proclaimed offender, has been extended till tomorrow by the local Judicial Magistrate, Mr Rakesh Gupta.
Mr Ajaib Singh Kaleke, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Barnala, said today that the extension in police remand had been sought because the police wanted more time for interrogation.
9 villagers hurt in clash
PATIALA, July 9 Nine persons were injured in Gannaur village near here today in a scuffle over distribution of irrigation water. The injured were brought to local Government Hospital.
information, around midnight two groups of villagers
belonging to Roorkee and Gannaur villages while
irrigating their fields were involved in a heated
exchange. Afterwards, seven people from Roorkee village
went to file a complaint and were attacked by
lathi-wielding gang of about 12 persons from Gannaur
village. An FIR has been lodged at the Ghanaur police
Robbery bid at merchants house
KHANNA, July 10
An attempt to loot the house of Varinder Kumar, a cloth
merchant, was foiled by a resident of Mata Rani colony.
According to the FIR, Sunil Gupta, a resident of Delhi,
allegedly entered the house of Varinder and asked his
wife and mother to hand over valuables at gun point. He
was overpowered and handed over to the police by the
resident. His accomplices, however, managed to escape.
2 children die in truck mishap
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 9 (UNI) Two children, aged 10 and 12, were killed last night when a truck overturned and fell into a canal, in which they were bathing, near here.
The children, Parminder Singh (12) and Pavitar Singh (10), were from Mehmadpurin village in the district.
According to the police, the driver was drunk when he lost control over the vehicle.
6 districts chosen for education
BATHINDA, July 9 Mr Charanji Lal Garg, Science and Technology Minister. Punjab, yesterday said that the central government had selected six districts of Punjab under the Education for all Campaign and Bathinda was one of them.
Mr Garg was here to inaugurate the construction and repair work of various primary schools of the city. He added that Bathinda. Mansa, Sangrur, Ferozepore, Faridkot and Muktsar districts of Punjab had been selected by the central government under the Education for all Campaign. He added that the children of six to 14 years age group would be educated under this scheme, and the project would be started from January 2001.
Mr Garg said the Punjab government was giving Rs 24 crore to various government middle, high and senior secondary schools to repair school buildings. He added that the Punjab government had set apart Rs 207 crore for spreading the education in the state and to fulfil basic needs of all government schools.
Mr Garg started the repair of primary schools at Sanjay Basti. Des Raj Primary School, Guruki Nagri Primary School and Kendri Sudhar Ghar primary school. He promised to give Rs 50,000 for Sanjay Basti school, and 50,000 for Des Raj primary school.
The president of the Nagar Council, Bathinda Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar said that a sewerage scheme of Rs 32 crore had been sent to the central government for permission and added that with this scheme the problem of drinking water would be solved.
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