Tuesday, December 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD list upsets BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The release of the first list of 43 candidates by the Shiromani Akali Dal today for the forthcoming Assembly elections has “shocked” the state BJP leadership and “surprised” its high command in New Delhi.

In view of the ripples created by the unexpected announcement of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the state BJP leaders are meeting here tonight to draw up a strategy for “damage control”. Mr O.P. Kohli, who is in charge of Punjab, is reported to have taken a “serious view” and spoken to Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa conveying the party’s displeasure over the haste in announcing the candidates.

In fact the SAD-BJP committees were scheduled to meet in Punjab Bhavan here today at 8.30 am to jointly discuss the sharing of seats with a view to put up “winnable” candidates. But when a BJP minister contacted Mr Dhindsa to confirm the meeting, he replied it had been postponed till tomorrow since he was meeting the Election Commission regarding the report on additions and deletions in the voter lists in certain constituencies. The commission had taken a serious view and directed the state to take action against officials concerned, including the Deputy Commissioner of Muktsar. But little did the BJP know that the first list would be announced today without the two sides meeting even once over the sharing of seats.

The BJP, according to sources, wants a higher number of seats in the next elections. It had contested 23 and won 18 in 1997. Though it was given 24 seats then, it conceded Ludhiana West to SAD on the insistence of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The BJP leaders, who have scanned the SAD’s first list out today, are “upset”. They wanted to suggest changes in certain constituencies.

A source identified such constituencies as Anandpur Sahib, Bathinda, Balachaur, Jalalabad, Muktsar and Guru Har Sahai. The first was won by BJP in 1992, later its candidate joined the Congress. The BJP calculation is that SAD may lose these seats under these circumstances.

One BJP leader, requesting anonymity, remarked what would be the fate of the SAD-BJP candidates if his party were to adopt a similar stance as that of the SAD?

Unconfirmed sources said state BJP President Brij Lal Rinwa, General Secretary — (organisation) Avinash Jaiswal, senior ministers Balramji Das Tandon, Madan Mohan Mittal and others meeting tonight may finalise the candidates for more than 23 seats and send the list (with the approval of the state election committee?) to the high command tomorrow. But sober elements within the BJP did not completely rule out the possibility of the SAD-BJP still holding a joint meeting in respect of the remaining seats.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has assured the BJP that he would “reconsider” the list of SAD candidates that he had announced here today.

Informed sources told TNS that the assurance was given late tonight when the BJP President, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, and some ministers spoke to Mr Badal making specific reference to some of the constituencies, as mentioned above. The coalition partners hold the view that to win these seats either the SAD would have to change the candidates or allot the same to the BJP.

The BJP held an informal discussions and conveyed their sentiments to Mr Badal, who said the main objective was to ‘’defeat’’ the Congress in the larger interest of Punjab.


Rinwa: decision soon on seat-sharing
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 24
Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, President, Punjab unit of the BJP, said here today that a meeting to settle the seat-sharing issue between the SAD-BJP would be held within two days with Punjab Chief Minister and SAD President Parkash Singh Badal.

The meeting was to be held today but had to be postponed as one Akali member on the panel was busy, he continued. The SAD and BJP each have four members, including Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Captain Kanwaljit Singh, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (all Akalis) and Prof Brij Lal Rinwa, Balramji Das Tandon, Surinder Mittal, Avinash Jaiswal (all BJP) to settle the issue in consultation with Mr Badal, he declared.

He again demanded 10 to 12 more seats for the BJP this time. “We have a chance to win these seats and want our alliance partner SAD to leave these for us,” he claimed. “We want to contest from over 33 seats this time as against 23 in the last election,” he added. Earlier, addressing a meeting of the office-bearers and district presidents of party’s Beopar cell, Prof Rinwa said he would soon arrange their meeting with the Chief Minister for settling their difficulties.


Train suspension ‘will snap bonds’
Varinder Walia and Rashmi Talwar

Attari, December 24
Sajda, a resident of Malerkotla, who arrived here after the marriage of her sister in Lahore, wondered whether her newly wed sister Rashida would ever visit her ‘maika’ (maternal house) again.

While many Indians who arrived here had to cut short their visits to Pakistan following the announcement of the suspension of the Samjhauta Express, known as the train of love and emotions, some enthusiastic Pakistanis, especially youth alighted from the train perhaps their last meeting with their nears and dears. However, intelligence officials apprehended that many of the Pakistanis who arrived here were commercial couriers or ISI agents who wanted to make last-ditch efforts to enter India to carry out espionage activities.

Meanwhile, two suspected Kashmiri militants in their early forties were ‘detained’ at the Attari railway station. They are being questioned by officials of the intelligence agencies. Gasafar Musadiq Ali (43), a resident of Srinagar who arrived from Lahore and Mohammad Anif (45) of Rajouri (Jammu) were immediately rounded up when they alighted from the train.

Contrary to reports of expected rush, less than 300 passengers arrived from Wagah (Pakistan). Most of the passengers, interviewed by The Tribune, were against the decision to halt the Samjhauta Express. The driver of the train, Mr Barkat Malik, and guard said like in India people in Pakistan were perturbed over the snapping of rail/road link between the two countries. They, however, said cult of the terrorism could be curbed under this pressure. They added that such a decision could create a physical separation between the relatives living in the two countries.

Dr Bhagwan Dass, chairman, Pakistani chapter of Radha Soami Satsang, Beas, who had come here to bring back Pakistani Hindus from Beas (India) said the governments of the two countries must take into consideration the sentiment of people who wanted to strengthen ties.

More than 50 Indians left for Pakistan by the Samjhauta Express despite growing tension between the two countries. They are expected to be back before the end of the year.


Steps to counter Pak propaganda war
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 24
The Indian Government is taking suitable steps to counter propaganda unleashed against India by the Pak media.

At the same time, India’s reaction to the Pakistan-sponsored attack on Parliament House will be decided after taking the sentiments of people into consideration.

Stating this, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ms Sushma Swaraj, who was here to participate in the concluding function of the Ramesh Chander Memorial Hockey Tournament at local Burlton Park Stadium here today, said effective steps were being taken to counter the propaganda of Pakistani media against India. She said one such step came in the shape of a programme, “Jhootistan”, being aired on All India Radio aimed at exposing the lies of Pakistan. She said a similar programme would be started on Doordarshan also. “Their programmes are telling lies that certain mosques are being demolished in India”.

She said India had emerged triumphant on the diplomatic front and Pakistan had got isolated as a result of Indian diplomacy. “It is due to Indian diplomatic efforts that terrorism has become a global agenda. Moreover, terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was banned and the accounts of Lashkar-e-Toiba frozen by Pakistan due to these efforts,” she said adding, “India’s has seen an elevation in its stature while Pakistan has become a picture of failed diplomacy even as it made unsuccessful efforts to sell the theory of freedom of Kashmir, propagated by it, but it had no buyers. The only gain for Pakistan may be in shape of a few dollars,” said Ms Swaraj.

Regarding the possibility of a full-scale war against Pakistan for its role in the December 13 attack and the demand of such an action coming from certain quarters of the BJP itself, Ms Swaraj said the matter was under consideration and feedback was being collected from intelligence agencies. 


ATF activists to get arms training 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 24
The Anti-Terrorist Front (ATF) chief, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, has said that a batch of his outfit, including him, will get arms training in the Army camps even as the country was facing a potential threat to its security.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Bitta said the announcement by the Defence Minister that the school/college students of the border areas would be imparted Army training was a welcome step. Moreover, he said, six months’ military training was a must for every student of the country and hence it should not be limited to the border areas alone. He said the ATF would also open leadership training camps in Delhi so that a spirit of patriotism could be inculcated in students. Eminent personalities like Mr KPS Gill, a former Director-General of Police, and Ms Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer in the country, would be urged to deliver lectures on the nefarious designs of Pakistan’s ISI.

Mr Bitta said a deputation of the ATF would meet the Chief Election Commissioner with a request to postpone the ensuing general election till the tension in the border areas after the Army built-up was over. He said if the elections were held as per schedule, the voters of the border areas won’t be able to exercise franchise. He also said that he had decided not to contest any election as he was engaged in anti-terrorism activities, a cause dearer to him.

The ATF chief said special military courts should be established in the country so that foreign mercenaries could not drive any benefit from the loopholes in our judicial system. Welcoming the support of the Congress to the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO), Mr Bitta said it was high time to enact more stringent ordinances so that anti-social elements could be brought to book. He said POTO “was a weak ordinance” and there should be a provision for death penalty.

Coming down heavily on the electronic media, Mr Bitta said it must exercise self-restraint in covering security matters. He said during the Kargil conflict and the attack on Parliament House the electronic media had shown footages which could come in handi for the ISI. He also sought a ban on the live coverage of the proceedings of Parliament. He said live telecast of the proceedings was a constant security threat.

Mr Bitta said a deputation of the ATF would also meet the UN Secretary-General for exemplary action against the terrorists across the border. He said the Indian Government must destroy the training camps being run in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He said funds were being collected publicly in Pakistan for the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfits. He said India should respond to the nefarious designs of the ISI by launching a sustained “proxy war”. He said there was a need to strengthen the intelligence network of the country. Indians who had gone to Pakistan on espionage task should be given all facilities on the pattern of those given to the freedom fighters. He said there was a lot of disillusionment among the Indian spies who had spent their youth in Pakistan and faced inhuman torture as they were not rewarded properly. So much so the family members of these spies faced starvation when their breadearners were on secret missions to the hostile neighbour.

The ATF chief also sought a ban on the publication of books by former RAW and intelligence officials. He said such information could provide vital information to their Pakistani counterparts.


DC warns against Pak designs
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 24
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, today cautioned villagers on the Indo-Pak border to remain vigilant against the intentions of the enemy. He advised them to remain in touch with the administration.

The Deputy Commissioner visited border villages in the Khalra Sector, Chhina Bidhi Chand, Narli, Theh Kala, Gilpan etc. He said security camps would be provided to residents if the need arose.


Pak intruder shot dead

Amritsar, December 24
A Pakistani intruder was killed by BSF jawans early today. According to reports, the BSF jawans found two persons coming from Pakistan side. When challenged they tried to flee back to Pakistan. The BSF jawans fired killing one persons. The other, however, escaped.

According to an FIR lodged at Sarai Amanat Khan police station, the BSF found nothing incriminating from the deceased. A case under Section 3/34/20 of the Indian Passport Act was registered on the statement of Mr Sunil Shovam, company commander, 19 Battalion, BSF coy.


Attack Pak, says Muslim panel chief
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 24
Dr Javed Alam, president, Muslim Welfare Association, Punjab, in a press note issued here today, urged the NDA government to attack Pakistan immediately to save the national honour after the December 13 attack on Parliament House.

If USA could attack Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon without proper proof of its involvement, why India could not attack Pakistan when it had got sufficient proof of the involvement of Pakistan in terrorist activities, he argued. 


6 die in Punjab accidents daily
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

“Six of a wedding party die in a road mishap near Tarn Taran, seven of family die in an accident on the Malerkotla-Nabha road; two youths run over by a truck in Ropar district; cyclist crushed to death”. These are some of the headlines, which appeared in various dailies so far this month of accidents which took place in Punjab.

High speed vehicles, brazen violation of traffic rules and plying of not road-worthy vehicles have led to accidents which have acquired alarming dimensions in Punjab in the past two years as every four hours, road accidents claim a human life while one is injured every three hours.

As per information gathered by TNS, more than six persons die every 24 hours, while eight persons have to be hospitalised on being injured in road accidents. More than 10 road accidents, on an average, take place daily in Punjab.

Official sources say in the past 22 months (from January 1, 2000, to October 31, 2001) 6,710 road accidents had taken place in Punjab, which claimed 4173 lives while rendering 5632 persons injured.

The figures revealed that the number of accidents were on rise as 915 mishaps took place from January 1 to March 31 as compared to 991 in the corresponding period last year. In the second quarter of last year, the number of road accidents was 905, which rose to 1001 in the second quarter this year. In the third quarter, the number of accidents was 809, which shot up to 1055 in the corresponding quarter this year.

The number of persons killed had also gone up as in the first quarter last year, the number of casualties was 585, which went up to 628 in the same quarter. In the second quarter 561 persons lost their lives while in the same quarter of 2001, the number of persons, who died was 582. In the third quarter of 2000, the total number of casualties was 524, which went to 639 in the same quarter of 2001.

A senior police officer, when contacted, pointed out that one of the major factors which had been leading to frequent roadside accidents, was the policy of issuing driving licences was not proper and in most cases driving licences were being issued without a driving test being conducted by the authorities concerned.

He added that licences of those, involved in accidents due to violation of rules were never forfeited. Even there was no provision of deterrent punishment for those who were involved in accidents due to drunken driving.

The other factors which had become a major source of road accidents were over-loading of the transporting vehicles, haphazard driving by tractor-trailers without proper headlights and backlights, roadside parking and no check on plying of not road-worthy vehicles and use of goods vehicles for transporting people and cattle.

A cross-section of Punjab police officials assigned with traffic management pointed out the state government should draw up a comprehensive policy to minimise road accidents by involving various government agencies and making provisions for deterrent punishment for habitual violaters.


Sukhbir’s challenge to Congress
Tribune News Service

Samaalsar (Moga), December 24
Former Union Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal has challenged the Congress to compare the development works undertaken by the SAD-BJP alliance with the development works carried out during the Congress rule.

Getting a boost from the huge gathering at the first rally of the party in the Faridkot parliamentary constituency, today Mr Badal said Punjab Congress leadership should tell people whether the states where their party was in power were giving the facilities of free power to farmers and the Scheduled Castes, free residential plots to the poor and “shagun” to Dalit girls as done by the Punjab government.

He said for the first time in the history of independent India, the Punjab Government had become the only government, which had managed to implement its election manifesto in toto. It had introduced various welfare schemes for all sections of society after coming to power. He said the present alliance if voted to power would make sincere efforts to bring prosperity in every dwelling of the state by implementing its economic development agenda.

He appealed to the people to think before voting for any party. He added that every voter should compare the performance of the present government with the previous governments of the Congress.

He promised that paddy, wheat and other foodgrain items produced within the state would be procured without any hassle at remunerative prices if voted to power again.

Mr Badal also appealed to the party workers to shun groupism and factionalism and highlight the achievements of the party in their areas. He added that party workers should campaign only for those candidates who would be given the party ticket.

He alleged that Congress leaders had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to stop Chief Minister, Mr Badal from holding “sangat darshan” so that the problems of the people were not addressed at their doorsteps.

Punjab Agriculture Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, used the occasion to make a veiled attack on the former SGPC chief, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi in the presence of the present incumbent, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar. The rally was attended by Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, State Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, Mr Ajmer Singh Makkar, Chairman, Improvement Trust, and Mr Sadhu Singh Rajeana, Mr Mantar Singh Brar (MLAs) and Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, President, SGPC.


Kanwaljit’s associates join Congress
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, December 24
The Shiromani Akali Dal, (SAD) suffered a major setback today when two close associates of Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, the general secretary of the ruling SAD and the Finance and Planning Minister of Punjab, along with their supporters joined the Congress at a convention held at Chhat village, here today.

Besides this members of some SAD-associated youth clubs, mahila mandals also joined the Congress and extended support to Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, a Congress ticket aspirant from the Banur Assembly Constituency for the forthcoming elections.

Over 250 workers after surrendering their identity cards , issued by the SAD, joined the Congress and pledged support to Mr Dhillon in the elections.

Under the leadership of Mr Surjit Singh, a former sarpanch of Nairaingarh Jhungian, who claims to have spent two months with Capt Kanwaljit Singh in Kapurthala jail in 1982, more than 50 workers joined the Congress.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Singh said he was forced to join the Congress after being a close associate of Capt. Kanwaljit Singh for over 25 years, as the SAD had failed at every front and had done nothing for the village.

Under the leadership of Ms Angrej Kaur, president of Kanaur Mahila Mandal, over 39 women of the village also joined the Congress.

Those who spoke on the occasion include, Mr Jai Singh of Satabgarh village, Ms Naseeb Kaur Batth, a former senior vice-president of SAD, Zirakpur Circle, Ms Davinder Kaur, president of Mahila Congress of Zirakpur Circle and Mr Kulbir Singh, president of Bano Mai Mandir Committee, Banur.

A former Deputy Advocate General of Punjab, Mr Dhillon, welcomed the newcomers and assured them that their problems would be taken up on priority basis if he won the seat from the Assembly segment.


New SAD youth wing chief felicitated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon has been appointed president of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal.

This was announced by the Chief Minister and the president, of the party, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at Chandigarh today.

Talking to the reporters here today, Dhillon expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for showing confidence in him. He said he would try his best to come upto the expectations of the people and the party leadership.

Mr Dhillon, an advocate by profession, has been associated with the Akali Dal for the last 20 years. He has served as Chairman, Markfed, Ludhiana and is currently Director Markfed, Punjab.


Villagers block traffic over custodial death
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 24
Hundreds of people today lodged their protest against the death of Pardeep Singh, a class X student and resident of Gandiwind Dhattal village who died in police custody on Saturday night.

The protesters blocked traffic and were demanding the registration of a case under Section 302 of the IPC against the guilty ASI Harbhajan Singh.

Mr S.K. Kalia, SP (D), said the police had registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC against the guilty ASI and he had been placed under suspension.

The protesters were addressed by Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, convener Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Mr Pargat Singh Jamarai, a DYFI leader, and others. Meanwhile a three-member jury of doctors of the local civil hospital conducted the post mortem today and handed over the body to the parents of the boy.

Mr Kalia, SP, told this correspondent that Pardeep Singh had committed suicide adding that effect and efforts were on to arrest the culprit.


Centenary celebrations draw to a close
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 24
The five-day centenary celebrations to mark the installation of Gursagar Mastuana Sahib concluded here today. The Gursagar Mastuana Sahib is known as a religious place and an educational institution which was set up by Sant Attar Singh.

The bhog of “akhand path” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was held in the Gurdwara today morning. It was attended among others by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Sri Akal Takht, and Dr Bhupinder Singh Punia, secretary of the Akal College Council, Gursagar Mastuana Sahib.

A diwan was also organised where ragi jathas recited gurbani. Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, president of the SGPC, also addressed the diwan today. Prof Badungar said if Sant Attar Singh Academy appointed a teacher for teaching religion as a subject, the SGPC would pay his salary. He also announced books worth Rs 25,000 published by the SGPC for the Academy.

Dr Balkar Singh, Director, Punjabi Department, University of Mexico, also delivered a lecture. Mr Amandip Singh, producer and Mr Manjit Singh Kapoor, cameraman respectively of the documentary film “Darshan Sant Attar Singh” were also honoured.


Jalandhar DD wins three awards
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 24
Jalandhar Doordarshan has won three DD Awards, instituted by the Doordarshan authorities for the first time this year.

The awards were decided by a jury of eminent film personalities, top educationists and film critics and the Doordarshan Prasar Bharti authorities had received about 150 entries by different stations pertaining to different programmes produced and telecast by them during the past one year.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Ashok Jailkhani the Director of the Doordarshan Kendra, said the Doordarshan Kendra Jalandhar has bagged the first prize in the Best Innovative Programme category for “Sanmukh”, a programme dealing with the life style of artists like singers hailing from Punjab. Similarly, DD Jalandhar’s Tik Tik 2001,” the New Year programme telecast last year, has been selected for second prize in the Best TV show category. Another programme pertaining to the launching of the DD’s 24-hour Punjabi Channel “DD Punjabi”, which was telecast live from the local PAP grounds on August 5 last year has been adjudged as the second best programme in the outdoor programme category.

The DD’s local station has been adjudged as the best maintained centre all over the country, said Mr Jailkhani adding that the credit for this went to Mr S.R. Heer, the head of the engineering section of the Kendra and his team.


Leisure valley’ or dumping site?
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 24
A 40-acre of land, “which was to be developed as “leisure valley” is being used as dumping ground by the people residing in nearby colonies and to dispose of sewerage by the authorities concerned.

The land, adjacent to Nightingale Rose Garden was inaugurated in 1991, but has not seen any development since then. The valley, which was meant to provide an open space for recreation for the residents, has instead become a breeding ground for insects and infectious diseases like diarrhoea.

The Municipal Council has put up notice boards at various places in the valley, cautioning people not to throw garbage and flout other rules and regulations. Despite this, heaps of garbage, stray animals and stagnant water can be seen all over the area. People also continue to misuse the area by indulging in activities like playing cards.

It may be mentioned that the residential areas located in the vicinity do not have an underground sewerage disposal system. The residents of the area blame the local Municipal Council for failing to provide a sewerage disposal system in the area.

When contacted, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, president of the Municipal Council, said that an arrangement for cleaning the area had been made. The council had also prepared a sewerage disposal plan at the cost of Rs 10 lakh, he said.


Circular act of terrorism: Dal
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 24
Expressing distress over the contents of a controversial circular issued by the SSP, Lucknow, directing the SHO’s to keep an eye on Muslims and Sikhs, the Dal Khalsa described it as an “act of state terrorism”.

In a press statement issued here today, the party spokesperson, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, said the circular had exposed the “bias of senior officials against minorities. He said on the October 10, 1947), a similar confidential circular was issued by the then Punjab Governor Chandu Lal Trivedi, to all Deputy Commissioners and SPs, directing them to take “special measures” against the Sikhs. The only difference in both was that the earlier circular described the Sikhs as “lawless people” and this circular termed the Sikhs as a suspected community, he added. He said it was due to this mindset of the bureaucracy and the political class that the Sikhs and other minorities had strongly opposed POTO. 


Amarinder greets Christians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, today greeted Christians of Punjab on the occasion of Christmas and said teachings of Christianity were far more relevant today as they showed not only the path to love, compassion, tolerance but also of universal brotherhood and peace. He also lauded the contribution of Christians to the social, economic, political and cultural life of the state.


9 IGPs shuffled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24
The Punjab Government today ordered posting of nine Inspectors-General of Police. Those given new postings are: Mr S.M. Sharma, Inspector-General of Police, India Reserve Battalion; Mr G.D. Pandey. IG (Operations); Mr Sanjiv Gupta, IG (Security); Mr S.S. Saini, IG (Crime); Mr Suresh Arora, IG (Vigilance); Mr Rajinder Singh IG (Home Guards); Mr A.P. Pandey IG (HQ); Mr Bakshi Ram IG (Computer and Wireless) and Mr R.C. Prasad, IG (Traffic).

The government also ordered the posting of Mr Deepak Gakhar as General Manager, Punjab Bhavan, in place of Mr Rajdeep Singh Kamboj who retires on December 31.


311 constables promoted
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 24
Mr Jatinder Singh Aulakh, SSP, Sangrur, today promoted 311 constables as Head Constables in the district.

Giving this information here today, Mr Mandip Singh Sidhu, SP (Headquarters), Sangrur, said all constables were promoted on the recommendations of a three-member departmental promotion committee, comprising the SP (Headquarters), Mr H.S. Pannu, DSP (D), and Mr Balbir Singh, DSP, Dhuri.

Mr Sidhu said in compliance with the directions of the DGP, Punjab, the three-member departmental promotion committee was constituted to scrutinise the service record of those constables who had completed 16 years of regular service.

As 36 constables, despite the completion of 16 years of regular service were not promoted on various grounds, he added.


2 arrested for looting lotteries
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 24
Two persons, who used to loot lotteries were arrested by the police last evening. This was stated by Mr Rajesh Jaiswal, Superintendent of Police at a press conference held here today.

Mr Jaiswal said the accused had recently looted lotteries worth Rs 1.30 lakh from Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran, who procured the lotteries from Amritsar and was returning home when the culprits attacked him. They reportedly threw chillies into his eyes and snatched the bag containing lotteries.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh lodged an FIR at Sultanwind police station here. On receiving a tip-off, the police raided a market near Chatiwind Gate, where the culprits were selling the lotteries, he said. The police had recovered all the looted lotteries.

During interrogation, the accused confessed about two similar attempts in which lotteries worth Rs 16,000 were looted.


Kidnapper arrested
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 24
The police claims to have solved the kidnapping of Gurjeet Kaur, a resident of the district, by arresting Ram Bhagat her alleged kidnapper from Uttar Pradesh.

According a press note, an FIR was lodged on October 10 on a complaint of Bikkar Singh, a resident of Jeeda village in the district, under Section 363, 366 of the IPC in which it was stated that Gurjeet Kaur, sister of Bikkar Singh, had been kidnapped.

The police had a suspicion that Ram Bhagat, a migrant labourer, was behind the incident. A police party was sent to Bodnawala village under Phunniwari police station in Uttar Pradesh, the native village of the alleged culprit, from where they recovered Gurjeet Kaur and arrested Ram Bhagat.


School teachers seek arrears
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, December 24
Teachers of the government-aided private schools in the district have threatened to launch a stir from December 31 if their enhanced pay scale arrears sanctioned by the Punjab Government from January 1, 1996, were not paid by the stipulated date. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the local MGM Gandhiji Senior Secondary School today. In a press note issued here today, Mr Sewa Singh Chawla, president, Government-aided Private Schoolteachers Association, Faridkot, regretted that the district treasury offices were not clearing the bills despite repeated requests. The teachers of other districts had got their arrears much earlier, he said.


Teachers honoured
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 24
Prof Y.R. Handa, president, district unit of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, and Ms Veena Handa today honoured by the college authorities for their role in struggle of teachers.

Both remained in Burail jail, Chandigarh, for 16 days with other members of the Joint Action Committee of teachers, for demanding pension and gratuity funds for aided and non-aided colleges of the state.

Mr Mariya, Principal, DAV College, was also present on the occasion.


Convocation held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 24
Delivering the convocation address at the local HMV College, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ms Sushma Swaraj, exhorted the students to never allow themselves to drift in the tunnel of despair.

She urged the girl students to discard the perception that girls could not match boys. “If you do anything with confidence, you are sure to emerge a winner in any male-dominated field”.


Professor invited
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 24
Dr H. S. Rose, Professor, Department of Zoology , Punjabi University, has been invited to deliver the keynote address at the 12th Zoology Congress to be held at Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Hardwar, from December 29-31.


‘Milkfed ready to face WTO threat’
Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 24
Punjab Milkfed is ready to face the threat caused by the WTO. This was stated by Mr Jagdeep Singh Nakai, Chairman, Milkfed, Punjab, while distributing profits among members of the Milk Production Cooperative Society at Joga village of the district today.

He said Milkfed would introduce new products in the market. A project at a cost of Rs 2 crore had been set up in the state to improve the breed of cattle. He asked farmers to increase milk production by keeping well-bred milch cattles. He said the New Zealand Government had offered to set up a project in the state for the production of good quality seeds.

Mr Baldev Singh Makha, member, SGPC, while addressing the gathering, urged the farmers to adopt dairy farming. Mr Sandhura Singh, Chairman, Milkplant, Bathinda, said all steps were being taken for the development of dairy farming.

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