Monday, June 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


VB seeks disciplinary action against erring cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau has, in a strong-worded letter to the district police authorities, demanded serious disciplinary action against some police officials who had accompanied a ‘wanted’ cop Paramjit Singh to the Civil Hospital yesterday.

The Vigilance Bureau has also demanded explanation from the Civil Hospital doctors and employees as to why they did not inform the police about the presence of the ‘wanted’ cop. The doctors have also been told to explain the illness of the accused cop for which he had come to get a medical examination conducted.

Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, SSP, Vigilance, said it was a serious lapse and newspaper reports regarding the ‘cop-on-the-run-case’ had been sent to the senior officers.

The Ludhiana Tribune, had today, published a picture of two police officials seen with Inspector Paramjit Singh at Civil Hospital last afternoon. The accused cop is an absconder in two cases registered against him by the local Vigilance Bureau. One of the police official seen with him has been identified as Balbir Chand Tewari, SHO Division No. 2 police station here. The other, an ASI, is yet to be identified.

District Police Chief Narinder Pal Singh has also taken a serious note of the accused cop’s pictures with serving police officials. Instead of arresting the ‘wanted’ cop, the police officials were helping him to bypass the law.

He has directed SP(H) to include the glaring irregularity committed by some officials by accompanying him to Civil Hospital in an inquiry already announced in the case.

“I have told SP(H) Arunpal Singh to complete the probe within two days and report to me by Tuesday,” he said, adding that strict disciplinary action would be taken against the erring officials.

With such developments, the ‘cop-on-the-run’ case is getting murkier day by day. Ludhiana Tribune was the first paper to expose the curious case of Inspector Paramjit Singh. He was wanted by Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau in cases of corruption and manhandling a Vigilance DSP. However, the cop had marked his presence in attendance register at Police Lines on June 8.

The district police had yesterday ordered an inquiry as to how the cop marked himself present in the police lines. The accused cop went a step further and appeared in the Civil Hospital yesterday afternoon with some police officials to get medical examination required for continuing his medical leave.

He had come in a car with the police officials and left within few minutes after the job was done. Unfortunately for him, he was photographed.

As per the norms, an accused person wanted by any security agency in the country should be arrested by any agency who gets a hold on him. In this case Inspector Paramjit Singh is wanted by the State Vigilance Bureau on the charges of corruption, possessing disproportionate assets and manhandling DSP Darshan Singh besides obstructing him in his duty during a raid in the house of a government doctor on April 24. The Vigilance Bureau officials had been conducting raids since April 24 to arrest the accused cop. However, he could not be found anywhere.

The State Vigilance Bureau had booked Inspector Paramjit Singh, former SHO, Police Station Sadar, Ludhiana, for amassing huge property and wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The police official had allegedly amassed assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. He was also booked for manhandling a DSP of the department and obstructing him in his official duty while the Vigilance official was conducting a raid in the house of a government doctor in Ghumar Mandi.

A case under Sections 186, 332, 333, 353, 220 IPC was registered for obstructing the raiding team of Vigilance Bureau. He was also booked under Section 13 (1) (E) and 13(2) Prevention of Corruption Act at Vigilance Bureau police station here.



Nominations for panchayat poll from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Contestants for the panchayat elections are virtually at sea about the procedure to be followed for filing their nominations and getting the pro forma even as nominations begin tomorrow.

Enquiries at the office of the District Development and Panchayat Officer revealed that the pro formas would be available at the office from Monday. No one was forthcoming about the delay in announcing the schedule or making the pro formas available beforehand so that the contestants could have ample time in completing the formalities.

A perusal of the pro forma showed that the contestants would have to do a lot of running around if they were to complete the form. The four-page document consist of two pages of particulars to be filled and a sample of the two affidavits to be submitted by the candidate.

At the outset, the candidate would have to declare whether he had been convicted in any case by a court of law and in case anyone had been, he would not only have to list the nature of offence but also the date of conviction, punishment, period of imprisonment and date of release from prison. He would also have to give details if any appeal was filed, whether it was accepted or was pending, date of disposal, nature of order passed or was granted bail.

While this information was mandatory for all posts, the candidates for the post of sarpanch would have to furnish all details about his immovable and movable properties in addition to the other assets held jointly and the extent of ownership too would have to be provided.

The candidate would have to specify the balance in the bank account and financial institutions in his/her name and the spouse, vehicles and their make, besides jewellery and details of weight and value.

The details of immovable assets to be given too were also all encompassing. The candidate would have to declare the land owned, location with the ‘khasra’ numbers, besides other commercial and residential property owned.

The candidates would also have to provide his educational qualifications year-wise and the institutions attended.



Disbanding of panchayat irks villagers
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 15
The disbanding of the gram panchayat of Salana Dara Singh Wala (Amloh), the native village of a former Finance Minister of Punjab and SAD General Secretary, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has annoyed villagers, Mr Joginder Singh, sarpanch of the village, told mediapersons here today.

Initially, the village had been divided into two panchayats— Salana Jeewan Singh Wala and Salana Dulla Singh Wala. During the Akali-BJP rule, a third panchayat was carved out of these in 1998— Salana Dara Singh Wala. However, when the Congress captured power in the state and the Amloh constituency was also bagged by it, Mr Shingara Singh Salana, block Congress chief, and Mr Pakhar Singh Salana, Chairman, Zila Parishad, opposed the formation of the third panchayat and succeeded in getting it disbanded.

Mr Gurmeet Singh and Mr Kuldeep Singh, residents of the village, had challenged the formation of the third panchayat in the Panjab and Haryana High Court.

Mr Hakim Singh, Mr Joginder Singh and Mr Surinder Singh Thekedar were the sarpanches of Salana Dulla Singh Wala, Salana Dara Singh Wala and Salana Jeewan Singh Wala, respectively. The sarpanches of Salana Dulla Singh Wala and Salana Jeewan Singh Wala have opposed the merger of the third panchayat with them.

The Salana Dara Singh Wala gram panchayat has opposed the decision of the government, which it claims, has been made on political considerations.

Mr Joginder Singh said the village had a separate school, a dharamshala and a panchayat ghar and added that they would move court against the decision of the government. Meanwhile, residents of Breehma village, near here, have presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, stating that their village has been placed under the reserve category, whereas there is no population of Scheduled Castes in the village, except a woman and her husband who have settled here from outside and live in a rented house. They have no property in the village. 



City girl tops Class XII exams
Three BCM girls among top five
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
Girls from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Focal Point, have brought laurels to the city by securing first, fourth and fifth ranks in the state in Class XII (arts) results declared by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) at SAS Nagar today. Nine students from the district have their names in the merit list of 36 students released by the board.

Tulsa, whose father is working as a security guard in Hero Cycles and her mother is working as an attendant in the same school, has stood first with 401 marks out of the total 450. On the third position in the state is Simranjit from R.S. Model Senior Secondary School with 397 marks. Fourth and fifth positions in Punjab have been grabbed by BCM girls, Vishnu Priya and Jashanjeet, respectively. Vishnu has scored 392 marks while Jashanjeet has obtained 391 marks.

On the seventh rank in the state is Mithu Deelna from Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School, Jagraon, who has obtained 389 marks. Next three positions in the district have gone to the students from RS Model Senior Secondary School. Ranking 13th, 18th and 20th in Punjab are Varinderjit Kaur, Baljit and Hema Bansal with 381, 379 and 377 marks, respectively. Aashima Garg from Swami Roop Chand Jain School, Jagraon, has stood on 22nd position with 376 marks.

Topper Tulsa said she had expected good marks but she had never thought that she could be the topper in the state. ‘‘Just two days ago, Mr Mangat Ram Mehta, Principal of my school, called up at my father’s factory asking him to send my photograph to the board office. Since then, I was sure that I was among the top 10 students from Punjab. But this morning, when Mr Mehta again called up in the factory and told him that I was the state topper, my father’s excitement knew no bounds. He came home much excited with lots of sweets for me and my family’’.

Aiming to become a teacher, Tulsa said she would do BA from the local Government College for Women with English, Sanskrit and political science as her subjects. She said even though she knew that she was weak in English, still it was her favourite subject and would like to pursue it for her higher studies.

Daughter of a bank employee, Simranjeet said she wanted to become a professor in mathematics. She said she had earlier aimed to join civil services but after the recent PPSC scam, she had changed her mind.

Vishnu Priya, whose father works with Hero Cycles, wants to become a professor in economics. She said she got to know about her result when she started receiving calls from various newspapers who had the details of the merit list released by the board.

Daughter of a correspondent from a vernacular paper, Jashanjeet also aims to become a teacher. Recently after she became free after taking her Class XII examination, she opened her own saloon. ‘‘My parents have always been inspiring me to become independent and earn my own living. I would study and also run my parlour,” she said proudly. 



Basmati set to make a comeback 
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Basmati is all set to stage a comeback in all districts of Punjab in a big way with the active involvement of major corporate houses.
Under the diversification programme of the state, basmati has been identified as one of the potential crops for this kharif season. The cultivation of the crop is being carried out in a big way in traditional as well as non-traditional areas under the Contract Farming Programme (CFP).

Sources in the Punjab Agro Foodgrain Corporation (PAFC) said basmati varieties like 386 and HBC-19 were being mainly cultivated in the state since buyers and exporters preferred these. Corporate houses like Escorts, Mahindra, KRBL, Pepsi and Rallis are involved in this programme and will buy the crop grown on thousands of acres across the state from the farmers at pre-determined prices.

Awareness drives have shown that farmers are interested in growing basmati but are reluctant to do so as they don’t have the market nearby and have to sell their produce either in Amritsar or Haryana. In this context, contract farming initiated by the PAFC would provide an assurance of procurement locally.

The sources said the farmers were being advised that the best time for sowing the nursery was mid-June to June-end and for transplanting from mid-July to July-end for getting better yield and quality. The farmers are being provided technical and extension services by officers of the Agriculture Department, besides qualified teams deputed by the corporate sector and the PAFC.

Since farmers are also sowing basmati variety Pusa 1, about whose marketing they had apprehensions, the PAFC has declared to include this variety under their basmati contract farming programme, the sources said.

At a recent review meeting chaired by the ADC (Development), Mr S.S. Gurjar, it was emphasised that concerted efforts must be made by all officers concerned to achieve the targeted area as was done in the cases of hyola and sunflower under CFP.

Mr N.K. Sharma, nodal officer of the corporation, said seeds of the varieties required to be grown under basmati CFP had already been placed in the district and were also being made available through the block agriculture offices in the district so that farmers may not face any difficulty in getting good-quality seeds. Mobile teams are contacting farmers in villages to bring the maximum area under basmati.

Mr S.S. Bassi, Senior District Manager, Punjab Agro, stressed that assured market of any crop along with better returns was being accorded top priority since it would also redress the problem of water depletion and deterioration of the agro-ecosystem. All departments relating to agriculture development like Punjab Agro, Agriculture Department and the Cooperative are working together with farmers to achieve the targets of diversification.

Dr S.S. Pandher, Chief Agriculture Officer, said his officers were making sincere efforts in achieving the targets for basmati as well as for growing kharif maize in the district. 



Baba Bedi: Akali unity unprincipled
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, convener, Panthic Morcha and president, Gurmit Sidhant Pracharak Sant Samaj, today assailed the unity between the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the Sarb Hind Akali Dal led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and described the same as unprincipled. The unity was meant to bring about the dynastic rule of one family.

Commenting on the unity of the two Akali factions, Baba Bedi said the Sikh institutions, particularly Akal Takht, received the maximum damage during the past Akali government in Punjab.

He charged that Mr Badal violated the ''hukamnama'' issued by Bhai Ranjit Singh at the time of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa. The Sikh organisations and the Sikh sangat gave the biggest response to the leadership of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Panthic Morcha was formed. The morcha made a rich contribution to safeguard the interests of the Sikhs and check the dictatorial policies of Mr Badal. It was because of this policy that he (Baba Bedi) agreed to head the Panthic Morcha.

''During this period it was my endeavour to protect the interests of the panth and give a new direction to the Sikhs. After the Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab, I am pained at the turn of events but I am not disheartened,'' Baba Bedi said and added that he was for the unity of the Sikh panth but the way a section of the Akali Dal led by Jathedar Tohra had made unity with Mr Badal behind the scene was against the interests of the Sikhs and had caused damage to the Panthic Morcha. The partners of the morcha were kept in the dark.

Baba Bedi appealed to the Sikhs not to lose heart and follow the right path for the ''chardi kalan'' of the Sikh community.



Shiv sainiks burn effigy of terrorism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
Activists of Shiv Sena (Hindustan) today took out a protest march in the city and later burnt an effigy of terrorism to voice their concern against the recent developments in which head priest of Akal Takht had declared Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwala as a martyr.

The protest march, led by party general secretary Pawan Sharma and district chief Krishan Sharma, started from railway station carrying placards denouncing terrorism and shouting slogans against the militancy and anti-national forces. It terminated at Clock Tower Chowk where a rally was held and a symbolic effigy of terrorism was burnt.

Shiv Sena leaders termed the act of Akal Takht head priest questionable and reprehensible. Mr Sharma attributed motives to declaration of Bhindranwala and other terrorists, killed in Operation Bluestar, as martyrs after a gap of 19 years. “The government should order an inquiry to bring out the real truth as attempts are being made to vitiate the peace in the state, reportedly at the behest of Pakistan-based militants and the intelligence outfit ISI.”

Mr Sharma and other speakers also castigated the Punjab Government for becoming a mute spectator to such activities that could disturb the communal fabric and create tension in the state. 



Transporters allege harassment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
The local transporters are a harassed lot with a spate of challans being issued to them allegedly on trumped-up violations of the Motor Vehicles Act by officials of the Transport Department, particularly the District Transport Officer (DTO).

According to Mr Krishan Sood, president, Ludhiana Goods Transport Association, trucks were indiscriminately impounded on false and fabricated charges and taken to police stations. Further, during the course of checking by the DTO and other officials of the department, such challans were slapped on the drivers which already had offences like overloading, over-riding, without documents and pressure horn, mentioned and only the vehicle numbers were filled, irrespective of the fact whether the truck concerned had committed any of these violations.

In this connection, a deputation of the association met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, at his residence and apprised him of the intimidating and high-handed attitude of the transport officials towards the truckers. Some other transporters alleged that under the garb of extensive checking, the truck operators were being held to ransom and there were instances of extorting money by officials of the Transport Department.

Mr Sood disclosed that on an earlier occasion when truck operators were being harassed in a similar manner, the then Deputy Commissioner had ordered an inquiry into detention of vehicles and it had been established that the truck owners of the detained vehicles were not at fault. 



Lions Club’s awards nite
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
The Lions Club Ludhiana held its awards nite to honour those members who have contributed for the uplift of the club, here last night. The general secretary of the club, Mr Arvind Malhotra said that the awards were being given to the persons in recognition of their services.

Among those honoured were Mr K.L. Malhotra, Mr N.C. Kumra, Mr S.K. Sood, Mr K.S. Attri, Dr Inderjit Singh Ahuja, Mr Arun Seth, Mr Satish Soin, Mr G.S. Chauhan, Dr Ravinder Kochhar, Mr Amarnath Handa and Mr Arvind Malhora.

A blood donation camp was also held at Shanti Tara College, Ahmedgarh. The club also honoured a Punjabi poet, Dr Surjit Pattar, with a memento.


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