Sunday, October 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab’s business tour to China off
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The much touted business tour of one Punjab minister, two MLAs, one chairman and five senior officers to China was today called off. Official sources in the Punjab Government told The Tribune that the tour had to be cancelled for want of clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs.

Sources said that the non-clearance of the tour of Punjab minister and officials would start another round of confrontation. All out efforts were made to seek the clearance from the ministry for the past three days but in vain. “It was a most humiliating experience”, said those who were pursuing the case for clearance at the ministry.

Led by the PWD Minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, MLAs, officers and chairman was to leave for China tonight. The other members of the team were Mr Arvind Khanna, Congress MLA from Sangrur, Rana Gurjit Singh, a Congress MLA and industrialists from Kapurthala and Mr Ripjit Singh Brar, Chairman, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), who also happens to be brother of Mr Jagmeet Brar, MP.

The officers, who were to accompany Mr Bajwa included S. C. Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, Industry, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Director Industries, Mrs Vini Mahajan, Managing Director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board and Mr R.S. Sandhu, a Secretary-level IAS officers besides Mr Kuldeep Singh, Chief Engineer.

Confirming that the State officers' visit to China had been cancelled, Mr Aggarwal said that officers did not get clearance from the Union Government. He said that objective of the tour was manifold.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was to head the team to China. However, he had to withdraw from the team because of the announcement of the Assembly elections in five states. He is to campaign in Rajsathan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh because Sikhs have a substantial presence in certain constituencies of these states. Then he had asked Mr Bajwa to head the team.

The tour was arranged by the North Region chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). A number of eminent industrialists from Punjab were also to accompany the official team. The Chinese Embassy had given visa to all.

“We had booked 22 air tickets for the trip to China where India-China week celebrations would start tomorrow. After visiting Shangai and Beijing, team members were to return to Kuala Lumpur on October 19 for a three-day visit to Malaysia”, said a senior functionary, who was handling the tour arrangement for the Punjab team on behalf of the CII.

“Because of the cancellation of the tour, he said that the loss would be worth several lakhs. Lot of industry and business related material was got published for distribution in China but all would go waste now”, he added.

“We have called off the entire tour”, said a senior functionary of the CII tonight. No one would be going now, he added. Upset over the conduct of the Union Government in this connection, he said that Punjab should not be punished for having got a Congress government.

The main objective was to see what sort of infrastructure was being developed in China especially in Shanghai, which is known as most modern city of the world at present. It is presented its show window by China not only to attract the foreign investment but to exhibit its march to modernism.

“We had planned to meet certain companies which have been involved in the development of infrastructure in Shangai. The objective was to tie up with them for developing such infrastructure in Punjab”, said a senior Punjab officer. Because of this reason at least two senior officers of the Infrastructure Board were taken in the team.

Besides, the other objective was to present Punjab as a show window in China. Functions in this connection were to be organised at Beijing and Shangai. The entire arrangement for this had been made by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which had last year set up its counter there.


Case against Daler, Secy for threatening ASI
Police to raid Mumbai office
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 11
The Patiala police today registered a case against pop star Daler Mehndi and his secretary, both of whom are accused of threatening an officer who is operating a computer seized from the office of the pop star. A local court simultaneously today extended the police remand of Daler’s brother Shamsher to October 15 when the prosecution said it wanted to recover some passports of persons, who had been duped by Shamsher on the promise of being taken abroad as members of his brother’s troupe, from the office of the Big M Entertainers in Mumbai.

The police today registered a case against Daler and his secretary, who has not been named in this FIR. According to a complaint by Assistant Sub Inspector Harwinder Singh, he said he had received a phone call from a person who claimed to be a secretary of Daler Mehndi. According to the FIR, the “secretary” told the ASI that ‘Dalerji’ had asked him to contact him (the ASI) and request him that he erase some objectionable records from the computer and floppies seized by the police from the office of the Big M Entertainers in Delhi.

The FIR further said when the ASI expressed his helplessness to do so, the secretary offered him a bribe and when this too failed he threatened the ASI saying he knew his (the ASI’s) two children studied in a model school in the city and that they would be put to harm if he did not accede to their request. Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal confirmed the development and said the police was also contemplating registration of a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Daler and his secretary. He said legal advise had been sought from the District Attorney in this regard

Meanwhile, another court issued a notice to the state government for October 15 on an anticipatory bail application filed by Daler’s wife Daljit Kaur. In another development Shamsher’s wife also filed an application in the Sessions Court today seeking an anticipatory bail. She claimed in her application that her name was not named in the FIR and that she was not involved in the business deals of Daler Mehndi in any way. The application said anticipatory bail should be granted to her as she felt she might be falsely implicated in the case.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, meanwhile today said that he had got the case transferred back to the Patiala Police after it had been posted out by the Patiala Zone Inspector General of Police (IGP) when he (the CM) came to know that the Patiala Police was responsible for the breakthrough in the case. He said he would not allow any pressure to come in the way of the investigation in to the case and said the government was determined to punish those who were responsible for duping youth by promising to get them settled abroad for a consideration.

Meanwhile, arguing the case when Shamsher was presented in a local court for review of his remand, the prosecution said it had been revealed during investigation that some passports related to the human trafficking case were lying in the Mumbai office branch of the Big M Entertainers. The prosecution said it wanted to recover these passports as they belonged to people from whom money had been taken for taking them abroad as members of the pop start’s dance troupe. The prosecution also claimed that it wanted time to conclusively prove Daler’s involvement in the human trafficking.

Shamsher’s lawyer, meanwhile alleged that the Patiala police was “fabricating” new evidence against Daler and his family members because the pop star had accused a police officer of demanding a bribe of Rs 1.50 crore to remove his name from the FIR.

UNI adds: The Punjab Police sleuths were likely to raid flats of pop singer Daler Mehndi in Mumbai to recover complainants’ passports and money which his brother Shamsher Shera had confessed were lying there, sources said.

Five passports and some of the money belonging to the complainants were lying in their Mumbai’s office-cum-transit lounge, sources quoted Shera as having told the police during interrogation.

Highly-placed sources said Shera, whose police remand was extended, would be flown to Mumbai from New Delhi tonight, subject to availability of tickets. A Punjab Police team has already left for the capital.

According to police sources, Shera also said he had recently held negotiations for organising Mehndi’s show at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on October 24. Pavitrata, an NGO led by Syna Bedi, daughter of IPS official Kiran Bedi, and Hope International are jointly holding the show for charity.

Sources said Shera had, during the interrogation, said he would book and arrange tour programmes of his brother. He also gave details of a programme booked by him on October 4 in Jaipur. According to his statement, Shera would first hold discussions with interested parties and then send them a detailed proposal, which included the show fee as well other details of the visit. According to sources, Mehndi’s younger brother Mika, a singer, may also be questioned by the police in connection with the people smuggling case.

Mika also performs abroad with his own musical troupe. His recent album titled ‘Gabru’ was brought out by his star-singer brother Mehndi’s company.


Badal refutes Vigilance charge
Investing Rs 2.45 cr black money in Harbans Lal’s name
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
Former Punjab Chief Minister and SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal yesterday refuted the Vigilance Bureau charge that he had invested Rs 2.45 crore black money in the name of ex-Sarpanch Harbans Lal, manager at a petrol station owned by his brother in Mandi Killianwali. The Vigilance had on Thursday claimed while presenting the interrogation report of Harbans Lal in a Kharar court yesterday.

To substantiate that the Vigilance charge was false and baseless, Mr Badal presented before the mediapersons some of the persons named in the charge sheet, who had allegedly paid huge amounts of money to Harbans Lal to seek favours from the Badal regime.

Reiterating that he did not hope to get justice from the Vigilance Bureau, Mr Badal suggested that the Supreme Court should intervene to set up designated judicial commissions in every state, who should try the cases of corruption registered against politicians and public servants.

Claiming that he has no connection whatsoever with Mr Harbans Lal, who works for his elder brother, Gurdas Singh, the SAD leader alleged that the confessions about accepting bribes mentioned in the Vigilance interrogation report were nothing but the “Maharaja’s (Capt Amarinder Singh’s) tapestry of magnificient lies.”

Presenting Kuldip Singh of Ghumiara village before the mediapersons at his official residence, Mr Badal said the VB charge that Mr Kuldip had paid Rs 2.5 lakh to Harbans Lal for the recruitment of his son as a Panchayat Secretary was nothing but a “figment of the Chief Minister’s overworked imagination.” He asked how the only 12-year-old son of Kuldip Singh could be recruited as a Panchayat Secretary.

Baba Bakhtaura of Wading village in Lambi (Muktsar) has been charged with paying a bribe of Rs 4 lakh for getting his two sons recruited as a patwari and a Panchayat Secretary. The fact is that three of his four sons are fit to work on agricultural land in view of their educational qualifications while the fourth one was recruited as a patwari in 1996.

Mr Badal refuted the Vigilance charge that the Sarpanch of Lalwali had paid Rs 20 lakh for the recruitment of his relative as an Excise Inspector, saying that not a single Excise Inspector was either recruited or promoted during his five-year regime in Punjab (1997-2002).

The Akali supremo also described as ‘Amarinder’s midnight musings’ the allegation that one of his closest political colleagues, Mr Dayal Singh of Kullianwalli village, had paid Rs 45 lakh to become a member of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board. Mr Badal asserted that Mr Dayal Singh, also an SGPC member, became a member of the board only towards the fag end of his regime. And why would he dish out nearly half a crore to become a member of the board for just about two months or so? the SAD leader wondered.

Mr Badal claimed that Harbans Lal was kept in illegal detention and forced to sign on fake documents. His counsel today presented copies of the telegram sent by his son to the authorities concerned alleging “torture” of his father among other things.

In another case, the Sarpanch of Doomwali village, Mr Sarabjit Singh, swore by his son that he had not paid Rs 5 lakh for getting a teacher promoted as a Panchayat Secretary. Similarly, Ms Gurbachan Kaur, woman Sarpanch of Fattake village, denied having paid Rs 5 lakh for getting permits for two bus routes, when in reality she owns only two mini-buses that ply within a distance of 20 km.


SAD (A) protest against police high-handedness
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 11
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), SAD (A) would hold a state level conference at Phagwara on November 22 to protest against police high-handedness, including the one in which party president and Lok Sabha, member Simranjit Singh Mann was ill-treated by the police on October 4. At a press conference here yesterday afternoon, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, Mr Anoop Singh Minhas, Dr Harjinder Jakhu, Mr Paramjit Singh Johal, Mr Paramjit Singh Barnala, all general secretaries of the SAD (A) and Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, national president of the youth wing of the party, said that three memorandums had been submitted to the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha Mr P.M. Sayed, Chairpersons of the National Commission for SC/ST and National Human Rights Commission at New Delhi on October 8 against the police high-handedness against Mr Mann. The issue was being referred to the Privelege Committee of the Lok Sabha by the Deputy Speaker, they claimed.

The SAD (A) leaders asserted that the cop was handed over to police along with the “danda” with which he had hit the official vehicle of Mr Mann near Chahal Nagar on the GT Road here on October 4.

In memorandums, the SAD (A) leaders had accused local SP of using derogatory language against Mr Mann. However, the SP had already denied it. The leaders cited other instances of police high-handedness against farmers, employees, students, and Dalits.


Cop fearing threat from SP, moves court
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
Mr Ravinder Kumar, Sub-Inspector (SI), a former station house officer (SHO), Sadar police station, Dabwali (Sirsa district of Haryana), has alleged threats from the then SP of Sirsa, Mr A. S. Ahlawat, and DSP, Dabwali, Chander Singh and petitioned to Mr Rajesh Garg, Judicial Magistrate, Dabwali for protection.

Mr Kumar, who was investigating a case against Mr Om Parkash, his kin and associates, registered on July 10, 2000, made a statement before Mr Garg, Judicial Magistrate on September 22, 2003 that he was being pressurised by SP Ahlawat and DSP, Chander Singh to obtain a disclosure statement from the accused including Mr Om Parkash and others and humiliate them failing which he would be suspended.

Mr Om Parkash, who belongs to Chautala village in Haryana and a distant kin to Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala. His kin and associates face several cases registered in Haryana and neighbouring states. Mr Om Parkash and his son Mr Manoj Kumar, who have been facing a murder case, are presently admitted in the local civil hospital for treatment. Mr Om Parkash is a heart patient and his son Mr Manoj Kumar has been getting treatment for a fracture of his feet.

Moving a separate application before the court, Mr Ravinder Kumar pointed out that he and his family members feared a threat to their lives from Mr Ahlawat and Mr Chander Singh for a statement against them in the court.

He also feared to be framed up on getting a false affidavit against him. He prayed to court for the protection of the members of his family, life and property. He also prayed that his service pistol along with cartridges should also be taken into possession by the court.

Mr Garg after recording the statement of Mr Kumar ordered that his statement should be sent to DGP, Haryana through the District and Sessions Judge, Sirsa with the direction to take appropriate action against SP, Sirsa and DSP, Dabwali. The court also ordered that application by Mr Kumar should also be sent to DGP, Haryana through District and Sessions Judge, Sirsa for action.

Mr Ahwalat, now SP, Hisar and Mr Chander Singh, DSP, said that Mr Ravinder Kumar had levelled these false allegations against them. They added that Mr Ravinder Kumar could have written a zimni order on the case file if he was under threat from them or he could have mentioned about the threat in the application moved by him before the court on September 22 for seeking police remand of the accused. They said that Mr Ravinder Kumar had no evidence against them.

They pointed out that they had filed a revision petition against the order of the court on September 22 after recording the statement and going through the application of Mr Kumar in the court of Sessions judge, Sirsa. The revision had been fixed for October 17, 2003. Mr Ahlawat said that action against Mr Ravinder Kumar for making false allegations against them would be taken after the revision petition filed by them was disposed of by the court.

Meanwhile, Mr Sanjay Kumar, son of Mr Om Parkash, here today alleged that his family had been facing police atrocities even since present government came to power in the state. He alleged that his brother suffered a fracture in one of the feet due to police torture and added that his family members had approached the National Human Rights Commission for protection.


NCM to take up helmet issue with Centre
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has decided to take up the issue of challaning of Sikh women by the Punjab police for not wearing helmets with the Centre and the state government. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti have condemned the traffic wing of the Jalandhar police for challaning a Sikh woman yesterday.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, Mr Tirlochan Singh, Chairman of the NCM, said he had received a number of complaints about police officials for challaning Sikh women for not wearing helmets. Maintaining that the state government should try to save Sikh women from harassment, at least in Punjab, he said he would take up the matter with the Union Home Ministry and the Punjab Government.

Though the issue of challaning of the Sikh women on account of not wearing helmets had been settled during the SAD-BJP regime in the state, challaning incidents have again started surfacing in the state.

Parwinder Kaur, a local resident, was challaned by the traffic wing of the Jalandhar police yesterday for not wearing a helmet.

Traffic wing ASI Bikram Singh allegedly paid no heed to the plea of the woman that she was a Sikh and wearing a helmet would hurt her religious sentiments. The woman had alleged that the ASI misbehaved with her.

Maintaining that rules did not exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets, Mr Pawan Rai, SP (Traffic), tried to underplay the issue and dubbed it as “individual behaviour of the police official.”

The SP said the traffic ASI might not be aware of the convention that Sikh women need not wear helmets.

Condemning the role of the traffic wing of the Jalandhar police, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, SGPC’s honorary chief secretary, said such incidents could flare up the situation in the state. He urged the Punjab Chief Minister to keep the police under control.

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Akal Takht Jathedar, said Sikhs could not wear helmets as it violated their religious beliefs.


Punjab post offices to accept water, power bills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Punjab circle of the Department of Posts will accept payments of water, electricity and telephone bills at its 3400 post offices in the rural and semi-urban areas in the state.

After being introduced as a pilot project in Patiala division, the department has decided to extend the service to other districts.

Disclosing this at a press conference to mark World Post Day , the Chief Post Master-General, Jammu and Kashmir circle, Mr L.K. Puri, who is holding the additional charge of the Punjab circle, said the service had been introduced in Gurdaspur, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Ropar districts. Mr Puri said the department would encourage subscribers to open accounts in post offices nearest to their places of living. The department would charge a fee of Rs 5 per bill.

He said Connect, AirTel, BSNL and the PSEB were already subscribing to the services of the department, including the scheme of payment of bill at the post offices. The department had undertaken the job of verifying the addresses for Reliance and Connect.

He said for the redress of public grievances, the department was implementing an ambitious scheme of handling public complaints on websites in the post offices by December 31 this year. A network of 27 computerised customer care centres was being set up to provide the service. The complaints to be lodged at the website www.india, would be addressed within a month, said Mr Puri. He said to speed up the delivery of money orders, the department had set up six high speed V-sat systems and it was being connected with 75 centres for national uplinking.

Mrs Manjula Prashar, Post Master-General, Punjab circle, who was also present on the occasion, said the 22 head offices in the Punjab circle had been computerised. She said about Rs 15 crore had been sanctioned for construction of buildings staff quarters in Ludhiana, PNT accounts office in Kapurthala and post office buildings in Sector 30 (type 5), 31, 35 and 61 ( SAS Nagar).

Mr Puri said the department was handling the business of the UTI, the LIC, Provident Fund Commissioner’s office, Income Tax, Excise and Taxation, BSNL and AirTel. He said the Punjab circle had been able to generate a revenue of Rs 21.42 crore till June this year. It had brought the Punjab circle to the third position in the country.


Gender bias behind declining sex ratio
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner, Mr J.K. Banthia, has expressed concern over the declining sex ratio in Punjab. The decline in the sex ratio, indicated in the last census, was due to the low rate of birth registration of the girl child, he said

The imbalance in the sex ratio in different age groups was due to gender bias during the census operations. Citing an example, Mr Banthia said during the census 1991, it was found that only 4 per cent of women in Punjab were working. But after an exercise of gender sensitisation, the figure jumped to 20 per cent in census 2001.

In the town to address a conference of Chief Registrars, Joint Registrar Generals, Director, Census of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh , Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, Mr Banthia said the officers should not wait for the census 2011 to react to the alarming situation. The monitoring should be done on a monthly basis. The Registrar said he had informed that the deaths of women in rural areas went unreported due to the gender bias.

Talking to the TNS, he said to mobilise society to check the disturbing trend, the Centre was motivating the state birth and death authorities and the non-government organisations (NGO) to sensitise the masses against the gender bias and clear the myths about the girl child.

He said the Government of India had launched a campaign of birth registration. The campaign would kick off on November 14 and continue in phases till March next year. The main agenda of the government was to sensitise the state governments to simplify the procedure of birth registration as it was the right of the citizens of the country. The national campaign on birth registration would facilitate the national programme on preparing a multi-purpose identity card, said the Registrar General of India.

He said state governments had been asked to decentralise the system of issuing birth certificates as the existing system meant a lot of harassment to the applicants. Citing figures, he said only 55 per cent of birth in the country were registered. Not only the level of birth registration was low, the disparity in performance was also low. While Kerala, Pondichery and Goa had achieved 100 per cent birth registration, the registration level in northern region was quite far away from the target.

“It had been noticed that of those who get the birth in their families registered, about 85 per cent fail to collect the birth certificates. Of an estimated 26 million births every year , only 14.3 million births are registered and 10 million children do not have their birth certificate”, he said, adding that during the national campaign birth certificate would be issued to every child under nine years of age.

Mr Banthia said the Registration of Births and Deaths Act , 1969, provided for issuing of a free copy of birth certificate. He said the state governments had been asked to start issuing the birth certificates at the hospital level, district health centres, panchayat level and even online registration of birth.

He said it was the duty of the Registrar Birth and Deaths to issue a certificate to the applicant, instead of the applicants making rounds of the government offices to get it.

Who would benefit from the national campaign on birth registration ?

* About 45 million girls

* About 16 million Scheduled Castes

* About 8 million Scheduled Tribes.

# These are the groups which are the most neglected during registration of births.


Dell all set to start operations
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 11
Information technology giant Dell is all set to start commercial operations in Punjab in a big way and the state government has promised the multinational company every help in order to facilitate its operations. Stating this the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was here to attend the 17th annual convocation of Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET), said the establishment of information Technology parks throughout the state was a priority on the government's agenda.

The Chief Minister said besides the arrival of Quark company in the state, which is planning to buy 5000 acres near Ropar to set up an IT park at the cost of Rs 3,500 crore and having a potential to generate employment for one lakh persons, Microsoft was planning to introduce computer education from Class VI onwards in all government schools in the state within next two years. The funding for the project would be provided by the Bill Gates Foundation. Other proposed projects included the setting up of a biotechnology park and an Industrial park for manufacturing of tractors, he added.

TIET today conferred upon the Chief Minister the Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa). About 506 students were awarded degrees at the convocation, which included 306 students of bachelor of engineering, 59 of master of computer applications, 19 of MSc (Biotechnology), 114 of Master of Engineering, three of master of Technology and two students of doctor of philosophy.

The Presidents Medal was awarded to Ms Kalpana Bansal. The Sardar Ranbir Singh Memorial Medal for All Round Best Student was awarded to Sheerin Bharaj, the HMT Medal to Aditya Dhand and Prof V. Rajaraman Computer Science award to Ashima. Besides, 19 other medals were awarded to meritorious students.

The convocation was attended by a large number of dignitaries and guests, besides the students and their parents. Mr L.M. Thapar, president of the Institute, presided over the function and the Director, Dr S.C. Saxena, presented the annual report of the institute on the occasion. The guest of honour, Executive Director, Tata Sons Limited, Mumbai, Mr R. Gopalakrishnan, while speaking on the occasion, advised the students about distinguishing between 'learning to live and living to learn'.


SAD, BJP men block traffic
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 11
At least 200 activists of the SAD and the BJP from the district gathered at Hanuman Chowk here today and marched, in procession under the leadership of Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, President of the state unit of the BJP, to the post office crossing, where they sat in a dharna from 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and blocked traffic. Other prominent leaders who participated in the protest were Mr Jagdish Bhandari, General Secretary of the Punjab BJP, Mr B.K. Mittal, president of the district unit of the BJP, Master Mohan Lal and Mr Sat Pal Singh, former ministers, Mr Jagdish Sahni and Mr Arunesh Thakur, former MLAs, and Mr Trishna Minhas, chairperson of the Mahila wing of the Punjab BJP.

The speakers, highlighting the non-performance of the Congress government, said the relay fast going on for the past 33 days would continue till the Punjab Government withdrew the case registered against SAD-BJP activists at the Purana Shalla police station on August 20, released the detained BJP activists and punished the police officials responsible for the lathicharge and firing at the rally on August 20.

Mr Tejinder Singh, SP (D), and Mr Amarjit Paul, SDM, reached the post office crossing and addressing the participants, said the investigation into the case registered against SAD-BJP activists was at an advanced stage and would be further expedited.

Mr Khanna announced the lifting of the blockade. Accompanied by members of the action committee, he held a meeting and decided to suspend the relay fast. A meeting of the action committee would be held on October 20 to review the situation, he said.


Fernandes should quit, says Mann
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, October 11
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, MP and President, SAD (Amritsar), talking to mediapersons here today at Bazid Palace said that keeping in view the involvement of staff of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in a rape case, the Central Government should immediately initiate steps to bring the military and para-military forces under the purview of National Human Rights Commission. He also demanded the resignation of the Defence Minister on moral grounds.

Commenting on the exclusion of Sikkim from its map by China, Mr Mann said that he, in capacity as member of External Affairs Consultative Committee, would ask the External Affairs Minister to give details of China’s decision.

Mr Mann said the SAD (Amritsar) would hold a rally at Hussaniwala on October 20 to raise the demand of opening of Indo-Pak border for trade, tourism and pilgrimage.

He ridiculed the new political phenomena being practiced by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Ms Mayawati, former Chief Ministers of Punjab and UP, respectively, by exhorting party workers to hold dharnas and rallies to protest against the inquiries being conducted against them by the investigative agencies in corruption charges. Both Mr Badal and Ms Mayawati had brought ‘disgrace’ to the Sikhs and the Dalits respectively, by indulging in corruption during their chief ministership.

He particularly criticised the BSP leaders Mr Kanshi Ram and Ms Mayawati for entering into unprincipled alliances with the BJP and Congress.

Mr Mann, while commenting on the statement of Mr Parveen Togadia that the Sikhs were Hindus first, said that if it was so then why the BJP-led coalition government had been discriminating against the Sikhs.

Later, Mr Mann addressed a district-level conference of party workers here. He also announced that the SAD (Amritsar) would contest Sangrur, Bathinda, Ropar and Phillaur Parliamentary seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Mr Annoop Singh Minhas, Dr Harjinder Jakhu, general secretaries, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Hara, among others, also addressed the party workers.


BJP office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Barnala, October 11
Mr Dhiraj Kumar Goyal, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Barnala Mandal announced the office-bearers and executive committee members of the mandal.

The following have been nominated:

Vice-Presidents — Mr Ramesh Jodhpuria, Mr Opinder Sarpanch, Mr Ram Parkash Goyal and Mr Brij Mohan Chaudhary. General Secretary — Mr Bharat Bhushan Bansal.

Secretaries — Mr Bhagwan Dass Bansal Mr Ashok Kumar Goyal, Mr Bhisham Gangohar and Mr Jiwan Dhaula.

Treasurer-Mr Parveen Sharma. Press Secretary-Mr Ranbir Bhushan. Executive Committee members: Mr Sohan Lal Bansal, Mr Karam Chand Ex-Municipal Councillor, Mr Parveen Bansal, Mr Surinder Goyal,

Mr Varinder Mittal, Mrs Kamlesh Makkra Municipal Councillor, Mrs Sneh Lata, Mr Sat Pal Sekha, Mr Yadvinder Toni, Mr Ashok Kumar Cheema, Mr Ramesh Kumar Dhaula, Mr. Shayar Kumar, Mr Tej Ram Singla, Mr Satish Kumar Mocha, Mr Rameshwar Dass, Mr Yash, Mr Hari Ram Tallewalia, Mr Pawan Cheema, and Mr Yash Pal.


Criminals have become part of governance: DGP
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 11
After Independence political leaders of our country became bosses and they considered their political opponents as target groups, they used the police the way the Britishers did, a policeman who is trained to obey orders is in a dilemma, whether to obey wrong orders or to displease the boss, for those who are in power often change their places with those out of power.

These are the excerpts from the thesis, “Police sub culture — an analytical study”, submitted by the DGP, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, to Guru Nanak Dev University for the Ph.D degree. The viva voce of Mr Siddiqui has already been conducted by the university.

Mr Siddiqui in his thesis says politicians have started using criminals, musclemen and other criminals for capturing booths, extracting donations for party funds and tightening grips over their constituencies. Over a period of time many criminal had also joined politics and often become part of the governance. The task of the police in such a situation becomes more difficult and confusing. Mr Siddiqui says the police is not only made to witness but sometimes forced to participate in many criminal or near criminal activity.

Mr Siddiqui said people often forget that a policeman is also a human being like every other fellow beings in the society.

The DGP has also highlighted the hardships and hazardous living conditions of a policeman whose salary is among the lowest in the country. Talking to TNS, Mr Siddiqui said he was Officer on Special Duty (Law and Order) when he had submitted the thesis and now it was his duty to implement the recommendations he had made in the thesis after becoming the DGP. To a question, Mr Siddiqui said he would recommend enhancement in the salary of a policeman as suggested in his thesis in the coming days.

The work ethics of the police during the pre-Independence era emphasised conformity obedience and acceptance of the authority. The police had a clear cut role to identify and isolate anti-social elements and to contain freedom fighters to keep up the authority of the British Raj and their bosses. The police was entitled to use coercive powers, the thesis reads.

As to why a policeman behaves against the expectations of the society? Is it the effect of organisational sub culture? Mr Siddiqui has tried to answer every question which is asked about the behviour of a policeman in our society in his thesis.

The DGP, in his thesis had pointed out that a police officer has two masters, one political representative and the other departmental head as the police organisation is also a part of the government. The politicians consider the police to be resource for them which they can use according to their needs and they obliged the police by rewarding police officials in various ways both individually and collectively.


US bid to disarm N. Korea will be foiled, says envoy
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 11
North Korea will foil all attempts of the Bush administration to disarm the country, said Mr Jang Kwang Son, Ambassador to North Korea to India, while addressing a function organised by the All-India Forward Bloc to mark the 58th founding anniversary of North Korea at Netaji Model School here on Thursday.

The North Korean ambassador alleged that imperialistic USA was intending to disarm the country and use multilateral talks for laying an international siege. His country was fully prepared to foil all such evil designs, he said. North Korea would not make any compromise on the issue of self-defence and would take every step to safeguard its national interests, he asserted.

North Korea and India had many similarities, he said. The relations between the two countries would be further strengthened, he added. He thanked the Forward Bloc for organising celebrations regarding the foundation anniversary and supporting the struggle of the Korean people against the USA.

Speaking on the occasion, All-India Forward Bloc National Secretary V.P. Saini extended his felicitations to the people of North Korea. He said his party was behind the workers’ party in North Korea in its fight against imperialist forces led by the USA.

Students of the school presented a cultural programme on the occasion. The Ambassador also paid his obeisance at Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, where he was presented siropa by the head granthi.


Christian family accuses minister of
shielding culprits

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11
Even as the police has initiated investigation into allegations of a Christian family of Gakhlan village that its head, Chanan Masih, died on Wednesday after being beaten up by four Christians of the same village, the family has alleged that a Punjab minister is shielding the “culprits” and the police is working under pressure from him.

The family, which claims allegiance to the Congress, threatened that if the minister did not stop patronising such elements, it would meet AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and narrate its tale of woes to her.

Daniel (50), son of Chanan Masih, alleged that his father, an old congressman and long-time target of some political rivals, was beaten to death by Sanim, Darshana, Baksho and Patric, who barged into their house when other family members were away. He said Veena, daughter-in-law of Chanan Masih, rushed to the house from a neighbour’s place after hearing cries of the latter and identified the accused, who fled the scene after seeing her.

Francis, also a son of Chanan Masih, alleged that since his father had supported the sarpanch during the panchayat elections, which let to defeat of the nominee of the minister, the minister was annoyed with the family and had got the family falsely implicated in two cases. “The police has been pressuring us to tender an apology to the minister,” he alleged.

Daniel asserted that the family would not tender any apology to the minister and would approach Ms Sonia Gandhi in this regard.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajinder Singh, DSP (Rural), denied the allegations that the police was working under pressure from the minister. “We have registered a case and are investigating the matter. The old man was an invalid and died of a heart attack. Actually, the family is trying to pressurise us to withdraw the cases against them. There is no pressure on us and nor has any case been registered against them at the behest of any minister,” said Mr Rajinder Singh. He said nobody had gone to their house on Wednesday.


Vajpayee decried for wearing shoes
while performing puja

Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 11
Mr Kuldip Kumar Nanda, President District Congress Committee here criticised Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India, for performing arti of idols of Lord Rama and Lord Laxman with shoes on a Vijaydasimi function at Ram Lila Ground, Subhash Nagar, New Delhi. Photograph by Mr Vajpayee, performing arti with wearing shoes were published in a section on November, 6 2003.

Mr Kuldip Nanda said yesterday that this act of Mr Vajpayee had hurt sentiments of the devotees of Lord Rama.

Mr Nanda said Mr Vajpayee has no moral grounds to continue as Prime Minister ‘He has heaped insult on Hindu and Hinduism.” He sought, his resignation.


MP accuses union of exploiting farmer’s death
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, MP, today alleged that some vested interests were trying to exploit the situation which arose after the death of farmer Gurdev Singh of Maur Charat Singhwala village in a rail accident while he was sitting on a dharna on September 30 at Bhai Bakhtaur level crossing.

Mr Bhora, while addressing a press conference here today, said the vested interests tried create conditions at the bhog ceremony of Gurdev Singh yesterday similar to those at Jethuke village about four years ago which claimed two lives in police firing on the agitated farmers and Maiser Khana Kand and Bhai Bakhtaur incidents where farmers were lathicharged.

Mr Bhora was manhandled by a handful of activists of a farmers organisation while he was coming out of the pandal after addressing the mourners at the bhog ceremony.

He alleged that he was manhandled by the activists of a farmers organisation only after he exposed some representatives of the union for their misdeeds for compromising with the police after taking money in the Jethuke firing case.

Mr Bhora said the police had been informed and it was now up to the authorities concerned to take action against the culprits.


One dead, 7 hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 11
One person was killed and seven others were wounded in a clash between two groups at Oharpur village under Tanda police station yesterday.

According to police sources Mohan Singh and his wife coming to their house after taking fodder in Oharpur village. On way Tirath Singh and Sukhwinder Singh had heated exchanges with Mohan Singh and his wife on some issue. Later Tirath Singh and Sukhwinder Singh assaulted Mohan Singh and injured him. On hearing cries of Mohan Singh, his father Devi Dass, brother Jagdish Singh, son Ashok Singh, nephew Ajit Singh and niece Kuldip Kaur came for his rescue.

Meanwhile supporters of Tirath Singh also came which led to a clash and as a result eight persons including one woman were injured. Jagdish Singh succumbed to his injuries on the way to Hoshiarpur, Civil Hospital. Mohan Singh, Amarjit Singh, Tirath Singh and Sukhwinder Singh were admitted in local Civil Hospital in a serious condition. Kuldip Kaur, Ashok Singh and Devi Dass were admitted in Tanda Civil Hospital.

The Tanda police has registered a case under Sections 302, 323, 148, 149 of the IPC against Tirath Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Amrik Singh, Hardial Singh and Kulwant Singh, all of Oharpur.


Togadia’s statement provocative, says Calcutta
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, October 11
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and many Sikh organisations, including the Dal Khalsa, today described the statement of Mr Parveen Togadia, general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), terming Sikhs as Hindus as extremely provocative, unwarranted and illogical.

In a strongly worded statement, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, Secretary of the SGPC, said Sikhs enjoyed distinct identity. He said the statement of Mr Togadia betrayed the mentality and evil designs of communal bigots.

The SGPC alleged that the Sikhs had goodwill and respect for all religions, languages, especially for Hindus but would not tolerate such hegemonistic designs. Mr Calcutta said India was not Hindu rashtra and any attempt to change the character of the nation would have extremely dangerous consequences for Indian polity. Sounding a note of warning, Mr Calcutta sought immediate action against Mr Togadia and divisive forces to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country.

In a separate statement, the Dal Khalsa’s general secretary, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, blamed Mr Togadia for challenging the fundamentals of Sikhism during his visit to Amritsar. He said RSS and VHP leaders were playing with a fire by testing the patience of Sikhs time and again. He called upon the Sikhs to oppose all attempts of Hindutva forces in a befitting manner.

Launching an attack on religious leadership, he said on one hand RSS and VHP leaders were describing the Sikhs as part of the Hindu society, on other hand former Jathedar of Takht Kesgarh Sahib had participated in the Dharma Yatra organised by overseas wing of the VHP at Auckland. He said Prof Manjit Singh must realise that his participation in the function held to promote the cause of Hinduism lends credence to the so-called claims of the anti-panthic forces.

JALANDHAR: Terming the reported statement of Mr Togadia, as an attempt to create fiction among two communities, the former SGPC Chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, on Saturday said that Sikhs had their own identity and culture.

Talking to reporters here, Mr Badungar alleged that VHP leaders were trying to mislead the people by issuing uncalled statements, which was highly deplorable.

“The Constitution Review Committee had already recommended that Sikhs should be excluded from Article 25 of the Constitution as they possess separate identity,” he said, adding that Mr Togadia should desist from disturbing the communal harmony and peace of the state.

While hailing the announcement of death sentence to Balbir Singh Sodhi’s killer by a US court, Mr Badungar said it was a matter of great concern that the accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots were yet to be punished even after 19 years. He demanded that there should be speedy trial in anti-Sikh riot cases to provide relief to the affected families.

Mr Badungar said though it was evident that the then Congress regime was responsible for allegedly engineering anti-Sikh riots in different parts of the country in 1984, but the Executive as well as judicial system was still to punish the culprits.

Commenting upon the recent statement of a former Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, that the Sikhs should forget the black days, which witnessed killing of hundreds of Sikh youths and anti-Sikh riots, Mr Badungar said it was very shameful that instead of providing justice to the aggrieved persons, political leaders were trying to play cool on such a sensitive issue.


Resolution on Pheruman amended
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11
The SGPC yesterday amended an over 33-year-old resolution regarding Darshan Singh Pheruman, who died in Amritsar on October 27, 1969, after observing a fast for 74 days in support of Sikhs’ demands.

The SGPC has finally admitted it officially by way of adopting the resolution during its executive meeting yesterday that Pheruman fasted so that the sanctity of the Sikh ardas could be upheld. The SGPC had passed a resolution during its general house meeting on November 29, 1969, that Pheruman had sacrificed his life for the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.

The SGPC amended the resolution after so many years following long-time objections raised by certain quarters. Quoting the late Sikh leader Sirdar Kapoor Singh’s speech in the Punjab Assembly and the will of Pheruman, the October issue of the monthly Sant-Sipahi has, in a detailed write-up, stated that the SGPC had adopted a “wrong” resolution in 1969 that Pheruman had sacrificed his life for Chandigarh. “All documents show that he sacrificed his life in support of long-pending demands of the Sikhs and for inspiring Sikhs, particularly leaders of that time, to maintain the sanctity of ardas, says Mr Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba, a Sikh scholar and Editor of Sant-Siphai. He claimed that the write-up had forced the SGPC to amend its resolution.


AISSF seminar on Sikh youth

Chandigarh, October 11
The All-India Sikh Students Federation will organise a one-day seminar on the Panjab University campus on October 16 regarding the future of Sikh youth, students, and unity among various factions of the Federation.

Stating this, Mr Manjit Singh Bhoma, president of the Federation, said today that the debate would also be held on the Anandpur Sahib resolution. He said that Sikh youth were going astray. — TNS


AISSF against Oct 26 Sikh convention
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 11
Terming the holding of a Sikh convention in Chandigarh on October 26 as an attempt to challenge the authority of Akal Takht. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) today threatened to take direct action if the idea was not dropped.

Addressing a press conference here, AISSF president Harminder Singh Gill said some so-called Sikh intellectuals were trying to portray Kala Afghana, as the Salman Rushdie of the Panth, which was deplorable.

He announced the decision to take direct action to stop them from holding the convention if the plan was not dropped by October 21.


Pollution damaging wetland ecology
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, October 11
Though the recent breach in coal ash dykes of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant here has caused concern regarding pollution in the international wetland, damage to its ecology has been continuing for decades.

The slow seepage of the industrial effluents into the Sutlej by the industrial units at Nangal and Ropar has had an adverse impact on the flora and fauna of the wetland, home to over 200 varieties of local birds and halting place for thousands of migratory birds.

Mr Jaspreet, an ornithologist, said due to persistent pollution, many varieties of local birds were now not seen in the area.

Just two decades ago, plenty of diver birds, including the small blue kingfisher, the pied kingfisher, the cormant or snakebird and the shag, were found in the wetland. For the past six or seven years, blue kingfishers and pied kingfishers had not been spotted in the area. The population of cormants and shags had reduced substantially.

The diver birds were leaving the Ropar wetland as they were finding it difficult to hunt. Due to the consistent flow of fly ash, the turbidity of water in the wetland had reduced. Due to this diver birds were finding hunting difficult.

The population of fish in the wetland had also decreased. Two decades ago, about 35 varieties of fish were present in abundance. Now the number of fish varieties had reduced to 17 and the Fisheries Department had to introduce seed from outside.

The black-winged stilt, a bird that was a bio-indicator of the rising pollution levels, had been spotted in the area for the past three or four years. Its presence in the area indicated that the pollution level in the wetland was rising.

The drongo, the small green bee-eater, the shriek and the purple moorhen were the other local bird varieties earlier found in abundance, but were now spotted rarely.

Many varieties of aquatic animals had also disappeared. Two decades ago, the wetland was home to a large number of turtles, tortoises and crabs, but now hardly any of these species could be spotted.

The reasons for their disappearance were the destruction of their habitat and food. Most aquatic animals feed on the hydrophytes present at the bottom of the river. The deposition of ash at the bottom of the river was destroying the natural habitat of the hydrophytes and disturbing the life cycle in the wetland.


BJP to honour martyrs’ kin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 11
The Punjab Unit of Bhartiya Janata Party has decided to honour families of soldiers hailing from the state who were killed during the Kargil conflict. A statement issued here today said that the families of all 78 martyrs would be honoured by December 13.

Besides honouring the families of martyrs, the party’s Rajya sabha MPs would release Rs 2 lakh for public welfare purposes such as constructing school buildings, janjghar, etc in the name of the martyrs in their respective villages.


SSPs, DSPs taught to manage stress
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, October 11
A one-day training programme on Behavioural Science for Senior Superintendents of Police and Deputy Superintendents of Police of Punjab was held at the Punjab Police Academy, here yesterday. The course was inaugurated by Dr G.S. Aujla, Director of the Academy.

In his address Dr G.S. Aujla stressed the importance of leadership and stress management techniques. He said for efficient functioning and delivering good policing, police personnel must evolve techniques to tackle stress.

Col Dinesh Kumar Chibber, Director, Paradigm Sotters, Chennai, an expert on behavioural sciences, interacted with the participants and taught them how to tackle stress.


Vigilance to probe flush latrine scam
Tribune News Service

Malout, October 11
Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister, Jagmohan Singh Kang today said the Vigilance Bureau, would conduct an inquiry into the Rs 25-lakh flush latrine scam, in the Gidderbaha Assembly segment during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government.

Mr Kang, was presiding over the function organised in connection with the mass contact programme of the Punjab Government at Bhagu village in Muktsar district.


Rs 50 postal orders disappear

Gurdaspur, October 11
Resentment prevails among residents of the area for un-availability of Postal Orders of the denomination of Rs 50 for more than a month.

People needing the postal orders of the said denomination have to purchase a postal order of the denomination of Rs 100 for use in place of postal order of the denomination of Rs 50. — OC


Couple killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 11
A man and his wife were killed when the motor cycle they were riding was hit by some unidentified vehicle on the Kharar-Banur road near Bhagomajra village last night.

According to information received from the Kharar police today, Mr Rajinder Singh and his wife Ms Parminder Kaur both residents of Govindgarh village, were returning to their village from Kharar when their motor cycle was hit by a vehicle coming from the Banur side.

According to the police, Ms Parminder Kaur died on the spot while Mr Rajinder Singh died on way to the Civil Hospital. The Kharar police has registered a case.


Litigants suffer as posts of judge lie vacant
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11
Hundreds of litigants are at the receiving end due to a shortage of judges in Jalandhar.

The courts are overburdened as five posts of judge, which fell vacant due to the dismissal of five judges in February after the PPSC scam came to light, are yet to be filled.

The situation, according to the Jalandhar District Bar Association, is such that each court has to deal with more than 2000 cases, for beyond the 700 cases specified for a court by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“The pendency of cases has particularly affected interim relief cases.

Mr Paramjit Randhawa, president of the District Bar Association, said the situation was contrary to the concept of speedy justice for all.



Ex-VC Ahluwalia granted bail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 11
The Sessions Court today granted bail to former Punjabi University Vice- Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia in the corruption case registered against him by the Vigilance Department.

The District and Sessions Judge granted him bail on a surety of Rs 1 lakh. The prosecution had claimed that Dr Ahluwalia had misused his position to appoint various persons in the university though were not suitable for the jobs. Dr Ahluwalia’s counsel had argued that the Vice- Chancellor alone could not make recruitments and a committee had taken a decision in this regard.


CM’s intervention sought
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 11
Resentment prevails among commission agents, rice millers, farmers and staff of procurement agencies due to frequent changes in the allotment of grain markets from one agency to another, which affects the entire procurement process. The commission agents, millers alleged that the changes were made due to vested interests of rice mafia and the minister had succumbed to their pressure. They sought the intervention of the Chief Minister to save the procurement process. They said that it was for the first time that such freequent changes were being made when the procurement process started.


Industrialist held for duping bank
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 11
The Economic Offences Wing of the district police has arrested an industrialist for duping Canara Bank of more than Rs 1.17 crore by allegedly selling the property which had been mortgaged with the bank for procuring loan to set up an industrial unit in 1997.

A police spokesman said that it had received a complaint from Mr Harwinder Singh Kohli, manager of industrial area branch of Canara Bank, that Balram Gupta of local Charanjitpura locality had mortgaged 12 kanals of land to obtain a cash credit limit of Rs 76 lakh and a loan of Rs 14 lakh to set up an industrial unit in 1997. Mr Roshan Lal, father of Balram Gupta, was the main guarantor in the case.

The accused had never paid any installment as well, as per the terms of the agreement, forcing the bank authorities to scrutinise the case file. Subsequently, it was found that the beneficiary had illegally sold out the mortgaged property to a Kapurthala-based party without re-paying the loan.

The police conducted investigation into the allegations and registered a case under Sections 406, 420, 421, 422, 425, 427 and 120-B, IPC. Balram Gupta was arrested from his residence today afternoon. His father was still absconding.


Murdered man’s kin question police role
Bipin Bhardwaj

Rajpura, October 11
Family members of Narinder Kapur, who was stabbed to death by three members of a family on October 2 night inside a PCO located at Focal Point near here, allege that police is trying to hush up the case. The police had arrested Arjun Singh and his two sons Tejinder Singh and Surinder Singh on murder charge the same day. Interestingly, after registering cases under Sections 302 and 34, IPC, against the three, the police showed that only the two brothers were arrested, while their father was shown “absconding”, allege Mr Shiv Ram Kapur, father of the deceased.

Despite detaining Arjun Singh, the main suspect in the case, for more than four days, the police let him off. Despite repeated requests to arrest Arjun Singh, the police gave a cold shoulder to their representations, allege family members of Narinder Kapur.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Shiv Ram Kapur alleged that the police was shielding Avtar Singh and his sons. Moreover, the case has been weakened by the police after it arrested Tejinder Singh, who is crippled from both legs.

Aged about 28 years, Narinder Kapur, a resident of Shamdu village, had gone to the PCO owned by Tejinder Singh to make some telephone call on October 2 when the trio attacked him on the neck with a paper cutter.

Narinder Kapur’s father and brother Jatinder Kapur took him to the Civic Hospital, Rajpura, where he died of excessive bleeding.

Following information, some police personnel from the Focal Point police post, located hardly 100 yards away from the spot of incident, reached the spot and arrested Arjun Singh, Surinder Singh and Tejinder Singh.

The three were detained at the police post but Arjun Singh was later let off.

Mr Shiv Ram Kapur said when Mr Pritpal Singh Thind, DSP, Rajpura, was asked about letting off Arjun Singh, the DSP claimed that he was not involved in the crime.

“If three persons attack and kill a man, how do only two get arrested for the crime?” he questions.

Mr Balbir Singh, an uncle of Narinder Kapur, alleged that the DSP had been keeping the members of the bereaved family at a bay, though he had twice given time to hear their grievances. “The DSP had invited us to his office on Saturday, but were disappointed when we were told that he was busy in some ‘VIP duty’”, he added.

When contacted, Mr Thind said Arjun Singh was not found involved in the case during investigations and his name had been dropped from the FIR. He, however, said Tejinder Singh and Surinder Singh were remanded in judicial custody by a Rajpura court.


3 held, 217 LPG cylinders seized
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 11
The police here has recovered 217 LPG cylinders from three persons. These cylinders were stolen from a local gas agency on April 23, 2003.

A case was registered under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on April 24.

Mr A.S. Rai, SSP, Sangrur, said here yesterday the police recovered 71 LPG cylinders from the possession of Daler Singh of Kurukshetra district after arresting him and recovered 98 LPG cylinders from Jagtar Singh and Rajinder Singh, on October 7 this year. Mr Rai also said later, on October 8 last, the police once again recovered 48 more LPG cylinders from Rajinder Singh.

The SSP also stated that these accused had admitted that they had committed theft of LPG cylinders in Punjab and Haryana.


Truck driver murdered
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 11
The body of Rattan Lal (45), who had been working as the driver of a truck owned by Mr Gurmukh Singh of Jammu Basti here, was recovered from the tool box of the truck near the inter-state border last night.

Sources said Rattan Lal was returning home after delivering some material in the truck somewhere in Uttar Pradesh, and had more than Rs 10,000 with him. He called up the owner of the truck from near the border at Sriganganagar last evening to intimate that he would leave Sriganganagar after getting freight charges from a trader there. He was assisted by cleaner Geeta Singh, a local resident.

The police, on finding the truck parked unclaimed, started a search and found that a body, bearing head injuries caused by a sharp-edged weapon, was lying in the tool box.


Woman cop held for theft
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 11
A woman constable, Balbir Kaur, posted in the city police station, was arrested today for her alleged involvement in theft at the house of police constable Prem Kumar in June.

Police sources said Balbir Kaur was today produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Rajiv Malhotra, who remanded her in police custody till October 13.

The sources said on June 28 night Amandeep Singh, son of Balbir Kaur, along with his mother committed theft at Prem Kumar’s official house in the local police lines and allegedly decamped with 30 tolas of gold. Balbir Kaur later sold stolen gold at various places.

The sources said fingerprints of about 40 suspects in the crime were taken. These fingerprints and those lifted from the house of Prem Kumar after the theft were sent to the forensic laboratory at Phillaur.

He said, as per the report of the forensic laboratory, the fingerprints of Amandeep Singh matched with the fingerprints lifted from the house of Prem Kumar.


1 held for making fake documents
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 11
The Ropar police has busted a gang involved in making fake driving licences and registration of vehicles with the arrest of Sant Singh, a resident of Molli Vedvan village under the Sohana station of Ropar. Sant Singh used to make fake documents along with his son Bikram Singh.

In a press note issued here today, the SSP Ropar, Mr GPS Bhullar, said that the accused, who were caught on a tip-off, were working in connivance with Haripal, a resident of Molli Vedvan village and Mintu, a resident of Bural.

A large number of fake stamps of various offices, registration copies of vehicles and driving licences were recovered from the accused. During interrogation, Sant Singh said that he had been doing the business of making and selling fake registration of vehicles and driving licences for the past 17 years.


Irregularities in college affairs alleged
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 11
Dr Tejwant Mann, a representative of the College teachers in the management of the Akal Degree College, Mastuana Sahib, near here, has urged the college management to remove the Principal of the Akal Degree College following an audit report which showed “irregularities”, in the college.

Dr Mann said as the Principal of the college had the drawing and disbursing powers, so he was responsible for all types of “irregularities”, including financial, in the college. He also claimed that the observations and objections, raised by the internal audit committee of the college were based on records.

The seven-member committee in its internal audit report of the college for December 1998 to March 2003 observed that salary of an employee of the college, Mr Sanpreet Singh, had been enhanced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 per month without giving any reason. It also observed that equipment for Chemistry Laboratory had been purchased in the year 2000 but without quotations. Cuttings in all records (Cash Book, Ledger, Salary register etc) were not authenticated.

The committee also observed that no stock registers had been maintained for official fixed assets, no voucher numbers had been given on Cash Book entries. An amount of Rs 450 had been given to the Principal, but no reasons had been given. The committee also observed that grant/donation in kind (for building) from Gurdwara Sachkhand (through Baba Rur Singh) had not been entered in Cash Book in building account. Many of bill/summary sheets had also not been signed by the Principal, Bursar, and the Superintendent, the committee also added.


Forcible collections for schoolchildren
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 11
The district administration has announced to hold a film festival in the district in eight cinema houses at various places in the district for the students from October 21 to October 26, and every student without exception, will have to pay Rs four.

It may be mentioned here that the government schools in the district have more than two lakh students in primary and senior secondary schools and an equal number of students are studying in private schools. All students will have to pay Rupees 4 for the festival whether one goes to see the film or not.

Parents of the students particularly studying in government schools feel the pinch of paying Rs 4 and demand that the seeing of the films in the film festival organised by the authorities should be made voluntary.

All these collections will be shared by the Red Cross and the Film Distribution Society. As many as 10 districts in the state have been chosen for holding film festival.


Plan to upgrade medical colleges
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 11
The minister for Medical Education and Research, Mr Santokh Singh, said that the state government had undertaken concrete steps towards global target of vision 2020 ‘right to sight’ and focus on major areas which include controlling major causes of blindness, human research development and building infrastructure with appropriate technology.

Inaugurating the two-day 17th annual conference of North Zone Ophthalamological Society here today, the minister said that there were more than nine million blind people in India and 80 per cent of them were curable. He said major projects was in the offing to treat majority of them and to meet the target set for 2020.

The minister said community participation in such projects was the need of the hour. He urged the NGOs and other social organisations to join hands with the governments to provide better health services.

The state government had embarked upon Rs 50-crore project to ravamp and upgrade the medical colleges in the state. He said mobile hospitals were being activated with high-tech facilities to provide better health services in remote and far-flung areas of the state.


Quiz contest

Fatehgarh Sahib, October11
Gurjinder Singh Teji, a student of B.Tech (mechanical engineering) at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, got the first prize in a district quiz competition, “Blood and Blood Donation”, organised by the District Health Department at the college. More than 40 students from the district took part in the contest. The contest was part of the International Blood Donation Week celebrations. OC

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