P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal ridicules look-out notices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
Reacting sharply to the issuance of the lookout notices by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau ( VB), SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal said yesterday that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was behaving like a “cheap stuntman”. The notices had been issued to stall his imagined escape from the country, Mr Badal added.

“Such political gimmicks are being adopted to defame Akali leaders and to divert attention from the “shaky” position of the Chief Minister within the Congress and to mislead public opinion outside Punjab ahead of the assembly poll in five states,” said Mr Badal, adding that even under the most unavoidable circumstances he would not leave the country and was fully prepared to face the Chief Minister releasing his programme of engagements for the next 15 days beginning tomorrow, he dared the Chief Minister to arrest him at any of these places.”

Ridiculing the notices, Mr Badal said: “We did not flee even when Mrs Indira Gandhi declared Emergency nor when she sent tanks into the Golden Temple complex. Nor have we moved out for even a single day during the 19 months of our persecution under the Amarinder Government.’’

SAD General Secretary, Kanwaljit Singh said if Mr Badal or any member of his family was arrested the party would come out on the streets.

The SAD President, who had earlier maintained that he would not apply for anticipatory bail, said he would explore all legal options after the challan was filed. Mr Badal also issued a threat to the Chief Minister that after the Akalis regained power, he would not be able to save himself.

The Vigilance Bureau had stated yesterday that the challan against Mr Badal and others was likely to be presented in the competent court “by the first week of November”. A supplementary challan would be filed later.


VB evaluates Sukhbir’s resort

Gurgaon, November 1
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today conducted evaluation of the Orbit Resort, owned by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP and son of former Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, here in connection with an alleged corruption case against the Badal family.

The sleuths were assisted by private surveyors and assessors from Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, Vigilance sources said.

The bureau had earlier carried out an assessment, measurement and videography of the resort, located on the national highway, for three days in July this year.

Today’s evaluation was conducted even as the deadline announced by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for filing of chargesheet in the case ended yesterday.

The sources said the chargesheet was likely to be filed next week. — PTI


Sukhbir lashes out at Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 1
A Former Union Minister and general secretary of SAD (B) Sukhbir Badal said yesterday that the Akalis would fight against the atrocities being committed on them by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and would “make the Congressmen run away from Punjab.”

Mr Badal was reacting to the red alert sounded by the Vigilance Bureau against his family members against leaving the country.

He said information gathered by him revealed that some Congressmen and policemen, who had been harassing and torturing the Akalis in the name of anti-corruption campaign of Capt Amarinder Singh, had started developing contacts abroad to seek asylum when the SAD-BJP combine came to power in Punjab.

He said these Congressmen and policemen had been doing so as they knew that they had been torturing innocents and they would have to pay a heavy price for it when the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh fell.

He asked that if Capt Amarinder Singh was serious about his anti-corruption campaign, he should explain to the people that why the multi-crore rice-diversion scam, which took place in Bathinda city, had been hushed up and why he allowed a scam to take place in the disinvestment of Punjab Tractors Limited, a PSU of Punjab.


Govt not to give in to Akalis’ threat, says CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that his government would not give in to the threat of Akali leaders that they would block roads if Mr Parkash Singh Badal was arrested.

To maintain law and order was his duty as the Chief Minister and the Akalis would not be allowed to disrupt public life in any manner, Mr Amarinder Singh said.

About the delay in filing a challan against the Badals, Capt Amarinder Singh, said the Vigilance Bureau would file it at the earliest possible. The government would file the case in court against the Badals which would decide whether to arrest the Badals or not.

In a separate statement, Mr Rajinder Rasrania, Chief Organiser of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Sewa Dal, said 600 farmers had committed suicide during the Badal regime.

Addressing a meeting of district and block organisers of the dal, he said Mr Badal had failed to get paddy stocks of farmers lifted in time, forcing them to resort to distress sale. After the Congress took over in Punjab, farmers were happy as their wheat and paddy had been procured smoothly.


Political whirlpool in Punjab
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 1
The political scene in Punjab is in disarray. There is total confusion and disaffection in the principle parties, the Congress and the Akali Dal, as also mutual mistrust, bordering on political confrontation, between them.

This complicated political scene has cast a shadow on governance and development and has placed major issues of immediate concern to the state on the back-burner. Settling of political scores has become the order of the day.

There is an uneasy calm in all political parties. At the centrestage of this political upheaval is the internecine war in the ruling Congress. The question is not if or when the Congress high command will replace the Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh. The question is how united are 32 ‘’dissident’’ Congress MLAs, including ministers. There is no single leader to command them. And there are always opportunistic loyalties in the Congress.

The Congress high command is seized of the frustration of the stakeholders and issues involved — coterie around the Chief Minister, his style of functioning and approach to men and matters within and outside the party, obsession with the Badals, alienation of the party MLAs and people from the party and the government, bureaucratic despondency, absence of development etc.

Yet, the high command is expected to tread cautiously with the assembly elections in five states slated for December next. Thus, an immediate change in the state Congress leadership is ruled out; both organisational and legislative.

There is a forlorn ray of hope in the Akali Dal that its President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, may emerge unscathed in his present fight against the Vigilance Bureau, which is investigating charges of alleged corruption and how the Badals had acquired assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. Both Mr Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh are also battling it out in the court, where they have filed counter civil and criminal suits.

The Akali Dal, as a party, is getting divided attention of Mr Badal. There is a clear streak of despondency and uncertainty among the party men on the next line of leadership. Meanwhile, Badals’ supporters have become easy targets of the Vigilance Bureau.

There are reports that the government has quietly assessed the situation in villages and the likely uprising in the event of Mr Badal being arrested. The Congress is aware of the sway that Mr Badal has over rural voters. There is confirmed information that opinion leaders and key Akali leaders have been identified in the villages, particularly in the Malwa districts. There have been ‘’mock exercises’’ to measure the response time of the police to contain the throngs of people, who may march out in protest against the arrest of Mr Badal.

One cannot, however, rule out the possibility of political stalwart, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, enjoying the confused political scenario, despite his ill- health. Initially, he had sided with Capt Amarinder Singh in the hope of ‘’capturing’’ the SGPC. But having failed to outwit Mr Badal, he compromised, wittingly or unwittingly, with him again in the hope that the Badals may not be able to get out of the Vigilance web woven around them by Capt Amarinder Singh. And, Mr Tohra has always hoped to become Chief Minister, despite his 25 long years as head of the SGPC.

The BJP has just had a change in its leadership. Mr Brij Lal Rinwa has been replaced by Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MLA. He has reconstituted the state executive. All this time, the BJP has, however, failed to play its role to grow stronger roots in the urban areas, even as its Rashtriya Sikh Sangat wing is trying to strike roots in the rural areas, much to the discomfit and chagrin of the Akalis.

There is expected to be a temporary thaw in this confused, charged political scene, once the leaders get busy campaigning in the five states. The Akalis have political stakes in a segment in Rajasthan and in Delhi. The Punjab Congress men, led by Capt Amarinder Singh, will campaign in at least four states, except Mizoram, where Punjabis are settled. As is the wont of the Chief Minister he will rake up ‘’corruption’’ issue and attack the Akalis keeping Mr Badal in focus.


PTU cancels MSc paper following leak
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 1
Even as students of different courses being run by Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, are yet to forget the painful experience they underwent after the leakage of a section of question papers of MSc (Information Technology) in April this year, the students of the final semester of MSc (IT) course got another rude shock today when their paper of Structured Query Language (SQL) was cancelled by the authorities concerned after getting information about its leakage.

Sources said the students of MSc (IT) of regular and lateral entry scheme courses were to appear in the last paper of their course today at various examination centres in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country but they were told minutes before the scheduled starting time of the examination that the paper had been cancelled.

Though students at various centres insisted that they should be told the reason for the cancellation of today’s exam, the invigilators and other staff members manning the examination centres asked them to leave the centre for their respective destinations. They said they would be informed about the new date of the examination through various modes of communication later on.

Mr S.K. Bhatia, Registrar, PTU, while confirming the fact on phone that today’s exam had been cancelled after the paper got leaked at the Dhuri examination centre, pointed out that a high-level probe would be initiated into this by a committee to be constituted on Monday. He said the leakage of the paper came to light when a girl student read out the whole contents of the question paper, which was to start after about an hour, on telephone to staff members of PTU.

He added that whosoever was found involved in the leakage of the paper would not be spared. He said that if the committee suggested that the matter should be brought to the knowledge of the police, a formal complaint would be lodged with the police to set the legal process in motion.

Sources said thousands of students were to appear in today’s paper. They had been suffering on account of the delay in the completion of their respective courses due to repeated leakages of various question papers of their courses.

Earlier, in April 2003, four question papers of the second and third semesters of the same course were leaked at various places in this region. Some people were even arrested for their alleged involvement in the leakage of those papers.

Betraying its loose control over the affairs, the PTU authorities cancelled all those papers which were leaked. The PTU authorities also failed to reconduct those exams within a reasonable period of time and when the affected students protested, they abandoned the decision to reconduct three papers out of a total of four papers, which were leaked, and only one paper was reconducted. The students were awarded marks on the basis of their three original papers in their respective semesters.

A section of the students, who returned disappointed to their respective destinations after they were told to leave the centre, said the repeated leakages of question papers had seriously affected the credibility of the PTU and the degrees of their respective courses, when awarded to them, would not fetch them any lucrative job.


PTU VC’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 1
The agitating students of various Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree courses of the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, today burnt an effigy of Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University (PTU) on the SLIET campus.

They are demanding the scrap of the year-back PTU rule and admission to fifth semester to 29 students of the BE courses.

Under the rule, a three-year BE course student cannot get admission to the fifth semester if he has a reappear in the first semester.

Mr Mandeep Singh, a student leader, said the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sarvjit Singh, had assured them that he would take up the matter with the PTU and the Punjab government on Monday. The Sangrur SDM, Mr Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, who accompanied the student leaders, told TNS, the Deputy Commissioner had asked the Director, SLIET, to make arrangements for the stay of students from other states as the SLIET authorities had got vacated the hostels from the BE students after closing down the institute sine die for the BE students, the previous day.


Crowd beats up 2 eve-teasing cops
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 1
In the second incident within a month, two mobile Police Control Room (PCR) constables allegedly tried to make advances to Neena (name changed) near her father’s ‘dhobi’ shop on Gulab Devi Road late last night.

The duo were, however, overpowered by irked residents of the area, who allegedly roughed them up before handing them over to senior PCR officials. Both the cops, identified as Dilbagh Singh and Ram Parkash, who used to patrol on a motor cycle of the PCR’s team no. 6, were placed under suspension and an inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

On October 12, two PCR cops had barged into the house of a migrant factory worker in Nurpur locality on the city outskirts. They had allegedly made incident remarks to a woman. Both were allegedly beaten up by a group of residents of the area, led by a female social worker.

Lakhanpal, the father of 18-year-old Neena said the incident took place when Neena was alone at the shop at around 11 p.m. as her brother had gone to deliver ironed clothes to some customer. He alleged that first of the PCR cops ogled at Neena. This frightened Neena she ran away towards the house of her sister in Arya Nagar. The cops followed her.

A group of residents pacified them. They left the area only to resurface at Lakhanpal’s house. They allegedly forced their entry into her house and beat up Lakhanpal. Neena managed to run to her neighbour’s house. A group of residents converged on the place and was threatened by the cops. But they overpowered the inebriated cops and handed them over to the PCR ASI Purshotum.

Mr Pawan Rai, SP, and the in charge of the traffic wing of the police, said both cops had been suspended and an inquiry into the incident has been entrusted to DSP Harinderjit Singh. He said the accused cops were also subjected to the medical examination to ascertain whether they were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.


UT says no to Anand as counsel in Bhattal case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, November 1
The UT Administration yesterday rejected for the third time the Punjab Government's request to appoint top criminal lawyer and Congress MP R.K. Anand state counsel in a corruption case registered against Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Punjab wanted Mr Anand as the Senior Advocate to represent its case against Ms Bhattal, pending in the UT District Court, according to sources.

Mr Anand's appointment has become a point of speculation as some allege he being a Congress man would help Ms Bhattal in the case.

Earlier, the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Punjab, had agreed to the proposal of the Punjab Administrative Department to engage Mr Anand and his junior advocates to defend the case on behalf of the state government.

Mr Anand had already appeared twice in the case when the court raised the objection that he had to produce a UT Administration notification appointing him Special Public Prosecutor, which the Administration did.

However, he did not appear in the case to avoid a legal tangle. Being a member of the Rajya Sabha, Mr Anand could not appear as Special Public Prosecutor. Following this, the Punjab Government moved a plea requesting the UT Administration to appoint him as "Pleader Gratis," which was rejected.

Even Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had written a letter to the Administration for Mr Anand's appointment. He, too, was turned down. The case registered against Ms Bhattal will come for hearing on November 6 in the court of the UT Special Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana.

Ms Bhattal is alleged to be involved in the embezzlement of Rs 20 lakh from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund in 1996.


Foreign team visits policing centre
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 1
With a view to having first-hand knowledge of the public utility services provided at the Community Policing Resource Centre (CPRC) land to apprise themselves of the police-public collaborative efforts, a six-member foreign delegation visited the centre here today.

The delegation, comprising Mr Chris Stone, the Director of the Vera Institute of Justice, New York, Ms Jennifer Trone from the Vera Institute of Justice, Mr Hugo Frughling from Chile, Mr Georgii Satarov from Russia, Mr Innocent Chukwuma from Nigeria and Mr Joseph Gitari, Ford Programme Officer from Nigeria, exhibited a keen interest in the working of the centre.

Mr Chris Stone asked Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG, as to how amicable settlements were made with the mediation of police officials, particularly those involving matrimonial disputes. He stressed the need to develop performance indicators so that the performance of the centre could be monitored on a regular basis.

Mr Innocent Chukwuma, who runs an NGO in Nigeria, showed keen interest in the future plans of the centre while interacting with the officials. He also asked the officials about the satisfaction level among people. Ms Jennifer was amazed to learn that the centre was dealing with about 4,500 cases and complaints in a one-month period.

Mr Hugo apprised himself of the Economic Offences Wing of the centre and asked questions about the strategy of the centre in curbing human trafficking and whether people preferred some reliable sources to migrate to other countries.

Interacting with the delegates, Mr Gupta said the centre was a kind of the “one-stop shop” to deal with multiple complaints and needs of society. He said the main feature of the centre was the involvement of community in the decision-making and role of policemen as facilitators. He said since the ambiance of the centre was entirely different from that of a police station, people, particularly women, did not show any reluctance in narrating their problems.

Explaining the functioning of the centre, Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, said the centre was dealing with matrimonial disputes, problems of children and NRIs and all kinds of verification and inquiries, apart from providing free legal aid and security on demand.


2 deliver test-tube babies
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 1
Two women delivered test-tube babies at Lal Hospital here during this week. The Medical Superintendent and gynaecologist, Dr Neera Kirpal, told mediapersons that both Mrs Binderpal and Mrs Dalbir Kaur, married for the past 14 years, could not bear children due to medical problems.

The family members of both women were excited when Dr Kirpal delivered two baby boys through caesarian operations on October 26 and 30. Flight-Lt Ajit Singh, uncle of Mrs Binderpal, told reporters that the family had suffered a social stigma as the couple could not have a child due to several problems. He said Mrs Binderpal had consulted a number of infertility specialists in Punjab and other places. It was at Satjot Human Reproduction Research Centre that she managed to become pregnant through the planting of a fertile embryo into her uterus.

Dr Kirpal said both women were nearly 40 years old and could not conceive in the normal course but did so through the efforts of a team of doctors, including Dr S.S. Chawla, a leading embryologist, C.D. Joshi, Dr Atul Kapur, radiologist, Dr Navpreet Singh, Dr B.K. Wan and a child specialist, Dr Naresh Grover. She said both mothers and the babies were healthy and would be able to go home within a few days.

Dr Kirpal said through this successful in vitro fertilisation technique, the women who could not conceive would have a chance to become mothers.


Cops framing BJP men at Cong’s behest, says panel
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 1
The three-member fact-finding BJP panel headed by Mr Swarna Ram, vice-president of the state unit of the BJP, yesterday indicted the police for framing party activists in cooked-up cases to please their ruling party masters.

Addressing a press conference here, members of the panel alleged that a party councillor and former vice-president of the BJYM, Mr Arun Khosla, and Mr Bantu Walia, morcha’s district vice-president, had been implicated in the case of assault on Congress councillor Sanjiv Bugga on August 12 here. It had been done to please a Punjab minister, they asserted.

BJP leader Ram Saroop Arora had been subjected to a murderous assault and his house had been burgled, but nobody had been arrested, they said.


1 killed in mine blast
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 1
A mine blast took the life of one farmer while four persons, including two BSF jawans, were injured near Wadhwa post close to the fence on the Indo-Pak border in the Ajnala sector, about 25 km from here today.

Lal Singh (22), a resident of Buraj village was killed and while his father Puran Singh and Bittu, a resident of Ballarwal, were wounded in the incident. Two Border Security jawans who were also standing near them namely Lance Naik Ram Bahadur and Girish Sharma were also wounded.

Lal Singh, whose land situated near the Indo-Pak fence, stepped on a land-mine, which blasted instantly killing the farmer and injuring others. Puran Singh and Bittu were admitted to the Civil Hospital at Ajnala while the BSF jawans were admitted to the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.

This is the first casualty after the Army expert had claimed to have de-mined the Amritsar sector and handed over the fields to the farmers.

The land mines have taken a heavy toll immediately after the Army was mobilised in view of the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13 in 2001. While the Army was laying the land mines, 13 people had died when the land mine blew up the truck carrying the mining equipment.


Preneet to break relay fast of apprentices
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 1
Agitating youths who are awaiting placement in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) as linemen after having done apprenticeship announced today that Patiala MP Preneet Kaur would formally break their indefinite relay fast following an assurance from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that they would be given employment in days.

Over 100 of the youths have put up tents in front of the PSEB headquarters and have been camping there for the past 45 days. At least four members of the association formed by them have been on an indefinite relay during this period in batches. A few times the local police forcibly admitted to hospital some of the youths when their condition worsened. Last night, two of the youths started passing blood in their stool, following which they were forcibly admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital in the city.

The agitators today started a march in the afternoon to the YPS grounds where the Chief Minister was slated to attend a function. The march was broken up by the police, following which some of them were able to reach the function site and were later granted an audience with the Chief Minister.

Mandeep Singh Sanour said they presented their case to the Chief Minister, who gave them a patient hearing. He said the Chief Minister was told that about 5,000 youths had spent four years to get training so that they could get recruited as linemen in the PSEB. The delegation inflamed the Chief Minister that according to norms set by the PSEB, it was essential to get two years’ training as an electrician in a polytechnic, following which the PSEB held a two-year apprenticeship course for them.

The youths told the Chief Minister that they had underwent four-year training to get recruited as linemen but the PSEB had stopped recruitment since 1997. They said they could not get jobs anywhere else as they had not taken up any other specialisation.

The delegation members said besides the Chief Minister, his wife Preneet Kaur, Punjab Mandi Board Chairman Sant Ram Singla and Improvement Trust Chairman K.K. Sharma, besides a PSEB official, were present during the talks. They said after listening to them, the Chief Minister assured them that the government would provide employment to them within days. They said it had been decided that Ms Preneet Kaur, besides Mr Sant Ram Singla and Mr K.K. Sharma, would break the relay fast tomorrow.


Folk singers flay human trafficking
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 1
A section of Punjabi folk singers today condemned the human trafficking and use of nudity to “sell” Punjabi songs.

In a press note issued here today, Jaspal Jassi, Rajinder Mann, Nek Mataranwalla, Major Singh Bawra, Veer Devinder (all Punjabi folk singers) said that human trafficking under the garb of sending singing troupes abroad was bringing a bad name to singers. They urged the innocent youth not to fall a prey to the human traffickers and adopt legal channels for migrating to other countries.

The singers, after holding a meeting in this connection, also condemned the use of nudity in Punjabi songs and urged mediapersons to highlight the bad effects of vulgar songs on Punjabi culture.


‘Mela Ghadri Babeyan Da’ concludes
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 1
The 12th ‘Mela Ghadri Babeyan Da’ concluded with a colourful flag-hoisting ceremony at the Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall complex here today. Saluting the Ghadrites senior Communist leader Satpal Dang unfurled the Ghadar Party flag.

Artistes from the Navchetan Kala Manch, Beas, presented a flag-song. Addressing the gathering on this occasion, Mr Dang urged the people to raise their voice against fundamentalism, liberalisation and privatisation. The president of the Desh Bhagat Yadgari Committee, Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, felt sorry that the historians had ignored many important aspects of the freedom movement.

Later, Swami Agnivesh also addressed the gathering and said the temple-mosque issue was just a tool of the political parties.

The committee also honoured naval mutiny leader Madan Singh and the residents of Mandi for the contributions of their forefathers in the freedom movement.

Later in the day, cultural presentations and choreographies by various school and college students gave a colourful look to the mela. Gursharan Singh’s play ‘Aprajit’ and Hansa Singh’s play ‘Ikk Anna ikk kohri’ were staged. Neeraj Kaushik’s play ‘Natya Samrat’ highlighting the plight of the elderly people was also staged on Friday night.


World Bank team inspects projects

Ropar, November 1
A four-member World Bank team comprising Mr Luis Constantino, Mr Vikram Chand, Mr N.C. Saxena and Parwinder Brar today visited and inspected various rural development projects launched in the district. The team along with the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, visited Pipalmajra village where the wetland technology project had been launched and Sandhuwan village where the duckweed technology has been put to use in the village pond.

Later, the team also visited the primary health centre of Chamkaur Sahib and schools constructed in the bet area of the district using grants from the World Bank. The team also interacted with panchayat members and opinion leaders in the villages to gauge their opinion regarding the World Bank projects.

In a press statement issued later, the Deputy Commissioner claimed that the team members expressed satisfaction at the utilisation of the bank funds in the district. OC


Give due respect to Punjabi, says minister
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 1
Punjab Public Health Minister Jasjit Singh Randhawa today claimed that Punjabis belonging to the upper strata felt embarrassed in using Punjabi as a medium of communication which was hampering the growth of the language.

Inaugurating the “Punjabi Saptah” the minister said the people of the state should give due respect to the Punjabi language by using it in every sphere on life. He said unless this was done the development of the language was impossible. Higher Education Secretary Manmohan Singh said people who ignored their cultural heritage could not progress.

The function was attended by a large number of Punjabi writers and also saw the inauguration of a book exhibition on the premises of the Language Department office in the Sheranwala Gate area. Writers who attended the function included Ajaib Chitrakar, Harbhajan Mangat, S.Tarsem, Harchand Sirhindi, Dev Dutt Bhatti and Sut Dev Hans.


Sarpanch comes to rescue of man in coma
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 1
An unidentified man lying in an unconscious state was found at Sawara village, near here, by panchayat members.

The sarpanch of the village Mr Devinder Singh, said he stumbled upon the man aged about 50 to 55 years in one of the fields, near Mata Gujri Nivas, on the outskirts of the village. He is a clean-shaven and had “Avtar Singh” tattooed on one arm. He informed the nearest police chowki at Majhat village. The victim was taken to the village gurdwara where he remained in coma.

Later, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, ordered local civil hospital officials to admit him to the hospital and Dr Balwinder Singh, who was on duty in the hospital, said though his condition was improving but he was still in a coma.


Assault on advocate’s kin condemned
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 1
The District Bar Association here today condemned the assault on the family of a senior advocate at his residence in the city .

According to information, some miscreants attacked the house of Mr Manjit Singh Sawhney following which his son received serious injuries on the head. Mr Manjit Singh and his wife saved their lives by hiding in the house.

The president of the association, Mr Rakesh Gupta, said the matter had been brought to the notice of Kotwali police station but instead of taking legal action against the miscreants the police forced Mr Manjit Singh to enter into a “compromise”.

The association condemned the police and demanded legal action against the miscreants.


‘Sadbhavana yatra’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 1
To mark the 400th ‘Parkash Utsav’ of Guru Granth Sahib, a ‘sadbhavana yatra’ was held by the district unit of the BJP (rural) yesterday. The ‘yatra’ was started from Darbar Sahib at Tarn Taran. The activists paid obeisance at Golden Temple. The ‘yatra’ restarted from Jallianwala Bagh and would culminate at Verka.


Gas-run car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 1
A Maruti car was badly damaged by a devastating fire when a gas cylinder, fitted in the car to run it, exploded after the leakage of gas from it near Nidampur village, about 30 km from here, last night. However, its two occupants, driver of the car, Surjit Singh, and Krishan Pal Verma, both from Patiala, escaped unhurt.


Vigilance Bureau seeks records  from MC
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, November 1
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has asked for certain records from the Municipal Council office here. According to sources, a DSP of the bureau visited the council office yesterday in connection with an inquiry ordered by the bureau ADGP following a complaint by a group of municipal councillors against the functioning of the council.

Sources informed that these councillors belonging to the Opposition had forwarded a memorandum to the Chief Minister alleging that there were gross irregularities in the functioning of the council, including tampering of records. They had demanded that the various works undertaken by the council should be probed by an independent agency. The letter marked by the Chief Minister’s Office to the bureau was handed over to the DSP for suitable enquiry.

According to the sources, the DSP visited the council office yesterday and has taken certain records pertaining to the works carried out by the council and has also asked for more records.


Farmer killed; farm labourer commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 1
Sohan Singh, a farmer of Bager Mohobat village in the district, was murdered by some unidentified persons late last night. His body was found from the bank of the joint pond of Burj Sema and Bager Mohobat villages this morning.

This is the third murder in the district in the past week. Two murders took place at Kot Shamir village and Ramnueas village in the last week of October.

Police sources said Sohan Singh had been killed by using some sharp-edged weapon. Sohan Singh, along with his uncle, went to Bager Charat Singh village to work in fields there last afternoon. When they were returning to his village in the evening, he got down from the tractor near his village and went to have some liquor.

When he did not return to his house till late in the night, his family members started searching for him. They found his body lying at the bank of the joint pond of two villages.

The police has registered a case in this connection under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC at Kotfatha police station.

In another case, Ginder Singh, a farm labourer of the district, today allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a train near Jassi Baghwali village.

Police sources said he took this extreme step due to poverty.

A case in this connection has been registered and the body handed over to the kin of deceased after a post-mortem examination.


Passport agent held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 1
The district police yesterday arrested Davinder Kumar, a local passport agent, for submitting fake documents to the authorities concerned and for charging Rs 10,000 from an applicant to get his passport renewed.

The Regional Passport Office (RPO) authorities, in a complaint submitted to the police, alleged that Davinder Kumar asked Mohinder Singh of Garden Colony to pay Rs 10,000 to get his passport renewed. During the scrutinising of documents, the RPO authorities found that some fake documents were attached with the application.

During the course of inquiry, it was found that the passport agent had allegedly submitted fake documents. A case under sections 420, 468, 471 and 465 of the IPC and section 12 of the Passport Act was registered in this regard and the accused was arrested.


Suicide by Cong leader
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 1
Dalwinder Singh alias Tony shot himself at his residence at Dhyan Singh Colony in the Hadiabad area yesterday. Tony, a Congress leader, had been accused of being involved in the murder of Mohinder Kaur at Mananwali village on September 27 and assaulting her husband Jarnail Singh and his two brothers.


Rs 4.89 lakh looted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 1
An amount of Rs 4.89 lakh was looted from the Albert Road branch of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) late last night.

Interestingly all locks were opened and not broken. It is being suspected that some insiders could have committed the crime.

According to DSP Lakhbir Singh, who is investigating the case, two Class-I officers of the corporation could also be involved.


Suwinderjit group wins varsity poll
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 1
Mr Suwinderjit Singh’s group made a clear sweep in the Guru Nanak Dev University Non-Teaching Employees Association election held here. The group won all office-bearer seats and nine executive member seats.

Mr Suwinderjit Singh defeated Mr Sukhminder Singh Randhawa for the post of president. Mr Bhagwant Singh was elected vice-president, defeating Mr Jagir Singh. Mr Surjit Singh Cholia won the post of secretary, defeating Mr Amarjit Singh Bai.

Mr Hardip Singh Nagra was elected joint secretary, defeating Mr Sham Mohan. Mr Surjit Singh Mannan, who defeated Ms Raghbir Kaur, was elected treasurer. Mr Kuljit Singh, Mr Vinod Soni, Mr Shiv Kumar, Mr Gurmit Singh, Mr Harbans Singh, Mr Jagtar Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh Hira, Mr Gopal Singh and Mr Ajmer Singh were elected executive members.


Patiala girl honoured
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 1
The president of the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mr L.M. Thapar, has honoured Kalpana Bansal with the TIET President Award and a gold medal for the excellent achievement.

Giving credit to her parents and teachers, Kalpana says she believes that there is no short cut to success. Her father Mr M.K. Bansal, is working as Senior Manager, Finance, in Swaraj Automotives at Nabha and her mother is a school teacher.


Programme to promote small enterprises
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 1
The valedictory function of five-day entrepreneurs development programme on tailoring and fashion designing organised by the National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) in collaboration with the National Institute of Fashion Design was held here today.

The main aim of the programme was to inculcate entrepreneurial skills among the participants and to motivate them to start their own small enterprises. NSIC officers informed that the institute had been working for the development of small scale industries all over the country with its schemes for financing, marketing and technical export.

To meet the challenges of growth and competition in changed industrial scenario, the NSIC had now focussed on marketing products of small scale industries through export.

Small scale industries were now assisted by the NSIC in acquiring new technologies and upgrading their production techniques and qualities to compete in international market. The centre Director, NIFD, Mr Vikram Gupta, in his address said a sale outlet for products of these trained participants was being planned to provide them self-employment opportunities. These up- coming enterprises would be motivated to design and manufacture their products in line with customer requirement.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mr Shivdular Singh Dhillon, ADC, and Mr Ujjagar Singh, DPRO, were guests of honour. 

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