P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab may move HC against bail to Badals
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 10
Nothing official about it, but the state of Punjab may file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the orders of Ropar’s Special Judge granting regular bail to Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Member of Parliament son in an alleged disproportionate assets case.

Though senior government functionaries claim that the decision regarding the filing of the petition is yet to be taken officially, sources claim that the government may go ahead.

Final decision, they assert, will be taken by the officers concerned only after carefully perusing the orders of the Special Judge pronounced in an open court room late Tuesday evening.

Sources further confirm that the government may seek the cancellation of bail granted to the father and son, along with other reliefs, on more or less the same grounds taken before the Special Judge.

The defence, on the other hand, is considering the possibility of filing an anticipatory bail plea on behalf of Mrs Surinder Kaur Badal. Off the record, supporters of the Badal family claim that the final decision will be taken only after consulting the former Chief Minister this evening. As of now they were concentrating on preparing for the next date of hearing before the Special Judge on December 13.

Arguing before the Special Judge, the prosecution had earlier maintained that the Badals, besides committing the offence of corruption at Chandigarh, had also committed the same at other places in the state, including Ropar, Muktsar and Killianwali.

Regarding the issue of proper sanction, it was added Sukhbir Badal was being prosecuted for a crime committed for the period during which he was not a public servant. In case of senior Mr Badal, sanction from the Speaker had been taken.

The defence counsel, on the other hand, had argued that the court at Ropar was debarred from taking cognizance of the case in the absence of proper sanction. They had claimed that the Governor, and not the Speaker, was the competent sanctioning authority. The sanction accorded by the Speaker was “void”.

Describing the charge sheet filed against the Badals as “political challan”, counsel had added that case had been initiated for creating defence in a complaint case filed by them against Punjab’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh.

Regarding the question of territorial jurisdiction, they asserted that only the courts at Chandigarh could try the offences referred to in the first information report.


Ropar CJM issues release warrants
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, December 10
The release warrants of former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal were issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ropar, Mr JS Bhinder, at about 11 am today.

After counsel of Mr Badal produced the copy of the judgement delivered last evening by the Special Court, Ropar, in which the Badals’ were granted conditional bail the CJM directed them to produce two sureties of Rs 20 lakh for each accused as per the judgement.

Mr Paramjit Singh, s/o Harbans Singh, resident of Baihara village, near Anandpur Sahib, and Mr Parampreet Singh, s/o Mr Harmohan Singh Paul, a senior advocate of Ropar and also defence counsel of Mr Badal, produced the sureties of Rs 20 lakh each in the form of property owned by them for the release of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Similarly Mr Kulwant Singh, s/o Ram Singh, resident of Raprala, village near Chamkaur Sahib, and Paramjit Singh, s/o of Lakh Singh, resident of Lakhewal village, produced sureties in the form of property for the release of Mr Sukhbir Badal.


Targeting Badals on birthdays
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 10
Out on bail, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP, today claimed that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had chosen to target his family on occasions which had special meaning to it. He said his project (Orbit resorts) was raided on his birthday on July 9 while his residence in Delhi was raided on his wife’s birthday on July 25. He said similarly the Chief Minister “chose” to keep his father Parkash Singh Badal in Central Jail on his birthday on December 8. Earlier a case was registered on June 24 against him on his mother Surinder Kaur Badal’s birthday. “Now I have to find out when is the Raja’s birthday”, he added.

The MP claimed the Chief Minister had selected the jail premises in which he and his father were kept two weeks before they were incarcerated there. He said the Chief Minister had also tasted the food served to jail inmates on the occasion.

Speaking about his own incarceration, Sukhbir said he had never spent so much time with his father as he got to spend during the last nine days. “I am 42 years now but never have I spent so much time with my father”, he said adding he had learnt how to maintain his spirits when the going was rough and the necessity to be patient from his father during the present jail term.


Badal’s release adds to traffic blues in Patiala
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 10
For the city, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Parkash Singh Badal and his son’s release from Central Jail meant traffic blockades on the Jail road, on which the Mini Secretariat is situated, and the Sirhind road, which runs parallel to the Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib.

Nearly 100 vehicles collected in front of the jail, from where the SAD President emerged after noon. The vehicles, which included a few mini trucks besides cars and open gypsies, marched in a procession to the gurdwara situated a little more than 1 km from the jail. Traffic on this road was completely clogged for more than two hours.

Traffic was also disrupted on the Sirhind road situated along side the gurdwara as enthusiastic Akalis marked the release of their leaders with a firework display. Youngsters presented a gatka which also held up traffic.

A contingent of women chanted slogans while youngsters performed bhangra on top of the bonnets of jeeps.

Though there was a large security on the occasion. When Akali workers resorted to a firework display at the end of an impromptu rally at the gurdwara they were stopped from doing so by police personnel posted on the spot.

They picked up the crackers and asked the workers to burst them away from the main road to ensure continuity of traffic.

A number of police officers were posted all along the route with SP (Detective) Inder Mohan Singh and ASP Kaushtav Sharma supervising the proceedings. Officers from nearby sub divisions were also brought in, including Samana DSP Jaspreet Singh Sidhu and the SDM, Samana

Even government employees displayed a keen interest in watching the Akali workers celebrate the release of their leader. Employees gathered on the roof of the Mini Secretariat to watch the proceedings.

Mr Badal, who was given a rousing farewell from the city, was welcomed at Bahadurgarh on the outskirts of the city.

Following this, he was welcomed by party workers at Rajpura under the leadership of Capt Kanwaljit Singh and also at Banur before entering Chandigarh.


Online fiction on hate crime a big draw
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, December 10
A fiction work on hate crimes in the USA against Sikhs post 9/11 has hit online readers with its touching tale of a USA-based Sikh’s brush with death as the ‘hate wave’ sweeps against Arabs. In the melee, the turban, a religious symbol of Sikhism, becomes a visible reason for the ‘false identification’ of a community that is innocent.

The short story — ‘No escape’ — by Mr Gurpreet Singh, a Canada-based short story writer and senior journalist from a leading north India English daily, has main characters Hardeep, a taxi driver, and his wife Raminder in the city of Seattle.

Just five days after the twin tower attack, Hardeep, a family man, meets a group of boys who beat him up thinking him to be an Arab terrorist.

It is a poignant tale about how a member of the local gurdwara board there tries to cash in on the attack on Hardeep to increase his popularity in Sikh circles abroad.

The death of Hardeep’s father in Kanpur during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and his near brush with joining the terrorist ranks and being shaken out of it by his uncle after the lynching of his cousin are reminders that seem to underline the helplessness in the face of ungoverned power.

The concluding part of the story in which Hardeep chooses to forgive his attackers brings forth the real character of Sikhism.

The story has found rave reviews among online readers at the website’s communications and publications network. The website online stories to fight communalism in India and in the subcontinent started in 1993 are aimed to protect and promote human rights in India.

Its editors Javed Anand and Teesta Setalvad are reportedly on the hit list of many pan-Hinduism organisations, including the VHP.


Corporation to look after galliara
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 10
Tussle between the Galliara Project Director and the Corporation on looking after the maintenance and absorption of staff has taken a twist with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directing the Deputy Commissioner to hand over the completed phases of the project for maintenance to the Municipal Corporation.

According to a source the Chief Minister during his recent visit took a serious view of the expenses incurred on the payment of salaries of the 44 galliara employees, which had been borne by the project for the beautification of the Golden Temple surroundings. It was the responsibility of the corporation which had been avoiding to take over the maintenance and employees, due to financial crisis.

The Additional Commissioner MC, Mr Kirpal Singh told ‘The Tribune although it was agreed that the entire maintenance of the Galliara Project would lie with the corporation but the commissioner had already taken up the issue with the Principal Secretary Local Bodies for giving special grant for the maintenance. He pointed out that the corporation had requested the Principal Secretary that the civic body would be willing to take over the maintenance after the completion of all five phases and without any encroachments. The corporation was yet to receive any response from the department of Local Bodies till the matter remains pending.

The intervention of Chief Minister may force the corporation to take up the project and also absorb the employees. The Galliara project which was funded by the central government and only three phases out of five phases were completed.


1,700 posts for Majhabi Sikhs in Army vacant
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 10
About 1,700 posts reserved for the Majhabi Sikhs from Punjab in the Indian Army are lying vacant due to lack of adequate qualifications among Majhabi Sikhs. Due to an increased use of technology in the modern warfare, the Indian Army has recently increased the minimum eligibility criterion for Majhabi Sikhs to at least 45 per cent marks in the matriculation examination.

However, very few Majhabi Sikhs, who fulfil the basic eligibility criteria, are now available for recruitment in the Indian Army.

The Deputy Director-General (Recruitment) for Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir zone, Brig AJ Pahwa, stated this while talking to reporters here today.

Brigadier Pahwa was here to supervise an ongoing recruitment rally.

He said if the Army failed to find Majhabi Sikhs who fulfilled the basic eligibility criteria, it would have to look for alternatives.

Brigadier Pahwa said that a recruitment rally would also be held at Bathinda on December 14 for filling the vacancies of 15-20 clerks, in the Army.

At the rally here, 5,000 youth had appeared out of which 1,600 had been issued tokens. Out of the 1,600 candidates short-listed so far, 700 would be recruited for general and technical duties.

Brigadier Pahwa cautioned the youth against those who were trying to swindle money from them in the name of recruitment in the Army.

The selection procedure in the Army was foolproof and no relaxation in the basic eligibility criteria was possible.


PPSC to change job selection rules
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 10
The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) has decided to change selection procedure by reducing interview marks from 40 per cent to 15 per cent for recruitment of around 460 lecturers (college cadre) while introducing an objective type written test with 45 per cent weightage.

The state government had earlier quashed the selection of college lecturers for the 1999 and 2001 batches after unearthing of the recruitment scam, wherein, the then PPSC chairman Ravi Sidhu was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau.

The Chairman of the PPSC, Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh (retd), told this here yesterday that to improve the credibility of the selection process, it was decided to introduce written test with 45 per cent weightage to assess the capability of the candidates during the re-conduct selection of the candidates for the 1999 and 2001 batches.

The objective type written test would be conducted in English and the paper setters would be subject experts from outside the state.

“The test for Punjabi and Physics will be held on January 10 next year and that of English, chemistry, political science and economics on January 11.

The test for sociology, history, Hindi, maths, psychology and Sanskrit will fall on February 8,” he added.

“We have decided to lessen the role of the interview board by reducing the marks vested in it from 40 to 15 per cent.

The board will comprise the Chairman, a member and a subject expert,” he said, adding that the emphasis of interview will be on subject knowledge, teaching ability, job suitability and personality of the candidates.

The base marks, constituting 40 per cent weightage, will be determined on the basis of marks obtained by a candidate in the post-graduate course and subsequent higher qualifications (M.Phil/Ph.D) and original publications before the cut-off date.

General Surjit Singh maintained that the short-listing of the candidates, if required, where the number of candidates far exceeds the total number of posts, would be done on the basis of the total marks scored by a candidate as his base marks and in the written test.


Panel assumes control of Chief Khalsa Diwan
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 10
Former pro-Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Prithipal Singh Kapoor today assumed charge of Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) from the administrator appointed on December 2 by the Deputy Commissioner to look after day-to-day affairs of Diwan.

The Deputy Commissioner last night revoked the order as directed by Akal Takht that a five-member committee consisting of Justice Kuldip Singh, Justice R.S. Narula, Principal Ram Singh, Dr Kharak Singh and Mr Prithipal Singh Kapoor had been constituted by Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti to run affairs of Chief Khalsa Diwan.


Cold storage cylinder crashes into DSP’s office
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 10
Panic spread in four colonies of Nakodar township after an 18-foot-long cylinder of a cold storage broke the wall of the cold storage and crashed into the adjoining office of the Deputy Superintendent of Police on the Nakodar-Phagwara bypass this evening.

At the time of incident at about 8 p.m. no official was present in the DSP’s office, except for wireless operator Lubhaya Ram, who escaped unhurt. No loss of life was reported.

People, particularly, old men and women, left their houses and took refuge in other parts of the city due to apprehension of leakage of some gas from the cylinder.

Even as the “leaking” cylinder remained in the DSP’s office, no official except for a Municipal Commissioner reached the place till 10 p.m., reports from Nakodar said.

Though the exact reason behind the mishap was not known. to apprehensions were expressed that the incident might have happened due to built up of excessive pressure in the cylinder.

Meanwhile, panic spread in the Preet Nagar, Santokhgarh and other adjoining localities, where people were reluctant to enter their houses.


Lecture held on Dasam Granth
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 10
As part of the Guru Nanak Simrti lecture series, the Department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies of Punjabi University organised a lecture on the topic “Fresh look at Dasam Granth: analysis of its text and history” by Dr Jasbir Singh Mann, a Sikh scholar from the USA, here today.

Vice-Chancellor of the university Swaran Singh Boparai presided over the lecture. Addressing the gathering, Dr Jasbir Singh Mann informed that the compilation of the Granth started outside Punjab in Patna late in the 18th century. He further informed that promoted by the British, this Granth came to Punjab in the early 19th century and was converted into Sri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji in 1897.

Appreciating Dr Mann’s approach towards the disapproval of the myths about the existence of Dasam Granth, Mr Boparai emphasised the need to disseminate knowledge about the Sikh religion.

The Vice-Chancellor announced on the occasion that Punjabi University would have a centre for technical teaching of Punjabi language through the Internet shortly. All literature of the Punjabi language, including an encyclopedia of Sikhism, would be put up on the website of the university.

Mr Boparai also released a journal “Guru Nanak Praksh Patrika” Dr Gurnam Kaur and Dr Balkar Singh also spoke on the occasion.


Rs 3.2 cr given for development works
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 10
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, today announced that the state government had given a grant of Rs 3.2 crore for the implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Kalyan Scheme and Collective Rural Development Scheme in various villages of the state.

He announced this at a meeting at District Red Cross Bhavan here. Mr Tejveer Singh directed the officials of the Welfare Department to complete the work on the implementation of the scheme on a priority basis.

He also emphasised the need for proper coordination among officials of various department. He added that this would help in completing the development work in a better way, besides making proper use of funds.

Addressing the meeting Mr Tejveer Singh informed that during the current financial year nearly Rs 4 crore works were being spent to repair 125.28 km link road of various villages in the district. He added that till date work on the 103-km long link road had been completed.

Mr Tejveer Singh also directed the SDMs and BDPOs to personally supervise the development work in various villages. He instructed the SDMs to install sign-boards where construction work was going on.

The ADC Shiv Dhullar Singh Dhillon, ADC (Development) Jagwant Singh Brar and other senior officials of various departments were also present.


Gates in memory of martyrs
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 10
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, will lay the foundation stone of four memorial gates to be constructed in memory of martyrs at Fatehgarh Sahib on December 22, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, in a press release issued here today. Interestingly addressing the political conference of the Congress during the Saheedi Jor Mela last year the Chief Minister had announced these four gates in memory of the martyrs and had assured that before the next Saheedi Jor Mela the work would start.

The Deputy Commissioner said the Saheedi Jor Mela would be observed in true religious spirit. Bhakti sangeet samelan” “Var Gayan” competition, painting on Sahibjadas competition and Shabad Gayan competitions would be organised by the district administration to pay homage to the Sahibjadas and no gambling, live dances and other obscene stalls would be allowed during the mela. He said all wine shops would remain close during the mela in the radius of 3km and it would be ensured that no intoxicant was sold at the mela. He said all basic civic amenities like toilets, drinking water, cleanliness would be ensured and five enquiry centers and dispensaries would work round the clock.


Memorandum to Governor on desertion of brides
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
A delegation of the Lok Bhalai Party led by its President, Mr B.S Ramoowalia, submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P Verma, here this evening. Mr Ramoowalia claimed that the Governor had assured the delegation of looking into the cases of desertion of Punjabi girls by their fraudulent NRI husbands.

Highlighting the plight of such girls Mr Ramoowalia sought that the registration of FIRs on the complaints filed by deserted married girls be made mandatory or at least the procedure should be simplified to facilitate the registration of an FIR within a minimum period of 15 days, followed by the arrest of the accused.

The memorandum demanded that fast-track courts should be set up to try such cases. Besides, the Ministry of External Affairs should empower its foreign missions abroad to impound, the Indian passports of accused NRIs.


YC chief’s house raided
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 10
The Haryana Police on Wednesday raided the residence of Punjab Youth Congress Chief Davinder Singh Babbu here. He was booked in Amarjit murder case by the Gurgaon police on Tuesday.

Highly-placed sources in the Punjab Congress revealed that Babbu had resigned from the post of president of Punjab Youth Congress.

A special police party from Gurgaon reached the city this afternoon and raided the residence and other hideouts of Mr Babbu, who had been evading arrest since he was booked for the killing of Amarjit Singh of Jalandhar.


Four killed in road mishap

Bathinda, December 10
Four persons, including two women, were killed when the car in which they were travelling collided head-on with a truck near Shekhu village, 40 km from here, on the Raman Mandi-Gurthari road late this evening.

The truck, was loaded with cotton bales, caught fire after the accident.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the family of Khokhar village, situated near Dabwali town of Haryana, was on way to its home after attending an engagement ceremony of a relative at Virk Khera village near Malout town of Muktsar district. The deceased have been identified as Jagtar Singh, Darshan Singh, his wife and daughter-in-law. — TNS


Rs 15 lakh for Saigal’s birth centenary
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 10
The Central Government has earmarked a sum of Rs 15 lakh to observe the birth centenary celebrations of renowned Indian cinema personality and singer K.L. Saigal scheduled to be held in April next year.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the general secretary of SAD (Amritsar), Mr Anoop Singh Minhas, said the party chief and MP, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, had raised the issue with the Union Tourism and Culture minister, Mr Jagmohan, urging the latter to observe birth centenary of the great Punjabi vocalist and cinema personality.

Accordingly, the department had accepted the proposal and sanctioned Rs 15 lakh for the purpose, he said.


Treatment of TB possible now: doctor
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 10
Treatment of tuberculosis is possible now and is available free of cost in various Civil Hospitals in Punjab.

Stating this at a seminar organised by the Lions Club in association with the Civil Hospital here, Dr Balbir Singh, District TB Officer, Ropar, and chief guest, said private doctors would have to refer TB cases once to the Civil Hospital concerned, which would provide medicines. Later follow-up treatment could be given by these doctors.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, in charge of the Kharar TB unit, explained a new technique (DOTS) for tackling the disease.

The president of the club, Mr Subhash Aggarwal, while thanking the participants, said the club would cooperate in all activities aimed at eradicating the disease.


PSEB changes peak load hours
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 10
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to change the timings of evening peak load hours restrictions for large supply consumers of Central Zone (Operation) from 6.30- 9.30 p.m. to 6-9 p.m. from December 16 to January 31, 2004.

There will however, be no change in the timings of evening peak load hours restrictions for large supply consumers of all other operation zones.


Teenager missing
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur-Garibdass (Kharar), December 10
Nineteen-year-old Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Mullanpur-Garibdass village, is missing for more than a month now.

According to Mr Amar Singh, father of Gurdeep, he was last seen in a shop in the village on November 6. ‘‘I used to send him to Chandigarh to learn denting and painting work. However, on November 6, he did not go to Chandigarh and instead sat with village boys in a shop”, said Mr Amar Singh, who is employed at Government College of Art, Sector 10, Chandigarh adding that “probably fearing that I would be angry on his not learning the work, Gurdeep did not return home”.

Gurdeep was wearing a green check shirt and black trousers. The police has been informed.



District Bar chief ‘censured’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 10
The president of the Sangrur District Bar Association (DBA), Mr Sirjiwan Jain, has been reportedly stopped from functioning as president of the DBA by some members of the Bar by passing a resolution. It states that Mr Jain has misused his authority in the case of construction and allotment of three new sheds for the members of the bar.

The resolution also states that it was resolved that the act and conduct of Mr Jain towards the Bar is not up to the mark, so the House decided that he be censured and he can not act as president of the bar from December 9 and the vice-president will be acting as president.

This resolution was adopted by the members of the bar at a meeting held under the presidentship of Mr Anurag Chopra, vice-president of the District Bar Association, here yesterday. The resolution, signed by vice-president Anurag Chopra, secretary Gurpreet Singh Nandpuri, and joint secretary and cashier of the association, was released to the press here today.

Mr Jain, however, said the meeting held by some members of the bar the previous day was null and void, so the question did not rise to stop him from functioning as president of the DBA. He said about 150 members of the bar had given him in writing today that the previous day’s meeting was against law and the constitution of the Bar.

He said he had convened a meeting of the Bar tomorrow to take action against those who had ‘violated’ the constitution of the bar.


7 acquitted in attempt to murder case

Barnala, December 10
Additional Sessions Judge Zora Singh here has acquitted seven accused in the attempt to murder case.

Amrik Singh of Pakhon Kalan had lodged an FIR with the police here on May 18 last year alleging that following his taking an agricultural land on lease from Surjit Singh, the latter along with his six accomplices, Boota Singh, Maghar Singh, Bawa Singh, Karnail Singh, Sandeep Singh, had attacked him and seriously injured with the intention to murder him over dispute of leased money.

The defence counsel contended that since the land in question was actually registered in name of Surjit’s father Gurbakhash Singh, the money matter were dealt by the latter. Surjit, he said had no role to play in the money matters.

The court after hearing the plies, set free all seven accused. — UNI


Police posts, stations to be regularised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10
The Punjab Government today decided to regularise some existing police posts and stations, besides a few other upgraded ones.

According to sources, this was one of the main decisions taken at a meeting of the high-powered committee for the Punjab Police held today under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Jai Singh Gill.

As many as 16 police posts, 27 police stations, including 18 upgraded ones, will be notified. Functioning in various districts for long, these had no mandate to register FIRs etc.

The Home Department will issue an order to rationalise posts of SPs and DSPs. A decision to this effect was also taken in consonance with the Finance Department instructions whereby an officer is required to draw his salary from where he is actually posted. According to police sources, at present a large number of officials in the crime wing, vigilance wing, CM security and the inter-vigilance cell etc are working against non-sanctioned posts, creating problems in disbursing the salary and other allowances.

It was also decided that each judicial complex should have a room earmarked for police personnel or IOs accompanying the accused during court proceedings. Ironically, most judicial complexes have rooms for the accused and convicts, it is learnt.

The government also decided to get approval for transferring a piece of acquired land for the Police Lines at Mansa. The project has been hanging fire due to the delay in the transfer of land.

A decision was taken to amend the police rules to make them compatible with the Central roster, which would help determine seniority at various ranks.

The meeting was attended by the DGP, Mr A.A Siddiqui; IGP (Headquarters), Mr Sanjiv Gupta, besides few other senior officials of the Home, Police, Health, Transport and Finance Departments.


Civil Surgeon transferred
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 10
Dr Yashpal Singla, Civil Surgeon was transferred today in the afternoon after orders from Governor, Punjab were received here today. Dr Yashpal has been posted Deputy-Director Family Welfare in the office of the Director Health Services, Punjab.

Dr Harjoginder Singh Gill, medical superintendent ESI Hospital, here has been made Civil Surgeon in his place.

The SMO's Association headed by Dr H.S. Mahal welcomed the appointment of Dr H.S. Gill.

The association and others had complained against Dr Yashpal to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at the open darbar here on December 3.


Two killed over irrigation dispute
Tribune News Service

Gill Khurd (Bathinda), December 10
At least two farmers died while two others, including a women, were severely injured when the family members of Jugraj Singh were allegedly attacked by the family members of Charanjit Singh here this evening. Firearms and sharp-edged weapons were used in the crime.

Both Jugraj Singh and Charanjit died of injuries inflicted by a gun and sharp-edged weapons. Balwinder Singh, alias Binder, son of Charanjit Singh and his wife Gurmeet Kaur suffered injuries in the attack. The injured have been admitted to Civil Hospital, Rampura Phul.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that Charanjit Singh and his associates attacked Jugraj Singh and his family members over dispute pertaining to the irrigation of land belonging to a third person that had been pledged to these two families.

Police sources said that Balwinder Singh allegedly fired at Jugraj Singh with the 12 bore gun belonging to his father Charanjit Singh. Jugraj Singh, who suffered a gunshot injury on his head, died on the spot. After that, the family members in defence of the attack allegedly being made on them by Binder Singh, his father Charanjit Singh and their associates, attacked Charanjit Singh with sharp-edged weapons.

The incident took place when both the parties were standing in their respective pieces of agricultural land, situated adjacently, pledged to them by the third person.

Charanjit Singh, who suffered multiple injuries, died while he was being taken to the Civil Hospital, Rampura Phul.

Balwinder Singh and his wife Gurmeet Kaur suffered injuries in the fight. Balbir Singh and Dheera, both brothers of Jugraj Singh, and two farm assistants Leela Singh and Mander Singh were with Jugraj Singh when the incident took place.

Mr Ajay Maluja, SP (D), who rushed to the spot after getting the information, said a case in this connection had been registered in Ballianwali police station. The accused would be arrested shortly, he added.


Jobless kills wife

Jalandhar, December 10
An unemployed man today killed his wife in Chandpur village near here.

The crime detected today morning when a jobless man identified as Gurdev Singh allegedly murdered his wife by stabbing her with a ‘kirpan’, police sources said adding that case was registered in the Sadar police station under Section 302/506 IPC on the statement of the deceased daughter Balbir Kaur.

In her statement, Balbir Kaur said that her father had left the family three years back as he was unemployed and neither wanted to do any work, but a month back he came back and was living in a room in the fields. But today when her mother Swarn Kaur went to the field for milking the animals her father allegedly killed her mother with the kirpan, which her mother was wearing in the morning, sources added.

After committing the crime, Gurdev came back to home and even threatened Balbir Kaur to her also, if she informed the police about the crime, sources said adding that the accused even disconnected the telephone before fleeing.

When Balbir Kaur informed the villagers about the crime, they overpowered Gurdev and handed him over to the police, sources said adding that weapon used in the crime has been recovered and the body of the deceased has been sent for postmortem. — PTI


Woman paraded semi-nude at dagger point
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 10
A Christian woman was forced to walk without ‘salwar’ through lanes of Tarpai village in Majitha police district on December 7. The victim alleged this in a complaint to Majitha police station last night.

The police has arrested Faqir of the same village under Sections 342, 354, 506 and 34 of the IPC. The other family members booked are Raja, Billa and Reeta.

According to the details available, family members of Faqir were planning to take revenge from the victim. They caught hold of her while she was returning home on December 7 and forcibly removed her ‘salwar’ and paraded her in through the lanes of the village. The accused also abused and humiliated the victim in the presence of villagers.

On being persuaded by her family she mustered the courage to lodge a complaint against Faqir and his family.

The villagers tried to work out a compromise between the two families, but failed.


Distillation of illicit liquor detected
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Raniwala (Muktsar), December 10
The police a few days ago detected a “mini-distillery” making illicit liquor in a house in this village.

It is for the first time that a “mini-distillery” of illicit distillation of liquor was unearthed in a dwelling unit.

To tackle the situation and unearth more such distilleries the police has started collecting input from various sources. The police raided the premises of Major Singh in this village where the “mini-distillery” was functioning for the past two years. The police seized 300 litres of illicit liquor.

Mr R.S. Khatra, SSP, Muktsar, said a mini-distillery had been setup in the house of Major Singh. He had made underground concrete bunkers where illicit liquor was used to be made. After distillation, liquor was collected in underground tanks via pipes laid in the ground. From these tanks, the accused would bring liquor overground with the help of pumps.

The accused reportedly used to supply the illicit liquor to Rajasthan and Haryana areas near this village. The recent Assembly elections in Rajasthan marked significant sale of illicit liquor.

The SSP said a case had been registered under the Excise Act.


Gang of robbers busted

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 10
The district police claims to have busted a gang of robbers by arresting five of its members who were planning to strike in Mandi Gobindgarh. One of the gang members is working as a motivator in Sahara India and is posted in the Khanna area. The police recovered some arms and ammunition besides a kirpan and an iron rod from the gang.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said that the police on a tip-off cordoned the gang’s hideout in Sukha Singh Colony in Guru ki Nagri, Mandi Gobindgarh. He said the gang members were nabbed when they were planning a burglary. Those arrested have been identified as Shiv Moorat Nath, the kingpin of the gang, Mahant Verma, Sant Ram, Shyam Sundar and Bindu —all relatives and migrant labourers from Mehraj Ganj, UP.

The police has registered a case under Section 399,401, 25,54,59 of the IPC.


Students, teachers boycott house test
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 10
Activists of the Punjab Radical Students Union (PRSU) and other students of the Akal Degree College, Mastuana Sahib, 5 km from here, today reportedly ‘boycotted’ house test on the college campus in support of their demands, like the refund of the hiked fee, rolled back by the Punjab Government.

In a press note, Mr Sukhcharan Preet, District President of the PRSU, said that students, and some college teachers “boycotted” the house test as the teachers had not received salaries for the past five months. He said students and teachers held a rally on the college campus and raised slogans in support of their demands. He said some teachers were also observing a strike nowadays.

Prof Tejwant Mann, Head of the Punjabi Department in the college, said the agitating teachers would continue their struggle, including boycott of the house tests, till their demands were met, including release of salary. He also asked the college management to release salary.


SLIET Director gets national award
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 10
Dr R.C. Chauhan, Director, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, has been awarded with a national award in the Employee Category in recognition of his contribution in the field of General Technical Education Management and Power Engineering. The award, which carries cash, a citation, a certificate and a medal, was presented to him by the President of India at a function in New Delhi, recently.

According to a spokesman of the SLIET, the Government of India gives national awards to the disabled persons every year. Dr Chauhan was selected by the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment for this year’s national award in the Employee Category of the disabled persons. Dr Chauhan is disabled person from the age of three years, he adds.

Dr Chauhan had also been awarded with the Best Engineering College Principal Award by the Indian Society for Technical Education last year.


Gold star award for Sukhjinder
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 10
Mr Sukhjinder Singh, Director, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Academy, has been selected for the International Gold Star Award for his contribution towards providing international standards of education in a backward area like Ropar.

In a press release issued here today the academy authorities said that the award would be conferred on Mr Sukhjinder by the Prime Minister of Nepal in January 2004 at a conference on a Nepal-Bhutan relations.

The award is given by the India International Friendship Society.

Last year the award was conferred on Mr Joginder Singh, a former director of the CBI .


Malout students win first prize

Malout, December 10
Shranav Katyal and Aviral Chhabra, students of Class X at DAV Edward Ganj Public School, here, have won the first prize in a state-level science fair organised by the SCERT, Punjab, Chandigarh, at Fatehgarh Sahib from December 3 to 6, Mr G.C. Sharma, Principal of the school, said. — OC

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