P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



IGP accused of influencing probe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Four municipal councillors from Ahmedgarh near Ludhiana, along with 13 other residents and local leaders, today alleged that Punjab’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Mustafa and his MLA wife Razia Sultana were influencing the investigations into the councillor Sham Sunder Jain murder case.

Claiming that the councillor was murdered due to political rivalry, they said Ms Sultana and Mr Mustafa had been taking keen interest in the local political activities since long.

They demanded that probe into the matter should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), or any other independent agency, so as to reach the truth. They submitted a representation in this regard to Punjab Governor after meeting him.

Mr Mustafa, when contacted, said it was below his dignity to react to such baseless allegations. “Let any central or state agency look into the matter,” he added. Sources in his office claimed that the IGP had himself asked senior police officers to probe the matter thoroughly to bring the guilty to the book.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference earlier during the day, the councillors and Jain’s son Gaurav said they had no hope for justice from the Punjab Police. The murder case was registered against unknown persons only after pressure from the local residents. The councillors are —Mr Rajneesh Sharma, Mr Jaswinder Sodhi, Mr Harpal Singh and Mr Jaswinder Lali.

Going into the background of the matter, they said Jain was instrumental in toppling Rajneesh Sharma from the President’s post by spending Rs 30 to 40 lakh. They claimed that the IGP and the MLA were also in favour of the move. Though he was promised the President’s post, but the two were somehow apprehensive that Jain would not toe their line. They wanted councillor Jatinder Bhola to take over as the president. It was alleged that a meeting in this regard was held at the IGP’s residence in Chandigarh.

They alleged that just two days before another meeting was scheduled to be held for deciding the President’s name, Jain disappeared on May 3. His scooter was recovered from near a bridge and the body with injury marks was fished out the next day. The post mortem examination said he had died of head injury. Meanwhile, Councillor Jatinder Bhola said the case was being given a political hue without any reason.

If you think horse-trading is carried out only to win ever MLAs, you are in for a surprise. “Murdered” councillor Sham Sunder Jain’s family today admitted that Rs 30 to Rs 40 lakh had been paid for toppling the President of the Ahmedgarh Municipal Council.


Youths reveal police excesses
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 3
It is a case of typical Punjab Police style of working. Manjit Singh, a resident of the Indira Colony, here was picked up by the local police a few days ago under pressure from local residents.

The kin of a missing youth, Gautam, along with some union leaders of the Punjab Roadways had gheraoed the police station and blocked traffic on the Dalhousie road. They alleged that Manjit Singh along with his friend Karnail Singh had kidnapped Gautam as he owed them Rs 25,000.

The protesters allegedly also threw stones at the residence of Manjit Singh and threatened his family members. Under pressure from a few protesters the police picked up Manjit Singh and kept him in illegal custody. After a day the missing youth called up his parents and told them that he was in Mumbai.

With the missing youth resurfacing Manjit Singh is now back home. His face is swollen due to alleged thrashing he received from the police. He is now afraid to open his mouth against the police.

While talking to newspersons at his residence today, a weeping Manjit Singh alleged that he was harassed just under pressure from a few miscreants. His family remained under deep stress after he was picked up by the police. Now that the complaint against him had been found to be baseless the police should take action against the persons, including the husband of a Municipal Councillor, who mounted pressure for his arrest and defamed his family by blocking the traffic on the main road. The poor parents of Manjit Singh are grateful to the Almighty that their son was back home.

The other man arrested in the case, Karnail Singh, has his own woes to tell. He said that he had gone to Jammu to attend the cremation of a kin. The police picked him up along with his family members without giving them the opportunity to attend the cremation. The police should now take action against the union leaders and the municipal councillors, who generated pressure for their illegal arrest, with the same vigour, Karnail Singh demanded.

The police authorities are, however, silent on the case. The SP, Pathankot, Mr Manminder Singh, was not available for comments despite repeated attempts to contact him on the phone.


Bajwa confused over ownership of road
3rd day without traffic on the Mukerian-Gurdaspur road
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 3
Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, Minister for PWD, Culture and Archives, said here today that confusion prevailed about the ownership of the old brick-arch bridges over the UBDC canal. Originally these bridges were constructed by the Department of Irrigation. With the passage of time most of these bridges had become part of the national and state highways.

However, on papers the Department of Irrigation still continues to be the owner of the bridges. Since the said bridges are made of just bricks fixed in the shape of archs they are not fit to bear heavy traffic prevailing on the national and state highways.

Besides the live load of passing vehicles, the dead load due to repeated laying of bitumen over the old bridges has increased.

Mr Bajwa said there was an immediate need to change three bridges with modern RCC structures. A meeting would soon be held with the Department of Irrigation to ascertain as to which department would take up the onus of replacement of the brick-arch bridges.

He also said that the Mukerian-Gurdaspur road was built up by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). The PIDB had not yet handed over the possession of the road to the PWD. So, as per the present status the onus of replacing the damaged structure on the road was either on the PIDB or the Department of Irrigation.

Meanwhile, the traffic on the Mukerain-Gurdaspur road remained suspended for the third day due to the damaged bridge over the UBDC canal.

Mr Bajwa said that he would direct the Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur, to hold an inquiry into the reason for the breach in the Kassor branch of the UBDC canal. A survey would be undertaken to assess the damage to the crops and property of the farmers due to the breach. Compensation would be given to farmers as per the survey report.

The district authorities would also be ordered to check the works carried out on the UBDC canal so that such incident did not occur again.


Punjab set for big leap in IT: Singla
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
“Punjab is all set for a big leap forward in the IT, automobile and engineering sectors”.

This was stated here today by the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla. Speaking to mediapersons after his interaction with big IT companies in the USA, Mr Singla said that he was certain that there would be investments worth Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore in the IT and automobile and engineering sectors in the state in the next one and half years.

Mr Singla, accompanied by Mr N.S. Kalsi, Managing Director, Punjab Infotech, and Mr Randeep Singh Nabha, Chairman, and Mr Anil Dutta, Vice Chairman of Punjab Infotech, attended the TiE (Indus Entrepreneurs) conference at Santa Clara, which is also called Silicon Valley of the USA.

“We have interacted with all IT majors in the USA and they are ready to set up shop in Punjab”, said Mr Singla. “ I had a meeting with the top brass of Satyam, Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, New Path Ventures, Logic Vision etc. They are excited to come to India and Punjab,” Mr Singla said. Already, Quark, Infosys, TCS, Dell, which are big names in the IT sector, have either set up their business complexes or are preparing to do so in Punjab. Indians have a very strong presence in Silicon Valley.

He said that Ashoka Leyland was planning to set up a big unit in the automobile sector in Punjab and Tatas were probing the possibility to set up an Indica manufacturing plant in the state.

He also met the Director of Stanford University, Prof Rogger Noll.


When DC goes, staff will doze!
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 3
Employees of various departments at the mini secretariat made the most of the Deputy Commissioner’s absence from his office and the sultry conditions here today. For most of them either slept through the working hours or left their offices early.

It was a holiday-like situation at the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Nothing seemed to bother the employees as they were found sleeping during the working hours in the afternoon.

It was the first day at Mohali office for the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mr H.I.S Garewal. The Deputy Commissioner had recently decided to hold office twice a week (Wednesday and Friday) at Mohali to hear the grievances of the people there and those of Kharar.

During a visit to the mini secretariat around 2 pm, employees were seen sleeping on beds in the office.

Most of the erring employees belonged to the Fishery Department, the Food and Supplies Department, the NRI Complaint Cell, the Employment Office and the Water Regulations Department.

On being questioned, the employees contended that they could not do much in the intense heat.

Since most of the senior officials were away, the employees felt they had nothing to worry about and thus chose to take some rest.

People coming from far off places like Nangal (around 70 km from Ropar), Anandpur Sahib (40 km), Nurpurbedi (30 km) for official work were seen disappointed to find the Deputy Commissioner absent from the office.

They said if the Deputy Commissioner could hold office in Mohali, why couldn’t he in Nangal, Anandpur Sahib and Nurpurbedi.

When contacted over the phone, Mr H.I.S Garewal said he was in Kharar to hear public grievances.

On employees sleeping during the office hours, he said even Prime Minister and senior IAS officers took rest in the afternoon in their offices.


Punjab firm to make avalanche-victim detectors
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Punjab Communications Limited (PUNCOM) here would be taking up the manufacture of Avalanche Victim Detectors (AVDs) for the Army after successfully competing in a tender issued by the Directorate General of Ordnance Services yesterday. PUNCOM was the only firm among 14 bidders which offered indigenous AVDs.

The firm’s Head (Marketing), Mr J S Ghuman said that a Rs 3.5 crore order to supply about 7,500 AVDs is expected from the Army shortly. “The delivery schedule is four months from the date of the order and this project will be executed within this financial year,” he said.

The tender, which was opened in New Delhi yesterday, was won by PUNCOM by a narrow margin against competition from other bidders, including Tata Power, Pan India, Combined Engineering, Das Electronics and MOD Enterprises, all of whom quoted foreign-made AVDs.

PUNCOM has been designated as the nodal agency for manufacturing AVDs by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment, a laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation at Bangalore.

According to PUNCOM’s Managing Director, Ms Ravneet Kaur, the firm has so far manufactured 2,000 AVDs for various government organisations. It is already engaged in supplying radio trunking and communication equipment to the defence services.

AVDs are extremely light-weight and small gadgets used to detect persons buried under snow. These send out electronic directional signals which are captured by receiving units, helping in the location of victims. Procurement of AVDs will enhance the search and rescue capabilities of Army personnel deployed in hazardous snow-bound areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Large tracts in the Kargil-Dras sector are avalanche prone.


Bandh against attack on arhtiyas
Our Correspondent

Tapa (Barnala), June 3
A complete bandh was observed in Tapa today in protest against the attack on commission agents. A delegation of the Commission Agents Association, led by its president Labho Ram Pakho, met the SSP, Barnala, Mr G. Nageshwar Rao. The delegation demanded action against the Bharti Kisan Union activists, who allegedly attacked the arhtiyas yesterday. It also demanded security for them.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Labho Ram said Mr Rao had assured them that the police would try to bring a compromise between the two warring factions before June 10. The BKU (Ekta, Sidhpur) state vice-president, Mr Rulda Singh, had announced that they would hold a rally at Tapa on June 10 if their demands were not met with.

Meanwhile, all main bazars of Tapa city remained closed today in protest against the attacks. Eight persons were injured following a group clash between the Kisan Union activists and the commission agents in the grain market. The injured included arhtiya Tarsem lal and his son Rajiv Kumar, Darshan Singh, Jasbir Singh, Harnek Singh, Sukhminder Singh, Sudarshan Singh, Bant Singh. An FIR has been registered against the two groups. No arrest has been made so far.

As per information available, Tarsem Lal, a commission agent of Tapa, had lent some money to Bhola Singh, a farmer of Dhilwan village, a few years ago. They had arrived at a compromise for the return of money. Bhola Singh agreed to give Rs 60,000 to Tarsem Lal but the Bharti Kisan Union activists pressured Tarsem lal to withdraw a case, which is under trial in the Barnala court, before receiving any money from Bhola Singh.

The BKU activists held a dharna before the shop of Tarsem Lal in the grain market. According to Tarsem Lal, the activists used derogatory language against him. He called upon the Commission Agents Association. The activists of both groups entered into a clash. Stones were thrown and sticks were used leaving eight persons injured. All the injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

A case has been registered under Sections 325, 323, 141 and 141 IPC, against Tarsem Lal and others and Roop Singh and others.


Road reopened after decade
Our Correspondent

Batala, June 3
A long pending demand of residents of the Murgi Mohalla area was fulfilled yesterday with the reopening of about 500 metres long link road linking the area with the GT Road. The link road was closed 10 years ago by the defence authorities in view of their security needs because of their unit in the area.

The reopening of the road was made possible with the efforts of Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary, who held a series of meetings with the defence authorities, the state government’s officials and the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

The official announcement in this regard was made by Mr Sekhri after a meeting at the Rest House of the PSEB, Batala, yesterday with civil and defence authorities, including Lieut-Gen Pitabi Raman, Major-General S.C. Verma, Core Commander Mandata Singh, Brigadier Jamwal, Colonel Sarabjit Singh and Mr Parneet Bhardwaj, Sub- divisional Magistrate, Batala.

With the reopening of the link road about 25,000 residents of the area would have easy access to the city bus stand, the railway station and main markets of the city, for which earlier they had to cover 4 to 5 km.

On the occasion, Lieut-Gen Pitabi Raman applauded the role of Punjabis in the Army and said that the reopening of this link road was a token of gratitude to them for their sincerity, solidarity and strength shown in defending the borders of the nation.


Five Punjabi writers to be honoured today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Former Editor of Punjabi Tribune, Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu, is among the top Punjabi writers who will be honoured by the Canada-based International Punjabi Literary Trust here tomorrow. According to Dr Darshan Singh Gill, Secretary of the Trust, the programme is being organised at the Sector 35 Hotel Regency to mark the silver jubilee celebrations of the Trust. The Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr S.P. Singh, will be the chief guest while Mr Amrik Singh Pooni will preside over the function.

Besides Mr Gulzar Singh Sandhu, other Punjabi writers to be honoured on Saturday with the Manjit Memorial Award are Mr Tera Singh Chan, Mr Kirpal Singh Kasel, Mr Ajaib Chitrakar and Ms Bachint Kaur.

Among the prominent recipients of this award in the past are Mr Sant Singh Sekhon, Mr Gurbax Singh Preetlari, Mr Santokh Singh Dhir, Mr Gursharan Singh, Mr Devinder Satyarathi, Mr Vanjara Bedi, Mr Piara Singh Sehrai and Dr Jagtar.


Illegal structures demolished
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 3
In a major anti-encroachment drive, the demolition squad of the Improvement Trust, Phagwara, today pulled down illegal constructions on the Phagwara-Banga road.

Mr Jeewan Bansal, EO, and Mr Parmod Sharma, SDO, oversaw the drive. Tehsildar-cum-Duty Magistrate Hardip Singh Dhaliwal was present on the occasion. Heavy police force accompanied the demolition squad.


8 injured in cylinder blast
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 3
Eight persons were injured when an LPG cylinder exploded in the house of Kabal Singh, a resident of Ekta Nagar, Chamrang road, here today.

According to information, Nukti, wife of Kabal Singh, was making tea at that time when the cylinder blasted due to leakage in the gas pipe. The impact of blast was so intense that about three kutcha houses came down.

Besides, Kabal and his wife, the injured include his daughter, Puja, son, neighbours Bachan Singh, Chhindo, Raju and Harbhajan Singh. 


Blast victims’ kin get relief
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 3
Two cheques for Rs 1 lakh each were given to widows of the explosion victims and Rs 25,000 to Nanak Chand, who was injured in the incident, by Mr Sunil Jakhar, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab.

In January, 2005, a junk dealer Jagdish Chander and his neighbour Surjit Singh Grover were killed in an explosion and Jagdish Chander’s son, Nanak Chand, was injured in the mishap. The explosion occurred when Jagdish Chander tried to hit an anti-tank bomb with hammer to extract brass from it.


Transport dept goes tech savvy
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 3
The first pilot project for the computerisation of the Transport Department has been set-up at district transport office here today. The Additional State Commissioner, Punjab, Dr Karamjeet Singh Sra, who is also the project leader, said Rs 34 lakh had been spent on the project out of Rs 94 lakh received from the Central Government.

Dr Sra said the Punjab Government intends to replicate the project all over the state after its success here.

He said the aim of the project was to bring about transparency and efficiency in the functioning of the department. Once the project was implemented, driving licenses and registration certificates would be issued within half an hour of the submission of complete documents with the office. Besides, taxes would also be recovered more efficiently. He said the software for the vehicles registration and driving licenses had been developed by the National Information Center, Delhi.

District Transport Officer, Pritam Singh Johar, said computerisation of driving licenses would start from next about two weeks.


Blood donation camp
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 3
More than 100 employees of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal plant today donated blood in blood donation camp organised thermal authorities in assocation with the PGI here today. A team of doctors from the PGI involved in the blood in the camp include senior doctors from the PGI, Dr Usha Rao, Pankaj Kaul.


Probe ordered into arrest of four
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, June 3
A magisterial inquiry has been initiated to find out why four members of the family of a defaulter at Bhagu village were arrested when staff of the Primary Agriculture Development Bank Ltd (PADB), Abhor, had gone to recover debt from him on May 30.

Sources said that the PADB was in financial crisis as outstanding debts had mounted to Rs 24 crore. The bank authorities had obtained a warrant of arrest against 34 perpetual defaulters so far. The staff under police cover had gone to Bhagu village to recover debt from Gurdit Singh, but members of his family reportedly attacked and injured a clerk. Six persons were booked under Sections 353, 186, 148, 149, IPC, and four of them were arrested. They were released on bail the next morning.

The accused, however, alleged that the recovery staff had misbehaved with women as they opposed his arrest. The arrests were condemned not only by the Bharatiya Kisan Union but also by Dr Manohar Singh Gill, MP and former Chief Election Commissioner. The BKU members had held a demonstration at the sadar police station and the bank office here on May 31.

According to information, the bank had launched a special recovery campaign for financial survival but could recover only Rs 20 lakh so far. The release of loans had virtually stopped now. Enquiries revealed that the defaulters had generally not used the amount of loan for the purpose specified in the loan application and documents submitted to the bank authorities subsequently.

A farmer of Bhagu village had taken a loan of Rs 1.20 lakh for buying a tube well boring machine but had not paid any instalment of the loan. The debt had compounded to Rs 2.20 lakh with interest. It was found that the farmers, facing continuous damage to crops during the first four years of the century, had utilised loans for marrying off their children or to meet daily expenses.

However, in some cases the role of certain employees of the PADB had been dubious. They allegedly cleared applications for loan only if these were routed through middlemen, sources said. Three branch managers and some field officers had been sacked so far following investigations by the District Manager of the bank and its vigilance cell. Loan advances for raising pig, hen and cattle farms were by and large categorised as bogus during the inquiry. But the culprits were not booked reportedly due to their political affiliations.

Mr Mohan Singh, a farmer from Bazidpur village, brought it to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner during a khula darbar here on Wednesday that he had secured loans of Rs 185,000 but could repay only Rs 75,000 as his crops had been damaged.

He offered to the PADB officers in writing that his 15 kanal of agricultural land be auctioned to recover the amount of loan but the bank preferred to file a suit against him and burdened him with the heavy cost of litigation. Many other small farmers had become victims of such indifferent attitude of the bank officials, the BKU alleged in a representation to the Deputy Commissioner and other officials.

Sources pointed out that competitors were offering service to loan seekers on their doorsteps but cooperative banks made the applicants pay Rs 350 as “file-charges” to persons authorized by the bank authorities.


Life imprisonment in dowry death case

Moga, June 3
A local court has awarded life imprisonment to a man and his mother and also fined then Rs then 50,000 each to compensate the bereaved family of a woman who was forced to commit suicide by taking some poisonous substance to bring more dowry.

According to the prosecution, Rajwant Kaur was married to Inderjit Singh, son of Kashmir Singh of Panodori Araian village under the Kotisekhan police station area of Moga district in December 2001.

Since marriage, the in-laws of the woman were forcing her to bring more dowry, forcing Rajwant Kaur to commit suicide by taking some poisonous substance. A case was registered against her husband Inderjit Singh, Jasbir Kaur mother in-law, and also against sister of Inderjit Singh on June 2, 2002, on the complaint of Chanan Singh father of Rajwant Kaur.

In view of the evidence produced by the prosecution as well as of the defence, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Harjinder Pal Singh yesterday observed that the prosecution established its case and hence the court convicted and sentenced both husband and mother in-law. — PTI 


Judicial remand for two
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 3
A local court today remanded two of the five persons arrested by the Kharar police on May 25 in judicial custody.

On May 25, the police had nabbed five members of a notorious inter-state gang of burglars and vehicle lifters. On June 1, the court extended the police remand of the two, sending the three in judicial remand. While Ramandeep Singh and Randeep were remanded in two more days of police custody, the other three — Manmohan Singh Sodhi, Narinder Kumar and Rajesh Kumar — were taken in judicial custody.

The gang was reportedly responsible for over 50 cases of burglaries across the state and other states, including Jammu and Kashmir. A huge cache of arms, ammunition and stolen goods worth Rs 10 lakh was recovered from the gang.


A correction

Mr Raj Kumar is a former Judge of the Allahabad High Court and not its former Chief Justice as erroneously reported in the news-item headlined “Ex-Judge in land misuse case”. (The Tribune June 3). The error is regretted.


Admn nod to luxury resort
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Basali (Nurpurbedi), June 3
In a setback to the Forest Department move, the district administration today gave its nod to the construction of a luxury resort at Basali village in Nurpurbedi, 30 km from Ropar. The department had earlier marked an inquiry to the Revenue Department, apprehending that the construction was being done in violation of the Forest Land Act and also the Punjab Land Preservation Act.

The Revenue Department, after demarcating the resort site, pointed out that the resort construction on private land was not covered under the Forest Land Act and also the Punjab Land Preservation Act. So there was no violation in the construction of the resort, said a senior functionary of the administration.

The Forest Department, during preliminary inquiry, had raised doubts on May 9 that the resort was being constructed in violation of the Punjab Land Preservation Act and was likely to cause soil erosion in the area. To find out details, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr A.S. Dogra, along with other officials and DFO (Ropar), Mr S.S. Bhatti, visited the site on May 11.

Thereafter, the Forest Department had asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, as head of the Revenue Department, for the demarcation of the resort site.

Talking to The Tribune over phone, Deputy Commissioner H.I.S Garewal said after the demarcation of the resort done by a Kanungo and Tehsildar, it was found that there was nothing objectionable and no violation of the Forest Conservation Act and the Punjab Land Preservation Act. He said with a view to making everything transparent, on May 30 senior reporters of various newspapers from Chandigarh had been invited. He said officials visited the site for investigation purposes only and not to attend parties.

The District Forest Officer, Mr S.S Bhatti, said, “ I have not received a report from the Revenue Department. The Forest Department will express its views after studying the report,” he added.

Villagers of the five affected villages, including Chandpur Asmani, Basali, Balewal, Barari and Jasemajra, said they had sent a representation to the Chief Minister and other senior officials against the construction of the resort.

It may mentioned that The Tribune had carried the story on May 12, highlighting issue of resort construction.


2 suspended for graft

Ropar, June 3
Two employees of the office of SDM were suspended by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S Garewal, on the allegation of taking bribe from a woman for getting bail for her husband.

Jasbir Kaur of Dala village said when the SDM was away , her husband was produced in the SDM office. The two employees took Rs 100 bribe each from her to get bail for her husband from the tehsildar office. But her husband was sent to jail, she alleged.


Absconding commission agents booked
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 3
The district police has registered an FIR against the owners of Punjab Traders Sirhind and Sahib Traders Peerjain, both commission agent firms, who had fled with their families after duping farmers of the area of more than Rs 10 crore.

The FIR has been registered on the complaint of Bhupinder Singh of Balhara village and 15 other farmers under Sections 406,420 and 120B of the IPC.

According to SSP Varinder Kumar, a number of farmers had complained against a Sirhind-based firm, whose all four partners locked their residences and escaped with their families after duping them.

He said an inquiry was conducted by DSP Narinder Kaushal, following which the FIR had been registered.

He said the police would arrest the four partners and that justice would be served to aggrieved farmers.

Meanwhile, Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Balhara village, has clarified that his father Surjit Singh had died due to natural cause and not due to commission agents.

It is pertinent to mention that hundreds of farmers, traders and private depositors have been affected by the escaping of the owners of these firms.

They have urged the Chief Minister to intervene and expedite the arrest of the culprits.


4 booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 3
The police has unearthed two gangs of cheaters, which include a woman who indulged in collecting lakhs of rupees from innocent persons on the pretext of sending them abroad.

The accused include Gurmukh Singh of Patiala and Charanjit Kaur of one gang and Hardeep Singh and Kahan Singh, residents of Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) of the second gang. Cases have been registered.


Fraud case registered

Hoshiarpur, June 3
Mr Bhupinder Singh, Tehsildar, yesterday registered a case under various Sections of the IPC against Piara Singh, son of Chanan Singh of Shergarh, and Aman Singh, son of Jagdish Singh, for allegedly preparing forged documents related to the land of Ranjit Kaur, wife of Paramjit, of Chhowni Kalan. According to an FIR, the duo prepared a fard (zamabandi) of her land by forging the signature of the patwari of the area. A stay had already been granted by the Commissioner of Jalandhar division in this regard. — OC


2 booked for kidnapping girl
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 3
The Harike police has booked two brothers, Daljit Singh, and Jagjit Singh residents of Booh village, for allegedly kidnapping a teenaged girl of the same village. The girl is missing under mysterious circumstances from her house for the past 18 days.

The case has been registered on the complaint of Ms Manjit Kaur, mother of the girl, who alleged that the boys of the same village, have kidnapped her daughter. No arrest has been made so far.


Appoint SC person as Punjabi varsity VC: panel
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3
Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Youth Club has demanded withdrawal of extension to the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swaran Singh Boparai while urging Dr Abdul Kalam, President of India, to appoint a member of Schedule Caste or Schedule Tribe community as Vice-Chancellor of this university. It also sought a CBI probe into the recruitments done in the university reportedly through the back-door.

In a representation made to Dr Kalam, Mr Resham Singh, president of the club, alleged that Punjabi University had recruited hundreds of people through back door under the pressure from the ruling set-up by throwing all the norms to the winds. This was done with the sole aim of getting extension in the term of Mr Swaran Singh Boparai.

He said at present none of the Vice-Chancellors or Registrars belonged to the Schedule Caste community.

He pointed out that though University Grants Commission had been spending crores of rupees for the unpriviledged classes but it had not been benefiting the Schedule Caste people as they were never taken as member of decision-making bodies.


Umang Mittal is AIEEE Punjab topper
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3
A local boy Umang Mittal has bagged first position in the state in All-India Engineering and Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE), held in May this year. In all India-ranking Umang got the 64th position. He has got 309.5 marks in physics and chemistry and 194.5 marks in mathematics.

At present Umang is attending Olympaid camp in Physics at Mumbai.


Chacko is GM, SBP

Patiala, June 3
Mr Sebastian Chacko has taken over as the new General Manager (Planning and Development) at the head office, of the State Bank of Patiala. TNS

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