P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Book blames Badal for Panthic problems
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
A biography of the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, who remained President of the SGPC for about 27 years, and deals extensively with Punjab and Akali politics will be released by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, tomorrow.

Written by Prof Balkar Singh, former Dean, Colleges, Punjabi University, Patiala, the book has been published by the Public Relations Department, Punjab. After the death of Tohra, the state government had given the project to Prof Balkar Singh, who has been a keen watcher of Tohra's and Panthic politics.

Besides Tohra, the other central character in the book is Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the SAD. The author is unsparingly critical of the role of Mr Badal in Akali and Punjab politics. In fact, the book provides political ammunition to opponents of Mr Badal to attack him.

If this book had not been published by the state Public Relations Department, it would have hit politically very hard the SAD leader. The 400-page book has an elaborate account of events which happened after the 1970s, considered to be a turbulent period in Punjab politics.

The book says that Tohra suffered his first heart attack on December 12, 2002, the day he had arguments with the then Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, on the issue of the postponement of the elections to the SGPC . Tohra was coming out of the Rajya Sabha complex when he complained of chest pain and was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Prof Balkar Singh states in the book that Tohra used to consider Capt Amarinder Singh a more devoted Sikh as compared to Mr Badal. " Tohra had a firm belief that the Panthic urge was more pronounced in Capt Amarinder Singh," the book states.

The book also says that Mr Badal was responsible for the constant degeneration of Akali politics and quelling of the Panthic spirit. Mr Badal has also been blamed for demolishing Panthic institutions such as the SGPC. Corruption in Akali politics finds mention in the book at several places. Prof Balkar Singh says in the book that Mr Badal had abandoned the Panthic and Punjabi agenda to adopt the RSS agenda.


‘Only 5 students of varsity in PoK survived quake fury’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 16
Only five students of a university survived the earth-quake which hit Muzaffarabad and its adjoining areas in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on October 8. Mr Ramesh Yadav, President, Folklore Research Academy, who returned from PoK, stated here today.

Mr Yadav, went to Pakistan to distribute relief material in the quake-affected areas, told the Press that almost all students of the university in PoK were killed by the quake. He said only gate of the university survived and other buildings of the varsity were turned into rubble. He said only 100 students of Degree College Baagh could be saved and added that over 2500 schools in Muzaffarabad were devastated completely.

Mr Yadav said that six lakh acres of cultivable land was ruined in Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Razanpur divisions while 125 km-along-road along Jehlum is destroyed. He said that worldwide efforts by non-government, non-political organisations were going on with zeal. These organisations were putting their best to help reconstruct devastated villages and cities and rehabilitate uprooted people.

Mr Yadav added he along with Ranjiv Sharma had gone to the quake-affected areas across the border with relief material of 522 tents, 4000 blankets, 300 quilts, flour, sugar, medicines etc loaded on four trucks which was flagged off from the holy city on November 6. The relief material was collected with efforts of Members of Parliament -Ms Nirmala Deshpande, and Mr A.R. Shaheen and Punarjyot and the All-India Pingalwara Society. Relief material was received by Choudhary Manzoor Ahmad (MNA- Kasoor), Ms Deip, Mahar Safdar Ali, Rana Aizaz, Choudhary Javed and was handed over to the office-bearers of Pakistan Trade Union Defence campaign (PTUDC) across the border, he added.

Mr Yadav said that it was sad to see that some people were fulfilling selfish motives. He said that some people were making fictitious identity cards to grab help. Reports of abduction of children had also come to eight, he rued.


Indo-Pak border comes in way of couple
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Rohira (Ludhiana), November 16
Nearly 27 years ago, when Rafeeqan Begum had married her daughter to a youth in Pakistan, she had thought that the alliance would transgress the borders between the two countries.

But these very borders today became a hurdle in sustaining the relationship she has nurtured painstakingly all these years. Though her daughter Asghari Bibi (45), continues to live in Rohira village in the district after marriage, her husband Mohammed Sabir Ali (55), a Pakistani national kept shuttling between the two countries to keep the relationship alive.

Today, Sabir Ali has got no reason to go back to Pakistan as all his relatives back home in Nathu Chakk village in Faislabad district died one after the other. And when his wife and four children in Rohira village need him the most, he cannot stay for long in India due to his Pakistani nationality.

Fearing separation and regular questioning by security agencies for his extended stay of two years, Sabir Ali has lost his balance and become mute. He has not uttered a word for the past six months.

The family living on the edge, has been left at the mercy of the Indian government. They have asked the latter to provide him a status of an Indian Citizen on the plea that he has stayed here for past seven years and not indulged in any anti-national activity.

Before coming to India seven years ago, Sabir Ali had been visiting Rohira for a few days after some time. His wife had also been going to Pakistan her four children. Two years ago, he was issued a Leave-India Notice. The family moved the high court also and he was allowed to stay for some more time. Final decision is pending before the court.

When a Tribune team visited his house today, Sabir Ali was lying on a cot. To several questions he refused to say anything and stared constantly in oblivion. His wife said that a village doctor had referred him to a hospital in Ludhiana but they did not have money for the expensive treatment.

The doctor gave him some medicines and drip but he did not recover. He is losing appetite and refuses to eat much. He spends most of his time in bed. Every day his condition is deteriorating. Earlier he used to go to the fields in the evening and get fodder for the cattle. Now he has stopped going out of the house also, said Asghari Bibi.

Narrating the sequence of events, she said that she married him on February 2, 1978. The match was fixed by her maternal grandmother who also was the paternal grandmother of Sabir Ali. She was left in India during partition and her son (Sabir Ali’s father) went to Pakistan. She wanted someone to look after her in India and married her grandson to Asghari with a promise that he would live in India.

‘‘Otherwise who would have agreed to this relationship. It has given us pain and harassment. Now, when all his children are of marriageable age, he has lost his balance. If all does not go well he will have to go back to Pakistan, where nobody is to look after him. There seems to be more suffering in store for all of us,’’ said Rafeeqan Begum.


Barnala to flag off golden palki to Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 16
Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor, Tamil Nadu, today confirmed that he would flag off the procession carrying golden palki (palanquin) to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on November 27 from Delhi.

The religious procession will be led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), who is a strong opponent of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Talking to mediapersons at the PWD Rest House here today, Mr Barnala said he would not accompany the procession, as he would return the same day to Tamil Nadu.

Mr Barnala reached the local PWD Rest House around 3.30 pm. He was given a guard of honour by a contingent of the Punjab Police, while his supporters accorded a warm welcome to him by presenting garlands and raising slogans “Surjit Singh Barnala Zindabad”. Mr Barnala also met them and received greetings from them, extended to him in view of reported extension in his tenure as Governor.

Among others who were present on the occasion were Bibi Surjit Kaur Barnala, wife of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, MLA from Dhuri and son of Mr Barnala, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, MLA from Sherpur, Mr Baldev Singh Mann, secretary-general of the SAD (Longowal), Mr Sanmukh Singh Mokha, SGPC member, and Mr Satwant Singh Punia, vice president of the All India BJP Kisan Morcha.

Mr Barnala told mediapersons that he had been informed that his term as Governor of Tamil Nadu had been extended for five years, but he had not seen the notification in this regard so far.

Later, Mr Barnala was given a rousing reception by his supporters and well-wishers at his residence at Barnala this evening.


Neighbour held for rape, murder of 8-year-old
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Tarn Taran, November 16
The police today achieved major breakthrough in the gruesome rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl with the arrest of her neighbour in the border town Jhabal, 15 km from here.

The accused, Sukhwinder Singh (42), who is father of three children, had close acquaintance with the family of the victim. The accused underwent vasectomy operation the next day after the crime with a motive to save himself in case of medical investigations.

The victim, a student of third standard, went missing on November 9 and found murdered the next day. The body of the minor was thrown into the village pond by the accused after the crime.

She had gone to answer the call of nature in the open after sunset on the fateful day when the accused lured her to a secluded place.

According to the district police chief, Mr Parmjit Singh Grewal, a high-level probing team, comprising Mr Ashok Bath and Mr Rashpal Singh, SP (Detective) and DSP (Detective), respectively, rounded up a number of suspected persons.

The police short-listed the suspected persons who were missing after the occurrence of the crime. The accused had visited the family of the victim to express his sympathy yet the family told the police that Sukhwinder Singh should be interrogated.

The circumstantial evidences pointed a needle of suspicion on Sukhwinder Singh, who had been living all alone for some time.

Mr Grewal said the wife of the accused had been living separately for the past six months due to family dispute.

During interrogation, the accused told the police that he had lured the minor by offering toffees and then raped her.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 201 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code.


Cong govt taking credit for our works: Badal
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Badal (Muktsar), November 16
Busy lending final touches to one of his dream projects a couple of days before its inauguration, former Chief Minister and SAD president Parkash Singh Badal today accused the state government of failing in bringing big projects and hefty grants from the Centre, besides charging it with taking credit for projects sanctioned during his regime.

He claimed that his government brought an international airport and Bathinda refinery to the state, besides strengthening rail and road networks through various projects. He alleged that the roadwork, which the Congress ministers were inaugurating, were sanctioned and funded during the Akali regime.

Talking about the newly-built old age home at Badal village, which the Vice-President, Mr Bhairo Singh Shekhawat would inaugurate on November 18, the former Chief Minister said was a step forward towards improving the lot of elderly in the state. On his choice of location for it, he said he could better supervise its functioning from here and the elderly from any part of the state could join it.

He also announced that construction of old age homes in every block would figure prominently in his party’s manifesto in the forthcoming Assembly elections. He expressed doubt over the approach of the state government on refinery project. He alleged that the state government was not keen on extending basic amenities to the common man and it wasn’t communicating with the masses.

On the ruling party’s plan to hold a rally in his citadel Lambi, he said the Chief Minister was most welcome. He said even Indira Gandhi held a rally here before the Congress faced route following the withdrawal of Emergency. He said the Congress government had registered corruption cases against him just to demoralise his party workers and the SAD’s overwhelming win in the last Lok Sabha elections and the SGPC poll showed how far the ruling party succeeded in its design.

He rued that major areas of concern like power, water, health services and unemployment had been neglected for long at the national level and there was an urgent need to increase budgetary allocation to rural areas.

He alleged that the law and order situation was going from bad to worse in the state and people’s grievances were falling on deaf ears. 


Amarinder meets Barnala behind closed doors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, called on Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, who has been given five years’ extension as Governor of Tamil Nadu, here 

A spokesman of the Punjab Government said that it was a courtesy call made to felicitate Mr Barnala.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised in Akali circles with regard to the extension.

Akali leaders say they are surprised by the extension given by the Congress-led Union Government to Mr Barnala, who had remained active in the Akali Dal. The Dal has always opposed the policies and programmes of the Congress.

Eyebrows have also been raised among the Akalis about Capt Amarinder Singh’s lengthy meetings in the past with Mr Barnala at the latter’s residence here.

Today, both leaders held a meeting behind closed doors. Sources said that Capt Amarinder Singh left his security personnel behind and went to Mr Barnala's residence alone in an Ambassador car.

The Congress government had built up pressure on several Governors who had been appointed by the previous BJP-led Union Government to resign. Mr Barnala was also an appointee of the previous Vajpayee government.


Plan to improve sex ratio
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 16
The district is emerging as a torch-bearer for launching a crusade against gender discrimination and female foeticide. Mr Krishan Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, in cooperation with NGOs, panchayats, doctors and anganwari workers has fixed a target of improving the sex ratio in the district by March 31, 2006.

A comprehensive plan has been chalked out for bringing the number of girls to at least 950 per 1000 boys in the age group of 0-6. He has started an awareness drive to mobilise the masses to make this drive a mass movement.

Mr T.R. Sarangal, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said the declining sex ratio, especially in the age group of 0-6, in the state was a serious threat to society. He lamented that the rapid decline in sex ratio was witnessed during the past decade in the state with the misuse of ultrasound scan for sex determination tests.


Pak Rangers arrive for bi-annual meeting
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 16
A 16 member delegation of Pakistan Rangers, led by Major-General Javed Zia, Director-General Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, and Major-General Hussain Mehndi, Director-General Pakistan Rangers, West Punjab today crossed over to India for bi-annual meeting to be held in Chandigarh.

The three-day meeting would be held from November 17. A number of border-related issues, including smuggling, illegal crossings, illegal constructions near border, repair of pillars and softening of postures during retreat ceremony is likely to be taken up at the meeting.

From the Indian side, Additional DG, Mr MPS Aulakh and Inspector generals Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jammu would participate in the meeting.

Mr A K Sarolia, DIG, BSF, received the delegation at Wagah Joint Check post here where Rangers took the salute. The delegation also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here, which left for Chandigarh in the evening.


Thousands take out chetna rally
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 16
Thousands of students, teachers and principals of DAV institutions, besides eminent citizens participated in the Vedic Jan Chetna Rally here today. Mr Sunil Jakhar, Parliamentary Secretary, while flagging off the rally at 11.30 a.m. from the DAV campus, described it as the biggest ever exercise aimed at bringing public awareness on female foeticide and the exploitation of children.

The participants wearing saffron caps and saropas covered a 5 km route while passing through main roads of the town. Mr H.R. Gandhar, Director, DAV Public Schools, who had specially arrived from New Delhi to lead the procession, was garlanded by the citizens on crossings.

Batala: The march started from the RR Bawa DAV College for Girls and ended at DAV Centenary Public School in the evening. It passed through the main roads of the town. The prominent among the participants were Mrs Veena Watani, Principal, DAV College for Girls, Mrs Shabnam Handa, Principal, DAV Centenary Public School, and Mr A.C. Preet, Principal, DAV Senior Secondary School.


Indo-Pak kavi darbar tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 16
The poetic presentations during the ‘Punjab-Aab’ Kavi Darbar, involving 22 renowned poets from India and Pakistan, to be held on November 18 on the Punjabi University campus here, will be published in a book named ‘Contemporary Punjabi Poetry’.

According to Dr Satish Kumar Verma, Head, Punjabi Department, organiser of this poetic extravaganza, the publication would be later included as a text book for the post-graduate students of the Punjabi Department.

A transport committee has been constituted to go to the Wagah border to bring the Pakistani poets to the university.

A cultural evening is being specially organised in their honour by the university’s Department of Youth Welfare on the evening of November 17.

The poets will interact with the students of the Punjabi Department on November 18 to be followed by the kavi darbar at 6 p.m.

The Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai, will preside over the function.

The guests will be taken around the city and the surrounding areas of their choice on November 19 and 20.


Stone crushing units spread pollution
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, November 16
It is dark even at midnoon on the Mukerian-Pathankot national highway due to dust from stone crushing units situated along the highway. Dust that emanates from stone crushing units along the highway at times is so thick that it becomes difficult to negotiate the path. Besides stone crushers clouds of dust also hover on the road due to trucks carrying material from the stone crushers.

According to Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) guidelines the roads leading to the stone crushing units should be metalled. The crushing units are also directed to spray water around the premises to minimise the dust emanating there.

However, due to lax attitude of the PPCB authorities none of the stone crushing units has been following the norms. The result is high level of pollution right along the highway.

A year ago the Himachal High Court ordered the closure of all stone crushing units located in the Damtal area on the said road till the units adhered to the Pollution Control Board norms.

Following the high court’s order the Himachal government ordered closure of some units that were not following the pollution guidelines.

Sources told The Tribune that many stone crushing units which were ordered to close down once again had started functioning. The authorities were not taking action against the units functioning illegally.

The units functioning in the Punjab territory were more blatant in violating the norms, as the PPCB had turned a blind eye toward their illegal functioning. According to the pollution board norms, the suspended particulate matter emitted by a stone crushing unit should exceed 600 ugm/Nm. Keeping in view dust clouds it seems the said maximum norm for suspended particulate was being violated blatantly.

The sources told that the high-level of pollution around the stone crushing units was affecting health of the workers. Workers and people residing in the areas surrounding units were suffering from respiratory problems.

According to practice stone crushing units the should get health of their workers monitored regularly. However, due to lack of supervising authority no such check up was being conducted.

The units have been prohibited from dumping waste material near the road. However, the waste material can be seen lying along the national highway. The waste material adds to pollution as it spreads in the air with the passing vehicles.

The Chairman of the PPCB, Mr Tripat Bajwa, said that he had not received any complaint in the matter. He, however, assured to get the matter looked into as early as possible.


Travel on Balachaur road to be expensive
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, November 16
Travel on the Balachaur-Hoshiarpur-Dasuya road will become expensive for motorists, especially commuters, as they will have to pay additional taxes at three places while crossing different stretches of the highway. The company to which the project of upgradation of the highway has been allotted on build operate and transfer basis (BOT), will charge toll at three places putting additional burden on the highway users.

As per the agreement between the Building and Roads wing of the Punjab Public Works Department (PPWD) and the company, three toll plazas would be set up on the highway to collect fee from road-users. While heading from Ropar to Dasuya one has to face toll plaza near Garhshankar, another near Chhawani Kalan and the third near a sugar mill in Dasuya.

Sources in the PPWD revealed that the motorists heading from Ropar to Dasuya and back have to pay tax at every toll plaza separately. The company has given 10 years time to recover the amount spent on the project by way of charging toll from the road users and then handover the project to the state government.

Highly-placed sources in the department disclosed that Rs 22 would be charged for car and jeep, Rs 33 for a light commercial vehicle including tractor-trailer (not carrying agriculture load), Rs 66 for a bus, a truck and a road roller, Rs 101 for a multi-excel vehicle and Rs 127 for an earth-moving machine.

Two-wheelers, government vehicles, vehicles carrying VVIPs, VIPs and Army vehicles, however, have been exempted from the toll. There will be no hike in toll till the completion of the project, sources revealed.

Similarly, toll will also be charged from the motorists using the Hoshiarpur Tanda state highway. The state government recently floated tenders for the upgradation of the highway. Toll will also be charged from the road users at a toll collection centre, sources claimed.

To monitor the execution, the state government has given charge to Mr Daljit Singh, an Executive Engineer of the PPWD (B and R), while Mr V D Mali, would look after the project in a capacity of a project manager from the company’s side.

Enquiries by The Tribune revealed that public, especially locals, commuters, were not happy with the government’s decison of imposing toll for crossing the highway. The public in general flayed the government for not providing them basic amenities, (roads) that was their constitutional right but charging them for it.


Sikh delegates meet Pak PM
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 16
A delegation of Sikhs comprising Mr Pritpal Singh, coordinator, American Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Mr Manmohan Singh Khalsa of Dal Khalsa and Dr Ganga Singh Dhillon, president, Nankana Sahib Foundation, today met the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Shaukat Aziz, in his office at Islamabad.

Talking to The Tribune from Pakistan, Mr Pritpal Singh said Mr Aziz agreed in principle to organise the forthcoming 400th death anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev in Pakistan in a big way. He said the Pakistan Prime Minister also agreed to carry out kar seva at the rest of Sikh shrines shortly.


Awards for highest buffalo milk yield
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
The Punjab Government has decided to give cash awards to dairy farmers for the highest milk yields.

The Punjab Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, stated this at a seminar on "Buffalo breeding—vision 2020" at Kisan Bhavan here today.

Mr Kang said to promote buffalo breeding in the state an incentive-oriented scheme had been initiated under which farmers having a buffalo milk yield of 12 to 15 litres per day, 15 to 18 litres, 18 to 22 litres and more than 22 litres would be given Rs 1,000, Rs 4,000, Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively.

However, these farmers would not be able to sell their buffaloes for one year and the Department of Animal Husbandry would be at liberty to purchase their male calf at a remunerative price. These animals would be insured on the spot by an insurance company in conjunction with the department. An identification tag and proper records would be maintained by the veterinary hospital concerned.

The male progeny of these buffaloes at an age of 12 to 15 months would be purchased by the department, reared on government farms and further distributed as breeding bulls to sperm-production centres and various panchayats at subsidised rates.

He said the Herd Registration Act would be passed soon, which would help in better data recording and more income to farmers when they sold their cattle.

Mr Kang said the embryo transfer techonology project had been sanctioned by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Rs 5 crore had been earmarked for it.


Montek named 'The Punjabi of the Year'

Patiala, November 16
World-renowned economist and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has been chosen ‘The Punjabi of the Year, 2005’ by Punjab Today, a magazine published from Patiala.

Mr Ahluwalia, along with Dr Manmohan Singh and Mr Narsimha Rao, is credited with scripting a bold and new economic vision for the country in the changed post-cold war global scenario.

Former cricketer and now broadcaster and Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu noted classical singers Singh Bandhus and spiritualist Harbhajan Singh Yogi have also received the honour. — TNS


Home Guard volunteers hold protest
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, November 16
Volunteers of the Punjab Home Guards and civil defence today held a demonstration outside the office of the District Commander, Mr I.S. Gohar, against the suspension of their colleague, Udik Chand. They blocked the traffic and did not allow the District Commander to come out of the office, who sought assistance from the Punjab Police.

According to information, hundreds of Home Guard volunteers from all parts of the state, irked by the dictatorial attitude and highhandedness of their authorities, held a protest outside the district office which almost turned violent when the volunteers and the officials entered into heated arguments. The atmosphere became so tense that the District Commander had to take shelter in his office from where he was not allowed to come out as jawans cordoned the entire office complex.

Meanwhile, Mr Gohar said Udik Chand was suspended at the instance of higher authorities as there were complaint of misconduct against him. 


Relief for Hindu jatha
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 16
Pakistan Interior ministry today intervened to allow free movement to the members of Hindu jatha from India that arrived in Lahore today after paying obeisance and performing Shiv puja at Katasraj shrines in Chakwal district , Pakistan.

The jatha had faced harassment on arrival at Wagah on Pakistan side on November 12 and was disallowed to proceed to Lahore.


Passenger injured while boarding train
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 16
A person lost his leg when he tried to board a moving train. The mishap took place when a train, coming from Ambala stopped for a while at Mianpur station here.

The passenger, Ranvir, a resident of Uttar Pardesh got down, when he came back the train had already gained speed. He tried to board it. In this process he fell down and his leg was chopped off.


Anomalies in land sale: action against officials likely
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 16
Months after the exposure of land mafia for large-scale irregularities in the sale and purchase of plots, another case has come to light at Gill Patti village.

Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Bhandari said Mr Sandeep Singh Brar, of Chak Shere Wala in Muktsar, complained to him that his grandfather Jugraj Singh, father Amarjit Singh, Surjit Singh, Harbans Singh Jalal, and Jarnail Singh had formed company Punjab Edibles Private Limited. His grandfather died in 1999. Prior to his death he had made his will in the name of the complainant, but Surjit Singh allegedly got land of the company transferred in the name of his daughter Charanjeet Kaur. The complainant said various registries of the same land were done in connivance with Revenue officials and an FIR was also lodged, but the police didn’t take any action.

The ADC (General and the ADC (Development) probed the matter, and they found that one of the directors of the company, Mr Surjit Singh, had got the registries of the land done in the name of Charanjeet Kaur, Mukesh Kumar and Gurmail Singh without legal formalities. The investigation revealed that Surjit Singh got the land transferred in the name of his daughter through a fake resolution of the company. Later, Sandeep’s father Mr Amarjit Singh Brar filed a suit in the court of Civil Judge, Bathinda, where both parties reached a compromise.

In the meantime mutation of the registry in question was approved. However, the district collector disapproved the same after some time, as the company’s resolution was not produced before the tehsildar. The Mutation Commissioner, Faridkot, also cancelled the mutation, but ignoring orders of higher officials the patwari of Gill Patti registered the cancelled mutation once again and the then revenue official also approved it without verifying record. Following this the firm’s plot was further sold to many people and their mutations continued to get approved.

An FIR was lodged in this connection on November 13 last year, but even that could not stop further registries of the land in question.

The DC said he had recommended disciplinary action against the patwari concerned and appropriate action against the Revenue officer who approved mutation without checking records. Further registries of the land had also been banned. He said the SSP had been asked to inform about the status of FIRs relating to the case.


2,691 new anganwadi centres to be opened
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 16
The Punjab Government will open 2,691 new Anganwadi centres across the state. Already 14,730 centres are running in the state. The state Minister for Social Security, Ms Gurkawal Kaur, stated this while talking to mediapersons here today.

She was here to preside over a state-level function, organised to mark the Children’s day here today.

The minister said the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) had been launched in 142 blocks across the state. Six new centres were being opened under the scheme within the current financial year.

The state government had launched steps to check the sex-ratio imbalance in the state. An awareness campaign had been launched under which Rs 2 crore would be spent.

A grant of Rs 1.30 crore was being provided under the Balika Samridi Yojna and Rs 52 lakh under the Kishori Shakti Yojna. Under both the schemes the poor families would be provided grants for the education and welfare of the girl child. The Kishori Shakti Yojna was earlier implemented in 47 blocks. It was being extended to 148 blocks.

A grant of Rs 47 lakh had been spent for providing supplementary nutrition to children under various social welfare schemes.

On the occasion, the minister gave away awards to toppers of Class VIII, X and 10+2 students. The students getting the first, second and third positions were given cash awards of Rs 5100, Rs 3,100 and Rs 2,100 respectively.

Rallies were organised by children from various schools holding placards displaying messages against social evils. A healthy baby competitions was also organised.

The Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare, Mr R.L. Kalsia, and the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh, were present.


Eight duped of Rs 20 lakh
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 16
Eight persons of Bhadaur region willing to go abroad were duped of Rs 20 lakh by a travel agent, Mr Mahal Harpreet Singh, a resident of subrub of in Amritsar district.

Giving this information here today, Mr G.Nageshwara Rao, SSP, Barnala police district, said this fact came to light when Mr Hans Raj Singh, a resident of Bhadaur, lodged a complaint with the Bhadaur police.

Mr Hans Raj Singh in his complaint, alleged that Mahal Harpreet Singh took Rs 2.5 lakh each from eight persons of Bhadaur area for sending them to Hongkong but did not keep up his word.

A case under Section 420 of the IPC had been registered against Mahal Harpreet Singh at the Bhadaur police station.


3 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 16
The police today booked three employees of the local octroi contractor on charges of assault, obstructing a public servant from performing his duty and destroying evidence.

The employees had allegedly beaten up an octroi clerk, Mr Sada Ram, on November 14 who had to be hospitalised. The cash and the office record that he was carrying to deposit after his duty hours was also allegedly snatched.

The clerk had complained that when he finished his duty at the Kurali road octroi post in the morning, he went to the Sadar octroi post to deposit the cash and the office record. He said that there he was accused of octroi evasion by employees of the contractor. He said he denied the charge and told them to lodge a complaint with the council officials concerned. Instead of doing so they allegedly beat him up, snatched the cash and the office record, apart from abusing him.


3 shops looted
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 16
In three different incidents burglars looted two shops and made a bid to loot another shop in the city last night. The miscreants decamped with 26 mobiles from a shop situated inside a hospital after breaking down the lock of shutters. In another incident the miscreants took away articles worth Rs 15,000 from another shop situated on the College road. In third incident, the miscreants broke open the locks of a shop situated near Municipal Council office but nothing was taken away. No arrest has been made.


Journalist killed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 16
Journalist Jawahar Lal Sethi was killed in an accident on Wednesday. He was 60 and is survived by his wife and two sons. Sethi, who was riding a bicycle, was hit by a car from behind at Rajpura Colony here.


Teachers of aided colleges sore with govt over demands
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 16
Resentment prevails among teachers of government-aided privately managed colleges of Punjab against the state government’s “indifferent” attitude towards their demands.

Prof P.K. Sharma, state secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), Punjabi University, Area, said in view the Punjab government’s indifferent attitude and “step-motherly” treatment to the teachers of government-aided privately managed colleges, state executive committee of the PCCTU would meet on November 20 at S.B.A.S. Khalsa College, Sandaur, near Malerkotla, for next phase of struggle.

Prof Sharma said bureaucracy in Punjab had not been bothering to implement grant of pension-gratuity scheme December 18, 1996 though Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, on October 10, 2005 committed that the grant of pension and gratuity to the private aided college teachers would be implemented by March 31, 2006.

Teachers of government aided privately managed colleges were sore with the government as it had not redressed their grievances despite assurance by Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab-cum-Higher Education Minister to the PCCTU office-bearers in her office on October 4 that demands, like merger of 50 per cent DA with basic pay, grant of house rent allowance to 
private college teachers serving in rural private colleges would be met but all in vain.

Prof Sharma urged Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, to initiate dialogue with PCCTU leadership in the interest of education and academic standards. He said the Government had not cared to release the third quarter grant-in-aid for the months of September, October and November, for the colleges, which had already become due.


Suspended students face probe panel
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 16
The six suspended students of Punjabi University, Patiala, yesterday presented themselves before the university inquiry committee and gave a written reply to the allegations levelled by the authorities, according to information by Rajinder Singh of the Punjab Students Union and Gurpal Dhaliwal of the Students Federation of India.

The suspended students — Raminder Singh Patiala, Dharminder Singh Patran, Rajeev Kumar (Punjab Students Union), Harvinder Harry (Students Federation of India), Gurbakshish Kaul and Gurpreet Singh (Internationalist Democratic Students Front) — told the inquiry committee that the allegations of provocative sloganeering and flouting court orders were baseless.


CM releases book on education
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 16
Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, released a book ‘Emerging Trends in Education’ by the Punjab Writers and Cultural Forum at a simple function held in Patiala today.

He applauded the activities of the forum in creating a congenial atmosphere in the society and welfare of the writers.

While highlighting the achievements of the forum, chairman Ved Parkash Gupta said the forum had been instrumental in organising many factions between the two Punjabs, including Indo-Pak mushaira, theatre performance ‘Bulle Shah’, besides others.

The forum has to its credit the publication of three books. Today’s release is a collection of research articles on the needs and possibilities for the improvement in the education system by 17 educationists of national fame. 

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