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Thursday, October 15, 1998
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Dheerowal to be SAD candidate
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — Mr Dalbir Singh Dheerowal will be the candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal for the Adampur byelection scheduled for November 25 next.

Punjab IAS officer suspended
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The Punjab Government has placed under suspension the former Controller, Printing and Stationery, Mr Samir Kumar, an IAS officer, along with three others.


Punjab state map

A war memorial-turned shrine
FAZILKA: The Asafwala War Memorial located 6 km from here and built by the local people to commemorate the heroes of the 1971 Indo-Pak war is no less a religious place for the people as well as Army personnel.
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Govt's right to set up advisory panel upheld
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The local Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has upheld the government's right to appoint an advisory committee comprising officers junior to the head of the department to guide it on any matter.

Delhi SAD ‘annoyed’ with BJP leaders
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — While the ousted Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, and his supporters are sulking, the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi is very much annoyed with the top brass of the BJP which is entering the election arena with a new Chief Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, in the saddle.

ANALYSIS Bhattal unceremoniously replaced
LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Not many tears are being shed in the Punjab Congress over the unceremonious replacement of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as leader of the state Congress Legislature Party.

Nuclear Track Society seminar ends
AMRITSAR, Oct 14 — The scientists who gathered here to participate in a three-day 11th National Symposium on Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors were of the unanimous view that radon studies should be carried out in India to measure its level in dwellings and in different areas because high level of radon could cause "lung cancer."

Gujarat sets up committee on Birth of Khalsa celebrations
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The governments of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir have shown keen interest in the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa.

Sikh council files reply
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The World Sikh Council today filed a reply to the suit filed by Mr Talib Singh Sandhu and Mr Baldev Singh Brar, seeking documents about the appointment of Justice Kuldip Singh, a former Judge of the Supreme Court, and statement of accounts.

Bhoma made AISSF chief
JALANDHAR, Oct 14 — Mr Manjit Singh Bhoma today was appointed president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation following a meeting of the forum's office-bearers which removed Mr Avtar Singh Boparai from the office.

Dhan-Pothohar conference in Nov
LUDHIANA Oct 14 — A meeting of the Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, here today decided that a cultural conference under the auspices of the Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood be organised to reassure and project heritage of the region of Rawalpindi, Texla, Jhelum to Attock (now in West Pakistan).

Cell for settling marital disputes
KAPURTHALA, Oct 14 — The women's cell set up by the district police to settle matrimonial disputes which was earlier flooded with complaints of allegation of corruption against the in charge of the cell has now become centre for settling marital disputes.

Multi-religious march planned
CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — A multi-religious social awakening march will be held on October 16 and 17 in Punjab under the banner of the Bharti Minorities and Dalit Front headed by Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, a Punjab Minister.

  Walkout marks YC convention

Cinemas to close at 11.30 p.m.

Homage paid to Flt-Lt Kamboj

Introduction of Shatabdi sought

Farmers boycott FCI officials

Held for Rs 17.38 lakh fraud

Auction fetches record amount

Punjab PWD staff hold rally

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Dheerowal to be SAD candidate
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — Mr Dalbir Singh Dheerowal will be the candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal for the Adampur byelection scheduled for November 25 next.

This was announced by the SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, at a press conference held at his residence after the meeting of the party's Political Affairs Committee today.

Mr Dheerowal is President of the Truck Union, Adampur, and SAD's Circle Jathedar.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Mr Sarup Singh, who was a Minister.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal said his party would contest assembly elections in Delhi and Rajasthan "in cooperation with the BJP". The seats to be contested would be decided in consultation with other parties. He did not specify if the SAD would contest on its own "scales" symbol or on the BJP's "lotus" symbol. "Both can be possible". He did not rule out alliance with other like-minded parties.

The Political Affairs Committee also discussed the Udham Singh Nagar issue. The members were apprised of the discussion that took place with the Prime Minister and others by three senior Akali leaders (Mr Parkash Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Surjit Singh Barnala) in new Delhi on October 7.

The PAC was "satisfied" with the decision to constitute a three-member committee headed by Mr George Fernandes with Mr Kalyan Singh (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) and Mr Parkash Singh as members. The committee will submit its report by November 30.

Asked about change of the Punjab Advocate-General and the controversy he had raised by levelling corruption charges and commenting on bureaucrats, Mr Parkash Singh said he had great "respect" for Mr G.S. Grewal and had even recommended his name for ambassadorship. The working of the office of the A-G was discussed in the Cabinet and a Cabinet sub-committee was formed. The government was losing cases in the High Court and some cases went unrepresented. "We are not vindictive".

Earlier a journalist protested over the "humiliation" faced at the hands of the securitymen and suggested press briefings be held at some other place, like Punjab Bhawan, Mr Parkash Singh regretted the incident and said the suggestion was well taken.Top

 

Punjab IAS officer suspended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The Punjab Government has placed under suspension the former Controller, Printing and Stationery, Mr Samir Kumar, an IAS officer, along with three others, the deputy controller, Mr P.S. Matharu, the assistant controller, Mr Parminder Singh and deputy controller (finance and accounts), Mr S.K. Latawa, with immediate effect.

A government release today said that registration of a case by the crime branch of the Punjab Police has also been ordered and a time-bound enquiry (to be completed within three months) will be held by an officer not below the rank of a Superintendent of Police.

These officers, the press release said, were found to have allegedly indulged in "criminal conspiracy" to cause colossal loss to the "state exchequer, tampering of records, violation of rules, norms and procedures, grave irregularities and gross misconduct in procurement, printing, supply of ballot papers during the panchayat elections " earlier this year in the state.

The government also ordered a vigilance investigation by an officer not below the rank of a Superintendent of Police into allegations of irregularities, harassment and alleged corruption in purchase of "green manure jantar, dhancha seed" by the Agriculture Department and Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation.

The Vigilance Department will scrutinise the process of selection of suppliers, purchase, determination of price, pre-supply inspection, sampling analysis, subsequent storage besides various allegations against the officers of the Agriculture Department and the alleged corruption by officials on the one hand and poor quality of seed on the other hand, the release stated.Top

 

A war memorial-turned shrine
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

FAZILKA: The Asafwala War Memorial located 6 km from here and built by the local people to commemorate the heroes of the 1971 Indo-Pak war is no less a religious place for the people as well as Army personnel.

Even 27 years after the Indo-Pak war, the residents of this town still remember the sacrifices made by 82 jawans of 4 Jat Regiment, who laid down their lives while defending this town.

Elders say that the memorial built by them is a place of worship because owing to the strong resistance put up by the jawans during the 1971 war, they were saved. Otherwise, today they would have been second class citizens of Pakistan.

After gaining the status of a place of pilgrimage, the memorial is visited by school children and residents of Fazilka to express their gratitude to those soldiers who laid down their lives while protecting Fazilka.

The Pakistani forces had then launched a frontal attack on the Indian Army in this sector and captured many villages. However, the jawans of 4 Jat Regiment stood like a rock and repulsed the Pakistani attack. In this battle, as many as 82 personnel of this regiment laid down their lives while about 450 jawans got injured.

At the end of 14-day war, the residents of this town collected bodies which were badly decomposed and performed a mass cremation at this spot amidst the recitation of prayers from all religions.

From that day, these soldiers became heroes in the eyes of local population who, in recognition to their supreme sacrifice and act of valour, decided to raise a memorial for them. The local people collected funds, formed a trust to build and maintain a monument in memory of the jawans.

The trust, Shaheedon ki Samadh Sabha, Asafwala, was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister, Giani Zail Singh, in 1972. Later pillars denoting the martyrs of 15 Rajput and 3 Assam Regiment, 67 Infantry Brigade and 18 Cavalry Squadron were added.

With help of 67 Infantry Brigade, the trust built a school and a dispensary, adjacent to the memorial. A memorial for BSF personnel is also being included in this complex and a "Shivlingam" is also being installed to give it a religious essence.

Various functions are organised at this memorial every year by the Army and local residents. The Army organises a function on Vijay Divas (December 16) every year at this spot.Top

 

Govt's right to set up advisory panel upheld
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The local Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal has upheld the government's right to appoint an advisory committee comprising officers junior to the head of the department to guide it on any matter.

The tribunal upheld this right while dismissing an original application moved by Mr K.S. Aulakh, Punjab's Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. The judgement was delivered on September 30 but certified copies of it were available today.

Mr Aulakh had assailed five orders of the state government primarily on the ground that these orders had divested him of his statutory powers as the head of the department and also affected his conditions of service.

While four orders were issued by the Punjab Forest Minister stating that no posting or transfer of any employee should be effected or disciplinary action initiated against them without his approval, the fifth order constituted a five-member advisory committee to look into a large number of disciplinary and vigilance cases referred by Mr Aulakh to the government.

Mr Aulakh had challenged the constitution of the advisory committee on the ground that its members were junior to him and thus could not legally look into the cases referred by him to the government.

The Bench comprising Mr S.C. Vaish, member, and Mr Jasbir S. Dhaliwal, Judicial member, found force in the contention of the respondents that by the four orders issued by the minister, an attempt had been made to control the exercise of power by the competent authority by mentioning that it should be exercised with the minister's approval.

Referring to Mr Aulakh's contention that the orders had taken away his powers, the tribunal said that it would like to reiterate that all powers vested in the government. Powers of a functionary could be curtailed and in some suitable situation could be altogether taken away by the government. It also did not accept the applicant's claim that the orders had affected the powers that were conditions of his service which could neither be controlled by the minister nor could be curtailed.

On the issue of the advisory committee the tribunal saw no reason for interfering with the powers of the government in appointing a committee to obtain expert advice.

However, the tribunal upheld the objection of Mr Aulakh that the inclusion of Mr V. Mohindra and Mr H.S. Gujral on the advisory committee entrusted with the power to examine and advise the government on complaints against them as well as against the applicant, an element of bias was likely to be there. To that extent it found the order constituting the committee to be illegal. But the tribunal did not find tenable, all other objections of Mr Aulakh to the constitution of the committee.Top

 

Delhi SAD ‘annoyed’ with BJP leaders
by Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — While the ousted Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Sahib Singh Verma, and his supporters are sulking, the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi is very much annoyed with the top brass of the BJP which is entering the election arena with a new Chief Minister, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, in the saddle.

All this does not augur well for the BJP as far as the coming Delhi Assembly elections are concerned. The Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal had supported the BJP in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Mr Avtar Singh Hit, president of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, in an exclusive interview here today said that there were several reasons for the souring of relations between his organisation with the top brass of the BJP. Without mincing words, he said that the BJP had gone back from all the promises which it had made with the SAD and Sikhs in Delhi.

He said that neither Punjabi language had been given second language status as was promised by Mr Madan Lal Khurana and other top BJP leaders nor was it being taught in the Delhi schools. He said that in fact no status had been given to Punjabi language in Delhi while other languages like Urdu had been "honoured" by giving due recognition by the Delhi Government. Punjabi was figuring in the other languages category in Delhi state, he added.

No Punjabi news bulletin had been started by Doordarshan. He said that the Delhi Government had promised that it would make all out efforts for the development of Punjabi language in Delhi.

Mr Hit, was recently appointed President of the Delhi state unit of the party by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said that although last time on the direction of the Akali Dal almost all Sikh voters cast their votes to ensure a massive win for the BJP, the BJP did not accommodate any Akali leader by making political appointments in the various corporations, school organisations and other places although several slots were available for making such adjustments.

He said there were certain other serious points which had forced a rethinking about the BJP in the leadership of the Akali Dal. Take the instance of Delhi riot victims. The Supreme Court had ordered the Union Government to pay Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the riot victims. Although certain families were given compensation many other families were yet to get the compensation. This order was only partially implemented in Delhi while families of those Sikhs killed in Kanpur, Indore and several other places had not got such compensation, he alleged.

Mr Hit said that the Congress Party had waived loan amount up to Rs 25,000 of riot affected Sikh families. When Mr I.K. Gujral took over as Prime Minister he raised this amount to Rs 2 lakh and waived the interest of the loan amount which was more than Rs 2 lakh. But the BJP Government had not implemented this order so far. He said that even the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had met the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K Advani and the Prime Minister in this connection.

"It would be very difficult for the SAD leadership in Delhi to persuade Delhi Sikhs to vote for the BJP in the ensuing Vidhan Sabha elections", he asserted.

He said that he had requested Mr Parkash Singh Badal to ask the BJP leadership to leave at least 10 seats for Akali candidates to contest the Assembly elections. There were at least 18 Assembly constituencies in which the Sikh population could determine the outcome of the election, he asserted. Besides, there were certain other constituencies in Delhi in which the Sikh population could tilt the balance.

When asked whether his party would enter into an alliance with the BJP in Delhi, Mr Hit said that he would abide by the decision taken by Mr Badal. He said that already Mr Badal had constituted a committee comprising Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Mr P.S. Sarna and himself (Mr Hit) which would negotiate with the BJP with regard to seat adjustment.

He said the committee would also decide whether the SAD would contest the elections on its own. He said that he was all for "hard bargaining" with the BJP before entering into any seat adjustment or alliance.Top

 

Bhattal unceremoniously replaced
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — Not many tears are being shed in the Punjab Congress over the unceremonious replacement of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as leader of the state Congress Legislature Party.

Soon after she sent in her resignation from the presidentship of the Punjab PCC in the wake of the party debacle in the byelections in the state, she was obliquely told by the party high command that she should quit as leader of the CLP. According to informed Congress sources here, Mrs Meira Kumar, general secretary of the AICC, in charge of the Punjab affairs, spoke to Mrs Bhattal on the subject.

The sources say Mrs Bhattal agreed to quit but sought some time to do so. She reportedly pleaded with the high command that since she had been invited to Canada, the USA and Britain by certain organisations in her capacity as the leader of the Opposition, she should be allowed to continue till her return from abroad.

Mrs Bhattal left for Canada in the beginning of August accompanied by her daughter and a Congress party leader, Chaudhary Santokh Singh, brother of Mr Jagjit Singh who was elected leader of the CLP in place of Mrs Bhattal last week at New Delhi. Mrs Bhattal was expected to return here in a couple of weeks. But although more than six weeks have elapsed, she continues to be abroad. This is what seems to have prompted the high command to convene a meeting at Delhi to elect Chaudhary Jagjit Singh as the leader of the CLP.

During her sojourn in Canada, Mrs Bhattal attended a series of functions, including a get-together to mark the birth anniversary of the late Rajiv Gandhi and Independence Day celebrations. However, this failed to impress the high command. Punjab Congress MLAs were reportedly summoned to Delhi last week by the PPCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, in connection with the election of the Indian National Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). They were told to elect a leader in place of Mrs Bhattal only after they had gathered there.

Mrs Bhattal is reportedly in Los Angeles these days. She received news about her replacement over the phone from one of her supporters.

Mrs Bhattal's fall from grace has been as quick as was her rise as Chief Minister of Punjab. An effective speaker, a tough fighter and an able administrator in addition to being a shrewd politician well-versed in the game of power, Mrs Bhattal owed her ascendance to the seat of power as much to the acts of omission and commission by her predecessor, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, as to the then AICC general secretary, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was in charge of the Punjab affairs. Mrs Bhattal led her party in the February 1997 elections but lost to the Akalis. To her misfortune, the party met with the same fate in the subsequent parliamentary poll and the state assembly byelections. She also fell out with Mrs Meira Kumar, the new general secretary of the AICC in charge of the Punjab affairs. This further queered the pitch for her.

Sources in the party say that the PPCC chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, after taking over changed as many as nine DCC chiefs appointed by her. This drew no protest from her, which demoralised her supporters in the Congress and paved the way for her eventual exit from the leadership of the CLP.

With Mrs Sonia Gandhi at the helm of affairs at the central level, there are not many who are willing to earn her wrath by raising their voice in favour of Mrs Bhattal. The former Indian Youth Congress chief, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, has welcomed the replacement of Mrs Bhattal as a right step.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar, a former minister, regarded close confidante of Mrs Bhattal, has also hailed the appointment of Chaudhary Jagjit Singh as the CLP leader and expressed the confidence that under the able guidance of the Dalit leader, the Congress will grow stronger.Top

 

Nuclear Track Society seminar ends
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Oct 14 — The scientists, who gathered here to participate in a three-day 11th National Symposium on Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTDs) were of the unanimous view that radon studies should be carried out in India to measure its level in dwellings and in different areas because high level of radon could cause "lung cancer." Studies conducted by various scientists revealed that Himalayan especially the Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh areas had high radon values due to uranium deposits. Uranium presently is being explored by the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India at Hamirpur district (HP).

The symposium was organised by the Nuclear Track Society of India hosted by the Department of Physics of the Guru Nanak Dev University under the convenership of Dr Surinder Singh, a senior professor of the department concluded here today on the university campus.

Dr Surinder Singh said that more research should be extended in the field of micro-pore filters which were useful in medical science for separating cancerous and other diseased cells from the human blood. He added for preparing microfilters, facilities of heavy ion accelerators at Darmstradt (Germany), should be used.

Prof F.R. Brandt, Phillips University, Marburg and Prof John Vetter, heavy ion accelerator. Darmtradt (Germany) assured all possible help and cooperation to scientists of the university undertaking extensive research and field study in this area.

The director also informed that it was also unanimously recommended that solid state nuclear track detectors should be employed for uranium exploration. A metal which is a fuel for atomic energy for generating electric power.

The scientists were of the view that uranium radium and radon measurements should be taken in drinking water for health hazards. They were of the view that it should be below the safe limit in water otherwise it would cause deadly diseases. Dr Surinder Singh informed that water samples from Bathinda district (Punjab) had been analysed for uranium by his research group and high uranium values were obtained.

The symposium also recommended that more emphasis should be laid on environmental radon studies and earthquake predictions and the government should release maximum grants for these projects to the centres conducting research in this area.

The Nuclear Track Society of India has nominated Prof Surinder Singh of the Guru Nanak Dev University as its vice-president in this symposium.
More than 70 delegates from various parts of India and Germany participated in the science meet. About 50 research papers were presented including 12 invited talks from eminent scientists in the field.
Top

 

Birth of Khalsa celebrations
Gujarat sets up committee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The governments of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir have shown keen interest in the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa.

Mr Keshubhai Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, in a letter sent to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has stated that his government will celebrate the event in Gujarat in a befitting manner.

A committee under the chairmanship of Mr Patel has already been constituted and Mr P.K. Laheri, Additional Chief Secretary, who is also Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, has been appointed member-secretary of the committee. Besides, four senior Ministers and the leader of the Opposition, Mr Amarsinh Chaudhary, has also been taken on the committee.

This shows that the Gujarat Government was giving importance to the celebrations. Mr Patel has stated that a meeting of the committee will be held soon to chalk out the programme with regard to the celebrations in Gujarat.

Likewise, Mr Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has written to Mr Badal that he has directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a programme with regard to the celebrations.

Meanwhile, American Sikhs have already reached Anandpur Sahib to help the various government and non government bodies with regard to the celebrations. At least four of them were working in the Anandpur Sahib foundation office under the leadership of Niranjan Kaur.Top

 

Sikh council files reply
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — The World Sikh Council today filed a reply to the suit filed by Mr Talib Singh Sandhu and Mr Baldev Singh Brar, seeking documents about the appointment of Justice Kuldip Singh, a former Judge of the Supreme Court, and statement of accounts.

The council in its reply questioned the locus standi for filing the suit. It was asserted that both plaintiff were not even ordinary members of the council.

The reply added that as most of the defendants had not been served notice, documents could not be produced at this stage. These would, however, be produced at the time of framing the issues, if desired by the court.Top

 

Bhoma made AISSF chief

JALANDHAR, Oct 14 (PTI) — Mr Manjit Singh Bhoma today was appointed president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) following a meeting of the forum's office-bearers which removed Mr Avtar Singh Boparai from the office.

Mr Bhoma told reporters here that the change was effected to end stagnation in AISSF's working.

Mr Bhoma would hold the office for three years and was empowered by the party to recast the entire organisational network.

Mr Bhoma, who also announced the 51-member ad-hoc committee, expressed faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said organisational changes in the party would be made only after consultations with Mr Badal.Top

 

Dhan-Pothohar conference in Nov
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA Oct 14 — A meeting of the Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab, here today decided that a cultural conference under the auspices of the Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood be organised to reassure and project heritage of the region of Rawal- pindi, Texla, Jhelum to Attock (now in West Pakistan).

It was resolved that research papers on the cultural importance of Dhan-Pothohar, contribution and sacrifices of "Pothoharis" to the south-Asian civilisation be read by scholars at a seminar.

Mr N.S. Nanda, president of the Dhan-Pothohar Brotherhood, Punjab said that it was decided to bestow the brotherhood's distinction on the Kartar Singh Duggal, MP as a Pothohar-Gaurav". Apart from this Mr Bhisham Sahni Mr Jagjit Singh Anand, Dr S.S. Wanjara Bedi and Mr Sarup Singh will also be honoured with Pothohar Shiromani award for their services to art, literature and heritage. Cultural conference will be held in November. It was also decided to collect detailed information of Dhan-Pothohar families and publish a "Dhan Pothohar directory" (the Pothohar-kosha) to be released on the occasion of tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa. Top

 

Cell for settling marital disputes

KAPURTHALA, Oct 14 (PTI) — The women's cell set up by the district police to settle matrimonial disputes which was earlier flooded with complaints of allegation of corruption against the in charge of the cell has now become centre for settling marital disputes.

The women's cell renamed as "parvarik panchayat", a family court, claims to have settled 170 cases in nine months during this year.

A 10-member committee headed by chairperson Hardip Kaur, wife of the SSP, was constituted to accelerate the working of "parvarik panchayat".

The chairperson told mediapersons yesterday that the panchayat sat on every Friday. She claimed of the 190 cases received during the first nine months of this year, 170 cases had been settled. Two cases of dowry were registered and four divorces were made while 14 cases were pending.

She claimed that six cases of divorce which had been pending in the courts for the past six to eight years were settled. The parties had withdrawn their cases.

DSP (CIA) S.S. Mand who is the in charge of the cell said majority of disputes were from rural areas and that too from poor sections of the society. He said that generally women lodged dowry complaint against husbands and on inquiries it was found that 90 per cent of the dowry complaints were false. He attributed the reasons for matrimonial disputes to mainly ego problem besides in-laws, drinking habits of husbands and economic hardships.

He said that generally the dispute was settled in two sittings and very few cases took four to five sittings.Top

 

Multi-religious march planned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — A multi-religious social awakening march will be held on October 16 and 17 in Punjab under the banner of the Bharti Minorities and Dalit Front headed by Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, a Punjab Minister.

The march, according to Mr Sekhwan, will start from the Golden Temple on October 16 and after visiting Jallianwala Bagh and Durgiana Mandir will reach Alamgir Gurdwara in Ludhiana district on the same day for a night's halt. On the way it would touch Rayya, Kartarpur, Maksoodan, Baba Namdev Chowk, Phagwara and Arora Palace, Ludhiana. He said that religious and social leaders of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims would participate in the march.

No political speeches would be made and religious literature pertaining to the four religions would be distributed among people during the march.

The main objective of the march was to create a social awakening among people about the message spread by different religions in this land. He said that it would help to generate inter-faith understanding and tolerance.

The march would end at Chandigarh on March 17 at Gurdwara Shaheedi Bag where the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would receive it. The march would be inaugurated by the SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Top

 

Walkout marks YC convention
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Oct 14 — A section of the Punjab Youth Congress walked out from a state-level convention held here today.

The convention was addressed by the secretary, All-India Youth Congress, Mr Jagdish Chander. Later briefing the media he and Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa, president, Punjab Youth Congress, denied there were differences in the party hierarchy. They said a national-level convention would be held from October 26 to 27 in Delhi which would be addressed by the party president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Replying a question, Mr Jagdish Chander, secretary AIYC, said, indiscipline would not be tolerated.

However, raising a banner of revolt, two senior vice-presidents, Mr Sukhpal Singh Khera, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Amarjit Singh Babbu, general secretary, and Mr Amarjit Singh Matharu told the media that no formal invitations were sent to them for the state-level convention.

They were given a cold-shouldered treatment. Hence, they had walked out in protest. They demanded the removal of Mr Dimpa before the byelection for the Adampur seat.

They said they would write to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Ms Meira Kumar, Mr Munish Tiwari and Capt Amarinder Singh on the issue.Top

 

Farmers boycott FCI officials
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Oct 14 — Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Minister for Food and Civil Supply, today visited grain mandis of the district to take stock of the procurement of paddy by government agencies.

He was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner and official of the department. He met farmers and commission agents at the Sirhind grain market. Farmers and commission agents complained to him about the alleged high-handedness of FCI officials, while purchasing paddy. They boycotted the FCI officials and decided not to sell their paddy.

A delegation of commission agents led by Mr Sujit Singh Sahi, president of the district Arhatiya Association met the minister and demanded that the FCI should be debarred from purchasing paddy due to its negligible purchase of paddy.

The minister immediately ordered that the FCI would not purchase the paddy in this mandi from today onwards and its share would be purchased by the Punjab Government procurement agencies. He expressed his satisfaction over the paddy procurement.

Mr H.S. Mokha, DFSC, said in the mandis of district, 11,570 metric tonne of paddy had been purchased out of which 48,651 metric tonne was purchased by rice millers and 52,719 metric tonne by government procurement agencies. Out of this 32,713 metric tonnes paddy had been purchased at the rate of Rs 375 to Rs 469 due to its poor quality. All 32 purchase centres have started functioning, he added.Top

 

Cinema houses to close at 11.30 p.m.
From Our Correspondent

ROPAR, Oct 14 — In order to curb the activities of anti-social elements, the District Magistrate here has ordered the closure of all cinema houses in the district by 11.30 p.m. daily. This order shall remain in force till November 14.

The Magistrate has also ordered the closure of shops, hotels, restaurants, dhabas, ice cream shops, chemists shops, PCOs/STD booths and bakeries at 10.30 p.m. daily.

Liquor vends, wine shops and ahatas will close at 10.00 p.m. in urban areas and at 9.30 p.m. in rural areas daily. Other shops will close at 8.30 p.m. daily.Top

 

Held for Rs 17.38 lakh fraud
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Oct 14 — The local police has claimed to have arrested Naresh Kumar Badhan for defrauding banks to the extent of Rs 17.38 lakh.

The Senior Superintendent of Police in a statement here today said that the accused Naresh Kumar had defrauded the Punjab and Sind Bank, Model Town branch, Allahabad Bank, Civil Lines and Punjab National Bank, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar.

He added that the accused forged cheques of foreign banks (UK) encashed a cheque posing as if he was an NRI. The cheque no 100034 of December 19, 1996 valued 41000 which was issued by Midland Bank in the name of his wife Krishna Badhan.

At present Rs 16.38 lakh stands in the name of accused and his family members in Corporation Bank, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar here and Rs 1 lakh in his wife's name in the Canara Bank. While a direction to the managers of these above banks has been issued by Mr A.L. Khichi, Judicial Magistrate first class that these accounts cannot be operated without the prior permission of the court.Top

 

Homage paid to Flt-Lt Kamboj
From Our Correspondent

FEROZEPORE, Oct 14 — Several political, social leaders and Air Force officers paid homage to the pilot, Flight-Lieut R.K. Kamboj, here today at the bhog ceremony.

He died in an Indian Air Force plane crash at Nilgrant near Sonamarg, 84 km from Srinagar, on October 7 when he was on a routine training flight on the MiG-21aircraft which crashed while negotiating a hilly area.

The Minister of State for Cooperation and Sainik Welfare, Punjab, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon, announced to name the local road between Neemwala Chowk and Uttam Hindu Chowk here on his name.

The local MP, Mr Zora Singh Mann, offered to allocate funds from his discretionary quota if any memorial was decided to be set up here. The former Congress Ministers, Punjab, Mr Hans Raj Jossan, Mr Bal Mukand Sharma and Mr Mohinder Rinwa were among those who paid tributes to R.K. Kamboj.Top

 

Auction fetches record amount
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 14 — In spite of the recession in the market, the Estate Office of the Punjab Urban Development Authority here has succeeded in selling eight shop-cum-office sites of 305.25 sq yards each at a record amount of Rs 3.19 crore in an auction held here today.

Giving details in a press note, Mr S.K. Sharma, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said that the maximum amount of Rs 44.12 lakh was fetched from the auction of a corner plot followed by Rs 42.10 lakh of a general plot against the reserve prices of Rs 24.18 lakh and Rs 21.98 lakh, respectively. He said initially the bidders had pooled and tried to purchase the sites maximum at Rs 37 lakh but with efforts made by PUDA officials the pool was broken fetching a record amount of Rs 44.12 lakh for the corner plots and Rs 42.10 lakh for a general plot.

He said that at the end when auction for only four shops remained, no bidder offered more than Rs 36 lakh and keeping in view the high rate of other plots, the auction for the four plots were withdrawn. However, he claimed that during this auction the commercial plots had been auctioned at a much higher price than ever before.Top

 

Introduction of Shatabdi sought
From Our Correspondent

JALALABAD, Oct 14 — In a letter written to the Union Minister of Railways, Mr Nitish Kumar, signed by all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, including Mr G.S. Tohra and Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Railway Minister has been urged to introduce a Shatabdi Express from Ferozepore to Delhi via Bathinda and Rohtak.

Mr Zora Singh Maan, MP from Ferozepore, said with ever-increasing business in Malwa belt, it was felt that the transportation facility should also be up to the mark. He hoped that the introduction of Shatabdi would definitely improve the business prospects in the area.Top

 

Punjab PWD staff hold rally
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Oct 14 — Employees of the three wings of the Punjab Public Works Department (PWD) staged an impressive rally to register their protest against the non-acceptance of their demands by the state government here today.

The protesters who had come from various parts of the state assembled at Parade Grounds and raised slogans against the government for its "indifferent attitude" towards their demands despite promises and assurances in the past.

A call for the rally had been given by the PWD Workers' Coordination Committee.

Leaders addressing the rally said that their main demand was the regularisation of the services of daily wagers who have put in 240 days.

The protesters later held up traffic near the Housing Board roundabout but their efforts to break through the police cordon were thwarted. They dispersed peacefully.Top

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