|P U N J A B||
Sunday, February 7, 1999
Cong not to
reopen Tohra case
partisan, says Bhinder
of Takht chief sought
members decry Hamdard's views
served on 3 professors
held for mishap victims rape
settlement with engineers
Cong not to reopen Tohra case
AMRITSAR, Feb 6 The Punjab Congress president, Mr Amarinder Singh has ruled out approaching the Akal Takht Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh for reconsidering his complaint to the Sikh clergy moved last year, against SGPC president, Gurcharan Singh Tohra for violation of the hukamnama by associating with Nirankaris during the last Lok Sabha elections.
He was referring to the reported statement of the Jathedar of Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh in which he claimed that records of the Akal Takht were tampered with to bail out Mr Tohra although he had admitted to having gone to Nirankari Bhavan.
Mr Amarinder Singh, talking to newsmen here today, added that speaking as a Sikh he was not concerned whether the decision of the Sikh clergy was right or wrong. I bowed to this decision as a humble Sikh.
Mr Amarinder Singh was here to attend the 34th death anniversary of united Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Partap Singh Kairon, held at the house of his son and Punjab Congress leader, Mr Gurinder Singh Kairon, here, earlier the Punjab Congress chief and other prominent leaders of Punjab Congress paid floral tributes to Mr Kairon at his Samadhi in Kairon village, about 35 km here.
Mr Amarinder Singh criticised Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for attending the ninth death anniversary of former general secretary of the AISSF, Mr Harminder Singh Sandhu held at Khalsa college here on Saturday last, describing it as an "anti-national" act. Mr Amarinder Singh added that a lot of Khalistani talk took place at the function while the Chief Minister remained a silent spectator.
Asked whether the BJP central government would take notice of it and what would be their standing on this issue, the Punjab Congress chief remarked: "they are of same category".
Asked to spell out the law and order scenario in Punjab, Mr Amarinder Singh said that there was lot of unrest on as the ISI had smuggled in new type of explosives to Punjab and is reported to have trained Pakistani and Afghani militants for reviving militancy in Punjab.
He was also of the view that the economic situation in Punjab was so bad that it could lead to any type of eruption.
Asked whether the Badal government would fall in view of the economic situation. Mr Amarinder Singh said that he didn't want to predict how long it would last but the state had already reached a point of collapse and there were no funds for paying salaries to employees. The Badal government is totally incompetent to overcome the complete mess of affairs.
He said infighting in the Akali Dal and Akal Takht and SGPC was its internal affair but accused the SGPC President of creating a situation likely to bring back disturbed conditions.
He was of the view that Akal Takht should not participate in political matters and decide cases in a traditional way.
He did not agree with the three point "Sikh agenda" to be included in the tercentenary celebrations of Sikh panth.
He did not give much importance to reports that the police entered the Golden Temple complex last night, saying "it is a matter of SGPC and the Akali Dal government."
On Akal Takht summoning the Editor of daily Ajit, Mr Barjinder Singh Hamdard, MP, at Akal Takht when he had already expressed his regret for publishing objectionable matter. The matter should have ended once he expressed his regret in the paper, he said.
He said that the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi would participate in the year-long tercentenary celebrations of the Sikh panth to be held from Baisakhi this year.
Badal partisan, says Bhinder
GURDASPUR, Feb 6 Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, senior Congress leader led a dharna organised by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, General Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee near Kahnuwan today to protest against the govt's failure to start admission in ITI Nainakot the building of which was completed more than a year ago.
More than 5000 persons participated and blocked traffic from 12 to 1 p.m. on Kahnuwan-Srihargobindpur road.
Mrs Bhinder, addressing the dharna, said the development activity in the state has been a total casualty under the SAD-BJP government. She reiterated that the Chief Minister has diverted more than Rs 1500 crore to the constituency of his son in Faridkot and Muktsar on the plea of protecting the area from water-logging. The fact, however, was that Mr Badal wanted to establish the supremacy of his family and ensure the victory of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in the mid-term Lok Sabha polls around the corner.
Mrs Bhinder said various opposition parties have often accused the Chief Minister of confining development to his home district. She reminded him that he was the Chief Minister of Punjab and not of his district.
Mrs Bhinder accused the SAD-BJP government of total failure to implement social welfare schemes saying funds for schemes like old age, widow pension and grant for the destitute children had not been released since November.
Mrs Bhinder said the ongoing tussle between the Chief Minister and the SGPC president has further worsened development activity in the state.
Mrs Bhinder accused Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President SGPC, of denigrating Sikh institutions. She appealed to him to quit or confine his activities for religious development as President of the SGPC.
Mr Partap Singh Bajwa said that the fight between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra factions has created conditions which are similar to those on Baisakhi day in 1978.
Mr Bajwa warned that Mr Beant Singh former Chief Minister sacrificed his life to bring peace in Punjab. He said that the Congress party will not allow anybody to disturb peace and cautioned Badal to consolidate it which is the main function of the government.
Carcasses a health hazard
HOSHIARPUR: Residents of colonies adjoining the dhobi ghat and the gaushala bazar bridge up to Khanpuri Gate live in deplorable conditions. These residential areas are located near the Bhangi choe. The main approach to the lepers colony and various religious places also passes through dhobi ghat and crosses the garbage dump and "hada roris" (dead-animal storage) in the choe bed. The Municipal Council has made permanent dumps of garbage in the choe bed just adjoining these localities. Besides, the situation has further deteriorated due to carcasses lying in the open at these places. The skins of dead animals is removed in the open. The garbage and carcasses not only cause pollution but also pose serious threat to the public health. The district administration has constructed a link road from dhobi ghat to bypass adjoining the Bhangi choe which also passes through these localities to ease vehicular traffic in the city. The vehicle-owners whenever they pass through this link road have to close the windowpanes to save themselves from the stench. The skin removers and the owners of "hada roris" are functioning without proper licences.
Mr H.S. Randhawa, Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, told this correspondent that in other cities skin-removers have to procure proper licences from the council to remove the skins of dead animals. Those councils have also fixed proper sites for them. However, here his predecessors had not adopted this method. Regarding dumping of garbage in the choe bed he said the Municipal Council had no proper place for this purpose. It had now started throwing garbage at far away places.
It is also learnt that the Deputy Commissioner has also instructed the municipal authorities to take necessary steps to shift garbage dumps and "hada roris" to some far away place. But nothing has so far been done.
The residents also made several requests in this regard. However, the district administration has failed to take any action. The Punjab Pollution Control Board has not become active enough to set things right and save residents from such health hazards.
The residents of these
colonies are now seriously thinking to resort to legal
action against the Municipal Council and the Punjab
Pollution Control Board. They will also launch agitation
to pressure the authorities concerned to remove garbage
Resignation of Takht chief sought
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 Several Sikh intellectuals associated with Sikh politics and religion have sought the resignation of the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh.
In a statement here today, they said Bhai Ranjit Singh should resign keeping in view the larger interests of the Sikh Panth.
Among those who have sought the resignation are Dr Maheep Singh, Mr Charan Singh Sindhra, Maj-Gen P.S. Gill (retd), Dr Parminder Singh, Dr Karnail Singh Thind, Mr Surinder Singh Khera, Dr Kehar Singh, Dr Kulwant Grewal, Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, Mr Kanwar Manjit Singh, Mr Harpal Singh Pannu and Mr P.S. Goraya.
They have sent a letter with 17 posers to the Jathedar, mainly on the recent religio-political developments in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr Surinder
Singh Mehdooda, a senior vice-president of the youth wing
of the SAD, has expressed hurt at the statement by Giani
Kewal Singh that pressure was built on him to sign a
"hukamnama". He said Giani Kewal Singh should
not have "succumbed" to pressure and asked the
SGPC to remove him from the office of the Jathedar of
Takht, Sri Damdama Sahib.
SGPC members decry Hamdard's
JALANDHAR, Feb 6 Taking serious note of the interview published in a newspaper, of Mr Barjinder Singh three SGPC members and one executive committee member have alleged that "Hamdard's views have exposed that he is anti-Panth and an atheists out to destroy the "institution of Akal Takht".
Mr Surjit Singh Deshi, Mr Harbans Singh Bajpur, Mr Harjinder Singh Dhammi, all members of the committee, said here today that the Sikhs held great reverence for Akal Takht which was founded by Guru Hargobind. They alleged that Mr Barjinder Singh was "perpetually" undermining the sentiments of the Sikh ideology. They criticised Mr Hamdard's statement that the previous hukmnama had not been implemented, and added that the erring persons had asked for forgiveness from Akal Takht.
They further said Akal Takht was a religious body and the Jathedar had the jurisdication to pass any edict in the interests of the Sikhs. He was not bound by any person, like Mr Barjinder Singh, on how to function as the Jathedar of Akal Takht.
Mayor's suspension sought
JALANDHAR, Feb 6 The Samata Party and the Youth Congress have sought the suspension of the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation here as it had failed to provide the basic amenities to residents.
In separate statements issued here, the two political parties alleged that even though the former Prime Minister, Mr I.K. Gujral, had given an aid of Rs 10 crore to provide clean drinking water to residents of the city, not much had been done to utilise the funds in an "appropriate" manner, he added.
The General Secretary of the Samata Party, Mr Arun Sharma, said since there were 169 unapproved colonies in the city, so there should be no discrimination by the Municipal Corporation to provide drinking water and sewerage facilities.
Notices served on 3 professors
PATIALA, Feb 6 The Punjabi University authorities have issued notices to three professors of the Department of Economics and a clerk, directing them to explain their involvement in a clash which took place in the department on February 3.
The notice which has been signed by the university Registrar, said the Registrar himself and the Pro Vice-Chancellor had seen the three professors Dr Sucha Singh Gill, Dr RS Ghumman and Dr Nirmal Singh Azad and the clerk, Gajjan Singh, in circumstances not behoving their stature.
The notice said the incident had affected the reputation of the university and tarnished its image. It directed them to explain their viewpoint on the incident by February 8.
Talking to TNS on the issue, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr JS Puar, said the fight between senior professors of the university was very unfortunate. He said it was sad that Dr Azad had been wounded in the fight and his clothes were torn.
He said notices had been issued to all those involved, adding that, following the submission of the replies of the four employees, he would appoint an inquiry commission to recommend if disciplinary action needed to be taken against anyone.
Meanwhile, Dr Azad said he did not know how to reply to the notice as the university authorities, including the Registrar and the Pro Vice-Chancellor and security personnel had seen the fight. He claimed he had been brutally beaten up by the other two professors and the clerk for half an hour and had even been tied to a pole by his turban.
Meanwhile, Dr Gill and Dr
Ghumman claimed that Dr Azad had been disrupting the
functioning of the department and that the entire faculty
had passed a resolution to this effect at a meeting of
staff members on February 1. They said a copy of this
resolution had been submitted to the Vice-Chancellor but
no action was taken. They also said Dr Azad had
instigated the clash and attacked them.
2 held for mishap victims rape
GURDASPUR, Feb 6 (PTI) The district police has arrested two persons in connection with the alleged rape of a Lama girl who was injured in a road accident near Ranjit Bhagh in the district recently.
Gurdaspur district police chief Varinder Kumar said that the arrests followed an inquiry conducted after the receipt of a complaint from the Welfare Officer of the Dalai Lamas headquarters at Dharmshala, suspecting the rape of the victim.
He said that some people at the accident scene had put her in a car coming from the Pathankot side. But the car did not reach the hospital. After about an hour, some people found the car and the girl in it at a crossing.
PSEB's settlement with engineers
PATIALA, Feb 6 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) engineers association today deferred its ongoing agitational plan following a settlement reached with the board management.
Disclosing this here association general secretary H.S. Bedi said it was agreed by the management that stagnation amongst engineers would be tackled so as to ensure promotion of more than 90 engineers of the 1976 batch as senior executive engineers by December 1999 or latest by March 2000.
He said the board had agreed that thermal area allowance would be given to the personnel at Ropar thermal plant and UBDC hydro project and the promotion policy would be reviewed and moderated.
The association leader said the board instructed the pay and accounts department to immediately implement the conversion scale of assistant engineers. He said the board had also decided to streamline the working of Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant. Through separate operation and maintenance and construction organisations under separate chief engineers.
This was essential to ensure quality of equipment and reliable/safe operation of the plant, he said adding the problems facing Lehra Mohabbat would be tackled by the board.
The engineer said the board management had assured the association that there was presently no move to corporatise or privatise the PSEB and that the Lehra Mohabbat stage-II thermal project would be executed by the board itself.
Meanwhile, the executive
committee of the association today extended whole-hearted
support to the struggle of Uttar Pradesh engineers
against the sell-out of the board and urged the central
government to immediately intervene and prevent
disintegration of Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board.
Punjab to press for amendment
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Punjab Government will approach the Union Government again for getting the National Human Rights Act amended to extend its purview for hearing the cases of human rights violations up to 10 years.
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister, said here today that he would write to the Union Home Minister and also personally speak to him for getting the act amended with special reference to Punjab.
Mr Badal said that the earlier submission made by Punjab in this connection was rejected by the Union Government a few days ago with the plea that it would increase workload in the country manyfold.
Dismissed teachers agitate
NANGAL, Feb 6 Teachers relieved of duty from two municipal schools, continued their agitation today against their dismissal by the local Municipal Council in front of one of the schools. They also blocked traffic on the Nangal-Una road for half-an-hour.
The agitiating teachers of the two schools were served the orders by passing a resolution yesterday. The resolution stated that the appointment of the teachers were illegal. The ex-Chairman of the council, Mr Partap Singh Saini, was ousted due to this.
However, another ex-President of the council, Mr Ashok Nayar, termed the resolution as illegal. Citing an order of the Chairman of the managing committee of the one of schools, that the council had this right only at the time of the creation of the post, and it did not had any role, thereafter. He said the teachers were being made victims of political rivalry.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejvir Singh, who came here yesterday to pacify the agitating teachers expressed his helplessness in the matter. He asked the teachers to give a written complaint and assured them that the matter would be taken up with the Director, local governments.
Various political parties
and municipal councillors of the opposition joined the
agitation. The General Secretary of the District Congress
Committee, Dr Ravinder Diwan, appealed to all political
parties to join hands to fight against this injustice to
teachers. Mr Raj Kumar Datta, a Municipal Councillor,
observed a fast today.
Tohra condemns police searches
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, today condemned the police "nakabandi" and searches inside the Golden Temple complex.
Talking to TNS over the cell phone, he said security forces ahd been deployed inside the complex. As a measure of "strong protest" over this step by the Akali government he had ordered, in writing, closure of the SGPC offices till the police from inside was withdrawn.
Mr Tohra said accompanied by a Magistrate the police searched the serais and other places inside the complex. Moreover as during the earlier rule the devotees going to the temple were being frisked and checked at all entry points reminiscent of the gory past.
That such a situation should have arisen when Akalis are in power does not behove Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who besides being Chief Minister is also the SAD president. "What is happening now is like what the Congress, Moughals and Pathans used to do earlier to cause sacrilege of the holy place."
This new development of deploying security forces has "deeply hurt" the Sikh sentiments and the step was "most condemnable" since it has been taken by a government which is "our own".
The SGPC offices, therefore, will remain closed and inoperative as long as normalcy was not restored. It was regrettable that neither any objectionable material hor men were caught from the serais and other places.
The stand of the CBI on
the other hand, was that Tara's plea should not be
acceded because of security reasons. It was pointed out
that Tara was involved in a sensitive case and permitting
him to attend the 'bhog' ceremony was not in the interest
of his personal safety and for the law and order
HC turns down Tara's plea
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has turned down the prayer of Jagtar Singh Tara, one of the accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, for permitting him to attend the 'bhog' ceremony of his brother.
Mr Justice R.L. Anand, who pronounced this order, held: "In view of the severe opposition made by the CBI and keeping in view the nature of the case, this request is not accepted."
Earlier, Tara's counsel had stated that the accused had to attend the 'bhog' ceremony at his native village, Dakwala, on February 7.
2 killed in accident
BATHINDA, Feb 6 Two persons died on spot while two others were injured when a jeep collided with a tractor trolley near village Jeeda, 25 kms from here late last night.
Police sources said that
the deceased had been identified as Maheshinderpal Singh
and Ram Parshad and the injured were A.P. Dakha and
Bhagwan Dass. The local civil hospital authorities have
referred S.P. Dakha, whose condition is serious to DMC,
Ludhiana. A case has been registered.
A.K. Bhola to head Bathinda
BATHINDA, Feb 6 The PPCC, president, Mr Amarinder Singh has nominated Mr Anil Kumar Bhola as president of city Congress unit.
In a press note issued
here today, Mr Bhagat Singh Dhaliwal, President District
Congress Committee (DCC) said that Mr Bhola, who had
worked hard for strengthening the party base among public
was son of Mre Khushi Ram, former senior vice-president
of Bathinda district Congress unit.
Animal diseases reported in
LUDHIANA, Feb 6 The veterinary scientists of Punjab Agricultural University have received reports of the outbreak of foot and mouth (FMD) and haemorrhagic septicaemia (gal ghotu) diseases from different parts of Punjab.
The scientists have advised the farmers to get their animals vaccinated in consultation with doctors. They said the affected animals should be isolated from the healthy ones and should be fed green fodder. Wheat bhusa should avoided.
The lesions in the mouths
of the affected animals should be washed with 0.1%
solution of potassium permanganate or 3% boric acid
glycerine should be applied. The hooves of the affected
animals should be washed with 1% copper sulphate
Sangat darshan programme held
SANGRUR, Feb 6 A sangat darshan programme was organised by the district administration at Daska village in the Lehra block of Sunam subdivision, 30 km from here, yesterday.
Mr Anirudh Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arpit Shukla, district police chief and heads of various departments were present. They redressed the problems of people on the spot.
Various schemes and policies launched by the Punjab Government for the welfare of the people were explained in detail at the programme.
Mr Tewari urged the village panchayats of the area to settle petty dispute cases at their own level. The village panchayat from where not even a signle case would be reported to the police during a year would get a special grant of Rs 25,000.
The Deputy Commissioner also announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the repair of the village school building and another grant of Rs 2 lakh for the disposal of waste water in the village.
MC resolution on octroi posts
BATHINDA, Feb 6 Mr Jagjit Singh Joga, a Municipal Councillor, and member of the state council, CPI, Punjab, alleged that a resolution regarding the privatisation of the octroi posts passed at the recent meeting of municipal councillors was wrong.
In a press note, issued here today he alleged that the resolution was passed by a group of municipal councillors under Section 9 of the municipal by-laws which could be used only for passing emergency resolutions.
He pointed out that there were two months in the expiry of the present contract of the privatisation of octroi posts and there was no need of passing this resolution at this stage. He added that the agenda of the resolution was not circulated among the members before the meeting.
Mr Joga alleged that the
ruling group of municipal councillors by cashing in on
their numerical strength had also passed certain
resolution which had burdened the local people by Rs 3.60
crore. He added that though the water charges had been
increased but the Municipal Council had failed in
maintaining a proper supply of drinking water.
recruitment rally at Bathinda
AMBALA, Feb 6 The Indian Air Force is holding a recruitment rally at sports stadium, Bathinda, on February 11 and 12, the Commanding Officer of the Airmen Selection Centre here, Sqn Ldr Naveen Jain said here yesterday youths from all districts of Punjab who had domicile certificates or had passed the matriculation examination from Punjab would be permitted to appear in the selection test.
Candidates who had passed the matriculation or an equivalent examination with a minimum of 45 per cent marks in aggregate and at least pass marks in English would be eligible to appear for the test if they were born between August 1, 1980, and August 1, 1983.
The selection test would be held from 8.15 a.m. onwards on both days. The results would be declared on the spot and successful candidates would undergo medical examination at the stadium.
Notice to doctor decried
HOSHIARPUR, Feb 6 The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has condemned the decision of the Director, Health Services, Punjab, and the Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, to serve a show cause notice on Dr Ajit Pal Singh, CMO of the Civil Hospital for writing and circulating a book titled, "Sehat Sambhal". The association felt that by serving the notice, the health authorities had interfered with an individual's right to self-expression and academic liberty.
In a joint press release
here today, Dr Ajay Bagga, press secretary of the state
PCMS, and Dr Tej Pal, general secretary of the PCMS
Association, stated any Indian citizen had the liberty to
spread scientific knowledge through writings and actions.
They further said the association had decided to honour
Dr Ajit Pal Singh for writing the book. The two leaders
urged the Director, Health Services, to withdraw the show
cause notice immediately failing which the PCMS
Association would launch a dharna.
No comments about Bitta's
CHANDIGARH, Feb 6 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today refused to make any comment about the demand made by the former President of Indian Youth Congress, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, with regard to rescinding the order about commuting the sentence of Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh.
Mr Badal said that it was not necessary that he should offer comments about all demands made by Congress leaders.
| Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir | Chandigarh |
| Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | World | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |