|P U N J A B||
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
failed to do its job: Bains
demolition move challenged
7 arrested for stripping woman
FEROZEPORE, Jan 25 The police has arrested seven persons, in connection with allegedly stripping a woman at Bhangar Khera village under Khuian Serwar police station of the district last week.
hepatitis B carriers detected
RSS, say Christians
attack scribe in Toronto
SGPC has failed to do its job: Bains
JALANDHAR, Jan 25 (PTI) After extending support to the controversial Akal Takht "hukamnama" asking warring Akali Dal leaders to halt hostilities, Mr Didar Singh Bains, convener of the North America Akali Dal, today suggested that the SGPC president should not hold office for more than two years and should pay "more attention to his job instead of running for a seat in Parliament."
"I agree that the SGPC has singularly failed in dharam parchar and has also not been able to help in building Sikh temples abroad or to work actively with Sikhs abroad," Mr Bains said.
Reiterating his support to the December 31 "hukamnama which has virtually pitched supporters of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against Akal Takht Jathedar Ranjit Singh, he said: "I am a supporter of Mr Badal but if I have to choose between the hukamnama and Mr Badal, naturally I would go by the Akal Takht direction."
"I believe that the edict was issued in the interest of the community. Any controversy at this juncture will mar the Sikhs' glorious image in the eyes of the global community."
"An Akal Takht hukamnama cannot be challenged, he stressed.
Referring to Jathedar Ranjit Singhs disputes with jathedars of other Sikh Takhts, he said responsible persons in the Akali Dal and the SGPC should have intervened and resolved such ugly intra-clergy rows.
PATIALA (FOC): The Institute of Multicultural and Sikh Studies formed by academicians of Punjabi University here has come out in defence of Bhai Ranjit Singh, Jathedar, Akali Takht, over the issue of an edict pronounced by him calling Mr G.S. Tohra and Mr Parkash Singh Badal to halt hostilities till the completion of the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa.
Dr Gurbhagat Singh, president, and Dr Mehar Singh Gill, general secretary, of the institute said in a statement here today that an edict from Akal Takht could not be withdrawn. Neither could the Jathedar of the Takht be pressurised by an individual or organisation to quit.
Punjab demolition move challenged
CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 The Punjab Heritage Preservation Trust and Mrs Gurpreet Sangha Rai, Director of Project Inventory of Historic Building sites in Anandpur Sahib, Ropar, today preferred a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a stay on the demolition of structures for widening the road from Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib to Gurdwara Sisganj Sahib in Anandpur Sahib town.
Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice S.S. Sudhalkar, before whom the petition came up for hearing, issued notice to the Punjab Government for February 8.
The petitioners stated that the Punjab Government had decided to observe and celebrate the 300th year of the birth of Khalsa later this year. Although the celebration was taking place all over the world, the focus of the celebration would be at Anandpur Sahib.
They submitted that the government constituted a trust under the name of Anandpur Sahib Foundation for promoting and preserving the arts, literature and heritage of the country. The government also constituted the Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority (ASUDA) vide notification dated July 29, 1997, to accelerate the beautification and developmental activities in Anandpur Sahib city. A notification issued on March 12, 1997 brought an area of 3886 acres of Anandpur Sahib under development and conservation.
The petitioners added that Mrs Gurmit S. Rai was hired by the Anandpur Sahib Foundation to undertake a project entitled "Inventory of the Historic Buildings and sites in Anandpur Sahib Region, Punjab". The objective of the project was compiling the database of historic sites and buildings closely associated with Guru Gobind Singh and the Anandpur Sahib region.
Petitioner No 2 identified 48 historic sites and monuments of immense historic value which needed conservation. The recommendations for conservation of Anandpur Sahib's heritage were outlined in the project as well.
The petitioners stated that "shockingly the respondents are going ahead with the demolition without having a detailed town development scheme which is mandatory as per Section 91 of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995".
"In the absence of a
detailed master plan, regional plan, town development
schemes for Anandpur Sahib, the Anandpur Sahib Foundation
and ASUDA are going ahead with demolition and road
widening work in total violation of the Punjab Regional
and Town Planning and Development Act, (1995), regional
plans, and Articles 49 and 51 of the Constitution,"
the petitioner stated.
Undertrials wait for justice
PATIALA, Jan 25 Life drags on for scores of undertrials lodged in the Central Jail here for want of speedy trial. Many of them, have actually spent more time than the possible sentence yet the wait for justice seems to be unending.
Take the case of Basanti (not real name). She belongs to a tribe notorious for theft and robberies and has been locked behind bars for nearly three years now while the crime she committed can get her a sentence of maximum one-and-a half year imprisonment.
Then there is Manmohan Kaur (not real name), an illiterate woman put behind bars over a land dispute involving her family. The possible sentence could be six months or one year's jail. But she is languishing in the jail for nearly two years now.
Again there is an interesting tale of Chand Singh behind bars for the last three- and-a-half years on the allegations of swindling money of his employer. In last hearing he was advised by his advocate to confess the crime at which he can be imprisoned for a maximum three years, a period which he had already spent and will be released.
These are cases not in isolation but almost every undertrial lodged in the jail here has his own story to tell. Sources reveal that the number of women undertrials is 58 out of total 70 inmates and as many as 600 of the total 1160 male inmates are undertrials.
An opportunity to talk to these undertrials came during a couple of reformatory and educative programmes organised by some social service organisations in the jail. Some others met this correspondent while they had come to the district courts for the hearing of their case.
A large number of women undertrials are the ones put in incarceration over allegations of being an accomplice in a dowry death. Laws are such that whole family is put behind bars and the case moves on at a snail's pace.
Another pathetic angle is regarding the children of these undertrials. There is Surinder Kaur who gave birth to a child while languishing in jail who is with her for the last three years but in five years the case has reached at the stage of hearing witnesses statements. "They give us dates having more than three months gap", she said feeling apprehensive about the effect of the jail environment on her child. The undertrials also allege that some lawyers deliberately delay the case to suit their interests.
Chairman District Bar Council Narinder K. Singla vehemently deny the allegations. He said that the lengthy system of legal process delays the trials. "It is very time consuming with lot of time needed for summoning persons", he said.
Further, the biggest problem is the shortage of judges and public prosecutors at the high court and the district courts, he said adding that the Bar Council had been repeatedly demanding the recruitment of judges and public prosecutors but of no avail.
A lawyer, Mr N.P.S. Waraich, specialising in criminal cases, opines that the problem can be solved if more undertrials are left on bail but here again the law has to be on its guard as person if released on bail can also tamper with evidence against him. Further bails are granted in dowry death cases. The reaction of society against a dowry death has also to be considered resulting in increasing number of undertrials in the jail.
Ironically, jail officials
are also having problems with the undertrials. Sources
disclose that this category of prisoners actually fit in
the frame of called "state guests or sarkari
mehmann" in common parlance for under the
rules an undertrial cannot be employed in jail, factory,
fields or the community kitchen.
2 more hepatitis B carriers
FARIDKOT, Kotli (Bathinda), Jan 25 Four cases of jaundice including two of hepatitis-B (positive) carriers have been detected by the District Health authorities in the last two days during its door-to-door survey launched here recently.
Concerned over the detection of two hepatitis-B (positive) carriers from eight persons whose blood samples were tested on January 23 and 24, district health authorities have decided to organise vaccination campaign in the Sangat block from February 4 to February 11 with the help of voluntary organisations.
Dr Bawa Ram, Civil Surgeon, said that two patients of jaundice had been reported from Bandi and Pakka Kalan villages surrounding this village where 41 patients of jaundice including 18 of hepatitis-B were detected on January 14 and 15. He added that total number of hepatitis-B patients was now 26.
He said that mass media wing of State Health authorities had been pressed into service to educate villagers for taking preventive measures against jaundice.
He said that water samples of 23 villages had been taken and their reports awaited. About 26000 chlorine tablets had been distributed in this and surrounding villages to purify drinking water.
He disclosed that 297 'close contacted' persons of patients of jaundice had been vaccinated against hepatitis-B. A camp for general public was also organised yesterday.
He said that teams of doctors and paramedical staff had been visiting the areas regularly for treating the patients. He claimed that no patient of jaundice had been reported from any other block of this district.
On the other hand, Mr
Kewal Krishan Aggarwal, General Secretary, DCC (I)
alleged that in certain villages surrounding this village
the Rural Water Supply wing of the Punjab Public Health
Department had stopped the drinking water supply from the
water works for the past few days. He added that in the
absence of drinking water supply from the water works the
residents of these villages had been facing difficulties
for meeting daily drinking water requirements.
Ban RSS, say Christians
FEROZEPORE, Jan 25 Christians, who had gathered at a protest rally outside the Deputy Commissioner's office here today, got agitated when the police attempted to dispose those blocking Jhoke road.
In protest against the police action, they raised slogans.
The rally was organised under the banner of the Ferozepore District Joint Action Christian Forum formed a few days ago under the presidentship of Mr Nathaniel Bhatti.
Addressing the rally, member of central executive of the Bahujan Samaj Party and a former member of Parliament, Mr Mohan Singh Phallianwala, condemned the BJP for its fundamentalist approach.
Mr Phalliwanwala said the unabated attacks on Christians were omenous for those belonging to minority communities. He said the minorities should come on one platform to fight against these atrocities.
Several Christian leaders, including Paster CM Rustam, Paster Om Parkash and Mr Alvin Bhatti, demanded a ban on the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the Shiv Sena. They accused these organisations of abetting communalism in the country.
The rally was also addressed by Muslim leader Naseerulah Beg.
A charter of demands was presented to the district administration seeking constitutional status to the Minorities Commission and revival of Minorities Commission in Gujarat.
A procession was held from the city's CNI Church to the Deputy Commissioner's office where processionists raised slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre, the Gujarat government and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
The Dalit Sena, Punjab, condemning the killing of an Australian missionary and his two sons in Orissa, alleged that this brutal act had been committed by various wings of the RSS which were "bent upon crushing the Dalit samaj."
7 arrested for stripping woman
FEROZEPORE, Jan 25 (UNI) The police has arrested seven persons, in connection with allegedly stripping a woman at Bhangar Khera village under Khuian Serwar police station of the district last week.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gurcharan Singh after visiting the village, today said all seven wanted to take a revenge against a woman, Jamna Devi, for levelling allegation of being characterless against their grandfather.
They entered her house, beat up and then stripped her, he said.
All accused have been arrested under Sections 452, 354, 342, 506, 323, 141 and 149, IPC.
The SSP denied press
report that two Dalit women were stripped while being
taken on a tractor-trailer in the village but he said
that the Bhangar Khera gram panchayat had passed a
resolution condemning Jamna Devi for immoral acts.
Babbars attack scribe in Toronto
JALANDHAR, Jan 25 (PTI) A city-based scribe, Jatinder Pannu, known for his strong anti-Khalistan and pro-Left views, was today attacked in Toronto by activists of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and the Babbar Khalsa, both separatist organisations, while he was addressing a gathering there.
"Pannu was attacked when he launched a broadside against Khalistani elements at a function organised by a weekly newspaper", one of the organisers of the function, told PTI from Toronto.
Pannu, who has been addressing a string of meetings across Canada briefing people about the real situation in Punjab and exhorting them to resist separatist propaganda, escaped unhurt in the attack which left Mr Gurdev Singh Mann, president of Northyouk Gurdwara, badly injured,
A number of people attending the function surrounded Pannu shielding him from the chairs and other missiles hurled at him," the sources said.
Alumnis emotional reunion
LUDHIANA, Jan 25 Old students of Government College Ludhiana, a premier educational institution of northern India, had a nostalgic reunion with their alma mater January 23 on college campus. A group of old "boys", many of them in seventies and eighties, headed by Maj-General (retd) Shabbir Hassan Shah had come all the way from Pakistan, were visibly moved as they exchanged greetings with their younger college mates of present generation.
The get-together was arranged by the Old boys Association of the college with Mr Indermohan Singh Grewal at the head and included a meeting in morning followed by a colourful cultural evening, where Begum Taranum, reigning melody queen of Pakistan, Wadali brothers from Amritsar, and the Sufi Singer Madan Gopal Singh from Delhi regaled the attendees.
Maj-General Himmat Singh Gill, a noted writer and an old student, in his introductory remarks, spoke of the age-old ties between "the two peoples of this sub-continent, who, were but one people some time ago, and made an impassioned plea for reviving cultural, trade and sports ties between two countries. He called for an easier travel between the two sides.
Praising former old students, Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi, General Raina, a former Chief of the Army Staff, Harkishan Lal, painter, Dr Manohar Singh Gill, the Chief Election Commissioner of India and a host of other luminaries he inspired the younger lot.
The chief guest, General Shabbir Hussain spoke of the ties that bound the alumni and the people of the two countries, and looked forward to more such visits from both sides of the border. He spoke with gratification of the efforts of the Old Boys Association and the authorities who had made this trip possible. He recalled nostalgically the, "gush of memories", that included his association with Sahir Ludhianvi.
The college raised in 1920
has made a large contribution to the higher echelons of
the administrative and defence services of the country.
headed by Dr H.S. Deol, Principal, it has more than 3500
students on rolls. The college played host to nine of its
old students from Pakistan this year and hopes this
friendly exchange would continue.
Misbehaviour with lawyer condemned
CHANDIGARH, Jan 25 The Executive Committee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association which met here under the chairmanship of Mr G.C. Dhuriwala today condemned the misbehaviour of "certain irresponsible elements" with Mr R.S. Cheema, senior advocate at the Patiala District Courts on January 23.
Mr S.S. Behl, secretary of the Bar Association, said the committee adopted a resolution which, inter alia, said: "It has been the tradition to protect the right of an advocate to plead his cases of his clients freely and fearlessly. It has also been a tradition of the Bar Association to show due respect to members of the fraternity coming from other stations. The flouting of these lofty and time-honoured convention is highly regretted. The Executive Committee appreciates the timely intervention by the District Judge, Patiala and the remedial steps by Patiala Bar Association."
Mr Rajeev Godara and Mr
Ashwani Bakshi, Secretaries of the Chandigarh units of
the All India Lawyers Union and the Indian Association of
Lawyers, respectively, condemning the incident demanded
registration of criminal cases against those who indulged
in the misbehaviour.
HOSHIARPUR, Jan 25 The local unit of ISKCON organised a sankirtan at local Town Hall here last evening. Despite heavy rain and chilly weather hundred of persons participated.
Shri Sakshigopal Dass President, of Kurukshetra unit while addressing the congregation said people were facing many problems in their day-to-day life. The only solution to solve the problems was to follow the teachings of Gita. He stressed that one should do one's karmas selflessly, without any desire only then the peace could be obtained.
Summon Pannu at Takht: AISSF
AMRITSAR, Jan 25 The All-India Sikh Students Federation has urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Ranjit Singh, to summon the SGPC General Secretary, Mr Balbir Singh Pannu, at Akal Takht for issuing a threat in the shape of an appeal to the Jathedar to withdraw hukamnama of December 31.
The federation President, Mr Harminder Singh Gill, in a statement said the policy making committee of the federation, which met here yesterday, was of the view that Mr Pannu and 131 SGPC members had committed grave religious crime by challenging the hukamnama.
Revision of poll rolls ordered
ROPAR, Jan 25 In view of election for Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishad, which are due in September this year, and to fill vacancies of Sarpanch and Panch, the State Election Commission, Punjab, has ordered summary revision of electoral rolls pertaining to Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads taking with January, 1, 1999 as the qualifying date.
The qualifying date means that the names of the persons may be included in the electoral rolls during revision, who have attained the age of 18 years on January 1 this year.
According to Mr Jaswant Singh Brar, the Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, here today, the electoral rolls finally published on May 31,1998 would be treated as basic rolls for the preparation summary revision of the electoral rolls.
Mr Brar said that the commission had prepared a programme for summary revision of electoral rolls. The date for preliminary publication of the electoral rolls had been fixed for February 8 next while the last date for filing claims and objections would be February 23.
The ADC also added that the disposal of claims and objections would be done by March 8 next. Preparation of supplements and printing would be done by March 23 next, while the final publication of electoral rolls would be made on March 26 next.
After the preliminary
publication of electoral rolls, the District Electoral
Officer will send consolidated report to the State
Election Commission in this regard, while after the
disposal of claims and objections and covering all
stages, the ADC(Development) will also send a
consolidated report to the commission stating that the
electoral rolls have finally been published on March 26,
750 cr for transport
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 25 The Punjab Government has earmarked Rs 750 crore to provide better transport facilities and during the coming Budget more concessions will be given to the every section of society, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Minister for Finance, while addressing a rural gathering at a lok darbar held at Shaunti village today.
He said the government would provide route permits to unemployed youths for mini buses and taxis. He called upon the people to participate in the tercentenary celebrations with enthusiasm.
He said all problems had been created by the Congress during its 50-year rule. He said the Congress never cared for the problems of the state and public.
Mr Balwant Singh Sahpur, MLA, Amloh, highlighted the problems being faced by the villagers. On the occasion the panchayats of more than 100 villages passed a resolution to support Mr Parkash Singh Badal.
BJYM: book SHO, sarpanch
PHAGWARA, Jan 25 The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Punjab, has demanded a judicial inquiry into the stripping of a Dalit woman at a village in Abohar last week.
The BJYM president, Mr Tarun Chugh, today demanded registration of cases against the SHO concerned and the village sarpanch.
NTAS honours artistes
PATIALA, Jan 25 The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS), Patiala, honoured members of the cast of their latest production, "Salvaan', a Punjabi musical play (written by Mr Ajmer Singh Aulakh and directed by Mr Pran Sabharwal), including musicians and backstage artistes for their performances in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana at a function held here.
The chief guest, Mr P.C. Tiwari, Deputy Secretary, Punjab State Electricity Board and Vice-President, NTAS, gave away the cash awards ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 each to all the 20 artistes.
Mr Sabharwal, Director, NTAS, urged the Punjab Government, the North Zone Cultural Centre, the Punjab Kala Parishad and all district kala parishads to help promote theatre movement in India and abroad.
The recipients of the cash
awards include Sunita Sabharwal, Jyoti Kapoor, Parminder
Pam, Reeta Paras, Nimmi, Gurpreet Pinky, Devinder Mann,
Surjit Singh, Bajinder Singh, Amit Tandon, Jaswinderpreet
Singh Jhulka, Harsimran Bedi and Rakesh Bansal (all
performers), Architect Sampan and Gopal Sharma (stage
setting), Akhilesh Happy (music), Jagtar Singh (singing),
Rakesh Thakur (make-up) and Vikas Sabharwal
One held for murder of
BATALA, Jan 25 The police here traced those responsible for murdering and looting a Kashmiri trader Abdul Ahad in the Camp area of Civil Lines and arrested one of the accused Bittu, son of Amar Nath of Camp Batala.
Mr Lok Nath Angra, Senior Superintendent of Police, Batala visited the scene of crime and formed a team which traced the killers in few days and arrested the culprits.
Abdul Ahad used to visit Batala every year in winter along with his Kashmiri colleagues and used to stay in the Camp area here in rented accommodation and sold shawls, lohis, winter clothings etc.
This year too he came to here last month and rented a room in Mrs Keemto's house adjoining Bittu's room who was also staying in rented room.
Bittu watched movements of Abdul Ahad Bhatt and gradually learnt that Abdul had done good business and had large amount. Bittu planned to rob the money. To do this, he contacted his friends Sonu and Sanjy of Jammu, his distant relatives. Both Sonu and Sanjay came and stayed with Bittu on January 10 and after studying the situation went back when they saw that Abdul's colleagues joined Abdul on Lohri. Sonu and Sanjay again came back on January 14 when Abdul was alone at home. On January 14 night Sonu, Sanjay and Bittu went to Abdul's house, who invited them inside and offered tea. All three went in, had tea and according to their plan overpowered Abdul and slit Abdul's throat with a knife. They robbed the money, several thousands, and locked the room from outside as they knew that none would know of murder till Abdul's colleagues arrived on January 17.
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