|P U N J A B||
Saturday, September 25, 1999
Singhs bid to rebut criticism
Woman's murder case entrusted to
remanded in police custody
Controversy over SC youths
FCI inspector suspended
Ultrasound centre told to pay for
"The Only Ones"
celebrate Raising Day
Christians hold protest march
Discipline police, says AISSF
Two dengue cases reported in
BJP MLAs open letter to
Ghuman new general secy of SHSAD
Man selling backdated stamp papers
Harbans Singhs bid to rebut criticism
JALANDHAR, Sept 24 (PTI) In a bid to rebut criticism of the draft Gurdwara Bill 1999, and the proposed amendments to the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections Justice (retd) Harbans Singh has told the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President and the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that an extensive consultative process preceded the exercise and it "should not be allowed to be bogged down by an controversy in the media".
"The community had been clamouring for (an All-India Gurdwara Bill) for the past more than half-a-century and it should not be allowed to be bogged down by any controversy in the media," Justice Harbans Singh had written to Mr Badal, the communication coming close on the heels of a similar letter sent by the former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice to SGPC President Jagir Kaur.
Justice Harbans Singh, who had come under fire from several Sikh institutions after the SGPC and the SAD challenged his authority to send draft of amendments in Gurdwara legislation directly to Union Home Ministry, also sought "an opportunity at an early date to meet you (Badal) and explain the factual position in detail.
He referred to Mr Badal and Bibi Jagir Kaurs stance in his letter.
Justice Harbans Singh started that "there is likelihood that at the Centre, a government inclined to Sikhs, will be formed in the coming days and this chance should not be frittered away".
Defending his decision to divest "sehajdharis" from the right to vote in the Gurdwara elections, he said the previous SGPC and the current SGPC, besides other Sikh organisations have brought to his notice that non-sikhs in their thousands were getting themselves enrolled as voters in the garb of "sehajdharis".
He told Mr Badal that there was a "complete consensus" about the definition of a Sikh, about denying "sehajdharis" the right to vote in Gurdwara poll and a "nearly complete consensus" about ending reservations in the SGPC for Scheduled Castes.
Currently, 20 seats in the 170-member General House of the SGPC are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 30 seats for women.
He further said that various Sikh fora who interacted with him "agreed" that women should be given a reasonable representation in the SGPC. However, in the draft Gurdwara Bill, 1999 the Chief commissioner of Gurdwara elections himself had provided no such provision.
Justice Harbans Singh also apprised Mr Badal about the pressures being exerted by the Union Home Ministry on him for readying the draft of the all-India Gurdwara Bill, 1999, and draft notification for amendments to the existing 1925 Act.
The former chief justice also disclosed in the letter that he had made an official request to the Chief Ministers office in April 1998 asking the state government to form a subcommittee "to consider and advise the commission about the proposed amendments".
"Reminders were sent on September 3, 1998, and January 14, 1999, in which urgency was stressed because the Home Ministry was pressing for comments on the all-India Gurdwara Bill and proposed amendments in 1925 Act, he wrote to the Chief Minister.
The Chief Commissioner
of Gurdwara Elections termed the controversy as
"mostly based on incomplete information and
misunderstanding adding that "I did not
want to be dragged into this controversy and refrained
from making any statement to the media.
Row over WSCs mention
AMRITSAR, Sept 24 The mention of the World Sikh Council (WSC) in the draft of the Sikh Gurdwara Bill, 1999, prepared by Justice (retd) Harbans Singh, Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Election, has sparked off yet another controversy.
While the SGPC says that Justice Harbans Singh should not have mentioned the WSC in the draft Bill as the case pertaining to the council was still pending with Akal Takht. Justice (retd) Kuldip Singh, President, WSC, who is considered a close confidant of Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar, had already appeared before the present Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, on the direction of the Sikh clergy.
Akal Takht, is likely to summon representatives of both factions of the WSC at Akal Takht to sort out the matter.
The sixth chapter of the draft of the Bill reads "the Central Board within a period of six months from the date of commencement of this Act will constitute a body to be known as the Central Religious Body which will comprise the Head Granthi of Darbar Sahib, the Jathedars of the five Takhts. The president of Central Board and the president of the WSC, the Jathedar, Akal Takht, will be the convener of the Central Religious Body constituted under Section 75 may suo motu or on a reference from the Central Board deal with any religious matter of Panthic importance and record its opinion on such religious matters.
While Bhai Ranjit Singh claims that being a "real Jathedar" of Akal Takht he was still a "patron" of the WSC, yet the President of the council, Justice Kuldip Singh, had given due honour to the present Jathedar, Giani Puran Singh, when he appeared at Akal Takht on his directions. Reacting sharply on the moves of Giani Puran Singh, the former Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, had threatened to "recapture" the Akal Takht secretariat.
He had threatened that if Giani Puran Singh would interfere in the affairs of the WSC "unnecessarily, he would recapture the secretariat of the Takht.
Giani Puran Singh had stated that he would summon Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, a former General Secretary of the WSC, and Justice Kuldip Singh at Akal Takht again to sort out the matter pertaining to the council.
Bhai Ranjit Singh said Justice Harbans Singh had aptly mentioned that the president of the WSC should be member of the Central Religious Body. He said while the SGPC represented the Sikhs of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, the WSC belonged to the Sikhs all over the world. However, on the other hand, Mr Kulwant Singh, Secretary, SGPC, Justice Harbans Singh should not have mentioned the WSC in the draft as the formation of the council was still controversial.
It may be mentioned here that the then Jathedar, Bhai Ranjit Singh, had banned the entry of Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Kesgarh Sahib, at Akal Takht till the latter would submit accounts of the WSC to the Takht.
Bhai Ranjit Singh to call
AMRITSAR, Sept 24 Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, has said he will convene a meeting of the representatives of various Sikh organisations, Sikh intellectuals and Sikh sants next week to discuss at length the draft notification regarding amendments in the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, sent by Justice (retd) Harbans Singh, Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, to the Government of India.
Talking to press here today, Bhai Ranjit Singh said the letter written by Justice (retd) Harbans Singh to Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC had made it clear that the Chief Commissioner, Gurdwara Elections, had discussed the draft notification at length before submitting it to the Government of India.
He alleged that Mr Badal was under pressure from the BJP-led Central Government in taking such "anti-Panthic" decision. He alleged that Justice Harbans Singh was being made the "scapegoat" to please the BJP.
Woman's murder case entrusted to
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has entrusted to the CBI the investigation into the murder of Mrs Kirat Kaur, a resident of Patiala's Guru Nanak Nagar.
Allowing a petition preferred by the husband of the deceased, Mr Randhir Singh, Mr Justice T.H.B. Chalapathi directed the Chandigarh branch of the CBI "to complete the investigation of the case as expeditiously as possible and take such steps as are required under the law depending on the result of the investigation."
According to the petitioner, his wife was murdered on October 28, 1997, when he was away from the house and his wife was alone at the house as the children had gone to school.
He told the court that when he returned home for lunch, he found that his wife had been murdered and the house burgled. He reported the matter to the police on October 29, 1997, and an FIR (No 167) was registered the same day. He alleged that the police had not conducted a proper investigation into the case.
The Public Prosecutor's stand was that the investigation was conducted into this case not only by the local police but also by the crime branch under the supervision of Fatehgarh Sahib's Superintendent of Police and also through the Sangrur S.P. However, they could not trace the culprits.
"There is also no denial of the fact that the wife of the petitioner was strangulated and stabbed and the house of the petitioner was ransacked," the Judge observed and added: "Even according to the Public Prosecutor, though four investigations were conducted into this case, they were not able to find the culprits whereas, according to the petitioner, his own neighbours (Mr Ashwani Kumar and Gurbhai Singh who are named as respondents No 5 and 6) were responsible for causing the death of his wife and the burglary at his house".
The Judge noted that the petitioner averred that the third respondent, Mr Kewal Kumar, Superintendent of Police (D), Patiala, was a close friend and associate of Mr Ashwani Kumar, whom he "suspects to be responsible for the crime and, therefore, according to the petitioner proper investigation has not been conducted by the Punjab Police."
Probe into alleged police
RAMPURAPHUL, Sept 24 Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, former MP and CPI candidate from the Bathinda (reserve) Lok Sabha constituency, Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, a former minister and Mr Jagjit Singh Joga, district secretary, CPI today alleged that the police had unleashed a rein of terror on CPI and Congress workers in the area after the poll allegedly at the behest of leaders of the ruling SAD.
Addressing a joint press conference here, they alleged that the local police had implicated a number of Congress and CPI activists in false criminal cases. They added that atrocities were committed on certain workers by the local police.
On the basis of a representation by the leaders the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.R. Ladhar, had ordered an inquiry and Mrs K.P. Brar, AC (Grievances), had been asked to conduct it.
Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Mehraj Basti, in an affidavit alleged that he was beaten up by the police on a complaint of his close relative and was freed only when he paid the "price" for it. Mrs Maya, in an affidavit, submitted to the Deputy Commissioner alleged that her husband, Omi, had been booked under a false case of theft.
She added that she could not fulfil illegal demands of the police to secure the release of her husband who was kept in custody for more than a month and tortured.
Mr Ajaib Singh Kuku, a dhaba owner, alleged that he was picked up by the police from his dhaba located near Dhirkot on August 18, 1999, and taken to the city police station where he was beaten up. He added that though he was booked under a bailable offence, his bail plea was taken up the next day.
The three leaders also demanded that the Station House Officer (SHO), Rampura police station, should be suspended and all those who had faced police atrocities should be suitably compensated.
Mr Mohinder Kumar, SHO when contacted said that the CPI and the Congress had started providing protection to criminals. He pointed out that Mr Jatinder Singh had beaten up his close relative and had also indulged in eve-teasing. Now, he was levelling false allegations against the police.
He added that Mr Kuku was booked for violating the orders of the District Magistrate while Omi who had been booked in a theft case had stolen ghee which had been recovered from him.
SHO remanded in police
ROPAR, Sept 24 The SHO of Anandpur Sahib, Didar Singh, who is a suspect in the custodial death of Devinder Singh, alias Bhola, a 21-year-old truck driver from Hasanpur village, near Kharar, was today remanded in police custody up to September 28 while the remaining three suspects, all policemen are still at large. The three youths, victim of alleged police torture, who were admitted to the emergency ward of the local Civil Hospital, after their medical examination by a board of doctors on September 22, have been shifted to the medical ward.
Devinder Singh, who was arrested along with three youths Inderjit Singh, Sapinder Singh and Karnail Singh of the same village on September 18 on the charge of possessing an assault rifle, died in the custody of CIA staff here while the three youths were released on September 19 by a Kharar court because the police said that no weapon had been recovered from them.
The SHO, Didar Singh, was produced by the police in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr D.S. Malwai, who sent him in police custody up to September 28 here today. Didar Singh was arrested in this case last evening on the basis of preliminary investigations. Gurcharan Singh, a constable, was also remanded in police custody yesterday up to September 28 in this case.
Three other accused Malwinder Singh Malhi, SI of the CIA staff, Manjit Singh, a constable, and Devinder Singh, an SPO in the custodial death case are still at large though the police has despatched raiding parties in different directions to nab them.
Mr J.S. Kahlon, SP (D) here and investigation officer in this case, said that the police had raided the houses of their relatives and others but they could not be located.
Controversy over SC youths
PATIALA, Sept 24 The death of a Scheduled Caste youth in police custody has turned into a major controversy with the district administration ordering a magisterial inquiry into the incident today. Amarjit Singh, alias Kala, was taken to the Shatrana police station from his house at Shadipur Momian village on September 21 following a complaint by three Electricity Department personnel that he had quarrelled with them when they had come to remove an illegal connection a few days back.
Kala died within half-an-hour of being taken on a motor cycle from the village to the police station. While the police claim that he had told personnel at the station that he had consumed celphos tablets, his relatives claim he died under mysterious circumstances in police custody.
According to the deceaseds paternal uncle, Jagpal, a policemen informed them that Kala had consumed poison. He said following this they reached the police station where they were told the body had been taken to the local dispensary. He further said at the dispensary they found Kala in an unconscious state adding that he was taken to Patran and then to Samana but he died on the way. Kala was finally brought to Rajindra Hospital here after villagers gathered at the Civil Hospital at Samana and did not allow the post-mortem examination.
The police has registered an FIR against three Electricity Department officials for compelling Kala to commit suicide. The village sarpanch had been informed about the death and that the deceased committed suicide due to harassment at the hands of the Electricity Department officials. Kalas brother, Amar Singh, on whose behest the FIR has been registered, has now claimed that he did not exactly know how his thumb impression was taken at the police station.
The post-mortem examination of the deceased was finally done at Rajindra Hospital on September 22 under the supervision of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr M.S. Narang, on the demand of residents of his village and a former Congress minister, Mr Hamir Singh Ghagga.
A copy of the report procured by TNS states that there was a lacerated wound near Kalas ear and that there was "mucusal congestal in the distal part of the stomach" which doctors said could be due to a blow in the abdomen. The viscera has been sent for a chemical examination.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, said a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the case by him following a preliminary report given by the tehsildar here. He said the inquiry would be conducted by Samana Sub-Divisional Magistrate Kuldeep Singh.
While the district police chief, Mr H.S. Sidhu, was on leave today, SP (City) N.S. Sekhon said Kala had died after consuming celphos tablets.
FCI inspector suspended
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 The Regional Manager of the Food Corporation of India, Mr P.P. Singh, has ordered the suspension of Mr S.P. Shukla, Quality Inspector, following inspection of a grain market at Kaleke Focal Point in Sangrur district.
The FCI regional office in a statement here today said Mr P.P. Singh, had inspected Bhaini Mehraj, Budber, Dhanula and Kaleke Focal Point grain markets.
During inspection it was found that Mr Shukla allegedly in connivance with the certain commission agents was resorting to short weight filling of bags. The bags were weighed in the presence of officials of the market committee and shortage in certain bags of paddy was upto 500 gm.
The FCI said the market committee authorities had been requested to cancel the licences of the commission agents concerned.
The statement said
recently two other Quality Inspectors, Mr Davinder Singh
and Mr P.K. Sehgal, were found working against the FCI
interests and they were suspended by Mr D.P. Reddy,
Senior Regional Manager.
Ultrasound centre told to pay for
PATIALA, Sept 24 The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed the Bharat Ultrasound, Chotti Baradari to pay Rs 11000 to a complainant for giving wrong ultrasound report.
The complainant Devinder Kumar and moved the consumer court demanding compensation from the ultrasound centre who in a report had declared presence of 8 mm stones in the gall bladder of his wife, Bhupinder Kaur.
The complainant said after the report his wife underwent an operation at a local hospital on July 1997 and then died in December same year. He said doctors who operated her gall bladder did not found any stones in it and thus the operation was unnecessary. He said the operation led to indigestion and other problems which ultimately led to the death of his wife.
He demanded compensation of several lakhs due to emotional and financial loss. Bharat Ultrasound in its reply before the forum said some signs in the gall bladder had led the doctors to conclude presence of stones. They argued that the stones might had been slipped into common bile duct or abdomen during operation or they may had been sucked by the suction pump used during operation or the stones may had been lost when the bladder was opened for laboratory examination after the operation.
The Division Bench
comprising Mr G.S. Khurana, president and Mr Parduman
Bhutani member of the consumer forum cited the evidence
of the doctors who operated the woman and held Bharat
Ultrasound liable to pay a compensation of Rs 10 thousand
for negligence of duty and another Rs 1000 as costs of
the case within a month.
Snag hits Thein project
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 Construction, completion and commissioning of the twin hydroelectric projects, the Ranjit Sagar Dam (Thein) and Shahpur Kandi Dam, should have synchronised. This has not happened.
While the Thein project should have been commissioned by now, it could not be so due to a snag which has developed in two tunnels. The nature of the snag or defect detected in the two tunnels is different and requires a different technology and methodology to carry out repairs.
Enquiries at different levels reveal that the job on the two tunnels was given on contract. Contrary to the contract agreement, there has been cost as well as time over-run in the completion of the works. That no accountability has been fixed, so far, is another story.
In fact Thein Dam itself has had a chequered history. The real work started only in 1985, when New Delhi gave money. Though the inflow of the financial assistance was not enough, it was sufficient to carry on the works. Despite a setback in 1988, when floods caused damage delaying the project by almost one year, ultimately the river was diverted in 1939. The work began on the main dam, which was completed in April last. Small tracts of spillway are yet to be completed.
Just when it was being hoped to commission the first unit, a snag was detected in one tunnel. Even as the board of consultants, headed by Mr R.S. Gill, assessed the situation and struggled to suggest solutions (the board held its last meeting on September 18) another "bulge" was found in the second tunnel.
The time period for which the project commissioning is believed to have received a setback is anyone's guess. But it is hoped that the first unit should get commissioned by January-end or so. But one wonders as to why the Ranjit Sagar Dam project authorities contrary to the suggestions of the board of consultants, was hesitant to takeover civil works and expedite the same remains a puzzle. Moreover, the General Manager, Mr S.L. Garg, a retired Chief Engineer who was appointed after he retired (just the other day he has been given an extension while the code of conduct of the Election Commission was still (operative), it is believed not fully qualified to be General Manager given his experience on canals!
Mr R.S. Gill when contacted by TNS gave the background of the Ranjit Sagar project and how it eventually neared completion. The Thein Dam, as it is popularly known as, would be incomplete without the commissioning of the Shahpur Kandi project, downstream the Ravi. While Thein is a "peaking station", Shahpur Kandi is a "base-load station". This too is intended to be built to serve the dual purpose of irrigation and power generation, he added.
But at the moment all concentration is on the Ranjit Sagar Dam, says Mr Gill, who gave technical details of the snag, how it was intended to be corrected, including the capping of the shaft with a spherical steel bulkhead to stop inflow of water from the reservoir. Even the services of Panjab Engineering College are being used for "software and computer design".
Shahpur Kandi: The foundation stone of this project was laid by Mr P.V. Narasimaha Rao on April 20, 1995. As Prime Minister he had assured "full financial assistance". It is now over four years. The project has not gone beyond the drawing board stage. Those entrusted with the design of this hydroelectric project told TNS that surplus manpower and machinery of Ranjit Sagar Dam has now been moved to Shahpur project site and a semblance of work started some time in May last.
Despite an assurance by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, given at Thein Dam on February 9, 1996, nothing tangible has happened; no money is available for the project, neither from the state nor from the AIBP Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme of New Delhi.
Thus till this project is completed, the diurnal supplies of the Ravi from Ranjit Sagar Dam will continue to go waste and flow to Pakistan. Even if money became available now it will take at least four to five years to complete. It means escalation in cost and a costly loss in terms of power that would have been generated and water that would have been used for irrigation.
According to the Chief Engineer, Shahpur Kandi Dam project, Mr J.S. Randhawa, a concrete dam, 54.5 metres, is to be built. There will be a 7.7 km-long hydel channel and two power houses of 168 MW capacity in a cascade fashion to be constructed on the Ravi, 11 km downstream of Thein Dam. It is 8 km upstream of Madhopur headworks.
Shahpur Kandi, he told TNS, is part of a "chain" of hydroprojects downstream of Thein. It is officially called, "the Ravi project Unit V". giving the statistics of water releases and wastages involved, in the absence of the Shahpur Kandi project, Mr Randhawa said the quantum of water released during peaking of power houses at Thein would be 24,000 cusecs, while, optimum capacity available for canal system talking off from Madhopur is 18,000 cusecs to 19,000 cusecs. Thus water surplus to this capacity has to be released per force downstream of Madhopur," a complete wastage of precious water". That makes crores invested on the Thein project seem to go waste in the absence of or till the Shahpur Kandi project is completed.
Ancilliary projects: As part of the Ravi project Unit V, the following projects are envisaged: besides 168 MW Shahpur Kandi there is a proposal for a 57 MW Shahpur Kandi extension hydel project, 75 MW UBDC (Uppar Bari Doab Canal) project Stage III, 60 MW Mukerian hydel project Stage II and 30 MW Mukerian hydel project Stage III.
The construction and completion of these projects require Rs 3,562 crore. When properly planned, the execution will mean a constant flow of funds annually at the rate of at least Rs 250 crore. In case the AIBP opens its purse, the state share will be around Rs 120 crore.
Regarding hydroelectric potential in Punjab, Mr Randhawa said developed potential was 3,826 MW of which Punjab's share was 2,396 MW. The potential to be developed was 390 MW. In a small profile on "hydro-potential" that Mr Randhawa has brought out, the potential and project profiles are given on river basin-wise: Sutlej, Ravi and Beas. While Bhakhra, Pong Dam and Beas-Sutlej links have been completed, several remain.
He advocates greater exploitation of hydroelectric power over thermal. Countrywide, hydrosphere of power is just 25 per cent.
A recent survey reveals the availability of 84,000 MW "exploitable potential" out of which just 23 per cent is under various stages of being harnessed, a yawning gap of 77 per cent.
"The Only Ones"
celebrate Raising Day
SOMEWHERE IN THE WESTERN SECTOR, Sept 24 All ranks of 131 Air Defence Regiment popularly known as "The Only Ones" celebrated their 32nd Raising Day today.
Raised on September in 1968 at Siliguri as 131 Air Defence Regiment, the unit has a chequered history. Since its inception to this day, the regiment has recorded a number of laudable achievements. The unit participated in operation "Cactus Lily" in the 1971 Pak war operation "Trident", Operation Rakshak I & II and Operations Vyavastha I & II (During Bombay riots in December, 1992 and January, 1993). The unit participated in counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir from August, 1993 to December, 1995. Persons of the unit has been awarded one Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card and even General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Northern Command) Commendation Cards for their gallant actions and unblemished devotion to duty during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Gnr (OPR) Amarjit Singh of 131 AD Regt was awarded "Sena Medal" on August 15, 1999 by the President of India for his gallant action against militants in Jammu and Kashmir during "CI Ops".
The Raising Day
celebrations included special quarter guard function,
sainik sammelan, function at Sarva Dharam Sthal,
entertainment programme and Barakhana for troops,
families, retired officers, JCOs/ORs of the unit and
Officers Mess function. At presently the unit is being
commanded by Col CM Unnithan, the first young officer of
the unit to command one of the finest units in Air
VIP treatment, indeed !
LUDHIANA, Sept 24 The local L.M. Civil Hospital is being used by VIPs admitted here as a centre of rest and recreation.
Although most of the VIP patients admitted are either in police or judicial custody. They are given privileges and comforts which they may have been getting only at home.
Suba Singh, son of Punjab Agriculture Minister Gurdev Singh Badal, who was allegedly involved in the "sex slave case," the granted bail yesterday and was also hospitalised here. It is learnt that during his stay in the hospital he was provided a colour TV, VCR and a cell phone in his room.
On condition of anonymity, senior doctors and para-medical staff of the hospital revealed that even the VIPs were free to organise parties.
The other VIP presently admitted to the hospital is Daljit Singh, son of a close aide of a local Akali MLA. He is admitted along with his friend, Gauravdeep Singh, who were injured in a clash between two rival groups of college students. It is learnt that everyday they are surrounded by friends which created problems for other patients in the ward.
There is another case of Ranjit Singh Talwandi, Chairman of the PSIEC, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case. However, the hospital staff inform that the "five star privileges" enjoyed by him during his month-long stint recently remain unparalleled
To begin with the four-bedded cardiac ward in the trauma centre of the hospital was reserved for his stay. A split air-conditioner was installed and his wife also allowed to stay with him. A paramedic in the hospital revealed that during his stay the rooftop of the trauma centre was used as a "makeshift bar."
When contacted, the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the hospital, Dr Y.C. Markan, expressed his ignorance. "Till the time that our doctors are on duty we do not allow such things to happen. And if such incidents have occurred after the doctors duty hours it has never brought to my notice," he said.
The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, however, said the patients were not allowed to use TV VCR, air-conditioners or other such facilities and were required to make do with the facilities provided by the hospital.
Christians hold protest march
FEROZEPORE, Sept 24 Hundreds of Christians from all over the district today held a protest march from the local CNI church to the Deputy Commissioner's office against the series of attacks on Christians in Gujarat, Orissa and other states.
The protesters were wearing black badges and holding placards depicting slogans such as "cancel report of the Wadhawa Commission", "arrest Dara Singh immediately" and stop atrocities on Christians".
They also held a joint prayer. Later, they gathered outside the DC's office where leaders, including Mr Alvin Bhatti, Mr Piara Gill, pastor C.M. Rustam and pastor Om Parkash addressed them.
A charter of demands presented to the DC by leaders of the Ferozepore District Joint Action Christian Forum. Copies of the memorandum were also sent to the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the State Chief Minister.
The forum demanded the
protection of the minorities, implementation of the
recommendations of the national Minorities Commission
report in the true spirit and not to review the
Constitution as suggested by the BJP.
Discipline police, says AISSF chief
AMRITSAR, Sept 24 Mr Karnail Singh Pirmohamad, president, All-India Sikh Students Federation, has taken a strong exception to the reports of custodial deaths and 'torture' of youths in police custody.
In a press note issued
here yesterday, he urged the Chief Minister to discipline
the police and civil Administration immediately. He
alleged such incidents during the Congress regime had led
to militancy. He demanded compensation for the family of
the youth, who died in police custody in Kharar.
Two dengue cases reported in
LUDHIANA, Sept 24 At least two persons admitted to the local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital are stated to be suffering from dengue fever. With three more patients admitted to the hospital are also showing signs of the disease.
This was stated by Dr G Awasthi, Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine, DMC. However, he pointed out that there was no outbreak of dengue and things were under control.
The Christian Medical College and Hospital had received nine dengue cases during the year. While two of these patients had non haemorrhagic dengue, seven of these had dengue with haemorrhage. When contacted, the Civil Surgeon, Dr (Mrs) Rajinder Kaur, admitted that she had received information regarding the two dengue cases at DMC. "But we are fully prepared to counter this disease and appropriate steps like fogging by use of malathion and DDT, filling up of pits of stagnant water, creating awareness about the disease among the people have been initiated," she assured.
An epidemologist, Dr Ajit Singh Chawla, said that fogging in the disease-prone low-lying areas along the Buddha Nullah like Madhopuri, Ashok Nagar, New Shivpuri, Salem Tabri and Hargobindnagar had been undertaken once by them and again by the municipal corporation. He said the stream lining of the Buddha Nullah this year ensured that there was no leakage of water, thus preventing the spread of this disease as well as malaria.
BJP MLAs open letter
AMRITSAR, Sept 24 The infighting within the BJP here today took a fresh turn when party MLA Laxmi Kanta Chawla in an open letter to Mr Subash Sharma, Mayor, Municipal Corporation here alleged that he (the Mayor) was deliberately ignoring her constituency so far as development of the area was concerned.
She threatened to stage
a dharna in front of the office of Mayor if the
development works in her area were not completed at the
earliest. The copy of the letter was also sent to the
Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and Mr Balram Ji
Dass Tandon, Minister, Local bodies.
Ghuman new general secy of
AMRITSAR, Sept 24 Mr Gurcharn Singh Tohra, President, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) has appointed Mr Jasbir Singh Ghuman, a former president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation, as General Secretary of the party.
Man selling backdated stamp
LUDHIANA, Sept 24 The police has arrested Dhan Raj, alias Sweety for allegedly selling blank backdated stamp papers, thus helping Jatinder Bachan Singh, Parminder Singh and Manoj Bhatia in preparing a forged power of attorney.
It is learnt that
licence of this stamp vendor was cancelled four to five
years ago and he used to cheat people by selling blank
backdated stamp papers to people under fictitious names.
These blank stamp papers were then used for cheating
other people. Dhan Raj is already facing criminal charges
in three different cases.
Robbers kill 1
TARN TARAN, Sept 24 The house owner Sukhdev Singh was killed and his son was injured badly by five unidentified persons who last night forcibly entered a farm house in Jhander Mahapurkhan village falling under Goindwal Sahib police station.
Sources told this correspondent here today that the five persons aged between 20 to 25 years armed with kirpans and other sharp-edged weapons attacked Sukhdev Singh who was sleeping atop the roof and threw him on the ground. He died on the spot. They injured his son Tejpal Singh and took away Rs 5000 and gold jewellery.
AVRC advisory board formed
PATIALA Sept 24 Punjabi University has constituted a high-powered advisory board consisting of eminent scholars and technical experts to reactivate the audio visual research centre (AVRC) in the campus.
AVRC Director S S Khaira in a press not here said the advisory board constituted under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Bir include Director, Doordarshan Jalandhar, Director, North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, Director, AVRC, Roorkee, Dean, Academic Affairs, K.S Dhir and Dean, Research, Dr B.S. Bhatia among others.
Mr Khaira said the
Vice-Chancellor and Dr B.S. Bhatia, Dean, Research and
Director, AVRC, Patiala, had met the UGC Chairman, Dr
Hari Gautam, and requested him to expedite the sanction
so that steps for its reactivation could be taken.
Apology sought from MLA
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 24 Resentment prevails among sarpanches and panches of the Shamchaurasi Assembly segment of this district against Mrs Mohinder Kaur, MLA, for allegedly misbehaving with sarpanch and panches of Ajram village on September 20.
In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr Paramjit Singh, sarpanch, Mr Sarwan Singh, Mr Parkash Singh and Mr Joginder Singh, all panches of the village, said the MLA invited them through the SDO, Rural Subdivision No 4, Hoshiarpur, at PWD rest house vide letter No R-I/756 dated September 14 to discuss the repair and development of link roads in the segment. They said during the meeting no discussion regarding the repair and development of roads was held. They alleged that Mrs Mohinder Kaur and her son, who was also present there, started harassing and threatening the sarpanches and panches who supported the Congress and the BSP during the polling. They further alleged that she pushed them out from the room with the help of her security guard.
Netajis associate dead
BATALA, Sept 24 (PTI) Giani Charan Singh (92) a freedom fighter and an associate of Netaji Subash Chander Bose, died at his native village, Shankerpur, near here on Wednesday.
NRI Sabha's plea to ministry
JALANDHAR, Sept 24 The chairman of the NRI Sabha, Punjab, Mr B.K. Srivastava, has urged the Special Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, to issue instructions to Indian embassies and high commissions in the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Malaysia and other countries to be liberal in granting visas to NRIs visiting Punjab.
Kargil martyrs' kin honoured
PHAGWARA, Sept 24 Kin of nine Kargil martyrs were honoured today and given Rs 10,000 each at a function organised by the local Sher-e-Punjab Cultural Club, the Punjabi Lok Gayak Kalakar Manch and Punjabi magazine, and Film and Music.
Constable commits suicide
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