|Saturday, February 12, 2000,
under ISI pressure to act: DGP
unable to check fake notes
to counter money changers
PSEB to take steps to reduce
Samaj blames Jagir Kaur
Cong: govt policies anti-Dalit
has no agenda: SAD
legal notice to Badal
not against SYL
Civil flying allowed at Halwara
Historic haveli faces demolition
Saraswati puja concludes
seed at concessional rate
officials placed under suspension
or contract killers?
arrested for killing cows
Bid to rob advocate, one arrested
killed in mishap
seminar on writers begins
flour mills close down
Militants under ISI pressure to
GURDASPUR, Feb 11 Terrorists, including Pakistani Muslims, Afghans and Punjabis of our country based in Pakistan, are under ISIs pressure to step up terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and several other parts of our country. Mr Sarabjit Singh, Director-General of Police Punjab disclosed this while talking to reporters here today.
Blasts in train on the Jammu-Kathua railway section yesterday is part of that plan and probably the Khalistan Zindabad Force which masterminded two bus blasts earlier, at Pathankot are involved. The group carrying out blasts is definitely aided by one or two Pakistani terrorists. The DGP said that the Punjab Police had definite information about it.
The DGP added that it was very difficult for Afghans and Kashmiri militants to operate in Punjab because they were easily identified. In Punjab infiltrations in the past, have taken place through Khem Karan in Amritsar district and Muthianwala in Ferozpore district because the border here had bulges at these places. The other areas through which the militants entered India included via Nepal and some countries of Europe.
Mr Sarabjit Singh said that it was very difficult for Pakistani militants to enter Punjab through Himachal.
Though in a blast near Chamba by Pakistani intruders long ago was due to the ties of Gujjars of Chamba district and that of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir which was hot bed of militancy.
The DGP said that
inter-state meetings with the police of Jammu and Kashmir
and Rajasthan yielded good results. The Rajasthan police
co-operated with us as a result of which Jarnail Singh, a
hardcore militant was arrested by the Bathinda police.
The Jammu and Kashmir police helped the Punjab Police in
solving various intelligence matters which the DGP
declined to divulge due to security reasons.
Banks unable to check fake
FEROZEPORE, Feb 11 Banks in this border district are not yet equipped with modern tools to examine the counterfeit currency being smuggled from Pakistan.
Even as the threat persists in the district on account of several riverine gaps along the international border, a quick survey revealed that most banks are either dependent on ultraviolet lamps or general instructions to differentiate between the real and counterfeit currency.
While more handy tools such as ultraviolet torch or special dye pens are being used the world over to examine the authenticity of currency, the local banks are increasingly relying on conventional means.
However, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) team is learnt to have visited the city to brief the bankers on how to examine the currency notes with the help of water mark, brail features and security thread. While this has helped the bank officials to some extent, the higher authorities have not yet provided them with the modern tools.
Besides, active coordination with the police is also missing. Although a couple of bank officials admit to having received fake currency notes in the past several months, they did not approach the police fearing harassment to their clients. Instead of seeking the police help in finding out the source, the bank officials on their own destroyed the currency.
While this help in preventing the fake currency from coming in circulation, a section within the Police Department feels that the coordination could have helped in tracking down the source. The police also blames banks for lack of awareness among the public, especially those into cash dealing.
A State Bank of India official agreed that the level of awareness was particularly low among the rural customers. This is evident from the fact that some farmers had refused to accept Rs 500 notes, citing smuggling of high denomination currency as reason.
While the Ferozepore Range DIG, Mr Hardeep Dhillon, appreciated the daily briefing by the RBI on the subject through television, he urged that special efforts be made to bring about awareness among the common man here. It takes only a fraction of time to detect the currency. We only need to engage community in the awareness drive even at school level, he advised.
Relating his experience during a US visit in early 90s, Mr Dhillon said, The stores and gas tank owners there are habitual of examining the currency notes of bigger denomination through dye pens.
In the absence of special training to the cops on the subject, the policemen at the grassroots are also dependent on the banks. Giving a demonstration to TNS on the subject, Mr Dhillon disclosed that he too had learnt about detection of bank currency during a special lecture by CBI.
The local police was sensitised after a big haul of fake currency worth about Rs 16 lakh in the district almost a year ago. General awareness is, however, lacking at the grassroots level, especially when the cops are shouldering extra responsibility to check counterfeit currency at various checkposts.
In such a situation, the
police is also taking the help of villages panchayats
along the international border, asking them to report
cases of heavy money transaction, involving
Steps to counter money
ATTARI, Feb 11 The minutes of a coordination committee meeting of the agencies working at Attari Railway Station Customs reveal that the menace of fake currency is not a recent phenomenon. The minutes of the meeting held here on October 23 last year, had decided to strengthen vigil in wake of circulation of fake currency notes and illegal activities of money changers from across the border. Yet the authorities concerned made little efforts to implement the decision.
The meeting was attended by the Superintendent of police Immigration, Mr Rajesh Jindal, Deputy Commissioner Customs, Simarjit Singh, DSP immigration, S.K. Madan, Station Superintendent, Mr Lakha Singh, SHO, GRP, Mr Banarsi Das Sub-inspector IC GRP and Mr V.K. Mahajan, Superintendent Preventive (Customs). The authorised money changers at the Attari station had also attended the meeting.
However, the local customs and security agencies coordinated efforts actively after the Delhi Police had nabbed some Pakistani nationals carrying fake currency notes and narcotics in the last week of January during run-up to the Republic Day celebrations for taking extra security steps.
As part of stepped up vigil, the Customs Department here evolved innovative methods to defeat designs of the unscrupulous money changers at Lahore station who have been luring innocent passengers bound for India by offering attractive rates for changing Pakistani currency. The wandering money changers at Lahore are reportedly working at the behest of the ISI.
The Customs authorities have put-up wooden boxes at platform number two with caution painted on it which reads to escape imprisonment, deposit fake Indian currency in the box. The senior officers have, however, clarified anyone depositing the fake currency would not be questioned. During search if any currency was found, strict action would be taken.
Customs officials found notes pasted inside the base of the bags which could not be detected even by the newly installed X-ray machines. In wake of the changed modus operandi of the unscrupulous elements, the Customs officials have to check the empty bags carefully, in some cases on suspicion. They had to tear the bags which bring the wrath of the passengers. In such cases, passengers exchange hot words with officials.
The charter pasted on
the station showing courtesy at the time of physical
search has vanished from the platform. The citizens
charter clearly mentions to extend courtesy and seek
prior approval before physically checking those coming
from across the border. Another point of the charter
demands right to passengers for physical checking of the
official concerned himself before allowing his own
search. The idea behind the charter was to minimise of
harassment to the passengers.
PSEB to take steps to reduce
ROPAR, Feb 11 Mr G.S. Sohal, Chairman, Punjab Electricity Board (PSEB), while admitting that power theft in the state was making the board sick, yesterday said the PSEB would initiate measures to reduce losses which were Rs 950 crore in 1998-99. Talking to mediapersons here, the Chairman said as part of its plan to reduce the losses, the board would install electronic meters in phases in the state. There were 49 lakh consumers. Therefore, Rs 490 crore was required to replace the existing meters. He said the replacement process had already started in Ludhiana while it would start in Patiala soon.
He also said the board would install computers at each substation to have complete record of power distribution and 11 KV feeders would be covered under this plan. He said the PSEB also planned to involve panchayats in the distribution of power after installing a main meter outside each village so that power theft could be stopped. He also disclosed that the board was going to start this scheme in Patiala district on an experiment basis.
Mr Sohal also disclosed that the PSEB had not received any subsidy from the Punjab government against free power supply. He also said in view of the financial crunch, there was no proposal to privatise the board. However, he added that if any such proposal came to the board from the government, it would be considered.
The Chairman also said the demand for power had been increasing by 8 per cent to 10 per cent in the state every year. So, the board needed 400 MW more power every year and it could be generated by spending Rs 1600 crore.
Mr Sohal also stated that the board had initiated talks with banks so that consumers could deposit their power bills there instead of at counters of the PSEB. He said the board had also suggested to the government to set up police stations to enable the PSEB to deal with power theft and other such cases.
Regarding the detection of a multi-crore fraud in the employees provident fund (EPF) of the workers engaged through contractors for the Ropar thermal plant, Mr Sohal said he had sent a three member team headed by Mr K.R. Rawra, Chief Auditor of the PSEB to check the record, and after the report of this team the board would discuss the matter with Regional Employees Provident Fund Commissioner (REPFC) for further proceedings.
However, the board on
its own could not lodge an FIR against the contractors.
Sant Samaj blames Jagir Kaur
AMRITSAR, Feb 11 Acting president of the Gurbani Sidhaant Sant Samaj, Sant Mangal Singh has held SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur responsible for two attempted assaults on the Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Puran Singh in last one week one at Amritsar on Wednesday and other earlier at Ropar as tirade between supporters of the Jathedar and SGPC president continued unabated.
Giani Puran Singhs life is not safe as Bibi Jagir Kaur has conspired assaults on the Jathedar at the behest of certain anti-Sikh forces in foreign countries.
Besides assaults these forces have plans to create a rift among the Sikhs on one hand and between Hindus and Sikhs on the other, he claimed while talking to reporters here today.
Sant Mangal Singh referring to the incident on Wednesday said that Giani Puran Singh was not actually assaulted but two youths entered the house of the Jathedar with this intention and nabbed before they could act. Two youths who were caught from his house have been remanded in judicial custody.
Sant Mangal Singh, who is considered as right hand man of the Jathedar further alleged that Bibi Jagir Kaur had received money from foreign agencies for such assaults.
Sant Mangal Singh, elaborating, said that Bibi Jagir Kaur had gone in ekantvaas only to conspire attacks on the Jathedar whereas her close associates were busy in propaganda campaign against the Jathedar through statements purported to have been issued by her supporters both from inside and outside the country. Instead of appearing before the Akal Takht she preferred to go underground only for these reasons, he asserted.
He claimed that a meeting of her supporters held at the house of Mr Jaswinder Singh, SGPC member was also attended by the Jathedar of Anandpur Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh. Mr Jaswinder Singh later sent to press some statements wherein removal of the Jathedar was sought.
Sant Mangal Singh was of the firm view that Giani Puran Singh would be removed from his office soon after the Nawanshahr Punjab Vidhan Sabha byelection and said that Bibi Jagir Kaur would not appear before the Akal Takht until her yesman was installed as new jathedar for seeking her return to Sikh fold.
Sant Mangal Singh said that Bibi Jagir Kaur was ignorant of the democratic norms of the SGPC otherwise she should have submitted her resignation on being excommunicated. He further said that she could not appear before the Takht by continuing in her post. She would have to quit her post, he added.
Sant Mangal Singh demanded action against all four Sikh head priests for opposing the hukamnama issued by Giani Puran Singh from Guna and was of the view that the Jathedars of Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh respectively were tainted persons and as such they should not be kept in their posts.
Sant Mangal Singh evaded questions as to why the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Barjindar Singh, Managing Editor of a Punjab daily of Jalandhar had not appeared before the Akal Takht as per the hukamnama issued by the then Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh on December 31, 1998 when Giani Puran Singh had categorically said that hukamnama once issued could not be reviewed and must be obeyed.
He claimed that both
Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh had sought review
of the hukamnama under which the former SGPC
president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra was absolved of the
charges of maintaining links with Nirankaris during the
last General election.
Cong: govt policies anti-Dalit
JALANDHAR Feb 11 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has accused the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata party coalition government of pursuing anti-Dalit policies in the state.
Addressing a press conference here today, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, the leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), said the government had not shown any interest to implement the policies and programmes aimed at Dalit welfare, which had led to resentment among Scheduled Castes.
He said the indifference of the government could be judged from the fact that not a single penny had been spent by the government out of the Rs 220 crore special component plan aimed at welfare of Dalits. So much so that the stipends to Dalits school students have been stopped, alleged Mr Chaudhary. He further said the Punjab Chief Minister, before coming to power, had promised that 12000 housing units would be constructed for people belonging to Scheduled Castes at a cost of Rs 60 crore every year, but so far the government had spent only Rs 1.5 crore towards this end.
Not only this, the shagun scheme initiated by the government had virtually proved to be a fiasco as thousands of applications have been lying unattended with the Deputy Commissioners, but nothing is being done towards this end, alleged Mr Chaudhary. He alleged that the government was not doing anything to fill the backlog of 32000 post reserved for SCs which have been lying vacant in various government offices.
Mr Chaudhary said the poll campaign of the BSP, which had refused to contest election initially, was virtually being funded by the ruling SAD-BJP combine, so that the poll prospects of the Congress could be marred.
Mr Chaudhary alleged
that the ruling SAD-BJP were defying the election code of
conduct by misusing the official machinery.
Mr Badal went to the extent of threatening the
brick kiln owners and depot holders to vote in favour of
his candidate from Nawanshahar Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha,
during a meeting at the Phillaur rest house,alleged
Congress has no agenda: SAD
NAWANSHAHR, Feb 11 Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, and Mr Natha Singh Dalam, Public Relations Minister at a joint press meeting here today, while lambasting the Congress alleged that it was a directionless party without any concrete agenda, except criticising Mr Parkash Singh Badal.
They further alleged that the Congress, after winning the Lok Sabha elections, had failed to represent the aspirations of the Punjabis.
Reacting to the allegations of corruption against being levelled against the Chief Minister by the PPCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh, the SAD minister alleged that it was Congress leaders who had brought disgrace to the whole nation due to their involvement in corruption cases. In Punjab, as many as 12 Congress ministers had been indicted in corruption cases by the Lok Pal, they alleged.
The Finance Minister, while rejecting the demand of the PPCC President for imposition of financial emergency and issuance of White Paper on the states economy, claimed that there was no fiscal crisis in the state.
Instead, the SAD-BJP government had mobilised revenue, he claimed.
The state government had
increased Sales and Excise Tax collections and small
saving collection, he further claimed.
Congs legal notice to
CHANDIGARH, Feb 11 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committees senior leaders, including Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Harminder Singh Jassi and Mr Upinder Sharma, have served a legal notice on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for making false allegations against the Congress.
The Congress leaders in the notice have claimed that the charges levelled by Mr Badal against the Congress were baseless and motivated to defame the party.
They said the charges, including that the Congress was responsible for the financial ruin of the state, allegations of corruption against Congress leaders, and holding the Congress responsible for happenings in 1984 levelled by Mr Badal had hurt the feelings of Congressmen and aimed at lowering the prestige of the Congress.
Mr Badal has been asked
through the legal notice to withdraw, contradict or
disown the derogatory statements against the Congress
within 15 days failing which legal proceedings will be
initiated against him.
Punjab not against
NANGAL, Feb 11 If the Prime Minister intervenes to solve the SYL canal issue, it will be beneficial for Punjab and Haryana. The government of both states have full faith in the Prime Minister, said Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Civil Supplies and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Punjab, while talking to reporters here today. Mr Mittal was here on a visit to his constituency.
He added that the Punjab
government was not against the completion of the SYL
canal. It wants that Punjab should get its full share of
Sutlej water and the interests of the farmers in the
state are protected. So, if the Prime Minister can work
out a solution in which the interests of both the states
are protected, as he had done during the Cauvery accord,
it will benefit both states.
Civil flying allowed at Halwara
CHANDIGARH, Feb 11 The Ministry of Defence has allowed the use of Halwara Air Force aerodrome for civil flying. The authorities have permitted that the airport authority can construct a separate enclave for civilian passengers on the periphery of the airport in consultation with the Air Force.
Meanwhile, in the general body meeting of the Punjab Civil Aviation Authority, it was been decided that the fresh authority could explore the possibility of a joint venture for providing the facility for civil flights at Halwara airport, says a press note.
To boost civil aviation in Punjab, the government has now decided to introduce Cessna 152 and Cessna 172 type aircraft in the existing fleet. These are considered to be the best for training. These will cost Rs 1 crore each.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Civil Aviation department said the government had 16 Pushpak trainer-aircraft for basic training out of which only three were serviceable. In addition, one Bonaza aircraft for advanced flying training was lying unserviceable. There are three Cessna 152 aircraft, two operational and one grounded. It was felt that as the existing fleet of Pushpak aircraft had become old and spares were not available in the international/domestic markets. Therefore, it was decided to replace them.
The spokesman in a press note said the government had decided to replace these aircraft as per the requirements of the civil aviation clubs at Patiala, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. Each club will atleast have three or four serviceable aircraft so that clubs could generate their own revenue to meet their expenditure.
It was also planned to switch over to nosewheel type aircraft to compete with the latest trend in the flying training scenario, as the tail-wheel aircraft (Pushpak type) were considered obsolete.
To streamline the functioning of civil aviation, the Punjab Government has set up a Punjab Civil Aviation Authority; which has brought all the existing flying clubs, Aircraft Maintenance Engineering College and the government workshop under one umbrella. This interaction and coordination among the various clubs would lead to more productivity and efficiency.
The Department of Civil
Aviation was also overseeing air travel facilities to the
Chief Minister, Governor and other VIPs. One VIP
aircraft, King Air C-90, is being used for the purpose.
One helicopter has also been hired for the VIPs.
Jagmohan visits shrines
AMRITSAR, Feb 11 The Union Minister for Urban Development, Mr Jagmohan, today paid obeisance at the Golden Temple. He also visited Durgiana Mandir to pay obeisance and later laid wreaths at the Jallianwala Bagh.
On his maiden visit to this city after taking over as a Union Minister, Mr Jagmohan first visited the sanctum sanctorum of the golden temple and then went around the parikarma.
Mr Jagmohan was accompanied, among others, by Mr Tarlochan Singh, Vice-Chairman of the Minorities Commission, the eminent journalist, Mr Kuldip Nayyar, the Mayor of Amritsar, Mr Subhash Chander Sharma, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, and the BJP state president, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi.
The Union Minister was honoured with a model of the Golden Temple and sirpoa by the SGPC secretary, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan. Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, MP, was also present.
Mr Jagmohan was also honoured by the Durgiana Mandir Managing Committee, Mr R.L. Bhatia, MP, was present there.
At Jallianwala Bagh, the
minister laid a wreath at the flame of
liberty to pay homage to the martyrs.
Historic haveli faces demolition
PATIALA, Feb 11 As part of its policy of selling land for its optimum use, the State Government is all set to pull down the almost 200-year-old Kaurji ki Haveli near Amar Ashram here.
The haveli, a sprawling and majestic structure, is one of the five prime locations identified in the city by the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) to be sold under the optimum land use policy of the Government for generating much-needed funds. A big part of the historic Quila Mubarak and five out of nine gates at various entry points of the city have already been demolished.
The PUDA has taken over the haveli. Families of government employees, especially of the Public Works Department, who used to reside here, have shifted out. The remaining families are about to shift. Steps to invite tenders for demolishing the structure have been initiated.
Mr A.S. Miglani, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said the demolition of the haveli is on the anvil. He said the policy aimed at generating funds by selling unutilised and neglected government property. The funds generated would be used for development works, he added.
The haveli was built in 1805 by Maharaja Karam Singh as a house for his younger son at a cost of Rs 5 lakh. In 1857, Kaur Sahib, the younger brother of Maharaja Narinder Singh, assisted Bahadur Shah Zafar. After Zafar was defeated by the British, the East India Company asked Maharaja Narinder Singh to hand over Kaur Sahib, declaring him a fugitive of war. The ruler of Patiala pleaded that Kaur Sahib had renounced the world and taken to spiritualism, whereupon it was decided that he should leave the state.
He left for Hardwar and became a saint. His wife, Ammiji Chahalanwale, shifted to Quila Mubarak, after which the haveli was converted into the administrative nucleus of Patiala state. The nazims of Patiala nizamat too held court here. This continued till this administrative set-up was shifted to DCs office complex in 1955. The haveli became a residential complex for government employees.
According to Mr Manmeet S.P. Singh, an art teacher, the haveli has rare architectural value. He said its majestic structure, two large courtyards and beautiful masonry work was better than those of Quila Mubarak. He lamented that while Rajasthan had renovated havelis and converted these into attractive tourist resorts, Punjab never understood their value. He added that the haveli, built of brick and lime, was crumbling.
Not only do art aficionados oppose the demolition of the building, but a few officials in the district administration have pleaded in meetings that the building be spared. Mr Miglani brushed aside all opposition to demolishing the building. He said there was no money to preserve and renovate it. He argued that the PWD had declared it unsafe and the Department of Conservation and Archives had not declared the haveli a protected monument.
Mr Miglani said a number
of persons had met him with pleas of not demolishing the
building. They had argued it came under a Supreme Court
ruling declaring all more than 100-year-old buildings
protected ones, but no one had been able to produce any
supporting documents, he stated.
Development funds released
PATIALA, Feb 11 The Planning Board of the district met here today and passed a number of development schemes for the city. It also released a few instalments of funds.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, said in press note that the under-bridge construction at 22 humber phatak here would finally start as Rs 10 lakh had been provided to initiate steps for the project. He said the board had also released Rs 10 lakh for carpeting and repair of a ring road around the city, from Rajpura chungi to Sanaur. The road is used by heavy vehicles as a bypass for travelling to Sangrur or Chandigarh.
The widening of a railway barrier near Capital theatre would also start shortly. The board released Rs 32 lakh to the Municipal Corporation for carrying out several works, like repair and widening of roads. In order to give a fillip to tourism, the board approved a scheme of erecting barbed wire around Rajindra lake. Mr Bir said the barbed wire would help in preventing people from throwing garbage into the lake. He added that two parking lots on the Mall Road, near the lake, had also been approved.
Under the ongoing beautification work in the city, the board released funds for widening of roads, planting of ornamental trees and laying of flower beds near Mall Road.
Special funds were
earmarked for a beautification plan near Rajindra
Hospital on the Patiala-Sangrur road. Mr Bir said
encroachments near the hospital site had been removed and
barbed wire had been erected to prevent further
encroachments. The board passed a tree plantation plan
near the hospital. He said neem and perpal trees would be
planted to help keeping the environment clean.
Teachers stir hits work
PATIALA, Feb 11 Teaching work in medical and dental colleges here remained suspended as medical teachers began a strike to protest against non-payment of arrears of revised pay scales to them.
Dr Ravinder Singh, Secretary of the Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers, said in a press note that a semester exam of MBBS could not be conducted. No classes were taken and the training programme of interns was also affected.
He said teachers had been forced to take this action as the Government had not implemented its assurance of giving arrears to teachers. He said all other Government employees had received their arrears.
He added that the
teaching community was upset over the apathetic attitude
of the Government as interest on the arrears had been
lost. The association reiterated its threat to stop all
OPD work in Government Hospitals in the state if the
Government did not accept its demands.
Employees hold dharna
AMRITSAR, Feb 11 On a call given by the Employees Coordination Committee, Ajnala, and the Nagar Panchayat Mulazam Action Committee, Ajnala, nearly 500 government employees staged a dharna in front of the Nagar Panchayats office.
The dharna was held in
protest against the dismissal of 44 employees of the
Nagar Panchayat, Ajnala. The employees also held a rally
in front of the SDMs office.
Saraswati puja concludes
PHILLAUR, Feb 11 A three-day Saraswati puja was concluded here today.
Thousands of VP and
Bihar migrants held a religious procession along with
idols of Saraswati Devi. Later the idols were submerged
in the Sutlej.
Cotton seed at concessional
CHANDIGARH, Feb 11 The Punjab Government expects 10 lakh bales of cotton this year out of the 4.65 lakh hectares of total area under cultivation, as compared to 5.95 lakh bales out of 4.62 lakh hectares in 1998-99.
A government press note said cotton seeds would be provided to the farmers at subsidised rates, at Rs 300 a quintal, and spray pumps would be given at half the rate.
measures have helped improve cotton projects, it added.
3 officials placed under
CHANDIGARH, Feb 11 The Deputy Director, Food and Supplies, Ferozepore, Mr Inderdeep Singh; the Divisional Food and Supplies Controller, Muktsar, Mr K.C. Kajal; and the Divisional Manager, Punsup, Muktsar, Mr Salim Zuferi; have been placed under suspension with immediate effect due to alleged malpractices committed by them in the allotment of paddy for 1999 to the defaulter rice millers of Muktsar district, a press note said.
Mr Madan Mohan Mittal,
Punjab Food and Supplies Minister, has in the meantime
warned the officials of the department not to indulge in
malpractices otherwise erring, delinquent employees would
be dealt with severely.
Cops or contract killers?
FARIDKOT, Feb 11 In a bizarre incident, two police constables of this district and a retired constable allegedly acted as contract killers for a resident of Khatra village in Ludhiana district and killed his son, Bahadur Singh, in lieu of supari (contract money).
Police sources said that the mysterious murder of Bahadur Singh was solved by the Samrala police recently with the arrest of the two other accused in the case.
The sources added that Bahadur Singh, who allegedly had a property dispute with his father and brother, was strangulated and his body thrown into a canal.
To execute the killing of Bahadur Singh, his father, brother and another relative engaged the retired cop, Ramsaroop, a resident of Kotkapura town. Ramsaroop further engaged two serving constables of the Punjab police posted at Jaitu police station for the job.
The accused allegedly paid Rs 1.80 lakh as contract money. The accused hired a Tata Sumo from Kotkapura town and went to Khatra village.
The accused allegedly forcibly picked up Bahadur Singh and brought him here on June 19, 1999. After reaching near this town, they allegedly strangulated Bahadur Singh and threw his body into the canal.
To mislead the family of the deceased, the accused spread a rumour that he had been taken into custody by the Uttar Pradesh police. However, the Samrala police, which got information about the incident, registered a case and started making investigations.
Police investigations revealed that Bahadur Singh was got murdered by his father and brother by hiring contract killers. Later on, the accused threw away the dead body into the canal.
Dr Arun Oaran, SSP, Faridkot, while confirming the involvement of the two cops of district in the murder, said that the district police had yet to get full details from the Samrala police.
He added that the two
cops had been absent from duty ever since the matter came
9 arrested for killing
FAZILKA, Feb 11 Tension has gripped the town bordering Pakistan following the killing of 12 cows late last night by 11 persons.
Police sources said that 11 persons, out of which nine had been arrested, allegedly poisoned to death the cows to remove their hide for sale purpose market.
Sources said the suspects most of whom were contractors gave poison to the stray cows on the Fazilka-Bikaner road last night. Mr Hari Krishan, whose one cow was also killed lodged a formal complaint to the police.
Mr Jaspal Singh Dhanoa, SP (D), Ferozepore and Mr Ajay Maluja, DSP, conducted raids at various places and arrested the nine persons who were identified as Balwinder, Darshan Lal, Prem Kumar, Thakur Dass, Pawan Kumar, Kira Ram, Behadur Ram, Jyoti Kumar, Deepak. The two other accused, who women had been identified as Krishna and Seema.
Mr Maluja said bodies of the cow had been sent to veterinary hospital.
Mr Vajrang Lal Gupta, President, Municipal Council, said prompt action taken by the police in arresting the culprits had saved the city from a law and order problem. He said that all accused were related to each other.
Mr Maluja said that the
situation was normal and that a case under Section 429
IPC and Section 8 of the Punjab Cow Slaughter Prohibition
Act had been registered in this regard.
Bid to rob advocate, one
ROPAR, Feb 11 Jarnail Ram alias Jailla, a member of a four-member gang, which made an attempt to snatch Rs 1.55 lakh from an advocate in Sector 24 at Chandigarh yesterday, was arrested by the Anandpur Sahib police after chasing a Maruti car from Agampur Chowk at Anandpur Sahib to Pojowal village in Balachaur Sub-division while another unidentified member of this gang known as Baba (32) committed suicide by shooting himself on his temple. Two other members of the gang, Santokh Singh alias Sukha of Saloh village and Billa alias Dheera escaped.
The police has seized one .12 bore pistol and some live and used cartridges from them.
Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, told reporters here today that on receiving a wireless message regarding the snatching attempt in Chandigarh, the SHO Anandpur Sahib Mr Tarlochan Singh along with police party laid a naka the previous day at Agampur chowk. On seeing a while Maruti car they signalled it to stop but the occupants fired on the police party and fled. The SHO chased them while the driver of the Maruti car lost control of the vehicle near Pojowal and the car stopped in the kutcha area near the road.
He said three occupants of the car ran towards forests while one remained in the car and he shot himself before the police reached him. He said the police party chased the three and nabbed Jarnail Ram. He also said the police had raided the houses of other two persons who had escaped.
Mr Bhullar said the Baba reportedly belonged to the Samrala area and appeared to be a terrorist. Jarnail Ram alias Jailla, is a resident of Bersian village in Nawanshahr district.
The SSP said the Anandpur Sahib police has registered a case under Section 307/34 of the IPC and the 25 Arms Act. He also said the names of Anandpur Sahib police party were being sent to higher police authorities for honouring them with Commendation Certificates Class-I.
Mr Bhullar said the Chamkaur Sahib police had also busted a gang of robbers which had committed several small robberies in the area. The police had arrested two member of this gang namely Gurmail Singh alias Mela and Jagdish Singh alias Disha, both residents of Tapprian Amar Singh. The police had recovered snatched cash and gold earrings from Gurmail Singh, and a .12 bore country-made pistol and two live cartridges from Jagdish Singh.
The SSP said a member of
this gang Ramdev Bhaia was still at large.
Girl killed in mishap
AMRITSAR, Feb 11 Nidhi Sharma (15) died on the spot while her father and mother sustained serious injuries while their car collided with a truck near Beas yesterday.
The deceased was niece
of Mr Ashwani Sharma, press photographer working with
Hind Samachar group of newspapers. The injured Mr Bhola
Nath Sharma and his wife Ms Reva Sharma were rushed to
the local private hospital in serious condition.
UGC seminar on writers begins
LUDHIANA, Feb 11 A two-day UGC-sponsored national seminar on Major concerns of Indian writers in English and Punjabi began at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College here today.
The seminar was inaugurated by Prof Prem Singh of Delhi University, who exhorted writers to use the regional dialect as the medium of expression so that they could reach out to a bigger audience.
Dr J.S. Puar, former
Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, also
32 flour mills close down
LUDHIANA, Feb 11 Thirty-two of the 56 flour mills in Punjab have closed down because of the lop-sided taxation policies of the state government.
Stating this here today at a press conference, Mr Gopal Bhushan Gupta and Mr Harmeet Singh Batra, president and vice-president respectively, of the Punjab Roller Flour Mills Association said that the remaining 24 flour mills still functioning were operating between 20 per cent and 24 per cent of their installed capacity.
Mr Gupta and Mr Batra said that the high issue price fixed by the Government of India together with the 12.5 per cent tax on wheat imposed by the government of Punjab had made the flour mills totally unviable. If the government did not take remedial measures immediately, the remaining 24 mills too would be forced to closed down completely, pushing the industry into a deep crisis.
They said that most of
the mills had failed to pay instalments of loans taken
from financial institutions.
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