|Thursday, April 13, 2000,
Samjhauta be derailed?
on Samjhauta tomorrow
leaders call for peace
men mum on meetings agenda
to provide for education in Punjab schools
MLAs speak up in Badals presence
to launch stir against Punjab Govt
pact to continue: Sodhi
session on April 27
illegal marriage palaces abound
procurement delay resented
unaware of Army operation
currency gang busted
held in murder case
students get degrees
named after martyr
to make 300 high-speed coaches by 2001
Will Samjhauta be derailed?
AMRITSAR, April 12 Even though the Government of Pakistan has threatened to stop the Samjhauta Express, which runs between India and Pakistan twice a week, from April 15, the Railways has not received any official intimation in this regard so far.
Sources said any decision to stop the train by either India or Pakistan would earn the wrath of lakhs of Muslims in both countries.
The Samjhauta Express, which is known as the train of emotions, is very popular as it suits economically backward people of both countries. The train fare is much less than the bus and the air fares.
However, the pumping of fake Indian currency notes, smuggling of narcotics and other contraband reportedly through the train had earned it a dubious distinction.
Over the years the train has become convenient for smugglers, carriers and ISI to carry out their activities . This was the reason why Home Minister L.K. Advani announced that the Government of India was reviewing the running of the Samjhauta Express and the Lahore-Delhi bus.
Citing reasons for the suspension of the train, the Government of Pakistan has claimed that the Indian Railways has not been providing rolling stock for six months alternatively since 1994 as provided in the joint agreement. The Government of India must honour the agreement signed between the countries in 1991, asked Pakistan.
It may be mentioned that about two lakh people from both countries travel in the Samjhauta Express every year.
The Pakistan Railways is reportedly annoyed at the rummaging through the train at Attari by various sister agencies at Attari. The intelligence agencies and custom officials are not taking any risk. After opening cavities in the train, officials had found contrabands in the past. In case, the Indian Railways were to provide the rolling stock for six months alternatively, same treatment is likely to be meted out by the Paksitans intelligence agencies and custom officials.
Even though the future of the Samjhauta Express hangs in the balance, ironically the passenger traffic and import and export has increased. According to Mr S.K. Madan, Station Superintendent, the passenger traffic had increased considerably in the past few months.
The number of passengers coming from Pakistan had come down to 276 on March 16. However, the number increased to 484 in the next train which arrived at Attari on March 20. After these two trains, the passenger traffic was recorded to be normal. It increased to 813 as on March 23 and 804 on March30. Similarly, the number of goods wagons exchanged between the two countries were 344 in October last year. However, this number increased to 917 during the past month.
Mr Om Parkash Latti,
chairman of the Indo-Pak Import Export Association, said
the Pakistan and Indian Governments should realise that
the train would adversely affect import and export
between the two countries.
Talks on Samjhauta tomorrow
ATTARI, April 12 To discuss the smooth running of the biweekly Samjhauta Express train, a high-level meeting between the Indian Railways and the Pakistan Railways has been fixed for April 14 at the zero line on the Indo-Pak Wagah border. The meeting, which would be attended by senior railways officials of Delhi and Islamabad, would be held in the BSFs conference room (on the Indian side).
Mr Salimul Rehman, Divisional Superintendent of the Pakistan Railways, Lahore, in a communication to the Railways Board, New Delhi, has confirmed the holding of the proposed meeting. The government of India has also conveyed its consent to the meeting.
The emergency meeting has to be fixed in wake of the threat by the Government of Pakistan that the train would be stopped from April 15 if the Indian Government failed to honour the agreement signed between the two countries to provide rolling stock for six months alternatively.
However, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, President, All-India Anti-Terrorist front, has urged the government not to hold any meeting with Pakistan.
The Pakistani Government says that India is not providing rakes.
According to sources,
India may agree to provide the rakes for six months on
alternative basis as per the agreement signed between the
two countries. The train has been running between
Amritsar and Lahore and the rolling stock was provided by
both countries alternatively. However, after demolition
of Babri Masjid in December 1992 the Indian train was
attacked in Pakistans territory. With the result,
the Government of India had to discontinue the service.
However, the train service was resumed after few days in
1993 and the Centre decided not to send its rakes to
Pakistan for obvious reasons. The train was also made
biweekly instead of a daily one.
Religious leaders call for peace
ANANDPUR SAHIB, April 12 In the presence of representatives from various religions, including Jews, Bahais, Jains, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, the Sarb Dharam Sammelan lauded the sacrifices of the Sikh Gurus and the Sikh philosophy, emphasised on non-violence, earning ones livelihood with honesty, living in harmony with nature and spreading the message of love, peace, brotherhood and respect for all religions.
The sammelan was held at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib here today under the aegis of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, which has been organising the three-day programmes in connection with the concluding ceremonies of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa since yesterday.
Earlier, the sammelan was to be held in the main pandal erected near the Takht by the SGPC to hold its three-day programmes.
Sources said that the venue of the sammelan was changed in view of the low number of pilgrims arriving this morning in the town. This reportedly created an apprehension in the minds of the organisers that the sammelan would attract less audience if it was organised in the main pandal.
Welcoming the religious leaders, Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, said that the representatives of different religions had come here to give a message to the public for leading a spiritual life by breaking the chains of regionalism, languages, religious intolerance and materialism.
The priest of a Jew temple in Delhi, Rabbi Ezekiel Malekr, said that God was equally sincere to all in the world, so everyone should remember him as per the faith one followed.
Jain Muni, Amrinder Kumar emphasised on the need for non-violence in society. He also said if the Sikh Gurus had not made sacrifices for Hindus their religion might have vanished by now.
Dr A.K. Merchant, a representative of the Bahai faith in India, exhorted the gathering to spread the message of spiritualism from this city of bliss and stressed on love, peace and brotherhood in this materialistic world.
Prof A.W. Azhar, in charge of Arabic studies in Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Delhi, lauding Guru Nanak Devs philosophy, said that he (the Guru) was the first to work for unity among various cultures and civilisations about 500 years ago, while the United Nations was thinking of organising a conference on Dialogue among various cultures and civilisations in 2002. He urged Prof Manjit Singh to send a delegation from this Takht to the conference to make the people aware about Sikh philosophy.
Father Anto, of South Delhi Catholic Church, lauded the kar sewa, langar and social justice aspects of Sikh philosophy.
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht, urged Sikhs to make sincere efforts to prevent their wards from becoming apostat Sikhs. He also emphasised on the need for mutual understanding and love among different religions.
Giani Tarlochan Singh, Head Granthi of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, and Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, Secretary of the SGPC, also spoke.
Bibi Jagir Kaur, President of the SGPC, who was also present at the sammelan, released a photo of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib by Ajit Pal Singh from Ropar.
Bibi Jagir Kaur and Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti also presented siropas and mementos to Jain Muni Amrinder Kumar, Rabbi Ezekiel Malekr, Dr A.K. Merchant, Father Anto, Prof A.W. Azhar and others.
Later, representatives of different faiths also distributed saplings as prasad among the pilgrims in the Takht complex here.
Tohra men mum on
ANANDPUR SAHIB, April 12 The leaders of the Sarb Hind Shiormani Akali Dal (SHSAD) are either unaware of the programme to be announced by their party president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, at this political conference here tomorrow or they want to keep it secret on the instructions of Mr Tohra as none of them was ready to give a hint about the agenda.
However, a top leader of the SHSAD today admitted that though they did not know about the plans of Mr Tohra, they felt that the party would certainly expose the top SGPC leadership and the SAD leadership at the conference. The exposure of the SGPC and the SAD leadership would be enough to open the eyes of the Sikh sangat to the damage done to Akal Takht in the recent past.
Mr Ranjit Singh Dumna, Vice-President of the party, today said at the conference site that the government of main programme would be done by Mr Tohra tomorrow.
Mr Dumna said Mr Ravi Inder Singh, MLA from Morinda, would also address the gathering along with a number of SHSAD leaders. He also claimed that Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akali Takht, would also speak.
NRIs to provide for education
in Punjab schools
LUDHIANA, April 12 The Punjab government soon will be able to fulfil its constitutional commitment of providing education to all children up to 14 years, said Mr Tota Singh, Education Minister, Punjab here, today.
Talking to The Tribune here he said that this would be possible as the Punjab government had succeeded in involving the NRIs and the religious personalities and institutions of Punjab, who have responded to the governments invitation to this effect.
He said that the governments initiative of naming the respective schools after those, who contributed substantial amount, had been very well received by the people and the buildings of a large number of schools have been renovated or constructed.
Mr Tota Singh said that
the process of improvement and spread of elementary
education would be accelerated as soon as the Directorate
of Elementary Education became operational and the
rationalisation of staff was done.
SAD MLAs speak up in Badals
GURDASPUR, April 12 Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab kept his cool and did not react to the allegations levelled by Mr Ram Lal, BJP MLA from Narot Mehra, Mr Kartar Singh Pahra and Captain Balbir Singh SAD (B) MLAs from Gurdaspur and Siri Hargobindpur respectively in their public speeches yesterday at Ghuman on the occasion of winding up of valedictory function to mark 650th martyrdom day of Baba Naamdev who spent 18 years at Ghuman.
Mr Ram Lal accused publicly the district administration for ignoring to redress public grievances pointed out by him. Earlier at a function here in December to celebrate Christmas, Mr Ram Lal in the presence of Mr Badal accused the government giving important positions to those involved in ticket scandal. Mr Badal even then kept quiet and had not bothered to satisfy Mr Ram Lal on the issue.
Mr Kartar Singh Pahra, said that Akali workers were not getting their due during the SAD-BJP rule in Punjab. He said that he had differences with Mr Badal but would sort these out by discussing the same with Mr Badal.
Captain Baath cautioned Mr Badal that the SAD-BJP government was not doing anything regarding electricity bills. He said that if the government had exempted the farmers from the payment of power bills of tubewells at the same time the government had raised power security many times. He said that farmers had not derived any benefit from such policies of the government and appealed to Mr Badal to take some measures to solve the pending problems of farmers in the state.
In spite of plain speaking by the MLAs, these MLAs expressed confidence in the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. They added that all talk regarding their shifting of loyalty with Akali rebels who are dead set to topple Mr Badal as Chief Minister was false. They said that they were with Mr Badal and would continue to be with him in future also.
Mr Badal speaking on the occasion without reacting to the statements of Akali MLAs, said that all religions preached universal brotherhood. Those who spewed venom in the name of religion, to divide people were not religious persons and cautioned the people against such fanatics. Mr Badal said that a chair in the name of Baba Naamdev would be set up in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar with funds to carry on research regarding the saint.
Left to launch stir against
CHANDIGARH, April 12 The Punjab unit of the CPI and the CPM will launch a joint agitation on April 13 against the anti-people policies of the Punjab Government and the Central Government. A decision in this connection was taken at a meeting of leaders of both parties. Dr Joginder Dayal of the CPI and Mr Balwant Singh of the CPM were present at the meeting.
Mr Lachman Dass Gupta, a
spokesman of the joint action committee set up to
organise the agitation, said a rally would be organised
at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13 and a massive dharna
would be held on April 20 in front of the Raj Bhavan to
seek withdrawal of the hike in prices of fertilisers,
LPG, kerosene and other essential commodities.
SAD-BJP pact to continue:
AMRITSAR, April 12 Setting at rest all speculations, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, state President, BJP, has categorically stated that the alliance of his party with the SAD (Badal) was permanent.
Talking to mediapersons at his residence here yesterday, Mr Sodhi said that there was no question of reaching alliance with the SHSAD.
AISSF session on April 27
AMRITSAR, April 12 The All-India Sikh Students Federation would now have its delegates session on April 27. This was announced by Mr Harminder Singh Gill, the federation president. The session, which was earlier slated for March 31, had been postponed due to the strike call given by the federation.
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the Sarb Hind Akali Dal would be the chief guest and Mr Ravi Inder Singh, dissident Akali leader, would be among the delegates participating in the seminar from India and broad.
Where illegal marriage palaces
AMRITSAR, April 12 There has been a proliferation of marriage palaces in the city. One marriage palace is situated in the premises of Guru Nanak Dev University. One marriage palace was sanctioned as a market plan while the Baba Sena marriage palace was sanctioned as a dharamshala.
Even as marriage palaces are mushrooming in flagrant violation of guidelines all over the city, the municipal corporation has turned a blind eye to them. As many as 181 marriage palaces in the city are unlicenced. The licences of 36 marriage palaces have not been renewed after 1996 as they do not conform to the norms.
After the Uphaar cinema and Dabwali fire tragedies, the local government had framed guidelines, but none of the marriage palaces is meeting the safety requirements of having fire-fighting arrangements. A majority of the large marriage palaces freely use highly inflammable or semi-flammable material to cover open spaces with shamianas.
The fire safety guidelines favour a minimum of four entry and exit points and 95 per cent of the marriage palaces have either two or only one such point.
On the evening of April 8, a huge fire had engulfed the Palki marriage palace. Shamianas, chairs and tables caught fire. Property worth Rs 1.15 lakh was destroyed in the fire.
The corporation was rapped on account of mounting arrears to the tune of Rs 8 crore as house tax in a recent pre-budget meeting at Chandigarh. However, not a single marriage palace has been assessed for house tax, that runs into crores, in the survey conducted on marriage palaces by the corporation. Seventysix palaces have come up after 1996.
Seventyseven of the total 181 palaces have unauthorised building plans, while for 71, the plan sanctioned is of a residential place or some have been constructed after converting industrial sheds, old buildings, sarais and dharamshalas into marriage palaces.
Ironically, at least three of the marriage palaces are owned by city councillors. One of them has been converted from a house, another from an old building while one was even served a notice. Fortyseven of these are located in purely residential areas and 87 in residential-cum-commercial areas.
While 176 of these structures are not as per plan while 173 have not even been regularised. Twentytwo of the total have been served notices under Section 273 of the PMC Act, 1976, but no follow-up action has been taken on these by the corporation.
The rules say that the minimum plot size of a marriage palace should be 2000 sq yards. However, in stark contrast, 117 marriage palaces are functioning on plots even below a 1000 sq yards. The J.K. marriage palace is allegedly functioning in the smallest area of 124 sq yards only.
Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP MLA, complained that the corporation report tabled in the recent assembly session regarding marriage palaces did not contain answers to the question of proximity of such palaces to educational institutes and hospitals.
The Mayor, Mr Subhash Chander, said that there were 400 marriage palaces in the city although the survey has been conducted of only 181 marriage palaces.
He said action would be taken at the state level and no one would be spared.
Ram Navami celebrated
PHAGWARA, April 12 Ram Navami was celebrated here on Wednesday with religious fervour parvachans and bhandaras were held in temples. People worshipped little girls as incarnation of Devi. Mandirs were tasteful decorated.
ABOHAR: A procession was flagged off on the occasion of Ram Navami by Mr Surinder Kumar Jakhar, Chairman, IFFCO, from Gaushala on Wednesday. Leaders of different social and religious organisations participated in the procession which passed of the city. The participants were offered eatables at many places. A Ramayan path was held at Shri Sanatan Dharam Mandir. Ceremonies were performed at other temples of the subdivision also. Jagrans were held at Mata Chintpurni temple and at other places.
JALANDHAR: Ram Navami was celebrated today with enthusiasm. Thousands of people of all faiths participated in three shobha yatras held in different parts of the city.
The city was decorated with colourful welcome gates all over. Ram Vivah was enacted on a 18-foot high stage erected at the Tanda Chowk. Selected Ramlila scenes delighted residents at a similar function organised in front of the Central Jail, where langar was organised by the Maa Bhagwati Sewa Samiti.
The shobha yatra organised the Goswami Ganesh Datt Sanatan Dharam Sabha at Lal Mandir in Partap Bagh locality was inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. A number of leaders of all political parties including the Punjab Food and Supply Minister Charanji Lal Garg, Medical Education Minister Manoranjan Kalia, former Punjab Chief Minister Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, Mr Iqbal Singh, former MP and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, the leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly participated in the function.
Though a section of local leaders had opposed the participation of members of Muslim Community in the Ram Navami Utsav Committee organised for the preparation of the function, a large number of Muslims led by the Muslim Samaj Quadian and the Rashtriya Muslim Kalyan Sabha Punjab, took part in the function.
The Chief Minister also
inaugurated another shobha yatra organised by the Ram
Navami Utsav Committee at Nehru Garden here. The third
shobha yatra was organised by the Brahamin Sabha Baba
Mohan Dass near Milk Plant.
Yatra marks Ram Navami
PATIALA, April 12 A colourful shobha yatra was taken out on the occasion of Ramanavami here today by the local SD Sabha.
It started from S.D.S.E. Senior Secondary School, Arya Samaj, and passed through the main bazars of the old walled city like Triveni Chowk, Sirhindi Bazar, Gur Mandi, Quila Chowk, Adalat Bazar, Anardana Chowk, Dharamapura Bazar, Sher-e-Punjab Market and Lahori Gate.
Guru ki Kashi
TALWANDI SABO: Situated at the southern tip of the Thar desert of the country, Talwandi Sabo is known as Guru ki Kashi (seat of learning). For its religious importance, it was accorded the status of fifth takht of the Sikhs. The Punjab Government has also declared it a holy city.
A mela is organised here on the occasion of Baisakhi i.e. April 13 every year. For the first time, Baisakhi was celebrated here by Guru Gobind Singh during his nine months and nine days stay here on a mount after fighting the battle with the Mughals at Muktsar. Since then a Baisakhi mela has been organised every year.
For the first time in 1515 AD, Guru Nanak Dev stopped here on his way from Sirsa to Sultanpur. Guru Nanak Dev predicted that this place would become an important religious place. Guru Teg Bahadur reached here after 159 years of visit of Guru Nanak in 1674 AD. After 31 years Guru Gobind Singh came here in the later part of 1705 AD.
In the Sikh religious history, only two Talwandis are famous. One is Talwandi Rai Bhoa now known as Nankana Sahib (in Pakistan) where Guru Nanak Dev was born and second is Talwandi Sabo known as Damdama Sahib where Guru Gobind Singh completed the Damdami Beed.
The Baisakhi fair at Guru ki Kashi here has a special importance though it is also celebrated at Amritsar and Sri Anandpur Sahib. According to Trump, an English historian, more than 20,000 persons were administered amrit at Anandpur Sahib, but when Baisakhi was celebrated here for the second time, the number of followers who converged here crossed 1.2 lakh.
Apart from completing the Damdami Beed here, Guru Gobind Singh also received the reply of his Zafarnama from Aurangzeb here. After separation from the family members in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib, Mata Sahib Kaur came here to see Guru Gobind Singh. She asked about the welfare of the Sahibzadas. Guru Gobind Singh pointing his finger towards the congregation said instead of four she was now the mother of thousands sons.
On the day of Baisakhi, pilgrims from far and wide come here to take a dip in the sacred tank known as guru sarovari. The pilgrims also take glimpse of the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh.
Apart from it, the descendants of Chaudhary Dalla, who was head of the Talwandi Sabo area when Guru Gobind Singh reached here in 1705 AD, also displayed some articles of Guru Gobind Singh, including a sword, a gun, clothes, falcons strap and Dastar for the public. These articles were used by Guru Gobind Singh during the battle of Muktsar. The sword was gifted to the Guru by a Muslim artisan.
On the Baisakhi day, religious diwans and political conferences are also held by different societies and parties. On the last day of festival, Nihangs known as beloved son of Guru Gobind Singh display the feats of horsemanship and Gatka.
Wheat procurement delay
FEROZEPORE, April 12 A former Chairman of the PPCC (Kisan call), Mr Gurnaib Singh Brar, has condemned the officials of the procurement agencies for not starting the wheat procurement.Talking to The Tribune here today, Mr Brar said the arrival of wheat had started in the mandis. About 4 lakh quintals of wheat was lying unsold at the cantonment mandi alone.
He said none of the official was present there to procure it.
He urged the authorities concerned to immediately start the procurement even on holidays.
Meanwhile, the District Food and Supplies Controller (DFSC), Dr Makhan Singh, said 167 procurement centres had been set up in the district.
He assured that the procurement would begin within a day or so.
The DFSC said about 11 lakh MTs of wheat was expected to be procured in the district during this year.
Commandos families honoured
PATIALA, April 12 Families of a number of Punjab Police who laid down their lives while performing election duty in other states, were honoured at the foundation day ceremony of the Commando Battalions, held at Bahadurgarh Fort here yesterday.
The Additional Director-General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhullar, presented shawls, siropas and cheques to the next of kin of the commandos. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bhullar said the Government would render all possible help, including jobs, to eligible dependants of the families.
Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, Commandant of a battalion of commandos, read out achievements of the commandos while performing duty in other states. He also informed the gathering about their brave acts. He said the battalions had served in Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
A cultural function
featuring Punjab pop singer Harbhajan Mann and satirist
Bhagwant Mann was also held. While the singer brought the
black commandos on their feet, the satirist brought out
peels of laughter from the audience.
Badal lays stone
JALANDHAR, April 12 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today admitted that a large section of the society remained ignored on account of apathy of officials who did not want to go and serve people in rural areas.
Mr Badal, who was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of a school for the mentally retarded children in the premises of the Deaf and Dumb school here today, said one of the reasons behind the slow development of villages was that most of the officials, particularly doctors and teachers, did not want to be posted in rural areas. If they are sent they put in their might in getting themselves posted back in cities and towns through different means, he added.
CM to inaugurate new
CHANDIGARH, April 12 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will inaugurate the launch of a global channel-etc Punjabi here at the Chandigarh Club on April 13.
Umranangal quits as association
FATEHGARH SAHIB, April 12 Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, SSP and President of the PPS (Punjab Police Service) Officers Association has resigned from the Presidentship of the association.
In a press note issued
here today he said he had resigned due to heavy load of
work being the SSP of the district. He had also postponed
the meeting of the association to be held on April 16 at
Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, indefinitely.
YAD for more rights to
JALANDHAR, April 12 The Youth Akali Dal (YAD) has advocated more rights to panchayats in the state.
Addressing a seminar here yesterday, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, the president of the YAD, said though the state government was doing a lot for the people in rural areas, yet people of these areas needed more attention to meet new challenges posed by rapid urbanisation.
He said the main hurdles in the way of giving more benefits at the panchayat level was the interference of officials.
Mr Piara Singh Bhogal, a
Punjabi writer, said NRIs should be involved in the
betterment of villages. He claimed that grants were not
reaching people in rural areas. Mr Satnam Singh Manak, a
Punjabi, journalist also spoke.
Jacob, Badal greet people
CHANDIGARH, April 12
The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob
(retd), and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal
today extended greetings to Punjabis on the eve of
Baisakhi. In separate messages, they said that this
festival reminded us of our rich heritage based on values
of humanism, secularism, peace and progress.
Rally to protest attack on
JALANDHAR, April 12 To protest against the declaration of a church as disputed property by the district administration and an alleged attack by some anti-social elements on Christians, a rally was organised at Mehatpur township, near Nakodar today.
Addressing the gathering Mr Ajmer Singh, a leader of the (CPI-ML) condemned the interference on the part of the district administration in religious affairs of the Christians.
Mr Tarsem Peter, General
Secretary of the Pendu Mazdoor Union Punjab, said the
church had been under the control of the Church of
Northern India (CNI) and still it was declared as
disputed property, which was injustice with
Railway Week celebration
PATIALA, April 12 As part of nationwide celebration of Railway Week, a function was organised in Diesel Component Works, a production unit of the Indian Railways, here yesterday. It attended by a large number of employees and their families. Mr D.C. Beri, Chief Mechanical Engineer, was the chief guest.
Dead smuggler arrested
BATHINDA, April 12 The local police recently solved a Bollywood style crime. Bhagwant Singh, an accused in an opium smuggling case, kidnapped Hardev Singh in June, 1981 and subsequently murdered him. He later put his own clothes on the body of the deceased so as to confuse the police about his own death.
On the basis of documents produced, the police closed all existing cases of opium smuggling against Bhagwant Singh with immediate effect. But this officially dead criminal continued his activities in Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi.
He continued to dupe the police of these three states, by operating in different names. He was declared a proclaimed offender by the Delhi Police which had announced an award of Rs 5,000 for his arrest.
Ultimately it was the Bathinda police which arrested him from Rajasthan. District police chief Jatinder Kumar Jain said a case was registered against Bhagwant Singh for illegally possessing 13 kg of opium at police station Dhanoula.
Giving details of the murder, Mr Jain said that Bhagwant Singh kidnapped Hardev Singh of Buraj Tharor village and killed him with sharp-edged weapons. He chopped off the head of Hardev Singh and disfigured the face to avoid identification.
Mr Jain said that after brutally killing Hardev Singh he exchanged his clothes with the deceased to prove himself dead in the eyes of law. A certificate of his death was also produced in Dhanoula police station on the basis of which police closed cases registered against him, Mr Jain said.
Bhagwant Singh had taken Hardev Singh to Rajasthan and killed him there. A case to this effect has been registered in Mateely police station of Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.
SSP unaware of Army
PHAGWARA, April 12 The SSP, Mr Iqbal Singh, today pleaded ignorance about the arrest of an ISI agent from here by the Army but asserted that security had been beefed up following reports in a section of the press about arrest of Hakimdin who had planned to blow off the local JCT Mill and other industrial installations.
JCT Mills vice-president Harish Thapar also pleaded ignorance about it but said that security inside the JCT complex had been tightened.
A report from Jammu and Kashmir published today said Hakimdin, an activist of terrorist outfit the Jamat Islami, was arrested as he was planning to blow off the mill. He was killed when he tried to snatch a revolver from an army official while being taken to locate weapons in Doda district.
The SSP said he was contacting the J & K authorities to ascertain the facts about operation.
Meanwhile, it was
authoritatively learnt that the operation was made here
on Sunday and an army Major had led it. The Army had done
the operation following reports from its intelligence
agencies in J & K.
Fake currency gang busted
JALANDHAR, April 12 A gang involved in printing and circulation of fake currency has been busted here with the arrest of four youths. Fake currency worth Rs 10 lakh has been seized from them.
Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Yadav said Surinder Kumar Chhinda, alias Doctor, Sarbjit Singh Sabi, Inder, alias Nikka and Davinder Singh were intercepted at a police naka at Adda Manak Rai on the Bhogpur-Adampur road yesterday afternoon.
Chhinda, a close associate of Khalistan Commando Force activist Gurmukh Singh Ladi, was the key member of the gang who organised the gang after his acquittal from eight criminal cases.
Rajiv Dogra, owner of the printing press here where the fake currency used to be printed, absconded. His employee Jaspal, alias Jassa, also wanted in the crime, sources added.
While a common case
under Section 489-A, B, C, D and 420 of the IPC has been
registered against all accused, two separate cases under
Sections 25,54,59 of the Arms Act have also been
registered against Chhinda and Sarbjit from whom a
country-made pistol of .38 bore along with two cartridges
One held in murder case
FATEHGARH SAHIB, April 12 The district police has claimed to have solved the murder of Inderjit Singh, resident of Mehdoodan village in the district. But the body of the deceased is yet to be recovered.
Addressing a press conference here today, SSP Paramraj Singh Umranangal said Sewa Singh, also a resident of Mehdoodan village, had lodged a report with the police that his relative Inderjit Singh was missing since April 5. He had gone with Avtar Singh Nihang and had not returned yet.
The SSP said after
registering an FIR under Sections 164/34, IPC, the police
arrested Avtar Singh. On interrogation he confessed that
he had murdered Inderjit Singh. The SSP said Avtar Singh
was a close friend of Inderjit Singh and was a regular
visitor to his house. He developed illicit relations with
the Lakhwinder Kaur, (35), wife of the deceased. Both of
them hatched a conspiracy to murder Inderjit Singh. On
April 3 Avtar Singh took Inderjit Singh to some dera
where both of them consumed liquor. When Inderjit became
unconscious he threw him into the Sutlej river near
Machiwara. The SSP said efforts were being made to trace
the body of the deceased. The arrested has been booked
under Section 302, IPC.
300 students get degrees
PATIALA, April 12 As many as 300 graduate and post-graduate degrees were conferred on students by Principal M.M. Singh at the annual convocation of Government Mohindra College, here, last evening.
Mr Justice J.S. Narang of the Punjab and Haryana High Court delivered the convocation address. Referring to the gurukul tradition of education in India, he exhorted the youth to strive for excellence and imbibe the humanistic values. True education means the full flowering of all aspects of personality, he said.
School named after martyr
PATIALA, April 12 A middle school in Jangpura village near Banur town in this district will be shortly upgraded and named after Shaheed Hawaldar Jai Singh who recently laid down his life during anti-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Announcing this at the bhog ceremony of the martyr held in the village here today. Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, said a gate named after the martyr would be constructed at the entrance of the link road leading to the village to commemorate his bravery and sacrifice.
He presented a cheque for Rs 2 lakh as ex gratia payment to the martyrs family.
Hawaldar Jai Singh had achieved martyrdom on March 30 while fighting insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Prem Singh
Chandumajra, General Secretary, SHSAD, said Pakistan
would not succeed in its nefarious design against India
as long as brave sons like Shaheed Jai Singh were ready
to lay down their life for the security and unity of the
RCF to make 300 high-speed coaches
KAPURTHALA, April 12 The Rail Coach Factory, here will achieve the target of making 300 high speed coaches of AC 2-tier and AC first class till 2001.
This was stated by Mr V.P. Ojha, General Manager RCF while briefing reporters today on manufacturing capacity of the factory.
Mr Ojha said that in a major technology breakthrough, the Indian rail passengers were going to have more comfortable travel in the new design LHB coaches of Germany made in next two years.
He disclosed that four coaches of LHB design had already arrived in the country and were under trial on the New Delhi Bhopal section and these coaches tested at 145 km speed per hour and would be further tested for 180 kmph speed.
The Rail Coach Factory has received one such coach two days back for study, he said.
Each coach of this new design will cost Rs 1.2 crore and the RCF had started planning work to manufacture these coaches for which Rs 100 crore would be spent for buying more machinery and equipments, Mr Ojha said.
Later Mr Ojha
complimented workers for rolling out 1181 coaches of
various designs including 232 AC coaches till March 31.
RCF had, so far turned out 9635 coaches in 12 years and
30 per cent coaches in operations in Indian Railway had
been manufactured in RCF.
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