|Friday, April 14, 2000,
opposes Akali dissidents
to oppose hike in lease rate
Lakhs take dip at Damdama Sahib
stir hits jails
trying to win over rebels
should resign, demands Mann
Bhalai Party men to gherao PM
calls for Act's enactment
(S) to launch agitation
marriages baffle UK youngsters
fate haunts passengers
martyrs sacrifice recalled
to shift railway office opposed
takes reward, then turns hostile
for fake goods makers
officer to trace detainee
held for fraud
arrested on assault charge
die as car collides with truck
drowns in temple tank
charges cost a pretty penny
holds annual function
stir hits procurement
Congress opposes Akali dissidents
TALWANDI SABO, April 13 The PPCC president, Mr Amarinder Singh, while claiming that days of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab were numbered, ruled out the possibility of his partys support to Akali dissidents in the formation of next government in the state.
Addressing a party conference on the occasion of Baisakhi here today, Mr Amarinder Singh categorically stated that his party would not offer, inside or outside, support to the Akali dissidents in their move to form a government after overthrowing Mr Parkash Singh Badals government.
He added that instead the Congress party had been preparing itself to face the coming elections which could be expected within a year.
A section of the Congress leaders, known for their loyalty to Mrs Bhattal did not attend the conference.
On forth coming zila parishad and panchayat samitis elections, Mr Amarinder Singh said that the party would approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Punjab governments move on these elections in an undemocratic manner.
He pointed out that reservation of 70 per cent seats of members of Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis for direct election through sarpanches was against the Constitution and hence the Congress would raise this issue in the court of law.
Mr Amarinder Singh, who spoke for one hour, said that the Punjab Congress party had collected all documents in connection with the corruption by Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal and his family members apart from his cabinet colleagues and individual cases would be filed before the Lok Pal whenever it came into existence in the state.
On partys organisational elections, the PPCC chief claimed that elections would be held as per schedule in a free and fair manner.
Mrs Bhattal, who left the conference before Mr Amarinder Singh addressed the gathering for personal reasons alleged that under the SAD-BJP rule, Punjab was being burdened with loans while the government properties were being sold to generate the much-needed funds.
Mr Harminder Jassi,
local MLA, Mr Santokh Singh Randhawa, Former President,
PPCC, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Mr Jasbir Singh (former
minister), Mr Jagroop Gill, Mr Bhagat Singh Dhaliwal, Mr
Kewal Krishan Aggarwal, Mr Krishan Kumar Sharma, Mr Anil
Bhola (all senior Congress leaders) were present at the
Pattedars to oppose hike in
PATIALA, April 13 Auction of Shamlat land in Punjab this summer could see a conflict between the government and farmers ploughing the land on lease with the former deciding to charge at least Rs 4,000 per acre for all land in patta form in the state.
Those ploughing pattas in the state have been doing so since the past 40 to 50 years and have been paying nominal amount as lease. Last year the average lease for patta land in Patiala district was between Rs 500 to Rs 600 per acre.
Last year also the government had decided to collect revenue for development of panchayats by leasing out patta land at Rs 3,000 per acre. The parliamentary elections, however, forced the government to keep the move in abeyance and the subdivisional Magistrates had fixed the lease rates in consultation with a committee formed for the purpose .
This year, however, it has been decided not to lease land to patta holders if they do not pay lease of Rs 4,000 for irrigated land and Rs 2,000 for non-irrigated land. The Deputy Director has been given the authority to give 10 per cent concession in the lease amount. Any further cut will be decided by the directorate only.
In Patiala district there is around 5,000 acres of patta land out of around 30,000 acres of shamlat land. District Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) B.S. Shergill said open auction of shamlat land in the possession of the village panchayat would be held as scheduled in May. He said while auction of shamlat land in possession of the villages had realised an average rent of Rs 4,600 per acre last year, this year revenue from this source could be increased. He said Rs 8 crore had been earned through auction of shamlat land as well as leasing out of pattas to those in possession of them .
Changing the lease of pattas could spread turmoil in the state, said a cross-section of farmers during a survey of Patiala and Sanaur blocks of the district. This, villagers said, was due to the fact that the move would invite opposition from village panchayats as they are filled with pattedars. Only a pattedar can become a sarpanch or panchayat member in our village, said a resident of Alipur Jattan village in Sanaur block. This, he said, was done to ensure that the panchayat could not take a hard stance against the pattedars.
It is difficult to get any landlord to talk about shamlat land in the villages. This is because most of them either have some litigation going on regarding pattas whose registry they want to get done in their name permanently or they are interested parties in occupying shamlat land. Mr Punjab Singh Antaal, while talking to this correspondent at his brick-kiln at Charason village said the concept of marginal farm holders ploughing pattas for their livelihood was not applicable any longer as big landlords had taken possession of the pattas by paying their original holders some money. He said the rate in his village for this was Rs 50,000 per acre. He said money for village development could be realised if the pattas were leased out at higher rates, adding nothing was done in this matter till now due to vote bank politics.
The pattedars want that the land should be sold to them and the money realised should be deposited with the panchayat which could carry on development activities. Holders at Nanansu, Mijal Khurd, Sasa, Sasi and Charason villages said they would fiercely resist a massive hike in the lease amount.
Commissioner R.S. Randhawa stated that there was 70,000
acres of shamlat land in the state out of which 37,000
acres was not being ploughed . He said this land could be
converted into forest land which could sustain the
environment. He said grazing grounds as well as natural
flora and fauna could be created through this move which
was much needed in the villages.
Lakhs take dip at Damdama
TALWANDI SABO (Bathinda) Braving the sun, more than one lakh devotees paid obeisance and took a holy dip in the sarovar at the historic Damdama Sahib gurdwara here today on the occasion of Baisakhi.
Traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour marked the festival. The devotees also took part in the kirtan diwan at the akhand path bhog ceremony in the gurdwara.
Various religious speakers and dhadis (bards) reminded people that Guru Gobind Singh founded the order of the Khalsa to preserve the rich heritage and protect the values of humanism, secularism and unity of mankind. This human spirit must be carried to propagate the message of sarbat da bhala.
This holy town is also known as Guru ki kashi (seat of learning). Due to its religious importance, it was accorded the status of the fifth Takht of the Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh had celebrated Baisakhi here for the first time during his stay after the battle of Dhab Khiderana, now known as Muktsar. Since then, Baisakhi is celebrated here every year.
On almost all roads leading to this historic place langars were organised. Young volunteers were seen requesting the people with folded hands to partake of hot jalebis, ladoos, bread pakoras with tea, besides being served the traditional langer at various places.
However, devotees did not take much interest in the political conferences of various parties. To attract people almost every party had engaged singers, except the SAD. Dhadis were seen performing. Bhangra, however, was nowhere to be seen though as per tradition, Jats perform this dance at the Baisakhi fair. Only the Nihangs were performing gatka unmindful of the heat.
Lawyers stir hits jails
CHANDIGARH, APRIL 13 Punjab jails are overflowing with convicts and undertrials as lawyers stayed off the courts for the 47th day today.
Most of the undertrials, who should have been granted bail continue to be lodged in jails as there is none to take up their cases from districts to the high court.
Jail Department authorities say that the number of undertrials continues to rise due to strike by advocates.
As for convicts, their cases are adjourned from time to time as lawyers refuse to appear on their behalf. An advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court says that as there is no one in courts to move bail applications on behalf of undertrials, there cannot be a bail for them. There is no provision of oral bail application under the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC).
Accused are entitled to plead their cases in the court. Most of them cannot bring up redeeming legal factors which could go in their favour for securing a bail. There is also a provision in certain cases for granting bail after 60 days or 90 days, if the police fails to file challan in the court. Even in these cases legal technicalities like accounting for days etc has to be followed. In certain cases bails were granted during the strike period. In these cases legal aid was provided by the state. The number of such cases is negligible.
The latest figures of undertrials and convicts in the state jails is 11216, according to the Jails Department. The official capacity of all the jails to hold the convicts and the undertrials is 9,569, according to the Punjab Jail authorities.
Talking to TNS a senior functionary of the Punjab Government today admitted that the number of convicts and under trials has gone up beyond expectation due to the ongoing strike of advocates. He said that normally number of convicts and undertrials remains around 10,000 in Punjab jails in a year. However, he said that, as per latest figures available the number of inmates had exceeded by 1,216.
The increase in the number of inmates in certain jails has pressure on water, toilets and other amenities and hit the jails financially. One inmate is entitled for a food, tea etc worth Rs15 a day. The increase in expenditure is near Rs 15000 per day.
Certain jails are lodging almost inmates double than their capacity. For instance, the number of inmates in the Bathinda jail is 1,111 against its authorised capacity of 600. Almost same is the case of the Jalandhar jail where number of inmates is 1,041 against its capacity of 600. In the Sangrur jail number of inmates was 714 on March 31 against its capacity of 300. In the Amritsar, jail population on March 31 last was 1,819 against its official capacity of 1500.
The Jail in Muktsar is virtually spilling over. In this jail number of inmates is 152, three times more than its capacity. Almost same is the case of the Barnala jail where number of inmates is 176 against authorised capacity of 65.
On March 31this year,
the number of undertrials in Punjab jails was 7880 and
convicts 3077 besides 259 other kinds of inmates,
including foreigners etc. However, number of these
inmates on January 1, this year was near 10,550. The
number of women inmates in Punjab jails is around 470.
Most of these are under trials in dowry death cases. The
number of women convicts is nearly 140.
Royal chambers to receive
PATIALA, April 13 The walks frequented by the royalty will finally be trodden by the common man with the Quila Androon portion in Quila Mubarak Complex being partially opened to the public for the first time in its history to boost ticket-sales of the Archives and Cultural Affairs Department.
Till now, the public was not allowed entry into Quila Androon and only had access to Darbar Hall and a small portion alongside it which had been converted into a museum. The sale of museum tickets had dropped in the past two years since the prices of these were increased to Rs 10 per ticket from Rs 5 per ticket earlier.
Recently, it was decided to open the main masnad (throne room) overlooking the courtyard in Quila Androon, besides Sheesh Mahal and a painted chamber behind it, to give a better package to tourists. The construction of the fort had been undertaken in 1763 by the Phulkian dynasty founder Baba Ala. The attractions are likely to be opened to the public anytime this month.
Preparations to make the building ready for tourists have been made. A grilled passage has been made in the masnad and Sheesh Mahal as well as the painted chamber to ensure that tourists are not able to touch any of the paintings. Besides this, the limited area which will be frequented by tourists has been given a facelift.
Doors leading to the courtyard have been repaired and windows installed at many places. An intricately-carved panel which had fallen off earlier, has been restored above the main gate overlooking the courtyard. The gate is also likely to be a major attraction as it is embedded with ivory carvings. The courtyard has also been scrubbed due to which Lahori bricks placed in different geometric patterns show to maximum effect.
The main masnad has a small decorated indentation for a throne with the portrait of Maharaja Karam Singh on one side. While the work was mainly done during Maharaja Karam Singh's time after the Sutlej states had sought British notation in 1808, the portrait was most probably commissioned by Maharaja Narinder Singh. The paintings in this masnad as well as the others have been made by artists who had migrated from Delhi after Aurangzeb had ascended the throne.
The paintings in the masnad depict Krishan Leela and the Sikh history, with the former dominating. Gold has been used liberally to add lustre to the paintings. While a portion of the masnad looks scintillating in its pristine beauty due the restoration work on the paintings, the other half needs urgent attention. The painted chamber behind Sheesh Mahal is in a worse state with one corner having been destroyed beyond redemption.
The Archives and
Cultural Department Assistant Conservator, Mr Yograj,
said the department had given a facelift to the portion
which was to be thrown open to the public. He said the
department personnel would be posted on the premises to
ensure that vandalism did not take place. He said
tourists would have to appreciate the paintings
themselves as the department did not have any guides who
could tell them the finer aspects of these.
Barnala trying to win over rebels
TALWANDI SABO, April 13 Former union minister and senior Akali leader Surjit Singh Barnala today favoured Akali unity and said he was holding talks with all dissident factions.
Addressing a press conference here on the occasion of Baisakhi, Mr Barnala pointed out that he had not launched any movement for bringing unity among the Akali factions but was making efforts for it at personal level.
He said presence of dissidents in the party did not mean that party was going to divide.
When asked whether he was in favour of unity between Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, he refused to comment.
He said the meeting of the committee constituted for excluding Udham Singh Nagar from the proposed Uttaranchal should not have delayed so much.
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, former union minister, and Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Rural Development Minister, also spoke on the occasion.
Badal should resign, demands
TALWANDI SABO, April 13 The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today demanded the resignation of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for his (Mr Badal) failure on all fronts.
Addressing a party conference on the occasion of Baisakhi here this evening, Mr Mann said that Mr Badal could not stop the Central Government from hiking the prices of diesel and fertilisers and it had caused a huge loss to already in debted peasantry of Punjab.
Lok Bhalai Party men to
TALWANDI SABO, April 13 The Lok Bhalai Party chief Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, today said party workers would gherao Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee after May 10 to press him for conceding genuine demands of the state.
Addressing a party conference here today, he said the party would also submit a charter of demands relating to the state to President K.R. Narayanan.
Mr Ramoowalia said his party would approach four former Prime Ministers Mr V.P. Singh, Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr Deve Gowda and Mr I.K. Gujral to raise the demands of Punjab inside and outside Parliament.
Mohi calls for Act's
PATIALA, April 13 The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Organising Secretary, Dr Satwant Singh Mohi, yesterday called for the enactment of the Scheduled Caste Act in the coming Parliament session.
workers at Tripari in the city, Mr Mohi said if the
Shiromani Akali Dal was sincere towards Dalits it should
put pressure on its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party
to get the Act enacted. He directed workers to
reach Delhi on April 14 to attend the Congress' Scheduled
Caste and Scheduled Tribe rally and expose the anti-Dalit
policies of the BJP Government.
JD (S) to launch agitation
LUDHIANA, April 13 The state unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) has decided to launch an agitation against the alleged anti-people policies of the state government, worsening law and order situation, police excesses, human rights violation, and implication of senior political leaders in false cases.
Mr Harish Khanna, convener of the JD(S) said that the unit would raise its voice against the alleged rampant corruption, mismanagement of economy of the state, steep hike in the prices of fertiliser, cooking gas, kerosene and the ration item available under the PDS scheme.
The state unit of the
JD(S) informed that they would hold a state-level
convention in Ludhiana on April 25 which will be
addressed by former Prime Minister of India, Mr HD Deve
Gowda, president, All-India Janata Dal (S) and other
senior national leaders of the party.
Indian marriages baffle UK
PATIALA, April 13 For four youngsters visiting Punjab from the United Kingdom under a Commonwealth Exchange programme to make a video film on certain aspects of Punjabi life, understanding the system of arranged marriages as well as the joint family system was an interesting and challenging experience.
The youngsters Jonathon Trittan, Simon Allmark, Kersty Duckett and Ronan Harvey are here in Patiala from Shropshire county in England under a programme sponsored by the Shropshire Education Authority in England and the British Council in India .
The visitors, who have been here for more than a fortnight, have studied the concept of arranged marriages as well as the joint family system. The first baffles them completely, as they find it difficult to fathom marriages being made after an interaction of half an hour between the boy and the girl. Jonathon said though this was completely alien to them, they tried to figure out how the match was made by the family elders, keeping the interest and nature of their respective children in view . He said the team had also tried to record the changing marriages of mutual consent being held in urban Punjab as well as the resistance towards this move from society .
Speaking on the joint family system, he said it was a pillar on strength but also came in the way of making the children self reliant .
The team has visited families in Patiala as well as nearby villages as also those in Sangrur district to observe the customs of the people, besides taking part in the Holi festivities and the recent Baisakhi celebrations . They feel religion plays a more important part in the day-to-day life of people than in the UK. People here centre on their family and religion, says Simon, adding that the team also felt there was a remarkable appreciation of the religions and customs of others . This also is slightly apart from the view we have in the United Kingdom where other customs are sometimes looked open as a threat , he added .
Jonathon and Ronan said participation in festivities here had made them alive to their own traditions . We suddenly realised that we ourselves had a lot of festivals but did not celebrate them in a similar manner. They said they had concentrated on festivities to bring out the similarities as well as differences between those in India and the United Kingdom .
The youngsters are also worried about the disparity in the education system in the country . Such a disparity will ensure lop-sided development and virtually keep the economically weaker class out of good jobs , said Jonathon. We saw the poor standard of primary schools vis-a-vis the cities and feel that students should be encouraged to go in for higher education by being given easy loans .
Prof Rajpal Singh said the video would give an
opportunity to the people of United Kingdom to understand
Punjabis . He said the video would be shown in schools
also which was likely to benefit students there.
Samjhautas fate haunts
ATTARI, April 13 There was undue rush of passengers on the Samjhauta Express today. Reason: the uncertainty of the future of this bi-weekly international train haunted them. Most of the passengers had to curtail their visits to reach ones native country.
Siera Beghum, resident of Meerut, who married at Karachi had to cut short here visit as she was to reach her in-laws. She said she had planned to stay with her parents for more than a fortnight, however, apprehension of discontinuation of the train forced her to cut short her visit.
She said, the train must not be stopped. She said she could not afford the air and bus fares. It is only train which could unite with millions of people of both countries every week, she added.
Similarly, Imran Khan, a
resident of Karachi, had to go back to his native town
due to uncertainty over the future of the train. I
wanted to spend some more days in India, however, the
uncertainty compelled me to go back immediately.
JEs threaten stir
PATIALA, April 13 The Punjab State Electricity Board Council of Junior Engineers yesterday threatened to hold a protest rally in front of the Circle Headquarters on April 19 in case their demands were not met immediately.
In a statement, the
General Secretary of the council, Mr S.P. Bansal, said
junior engineers were being victimised through
investigations on newly introduced performa in case of
damaged transformers. He said they would boycott these
investigations as these were being conducted by officers
from other departments and not by their immediate
superiors. He claimed that one junior engineer had died
due to tension and humiliation.
Martyrs body cremated
FATEHGARH SAHIB, April 13 The body of Lalit Kumar of Jalbehra village, 5 km from here, who died in heavy shelling by Pakistan on a base camp in the Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir, on April 10 was cremated at his native village last evening. Thousands of people thronged the martyrs residence to pay their last respects.Wreaths were laid on his body by civil, police and Army officials. The district administration assured all help to the family.
Mr Madho Ram, father of
the martyr, said Lalit Kumar was the youngest of his four
sons. He had joined the Army in spite of objections from
the family. He had gone back on March 8 after spending
Jallianwala martyrs sacrifice
AMRITSAR, April 14 Rich tributes were paid to the known and unknown martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on the 81st anniversary of the episode amidst large gathering of political, social and religious organisation.
At the stroke of four in the evening, the time when British troops fired on innocent persons assembled to protest against the Rowlett Act on the Baisakhi day in 1919, two minutes silence was observed.
Earlier, hundreds of people went past the Flame of Liberty and laid wreaths.
Wreaths were placed on the memorial on behalf of President V.N. Narayanan by Punjab Minister of Health Baldev Chawla, on behalf of the chairperson of the Jallianwala Bagh Trust by Mr R.L. Bhatia, MP. Deputy Commissioner Narrinder Singh laid wreaths on behalf of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the SDM on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Mr Satya Pal Dang, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla and a few former ministers paid glowing tributes to the martyrs.
Move to shift railway office
FEROZEPORE, April 13 The local Beopar Mandal has criticised the demand raised by AICC Secretary and MP from the Phillour constituency Santosh Chowdhary that the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) be shifted from here to Ludhiana. She had reportedly raised the demand in the recently held meeting of the standing committee of the Railway Ministry.
Ms Chowdhary reportedly said in the meeting that Ferozepore, where the DRM office was situated, was out of the way. People had to go to Ferozepore for redressal of their grievances, she stated and said if that office was shifted to Ludhiana from Ferozepore, people would get relief.
Vajra Day celebrated
JALANDHAR, April 13 46 Armoured Regiment celebrated the Vajra Day somewhere in the western sector today.
The event was marked by a number of functions in which Maj-Gen A.J.B. Jaini, the General Officer Commanding, and a number of serving and retired officers and other ranks participated.
The regiment was raised
on July 1, 1982. It has seen action in the
Operation Rakshak and its ranks have been awarded
with one Shauriya Chakra, one Sena Medal and two Chief of
Army Staff commendation cards.
Witness takes reward, then turns
FEROZEPORE, April 13 The lure of pocketing Rs 25,000 as reward for getting a police constable arrested in a graft case has cost Rajdeep Sharma dear.
A resident of Moga, Rajdeep has now been booked for cheating by the Vigilance Bureau, which found that he had allegedly helped the accused constable to get acquitted of the graft charges. Although no arrest has been made so far, the bureau is learnt to have registered a case of cheating against Rajdeep on April 10.
Stating this to TNS here today, the SP (Vigilance), Mr Hardial Mann said that Rajdeep had got constable Jaswinder Singh arrested in September, 1997, for accepting a bribe of Rs 3,500 to give police clearance for a passport.
He was subsequently rewarded with Rs 25,000 as part of the Punjab governments policy to encourage those exposing corruption. However, Rajdeep later turned hostile during the trial, resulting in the acquittal of the constable and prompting the Vigilance Bureau to re-examine the matter.
On seeking legal opinion, the Bureau found that Rajdeep had allegedly lodged a motivated complaint to pocket the reward money and registered a case of cheating against him. Mr Mann said the bureau would also make Rajdeep pay back the reward money to the state government.
The state governments policy to reward the complainants on the spot drew criticism from several quarters that apprehended that motivated complaints would rise. The critics had emphasised that the reward should be given only after the conviction of the accused to ensure the participation of the complainants.
As part of the Punjab
Governments policy to check corruption, anyone
helping the vigilance bureau in arresting a gazetted
officer is entitled to a Rs 50,000 reward. The reward is
Rs 25,000 in cases involving a non-gazetted officers.
Haven for fake goods makers
LUDHIANA, April 13 This industrial centre of the northern region, it seems, is a haven for those making a quick buck through manufacturing and selling fake consumer goods under popular brand names.
After detecting plywood and shirts being sold in large numbers under fake trade names and at half the price of the original goods, the city police struck it big here on Tuesday night when it raided the premises of a tyre and tube manufacturing unit at the Focal Point and seized goods worth lakhs of rupees.
According to the information available from police sources, the general manager of Avon Cycles had lodged a complaint with the police that a local unit was manufacturing and selling tyres and tubes under its trade name.
The police raided the premises of Sant Rubbers and found that tyres under the fake trademark of all major cycle tyre players in the business-Metro, Ralson, International, Bengal Tigers, Avon and Hero were being manufactured.
District police chief Kuldeep Singh said, The accused was selling his wares in far off places like Bihar. North-East, Maharashtra and a few southern states so that his bluff could not be called by most manufacturers, who are based here.
He said the accused was using the trade marks of Avon, Atlas and Hero, Usha and Bengal Tiger. He had changed Metro to Netro, Ralson to Lalson and International to Linternational. He said the trade marks were printed in Hindi and in such a way that these almost appeared like the popular brand names.
Mr Paramjit Singh, Inspector and Station House Officer of the Focal Point police station, said Around 50 persons were working for him and his firm was a registered one. He was doing business worth Rs 10 lakh a month and was making a profit of Rs 1.5 lakh each month.
The police has seized Tyres dyes and screens used for printing the fake trade names.
The unit was earlier manufacturing tubes using trade marks of eight leading tube manufacturers.
Ironically, the unit is located right opposite Gobind Rubbers Pvt Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers of cycle tyres and tubes.
Accused Balwant Singh said earlier he used to sell wares under his own trade mark, but after suffering major losses in the business a few years ago, he resorted to using fake trade marks.
He said his unit was manufacturing around 2000 tyres a day.
Meanwhile, Mr S.D.
Chabbra, general secretary of the Indian Tyre
Manufacturers Association, who is also one of the
complainants in case, when contacted said almost 70 per
cent of the cycle tyre and tube manufacturing units in
the country were concentrated here in the city.
Student hangs herself
PATIALA, April 13 Amandeep Kaur Buttar, a 22-year-old post-graduate student, allegedly hanged herself in her room in Hostel Number 3 for Girls on the Punjabi University campus last night.
Sources disclosed that Amandeep was last seen by hostel inmates around 7 p.m. yesterday, following which she locked herself in her room. When she did not come out of her room for dinner, one of her friends knocked at the door of her room. When there was no response, she reported the matter to the hostel authorities. The door was finally broken open.
The students found her hanging from the ceiling fan in her room. Amandeep was studying in M.A. first year and belonged to Nabha.
Rajindra Hospital sources disclosed that the post-mortem of her body revealed the cause of death to be from hanging.
Warrant officer to trace
CHANDIGARH, April 13 Issuing notice to a Punjab minister and five other respondents for April 24, Mr. Justice R.L. Anand of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here has appointed a warrant officer to search such places as may be pointed out by the petitioner for locating his brother allegedly picked up by the police following a land dispute.
The police, the petitioner alleged, had told him that his brother would not be released unless the land was vacated. The cops had further told him and other villagers accompanying him that there were directions given by a minister from the local constituency.
Expressing apprehensions regarding his brothers safety, the petitioner feared that the police might subject him to physical as well as mental torture.
Going into the background, the petitioner stated that his brother was taken away by a raiding party in April after they had filed a civil suit for restraining one of the respondents from dispossessing them.
Taking up the petition, Mr Justice Anand observed: After hearing the petitioner and on going through the averment in the writ petition, I am of the opinion prima facie that the person mentioned in the petition is in illegal custody of the respondent and his release has become necessary.
Mr Justice Anand added: I appoint a warrant officer who shall search such places as may be pointed out by the petitioner or his representative to locate the alleged detainee. If the warrant officer comes to the conclusion that the custody of the alleged detainee is illegal, he shall make every effort for the release of the detainee.
Notice to Red Cross on donations to cyclone-hit
On a petition directions to the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the Red Cross Society for conducting high-level inquiry into the alleged misutilisation of donations for Orissa cyclone victims, Mr Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice R.L. Anand of the High Court issued notice of motion for May 2.
Claiming most of the donated items to be rotting in the Red Cross Society godown, the petitioner Punjab Civil and Consumer Welfare Front had earlier asked for directions to send the valuable public property to Orissa or distribute it among the needy in Jalandhar.
Giving details, the petitioner had added that as per reports, clothes and other valuables donated by the general public for the cyclone-hit in Orissa were kept in the godown and most of it was either badly damaged or spoiled.
Three held for fraud
GURDASPUR, April 13 The police has arrested three persons allegedly involved in grabbing land worth crores by preparing fake documents. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, briefing mediapersons here today said Gurdeep Singh and his brother, Pardeep Singh of Pathankot, and Kuldeep Singh Jalandhar were arrested yesterday by the police station Division No 2, Pathankot.
A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 of the IPC has been registered against them.
In another case, the SSP said an inter-state gang of thieves was busted with the arrest of Mangta, Bodh Raj, Sonu and Kunti Devi. They were arrested from Sammu chack village under the Dinanagar police station yesterday.
Two pistols, 4
cartridges and stolen goods were recovered from their
possession. A case under Sections 399, 402 and 171 of the
IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been
registered against them.
Four arrested on assault
JALANDHAR, April 13 The police arrested four persons on a charge of attacking two spectators of Ram Navmi shobha yatra near Milap Chowk yesterday.
Akshay, Bobby, Anil and Kalia, all local residents, had allegedly attacked Rajnish Gill, a resident of Ali Mohalla locality, and his friend Sandeep with knives. Both were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Doctors said their condition, who suffered injuries on private parts, was stable.
According to the police, the incident was an outcome of some old rivalry between two groups. A case has been registered.
Poppy seized: The Phillaur police has arrested a woman on a charge of possessing 38.5 kg of poppy husk.
According to the police, the accused has been identified as Rano, a resident of Phillaur. A case has been registered.
Murdered: A migrant factory worker was found murdered in mysterious circumstances on a factory premises near Lamba Pind, on the outskirts of the city, on Wednesday.
The deceased has been identified as Laalu Prasad. He used to sleep in the factory, which was undergoing renovation for quite some time. The body with multiple injuries was found by neighbours on Thursday.
3 die as car collides with
JALANDHAR, April 13 Three members of a Delhi-based family were killed while one of them injured seriously when the car they were travelling in collided with a truck near Bhogpur township this afternoon.
The family was on their
way to Jammu from Delhi. The lone survivor in the
accident has been identified as Sandeep, a 21-year youth,
while his mother, father and sister died on the spot
after their Maruti car collided with a truck coming from
the opposite direction. Sandeep, who received multiple
injuries, has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital
where a post-mortem of bodies was conducted later in the
Dowry victim cremated
TARN TARAN, April 13 Shailly (23), daughter of Joginder Pal, an employee of the local Municipal Council, who was allegedly tortured to death by her husband and in-laws, was cremated here yesterday.
According to police sources Shailly was tortured to death on last Sunday by her husband Deepak, father-in-law Rajinder Kumar, grand mother-in-law Bimla and Asha, another women from her in-laws family, all residents of Amritsar. Later, they tried to cremate her body in their house but the matter was unearthed on Tuesday. The Amritsar police took the body in its custody.
Mr Joginder Pal, father
of the deceased, said Shailly was married to Deepak about
three years back. Soon after the marriage, he started
torturing her to bring more dowry. She had been often
physically tortured regularly these past few days. The
Amritsar police has registered a case under Sections
304B, 120B, 34, IPC, against Deepak and other three
members of her in-laws. The body was handed over to the
Boy drowns in temple tank
JALANDHAR, April 13 A 15-year-old boy drowned in the tank of local Devi Talab Temple, where he had gone to have a dip along with his parents on the occasion of Baisakhi.
The incident occurred at
8 a.m. this morning when the boy, identified as Raman
Kumar, a resident of Kishanpura locality, slipped off
stairs of the tank. Efforts by his parents and devotees,
who had come there to celebrate Baisakhi to save him
proved futile. Later, his body was fished out of the pond
by police officials.
Mystery shrouds explosion
BHAKNA KALAN (Amritsar), April 13 Mystery shrouds a powerful blast which damaged a house in this border village. The blast took place yesterday at 2.45 a.m.
Was it a bomb blast, an electric short circuit that led to an explosion or a gas cylinder burst is not clear.
The police is also clueless regarding the nature of the blast.
Neighbour Balkar Singh said he heard an ear-shattering blast.
Service charges cost a pretty
LUDHIANA, April 13 Ever since its inception, Punjab Agricultural University rules make it mandatory for all new students and new recruitments in the staff to get a medical examination done from the university hospital after paying a minimal fee of Rs 2.
The fee has to be paid through a bank draft, which, ironically, is made after paying service charges to a bank varying between Rs 10 and Rs 15.
It is learnt that this fee has not been revised since the university was established in the sixties. Earlier, the university used to charge this fee in the form of postal orders but due to the difficulty in the realisation of the amount through the postal order, a decision was taken in September, 1998, that this fee be paid in the form of bank drafts only.
Interestingly, the university Comptroller, Mr S.K. Bhatia, when contacted, expressed his ignorance regarding this rule in spite of the fact that it was his office that had changed the rule in 1998.
When asked if the
university authorities had made any arrangements with the
banks situated in the university for waiving the service
charges for making the draft, Mr Bhatia replied in the
negative. He, however, said that he would take up the
matter with the university authorities as well as the
banks in the university.
College holds annual function
PATIALA, April 13 A total of 25 rolls of honour, 76 college colours, 10 medals, 2 trophies and scholarships, a memorial cup and 190 other prizes were given by Dr Kehar Singh Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, at the annual prize distribution function of Mohindra College here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kehar Singh pointed to the need for structural changes in the present system of education, especially with regard to the teaching of science and English at the school level.
He called upon the elite to suggest ways and means to revamp the system, whereby mass failure in science and English could be stopped. In order to cater to the needs of 2 per cent brilliant students, 98 per cent of students have to face failure and frustration, he said.
Earlier, Prof M.M. Singh, Principal of the college, welcomed the chief guest and other guests. He presented the annual report of the college. Highlighting the achievements of the students, he mentioned with pride the names of Reetinder Sodhi and Siddhartha Sharma. Reetinder Sodhi was the vice-captain of Indias junior cricket team which won the Junior World Cup.
Siddharth Sharma had won gold medals in debate and elocution competition at the South Asian Universities International Youth Festival in Nagpur.
Among those who were given prizes were Prabhjot and Sonia first in the university in Honours school in English and Hindi, respectively; Vidhi Dixit.
Best volunteer, Youth Club; and under officers Tejinder Singh and Gurmeet Singh Republic Day parade.
Labourers stir hits
KHANNA, April 13 Labourers at Asias largest grain market here went on strike yesterday disrupting wheat procurement operations.
While the arrival of wheat this year is lower than last year, lack of purchase by government agencies has led to a glut of wheat in the market. Farmers are apprehensive that the situation will go out of hand if no corrective steps are taken immediately.
Trouble started when labourers demanded that they should be paid the sewing charges according to the marketing board rates which prescribed Rs 1.25 for a machine-sewed bag and 35 paisa for hand-sewed bag.
The government agencies have, however, told them that they would get this work done on a contract basis.
Mr Gurdeep Singh, a leader of labourers union, said there was no provision for getting this work done on a contract basis and we will continue the strike till this issue is solved.
Only 13,150 quintal of wheat had arrived till yesterday where as 1,04,150 quintals had arrived till April 11 last year. Private traders were procuring wheat at Rs 611 to Rs 620 per quintal which was more than the minimum support price of Rs 580 announced by the government agencies. However, with the government agencies entering the market, the private traders have also started procuring wheat at Rs 580 per quintal.
More than 16,000 bags of wheat are lying in the market unsold or unlifted.
Mr Hardeep Singh, Inspector, Food and Supply, said the government procurement agencies were purchasing wheat as per government instructions. He further said procurement was slow because of a higher moisture content in wheat that had arrived till now.
Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal,
General Secretary of the BKU (Rajewal), alleged that all
claims of government procurement agencies were baseless.
The purchases made by these agencies till now were
meagre. This had exposed the anti-farmer
policy of the Punjab Government. He claimed that secret
instructions had been given to these agencies to procure
less wheat this season as the government was having
storage problems. He urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh
Badal to settle all these issues immediately otherwise
farmers would be forced to launch a statewide agitation.
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