|Tuesday, May 23, 2000,
Badal rules out mid-term poll
Amarinder, Bhattal sink
Dyal Singh centre for rural youth
Stop sale of illicit liquor: Badal
BJP satisfied with SAD working:
do not need NOC
Notice issued on deportation
Quenching thirst of passersby
Concern over fall in milk prices
Badal releases 2 books
Homeopathic council opposes
Rs 32 lakh given for development
drowned in nullah
Two sent to jail for rape of minor
Missing lawyer surfaces
Two injured in clash
PCCTU delegation meets Sahi
Relief in ST likely
Badal rules out mid-term poll
KHARAR, May 22 Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, has ruled out any possibility of mid-term poll in the state and declared that the present state government would complete its five-year term.
Mr Badal observed this while addressing a political conference organised at nearby Chappar Chirri village where Baba Banda Singh Bahadur gave a crushing defeat to the Mughals in 1710.
He alleged that some wanted to weaken the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) by joining hands with the Congress.
The Chief Minister promised to solve all problems of this area and announced that he would arrange sangat darshan in Kharar and SAS Nagar within 15 days.
Mr Badal announced that 20 km long link roads would be constructed in each assembly constituency during the financial year.
Mr Ranbir Singh Kala, president of the local municipal committee Kharar and five councillors, who were supporters of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, announced their support for the SAD. The Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the municipal committee for various development works.
Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu
and Mr Tara Singh Ladal both ministers Mrs Satwinder Kaur
Dhaliwal (former M.P.), Mr Randhir Singh Cheema (former
minister), Mr Mokha Singh and Mr Jarnail Singh Aulakh
(SGPC members) also addressed the conference.
Ministers ego hassles
CHANDIGARH, May 22 - The fate of 22 officers of the Punjab Agriculture Department continues to hang in balance. The reason: ego-hassles between the Agriculture Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal ,and the Minister of State, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike.
It all started when orders were passed by the Financial Commissioner (development), Mr Y. S Ratra, on the placement and promotion of as many as 22 agriculture officers on April 19.
Thereafter, on April 27, all 22 (deputy directors , chief agricultural officers , district training officers and project officers) were issued posting orders. The only criterion was to adjust these officers either against a vacant post or to ensure their placements close to their existing place of posting as far as possible, say sources maintaining that this was done with the approval of the Minister of State of Agriculture, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike , since the Cabinet Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal , was abroad. Mr Ranike is reported to have made even some changes in the proposed postings.
When Mr Gurdev Singh returned he was visibly upset over the orders passed on April 27. He reversed the orders of Mr Ranike despite being explained the sequence of events . Consequently , the senior minister had his way. The posting orders of all 22officers were cancelled on May 10.
As usually happens, the matter was reported to the Chief Minister by Mr Gurdev Singh. Though the former was briefed as to what all had happened in the absence of the senior minister he was unhappy the way administrative matter was handled. Now ,It was Mr Ranike's turn to protest.
In fact what has happened in the Agriculture Department is neither new nor unusual. Such clash of egos and working at cross-purposes is reportedly a norm in several other departments as well.Either the two ministers do not pull together or there is a tiff between the minister and his administrative secretary.
Some ministers of State rued that they were better off as MLAs, because being ministers was of little or no consequence since no file was put up to them.
The Chief Minister is seized of such happenings and often finds himself helpless, say sources.
The Chief Secretary is often approached by the aggrieved ministers and administrative secretaries to sort out their problems. Since such events are now a rule rather than being an exception . A clear order from the Chief Secretary is that all files are to be routed to the Cabinet minister through the minister of State.This works for some time in some departments , but the problem persists.
So much so that another letter from the Chief Secretary's office explicitly desires that the administrative secretaries should give a "certificate" that the order of the Chief Secretary on routing the files through the minister of State concerned has been followed in letter and spirit.
In the Agriculture Department the system designed by the Chief Secretary`s office was being followed till Mr Gurdev Singh Badal expressed his displeasure. The same was being conveyed by his staff to the staff of the Financial Commissioner (development).
Incidentally, so cloistered is the functioning in several departments the administrative secretaries do not even know where the minister is . In this case as well the office of the Financial Commissioner (development) was unaware of the fact that Mr Gurdev Singh was abroad. It was only when posting and placement of 22 officers was to be done that it transpired that Mr Gurdev Singh was not in the country . Hence the file concerned was placed before Mr Ranike.
Amarinder, Bhattal sink
LUDHIANA, May 22 For once dissidence with the Congress party in Punjab was pushed to the background and both Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh and former Punjab Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in one voice lambasted the SAD(B)-BJP government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal for what they described as failure on all fronts, total non-governance and pursuing policies detrimental to the interests of common people, weaker sections, employees, farmers, trade and industry.
Addressing a district-level dharna in front of mini secretariat here today, the PPCC chief, while commenting on the reports of the SAD (B) preparing for mid-term poll in Punjab, maintained that the Congress was fully prepared for the electoral battle. We will inflict a defeat upon the SAD-BJP combine. People want that the ruling party goes for a fresh mandate so that it (ruling combine) was made to pay for its total betrayal of the electorate.
Charging the ruling party with deliberately putting the pressing demands of Punjab on the back burner, Captain Singh observed that even though the SAD (B) was an ally of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and Haryana was ruled by another ally of the NDA, the Punjab government had failed to get the water and territorial issues and handing over of Chandigarh resolved during the their tenure of three and a half years. The Akali leadership, he added, was in the habit of raising these issues only when in opposition.
Braving blistering sun the party was able to manage a sizeable number of activists mobilised by the DCC and district Youth Congress. Truckfuls of participants were pouring in till the conclusion of the rally.
Former Chief Minister, Mrs Bhattal criticised the constituents of ruling combine the SAD (B) and the BJP for exploiting religious sentiments for political motives. The two parties claimed to be champions of Sikhs and Hindus, respectively and in a bid to consolidate their votebanks, communal feelings were being aroused.
The controversies on RSS philosophy and activities of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat and the moves by Sikh fundamentalist forces were the direct result of mixing Religion with politics by the SAD (B) and the BJP.
Among other leaders of
the Opposition Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, former Minister Mr
Harnam Das Johar, Mr Rakesh Pandey, DCC (urban)
president, Mr Surinder Dawar, DCC (rural) chief Mr
Harmohinder Singh, district Youth Congress president Mr
Pawan Diwan were present at the rally.
Stop sale of illicit liquor:
CHANDIGARH, May 22 At least keep my honour in mind. Why are you defaming me? This is how the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, conveyed his anguish to certain members of the Ludhiana-based old syndicate of liquor contractors at a meeting held at his official residence here late this evening.
Though these members were not invited to attend the meeting but still they attended it. As they tried to interfere in the meeting, the Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Adesh Partap Singh, who had arranged the meeting to sort out the problems faced by a new group of contractors in Ludhiana, had to tell the members of the old syndicate to leave the meeting and if they had any matter to discuss they should come after the meeting was over, according to informed sources.
After the meeting, members of the new group of the contractors told TNS that the Chief Minister had directed the Ludhiana police to immediately stop the sale of illicit liquor. He asked the police authorities that why cases were not being registered against those involved in the sale of illicit liquor in Ludhiana.
Members of the new group, who also submitted a memorandum , gave a documentary evidence, including certain slips, to prove their point that illicit liquor was being sold in Ludhiana.
For breaking the monopoly of the old syndicate in the liquor trade in Ludhiana region, Mr Adesh Partap Singh had brought the new group in to the limelight. Through an auction the new group had secured nine groups of vends in the city and the old syndicate was left with only two groups of the total 11 groups.
But it was not a smooth sailing for the new group as far as setting of liquor vends in Ludhiana was concerned. They were supposed to start their shops from April 1, but many of them were unable to do so as they had to face many problems, including the sale of illicit liquor.
They also specifically mentioned the name of a Sub-Inspector in Ludhiana, who unnecessarily harassed those who come to buy the liquor from vends owned by new group. In fact, they requested the Chief Minister to get it probed that how the Sub-Inspector had managed to stay at a single police post in the city for over two years. They demanded his immediate removal from the district.
The new group told the Chief Minister that whenever they approach the police authorities to get the case registered against the smugglers of illicit liquor, no action was taken. Police often tells us that there were instructions from above to harass the new group of contractors , they added.
BJP satisfied with SAD working:
PHAGWARA, May 22 The Punjab BJP President, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, today declared unequivocally that his party did not share perception of dissident Akali leader Ravi Inder Singh and had solid alliance only with the SAD headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.
He was commenting for the first time upon Mr Ravi Inders refrain that even the BJP shared his perception about bad performance of the Punjab government. The BJP is satisfied with the SAD performance and had nothing to do with the perception of Ravi Inder Singh about it. asserted Mr Sodhi.
On Mr Ravi Inder Singhs claim that even Mr Sodhi had stated that the BJPs alliance was with the Akalis and not with any individual, Mr Sodhi said that Mr Ravi Inder Singh had distorted his statement since he (Sodhi) had stated that the BJPs alliance was with the SAD headed by Mr Badal.It may be mentioned here that former Speaker Ravi Inder Singh, who had been expelled from the SAD for anti-party activities, had launched a drive to topple the Badal government.
Mr Sodhi also released
the list of 13 district BJP presidents who had been
elected unanimously Mr H.L. Sethi Ludhiana
(rural); Mr Bajresh Abrol Ludhiana (urban); Mr
Hira Lal Moga; Mr Satpal Faridkot; Mr
Surjit Singh Kapurthala; Mr Jagdish Rana
Sangrur; Mr Madan Lal Mansa; Mr Charanji Lal
Mukatsar; Mr Pitamber Dutt Patiala (urban);
Dev Raj Patiala (rural); Mr Virender Kumar
Nawanshahr; Mr Dev Raj Batala; Mr Navalji
Candidates do not need NOC
SAS NAGAR, May 22 The State Election Commission says there is no need to take a no-objection certificate (NOC) for those persons who intend to contest the municipal council and nagar panchayat elections in the state.
The directives in this regard were issued to the officials concerned by the Punjab State Election Commissioner, Mr C.D. Cheema, after some persons approached the commission regarding the earlier directives by the Local Government Department not to allow the persons to fight the municipal elections who had encroached upon government land .In case of the SAS Nagar Municipal council, the administrator of the council had written to PUDA regarding the issuing of NOCs to the persons seeking to contest the municipal elections.
Cong kisan cell dissolved
CHANDIGARH, May 22 The President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh, has dissolved the kisan cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress committee with immediate effect.
Notice issued on deportation
CHANDIGARH, May 22 For avoiding delay in the deportation of 120 foreign nationals lodged in Amritsar jail arrested long back for overstaying or entering the country without passport Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here has treated their representations for sending them back as a civil writ petition.
Pronouncing the orders, Mr Justice Jhanji has also directed the High Court Registry to list the matter on July 10 before a Division Bench after notice to the Union of India.
Mr Justice Jhanji observed: One of the accused persons has already undergone sentence provided for the offence committed by him. His detention after that period is a clear violation of human rights.
Mr Justice Jhanji also observed: The time being taken in the deportation of the foreign nationals is so long that they are made to remain in jail even after their release in the cases in which they have been arrested. In this regard, steps are required to be taken so that a person who is arrested for committing an offence and later, on being released from the jail after undergoing the sentence, may be sent back immediately.
The foreign nationals 54 Pakistanis, 50 Bangladeshis, 13 from Burma, two from Iran and one from Afganistan were earlier ordered by Mr Justice Jhanji to be deported to their respective nations after they were directed to be released by the Chief Judicial Magistrate while holding a camp court at the jail.
Mr Justice Jhanji observed: All the foreign nationals arrested confessed their guilt and after recording their confession and also finding that they had already undergone imprisonment for a term of more than three months, they were ordered to be released.
Mr Justice Jhanji also observed: I ordered the Jail Superintendent to deport them immediately to their respective nations. The Jail Superintendent told me that they will have to be kept in the camp being run by the government in the jail premises till such time they are deported to their respective countries. He said that their deportation would take a long time, that is seven to eight months more.
Mr Justice Jhanji added: To avoid delay in deportation of the foreign nationals and also to safeguard human rights, I think it proper to treat their representations as civil writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of writ to the Union of India to take up their matter with their respective governments for their early deportation.
Going into the background, Mr Justice Jhanji observed: During the course of jail inspection at Amritsar, I held a camp court in the jail premises. While scrutinising the cases of undertrials and convicts, I came across cases of foreign nationals arrested for the violation of provisions of the Passport Act.
Mr Justice Jhanji added: On scrutiny of their cases, I found that they had been arrested either for overstaying or for entering Indian territory without passport or visa. Since the foreign nationals had been arrested long back, their cases were taken up in the camp.
Pre-arrest bail granted
Allowing the petition filed by Chairman-cum-Managing Director of a Ludhiana based organisation Kimti Lal Jain, accused of being involved in a corruption case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the release of the petitioner on bail in the event of his arrest.
The petitioner was apprehending arrest in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation at Delhi. According to the prosecution, certain officials of the Bongaigaon Refinery and Petro Chemical Limited entered into a criminal conspiracy with the petitioners firm allowing it to lift polyster staple fibre worth Rs 67 lakh on the basis of fake letters of credit and thereby causing pecuniary loss.
Pronouncing the orders,
Mr Justice K.S. Kumaran observed: If the
association of the petitioner is necessary for the
purpose of investigation, the investigating officer shall
issue notice to the petitioner giving him sufficient time
to join the investigation.
Dyal Singh centre for rural
AMRITSAR, May 22 As a tribute to a great son of the soil, Sirdar Dyal Singh Majeethia (1848-98), a centre for training of rural youth for self-employment would be opened at his native town of Majitha. The project, with a total cost of Rs 126 crore, would be set up by Punjab National Bank with the active support of the district administration.
The self-training centre would be the first of its kind in the state as it would offer attractive courses to the rural youth. Sirdar Dyal Singh was the founder chairman of Punjab National Bank and founder of The Tribune. He is known for bequeathing his largely self-earned assets, including prestigious buildings and lands in Lahore, Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts worth Rs 30 lakh, to two trusts in 1898 and establishing Dyal Singh College and Dyal Singh Library in Lahore.
According to Mr Narinderjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, who is the main architect of this unique project, the proposed centre would train rural youth in food processing and computer applications. There was a lot of scope in Punjab for food technology and computer application and the rural youth would get maximum benefit from such courses.
Till recently, systematic efforts had not been made to provide training to rural youth in activities like food processing and food preservation and computer application to supplement their income and make them self-dependent. Apart from this, there was no training centre available in this border area for imparting practical training to the rural youth in these fields.
Mr Narinderjit Singh
said that at least 60 students would be imparted training
in the proposed centre every year. He further said that
the programme was proposed to be implemented with the
financial assistance of the NFRD. However, the overall
management of the project would rest with Punjab National
Bank Centenary Rural Development Trust. The duration of
the project would be 10 months.
SANGRUR: Dr Surinder Singla, Secretary of the local branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), who has been in the news for the past six months for pointing out distortion in Indias map by the drug companies, was awarded the Best Overall Performance Special State Award by the Punjab unit of the IMA at its state-level conference, held at Barnala.
Dr Singla was selected for this award for pointing out distortions in the map of India published by certain drug companies, his role in strengthening the IMA and holding health awareness seminars for public and doctors.
Dr Singla has detected the deletion of huge areas of the Jammu and Kashmir in the map of India by three leading drug companies in the past seven months. The latest finding of such deletions by companies is a leading multi-national Parke Davis ( India) Limited which in its product literature, published the map of India excluding huge areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, the similar error was detected by Dr Singla in the publicity literature of USV Ltd and Unichem Laboratories Limited . Dr Singla also compelled these companies to apologise for their blunder while USV Ltd was forced to reprint its literature and correct the error in the map.
Dr Singla also wrote to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister seeking action against such companies, but to no avail. However Dr Singla brought the matter to the notice of President of India through a letter written on April 27 this year. The Presidents Secretariat took no time to inform Dr Singla that his communication had been forwarded to the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, for appropriate action.
Earlier, Dr Singla was honoured for his patriotic action by the IMA President by presenting him the National Presidents Appreciation Award and a trophy at the All India Medical Conference held at Pune in December 1999. he was also honoured by Mr Nirmal Singh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Punjab, on behalf of the district administration at the last Republic Day function at Sangrur.
Quenching thirst of passersby
PATIALA, May 22 It has been 15 years now. The same man. At the same spot. Pumping water vigorously in the peak of summer for thirsty passers by. Pumping hard despite having one stump for a leg with both his hands and even with one hand by exerting pressure on his stump by placing it on the concrete platform which also forms his seat.
For someone whose happiness was snuffed out in the prime of his life when he became a handicapped person, 65-year-old Harnam Singh has only returned love and kindness in return to his fellow human beings. He daily pumps the hand pump installed on one side of the road near the railway gate close to the Regional Transport Authority office. His clients include numerous persons who come to the RTA office to get their transport work done, rickshaw drivers and their passengers who want to quench their thirst while the railway gate is closed and numerous children who relish the cold water coming out of the pump which has been insulated with a jute bag to keep the water cool.
Harnam Singh treats everyone alike. He is serious about his job and is rarely seen leaving his concrete platform. His only companion is his wooden crutch besides three steel glasses he has kept for those who want to use them. As he is an Amritdhari and his religious beliefs do not allow him to beg, all he gets by way of gratitude from people partaking of the water are a few rupees.
I do not need money beyond my simple needs, says Harnam Singh while talking to TNS. He says he only needed a little money to buy clothes for himself besides a few other basic necessities. Rest all is left to God. He partakes of langar everyday from the Dukhniwaran Gurdwara and sleeps in the verandah of the scooter repair shop close to the gurdwara.
Talking about how he came to Patiala, Harnam, who earlier resided close to Ghanour town near here, said he met with an accident while sleeping on the side of a road in Ludhiana where he had gone to ply a rickshaw. I had been recently married then and was totally depressed with life. It was then that he came under the influence of Baba Purandas of Sheikhupura near Ghanour who urged him to do some sewa to earn his living honourably. On encouragement from the Sant ji I started doing duty on the hand pump here. The duty stuck and now Harnam Singh is at the handpump in the Baradari Gardens during the summer and goes back to his house now in Mudki in Ferozepore during the winters. This way I keep myself preoccupied, do service to the people and also exist in a dignified way, he adds.
Speaking about his family, he says they do tell him to stop doing this work and stay with them in his old age. I however am used to this work and do not want to while my time relaxing in the village without doing anything. Every year I wait for the end of winter so that I can come back to my seat here, he adds.
Though Harnam does not
show it, he has an uncertain existence. He partakes his
meals in the Dukhniwaran Gurdwara but cannot do
sewa there as he claims the marble floor is
very slippery and it is difficult for him to walk on it.
Similarly he has to wake up well in time and clear the
verandah of the scooter repair shop which is his
temporary abode. I never thought of seeking any
help for myself, says Harnam adding his only worry
is his hand pump. Right now I have to request the
Regional Transport Authority officer or some
philanthropist to get repairs conducted on it whenever
something goes wrong. If this can be looked after I would
be more than satisfied, he adds.
Concern over fall in milk prices
PATIALA, May 22 The Punjab Provincial Committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has expressed concern at the fall in the prices of milk and milk products due to the new trade policy of the BJP-led central government.
In a statement here, CPI(ML) Provincial Secretary Darshan Singh Khatkar said the policy had brought 714 more consumer goods under the open general license scheme which meant that there would not be any quota and tariff, restrictions on these products. The fall in prices is cause for, despair among small milk producers, milkmen and others related to milk procurement and milk processing.
Mr Khatkar said this policy also adversely affected small-scale industrial units because a large number of consumer products brought under free trade were kept reserved for this sector. The products listed under OGLC are electrical appliances, shoes, watches, flour, salt, processed foods, milk and milk products, carpets, sunglasses and photo films.
Badal releases 2 books
CHANDIGARH, May 22 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today released two books titled Mystic Soul penned down in English and Rubayat-e-Shah Gulam authored in Punjabi by Fakeer Ishwar Dass, president of Eko Naam Satsang Hai.
The book Mystic Soul unfolds the eternal mystery in poetic prose. It contains an account of a mystics journey from utter ignorance to the supreme realisation, from an atheistic, materialistic and intellectual mind to the enlightened mind.
Homeopathic council opposes
CHANDIGARH, May 22 The Council of Homeopathic System of Medicine, Punjab, has opposed the Punjab Governments interference in the affairs of the council. Addressing a press conference, as many as nine members of the council said here today that the Punjab Government was forcing the council to appoint a certain person as the registrar of the council.
They said that as the person concerned had faced criminal charges against him, the council was not prepared to appoint such person to the post. Moreover, the council members said that as the functioning of the council was going on smoothly without filling the post of the registrar, there was no need to fill the post. The government has so far not finalised the pay scale and service conditions for the post of the registrar though the council had taken up this matter.
If the government continued to interfere and insisted on the appointment of a particular person as registrar, they would move to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek justice.
Poor response to bandh
SAMRALA, May 22
The call given by some social organisations for observing
a bandh here today, drew poor response though a few shops
remained closed till 12 noon. The call for the bandh was
given in protest against an incident in which a
transporter with the help of his men threw out the
belongings of some tenant shopkeepers in the presence of
a court bailiff on May 20.
Rs 32 lakh given for development
PATIALA, May 22 The District Planning Board has sanctioned Rs 32 lakh for the completion of development activities in the district.
This was decided at a meeting of the board held under the presidentship of Ms Upinderjit Kaur, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, held at the Red Cross Bhavan here today.Ms Upinderjit Kaur urged the officials of various departments to expedite the development activities already under execution.
She said Rs 6.28 lakh had been earmarked for old-age pension fund, which she urged should be distributed expeditiously. Rs 65 lakh had been earmarked for pension of widows and activities relating to their welfare. A sum of Rs 4.48 lakh had been kept aside for rural water supply schemes, which at present, are being executed. A substantial quantity of this amount has been earmarked to provide drinking water in villages where proper drinking water was not available. To buy more books to be kept in village school libraries, a sum of Rs 2.58 lakh had been set aside.The Deputy Commissioner and Secretary of the District Planning Board said any employee found misusing funds meant exclusively for development would face strict action. He assured the members that all development works started will be executed on time.
Raja Narinder Singh,
Public Health Minister, and Mr Gagandeep Singh Additional
Deputy Commissioner (Development), were also present at
the meeting which was also attended by senior officers of
the District Administration.
10-yr-old drowned in nullah
LUDHIANA, May 22 A 10-year-old rag-picker today died after slipping into the Budha Nullah near the New Kundan Puri Locality when he had gone there to pick polythene bags and other waste.
According to information available, 10-year-old Basant had gone near the nullah along with his twin brother, Seet Basant, and four to five other children from the jhuggis situated in Chawni Mohalla, around 2 from the accident site.
A visit to the accident site today showed that an around 15 yard area in the nullah is covered with water hyacinth. Rags and silt and anyone can easily walk over it. It was in this part of the nullah that the group of boys was picking waste when Basant fell into the nullah.
Seet Basant, the twin of the deceased, informed that when Basant slipped into the nullah, he tried to run along the nullah but Basant was soon washed away.
A distraught Seet Basant complained that his other playmates got scared and ran away. When I could not see Basant any longer, I ran the entire 2 km back to my house to inform my mother, he said.
It is learnt that the accident occurred around 12, noon and the police was immediately informed. Head Constable Charan Singh of the Kailash Chowk police post was the first to reach the spot around 12.15 pm. He mobilised a group of four persons to get into the chest-deep water of the nullah and begin rescue operations.
When TNS visited the site around 2.30 PM, only two municipal corporation officials had reached the site and that too only after repeated telephone calls from the police. It was only after 3.45 pm that a ditch machine was sent by the corporation. However, no senior official was available to initiate the rescue operations.
The municipal corporation was able to begin the rescue operations only around 4:15 p.m, almost four hours after the incident. A group of 15 municipal employees was deputed to carry out the search work and a ditch machine was being used to pull out the silt and locate the body of the deceased till reports last came in.
However, it was the local people who made all-out efforts to recover the body. Ramesh Kumar, who is a neighbour of the deceased, said, On humanitarian grounds, it desired that someone make efforts to at least retrieve the body. Along with Ramesh Kumar, four other youths stayed in the dirty nullah water for almost two hours, using their bare hands and sticks to locate the body.
Two sent to jail for rape of
LUDHIANA, May 22 The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Mehndiratta, yesterday sentenced two persons to a 10-year jail term for abduction and rape of a seven-year-old girl.
Rishi Pal Kalia and
Mahinder Mandal were tried for abduction and the rape of
the daughter of a tea shop owner in August, 1998. The
father of the girl in an FIR had complained that his
daughter went missing in the evening of that fateful day
and returned only next day with blood-stained cloths. The
girl then the told parents that Mahinder Mandal had
abducted her and handed over to Rishi Pal. Later the
medical reports confirmed she was raped.
Missing lawyer surfaces
SANGRUR, May 22 Jeevan Kumar Kapila, a lawyer from Barnala, who was missing since May 8, today produced himself before the police at Barnala.
Giving this information, Mr Ajaib Singh Kaleke, SSP, Barnala, said on May 9, Mrs Madhubala, wife of Mr Kapila, had lodged a report with the police stating that his husband had been kidnapped with the intention of killing him as he had Rs 1.25 lakh with him when he left the town for Khudi Khurd, his native village, but he did not reach there. Following this, the police registered a case under Section 364 of the IPC in this regard.
The SSP said the police next day found the scooter of the lawyer abandoned on the Tapa-Handhiaya road. The police felt that it was not a case of kidnapping. The telephone of Kapila was kept under observation and it was found that Kapila often made telephone calls at his residence from different stations.
The police chief said during investigation it was also found that Kapila was under depression as he could not pay his loans to different persons, from whom he had taken money allegedly to pay a big amount to get himself selected in the PCS (judicial).
The SSP said due to non-payment of loans and under depression, the lawyer planned his kidnapping.
Two injured in clash
KHANNA, May 22 In an attempt to plough up the disputed land in Aluna Tola village, a clash broke out between two groups in which two persons were injured yesterday.
According to information, a dispute was broke out between Malkeet Singh, a former sarpanch, and present sarpanch Kashmir Mohmmad. The injured have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital.
According to Mr Ram
Singh, SHO, Sadar police station, a case has been
registered under Sections 148, 149, 506, 447, 323 and 325
of the IPC against seven persons and two have been
rounded up. The SHO said the Deputy Commissioner
Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Sandhu, has directed the Revenue
Department to conduct an inquiry into this case.
PCCTU delegation meets Sahi
CHANDIGARH , May 22 A deputation of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, led by its newly elected President, Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, today met the Principal Secretary, Education, Mr G.P.S. Sahi, to demand implementation of the pending demands and remind him of the promise held out in that respect by the Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann.
Protest by NSUI
AMRITSAR, May 22 Activists of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) today observed a fast and staged a protest dharna against steep hike in college fees and other charges.
Relief in ST likely
PHILLAUR, May 22 The Punjab Government has agreed to give substantial relief in sales tax to traders and industrialists of the state.This was claimed by Lala Lajpat Rai, MP while talking to this correspondent after attending a high level meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, and Excise and Taxation Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, at Chandigarh today.
A formal announcement in
this regard will be made within two or three days. The
Chief Minister assured that industrialists
representatives will be taken into confidence before
reviewing sales tax in future.
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