|Wednesday, June 7, 2000,
Badal sold out
Badal may opt for mid-term poll:
Clauses in Act struck down
Sikh detainees may form front
SAD (A) to send jatha to Pak
Rs 4,500 cr for development
Shaken up, they lie in
Agony of pensioners
Head Granthis plea raises
Sikh panel to hear Tilla Sheikh
case on June 13
AIATF pledges support to convicted
PSHRC to take action against
PHRO, KMC leaders arrested
Bid to bribe police officer: 1
Movement of Punjab rice frozen
13 FCI officials suspended
Badal sold out
PATIALA, June 6 The Punjab Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, today alleged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had traded Punjabis interests in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh for concessions given to his hotel project in Gurgaon.
Addressing a press conference here after a meeting of the PPCC at his Motibagh Palace residence, Capt Amarinder Singh claimed that the Chief Minister had clandestinely given his assent to transfer of Udham Singh Nagar district to the proposed state of Uttaranchal. He said in return many violations in his hotel project had been regularised . These he said included ban on high rise buildings near the Palam airport.
Speaking about his partys stand on the issue of Udham Singh Nagar, he said there should be a referendum on whether people wanted to join the new state or not as 96 per cent of the panchayats had already declared their intention to remain in Uttar Pradesh. He said he had taken up the issue with the party high command. He said the high command would hold talks with the PPCC before deciding on its stand on Udham Singh Nagar in Parliament . He said a final decision would be taken before the bill for creation of Uttaranchal is placed in Parliament.
He also alleged that while the state Finance Minister was proclaiming that no water would be released to Rajashtan, water meant for the Lambi constituency in Punjab had been released to irrigate land belonging to the Chief Minister in Chak Badal in Ganganagar district. He said in the face of such an action the people of Punjab could not expect present governments to protect their river water rights.
The PPCC chief also alleged that the Chief Minister would benefit from a 2 per cent commission from a loan of Rs 4,000 crore which a team headed by an IAS officer was trying to raise from abroad. He said the Chief Minister must explain to the people why Punjab needed to borrow Rs 4,000 crore from abroad in deals in which money normally changed hands, when the state was already riddled with a loan of Rs 36,000 crore.
He said Punjab was not
equipped to handle such a big loan adding the loan taken
by the state during the period of Governors rule
was Rs 5,600 crore and that the Congress government had
left behind a loan of only Rs 2,800 crore. He claimed
subsequently during the Akali rule in the state the loan
amount had spiralled to Rs 36,000 crore. He said the
state, meanwhile, earned a revenue of Rs 5,500 crore and
spent an equal amount on paying its salary bills alone.
Badal may opt for mid-term
FATEHGARH SAHIB, June 6 Jathedar G.S. Tohra, President, SHSAD said the possibility of mid- term elections in the state could not be ruled out although Mr Badal was probably using the threat more as a tool to intimidate dissident MLAs.
He said in the recently concluded meeting the All-India Development Council, Mr Badal had been clearly told to withdraw the free power and water irrigation facility extended to farmers and the World Bank had refused to lend the state more money. As he did not want to be blamed for withdrawing the facility he may declare mid-term elections.
Talking to The Tribune at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib today where he had come to attend the Chopai Sahib path and pay homage to the Operation Bluestar martyrs he said the declaration of spending Rs 1 crore on each Assembly constituency and creating new posts was part of the process of raising funds as a possible prelude to elections.
He said Mr Badal was fooling the public by saying projects worth Rs 30,000 crore had been installed in the state and more than 20,000 persons would get employment in the oil refinery.
Where are these projects he asked. Instead industrialists are deserting the state for other state because of inspector raj and corruption. He said big industrial houses had visited the state to set up units but after a huge commissions were demanded they fled.
Talking of the GATT agreement he said while politically the country would be free economically it would be enslaved.
Clauses in Act struck down
CHANDIGARH, June 6 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today ordered the striking down of clauses introduced by the Punjab Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, reducing the ratio of directly elected members to 30 while retaining 70 for the representatives of the sarpanches indirectly elected for elections to the panchayat samitis.
Pronouncing the orders, Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice A.S. Garg observed: We find absolutely no reason whatsoever as to why the State Legislature has taken a volte face and returned to a situation where only 30 per cent members are to be elected directly and 70 per cent through indirect elections.
The Judges also observed: We are of the opinion that Clauses (a) and (b) of Section 99 (1) as introduced by the Amendment Act are unconstitutional being opposed to the express provisions of Article 243 (c) (2). They are accordingly struck down.
Challenging the clauses, petitioner Jagjit Singh and others had earlier stated that its provisions were violative of the mandate of Article 243 (c) (2) of the Constitution of India which visualised that all seats in a panchayat, which would include a panchayat samiti, were to be filled by persons chosen by direct election though sub article (3) thereof did provide for the election of a small number of members by indirect elections.
The petitioners had added that by reducing the ratio of the directly elected members the provisions of Article 243 (c) had been circumvented. Describing the action as colourful exercise of power, the petitioners had added that the provisions were liable to be struck down.
After hearing the arguments, the bench observed: We are of the opinion that the ratio of the indirectly vis-a-vis directly elected ones fixed by the Amendment Act has in fact nullified the constitutional mandate given in Article 243 (c) (2) of the Constitution and mandatory provision has been set at naught by a directory and enabling provision.
The Bench added: This could never have been the intention of the Parliament when it gave a limited authority to the State Legislature under Article 243 (c) (3).
Modifying an order directing the Gurdaspur Senior Superintendent of Police to look into a Kathua district residents complaint accusing Pathankot Superintendent of Police of attempting to outrage her modesty, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Director-General of Police to appoint a senior officer to probe into the matter.
Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr Justice Amarbir Singh Gill observed: The applicant (Pathankot SP) states that the SSP Gurdaspur is inimical towards him and that the matter may be probed, if at all, by any other officer other than the SSP Gurdaspur.
Mr Justice Gill added: In these circumstances, the order is modified and the Punjab DGP is directed to appoint a senior officer so as to leave no doubt of the biasness in the mind of anyone.
Accusing the Gurdaspur SSP of being prejudiced towards him, the SP had earlier stated in his application that he would not get a fair treatment from the former due to a running feud between them.
Going into the background, the applicant stated that the trouble between them started when the SSP curtailed the SPs jurisdiction by taking away certain police stations. He added that the SSP was also annoyed with him as he had not helped certain accused and had registered a criminal case against them.
It may be recalled that
seeking the registration of a first information report
against the SP and another respondent under Sections 354,
342 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioner had
alleged that the SP, under the influence of liquor, had
tried to outrage her modesty, besides misbehaving.
Sikh detainees may form front
AMRITSAR, June 6 Former militants and Sikh detainees lodged in various jails of the country may come on a single platform to form a front in Punjab.
An indication to this effect was gathered from a leaflet distributed by activists of different radical organisations on behalf of Mr Daljit Singh Bitoo, former president of the Sikh Student Federation, at Akal Takht here today. In this leaflet, Mr Bitoo has condemned the traditional Akali leadership. The message further reads that the traditional leadership had encashed the sacrifices made by Sikh quom by forming a government.
Without making a mention of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) leadership, Mr Bitoo alleged that apart from the traditional Akalis some factions had also done nothing for the Sikh Panth. He alleged that these Akalis had been indulging in raising slogans with the sole aim of grabbing power. He said the need of the hour was to discard the traditional Akali leadership and bring all Panthic forces on a single platform to get the goals of the Panth achieved.
Mr Bitoo said efforts should be made to bring students and other Sikh youths into the fold of the proposed third front who had got disillusioned with the traditional leadership due to one or the other reason. The leaflet further reads that the new leadership should give due importance to the emotions of those Sikh youths who had contributed to the cause in the past. Their healthy criticism should be given a hearing and corrective measures should be taken, he added.
I personally feel that we had launched a big armed struggle in the past. However, political power was handed over to the traditional Akalis. This was a historic blunder for which we have been paying the price. If we get political power in our own hands, it will be great tribute to the Sikh martyrs, the leaflet further reads.
Without mentioning the
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Mr Bitoo said this party had
tried to expand its base among voters by giving slogans
of Punjabiat. However, the RSS had been
dictating its terms to SAD. Mr Bitoo also condemned the
Akali leadership for dithering in raising issues
concerning the Sikhs on the floor of Parliament.
SAD (A) to send jatha to Pak
AMRITSAR, June 6 Notwithstanding the blanket ban by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) ban by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann has decided to send a jatha of Sikh devotees to Pakistan on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November.
This announcement was made by Mr Mann while talking to the press here today. While criticising the SGPC for imposing a ban on the jathas, Mr Mann appreciated the Pakistan Governments move of forming the Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PGPC) for proper maintenance of Sikh shrines in that country. He said Pakistan was the first foreign country which had formed a gurdwara committee for the upkeep of gurdwaras.
The SGPC had stopped sending jathas to Pakistan after the formation of the PGPC headed by Javed Nasir, a former ISI chief. The SGPC had said it would not send any jatha to Pakistan till the PGPC was disbanded.
Mr Mann said Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, while performing ardas at Akal Takht today reiterated the desire of Sikhs to have access to the Sikh shrines in Pakistan after they were deprived of such an opportunity as a result of Partition. Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC chief, was also present on the occasion Mr Mann said it was ridiculous that on the one hand the Sikhs had been praying for access to Sikh shrines in Pakistan and on the other hand the SGPC had deprived the Sikh sangat of such an opportunity by putting a stop to jathas to Pakistan.
The SAD (Amritsar) chief also reiterated that Sikhs were denied the right to have a sovereign state at the time of Partition. He said Hindus got India, the Muslims got Pakistan but the Sikhs were denied such a right.
Answering another question, Mr Mann said the appeal of the Akal Takht Jathedar to bring the Panth on a single front should be taken in a positive manner. I shall be more humble after the appeal of the Jathedar he said.
Mr Mann said he would again take up the case of carrying a kirpan on the floor of Parliament as it was the fundamental right of Sikhs. He said he was allowed to carry a kirpan in the Canadian Parliament. However, such a right was being denied by our own government. He said the Canadian Government had made necessary amendments to accommodate Sikhs in the Royal Mounted Army.
On the enhancement of
the defence budget, Mr Mann said it would be dangerous
trend for the minorities. He said Punjab would become a
battle field in case of a war between India and Pakistan.
Punjab being a buffer between the two nuclear powers
would suffer the most.
Rs 4,500 cr for development
PATIALA, June, 6 A sum of Rs 4,500 crore for this fiscal year has been earmarked by the Punjab Government for the development of agriculture, healthcare and education and for the provision of safe drinking water to rural areas. This was stated by Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Minister of Finance and Planning, at a function held to honour the newly appointed President of the SAD [rural], Mr Kashmir Singh Mawi, at Rajpura, near here, today.
Addressing a gathering of SAD and BJP workers and sarpanches and panches of adjoining villages, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said a sum of Rs 1,750 crore had also been earmarked for the construction, and maintenance of the main highways of the state and also to build new bridges in various parts of the state. He also assured the gathering that the four-laning of the Patiala-Rajpura-Chandigarh road would start from September 1 this year and the work would be completed within one year. This venture of the State Government, Capt Kanwaljit Singh added, would cost the Government nearly Rs 300 crore.He said Rs 850 crore had been spent on the construction of the Ranjit Sagar Dam, adding that from September 1, due to the construction of the dam, 600 MW of electricity would be generated, which would help the state to rapidly industrialise itself. Irrigation facilities to village in the state would improve and electricity would be available to all villages of the state for 24 hours a day.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh
said the Congress had weakened itself due to infighting
amongst the various factions of the state unit. Launching
a scathing attack of the Congress party, he added that
even at the central level the Congress had split
vertically and that a majority of Congressmen were not
with its President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, adding that the
leadership of Ms Sonia Gandhi was a complete failure.
Shaken up, they lie in agony
PATIALA, June 6 A pall of gloom has descended on residents of Bhattianwala village of Gorakhpur looking after their neighbours, who sustained massive burn injuries during a blast in an alloy factory in Mandi Gobindgarh following the death of one of the 10 labourers undergoing treatment in the Government Rajindra Hospital this morning.
The death of a labourer while spreading gloom among the attendants has depressed the other nine labourers lying side by side in Surgery ward number two in the hospital. This is because Jagdish, who expired this morning, was perceived to be slightly less injured than the others.
The death of Jagdish has shaken the others , said Phul Chand, one of the attendants. He said the others were now calling for their families. The men are seeing an uncertain future for themselves and many are no longer able to face the agony caused by the burn injuries , Phul Chand said. He said men had been deputed to Bhattianwala village which was near Gorakhpur on the border with Nepal to bring the relatives of the victims to Patiala. He said it would take two days for the relatives of the blast victims to reach Patiala.
A visit to the Surgery ward presented a gory sight. The area in which the burn victims have been put up has been curtained from the rest of the ward. The burn victims are lying on plastic sheets. In many cases they are almost completely unrecognisable owing to their injuries as well and the ointment which has been lathered all over them. All of them are on glucose and are given a little water with a dropper on demand. There are only three fans for all nine men with a few of them having no fan over them. However, they have been provided with mosquito nets to protect them during the night.
Doctors in the Surgery ward said the patients had suffered burn injuries from 60 to 100 per cent. They said they were being given antibiotics. The medicines are being provided by the factory owner. Though doctors say they are being cared for, Rajindra Hospital does not have a special burn ward.
Meanwhile, the body of
Jagdish has been sent to the hospital mortuary so that it
can be claimed by his relatives. A total of 17 labourers
had been injured in the factory blast on June 4. Eleven
of the critically burnt victims had been referred to
Rajindra Hospital of whom one, Bansi, had succumbed to
his injuries shortly after arrival the same day.
Agony of pensioners
FATEHGARH SAHIB: The District Social Security Office has not been able to cater to needs of the old and the destitute. Hundreds of people in the evening of their lives throng the office daily to get help and information, but they have to suffer as the office has no system to receive fresh applications and giving information on long-pending cases and pension.
The old, particularly the women can be seen asking passers-by about their cases, showing their slips and files.
Sarwan Singh of Hindupur village, Pritam Kaur of Havara Kalan, Gurdial Singh of Fatehgarh Newoan, Gurmail Kaur of Saidpura, Babu Singh of Majra Nidhewal, Gurcharn Kaur, Kaushalya Devi, Gurdev Kaur and Tejo of Rangheri, Sewa Singh, Sahib Kaur, Kartar Kaur, Mohinder Kaur of Hindupur and many others who have applied for re-verifying the deletion of their pensions told The Tribune that nobody in the office attended to them.
Some of them said that they were abused and pushed by the office staff.They alleged that those who approach middlemen manage to get their cases cleared within days. Some of them presented identity cards of the Punjab Government bearing stamps of the DSSO showing the sanction for their pensions, but they were shocked to learn that the cards were bogus.
They alleged that a clerk of the department, who has been transferred from here, had taken money from them to clear the cases. They alleged several agents manage to get the pension cases sanctioned by taking commission from pensioners. The papers submitted by these agents are cleared in a day. Certain agents in connivance with the officials have set up booths outside the district complex.
The hapless pensioners feel that the recent drive for verification of genuine pensioners has added to their miseries. They alleged that the genuine pensioners were deleted, whereas those who got their pensions sanctioned through agents managed to get their cases cleared.
The District Social Security Officer said rush in the office is due to shortage of staff. He has only one clerk, one peon, one accountant and two data entry operators. He has no stenographer and Superintendent. When the district was created the budget was only Rs 20 lakh and hardly 50 cases were received. Now the budget has gone to Rs 2 crore and more than 10,000 cases are received, but the staff remains the same.
Mr B.S. Sudan, Deputy Commissioner, said that the 35 per cent cases were found to be ineligible during verification. He said out of 19006 case 6523 were found to be bogus whereas 3277 new applications have been received for various types of pensions and after verification 1359 cases have been sanctioned. He said as and when any complaint is received regarding wrong deletion of pension, the same is sent to the DSSO for re-verification report within a week. He warned if anybody was found involved in corruption he would be booked.
Mr R.L. Kalsia, Director
Social Security, said the Deputy Commissioner had been
directed wrongly rejected cases should be reverified and,
if found genuine the pension should continue. He said
that to streamline the functioning, computers were being
installed at all the DSSO offices in the State.
Head Granthis plea
AMRITSAR, June 6 Some angry Sikhs, including Mr Jagmohan Singh and Mr Jaswinder Singh Khalsa, general secretary and member, working committee, of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), respectively, asked Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, to explain the reasons for making an appeal to the Sikh Panth from Akal Takht to work for the long span of the Shiromani Akali Dal government.
A piquant situation arose when the angry Sikhs virtually gheraoed Giani Bhagwan Singh for his uncalled for appeal to the Sikh masses and that too from Akal Takht. As Giani Bhagwan Singh had no satisfactory reply to make in this regard, he said he would explain his reasons some other day.
Before the address of
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht,
Giani Bhagwan Singh said the grand gathering of Sikhs had
been made possible due to the Akali government in the
state. He said though the SGPC and Akal Takht had been
endeavouring to observe ghallughara divas since 1985 yet
the gathering had been thin as the opposition had been in
Sikh panel to hear Tilla
Sheikh case on June 13
AMRITSAR, June 6 The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission today fixed June 13 for arguments to decide the question of its jurisdiction to hear petition of two Sikhs of Faridkot for handing over the management of Tilla Sheikh Baba Farid Shakarganj located at Faridkot to a receiver and for restraining the present managing committee from managing the institute.
The application filed under Section 151, CPC, by Mr Inderjit Singh Sekhon, president of the managing committee of the institute, sought to refrain the judicial commission for taking further proceedings on the petition on account of this commission having no jurisdiction in the matter unless and until the institution was declared a Sikh gurdwara by the state government.
Earlier, the counsel for the petitioners submitted a written reply to the application moved by Mr Sekhon and raised preliminary objections that no such application was maintainable at this stage as no written statement had been filed by the applicant. It further said that the respondent was stopped by his own act and conduct to file the present application as respondent himself admitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court that institution was a Sikh gurdwara and even other wide respondent was a nominee of the SGPC as he was appointed member of the institution, now he cannot turn back and say the institution is not a Sikh gurdwara, the written reply pointed out and dented that commission had no jurisdiction in the matter.
Meanwhile, the commission admitted a petition moved by the SGPC today under Section 142 of the Sikh Gurdwara Act and issued notices to Mr Inderjit Singh Sekhon, president and Mr Ranjit Singh Kohli, member of the managing committee of the religious shrine of Baba Farid to appear before the commission on July 17.
AIATF pledges support to
AMRITSAR, June 6 Mr Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, chairman of the All-India Anti Terrorist Front (AIATF), has said the front will provide legal protection, besides financial help, to the families of five Punjab Police personnel who were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Calcutta court in connection with the killing of an alleged terrorist couple, Bashir Mohammed and his wife, seven years ago.
In a statement, Mr Bitta said here yesterday, the police officials had served the country in a very difficult period by fighting the militants.
These police personnel as well as many other officials who had been convicted in cases of terrorist killing were ditched by their department as well as the central government, he observed.
PSHRC to take action against
CHANDIGARH, June 6 - The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has decided to take suo motu action against the authorities following reports of outbreak of gastroenteritis in Ludhiana.
A PSHRC communiqué issued here today said that the Commission had seen a news item regarding the outbreak of the disease in Ludhiana in The Tribune and two other dailies on May 31 and felt that this was a fit case for taking suo motu cognisance under the provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and decided to register it as a case.
The communiqué said that a copy of the Commissions orders along with the copies of the news item would be sent to the Principal Secretary the Punjab Governments local Government Department, Chandigarh, through a special messenger within 48 hours and it would be the duty of the official receiving the communication from the Commission to place it personally at once before the Principal Secretary, so that a complete reports could be sent by him to the PSHRC within a period of two months.
A copy of the
Commissions orders along with the copy of the news
report is also being sent to the Commissioner, Municipal
Corporation, Ludhiana, through registered post with AD.
The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation too has
been asked to send complete report to the PSHRC regarding
the incident within two weeks.
CM for construction work to
CHANDIGARH, June 6 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today asked the PWD and Punjab Mandi Board authorities to allocate the construction work of a few roads to villages panchayats and give infrastructural and technical guidance.
A spokesman for the
Punjab Government said this decision was taken with a
view to ensuring active participation of village
panchayats in the development process of the State and
decentralisation of more powers to the grassroots level
CHANDIGARH, June 6 The Chief Engineer (Canals), Punjab has clarified that the Lambi distributary is running continuously without any closure for the last three years except at times when its internal cleaning is required-once or twice in a year. The discharge at the head is reduced only when there is no demand or when some breach occurs.
No fluctuation have ever been intentionally passed in this channel on any specific days of the week. It is to put on record that the intensity of the irrigation of this system is 180 per cent against the projected figure of 79 per cent.
The clarification has been issued in reference to a news item published in The Tribune on June 5 under the headline Badal takes water to Rajasthan.
The Chief Engineer said
that during the May the discharge from head of the
distributary had been generally from 341 to 346 cusecs
except on May 22 and 23 when it had to be reduced due to
a mishap. Outlets as reported have not been redesigned .
However, defective outlet have been set right so that the
tails of this system may not suffer.
KAPURTHALA, June 6 Mrs Tej Kaur (85), widow of a former Akali minister, Mr Atma Singh, died here today following a brief illness.
PHRO, KMC leaders arrested
AMRITSAR, June 6 At least 12 leaders and activists of the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) and Khalra Mission Committee (KMC) were arrested by the local police when they were trying to carry portraits of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Maj-Gen Shabeg Singh (retd), Bhai Amrik Singh and others killed during Operation Bluestar. They were marching towards Akal Takht.
Those rounded up included Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Chairman of the PHRO, Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala, KMC chairman, Mr Kirpal Singh Randhawa, Deputy Chairman of the PHRO, Bibi Parmjit Kaur Khalra and her two children Janmit Singh and Navkiran Kaur, Mr Gurbhej Singh Palasour, Mr Darshan Singh Manihala, Bhai Harmanjit Singh Rana, Jathedar Hardip Singh Fauji, Mr Balkar Singh Chohla Sahib, Mr Baldev Singh Sabhrawan and Mr Surinder Singh Bedi. They were bundled in to the waiting police vehicles on their way to Akal Takht.
In a joint statement,
Justice Ajit Singh Bains and Mr Ghariala condemned Giani
Joginder Singh Jathedar Akal Takht, for not declaring
Bhindranwale a martyr. On the other hand, Mr Simranjit
Singh Mann, president of SAD (Amritsar), has also said
the Akal Takht Jathedar should have declared Bhindranwale
Bid to bribe police officer:
PATIALA, June 6 In a virtual turn of tables, a civilian has been caught by the Patiala police for trying to bribe a police officer who was investigating the role of his brother in a case of dacoity.
Disclosing this here today, district police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu said Om Prakash, a resident of Burail, who was trying to save his brother, Ramdhari Yadav, who was wanted by the local police in several cases of robbery and dacoity, was arrested while trying to give Rs 1.50 lakh as bribe to Inspector Paramjit Singh, posted at Dera Bassi police station.
Mr Sidhu said a trap was laid for Om Prakash after Inspector Paramjit Singh informed Rajpura Deputy Superintendent of Police H. S. Bhullar of the ''offer''. He said Om Prakash and his brother were arrested in act of handing over the money to the Inspector by DSP Bhullar and the Naib Tehsildar. He said a mobile phone, which was given as a gift to the Inspector was also confiscated from the duo.
The district police chief said a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered against Om Prakash at Dera Bassi police station .
The SSP informed that Ramdhari Yadav was head of a gang which indulged in stealing sophisticated machinery and other items from factories during the night in the district, besides Mohali and Chandigarh. He said Ramdhari was also involved in stealing electricity and telephone wires. He said five accomplices of Ramdhari had also been detained by the Dera Bassi police.
He said this was the
second arrest under an anti-corruption drive started by
the police in the district. He said earlier in a similar
incident Satpal Singh of Patran had been caught
red-handed while offering a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to DSP
Gurcharan Singh Bedi. The accused had been trying to help
a friend involved in a murder case.
Movement of Punjab rice frozen
BATHINDA, June 6 After having failed to redress grievances of consumers of various states of the country regarding the bad quality of Punjab rice, the Central Government has frozen the movement of rice, which was accepted under the relaxed specification, from Punjab to other states.
Official sources said the Central Government had asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) authorities of Punjab not to dispatch any rice from the state which was procured under the relaxed specifications from the millers during 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Sources added the freezing of movement of rice belonging to relaxed specification category would trigger a problem for storing the rice which was at present being supplied by the millers. The millers were supplying the rice in lieu of the paddy which they had procured in 1999-2000.
Sources further added that Central Government has asked the FCI authorities to sell off the rice of relaxed specification into their own area by holding an open auction.
Official sources also said that for the last many years, the reputation of Punjab rice had touched a record low because of its sub-standard quality. Rice millers, in connivance with the officials, would supply sub-standard rice to the FCI in lieu of good quality paddy taken by them for milling while the good quality rice would be sold in open market.
Official sources informed that at present about 9.5 lakh tonnes of rice of relaxed specification was lying in the FCI stores in Punjab. This stock would remain frozen till it was disposed off in the open market to private buyers.
Sources said the modus operandi of the millers was that they used to buy broken rice from Uttar Pardesh at very low rates, pack it into gunny bags and supply it to the FCI in lieu of paddy taken by them for milling. While the millers had made a fast buck, It had caused huge monetary losses to the FCI. Apart from it, the state FCI authorities had to face problems whenever the quality of Punjab rice was discussed in any official meeting.
Sources also said there were reports that when the consuming state refused to take delivery of Punjab rice supplied to them by the FCI because of its bad reputation.
Mr D.P. Reddy, Senior Regional Manager, FCI, Punjab region, when contacted at Chandigarh, while confirming the freezing of movement of rice accepted under relaxed specifications by the Central Government, said that such stock of rice would be disposed off as per the directions of higher authorities.
He pointed out that in the past more than one year, the FCI authorities were making sincere efforts to improve the quality of Punjab rice. He added that more than 50 FCI officials were suspended and many out of them transferred out of region who were found guilty of accepting low quality paddy or rice during the procurement and acceptance exercise.
13 FCI officials suspended
BARETA (Mansa), June 6 As many as 13 officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Punjab have been placed under suspension for their reported involvement in making excess payment to a certain transportation contractor.
Official sources said that FCI officials looking after the Food Storage Depot (FSD), Bareta, allegedly paid excess payment running into lakhs of rupees to the transport contractor in the past two years.
Mr D.P. Reddy, Senior Regional Manager (SRM), Food Corporation of India, Punjab region, has also ordered the Bathinda authorities to make arrangements for registration of an FIR against the guilty contractor who had taken excess payment by manipulating the records.
Mr Reddy had also deputed a team to carry out a special audit of Food Storage Depot, Bareta and records of district office relating to the payment of Bareta to find out other instances of excess payment.
Sources said that those placed under suspension included four employees of second category officer Bareta depot and district office, Bathinda. The headquarters of all 13 suspended employees had been placed out of the Bathinda area.
Official sources said that on the receipt of certain information, a special team was sent by Mr Reddy to verify the bunglings made by the transport contractor by making fictitious and irregular claims. The team observed that certain procedural irregularities were committed by staff of FSD, Bareta and staff of the District office, Bathinda.
Due to procedural irregularities committed by FCI officials, certain bills of transportation which were submitted by the contractor after manipulating the records were admitted. All further payments to the contractor had been stopped.
The case of excess payment was brought to light by Mr Lachhman Singh, former secretary, Labour Union, Bareta, who lodged a formal complaint to the FCI authorities regarding the bungling by the transportation contractor.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |