Tuesday, July 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Charges framed against Jaya

CHENNAI, July 3 (PTI) — A Special Judge today framed charges against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha and nine others in the multi-crore coal import scam relating to the purchase of allegedly inferior quality coal for the state electricity board during Jayalalitha’s chiefministership between 1991 and 1996. After all the accused pleaded “not guilty”, Judge V. Radhakrishnan framed the charges against them and posted the trial for August 10.

They have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with five coal supplying companies and causing the state a loss of Rs 6.50 crore.


Congress MLA commits suicide
From Sushil Goyal and Sumer Garg

SUNAM, July 3 — Bhagwan Dass Arora, Congress MLA from Sunam, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in his head at his residence here early this morning.

Arora, 58, shot himself dead with his .32 bore revolver. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and two daughters.

However, the reason for the suicide was not yet known.

According to the family members, Arora slept in a happy mood at night. But in the morning, when he did not wake up, a domestic servant knocked at the door repeatedly, but there was no reponse. The door was then broken open and he was found dead.

The city SHO, Mr Harvinder Singh Cheema, said the police had initiated the proceedings under Section 174 of the I.P.C. He also said the post-mortem examination of the deceased was conducted at the local Civil Hospital.

Arora was elected as the MLA from Sunam assembly constituency for the second consecutive term in February, 1997. He defeated Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister of Sports, and Secretary General of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Earlier in the 1992 assembly elections, when the Akalis boycotted the poll, he had also won from Sunam and served the state as a minister.

Capt. Amarinder Singh, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba, MLA and president of the District Congress Committee, Sangrur, and Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, visited the residence of the deceased to express sympathy with the bereaved family.

Arora was cremated with state honours at the Swarag Dwar (cremation ground) here this afternoon.

A contingent of the Punjab Police reversed its arms as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, represented the state government.

Mr Kamaldeep Arora, the elder son of Bhagwan Dass Arora, lit the funeral pyre.

Cutting across party lines, SAD leaders, including Mr Gurbachan Singh Fatehgarh, the Sangrur district president, and Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, son of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa; and the BJP leaders, including Mr Jagdish Rai, district president of the BJP, and Mr Nanak Chand Kalra, Chairman, Improvement Trust, attended the cremation ceremony.

A large number of Congress leaders, Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, a former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Gurbachan Singh Dirba, Mr Brahm Mohindra, and Mr Bir Devinder Singh were also present.

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