Tuesday, January 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Punjab to amend Revenue Act
Stamp duty on transfer of property to go
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 22 — In a major development, the Punjab Government has decided to amend the Revenue Act to facilitate stamp free transfer of property among blood relations and remove litigation on account of bequeathing of property by will .

The amendment, which has been drafted and will be introduced in the next Vidhan Sabha session, envisages allowing the transfer of property in a family through a registered deed in which the mandatory 5 per cent stamp duty will not be charged. Only 1 per cent of the property value will be charged in the form of registration fee .

The amendment is aimed at removing legislation on account of contesting of wills by various parties. State Minister for Revenue Sewa Singh Sekhwan told TNS that presently around 70 per cent of the pending disputes in the department were on account of this issue. He said the government’s strategy on the issue was two pronged — weeding away unneccessary disputes as well as collecting revenue.

He said even the 1 per cent collected in the form of registration fee would be substantial as the government was not getting any money from those who relied on transferring their property by willing it to their kin.

He said people would also benefit from the scheme as they would be able to avoid unnecessary litigation following the contesting of a will by spending a little amount on registration fee.

He said though the provision of transferring property by way of a registered sale deed already existed people did not opt for it as it meant paying as high as 6 per cent of the value of the property in the form of stamp duty and registration fee .

In an associated development the state government has also taken exemption from the Centre from allowing the registration of Punjab property by Sub Registrars in the four metropolitan cities in the country. The minister said the exemption, which had come through recently, was also aimed a removing litigation. He said it had been revealed that a maximum number of registries done in the metropolitan cities were false and led to litigation as the Sub Registrars did not know the ground realities and had no means of checking the facts properly.

Mr Sekhwan said the discretionary powers of the Sub Registrars were also being decreased in the state to ensure accountability in the system.

He said the discretion of the Sub Registrar to fix the minimum registry rate of property was no longer applicable with the minimum rates for registry in a particular area being fed in the relevant computers under the computerisation drive which had taken into its ambit all districts and sub divisions in the state.

He said the computer would only accept the registry application if the appropriate amount had been filled in. He said the computerisation drive at the district and subdivision-level had already resulted in a increase in the revenue by 150 to 200 per cent. He said efforts were being made to extend the computerisation drive till the sub-tehsil level.

He said a Cabinet subcommittee was also being constituted to decide on the policy to be adopted in waiving stamp duty on various goods.

He said there had been some confusion on this score recently with the Cooperation Department issuing a list of occupations on which stamp duty was exempt.

He said the Revenue Department had already finalised its list of occupations and that only agro-related occupations were exempt from stamp duty.


Cong ultimatum to govt on rights violation
From Raj Sadosh

ABOHAR, Jan 22 — The human rights wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has given an ultimatum to the state government to stop alleged violation of guidelines issued by the Supreme Court while disposing of the writ petition titled “D.K. Basu vs West Bengal state” with regard to safeguarding human rights as specified in the Constitution of the country and the Charter of United Nations Organisation.

This was stated by Mr Umrao Singh and Mr Munish Sehgal, president and general secretary of the state wing, in an interview with this correspondent last night. They said the SAD-BJP government had failed in fulfilling the promise of providing an administration on the pattern of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Rather, contrary to this the state government had set an unfortunate precedent of developing an alleged nexus of politicians, administrators, police and hardened criminals.

The killing inside a police station of a Congress Seva Dal worker at Ferozepore, the recent shootout, allegedly by a police officer, at Ludhiana and the broad daylight murder of senior Congress leader Harmesh Mukhija at his office in Dharamkot were a few examples which spoke volumes of alleged state-abetted terrorism and naked violation of human rights in Punjab.

The parties in power had been coming to the rescue of Bibi Jagir Kaur, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Baldev Singh and Sheetal Singh in alleged cases of killings. Even when the investigation had not started there had been a race between SAD and BJP leaders to claim that their workers named in such cases were innocent.

Former Revenue Minister Umrao Singh said at the time of sale of land a tehsildar was expected to ascertain the title of the seller but unfortunately there was no provision for an in-depth inquiry by gazetted officers.

The human rights wing demanded the Indian Evidence Act should be suitably amended to make an inquiry by an officer having judicial powers mandatory in all such cases because there were reports that political workers were being allegedly implicated in criminal cases to keep them away from the election arena.

Mr Umrao Singh and Mr Sehgal said the Supreme Court had clearly directed that if a person was taken in police custody he or she should be told the reasons. A search warrant had to be obtained in such a case. The sarpanch of the village or the councillor of the municipal ward should be taken into confidence while effecting the search or arrest. But the police had allegedly thrown all these norms to the wind. People had reason to believe the police like other political outfits had become a wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab. People could not except justice from those revenue or police officers who had allegedly paid kickback to their political masters for appointments and transfers. Some of them had to regularly pay a fixed amount every month, the Congress leaders alleged.

Taking up problems of farmers, Mr Umrao Singh said the paddy and wheat growers may face an uncertain furture due to anti-farmer policies of the state as well as the central governments. A committee formed by the NDA government was reportedly considering whether the government should continue procurement of grains at the minimum support price or not. Another proposal under the committee’s consideration was to wind up the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The committee was proposing bringing down the minimum support price of wheat by Rs 60 per quintal, ignoring the fact that the cost of agriculture had increased manifold since the formation of the NDA government. Any move to pack up the FCI would be disastrous for farmers, he warned.

Mr Umrao Singh while responding to questions on reported dissidence in the party over the WTO pact said in fact the developed countries had during the past three to four years released heavy subsidy to make agriculture more viable. This had considerably brought down the prices of grain. Lacking any definite agriculture policy as a result of the apathy of NDA constituents nearly Rs 9600 crore subsidy had been siphoned off to meet the losses of the FCI. The farmers could not get relief directly.

He went on to say that farmers were advised to go ahead for diversification in crops but the fate of potato and tomato growers had dismayed one and all. The fruit growers were not supplied required quantity of canal water for irrigation. The situation had thus become very distressing.

The two leaders said the election of persons with police record at all levels had posed a serious threat to the democratic set-up in India. This also made the task of safeguarding human rights more tough. The Congress was the first political organisation to form a separate wing under the command of a retired Judge of the Supreme Court to protect the rights of the people and bring about an awakening also. After constituting block level committees the wing was now planning to reach the masses in villages because the violations were more prone in rural areas where 50 per cent people were still illiterate. They were unable to read any literature or newspaper. 


Bibi summoned on March 22
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — In an alleged case of criminal conspiracy and defamation, Bibi Jagir Kaur, former President of S.G.P.C has been summoned to appear on March 22, by UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Naval Kumar, today. Another co-accused in the case, Jaspal Singh Dhillon, has also been summoned.

The magistrate on November 21, had issued summons but this was not received by the court and he issued fresh summons to the two. Ms Kulbir Kaur Dhami, had stated in the complaint that she was the president and Director of Guru Asra Trust and alleged that Bibi Jagir Kaur and Dhillon had indulged in a criminal conspiracy to defame her.

It was alleged in the complainant that the accused, had widely circulated copies of a book published by Jasbir Singh Dhillon. They also circulated a letter in which he had levelled false allegations against the complainant in India and abroad to defame her.

Ms Dhami had stated that she was president of a trust, a non-profit and non political organisation, which worked for the educational and human resource development of the children, irrespective of caste or religious differences. The trust was set up in February 1997 for especially cater to those children, who had become orphaned due to police excesses in Punjab and 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Jaspal Singh Dhillon, held the position of an executive secretary of the trust. Later he left the trust complainant and had floated another trust by the same name.

The complainant had said that the trust was drawing a monthly grant of Rs 11,000, later raised to Rs 16,000 by the SGPC, of which Bibi Jagir Kaur was president. The money was deposited first in her personal account and later she deposited into the trust account. It was alleged that Jaspal Singh Dhillon published and released on November12, 1999 a booklet in Punjab titled “Zimmewar Kaun” in which the accused had levelled as many as 18 false allegations against the complainant. The allegations related to embezzlement of trust funds, gross maladministration and several others.

The most serious allegation levelled was that of withdrawing Rs 90,000 from the bank account of the trust by forging the signature of Jaspal Singh Dhillon which was absolutely false. The complainant said Jaspal Singh wrote a letter in which these allegations had been levelled against the complainant to Bibi Jagir Kaur ,who allegedly distributed it to the media, both in the country and abroad . It was alleged that after these allegations, the complainant stopped getting grants.

On perusal of the complaint, the court observed that from the statements of the complainant and the witness, it appeared that the prima facie case under Sections 500 and 120 B of the IPC was made out against both accused.


Amarinder sticks to stand on WTO
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee    ( PPCC), Capt Amarinder Singh, will stick to his assertion that the farming community in the state (Punjab) will gain from the operation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement in the country.

“I will be dishonest if I do not stick to what I think”, said Capt Amarinder Singh while talking to Tribune News Service this morning. The WTO would provide access to Punjabi farmers, bedevilled with the problem of overproduction, to international markets, which was the need of the hour.

It is significant to mention here that his views on the WTO have triggered a controversy in the party. Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP from Faridkot, has not only opposed him on this issue but has also stated that these were not the views of the party but of Capt Amarinder Singh in his individual capacity.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that the party would publish booklets in Punjabi to educate farmers in the expected gains to them from the WTO.

Lashing out at the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the PPCC president said that he was “misleading” the people on the WTO issue. If Mr Badal really felt concerned about the implications of the WTO, he should press the Union Government to withdraw from it. Any country could withdraw from the organisation by giving a proper six month notice. Mr Badal’s party was part of the NDA government and it had stamped all decisions pertaining to the WTO taken by the Union Cabinet. If Mr Badal had guts, he should have told his party’s representative in the Union Cabinet to withdraw from such meetings. The Vajpayee government was not only implementing the WTO agreement as per the schedule but also pleading the case of countries like Vietnam to involve them fully in the organisation, he added.

Accusing Mr Badal of not implementing the Johl Committee report, which was prepared about 15 years ago, Capt Amarinder Singh said that farmers would have never faced any problem if the report had been implemented four years ago. In fact, Mr Badal had caused more damage to the farm sector in the state than anybody else as he had no will power to take any decision which could prove good for the farming community in the short and long term.

The PPCC president said that what he had said about the WTO was in consonance with the policies, programmes and stand of the All-India Congress Committee and the Congress Working Committee, available in the shape of published documents. In support of his contention, he showed a number of documents published by the AICC in this connection and also Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s reply in the Rajya Sabha a few years ago.

The PPCC president said that he had taken only the part relating to agriculture from the AICC documents as it concerned Punjabi farmers the most. Again the party was scheduled to meet in Bangalore from February 14 to 16 to discuss agriculture and other issues. It was also organising a farmers’ rally in Delhi on February 22 to highlight the problems pertaining to the agricultural sector, especially the miserable plight of farmers.

In Punjab 52 per cent of the farmers had land holdings below 2.5 hectares and their income was not even half of the income of labourers drawing wages as per the Minimum Wages Act. Because of the distress sale of paddy and potato in the recent past small and marginal farmers had been crippled financially. They were expected to suffer a further setback in April this year as the distress sale of wheat could not be ruled out, Capt Amarinder Singh said.

He said that to save such farmers, the only way out was to shift to cash crops and provide agro-based industry for processing such crops. For selling the finished products, access to the international market was a must, he added. Moreover, as the developed nations were cutting subsidies to the farm sector, foodgrains were becoming costly. In such a situation, food products from Punjab could find a ready market, he added.


Oppn misleading people: Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, Jan 22 — Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and secretary-general, SAD, today accused the Opposition of misleading the people of the state with regard to mid-term assembly poll.

After laying the foundation stone of a civil dispensary at Duggan village, 9 km from here, today Mr Dhindsa claimed that the assembly poll would be held as per the schedule after the compilation of term of Punjab Assembly. He said opposition parties were making a hue and cry regarding mid-term poll as they had not been able to stomach the development in the state by the SAD-BJP government.

Mr Dhindsa urged people to vote for the SAD in the next assembly elections. He said the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was the only leader who wanted to make the villages of Punjab as ‘model’ villages.

Mr Dhindsa said Mr Gurinder Pal Singh Dhanaula, a senior vice-president of the dissolved youth wing of the SAD, had joined the SHSAD as he had been fearing his expulsion from the SAD. Mr Dhindsa said the disciplinary action committee of the SAD had already decided to expel Mr Dhanaula from the party on account of his anti-party activities during the Sunam assembly byelection. He claimed that no SAD worker had shifted over to the SHSAD along with Mr Dhanaula.

The Union Minister appealed to the village panchayats to undertake development work in their respective villages with matching grants. He also announced Rs 2.50 lakh for the construction of a civil dispensary at Duggan village and said Rs 2.50 lakh would be contributed as matching grant by the village panchayat.

Mr Ranjit Singh Ballian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, accused the previous Congress governments of neglecting the overall development of the state. He said the Congress had always “ignored” the interests of the state.

Mr Gobind Singh Longowal, Minister of State for Irrigation, Punjab, also urged the people to give another opportunity to Mr Parkash Singh Badal to serve the state for the next five years.

Among others, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachi, Chairman, Cooperative Bank, Punjab; Mr Parkash Chand Garg, Chairman, Land Reclamation Corporation, Punjab; Mr Sanmukh Singh Mokha, an SGPC member; and Mr Gurbachan Singh Fatehgarh, district president of the SAD were present.


Pensioners threaten stir, allege neglect
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — Threatening an agitation against the failure of the state Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to intervene on behalf of ‘suffering’ pensioners, Mr Satya Pal Dang, veteran CPI leader, said that pensioners were increasingly being ‘forced’ to be at the mercy of agents to get their pensions, provided the pensioners agree to provide a cut to the agents in the amounts due to them.

Mr Dang said he had sent a list of 454 pensioners which was still pending with the Department of District Social Securities (DSSD) despite a reminder on January 9. The pensioners’, mostly widows or poor senior citizens or the handicapped, were made to pay from the meagre pension amount due to them by the state, he alleged.

Though the social securities department claimed that the necessary amounts had been sent to the nodal bank, nothing of the sort was ever done, Mr Dang added. “I was misinformed by the Department of Despatch which came as a shock to me” said Mr Dang, who has been consistently taking up the matter with the social securities department over the last many years regarding pensions.

He stated that two more lists of 90 and 95 persons, were respectively, submitted in December last year with an official covering letter saying that the listed pensioners were not paid their pensions for the past three to four years, including pensioners who had not received a single rupee after pensions were sanctioned to them.

Another list submitted on December 22 last year of 93 persons met with a similar fate, he stated in a letter to the Deputy Director (Pensions), Mr S.L. Kajal, Mr R.L. Kalsia, DSSD and Mr Badal.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Employees Rights Protection and Welfare Union’s general secretary, Mr B.R. Preenja, has alleged that free treatment entitled to pensioners was being denied to them in the government hospitals.

He said hospitals were following a tiresome procedure wherein a pensioner had to submit photo copies of his identity card at each and every department and every dealing official of a single hospital. This practice, he stated, was in gross violation of the Punjab Government’s Director of Pensioners Welfare Department letter No. 13/169/92-5 P-1/636 dated October 20, 1992, which stated that “with a view to get free treatment in Punjab Government hospitals the pensioners are required to show their pension payment order (PPO)”. Thereafter finding it unfeasible for pensioners to carry their PPOs everywhere as sometimes the PPOs were retained by the banks, the government decided to issue identity cards to pensioners.

Mr Preenja said that this new practice by hospitals meant that every pensioner should carry at least 10 to 12 photo copies of his I-card before being accorded treatment at government hospitals “which is grossly unfair and a harassment to suffering person”. He demanded that such conditions should be discontinued and clarifications should be issued in this regard.


Red Cross footing DC’s bills
From Gurpreet Singh
Tribune News Service

FEROZEPORE, Jan 22 — Despite poor financial health of the Red Cross Society organisational funds continue to be pumped into the fuel and telephone expenditure of the administrators.

In Ferozepore alone the Red Cross is learnt to have footed the telephone bill and fuel charges of a car in possession of the Deputy Commissioner on different occasions during the past one year. This is despite the fact that the Red Cross is reeling under financial crisis on account of a ban on collection of funds through donation tickets. In the absence of funds the Red Cross officials are forced to request local schools to provide used woollens to help the poor. The lion’s share of the estimated annual rental income of Rs 10 lakh from the shops owned by the Red Cross is also spent on paying the salaries of the staff.

Sources in the Red Cross revealed the fuel expenditure of over Rs 13,000 of the car bearing registration number PB 05 C — 6666 in possession of the Deputy Commissioner was made by the society on two separate occasions.

Likewise, the payment of bills for telephone number 44007 installed at the DC’s residence is being made by the society. At least two payments worth over Rs 14,000 and over Rs 30,000 are learnt to have been made by the cash-strapped Red Cross.

While the Assistant Secretary, Red Cross, Mr Ashok Behal, declined to comment on the matter, sources revealed that even the car in possession of the Deputy Commissioner was purchased by the society a few years ago.

On being contacted, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, said that being president of the District Red Cross Society, he was entitled to use these facilities. He also clarified that both the car and the telephone belong to the Red Cross and are in his custody as he is the president of the society. He pointed out that this was the case with the Red Cross societies elsewhere too and Ferozepore was not an exception.


Mann alleges threat to party workers
From Our Correspondent

ROPAR, Jan 22 — The SAD (Badal) workers and ministers were threatening the workers of other parties, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann alleged here today. He said Ram Singh, a worker of the SAD (Mann), had organised a rally in Tarn Taran against the policies of the Badal government. Since then he had been receiving threats from Mr Ranjit Singh Brhampura, Cooperatives Minister, Punjab and the other office-bearers of the SAD (Badal) in the area, he alleged.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann said this while talking to newsmen here today. He was here on a personal visit to the residence of Mr Bogh Singh Surtapur, district president of the party. Mr Mann also demanded security for Mr Ram Singh.

Mr Mann also criticised the Badal government for failing to protect the interests of the farmers of the state. The farmers had suffered losses during the sale of paddy. The potato growers had also spilled their produce on the roads. The government was withdrawing subsidies on agriculture under pressure from the WTO. The successive governments in Punjab had failed to prepare the farmers for the global competition, so, it was unjustified to withdraw subsidies.

The NDA government had also failed in transferring the foodgrains from Punjab to southern states due to protests there. Due to it the farmers of Punjab should now be allowed to sell their produce to the Islamic countries, he said.

Mr Mann also expressed concern at the demolition of a masjid in Dhariwal. He said that these type of incidents could disturb the communal harmony in the state.


Strengthen party base: Bhattal
From Our Correspondent

FARIDKOT, Jan 22 — Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, and a Congress leader has appealed the workers to sink their differences and work for strengthening the Congress. She alleged that some parties were bent upon to divide the country on communal lines to achieve their goals.

Mrs Bhattal was here to attend the antim ardas of Mrs Phoolan Rani, wife of late freedom fighter Mr Madan Lal Gupta and the mother of Mr S.K. Gupta, President of the local unit of the DCC. She was talking to mediapersons at the residence of Mr Avtar Singh Brar, vice-president PPCC, and a local MLA here yesterday.

Mrs Bhattal said the party was aware of its duties towards GATT and WTO policies. The Congress would announce its decision after reviewing the interests of the farmers.

Mrs Bhattal assailed the BJP led NDA government at the Centre for signing the WTO and GATT and CTBT treaties under the pressure of the USA. She said that the party impressed upon the Central Government to increase the subsidy from 15 per cent to 65 per cent in agriculture and industrial sectors. However, the former Chief Minister criticised the Central Government for reducing the MSP procurement price of wheat from Rs 580 to Rs 520 in the forthcoming season. She also flayed Mr Parkash Singh Badal for his failure to urge upon the Centre to take positive action keeping in view the economic condition of the farmers in Punjab.


SHSAD to launch stir on Jan 24
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) will launch its struggle against the Badal government from Naushehra Majha Singh (Kanhuwal Assembly constituency) on January 24.

Mr Jasbir Singh Ghuman, General Secretary of the SHSAD, said the party would launch a compaign ‘Save Punjab-oust Badal’ as the state government had meted out a ‘step-motherly’ treatment to the Majha region.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SHSAD President, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, MLA, Bhai Manjit Singh, Senior Vice-President of the SHSAD, Mr Bupinder Singh Mann, President of the Bharti Kisan Union, Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur, Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli and Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra will participate.

Mr Ghuman said the ruling SAD was responsible for the denigration of Akal Takht as ‘hukmnamas’ were repeatedly violated by them.


No differences with SAD: Mohan Lal
From Our Correspondent

PATHANKOT, Jan 22 — A Press conference was organised jointly by the local units of the SAD and the BJP at the Forest Rest House here today. Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, Jathedar Dilbag Singh, member, SGPC, and others were present on the occasion.

The spokesmen of the two parties said there had been differences between them. However, Mr Mohan Lal denied any such differences. Jathedar Dilbag Singh stated that the earlier differences had been resolved by the intervention of Mr Sucha Singh Langah, PWD Minister.


Bajwa determined to hold conference
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress, has showed his determination to hold ‘big conference’ at Srihargobindpur despite opposition by certain local Congress leaders.

Mr Bajwa claimed that Mr Amarinder Singh, president, PPCC, had confirmed that he would preside over the conference. He also claimed that the block Congress president of Hargobindpur had been changed and the new office-bearer had been taken into confidence before finalising the date for holding the conference. He said the new block president, Mr Pargat Singh, was fully cooperating for the conference.

Mr Bajwa further claimed that the top leadership of the Punjab Pradesh Congress would participate. He said the conference was being held at the heartland of the Majha region which was ignored by the ruling SAD-BJP government. He said the Akali Dal always considered Majha its citadel which would star ‘crumbling’ after the conference.

Mr Bajwa said his brother, Mr Fateh Jang Singh, had got every right to organise the conference as he was secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress. 


Border villagers complain of neglect
From Our Correspondent

GURDASPUR, Jan 22 — Residents of Bharial Bulge village complained of neglect by the authorities regarding development when Mr B. Vikram, Deputy Commissioner, along with his officers visited Tatley village to distribute cheques to the residents of the area against damage to their crops and houses. Mr Vikram distributed cheques worth Rs 1.68 lakh and Rs 1.42 lakh against damage to houses and standing crops to more than 30 residents of Tatley, Raipur Jattan and Tasmailpur villages.

The residents of the area demanded construction of a bridge over river Ravi near Makaura ferry. Since the area has no grain market or procurement centre for the procurement of wheat and paddy, the residents had to carry produce to the focal point at Farial after crossing river Ujh or to Behrampur after crossing river Ravi. The produce was held up during rains or when the snow melted in the catchment area and the water level in both river Ravi and river Ujh increased.

The affected villagers included, Bharial, Door, Chebbay, Machlay, Kooker, Kajlay, Tash, Lussian, Mamkey, Rajibela, Manjwal, Nikka, and Mammowal on the Indo-Pak border across river Ravi.

The residents of the area complained that Government Primary School at Toor and Mummy Chackranga were functioning without a teacher.

They also said that cases under old age pension and ‘shagun’ scheme were usually ignored because the people of the area could not make frequent trips to the respective offices due to lack of transport facilities in the area. They complained that number of cases under the old age pension scheme had been deleted from the official records.

The residents said that the government had promised to pay them Rs 3000 per acre per year against the land beyond fencing on the border. But the government had paid this amount only once.

The farmers, who had sown wheat crop beyond border fencing complained that at times they were harassed by BSF officials on the plea that their frequent visits to the fields led to security lapses.

Mr Vikram said that most of the complaints of the residents would be solved and department concerned were directed to do the same within a fortnight. He, however, declined to accept their demand for a temporary bridge on river Ravi near Makaura ferry due to financial constraints. He said that the government had already sanctioned construction of a pantoon bridge on river Ravi near Kathlour and pantoon bridge on river Ujh near Khojki Chack in the area.


Wheat in godowns found uncovered
Tribune News Service

FEROZEPORE, Jan 22 — Old wheat stock stored in three Punsup godowns in Guru Har Sahai near here is found to have been unprotected by one of the Punsup directors during a recent visit in the area.

The stock, around three years old, was found uncovered in at least three godowns at Sarupewala, Mohan Ke Uthar and the Faridkot road by Mr Daulat Ram Kamboj, one of the nominated Punsup directors.

Mr Kamboj told TNS that he would present these facts at the next board meeting to the Managing Director for immediate action. He disclosed that the wheat bags lying in the open were not adequately covered, which could render the grain colourless and harmful for human consumption.

He was apprehensive that if this stock was not shifted in time, it may block the arrival of fresh wheat stock during the next procurement season.

Showing the pictures of the uncovered stock to the TNS to corroborate his observations, he said that one of the godowns did not even have four walls to prevent burglars.

He said he planned to recommend for an immediate posting of an inspector in the area to ensure safety of the stock and physical verification of the wheat to check pilferage.

He said that this uncovered stock had already been purchased by the Food Corporation of India, which was yet to shift it.


Undertrials to go on fast
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, Jan 22 — Undertrials at Central Jail here would observe an indefinite fast from January 26 for not getting bail.

In a statement issued here today the undertrials said they would observe indefinite fast to restore their right to life under Section 21 of the Indian Constitution to save their families.

The undertrials claimed that they had been implicated in false criminal cases on the basis of personal enmity, groupism by misusing the police power under the NDPS and other Acts. They alleged that they had been facing unlawful conviction in false cases which had destroyed their family life and business completely.

They further alleged that the law enforcing agencies had denied their right to liberty and right to life under Section 21 of Constitution and their bail petitions were being thrown away.

The undertrials demanded that all cases under the NDPS Act should be disposed within a year and during trial period independent eye witness of members of gram panchayat should be taken as spot witness.

They also demanded that according to the rules of Supreme Court of India, the presence of iIaqa magistrate, tehsildar or any other civil gazetted officer should be made compulsory and all recoveries under the NDPS Act should be reviewed under the supervision of a judge of high court.

The total capacity of the jail was 450 persons but at present it was housing 1,250 persons which had created problems for all inmates.


Jobs given to Kargil heroes’ dependents
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The Punjab Government today issued letters of appointment to honour dependent members of the families of the Kargil war heroes to be appointed Excise and Taxation Officers (Class 1 Service).

Appointment letters have been issued to Mrs Rajwinder Kaur Bajwa, widow of Major B.S. Bajwa, Ms Anita Devi, sister of the late Sepoy Devinder Singh, Ms Maninderdeep Kaur, sister of the late Sepoy Gurbaksh Singh and Mr Deepender Singh Garcha, brother of the late Capt Rupinder Singh Garcha.

The appointment letters have been issued on the basis of the recommendations made by a high powered committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, says a press note.


Stone of vegetable centre laid
From Our Correspondent

HOSHIARPUR, Jan 22 — The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today laid the foundation stone of a fruit and vegetable handling centre being set up by Punjab Agri Export Corporation Limited. This is the fourth such facility set up by the corporation, while three are already in operation at Balluana, Kangmai and Badal, the major kinnow estates of the state. This centre will provide sorting, grading and waxing facilities for round and oval fruits on subsidised rates. Punjab Agri Export Corporation has provided financial assistance worth Rs 60 lakh to fruit growers.

The Chief Minister also announced the setting up of the first Food Park at Fatehgarh Sahib with a capital investment of Rs 17 crore. This would be a unique project covering all aspects of pre and post-harvest management right from the nurseries, contract farming over 5,000 hectares around the central facility through 1,000 registered farmers for a production of 50,000 tons of vegetables. Another feature of the park is establishment of 20 food processing units.


Meeting of jathedars after Feb 19
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — Mr Balbir Singh Naushehra Pannu, Senior Vice-President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee SGPC, has said the first meeting of the three-member inquiry panel with Prof Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedars, Kesgarh Sahib and Damdama Sahib, respectively, will be held after February 19.

Mr Pannu, who heads the inquiry panel, said the inquiry would be held in an amicable way so that objectivity could be maintained. “Everything in the SGPC would be done on merit”, he said.

The SGPC executive had constituted a three-member committee against the two Jathedars in February, 1999, when Bhai Ranjit Singh was placed under suspension as the Jathedar, Akal Takht. However, no meeting was allowed to be held by the then SGPC chief. Other two members of the committee are Mr Kewal Singh Badal, Vice-President of the SGPC, and Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, former SGPC General Secretary.


'Taktha palt' rally tomorrow
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 22 — Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, President All-India Youth Congress, will address a ‘Taktha palt’ rally on January 24 in front of the DC office. The rally is being organised by the Punjab Youth Congress as part of the state-level protest movement against the anti-people policies of the government.

Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, leader of Punjab Youth Congress, in a press note issued here today, has appealed to the youth to unite against the government’s anti-people policies. He said the government’s policies had devastated the economy of the state and the law and order situation had worsened. The unemployment had increased manifold, he added.

Mr Parminder Mehta, president, district Youth Congress, said, besides Mr Surjewala, other state-level leaders would also address the rally. 


Sikh clergy meeting may be delayed
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — Meeting of the Sikh clergy which could not be held since the controversial appointment of Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi of the Golden Temple, may be delayed further as Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, is on religious tour of foreign countries.

The Jathedar Vedanti is likely to return back to India in February.

Numerous Panthic issues were pending as the meeting of the clergy at the Akal Takht had failed to take place. Though Jathedar Vedanti had directed the SGPC to consitiute a committee of the Sikh scholars to analyse the authenticity of “Dasam Granth’, no step has been taken in this regard. The issue of “Nankshahi calendar” is also pending.

Earlier, the clergy had refused to hold the meeting at the Akal Takht on the pretext that presence of the Head Granthi of the Golden Temple was mandatory.


48,000 posts for ex-servicemen not filled: Cong
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 22 — The Punjab Pradesh Congress Ex-Servicemen Cell Chairman Col Zorawar Singh (retd), today said despite a clear cut ruling of the Supreme Court on tenancy rights, the Akali-BJP government was doing nothing to enable them to get their property vacated from illegal occupants .

In a statement here, Col Zorawar Singh said ex-servicemen were being discriminated by the present government as they were not accommodated in government jobs despite reservations having been made for them. He said as a result of this, around 48,000 vacancies reserved for ex-servicemen had not been filled.

He said he had submitted his plan for launching a programme to get the genuine demands of ex-servicemen accepted to the Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, after a rally organised by the cell at Chhoti Baradari here yesterday .

He said the PPCC President had also assured him that the other problems of ex-servicemen, including one-rank one-pay, action against their exploitation by security agencies and those relating to pension would be taken up in Parliament.


RSS ‘saffronising’ history
Tribune News Service

FEROZEPORE, Jan 22 — Firing a fresh salvo at the RSS, the suspended leader, Mr Jagmohan Kaura, has charged the organisation with floating the Itihaas Sankalan Samiti to distort history.

Talking to a select few mediapersons, Mr Kaura alleged that the RSS, in a bid to prove itself a nationalist force, had hired some scholars to rewrite the mainstream history, which had always discredited the organisation of any contribution during the freedom movement.

He added that these scholars were bent upon “saffronising” the history and twisting the established facts to the advantage of the RSS.

He lamented that even the facts pertaining to the Sikh history were being twisted in support of the RSS theory of “one Hindu nation”. He cautioned that this would not only vitiate peace in Punjab, but also disturb the SAD-BJP applecart.

He also disclosed that he had received a showcause notice from the Punjab BJP President and said he would reply to it in a novel way. “I will answer the President in a manner which has no parallel in the BJP’s history”, he said.


State-level R-Day function at Patiala
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The state-level Republic Day function will be held at Patiala, where the Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will unfurl the National Flag and take the salute.

A government release said that the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would take the salute in Gurdaspur and the Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, in Ludhiana.

Several Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State had also been allotted district headquarters and subdivisions, respectively, for this purpose.


Overbridge project hangs fire
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Jan 22 — The much hyped overbridge project, conceived to ease traffic congestion at the busy Railway Crossing Number 22, which was in an advance stage of planning, may not see the light of day as the project has been shelved for the time being following pressure from local politicians aligned with the ruling party.

The overbridge project is being put on the hold despite a detailed report being made on it after a thorough study of all technical aspects. The report has been submitted to the government. The project cost had been estimated at Rs 7 crore and work on it was expected to start as soon as the funds were released.

Local politicians, including the senior-most members of the district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, had expressed their annoyance at the project to the Chief Minister following which it has been shelved. Senior Akali leaders have allegedly been swayed by the traders having their shops on both sides of the railway crossing who have opposed the project since its inception.

Another reason for the project being put on the hold is the construction of a new market — City Centre — just ahead of the railway crossing by the local Improvement Trust. Earlier, when markings were being taken for the overbridge, the Improvement Trust authorities had expressed concern that the value of their shops would go down if the overbridge was extended till the market. Incidentally, the Improvement Trust is headed by a senior Akali leader .

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, when contacted to ascertain the progress of the project, said it was still under consideration. He said, however, the priority of the administration at present was to start work on establishing a District Officers Complex in the city which would house all offices under one roof.

Sources disclosed that the scheme had got boggled down due to a new communication sent recently by Improvement Trust Chairman Manmohan Singh Bazaz. They said Mr Bazaz had written to the Public-Works Department that it should study ways to construct an under-bridge at the site. The sources said the demand for an under-bridge, floated when the administration had decided in favour of an overbridge after a two-year deliberation, had offset all calculations and that the project could not be started unless this fresh controversy was cleared.

The administration had decided to construct an overbridge at the site following a technical feasibility report by a noted consultant from Mumbai. The consultant in his report had said constructing an under-bridge would cause problems as it was a low-lying area and that the site would be prone to flooding. It was also reasoned that establishing motors to suck out water during the monsoons could not be fool proof.

Though the new developments have thrown a spanner in the work of the administration, the shopkeepers who have shops around the railway crossing are overjoyed at the snag. Most shopkeepers are in favour of an under-bridge if at all such a feature has to be built to regulate traffic.

The Deputy Commissioner disclosed that efforts had been made to dispel the fears of the shopkeepers about the project through regular meetings. He said the use of modern building skills would ensure that few pillars were constructed to support the bridge and that the space under the bridge could be used for parking purposes. Mr Bir said there was massive problem of parking in the market area. He said besides this the administration had proposed building a 12-foot lane on both sides of the overbridge to facilitate shopping in the area as well as to ensure a reasonable approach to their shops.


Plea for ‘patriots day’ today
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, Jan 22 — The All-India Jai Hind Parivar has urged the Union Government to declare January 23, birthday of Subhas Chandra Bose, as ‘patriots day’.

Talking to TNS on the phone today, Mr Tirloki Nath Gupta, national convenor of the parivar, also demanded that the ‘patriots day’ should be observed every year by the Central Government all over the country.

Mr Gupta further disclosed that the parivar would organise state-level conferences from January 23 to April 30 in different states, including Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, to spread the message of Neta Ji.

The national convenor also stated that after the state-level conferences, the parivar would organise a national-level conference on June 24 at its national headquarters at Ropar.

Mr Gupta called upon the youth to kindle in themselves the spirit of unity, faith and feeling of sacrifice for the nation irrespective of their religion, region and language to take the country ahead in all fields.

He said parivar had enrolled more than 10,000 members in the past one year and had fixed a target of 50,000 members for enrolment by the end of this year.

He also demanded from the government to provide immediately the documents and files relating to Neta Ji to the Neta Ji Inquiry Commission.


Cigarette godown gutted
From Our Correspondent

MALERKOTLA, Jan 22 — Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a devastating fire which broke out in a cigarette godown situated at Akta Nagar last night. The godown was gutted in fire. The reason of the fire is said to be a short circuit.

According to information, the godown was owned by Surdarshan Kumar a cigarette merchant, Mr Kumar said the fire brigade from Sangrur was called but he failed to set any response from them.

Fire-fighters expressed helplessness due to the shortage of staff. It took five hours to extinguish the fire, but by then the godown was completely gutted.

“The fire could have been easily controlled if the five brigade had come on time” said Mr Mohinder Kumar, a resident of the area.

Mr Kulshinder Singh, DSP, immediately reached the spot and supervised the relief and rescue operations. No case has been registered in this connection.

Mr Munish Jindal, President local Welfare Association, has demanded the setting up a fire station here. 


Seminar held on terrorism
From Our Correspondent

JALANDHAR, Jan 22 — Terrorism has become a monster and a major challenge to the survival of democracy and law and order in today’s world, said Lieut-General Kamal Davar, GOC, 11 Corps.

He was speaking at the valedictory session of the senior police officers’ seminar on “Terrorism and measures to combat it successfully” at the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur.

Tracing the history of insurgency and terrorism in the world and particularly in India, the Lieut-General suggested the development of an intelligence apparatus at the grassroot level, tangible development works at the village and tehsil levels and above all friendly, fair and sympathetic attitude while conducting counter-insurgency operations.

The security forces must remain people friendly and endeavour to isolate the terrorists from their support base, he added.


Park turns into wasteland
From Vikrant Jindal

MALERKOTLA: “Greenness thy name is God; wasteland thy name is graveyard.” This well-known saying is applicable to Malerkotla.

The builders of this town lack imagination regarding the values of parks and green belts in the walled town. The park and green belts are the lungs of the town. The parks and green belts could have been left out outside the city, on the basis of the Baradari of Patiala and parks in the pink city of Jaipur, but they did not think it necessary to do so.

During the sixties and seventies, when the town was expanding even then some space of parks and green belt could have been spared by the then colonisers.

At present there is only one open space at the Government College, Malerkotla, where hundreds of residents stroll in the morning and evening in a leisurely mood.

A public park was built in Malerkotla during the Chief Ministership of the late Zail Singh, who named it Sajida Park. It has now turned into a site filled with sand and covered with wild growth.

The dumping of garbage in the open had played havoc with residents since a foul smell emanated from the dump. Residents allege that the Municipal Council turned a blind eye. They have met the Director of Local Bodies many times to demand the speedy development of the park, but the civic officials are least concerned.

Earlier there was a pond amidst a park made on the pattern of Amkhas Bagh, Sirhind, built by the then Nawab. In the mid-seventies the old site was preserved by spending a huge sums and was converted into a beautiful public park without destroying the stairs on the four bridges and four domes or “gumbaz” in the four corners.

Later the office of the Improvement Trust was built at one end of the park. Residents feel cheated as they say they have been deprived of a public park. Instead of clearing the silt to save this historic site, the Improvement Trust has invited tenders for filling it with sand to build a shopping complex there. The trust is trying to build a shopping complex on the only park to fill its offers, without thinking of residents’ health.

There is a great resentment amongst the citizens about the building of a shopping complex instead of a park. They have demanded that the place instead be made into a children’s park.


Employee serves notice on trust
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — Mr Ranjit Singh, a beldar-cum-chowkidar of the Improvement Trust served notice on the trust, seeking compliance to a labour court order that awarded him wages after quashing the order terminating his services.

The notice states that Ranjit Singh joined service in 1983 and alleges that his services were illegally terminated in 1989. Thereafter the labour court vide its order dated May 17, 1996, set aside the termination order and reinstated him with continuity of services and awarded him full wages.

The order to be enforceable since November 1996, was not implemented by the trust, although the trust reinstated him from October 18 last year.

He alleged he was intentionally refused wages from the time he rejoined duty also from the back date of May, 1989, which approximately amounted to Rs 3 lakh.

It said the wages should be deposited with the Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, circle no II.

Mr Bakshi Ram Arora, Chairman, Improvement Trust, said the department would shortly pay the outstanding amount to the employee and was awaiting approval by the Department of Local Self-Government.


Washerman dies of burns
From Our Correspondent

PHAGWARA, Jan 22 — A washerman Suraj died due to burn injuries at the local Sarai road today. The accidental death took place last night when Suraj went to sleep after drinking liquor. He was smoking cigarette and was found dead today. The case was settled under Section 174 of the Cr PC after the post-mortem.


Punjab postings, transfers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 22 — The following postings and transfers were ordered in Punjab today.

Mr Dharam Pal, PCS, becomes Additional Managing Director, PRTC, Patiala, relieving Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, PCS of the additional charge. Mr Harminder Singh, PCS, is the new District Transport Officer, Hoshiarpur, and Mr Ravinder Kumar, PCS is the new Land Acquisition Officer, PWD (B&R), Jalandhar.

Mr Deepak Arora, PCS, has been posted as Assistant Commissioner, Moga, according to a government press release.


Salary to civic body chiefs condemned
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, Jan 22 — Mr Jagjit Singh Joga, district secretary and member, state committee of the CPI, has condemned the policy of the Punjab Government in which it has decided to pay Rs 1000 and Rs 3000 to municipal commissioners and presidents of the civic body, respectively, per month.

Mr Joga who himself is a municipal commissioner of the city has decided not to draw the salary and has said that the municipal commissioners are not employees but they are the elected representatives of the people. He added that the work of a municipal commissioner was that of a social worker and not of a salaried employee of the government.

He said the decision would burden the finances of municipal committees and would make the exchequer poorer by Rs 6 crore. He said in futures demand would arise for increasing salary and other allowances. Therefore, municipal commissioners would start behaving like government employees and could forget their duties.

He alleged that the government had imposed a ban on the recruitment of the class IV and class III employees by saying that there were financial restrictions which was wrong. He alleged that the ban on the recruitment of sweepers had badly effected the cleanliness of the city.


Mystery over theft and lynching

JALANDHAR, Jan 22 (UNI) — When the ‘’golak’’ of a gurdwara in Pattar Kalan village was found broken open on the morning of January 18 the theft was not reported to the police then. But when residents of the village beat to death an alleged looter from a 12 member-strong armed gang after ‘’exchange of fire’’ between the villagers and the gangsters yesterday both the crimes were reported to the Kartarpur police who registered two separate cases.

The complainant in both the cases is Balbir Singh, president of the gurdwara managing committee and also owner of the farmhouse outside the village where the alleged attempt to loot was made sometime around 1.30 a.m. yesterday.

The Kartarpur police station SHO, Mr Nirmal Singh, when asked by UNI to identify the alleged looter beaten to death by the villagers who foiled the dacoity attempt in the farmhouse of Balbir Singh, said the “accused” had not been identified yet.

A post-mortem examination of the body of the beaten-to-death accused was performed in the civil hospital yesterday and the body handed over to the city corporation for cremation as unidentified and unclaimed, hospital sources said.

Police sources suspected a tangible link between the theft in the gurdwara’s “golak” (box for cash offerings by devotees) and the killing of the unknown. They wondered if the man who was allegedly lynched to death by the villagers was one of the two suspects named in the case of theft registered on the complaint of Balbir Singh under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC. An estimated Rs 40,000 were stolen from the “golak” and one of the accused named in the FIR is alleged to be the son of the gurdwara’s granthi. SHO Nirmal Singh, while admitting that two suspects had, indeed, been named by Balbir Singh said he did not remember their names. But he promised to get back with the identity of the suspects.

The police sources said the second suspect named in the case of “golak” theft was a migrant resident of the village and the sources wondered if the unidentified man lynched to death by the villagers was the same suspect but his identity was being deliberately not revealed to conceal something.

The sources said it was surprising that no person, either from the village or from the 12-member strong armed gang, suffered any wound in the exchange of fire when Balbir Singh raised the alarm, inviting villagers to his help to foil the possible dacoity. The police has not yet disclosed the calibre of firearms used in the exchange of gunshots nor given details of any recovery of empty cartridges, if found, on the site of the exchange.

The sources said investigation into both the cases of theft and exchange of fire during the failed dacoity should be carried out simultaneously to find possible links between the two crimes to arrive at the truth about the death of an unknown person at the hands of the villagers.

They said the police should also probe the complainant, who is the same person, in the background of militancy in the area and his role and association with the gurdwara he is heading now. The second case relating to failed dacoity was registered on the charge of attempt to murder under Sections 307 and 382 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act. 

Illicit relations behind murder
From Ashok Sethi

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — The blind murder of a school-going teenager, Baljinder Singh, whose body was recovered from a storm water canal on January 13, was solved today by the police with the arrest of the main accused, Salwinder Singh.

The SSP, Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, giving details to newspersons here today said teenaged Baljinder Singh was done to death when his throat was slit by Salwinder Singh and his brother Jang Bahadur Singh and their friend Pal Singh who then threw his body into the canal on the night of January 12.

The SSP said the investigation conducted by Ms V.Neerja, SP (Traffic), it was found Salwinder Singh had illicit relations with the mother of the young victim. This was confirmed by his mother Manjit Kaur to the police. Mr Sidhu added that Baljinder Singh took advantage of his mother’s illicit relations with Salwinder and developed relations with his daughter Paramjit Kaur, aged 15. He also started wooing his younger daughter Baljit Kaur, a class VIII student.

Baljinder’s advances were strongly resented by Salwinder Singh who asked him not to pursue his daughter but the former continued his escapades.

The SSP added that Salwinder had admitted that the along with his brother Jang Bahadur and their friend Pal Singh planned to get rid of Baljinder on the night of Lohri when they invited him for drinks. As planned, they all drank together and later using a butcher knife slit Baljinder’s throat and threw his body in the canal.

The SSP pointed out that on January 13 one Kulwant Singh, resident of Pandori Waraich, informed the sadar police station that a body was seen floating in the canal near his fields but the police after recovering the body was unable to identify it.

Mr Sidhu added that he entrusted the investigation to Ms V. Neerja, SP (Traffic), for a thorough inquiry.

The photo of the body was flashed on the local TV channel and announcements were made from the nearby gurdwaras which resulted in the identification of the body as that of Baljinder Singh, son of Gurnam Singh, resident of Indira Colony, Meerankot Kalan.

The SP, Ms Neerja, was able to bring out the truth by tracing his mother Manjit Kaur who spilled the beans, resulting in the arrest of the main accused today. The police was on the lookout for his accomplices.


JE held for taking bribe
From Our Correspondent

JALANDHAR, Jan 22 — Amrik Singh, a junior engineer of the PSEB, posted at Mahalpur in Hoshiarpur, was caught by the vigilance Bureau staff while taking a bribe of Rs 4,000 for providing a power connection to a farmer.

Ms Gurpreet Deo, SP, Vigilance Bureau, in a press note issued here today, said Kuldeep Singh in a complaint had said he had some land of which sprinkler system had to be installed. Though, Amrik Singh had already taken an amount of Rs 5,000 in advance from him, yet he was demanding Rs 4,000 for providing the power connection.

She said the junior engineer accepted the money at a shop near Mahalpur. The raid was conducted by Mr Amrik Singh, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, along with government witnesses posted at Jalandhar and an amount of Rs 4,000 was recovered from the accused she added. A case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered.


Thief held after seven years
From Our Correspondent

GURDASPUR, Jan 22 — The police has arrested Mukhtiar Singh alias jathedar, resident of Lakhan Kalan village in Kapurthala district, for his involvement in the theft of vehicles. He had been evading arrest in a case registered against him in police station division number 1, Pathankot, under Sections 379/411/467/468/471/474/420 of the IPC on August 7, 1993. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, said here today that Mukhtiar Singh was involved in the theft of as many as 14 vehicles, including nine Maruti vans, two trucks, one Maruti car, one tractor and one scooter. The other seven members of the gang had already been arrested, he added.

The accused was arrested during a naka near Kathwala bridge, Pathankot.

The SSP said during his preliminary interrogation the accused had confessed that his gang had been operating in the state for several years.


Bus, jeep collide, three killed
From Our Correspondent

SAMANA, Jan 22 — Three persons, including two women, were killed and seven injured when a bus of the Patiala depot collided with a jeep near Nial village, 20 km from here, yesterday.

The injured have been admitted to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, and Durga Dal Charitable Hospital, Patran. Two women were killed on the spot and Tejinder Singh, driver of the jeep died in a hospital.

The bus was going to Patiala from Patran and the jeep was coming from Hamjapur village in Ratia of Haryana.

The other deceased have been identified as Parkash Kaur (70) and Rajinder Kaur (30).

The condition of three of the injured is stated to be serious.

A case has been registered against the bus driver, who is reportedly missing.


1 killed in road accident
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, Jan 22 — An 18-year-old boy was killed near the lake on the Bathinda Goniana road today when his cycle was hit by a vehicle.

The boy has been identified as Harpreet Singh, a resident of the city. According to the information, the boy was riding his bicycle on the GT Road when he was hit by the vehicle. He died on the spot and the driver of the vehicle is absconding.

A case has been registered.


International conference on maths opens
From Our Correspondent

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — “If we have to compete with the world in the present century, we would have to seriously upgraded our human resources especially in mathematics, science and technology”, remarked Prof P.N. Srivastava, former Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a former Member of Planning Commission, here today in his inaugural address, while inaugurating the first four day international conference on industrial and applied mathematics in Indian subcontinent’ and the sixth annual conference of the Indian Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, organised by Department of Mathematics of Guru Nanak Dev University at Guru Nanak Bhavan of the university.

Professor Srivastava said that with a weak background in mathematics we would never be able to develop a strong base in science and technology. He said, it was true that many countries like the USA, the UK, Germany and Japan were craving for Indian professionals but it should not be forgotten that they come cheap and hence needed. He added India had the ingredients to be good in information technology provided it developed its human resources properly

He said the Indian scientists had done well in the Silicon Valley but most of them were from the IITs.

Earlier, Dr H.S Soch, honoured Prof J.N. Kapur, President of Indian Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and a distinguished mathematician with Dr Zakir Hussain Award-2001 established by a society of Aligarh Muslim University, in recognition of his lifetime services and contributions to applied and industrial mathematics. The award comprises a citation, memento and a cash of Rs 10,000. Dr T.D. Narang read out the citation on this occasion.


Korean firm, Markfed plan joint venture
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Jan 22 — A Korean company, Hansung, is looking forward to have a joint venture with Markfed for manufacturing and installing high-tech machinery in India for rice milling and also for an automatic grain storage system in the near future.

This was announced by the Vice-President of the Korean company after inauguration of Markfed’s first modern rice processing complex by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, at Naushehra Pannua, 34 km from here, today.

Mr Badal said that the modern rice processing complex at Naushehra Pannua had been completed in a record time of eight months at a cost of Rs 3 crore. The complex is pollution-free and environment-friendly.

Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Cooperation Minister, said that the remaining five rice processing complexes were being set up with Korean technology at Gidderbaha (the home town of the Chief Minister), Batala, Jaitu, Chuslewar and Goniana.

This unit is also going to have a grading station for the processing of Basmati for which equipment worth Rs 1 crore is being installed.

Mr D.S. Bains, Managing Director, Markfed, said the Korean technology would ensure a high yield of nearly 67 per cent, lesser broken 12 to 15 per cent in comparison to 25 to 30 per cent in the existing mills. The rice processing facility includes rice drying, milling and polishing systems. It is a completely integrated set-up.

Mr Suresh Kumar, Registrar, Cooperative Society, assured the Chief Minister that Markfed would be made “corruption-free”.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |