Monday, March 12, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Disparity in funds: Oppn MLAs to meet
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 11
Opposition parties in the Punjab Assembly — which had created a ruckus in the House for two days for alleged discrimination towards their legislations by the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine — have joined hands to chalk out a strategy to “fight it out” at the next sitting of the House on March 13.

Legislators belonging to these parties — the Congress, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the CPI, will be meeting at Chandigarh around 1.30 p.m. before the start of business in the House on that day. They had stalled the proceedings of the House for two days in protest against the alleged discrimination towards them with regard to distribution of funds for development of their respective constituencies.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Jagjit Singh, expressed the apprehension that the SAD-BJP was planning to muffle its criticism by suspending opposition MLAs. “We will fight it out,” he said, adding, “We are holding a meeting to decide the future strategy just before the initiation of the House proceedings in the afternoon of March 13.”

Mr Jagjit Singh said that the entire opposition was of the view that the government was allegedly discriminating against its MLAs in the distribution of development funds. “They are not releasing any funds to opposition MLAs and development works have come to a standstill in their respective constituencies. On the other hand, development funds are being routed and spent through those jathedars who had lost even the municipal elections,” claimed Mr Chaudhary. “It is not just a matter of the prestige of the MLAs, but of the development of a number of constituencies and of 40-50 lakh persons who are suffering on this account. See the difference, during the Beant Singh government we had been distributing funds to all MLAs on equal basis,” he further claimed.

He alleged that though the Chief Minister had called a meeting of opposition MLAs and assured them that there would be no discrimination with them, the promise had turned out to be mere eyewash as nothing had changed. “So much so, we had even presented a letter in the House in which the DC of Ferozepore had been advised to call SAD-BJP leaders at official meetings. That is the height of discrimination and gagging of democratic values as well,” Jagjit Singh alleged.


Teaching in primary schools hit
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 11
Panic prevails among primary teachers, students as well as parents in the district because more than 50 per cent single-teacher primary schools have been closed.

Almost all primary teachers have been put on examination duty as supervisors for the matriculation examination beginning tomorrow. The offices of the DEO(P) as well as local politicians have been flooded with complaints in this regard from respective sarpanches.

Talking to The Tribune, a large number of teachers, at the DEO(P) office said specific attention should be given to primary education. Though the Government had initiated certain steps like introduction of English from Class I, activities other than education were also assigned to teachers, particularly primary teachers.

There were 449 primary schools in the district and 1,293 posts of teachers had been sanctioned out of which 390 were lying vacant. More than 50 per cent of the schools in the district were single-teacher schools.

The teachers alleged that they had just completed census duty. Now again they had been deputed as supervisors. Earlier in the year they had undertaken a survey to identify poor children and prepare voters list. They had also been put on duty for the literacy drive, pulse polio campaign, pre-census enrolment and enlistment.

They had devoted only a month to studies. They had no alternative but to promote all students. This was also one of the reasons why people were running after public schools. The government was doing all this to benefit public schools, they alleged.

They pointed out that the primary staff of aided and affiliated schools had not been put on exam duty due to pressure from managing committees.

Mr Rajesh Paul Singh Lalli, senior SAD(B) leader, has taken up the cause with the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr B.S. Sudan, DC, told The Tribune that arrangements had been made for the conduct of examinations of Classes I, II, III and IV and the DEO(P) instructed to ensure that whenever the primary teachers were not on duty for the matric exams, they be sent to schools to conduct examinations and ensure timely declaration of results.

When contacted, Mr Bachittar Singh, DEO(P), said the work in the schools had been hit.

He said the directions of the Deputy Commissioner would be implemented.


Hola Mohalla concludes
Our Correspondent

Anandpur Sahib, March 11
The three-day annual Hola Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib concluded peacefully yesterday evening. The traditional Hola Mohalla procession started in the afternoon with ‘ardas’ performed by the Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh. During this ceremony he was also accompanied by the Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh.

Last year, however, due to a controversy over the supremacy of the Jathedars, Prof Manjit Singh did not participate in the Hola Mohalla procession. The ‘ardas’ at the Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib was also performed by then Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Puran Singh. It was done to establish the supremacy of the Akal Takht Jathedar in the ‘panthic’ crisis that raged at that time.

After the ‘ardas’, the procession led by the ‘Panj Piaras’ started from the Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib. The procession went on foot to Kila Anandgarh. The Jathedars of Akal Takht, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Takht Damdama Sahib and the head granthi of Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh participated in the procession. The president of the SGPC, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi and the head granthi, Darbar Sahib, Giani Puran Singh did not participate in the procession.

At the Kila Anandgarh Sahib the organisers presented “Siropas” to all Jathedars present in the procession. The procession then went to gurdwara Jitoji and passing through Kila Holgarh, Kila Fatehgarh Sahib and gurdwara Sheesh Ganj ended at Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib. On the occasion, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, appealed to the Sikhs to stay away from drugs and narcotics as per preachings of the Sikh Gurus.

In the evening the various Nihang Dals gave martial arts displays at the Charan Ganga stadium. The displays included horse-riding and fencing. The Nihang Dals gave some anxious moments to the district administration when they started firing in the air from their licensed weapons. The police detained two Nihangs of the Taruna Dal for carrying arms illegally in the Charan Ganga stadium.


RSS leaders shying away from media
Tribune News Service

Mansa, March 11
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and its leadership seems to be shying away from the media after the controversy over the RSS-Sikh identity issue erupted in Punjab a few months ago.

The RSS chief, Mr K.S. Sudarshan, All-India president of the Dharam Parchar wing, Mr Vishvanath, and the All-India president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, Mr Chiranjeev, who were here yesterday in connection with the inauguration of an educational institution, did not meet mediapersons.

Mediapersons were invited to the function only to report the speech of the RSS chief. After his speech, Mr Sudarshan left for Ludhiana in a bullet proof car provided by the authorities concerned.

When The Tribune team tried to contact Mr Sudarshan and two other leaders, their reply was, “No talks with the Press in Punjab”.

Mr Chiranjeev went to the extent of alleging that some of their views had been distorted by mediapersons. He further alleged that even the media persons who claimed to be RSS workers had also played foul. “Pattarkar akhir pattarkar hai” (a reporter is a reporter), he added.

When The Tribune tried to find out the reason for the RSS leadership avoiding mediapersons, a section of RSS workers said that some vested interests had played a role to whip up communal tension in Punjab by kicking up a controversy relating to the Sikh community. They added that various reports had appeared in the media where the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat had been shown as interfering in Sikh affairs and lowering the dignity of Akal Takht.

A senior leader of the RSS in Punjab pointed out that the controversy relating to the RSS-Sikh affairs was subsiding and it was not right for the RSS to speak to the press at this time.

Moreover, the RSS leadership was also not willing to make any comment on the extension of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. He added that there were sharp differences in the opinions of RSS workers regarding extension of ceasefire.


Granthis’ installation on March 15
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, March 11
Bhai Sukhwinder Singh and Bhai Charan Singh will be installed granthis of the Golden Temple on March 15 at Amritsar. Their appointment was cleared by the executive committee of the SGPC which met at Anandpur Sahib on March 7 under the chairmanship of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

Mr Talwandi will be present at the installation ceremony and the granthis presented ‘siropas’ by the Head Granthi, Giani Puran Singh on the occasion.

The SGPC chief is likely to meet the jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, and discuss with him the controversy over the alleged violation of ‘maryada’ due to the absence of the Head Granthi from the meeting of the five High Priests.

The meeting convened by the Jathedar Akal Takht at Amritsar on March 13 is understood to have been deferred by the Jathedar at the instance of the President of the SGPC. The executive members, too, will not meet on that day as sought by the Jathedar, Akal Takht.

The SGPC has been facing a piquant situation since the appointment of Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi as he has not participated in the meetings of the five High Priests so far. Giani Puran Singh had ex-communicated Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, and Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Takht Kesgarh Sahib, when he was Jathedar of Akal Takht.

When The Tribune sought the comments of Mr Talwandi about the meeting convened by the Jathedar at Amritsar on March 13, he said the Jathedar wanted to discuss details of the programme for the proposed celebrations on completion of 400 years of Guru Granth Sahib’s installation. Guru Granth Sahib was completed, edited and installed by Guru Arjan Dev in 1604 at Harmander Sahib.

Sikh scholars do not subscribe to the theory that ‘maryada’ has been violated by non-participation of the Head Granthi at the meeting of the High Priests. To quote Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, editor-in-chief, Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, no one is ‘panj piara’ by designation. 


Ballot better than bullet: renegade
Varinder Walia and Gurbax puri
Tribune News Service

Harike (Amritsar), March 11
Lakhwinder Singh Mararh, alias Lakha Mararh, a former district chief of the Babbar Khalsa, who lost his right hand while launching a rocket aimed at the Kirian police station in 1987, now leads a peaceful life. So do his fellow militants (who once carried cash awards on their heads) after their surrender to the then Director-General of Police, Mr K.P.S. Gill.

After the formation of the Beant Singh government in February, 1992, hundreds of hardcore militants surrendered before the security forces as part of “Operation Last Assault” launched by the Punjab Police. A few were killed in ‘fake encounters’ after their surrender.

Talking to TNS Lakhwinder Singh Mararh said, the ‘Khalistan’ movement was “aimless and imaginary” which had failed mainly due to the killing of innocent persons. Though he was involved in a number of killings, kidnappings, encounters and bank dacoities, he claimed he had always opposed indiscriminate firing on innocent persons.

As many as 36 militants, including two ‘A’ category, 25 ‘B’ category and 19 “listed” had surrendered on December 3, 1992, before the then DGP. The then district police chief, Tarn Taran, Mr Ajit Singh Sandhu, was instrumental in their surrender.

Lakha Mararh, who visited Pakistan many times, said “During my days of militancy, I was totally cut off from the world. Though we would take pride that police officers including Deputy Superintendent of Police and Station House Officers, approached our family members for protection, yet our lives were virtually a hell.

“My younger brother was kidnapped and then killed by the police in 1992. I felt responsible for the same. I decided to surrender before Mr KPS Gill”, he said.

Lakha Mararh said a number of criminal cases were registered against him in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Ferozepore police districts. “I used to hide in the Mand area (embankment of the Beas) where the police dared not to venture”.

Now, Mararh is a leader of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and commands respect in the area. People of the area said Lakha Mararh did not harass any innocent person during his militancy days.

He said he now believed the “ballot was better than the bullet” to ensure that demands are met.

Balwinder Singh, alies Bohru, a former leader of the Bhindranwale Tigers Force (Sangha group), who has surrendered along with Lakha Mararh, too, leads a normal life. Bohru, who belongs to Tharu village near Tarn Taran, rarely takes part in any political activity. He leads a ‘happy life’ with his family. When he was many of his relatives were picked by the police.

However, Bittu, a hardcore militant who has surrendered before the security forces along with his wife after the formation of the Beant Singh government, was killed in a police encounter. Another militant Yadwinder Singh, alias Goldi too, was killed in an encounter near Valtora a few days after his surrender before the DGP. Most former militants have no complaint against the police now they say the Beant Singh and successive government had never harassed them since their surrender. 


Electrification of Amritsar-Ludhiana rail section begins
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, March 11
The Northern Railway has started work for electrification of 137-km-long Amritsar-Ludhiana rail section.

Stating this, railway sources told this correspondent here today, that the project would be completed within two years and in two phases. The Ludhiana-Jalandhar rail section would be electrified in first phase and the Jalandhar-Amritsar rail section would be electrified in second phase.

Sources told that all diesel engines of the trains running in the section would be replaced with electrical engines after completion of the project.

Sources said that all wooden sleepers of railway lines had been replaced with concrete cemented sleepers on this section.

The railways will soon start a project for doubling of the railway line on the Jalandhar-Pathankot-Jammu railway section in phased manners.

Meanwhile, sources said that Chief Electrification Officer T.S. Kalra will formally inaugurate the project of electrification of the Ludhiana-Amritsar rail section.


Rebels to move resolution on Bluestar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 11
The rebel Akali legislators or what is known as legislators owing allegiance to Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, will move a resolution in the current session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha seeking condemnation or the Operation Bluestar and the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi, Kanpur and other parts of the country after the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi in November 1984. The resolution is likely to be moved formally next week when the Vidhan Sabha meets from Tuesday.

The rebel Akali legislators had earlier moved the Anandpur Sahib resolution in the Vidhan Sabha during the Budget session last year. The resolution was discussed but it was not put to vote as the Treasury Benches ensured that it was “time-out” alleged Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Former Ministers in the Badal Government and confidants of Mr Tohra.

The resolution is likely to get the support of 14 legislators, 13 belonging to the Tohra faction ad one to the Akali Dal (Amritsar).

The resolution is likely to embarrass the ruling SAD-BJP combine and is a part of the strategy adopted by the Tohra faction to expose the Badal Government in the Vidhan Sabha and create maximum obstacles in the running of the House.

Both Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said that they were hopeful that the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha would not stall the admission of the resolution.


Mann hopeful of third front in Punjab
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, March 11
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, SAD (Amritsar), while talking to mediapersons at the local rest house here today said some police official violated human rights in the past, but instead of making them face trial the government rewarded them with undue promotions, which should be withdrawn at the earliest.

He said the government should make efforts to post only honest and hardworking officials at the key posts. There was every likelihood of the realignment of political forces in the state before the Assembly elections, he added.

Criticising the Akali-BJP government he said, it would be good if a third front emerged in the state. It could provide a better option to the people since they were fed up with the ruling alliance as well as the Congress.

Mr Mann said he was hopeful that a new front consisting of non-Congress and non-Akali, BJP parties might emerge in the state soon. He blamed the SAD, BJP and the Congress for the problems of unemployment, illiteracy and poverty in Punjab.

He also blamed Mr Badal for promoting family rule in the state and failing to protect the interests of farmers and traders.

He urged the Centre Government to choose Amritsar as the city for the departure and the arrival of the Haj pilgrims from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to Mecca. If Amritsar was choose it would strengthen Muslim-Sikh bonds.


Morcha chief flays Kanshi Ram
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, March 11
Bahujan Samaj Morcha national president Satnam Singh Kainth has demanded a high level CBI enquiry into the corruption charges levelled by Bahujan Samaj Party chief Kanshi Ram against Mr S.R. Lakha, cane commissioner, Uttar Pradesh and a brother of former Punjab BSP MP, Mr Harbhajan Lakha.

Addressing rallies at Phillaur and Rawalpindi village under a series of 28 rallies being organised from February 18 to April 8 in all tehsils of the state, Mr Kainth today condemned Kanshi Ram for his ‘objectionable’ comments against Dalits and IAS, IPS, and other gazetted officers in a BSP rally of Hoshiarpur. Mr Kainth described Kanshi Ram’s comments as a result of frustration due to his disappointment with Dalits and Backward Classes which did not give him much response according to his expectations.

Mr Kainth claimed that more than 50 per cent BSP workers and leaders were feeling suffocated in Bahujan Samaj Party. They all could join Bahujan Samaj Morcha at any time, he invited.

Morcha president alleged that most of the political parties always politicised the Dalit and Backward Classes’ issues but these political parties never bothered about the interests of Dalits and Backward Classes.

Mr Kainth appealed to all Dalits and Backward Classes leaders to come together under the banner of Bahujan Samaj Morcha to safequard their interests.

Morcha leaders Harbhajan Khalwara, Kashmiri Lal Bhularai, Tulsi Ram Khosla, Des Raj Mall, Sohan Lal Chauhan, and Jaswinder Talwan also addressed the morcha rallies.

Later Bahujan Samaj Morcha president distributed an audio cassettes to mediapersons of the speech of BSP chief Kanshi Ram at the Hoshiarpur rally of February 28, in which Kanshi Ram had levelled serious allegations against Harbhajan Lakha’s brother S.R. Lakha, cane commissioner, posted in Uttar Pradesh and Kanshi Ram’s ‘objectionable’ comments against Dalits, IAS, IPS, and gazetted officers.


All-party rally against ‘misrule’
Our Correspondent

Mehraj (Bathinda), March 11
A massive rally was organised by representatives of all political parties of the region in protest against the alleged political pressure on panchayats of various villages to join the SAD-BJP ruling alliance here yesterday.

The rally was addressed by Mr Darshan Mehraj, district secretary, CPM, Mr Amrik Singh, CPI leader, Mr Darshan Mehraj, district secretary, CPM, Mr Amrik Singh, CPI leader, Mr Avtar Singh, ex-sarpanch, Mr Nachattar Singh, district president, Lok Bhalai Party, Ms Simarjit Kaur, district president (women’s wing), Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), and Mr Sat Pal Bharati, state president, Lal Jhanda Mazoor Union.

Mr Mehraj alleged the ruling alliance was pressurising the panchayats owing allegiance to the Opposition parties to join the SAD-BJP combine. Grants for various development works were given only to those panchayats which had joined the ruling alliance. The panchayats were being harassed on various accounts and even development works by them being cashed on by the ruling politicians, he alleged.

Mr Avtar Singh alleged the ruling politicians were trying to sabotage the development of areas represented by the Opposition parties. Funds meant for these areas were being diverted elsewhere.

Names of various schemes had been so deviced so as to feel the general public that these had been launched by the state government, although some had been launched by the Centre.

Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, ex-minister, said the public was at the mercy of the ruling alliance and they had to plead for even basic rights, he lamented.

Corruption had reached its zenith and no work could be got done without bribery, he added.


Bibi against sending ‘jathas’ to Pakistan
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, March 11
The Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is headed by a Muslim and an ex-ISI chief. The decision not to send Sikh Jathas to Pakistan was taken by the SGPC executive committee in protest against the formation of the PGPC keeping in view the interests of the ‘panth’ and the nation. Bibi Jagir Kaur stated this while talking to reporters at Anandpur Sahib on March 9. She was here to pay obeisance at Keshgarh Sahib gurdwara on Hola Mohalla.

She was responding to a query on the recent decision of the SGPC president Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, on sending jathas to Pakistan. The jathas are proposed to leave for Pakistan in April. Bibi Jagir Kaur, however, added that sending of the jathas was an internal matter of the SGPC executive committee and she did not want to comment further on the said decision.

She also criticised the removal of the persons employed by her in the SGPC. Most of these people were given small jobs keeping in view their economic difficulties and their services to the institution. Their removal just on the plea that they were appointed by the predecessor was unjustified, she said.


Power shortage in Punjab, says Chandumajra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, has expressed his concern over the shortage of power in the state.

In a statement issued today, Mr Chandumajra said that thermal plants in the state were generating power only up to 60 per cent of their capacity.

He said the “incomplete” Thein Dam was not enough to meet the growing demands of power.

He said the growing problems of the farm sector and the shortage of power might force Mr Parkash Singh Badal to advance the assembly elections.

He also expressed his apprehension that farmers in Punjab might be forced to pay 50 paise per unit of power consumed as was revealed by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, recently.


Pension cases to be processed within a month: Kanjla
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 11
Pension cases of 2,248 people were cleared five women were given certificates under the Kanya Jagriti Jyoti Scheme, while 10 women were given financial help under the National Maternity Benefit Scheme. 50 sewing machines were also distributed among the needy. A Social Security Fund is also being established for distributing pensions.

This was disclosed by Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla,Social Security for Women and Child Development Minister, Punjab, during the district-level pension giving programme held at Nabha subdivision here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kanjla said that at present 7 lakh elderly persons, widows and handicapped persons, were being given pensions in the state. Before the regime of the present ruling party, the number was only 1.75 lakh. He added that another 2 lakh pensioners would be added to the total this year.


Basic amenities elude Bathinda
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Known for its 1800-year-old Gobind Fort, biggest railway junction in the northern region, Asia’s biggest cantonment, fertiliser plant and spinning and ginning units all over India, the Bathinda town is also ‘famous’ for its sewerage problems.

Since sewerage system was laid in 1963-64, the authorities concerned had failed to provide the entire city with this facility. In the past about 35 years, about 45 per cent population of the city had been covered with the underground sewerage facilities.

Similarly 50 per cent population had been provided with the piped potable water supply despite the fact that underground water was not fit for human consumption due on its high flouride content.

The town, fast becoming home for large industrial units, had been plagued by inadequate piped water supply, overflowing street drains, garbage littered in every nook and corner, stray animals, overflowing, sewerage encroachments and traffic bottlenecks.

The promise to make Bathinda city as a city of future or city of textiles made by the then ruling politicians remained on paper and citizens continued to be deprived of basic amenities. Apart from it, the citizens had also been facing problems due to unannounced and unauthorised power cuts despite the fact that a thermal plant had been working here since 1975.

On the other hand, ash being emitted from the four chimneys of the thermal plant, had become a major health hazard for the citizens. The ash from chimneys had also become a major source of eye ailments in the town.

The main problem of this town was that it kept on developing quite fast and witnessed massive urbanisation after the setting up thermal plant and fertiliser plant but the civic amenities could not keep pace with the expansion.

Due to increase in urban population in the town, new colonies kept on coming up with no provision for roads, sewerage, water supply and street light facilities. The situation led to boom in the real estate and the town became a heaven for land grabbers and encroachers.

Apart from inadequate sewerage facilities, the town had also been facing problems on account of absence of any natural stormwater drains.

The town, which developed on the sand dunes, had certain pockets which did have any natural outlets to drain out the rainy water. To meet the flood situation during rainy season, the district authorities had installed pumps at various spots in the city to drain out the water at the earliest.

Official sources said that it was estimated that town’s population would cross 2.5 lakh according to the latest Census and if the proper facilities were not provided in every upcoming colony, their status would not be better than a slum.

Sources added that the local municipal council authorities had been trying to arrange loan from Hudco to provide the water supply and sewerage facilities to the uncovered population of the town. The authorities were also making efforts to lay premix carpet in every street of the city.

Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuller, President, Municipal Council, said that in the coming financial year, the municipal council authorities would try to provide metalled roads and water supply facilities in the newly developed colonies on the outskirts of the city.

He added that all those roads and streets which could not be relaid with premix in the current financial year would be taken up for the same task next year.


Inquiries galore against Inspector
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 11
Budh Singh, an Inspector of Punjab police who has earned notoriety for the alleged violation of human rights and law, has again hit the headlines.

Budh Singh, who has been facing numerous criminal cases in various courts in the state, was sentenced to three years of rigorous imprisonment and Rs 1,000 was imposed as fine on him in a corruption case.

Budh Singh, now posted in the first battalion of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Patiala, came under criticism from social organisations when he allegedly stripped a 50-year-old Dalit woman in front of her son in the CIA police station in this district.

He was placed under suspension following an inquiry into the incident by senior police officials. The incident took place in August 1997.

However, he was reinstated just before the last Lok Sabha elections.

Budh Singh was booked in another criminal case on the complaint of Mr Gurmit Singh, a resident of Chughe Kalan village of this district. A case in this connection was registered against him under Sections 384 and 142, IPC, following an inquiry by an SP.


2 killed, 4 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 11
Two persons killed on the spot and four others injured, two of them seriously, near Jiwan Singh Wala village 21 km from here early this morning.

Police sources said that the tractor-trailer was overloaded with marble pieces and overturned when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The two killed on the spot have been identified as Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Gurpreet Singh, residents of Bhuchu Kalan village.

Mr Makhan Singh and Mr Nirbhai Singh were injured seriously in the incident while Mr Pinta Singh and Mr Gora Singh received minor injuries. The injured and the bodies of the dead were brought to the local civil hospital by volunteers of the Sahara Jan Seva. A case in this connection had been registered, the police sources added.

In other incidents in the city, one person was killed and two others were injured. Mr Sandhu Singh (75), a resident of Lal Singh Basti, was killed when he was run over by a train, which was coming from Jodhpur. The body of the deceased was handed over to the kin after the postmortem examination and a case had been registered in this connection, added the police sources.

In another incident, a migrant labourer, Mr Birju was hit by a speeding car near the thermal plant. He was given medical aid and admitted to the hospital by the Sahara Jan Seva. A young boy met with an accident near the railway shed street of the city, he was also given medical aid and admitted to the hospital by the volunteers of the Sahara Jan Seva of the city.


Recruitment rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
A recruitment rally for soldiers (general duty) will be organised by the Army at Ferozepore cantonment from March 18 to 25. Only Ramdasia and Mazabhi Sikh candidates belonging to the districts of Ferozepore, Faridkot, Moga, Mansa, Bathinda and Muktsar will be recruited at the rally.


Punjab to sink 500 solar tubewells
Our Correspondent

Katar Singh Wala, March 11
Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Minister for Science and Technology, Punjab, said here today, that the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) would set up 500 tubewells operated by solar energy, in the current year.

Mr Garg added that the project cost of setting up these tubewells was Rs 2280 lakh and of the total project cost Rs 1805 lakh would be given by the central government and Rs 300 lakh by the state government, he added.

People from all over the state had shown interest to get solar tubewells installed. The PEDA had been successful in designing and developing solar tubewells of two horsepower capacity, added Mr Garg.

Mr Garg said that with sucessful implementation of the first phase of the scheme the Union Government, had sanctioned a scheme of 1000 solar tubewells worth Rs 4560 lakh out of which the central aid would be of Rs 3600 lakh. These pumps were useful for the marginal and medium farmers and were capable of heavy duty performance and suitable to local conditions. With the installation of these tubewells diesel worth Rs 200 crore would be saved, which would in turn help reduce the air pollution and save energy too.

Mr Garg added that to educate the farmers on the benefits of alternative energy, use of solar lighting, solar tubewells etc, special drives have been started by state government and the PEDA. In the first phase of the scheme 39 blocks of 14 districts were choosen for solar tubewells and in the coming year whole of the state would be covered, added Mr Garg.

Mr Garg also distributed cheques under shagun scheme on the occasion.


Naib Tehsildar booked in another case
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 11
The police has registered one more case against Mr Balbir Singh suspended Naib Tehsildar, resident of Harike village residing in Amritsar at present. Ms Manjit Kaur and Mrs Gurbachan Kaur, wife and mother, respectively, of Mr Balbir Singh have been made co-accused with him this time. Number of cases against Mr Balbir Singh have been risen to five and most of these are of fraud.

The present case is under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B of the IPC registered on the complaint of Mr Hardev Singh of Harike.

Mr Hardev Singh had alleged that Balbir Singh when he was patwari of village Booh near Harike in 1988 got 22 acres of land belonging to Central government got registered in the name of his wife Manjit Kaur and mother Gurbachan Kaur and also got compensation of flood-victims in 1988 when there was heavy loss of crops and other property due to heavy rains.

Mr Balbir Singh has already been booked in four cases mostly under Section 420 of the IPC. Balbir Singh has complained against an SP and seven other cops for torturing him.

According the another report Patti police has booked a former sarpanch of Sabhra village, Ajit Singh, his three sons Naranjan Singh, Surinder Singh, Balwinder Singh and their wives Satwinder Kaur, Balwinder Kaur and Lakhwinder Kaur, respectively along with Randhir Singh Lambardar all residents of Sabhra village, a sub-registrar of Patti and deed writer Narinder Singh for illegally getting 190 kanals of panchayat land to their own names by showing wrong record. Present village sarpanch Mr Surjit Singh lodged the report. These people got this piece of land registered in their name on September 22, 1993 when Mr Ajit Singh was sarpanch. The village panchayat passed a resolution on May 30, 2000 to lodge a complaint with the police in this regard.


Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 11
Tehal Singh (40), resident of Kothe Panjwan Wale village, committed suicide by hanging himself near banks of the local distributary of the Sirhind canal.

The police sources said a case under Section 174 of the IPC had been registered in this connection.

The body of the deceased was handed over to his kin after a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital here on Friday.


Suppliers of arms held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 11
The district police achieved a major success today by arresting Bakhshish Singh, alias Shisha, a resident of Muthia village in Ferozepore district, for supplying weapons and narcotics to terrorists in Punjab.

Bakhshish Singh, the main supplier, who used to frequent Pakistan and meet Wadhawa Singh Babbar and Mehal Singh Babbar, was arrested by the police with 30 bore mouser and seven live cartridges.

One of his accomplices Sucha Singh of Ferozepore district had also been arrested and one pistol and two cartridges had been seized from his possession, police sources said.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said Bakhshish Singh had confessed that he had links with two Pakistani residents namely Waris Ali and Liakat Ali of Nagardin village in Kasur district. Bakhshish Singh had earlier been booked in number of criminal cases relating to the Excise Act, Arms Act and the NDPS Act.

The accused admitted that through Waris Ali and Liakat Ali, he used to meet Wadhawa Singh Babbar and Mehal Singh Babbar. He used to supply weapons to Punjab terrorists after bringing the same from Pakistan on the directions of Wadhawa Singh Babbar and Mehal Singh Baddar, Dr Jain said.


Boy takes test under uncle’s supervision
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 11
Controversy has erupted over the appointment of a Punjabi University professor officiating as the superintendent of a centre where one of his relatives was taking an MBA entrance test.

Sources said Prof Harbans Pathak of the Department of Public Administration had officiated as the centre superintendent in Modi College where one of his nephews had been taking the test.

When parents of the other candidates objected to this, Prof Pathak was immediately shifted to the adjoining centre midway through the examination.

When contacted, Mr A.S. Bhatia, a Reader of the Department of Economics and co-coordinator of the test, admitted that the nephew of Prof Pathak had been shifted to the other centre.

Prof Pathak and Mr S.K. Arora, superintendent of the other centre, had given a written undertaking that none of their relatives was taking the test.

When contacted, Dr K.C. Singhal, Professor and Head of the Punjabi University Punjab School of Management Studies, said he had no idea about the entrance test, though he was the HoD.

Meanwhile, the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) has also objected to this violation of norms.

Prof Balwinder Singh, Secretary of PUTA, said the association would take up the issue in the next meeting of its executive body.

Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor of the university, could not be contacted, despite repeated attempts.


Indianise education: RSS chief
Tribune News Service

Mansa, March 11
The RSS chief, Mr K.S. Sudershan, said that present education policy prevailing in the country had been causing harm and there was a need of Indianisation of education.

Mr Sudershan, while addressing a gathering at a function organised here in connection with the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Shri Narayan Shikhshan Kendra yesterday, said that the British, under a well-planned conspiracy to kill mental, religious, social and natural instincts among the Indians, introduced the Macaulay model of education in the country.

He added the British, who introduced this system of education to change the attitude of Indians towards them, succeeded to some extent in their mission and ruled India for about 250 years.

He pointed out that there was a strong wave in favour of changing the Macaulay system of education in India before its Independence but unfortunately even after 53 years of Independence of the country, nobody was coming forward to change the same.

He said when the RSS tried to make efforts to change the education system of the country, it was being accused of ‘saffronisation’ of education. He added the Vedas were the true education for the Indians and the British always tried to keep them away from that type of education.

He pointed out that due to Indians’ alienation with the Vedas, India also remained slave to Islamic kings for about 550 years. He added that some of great ‘rishis’ and thinkers had made efforts to awaken the Indians to get rid of British system of education.

Mr Sudershan alleged that the British succeeded in dividing Indians into many groups by cashing in on the education system introduced by them.

He pointed out that new methods for imparting information to the people was present in the Vedas which were thousands of years old. He added that modern education system had finished the distinction between a school-going child and railway porter as both used to carry load. He said that imparting of education in Sanskrit, music, moral, ethics, Vedas, mathematics, yoga and spiritual subjects was the need of hour today.

He claimed that India would lead the world in 2011 and Vidya Bharti institutions being run by the RSS were promoting nationalism among the students and making them aware of the Indian culture and its values.

Making an oblique reference to the controversies relating to the RSS activities in the country, Mr Sudershan said that since primitive times, India was a nation, it was still a nation and there was no question of making this nation a ‘nation again’.

Mr Madan Mohan Bharti, zonal president, Vidya Bharti, said that in the town a school was being set up by it which would train teachers. The school would be built over 7.5 acre of land at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore.

He said that the Vidya Bharti affiliated to the RSS had been running 175 educational institutions in the North India and had been imparting education to the students through 10,000 teachers.

He added the local school would prepare the teachers who would be fully equipped in all aspects of education, including nationalism, patriotism with physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual development of children.


Special steps to check copying
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, March 11
Mr Lachhman Singh Brar, District Education Officer (Secondary), while talking to mediapersons last evening said all arrangements for the smooth conduct of the class X and plus two examinations, which are commencing from March 12, have been completed in Ferozepore district.

He said special steps have been initiated to check copying. About 27,000 students would appear in these examinations, for which a total of 142 examination centres had been set up. Of these, 59 centres were for plus two exams and seven would be run in colleges.

According to revised instructions of Mr Tota Singh Education Minister, headmasters or lecturers would be appointed as superintendents, teachers as deputy superintendents and JBT teachers as supervisors at these centres. Under the new policy, 21 clusters had been formed in the district and each cluster would monitor seven examination centres.

The school of the coordinator has not been included in the cluster of seven examination centres. This step has been taken to check copying. Besides this, the old system of creating flying squads has been done away with. Instead the cluster in charge would conduct surprise checks of the seven centres under his control.

After completion of about half of the papers, the cluster in charge would shift the entire supervisory staff. Mr Brar warned that if any teacher was found involved in copying, disciplinary action shall be initiated against the person. 

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