Wednesday, July 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cong concerned over Chohan’s return
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 3
The Punjab Congress today urged President K. R. Narayanan to direct the Centre to take appropriate steps to ensure that the peace and tranquility of the state was not disturbed again because of the influence of certain pro-Khalistan leaders who had returned to the state or were attempting to do so.

A nine-member Punjab Congress delegation led by AICC treasurer Motilal Vora today met the President for about 20 minutes and gave him a memorandum about the party’s concerns on the return of separatist leaders to the state.

“A sinister development is taking place in Punjab which could have dire repercussions on the peace and tranquility in the state. For the past few months, certain known pro-Khalistani leaders have been making efforts to return to India. There seems to be behind-the-scene activities between them and the Government of Punjab led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal,’’ the memorandum alleged.

Referring to the return of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal “who has executed many terrorist operations,’’ the memorandum said that Khalistan ideologue Jagjit Singh Chohan was now back in Punjab.

Talking of the high court decision which is being mentioned as a reason for Dr Chohan’s return, the memorandum said, “It is surprising that no one in Punjab, certainly not the government there, thought it fit to appeal against the order of the high court to the Supreme Court.’’

Briefing about the meeting with the President, PCC chief Amarinder Singh said that Mr Narayanan had assured the delegation that its concern would be forwarded to the Central government.

Accusing the Centre and Punjab Government of “collusion’’ in the return of separatist elements to the state, the PCC chief alleged that the Punjab Government seemed to be “welcoming’’ the separatist elements.

He referred to a statement of Mr Jagjit Singh Chohan where he had said that three more Panthic committee members were in Punjab and could come overground. He said there were reports that at least six former militant leaders could be making a return to the state.

The memorandum signed by 15 leaders, including Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and CLP leader Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, said the people of the state were apprehensive about the role the separatist leaders would play during the forthcoming Assembly poll. “The network through which they operated is still very much intact and free and fair elections would not be possible if they start operating in the state,’’ the memorandum noted.

Criticising the Centre, the memorandum added, “Even though it was aware of the background and antecedents of these people, it had nothing to stop their return for political considerations.’’

Soon after return of Mr Chohan to India, the Punjab Congress had raised the demand for his arrest. 


Don’t glorify militants, Badal urges media
Our Correspondent

Chak Fatehsinghwala (Bathinda), July 3
Peace will be maintained in Punjab at all costs and nobody will be allowed to disturb the communal harmony in the state.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, said this while talking to the mediapersons here today. He was in the village in connection with the bhog ceremony of Mr Balbir Singh Nathana, MLA, who had died of cancer on June 24.

Mr Badal said Jagjit Singh Chauhan and Wassan Singh Zaffarwal would not be allowed to disturb hard-earned peace in the state. He said the speculations of the people that their arrival could change the scenario here were wrong.

Referring to the reports that the arrival of the militants was done under some “understanding” with the political parties, he said that there was no truth in the rumours as far as his party was concerned. He added that it was not possible that they were brought in the state under some plan.

Mr Badal said nobody would like to have any relationship with those who were involved with the militancy in the state. If any party did that it would have to bear the loss politically. He added that there was no place for the militancy in Punjab.

When asked that some time back he had favoured the removal of the names of some of the persons who were blacklisted by the government, he said he had asked to remove the names of such persons whose names appeared in such lists by mistake. He said he never favoured giving special benefits to dreaded terrorists. He said during the militancy period it could have happen that names of some of those persons appeared in the blacklists who did not have any connection with the militants.

Mr Badal asked the mediapersons to put observe restrain while reporting about the militants who had arrived in the state in the past few months. He said a section of the media had glorified the militants. He said such persons should not be given much importance.

He described the happening in Tamil Nadu as shameful and said the method adopted by the Jayalalitha government was wrong. He said it was vindictive politically motivated.

Mr Badal said that if there was a case against the former Chief Minister, Mr Karunanidhi, the law should have been allowed to take its own course. He said that in democratic set up every one had the rights to vent his resentment.

Talking about the state politics he said the previous Congress government’s wrong policies had made many people in the state very poor. He said the Congress who presented themselves as the messiah of the poor was in real terms anti-poor.

Attacking the policies of the Congress he said it did not have faith in democracy, socialism and secularism which were the main pivotals of a country. He said it had spread hatred among different communities. He alleged that it had also forgotten what socialism meant. He alleged that certain Congress activists had indulged in anti-social activities.

Mr Badal was optimistic about the Vajpayee-Musharaff meeting to be held at Agra on July 14 and said that although it was not possible that any solution of the Kashmir problem would be found in the meeting but it was a step in finding a solution to the problem.

He said if any amicable solution to the Kashmir problem was found Punjab would benefit in a big way. He said due to the proximity of the state with Pakistan it had to suffer if the relation with the neighbouring country were not good.

Mr Badal said his party was ready for an alliance with any party who would help defeat the Congress in the coming elections in the state. He said there was no condition on their part for making alliance with the factions of the Akali Dals.

The bhog ceremony of Mr Balbir Singh was also attended by Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundar, MP, Sujan Singh, Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayat, Mr Makhan Singh and Mr Sukhminder Singh Aulakh both MLAs and Mr Sikander Singh Punjab minister.

Speakers at the occasion said that Mr Balbir Singh was a very humble human being. They said that it was a great loss to the area and to the party. Akali workers and the residents of the region attended the ceremony in large numbers.


PSGPC chief may accompany Musharraf
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 3
Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar, has claimed that Lieut Gen Javed Nasir, former chief of the ISI and chairman of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), may accompany Gen Pervez Musharraf during his proposed visit to India.

Mr Bhullar said he had received a telephone call from PSGPC member Gurdip Singh who had stated that Javed Nasir and Sham Singh, Co-Chairman of the PSGPC, had been sounded by General Musharraf regarding his visit to India.

Mr Bhullar said Sham Singh would visit Baluchistan tomorrow to secure the release of 31 Punjabi youths languishing in jails in Pakistan. He said these youths were victims of travel agents and had landed themselves in Pakistan jails while attempting to go to Italy and other western countries.

Mr Bhullar said if the visit of Javed Nasir and Sham Singh materialised, it would usher in an era of goodwill if they accompany General Musharraf and the Indian Government could reach at some agreement regarding the maintenance of Sikh shrines in Pakistan.


PSEB forced to lease power plant
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 3
The 10 MW straw-based Jalkheri power plant, established in the state 10 years ago at a cost of Rs 38 crore but never commissioned for long, is set to get a new lease of life, with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) giving it on an yearly lease to a private firm.

The PSEB has leased the plant situated in Fatehgarh Sahib district to a Mumbai-based firm, M/s Bermaco, at an approximate annual lease of Rs 4 crore. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the board.

Sources said the private company would pay a lease money of Rs 2.7 crore during the first two years after it was recommissioned by it. They said after two years the private company would have to pay a lease money of around Rs 4.2 crore. The board will buy the power generated by the plant according to guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Resources.

PSEB Chairman G.S. Sohal, when contacted, said the lease was the best bargain for the board which could not run the plant shortly after it was commissioned. He said the plant had a chequered history, with the board being unable to sell it off outright despite best efforts. He said while once the plant was tendered for Rs 20 crore, next time it was tendered for Rs 10 crore but the parties backed out at the last moment.

He said during his tenure, a case had been made out for selling off the plant for Rs 4 crore to a private party but he rejected the proposal and then started the procedure of attempting to lease the plant.

The PSEB Chairman said the board had no option but leasing the plant to a private party, as the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), which was approached for running of the plant, also declined to do so, claiming that it did not have the required know-how. He said the company was in coal generation already and was equipped to start operating the plant immediately.

Sources said the private company was likely to attempt commissioning the plant in September once the paddy crop was harvested. They said by then the plant would have to be given a massive overhaul as its machinery had not been run for years. Various parts of the machinery need to be replaced with some having rusted over the years.

The sources said the plant could not be run successfully earlier as there was no proper system of bringing the raw material — straw — to the plant. They said for this a vast distribution network needed to be established, adding that a regular supply of straw was the key to the success of the plant.

The sources said such small plants could feed adjoining areas and help to limit generation losses, besides creating job opportunities in the private sector.


PHRC intervenes in stripping case
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has directed the Ferozepore District Magistrate to send a report within four weeks on the alleged stripping of a Dalit woman in Mandi Hazur village by local villagers on June 27.

Taking cognizance of a complaint filed by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), the PHRC asked the District Magistrate to have the matter investigated by an officer well conversant with the facts of the case and send the report along with the original record.

The commission is of the opinion that it was a fit case for taking cognizance under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The order has also been sent to the Principal Secretary, Home, so that he would get the report within four weeks from the authority concerned.

It was alleged that on June 27, Gurdip Singh, son of Inder Singh, went to switch on the water motor in the field of his master. On the way, he was allegedly assaulted and beaten up by some persons.

Gurdip narrated the story to his family members. The accused, Kashmir Singh, along with others also allegedly beat up Inder Singh when he reached the spot.

When the wife of the victim reached the spot to save her husband and son. Her clothes were allegedly torn and she was stripped and dragged in the streets of the village by holding her hair by the accused. After the incident the accused ran away from the spot. On the other hand, the police claimed that there was a row between the two parties but the allegation of stripping and dragging the woman was wrong. The other party levelled allegations against Inder Singh.

On July 1, Inder Singh, the husband of the victim, alleged that the police had forcibly obtained his signature on blank papers. He further alleged that under political pressure the police had not registered the case.

Inder Singh had apprehensions that he would not get justice at the local level. In order to get justice, the victim also met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Ferozepore with her complaint.

The district administration had instructed the police to take action under the SC/ST Act.

Inder Singh had stated that the police was pressurising him for compromise and only due to this intension the victim had been discharged forcibly from the hospital.

The HRLN coordinator, Ms Veena Kumari, the complainant, had prayed for a time-bound inquiry by some senior lady police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police. It was further prayed that the state be directed to register a case against the accused and take action against the guilty police officers for not registering a case and also action against them under SC/ST Act.



KU diploma declared invalid
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 3
The state government has declared the one year diploma in physical education issued by Kurukshetra University (KU) invalid for the purpose of employment.

The state government had invited applications from candidates who had passed their matric examination with Punjabi and one year diploma in physical education, from any recognised university.

The process of interview had started from June 25 but no candidate who had passed his diploma from Kurukshetra University was issued the interview letters by the authorities.

Hundreds of candidates of Punjab who had passed their qualifying examination from Kurukshetra University have been left in the dark due to the decision of the authorities. The same course was earlier conducted by Punjabi University, Patiala, but was discontinued about 12 years ago. After that Kurukshetra University had started the course with the permission of the state government and the UGC.

The course was started by the university when Mr M.L. Ranga was the Vice-Chancellor. He had written a letter to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Punjab Government (Department of Education) that the candidates who had passed the diploma from Kurukshetra University had higher basic qualification of plus two, then the matric as demanded by the Punjab Government. Some of the candidates who had passed their diploma from Kurukshetra University had been appointed by the Punjab Government against the ex gratia scheme, he said in the letter. A deputation of the candidates had met the Punjab Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh who had assured them of positive help.

A group of candidates while talking to The Tribune here today alleged that the authorities wanted that the appointment process should be challenged in the court so that the selection process of the physical training instructors was stalled.

Mr Jagtar Singh, Director, Public Instruction (S), Punjab could not be contacted despite repeated efforts but an officer in his office said that the diploma awarded by Kurukshetra University had been declared “invalid” and “unrecognised”. 



8,000 constables promoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab Council of Ministers at its meeting held here today under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today promoted all Punjab police constables who had completed 16 years of regular qualifying service to the rank of Head Constable. About 8,000 constables will benefit.

It was further decided to earmark three posts of Deputy Superintendent of Police, five of Inspector and 10 of ASI for outstanding sportspersons against the direct recruitment quota.

The council also enhanced the maximum limit of every discretionary grant from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh by Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State with the objective of making available to them more funds for people-oriented schemes such as those relating to drinking water supply, improvement in agriculture, village sanitation, village roads, construction of small bridges, construction of godowns, purchase of books for libraries and provision of uniforms to poor children in schools. As per the existing norms, Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State are competent to sanction discretionary grants up to Rs 20 lakh and Rs 17 lakh, respectively, in a financial year.

The council approved the proposal for loaning of 94 Sikh coins from State Museum’s collections to the Anandpur Sahib Foundation on a long-term basis for display in the Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib. The complex is under construction at a cost of Rs 175 crore. None of the Sikh coins is a unique piece.

The council placed on record its appreciation of the steps taken by the Chief Minister for giving a fillip to the process of rural development and for the uplift of the weaker sections.

The council allowed, on extreme compassionate grounds, 11 BDPOs who had not found a place in the revised selection process of the PPSC, to be retained in service in relaxation of Rule 21 of the Punjab Development and Panchayat (Class II) Service Rules, 1974, with certain conditions.

It also approved the proposal to amend Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 13 of the Punjab Industrial Establishments (National & Festival Holidays and Casual and Sick Leave) Act, 1965, to raise the minimum wage limit of industrial workers from Rs 500 per month prescribed therein to Rs 2,500 per month and entitling them to three national holidays — January 26, August 15 and October 2 — in addition to four other holidays mentioned in the Schedule of the Act.

This Act shall not apply to industrial workers who are working in a managerial, administrative or supervisory capacity and are getting wages of more than Rs 2,500 per month.

The council also approved the Annual Administrative Reports pertaining to the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation for 1998-99, the Jails Department for 1998-99 and the Department of Youth Services for 1999-2000.

It took note of the fact that over the past many years, the question of proper management of urban land had not received the necessary attention for optimum utilisation. The Punjab Cabinet had on January 3, 2001, approved the proposal of the Local Self-Government Department regularising the illegal construction of houses on municipal land. On the same pattern, attention was now focused on non-municipal urban land, most of it occupied by the Revenue Department.

At present, the Revenue Department owns various types of land such as nazool land, provincial government land, inferior evacuee land and muafi/dera land, governed by different pieces of legislation and manuals governing urban and sub-urban land. The council considered the proposal of the Revenue Department to alienate such property (constructed properties for residential purposes) to the maximum extent of utilisation of 1 kanal for one person and no second property to the same beneficiary in respect of such land under encroachment for more than five years.

The council also decided to provide minimum housing facilities to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the backward castes and other economically weaker sections by allowing free of cost transfer by alienation up to 5 marlas of panchayat land under the Punjab Village Common Lands Regulation Rules, 1964. Such beneficiaries shall construct their dwellings within a period of three years, failing which the land will revert to the gram panchayat. It was also decided to allow such transfers for common purposes such as dharamshalas, community centres, libraries, playgrounds, manure pits, latrines, etc. Where such land is not already available, the Deputy Commissioners have been authorised to buy the land through private negotiations at a fixed price as in the case of process of land acquisition.

The council also approved the proposal for the inclusion of Ramgarhias, Tarkhans, Lohars and Dhimans in the Backward Class category in the state of Punjab on the ground of social and economic backwardness, and on the lines of their inclusion in the OBC List for Central services and on the recommendation of the Punjab Backward Classes Commission and the Deputy Commissioners.


Rain disrupts life in city
Tribune News Service

Shops flooded with rainwater on the Bathinda-Goniana road after a downpour on Tuesday exposed the "efficiency" of the drainage system of Bathinda.
Shops flooded with rainwater on the Bathinda-Goniana road after a downpour on Tuesday exposed the "efficiency" of the drainage system of Bathinda.

Bathinda, July 3
Heavy rains which lashed the city for about two hours today have thrown life out of gear as almost all low-lying areas have been flooded and in several localities three to four feet of water is standing.

The rains have become a nightmare for the residents of the city due to lack of proper arrangements to drain out the rain water speedily.

Though crores of rupees have been spent over the years by successive state governments for laying down sewerage system for quick drainage of rain water, the drainage system developed so far has failed to solve the problem.

The power house road, the Amrik Singh road, trans-railway colonies, Sirki Bazar, Ganesha Basti, Nai Basti, Mall Road, part of the Bathinda-Goniana road and the Ajit road localities have been flooded.

Residents of the Nai Basti area and the power house road area have constructed walls in front of their houses to stop the water from entering their houses. Residents in certain areas had been shifting their belongings to safer places before the onset of monsoon.

The unique topography, coupled with apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned, has been making the city a flood-prone area during the rains.

Mr Krishan Kumar Garg, Municipal Councillor, while talking to The Tribune said nearly Rs 1.5 crore were spent last year to set up a proper drainage system in the Ganesha Basti area but it had failed to produce desirable results.

Mr Shiv Kumar Mittal, Executive Officer of the municipal council, said he, along with other municipal officials, had been taking regular rounds of the city to expedite the draining out of rainy water. He added that all temporary pumps installed in various areas of the city were functional and by this evening, all areas would be cleared.

A number of vehicles, parked outside a number of houses, were submerged. 


Rescued woman sent to mental hospital
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, July 3
The district administration has sent 30-year-old Sheela, mother of three and a resident of Rajjiwala village of this district, to the mental hospital in Amritsar, after she was freed allegedly from the captivity of her husband.

Sheela, who was kept in chains by her husband in the house, after she became mentally unsound, was sent to the mental hospital in Amritsar under the custody of the SDM. Two other prominent villagers also accompanied her to Amritsar.

Sheela, who was second wife of Pipal Singh, was confined to one room and chained by her husband. Veena, the first wife of Pipal Singh, who was childless, had been taking care of three children of Sheela. Pipal Singh married Sheela about six years ago when no child was born after his first marriage with Veena.

Mr S. R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, said the SDM had been asked to conduct a probe and an action in this connection would be taken after the submission of his report.

He said the first priority of the district administration was to make arrangements for the treatment of Sheela, who had been subjected to inhuman treatment in her house. Statements of some of the villagers had been recorded by the SDM.

Informations gathered by TNS revealed that Sheela had delivered her third baby when she was of unsound mind. She used to behave abnormally with the people living in the locality where she was living with her husband.

Informations further revealed that though it was commonly known that Pipal Singh tied her with iron chain, yet no villager ever protested against it. No complaint was lodged against Pipal Singh to any authority by any villager.


Fields inundated in Ropar dist
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, July 3
The seasonal Debetwali rivulet near Mangewal village on the Nangal-Anandpur Sahib road flooded the fields today. When this correspondent visited villages, including Mangewal, Debet and other adjoining areas, the fields were flooded. Thousands of cusecs had entered the fields through a breach in kutcha banks constructed along the river near the main road. Helpless villagers witnessed the devastation of their crops.

They said most of the houses were safe as they were constructed on high ground. Only a few huts belonging to the poor who were living near the riverbed had been washed away. However, if the rain continued at the same pace, the houses of other villagers might be threatened, they said.

Meanwhile, other seasonal rivers in Anandpur Sahib subdivision were also reported to be flowing above the danger mark. The drainage department authorities when contacted said they had sent officials to the area but no damage-control exercise was possible until the water receded.

Many areas of Ropar were prone to flash-floods due to the presence of a large number of seasonal rivers. However, due to inadequate funds, the drainage department had not been able to take effective flood-control measures. The villagers alleged that hardly any fund was used in the areas adjoining the Debetwali rivulet.

Last year, nine villages in the Surtapur farm area were inundated when the kutcha bundh on the Siswan river was breached due to heavy rain. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who visited the flood-affected areas, had announced that the kutcha bundh would be strengthened through stone pitching. However, the announcement remained merely on paper.

Sources in the department who spoke on the condition of anonymity said even the payment of about Rs 20 lakh to the contractor who carried out the plugging work on the breach in the bundh had not been released yet.


Butterflies refuse to step in their parlour
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 3
Butterflies roam the Deer Park here. But there are no butterflies where they are meant to be. The Butterfly Inn, a novel project initiated by good samaritans of the city, does not have a single butterfly at present. It has not had any of the dainty creatures since nearly 11 years shortly after the project was established and nothing was being done to revive it.

The Butterfly Inn, inaugurated by former Chief Secretary P.H. Vaishnav in 1988, is in dilapidated condition at present but strangely nothing is being done by the Deer Park authorities or the State Wildlife Department, to revive the project even though not much is required to do so.

A visit to the inn showed that it was a pale shadow of its former past. The inn, which consists of a glass house covered by a corrugated metal gauze on top, was in a shambles. The corrugated gauze had rusted in parts and needed to be replaced fully. Some of the window panes of the glass house had cracked but nothing had been done to replace them. Besides this where there was supposed to be vegetation to attract butterflies in the glass house, there was a wild growth of “bhang” plants.

Only someone who was aware of the existence of the Butterfly Inn in the Deer Park would reach there as there was no sign board stating such an inn existed in the park. Even the inauguration stone had been defaced by one enterprising “Tony” besides a few others who had inscribed their names on it. A room, which was supposed to house the office of the Environment Society, was also in a shambles.

Sources disclosed that the inn was the brainchild of environmentalist M.S. Narang who developed it along with other colleagues from Punjabi University who formed a society to establish the project. They said though the project got off to a flying start with the establishment of a model glass house and butterflies were netted and released in the glass house, problems started soon after with a tug-of-war starting between the Environment Society and Wildlife Department officials.

Dr Dalwinder Singh Sidhu of the Department of Zoology in Punjabi University said that Dr Narang was a philanthropist who could not pull along with Wild Life officials who wanted to run the inn in their own way even though they did not have the needed expertise. They said when all attempts by Dr Narang to run the society in an ideal manner were consistently blocked he and other members of the society started taking less and less interest in the inn and the project stalled soon after.

Sources said after the Environment Society stopped taking interest in the project it came to a standstill and the entire facility started deteriorating. The Deer Park authorities, when contacted about the status of the inn, said lack of interest by the society which was behind its establishment was a major reason for the later abandonment of the project. They said besides this, faults had also emerged in the construction of the glass house. They said the corrugated gauze which worked as a roof had rusted, failing the purpose behind its establishment. They said besides this presence of only a gauze as a roof meant that the glass house had to content with hostile weather both in the summer and the monsoons.

The authorities said it had been now advised that a tin or asbestos roof was needed atop the gauze so that the butterflies if they were to be reintroduced in the park could get the ideal conditions for their propagation. They said glass windows had also not proved successful specially in times of inclement weather and high speed winds. However, the authorities said there was no proposal right now to revive the project or even set right its infrastructure.

People of the city, were, however livid at the casual attitude of the Wildlife Department in the matter of reviving the glass house despite the fact that it was non-functional since more than one decade. Sukhjinder Singh of Rattan Nagar said the glass house could be turned into a self-financing project, as once they were propagated here, they could be given to agencies who needed them or could be given to other parks. He said, however, the project should be revived by taking expert advise on the matter to ensure it was a success this time around.


350 await land allotment in dairy complex
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, July 3
Despite tall calims of the local Municipal Corporation authorities regarding the shifting of dairies to the dairy complex at Jamsher village, 12 km from here, for providing cleaner environment to residents more than 350 dairy owners have been awaiting allotment of land in the complex for the past one year. But civic body officials have not taken any step in this direction.

The civic body, to provide clean environment to the residents, had decided to shift all dairies outside the city limits, two years ago and developed two dairy complexes for the purpose. It was decided to spend Rs 6.28 crore for the development of an ultra-modern dairy complex over 100 acres in Jamsher village. Similarly, a Rs 2.05 crore was earmarked for the development of another dairy complex on 14 acre of at Salimpur Musalmana village.

Subsequently, Rs 3.37 crore was spent on both dairy complexes for the construction of roads, drinking water supply, laying of sewers line, streetlights, power connection, construction of parks and other facilities till December 15, 2000.

The Dairy Development Association filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in December 1999 terming the decision of the civic body to shift the dairies outside municipal limits as illegal.

But, the court while disposing of the case on January 18, 2000, observed, “the steps taken by the MC to move the dairies outside the city limits for clean environment, better hygiene, health and co-related matters of health cannot be described to be illegal.” The court further directed the dairy owners to apply for the allotment of land in the special dairy complexes within three months.

Though more than 350 dairy owners had applied for the allotment of land and deposited 25 per cent of the reserved price with the civic body by April 18, 2000, but civic authorities has not so far allotted the land leading to resentment among dairy owners.

“Though I deposited Rs three lakh for the allotment of a piece of land in the dairy complex in April 2000, but nothing concrete is done beyond giving hollow promises. If the MC authorities are not interested in shifting the dairies to these complexes, they should immediately refund the money, which I can better invest in my present business,” Mr Harbhajan Singh, a dairy owner alleged.

Most of the dairy owners alleged that the indifferent attitude of the Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria towards their demand has virtually caused financial loss to the extent of lakhs of rupees as they had invested crores of rupees for the allotment of land without any gain for more than a year.

Apart from the dairy owners, the Mayor of the MC Mr Suresh Sehgal alleged that though I had written to the Commissioner to allot the plots to the applicants as per the policy of the state government on “first come first serve” basis, the latter was delaying the matter under one pretext or the other.

“Though the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has already directed all bureaucrats in the state to redress the grievances of the people on priority, Dr Sunkaria seems to be least concerned about the welfare of the residents,” Mr Sehgal alleged.

The Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria has reportedly said that the then Commissioner Mr B.C. Thakur, had written to the local Bodies Department to issue guidelines for the allotment of plots three months back and a reply in this regard was awaited leading to delay in allotments.

When contacted, the Principal Secretary local Bodies Department, Mr Rajesh Chhabra said that as far as allotment of plots in Jamsher dairy complex was concerned, the Commissioner should issue allotment letters immediately without any further delay.

“We have submitted in the court that since the Salimpur Musalmana dairy complex is wthin municipal limits, the civic body should be allowed to allot plots to the applicants in the Jamsher dairy complex. We are awaiting court’s directions in this regard,” said Mr Chhabra.


Panchayats to give land for Sikh university
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Eight village panchayats in Punjab have decided to donate land for the proposed World Sikh University to be established following a resolution passed to this effect at the World Sikh Conference held in September, 1995.

At a recent meeting held at Bassigupran, Chamkaur Sahib, the idea of establishing the university was endorsed. It was attended by representatives from the area, including Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Cabinet Minister representing the Chamkaur Sahib constituency, and Mr Pritam Singh Salomajra, president, District Akali Jatha, Ropar.

The Bassigupran panchayat has decided to donate 200 acres, the Kiri Afgana and Mehtot panchayats 50 acres each, the Raipur panchayat 40 acres, the Hafizabad and Fatehpur panchayats 30 acres each, the Mangarh panchayat 23 acres and the Kandola panchayat 8 acres.

A press release issued by the general secretary of the World Sikh Council, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, stated that a large number of foundations and charitable institutions, individuals and corporate houses had agreed to subscribe to the funds of the university, provide equipment and books etc.


Medical facilities for ex-servicemen
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 3
The Central Government has decided to accept the long-pending demand of ex-servicemen to provide medical facilities on a par with retired Central Government employees.

Lieut-Gen Surjit Singh, GOC, Western Command, addressing a gathering at a function of the District Sainik Welfare office here today, revealed that ex-servicemen would be provided with all medical facilities at par with the Central Government employees and a notification in this regard would be issued soon.

“According to the new policy, all ranks of the armed forces will be covered under the Medical Insurance Scheme and the premium for insurance cover will be paid by the Central Government. The expenditure on the treatment of an ex-serviceman will be borne by the insurance company,” he added.

Regarding the shortage of funds, which is badly affecting the functioning of the district Sainik Welfare office and has virtually made it difficult to run several vocational and employment generation courses for the wards of ex-servicemen, General Surjit Singh said 1 lakh per annum would be sanctioned by the Western Command.

“I will also meet the Punjab Governor to apprise him of the non-release of funds by the state government, forcing the officials of the district Sainik Welfare Boards to beg for money every year. There should be a proper system for the release of funds to these boards, which are running quality employment generation courses for the wards of ex-servicemen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Kaur, widow of Major Surinder Singh, Vir Chakra, who was selected for a government job on April 3, met General Surjit Singh and has asked the latter to pursue her case with the state government authorities, who have failed to issue an appointment letter for the past three months.

Similarly, Ms Mohan Kaur Grewal, widow of Major H.S. Grewal, Vir Chakra, has complained to the General that though her son was selected to the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police on April 3 as per the policy of the state government to provide jobs to the kin of all those gallantry awardees at par with Kargil martyrs, but no appointment letter has been issued so far.

General Surjit Singh assured them that he would take up the matter with the authorities concerned soon.

Later, he along with Lieut-Gen S. Choudhry, GOC 11 Corps, visited the training centre and interacted with students. 


Extending a helping hand to poor
Ravinder Sud

Arora Charities, Hoshiarpur, is always ready to extend a helping hand to the down-trodden and the destitute. The organisation has adopted 250 destitute children.

According to Mr Sham Sunder Arora, chairman of the Arora Charities, the organisation has held more than 200 medical check-up camps in rural and urban areas of Hoshiarpur district during the past 10 years. The organisation also provides free medicines to the patients.

Arora Charities has set up five mobile dispensaries, all duly equipped with necessary medicine. These dispensaries go from village to village to provide health facilities to the poor, especially in remote areas of Hoshiarpur. In case of any accident, the mobile dispensaries are rushed to the spot for first-aid to the injured.

The organisation has set up a control room in the local Civil Hospital where the STD facility, medicines and food are provided to the patients and their attendants. Arora Charities recently adopted a girl of an Indian spy who was arrested and killed in Pakistan. Mr Sham Sunder Arora has been honoured by the Governor as well as the district for his work.


Forum gives relief in power bill
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 3
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kapurthala, has quashed the electricity bill of Rs 11,662 raised by the complainant, Mr Gurmit Lal of Sheikhpur village, for the period of 24.5.1999 to 23.7.1999 on the basis of consumption of 5,074 units. This was stated by Mrs Prem N. Kumar, Forum member, here today.

The Forum directed the SDO (city) (Division No. 1), PSEB, Kapurthala, and the Chief Engineer, PSEB, Shakti Bhavan, Jalandhar (respondents), to install the complainant’s meter that was wrongly removed and to provide electricity connection to him. The Forum also directed the respondents to refund/adjust Rs 3,602 paid by the complainant for consuming 5,074 units of the electricity with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum.

The forum further directed the respondents to charge on the basis of average consumption of 50 units for the period of two months. The complainant should be paid Rs 2,000 as compensation for harassment caused, Rs 1,000 as costs of the complaint and the orders be complied within a month from receipt of copy of the orders, Mrs Kumar added.



Rs 7 lakh aid to check hepatitis-B
Our Correspondent

Chak Fatehsingwala (Bathinda), July 3
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, today announced an aid of Rs 7 lakh for the control of hepatitis-B in the district. The aid will be given by the District Red Cross Society immediately for starting the vaccination in the affected villages of the district. He said the state government would later give the money to the Red Cross Society.

Mr Badal gave the instructions to the district administration and Health Department authorities that special arrangements should be made to provide medicines for the affected persons. He said special teams from the medical colleges of Punjab would be asked to visit the affected village to take the first hand account of the situation. Mr Badal made the announcement while talking to the mediapersons here today when his attention was drawn towards the problem of the spreading of the disease in some of the villages of the district. He said the government would make all efforts to control the disease.

Hepatitis-B had spread in some villages of the district. At least six persons had died of it in Chauke village recently. The main cause of the spread of the disease was allegedly because of village quacks. The medical authorities had given a list of quacks to the police authorities and had urged them to take action against them, but no action had been taken yet.


Revise phone bill, directs forum
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 3
Mr H.B. Handa, president, Mr S.K. Narad and Ms Manjit Walia, both members, of the District Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum, Hoshiarpur, have ordered cancellation of a bill of Rs 11,576 for the period of February 1, 2000, to March 31, 2000, issued by the Telecom Department Hoshiarpur, to Ms Inderjit Kaur of Dashmesh Nagar, Digana road, Hoshiarpur, for her telephone No. 251137.

They directed the District Telecom Manager to prepare a fresh bill for the above disputed period on the basis of an average of her previous bills and issue the same to her within a month who should pay it within one month from the receipt of the bill.

They directed the respondent to pay Rs 1500 to the complainant.

Ms Inderjit Kaur had filed a complaint about the excess billing of her telephone No. 251137 on September 1, 2000, in which she complained that the bill was much more than the expected bill for using the telephone during the above said period. She was forced to deposit the bill under the threat of disconnection.


Rs 1 lakh given to Cong man’s kin
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 3
Mr Harmandar Singh Jassi, president of the district Congress unit today paid tributes to a Congress worker who had died in a road accident last month.

A truck carrying Congress workers from Mahinangal village overturned on June 25 when they were coming to Bathinda to attend a state-level rally of the party. One person was killed in the accident and as many as 33 were injured in the accident.

Mr Jassi gave Rs 1 lakh to family members of the deceased and announced a grant of Rs 10,000 for those who were injured in the accident. The bhog ceremony of the deceased was organised by the village panchayat and was largely attended.

Mr Jassi while speaking to the kin of the deceased said the party was built and maintained by the love and affection of such party workers. The services rendered by the party workers could never be compared with monetary donations.

Many prominent Congress leaders, including Mr Sewak Ram Bhola, Municipal Commissioner, Congress, Mr Tinku Grover, general secretary, Youth Congress, Punjab, Mr Bhupinder Gora, district general secretary, attended the function.


Cong leader denies land-grab charge
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 3
Former Punjab minister and senior Congress leader Raghunath Sahai Puri has demanded that the Information and Technology Minister, Mr Satya Pal Saini, either prove the allegations with regard to the grabbing of government land or face legal consequences.

In a statement, Mr Puri said the land in question belonged to his forefathers. The mutation of the land was in his father’s name in the revenue records and it had been transferred in his and his two brothers’ name after the death of his father in 1988, he said.

He denied the allegation that he or any of his brothers had encroached upon government land.


2 die of water-borne diseases, 50 others ill
Our Correspondent

Dhar Kalan (Pathankot), July 3
Two women of Lehroon village of this subdivision reportedly died and more than 50 persons belonging to this area are suffering from diarrhoea.

According to sources of the community health centre at Bhungal Bhadani, the first case was reported on Friday when an old woman belonging to Himachal Pradesh died of a water-borne disease. The second case was reported from Lehroon village when another woman died on Sunday.

More than 50 persons are suffering from this disease. Some of them are reported to be admitted to an Ayurvedic dispensary while others have been discharged after preliminary treatment. A team headed by Dr Ravi Dogra, SMO of the health centre, has reached Lehroon and is treating people.

Some of the patients have been shifted to adjoining hospitals in Himachal Pradesh. According to Mr Mahashoo Ram, sarpanch of Lehroon, people of the area are forced to drink non-chlorinated water.

Doctors have taken a sample of water from the area. According to Dr Kamla Bhagat, Medical Officer of the health centre, the hospital at Bhungal had sufficient medicines to deal with the situation.


PPCC member Sohi dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Capt Amarinder Singh, President, PPCC, had expressed grief over the untimely death of Mr Ravinder Singh Sohi, Member, PPCC, who died of a heart attack here today.



Major H.S. Bhullar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Major H.S. Bhullar of Zira Gate, Ferozepore, has been appointed Political Secretary to the PPCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh. Major Bhullar earlier held the post of Secretary, PPCC.


Rail-bus service restored
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
Mr Nitish Kumar, Union Minister for Railways, has informed Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, that the Ministry of Railways has restored the rail-bus service on the Beas-Goindwal Sahib section from April 23.


DC tells panchayats to oversee road work
Our Correspondent

Ropar, July 3
Deputy Commissioner Ropar, G.S. Grewal, has urged panchayat members and other prominent people of the rural areas to oversee construction of the link roads in their respective areas. The Punjab Government was spending crores on repairing roads in rural areas. However, at many places these efforts were being nullfied because of improper procedure used by the contractors in the construction of these roads.

The request of the Deputy Commissioner came after the villagers of the Bhanoopli area complained that the roads constructed just a few months back in their villages were washed away just after a few rains. He said that according to the specifications of the Punjab Government all link roads in the rural areas should be at least 10-foot wide and designed in such a way that the water did not collect on them. If certain new roads in the rural areas of district were not constructed according to the specifications, the officials concerned would be held personally responsible for the error, he said.

The Deputy Commissioner was at Bhanoopli village yesterday for sangat darshan. The sangat darshan was held as per the new instructions of the Punjab Government to hold sangat darshan in the rural areas of the state on the first working day of each month.

At the sangat darshan Mr Parminder Sharma, president of the BJP (rural)Nangal, complained against the irregular electricity supply in the areas adjoining Bhanoopli village. The PSEB was presently supplying electricity to the village from the Nangal sub-station.

In addition to it a 33 kv line passing through their village which the board was planning to dismantle the board would spent crores on dismentling the line which would further affect power supply to the area. The villagers of Bhanoopli were ready to give land free of cost to the PSEB if they built a sub-station there that would bring relief to the aggrieved villagers, he said.

Dr Parminder further alleged that the Power Minister had ordered that villagers of the area would get the facility to deposit their electricity bills in nearest nationalised banks. However, the local PSEB authorities had not implemented the orders of the minister since long thus subjecting the local residents to harassment. He also complained against the non release of the 10-horse power tubewell connections in the area by the PSEB despite the fact that the villagers had deposited Rs 5,000 per tubewell connection since long.

Dr Bhupinder Dewan, the district president of the BJP took up the issues of pollution being caused by large coal slurry dumps of the NFL near various villages.

The Deputy Commissioner assured the complainants that their grievances would be redressed within a fortnight and inquiry held into various issues brought up by the local leaders. The Assistant Commissioner Grievances, Mr Sabarwal, the SDM Anandpur Sahib, Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi and the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, were among other officers present on the occasion.


Administrative complex to house DC’s office
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 3
Formalities to lay the foundation stone of the local District Administrative complex are being finalised. The blue print of the complex which will house all offices, including that of DC, SSP, District and Sessions Judge, Courts and Chambers of advocates, is waiting clearance by authorities concerned.

About 14 acres of land which will house the offices of the District Poultry, Deputy Director Animal Husbandry and District Piggery Farm, have been earmarked for the construction work.

The PUDA still has to fulfil promises made to the District Animal Husbandry Department and District Administration. It had promised to pay Rs 50 lakh and transfer 4 acres of TB Hospital’s Japowal land for constructing its own office and to shift piggery farm. Even the television relay centre has not been provided alternative land. The PUDA which had promised to advance Rs 35 lakh has not remitted the amount to the district administration so far.

Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, in his earlier press statements had said that the plan to build shopping complexes at a land housing the Zila Parishad’s Office and old police station was under consideration. When Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, decided to construct a DAC building here and transfer of the land in favour of PUDA for commercial purpose, Zila Parishad with the directions of the then Deputy Commissioner quickly surrendered. However, in record these lands belonged to the Punjab Government.


Ban on transfers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab Education Department has decided to ban transfers with immediate effect. Jathedar Tota Singh, Education Minister, Punjab, appealed to the employees not to come to Chandigarh for any request for transfer.


Man arrested for shooting two
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 3
The Kotkapura police has arrested Mohinder Singh, resident of Moga, in connection with the alleged killing of Lakhbir Singh and Rajesh Kumar of Kotkapura on Sunday. The car used in the incident has also been recovered from him. Davinder Singh, another accomplice of the accused who was injured during the incident, is getting medical treatment at Dayanand Medical Hospital at Ludhiana. A case has been registered against both accused.

The information was given at a press conference here today by Gurpreet Singh Gill, district police chief. Mr Gill said the accused, Mohinder Singh, presented himself before the police at Kotkapura today. Giving details of the incident, Mr Gill said Davinder Singh, along with some female members of the family, had gone to Gurmail Theatre to view the film ‘Gadar’ on the day of the incident. After the film ended, a female member of the family pointed out towards a particular person who had teased her during the screening of the film. Davinder Singh got furious and slapped him.

Later, Mohinder Singh, brother-in-law of Davinder Singh and resident of Moga, visited Davinder Singh’s house and they both went to the cinema hall again to see the film. When the two were coming out after watching the film, the eve teaser reportedly blocked their car and broken a window pane and stabbed Davinder Singh with a sharp-edged weapon. Mohinder Singh, thereafter, brought out his revolver and fired two shots which killed passersby Lakhbir Singh and Rajesh Kumar. The eve teaser, however, managed to escape.

The SSP said he would soon try to recover the revolver used. He said the police would try to nab the eve teaser at the earliest possible.


SAD (U) ex-chief booked for trespass
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 3
A case was registered here against a former president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Urban), Mr Pardip Singh Walia, and nearly 10 others for trespassing yesterday.

The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Mr Surinder Singh Sandhu, a freedom fighter and an NRI, who had alleged that Mr Walia along with Baldev Singh Rattan and nine other men forcibly entered his premises located on the Hukam Singh road and demolished the boundary wall which was under construction, at about 12.30 p.m. yesterday.

Mr Sandhu said, he was supervising the construction work when the persons led by Mr Walia illegally entered his house. They abused and threatened him after ordering labourers to flee the scene. When he resisted the attempt to demolish the wall, Mr Walia ordered his gunman to shoot him, alleged Mr Sandhu. Thereafter, he ran towards his house and bolted himself in and called the police.

Mr Sandhu alleged that only a head constable came to the scene. Later a Sub-Inspector came but no one was arrested. However, when DSP Chaman Lal was contacted, he said the arrests were not made because the police wanted to arrest the culprits under “criminal trespass” which could not be proved without a proof of ownership of the site which Mr Sandhu had promised to provide today.


Seven robbers arrested
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, July 3
The district police today arrested seven armed robbers within an hour of a dacoity that took place in the local gas agency’s godown located on the Kapurthala-Kanjli road.

Mrs Gurpreet Deo, SSP, told mediapersons that at about 1.15 pm the police received an information from the owner of the gas agency that seven armed dacoits had looted Rs 30,000 at pistolpoint from the godown of the gas agency. The dacoits hide themselves in paddy and sugarcane fields near Paharipur village. On seeing the police they opened fire. The police also returned the fire in which one dacoit suffered injuries and two others were arrested.

The SSP said five other dacoits were arrested near Wadala Phatak village on the Kapurthala-Jalandhar road. The police has seized a pistol, a revolver, two dattars, cartridges and Rs 30,000 from them.

During interrogation they admitted that they had looted Rs 1 lakh from a cashier of the local Prince Bus Ltd Company and a scooterist near Kahna village on the Kapurthala-Sultanpur Lodhi road. The SSP said the dacoits had purchased a pistol and a revolver for Rs 22,000 from Delhi.

Those arrested have been identified as Lakhbir Singh (24) of Bhullar Bet village, Pawan Deep Singh (20) of Wadala Khurd village, Sukhwinder Singh (22), Balwant Singh and Manjit Singh, alias Nikki, of Wadala Kalan village, Sandeep Singh of local Mehtabgarh mohalla and Gurpreet Singh of Mahal village in Amritsar.


Driver held in gang-rape case
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 3
The Bhikhi police claims to have arrested Gora Singh, driver of the Tata Sumo used by the youths involved in the gang-rape of a housewife of Atla Kalan Village in the district. The police also claims to have identified all six youths involved in the crime but so far no arrest has been made. Meanwhile, the victim was brought to Civil Hospital, Mansa, by the Bhikhi police for a medical examination. A team of doctors examined her. The team’s findings will be known after a week on receipt of test results from a chemical laboratory in Patiala.

It is pertinent to mention here that six youths, armed with iron rods and lathis, kidnapped a 30-year-old housewife from her house in Atla Kalan village on Sunday. The youths, who had come in a Tata Sumo, beat up the inmates of the house. On hearing the cries of Vijay Kumar, husband of the victim, many people gathered but the youths had already fled with the woman. Thereafter, they raped her and left her at Tapa Mandi in Sangrur district, from where she returned to her house. It is learnt that the youths belong to rich families of Bhikhi and Samaon village in the district. The Bhikhi police has registered a case against Satish Kumar, Harnek Sangh, Gurbir Singh, Boby and Shinda in this connection.


Raids on chemist shops, drugs seized
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 3
The Civil Surgeon here has launched a campaign to expose chemists and fake doctors selling intoxicants and drugs in urban and rural belts of the district.

Dr Ajaib Singh Sandhu, talking to mediapersons here today, said during the raids conducted in the Maqboolpura area where the incidence of drug addiction menace was the highest in the city, his officers seized 1,000 capsules of proxywon and over 59 bottles of phensydryl, cough syrup, from Rajeev Medical Store.

The Civil Surgeon said the owner of the drug store had kept the bag containing these drugs in the neighbouring meat shop. The department had sealed the drugs and a case would be registered. The licence of the owner for selling drugs would also be cancelled, he added.

Dr Sandhu caught a quack Sukhwinder Singh for running a clinic in the same area without any licence to store or sell allopathic medicines. A case under Section 18C has been registered against him.

Earlier last week, Dr Sandhu raided two chemist shops in the city on the GT Road near Duburji village and seized more than 3,300 capsules of proxywon and 1,800 tablets of lonotil.

While in another raid, 137 injections of morphine and 1,600 capsules were seized from Minto Medical Store at Jandiala Guru.


Man held for abducting wife of employee
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 3
The district police has arrested a city businessman for abducting wife and eight-year-old daughter of his employee.

According to the police, Rajinder Puri, owner of the Neelkamal factory, had a dispute with his accountant, Mr Ashok Kumar Bhalla, over some financial matter. A case under Section 420 and 406 of the IPC was registered against Ashok Kumar on the complaint of Rajinder, who alleged that the former had embezelled factory’s funds to the tune of Rs 14 lakh.

While the accountant refused to return the money, Rajinder Puri abducted Vijay Kumari, wife of the Ashok Kumar, and his daughter Shivani yesterday evening and forced Vijay Kumari to sign some documents at district courts today, the police said.

After receiving a complaint from Amit Kumar, son of the accountant, that his mother and sister had been abducted by Rajinder Puri, a police party raided the residence of the latter and both of them were released from captivity.

Rajinder Puri was arrested and a case has been registered under Section 365/368 of the IPC.


Gang of thieves busted, three arrested
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, July 3
The CIA staff here has busted a gang of thieves with the arrest of three youths. Two Hero Honda motorcycles, a moped, a video camera and an unlicenced .12 pistol with three live cartridges were recovered from them.

According to Mr Ajay Malooja, DSP, the CIA staff patrol party on a tip-off, noticed three youths moving in suspicious condition on the link road on the Fazilka-Abohar road.

These youths were trying to sell a moped bearing registration number PB 22A 2040. On being asked to produce its registration certificate, they were unable to do so. These youths idenfitied as Kulwant Singh, alias Pinki, resident of Kathera village, Surjit Singh and Dharam Pal, brothers and residents of Ghallu village, of this subdivision, were arrested.

The moped was impounded during interrogation, they confessed to have committed more crimes.

Two Hero Honda motorcycles, a Panasonic movie camera and pistol with cartridges were recovered. Mr Malooja said with the arrest of these youths, the police was likely to find clue to some more thefts. Those arrested have been booked under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC. 


Bail granted to Pak-trained militant

Batala, July 3
A local court today granted bail to a Pakistan-trained militant who was arrested by the Punjab Police in this district on April 2.

Judicial Magistrate Priya Sood granted bail to Mahmood-ul-Haq, who allegedly had links with the Babbar Khalsa International and was arrested along with three accomplices.

Haq was booked on the charges of bringing consignment of arms and ammunition and explosives from Pakistan. At the time of their arrest, the police had recovered a Chinese rifle, a mauser, two hand grenades, 3 kg of RDX and two pencil bombs. PTI


Teacher’s purse snatched
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 3
Two scooter-borne youths snatched the salary of two teachers from a woman teacher at Bhamarsi Jer village, in the district today. According to Ms Surinder Kaur, a primary teacher posted at Bir Bhamarsi, she was going on a cycle to her school after taking her and a colleague’s salary from Government Primary School, Bhamarsi Jer. She had kept her purse in the basket of her cycle when two scooter-borne youths, wearing patkas, snatched her purse and fled away.

She said she could not read the registration number of the scooter. However, FIR has been lodged with the Sirhind police and a case under Section 356, IPC, has been registered.


Sarpanch held
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, July 3
On the complaint of Mr Nirmal Singh sub-station attendant of 66 KV Grid of power board the police has arrested Sarpanch Ram Singh son of Moti Singh and Nirpinder Singh son of Jagir Singh both residents of village Langrian.

Mr Nirmal Singh alleged in his complaint that both persons came to his office and started threatening him while he was on duty. The police has registered a case in this connection under Section 353, 427, 452 of the IPC.

However the Sarpanch refuted the allegations made by PSEB employee as baseless and false. He said he had gone to the board office to lodge a complaint where Nirmal Singh refused to write the complaint and started to beating him. He has demanded a probe into the matter.


Flour mill owner booked for adulteration
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 3
The Sadar police station has registered a case, FIR number 53, under Section 420, IPC, and Section 7, Essential Commodities Act, against Amrit Paul and Kanta Rani, partners and Sonu, manager, respectively of Jindal Flour Mills, Malikpur Khiala village in the district.

The case has been registered on the complaint of Mr Ram Paul, a social workers, in the which he had alleged that the partners and manager of the said flour mill adulterated the wheat flour with broken rice and sell the same in the bags branded as ‘pure wheat flour’. No arrest has been made so far.


Decision on CET eligibility flayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 3
The Punjab Ayurvedic Medical Services(PAMS) Association has condemned the decision of the Punjab Government directing the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences to lower the eligibility conditions of marks in the senior secondary examination from 50 to 40 per cent for the candidates appearing in the common entrance test for the BAMS stream.

According to a press release by the association general secretary, Mr Bipin Chander Sharma, the mushrooming of ayurvedic colleges in the state, which did not fulfil the norms set by the Central Council of Indian Medicine and vested political interests, are playing havoc with the future of the ayurvedic system of medicine.

It will be in the interest of ayurveda as well as students seeking admission to the BAMS course that the anomaly of eligibility marks for the BAMS, MBBS and BDS courses is removed and the minimum marks for the BAMS. CET be raised to 50 per cent in this academic session itself, demands the association.


3 schools get grants from CM
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 3
The presence of teachers in full strength in three rural schools of this district which were checked by Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal this morning today fetched them grants from him. Mr Badal, who conducted a surprise check three schools namely Senior Secondary School, Bhaliana, Government Primary School, Lohara and Government Primary School, Butter Sarihn, was very happy to see that all staff members including teaching and non-teaching were present in the school.

Expressing his satisfaction over the proper functioning of these schools, Mr Badal announced that suitable amount would be given to these schools for constructing more rooms and to buy furniture.


Industrial association discusses problems
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 3
Representatives of the Focal Point Association along with Mr Surjit Singh Rakhra, senior Akali leader, met Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Principal Secretary, Punjab, today to discuss their problems regarding water, sewerage, electricity and roads of the Industrial Focal Point.

Mr H.S. Ahluwalia, chairman of the association, said that the members even met Mr Kulbir Singh, MD, Punjab Small Industry and Export Cooperation Limited (PSIEC), and discussed their problems. Mr Ramesh Inder Singh assured the association members that the problems would be discussed at length and efforts would be made to solve these at the earliest.

The delegation included president M.L. Goel, general secretary Bharat Teja and joint secretaries Ashwani and Vijay Tayal.

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