Tuesday, August 21, 2001, Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

SYL: Centre summons Punjab, Haryana
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 20
The Union Government has called a meeting of top officials of both Punjab and Haryana Governments in New Delhi tomorrow to discuss the river waters issue in the light of the direction given by the Supreme Court.

Informed official sources said the meeting would be held in the office of Mr A.C. Gupta, Commissioner, Indus Waters, New Delhi, at 2.30 p.m. Indus waters is a part of the Union Ministry of Water Resources.

At the meeting, Punjab will be represented by Mrs Surjit Kaur Sandhu, Secretary, Irrigation Department, and a number of Chief Engineers from the department. Haryana is also expected to send its Secretary, Irrigation, and other senior officers concerned to participate in the meeting.

Mrs Sandhu and other senior officers concerned reportedly discussed the matter with Punjab’s Advocate-General, Mr Hardev Singh Mattewal, to seek his legal opinion in the matter and also with certain experts on water resources in the state.

Sources said Punjab would not dilute its earlier position on the SYL canal in any manner. It will stick to its earlier stand that Haryana has no right over the Punjab waters as per the riparian rules and hence no water could be given to it through the SYL canal.

Reserving the judgement on river waters dispute between Punjab and Haryana, the Supreme Court on August 9 had directed both states and the Union Government to resolve the issue within a month by convening a meeting of all concerned in this connection. If matter was not resolved, the Supreme Court would announce its decision.



Gill hails Advani’s amnesty statement
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Former Punjab Police Chief K P S Gill today welcomed Union Home Minister L.K. Advani’s announcement at Jalandhar that the Centre was considering seriously relief within the ambit of the Constitution for security force personnel facing court cases for the violation of human rights in respect of their actions during counter-terrorism operations.

He said a large number of cases of human rights violations against police officers and personnel in Punjab were politically motivated and false and that based on concoted evidence by investigative agencies acting under undue and extra-constitutional pressures.

The former Punjab DGP demanded a constitutional commission for examining functioning of judicial institutions in situations of widespread terror in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and the north-east. The Commission should identify the judicial officers who failed to discharge their constitutional obligations and were subsequently found to be politically aligned with disruptive forces after their retirement It should also determine their accountability and take suitable action to ensure that judicial institutions and the criminal justice system did not collapse in the face of future lawlessness.

He pointed out that front organisations of terrorist outfits had exploited systematically legal processes in the name of human rights violations to harass and demoralise the security forces and to promote the objectives of terrorists

Mr Gill demanded that low intensity warfare and terrorism must be recognised as widespread breakdown of normal structures of governance and the need for powers and legal processes distinct from those that prevail in peace must be accepted.

“Until the necessary criteria are legislated, immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the pattern of humiliation of policemen through litigation and trial by the media is prevented. Investigations and trials should not proceed according to the processes that are being improvised from day to day to implicate policemen in various theatres of present conflict as well as in Punjab,” Gill said.

He exphasised that the affiliations, functions and funding of so-called human rights agencies should be statutorily monitored and completely transparent. At the same time, motivated campaigns of calumny and allegations of human rights violations that defame individuals and institutions with no basis should be strictly penalised.


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