Wednesday, August 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Probe ordered into ‘Shagun’ scheme scam
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 21
The Deputy Commissioner Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, has ordered a probe into the alleged bunglings in the distribution of cheques for Rs 5100 each to those Dalit women, who got married about 10 or eight years ago, under ‘Shagun’ scheme launched by the Punjab Government in April 1997.

Mr Ratnam has asked the SDM, Rampura Phul, to conduct the inquiry and submit his report within seven days. The credentials of all those who had been given cheques would be verified during the probe.

Official sources said a complaint was lodged with the SDM, Rampura Phul, Mr Bharat Bhushan Garg by certain residents of Rayya village in which they alleged that some of the cheques for Rs 5100 under the ‘Shagun’ scheme had been given to those ‘Dalit’ women who were married before the launching of the scheme.

On receiving the complaint, on August 7 Mr Garg asked the Tehsildar to investigate the matter. Payment to three beneficiaries was stopped by Mr Garg.

Mr Garg when contacted said the Tehsildar along with a station house officer (SHO), police station, Phul, had been sent to Rayya village to make recoveries and to register FIRs against those who had committed the fraud.

Mr Ratnam said after the inquiry, suitable action would be taken against those who were found guilty of committing the fraud.

Residents of Rayya village alleged that cheques of the ‘shagun scheme’ had been given to those Dalit women who had got married about 10 years ago.

Mr Kewal Krishan Aggarwal, general secretary, district Congress Committee, alleged that the Punjab Government had been indulging in such tactics to woo people keeping in view the coming Assembly elections.

The SDM, Mr Garg pointed out that cheques to all these Dalit women were given after their names were recommended by sarpanches, nambardars, patwaris and tehsildars.

He said it was the standing instruction of the Punjab Government that whenever a sarpanch recommended the case of any Dalit women for the grant of Rs 5100 under the ‘shagun scheme’, she should be given the same.

Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, Deputy Commissioner, today said a case against Mr Gurcharan Singh was registered this evening for his role in the “shagun scheme” scam.

Talking to TNS, he said Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Additional Deputy Commissioner, had been asked to conduct a probe into the alleged bunglings in the scheme.

He said money would be recovered from fake beneficiaries tomorrow.


Punjab normal for masses, not the influential
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Normalcy in Punjab, it seems, has returned only for the masses. The threat perception for politicians, serving as well as retired cops and bureaucrats, is still high if one takes into consideration the heavy security cover being enjoyed by them.

According to official information, 3,200 cops from a total strength of 71,094 in the state police are on security duty with around 800 VIP’s of the state. In a few cases, Punjab police personnel are also deployed as security guards with VIPs (politicians, retired cops and bureaucrats) now living in other states.

However, informed sources in the Punjab Police Department say that with security being regarded more as a status symbol, the number of protected persons is large. It is also stated that the total number of cops deployed for security is also almost double the official figure.

While most of the senior serving police officers, posted in various districts of the state, consider it a matter of right to have a security guard at their residences and an escort Gypsy, retired cops are also not the ones to be left behind. It is learnt that several retired cops of the ranks of Director-General of Police, Additional Director-General of Police, Inspector-General of Police and Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police still enjoy police protection.

At least four of former DGPs — Mr D.S. Mangat, Mr K.P.S. Gill, Mr P.C. Dogra and Mr Sube Singh — have been provided with police protection as they still face a serious threat perception. However, it is alleged that a number of police personnel posted with some of them are cooks and drivers. Sources also say that a number of other senior officers now retired from service still enjoy perks of the job like security, vehicles for commuting, telephones of the department, etc. A few of these retired cops, and in some cases bureaucrats also, continue to stay in various police guest houses.

A senior bureaucrat in the state who retired in 1999 continues to stay in the Commando Complex, Phase IX, SAS Nagar, getting the facilities of free housing. It is learnt that only a few months ago, he was given an appointment in the Punjab police. “Thus, his ‘entitlement’ to the accommodation has been justified,” quipped a senior police officer. The police maintains that since he had helped the department during militancy, he faces a threat from certain elements.

Senior police officers in the security wing of the department, when contacted by TNS, regarding these retired employees said it was the duty of the department to look after its personnel.

Interestingly, serving cops of the department have extended the perks of their jobs to their family members. It is alleged that most of the senior police officers in the districts have deputed cops from their respective areas at the residences of their close relatives in other districts.

A case in this regard is that of a serving officer of the rank of Director-General of Police, whose businessman son is residing in Patiala. The house of the officer, though located near a police post, has a police guard to look after his son and his family. Ironically, this son of the officer was recently booked in a criminal case.

The less said the better about politicians of the state. The Ministers and MLAs, too, enjoy a heavy security cover that was provided when militancy was at its peak. Besides escort and pilot vehicles, personal security officers have also been provided to them. The state police had recently sent a proposal for curtailing the security cover, which was unanimously turned down by the Council of Ministers.

According to Police Department statistics, the total cost of providing security to a Minister in the state is around Rs 2.5 lakh. This includes the salary of the cops deployed with him, petrol expenses and the maintenance of two vehicles.

A senior police officer, when contacted by TNS, while admitting that there was misuse of the workforce in security, said that they had curtailed the security of a number of persons on their list during the past couple of months. “From 6,000 cops deployed on security duty, we have brought down the number to almost half. But in a number of cases, the security cannot be completely withdrawn,” he said.


Punjab Vidhan Sabha session commences
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha session began today with obituary references to people of a particular community killed in Doda and 55 pilgrims who died in a truck accident near Kiratpur Sahib.

The others paid homage included former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, former Punjab Governor K.T. Satarawala, former Union Law Minister Jagan Nath Kaushal, former Punjab Minister Ravel Singh and sitting MLA, Balbir Singh Nathana.

The Leader of House, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, spoke eloquently about Chaudhary Devi Lal and others. Those who paid their respects included the Leader of the Opposition, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Mr Hardev Singh Arshi, Mr Shangara Ram Shangura and Mr Dhanwant Singh Dhuri.

At one state, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, stood up interrupting the obituary speech of Chaudhary Jagjit Singh objecting that he was politicising matters. Likewise, Mr Jagdish Sawhney (BJP) objected to Mr Shangara Ram’s suggestion that the name of Ms Phoolan Devi should be included in the obituary references. The suggestion was ignored.

Mr Badal said the government had paid Rs 1 lakh each to kin of the victims of the Kiratpur Sahib truck tragedy. Mr Arshi said the state should take steps to make road travel safe and set up a well-equipped hospital to take care of road accident victims.

The House observed two minutes' silence. The Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, said the House resolution on obituary references would be sent to the bereaved families. He adjourned the House till tomorrow morning.


Witness fails to recognise Hawara

Chandigarh, August 21
The hearing in the Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case began in the high security Burail Jail here today with Murlidhar, an owner of a public call office in Farukhabad (UP), making a statement before Mr H.S. Bhalla, District and Sessions Judge.

Murlidhar, who had reportedly recognised the main accused, Avtar Singh Hawara, in January, 1996, saying he used to accompany an alleged terrorist to his PCO, failed to recognise him (Hawara) today during identification parade on the jail premises.

He, however, told the court that Vikramjit Singh, alias Toni, an alleged terrorist, used to make STD calls from his PCO.

Murlidhar said the police during the raid at his PCO on January 15, 1996, had seized records pertaining to the calls made from one of the two PCOs he owned near the Farukhabad railway station. When the police had then showed him a photograph of Hawara, he had admitted that it was he (Hawara) who used to accompany Tony when the latter came to his PCO to make long-distance calls. The police had then got Murlidhar’s signatures on the reverse of Hawara’s photograph. Murlidhar recognised his signature today, but said he could not recollect five years later if he had seen Hawara with Tony during the latter’s visits to his PCO booth. The PCO owner was crossed examined by counsels of Avtar Singh Hawara.

The Judge adjourned the hearing till tomorrow. UNI


Hearing on Chohan’s bail plea adjourned

Chandigarh, August 21
Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today adjourned the hearing of the anticipatory bail application of self-styled president of the so-called Council of Khalistan Jagjit Singh Chohan for September 10.

This was the third application filed by Mr Chohan in this court. His earlier applications were rejected by the high court on technical grounds.

Mr Chohan arrived home in India on June 26 after 21 years of self-imposed exile in Britan. UNI


Mann flays Advani’s proposal on amnesty

New Delhi, August 21
Hardline Akali leader Simranjit Singh Mann today warned that the demand for Khalistan could be revived if Home Minister L.K. Advani went ahead with his “dangerous and explosive” proposal to give amnesty to police personnel facing prosecution for their role in anti-terrorist operations.

Talking to mediapersons, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) supremo Simranjit Singh Mann said Mr Advani’s statement was “not only legally and constitutionally unsound but it can provoke Sikhs to ask for a separate, independent, sovereign state — a buffer state between India and Pakistan”.

Giving amnesty to those policemen who “committed genocide on the Sikh community” would be “dangerous and explosive,” said Mr Mann, a former IPS officer who resigned after Operation Bluestar in 1984. UNI


PUDA earmarks Rs 26 cr for PF, gratuity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has made a provision of Rs 26.52 crore in respect of dues payable to its employees on account of contributory provident fund, gratuity and leave encashment. Stating this here today, the Chief Administrator of PUDA, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu said that this had been done in pursuant to the recommendations made by Price Waterhouse Cooper, internationally renowned financial consultant, to safeguard the interests of the employees.

Mr Sidhu stated that hitherto a mere book provision was being made on account of these liabilities towards PUDA’s own employees, but the actual sum remained a part of the PUDA fund constituted under Section 49 of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995. As a result, there was no proper segregation of the amount due under these accounts and the money was sometimes also used as working capital of the organisation.

However, now separate accounts had been opened in nationalised banks in which funds pertaining to the aforesaid heads of accounts had been actually transferred. These accounts had been maintained in the form of medium-term fixed deposits, after calling for quotations regarding the interest rates. Further contribution of PUDA in respect of the dues accruing would be deposited on a regular basis.

The Additional Chief Administrator (Finance and Accounts), PUDA, Ms Namita Sekhon, stated that an up-to-date credit of Rs 14.47 crore was available in the contributory provident fund account whereas the credit balance in the gratuity account was Rs 7.46 crore. The leave encashment reserve stood at Rs 4.59 crore. PUDA was making contributions on account of the contributory provident fund at the rate of 12 per cent, she added.

The Chief Accounts Officer, PUDA, Mr B.L. Chawla, stated that when the pension scheme for PUDA employees was implemented, the contributory provident fund account shall be split into two equal parts one representing the employees’ contribution would be payable to the retiring employees as their provident fund, whereas the employer’s (PUDA) contribution would be converted into corpus for the pension fund.


Sharing of river waters to be poll issue: Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The general house of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee at a meeting today reviewed the political situation and discussed the strategy for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.

Briefing newsmen, the PPCC chief said the sharing of river waters had emerged as a major issue. The Congress Legistature Party had been asked to raise the issue in the current Vidhan Sabha session and it would also be an election issue.

The meeting discussed organisational matters and expressed concern over growing unemployment, corruption, terrorism, octroi, the power tariff, etc.

The Congress leaders blamed the SAD-BJP for the ills of Punjab and urged Congressmen to work jointly and sincerely to defeat the ruling combine.


Ailing dept needs attention
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
The Nephrology Department of the Government Rajindra Hospital here is being managed by a medical officer and an essential medical service like dialysis is not available for patients coming to the hospital from the Malwa belt of Punjab and parts of Haryana.

The manner in which the department has been ignored by the government seems to be symptomatic of the attention being given to the health services in the state. The department in the hospital has been denied staff and necessary machinery for years now.

Though lack of funds have been the main reason why the dialysis machines, costing around Rs 12 lakh, have not been purchased by the hospital for years, there seems to be no excuse as to why adequate staff cannot be recruited. While department head Dr Udham Singh took retired around five years back, another senior member left the department some time back. Presently a medical officer, who is a senior lecturer, is virtually running the department.

Hospital authorities, when contacted, declined to comment. Sources disclosed that the hospital had placed an order for a dialysis machine. They said the issue of recruitment of doctors for the department could take time, with the process not having been initiated yet.

Patients feel injustice is being done on them with the hospital not being able to provide basic facilities despite fee hike. Hospital sources said the authorities were not able to go in for new infrastructure because the government had not released the funds earned by the institution after hiking of the fees.

Sources said patients admitted to various other wards also suffered when they wanted any treatment connected with the Nephrology Department. They said due to lack of a full department, proper treatment could not be given and that the patient was either referred to the PGI in Chandigarh or a local clinic whenever dialysis was required.

Sources said as far as the city was concerned, patients had to get dialysis done from a local clinic at a much higher price than the hospital charge. They said this was a heavy burden on those who were suffering from acute renal failure and required dialysis frequently. In the Rajindra Hospital, patients were earlier only charged for reagents used in the dialysis procedure.

The hospital continues to send patients needing dialysis who come to its emergency wing to the PGI or private practitioners, much to their discomfort. Local citizens also demand restarting of the facility, besides augmentation of its Nephrology Department.


Remarks on octroi raises furore
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
There was bedlam after former Mayor Subhash Sharma made certain remarks regarding octroi collection at a meeting of the municipal corporation here today.

Mr Sharma, who had resigned as Mayor on the allegations of moral turpitude attended the meeting for the first time after his resignation in October last year.

The former Mayor, after being allowed to address the house by Mayor Brij Mohan Kapoor, expressed displeasure at the working of the house. He said most councillors took up only those problems that afflicted their own wards.

On the question of octroi, he suggested that the corporation earned Rs 4 crore from it. Hence, an alternative should be found for generating other sources of income before abolishing it. He said the administrative and maintenance cost of the corporation was being met with octroi collection.

However, Congress councillors in the opposition said the suggestion by Mr Sharma did not tally with election manifesto of the ruling Akali-BJP alliance. The BJP and Akali councillors stood up to defend the move to abolish octroi and said this suggestion had actually been made by the Congress when in power.

Heated words were exchanged between councillors of the ruling and Opposition party.

The issue of slum development in 33 areas earmarked for the purpose was also raised by the Opposition, which blamed the Mayor for turning a blind eye to the plight of more than 20,000 people who lived sans basic amenities.

The CPI blamed the ruling party of ignoring the conditions of roads, streetlights and sewerage.

The issue of stray dogs and ways to control their increasing population was also admitted. The Opposition councillors called for an inquiry into employment given to the disabled without taking members of the Opposition into confidence.


Murder triggers protest
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, August 21
The traffic on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road remained disrupted for about five hours today following a dharna on the Football Chowk here, by relatives and friends of a local businessman who died under mysterious circumstances at the Central Institute of Hand Tools yesterday.

A group of more than 400 persons, mostly women, alleged that businessman Varinder Arora (43), was burnt alive by the Principal Director of the institute, Mr S.C. Garg, and his associates over a financial dispute.

The deceased, who had gone to the institute to settle the dispute with Mr Garg and his associates yesterday, was later found dead in latter’s room with his boy bearing burn injuries.

Nisha, wife of the deceased, in his complaint to the police had alleged that his husband was forced to commit suicide by Mr Garg, Mr Bansal and Mr Soni. Though a case under Section 306, IPC, was registered last night, yet the relatives and friends of the deceased today sat on a dharna demanding that the accused be booked for murder and arrested immediately.

The dharna continued for more than five hours with the body lying in the middle of the chowk. Senior civil and police officials, including Mr Pawan Uppal, SP (city), and Mr Parveen Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner, reached the spot and tried to pacify the protesters.


Man falls into well, dies
Our Correspondent

Nabha, August 21
Bhupinder Singh (34) of Ghanurki village, near here, was killed after he accidentally fell into a well near Majni village yesterday. His friend, Gian Singh, who tried to save him, was seriously injured. He has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Nabha, with a broken thigh and hand.

According to Gian Singh, he and Bhupinder were passing through a farm on the fateful night when the latter, not noticing the well due to darkness, fell into it. The well was fitted with a pumping motor, against which he dashed as he fell.

On hearing his screams, Gian tried to go down the well from the pipe of a tubewell but he lost his balance and fell into the well. Both remained in the well for more than 16 hours. Bhupinder succumbed to his injuries inside it. 


PSEB tells man to pay brother’s arrears
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, August 21
A case has been reported from Bharoli Kalan village here in which Mr Darshan Kumar, son of Mr Shanker Dass, vide a notice, was asked by the Assistant Executive Engineer, PSEB Sarna, to clear dues of his brother Jagdish Raj within seven days. If he failed to do so his power connection would be disconnected.

According to sources, Jagdish, a resident of the same village, had failed to pay his arrears of power bills and the authorities concerned disconnected his power supply.

The PSEB on July 19, 2001, issued a notice to Darshan pertaining to the payment of dues of his brother along with a bill of Rs 4, 932.


Portion of overbridge caves in
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 21
Even as the work on the bridge over the “khooni phatak” in the city has not gathered momentum, a portion of the overbridge of the city on the Multania railway crossing caved in today.

Through the crack that appeared in the footpath of the flyover, rain water flowed down over the rail track under the bridge.

Some residents alleged that condition of the bridge, which was inaugurated about five years ago with much fanfare by local politicians, was deteriorating.

Residents alleged that the bridge was built on a foundation of garbage. They said there was a pond at the place where it was built. To fill the pond, the contractors concerned had dumped garbage in it. Residents had expressed apprehension regarding the durability of the bridge even when it was under construction.


BSP (Ambedkar) men stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, August 21
Workers of the BSP (Ambedkar) today the staged a dharna in front of the District Courts in protest against the alleged registration of a false criminal case by the police against party’s youth wing state president Jia Lal Nahar and 17 others.

The agitated workers led by Mr Nahar assembled at the local Shalimar Garden and took out a protest march through the bazaars of the city raising slogans against the city police.


Bank’s clarification

Apropos of the news item “Fake bank draft racket unearthed” on page 5 of The Tribune dated August 21, IndusInd Bank Limited, Phagwara, has clarified that no amount was fraudulently withdrawn from the bank.


DCs’ offices to accept passport applications
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab Government has declared the offices of the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in all districts as “collection centres” for duly filled application forms for the issuance of passports. This has been done to remove several bottlenecks faced by passport seekers at various levels, according to a press note issued by the state government here today.

A government spokesman said that the applicant would have to deposit the form in the office of the Deputy Commissioner concerned along with a draft of Rs 100 drawn in favour of the DC. The office of Deputy Commissioner would send the form to the Senior Superintendent of Police of the district for the verification of the antecedents of the applicant. This task was to be completed within two weeks. Following police verification, the form would be sent to the regional passport office concerned within four weeks of the submission of the form.

The records relating to the passport would be maintained in a computerised system by the DC’s office, the spokesman said. 


Probe finds Tehsildar guilty of misconduct
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 21
The Nakodar Tehsildar and six other revenue officials are in the dock for allegedly causing a huge loss to the state Exchequer by issuing a sale certificate of a piece of land belonging to the Central Government at Bir Baloki village to the bidder in spite of the cancellation of an auction in this regard by the SDM, Nakodar.

The Tehsildar has been found to have issued the sale certificate of the 20-kanal 18-marla land to the “successful bidder”, Mohinder Kaur of the same village. The auction, which was held on June 22, 1993, fetched just Rs 53,000 and only three bidders participated in it.

The auction was declared cancelled by the then Nakodar SDM, Mr R. Venkataraman, on March 31, 1994, on the grounds that it had failed to fetch a reasonable amount for the state Exchequer. But this did not deter the Tehsildar and other revenue officials, who went on to issue the sale certificate to Mohinder Kaur on December 7, 2000. The district administration, smelling a rat, started a probe against the Tehsildar.

Investigations revealed that the Tehsildar and other revenue officials, including a sales clerk, not only issued the sale certificate to Mohinder Kaur but also made her deposit the penalty and interest on the principal amount of the bid, thus violating the Punjab Package Deal Act.

Under the Act, there is no provision of depositing the interest and penalty. The Sales Commissioner can impose interest and penalty only in case of extension of time fixed for depositing the money.

The probe findings, which have been forwarded by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Sales Officer, Mr K. Shiva Prasad, to the Financial Commissioner (Revenue) for further action, revealed that the Tehsildar and other employees tried to show undue favour to Mohinder Kaur. This was also evident from their action of not trying to verify the actual state of land, which was already in possession of the woman and her family, the inquiry report said.

Moreover, no step was taken to cancel the auction in accordance with provisions of the Punjab Package Deal Act which specify that if any successful bidder fails to get the amount deposited with the Revenue Department within 15 days, the auction will stand cancelled. Investigations also revealed that the Tehsildar did not check the file and went on to issue the sale certificate.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr K. Shiva Prasad, has recommended stern action against the Tehsildar.


FCI officers suspended
Our Correspondent

Mansa, August 21
Mr H.L. Parshad, Senior Regional Manager, Food Corporation of India (FCI), has placed Mr H.S. Walia, Assistant Manager of the local depot, under suspension for missing bags of paddy valued at Rs 15 lakh.

Mr Walia has been shifted to Gurdaspur.


Luna appointed Director (Zoos)
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Mr R. K. Luna, an IFS officer, has been appointed Director, Zoological Parks, Punjab, according to an official announcement here today.

Mr Vinod Kumar Sharma, who is currently on leave, will continue to be the Chief Warden, Zoos, Punjab.


Arms licences to be checked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, has directed District Magistrates (DMs) to check all firearm licences issued by various authorities in the state. If during the course of checking it was established that a licence had been issued in an irregular manner to any person, it should be cancelled. Mr Arora told the DMs to send feedback in this connection within six weeks.


Son-in-law held for murders
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 21
The Muktsar police has solved the murder case of Baltej Kaur (52) and her daughter Kanwal Jit Kaur, who were murdered on the night intervening August 10-11 at their residence.

The police said today that Amarjot Singh, son-in-law of Batej Kaur, and two of his accomplices Kamajit Singh and Rajinder Singh had been arrested in this connection. Family members of the deceased had alleged in an FIR lodged with the police that the murders had been committed to grab the family land as no valuable items were touched by the assailants.

Amarjot Singh has reportedly confessed having committed the crime on the night intervening August 10-11. He had gone to Muktsar along with the driver and cleaner of his truck. He reportedly told them that his in-laws had misbehaved with him and he was going to Muktsar to take revenge. Police sources said Amarjot Singh was involved in a property dispute with his in-laws and was demanding about 20 acres. Family members of Amarjot and his in-laws held meetings to solve the dispute but it yielded no results.

Mr Kultar Singh, SSP, said investigations by Mr Bhupinder Singh, DSP, and Mr Kirpal Singh, SHO (City), had revealed that the couple did not have cordial relations and Amarjot Singh had not gone to his house for months altogether. The mother-in-law and the sister-in-law of Amarjot Singh had misbehaved with him and this had generated animosity between the two parties, he said.

Mr Kultar Singh said the accused had entered the house through a ventilator and were carrying sharp-edged weapons and iron rods. After committing the crime they went to Panthankot.

When Amarjot Singh rang up at his place his mother reportedly told him about the murders. However, he did not attend the funeral and came a day later, the SSP said. Mr Kultar Singh said the accused had been arrested under Section 302, IPC.


Man feigns death to be with paramour
Kills village youth for an alibi
Chander Parkash and Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, August 21
It seems a perfect script for a ‘masala’ Bollywood movie. A youth of Kothe Kaursinghwala village of this district murdered his friend and disfigured his face beyond recognition. He changed his clothes with those of the deceased and got an FIR registered in the police station at Nahianwala in connection with his murder through his brother.

The accused, Jagga Singh, did so to elope with his paramour, Paramjit Kaur. The accused had illicit relations with Paramjit Kaur, daughter of a landlord, with whom Jagga Singh was working as a farm hard.

Satpal Singh, alias Sattu, a friend of the accused, was also trying to settle with his sister-in-law Manjeet Kaur, with whom he had illicit ties after showing her murdered in the dame fashion.

Jagga Singh, Satpal Singh, Makhan Singh, Paramjit Kaur and Manjeet Kaur, after killing Baljinder Singh, a village youth, tried to search for a woman with a physique like Manjeet Kaur’s so that they could succeed in their mission.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, district police chief, today said police personnel got suspicious on July 5, 2001, when Baggar Singh registered an FIR in connection with the murder of his brother. He said Baljinder Singh was murdered by Jagga Singh, Satpal Singh and Makhan Singh with the consent of Paramjit Kaur and Manjeet Kaur on July 3, 2001.

During investigation, it came to the notice of the police that Jagga Singh had had illicit relations with Paramjit Kaur and was close to Satpal Singh, a resident of the same village. After this, the police learnt that a resident of Kothe Kaursinghwala village, Baljinder Singh, was missing eversince the murder of Jagga Singh. It was revealed that Jagga Singh and Baljinder Singh were almost of the same height and complexion.

All this time, Baggar Singh, the brother of Jagga Singh, kept making complaints against the Nahianwala police that no effort was being made to nab the murderer of his brother. Dr Jain said further investigations revealed that Jagga Singh was alive. A police party managed to arrest Jagga Singh and the entire story came to light. A case under Sections 302, 34 and 201, IPC, has been registered against the six accused.


Teachers’ front pamphlets target VC
Tribune news Service

Patiala, August 21
The Teachers United Front, which commands a majority in the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) and is stridently anti-Vice-Chancellor, has started a pamphlet campaign on the campus as a run-up to the elections to the teachers’ body, alleging that the VC is himself fighting the elections against the body.

While the first pamphlet issued yesterday highlighted the university “malfunctioning”, the TUF accused the VC of himself becoming a party in the election process by getting various dinner meetings organised in hotels and private residences to requisition support for the United Teachers Front, perceived to be sympathetic towards him.

The elections to the teachers’ association are scheduled for August 28. The TUF is arraigned against the UTF which comprises teachers who had formed a parallel PUTA and which was accorded recognition by the University authorities before the elected PUTA approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the matter.

The pamphlet released by the TUF accuses the VC of coercing teachers to vote for the UTF by offering them promotions and other facilities. The pamphlet says that the fact that the University authorities are themselves fighting the elections can be gauged from the fact that as many as three senior functionaries have resigned from their posts to contest the elections.

The pamphlet calls for “conscience vote” so that the ‘’humiliation’’ being meted out to teachers is stopped.

The TUF has released the pamphlets targeting the VC, despite the fact that the UTF had some time back appealed to the faculty not to carry out a pamphlet war during the elections.

The UTF has issued an appeal saying its leaders feel that getting into such an activity during the PUTA poll will be against the interests of the university, especially when a team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is scheduled to visit the campus.

The appeal says that getting a good rating from the NAAC is essential for the future of the university and nothing should be done to offset this.

The PUTA elections have virtually turned into a vote for or against the Vice-Chancellor and the present administration. The TUF is essentially targeting the VC and his chosen few, specially Dean, Academics, Dr Kuldeep Singh Dhir.

Two of the main contestants of the UTF- Dr Dalbir Singh Dhillon, who is standing for presidentship, and Dr R K Sehgal, who is standing for Secretary, are senior functionaries of the University.


ITI overcharging students, says committee
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 21
Students of the Industrial Training Institute here have alleged that the authorities were charging exhorbitant fee. A representative of the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Memorial Committee, Jaswant Singh said here yesterday that according to rules of the state government, Rs 300 were to be charged from them whereas college was charging Rs 1,800 as fee. The students had brought the matter to the notice of the Director, Technical Education, but nothing had been done in this regard, he alleged.

Mini bus operators, who had earlier reached an agreement with the district administration and the students’ union, were not following the terms and sometimes misbehave with the students, he said. The representatives of the union said they would launch an agitation from August 23 to press for their demands.

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