Sunday, August 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Five more Punjabis return via Pak
In custody for not carrying passports
Tribune News Service

Attari (Amritsar), August 25
Intelligence agencies are interrogating the five Punjabi youths who reached here yesterday by Samjhauta Express without passports. They are still in the custody of the government railway police (GRP).

Teams of the intelligence bureau have been dispatched to their native places to ascertain their credentials. Sources said the youths, who claimed to have gone to Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and other countries in search of greener pastures before entering Pakistan, could be released only after thorough verification.

It may be mentioned here that 12 Punjabi youths, who had the same story to narrate, had returned to India on June 29 with the help of Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president, Bhai Mardana International Society.

Some of the youths are alleged that they were “sold” by Baluchis (residents of Baluchistan) and served as bonded labour. They alleged that they were meted out inhuman treatment in various countries.

The five youths had reportedly taken shelter in Gurdwara Dehra Sahib (Lahore) after illegally entering Pakistan. They were taken into custody after the arrival of Samjhauta Express yesterday.

Sources said the intelligence agencies would take more time in completing the verification of their addresses and ascertaining their credentials as unlike Mr Bhullar, nobody had taken responsibility for them so far. However, relatives of the youths heaved a sigh of relief on their safe return to their motherland.

The youths claimed that after reaching Lebanon, they tried to sneak into Italy without any visa through bogus travel agents. However, they landed in the police net there.

The youths are Rajinder Singh Sukha, Khalil village (Kapurthala), Rachhpal Singh, Bajgana village, Kurukshetra district, Balwinder Singh, Natt village, Batala (Gurdaspur), Balwant Singh, Masrain Kalan village, Amloh tehsil, (Fatehgarh Sahib district) and Manjit Singh Nadhna village, Kurukshetra.

While narrating his tale of woe, Rajinder Singh claimed that he had gone to Lebanon on November 24, 1996, where he worked for about four years. After that, he succeeded in entering Turkey in order to reach Italy. However, when he was going to Italy in a ship, illegally, he was caught. He claimed that he received inhuman treatment at the hands of the Turkish police.

After a captivity of one and half months, he was forced to go to Iran. The Iran police caught him and forced him to enter Pakistan. He alleged that some Baluchis looted him and took away his money.

Rajinder claimed that a person helped him to buy a ticket for Lahore and he took shelter in Dehra Sahib on August 14. He said his father died of heart attack on learning that he was trapped in a foreign country.

Rachhpal Singh went to Lebanon in 1988 to eke out a living. After spending two and half years in Lebanon, he tried to reach Italy. However, he landed in police custody. Manjit Singh of Kurukshetra also went to a Gulf country in 1988 and then moved to Syria.

Similar is the story of the other three youths. However, intelligence agencies are trying to ascertain whether they came in contact with Sikh militants who had taken shelter in Pakistan.


Grants being ‘misused’ to woo voters
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 25
With the state Assembly elections round the corner, MLAs and ministers of the ruling parties have started wooing voters by issuing cheques to them under the garb of various grants allegedly by violating norms of the Urban Development Scheme and Projects.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that cheques issued by ministers, MLAs and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had become a cause of worry for the district officials, who were concerned with the utilisation of such grants.

According to official sources, in Bathinda and Rampura Assembly segments the grants under the Urban Development Scheme had been given to private crech, employees association, Majdoor Union, langar (community kitchen) committees, bhandara mandlis (community kitchen organisers) and bhajan mandlis.

A senior district official told TNS that as per norms, the grants under the Urban Development Scheme and Projects could be given to dharamshalas, community centres, for creating infrastructure for education, sports, hospitals, dispensaries, roads, streatlights, sewerage and other activities related with urban development.

He said grants could not be issued for repair and maintenance works, purchases of inventories, stocks, land and utensils.

It is learnt that Rs 50,000 had been given to the president, of the Engineering College Technical Employees Association, Rs 10,000 each to a local creche, the local Mata Naina Devi Bhandara mandli, Guru Nanak Langar Committee, Jai Mata Chintpurni Langar Committee, Shri Mata Naina Devi Bhandara Mandli and Rs 20,000 was given to the Jai Ambey Sankeertan Bhandara.

Apart from these, Rs 1 lakh was given to the Sheetla Bhajan Mandli in Rampura Assembly segment, Rs 50,000 each to the Durga Sewak Dal, Rampuraphul, and president of the New Anaj Mandi Majdoor Union, Rampura.

According to sources, most of the grants had been given for development purposes. In certain cases, the grants had been given for carrying out repair and maintenance works in violation of the norms laid down under the Urban Development Scheme.

Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, said before taking grants, every organisation would have to submit an estimate to the concerned technical wing. The final approval for the release of the grants would be given by the Deputy Commissioner.

He said the details of the utilisation of funds would be taken from all organisations to which the grants had been given.

Asked whether the grants could be given to bhajan mandlis or langar committee, he said it was yet to be seen whether such bodies were entitled for the grant under the Urban Development Scheme or not.


Don’t return awards, DGP urges cops
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, August 25
The Director-General of Police Punjab, Mr Sarbjit Singh, said today that the cops facing cases of human rights abuse should not insist on returning the bravery awards received. He said being the police chief, he understood their ordeal but was in favour of a just approach in the matter of providing amnesty to “tainted” policemen.

“The cops should not insist on returning the awards because of the cases. The awards have their own value and should not be returned in anguish on the claims of being wronged,” the DGP said, breaking his silence on the controversial topic. He was speaking in the context of a fresh threat by on organisation of policemen that its members would return their awards on October 12, the police commemoration day

The DGP said he couldn’t say who was right or wrong but whatever the case may be, he was in favour of dealing it within the frame-work of the Constitution. The DGP said he had stated his point of view to the Chief Minister before he left for a meeting with the Home Minister, Mr L.K.Advani. He said the amnesty was not a state matter and it was for the Central Government to decide. He said the cases could be viewed in the light of the main objective (peace) that was before the police.

The DGP said that on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the list of about 60 policemen of different ranks who were likely to be reverted was being prepared and would be released shortly.

The high court, he said, had given 10 days’ time to a two-member board comprising him and the state Home Secretary for reverting the ORP rank policemen.

He said though the number was about 60, which included SPs and DSPs prominently, the number of actual officers reverted would be far less. He explained that several of them had already attained the post through the regular procedure.

The DGP said peace prevailed in the city and the crime rate was not at all alarming. He said the numbers of murders had come down by 15 per cent in the state.

Mr Sarbjit Singh was in Phillaur to inaugurate a special traffic training park and a computer centre in the academy.


Appoint doctor as Director, research: medical teachers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 25
The Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association has demanded that a doctor be appointed as the Director of Medical Education and Research.

Stating this during a meeting held here today, Dr B.S. Sohal, general secretary of the association, said, “only a professional can understand the intricacies and problems of the department and find remedies for these. He said the problems of premature retirements, resignations and stagnation could be solved only by redesignation of teachers in their own pay scales.

Dr Sohal said this would not put any financial burden on the exchequer and bring the teachers of government medical colleges of Punjab at par with other institutions in the state or country. He added that posts were lying vacant in the state medical colleges despite the fact that qualified and experienced teachers were available.

Dr Manmohan Singh, vice-president of the association, said appointment of a technical director, redesignation and filling of vacant posts were the immediate priorities of the association.

The association appealed to the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter and work out an ‘action plan’ in consultation with the association for the efficient running of the hospitals attached with government medical colleges in the state. The members of the association said there was a need to provide emergency services and life-saving facilities to the poor patients by taking quick policy decisions.

Dr Sohal said health and medical education was a specialised and a technical area and to ensure smooth functioning of the department it was essential to appoint educated and well-qualified doctors on the vacant posts.

The association also appointed its office-bearers during the meeting: president — Dr Kiranjeet Kaur; vice-president — Dr Manmohan Singh; secretary — Dr B.S. Sohal; joint secretary — Dr Sachin Walia; and treasurer — Dr Avnish Kumar.


PTU slams doors on SC students?
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, August 25
Has Punjab Technical University (PTU) slammed its doors on Scheduled Caste students? It seems to be the case, going by the plight of several aspirants who have allegedly been denied reservation benefits by the PTU authorities under one pretext or the other during the counselling last week.

Their pleas to the Chancellor of the university and Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), have failed to yield any result.

Some of the aspirants belonging to the Scheduled Castes had applied for admission to various courses under the lateral entry to engineering test (LEET). However, they were allegedly not allowed to participate in the counselling last week since they did not have 60 per cent marks in 3-year diploma courses, a qualification criterion prescribed by the varsity.

The students alleged that though there was a provision for allowing 5 per cent relaxation in marks for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates, provided that the lower percentage prescribed did not fall below the minimum required to pass the qualifying examination, their pleas were rejected by the varsity authorities.

She said the provision for the same was mentioned in an amendment to a letter issued on October 9, 1964, by the state government regarding the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe candidates in technical, educational and professional institutions.

Ramanpreet of Mohali, who had applied for admission to electronics and communication engineering, alleged that though she had secured 59.4 per cent marks in the diploma course and was ranked 15th in the merit list of the test, the counselling coordinator refused to allow her to participate in the counselling on the plea that she should have secured at least 60 per cent marks in the diploma course, saying that there was no relaxation for SC candidates.

“Though I approached the Vice-Chancellor, Mr H.S. Gurm, seeking his intervention, he said he was helpless. My career has been ruined,” she said.

Though the PTU Chancellor had forwarded her case to the Vice-Chancellor on August 16, asking the latter to explain why the reservation benefits were not provided to her, the PTU authorities had failed to respond to his letter, she alleged.

Similarly, Vandna, who had secured 57 per cent marks in the diploma course, said that despite the instructions regarding reservation benefits with regard to admission to technical institutions, the PTU authorities had adopted an indifferent attitude towards students. She alleged that the authorities were interested in placing seats reserved for SC candidates under the general category in the absence of suitable SC candidates to suit their vested interest.

When contacted, the Vice-Chancellor, Mr H.S. Gurm, said he was yet to read the letter of the Chancellor regarding the admission of Ramanpreet under the LEET category.

“According to the prescribed guidelines of the Technical Education Department, any candidate, whether belonging to the general or reserved category, should have secured 60 per cent marks in the diploma course, making him or her eligible for direct entry to the second year of any course of the university. The department will issue a clarification in this regard,” he said.


Attempt to inject water instead of vaccine
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 25
The District Health Authorities foiled an attempt by a member of paramedical staff and another person to administer distilled water injections in place of hepatitis B vaccine to residents of Chauke village at an immunisation camp held yesterday.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, District police chief, said that a case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC had been registered and investigations were on into the case.

Dr Bawa Ram Gupta, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda Civil Hospital when contacted, said that two persons, one of them a member of paramedical staff, who were caught had been handed over to the police.

He added that as per preliminary information the two accused had been carrying vials filled with distilled water and trying to replace it with the vials containing the vaccine for hepatitis-B.

Official sources said that after several deaths due to hepatitis-B and number of patients suffering from it were reported from this village in the past, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal gave a special grant to District Health Authorities for purchasing the needed vaccine for immunising the residents of Chauke village.

After purchasing the vaccine, the District Health Authorities had been organising camps to vaccinate all residents of the village. Yesterday, the District Health Authorities held second mass immunisation camp and gave second dose to the residents.

Dr Avtar Singh Sidhu, District Health Officer, who was on the spot, talking to The Tribune said that when both accused were trying to enter the camp with the vial containing the distilled water, they were intercepted as there were reports that some bungling in the distribution of vaccine could take place. After that they were taken to various spots to find put that how many vials of distilled water, they were having.

He added that on search a scooter was found parked at an isolated place. When the side box of scooter was opened three vials containing hepatitis-B like material placed in the ice were found in it.

Dr Bawa Ram Gupta said that a thorough probe would reveal who was behind this and why the accused were trying to replace the hepatitis-B vaccine vials with the vials containing distilled water.


Bihari youth promised jobs, being sold

Ferozepore, August 25
A racket pertaining to the bringing of girls and boys from Bihar and Jharkhand to Punjab on the pretext of employment but instead selling them sexually exploiting them came to light yesterday following revelations by two women.

Narrating their tale of woes, Salima (20) and Nagdali (19) told mediapersons that after being sexually exploited for two days they were brought here by a man identified as Rajinder Kumar.

They alleged that Rajinder Kumar belonging to their village had brought them to Pini village near Nawanshahr two years ago on the pretext of giving them jobs. There they learnt from other girls and boys brought from Bihar and Jharkhand that Rajinder was indulging in the sale and purchase of young girls and boys. The girls said they were taken away by Gurjant Singh of Manawa village in Amritsar district for a year after striking a deal with Rajinder Kumar. At the end of the year, they were asked to leave the house without any money. After being stranded for a week, they somehow reached Ludhiana railway station to board a train for their native villages.

The girls said at the railway station they met a Bihari youth called Virsa who promised them employment and sent them to Raju and Ramu in Ferozepore but not before sexually abusing them for two days. They later learnt that Raju and Ramu, two were engaged in the sale and purchase of girls.

The girls said on the third day Suresh Dhanwar of Jharkhand took them with him, saying that since he belonged to their village and they were like his sisters, he would get them a job in a “dhoop” factory with the help of his sister Sylvia.

However, Suresh was murdered by Raju and Ramu and their accomplice Vijay they alleged, saying that they saved themselves by hiding in fields.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34, IPC, against the accused who are absconding. UNI


Badal sets poll ball rolling
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 25
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today set rolling the ball for Assembly elections of the state when he asked his party workers to get ready for the elections.

Mr Badal was in the city for ‘sangat darshan’ programme to be held tomorrow at a village in the district. Mr Badal addressing a meeting of the party workers late this evening said that the stand of the SAD on the water-sharing issue with the neighbouring states was very clear and accused the Congress of having ignored interest of the state.

Mr Badal said that if the Congress was working in the interest of Punjab then Congress it should ensure that the water-sharing Bill was not passed in the Rajya Sabha where it was in a majority. Mr Badal alleged that the Congress was misleading people of the state on the critical issues and indulging in propaganda.

Mr Badal said that the Yellow Card scheme, launched for the welfare of the below poverty line people would be reviewed and every effort made that interests of the weaker sections of the society were protected.

Mr Badal asked the party workers to attend the rallies of October 25 and 30 in large numbers to show faith in the policies of the government and to build support of the general public.


Hospital conditions irk Health Secretary
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 25
Mr P.K. Verma, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, yesterday inspected the local civil hospital and took a serious note of the insanitary conditions in the surgical ward of the hospital.

Mr Verma was on a visit to the hospital as part of routine inspection of health centres and hospitals of the district. He also inspected Subsidiary Health Centre at Nidampur and Community Health Centre at Bhawanigarh. Dr C.P. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, accompanied the Health Secretary.

Dr C.P. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, said the Health Secretary had expressed satisfaction over tuberculosis (TB) work being done in the local civil hospital and Bhawanigarh Community Health Centre.

The Health Secretary also held a meeting with senior medical officers (SMOs) and other health officers here. He asked the SMOs to ensure that doctors should attend their duties as per fixed time and norms. Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, who also attended the meeting, informed the meeting about the health schemes like “sanjivani” being run by the district administration with the assistance of Health authorities.

The PCMSA also submitted a memorandum to the Health Secretary demanding immediate implementation of recommendations of the Fourth Punjab Pay Commission. The memorandum was handed over by Dr Surinder Singh, general secretary of the state unit of the PCMSA, and Dr Darshan Pal, district president of the PCMSA.


No vehicular access to Maharaja’s palace
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, August 25
Even as the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh undergoes a facelift to mark the 200th coronation year of the Maharaja, the former summer palace turned into museum since 1977 provides no vehicular access to the historical building as both the roads leading to the palace have been barricaded by the municipal corporation here. This has left this historically important monument devoid of public and tourist visits.

Although the interior of the museum has been given a thorough cleaning recently, the outlook is being given a “provisional” facelift. The garden surrounding the place is reportedly infested with weeds, the fountain has a leaking pipe and the water pond in the vicinity of the museum is infested with algae and fungus.

The in charge of the museum, Mr Ram Kumar, said the paint and other maintenance jobs on the museum were started in February-March after a four-member team from Chandigarh reviewed and carried out the maintenance. Chemical treatment of weapons and other metal displays were carried out in May this year in the anticipation of the Chief Minister’s visit here.

Regarding the condition of the pond, Mr Ram Kumar said it was the process of drying up for cleaning and paint. It would be refilled for the exhibition to be held on November 13 to mark the coronation year. The remaining gardens as well as the surrounding hedge would also be trimmed for the grand occasion, he added.

The museum authorities have kept a decorated rostrum for Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s throne which was promised to be placed in May by the Chief Minister.


Indicted but not prosecuted
Our Correspondent

Ropar, August 25
If one belongs to the ruling party in Punjab, he can easily evade prosecution even if the vigilance inquiry indicts him. This seems to be true in the case of the Ropar Municipal Council where the Vigilance Bureau officials conducted a raid in May. In their report, the vigilance officials indicted the President of the council and two employees for gross irregularities. However, the report was submitted in the first week of June, but has not reached the Secretary, Local Government.

The highly placed sources on the condition of anonymity said the action on the report had been stalled on the directions of the Chief Minister’s office, which came at the request of a local minister. The Joint Director, Vigilance, Mr R.P.S. Brar, when contacted on phone admitted the fact that the vigilance report was still lying with the Secretary’ Vigilance, and had not been transferred to the Local Government Department for action.

The sources said the said inquiry would also meet the same fate. Earlier, in the inquiry report, the vigilance officials had indicted the President of the Ropar Municipal Council, as cashier-cum-clerk and storekeeper for misappropriation of funds and bypassing procedures.

The report had alleged that at the time of raid, an amount of Rs 865 was found short in the council chest. A departmental action was recommended against Ms Asha Rani, the cashier-cum-clerk of the council. During checking of the council stores, material worth Rs 45,000, including electric tube rods, street light sets, tube chokes and electric bulbs were found missing. For this a departmental inquiry was recommended against the storekeeper of the council, Mr Daneil.

The President of the council, Mr Indersen Chatwal, was also accused of corruption and bypassing the norms. The vigilance officials had alleged that during the raid when they inquired about the chequebooks of the council, they were told that those were lying at the residence of the President. The chequebooks were then recovered from his residence in the presence of official witnesses. 


Rail overbridge soon: minister
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 25
The Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Swarna Ram, today told a press conference that the much-awaited overbridge on the local Satnampura railway crossing had been cleared by the Union Government and the Railway Ministry and would be constructed at a cost of Rs 16 crore.

Releasing copies of the letter from the Ministry of Railways, he claimed that the bridge was among the three bridges, the other two at Khanna and Patiala, to be constructed on special out-of-turn basis. Rs 37.47 crore, including Rs 13.72 crore by the Railways, would be spent on these three bridges.

The approval followed the meeting of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with Railway Board officials at Chandigarh on June 2, he said.

The work of construction of the bridge would commence in one month and the bridge would be completed in nine months, the minister said. With the construction of the bridge, residents of 40 villages and Hadiabad town of the Phagwara block, would be benefitted besides the residents of Sriganganagar, Abohar, Shahkot and Malsian, who visit shrines at Chintpurni, Jawalaji and Baba Balak Nath, in Himachal Pradesh, the minister said. Tenders for the bridge were being invited, he disclosed.

Mr Swarna Ram, who is also the Cultural Affairs Minister, said the Deputy Commissioners had been asked to invoke Sections 293/294 of the IPC to check obscenity. Disclosing a policy decision, Mr Swarna Ram said vulgar songs and semi-nude dances at marriage parties would be checked by committees of SDMs and DSPs.

A video film would be made by the authorities during marriages and dancers and singers indulging in obscenity would be arrested, he said.

Cassette companies, private channels and video songs would be brought under the purview of the punitive Act, he said.

The local SDM, Mr Amarjit Paul, the Improvement Trust Chairman, Mr Om Gupta, the municipal council vice-president, Mr Ram Saroop Arora, were also present at the press conference.


1,600 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, August 25
A “Lok Adalat” was held here at the Patel National Memorial College today. Justice H.S. Bedi, Punjab and Haryana High Court presided over the adalat. At least 2,500 cases were taken by 26 Benches.

Justice Bedi said till now 1925 lok adalats had been organised in which approximately 1.09 lakh cases had been solved. In today’s Adalat 1600 cases were settled which included cases related to marriages, section 125 criminal cases and cases related to disputes. Through this Adalat bank recovery of about Rs. 40 crores was made.700 Faujdari cases were also taken today.

Justice Bedi said soon more “faujdari adalats” would be held. He said such adalats had got good response from the people also and the burden had also decreased in the courts.

The cases are solved with mutual consent of both the partie. Justice K.S. Grewal, H.P.S. Mahl, Mrs Surinder Kaur, and other high officials were also present at the adalat.


Crush subversive forces: Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Sangatpura (Sunam), August 25
Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and Secretary-General of the SAD, today called upon Punjabis to crush forces which wanted to create disturbance in the state by exploiting the sentiments of people.

Mr Dhindsa was addressing hundreds of persons at a function organised by Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) here. This village was adopted by KRIBHCO some months ago under its agriculture and rural development project.

Mr Dhindsa urged sarpanches and panches to play a vital role in this regard, adding that the government was committed to peace.

Talking about Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Dr Jagjit Singh Chouhan, he said law would take its own course and the SAD would not give concessions to any one.

Mr Dhindsa KRIBHCO had deposits worth Rs 1,500 crore which were yet to be spent. He said the Union Government was going to privatise National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) and KRIBHCO wanted to take it over.

Earlier, he inaugurated a 24-hour power supply scheme for Sangatpura and Ladal villages.


3 die as car hits impounded truck
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, August 25
Three persons died and one injured when a Maruti car (PB02-7586) in which they were travelling collided with a truck parked on the road near Babri, 3 km from here, yesterday.

The truck had been impounded following its collision with a car yesterday. An executive engineer and a clerk had died in the mishap. The deceased have been identified as Amanbir Singh, Paramjit Singh and Ram Swarup, all residents of Amritsar. Their injured companion who has been identified as Baljit Singh has been admitted to a private clinic.

The car was coming from Dalhousie and was on its way to Amritsar.


Guru’s marriage anniversary

Batala, August 25
A nagar kirtan in connection with the 514th marriage anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was taken out here today. The Panj Piara led the nagar kirtan which started from Guru Dwara Dehra Sahib and terminated at Guru Dwara Kandh Sahib. A series of 101 akhand paths were performed all over the town this morning. PTI 


Traders observe bandh
Our Correspondent

Dhuri, August 25
A call given by the Ravi Kant Murder Action Committee to observe a half-day bandh today against the failure of the police to arrest killers of Ravi Kant (17), who was allegedly kidnapped on August 14, and later his body was found near the Police Lines, Sangrur, evoked a mixed response as traders and shopkeepers observed partial bandh. Hundreds of activists, including women, of 47 local trade unions, employees’ union, political parties, Beopar Mandal and social organisations held a three-hour rally at Triveni Chowk.


Plan to murder beloved, paramour foiled, 3 held
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, August 25
Even as the residents of the city are yet to forget the Bollywood style incident in which a youth had shown himself as murdered to elope with his paramour, another incident surfaced recently in which a person purchased weapons illegally to eliminate a former paramour of his beloved. However, he was arrested before he could carry out his plan.

It is learnt that Amar Singh a resident of Kohar Singhwala village under Guru Har Sahai police station in Ferozepore district, along with two of his accomplices, went to Rajasthan to purchase country-made pistols. They purchased one .12 bore and on .315 bore pistol from Hanumangarh junction.

According to the plan, Amar Singh wanted to kill Vijay Kumar a resident of the Gawal Toli locality of Ferozepore. Vijay had resumed illicit relations with the woman who had been staying with Amar Singh for five years.

It is alleged that Vijay had killed the husband of the woman about six years ago as he had objected to the illicit relationship between the two. Vijay was convicted for the murder and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

When Vijay was in jail, his paramour became intimate with Amar Singh who started staying with her. Vijay who learnt about it in the jail and asked the woman to end her relationship with Amar, but without result.

When Vijay was released from the jail, he went to the house of his former paramour and beat Amar Singh mercilessly. He forced Amar Singh to leave the house and started staying with his paramour.

Amar Singh hatched a plan in consultation with his brother-in-law, Hakam Singh, and decided to eliminate both Vijay and the woman. They contacted Prem Singh, a resident of Hanumangarh, for procuring weapons. They paid Rs 3200 for buying two country-made pistols and came back to implement the plan.

The district police got a tip-off about Amar Singh’s plan. It started a search operation and arrested them and Prem Singh when they were entering the district to reach Ferozepore.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said the police had been making raids at various possible hideouts of Amar Singh in the district. He said a case had been registered under Sections 411 and 34, IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. 


Maid held for threat letters to employer
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, August 25
The district police has solved a case involving a domestic help who used to post letters allegedly threatening her employer. It is learnt that she borrowed the idea from a TV serial “Khoj”. Police sources said the maid, Lakshmi; who hails from Bagloo (Nepal), was employed with Mr Charanjit Singh, a local resident. She allegedly used to post threatening letters to her employer.

The letters were written in Hindi and Mr Charanjit Singh was getting these letters for the past one week.

The sources said she was trusted by her employers who treated her as a member of the family. The letters were found in the courtyard of the home or the letter box. When the employers contacted the police for an investigation, it kept a strict vigil on the house; the sources said.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP, said during investigations it was found that all letters were the handiwork of the domestic help. She used to write the letters and dropped these in the house of her employer unnoticed by anyone. She was caught red-handed and letters threatening her employer, a letter pad and a sample of her writing was recovered from her. She confessed that she had borrowed the idea to threaten her employer from “Khoj”, a TV serial and wanted to extract money from her employer.


Stolen goods worth 85 lakh recovered

Jaito, August 25
In a major breakthrough, the police today claimed to have arrested a group of six international thieves and succeeded in recovering stolen goods worth Rs 85 lakh from their possession.

This group used to prepare bogus documents and defrauded banks, Faridkot police chief Gurpreet Singh Gill said.

The police had recovered 23 vehicles, including cars and jeeps. Investigations revealed that this group comprised 32 members.

Bogus office stamps of different government offices, certificates, degress, cheques and drafts of banks had also been seized from them. PTI


Four travel agents booked
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 25
The police has booked four travel agents — Ashok Kumar, Mukesh Kumar of Kurukshetra and Shashi and Inder Kumar Goel of Sangrur under Sections 420, 406, 506 and 34-B, IPC, and Immigration Act, 1983, for defrauding Davinder Kumar of Rawalpindi village of about Rs 4 lakh with a promise to send him to New Zealand.

It was learnt today that Davinder was instead sent to Malaysia from where he returned after 15 days.

When he contacted the agents, they promised to send him to Europe. Davinder Kumar sent representations to the DGP and others, including the SSP, Kapurthala, which led to the registration of a case.


Student pays for school education board’s error
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 25
A glaring error made by the Punjab School Education Board is costing Bansi Lal, a class VIII student, and his mother dear.

Bansi Lal 12, said the board declared him fail on the basis that he did not appear in Hindi and Punjabi examinations. He claimed that he appeared in all examinations. Despite efforts made by Bansi, the board authorities blamed the computer for the mistake in a letter dated August 3, 2001.

The board superintendent stated in the letter that after checking the records, it had been found that the candidate had appeared in Punjabi and Hindi examinations, securing good marks. He said that due to the computer error, Bansi was declared fail.

Mr Sunil Kumar, a social worker, said it was likely that the computer operator had made the error.

It is alleged that after three months, the board sent a provisional certificate to Bansi Lal, notifying him that he should return preissued certificates for getting the original detail marks card (DMC).

Bansi Lal’s mother Mrs Malhotra Devi said that after the death of her husband, who was gunned down by terrorists, she was finding it difficult to bring up her children. She urged the authorities concerned to take action against those responsible for the error and issue her son’s original DMC as soon as possible.

She urged the authorities concerned to warn the employees so that they should not play with children’s future. She said a lot of money had been spent on sending letters and speed posts to the board, yet Bansi had not been able to get the DMC.

Mr Sunil Kumar said a large number of students were made to suffer because of the gross negligence of board employees.


Principal suspended
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, August 25
Mrs Manjit Kaur Ghuman, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Gurdaspur, has been placed under suspension and Mrs Amarjit Samra, Deputy District Education office (Secondary), has been posted in her place.

Ms Ghuman was transferred about six months ago but she got stay orders from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the plea that DEO (secondary) was prejudiced against her as she did not allow his daughter to use unfair means in the matriculation examination held at Fatehgarh Churian in the district when she was part of a flying squad. Mrs Ghuman had filed an affidavit in this regard in the High Court.

The District and Sessions Judge was deputed by the High Court to hold an inquiry. The court has allowed the departmental action against her. According to the Secretary Education, Mrs Ghuman was placed under suspension on August 23.

Probe VC’s role in PUTA poll: TUF
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 25
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, is openly opposing the candidates of the Teachers United Front (TUF) and is campaigning in favour of the United Teachers Federation (UTF) candidates, a faction of the PUTA, led by its president Dr Bhupinder Singh Khaira, has alleged.

The group has appealed to the Governor that the PUTA elections are supposed to be fair, but the VC is directly interfering in the election procedure. The group leaders claimed that the VC had called a meeting of the newly appointed teachers in the University Guest House on August 24 and openly campaigned in favour of the UTF. Earlier also, the VC had held many campaign meetings and expenses for these were incurred by the university administration claimed Dr Khaira.

Dr Khaira has further requested to the Governor that in the interest of free and fair poll, the VC should be asked to leave the station till August 28 so that he does not interfere in the elections. An observer should be appointed by the Governor to oversee the election process. The Registrar and the Returning officer should be instructed to remain fair and impartial during the election process.

The TUF leaders said an impartial inquiry should be ordered by the Governor into the role of the VC in holding campaign meetings to help the UTF candidates.


Protesting lecturers restrained
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 25
The local court has restrained the protesting lecturers of the women college here from holding demonstrations, dharnas on the college premises and within a radius of 500 metres and also from interfering and creating obstructions in the entry and exit of college personnel, visitors and students to the college.

The court in its order also restrained them from obstructing or interfering in any manner with the road and other passage leading to the college or throwing bricks and any other material on the property of the college.

The teachers union is protesting against the suspension of its president, Ms Harbans Kaur. The management of the college had suspended the president of the union on the charges of gross misconduct and anti-college activities.

Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 25
The Mizoram Governor, Mr Amolak Ratan Kohli, inaugurated Satguru Rural Education Institute Management and Technology College at Chotti Baradari here today.

Mr Kohli said the nation was known in the world primarily because of its achievements in nuclear, space technology and computer fields. He said more computer institutes should to be established if its education is to spread among people of all age groups.

The Food and Civil Supply Minister, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, was also present on the occasion. Stressing on the increasing demand of computer education, Mr Mittal said without the knowledge of this subject, success in any field could be hindered.

Others who expressed their opinion at the function were Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor Punjabi University, Mr Ram Kumar Goel, president of the district BJP Urban Patiala unit, and Prof Tara Singh. 

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