Saturday, September 15, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Attacks on US Sikhs: SGPC writes to Jaswant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 14
In a belated reaction, the SGPC today urged the Central Government to take up the issue of harassment of Sikhs in the USA in the aftermath of terrorist strikes with officials of the Indian Embassy in Washington and Indian consulate offices in New York and San Francisco.

In a letter addressed to the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, the SGPC president, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, said the SGPC felt deeply concerned over the reports of intimidation of Sikhs at the hands of security agencies and common people. Mr Talwandi was reacting to the attacks on Sikhs and a gurdwara over there.

A copy of the letter, released to the Press here today, has also been sent to the US Ambassador in Delhi with a request that the matter may urgently be taken up with the US administration in New York to ensure the safety of Sikhs and other Indians.

He said: “On behalf of the SGPC, the representative body of the Sikhs, I express my concern about the sporadic attacks on Sikhs in various parts of the Sikhs were being mistaken for Arabs and attacked”.

He asked the External Affairs Minister and the Government of India to “take immediate steps so that the misconception is corrected and under no circumstances should Sikhs be made victims of such attacks”.

Expressing shock and anguish over the terrorist strikes, he said the entire Sikh community firmly stood behind America at this critical hour.

Stressing upon the minister to take urgent measures, Mr Talwandi said, “I request you to instruct the Indian embassy in Washington and the Indian consulate offices in New York and San Francisco to take adequate measures so that no further harm is caused to the Sikhs and they should convey our feelings of grief and condemnation to the American authorities”. He urged him to “please ask the New York Mayor to go public on television on this issue as soon as possible so that a clear message is sent to the American people”.


Mann expresses solidarity with people of USA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal( Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has expressed solidarity with the people of the USA in their hour of grief. In a letter addressed to the President of the USA, Mr Mann stated that the entire sikh community was with the people of that country.

He appealed to the Sikhs settled abroad to make all efforts to minimise the suffering of the victims of the terrorist attacks. Terming the attacks as a dastardly crime against humanity, Mr Mann said the “Sikh nation” was committed to a peaceful world order where all people and nations coexisted under the provisions of the UN Charter. In another letter addressed to the Indian Ambassador to the USA, Mr Mann urged him to take immediate measures in the print and electronic media to ensure that the distinction between Sikhs and the followers of the groups responsible for the crime was made clear to the people of the USA.


PPSC fleecing candidates?
Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, September 14
Candidates allege the Punjab Public Service Commission is fleecing them. In an advertisement issued in leading newspapers on September 11, it has asked those who had applied for vacancies of college lecturer to send a demand draft of Rs 200 each.

Not doing so would render the candidates ineligible for the same and they would not be allowed to appear in the screening test to be held by the commission on October 14.

The PPSC had advertised 266 vacancies of lecturer on August 11 and had stated if the number of applicants for these vacancies was large, the number of candidates may be restricted. New, for the purpose, the PPSC would be conducting a screening test on October 14 at Patiala and has asked the candidates to send another demand draft of Rs 200 as fee for the test.

It’s obvious that the candidates would have to pay the amount to save their candidature. The justification by the authorities that the fee being charged is not meant for profit sounds doubtful as some nation-level recruitment tests have low fee. The Civil Services Examination is one such example.

The latest advertisement of the PPSC states that the Scheduled Caste candidates would have to appear for the screening test for Punjabi, Hindi and Political Science.

Those belonging to the Backward Classes would appear for the screening test for Punjabi, History and Economics. All general category candidates would have to appear for the screening test for their respective subjects.

This, obviously, means that the number of applicants for these vacancies is large and the PPSC wants to restrict the number to a “reasonable one.”

When state Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced the lifting of a blanket ban on all types of recruitment in the state a few months ago, the unemployed heaved a sigh of relief.

The process to declare results of various competitive tests that were held during the past three years was started on a war footing. Many results, including those of Audit Inspectors and Panchayat Secretaries, have been declared.

The interviews for Audit Inspectors were held recently, the results of which are yet to be declared.

Of the various vacancies for which thousand of candidates had applied include Sales Tax Inspectors, Audit Inspectors, Excise Inspectors, Inspector (Roadways), various vacancies in the Punsup, Food and Supplies Inspectors (Grade II), ETT/JBT teachers, B.Ed. teachers and school and college lecturers etc. Many of these advertisements were issued years ago and most candidates would have become “overage”.

The selection process for these vacancies had been stopped at various stages. In some cases even acknowledgement slips were not issued to the candidates.

The Inspector (Food and Supplies-Grade II) is one such example where the date of the recruitment test is yet to be announced. Some vacancies could have been “scrapped” or abolished by the departments concerned.

The candidates have to pay various fees to apply for these competitive tests and the amount adds up to thousands of rupees per candidate. The expenditure on the filing of application with supporting documents and sometimes the fee paid for attestation of photocopies runs into hundreds of rupees.

As Assembly elections are nearing aspirants and even political opponents of the ruling alliance have started voicing concern at the likelihood of completion of the process. Mr Amarinder Singh, PPCC President, alleged that the Akali government is “selling” various posts.


Kale Kachhewale rob family; 6 hurt
Chander Parkash and Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, September 14
One person was killed and nine were injured by suspected members of the Kale Kachhewale gang here and at Tapa town of Sangrur district in the past 48 hours.

On the night of September 12, suspected members of the gang, armed with firearms and iron rods, entered the house of a mason Amandeep at Sangrur and killed him while his mother and two neighbours were severely injured.

Last night, six members of the gang struck at Mr Sudagar Singh Brar’s house in the Housefed colony on the Bathinda-Dabwali road and severely injured him, his son, daughter-in-law and three neighbours.

Mr Ravinder Singh Brar, son of Mr Sudagar Singh Brar, who suffered a head injury, was admitted to the DMC, Ludhiana, while the other injured were being treated at the local Civil Hospital.

Civil Hospital sources said except Mr Sudagar Singh, the condition of the other injured was stable.

It was learnt that the culprits entered the colony by jumping over the gate of the colony. One of the culprits entered the house of Mr Brar by jumping over the boundary wall and placed chairs near the boundary wall to let his accomplices follow him inside.

After entering the house, the culprits attacked Mr Sudagar Brar, who was sleeping on the roof of the house, with iron rods. When the other members of the family resisted, the culprits attacked them also with iron rods. They forced the family to come downstairs. When the neighbours woke up on listening the hue and cry, the gang fired at them, leaving three persons injured, though fortunately none of them suffered a bullet injury. The injured, Mr Nachhattar Singh, Mr Manjit Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Four watchmen — one at the main gate of the colony and three in various lanes — were on duty at the time of the incident. Only one watchman, deployed at the main gate was armed but he reached the spot after the culprits had fled after committing the crime.

One of the watchmen said that after he spotted the culprits with their faces muffled, he challenged them. But he was attacked suddenly and overpowered. He was taken to a house under construction and the culprits enquired from him about the house of Mr Brar who owned a Toyota Qualis, he said.

After that four of the culprits went to the house of Mr Brar and when the two culprits who were with him heard the sound of firing, they too rushed to the house of Mr Brar, the watchman added.

The entire episode took about 12-15 minutes. Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of the colony, pointed out that it was not the first such incident in the colony. In March, 2000, two rifles were looted from a resident of the colony. The boundary walls of the colony were of low height and had not been protected with wire fencing.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP, said a police party reached the spot shortly after the incident. A dog squad and finger print experts were pressed into service. The entire district had been sealed and computer-generated sketches of the culprits were being prepared to arrest them.

The culprits ran away with a .455 bore revolver, a twin-barrel .12 bore rifle, some cash and gold jewellery.

Dr Jain said a case under Sections 459, 392 and 307, IPC, had been registered.


Intrusion bid foiled, Pak national dead
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 14
The Border Security Force foiled an attempt by Pakistani nationals to sneak into the Indian territory and killed one of them, near the border outpost of Gatti Hyat, along Zero Line of the Indo-Pak border.

According to the information, yesterday at around 6.30 a.m. in the morning, BSF jawans spotted a group of three to four persons trying to sneak into the Indian territory under the cover of darkness as fencing lights are switched off daily at around 6 a.m. The intruders ignored the warning by the jawans and opened fire. In retaliatory fire by the jawans one of them was killed on the spot. Others managed to escape back into the Pakistani territory. According to highly placed sources in the BSF, the slain intruder was the “guide” of the group. Some Pakistani currency has been recovered from him.


Cong hopefuls meet AICC observer
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 14
Several senior Congress leaders, including sitting MLAs, today met the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) observer, Mr Vijay Kumar Mankotia, to lay their claims for the ticket for six rural Assembly constituencies of the district.

Mr Mankotia, who interacted with the prospective Congress candidates at the local Circuit House today, posed a number of questions to them about their constituencies. “The questionnaire is designed to know about the in-depth knowledge of a candidate about his constituency. Those who are working for the welfare of the people for a long time can easily answer these queries, making it easy for me to evaluate his association with the masses”, Mr Mankotia said.

Except for Kartarpur, for which only Choudhry Jagjit Singh, CLP leader, staked his claim for the party ticket, the race for the rest of the five constituencies witnessed a fierce competition among senior Congress leaders. A former state Home Minister, Mr Brij Bhupinder Lalli, and a former chairman of the Punjab State Industrial and Tourism Corporation, Choudhary Darshan Singh, presented their claims for the Lohian constituency ticket.

A sitting MLA, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, and president of the Human Rights Department of the Punjab Congress and former MP, Mr Umrao Singh, filed their papers for the Nakodar seat. A former minister and a Bhattal loyalist, Choudhary Santokh Singh, and Giani Ram Saran met the Congress observer for the Phillaur constituency.

A sitting MLA, Mr Kanwaljeet Singh Lalli, who had recently won a legal battle against a SAD leader, Mr Dhalbir Singh Dhirowal, and was declared elected by the Punjab and Haryana High Court from the Adampur constituency also met Mr Mankotia apart from two other local leaders to stake their claims for the seat.

For the Noormahal constituency, Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, who represented the constituency during the Beant Singh regime, Mr Manjinder Singh Chaudhary, former secretary of the Punjab Congress and former chairman, Punjab Service Selection Board, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Sahota, submitted their claims to the Congress observer. Mr Chaudhary had earlier unsuccessfully contested the election from the Adampur constituency on a Congress ticket in 1985. Mr Mankotia said he would submit a report regarding the selection of party candidates to the coordinator of the Punjab Congress Election Committee, headed by Dr Manmohan Singh, after visiting all constituencies.


Sack Brahmpura, demands Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Punjab Congress has urged the Governor to sack the Cooperation Minister, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, immediately as serious allegations of rampant corruption in his department have been levelled by Mrs Surjit Kaur, wife of an Akali Cabinet Minister.

Addressing a press conference, the chairman of the media committee of the Congress, Mr Surinder Singla, said here today that Mrs Surjit Kaur, who was the Chairperson of the district Central Cooperative Bank, Kapurthala, had quoted the prevailing rates for recruiting clerks, accountants, etc, in the cooperative banks. The Tribune had carried a story in this regard.

He said the recruitment drive started by the SAD-BJP government had turned into a big source of exploitation and loot of those aspiring to secure government jobs. Recruitment itself had become a big business in the state and its victims were innocent persons who were left with no alternative except to bow to the wishes of the decision-makers because of the growing unemployment.

Recruitment should be banned immediately as its only objective was to mint money. “Why is recruitment being done at the fag-end of its term by the SAD-BJP Government? he asked. “Why was it not done in the earlier four and a half years?”

It was a matter of shame that while allegations with regard to the “auction” of posts were being levelled, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had reamined silent on this issue. A deputation of Congress leaders would soon call on the Governor inform him of what was happening on the recruitment front.

He questioned the way the Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, and the chairman of a government organisation had got their sons recruit in the Punjab Pollution Control Board. Justifying the lifting of the ban on recruitment, the government had stated that it had been done because of administrative reasons and in the public interest. However, at the moment recruitment was being done to serve personal interests, he asserted.

Whereas it was the duty of the government to give unemployment allowance to jobless youth, it was making them spend hundreds of rupees just to apply for posts advertised by various departments. For applying, a candidate had to spend a lot of money on postage, photostat copies, etc, apart from paying the fee sought by the department concerned, he added.

Mr Singla said the Congress deputation would also take up the issues of river waters, transfer of Chandigarh, etc, with the Governor. He said the Congress had information that the Punjab Chief Minister wanted to enter into a secret pact with his Haryana counterpart, Mr Om Prakash Chautala. Mr Badal should tell the people of the state what happened on the river waters issue at the recent meetings held in Delhi with the Prime Minister and others. The people had every right to know the details. The Congress would not allow Mr Badal to barter away the interests of the state.

He alleged that Mr Badal had now acquired a new interest in the Gurgaon tourist project.


Agitated BJP workers hold rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Even as hundreds of workers of the BJP held a rally here in protest against the alleged corruption in the municipal council and beating up of councillors, it has brought for the differences between the two groups of the district unit of the SAD.

Though the activists of the BJP burnt the effigy of the Punjab Science and Technology Minister, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, who was MLA from the Bathinda Assembly segment, and raised slogans against the president of the municipal council, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar, it was alleged that the proceedings were being monitored by some BJP leaders who were aspirant for party ticket from this constituency.

A section of SAD workers considered close to a Cabinet colleague of Mr Garg were also seen following the procession in cars. The procession was led by Mr Mohan Lal Garg, Chairman of the Improvement Trust, besides others.

Mr Gulzar Singh, president of the BJP (Bathinda district), alleged that two municipal councillors of the BJP were beaten up at the council hall on August 28 during a general house meeting when they raised their voice against corruption.

He alleged that Mr Garg and Mr Bhullar were directly involved in the incident. They played a role in the non-registration of criminal cases against those who beat up the councillors, he alleged.

Mr Mohan Lal Garg alleged that a section of municipal councillors had been executing development works of the municipal council under “benami” contracts.

The BJP leaders warned that if no action was taken against those who were responsible for the incident, the party would intensify its agitation.

Mr Narinder Mittal, president of the BJP mandal unit, claimed that today’s rally would reflect the results of the coming Assembly elections from this segment.

Mr Chiman Lal Garg, a municipal councillor, who had been suspended from the BJP on disciplinary grounds, said it was the district leadership of the BJP which had created a mess in the council affairs.


Badal challenges Rajasthan Cong
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has challenged the ruling Congress in Rajasthan to prove that he owns a 5,000-acre farm in Jodhpur as was alleged by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Capt Amarinder Singh.

In a chat with a group of newsmen at his residence this morning, the Chief Minister said that if the Congress government was able to establish that he had acquired even an inch of land in Jodhpur in the past five years, he would quit. He maintained that he did not want to enter into any controversy or reply to baseless allegation made by the PPCC chief. “The Congress has only an anti-Badal agenda. It has no political issue or other agenda.”

Mr Badal said that whatever he had to say on Panthic unity, he had already said. “Since they interpreted my call for unity as my weakness, I have stopped talking about it.”

“The voter in Punjab is very wise now and he knows whom to vote for. Our performance in the past five years can be compared to the 50 years’ performance of the Congress in the state. Now we have to concentrate on self-employment, improving the infrastructure and the diversification of crops.

“We have been pressing the Union Government to ensure the procurement price for pulses and oilseeds. Besides, it is the quality of grains both paddy and wheat, which is important now. Our farmers will have to improve the quality,” he said, maintaining that the procurement of paddy would start soon. Today the Haryana Chief Minister was to meet the Prime Minister and was asked to raise the issue of advancing the procurement date of paddy. Last year, the procurement of paddy started on September 21. This time, the Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers wanted it to start on September 15.Mr Badal said that a team of experts from Markfed, the Agro Industries Corporation and PAU would be sent to Kazakhstan and nearby countries to study the possibility of the export of fruit, vegetables and foodgrains. 


Sohi’s widow lays claim to Banur seat
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 14
Sheelam Sohi, the widow of former Zila Parishad Chairman Ravinder Sohi, today laid claim to the Banur Assembly seat and presented her case before the All India Congress observer who is camping here for the past two days to access Congress aspirants from seven rural seats of this parliamentary constituency.

Sheelam Sohi led a massive procession to meet the Congress observer Mr Daulat Ram. Talking to newsmen before she met the observer, she said she was applying for the Congress ticket from Banur on the wishes of people of the constituency. She said she would tell the observer that the people of the Assembly segment wanted her to contest from Banur so that the development works initiated by her late husband could be carried out.

Besides Sheelam, the supporters of Sahibjit Singh Sandhu, who is the son-in-law of former Pradesh Congress Chief Mohinder Singh Gill, also presented his case for the Banur seat. The third aspirant for the seat was Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon.

Today also saw former MP and presently party spokesman Surinder Singla meeting the observer along with his supporters to present his case for the Samana Assembly seat. Mr Singla was accompanied by members of the Samana Municipal Committee besides 15 sarpanches and members of the rice millers, arhatiya and brick kiln associations.

Aspirants for the party ticket for the Nabha Assembly segment also met the observer. Mr Ramesh Singla led a large delegation to meet the observer. He explained that he was the only person who could take on the Akalis from the seat and that a recent conviction in an embezzlement case by a CBI Magistrate should not come in the way as he was hopeful of relief from the higher courts. Mr Randeep Singh, the son of former minister Gurdarshan Singh, also met the observers to present his case along with his supporters.

For the Dakala seat former minister Lal Singh and former Improvement Trust Chairman Nirmal Singh Bhattian led impressive delegations to meet the observer.


Cong backward classes cell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Mr Jasbir Singh, chairman of the backward classes cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, yesterday announced the list of its other office-bearers. Mr Jasbir Singh said that the list had been approved by Capt Amarinder Singh, president of the PPCC.

Mr Inderjit Singh Basrke has been made convener of the cell. Mr Avtar Singh Joga, Mr Harjit Singh Bundala, Mr Jasbir Singh Jassal and Mr Sardul Singh Namdhari will be its general secretaries. Mr Kehar Singh, Mr Prithvi Kanojia, Mr Gurminder Singh, Mr Gagandeep Singh and Mr Mahinder Singh Chaherta will function as vice-presidents of the cell. Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Pritam Singh Nahra, Mr Bharpur Singh and Mr Suresh Kumar will be its secretaries.


Compensation delayed to aggrieved residents
Our Correspondent

Sunam, September 14
Fourteen families of the local Kailash Parvat locality, whose houses and shops were badly damaged due to the alleged negligence of a contractor engaged by the local municipal council for installing a tubewell, have been crying for justice as the authorities concerned have failed to provide them compensation despite the submission of an inquiry report on August 10 by the SDM.

The inquiry was ordered by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sarvjit Singh, on the directions of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, when a deputation of the affected families met Mr Badal here on July 31.

On the same day, Mr Badal also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh from his funds and directed the local municipal council to give Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the affected families from its own funds.

Big cracks had developed in 12 houses, two shops and a memorial of Baba Pir Chanke Shah in mid-July this year when the work on sinking a tubewell was in progress.

During the process, a big kutcha tank to store water for cooling the borer was dug, but the stored water made its route under the earth towards the plinths of nearby houses and shops and caused cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors of the buildings.

The Deputy Commissioner told The Tribune that he had sent a detailed report about the damage to the houses and shops to the Director, Local Bodies, Punjab, and had sought Rs 26 lakh to pay compensation to the affected families. He said he would make sure that the affected families got compensation in a short period.

Meanwhile, Mr Narinder Pal Kurl, a member of an affected family, has urged the Punjab Chief Minister to intervene in the case for the release of the compensation amount soon. He said they were now living in unsafe buildings which might collapse any time if corrective measures were not taken in good time.


Fly ash overflows before time
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 14
The storage of fly ash released from the Lehra Mohabbat project in Bathinda is posing problems to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). The board has now been forced to go in for a Rs 4 crore project to raise the dyke in which fly ash is being stored in the form of slurry mainly because the fly ash could not be disposed of to cement plants which were to come up in the area.

The board has been forced to raise the height of the dyke created on the project premises from the present 6.5 metres to 15 metres. A decision to this effect was taken yesterday after an inspection of the site by the board members. The problem has arisen mainly because of the failure of the government to attract private firms to establish cement factories close to Lehra Mohabbat which use fly ash as a raw material. Three plants were expected to be established near the site but only one plant of the Birla group was coming up.

According to sources, the fly ash is mixed with water so that it does not cause pollution when released in air. It is then stored in a massive dyke. The dyke was expected to fill up in five years but it got filled up in three years this time due to a high plant load factor of 88 per cent, which resulted in an increased ash production.

Following the inspection of the site, the board decided to raise the dyke’s height in stages. Board sources said a total of Rs 4 crore would be spent on the project, of which Rs 2 crore would be spent in the first stage. The board expected the need for the storage of fly ash to decrease once the Birla plant started manufacturing cement, which was scheduled for November this year.

Meanwhile, the board has decided to utilise common facilities constructed by it at Lehra Mohabbat to serve as equity for its stage two project. These facilities include roads, water supply and residential accommodation. The board will have to ultimately raise around Rs 570 crore for the project, which was likely to be established at a cost of Rs 1,912 crore.

Meanwhile, board officials clarified that there was no move to improve any cess for raising funds for the board’s share in the equity for the project as had been mooted by its former Chairman Gurcharan Singh Sohal. They said the scheme was not workable and the board would have to raise funds for the project from financial institutions.


JCB machine without use
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib
The JCB machine allotted to this district to dig village ponds has been used only once in Rurkee village, since its arrival six months ago.

The calculation at the time of purchasing these machines at a cost of Rs 13 lakh each was that the cost would be recovered within a year from the excavation work done for different panchayats. The machine given to this district has been lying idle in the Zila Parishad complex. The cost of the work done at Rurkee amounts to Rs 8000 and even this remains to be realised from the panchayat concerned. Meanwhile, the recurring expenditure such as the salary of the driver, insurance etc. keeps mounting. The driver sent to this district has no experience of handling such machines, and for the work done at Rurkee another driver had to be hired.

The department, at the district level, had conducted interviews after advertising the post in a weekly published from a town of this district. It is said that though persons with experience in handling this machine were available, this candidate was selected allegedly under pressure. The driver admits that he has no experience of handling this machine and that he has not even studied the manual sent by the manufacturer.

Such machines have been sent to all districts and now there is a proposal to send one such machine to each block for which 137 more machines are to be purchased.

Sources in the office of the ADC (D) confirm that the machine at Fatehgarh Sahib has been used only once so far and that there is a proposal to send such machines also to the blocks.


Lawyers raise “illegal” sheds
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 14
Due to the shifting of courts to the newly built judicial complex here on September 10, lawyers have begun raising sheds in the courtyard of the new complex.

The construction is being termed as “illegal” by the judicial administration, but the local lawyers are of the view that they have no other option except to construct temporary sheds as the state government has failed to construct chambers for this, despite assurances given to them during their-month-long agitation.

Mr R.M. Gupta, District and Sessions Judge, Sangrur, through a memo to their president of the District Bar Association on September 12, stated that the construction of sheds and placing of tables and chairs in the courtyard in front of the court complex was illegal and the same must be stopped.

According to Mr Sat Pal Sharma, Secretary of the association, in reply, Mr Balraj Singh Sohi, president of the association, has written to the District and Sessions Judge that the construction of sheds by the lawyers is only a temporary arrangement till the chambers are constructed.

Mr Sohi has requested that in view of the difficulties faced by the lawyers, they be allowed to work from the sheds till the chambers are constructed.


2 errant PSEB JEs suspended
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, September 14
Mr U.S. Saroa, Senior Engineer, the local PSEB circle, has suspended two Junior Engineers, Sukha Singh and Nirmal Singh, posted at 132 kv sub station at Srihargobindpur on charges of negligence of duty.

Mr Saroa today said two transformers had been installed at the substation. One of these was functional. When Mr Satpal Singh, Junior Engineer, transferred the load from one transformer to another, the functional transformer also caught fire injuring Mr Satpal Singh. The suspended junior engineers had reported that the transformers were functional.

Power supplies from 66 kv substation at Ghuman, Harchowal, Qadian and Sirihargobindpur was hit. Power being supplied from Mukerian was also disrupted.

However, power supply was restored yesterday.


Blast in acid storage tank kills three
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 14
Three labourers welding a storage tank of acid at Varinder Ago-Chemicals Complex of the Trident group of industries here died last afternoon in a blast which threw open the lid of the tank.

According to reports, one person died on the spot and one at the local Civil Hospital. The third victim was referred to a Ludhiana hospital. He succumbed to his injuries on way to Ludhiana.

Two of the victims reportedly fell down from a height of about 12 feet while doing welding work at the acid tank, which had been closed a couple of years back, resulting in serious head injuries.

The third victim, who fell down in to the tank, was identified as Jagseer Singh, a resident of Sanghera vil- lage. The other two killed Ram Chander and Dooda Nath, were from Bihar.


Woman loses leg in rail mishap
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 14
Gurjeet Kaur of Malsinghwala village in Mansa district was seriously injured when she fell on rail track while alighting from the moving 341 Down New Delhi-Ferozepore passenger train at the Maur Mandi railway station, about 35 km from here, today.

Official sources said two youths, Gaurav of the town and Jagdev Singh of Mansa district, were also injured when they hit a signal pole while they were beaming out of the window to watch the lady.

Some passengers of the train alleged that the driver did not stop the train an alarm raised by passengers. They had also pulled the chain to stop the train, but in vain, they added. Railway staff accompanying the train did not bother to care for the lady and the injured youths, they alleged.

Mr Inderjit, Station Superintendent, Maur Mandi, said Gurjeet Kaur had lost her right leg in the accident while the youths had suffered head injuries. The injured had been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Maur Mandi.

However, he said a case would be registered in this connection, if need arose.


Honour for Atwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, was elected Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), UK, at a meeting held in Canberra (Australia) on September 13.

Describing it as a rare honour bestowed on a Punjabi for the first time, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said that it had raised the status of the whole Punjabi community in the world.

Mr Atwal was elected the regional representative of the Asia Region of the CPA Executive Committee in September, 1999.


IG bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Capt Gurbachan Singh Khara, father-in-law of Mr R.S. Gill, Inspector-General of Police (Zonal), Patiala, died at Nawanshahr yesterday. He was 73. Captain Khara had joined the Army as a Short Service Commission officer and took part in the famous Longewala action in 1965. He was cremated yesterday.


Reaping good harvest sans fertilisers
Our Correspondent

Budhlada, September 14
At the time when the use of insecticides and chemical fertilisers is on the rise and has become necessary for growers to reap bumper crop. Mr Mohinder Singh Chahal, a farmer of Sherkhan Wala village in Budhlada Subdivision has been reaping good harvest without the use of insecticides and chemical fertilisers for the past three years.

Mr Chahal, while talking to The Tribune said, he used only biologically prepared manure to prepare land for sowing and he did not use insecticides or chemical fertilisers after the germination stage. He said during the last kharif season he obtained 12 to 14 quintals of cotton per acre which was better than yield obtained by farmers making use of insecticides and chemical fertilisers.


16 judicial officers promoted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
Sixteen judicial officers have been promoted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while seven newly-appointed judicial officers, have been posted at different district headquarters. Twelve courts have been abolished in Punjab and their pending cases are likely to be distributed among other judges soon.

Mrs Neelam Arora, Additional Civil Judge (junior division) Sultanpur Lodhi, has been promoted and transferred to Fatehgarh Sahib as Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Mr Anshul Berry, Civil Judge (Junior Division) Phagwara, has been transferred to Sultanpur Lodhi on promotion as Additional Civil Judge (senior division). Ms Preeti Sahni, Civil Judge, junior division ) Fatehgarh Sahib has been posted at Kharar on promotion as Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

Mr Gurnam Singh and Ashok Pal Batra, Civil Judge (junior division), Ludhiana have been promoted as Additional Civil Judge (senior division) and transferred to Ferozepore and Anandpur Sahib, respectively.

Ms Harpreet Kaur, Civil Judge (junior division) Garhshankar on promotion, has been transferred and posted at Hoshiarpur as Additional Civil Judge (senior division). She has been replaced by Ms Ramesh Kumari, Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

On promotion Mr Harjinder Pal Singh, Civil Judge (junior division) at Moga has been transferred on promotion to Bathinda as Additional Civil Judge (senior division). Mr Harsh Mehta, Civil Judge (junior division), Faridkot has been promoted and transferred to Talwandi Sabo as Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

Mr Rakesh Kumar, Civil Judge (junior division) on promotion has been transferred to Malerkotla from Dasuya as Additional Civil Judge (senior division). Mr Mandeep Pannu, Civil Judge (junior division) Moga has been transferred to Jalandhar on promotion as Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

Mrs D.P. Kaur Bedi, Civil Judge (junior division), Nawanshahar, has been promoted and transferred to Phul, as Additional Civil Judge (senior division). Ms Gurmeet Kaur, Civil Judge (junior division) Fazilka, has been promoted as Additional Civil Judge (senior division), but not transferred. Mr Ranjit Kumar, Civil Judge (junior division) at Patiala has been promoted as Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

Ms Dimple B.J. Sharma, Civil Judge (junior division) Chandigarh, has been transferred to Gurdaspur on promotion as Additional Civil Judge (senior division).

Mr Amarjit Singh Virk, Civil Judge (junior division), Patti and Mr Gurjant Singh, Civil Judge (junior division) have been promoted as Additional Civil Judge (senior division) same stations. Mr Avtar Singh, Civil Judge (junior division) has been transferred from Bathinda to Mansa, while Mr Amrinder Singh Shergill, Civil Judge (junior division), Patiala, has been transferred to Rajpura. Mr Gurnam Singh Dhillon, Civil Judge (junior division) has been transferred from Ferozepore to Abohar.

Mrs Ranjit Kaur, Civil Judge (junior divison) Tarn Taran, has been transferred to Amritsar.


Seven judges get posting orders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given posting orders to seven newly appointed judicial officers and instructed them to join duty within 15 days from September 11.

Ms Balwinder Kaur Dhaliwal has been posted at Ludhiana as Civil Judge (jr div) cum Judicial Magistrate. Mr Rajneesh has been posted at Ferozepore as Judicial Magistrate cum Civil Judge (jr div). At Amritsar, Mr Rachhpal Singh has been posted as Civil Judge, (jr. div) cum Judicial Magistrate. At Patiala, Mr Shatin Goyal has been posted as Civil Judge (jr div) cum Judicial Magistrate. Mr Harvinder Singh has been posted at Faridkot as Civil Judge (jr div) cum Judicial Magistrate. While Mr Daljit Singh Rahlan has been posted at Bathinda as Civil Judge (jr div) cum Judicial Magistrate in place of Mr Avtar Singh (jr div) since transferred.


District officers asked to be punctual
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 14
Mr D.P. Reddy, Divisional Commissioner, Patiala Division, here today asked the district officers to be punctual as non-punctuality brought a bad name to the administration and caused inconvenience to public.

Mr Reddy was addressing a meeting of the officers, drawn from the entire district, during his first visit to this town. About 50 officers, including Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.K. Singh, ADC (Revenue), Mr B.S. Shergill, ADC (Development), and Mr Neelkanth Awhad, SDM, Sangrur, attended the meeting.

Mr Reddy also asked the administration to gear-up the machinery for paddy procurement in the current season. He also reviewed paddy procurement arrangements. He asked the officers of various departments to utilise the funds meant for development works as early as possible to speed up the pace of development, especially in the villages.

Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, explained various development projects to Mr Reddy. He said the administration had drawn up a project for introducing a low cost wireless internet technology for the villages.

He said the administration had prepared a plan for the four-laning of a road from the Mahavir Chowk to Government Senior Secondary School for Boys here.


Case against 10 for parading woman

Batala, September 14
The police has registered a criminal case against 10 persons who had allegedly blackened the face, garlanded with shoes and paraded a woman in the streets on August 6, a police spokesman said here today.

The case has been registered on the directions of the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) following a complaint of Sham Sunder of Purian Mohalla who alleged that his sister was beaten up by relatives of her daughter-in-law, who blackened her face, garlanded her with shoes and paraded her following a minor clash between her and her daughter-in-law on August 6.

He alleged that she was taken to the police station by them and his sister, her husband and their son were implicated in a dowry case.

On the direction of the PHRC, a case under various Sections of the IPC had been registered against Kewal Krishan and nine others. No arrest had been made so for.

Kewal Krishan, however, said his daughter was married to Dinesh Kumar of Prem Nagar last year and he had given a Maruti car but her in-laws were demanding an Indica car. They used to beat her in this connection. On August 6, he was informed by residents of Prem Nagar that his daughter was being beaten by her mother-in-law.

He said people managed to free his daughter. He denied that his relatives had misbehaved with anyone. PTI


Woman clerk held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 14
Salochna Devi, a senior clerk in the local Tehsil Office, was caught redhanded by a Vigilance Bureau team led by DSP Jaspreet Singh Sidhu today while accepting a bribe of Rs 200 from a person who had applied for a certificate of residence of Punjab.

Official sources said Sukhpal Singh, a Dalit student of Kotshmir village, had applied for the certificate. Salochna Devi was demanding Rs 300 for getting the certificate issued. However, the deal was struck for Rs 200.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance Bureau was informed and a trap was laid. The Vigilance team caught her redhanded and recovered the money. The lady police also accompanied the Vigilance team.

Mr Sidhu, when contacted, said two government witnesses Mr Rajinder Singh, Senior Sports Officer, and Mr Harjeet Singh, clerk in the Excise and Taxation Office, were with the team. A case has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Bid to grab land alleged
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 14
Mr Vinod Kumar, a local resident, has alleged that some persons with political backing were harassing him and trying to grab the land owned by his father.

In an FIR lodged with the police, Mr Kumar alleged that Mr Baldev Singh Maur, a resident of the city, along with about 20 persons forcibly entered the land at Patti Mehna near Tinkoni on the local Baghwali road on August 8. He said they damaged the rooms and a wall constructed there allegedly to create fear in their minds.

Mr Kumar further said in his complaint that when he and his father visited their land on that day, Mr Maur, along with other persons, was loading the goods picked up from the rooms on to a tractor-trailer. He said he identified some of the members of the gang whom he had named in the FIR. They were Darshan Singh, Rajwant, Gaga Singh and Balaur Singh — all residents of the city.

Mr Kumar alleged that Mr Maur threatened him with dire consequences if he did not vacate the land. He said the members of the gang also damaged the boundary wall and dug up the barbed wire which was put around the boundary wall. He added that some of them were carrying sharp-edged weapons and rifles with them and threatened to kill him and his father.

Dr Jatinder Jain, SSP, said appropriate action would be taken against the culprits.


Liquor shop worker murdered
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 14
Balkaran Singh (32), an employee of a liquor shop, was allegedly murdered by some scooterist at the shop at Ilwal village, near here, today.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP (D), said here this evening that the reason behind the murder could not be ascertained.

Meanwhile, the police has impounded several scooters. The murderer have absconded.


Virasat opens with Mohan Bhatt concert
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 14
With the concert of Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Virasat 2001, organised by SPICMACAY, was launched at the Guru Nanak Dev University auditorium here today. He was accompanied by his son Salil and Sandeep Das.

The Virasat 2001 coordinator, (north), Ms Manveen Sandhu, said that the Virasat show would continue for two months.

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