Sunday, September 16, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CM considering ban on recruitment
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Facts at a glance:

  • Mrs Surjit Kaur files a petition on September 5
  • Registrar’s Court reserves a decision; other party seeks time to reply
  • Congress demands resignation of the Minister, Co-operation
  • Chief Minister upset, directs minister to withdraw the petition
  • Ban on recruitments under consideration

Chandigarh, September 15
Faced with an embarrassing situation arising out of the alleged recruitment against “payments” in the Kapurthala Co-operative Bank involving the wife and brother-in-law of two Punjab Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is considering a ban on recruitment in all departments, it is reliably learnt.

The Chief Minister, at informal meetings with members of the Political Affairs Committee at his residence yesterday, reportedly expressed “unhappiness” over the goings on in the matter of recruitment.

Given the sensitivity of the matter, the Transport Minister was told to ask his wife to “withdraw” the petition as it had brought a “bad” name to the government and the party at a time when the Assembly elections were around the corner.

The Chairperson of the bank, Mrs Surjit Kaur, is the wife of the Minister of Transport, Mr Raghbir Singh, who is also the district president of the ruling SAD. In the same bank, the Managing Director is Mr Rashbeg Singh Dhillon, Brother-in-law of the Minister of Co-operation, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura.

In a 12-paged petition filed in the Court of the Registrar, Co-operatives, on September 5, Mrs Surjit Kaur (she has signed it) had levelled serious allegations against Mr Dhillon stating how the recruitment process was being subverted and had even quoted the price-tag on the 98 posts advertised by the bank.

The petition came up for hearing on September 12. The court did not give any decision that day as the other party sought time to file a reply.

Meanwhile, the publication of the news item in these columns on September 13 has created a flutter. The Congress leader, Mr Surender Singla, has demanded that Mr Brahmpura should quit.

Mr Raghbir Singh today called a press conference at Punjab Bhawan on behalf of his wife, who did not attend it. He issued a two-paged statement, signed by him, his wife and the SAD Secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, denying having made any allegations against Mr Brahmpura, “our senior and most respected leader”. The question of raising any finger at him by me and my wife does not arise.

Interestingly, Mr Raghbir Singh said his wife was not even aware of the “real purpose” for which her signatures were obtained by two Directors, Mr Devinder Singh and Mr Satnam Singh. “It is a case, wherein, signatures of my wife were obtained by deceit. She was not informed that the signatures were meant to file a petition against the Managing Director. She penned her signatures in good faith”.

Questioned as to how come she was so “naive and ignorant” as to sign papers without caring to know either what she was signing or the purpose for which she was signing, Mr Raghbir Singh kept saying it was out of “faith”.

“There never was a case for any charges against the Co-operation Minister whom we hold in high esteem. In fact I too would sign a blank paper out of faith”.

The minister remained non-committal when asked if Mrs Surjit Kaur would lodge a criminal complaint against the two Directors who allegedly fraudulently obtained his wife’s signatures. He hesitated and said, “First we will enquire from them”.

He had no answer as to how come he was doing all the talking on behalf of his wife. He dodged most questions or kept mum.

Referring to the petition, the signed statement issued today, says since it had been withdrawn by “our counsel”, hence, it had become infructuous.

Clearly, from what the Minister stated, it is a belated attempt at damage control. It, however, indicates the internal strife in the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Mr Brahmpura told TNS that he was pained to learn that some alleged bungling had been reported in the recruitment by a co-operative organisation. No recruitment had yet taken place and applications were still pouring in.

Mr Brahmpura said allegations against him and Mr Dhillon’s involvement were absolutely “ill-founded and politically motivated”. Strict instructions had been issued by him for monitoring of the selections in the department.


Maharaja’s palace to be renovated
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 15
In a significant development, the Punjab Government has earmarked Rs 10 crore for the renovation and preservation of the historical Ram Bagh — the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh — as part of his ongoing bicentenary coronation celebrations.

Ram Bagh is a salient landmark in the cultural history of the city. The 84-acre garden is the venue for many historic buildings and archaeological monuments associated with the great Maharaja. While the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protects 29 monuments in Punjab, of which 24 belong to the Mughal period, four to the Indo civilisation and one to the Sikh history. The state Department of Archaeological maintains Patiala’s Quila Mubarak, a mosque in Kapurthala and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s summer palace in Ram Bagh here.

The originally dominated material about the historic Ram Bagh, particularly the presence of old trees and statues, historic structures combined with four-lane movement parks reflect the view of the Shalimar garden in Lahore. Architects of the day characterise the summer palace as a gently muted, but an obviously natural location of prominence.

Originally the garden was laid on 84 acres covered by rarest of plants and trees and flowers. It had a 14 feet high boundary wall with a moat all around it. The palace had beautiful structures which were later on unfortunately converted into clubs and libraries while the lawns around them were converted into tennis grounds. The famous garden was named by the Maharaja as a tribute to Guru Ram Das, the founder of the city.

The architects find the summer palace in the midst of Ram Bagh as of immense architectural and engineering interests. It has maintenance-free inbuilt cooling system, exhibiting architectural excellence and invoking a keen interest in construction techniques. It has two tanks, one is connecting the palace with water channels fitted with fountains and the other with the air-conditioning pipes and the bathing tanks of the double-storeyed part of the residence. Its entrance called Darshan Deorhi as four two-storeyed towers.

A life-size statue of the Maharaja saddled on horse is situated at the one end of the historic Ram Bagh garden. The experts have found that the plants, trees and shrubs in the garden need to be conserved, pruned and re-shaped. The fountains are non-functional. In fact their structures are not in a good shape. Colourful ground cover plants are not available in plenty. The path, ways and jogging track network are inadequate. The existing structures need restructuring. Night lighting and inbuilt irrigation network are both inadequate and outdated.

The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, is likely to visit Ram Bagh in the month of November in connection with the bicentenary celebrations of the Maharaja.

Instead of handing over the task of revival and renovation of Punjab’s glorious heritage of the Maharaja’s times to a governmental agency the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, ordered advertisements in all national dailies to formulate the concept of renovation and revival. Thereafter the Chief Minister constituted a high-level committee headed by the Information and Public Relations Minister, Mr Natha Singh Dalam. The committee in its first meeting held at New Delhi a few days ago shortlisted the concept offers for putting them across to the Chief Minister for making a final decision.

However, the fate of various clubs in the “summer palace” is not clear. Residents of the city demanded that these should be immediately closed down with a view to preserve the rich heritage.


Sikh clergy takes up safety of Sikhs with UN
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 15
The Sikh clergy today sent communications to the UN and International Red Cross seeking to ensure safety to the Sikhs and other minorities in the USA, Afghanistan and other countries. It said Sikhs and other minorities were being attacked after terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the USA due to mistaken identity.

Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Kesgarh Sahib, Giani Bhagwan Singh, Head Granthi, Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, Granthi, Darbar Sahib, Giani Major Singh and Giani Jagtar Singh said Sikhs in the USA, Afghanistan and other countries were feeling insecure as they were being mistaken for Arabs. The Sikh clergy said Sikhs could be differentiated from the Arabs by their appearance as they wear five ‘Ks’ bestowed by the 10th Sikh master.

The meeting of Sikh high priests strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and described these as “against humanity”.

Prof Manjit Singh said the Sikh priests would urge Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, to organise an ardas divas (prayer day) in various gurdwaras in India and abroad for peace to the departed, killed in the attacks.


Poll panel can’t order repoll: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant judgement, today ruled that the State Election Commission ceases to have jurisdiction to order repolling of votes once the elections are over.

Pronouncing the orders on a petition filed against the orders of the State Election Commission directing repolling of votes for electing the sarpanch and panch of Dadeheri village in Fatehgarh Sahib district, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the High Court ruled: “Section 59 of the State Election Commission Act, which permits repolling, can have no application in such a situation where the result of the election has already been declared”.

Setting aside the orders of the Election Commission after allowing the writ petition filed by Mr Jagjit Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib district, Mr Justice Goel observed: “After hearing counsel for the parties, I find force in the contention of counsel for the petitioner. The impugned order is clearly ultra-vires of the powers of the State Election Commission, which is to supervise the elections”.

Seeking directions for setting aside the orders, counsel for the petitioner had earlier contended that the same had been passed though the poll panel had no jurisdiction over the matter. Counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, had contended that the petition was liable to be dismissed as the petitioner was declared defeated in the elections conducted after the impugned order was passed and the result of the same had not been challenged.


Josh counters opponents’ allegations
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 15
Mrs Mohinder Kaur Josh, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has sharply reacted to the allegations levelled against her by her political opponents which appeared in a section of the press recently.

Refuting all charges, Mrs Josh, in a press note here today, said her political opponents were carrying out a “false, baseless and vicious campaign” against her to mislead the electorate. She said she would retire from public life if the allegation levelled by her opponents regarding the purchase of a house in the local Vasant Vihar locality was proved. She said the house belonged to S. Amarjit Singh, son of S. Kartar Singh. Her family was residing in this house as a tenant and the rent was being paid through court, she added. Regarding purchase of land in Saichan village she said the land had been purchased for Rs 2 lakh at the market rate and it could be confirmed from the records of the Revenue Department.

To the allegation that she used her personal influence in making her husband S. Gurmeet Singh BDPO, Dasuya, she said her husband was given the current duty charge as he was the senior most person in the office. In all government offices, in the absence of an officer, it was a well-established practice to give the current duty charge to the next senior most person in the office, she said.

Meanwhile, S. Joga Singh, Sarpanch of Raju Dwakhri (Toor) village stated in an affidavit that he never paid a bribe of Rs 30,000 to S. Gurmeet Singh, BDPO, Dasuya.

She said an office-bearer of the All-India Youth Akali Dal filed a writ petition in court, but on November 13, 2000, it was withdrawn by the petitioner through his counsel. Mrs Josh said she had already filed a suit for compensation against the petitioner in the court of the Civil Judge, Chandigarh, and because of this another writ petition levelling the same allegations had now been filed by the same petitioner.


Probe sought against minister
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, September 15
The Panthic Morcha today launched a campaign against Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, Cabinet minister, Punjab, at a rally held at Sandour village near here. Senior leaders of the morcha and thousands of villagers of the nearby villages participated in the rally. Mr Avtar Singh, organiser of the rally, demanded a high-level probe into the grants distributed by Mr Kanjla. Mr Kanjla had distributed the grants to his own men, he alleged.


Coop campaign to boost economy
Surinder Bharadwaj
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib
Fatehgarh Sahib has become the first district in the state where the Co-operative Department has launched a campaign to provide various types of services and resources like agriculture, housing, weaving and dairying at the doorstep of villagers. Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, says the department has played a vital role in improving the economic condition of farmers and accelerating the pace of development in the district providing Rs 95 crore in advance to the farmers as loan and revolving cash credit limits for their long-term needs.

Now the district is all set to give an impetus to the services rendered by the Co-operative Department by bringing all co-operative institutions under one roof by setting up a modern Co-operative Bhavan at the district headquarters where various facilities to members of different societies will be provided.

This will give boost to economic activities in general and the co-operative movement in particular.

The Deputy Commissioner says it is being planned to blend the co-operative with the corporate sector at Mandi Gobindgarh. For this Gobindgarh Urban Co-operative Bank is on the cards. The case for the approval of the bank has already been sent to the Reserve Bank of India. The Fatehgarh Sahib Central Co-operative Bank, he says earned a profit of Rs 1.45 crore during this financial year and has wiped out its accumulative losses. It is now running in profit. This has been achieved by diversifying the loan portfolios.

The recovery position of the Fatehgarh Sahib Central Co-operative Bank and the four Primary Agriculture Development Banks in the district is as much as 90 per cent. The PADB at Amloh has been given the national award for excellence in performance.

Dr S.K. Batish, Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, says serious challenges posed by multinational companies under the WTO regime to agriculture and allies sector can only be met by further strengthening the co-operative movement, which already has a strong institutional network in the district. As many as 115 PADBs are working in the district and become an inseparable part of society.

A new one-time settlement scheme has been introduced under which the cases of 118 defaulters involving Rs 65.51 lakh has been settled for Rs 52 lakh with a relief of Rs 23 lakh to the defaulters.

An awareness workshop for elected presidents of the Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies are being held to galvanise management of various economic challenges being thrown by liberalisation and globalisation. A plantation campaign has been launched under which saplings would be planted in the premises of all cooperative societies.


Observe ethics, minister tells doctors
Our Correspondent

Badal (Muktsar), September 15
Dr C.P. Thakur, Union Health Minister, while stating that the Central Government has formed a Medicinal Plant Board to promote cultivation of plants used in medicines, today urged the doctors to observe ethics while practising the noble profession.

Dr Thakur while addressing mediapersons here today said a proposal was under consideration to make amendment to the existing laws so that action could be taken against those doctors who did not attend their duty properly. He was here in connection with the national health mela.

The minister said though the health facilities available in the rural areas were poor, yet this could not be taken as an excuse for not performing duty properly.

He said another plan was also under consideration which could ensure the presence of doctors in rural hospitals. The Union Government was holding discussions with the Medical Council of India (MCI) to make it mandatory for the medical students to practice in rural areas before they were awarded MBBS degree, he added.

Dr Thakur said female foeticide could be stopped if loopholes in the present laws were plugged. He said this was being done in the name of checking abnormalities during pregnancy.

The Union Minister stressed upon girl education to make them self dependant.

He appreciated the efforts of various religious organisations in this direction. He said as religious preachers had a great influence on the people they could help dissuade people from indulging in female foeticide.

Speaking about the alternative systems of medicine, he said the government would make all efforts to promote such systems. He also praised the efforts of some organisations in this regard.

He said the standardisation of medicines used for such systems would be done and for this purpose the government would open testing centres at various places in the country.

The medicines could only be used after these were passed by the government, he added.

Earlier addressing a gathering on the occasion, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, said Rs 20 lakh would be spent on the two-day mela, which was being held for the first time in the state. He said medicines, tests and medical consultation would be provided free of cost.

He said the rural people of the area would soon be able to get advise of doctors of reputed hospitals of the country. The patients would be given cards which could be used in future also, he added. He said medical tests which could not be conducted at the mela would be conducted at hospitals free of cost.

Mr Badal said those patients who would be registered at the mela would be given financial help in future also. He said they could get treatment at any hospital in the country and the expenses would be borne by the Punjab Government.


Live Gurbani from Golden Temple in Nov
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 15
The live telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple is slated for November. The ETC channel Punjabi, which has the rights to telecast Gurbani under an arrangement with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has been showing recorded version of Gurbani across the globe. The channel claims to have paid a huge amount of Rs 2 crore to the SGPC for getting exclusive rights for the live telecast of Gurbani from the Golden Temple.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Rabindra Narayan, President of the channel, said all arrangements for the live telecast had been made. “We are in the process of setting up an uplinking earth station in the Golden Temple complex. This will be the second independent uplinking earth station to be set up in India by any of the TV channels”, said Mr Narayan. The channel has installed five remote TV cameras in the Golden Temple for the live telecast. “We have acquired a global digital beam for the live telecast on the Thaicom-3 satellite. The digital beam will ensure crystal clear reception and enhanced picture quality to viewers who will be able to watch the live Gurbani from the Golden Temple for the first time in November”, he said.


Doctors held responsible for child’s death
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 15
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Dr Kiran Tandon, head doctor of the local Bindi Nursing Home, to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation to a woman for deficiency in service that caused the death of a newly born child.

The forum, in its judgement, said, “The woman, Harpreet Kaur Tiwana, suffered not only physical pain of a caesarean operation, but also the agony of the death of her second child. An opportunity was not extended to the complainant and her husband to do their best to save their child.”

The nursing home doctors were also found guilty of conducting the caesarean operation without a written consent of the couple, not producing the record of treatment and keeping the couple in dark about the state of health of the child.

The President of the forum, Mr Justice M.L. Malhotra, said the compensation should be paid within a month from the receipt of the copy of the order, failing which, the complainant would be entitled to recover the amount with interest. An additional Rs 1,500 was also awarded to the complainant as costs of litigation.

Harpreet Kaur had been charged Rs 7,500 for the caesarean operation that could have been avoided. Earlier, ultrasound and diagnostic reports had shown that the child was developing normally during the course of pregnancy. Harpreet delivered a male child on May 13, 1996, through a caesarean operation who soon developed congenital heart disease and died after about 20 minutes of his birth. Timely action was not taken by the nursing home to save the life of the child.

However, Dr Kiran Tandon, in a detailed reply, had stated that the complainant had a previous history of pregnancy induced hypertension and stillbirth. She said the previous child of the complainant had expired during delivery due to birth trauma and a caesarean operation had become necessary to avoid the reoccurrence of the same.

The doctor said after the child had been given first-aid and suction, he had been put on oxygen and a paediatrician had advised against his transfer to any other hospital due to the risk of the child dying on the way.

The nursing home doctors said written consent of the complainant had been obtained before the operation.


‘Awareness must for tackling disability’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 15
Experts feel that community participation in tackling the problems of disabled is utmost importance as only then would they be able to get a fair deal.

This was discussed by a team of professors during the orientation training workshop of trainers in ‘Disability prevention and rehabilitation’ that began today at government medical college and would conclude on September 16. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr R. L. Mittal, former Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab and president of the Indian Orthopaedic Association.

The three-day workshop would focus on the problems of the disabled in the country and the role of community toward taking care of them. Talking to the correspondent, Dr Raj Bahadur, Medical Superintendent, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, and nodal officer for north zone, said once the awareness was spread among the community about special needs of the disabled, half the battle was won.

He said the most common type of disability found was ‘locomotive disability’. Dr Bahadur said such defects had been calculated to be around 13.6 per thousand. He added that other common types of disabilities observed during their practice were visually impaired (6.6 per thousand), hearing and speech loss (6.6 per thousand) and mental retardation which constituted about 4 per cent per thousand of the population. He said the major cause of concern at present was to make people aware about their rights and opportunities.

Dr A.N.Sinha, Additional Director General, Health Services, Government of India and the chief co-ordinator, also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the organisers for initiating the steps towards development and improving the overall disabled community. The delegates were welcomed by Dr Ravinder Singh, Principal of the GMC.

Dr Ravinder Singh, who is also the organising secretary of the workshop, spoke on the role of community participation towards the prevention of disability and rehabilitation. He emphasised on the need of community participation, and said the problem could not be solved as enormous resources and trained manpower was needed to tackle the problem.


Employees demand inquiry
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 15
The Punjab State Warehousing Corporation Employees Joint Action Committee today demanded setting up of an inquiry committee to probe corruption in its local office.

The committee, which condemned the misleading and careless attitude of the management of the local office towards the employees and the corrupt atmosphere in the department, organised a dharna here. Also present on the occasion were members of the Punjab Rice Millers Association.

Mr Tarsem Saini, president of the association, said that the government must accept the genuine demands of the employees.

The employees demanded a probe into the working of the department, specially cases which related to purchase of land. The association leaders said if the management failed to accept their demands, it may affect the sale and purchase of paddy.


Busy road in bad shape
Shashi Pal Jain

Buses and other vehicle parked on old Morinda Road have become a source of problems for the public. This busy road has two schools and the civil Hospital and it takes a heavy traffic of all kinds of vehicles. The road also is in bad shape near the bus stand and needs immediate repairs. The place where buses halt near the BDPO’s office also needs attention. During the rainy season the condition of this section becomes worse. A shelter for passengers waiting for buses is another immediate need.

* * *

The municipal committee has appealed to all shopkeepers to obtain their trade licences from the committee by September 30. Mr Gian Chand Gupta, Executive Officer of the committee, said that the committee might take legal action against those who fail to take out the licences.

* * *

As many as 21 members of the Rotary Club of Kharar will participate in the first inter-city meeting of the Rotary International District 3080 to be held in Mussoorie on September 16.


Congress MP distributes grants
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, September 15
At a cheque distribution function organised by Mr Isher Singh Meharban, a former minister, at the office of the Block Congress Committee, here yesterday, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, Ludhiana, presented a cheque for Rs 14.35 lakh to the panchayat of Koom Kalan village and a cheque for Rs 1.5 lakh to the councillors of Ward Nos 7 and 2 for development purposes.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Galib said the days of the SAD-BJP government were numbered. He claimed that the Congress would return to power with full majority. Mr Meharban alleged that the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated under the present regime. Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, district president, Congress, asked the party workers to prepare themselves for the forthcoming elections.

He also appointed Mr Surinder Kundra and Mr Baldev Singh Sahota as block presidents of Machhiwara and Mangat, respectively.

Mr Anil Sood, president, Nagar Panchayat, Machhiwara, criticised the Punjab Government for not sanctioning even a single penny for urban development.

Later, the MP announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh from his discretionary quota for development of Machhiwara.

Among others who addressed the gathering were Mr Tejinder Singh Kooner, district vice-president, Congress; Mr Rajwant Singh and Mr Sohan Lal Sherpuri, both sarpanches of Chakli Adal and Sherpur Bet, respectively; and Mr Shakti Anand, a former president, Arhtiya Association, Machhiwara.


Approver cross-examined in Harpreet case
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 15
Defence counsel today cross examined Dr Balwinder Singh Sohal, who has turned approver in the Harpreet murder case in which former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Bibi Jagir Kaur is an accused along with six others.

All the accused — Bibi Jagir Kaur, her personal security officer Nishan Singh, Paramjit Singh Raipur, Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, Harvinder Kumar and Sanjeev Kumar — were present in the Special CBI court here. The cross-examination remained inconclusive and will be done again on September 25. 


Residents stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 15
More than 200 residents of Sangat Singh Nagar locality today sat on dharna against the Punjab Medical Education Minister, Mr Manoranjan Kalia, who allegedly ordered civic body officials not to start work on construction of roads in the locality.

The residents, led by Congress councillor Mohinder Singh Gullu, alleged that Mr Kalia had ordered the Commissioner of the local Municipal Corporation not to start work on Rs 5.30 lakh project to lay new roads in the locality unless the minister was allowed to inaugurate the project.

Mr Gullu further alleged that Mr Kalia, who had never been concerned about the problems of the residents of Ward 32 in the past four years, has started using his influence to stall the ongoing development projects in this ward since the area councillor belongs to the Congress.

The residents raised anti-government slogans and the dharna continued for about two hours.


FCI dismisses 20 workers
To procure only quality paddy
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 15
To send a message down to the level of field staff deployed for the procurement of foodgrains that no corruption would be allowed, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) authorities, Punjab, have dismissed about 20 employees in the past six weeks.

Official sources said these employees who had been dismissed from their services were facing disciplinary proceedings for their alleged involvement in the acceptance of bad quality of foodgrains, shortage of stock and despatching of bad quality foodgrains to other states.

Proceedings against a number of employees were going on and if found guilty, they would also be dismissed from service. The dismissed employees include officials of the ranks of district manager, assistant managers and technical assistants, they added.

Mr V.K. Singh, Senior Regional Manager, FCI, Punjab, while talking to The Tribune here today, said the FCI authorities had been trying to break every nexus of officials and millers. He claimed there had been no laxity in cases of the officials whose guilt had been established.

The FCI authorities which had a rice stock of 83 lakh tonnes in its godowns in Punjab would further store 60 lakh tonnes of rice after the current procurement season. To overcome the problem of storage, the authorities were trying to export 15 lakh tonnes of rice to Middle East countries, Dubai, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. So far 2 lakh tonnes non-basmati rice had been exported, he added.

He said to check the quality of paddy three flying squads had been constituted. Regional office-level teams would also remain mobile throughout the procurement season to check any sort of bungling.

Instructions had been given to the field staff that no compromise with the quality of the paddy would be allowed. It would be procured as per the specifications given by the Central Government, he added.

Regarding the recent scam of the detection of BRL rice in godowns of the FCI in Sangrur district, he said of 4 lakh tonnes rice stored in the godowns, only 22,000 tonnes of rice was found to be of BRL quality.

He said official found guilty of accepting sub-standard rice were being chargesheeted. The losses caused to the FCI by such officials would be received from them.

The quality of Punjab rice had started finding takers in the rice consuming states, he added.


Man, son held on murder charge
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 15
The police has registered a case under Section 302 and 34, IPC, against Harinder Singh and his father of Akalpur village on the charge of murdering a deaf and dumb boy Tara Singh by keeping him locked and without food for several days. This was done on a complaint by Manjit Kaur, sister of the deceased.

The police while talking to this correspondent said here today that Malkiat Singh and his son Harinder Singh were caretakers of the property of Mr Prem Singh, father of the deceased, but both get it transferred in their names.

The duo have been arrested. A property dispute was said to be the reason behind the murder, the police said.

In another incident, a middle-aged man was found dead near Mandy village under Apra police station in this subdivision last night.

The body bore injury marks inflicted by sharp-edged weapons.

A case has been registered under Section 302, IPC, and sent the body for a post-mortem examination to the local Civil Hospital. 


Four held under NDPS Act
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 15
The district police has arrested four persons and seized 1.2 kg of opium and 35.25 kg of poppy husk from them. In a press note issued here today Mr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said Bhoru Lal and Ram Lal, residents of Kalayanpura and Kolaes villages of Bhilwera district were arrested by the police near Mahtma Bhagwana village.

Police sources said the two tried to run away on seeing a police party. However, the police arrested them and seized 800 gm of opium from them. A case under Section 18, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act was registered against them at Nahian police station. Another person was arrested by the district police under Section 18, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act. Lachman Singh, a resident of Kili Nihal Singhwala village, was arrested near Mahima Sirja village of the district and 400 gm of opium seized from his possession. Harbans Singh, a resident of Shergarh village, was arrested by the police near Shekhu village and 35.2 kg of poppy husk seized from him. A case under Section 15 of the NDPS Act has been registered against him at Raman police station.


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 yesterday.

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. PTI


2 brothers booked for cheating Telecom Dept
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 15
A case has been registered against Bhushan Kumar Goyal and Toni, both brothers, under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC in the city police station on the charge of cheating the Telecom Department.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, district police chief, in a press note issued here today said the accused had been cheating the Telecom Department in a unique manner. They used to get telephones installed, default the payment of bills and then again get the telephones installed on the same premises by producing false affidavits.

Mr Jain said in May 1999, they got three telephones installed on their business premises here. When they failed to pay the bills they got two another telephones installed. After using these telephones and defaulting the payment of bills they again managed to get another telephone installed on the same premises.

However, the Telecom Department authorities got the wind of the things and disconnected the telephones installed earlier. The accused had been producing false affidavits to get the telephones installed.

Meanwhile when they came to know that the department had started probing the non-payment of bills by them earlier, they issued a cheque in favour of the department in lieu of the outstanding bills.

However, the cheque bounched when it was presented for encashment.

They reportedly cheated the department of Rs 1.5 lakh by furnishing false documents, Dr Jain said.


18-year-old killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 15
An 18-year-old boy, Kala, son of Mr Kanhiya Lal, a city resident, died today when a speeding bus hit him near the local Ganesha Basti. The driver of the bus sped away from the spot.

People present on the spot took the boy to the local Civil Hospital in a severely injured condition. Later he succumbed to his injuries.

A case has been registered at the Civil Line police station.


Abandoned car with blood stains found
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 15
A Maruti car (DGB 6192) with blood stains on its left side seat was yesterday found abandoned near Chachoki village along the G.T. road.

The police suspects the car may have been used in a violent criminal act. Dog squads and finger print experts have been pressed into service and the police stations in the surrounding areas have been alerted.


Major relief for part-time lecturers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Supreme Court of India has stayed the removal of all part-time lecturers working in different government colleges of the state till regular appointments are not made against their posts. The stay was granted by the apex court on September 10 and a copy of the order was received by the petitioners here today. While there are over 500 vacancies in various government colleges in the state, there are about 450 part-time lecturers working in these. Some of them have been working for the last seven years. As a matter of routine, the government would hire their services for the academic session and terminate them at the end. However, this year the lecturers moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and got a stay order against their termination on February 6.

But the High Court decided against them when it allowed the appointment of fresh part-time lecturers in its judgement on August 9. Subsequently, the state government issued a notification for appointment of part-time lecturers and the process was to start from September 19.

The lecturers approached the Supreme Court against this decision, which granted them stay, ordering that the petitioners (part-time lecturers) would not be displaced till fresh appointments are made. The order has come as a great relief for these lecturers who have not been paid their salaries for the last seven months. They have been demanding that they should be allowed to continue till regular appointments are made after following the due procedure.


NCC cadets hold rally against terrorism
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 15
Over 400 cadets of the National Cadet Corp of the Junior and Senior divisions held a rally in collaboration with a Social Service Organisation to protest against the increasing incidents of terrorism in the world.

The cadets who are attending a state-level annual training camp at the local ITI organised a rally under the banner of 20 Battalion (Punjab), NCC. The cadets were carrying placards highlighting various social evils like illiteracy, child marriage, child labour and dowry etc.

They raised slogans against terrorism. After marching through the main bazaars and streets of the city the cadets assembled at the courts complex. Lieut-Col A.V.S. Andrews, Commanding Officer of the battalion, while addressing the cadets said terrorism was an international problem. Major N.K. Gosain, Mr Jagmohan Kaushal and Mr Jaspal Mehta expressed grief over the deaths in the recent terrorist attacks in the USA.


Stall holders wait for sale deeds
Our Correspondent

Mansa, September 15
The holders of municipal stall, who have deposited the amount for the purchase of stalls as per the directions of the Punjab Government with the municipal council here, are feeling high and dry as the promised sale deeds for the transfer of ownership of stalls are not being executed by the municipal authorities in their favour.

In July, 2000, the state government had issued directions for the transfer of the ownership of the municipal stalls in the name of their occupants if they deposit a certain prescribed amount. In this regard a committee comprising the Executive Officer, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Estate Officer, PUDA, and President, Municipal Council, Mansa and Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, as its chairman was constituted.

It was decided to transfer the stalls in favour of the tenants on a deposit of 50 per cent for stalls for those who decide to make use of roofs and 40 per cent who do not make use of roofs of the prescribed amount for the transfer of ownership.

More than 30 shopkeepers who are tenants of the municipal council, had deposited lakhs of rupees as per the decision of the committee till June 4.

There is also row between the municipal council and the stall holders over the payment of rent and in this regard about 100 cases are pending before the SDM, Mansa.

As per directions issued by Deputy Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, on July 11, the municipal council is entitled to enhance the rent to the extent of 10 per cent after every five years while the council has been increasing the rent by 20 per cent after every three years.

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