Saturday, September 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CM inaugurates paddy procurement
Tribune News Service
Manoj Kumar

Ferozepore, September 21
Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, announced officially the commencement of paddy procurement in the state, here today. Mr Badal said that all Deputy Commissioners had been directed to focus mainly on smooth procurement of paddy for one month. He himself would monitor daily the procurement of paddy in all districts, he assured farmers.

Addressing a gathering in the grain market of Ferozepore Cantonment, the CM dismissed as a political gimmick, the announcement made by PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh regarding giving bonus of Rs 30 per quintal on the already paddy sold. He said, “I do not believe in making false promises. It is simply not possible to purchase paddy at a price higher than that of the MSP announced, especially when the farmers in UP and other states are selling their crop at a much lower price.” He appealed to the farmers to bring dry paddy to the mandis so that the FCI and other state agencies could procure it immediately.

Later talking to mediapersons, Mr Badal refused to make any commitment regarding compensation to those farmers who had sold paddy at a price lower than the MSP before the commencement of procurement by the government. He said, “We had asked the farmers to bring their crop only after commencement of official procurement. There is no question of compensation to those, who had sold paddy at a lower price on their own.” He claimed that only a minuscule number of farmers had sold paddy at lower price.

The CM disclosed that the state government would bear about 40-50 per cent of the total loss of Rs 500 crore, to be caused due to the abolition of octroi in the state, to be announced very soon. He said, “The industrialists and traders would have to bear the remaining loss.”

Mr Badal and Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Food and Supplies Minister, Punjab, rejected outrightly the recommendations of an experts’ committee of PAU regarding the procurement of husked paddy in a phased manner, a practice followed by major rice producers in the world.

Dismissing the findings, Mr Mittal said, “The PAU experts want us to purchase husked paddy from farmers’ fields, but it is not possible. Moreover, there will be nothing left for the rice-shellers to do if we follow the experts’ suggestion.”

He also made it clear that the FCI and other agencies would purchase disease-free paddy with percentage of moisture only up to the permissible level.

Mediapersons and party workers outnumbered the farmers at the function meant for the farmers. Officials of the Food and Supplies Department revealed that in Ferozepore district alone, 1,10,890 tonnes of paddy had been purchased by rice-millers and commission agents till Thursday, at a price between Rs 455 and Rs 495 per quintal.

They admitted that thousands of farmers in the state, especially in the border districts of Ferozepore and Amritsar, had suffered huge loss due to delay in procurement by the government.

A visit by The Tribune team to Bareke Mandi, near Hussainiwala border, revealed that official procurement had not started till afternoon. A number of farmers from nearby villages were taking their trailers, carrying paddy, to Ferozepore Cantonment mandi. Mr Gurdial Singh, who had been camping at Bareke Mandi for the past 12 days, said, “Please ask the CM to ensure paddy procurement in small mandis at the earliest. I have already sold 150 quintals to a commission agent. Though I have been promised payment at the rate of Rs 455 per quintal, but have not got any money so far. The agent has given me only a kutchi parchi, mentioning the amount of paddy sold. I will get money only after he sells the paddy to rice-shellers.”


Pak devotees arrive at Attari
Varinder Walia And Ashok Sethi

Attari/Wagha, September 21
Even as 262 Muslims arrived at Attari railway station by Samjhauta Express for participating in annual Urs at Ajmer Sharif, equal number of devotees were reportedly denied visas by the Indian High Commission.

On the other hand, the Indian mission in Islamabad has granted transit visa facilities to a large number of foreign nationals, including diplomats and their families, for providing safe passage in the eventuality of attack on Afghanistan by the USA and its allies using Pakistani airbases.

It may be mentioned here that majority of passengers who arrived here were Indians who had to cut short their visits in panic. About 800 passengers alighted from the Samjhauta Express, including 300 jatha members.

Leader of the Muslim jatha, Mr Shafiq Ahmed Qadri, alleged that India had denied visas to 238 devotees at the eleventh hour which disappointed those who wanted to offer prayers at the 10-day-Urs at Ajmer. He alleged that no reason was assigned for denying visas to the devotees. Answering questions regarding current situation in Pakistan, he said he did not want to discuss it as he had come to India to participate in religious event. He said he had brought the message of peace and goodwill from the people of Pakistan and wished that both the countries could live as good neighbours and in complete harmony.

An Indian national from Aligarh, Mr Mohammad Nisar, who had visited Karachi during his one-month stay, said there was considerable fear among masses over the imminent air strikes by the USA. He added that majority of Pakistanis had love for Osama bin Laden. He said there was every possibility of civil war in Pakistan. Meanwhile, senior diplomatic staff from various embassies and high commissions who were camping at Wagha joint checkpost and Amritsar city are busy in working out contingency evacuation plans in case of influx of their nationals, diplomatic staff and families into India if the USA attacked Afghanistan.


Interactive session between Punjab, UK cops
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, September 21
More than 90 per cent of the police force has little or no role to play in either detection or investigation of crime. Special training programmes available, if any, are mainly for gazetted officers who number less than 1 per cent of the total force while the middle rung non-gazetted officers, who account for the remaining 9 per cent, benefit from the mandatory training courses.

There is a need for taking fresh look both at the recruitment and training of police forces, particularly in Punjab. These observations were made by Dr G.S. Aujla., Additional Director-General of Police (Operations), Punjab, while participating in a two-day Indo-British police conference at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Academy here on Wednesday evening.

Advocating the need for office-oriented police force, he suggested that instead of recruiting constables and IPS officers, the ideal system would be to recruit Sub-Inspectors (SIs) and DSPs to make the force more efficient.

Quoting statistics, Dr Aujla said in the nearly 68,000-strong Punjab police, the gazetted officers accounted for only 0.92 per cent. These included 3 DGPs, 14 ADGPs, 20 IGPs, 18 DIGPs, 167 SSPs/SPs and 397 DSPs.

There were 554 Inspectors, 1832 SIs and 3943 Assistant Sub-Inspectors. These officers accounted for 9.2 per cent of the total strength of the force.

Besides, the Punjab police had 11,060 Head Constables and 50,247 constables. “Perhaps the time has come to consider abolishing the rank of Constable altogether as he dreams of wearing the uniform of a Sub-Inspector. Over a period of time, let there be only Sub-Inspectors in the force, enjoying the status, while performing the duties like serving of summons and guard and escort duties can be performed by private agencies,” he said.

Another important aspect that was covered was domestic violence and crime against women, including forced marriages. While Ms Gurpreet Deo, Kapurthala district police chief, presented the Punjab case, an officer from the London Metropolitan Police presented the British view point.

In England, a special cell under “Operation Chamkaur” had been started this year to investigate cases of forced marriages.

Earlier, Mr Martin Baines of West Yorkshire police made a presentation on policing in multicultural society with reference to Bradford, the city that witnessed one of the worst communal riots in July this year. He said of a total population of 4.8 lakh, there were 73,900 Pakistanis and 14,500 Indians in Bradford.

Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG (Intelligence) presented Punjab angle on policing in a multi-cultural society, maintaining that a new powerful middle class had emerged as a political force. He maintained that decision-making had shifted to the youth. He also traced the history of legal provisions.

Mr Steve Pitts and Mr Peter Gallimore made a joint presentation on urban policing. They talked about intelligence-led policing and an intelligence strategy for urban policing.

Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, SSP, Amritsar, talked about the problems faced by the police in urban policing like performance of non-policing duties, including those pertaining to property disputes. The major problem, he said, was the migrant labour of which the police normally did not have any record.

Mr H.S. Sidhu, SSP, Ludhiana, said in Patiala after free registration of cases was ordered, the complaints jumped from 3,000 in 1998 to 8,000 in 2000 where limited investigation duties were given to both constables and Head Constables. He also highlighted problems like inadequate communication and transport networking.

Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, Jalandhar said though the intelligence-led policing system was already in place, it was not fully functional. The problems, he said, were large population, more urban crime, and scant respect for law.

Child abuse was also discussed and Mr Alan Hasler and Ms Anita Punj made their presentations on it. Mr Hasler said special child protection cells in the London Metropolitan Police handled all cases of child abuse.

Ms Punj while tracing the history of child abuse said child labour or physical abuse of children by parents was still not viewed as child abuse. Of the total rapes, 27 per cent victims were children, she said, adding that foeticide was another area of concern.

Mementos were presented to all visiting police officers from the UK.


SAD ready for unity to ‘defeat Congress’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 21
General secretary of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Punjab Finance Minister, Kanwaljit Singh has said that his party was ready to forge complete Panthic unity with a view to defeating the Congress in forthcoming elections.

However, he said that if the leaders of newly floated the Panthic Morcha and other Akali factions were really interested in defeating the Congress, which was responsible for Operation Bluestar, then they must come on a single platform. This is not time to accuse each other of split in the party but to forge complete unity so that the Congress should be defeated in the next Assembly elections”, he said. The Finance Minister said that no Sikh could afford to turn his back on Akal Takht. He said the splinter Akali factions must adopt flexible approach as it was the need of the hour to defeat the Congress in the coming elections.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh, however, said that Panthic unity could not be forged on conditions. “We will have to forget past as one could find fault everywhere”. To a question, he said that Mr Badal had not committed any sin for which he should appear before the Akal Takht. He said if the leaders of breakaway Akali factions considered themselves to be Panthic then they would have to join hands with the ruling Akali Dal. He, however, said that the ruling Akali Dal always held Akal Takht and its “maryada” in high esteem and could not think of violating Panthic traditions.

The Finance Minister said that the ruling Akali Dal would contest the forthcoming elections on the basis of the performance of the government.

Earlier, Mr Kanwaljit Singh addressing a function organised by the Small Savings department, said that the state government had set a target of collecting deposits to the extent of Rs 3500 crore in year 2001-2002 against Rs 2811 crore in last financial year.

Appreciating the Department of Small Savings, the Finance Minister said that the department had contributed a lot in Punjab during the past four years with the strength of only 40 employees. The net collections under these schemes had increased from Rs 948 crore in 1996-97 to Rs 2811 crores in 2000-2001. He also stated that the success of the Small Savings movement in Punjab was the result of enterprise of the agents, depositors, coupled with a strong back up district administration and Postal authorities.


Badal engineered clash with Nirankaris: Bhaur
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali yesterday squarely held Mr Parkash Singh Badal responsible for creating the Baba Piara Singh controversy over the issue of burning of Granth at Ludhiana and the retaliatory torching of the holy ‘bir’ of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a Ropar village recently.

Mr. S.S. Bhaur, General Secretary, SHSAD, told reporters here yesterday at the party’s city office that by choosing to remain silent on the issue and not initiating any legal action against the followers of Baba Piara Singh allegedly responsible for torching the holy ‘bir’, Mr Parkash Singh Badal had proved that he was neither a Sikh, nor an Akali or a man possessing a ‘Panthic bent of mind’.

The SHSAD leader said the “dera” of Baba Piara Singh at Bhania village near Ropar had been built on government land and the Baba was enjoying security provided by the government. And two ministers, namely Mr Gurdev Singh Badal and Mr Kewal Singh Badal, had been visiting the Baba of late, which clearly showed the link.

Questioning the utility of the bandh call given by pro-Badal federation groups in this connection, Mr Bhaur said that Mr Badal, by promoting such activity in the state, wanted to create confusion in the Panthic world with an eye on electoral gains.

The SHSAD leaders pointed out that while Mr Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister in 1978, he had engineered clash with Nirankaris at Amritsar and now he was trying to play the same game, he added. This time he had picked up Baba Piara Singh to foment trouble in the state for the sake of petty electoral gains, he alleged.

He said a decision about the future line of action of the party would be taken tomorrow at Ropar.

Meanwhile, the business city of Ludhiana today rejected the bandh call given by a couple of Sikh Students Federation groups owing their allegiance to the Chief Minister.

Amritsar: The Dal Khalsa today sought the arrest of Baba Piara Singh in a case in which he instigated his followers to burn the bir of holy Granth near Morinda few days back.


Panthic Morcha seeks Piara Singh’s arrest
Our Correspondent

Ropar, September 21
Leaders of the Panthic Morcha alleged today that the Punjab Government was shielding Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara despite his alleged involvement in the burning of a Guru Granth Sahib “bir”. They alleged that functionaries of the Badal government were encouraging his activities. The Agriculture Minister, Punjab, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal and his son, Mr Kewal Singh Badal, junior vice-president of the SGPC, had attended a function of Baba Piara Singh, they alleged.

Piara Singh and his followers who were involved in the incident should be arrested and a case registered under Section 302 of the IPC against them, demanded. Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, head of the Sant Samaj and convener of the Panthic Morcha, stated this at a press conference held here today. He said Piara Singh’s “blasphemous” book should be banned.

Leaders of the morcha, including Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhor and Mr Baldev Singh Khila were here to organise a rally in protest against the alleged malpractices of the Badal government.

NAWANSHAHR: Mr Tarlochan Singh Dopalpuri, member, SGPC, in a press note issued here today, demanded the arrest of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara for his “anti-Sikh” activities, warning that otherwise the situation arising in the wake of the burning of the “bir” in Ropar could take the shape of the Sikh-Nirankari dispute of 1978.

Earlier, the All-India Sikh Students Federation (United) called a meeting here at Gurdwara Singh Sabha yesterday. It was attended by a number of Panthic organisations, including the All-India Sikh Students Federation (Mehta), All-India Sikh Students Federation (Gill), the Nihang Singh Jathebandi, the Tarna Dal and the Dal Khalsa.


Punjab ‘ignoring environment’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Punjab is charting a suicidal path ignoring its environment, soil and water to prop up the wheat-paddy cycle resulting in its people and livestock losing vital nutrients.

The central and state governments’ support to the cycle in the shape of the minimum support price (MSP) and free electricity, leading to an overuse of ground water, has come in the way of reversing the trend. This remained an underlying concern at a seminar on “Conservation and management of land resources for sustainable development” here today.

The seminar was organised by the State Land Use Board in collaboration with the Department of Soil and Water Conservation, Punjab, and the Department of Town and Country Planning of Punjab.

The farmer, who was induced to go in for wheat and rice to feed the foodgrain deficit nation in the 1960s through assured marketing and economic benefit in the shape of the MSP, now had to be provided encouragement for diversification.

The predominance of single-crop rotation had thrown up many serious issues relating to soil health, over-extraction of ground water, soil waterlogging in the south-west, lack of productivity, profitability and diversity, the Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Mr J.S. Samra, said in his keynote address.

Mr Samra said while the watertable was declining in a major part of the state on the one side, it was leading to waterlogging and salinity in south-western Punjab.

Mr Sarup Singh, Professor, School of Planning Guru Nanak Dev University, said while laws regarding land use existed, the political will to implement these strictly needed to be strengthened and insulated from pressures.

The Chief Town Planner and Head of the Town and Country Planning Department, Punjab, Mr H.S. Bhogal, said land was scarce in the state and its proper conservation, development and management was of the utmost importance needing a policy.


Doc implicated in false case : PCMS
Tribune News Service

Mansa, September 21
The corruption case registered recently against Dr Pushpinder Kumar Singla, Medical Officer, Rural Hospital, Bhikhi, by the Vigilance Bureau took a new turn when the PCMS Association, Mansa, alleged that he had been implicated in a false criminal case.

In a press note issued here today, Dr Romesh Katodia, president, PCMSA, Mansa, said the association had approached the Deputy Commissioner in connection with the “false” case registered against Dr Pushpinder Kaur.

He Alleged that Dr Pushpinder Kumar was being threatened by some vested interests for extracting money and when he refused to yield to their threats, he was threatened that he would be implicated in a corruption.

He said the matter was brought to the notice of district police. Dr Katodia said the sum of Rs 3000, which the Vigilance Bureau team claimed to have seized from the possession of Dr Pushpinder Kumar after he allegedly received bribe from Parvinder Singh, alias Bhola, was forcibly put into his picket by members of team.

He said that on September 17, a vigilance team raided the hospital at Bhikhi along with the complainant, Parvinder Kumar. When Dr Pushpinder Kumar refused to take Rs 3,000 from him, the sum was put into his pocket forcibly and he was shown as caught red-handed while accepting bribe.

He said there was no motive for Dr Pushpinder to take bribe from Parvinder as neither the latter nor any of his relatives were under treatment in the hospital as a patient of the Medical Officer. Dr Katodia said neither Parvinder nor any of his kin were medically examined by Dr Pushpinder Kumar.

He alleged that the Vigilance Bureau team carried out a search of Dr Pushpinder Kumar’s house without any search warrant. Dr Katodia said Dr Pushpinder faced harassment at the hands of vigilance officials and he was hospitalised subsequently.

Mrs Raji P. Srivastva, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, said she had sent the representation given to her by PCMSA to the Chief Secretary, Punjab. She hoped that an independent inquiry would be conducted into the case.


Convicted ADGP referred to PGI
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 21
The convicted Additional Director General of Police, Punjab, Daljit Singh Bhullar, who was admitted to the Government Rajindra Hospital here about two months back, has been discharged and referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The Tribune had reported on September 19 that the ADGP was staying in the Rajindra Hospital since August 1. It had been pointed out that after being shifted from the Intensive Cardiology Care Unit on August 15, his condition was reported to be stable and a room meant for doctors on duty was converted into a special room for him.

Dr Manmohan Singh, Professor of Medicine, who had been treating the ADGP, when contacted said the prisoner had been referred to the PGI for performing angiography and other advance tests as these were not available there.

When asked about the condition of the ADGP, he said the patient had a history of heart disease and had been admitted to the hospital after he complained of chest pain. He said presently the patient was in a stable condition and had improved during his stay in the hospital. In response to a question, he stated that he was not aware of any circular specifying that no chronically ill prisoner could stay in the hospital for more than two weeks without prior permission from either the Medical Superintendent or the Principal of the medical college.

The Medical Superintendent, Dr A.S. Sekhon, when contacted refused to comment on whether the ADGP had been discharged from the hospital or not. He said the doctors treating the ADGP should be contacted for any information on this issue. He also declined to give any details about the policy which guided the hospital as far as the prisoners were concerned.


Abduction of minor daughter alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 20
A minor girl Martha (16), resident of village Nawa Kohnewalla (Ramdas) is untraceable since September 5. Her father and cousin have alleged that a police constable stationed at Batala may have a hand in her abduction.

It is learnt that Martha left her home in the village at 4 p.m. on September 5 to go back to her workplace on the Fatehgarh Churian road, but she did not reach there. It is alleged by Mr Tarsem Peter, press secretary of the Pendu Mazdoor Union, and Mr Jatinder Chhina, block president of the Democratic Teachers’ Front, and father of the girl, Mr Kadar Masih, a poor labourer, that the constable Prem Kumar, is a shady character who had on an earlier occasion slapped Martha’s cousin and given Martha a lift to her workplace. The constable is alleged to have threatened and taunted Martha’s parents and the villagers who went to lodge the FIR.

The Pendu Mazdoor Union and the Democratic Teachers’ Front have called for the arrest of the suspect to trace the missing girl. The SHO, Ramdas, and the DSP, Mr Amrik Singh, were not available for comments.


Vajpayee to unveil Devi Lal’s statue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, will visit Killianwali, near Bathinda, to unveil the statue of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal on September 25, sources said here today.

The Punjab Government is putting up a 12-foot-high bronze statue of Ch Devi Lal. Besides the Prime Minister, a couple of Union Ministers, including Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Mr Pramod Mahajan and Mr Vinod Goel, and a few Chief Ministers, including Mr Chandrababu Naidu, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, Mr Om Prakash Chautala and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will also participate in the September 25 function, which is being organised to coincide with the 88th birth anniversary of Ch Devi Lal. After the unveiling of the statue, a “Sadbhavna” rally will be held.

The Prime Minister is expected to reach Killianwalli around 4 p.m.


MLA apologises to scribes
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 21
The Garhshankar MLA, Mr Shingara Ram Sahoongra, who was booked for assaulting, manhandling and threatening to shoot four journalists at the local Circuit House on Monday, tendered his written apology to the scribes today. The counter-case registered by the police against the journalists at the behest of the MLA was also withdrawn.

In his one-page note submitted to the local SSP, Mr Sahoongra described the incident as unfortunate and felt apologetic for misbehaving with and threatening four journalists — Rajiv Bhaskar (PTI), Varinder Singh and J.S. Malhotra (The Tribune) and Munish Attri (Zee News).

The Joint Action Committee (Doaba Journalists), in resolutions passed at a meeting here today, expressed its gratitude to fellow journalists of Punjab and Chandigarh, besides political and social organisations, for showing solidarity with the cause of the committee.


Bitta to open front’s branch in USA
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 21
Various intelligence agencies have pointed out that ISI-sponsored elements who had succeeded in entering India through the Samjhauta Express and the Lahore-Delhi, bus, had not returned to their country, even after the expiry of passports.

A nationwide hunt to nab such Pakistani nationals needed to be launched as they could strike at any time. This was stated by Mr Mainderjit Singh Bitta, president, All-India Anti Terrorist Front, while addressing a press conference here today. He said a high-level probe should be ordered to nab these persons before they could strike at vital installations in the country. The inquiry should also expose those who had helped them enter India on fake passports. Mr Bitta said there should be a special cell for preparing passports as many cases of fake passports had been detected in the past.

Reiterating his commitment towards eradication of terrorism, Mr Bitta said he would open branches of his front all over the world so that the battle against terrorism could be fought on sound footing. The first such branch would be opened in the USA.

Mr Bitta criticised the Shahi Imam for “threatening” India. Such statements could unleash riots in various parts of the country, he warned.


CM calls on Sant Waryam Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called on Sant Waryam Singh, founder President, Vishav Gurmat Roohani Mission and international monthly spiritual magazine, Atam Marg, at the PGI here today. The Chief Minister learnt about Sant ji’s illness during his “sangat darshan” programme at Ratwara Sahib yesterday. Mr Badal was greatly impressed by the school, Information Technology college and campus of the Mission at Ratwara Sahib which includes a beautifully designed gurdwara also.

The Mission is running Guru Gobind Singh Vidya Mandir for children. The Information Technology Institute is distinctive in imparting the latest training in IT by blending learning with values system.


Report on octroi submitted to CM
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 21
A panel comprising three MLAs has submitted its report regarding octroi abolition and alternative resources mobilisation scheme to the Chief Minister. This was stated by Mr Balramji Das Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, here today.

The minister said the report was likely to suggest a hike in the excise on alcohol. Similarly, petrol was proposed to be taxed at source, hence, the petrol depots at Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda and Jalandhar were likely to become active. Calling octroi a retrograde step, the minister said the report proposed entry tax on goods. These taxes could range from Rs 5 to Rs 10 per quintal. Items such as sand, soil and straw could be exempted from this.


Rewards for information on foeticide
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 21
Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Punjab Health Minister, said here last night that cash rewards would be given to persons who would give information about cases of female foeticide.

Addressing a seminar on female foeticide and population control organised by the local branch of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Dr Chawala said the exact amount of the award would be announced at Chandigarh after a notification.


15 arrested for various crimes
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 21
The district police has arrested 15 persons in separate incidents and seized 25 kg of poppy husk, 30 litres of illicit liquor and 15 kg of lahan. A car and a scooter were also recovered from them.

In a press note issued here today, the SSP said Gurjeet Singh was arrested for his alleged involvement in the theft of a car. A case had been registered against him at Kotwali police station. During interrogation, he confessed that he had stolen a Maruti car from Gidderbaha on July 15. The police also recovered the stolen car. The police also arrested Kartar Singh and Karanjit Kaur for allegedly carrying 15 kg of poppy husk. A case had been registered. Labh Singh of Chak Hirasinghwala village was arrested for allegedly possessing 10 kg of poppy husk.

Under the Excise Act, the police arrested seven persons and registered cases against them. As many as 30 litre of illicit liquor and 15 kg of lahan were seized from them.

Those arrested had been identified as Babu Singh of Baliwanwal, Jagtar Singh of Shekhpura village, Gurjant Singh of Bhundar village, Gurcharan Singh of Naruana, Paramjit Singh of Ramnagar, Balkar Singh of Phul and Ruldu Singh of Bhokra village. The police arrested four persons under satta transactions and recovered Rs 1,120 from them. They had been identified as Vikas Kumar, Beant Singh, Rakha Ram and Satish Kumar.


Six held in cybercafe attack case
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 21
The district police claimed to have made a breakthrough in the case involving attack on a local cybercafe with the arrest of six persons who were booked under Sections 307, 452, 427, 506, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on September 8. The case was registered on the complaint of Mr Sanjeev Garg, owner of the cafe. In the complaint, he alleged that on the intervening night of September 7 and September 8 about eight armed youths, their faces covered with black handkerchiefs, ransacked his cybercafe.

They damaged two colour monitors, computer tables, one CPU, glass of the main door, chairs and two other computers. He added that the youths also attacked and injured him. He explained that the things took an ugly turn when he caught a boy and a girl in a compromising position in one of the private cabins of his cybercafe on September 7. The couple was forced to leave the cafe but the boy threatened him of dire consequences. Mr Garg alleged that the same boy along with other youths attacked his cybercafe.

The six persons arrested by the police have been identified as Mohit and Kamaldeep Singh both of Kamla Nehru colony here, Satwinder Singh, Harmander Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Rakesh Kumar, all of the local Chandsar Basti.

The police also recovered sharp-edged weapons and iron rods from them and is interrogating the arrested persons.


5 Agriculture Dept officers booked
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, September 21
Five officers of the Agriculture Department were booked here yesterday by Mr Karnail Singh, Judicial Magistrate, under Sections 452, 506, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the charge of raiding a shop illegally and intimidating its owner, Man Singh of Bhanwal Khurd village.

The complainant said Mr Balwinder Kumar, Agriculture Development Officer (ADO), Mr V.K. Mehta, ADO, Mr Lakhbir Singh, agriculture officer, Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Ramesh Kumar raided his shop on May 15, 2001, and asked undue favours from him. When the complainant refused, the officers allegedly manhandled him and detained him illegally.


3 held for robbing villager
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 21
A team of the Goraya police, led by SHO Sarabjit Rai, today arrested three persons coming from Zandiala town in the subdivision in a Maruti car, allegedly after snatching Rs 20,000 from a villager, Jasbir Singh Johal.

Mr Rai told this correspondent that the armed robbers snatched the cash from Mr Johal, who was returning to his home after withdrawing Rs 30,000 from the Zandiala branch of the State Bank of India. Out of the amount, Rs 20,000 were looted by the robbers.

Mr Rai said the arrested persons had been identified as Surjit, Ranjit and Sarabjit of Nawanshahr. The police also seized a 32-bore revolver besides some cartridges from their possession. The police has impounded their car and registered a case under Sections 392/34/35/54/59 of the Arms Act.


Undertrials’ escape: 3 cops booked
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 21
The district police today disclosed that the three police personnel who had gone out of the way to consume liquor with three undertrials who had subsequently escaped from their custody had been arrested.

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