Friday, October 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

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Badal calls PAC meeting tomorrow
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
As the stand-off between President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, and President of SGPC Jagdev Singh Talwandi, over certain Panthic issues continues, Mr Badal has called another meeting of the Political Affairs Committee of the party here on October 27.

Though, the SAD secretary, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, said that the meeting had been called to review preparations for the celebration of bi-centenary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s coronation at Amritsar on November 13, but informed sources said that the meeting had been called in following developments in the SGPC and other Panthic circles.

It will be the second meeting of the PAC in a week. Earlier, at the PAC meeting on October 22 Mr Badal appointed one man-judicial commission to probe incidents of sacrilege. In the past few days, political situation on the Panthic front has become volatile.

Mr Talwandi’s directive, reported in the media yesterday, to all members of executive committee of the SGPC to call on Jathedar of Akal Takht, Joginder Singh Vedanti, on October 28 to take up the issue of use of alleged offensive language by him (Mr Vedanti) against Mr Talwandi, has caused concern in the Badal camp.

The SGPC chief reportedly has threatened to initiate action taken against Mr Vedanti for his remarks against him (Mr Talwandi).

Mr Vedanti’s reported statement that the SGPC had not implemented many directives given by Akal Takht seems to have turned Mr Talwandi against the Takht chief. The directives include the setting up a sub-committee on the controversy regarding Dasam Granth and also to resolve the controversy whether Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was dead or alive.

Mr Badal, who has political control over the SGPC at the moment, would never like, according to party sources, that executive committee members going to the Jathedar of Akal Takht to confront him on his (Mr Vedanti) reported statements. In the 15-members executive committee of the SGPC, Mr Badal, has the support of 10 members, even if Mr Talwandi turns against him. Two members belong to the Tohra group and one of the Mann group.

One pro-Badal member of the SGPC executive committee said today that they would go to meet Jathedar of Akal Takht to request him to bring down the growing tension in Panthic circles. The executive committee members said that there was no other purpose of going to Akal Takht.

The reports regarding confronting the Jathedar of Akal Takht on his alleged remarks against Mr Talwandi had no basis, said the member.

Mr Badal it appears would consult the members of the PAC before taking any decisive step to sort out the controversies related to Panthic affairs.

Meanwhile, according to informed sources, former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur apprehending that his confidant, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, might be removed from the post of the Secretary of the SGPC by Mr Talwandi, took up this issue with Mr Badal. Mr Badal’s response on this is not known.


 

High priests may hold in-camera meeting
Move to checkmate Talwandi
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 25
Even as members of Dharm Parchar Committee have recommended the removal of Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as Jathedar, Akal Takht, the Sikh high priests may hold an informal in-camera meeting at some private venue here tomorrow with a view to checkmate Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, SGPC chief. Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, who had gone to the USA, will return to India this evening.

On condition of anonymity, one of the members of the committee has confirmed that the committee had recommended to the SGPC executive to remove Jathedar Vedanti who is currently on extension. In such a case, the SGPC chief is competent to pass orders on his own.

It may mentioned here that Mr Talwandi and Jathedar Vedanti had been on loggerheads ever since the former had criticised the Sikh clergy for pronouncing “mild tankhah” to private publishers of Guru Granth Sahib. Mr Talwandi was quoted saying that the publishers in violation of the edict issued by Akal Takht should at least be excommunicated from the Sikh Panth. However, the recent issue of Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister, and the presenting of “siropa” to one excommunicated Sikh by Mr Talwandi added fuel to the fire.

The Sikh circle is of the view that if Mr Talwandi resorted to the “drastic step” of removing Jathedar Vedanti, it could be counter-productive as he (Mr Talwandi) is yet to be bailed out from the charges of presenting “siropa” to the excommunicated Sikh, Mr Kashmira Singh, who had accompanied the then Premier of British Columbia, Mr Ujjal Singh Dosanj.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, who had a closed-door meeting with Mr Talwandi, has been endeavouring to re-install Bhai Ranjit Singh as Jathedar, Akal Takht, replacing Jathedar Vedanti. If Mr Talwandi gets clear indications that the ruling party will replace him as the SGPC chief during the annual elections, scheduled for next month, he may take the drastic decision to embarrass the ruling Akali Dal. Another name which suits Mr Talwandi for the post of Acting Jathedar of Akal Takht is Giani Puran Singh (now Head Granthi, Golden Temple). Giani Puran Singh was removed as Jathedar, Akal Takht, by Bibi Jagir Kaur. Since Mr Talwandi and Bibi Jagir Kaur do not see eye to eye, the former can settle scores with the latter with the appointment of Giani Puran Singh as Acting Jathedar.



 

Most sacrilege cases solved, claims DGP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 25
Out of the seven incidents of sacrilege at various places in the state, including Sakrala in this district, most of them have been solved and those responsible for the acts arrested. This was stated by Mr Sarabjit Singh, DGP, while talking to mediapersons at the Subsidiary Training Centre of the BSF at Kharkan, 12 km from here, today.

He said at Ghuram in Ropar district it was an act of a woman whereas at Morinda and Ludhiana it was resentment of some persons against Baba Bhaniara which led to the incident.

He made it clear that there was no conspiracy or foreign hand in these incidents. However, some political parties were now trying to gain from them.

He said to check anthrax cases, the Chief Minister had convened a meeting with the health authorities. It was decided to constitute teams of doctors and paramedical staff in this regard.

Referring to the stay in other rank and pension reversion case he said advice from the government was being sought for further action.

Replying to a question regarding the alleged misappropriation of police fund by Mr P. C. Dogra, former DGP, he said there was no need to make any investigation in this regard.

Earlier, he took a march past salute in passing-out-parade from 289 recruit constables.


 

‘Move to malign Morcha’s image’
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib. October 25
Mr Iqbal Singh Tiwana, political secretary to Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann, President, SAD (A), in a press note issued here today clarified that he has never collected even a single penny from Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara neither before nor after his excommunication from the Sikh Panth.

Mr Tiwana said the news items published in a section of press that he had been collecting money from baba in the name of Mr Mann were totally baseless and published by certain vested interests to damage the reputation of Mr Mann.

He said he would soon sent a legal notice to the reporters who got published such news items. He said that if anyone proves that he had ever collected a single penny on behalf of Mr Mann from any baba in the country, he was ready to accept even severest of punishment. He said that he had never seen the face of baba nor he had ever gone to his Dera so the question of getting money or donation does not arise.

He alleged that certain elements on the behest of Mr Badal had infiltrated in the Panthic party just to create confusion in the party and to bring bad name to Mr Mann.


 

Panthic Morcha for enactment of law on sacrilege
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 25
The Panthic Morcha has called upon the Punjab Government to enact a law protecting all religions and fix a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years rigorous imprisonment for any act of sacrilege of any religion in the state.

This was stated at the Panthic Morcha working committee meeting last night under the presidentship of Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, convener of the morcha, at Mansuran.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, All-India Shiromani Akali Dal said here today that cow slaughter was banned in Punjab under the law no incident of cow slaughter had been reported in the state because of the same. Mr Tohra assured the Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that he would muster support of all the political parties in the Vidhan Sabha for the enactment of such a law.

The morcha condemned the latest incidents of burning of “Bir” of Guru Granth Sahib at a village in Hoshiarpur district.

Mr Tohra pointed out that the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib was taking place only in Punjab and no where else in the country. It is a big slur on the SAD-BJP government, he added.

Mr Tohra said that the one-man commission set up by Mr Badal was not acceptable to them as they had demanded a panel of three retired judges. One-man commission can be influenced by the Government, he added.



 

Sacrilege: students go on strike
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 25
On a call given by the All-India Students Federation, Khalsa College students today observed a one-day strike in protest against the recurrence of an act of sacrilege in Hoshiarpur district.

Activists of the federation and other students blocked traffic at the main gate of the college where they held a rally. They also burnt the effigy of Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara.

Addressing the protesters, Sandeep Singh Vaha, general secretary of the federation, alleged that the state government had failed to stop acts of sacrilege and hence Mr Parkash Singh Badal must step down as Chief Minister.


 

7 killed, 18 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 25
Seven persons died and 18 were injured, two of them seriously, in a head-on collision between a Tata 407 and a tempo near Kothe Thewala, about 5 km from Kotkapura, in the district last evening. Four persons died on the spot and three others succumbed to their injuries at the Civil Hospital, Kotkapura. The deceased included Mr Malkiat Singh of Dhelewala village, Mr Harchand Singh of Romana village, Mr Naginder Singh of Gandara village and Mr Kaur Singh of Jit Gill village, all teachers in the district, Mr Harjinder Singh of Faridkot, driver of the tempo, Ms Kulwinder Kaur and Ms Jasbir Kaur, students of Government Girls High School, Chamkaur Sahib, in Ropar district.

The seriously injured — Balbir Kaur and Gurmail Singh — have been referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, for treatment. The others have been admitted to the Civil Hospital, Kotkapura, and the local Guru Gobind Singh Medical Hospital. According to reports available, the teachers who had gone to Chandigarh to participate in a dharna were travelling in the tempo when their vehicle met with the accident around 9.45 p.m. The Tata 407 was bringing school students from the Kotkapura side. The students had gone to Kotkapura to participate in state level kabaddi and hand ball tournaments.

On hearing the news about the accident, Mr Manohar Singh, DSP, along with Mr Mukhtiar Singh, SHO, and other police officials of Kotkapura rushed to the site of the accident. The team extricated the dead and injured and brought them to the Civil Hospital at Kotkapura. The local Bharat Vikas Parishad and the Red Cross Society, Faridkot, arranged medicines for the needy. Mr A.Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Hussan Lal, ADC, Mr Jarnail Singh, SP, and other senior district officers, besides Bibi Gurcharan Kaur, member, Rajya Sabha and Mr Mantar Singh Brar, MLA, Kotkapura, also visited the hospitals to enquire after the health of the injured.

The Deputy Commissioner said the post-mortem examinations on the bodies were performed today. The bodies were handed over to the relatives. He had also asked Mr Gurinder Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, to send the bodies of two girl students to Chamkaur Sahib. He said the state level hand ball and kabaddi tournaments had been cancelled. In another accident last evening between a Maruti car and a stationary truck near Sadiq village, two persons died and four were injured. The deceased have been identified as Ram Singh and Pritam Kaur.



 

PCS promotions hang fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The appointment of eight officers, whose names were approved for the promotion to IAS from the Punjab Civil Services ( PCS) cadre on November 16 last year by a selection committee headed by a member of the Union Public Service Commission, continues to hang fire till date.

Those who were selected by the committee are Mr H.R. Gangar, Mr Som Nath, Mr Arvinder Singh, Mrs Amrita Atwal, Mr R.L. Mehta, Mr Megh Raj, Mr G. R. Bansal and Mr H. L. Kumar.

What will be their fate? The state government has allegedly tried to delay first the process of their selection to the IAS and later the formalities to be completed to pave the way for the issuance of the notification for the appointment to the IAS cadre.

The state government okayed the names approved by the selection committee and the list was sent to the Union Government in March this year, after a delay of about 5 months from the day the selection was made by the committee.

However, the notification could not be issued as one PCS officer, who had not earlier qualified to be in the consideration zone became eligible later following a review of his annual confidential reports by the authorities concerned.

Informed source said another meeting of the selection committee was held in Delhi on October 23 on the direction given by CAT. It ended in a deadlock as certain members of the selection committee representing the state government insisted that the selections made earlier should be reviewed in the light of the representation given by certain PCS officers whose names did not figure in the IAS list approved by the selection committee at its meeting held on November 16 last year.

The UPSC authorities concerned, according to sources, have rejected the state government’s plea on the ground that the selections made earlier could not be subjected to review as they were made after following a laid down procedure. It is said the UPSC authorities concerned have told the state government a review of the earlier selection would in a way amount to doubting the competency of the selection committee.

The UPSC, according to sources, only wanted to consider the name of Mr Ashok Kumar Singla, a PCS officer, whose name was not earlier considered. In his place earlier the name of Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu was considered.

Though the present government came into power in the second month of 1997, but it did not hold any meeting for the promotion of PCS officers against the quota seats in 1997,1998 and 1999. There were eight vacancies to be filled from the PCS cadre.

In fact, the November meeting of the selection committee, which besides one member of the UPSC, had two senior IAS officers as representative of the Union Government and four senior officers of the state government in its ranks, was held after a PCS officer knocked the doors of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in March 2000. Even after the directive of CAT, the convening of the meeting was delayed for about five months.

Some of the selected IAS officers say the state government should not do injustice to them. It should be fair to them and should get the notification issued from the Union Government. If any officer has any objection to the selection list let him go to the court to get the matter settled legally. 


 

CISF deployed at Rajasansi
Our Correspondent

Rajasansi (Amritsar), October 25
Rajasansi airport has stolen a march over the Chennai and Kolkata airports with the formal deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) here today. This makes it the fifth airport in the country to be manned by the elite anti-hijacking force.

Minister of Civil Aviation Syed Shah Nawaz Hussain while presiding over the inaugural ceremony said the September 11 terror attacks in the USA had prompted the Civil Aviation Ministry to deploy the CISF at this airport in the border district.

The terror strikes had prompted the Civil Aviation Ministry to undertake extensive review of security at the airports throughout the country. He said the Indian Airlines and Air India have managed to cut down their losses to a mere 5 to 6 per cent while the figure was about 40 per cent throughout the world. He asserted that the government controlled airlines had taken contingency measures to cut losses to the tune of Rs 21 crore by downsizing personnel, privileges etc up to 15 per cent for the first time in India. He declared that within six months all airports will be manned by the CISF.

Denouncing Osama bin Laden’s September 11 attacks in the USA and the consequent bogey of “Islamic terrorism” being raised by vested interests in Pakistan, Mr Hussain said India had a 15-crore population of Muslims and more masjids and madarsas than in Pakistan. Then how could Pakistan claim to be the actual “messiah of Muslims” and take a lead on decisions related to Muslims the world over, he asked.

He said Pakistan had tried its best to club India with Israel to project it as an “anti-Muslim” state but had failed miserably. Pakistan needed to be “reined in” to control the Islamic terrorism it had unleashed on India.

The minister said equipment to tackle foggy conditions would be installed here shortly after its success at Delhi airport. Talking to reporters, he said a quick reaction force, however, would be assisted by the BSF in its operations. Passes would be issued for the shrine at the airport for a specific period for security purposes.

Mr Hussain indicated that the pilot of the Alliance Airlines flight involved in the “hijacking fiasco” recently could be at fault for misunderstanding the SOS situation. However, he said, an inquiry was on into the incident.

The boundary wall is expected to cost more than Rs 1 crore. At present barbed fence covers a large portion of the 13 km demarcated area. However, the fence remains “weak point” in security as an outsider can easily keep a watch on airport activity from a distance.

Mr Hussain said six new flights would be launched from this airport from mid-November.

Mr B. B. Nanda, Director-General, CISF, and Mr Veerana Aivalli, Commissioner of Security, Civil Aviation, were present on the occasion. However not a single Akali minister or leader was present.


 

Mattewal for judicial panel
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 25
Justice delayed is justice denied. Due to shortage of judges in courts, litigants are not getting early justice and even in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, there are only 33 judges and many posts are lying vacant. It is the need of the hour that the National Judicial Commission should be set-up for appointment, accountability, conduct and transfer of the judges in higher judiciary, and that more judges may be appointed to provide proper and early justice to the people, said Mr H.S. Mattewal, Advocate General, Punjab, while addressing the District Bar Association here today.

He said at present the judges are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India which takes a lot of time. He said the National Judicial Commission should have the powers to investigate the allegations against the judges, to fix their accountability and probe their conduct. He said the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed a resolution in that regard.

Mr Mattewal was honoured by the District Bar Association for his work done for the lawyers as he got the notification issued for the Advocates’ Welfare Fund. He is the first advocate from the country to have been invited by Bar Council of a foreign country to inaugurate the lawyers’ conference.

Mr Mattewal said there were three important wings of our governing system, executive, legislature and judiciary. Appreciating the judiciary of the country, he said it had done an excellent work in maintaining balance and taking action wherever the other two wings have taken wrong decisions. He said, whenever, the executive failed in its duty, the judiciary rectified the wrong and controversial decisions. Dismissing the allegations that there is judicial terrorism or judiciary is over stepping its norms, he said all decisions taken by the executive and legislature were subject to judicial review as per the Constitution. He stressed the need for harmonious relations between the three wings.

Mr Mattewal appreciated efforts of the Prime Minister in setting up the constitutional review committee. He said in order to make the Constitution functional, new laws had to be enacted and the committee would also review the existing laws.

He cautioned the lawyer community that it should give its views on sensitive issues like reservation and minorities very carefully. He said the lawyers should also help the judicial officers in disposing of the cases at the earliest and they should have full mastery over the facts of the cases. They should not seek unnecessary adjournments and thereby help in the early disposal of the cases pending before the subordinate judiciary.

He urged them to fight against social evils.

Speaking about the Advocates’ Welfare Fund, he said the notification had been passed by the state government and it would be implemented from November 1. He said the Union Government had also expressed its desire to enact such a law at the national level.

Later, talking to The Tribune, he said certain anti-social elements had burnt birs of Guru Granth Sahib and the government had done a good job by ordering a judicial inquiry.

Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, on recommendation of the Advocate General, announced a grant of Rs two lakh for the District Bar Association.

Mr Amarjit Singh Jatana, senior vice-president, the Punjab and Haryana Bar Association, Mr G.S. Cheema, Senior Deputy Advocate General, Mr P.S. Bajwa, Executive member, HC Bar Association, Mr J.S. Cheema, President, District Bar Association, Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, Mr Mohinder Pal Arora, ADC, Mr Amarbir Singh Sidhu, GA to DC, and Mr H.S. Saran, SSP, were among others who attended the function.


 

Inter-state issues: CPI flays SAD
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 25
State leadership of the CPI yesterday condemned the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for his failure to solve the inter-state issues, including transfer of Punjabi-speaking areas and Chandigarh to Punjab and river water dispute. It said such issues should not be blown out of proportion to derive political mileage.

Dr Joginder Dyal, secretary, CPI, Punjab, while talking to mediapersons today said the PPCC president, Mr Amarinder Singh, should also exercise restrain while making statements on the inter-state issues. All matters should be settled through negotiations.

He said Mr Badal and Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Haryana Chief Minister, were protecting their personal interests and absolutely ignoring the issues despite the fact that both were supporters of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.



 

Rift between Akalis comes to fore
Tribune News Service

Budhlada, October 25
Differences in the local Akali leadership came to the fore yesterday when a section of senior Akali leaders, including members of the SGPC, urged the party president and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to find a suitable candidate for the coming Assembly elections from this area to defeat the sitting MLA, Mr Hardev Singh Arshi.

The leaders, including former Deputy Speaker Jaswant Singh Phaprebhaike, Mr Mohinder Singh Dodra, Mr Jagjit Singh, Mr Kaur Singh Khara and Mr Balam Singh Kalipur, addressing a gathering alleged that some “so-called” Akali leaders had been harming the party.

They had been harassing traditional Akalis by implicating them in criminal cases, they alleged.


 

BJP conference advanced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The BJP today issued a statement advancing its scheduled active workers’ conference to November 2 from November 3.

The conference is being organised to celebrate the party’s golden jubilee in Amritsar.


 

PSEB move on TA, DA assailed
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 25
The PSEB Engineers Association of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant region has condemned the recent move of the board with regard to the entitlement of travelling and daily allowances.

At a meeting attended by more than 150 engineers, Mr Charanjit Singh, regional secretary of the association, alleged that as per the revised circular of the board barely six chief engineers would fall in Grade I and more than 70 per cent of the entire engineering cadre would fall in Grade III and IV. He said they would be entitled to the hotel stay charges of Rs 200 per day in all cities, including metros. He said with this amount they would not be able to hire a room.

He said in addition to this, the board was also contemplating to withdraw staff cars from the senior officers posted at generation plants. These steps will lower the morale of the officers and restrict their mobility, he said. The board can save Rs 2.5 crore annually by saving just one minute generation per day, he added.

The members of the association alleged that the board was devising derogatory measures which would discourage the staff. They also threatened that unless the current circular was withdrawn, they would refuse to go on outstation journeys for official purposes.


 

Enteritis strikes at brick-kiln again
Chander Parkash & Pushpesh Kumar
Tribune News Service

Kotshamir (Bathinda), October 25
Gastroenteritis has struck again at a brick-kiln here and claimed the life of a three-year-old child of a labourer. Earlier in June, two children had died of gastroenteritis at the same kiln.

Gastroenteritis struck about four days ago at the kiln located about 20 km from here. It has also randered 38 others ill.

The three-year-old child, Prevesh, died before medicare could reach him. Though he was taken to a medical practitioner in a nearby village late at night, he could not survive.

Civil Hospital sources said 13 labourers who had been suffering from gastroenteritis had been getting treatment from the primary health centre at Talwandi Sabo, private hospitals and the Civil Hospital.

Dr Bawa Ram Gupta, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, said the situation was under control. He said it was mysterious why the labourers working at this kiln had been falling prey to gastroenteritis.

Dr Tejwant Singh Dhillon who visited the brick-kiln today said all labourers had been advised to take hygienic food. They had been given medicines as a preventive measure. Health workers had been deployed to help in case of an emergency.

Samples of water, flour and mustard oil being used by the labourers have been taken by the district health officer and sent for chemical examination.

Dr Gupta said as per preliminary investigations, the labourers had consumed some contaminated food.

Beera Wati, mother of Prevesh, alleged that no financial help was given to them by those running the kiln. She said her husband Ranbir Singh was undergoing treatment while her two daughters had recovered.

Jagmal Singh, “munshi” at the kiln, claimed that the labourers had fallen ill as they had consumed contaminated food. He said so far Rs 15,000 had been spent on their treatment.

The health workers said information regarding the spread of gastroenteritis was given very late to them by the labourers.


 

Two suspected anthrax letters found in Ropar
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 25
Two envelopes, suspected to be containing anthrax, were found today in the district. A postman in the Head Post Office here noticed two unstamped envelopes packed in a strange manner. He brought the matter to the notice of the Deputy Chief Post Master, Mr Dev Raj Chaudhary, who reported to the police and the Health authorities.

The envelopes bore the senders name as J.P. Singh, resident of H. No 561, Phase 10, Mohali. They were addressed to Mr J.P. Singh of the local Zail Singh Nagar and Mr Kakar, H.No 13, Sutlej Colony here.

Mr Chaudhary told newpersons that the manner in which the envelopes were packed suggested that they contained some powdery substance. The initial inquiry has revealed that both the envelopes were posted at the College road in Ropar.

The district Health authorities collected the envelopes from the post office and has sent it to the PGI, Chandigarh, for further examination. The postal employees, who came in contact with the envelope were medically examined. The doctors said at present no symptoms of anthrax were noticed.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr G. S. Grewal, has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He said the police officials had been directed to verify the addresses given on the envelopes and submit the report.



 

Bomb hoax at dist courts
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 25
A bomb hoax scared hundreds of officials and visitors at the district courts complex here this morning.

According to eyewitnesses, a brief case was found abandoned near a court room. As soon as the news spread, people started vacating the courts complex. A police bomb disposal squad reached the spot and seized the brief case. Following investigations it was found that the brief case did not contain explosive material but had some papers.

The police did not elaborate upon the nature of the papers.


 

SAD workers gherao police station
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 25
SAD workers gheraoed Phillaur police station today over the alleged misbehaviour of the SHO with Mr Balhar Singh Landhran, a SAD leader.

The Akali workers, led by Mr Landhran, demanded a high-level probe into the matter and stern action against SHO Harpreet Singh. According to Mr Landhran, the SHO misbehaved with him when he had gone to the police station in connection with a village dispute two days ago. Phillaur DSP Satinder Singh reached the spot. The gherao was lifted only when he said the probe would be completed within two days.


 

Cyclist killed

Phillaur, October 25
One cyclist Surinderpal Singh of Shahpur village, was killed on the spot and more than 60 passengers of three vehicles sustained minor injuries when a Punjab Roadways bus rammed into a Maruti car, a Tata Sumo and a truck and then hit the cyclist near the Nawanshahar road bus stand at Phillaur yesterday. OC


 

Cotton growers stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Mansa, October 25
On a call given by the Northern India Cotton Growers Organisation, a dharna was staged by the Punjab Kisan Sabha today in front of the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Budhlada.

Addressing the dharna, the local MLA and secretary of the sabha, Mr Hardev Singh Arshi, said the farmers had suffered huge losses in this cotton belt due to the American bollworm attack and so far the government had not announced any relief for them.

He said the cotton growers had spent Rs 600 crore on insecticides but the production fell down to 10 lakh bales as against the estimated 27 lakh bales. He demanded compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre for the affected growers.


 

POSTINGS/ TRANSFERS
6 civil servants shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The Punjab Government today ordered the transfer of two IAS and four PCS officers.

Mr Gurinderjit Singh Sandhu has been posted as Secretary of the Department of Information Systems and Administrative Reforms. Mr Jagpal Singh has been appointed Managing Director of Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited.

Mr D.D. Ternach has been appointed Additional Secretary of the PWD (B and R) and Mr Rajinder Pal Singh has been shifted to the post of Land Acquisition Officer of the PWD in Jalandhar. Mr Baldev Singh has been posted as SDM at Khadoor Sahib. Mr Amarbir Singh goes to Patti as SDM and Mr Gurjit Singh has been posted as Assistant Commissioner (Grievances), Amritsar.


 

Four promoted to rank of ADGP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 25
The Punjab Government today ordered the promotion of four Inspectors-General as Additional Directors-General of Police (ADGPs) besides issuing fresh posting orders for seven ADGPs.

Those promoted today are Mr S.S. Virk, Mr K.K. Attri, Mr N.P.S. Aulakh and Mr R.S. Chalia.

On promotion, Mr Virk becomes Additional Director-General of Police (Security) in place of Mr B.P. Tewari, who becomes Additional Director-General of Police, Training.

Mr Attri will be the new Additional Director-General of Police, Crime, in place of Mr S.V. Singh, who goes as ADGP, Computers and Wireless.

Mr Aulakh becomes the new Additional Director-General of Police (Headquarters).

Mr Chalia becomes Additional Director-General of Police, Prisons.

Mr S.C. Jain goes to Patiala as ADGP, Vigilance, Punjab State Electricity Board.



 

Holiday not under NI Act: DM
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 25
The District Magistrate, Mr R. Venkatratnam, clarified yesterday that the holiday announced on October 30 in connection with the 29th death anniversary of Sant Fateh Singh was not under the Negotiable Instruments Act as published in a section of the Press.

He said government and semi-government offices, besides educational institutions in the district, would remain closed on the day.


 

Woman, paramour die in bid to murder husband
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 25
A conspiracy hatched by Jagdish Kaur, wife of Jatinder Singh, her paramour, Gurbux Singh and a cycle repair shop owner, Ranjit Singh, son of Partap Singh, all residents of Bhumbli village in the district, to kill Jatinder Singh and his father, Master Yoga Singh, took a dramatic turn resulting in the deaths of Jagdish Kaur, Master Yoga Singh and Gurbux Singh. Jatinder Singh sustained injuries in the scuffle while Ranjit Singh escaped. He was, however, arrested by the police today.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, SSP, talking to reporters here today said last night under a conspiracy hatched by Gurbux Singh, he and Ranjit Singh, went to Jagdish Kaur’s house at mid-night yesterday. They were let in by Jagdish Kaur. Both were armed with sharp-edged weapons.

The SSP said the trio entered the room of Master Yoga Singh and inflicted head injuries on him with sharp-edged weapons resulting in his death. Later they entered Jatinder Singh’s room who challenged the trio and in the scuffle that followed Gurbux Singh was killed.

The SSP said fearing that the conspiracy had come to light and her husband had become aware of it, Jagdish Kaur consumed celphos and became unconscious. The police rushed her to the local Civil Hospital where she died without making a dying declaration. Jatinder Singh, who was injured in the scuffle, is out of danger.

Mr Sukhdev Singh said Ranjit Singh, one of the suspects, during interrogation conducted by Mr Darshan Singh Dhindsa, SP (Operations), confessed he had hatched a conspiracy to kill Master Yoga Singh and Jatinder Singh. A case has been registered at Kahnuwan police station.


 

Three held for touting ammo depot jobs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 25
The police has detected a fake recruitment agency by arresting three persons who along with their associates had been cheating people by claiming that they could get them jobs in the ammunition depot here.

In a press note issued here today, Dr Jadinder Kumar Jain, district police chief, said they had been making money by cheating people on the pretext of securing jobs for them. The main suspect Amarjit Singh, who was a contractor with the depot, and two others had been arrested.

He said Amarjit Singh, Om Parkash, Mangat Singh, Kuljit Singh and Gurcharan Singh Bhaia, all employees of the military station made people believe that they could secure jobs for them. An advertisement was also placed with a vernacular daily in this regard.

They had been charging Rs 1 lakh for the post of clerk and storekeeper in the depot and Rs 60,000 for other posts, including fireman, safai karamchari and labourer. After collecting huge amounts of money in this manner they deposited it in a joint account of Satnam Kaur, wife of Amarjit Singh, and his son. The accused collected lakhs of rupees from July to September.

When the people started demanding their money back following the cancellation of recruitment to the post of which they had paid the money Amarjit Singh withdrew the money from the bank and tried to run away.

A police party on a tipoff, managed to arrest him. Investigations revealed that fake degrees and experience certificates were being provided to them by Hira Singh of Gulabgarh village. As many as 12 rubber stamps of various officers were seized from him and a case in this connection registered separately in Sadar police station.

Hira Singh confessed that he issued more than 100 fake degrees and experience certificates at a cost of Rs 1,000-Rs 3,000 from buyers. He had been doing this since 1995.


 

2 Pak intruders nabbed
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 25
The BSF arrested two Pakistani intruders while they were trying to crossing the Indo-Pak border in the Khemkaran area near Amarkot village, last night. The Khemkaran police has registered a case under the Indian Passport Act.

According to police sources, the intruders have been identified as Mohammad Ahmad (14) of Nazer village, and Gulam Nabbi (16) of Bailgang village. Both villages fall under Chack Bandi police station in Pakpattan.


 

3 lakh identified under ‘Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 25
Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Minister for Science and Technology, Punjab, said according to a survey conducted by the Education Department, 3 lakh children had been identified to provide education under “Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan”.

Mr Garg, while addressing a gathering of the child development officers (CDPOs), heads of schools and teachers at a seminar organised here today, said the resource centres would be created at the block level to improve the facilities in the primary schools of the state. This district has received a grant of Rs 1.03 crore out of the total sanctioned grant of Rs 5.83 crore, he added.

He said every branch of the state-run primary school would be given the status of a full-fledged primary school and a grant of Rs 5,000 for repair of the building and Rs 2,000 for teaching aids would be given. Every teacher will be given Rs 500 annually for improvement of education, he added. The girls will be provided education free of cost up to Class VIII and special incentives will be given to the physically challenged students, he said. Mr Rajiv Sharma, Assistant State Project Director, said all schools would be provided with a minimum of two teachers and for every 40 students at least one teacher would be provided. Enrolment of every child in a school and zero dropout rate will be ensured, he added.

He said six block and 41 central resource centres would be established in the district by end of this financial year.


 

DC favours yoga in schools
Our Correspondent

Ropar, October 25
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.S. Grewal, has urged the administrations of all schools in the district to start yoga for students. Yoga will help in developing the mind of the students. In the cut-throat competition that the students have to face in their later life, it is very pertinent that they should have a strong mind. Yoga is a time-tested exercise for the development of the mind and body. Any school which wants to start yoga classes will be provided all possible help by the district administration. These views were expressed by Mr Grewal while speaking at the annual function of Shivalik Public School in Ropar.

Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, the local Self-Government Minister, Punjab, who was also present at the function, announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the school administration.


 

Democratic Teachers Front holds rally
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 25
Members of the district unit of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) yesterday held a rally in front of the office of the District Education Officer (DEO) to express their resentment against non-filling of vacancies of teachers and non-acceptance of their other demands.

The agitating teachers said the policy to appoint teachers on the contract basis was not in the interest of students, therefore, it should be abandoned immediately. They said the vacancies should be filled by appointing teachers on permanent basis.

The teachers alleged that the government was not paying any attention to the plight of government schools. It was promoting privatisation and giving stepmotherly treatment to students of the government schools.

The teachers said wrong polices of the government had deprived the poor students of higher education.


 

Project given to Professor withdrawn
Anita Tayal

Patiala, October 25
A project given to Prof S.S. Joshi, a former Head of the Linguistic Department, Punjabi University, by the university authorities at the time of his retirement has been withdrawn on the plea that a vigilance case is pending against him.

Interestingly, the vigilance case was pending against Joshi even at the time of his retirement, but still he was paid Rs 13,000 per month for the project. However, now the Syndicate had terminated his services. This was one of the important issues taken at the Syndicate meeting held at the university campus here yesterday.

Besides this, various other issues that figured prominently includes Prof U.C. Singh’s case and the case pertaining to information technology, which have been deferred. It is learnt that in Prof U.C. Singh’s case the Syndicate members have decided to inquire from the Accounts Branch of the university, from where a file regarding a function involving Rs 10,000 had disappeared in 1988.

The Syndicate also gave a clear indication that matters regarding information technology case too would not be approved since these were against the university rules.



 

Date extended
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, October 25
The Punjab School Education Board has extended the last date for the submission of the middle standard examination forms subject to the payment of late fee of Rs 300. A spokesman for the board said the candidates would have to pay Rs 550 along with the examination forms by November 11.


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