Monday, January 21, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Ballot papers needed despite EVMs
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The inability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to record tender votes may necessitate the use of ballot papers and boxes at each of the 18,000-odd polling stations in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Though there is no recorded evidence in India of a tender vote being opened, the Election Department cannot deny a legitimate and bona fide voter a right to franchise.

Though this is the first time the polling in the state is by EVMs, however, it does not mean the elections would be free from the conventional printed ballot papers.

Election officials maintain that in addition to EVMs, they would require printed ballot papers for “service voters” as well as to facilitate a bona fide and genuine voter to cast a vote even after it has been cast by a bogus voter.

The EVMs do not have a provision for registering tender votes. Which means that presiding officers of polling stations would be issued a minimum of 10 printed ballot papers and a ballot box to record tender votes.

Election Department officials claim that 80 per cent of the electors have been photographed and their voter identity cards would be ready much before the elections. More than 73 per cent of the 1.56 crore electors have been already issued the photo-identity cards. For the remaining, it would be mandatory to prove their bona fide before they are allowed to cast votes.

Printing of ballot papers would also be necessary for pasting on the EVMs and give their “dummy” copies to agents of the contestants so that they could educate the voter about their correct use.

Therefore, though the entire voting process would be through EVMs, chances of using ballot papers and boxes cannot be ruled out. So, though the election officials claim that the huge expenditure involved in printing, storing and transportation of ballot papers will be avoided, but it can only be minimised and not eliminated.

Regarding storage of ballot boxes and papers (though in a much smaller number) and EVMs, the expenditure would either remain the same or be a little higher as each set of EVMs comprises a control unit and a ballot unit which occupies more space than a conventional ballot box.

The cost of transportation would also be a little on the higher side as the EVMs are being transported from Bengal. More than 60 trucks were hired for transportation of the machines during the second week of January.

The transportation alone would cost between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 16 lakh. This does not include the expenditure incurred on the travel of officials from Punjab to Bengal and back, besides the travel expense on accompanying police and paramilitary personnel.

According to rough estimates, Assembly elections in Punjab may cost the exchequer anything between Rs 16 crore and Rs 20 crore, which may be the same if not less than the expenditure incurred on the 1997 Assembly elections.


Have a problem? Go to observer
Tribune Reporters

Mansa, January 20
Three Central observers have been appointed for the district for conducting the forthcoming Assembly elections. These are Mr A. Bhattacharya (Ahmedabad), Mr Atul Parsad (Patna) and Mr Gian Indera Srivastva (Delhi).

Ms Raji P. Srivastva, District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a meeting of polling staff and members of political parties said here today that Mr Parsad had arrived in the district and anyone wanting to meet him in connection with the elections, could contact him in the Bachat Bhavan guest house. Mr A. Bhattacharya had reached here on January 17, she said. Ms Srivastva said 594 polling booths had been set up in the district, out of which 132 were in Joga, 158 in Mansa, 154 in Budhlada and 150 in Sardulgarh constituencies.

HOSHIARPUR: Four poll observers for the Assembly polls have arrived in Hoshiarpur, said Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer here today. Mr Sidhu said Mr J.R.K. Rao, IAS, observer for general affairs, and Mr V.P.C Rao, IRS, observer for expenditure, were staying in the Canal Rest House. Mr Anil Kumar Jain, IAS, observer for general affairs, and Mr Gautam Mandal, IRS, observer for expenditure, were staying in the PWD Rest House.

NAWANSHAHR: Mr Anil Kumar Aggarwal, poll observer deputed by the Election Commission, has reached here. According to a press release, he can be contacted at the Rest House, Balachaur, for any poll related matter.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Mr Sanjay Joshi, poll observer, has asked printing press owners not to publish matter which criticises aspects of private life of a candidate or hurts caste or religious sentiments. Addressing a meeting of printing press owners, Mr Vikas Partap, District Electoral Officer, directed them to get a declaration from the candidate before undertaking an order for posters, banners or pamphlets, along with two witnesses. 


Hi-tech van to contain rigging
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 20
The local District Congress Committee (DCC) has found a hi-tech solution to contain problems like rigging, booth capturing and other malpractices adopted by anti-social elements on the poll day. The committee has procured a well-equipped customised mobile van fitted with such electronic gadgets as a wireless system and a fax.

It will be manned by a team of 10 to12 Congressmen, who will reach a booth within minutes of being apprised of a problem by the party workers posted in or around polling booths in the four Assembly segments of Jalandhar city.

‘‘We had no other option as our party workers fear use of musclepower, rigging and other malpractices by the rival SAD-BJP combine,’’ said Mr Tejinder Bittu, newly appointed president of the DCC, who took the charge of the office yesterday. The van is his brainchild. The van, according to Mr Bittu, is the first of its kind in the state. ‘‘We will give wireless sets to our activists, who will keep the mobile team informed,’’ he said.


Canada’s Deputy PM visits Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 20
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada, Mr John Manley has described the Kashmir issue as complex and has said dialogue as the only solution to resolve the problem. Talking to newspersons at the Golden Temple here today, he said India and Pakistan must take steps to engage in talks to find a peaceful solution to the issue which had created tension between the two neighbours.

Mr Manley expressed satisfaction over his talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and felt that the Pakistan Government was making sincere efforts to diffuse the tension. He said General Musharraf had taken a series of steps to stem out terrorism.

Mr Manley, who was recently elevated to the post of Deputy Prime Minister, said Canada and other nations, including the USA and the UK, were impressing upon the two neighbours to take steps to diffuse the stand-off.

He urged Indian and Pakistani leaders to sit across the table to work out a lasting solution to all outstanding issues and save the countries from going into a war.

He said Canada had taken a series of steps and had adopted new laws to curb terrorism in the country. The Government of Canada had banned all terrorist organisations as per the United Nations resolutions and had frozen their assets.

He said Canada stood united to fight the menace around the globe and would support India and any other country which fell victim to terrorism.

Earlier, Mr Manley arrived from Islamabad this afternoon by a special aircraft for a four-hour visit to the holy city. He paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and showed keen interest in Sikhism. He also visited the “langar” building. He was presented with a “siropa” and a model of the Golden Temple by the secretary-general, Bibi Kirnajot Kaur.

Later, the Deputy Prime Minister laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial and witnessed the beating-the-retreat ceremony at the Wagah checkpost before flying to Delhi on a week-long visit to India. 


Badal “creating” economic crisis
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
The Congress, which had requested the President to impose financial emergency on Punjab, has come down heavily on the Badal government for creating “economic crisis” in the state.

The Congress charge sheet, which will be released in the next few days after approval from the high command, criticises privatisation policies of the government, saying that basic responsibilities of the state were being disowned and water supply, sanitation and medical facilities were being handed over to the private sector to the disadvantage of the poor.

Claiming that 1.80 lakh persons were being added to the list of unemployed every year in Punjab, the charge sheet says the debt-trap was fast becoming narrow and deadly. “Even the Finance Minister in his last Budget speech has admitted that his government was running by borrowing loans after loans. This year the proposed loan amount would be more than Rs 10,000 crore and the revenue income of the state would be about Rs 3,000 crore less than the expenditure. Funds available for capital expenditure were only Rs 874 crore out of a total budget of Rs 20,000 crore last year and this year these were projected to be only Rs 1,500 crore. The total loan on the state government today is Rs 28,000 crore and on the state-owned concerns a little more than Rs 30,000 crore,” the charge sheet says.

It says that grants meant for welfare were being diverted towards paying salaries and meeting non-plan expenditure. The state government had spent only Rs 55 crore on the 13 lakh families living below the poverty line in the past two years but it had doled out Rs 250 crore to its “favourites” during the “Sangat Darshan” programme, the charge sheet says.

Maintaining that the process of planning had been reduced to a paper exercise, the charge sheet alleges not even 50 per cent allocation was available for the approved plans. “For the first time in Punjab’s history the Ninth Five-year Plan would be grossly under-financed. The government will spend only Rs 8220.60 crores against the plan size of Rs 14,400 crore.”

Commenting on the Badal government’s decision to provide free power to farmers, the charge sheet describes it as “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” It says that farmers were getting power in such a erratic way that they were now willing to even pay for it if guaranteed of assured power supply.

Referring to suicides by farmers, the charge sheet points to a Budget statement of state Finance Minister where he had admitted that loan on farmers had increased considerably and in some cases to an extent that farmers could not repay it even after selling their land and property.

The charge sheet says that no Budget has been tax free and the per capita tax levied by the state government was now Rs 2,692 against Rs 1,447 during the Congress government. It says that industry was sluggish and more than 5,000 industrial units had been shut down. “Even investment subsidy to industrial units has been scrapped and there is no money to clear the backlog.” Municipal taxes had been increased and the state government had no resources to mop up Rs 5,866 crore needed for improvement of towns and cities, the charge sheet says.

Accusing the Akali-BJP government of political vendatta, the charge sheet gives examples of deaths of Harmesh Kumar Makhija, Kailash Saluja and Vijay Kumar Paplu to say that Congress workers were being harrased and victimised.

It alleges that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s family had acquired huge chunk of land in Australia and had also constructed a five-star hotel near the international airport at Delhi.

Prime land in cities like District and Sessions Court in Ludhiana, old Kotwali and Tehsildar’s residence in the heart of Ludhiana (Chaura Bazar) had been handed over for sale with “ulterior motives,” the charge sheet says and gives examples of several sites, including the DC and the SSP offices in Jalandhar, tehsil and Kotwali sight in Kapurthala, judicial court complexes in Gurdaspur, Central Jail and old tehsil complex in Patiala as precious properties handed over for sale by the government.



The Maharaja’s tea party
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 20
The Punjab Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, today made an informal start to his election campaign from this Assembly seat, hosting a tea party at his New Moti Bagh residence.

The party also served as the first meeting between the PPCC chief and his constituents after he was given the party ticket to contest from this seat. There was a continuous stream of people coming to his residence, virtually creating a traffic jam on the Lower Mall.

Capt Amarinder and his family, including wife Preneet Kaur, daughter Jaiinder and daughter-in-law Reshma interacted with people during the party.

No stage or dias was erected, keep the function informal. However, a few speeches were made by the District Congress Committee (urban) president, Mr Ved Prakash Gupta, a former MP, Mr Satpal Kapoor, Mrs Preneet Kaur and Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr Satpal Kapoor demanded that Patiala should be made a science city and to create an environment university in the city to bring it on the world map. He said no big project had been established in the city after Capt Amarinder Singh had brought the Diesel Component Works (DCW) factory to the city during his earlier stint as a minister.

Capt Amarinder Singh, while talking to newspersons later, said the Congress would release its chargesheet against the Akali-BJP combine on January 24.

Among the star campaigners expected to campaign for the party were the party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Dr Karan Singh and the Chief Ministers of Hindi-speaking states, besides the Central Working Committee (CWC) members. 


Punjab Congressmen complain against CPI
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 20
With several Congress leaders from Punjab still urging the high command to review its seat-sharing arrangement with the CPI, the Congress leadership has asked the Punjab PCC to furnish it information on the seats where rebel Congress-men were contesting against the official CPI candidates.

Sources said disregarding the seat-sharing arrangement, Congress candidates were filing their nomination papers as independents from Dhuri, Malout, Amritsar west, Shatrana and Mansa.

Congress leaders, who have been against the Congress giving “winning” seats to the CPI, have also complained to the high command about the CPI encouraging defections from the Congress.

In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr M.M. Singh Cheema, a member of the PCC, accused the Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, of encouraging defections from the party. Citing example of Pacca Kalan, the letter says that Mr Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal, who had contested the 1997 polls on the Congress symbol, had been adopted as the CPI nominee for the ensuing Assembly elections.

Terming it as a “breach of alliance” by the CPI, the letter says that there was a lot of resentment among Congress workers over the decision. Stating that the CPI “had lost heavily” in most of the seats given to it in the last elections, several Congress leaders have been appealing to the high command to allow Congressmen to contest on the maximum seats. They have told the high-command that while the CPI did not want any rebel Congress-men to contest from seats given to it, it was not averse to the idea of their contesting as CPI nominees.

The sources said that though the CPI had urged the Congress leadership to ask its workers to withdraw from constituencies given to it, the Congress leadership was in no hurry to do so. The Congress high command, they said, would wait for the last date of withdrawal of candidates before taking a decision on the issue. Meanwhile, women ticket aspirants of the party yesterday demonstrated outside the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi over “inadequate” representation to women in ticket distribution. The women aspirants, who included Ms Susheel Mahajan, Ms Surjit Kaur Kalkat, Ms Amrit Kaur and Ms Parveen Nusrat, also sought a meeting with the Congress president to press their claims.


BSP digs roots deep
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, January 20
Known for its choes and chowdharies, this district has seen a lot of political transformation in the recent years. Earlier, it used to be a stronghold of the Congress. Later, the CPM and the CPI also established its base in this belt.

Of late, the BSP too has dug its roots deep in this area. In fact, the BSP has become a very strong political outfit in this part of the Doaba belt. It determines the outcome of results in many constituencies. The influence of the BSP starts from Balachaur and it continues up to Mukerian. Now Balachaur has become a part of Nawanshahr. Earlier, it was in this district. For the past six months, the BSP chief, Mr Kanshi Ram, has been concentrating in this area to revitalise his party’s rank and file.

There are eight constituencies in the district. In the 1997 Assembly elections, the SAD had contested four seats and left the remaining four for its alliance partner, the BJP. The SAD had won all four while the success rate of the BJP was only 50 per cent. Will the SAD-BJP combine be able to repeat its past performance this time?

This question is difficult to answer at this stage as the political scenario in this belt is too hazy to draw any inference out of it.

The SAD has changed its two candidates this time. Mrs Mohinder Kaur Josh, who won from the Sham Churasi (reserve) constituency in the byelection held because of the death of her father Arjun Singh Josh, has been dropped by the SAD from its list of renominated candidates. Arjun Singh had won from Sham Churasi in 1997 and died a few months later.

In fact, the SAD has handed over this constituency to the Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM) headed by Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, a third partner in the SAD-BJP alliance.

The BSM has given the ticket to Mrs Josh’s sworn opponent, Mr Onkar Singh Jharmat, who had recently joined the party after quitting the BSP. In protest against the denial of ticket, Mrs Josh resigned from the SAD and decided to contest as an Independent candidate.

Mr Sohan Singh Bodal, who has been elected on the SAD ticket from Garhdiwala by defeating the Congress candidate, Mr Dharampal Sabharwal, has also been replaced with Mr Des Raj Dugga by the party. Mr Sohan Singh has also resigned from the SAD to contest as an Independent candidate.

The BJP has not made any change in its candidates. It has fielded Mr Tikshan Sood, who last time defeated BSP candidate Mohinder Pal from Hoshiarpur. Mahant Ram Parkash has been renominated from Dasuya, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna from Garhshankar and Mr Arunesh Kumar, who in 1997 defeated the Congress heavyweight, Mr Kewal Krishan, from Mukerian. Mahant Ram Parkash lost to Mr Romesh Chander Dogra of the Congress with a margin of only 53 votes in 1997 and Mr Avinash was defeated with a margin of 800 votes by the BSP's candidate, Mr Shingara Ram Sahungara, from Garhshankar in 1997.

There is strong resentment among the Congressmen as the party has handed over the Garhshankar seat to the CPI and replaced candidates in four other constituencies. In place of Mrs Surjit Kaur, the Congress has fielded Mr Sangat Singh from the Tanda constituency.

Mr Dharampal Sabharwal, former minister, has been replaced by Mr Pawan Kumar Adian by the Congress from the Garhdiwala constituency. In Sham Churasi, Mr Ram Lubhaya has managed to secure the Congress ticket through his wife Mrs Santosh Chowdhary, Member of the Lok Sabha.

Mrs Chowdhary has made the nomination of her husband a prestige issue and made the party high command to submit to her wishes. One can imagine her political clout. She is one of the two MPs, who forced the party high command to break all norms to allot party tickets to their close relations in Punjab. Mr Ram Rattan, who last time contested from Sham Churashi has been shifted to Mahilpur (reserve).

Only Mr Romesh Dogra of the Congress had managed to win from Hoshiarpur district. He has been renominated by the part this time.

Interestingly, while in 1997, the BSP had topped in the Garhshankar constituency, it had remained on second spot in Mahilpur, Hoshiarpur, Sham Churasi constituencies relegating the Congress to third slot. 


Kanshi promises Dalit raj
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Kanshi Ram today promised that he would introduce Dalit raj in the state.

The Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Banga, Mr Mohan Lal Behram, former Pradesh Youth Congress general secretary, Mr Gurmail Pahalwan, and coordinator of the Foreign Affairs Cell of the AICC, Mr Ravinder Singh Sohal, joined the party on the occasion.

Addressing a well-attended rally here today, Mr Kanshi Ram lashed out at the Congress and the Akali-BJP alliance for ignoring the interests of the downtrodden. He claimed that “change was in the offing” while pointing towards the presence of people at the rally. He kept the crowds waiting for about three hours.

Mr Kanshi Ram remained silent on the issue of seat adjustment with the Panthic Morcha, saying that these decisions would be announced tomorrow at Jalandhar, where he will give away the party authorisation tickets to the candidates.


From London to Latala, with concern for women
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Latala (Ludhiana), January 20
Bibi Gurdial Kaur Khangura has literally come a long way from London, where she used to live, to Latala, her native village in the Kila Raipur Assembly segment, to contest the elections as a Congress candidate.

Notwithstanding the winning prospects of her party in the segment, she claims that she is set to make a difference “by touching women’s sensitivities” as nobody seems to have cared for them so far.

This is not under any Western influence. Nor does she intend to create any feminist movement, in the Western sense. She is simply taking up the issue that concerns the women of her constituency the most. The main being the problem of liquor, specially illicit. She argues that it is the women who are worst hit by this menace as the men spend most of their earnings on the consumption of liquor. “I am not seeking a ban on liquor, but it should be regulated,” she clarifies.

Mrs Khangura, who left Latala along with her husband Jagpal Singh Khangura in the late sixties for London, is pained to see the plight of people back home, particularly the women. “A woman has to bear children, bring them up and also take care of the family while the men remain unconcerned,” she laments.

But there has been some significant progress as well. A number of women are educated and employed, gaining some independence. Moreover, unlike in her times now almost all village girls go to school. “That is really gratifying,” she feels.

Aware of the fact that Kila Raipur is a difficult constituency for the Congress, Mrs Khangura is not taking any chances. She starts her day at 7 in the morning and returns home not before 10 in the night.

Her husband Jagpal Singh and son Jasbir Singh also contribute their share to the campaign. They may have stayed in London, but they have not forgotten their mother tongue and speak chaste Punjabi with a rural accent while campaigning in the countryside.

Mrs Khangura claims that her main rival is Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal of the Panthic Morcha. About sitting MLA Jagdish Singh Garcha, she says “he has lost touch with the grassroots and people are disillusioned with him.”

She claims, “I am one of the few women candidates fielded by any party and I have returned here to serve my people after gaining a lot of experience abroad.”


All-party meeting fizzles out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 20
An all-party meeting convened by leaders of the Panthic Morcha, led by the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, fizzled out today.

Even the Punjab bandh call that the morcha planned to give on the SYL issue was called off, according to Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra.

Interestingly, though Mr Tohra was at SAS Nagar attending several social functions, he himself did not go to Gurdwara Amb Sahib, the venue of the all-party meeting. Among those who turned up, claimed Mr Chandumajra, were a few ministers who had recently quit the ruling SAD on not being renominated for contesting the Assembly elections. They included Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, Mr R.S. Ballian, Mr S.S. Bodal and Mrs Mohinder Kaur Josh, besides a senior Akali, Mr Randhir Singh Cheema.

It is, however, also not clear if the former ministers would get the morcha ticket.

The reason for the decision on the bandh call was the ‘’elections’’. The SYL would now be made a poll issue, Mr Chandumajra added.

The CPM secretary, Mr Balwant Singh, had already dissociated the party from the meeting.


Congress dissidents back in the fold
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 20
The Congress candidate from Phagwara (reserved) Assembly constituency, Mr Balbir Raja Sodhi, today succeeded in winning over more than 10 dissidents and their supporters, thus making a dent in the camp of dissident leader, Mr Joginder Singh Mann, who was denied a party ticket. The switching over of these dissidents has come as a big boost for Mr Sodhi.

Those who deserted Mr Mann and declared their support for Mr Sodhi include the PPCC member Mr Harjit Singh Parmar, the Block Congress Committee (rural) President, Mr Shangara Ram, the district general Secretary, Mr Gian Singh Sangatpur, a former Block Congress Committee President, Mr Inder Duggal, the block senior vice-president, Mr Surinder Shindi, the vice-president, Mr Lehmber Ram, the block general secretaries, Mr Ram Kumar Chaddha and Mr Ramesh Jordan and other senior Congress leaders, Mr Hardial Singh Sangatpur, Mr Tarlochan Singh Thakarki and Mr Kuldip Singh Khati.

Addressing newspersons on this occasion, Mr Ashok Prashar, president, Block Congress Committee (urban), today warned Joginder Singh Mann of disciplinary action if he failed to follow the party command. “I had expelled, K.L. Gaba, president, local nagar council, from the party for six years for indulging in anti-party activities and well not brook indiscipline in case of Mr Mann also.”

Mr Joginder Singh Mann had represented Phagwara twice and is a former minister. He had declared to contest as an Independent after he was denied the party ticket. While the official Congress candidate Mr Balbir Raja Sodhi has decided to file his nomination papers on January 23, Mr Mann had declared that he will file his papers on January 22. Today’s developments are a setback to Mr Mann.


Elect high priests, says Darshan Singh
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 20
Prof Darshan Singh Khalsa, former Akal Takht Jathedar, said here today that it was high time for Sikhs to come together for breaking the stranglehold of politics on Sikh religious places, institutions and tenets. Talking to select newsmen, Prof Darshan Singh said Sikh voters could break the shackles of politics that were subjugating religion.

For breaking the stranglehold of politics, Prof Darshan Singh mooted the idea of electing the five Sikh high priests, including the Akal Takht Jathedar, from a panel of Sikh religious personalities through on opinion poll involving the entire Sikh community. He said the names of the panel members should be sent to all gurdwaras and a month’s time given the “sangat” for giving their preferences. He said Sikh institutions like Akal Takht, the SGPC and other bodies had got debilitated due to pre-eminence of politics over religion.

Prof Darshan Singh was not averse to the idea of issuing an edict (hukamnama) from Akal Takht for effecting Panthic unity.


Bedi is SAD (A) Chief Patron
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal( Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has made Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi the Chief Patron of his party. This would enable him to issue authority letters to the Panthic Morcha candidates.

Baba Bedi said he would start issuing the authority letters tomorrow.

About the party's alliance with the BSP, Baba Bedi said there would be no alliance but an understanding on seat adjustments. He said the BSP and the Panthic Morcha had identified some constituencies where both would put up their respective candidates.

Baba Bedi said the morcha would make the SYL canal a main issue in its election campaign.


Army should be pulled out: Mann
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 20
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and senior leader of the Panthic Morcha, today demanded that the Army should be withdrawn as Pakistan had agreed to many demands laid down by the Government of India.

He said tension had also reduced along the border. He said many border villagers had suffered a lot in the past month.


PSSSB chief agrees to toe SAD line
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 20
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today managed to quell dissidence in its district unit by prevailing upon Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board (PSSSB) Chairman Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu to toe the party line.

Mr Sandhu, addressing an audience at Bahadurgarh gurdwara near here, in the presence of Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar, said he would stand by the ‘Panth’ and the party even though he had been denied party nomination for the forthcoming elections. Mr Sandhu was a candidate for the party ticket from Ghanaur for which Mr Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur has been renominated.

Though Mr Sandhu made a sober speech, his wife, Anoopinder Kaur, delivered a fiery one in which she alleged that the party had neither cared to maintain the dignity of her late father-in-law Jasdev Singh Sandhu nor respected the loyality of the Sandhu family towards the party.

Earlier, many supporters of Mr Sandhu, speaking during a bhog ceremony, which turned into a political rally, said they would support him in case he stood as an Independent in the elections.

However, Mr Badungar, speaking on the occasion, advised Mr Sandhu not to take such a step. He said he understood the anguish of the family members but they must understand that the party had its own compulsions and they must bow before the decision of the party high command.

Mr Dhindsa said the family of Mr Sandhu had always stood by the party and he was confident it would continue to do so. He assured the gathering that Mr Sandhu would be ably rewarded according to his stature in the party once SAD returned to power in the state. 

SYL: Ramoowalia puts blame on Cong, SAD
Our Correspondent

Nathana (Bathinda), January 20
Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, former Union Minister and President, Lok Bhalai party, said on Friday the Congress and the SAD were responsible for the SYL canal dispute and it was due to their failure that Punjab would have to give its waters to Haryana.

Mr Ramoowalia, addressing a gathering of party workers, alleged that at the time when the Dharam Yudh Morcha launched by the SAD against the canal, more than nine lakh people were lodged in jails, but Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister in order to please his Haryana counterpart Om Prakash Chautala gave the power regarding the canal to the Central Government.

He said as per the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, Haryana had to get only surplus waters. But he alleged that the Central Government showed Punjab to be having about two million cusecs of extra waters thus paving the way for the canal.


LBP to contest 42 seats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) will contest 42 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections. The party president and Rajya Sabha Member, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, released a list of 42 candidates here today.

Mr Ramoowalia claimed the LBP had emerged as a force to reckon with in the state politics. A large turnout at their rallies proved that people were tired of other parties and were looking at the LBP as an alternative, he said.


SAD has fulfilled all promises: Kanwaljit
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, January 20
The Shiromani Akali Dal has not only fulfilled the promises made to the public prior to the previous Assembly elections, but also completed several development works in the past five years of its rule, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, party general secretary and a candidate of the SAD-BJP alliance from the Banur assembly constituency while addressing a gathering after inaugurating an election office at Zirakpur today.

He alleged that senior congress leaders had sold party ticket to aspirants for Rs 50 -75 lakh each, which was “shameful”.

Listing the development works, the minister said a sum of Rs 6.5 crore had been released for the water supply and sewerage scheme for the Zirakpur Nagar Panchayat area.

By constituting the Nagar Panchayat at Zirakpur, the SAD had removed the proverbial Damocles’ sword on the heads of thousands of residents who had invested their hard-earned money for constructing houses here in violation of the Punjab Periphery Control Act, 1952.

The minister was weighed against “ladoos” by party workers.

The Congress got a setback when supporters of Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon (an aspirant the Congress ticket) group and some relatives of Congress candidate Seelam Sohi joined hands with Capt. Kanwaljit Singh and expressed solidarity with the SAD.

Among those present on the occasion were Mr Bhagwant Singh, a former sarpanch of Bartana, Mr Jeet Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh, a former sarpanch of Zirakpur village, Mr Narinder Sharma, a former sarpanch of Lohgarh Mr Parminder Pal Singh, circle president of the SAD, Mr Naunihal Singh Sodhi, president of the Youth Akali Dal, Dera Bassi, Mr Rajinder Singh Saini, sarpanch of Dyalpura village and Mr Bhupinder Singh Saini. 


Another Cong leader turns rebel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 20
Mr Lakhwinder Singh, senior leader of the Congress who remained Chairman of the Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation when Mr Harcharan Singh Brar was the Chief Minister, has decided to contest as an Independent candidate from the Kharar Assembly constituency. 

The decision to field him as candidate had been taken at a meeting held today by the Ramgarhia Association, Viswkarma Sabha and Kirti Sabha, which said the Congress had not given adequate representation to the Backward Classes while selecting candidates. 


Kataria agrees to back Bhullar
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, January 20
The Congress candidate from Zira, Mr Kuldeep Singh Bhullar, received a boost when local party leader Mr Naresh Kataria decided to abide by the party’s decision and not oppose the candidature of Mr Bhullar. The state Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, had visited Makhu yesterday to pacify dissatisfied party leaders. Mr Kataria had lost to the SAD-BJP candidate, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, in the 1997 elections. He had then polled more than 40,000 votes and was a front-runner this time for the party ticket from Zira.

Mr Bhullar faces a tough competition from the sitting MLA, Mr Inderjeet Singh Zira, a candidate of Panthic Morcha and the SAD-BJP’s candidate, Mr Hari Singh Zira.


Seva Dal campaigns for Arvind
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 20
To give a boost to the election campaign of Mr Arvind Khanna, Congress candidate from Sangrur for the current Assembly elections, the national chief organiser of the All-India Congress Seva Dal, Mr Pralahad Yadav, today visited this town and addressed workers of the Dal.

Mr Yadav on this occasion told the Congressmen and the workers of the Dal that the need of the hour was to tell the Akalis that they had not only “deceived” the Punjabis but also provided them a corrupt regime and goondaism during the past five years.

Mr Rajinder Dasrania, another Dal office-bearer criticised the Akalis for attending the bhogs of militants.

Mr Sushil Prashar, chief organiser of the Dal’s Punjab unit, projected Capt Amarinder Singh as the the next Chief Minister of the state.


18 bodies support Paramjit
Our Correspondent

Barnala, January 20
The poll campaign of Mr Paramjit Singh Barnala, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the party candidate for Barnala Assembly constituency got a boost on Saturday night as 18 religious and voluntary organisations pledged their support for him.

Mr Paramjit Singh said if he was elected then he would strive to make Barnala a district and work for the development of the region.

Election office opened
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 20
Bibi Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, SAD candidate from Khanna constituency, opened her election office at Kheri Noudh Singh village, near here, on Sunday. Addressing people on the occasion, she appealed them to vote in favour of SAD-BJP candidates. She said she would file her nomination on Wednesday.


POTO aimed at curbing rights: speakers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, January 20
Educationists, intellectuals, social workers and human rights activists criticised the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) at a seminar held here today, saying that it was aimed at curtailing fundamental rights of Indians.

The seminar, organised at the local Teachers Home, was aimed at creating awareness among people and generating public opinion against POTO. It was organised by the district units of the Democratic Rights Society, Punjab, and the Lok Morcha, Punjab.

The organisers said they would continue efforts regarding creating awareness among the masses against POTO till a mass movement was formed against the ordinance. The speakers, including university professors and office-bearers of human rights organisations, alleged that in the name of curbing terrorism, POTO was aimed at putting a check on the fundamental rights of citizens.

They said the police would get unlimited power after the implementation of the ordinance and it could be misused by those in power to settle scores with their political opponents.

During the seminar, a paper written by Prof Sucha Singh Gill of the Economics Department of Punjabi University, Patiala, titled “POTO” — an attack on democratic rights”, was also distributed among those present on occasion.

Mr Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Democratic Rights Society, said POTO could be used against the associations which were fighting for human rights. Mr Amolak Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Lok Morcha, said his association was not against passing ordinances or framing laws for curbing terrorism in the country but these should be made only to serve the purpose.

Other speakers expressed similar views and said a provision in POTO that a person arrested under the ordinance would have to prove his innocence himself was against the normal practice. They said generally a person arrested by the police was considered innocent until he was convicted by the court while for POTO detainees the rule had been reversed.


Fast-track court inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 20
First fast-track court has become functional in Jalandhar, seven such courts, being set up at the headquarters of seven districts of Punjab may help lesson woes of undertrial prisoners and reform the judicial system cutting prolonged trials and obviating violation of human rights in cases of those came out to be innocent after years of trial.

Fast-track courts are being set up by the central government under a scheme for which Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for five fast-track courts in a district in the country. The scheme was envisaged after an exhaustive survey of jails which found 70 per cent of inmates facing trial and the rest of 30 per cent turned out to be convicts, resulting in increasing pendency of cases in courts, overcrowding of jails and huge expenditure burden on the government exchequer. Most of the undertrial prisoners in jails were found to be facing trial under non-bailable offences like murder and the NDPS Act.

To cut down pendency of cases in the courts, seven Fast track courts, have been set-up in the state at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Sangrur, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ferozepur, following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. These courts will hear cases of undertrial prisoners booked under heinous cases. The first fast track court was inaugurated at the District Courts Complex in Jalandhar by Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday. Mr M.S. Luna, a retired District and Sessions Judge will head the court. We have already transferred about 35 cases, instituted upto December 31, 1998 to the fast track court, “said Mr M.M. Aggrawal, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman District Legal Services Authority. He said norms have been fixed regarding the disposal of cases and 14 cases would be decided in one month. “The situation was not so bad in case of sessions trials two decades ago. Such cases used to be decided in three four months. But since bail normally is refused in cases of murder and those pertaining to the NDPS Act, the pendency of cases has increased manifold, which generated the need for such fast-track courts,” said Mr Aggarwal.

Mr M.S. Mahal, the Member Secretary of the Punjab legal Services Authority, who had come to supervise a pre-litigative Lok Adalat for the settlement of bank loan disputes here today, said prolonged trial, on one hand, was leading to the overcrowding of jails and increasing expenditure burden on the state exchequer, and on the other such trials amounted to violation of human rights in case of those found to be innocent after prolonged trials. Fast track courts will give vent to pressure on jails and relief to undertrial prisoners who will be able to get justice for continuous trial in such courts,” said Mr Mahal. According for Mr Aggrawal, 1150 cases were taken up for hearing in the pre-ligigative lok adalat today of which 460 cases pertaining to loan of Rs three crore were settled.


Baby dies after anti-polio drops
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 20
A six-month-old baby girl died today about an hour after the administration of anti-polio drops to her at Sular Gharat village, about 15 km from here. The drops were administered at a camp organised by the health authorities. However, the health authorities claimed that the girl had not died due to the administration of anti-polio drops.

Dr C.P. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said this afternoon that he had sent a team of two doctors, namely Dr J.R. Bansal, Assistant Civil Surgeon and Dr P.S. Klair, a child specialist, to Sular Gharat village to examine the matter. He said the team had taken a sample of the vaccine.

Dr Bansal said the girl had died due to such a fit as stool and urine had passed from her private parts.


Freedom’s deathless pioneers
Vikrant Jindal

Namdhari Sikhs, known as Kukas in the annals of Indian history, are rightly called the great warriors of our freedom struggle. They set an example in valour when they gave up their lives in Malerkotla for their compatriots.

Satguru Ram Singh founded the Namdhari sect on April 12, 1857, at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana district. At that time India was under the yoke of the British Empire. He mobilised the people for the freedom of their country and against social evils.

Satguru Ram Singh was the first person in world history to have used non-cooperation as a weapon to free his county from British rule. His non-cooperation movement included the boycott of government services, educational institutions and law courts started by the British and foreign goods. He believed that political freedom was a part of religion.

Satguru Ram Singh created the Kooka Platoon in Kashmir State in 1869-70 against British rule. It attacked slaughterhouses at Amritsar and Raikot. The British Government reacted quickly and three Namdharis were hanged on August 5, 1871, and two in Ludhiana on November 26, 1871.

Under the leadership of Hira Singh and Lehna Singh, Namdhari Sikhs attacked Malerkotla on January 15, 1872. There was a fierce fight. The Kukas fought bravely. Persons on both sides were killed. All of them then resolved to surrender to the authorities. At that time Cowen was working as the Superintendent of the Council of Administration.

He immediately ordered the rebels to be tied to the cannon’s mouth. But the daring Namdharis said they would come to the cannon’s mouth themselves. Once again Cowen asked them to stand with their backs to the cannons. The Kukas replied that only cowards received shots in the back. They would die a brave death facing the cannons.

Seven times the seven cannons were fired and each time seven Namdharis, 49 in all, gave up their lives for the Independence of India. A boy of 12, Bishan Singh, was asked by Cowen and his wife to renounce the Namdhari sect to save his life. As soon as he heard these words, he pounced in rage on Cowen and caught hold of his beard.

Cowen was saved by native officers who cut the hands and head of Bishan Singh with their swords.

On the following day, January 18, as many as 16 more Namdharis were blown up with cannons. On that day Waryam Singh was ordered to go back as he was too short. He ran and brought some stones and sods of earth from nearby fields and prepared a small platform. Standing upon it, he challenged the gunman to open fire.

The Malerkotla incident gave an opportunity to the government to crush the Namdharis. Satguru Ram Singh and prominent subas were arrested and exiled. Namdharis were not allowed to assemble at one place.

In the meantime, the Indian National Congress had been wooing the Namdharis. It organised a number of conferences at various places in Punjab against British tyranny.

In memory of the great torchbearers of the freedom struggle a beautiful memorial has been constructed here. A monument in the shape of a khanda with three wings has been built. On each wing 22 holes have been made representing the number of martyrs.

Mr Surinder Singh Namdhari, president of the body that looks after the memorial, said there was a plan to cover the khanda with Japanese steel to enhance its beauty.

In memory of these martyrs a national-level function is organised every year on January 17 at Kuka Samarak here. 


BKU threatens stir on SYL issue
Our Correspondent

Moga, January 20
Farmers in Punjab will launch a statewide stir on the SYL issue against giving water to Haryana while the water table in Punjab has gone down by more than 100 feet during the past few years. This was stated by Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, the state president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), while addressing a meeting of farmers of the state here yesterday. He said if water was given to Haryana, the farmers of Punjab would oppose the move. He urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to do the needful in this regard.

The union also urged all political parties in Punjab to join hands with them.


Phariwalas’ call shots at ‘apni mandis’
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 20
“Apni mandis” in Jalandhar have virtually fallen prey to a nexus between some Punjab Mandi Board officials supervising these mandis and unscrupulous “phariwalas” who enjoy the patronage of officials and rule the roost at the cost of farmers and consumers.

“Apni mandis” were conceived by former Chief Election Commissioner Manohar Singh Gill and were aimed at bringing consumers and farmers on one platform by eliminating the role of middlemen. Though these mandis may be successful in Chandigarh to an extent, the growing nexus between “phariwalas” and Mandi Board officials are plaguing these in Jalandhar.

A round of a number of “apni mandis” here revealed that “phariwalas” were fleecing consumers with impunity under the nose of officials appointed by the Punjab Mandi Board for conducting such weekly “mandis” in the city.

The situation has come to such a pass that farmers have become a rarity in such “mandis” and “phariwalas” are running the show under the patronage of officials. The latter generally turn a blind eye to complaints of consumers on one hand and discourage farmers on the other to cause undue benefit to “phariwalas”.

No “apni mandi” was found where farmers were actively participating, while “phariwalas” were seen doing a brisk business even though a majority of them did not have any licences or identity cards.

“We are not allowed to set up our stalls until we bribe officials, who take hefty sums from “phariwalas” to allow them to sell their goods at enhanced prices. If we refuse to give them money, they start harassing us on one pretext or the other,” complained Surjit Singh, a farmer from Dhina village who had come to the mandi with his produce.

Ms Veena, a resident of Jalandhar, complained that “phariwalas” resorted to fleecing consumers and Mandi Board officials did nothing about it. “Though the Mandi Board has put up boards citing rates of vegetables, its officials don’t enforce the prices. For example, the price of brinjal is quoted at Rs 6 per kg but everybody is charging Rs 10. When I complained to the official supervising the mandi, he did nothing but turn his face away,” Ms Veena said.

Interestingly, when this correspondent, posing as a customer, contacted Mr Ravinder Gupta, the Punjab Mandi Board’s official posted at Model Town’s “apni mandi”, he admitted that most of the people did not have identity cards. On complaints about fleecing by “phariwalas”, Mr Gupta said: “What can I do? It is their produce and they will sell it at their sweet will. Why should anybody bother about that?” He refused to say anything about the large presence of “phariwalas” inside the place earmarked for holding the mandi.


Army arrests Bangladeshi
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, January 20
A Bangladeshi national was arrested by the Army near Bareka village, close to the Indo-Pakistan border. He has been remanded in police custody till January 22.

According to the details available, Hilal Mian, a resident of Memon village of Bangladesh was arrested by Army jawans for being a suspected foreigner. When they tried to communicate with him he did not understand even Hindi or Punjabi.

He was said to be communicating in Bangla language.

During joint interrogation of the Army and the local police in the presence of Intelligence Bureau officials, the suspected person revealed that he was trying to enter Bangladesh. Someone had misguided him that Indo-Bangladesh border was ahead of this village.

He came to Ferozepore from Sealdah via Ajmer, Delhi and Nizammudin by train. Further investigations are on in the Sadar police station Ferozepore.


More readers in Punjabi needed’
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 20
Noted writer and Rajya Sabha member Kartar Singh Duggal stressed upon the need to create more readers in the Punjabi medium to encourage creative writing in the language.

Addressing writers and eminent citizens who had gathered at the State Language Department yesterday to honour him with the Giani Lal Singh Memorial Award on behalf of the Giani Lal Singh Memorial Trust, he said ways and means needed to be found to inculcate reading habit among youngsters. For this it was necessary to open libraries at the village level, besides providing good literature to youngsters all over the state.

Earlier, Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa while honouring Mr Duggal with a cash prize, a silver plaque and a shawl, lauded the efforts made by Mr Duggal in propogating Punjabi the world over. He said Mr Duggal had made his mark in several walks of life and was a “complete human-being”.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Kirpal Singh Badungar, speaking on the occasion, said Punjabi could be propagated at the grassroots level by making it the common man’s language. He said the SGPC would contribute towards this effort.

Speaking on behalf of the trust, Dr Daljit Singh, Dean, Human Resources Development, urged the SGPC President that a portrait of Giani Lal Singh be hung in the Sikh Museum at Amritsar.

Former Punjab Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor Dr S.S. Johl, also spoke.



Two labourers die as wall collapses
Our Correspondent

Moga, January 20
Two labourers were killed and five others were seriously injured when a 5-foot wall of a godown of M/s Lakshami Complex collapsed and fell on them in Bhaghapurana town, about 15 km from here, yesterday.

One of the labourers who died was identified as Paramjit Singh while the other belonged to Uttar Pradesh. The police extricated the bodies of the deceased from under the debris and sent these for a post-mortem examination. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital.

The families of the deceased have demanded compensation from the owners of the complex.

Scheme for mishap victims launched
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, January 20
The Dost Welfare Society an NGO of city, dedicated to the service of mankind has made another attempt to help those injured in accidents for providing them with immediate medical help. It launched into service an ambulance purchased for Rs 6.5 lakh from today.

The ambulance would also be used as funeral van for taking bodies to cremation ground. The residents can avail the facility on ‘no profit-no loss’ basis, according to the office-bearers of the society. On the occasion of the launching of the ambulance a medical camp was also held organised by the society where 400 patients were examined. Medicines were given free of cost, at the camp.

One of the office-bearers of the society said that the ambulance was purchased with the donations given by the residents of the city and the government assistance promised by an official did not reach.


Workshops on sanitation
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, January 20
Sulabh International, an NGO, will organise workshops at various villages of the state under the ‘Rural sanitation and sustainable development’ programme to educate people about sanitation.

The programme is funded by WHO. In the first phase seminars will be held at selected villages of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Madhya Pradesh.

These villages were selected after a survey conducted throughout the state.

Talwandi Sabo and Buladewala have been selected for holding these workshops. Sulabh will educated the people about different health aspects with the help of teachers, panchayats and anganwadi workers.


Sulabh International to hold workshops
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, January 20
Sulabh International, an NGO, will organise workshops at various villages of the state under the ‘Rural sanitation and sustainable development’ programme to educate people about sanitation.

The programme is funded by WHO. In the first phase seminars will be held at selected villages of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Madhya Pradesh.

These villages were selected after a survey conducted throughout the state.

Talwandi Sabo and Buladewala have been selected for holding the workshops.


71 pc booths in Pakka Kalan sensitive
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 20
More than 43 per cent polling booths in the five Assembly segments falling in this district have been identified as sensitive and the district civil and police authorities have made adequate arrangements to have free and fair elections.

Official sources said that out of a total of 801 polling booths in the five Assembly segments — Nathana, Pakka Kalan, Bathinda, Rampura Phul and Talwandi Sabo — 347 polling booths had been identified as sensitive. In the predominantly rural reserve constituency of Pakka Kalan, more than 71 per cent polling booths have been identified as sensitive.


Robbers loot cash, jewellery
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, January 20
Over 24 armed persons committed dacoities in two houses in Sant Nagar and Preet Nagar localities on the outskirts of the town last night. The robbers looted gold ornaments and Rs 8,000 from the house of Bhajan Singh.

They first entered the house of Gurmail Singh, an RCF employee, in Sant Nagar. Harwinder Kaur, his wife, told newspersons today that the robbers, numbering about 25, entered the house posing as policemen. They confined the family members in a room and fled away with three tolas of gold and Rs 15,000. Later, they entered the house of Bhajan Singh, posing again as policemen. When they were asked to show identity cards by Bhajan Singh, one of the robbers hit him with a lathi, causing injuries to him.

Thereafter, the dacoits tried to commit dacoity in the houses of Karam Singh and Sohan Singh but they did not succeed. The police has registered cases in this connection.


Suitor throws acid on girl’s face
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, January 20
A 26-year-old girl, Monica Sethi, employed with the local NIIT Computer Centre, suffered serious burn injuries on her face, neck and shoulder when a boy threw acid on her face while she was working in her office.

According to information, Kunal Ahuja, alias Jolly, a resident of Ferozepore Cantonment, entered her office yesterday evening and allegedly threw acid at her. She was taken to a private hospital where her condition is stated to be stable.

A case under Sections 307 and 452 of the IPC has been registered. Sources say the boy, who runs a gift shop, was in love with the girl and had sent a marriage proposal to her house through his father, which was turned down by the parents of the girl.

The sources say the boy took this step out of sheer frustration. The father of the boy, an employee of the Food Corporation of India, is stated to be in police custody.

According to Mr Kewal Krishan, SHO, police teams have been sent to various places to arrest the boy.

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