Sunday, March 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Sonia for fair representation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The President of the All-India Congress Committee, Ms Sonia Gandhi, wants to give representation to all factions in the Punjab Cabinet.

According to informed sources, Ms Gandhi has briefly discussed the issue of the Cabinet formation in Punjab with senior leaders like Mr Moti Lal Vora, Mrs Ambika Soni, Mr Ahmed Patel, Dr Manmohan Singh, besides Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, and Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab.

Though Ms Gandhi has agreed with the proposal put forward to her by Capt Amarinder Singh to keep the size of the Punjab Council of Ministers “tolerable”, because of the resources crunch, she, according to the sources, wanted to accommodate all major factions in the Council of Ministers to ensure the smooth running of the Congress government in the state. She does not want any faction to crib and complain on the issue of the formation of the ministry.

It is an open secret that there are several factions and sub factions in the Punjab Congress enjoying the patronage of various senior leaders of the party high command in Delhi. In fact, most of the Punjab-based partymen operate and lobby through the senior leaders of the party high command.

At the time of the distribution of party ticket Mrs Bhattal, Mrs Ragunadan Lal Bhatia, Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, Mrs Soni and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo had pleaded the case of their supporters. The replay of the same is going on in New Delhi to secure berths in the Council of Ministers, it is learnt. The sources said as most of the MLAs were camping in the Capital to get a slot in the Council of Ministers, the senior leaders of the party had been pleading their case with the right quarters. Interestingly, most of the aspirants wanted to be a part of the first lot of ministers likely to be sworn in before the end of next week.

Mrs Bhattal had met Ms Gandhi briefly yesterday to discuss with her the names of MLAs which she (Mrs Bhattal) wanted to be inducted as ministers in the Council of Ministers. Mrs Soni, Mrs Bhinder, Mr Bhatia and Mr Dullo had also, according to the sources, conveyed the names of their candidates for berths in the ministry.

Most probably it will be a two-tier ministry to begin with. There will be Cabinet and also ministers of state. Those having won the Assembly elections three times or more are expected to be taken as Cabinet ministers. Among the names to find berth in the Council of Ministers are Choudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Avtar Henry, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Mr Surinder Singla, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Mrs Partap Singh Bajwa, Prof Darbari Lal, Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Mr Khushal Behal, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Mr Raj Khurana, Chowdhary Santokh Singh, Mrs Razia Sultana, Mr Hans Raj Joshan, Dr Harbans Lal and Mrs Harbans Kaur.


Vidhan Sabha session in March-end
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The delay in the composition of the Punjab Council of Ministers notwithstanding, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha will meet later this month to vote on account for the first three months of the next financial year before a full-fledged Budget will be presented later this summer.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was here to hold meetings with senior party leaders and senior officials of the state administration over the "critical power supply position" and discuss the draft of the excise policy for the next financial year, will leave for the union Capital tomorrow to have another round of discussions with the party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to finalise the composition of the state Council of Ministers .

A decision about the new Speaker, will also be taken tomorrow. The first two rounds of the meeting have not yielded any tangible results so far, according to sources. Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is reported to have submitted a list of names to the party high command for inclusion in the Council of Ministers in the first phase.

Some of the important and major issues which have engaged the attention of his government are arrangements for the procurement of wheat which may start arriving in the markets later this month or early next month. "I have asked PAU for a report on what should be the MSP for wheat this time. Next week I have sought an appointment with the Prime Minister, the Agriculture Minister, the Food Minister and others to discuss about wheat procurement," he said.

Though the Chief Minister returned here last evening , he immediately went into a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra. The swearing in of the Council of Ministers, the sources said, would not take place before Monday. Even the strength of ministers, both Cabinet and state, is wide open and no decision has been taken.

A final decision is also pending on the exact date of convening the first session of the 12th Vidhan Sabha. "March 27 is the last working day of this month. So the first session will end on that day. Since we have given our own policies and programmes, we will have vote on account for the first three months of the next financial year and will present a regular Budget in the summer," said the Chief Minister.

The government is also yet to take a decision about the pro-tem Speaker for administering the oath to the newly elected members of the State Legislature."It is normally the seniormost member of the Vidhan Sabha, who administers the oath to the newly elected members," the Captain said.

An important and time-bound issue before the new government is the finalisation of the excise policy as the entire process has to be completed before March 31. Excise is the major source of revenue for the state government. The Chief Secretary himself is handling this crucial issue. After preliminary discussions on the draft policy today, it will get a formal nod from the Cabinet as soon as it is constituted.

The Chief Minister made it clear that the composition of the Council of Ministers had nothing to do with the administrative reshuffle as it was "important for the new government to swing into action and indicate the type of clean and transparent governance it has promised to provide to the people of Punjab."There were speculations that the speed at which the administrative reshuffle was being carried out , it could lead to some complications as some of the Cabinet Ministers may need specific officers to work for them in the portfolios to be allotted to them. Similarly, the appointment of new Deputy Commissioners may not be to the liking of either the ministers-to-be in particular and the legislators in particular.

The Chief Minister said written instructions had been issued to the Chief Secretary for holding an immediate inquiry into the last-minute deletion of names from electoral rolls throughout the state. Criminal cases would be registered against those held responsible for these "deletions", he added.

Capt Amarinder Singh said the SSP of Patiala had already completed a preliminary inquiry into various complaints and charges against the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University. The report was with the Secretary, Higher Education. Based on the inquiry report action would be taken, the Chief Minister said maintaining that it did not behove people holding responsible positions to behave in such an irresponsible manner. "My government shall not tolerate any such behaviour," he added.

He said it was a "shame that many Prisoners of War of the 1965 war were still languishing in jails in Pakistan. It is in utter violation of the Geneva convention." Urging the Chief Executive of Pakistan, Gen Pervez Musharraf, to look into the matter on top priority, he said that India had more than 90,000 POWs who were repatriated to Pakistan within a few months of the end of the 1971 war.

"It is shocking that they are there for 37 years. Even life sentence is not that long. There are proofs, including letters from them, and also those who have seen them in various Pakistani jails, to prove that they were still detained there," he added. He also urged the Government of India to initiate steps to get these POWs released forthwith.


Refusal of “siropa” to Amarinder resented
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 2
The refusal of “siropa” to Capt Amarinder Singh, at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Thursday has created resentment among Sikhs. After taking over as the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh had visited the Golden Temple to pay obeisance.

The vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, while regretting the decision of not presenting the “siropa” to Capt Amarinder Singh, pointed out it was unprecedented that a visiting dignitary had been refused this honour, particularly when he (Capt Amarinder Singh) was a devout Sikh.

Mr Tikka pointed out that Capt Amarinder Singh had always stood by Sikh traditions. He pointed out it was out of unfailing faith in the honour and dignity of the Golden Temple that Capt Amarinder Singh had resigned from the Congress immediately after Operation Bluestar. He asked, “when people like Queen Elizabeth could be presented with “siropas” why was Capt Amarinder denied this honour?”.

The Youth Congress leader said, the family of Capt Amarinder Singh had made immense contribution for the autonomous control of the Golden Temple, which after the demise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was being run by the British. He pointed out the same SGPC, which was instrumental in refusing "siropa" to Capt Amarinder Singh had been constituted following efforts by Capt Amarinder Singh’s grandfather, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh.

According to Mr Sarup Singh Alag, a well-known Sikh scholar, it was the personal influence of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh which made the British transfer control of the Golden Temple to the Sikhs. It was regrettable that a descendant of the same Maharaja had been denied this honour.


Ex-MLA convicted in usurpation case
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, March 2
Mr Harsh Mehta, local Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate, has sentenced Sukhdev Singh, former MLA and a senior Congress worker, and two others to five-and-a-half year’s rigorous imprisonment (RI) and imposed Rs 2,200 as fine after they were found guilty of having criminal intention to usurp the property of a post office located at Raman Mandi by preparing forged documents.

Sukhdev Singh, Banarsi Dass and Dev Raj, who were booked under Sections 465, 466, 467 and 468 of the IPC and subsequently arrested by the Raman Mandi police in 1996, were sentenced to RI ranging from six months to two years under separate sections.

The Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate also held that all substantive sentences would run consecutively. In case of default in the payment of fine, the accused would undergo further RI for five-and-a-half months.

According to a copy of the judgement delivered by Mr Mehta on March 1,2002, the Superintendent, Posts, came to know that some persons were attempting to encroach upon a vacant plot on which the building of a post office was to be constructed. He approached the police and civil authorities in this connection. However, police inquiries were of little help in stopping the encroachment.

The then Deputy Commissioner asked the Subdivisional Officer (Civil), Talwandi Sabo, to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The SDO (Civil) held that Sukhdev Singh Sukhladi, Dev Raj and Banarsi Dass tried to claim the right and title on the land on the basis of a forged and fabricated letter of the Punjab Mandi Karan Board. The signatures on the documents on the basis of which they were claiming their rights and title were also forged and the despatch number on it was also forged. The then Deputy Commissioner sent the report of SDO (Civil) to SSP, Bathinda for taking action on it. The ADA (Legal) gave the opinion that a case may be registered in Raman Mandi police station.

During the course of trials, it came to light that the accused apart from creating false and forged documents in connection with the property also filed a civil suit so as to get the stamp of the court on the right of the parties on the suit property.

Mr Mehta held that after examining the arguments advanced by the prosecution and defence counsels of the three accused, it became clear that Banarsi Dass, in collusion with the other accused, filed a civil suit to usurp the property of the government which had also become clear from the testimony of the prosecution witness and documentary evidences in the form of revenue record.

On the basis of discussion, all accused stood convicted for having committed offences under Sections 466, 467, 468, 471 and 201 of the IPC. 


Case against 2 court officials 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 2
The police has lodged an FIR against two court officials who had allegedly amassed huge property, disproportionate to their known sources of income following a report of District and Sessions Judge M.R. Batra.

While the Vigilance Department had arrested Ramesh Kumar, a civil court clerk, younger brother of Rajinder Kumar, a “nazir” in the sessions court is still at large.

A senior advocate of the district court, in a letter to the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, alleged that the name of the then Sessions Judge was excluded while lodging the FIR. He sought a CBI inquiry into the case, saying that huge property, including “benami” property, was amassed through the two officials of the court whose names were mentioned in the FIR.

The case has been registered with the Vigilance Department under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 466, 467 and 468 of the IPC against Rajinder Kumar and Ramesh Kumar. Mr Swinder Singh DSP, had been deputed as the inquiry officer.

According to the FIR, it was established prima facie that Rajinder Kumar and members of his family had amassed properties disproportionate to their known sources of income.

In case of Ramesh Kumar, his total carry home salary from January 1992 to 2001 was Rs 6.22 lakh and that his total cash assets at one point of time had been found to be Rs 3.79 lakh.

The District Sessions Judge had directed the police to register a criminal case against the accused.


Dang seeks probe into misuse of funds
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 2
Demanding inquiries throughout Punjab into the alleged misuse of funds in the name of a social security fund introduced by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Satya Pal Dang, CPI leader, has expressed fear that a sizeable part of this fund went towards the election campaign of Mr Badal.

The fund collected as a result of 10 per cent surcharge on sales tax was declared unconstitutional by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which ruled that the entire income from the cess should have gone to the consolidated fund of the state, the Budget.

The ruling came only after hundreds of crores had already been transferred to the fund which had then become non- liable to audit by CAG.

Mr Dang wrote this in a letter to the new Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. ratra. Consequently, a Rs 23-crore scam was unearthed on a complaint by the Vigilance Department and led to an inquiry by Dr Rishipal Singh, the then Assistant Commissioner, Grievances, Amritsar. The inquiry officer was “rewarded” by being “packed off to Ferozepore.” Mr Dang alleged.

However, the inquiry resulted in the suspension of 11 officials of the district in the Social Securities Department.

Demanding a CBI probe, Mr Dang forwarded details of assets of an official under suspension in the multi-crore scam and said the assets of other officials involved in the scam also needed to be inquired into as the earlier inquiry was only confined to Amritsar district.


No danger of plague in Punjab: Goyal

Moga, March 2
Punjab Health Services Director Dr G.L. Goyal has said though there is no danger of plague in any part of the state, health officials must take all preventive steps, including setting-up an isolation ward in every hospital and primary health centre.

Speaking at a high-level meeting of senior doctors of the Health Department of the district, Mr Goyal said there was no case of plague in the district, and any other part of the state, but doctors should be ready to meet any eventuality.

The Civil Surgeon and Senior Medical Officer informed Mr Goyal that in the local Civil Hospital not only the isolation ward had been set up, but sufficient stocks of medicines, beside training to the paramedical staff and nursing staff, were also being provided to check the disease. Mr Goyal said the State Health Department had also sought the cooperation of all NGOs in the state to generate awareness about the disease.

Dr G.L. Goyal, during his visit to the Civil Hospital here, also reviewed the various steps taken by the district Health Department to check the spiralling cases of abortion, particularly those of female foeticide by ultrasound scanning centres.

Dr Goyal also directed the health officials to take strict and firm action against those ultrasound scan clinics who did not comply with the instructions. He further said district-level advisory committees of medical experts had been set up in all districts by the respective Deputy Commissioners or medical experts to maintain a record of the tests performed by the owners of the clinics of ultrasound centres. UNI


SGPC quota for ‘dharmi faujis’
Tribune News Service

Damdama Sahib (Bathinda), March 2
In a significant decision, the SGPC has reserved 10 per cent of its posts for “dharmi faujis who deserted the armed forces in protest against Operation Bluestar in its committees.

Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC President, who was here in connection with a function, addressing a Press conference said today, the “dharmi faujis” had deserted the Army as Operation Bluestar had hurt their religious sentiments. He said a resolution ensuring 10 per cent reservations for them was passed at a meeting of the executive committee of the SGPC held recently.

Alleging that government help to them was negligible, he said it would be ensured that they were given the maximum benefits by the SGPC.

He said the objections being raised on the construction of a memorial to victims of Operation Bluestar were baseless. He said these memorials could be constructed in the shape of schools, colleges and hospitals.

Asked why the SAD-BJP combine government failed to construct the memorial during its five-year rule and ensure the release of Sikh youths who had been languishing in various jails, he evaded a direct reply and said the matter concerned Punjab and the Union Government and the SGPC was doing whatever it could.

On the question of elections to the SGPC, he said the SAD was preparing for it seriously. He alleged that government revenue officials were not cooperating on the pretext that they were not being given any honorarium by the state government to prepare a fresh vote list for the elections. The last date for filing claims as voters had been fixed for March 27. He said there was no controversy over the voting rights of sehajdharis and the matter would be decided as per the election rules at an appropriate time.

Claiming that people of the state had given their verdict in favour of the “original” SAD, he advocated that there should be Panthic unity. He said had the leaders of the Panthic Morcha agreed for unity, the SAD-BJP combine would have won. He demanded a ban on exit and opinion polls, accusing them of biased reporting.

Mr Badungar admitted that the SGPC was facing problems on sending the jathas to Pakistan due to the tension prevailing between India and Pakistan. He said he was in favour of sending the jathas to Pakistan but refused to comment on the decisions taken by his predecessors.

Condemning the killings of innocent people in Gujarat and violence in other parts of the country, he said the SGPC had appealed to the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, to ensure adequate security arrangements for minorities in Gujarat and to make arrangement for the restoration of peace. 


Delay in treatment led to victims’ death?
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Gurusar Sainawala (Bathinda), March 2
The alleged delay in the treatment of about 11 victims of an accident that took place near this village situated on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, 8 km from Bathinda, on Thursday night, at the local Civil Hospital left two dead.

The accident took place between a jeep and a truck. Mr Gurwinder Singh Brar, a local resident who was among those rescued the victims and took them to hospital, talking to TNS alleged that all victims were brought alive but medical staff started to treat them after over an hour of their arrival. There was power failure and the staff did not have the keys of the generator room.

He said it took over an hour to arrange for an electrician to start the generator. He said volunteers tried to break open the lock but could not succeed.

He said there were only two stretchres, adding that the medical staff was inadequate.

Two youths — Sonu and Surinder Kumar — died and nine, including two children, who were on their way to attend a marriage, were severely injured in the accident.

Those injured include Raj Kumar, Sunita, Kalu Ram, Manju, Rampartap, Lalita, Anjali, Monu, Amit Kala and Raja. They were going to Faziabad near Delhi. Volunteers of Sahara Jan Seva also helped in the shifting of the victims.

Dr Niranjan Lal, who was on duty last night in the emergency wing, said the generator was started after 20 minutes and the treatment of victims began immediately with the help of lights run on dry batteries. He denied that two persons died due to delay in treatment, adding that the SMO too came immediately. The injured are now out of danger.

Dr H.S. Dhillon, Civil Surgeon, said there was some delay in treatment due to power failure. He said an inquiry would be held in this matter.

He claimed that one victim was brought dead while the other who died in the hospital was gasping for breath. 


135 cases settled in lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 2
A state level lok adalat was held in the city today in which 10 courts settled 135 cases related to various categories.

Mr B.C. Rajput, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), while inaugurating the lok adalat, said that the concept was becoming popular in the state. He said it was a speedy method to get disputes resolved.

In today’s adalat, 320 cases were put before various judges which were related to defaults on bank loans, family disputes, accident claims, bounced cheque cases, civil suits and negotiable criminal cases. Cases worth Rs 31,95,322 were settled in the bank loan recoveries category. The cases related to various banks, including the State Bank of Patiala, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank and Indian Overseas Bank.

Mr Gurbir Singh, Secretary, DLSA, said 17,000 cases had been settled in the lok adalats held so far.


620 cases settled at lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 2
The 43rd state-level lok adalat settled 620 cases involving Rs 2.5 crore here today.

The adalat was held by Mr Justice H.S. Bedi, Executive Chairman of the Legal Services Authority Punjab-cum-Justice Punjab and Haryana High Court. In all 1,450 cases were taken up at the adalat, according to Mr Rajinder Aggarwal, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate.

Ten Benches were set up. The next lok adalat will be held in Amritsar tomorrow.


Review appointment of VCs: sabha
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 2
In view of the demand “to suspend or to proceed on leave” action against the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Punjabi University, Patiala, Ms Vimla Dang, patron, Istri Sabha, has suggested a change in the practice of appointing VCs in Punjab.

She has requested a review of the present procedure of appointment of VCs. A panel of three or five academicians and administrators could be set up, she said. The VC could be selected by the Governor-cum-Chancellor of the university, she said. She said the action should be followed by a high level inquiry into sexual harassment cases in Punjabi University.


Complete bandh at Goraya
Tribune Reporter

Phillaur, March 1
A complete bandh was observed at Goraya and Noormahal in this subdivision today following a call by the VHP and the Bajrang Dal. Commercial establishments remained closed in both towns but road and rail traffic functioned normally.

Protest marches were also organised and memoranda were presented to the local authorities, demanding the immediate arrest of those responsible for the Gujarat killings.


Maintain peace, appeals Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The former Punjab Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace and harmony in the country. Expressing concern over the violent incidents that have occurred in the past few days, Mrs Bhattal said it was time for saner elements to come forward to restore harmony in the disturbed areas.


Emergency at Ayodhya sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 2
In view of the proposed March 15 procession by the VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organisations, Dal Khalsa leaders called upon the President to declare emergency at Ayodhya.

Describing the massacre of the Muslims, torching of mosques, besides the Godhra carnage as acts of national shame, they appealed to Mr K.R. Narayanan to direct the Union Government to take stern action against the killers of innocent persons.


Grow medicinal plants: experts
Our Correspondent

Ropar, March 2
The Institute of the Engineering and Technology (IET) Bhaddal, has established a technology pool to the farmers of surrounding areas in diversification of crops. Under this program a seminar on, exploratory studies of herbs and ayurvedic medicines was organised at the institute today.

Experts from agricultural universities, pharmaceutical and ayurvedic institutes and industry participated. They expressed their views on topics ranging from the daily use of herbal plants to their commercial cropping and marketing.

Prof K.K. Bhutani from NIPER, SAS Nagar, stressed on the need to accelerate the working of the medicinal plant board.

Dr S.S. Saini from Punjab Agricultural University said commercial cropping of medicinal plants was thrice more profitable than traditional crops. However, the farmers were not opting for their cultivation because of lack of a government policy in this regard. Dr Raj Kumar, principal of Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar, said about 150 medicinal herbs could be cultivated in Punjab on a commercial scale.

Mr Gurcharan Singh, Chairman of the IET, said the institute was established with the aim to develop the surrounding areas. 


Rain good for wheat crop, say experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Light to moderate rainfall in various parts of the region has brought cheer to the farming community. Farmers as well as agricultural experts say rain in the past 48 hours will prove beneficial to the wheat crop.

Dr S.S. Bains, Director, Agriculture, Punjab, said reports of the rain had come almost from all districts in the state. He said the state government was already expecting a bumper crop of wheat, but the rain at this stage had further brightened the wheat prospects.

He said if the weather cleared within the next 24 days, the rain would also prove good for the other rabi crops. However, if the sky remained overcast, then it could prove a bit harmful for certain crops like the gram. There could be an attack of blight on the gram crop, he added.

He said because of the natural irrigation of the wheat and other rabi crops, farmers would have not to irrigate these crops by canal water. Moreover, the wet weather had kept the temperature low in the last week of February and the first days of March, and this was good for the wheat crop. Now the wheat crop would mature at a proper time.


Two held for killing cop
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, March 2
The Rajpura police has arrested two persons — Gora Singh and Gursaheb Singh — on charge of murdering a Delhi police constable, Dalbir Singh, at Gagan Chowk here yesterday. According to the police, the two men had followed Dalbir from Delhi and attacked him when he alighted from the bus at Gagan Chowk in Rajpura. Dalbir Singh had succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital.

Gora Singh is a constable in the GRP, while his brother, Gursaheb Singh, is a farmer. Sources said the brothers had fled the spot after the attack. They had been arrested on the Kalka road by a police party led by ASI Mr Raghbir Singh. Personal enmity is said to be the cause of the murder, as Dalbir Singh is said to have murdered a brother of the accused.


Abducted woman rescued, alleges rape
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, March 2
The Rajpura police has recovered a 22-year-old married woman, who was abducted from the town recently, from Chamaru village.

The district police chief, Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, said a police party led by the Rajpura city SHO, Mr William Jeji, had recovered the woman from a tubewell house of Chamaru village near here. He said, earlier, the woman’s husband, Sanjeev Kumar, had reported that his wife had been kidnapped by three persons — Ram Chand Das, Jawahar and Raju — with the help of a woman named Saraswati.

Meanwhile, the Rajpura DSP, Mr R.K. Sharma, said the abducted woman had complained that she had been raped by Ram Chand Das during her confinement. A case has been registered under Sections 363, and 366 and 376 of the IPC against the accused.


Paddy millers allege harassment
Our Correspondent

Budhlada (Mansa), March 2
Mr Sham Lal, president of the Rice Millers Association here, while talking to mediapersons here today, said members of the local Food Corporation of India Labour Union were causing hinderance in paddy milling operations.

He said as per an agreement between rice millers and the FCI, the millers were to lift the stocks with their own labour at their own responsibility but the members of the union were unnecessarily interfering in their work and pressurising the millers to get their work done through them by making a payment of Rs 1.75 per bag for loading as against existing rate of Re 0.37 per bag. The demand made by the union was five times against the existing rates, he added.

He further said the millers were not in a position to pay the exorbitant rate. He said the union was charging for stacking work twice — once from the millers and second time from the FCI for the same work, which worked out to lakhs of rupees. He further said the members of the association had sent fax message to higher authorities seeking intervention but no action had been taken so far. 


Traders urge CM to release 2.5 crore
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, March 2
Mr Rajnish Jain, president of the Nawanshahr Mandi Merchants Association, in a press note issued here yesterday has urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to take immediate steps to release Rs 2.5 crore due to the rice millers of the district against levy rice.

Mr Jain said though the FCI had released the payment to the then Badal Government but the latter did not disburse the full payment to the rice millers of the district. As a result, out of a total payment of Rs 5.5 crore, a sum of Rs 2.5 crore was unpaid creating a crisis for the rice millers, arhtiyas and farmers.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |