Friday, April 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab issues guidelines on postings, transfers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Punjab Government has issued guidelines for the posting and transfer of its employees.

A spokesman of the Personnel Department said that all postings and transfers would be made before May 5 in all departments of the state government. The broad guidelines emphasised that transfers must be the barest minimum and should generally be made against vacant posts except where they were justified on administrative or compassionate grounds. Those employees, including gazetted, who were due to retire within the next two years may be allowed to continue in the same district or at the same station of posting till retirement.

The spokesman further said that in the case of couples, efforts should be made to keep them together for not more than five years; thereafter, either of them should be transferred as per the guidelines. In cases where the wife was in government service and the husband in private employment, the same policy may be followed. Efforts should be made to post unmarried girls and widows at stations suitable to them. They should also be given preference over couples in postings and transfers. Handicapped and blind employees may also be shown due consideration.

In the case of employees with mentally retarded children, postings and transfers should be done with a sympathetic attitude and efforts made to post them at places of their choice. A stay of three years and five years may be treated as the minimum and maximum periods of stay at a particular place. Similarly, no employee, transferable within the state, should be allowed to serve in one district for more than seven years. Offices and seats with sensitive nature of work like extensive public dealings, monetary sanctions, etc, should be clearly defined and the maximum stay be two years.

The spokesman said that premature transfers, i.e. the transfer of employees before they completed a minimum of three years’ stay should not be ordered except under rare circumstances of punishment or clearly spelt out administrative reasons. Employees who were posted in the border, bet and kandi areas should remain there for a minimum period of two years.

Talking about mid-term transfers, the spokesman said that generally there would be a complete ban on them. When a transfer became necessary to fill a vacancy, the Administrative Department may do so at its own level in cases of suspension, resignation, removal from service, retirement, deputation, including deputation for long-term training, promotion, creation of new posts, death and mutual transfers. Any vacancy not covered by the above may only be filled with the approval of the Chief Minister through the Department of Personnel.

About transfers to be made after May 5, it was made clear that only those cases would be referred to the Department of Personnel for approval which were not covered by the policy and transfer was proposed on administrative grounds or on extremely compassionate grounds. Full justification may be shown in respect of cases in which transfers were proposed on administrative grounds. The Administrative Department would not effect transfers at its own level in compliance with the orders of the Minister in charge. Instead the case would be sent to the Department of Personnel for the approval of the Chief Minister.

In the case of the departments under the Chief Minister and mid-term transfers approved by him, the file would have to be sent to the Department of Personnel for his approval.


‘Supari’ killings at behest of NRIs
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, April 11
It is a gory but intricate story describing how five contract killers were carrying out ‘supari” killings of India-based estranged relatives and adversaries of some NRIs and how lust for minting of money had eroded traditional ethics and values.

The arrest of five contract killers, suspected to have terrorist links also, has unfolded how a potent network of “supari” killers was working and flourishing in Punjab, largely known to be a state sans the menace of “supari” killing, and was even killing close relatives of the NRIs at their behest.

Five contract killers identified as Amarjit Singh Rana, a resident of Bhilowal, Didar Singh Billa a resident of Patti village in Hoshiarpur, Satnam Singh Satta, a resident of Hira village near Una in Himachal Pradesh, Gurjit Singh Fauji, a resident of Bhilowal and Gurmit Singh Kaka, a resident of Bilaspur village near Mahilpur, have been arrested by the Hoshiarpur police after an encounter, while Sital Singh, a resident of Daduwal village managed to escape. Apart from the alleged “supari” killings, the gang had links with KCF activists in Canada, the UK and Germany.

The gang, according to Mr S.K. Sharma, IG, Jalandhar Range, used to charge an amount ranging between Rs 2 to 6 lakh from the NRIs and others for carrying out the “supari” killings. While Mr Sharma maintained that red corner notices would be issued and initiation of extradition proceedings against the accused would be ensured, the most interesting aspect of the modus operandi of the gang was that generally they used to eliminate either relatives or adversaries of the NRIs, living in Punjab or other parts of the country. The gang has confessed to having carried out four such “supari” killings and its involvement in five cases of attempt to murder apart from a number of dacoities, robberies and snatchings.

The ruthlessness of the gang could be judged from its operations which reveal that they would not spare even close relatives of somebody in case the latter granted “supari” and paid the demanded amount of money. Elaborating further, Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG, Jalandhar Range, said in one such case, the gang allegedly eliminated Darshan Singh, a resident of Lallian Kalan village near Lambran in Jalandhar, at the behest of none else but his son Amrik Singh. The grudge of Amrik Singh was that he was divested of the family property by his father. He, allegedly, managed to get his father murdered through Didar Singh Billa, Sabi and Tony, who were paid an amount of Rs 2.5 lakh as “supari” by Amrik Singh. In another case, the gang received an amount of Rs 6 lakh from an England-based woman and murdered her sister-in-law Joginder Kaur, a 40-year-old woman at Phagwara. The former suspected illicit relations between Joginder Kaur with her husband. Similarly, Jasbir Singh, a resident of Parowal village was killed by the gang at the behest of one Balbir Singh, who had paid an amount of Rs 1 lakh for the crime.


Lottery fever grips residents
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 11
Thirtyfive years old Ramesh has been performing his official duties for the past many years to make both ends meet and with an inadequate salary he has also been arranging for a better education for his children.

However, for the past two weeks, his lifestyle has undergone an absolute metamorphosis as he has started trying his luck to make a quick buck from the Super Lotto lotteries being promoted by the Government of Sikkim in the country. He has been spending a lot of money to purchase the lottery tickets instead of utilising it for the upbringing of his children in a dignified manner.

“Winning 5 crore will cost nothing today”, the catchy slogan coined and published by the media wing of Super Lotto lotteries in various dailies, has been attracting a large number of people of this city, known for its satta business (speculative transactions) from pre-Partition days and the existing betting culture to the Playwin retailers, the official subagent of the authorised agent of Sikkim State Online Lottery, appointed by the Government of Sikkim, who are dotting the city. Over the past few days, the residents are in the grip of the fever of Super Lotto lotteries.

As a jackpot prize has gone up to Rs 5 crore, the unprecedented heavy rush of those who are trying their luck remains at the Playwin centres till late evening. People from all walks of life have been pumping in money to purchase as many lottery tickets as they can. Even teenagers have been diverting their pocket money to Super Lotto lotteries.

Jatinder Kumar Sharma, a player, said there was no harm in purchasing Super Lotto lottery tickets each costing Rs 10 while the prize money was in crores. Moreover, you could choose your six numbers according to their choice and could watch the result on the television. For the past four weeks, he had become an addict to lotteries.

Though the Sikkim Government and its agents would mint money by selling these tickets, the online lottery, which is a new thing for the residents of this region, has started becoming an economic burden on thousands of those who have been trying their luck. Most of the daily wagers, rickshaw pullers and other petty labourers, who have also been pumping their hard-earned money into the lotteries, have been failing to meet their other routine liabilities. Most of the migratory labourers have stopped sending money to their kin living in their native states due to lottery addiction.

Mr Sushil Verma, a newspaper agent, said the concessional coupons inserted in the newspapers by the agents of Super Lotto lotteries, had also led to a jump into the sale of various dailies. He pointed out that people had gone mad for the lottery tickets. He added that he had also been purchasing Super Lotto lottery tickets regularly ever since they came into market though, earlier, he never indulged in buying lotteries to make a fortune.

A Playwin agent said, on an average, he had been selling more than 10,000 tickets daily. People had been started reserving their tickets by telling their particular numbers on the phone. He added that in the past few hours today, he had sold about five thousand tickets. Some of the Playwin agents have been finding it difficult to deal with the heavy rush of customers and they have employed extra hands to overcome the problem.


Sidhu remanded to judicial custody till April 24
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 11
The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) Chairman, Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, was today remanded to judicial custody till April 24 by a local court in two different cases under the Excise and Arms Act registered against him in the Sector 39 police station.

He was produced before the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Sanjay Sandhir, in the afternoon by the Punjab Police. The magistrate directed him to mark his presence in writing on papers. Thereafter, the Chandigarh police sought time to interrogate the accused regarding the two cases registered against him.

The UT police also informed the court that there were two investigating officers in different cases registered against him and they needed time to interrogate the accused. On the other hand, the counsel for the accused opposed the the police plea.

After hearing the police plea, the magistrate allowed one-hour time to the UT police to interrogate the accused and directed it to produce him again before the court at 3 p.m. After putting formal arrest of the accused, the investigating officers interrogate him in front of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council office.

At 3 p.m when he was again produced before the magistrate, the Public Prosecutor sought judicial remand of the accused and the magistrate remanded him to judicial custody till April 24. Later he was handed over to the Punjab Police.

Meanwhile, Sidhu was granted bail by the court under the Excise Act on furnishing an amount Rs 10, 000 but he has not furnished bail bond. The court has also issued notice for April 12 on a bail plea moved by the accused in a case registered against him under the Arms Act.

Sidhu has also moved an application before the court, stating that the possession of his house in Sector 39 which was sealed by the Punjab Police was handed over to his relative, and made a request to the magistrate to attest it.


Undertrials chained to hospital beds

Amritsar, April 11
In clear violation of the law, sick undertrials being admitted to government hospitals in the city are often chained to their beds in the hospital wards lest they run away.

The most recent case is that of Satnam Singh and Harpreet Singh alias Sonu, undergoing treatment at the Jallianwala Bagh Martyrs Civil Hospital. A recent visit to the ward revealed that both undertrials had one leg each chained to their beds.

Satnam Singh was admitted five days ago after the jail doctor diagnosed him for high fever and referred him to the civil hospital. Harpreet Singh, alias Sonu, is a TB patient and has been in hospital for the past six days.

The two undertrials, when approached, said though the chains on their legs did not hinder their bed movement, they felt uncomfortable. The chains are only removed when the undertrial goes to the toilet.

One head constable and three constables have been given the task of guarding Sonu and the same number are on guard duty around the bed of Satnam. Incidentally, none of the policemen were present inside the ward and only came when a doctor and a nurse took the rounds.

The policemen, when questioned about the patients, claimed that they were only obeying the orders of their superiors. They said the chains made them feel a lot more safe as during the past one year, six undertrials had escaped from government hospitals in the city, which had led to the suspension of about 12 policemen. UNI


ASI’s recruitment: 2 chargesheeted
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have reportedly established certain irregularities in the recruitment for the posts of ASI in the Punjab Police and have chargesheeted an assistant superintendent of police and an office superintendent in this regard.

According to the charge sheet, filed before a special CBI judge a few days ago, the ASI concerned, Charanjit Singh entered into a criminal conspiracy with Rajinder Pal Singh, posted as an office superintendent in the office of the DIG Ferozepore Range to make fraudulent entries in the records pertaining to the recruitment process in 1999. The CBI had taken over the investigation last year following a High Court directive.

It had been alleged that the application of Charanjit had not been properly scrutinised by the Departmental Recruitment Committee, headed by the then IGP (Border), Mr J.P. Birdi which also included the then DSP (HQ), Gurdaspur, Puran Singh and Rajinder Pal Singh.

CBI investigations revealed that while Charanjit Singh had mentioned his educational qualification as “appeared in BA-III, result awaited”, Rajinder had fraudulently entered his qualification as “MA passed” while compiling records at the time of scrutinising applications. This resulted in Charanjit being wrongly selected as an ASI.

Investigations revealed that the scrutiny of the application was intentionally assigned by Rajinder Pal to a clerk, asking him to make Charanjit eligible. The clerk wrote down the remarks, but refused to sign the sheet. In his statement, the clerk stated that he had written incorrect remarks under duress.

Investigations also revealed that during the written test, only objective type questions had been attempted in Charanjit Singh’s answer sheet and that too by some one else. Opinion of the handwriting expert also confirmed this.

The CBI has registered a case against the accused under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as Sections 120-B and 420 of the Indian Penal Code for conspiracy and cheating.


Cong to organise relay fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Punjab Congress today decided to organise a relay fast at all district headquarters from April 16 to May 21 in support of its demand for the immediate removal of the "communal and fascist" government of the BJP led by Narender Modi in Gujarat, says a party press note.


Finally, Behman bridge to be reconstructed
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 11
About a year after the collapse of a bridge over the Behman distributary on the Bathinda-Malout road, the Ministry of Surface Transport has initiated steps to reconstruct it.

The bridge, which was 40 years old, collapsed last year in May and since then it had been hampering the smooth flow of traffic and caused small accidents several times. The bridge, constructed by the building and Roads Department, collapsed following a breach in the distributary. Even a controversy had erupted between the PWD and Irrigation Department over the removal of debris of the bridge which has not lifted so far.

The traffic was diverted from link roads for several days before a temporary narrow bridge was constructed.

The authorities concerned claimed that Rs 20 lakh had been sanctioned for the reconstruction of the bridge a few days after it collapsed but nothing concrete had come of it. Even the proposal sent to the Ministry of Surface Transport by the state government for the reconstruction was rejected as it was not accompanied by the design of the bridge.

Sources said Rs 30 lakh had been sanctioned for the reconstruction of the bridge, tenders for which had been floated.

Though the ministry has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh, the actual amount which will be spent on it will be less as the Building and Road Department would charge 14 per cent of the total amount as agency charges.


Tipplers gain in price war
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 11
Tipplers in this region are in high spirits as they have been getting Punjab Medium Liquor (PML), also known as ‘desi’, at prices much lower than the minimum prices fixed by the Punjab Government following a price war between liquor vend contractors of Bhucho and Rampura circles. The intense prices war, which started a few days back, had led to a considerable decline in the prices of ‘desi’ liquor. The tipplers were getting a bottle for Rs 40 though the minimum price fixed by the Punjab Government was Rs 80.

These liquor vend contractors brought the war on the main roads. They started selling the liquor from their vehicles parked on roadsides and in villages.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that liquor vend contractors had been selling the liquor on the roadside and in villages in the territories of each other as they were trying to generate enough money to meet their financial liabilities to deposit the instalments of excise fee. This year, the auction of liquor vends in the district had fetched crores more to the state government as compared to the revenue fetched last year. Mr Upjeet Singh Brar, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC), and Mr Jaskaran Singh Brar, ETO (Excise, then contacted, said the price war had been stopped and both parties had been challaned for indulging in it.

The ETO said after challaning both parties, their cases had been sent to the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commission for necessary action. He pointed out that not both parties had been selling a bottle of PML, at Rs 120 though its minimum fixed price was Rs 80. He added that stern action would be taken against the guilty. The AETC said a meeting of liquor vend contractors had been arranged and they had been directed not to indulge in underselling and not to breach the territory of other liquor vend contractors.

He added that he had asked excise inspectors to keep a close watch on the activities of liquor vend contractors. He said they had also been directed to check whether beer was being sold at Rs 45 per bottle, the maximum price fixed by the Punjab Government, or not. If any liquor vend contractor was found selling beer at a price higher than Rs 45, they had been directed to take necessary action.


PHSC MD has ‘no time’ for scribes
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 11
Was this official instruction or personal decision which prevented the Managing Director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), Ms Kusumjeet Sidhu, from interacting with mediapersons when she visited the local Civil Hospital today? Because all she said to mediapersons was: “I cannot reply to your questions as I am on an official tour”.

The local mediapersons had assembled at the hospital to know about the views of the new MD regarding making some changes in the working of the corporation, but Ms Sidhu said she did not want to talk to them. She even asked press photographers not to click her photographys while she was inspecting various departments of the hospital.

The denial of the MD not to talk to mediapersons created suspicion that there could be something wrong in the working of the hospital, which she did not want to reveal to the Press.

The sources said the MD had asked the hospital authorities to prepare a list of those specialist doctors who were posted in rural hospitals where they did not have much task to do. She said such posts could be shifted to the urban hospitals so that their (doctors) services could be properly utilised.

However, she was not satisfied with the sanitation and cleanliness in the hospital and asked the authorities to improve it.

The sources said she agreed to take care of demands of the hospital authorities. She asked them to prepare a list of vacancies of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff so that some action could be taken on it.

Sources said she told to doctors and other staff to be sympathetic towards patients and treat them well.

Patients who came for treatment today were surprised to see that the members of the staff, whose behaviour was generally rude when they used to come here on other days, treated them in a very humble way. The hospital presented a picture-perfect look and all work was going on smoothly.

Mr T.N. Maini, Civil Surgeon, said there was no particular reason for the MD not talking to the media. He said she was in a hurry and had to inspect many hospitals in the area so she did not want to “waste” time talking to mediapersons.


Curb female foeticide: DC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 11
Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, while addressing a district-level seminar on female foeticide, said a sense of dedication for the cause of eradicating female foeticide was must and the challenge was in front of the whole society. The seminar was organised by the Pollution Control and Free Legal Aid Services at Bassi Pathana today.

Expressing concern over the fact that female ratio was lowest in Punjab and in Punjab it was lowest in Fatehgarh Sahib district, Mr Vikas Partap said that problem would take a dangerous proportion if suitable steps were not taken to check this evil. He appealed to all panches, sarpanches, social organisations, clubs and youth clubs to come forward to curb this evil by bringing these cases into the knowledge of administration.

Speaking about free legal aid services, Mr Vikas Partap said that justice for all was there in a democratic set up. He said that law was made and rules of legal services were framed for equal justice and free legal aid. Any one who wanted justice by law and was economically weak, could give an application for free legal aid.

Mr Vikas Partap showing concern over the increasing noise, air and water pollution said that the noise pollution was happening at religious places. He appealed to the religious heads to control it by not using high volume loud speakers. He asked everybody follow the directions of the Supreme Court not to use loud speakers from 10 pm to 6 am in the morning. He further informed that use of plastic bags for foodstuff was harmful as they were made of recycled plastic and their use was banned. Mr Vikas Partap asked all associations, clubs and NGOs to come forward in saving the environment and take steps to keep Punjab clean and green.

Addressing the seminar, Mr B. Chander Shekhar, SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, said that the civic sense was must. He assured full cooperation to the public on behalf of the police administration in maintaining law and order in the district.

Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Session Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib, said that public co-operation was must to root out the evils like female foeticide, pollution and in implementation of the policies of the government. No programme could be successful without the cooperation of NGOs and public. He asked them to come forward for these noble causes.

Among others who addressed the seminar were Mr Amarjeet Singh Sahi, SDM, Bassi Pathana, Mr Satpal Sharma, president, Lions Club, Mr R N Goel, Advocate, Dr Ravinder Singh, Dr K K Khanna, Dr M K Singla, Mr Omparkash Tangri and Miss Balwinder Kaur.


ASI, constables beaten up
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 11
An Assistant Sub-Inspector and three constables posted at Gharinda police station were thrashed in full public view at Achint Kot village, 20 km from here, late last evening even as Akali-Congress workers opened fire in the air over dispute over a piece of land belonging to the Wakf Board.

The police officials had to flee leaving their scooter and motorcycles at the site of dispute. The vehicles, which were damaged in the scuffle, are still in the possession of villagers. Mr Dalbir Singh, Sarpanch of the village, said the close confidants of Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, an Akali MLA, had demolished the boundary wall of the disputed cremation ground twice in the presence of the police. Interestingly, the policemen who were allegedly beaten up were not on duty at that time. Mr Kuldip Singh sent telegrams to the Chief Minister and Director-General of Police for taking action against the alleged erring police officials. Mr Tarlok Singh, a resident of Gharindi village said the policemen had played a partisan role and helped the Akali activists to demolish the wall.

Meanwhile, a Home guard jawan posted at Islamabad police station here was gheraoed by the public as he was, allegedly, taking bribe while regulating traffic.


Man dies as stray dogs attack again
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 11
In less than four days one more resident of Alamgarh village succumbed to his injuries after he was attacked by stray dogs on Tuesday evening. Pat Ram Kumhar (65) had gone to his fields at 6 p.m. to supervise the canal water irrigation. The field was located at a distance of 1.5 km from the animals’ cremation ground where the dogs were roaming. As Pat Ram was returning home a group of stray dogs cornered him and attacked him. His cries could only attract a sadhu’s attention, who was sitting in his hut. He too was helpless and raised an alarm which attracted other villagers. But the time they reached the cremation ground the farmer had died. The furious villagers chased the stray dogs and killed 15 of them.

Leelu Ram, son of the victim and his cousins Kalu Ram and Raj Kumar told mediapersons at the cremation ground that the dogs had eaten up two animals in the past seven days. The villagers claimed that they had informed the authorities but no official has visited the village so far.

Meanwhile, residents today attended the funeral of Sandeep Kaur who had been attacked by stray dogs and had succumbed to her wounds on Sunday.


Scot inhales nitrogen, lands in hospital
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 11
Mr David Harvey, a Scot working in a Holland-based company, Mourik International, went into a coma following cardiac arrest for a while after he inhaled nitrogen gas while working in the catalyst chamber of the local National Fertiliser Limited (NFL) factory today.

Sources said Mr Harvey, who inhaled nitrogen after one of the pipes of his mask detached, fell unconscious into the catalyst chamber. He was immediately pulled out by other workers and was given a cardiac massage to revive his pulse. After his pulse revived, he was taken to the NFL hospital where he was given other medical aid. After that, he was shifted to a private hospital and put on ventilator. His condition was improving now.

The sources said Mr Harvey and his colleagues were repairing the catalyst chamber for the past many days. They used to climp down into the chamber with safety gear to avoid inhaling nitrogen and work for three to four hours at a stretch to carry out repairs. Today, somehow, the one of pipes of the mask of Mr Harvey detached and he inhaled considerable nitrogen before he was pulled out.

The doctors, who attended him in the private hospital, said when he was brought here, he was in a coma and now his pupillary reactions had started appearing which was a sign of recovery. The patient was out of danger now. The doctors pointed out that the Civil Surgeon, Dr P.N. Maini, also visited the patient and he had also despatched a team of medical specialists to the site to make an on-the-spot inquiry.


Keetu’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Barnala, April 11
Mr R.S. Sachdeva, Additional Sessions Judge here, today rejected the bail plea of Mr Malkiat Singh Keetu MLA, Barnala.

Upholding the orders of Mr Rakesh Gupta, Judicial Magistrate, First Class, here pertaining to the denial of bail to Keetu who was arrested on March 27 following the registration of a case of alleged misappropriation of funds of the Truck Operators Union, Bhadaur against Keetu by Bhadaur police under Sections 406, 408 and 120-B of the IPC on March 21. The defence counsel had challenged the orders of Mr Rakesh Gupta, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Barnala, regarding the rejection of bail application of Keetu in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Barnala.

Meanwhile, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal, President, visited Keetu in jail.


No breakthrough in murder of NRI
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 11
Even after six days, the district police is yet to make any headway in the murder case of a British citizen, Mr Joga Singh, who was killed by two unidentified scooter-borne youths at the Basti Danishmandan locality here on last Thursday.

Admitting that the police had failed to identify any suspect in the murder case so far, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, SSP, said they were still to question two NRI sons of Joga Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Narinder Singh, since the family members were in a state of shock.


Campaign to set up Khalsa panchayats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The convener of the local Khalsa Panchayat, Mr Rajinder Singh, today said that a campaign had been launched for setting up Khalsa panchayats in Punjab.

These would be apolitical bodies and were being set up to guard Sikh tenets, cleanse Panthic politics and draw up a programme to propagate Guru Nanak Dev’s great concept of “Sarbat da bhala”. He said such panchayats had been set up at Nawanshahr, Banga, Sadaran, Nauran, Mahal Gelan, Ghagewal Begumpura, Bhootan, Bainsan, Kareeran, Majri, Chandigarh, Ludhiana , Batala, Jalandhar and other places. A congregation of all Khalsa panchayats would be organised here on April 28. 


Bid to take over gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 11
Eerie silence prevails in the nearby village, Gharuan, where an attempt was made allegedly to take over Gurdwara Malekshar Sahib by some armed supporters of a “baba” today.

According to a press note issued here,some armed men of the baba came to the gurdwara and broke opened the locks of the rooms and started path of Guru Granth Sahib with an idea to take possession of the gurdwara. According to the press note, the villagers assembled on the spot and forced the armed men to go back. Only 15 persons were allowed to stay there to look after Akal Sahib. The villagers condemned the action. The villagers informed the police and MLA, Kharar, about this.


Harvesting hit as farmers clean ‘rajbahas’
Jaswinder Paul

Bathinda, April 11
Farmers of this district have to clean distributaries and “rajbahas” for getting irrigation water for the next season although they are busy harvesting wheat.

In the absence of sufficient government funds, officials of the Irrigation Department have asked the farmers to remove weeds and silt from “rajbahas”, distributaries and minors so that proper water supply can be ensured during the next season.

Although wheat harvest is in full swing, the farmers have to take out time to do the cleaning when water is not flowing in the channels. The task has to be completed before April 18 when water will start flowing in canals.

Residents of Bhagu, Jassi Pauwali, Gehri Bhagi, Shergarh, Bhagwangarh, Mehta, Jodhpur Romana, Gurusar, Sehnewala, Gehri Buttar, Sangat, Jassi Bagwali, Phulo Mithi, Jaisinghwala, Baho Sibia, Naruana and Kutti villages have been asked to participate in the cleaning of the 58-km Bathinda rajbaha.

The farmers are facing difficulty in dividing time between harvesting and the cleaning of rajbahas.

The farmers of Jaisinghwala and Bahosibian villages said when the efforts by the government are not sufficient, they take the task in their hands.

Mr K.K. Singla, SDO, Bathinda canal subdivision, said the farmers had volunteered for the task. He said with the help of the villagers, the task would be completed soon.

Mr S.C. Garg, XEN when contacted, said he was aware that it was harvest time and care had been taken so that the work of farmers was not affected.

The cleanliness campaign was launched after taking the consent of the farmers, he added.


5 promoted to IPS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has promoted five Punjab Police Service officials into the Indian Police Service (IPS). As per the order those promoted are Mr Surinder Singh, Commandant, IRB, Jalandhar, Mr Paramraj Singh, SSP, Patiala, Mr Tejinder Pal Singh, SP (vigilance), Amritsar, Mr Surinderpal Singh, SP (Vigilance), Chandigarh, and Mr Lok Nath, Commandant, Vth IRB, Amritsar.


Robbers decamp with valuables, injure 8
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, April 11
Panic gripped residents of the town as a gang of robbers equipped with lethal weapons struck a house in a locality on the Phagwara-Jalandhar highway last night and seriously injured about eight persons before decamping with jewellery and cash amounting to nearly Rs 2 lakh.

Residents of the locality adjoining the St. Joseph Convent School have witnessed such an incident, believed to have been committed by a group of migrant labourers, within a period of two years. Earlier, a group of armed assailants had attacked the school premises, leading to a sense of insecurity among the staff and residents of the adjoining localities situated on the outskirts of the town.

The masked robbers, armed with sharp-edge weapons and six in number, forced their entry into the house of an industrialist Vicky Sehdev by breaking open the main entrance door and windows at about 1.30 a.m. Before the inmates of the house or the labourers engaged in the factory of Mr Sehdev could raise the alarm, the robbers pounced upon them and caused serious injuries to the inmates of the house and later decamped with jewellery and cash.

The injured have been identified as labourers Budh Ram, his wife Sita and Ram Kishan and inmates — Vicky Sehdev, his wife Poonam, son Ashu, mother Krishna and his father. While Ms Krishna and Ram Kishan, who had received serious injuries, have been sent to DMC, Ludhiana, six others have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Even as the police is clueless about the criminals as yet, it has rounded up about nearly seven migrant labourers in connection with their suspected involvement in the crime.

The SSP Kapurthala, Mr R.N. Dhoke, reached the spot and took stock of the situation.


Gang of cheats busted, 7 held
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, April 11
The local police achieved a major breakthrough after a gang involved in cheating people was busted. Mr Munish Chawla, SP, Detective, said the gang would cheat people by telling them that their money would be doubled. Many villagers had fallen in their trap and lost money in the bargain.

Mr Chawla said the modus operandi of the gang was that first they would contact the target person in a group and later on one person would pose as guru and the others would become his disciples.

The victim was then called to a room where the guru used to sit and initially, a 100-rupee note was demanded from him. They, then, placed the note with a plain white paper of similar size dipped in tincture iodine.

The guru used to place the rupee 100 note and the paper between two pieces of glass and then wrap them in a paper. The victim was then told to keep the packet near fire.

Using scientific tricks, they would show that the 100-rupee note had been doubled.

The client was, then, asked to bring the cash he had and thereafter, they would decamp with the money.

Seven persons arrested in this connection have been identified as Kala Singh, Mangal Singh, Bhajan Singh, Sulakhan Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Joginder Singh, and Kirpal Singh. Mr Chawla said 11 persons belonging to the group were absconding and the police parties were trying to nab them.

A case has been registered.


1,863 teachers appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 11
The Punjab Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behal, said the government today released the appointment orders of 1,863 teachers with the ETT qualification. They would be posted in government primary schools where a large number of posts had been vacant for the past several months.

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