Friday, September 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PSEB points finger at Dhindsa
Says he made unjustified visits abroad
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is now accusing its former Chairman (at present Union Minister) Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as well as former Power Minister Sikander Singh Maluka of undertaking “unjustified” foreign visits on board expense.

In its reply to the state government, the board has maintained that neither the then Chairman nor the Power Minister provided any detailed tour notes. Mr Maluka submitted only unsigned tour notes. It claimed that the board could not intimate any benefit accruing to it from the visits of the two Akali leaders so far.

Mr Dhindsa had travelled to the USA and Canada in October 1997, for two-three weeks. He was sanctioned a daily allowance of 500 dollars. The board incurred an expenditure of Rs 4.71 lakh on account of his tour from October 9 to 28.

In the case of Mr Maluka, the former Power Minister went on a tour of the USA, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany to study the transmission and distribution system there, even though there are seven Chief Engineers in the board who look after these aspects. None were even considered for accompanying the Minister. The board approved the Minister’s visit abroad on two occasions, during one of which he was to travel with the then Board Chairman, Mr G.S. Sohal.

The PSEB says in its reply that due to “unavoidable” circumstances, Mr Sohal was not able to accompany Mr Maluka who visited four countries from June 30 to August 4 without any technical expert accompanying him. The Minister was paid Rs 3.03 lakh to meet his travel expenses but his daily expense bill was yet to be finalised.

According to notes prepared by the Joint Secretary, Personnel and the Deputy Account General, both visits did not yield anything. The matter has been discussed at various levels in the board and the Chairman has asked the Personnel Department to prepare a detailed reply to the government query on the two foreign visits.

The board management has noted that both visits were made to encourage Punjabi non-resident Indians to invest in the power sector in view of the severe financial crunch being faced by the board. Neither of the two Akali leaders have submitted any detail regarding the achievements of the two visits.

The board is in the process of sending the reply to the government. It is up to the government to take a decision on the matter. The government is, however, expected to deny Mr Maluka money for the expenses incurred by him during his foreign visit.

It is also likely to order an internal inquiry to ascertain how the visits were allowed without any technical expert being sent for the two trips undertaken by the Akali leaders.


PSEB coordination panel holds rally
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 5
Under the banner of the PSEB Thermal Coordination Committee and led by Mr Vasdev Singh Gill, convenor of the committee, a large number of employees today held a rally in the district administrative complex here in protest against the anti-employees policies of the PSEB management.

They were demanding cash payment of the amount of the generation incentive in place of depositing the same in the GPF of the thermal employees.


Bhunder hiding in Haryana?
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 5
Even as Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, a confident of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has been eluding arrest by the Vigilance Bureau after a case was registered against him recently, senior government functionaries have been directed to monitor the raids being conducted by the Vigilance throughout the state.

The Vigilance Bureau suspects that Mr Bhunder may be hiding in Haryana.

A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act were registered against Mr Bhunder at Ferozepore on the night of September 3.

Sources said had there been no delay in the registration of the case against Mr Bhunder, he would have been behind bars by now. Mr Bhunder addressed a gathering at the bhog ceremony of Jangir Singh Joga , a freedom fighter, at Joga village a few hours before the case was registered against him.

He left the venue before the function was over in a white Ambassador car with a registration number of Bathinda. He was accompanied by Mr Harbant Singh Datewas, MLA, Budhlada.

The sources said officials were working out a strategy to conduct raids at various places in Haryana where Mr Bhunder could be hiding. Whether the Vigilance Bureau has sought the help of the Haryana police is not yet known.

An application moved by Mr Bhunder for anticipatory bail before the case was registered against him about a month ago in the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Mansa, was rejected by the court.

A section of residents of the Sardulgarh Assembly segment, from where Mr Bhunder was elected to the Vidhan Sabha, had alleged that he had made bunglings in the allocation of grants from the discretionary fund as member of the Rajya Sabha. Some of them had given affidavits to substantiate their allegations.

A section of Akalis is learnt to have approached the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, urging him to take a lenient view of cases against them.


Hearing on Sidhu’s pleas tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 5
Mr A.S. Kathuria, Special Judge, here today fixed September 7 for further proceedings on the applications moved by Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu, suspended Chairman, Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). Sidhu had filed applications seeking English translation of the copies of two challans and other documents, presented against him in the court, on the plea that he could not read or write Punjabi, return of articles seized from him at the time of his arrest, opening of his frozen bank account in order to withdraw money for bearing expenses of his case and summoning of the entire record of the PPSC to prove that no noting on the PPSC record was made by him in Punjabi.

Arguing on the applications Mr H.S. Kang, Public Prosecutor, said under Article 207 of the Cr PC the copies of the challan and other documents were to be supplied by the court concerned not by the prosecution or the police. Besides, there was no provision in the CrPC to supply English version of the copies to the accused by the prosecution.

Mr Kang also opposed the application regarding summoning of the PPSC records from Patiala. He added that the prosecution had already produced copies of some of the records in the court, which were in Punjabi and approved by Sidhu though he had signed in English.

With regard to the application regarding the opening of his frozen bank account, Mr Kang claimed that it contained the money obtained by unfair means and so he was not entitled to the money.

Rebutting the arguments, Sidhu told the court that the money in his bank account were deposited from his salary, provident fund and agriculture produce.

On this the Special Judge asked Sidhu to file an affidavit in this regard, which was later filed by him.

The counsel for Sidhu said he had filed two applications today, one regarding the supply of English translation of the second challan and other documents, and for summoning the entire record of the PPSC.


Langah prays for bail
Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 5
Sucha Singh Langah, former Punjab Public Works Minister and senior Akali leader, today filed a bail application in the court of District and Sessions Judge here today. Langah is currently in the judicial custody till September 13 in a case registered against him by the Vigilance Bureau at SAS Nagar under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and 13 (1) (a) (c) (d) (e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case was registered against Langah on May 16 when after evading arrest for some time, he had surrendered in the court of Judicial Magistrate at Kharar on July 25.

In his bail application, filed through his counsel, Langah has stated that the case had been falsely registered against him. He has claimed that he had no assets disproportionate to his income. The properties and assets, owned by him, were of very less value.

Langah also stated that he had been in custody since July 25 while all co-accused in this case were out on bail. He prayed to the court that he be released on bail. His bail application will be put up before the Sessions Judge tomorrow.


Teenaged victim’s grandpa shattered
Khatra’s exoneration in ‘fake encounter’ case
Gurbax Puri

Walipur (Tarn Taran), September 5
Mastan Singh a 75-year-old poor farmer was inconsolable today as the news of exoneration of former Tarn Taran SSP Ranbir Singh Khatra allegedly responsible for the death of his young grandson reached him this morning while he was working in his fields. He had to sell his land to meet legal expenses of the case. He sobbed uncontrollably over the killing of his 17-year-old grandson Gurpratap Singh, alias Tabboo, who allegedly was eliminated in a fake encounter.

Harassed by daily raids by police parties on their farmhouse in 1993, when militancy was at peak, Mastan Singh along with his other relatives one day presented his grandson Tabboo, before Gurbachan Singh SHO Tarn Taran city police station in October.

Tabboo was only a plus 2 student of the local Sri Guru Arjan Dev Khalsa Senior Secondary School at the time, recalled the old grandfather. The 17-year-old was kept in illegal custody for three weeks before the police booked him in false case under the Arms Act and many different cases pertaining to various police districts of Punjab.

The police then had claimed that Gurpratap, who was handcuffed, fled on his way back from Sohian village when he complained of stomachache.

Later the police claimed that Gurpratap was shot in November the same year when he attacked a naka party at Gehal chowk. However, the grandfather says that the CBI report had claimed that the police ‘concocted’ this theory to eliminate the young boy. He said that the police had indeed “invented” the story of the murder of Tabboo, as the post-mortem examination report had found no bullet marks on his body but several injuries. It was also found that there were no bloodstains on the clothes of the deceased.

However despite several complaints to the then SSP Tarn Taran Mr Khatra, no notice was taken of the illegal detention of Tabboo. Mastan Singh alleges that had the SSP taken any action against his subordinates then it could have saved his grandson from brutal death.

The CBI directed by the Punjab and Haryana high court Mastan Singh had moved had held that “the former SSP Mr Khatra was responsible for not keeping control over his subordinates and preparing incorrect record as he failed to take prompt action for the release of Gurpartap Singh from the illegal custody of CIA staff Tarn Taran, in spite of repeated requests to him by a relative of the deceased.”

Wiping his tears away Mastan Singh asserted that his fight was not over and he would continue to knock the doors of the court to get justice for his grandson and his disintegrated family. He remarked that the ‘exoneration’ of Mr Khatra is denial of justice in every conceivable way.


Punjab ban on promotions to go
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that all proposals pertaining to the employees contained in the Finance Minister’s Budget speech for the current financial year would not be implemented. And if at all there will be any need to implement them, then the representatives of various employees unions would be taken into confidence before taking a final decision in this regard.

In his Budget speech, the Finance Minister had announced the freezing of the DA, reduced value formula for the commutation of pension, reduction in the period of leave encashment from 300 days to 90 days and medical insurance instead of medical allowance.

Capt Amarinder Singh made the announcement regarding the Budget proposals at a meeting with various unions of the employees, including Joint Action Committee, Karamchari Maha Sangh, Joint Action Committee of Punjab and UT Employees and Punjab State Ministerial Services Union and INTUC, Karamchari Dal, Non-Gazetted Employees Organisation, Punjab Subordinate Services Federation( Dhillon), Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association and Punjab State Government and Semi-Government Class IV Employees Union. Among the leaders who participated in the meetings were Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bari, Mr Sajjan Singh, Mr K.K. Jindal, Mr Tarsem Lal Grover, Mr Kulbhushan, Mr Oma Kant Tewari, Mr Roshan Lal Goel, and Mr Hari Singh Tohra.

Conceding to the other demands the CM announced his decision to lift the ban on promotions immediately and assured jobs for the wards of the employees who died in harness, besides 15 per cent house rent for employees serving in Patiala city. It may be mentioned here that Capt Amarinder Singh had been elected from the Patiala constituency for Punjab Assembly. There are 5,000 wards of deceased employees who are awaiting appointment on compassionate grounds.

Regarding disinvestment, Capt Amarinder Singh, said that it was a long-drawn process and would take years for enforcement. He assured that the interest of the employees working in the Public Sector Undertakings would be safeguarded. However, he favoured privatisation of certain services like Health and also placing school education and health services under the control of panchayats to meet the constitutional requirements.

The CM assured that the posts which were being abolished would be revived when the financial position of the state improved and also that all promises made in the election manifesto by the ruling party would be fulfilled. He warned the employees to beware of the political leaders in the Opposition who were making false propaganda against the government.

At the meeting, Mr Roshan Lal Goel opposed the winding up of the Punjab Tourism Corporation.

Meanwhile, Mr K.K. Jindal said the Chief Minister agreed to sympathetically consider the cases of clerical staff, whose removal had been recommended by the Vigilance Bureau because of suspected foul play in their recruitment by the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board that was set up by the SAD-BJP government. He opposed the staff’s enmass removal. He also sought lifting of the ban on direct recruitments.

Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, a union leader, said his organisation was not fully satisfied with the outcome of today’s meeting. However, certain demands were conceded to.


Teachers called to negotiating table
Tribune Reporters

Gurdaspur, September 5
The Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behal, today called upon the teachers to shun the path of agitation and come to the negotiating table by forming “one union” for getting their demands accepted.

While honouring 12 teachers who had excelled in various fields today, the Education Minister said teachers should exercise restraint while adopting confrontational path. He was referring to the demonstration held by elementary training teachers (ETT) who raised anti-government slogans outside the venue of the function.

In a significant statement, Mr Behal said the state government had decided to decentralise power to ensure overall development of schools all over the state. The school-level committees would decide on spending funds on the expansion of the buildings. Representatives of parents and teachers will also be included in these committees.

The Education Minister announced that there would be no holiday other than the gazetted holidays announced by the state government. Mr Sucha Singh Ajnala, a senior teachers leader, said the state government should select deserving teachers while choosing the awardees.

Amritsar: Teachers, students, and staff of local schools and colleges observed teachers’ day on Thursday.

Students of Shri Guru Harkishan Senior Secondary Public School presented mono acting, patriotic song and folk songs.

Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Khankot, celebrated the day by holding antakshari” volleyball and other game contest.

Jalandhar: On a call given by the Government Teachers Union, hundreds of teachers on Thursday held rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here to protest against the “wrong” policies of the state government on Teachers Day.

They were demanding that the state government should ensure availability of proper infrastructure at Primary schools particularly in rural areas, complete ban on non-academic work assigned to teachers and restoration of abolished posts.

The rally was a part of union’s programme “lok jagao — shiksha bachao”, under which an awareness campaign had been launched to inform the people about the “wrong” policies of the state government.

The general secretary of the union, Mr Sucha Singh Khatra criticised the state government for adopting indifferent approach towards government schools, particularly those situated in rural areas.


Badal has sources in govt: Hanspal
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 5
PPCC President H.S. Hanspal has made a startling revelation that former CM Parkash Singh Badal still has sources in the Punjab government. He was talking to mediapersons here today.

He declared that the state PPCC executive committee would be constituted this month and the principle of one-man one-post would be followed. He disclosed that the party high command was not in favour of expanding the Punjab Cabinet due to financial straits. He warned rebel candidates to withdraw from the poll fray of the local nagar council election within two days or face expulsion.

He stated that the PPCC had set up a two-member panel comprising Mr Santokh Singh, minister, and Mr Tejinder Bittu, DCC president to probe the demolition of houses of Dalits at Jalandhar by the corporation commissioner who has now been transferred

Local MLA Joginder Singh Mann, Santosh Chaudhary an MP, and Ram Lubhaya, an MLA, also addressed the party rally.


YC leaders flay Jaya’s remarks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
The president of the Punjab Youth Congress, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, and the senior vice-president, Mr Pawan Dewan, have criticised the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms J. Jayalalithaa, for raising the issue of citizenship of the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

In a joint statement here today, Mr Babbu and Mr Dewan condemned the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for her volte face on the issue.


Hanspal sends team to Mehru village
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 5
Taking prompt action on a Tribune report on Dalits, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, today sent a two-member team to Mehru village in Nakodar subdivision, which inspected the site and restored the possession of houses to the affected Dalit families.

Talking to The Tribune over phone, Mr Hanspal said they had constituted a two-member team comprising Punjab Welfare Minister Chaudhary Santokh Singh and president of the district unit of Punjab Congress, Mr Tajinder Singh Bittu, to probe the matter pertaining to 50 Dalits, who had been driven out of their houses allegedly by the administration and the police for voting in favour of the SAD-BJP combine, which had built them 12 one-room pucca houses under the Indira Awas Yojna.

Mr Hanspal maintained that strict action would follow against those partymen, who were found involved in this regard. “We will not allow discrimination against the Dalits in any form and the two-member committee has been instructed to submit its report by tomorrow,” he added.

The two-member team accompanied by the DCC (Rural) president Chaudhary Manjinder Singh, and a number of senior civil officials reached the village this afternoon and listened to the grievances of the Dalit families, who alleged that they had been ousted from their houses by the administration without assigning any valid reasons.

The minister assured the affected families that the government was committed to protect the rights of Dalits and any official, found guilty, would not be spared.

Later, Chaudhary Santokh Singh restored the possession of houses to 12 Dalit families.

The minister further announced that those villagers, who had not got pucca houses under the Indira Awas Yojna, should submit their applications with the authorities concerned for allotment. “We have already earmarked Rs 20 crore in the Budget to provide five marla residential plots to the homeless belonging to the Scheduled Caste,” the minister added.


Farmers warned not to boycott Dalits
Tribune News Service

Moondkhera September 5
One day after the district administration claimed that reports of any social boycott of Dalit families whose male members had left the jobs of their landlords and subsequently filed cases against them under the Bonded Labour Act were unfounded, a team of senior officers visited this village today and warned the landlords not to indulge in any boycott of the Dalits as was disclosed to them on the spot.

A high-level team led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon and Superintendent of Police (City) Kuldeep Singh visited the village today afternoon and interacted with the people to inquire why 15 Dalits working for various landlords had left their employers and had fled the village. The team, however, could not interact with both parties to the dispute with only landlords meeting the team members and most of the family members of the affected Dalit families, except for one, refusing to meet them.

The father of one of the Dalit labourers who had fled the village — Babu Singh — while speaking to the team members said the family members of the 15 Dalits who had fled the village were being socially boycotted and also claimed that one shopkeeper had been fined Rs 2,000 for selling provisions to one of the affected families.

The landlords, who had openly claimed that they had announced the boycott earlier, were a subdued lot today claiming that they had only refused to give advances to any labourer in future and that they would keep labourers henceforth on a daily wage basis only. However, interaction with the landlords and some of the other Dalits of the village who are not among the affected families, revealed that the Dalits who had fled their jobs owed their employers huge sums.

Villagers claimed that the Dalits owed sums ranging from Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000. They also claimed the labourers who had left their jobs midway had been “misled” by a Phillaur-based organisation to register cases against their employers under the Bonded Labour Act.

The villagers said it was common for landlords to keep labourers on a fixed pay for one year which was paid in advance.

They said some landlords had given loans to the labourers over and above the paid amount and that the main reason why they had fled the village was because they could not pay the huge amounts which had accumulated against them.

Meanwhile, Mr Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, while addressing the villagers said farmers who were being implicated in false cases by the labourers should also knock the doors of the National Human Rights Commission. He said attempts would be made to coax the labourers who had fled the village, to return back to it. He said the district administration would also try to ensure an amicable settlement to the entire problem.

However, even as the team left the village its residents said there could not be any quickfix measures to the problem which had become deep rooted due to social inequalities. Villagers said while the farmers were correct in supposing that they had been cheated by the labourers, the issue could be settled through arbitration as some of those who had fled had alleged that they had been charged interest and that money had been credited to them for days on which they did not work in the fields.

The farmers on their side said they were themselves in debt after making heavy borrowings from local commission agents to meet the demands of the labourers.


Tributes paid to doyen of Gurmat sangeet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 5
A sea of humanity gathered to pay respects at the bhog ceremony of Baba Sucha Singh, a leading light of Gurmat Sangeet, and the chief of the Jawaddi Taksal, Ludhiana, who left for his heavenly abode on August 27. He leaves behind a rich legacy of hymns from the Sikh scriptures based on 31 ragas.

Baba Sucha Singh shot into fame in 1991 when he organised the first Aduti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan at which he revived the tradition of singing the divine hymns in praise of the Almighty set to various ragas by the Sikh Gurus themselves.

This tradition had received a setback with the partition of the country in 1947 when rababis, who had been keeping the tradition of Bhai Mardana alive, shifted to Pakistan. Most ragis in their zeal to collect money began singing the hymns without any regard for the ragas.

This practice gathered momentum in all historical shrines, including Harmandir Sahib. Akal Takht had to issue an appeal to all ragis to sing the hymns in the prescribed ragas alone.

Baba Sucha Singh revived the old tradition of Gurmat sangeet by organising Aduti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelans at Takht Hazoor Sahib, Nanded, and at Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar during the World Sikh Convention at the invitation of the SGPC, for which he received a robe of honour from Takht Hazoor Sahib and the SGPC.

The Baba expounded the Sikh thought by organising seminars on ‘shabad’ (word of God) and Panj Piara.

He published several books and monographs under the care of his organisation, Vismad Nad, including “Guru Nanak Sangeet Padhati Granth”, “Shabad”, “Sikh Kaun”, and “Tu Saujha Sahib Hamara”. His post-modern view of Sikhism and his controversial book “Sri Guru Granth Shaib Di Manukhata Nu Den” and Dr Gurbhagat Singh’s monograph “Post-Modern View of Sikhism”, were recommended by the University of British Columbia, Canada, in its syllabus. Another publication “Shabad” was recommended by the Delhi University for M.Phil.

In 1995, to spread the message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and its ecumenical approach, he started the “Shabad Yatra” programme as a tribute to Hindu and Muslim mystic saints of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Under the programme, he visited the birthplaces of Bhagat Namdev, Trilochan and Parmanand in Maharashtra and organised a seminar at Mumbai University on “Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Bhagat Namdev”. On the occasion, Mr Manmohan Joshi, the then Chief Minister, announced the establishment of Guru Nanak Chair in the university.

The respect which this great missionary commanded was held evident from the gathering today where politicians, cutting across party lines, paid rich tributes to him.

Among those present on the occasion were PPCC chief H.S. Hanspal, SHSAD chief G.S. Tohra, SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, former Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi.


Ex-servicemen’s wards denied concession
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 5
The hopes of Rajbir Singh of Ghal Khurd village in Ferozepore district for serving in the Army through the ongoing recruitment rally here were dashed to the ground when he was denied in the medical check-up which was normally relaxation given to wards of ex-servicemen.

His repeated pleas to Army officials for giving relaxation of 1 cm in height, for which he was entitled to as a son of ex-serviceman did not get any positive response.

Rajbir Singh, whose grandfather, father and paternal uncle had served in the Army, was asked to leave the venue of the recruitment rally after he was found not having the proper height. He was told that his documents were not properly endorsed and could not establish the fact that he was the son of an ex-serviceman.

They have rejected me and asked me to go back. This will not affect my desires to join the Army and I will try again,” he said while talking to TNS.

This is not the isolated case. A number of youths have also been denied the concession.

Pargat Singh, whose father Gurdeep Singh had served in the Army, said, “My candidature has been rejected on the basis that my certificates do not mention my caste as Jat, while on the discharge certificate of my father, given by the Army authorities, the caste has been mentioned as Jat Sikh.”

Mr Sukhdev Singh, president, Indian Ex-Servicemen League, Punjab and Chandigarh, alleged that the recruitment authorities did not consider those wards of ex-servicemen who were not having a detail marks sheet issued by the Punjab School Education Board, despite the fact that their marks obtained in matric were mentioned on their character certificates issued to them by the principals of their respective schools and subsequently attested by gazetted officers.

He added that candidates who were rejected on medical grounds were entitled for a review by the military hospital, but the review medical forms were not being given to them by the recruitment officials.

However, Brig Ajay Pahwa, said the Army would never compromise on the standards. He added, “We want the best.”


Terrorism victim’s plea on DA
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 5
Capt Gulab Singh (retd), a terrorist victim, here today appealed to the Punjab Government to review its decision on the deduction of dearness allowance from the monthly pensions of all those families who had lost their near and dear ones in the fight against militancy in the state a decade ago.

The retired Captain had lost his son Havaldar Rajinder Singh in 1991. He said there were more than 500 affected families of which 45 belong to the district.

Under the extraordinary pension scheme of the government the affected parents were being paid a monthly pension of Rs 2,100, whereas others under the special pension scheme were availing 50 per cent amount of the last paydrawn along with dearness allowance (DA). With the curtailment of DA the beneficiaries under the extraordinary pension scheme would suffer a loss of Rs 800.

He added that the step would give a jolt to the credibility of the state government which had assured them all help while starting both schemes more than 10 years ago.

Moreover, the families of the BSF officials who were working with the Union Home Ministry were also getting more monetary benefits than the Police Department, he said. He also demanded jobs for kin of affected families as per their qualifications.


Dist police chief denies allegations
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 5
The district police chief, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, yesterday denied allegations levelled by the Pendu Mazdoor Union, Punjab, that an ASI of the Shahkot police station was pressurising Chaman Lal, a labourer, to withdraw a case against his former land lady Kashmir Kaur.

Mr Gill said on July 1 a case was registered against Kashmir Kaur, who had allegedly forced Chaman Lal to work as a bonded labourer in her house for over five months, and she was arrested on August 8. The challan for the case was forwarded to the prosecution authorities on September 1 and there was no laxity on their part in this regard, he added.

Earlier, the Pendu Mazdoor Union had alleged that ASI Manjit Singh was threatening Chaman Lal to frame him in a case if he failed to withdraw his complaint against Kashmir Kaur.

“The allegations are totally baseless as ASI Bhupinder Singh was deputed as Inquiry Officer to investigate the matter whereas ASI Manjit Singh had nothing to do with the case, for which a challan had already been forwarded to the prosecution authorities concerned,” Mr Gill said.


Bus pelted with stones, 6 hurt
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 5
Six passengers, including a woman, were injured when some labourers, who had been demanding the release of their friend allegedly detained by the police in a criminal case, started pelting stones on a private bus, near Transport Nagar, on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road here today.

The protesters also misbehaved with some women and girl students of a local college, who were passing nearby. The agitated mob tried to burn the bus but the residents of neighbouring localities, made them flee the spot.

The injured have been identified as Sanjiv, Raman, Kavita, Amar Singh and Deen Bandhu. They were given medical aid by the residents.

The police has arrested two persons for causing damage to the public property and their involvement in violence.

Meanwhile, the district police has arrested one person for attempt to murder his relative. According to the police, a case was registered against Surinder Singh of Mohalla Gobindgarh, for allegedly attacking Rupinder Kaur with sharp-edged weapons and inflicting her serious injuries on May 29.


End female foeticide: NTAS
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
Rotarian G.S. Kakkar and NTAS director Pran Sabharwal have called for a mass movement against female foeticide. They have appealed to Mrs Preneet Kaur, MP, Chairperson, State Advisory Committee on the PNDT Act, to join the NTAS anti-female foeticide awareness campaign.

Presiding over the silver jubilee celebration function of NTAS play “Daaire”, an anti-female foeticide Punjabi musical here at NTAS Mandir, Mr Kakkar said that the government should ensure the implementation of law on the one hand and create awareness against the evil on the other.

Mrs Surinder Kaur Grewal, chairperson, State Women Commission, in a message said that the play “Daaire” would go a long way in condemning the menace. She assured that the proposal for presenting shows of “Daaire” in the state would be brought in the notice Mrs Preneet Kaur for implementation.

Pran Sabharwal, who is also international coordinator for the World Punjabi Theatre Movement, has expressed his gratitude to the artistes and Mr Kakkar, Dr Sulekh Kanwal, Mr Jigar Jalandhari, Rajinder Verma, Mr P.C. Tiwari and Sucha Singh.


High Court Judge inspects local courts
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 5
To provide speedy justice and relief to litigants, “fast track courts” have been constituted in the state and Parliament had allocated Rs 400 to Rs 500 crore for the purpose.

The high court is making all efforts in this regard and eight such courts had already started functioning in the state with positive results, said Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, Inspecting Judge for the district, while talking to “Ludhiana Tribune”, here today. The Judge was here for an inspection of the local courts.

He said the new amendment in the CPC would also help in providing speedy justice to the litigants. He appreciated the working of the local Judges saying that it was praiseworthy that as many cases were constituted, the same number were disposed of in the district.

During the interaction with the district Bar, Mr Gian Singh Saini, president of the Bar, highlighted various problems of lawyers. He demanded that chambers for the lawyers and a shed for the litigants be constructed. He said that Judiciary was the only institution which could save public from social menace like corruption.

He said people were looking towards the Judiciary for justice and relief and the fight against corruption should continue till the social evil was rooted out. He stressed the need for harmony between the Bar and the Bench for providing efficient and speedy justice to the litigants. He assured full cooperation to the Bench and hoped that the Bench would also cooperate with the lawyers.


Poor roads ‘affect’ transport business
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 5
The condition of roads here has deteriorated to such an extent that truck drivers consider it an adventure to drive on these roads.

Ajay Singh Tomar, a truck driver employed with a Jaipur (Rajasthan)-based transport company said a few years ago Punjab was considered a “priced route”. He added that if any of the drivers was sent to Bathinda for transportation of goods he considered himself lucky. “The situation has reversed and now if one is sent to the city it is considered a punishment as due to the bad roads it takes them longer to reach destinations and the transporters deduct some amount from their salaries against the losses incurred due to late delivery of goods”, he lamented.

Drivers of buses and cars and other vehicle owners also expressed the same views. The situation worsens after a downpour as due to poor drainage it becomes difficult to drive on the roads.

Mr Naresh Sukhija, who had to close down his taxi business here, said bad roads and wear and tear of vehicles were the main reasons for the closure. He said the expenses on the maintenance of the vehicles, had increased and the business had become poor.

Even VIP areas where the Deputy Commissioner, district police chief, District and Sessions Judge and some other important government officers reside have bad roads.

Mr Narinder Mittal, mandal president, BJP, said the Congress government had stopped all development works in the state claiming poor fiscal health.


Insurance staff hold protest rallies
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, September 6
On a call given by the All-India Insurance Employees Association, a large number of employees of the Jalandhar division of the Life Insurance Corporation of India today held a rally here in protest against the failure of the management to revise the wages due on August 1.

Addressing the gathering, the Divisional Secretary of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association, Mr Surjit Ram, said though the management had signed an agreement with the association in March, 1999, agreeing to revise the wages of all employees after every five years but it had violated the terms of the agreement by not revising wages due on August 1.


‘Notice’ to DC on wall demolition
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 5
Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, a resident of the city, today claimed he had sent a legal notice to the Deputy Commissioner, the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, and Director and Secretary of the Local Bodies Department, asking them to make arrangements for demolition of a wall in Afimwali area of the city.

Mr Gupta said the wall posed a danger to the lives and property of nearby residents. He said a few months back he had written to the authorities concerned, but to no avail.

He claimed the Deputy Commissioner and other officials had been asked to do the needful within seven days.

The Deputy Commissioner, the Executive Officer and other officials could not be contacted.


CM for check on drug addiction
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today called upon the civil and police administration to chalk out a joint action plan to check drug addiction.

Presiding over a high-level joint meeting of the civil and police administration here today, Capt Amarinder Singh said though the problem of drug trafficking and drug addiction had assumed alarming proportions, this problem had to be tackled in such a manner that youth did not go astray.

Outlining various measures to combat the deadly menace, the Chief Minister sought the active participation of various NGOs and voluntary and social organisations to motivate the youth to abstain from drugs and narcotics which ruined them physically, psychologically and also financially. He opined that the police should be empowered to carry out raids on the chemist shops and other drug outlets.

Referring to the procurement of paddy during the coming kharif marketing season, the Chief Minister said 1,460 purchase centres had already been opened and allotted to various procuring agencies in the state, including the FCI. All Deputy Commissioners had been directed not to effect any change of agencies in the mandis without prior approval of the Director, Food Supplies and Consumers Affairs.


Lok Morcha to launch stir
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 5
Mrs Pushap Lata, district president of the Punjab Lok Morcha, today said their association would launch a campaign against anti-employee policies of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mrs Pushap Lata, presiding over a meeting of the association here, said if employees of different departments, who had suffered financial losses, started an agitation against the government, the anti-employee decisions would be withdrawn.

She alleged the Congress government in the state had launched a campaign against the interests of the employees. She alleged that anti-employee policies had also been implemented during the previous Akali regime.


Delimitation panel seeks ’91 census data
Our Correspondent

Ropar September 5
After Fatehgarh Sahib district was carved out of Ropar and Patiala districts parts the Assembly constituencies spread out of the limits of respective districts. The Chamkaur Sahib and Kharar constituencies of Ropar district spread in Fatehgarh Sahib district. This makes administrative control in the said constituencies difficult during elections.

The Delimitation Commission might remove these anomalies by making districts as units for Assembly constituencies. The area of all the Assembly constituencies in the state might be limited to their respective districts to make the control of elections easier.

The doubts have been raised about the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of the 1991 census. Since population statistics have changed a lot (yet to be out) the commission would do well by taking the 2001 census report the basis.


Probe sought into Dhaki’s property
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 5
The Gharuan Gram Panchayat native village of Sant Darshan Singh Dhaki Sahib, has urged the Punjab Government to order a CBI inquiry into the property worth crores of rupees amassed by the sant and his family members.

Copies of the resolution passed by the Gram Panchayat headed by Mr Arjan Singh were handed over to mediapersons here yesterday.

According to resolution, the sant at present was living at Maksoodre village in Ludhiana. They have urged the Income Tax Department to probe how he rented a helicopter for a period of one month during the Khalsa tercentenary celebrations.


Seminar on ‘Indo-Pak relations’

Patiala, September 5
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, today organised a seminar on “Indo-Pak relations in perceptive of the Kashmir problem and the role of media”. The speakers included Col Jaibans Singh who is doing research on the problem. The seminar was presided over by Dr K.S Sidhu, Registrar of the university. OC


Regularisation applications: date extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Punjab Government today decided to give one more chance to unauthorised encroachers of urban land to send their applications for regularisation on prescribed proforma to the Revenue Officers nominated for the purpose by October 31.

A spokesperson for the Revenue Department said as earlier such persons were asked to send their applications by October 22, 2001.


SMO held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 5
The Vigilance Bureau today arrested Dr Surinder Singh Bedi, Senior Medical Officer, Sursingh, while accepting a bribe of Rs 1,500 from Ajit Singh, an employee of the Health Department, for recommending his annual increment. This was stated by Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, SP (Vigilance).


Arrangements for paddy procurement
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 5
All arrangements for the purchase of paddy have been completed and the entire paddy would be procured as per the minimum support price without, said Mr Vikas Paratap, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of the procurement agencies, agriculture officers and Mandi board officials.

Mr Vikas Paratap said that approximately four lakh metric tonnes of paddy was expected to reach the mandis of the district against 3.79 lakh metric tonnes last year. He said that 35 purchase centres were being set up in the district. He said that the Food and Civil Supplies Department, Markfed, the Warehousing Corporation, Punjab Agro, FCI, etc. have been allotted different mandis.

The Deputy Commissioner took stock of the availability of the “bardana” (gunny bags) with the purchase agencies. He also directed them to make proper arrangements for the storage of the procured paddy. He urged them to hold meetings with transporters, labour contractors and commission agents.

He urged the farmers to bring dry paddy to the mandis so that they may not have to face any difficulty while selling their produce. He said to avoid delay in the purchase and unnecessary harassment the farmers should not bring paddy having a moisture content of more than 18 per cent.


Ex-ADGP denied retirement benefits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Union Home Ministry has directed the Punjab Government not to pass on post-retirement benefits to D.S. Bhullar, a former ADGP, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case.

Although Bhullar retired on August 31, the government has not issued any notification with regard to his retirement. Official sources said that Bhullar’s case had been sent to the Union Government to order his dismissal from service about eight months ago. However, no such order had yet been received from the Union Government

As Bhullar had been convicted in a murder case, he was not entitled to post-retirement benefits except Provident Fund.


Jail inmate escapes, five suspended
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 5
Karamjit Singh, an inmate of the Central Jail here escaped from police custody at the local Civil Hospital when he was brought there for treatment yesterday.

An Assistant Superintendent of the jail, Mr Gurjeet Singh, and five others, including three Punjab police personnel, were placed under suspension by the district police and Central Jail authorities for their negligence. A case in this connection has been registered.

Among others who were also placed under suspension were Darban, Jarnail Singh and Munshi Kuldeep Singh. The three policemen, who were also suspended were Nachhattar Singh, Raghubir Singh both (head constables) and Yousf Mohammad (constable).

Official sources said Karamjit Singh had complained that he was having some pain in his body. He was checked by the doctor of the Central Jail who referred him to the Civil Hospital.

He managed to escape when he was taken to the Civil Hospital though he was accompanied by three policemen. He was taken to the local Civil Hospital in a private car.

Mr Balbir Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Jail, when contacted, said the Assistant Superintendent of Jail and two other staff members of the jail were placed under suspension as they did not complete the formalities before sending Karamjit Singh to the local Civil Hospital.

He added that the matter had been brought to the notice of the ADGP (Jails), Punjab, Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, and the district police chief.

He said in another case the jail authorities had recovered some intoxicating tablets from Darshan Singh, who has been undergoing 10 years’ imprisonment after being convicted in a narcotics’ smuggling case. The tablets were allegedly supplied to Darshan Singh by his kin when they had come here to meet him.

A case in this connection has been registered.


Police searching for murder accused
Tribune News Service

Maur Mandi , September 5
The local police has been trying to nab the accused involved in the murder of Harpal Singh Palli of Ghuman Kalan village of the district, which took place few days ago.

Information gathered by the TNS revealed that some prominent persons of the area had handed over the accused to the local police on September 1. The accused was a close relative of Harpal Singh Palli.

The police, however, did not arrest him formally though he was illegally kept in the police station for three days. The accused escaped from police custody yesterday evening.

Sources said the accused had allegedly thrown the body of Harpal Singh Palli on the main road.

He drove a vehicle over the body to make it look an accident case.

When the police officials were contacted, they said as per their record, no accused was arrested in murder case of Harpal Singh Palli.

However, Mr Rajinder Singh, SP (D), when contacted, said he was not aware of such incident and added that he would inquire into the matter.


Travel agent held for duping youth

Gurdaspur, September 5
The district police has arrested one of the three persons who had been involved luring several youths for jobs abroad.

Senior Superintendent of Police Varinder Kumar said here today that Tarlok Singh, a resident of Shanker Nagar in the district complained that the three had promised to send his son Amritpal to Holland and demanded Rs 5 lakh.

He further complained that after getting the whole amount of Rs 5 lakh, the accused started avoiding him and later expressed their inability to send his son abroad in January, 2002, they paid back Rs 1 lakh only. The police chief said a case under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the three. PTI


Trader robbed of car, cash

Moga, September 5
Four car-borne armed robbers allegedly robbed a trader of his car, a large amount of cash and nine mobile phones at Jalalabad in the district yesterday evening.

Mr Jarnail Singh Randhawa, SP, told mediapersons here today that according to an FIR lodged by the trader, Jatinder Kumar, his car was overtaken near Jalalabad on the Jalalabad-Jagraon link road by another car which blocked its way.

All four armed occupants of the other car allegedly threatened the trader and his driver to come out of the car and hand over the cash and mobile phones. Later, the robbers fled away in trader’s car.

After that, Jatinder Kumar immediately rushed to the Dharamkot police station and lodged a complaint.

A case under Section 392 of the IPC has been registered. UNI


JE caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 5
The district Vigilance Department today caught red handed Surinder Singh JE-1 posted at the Punjab State Electricity Board Amloh taking a bribe and seized Rs 1,000 from him.

According to Mr Paramjit Singh Khera, DSP Vigilance, Mr Ranjit Singh, a mechanic at Amloh, came to his office and complained that Mr Surinder Singh was demanding Rs 1,000 from him for replacing the electric wires from a pole to his shop and for increasing the load of his welding set.

He said that as per the direction of Mr Balkar Singh Sidhu, SP Vigilance, Patiala, he laid a trap and caught the JE red handed and seized the amount from him and a case under Sections 7, 13(2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered.

The sources said that when the Vigilance Team revealed their identity and searched his pockets to recover the money, the JE fainted.

The vigilance team immediately took him to a private doctor. After his medical check up he was arrested.


2 held for selling spurious drugs
Our Correspondent

Mansa, September 5
Pawan Kumar and Ravinder Kumar, both local residents, have been arrested for being in possession of spurious drugs. The accused brought these drugs from Delhi for supplying these to chemists. A case has been registered under the NDPS Act against them. They were today produced in the court of Ms Gurdarshan Kaur, Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Mansa.

In another case, Ravi Paul Singh, a resident of Bathinda, was arrested following the seizure of three fake currency notes of Rs 100 denomination each and a note of Rs 500 denomination. He has been remanded into judicial custody till September 19. 


DIET students continue to boycott classes
Our Correspondent

Deon (Bathinda), September 5
Students of the local District Institute of Education Research and Training (DIET) continued to stage dharna and boycott their classes for the tenth day today in protest against the new education policy of the state government.

Mr Balbir Singh Commando, press secretary, DIET Students Welfare Association, said they were given admission in the two year ETT course as per the prospectus, which involved teaching in schools also. ‘No where it was mentioned that the students would have to undergo two years of internship to get their degrees,” he alleged.

He said enumeration, election duties, various kind of surveys and literacy programmes were thrust-upon teachers which the employees of no other department were ready to perform. Despite all these things the government expects good results from the over-burdened teachers, he alleged.

The state government’s statement that the maximum age limit for joining the teaching profession would be reduced to 32 from 42 was a retrograde step, he alleged. Students of ETT course in the state would oppose tooth and nail the state government’s move to increase the minimum marks eligibility for ETT from the present 50 to 55 per cent, he said.

ROPAR: Protesting against the new education policy-2002 of the Punjab Government, a large number of students, including girls, of the local District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) today took out a march in the town and raised slogans against the state government for its alleged “anti-students” policies.

Student leaders said they would continue their agitation till the acceptance of their demand.


Saru Rana fails in exam
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 5
Punjabi University today claimed that Saru Rana, a student of Fine Arts (second year), who had accused former Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, of attempting to rape her, flunked her theory papers which had been checked by external examiners even as Saru’s family claimed that they were expecting such a result.

Saru had also levelled allegations against former Head of the Fine Arts Department, Dr Saroj Rani, and two others for being conspirators in the act.

The university authorities in a press note claimed that there was no truth in the allegations levelled by Saru that she had been deliberately failed by the university. The statement said Saru, instead of failing in the practical examination as alleged, had scored very well in it. It said in practical papers two and three, Saru had scored 81 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively.

The university claimed that in the two theory papers which had 20 marks each for practicals, Saru had scored very well. It said in theory paper number one, Saru had scored 18 out of 20 in the internal slide test and in theory paper number two Saru had scored 17 out of 20. The statement said in direct contrast, Saru was able to secure only 20 marks out of 80 in both the theory papers which had been evaluated by external examiners.

The university claimed that the examination had been overseen by the confidential branch of the institution and that the examinations had been conducted in a fair manner. The university authorities made clear that Dr Saroj Rani could not have influenced the examination process as she was kept away from examination duty. It was further clarified that Mrs Rani had been suspended from March 27 to July 3 and had also requested herself to be kept away from examination duty.

Meanwhile, Saru’s mother Mrs Sultana Begum, on being contacted, said the whole family was in a state of shock because Saru had told them that she had attempted her theory papers very well. She said moreover, Saru had never been a weak student. In fact, she had been awarded 66 per cent marks in the first year. However, if the fight put up by her daughter against the, then, university management was considered, the result was on expected lines, she added.

Ironically, the second year examination has been topped by Sarabjit Kaur who had approached the police claiming that she had been threatened by Saru after the latter had filed a complaint before the Head of the Fine Arts Department against the manner in which the students were treated in the department.


Acrobatics in bhangra banned
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 5
Guru Nanak Dev University has included folk orchestra and “vaar” singing in the cultural competitions of youth festivals recently. This was stated by Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, while inaugurating a one-day cultural workshop here today.

Dr S.P. Singh said the main purpose to conduct the workshop was to make the college teachers aware about the rules and regulations of folk items and their implementation.

He said the folk instruments should be based strictly on Punjabi culture.

Dr Iqbal Singh Dhillon, Director, Youth Welfare, Panjab University, Chandigarh, said “ghungroo” and “vale” (big earrings) should be banned in bhangras and only “natian” (small earrings) be permitted. It was also unanimously decided to ban acrobatics in bhangras.


Website of science academy launched
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 5
Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, launched the website of the Punjab Science Academy at a function here today. Dr J.S. Puar, a former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, presided over the function.

Dr Puar, after releasing the first edition of the journal of the academy, said the academy would provide a forum to the scientists for interaction on the trends in science and technology at global level. He also exhorted them to create scientific temper among the rural people of the state. He said the scientists should work for the upliftment of the rural people.


BSNL to release 10,000 connections
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 5
The BSNL has decided to release 10,000 telephone connections in Jalandhar up to March, 2003, under “Phone on Phone” scheme, which was launched here today. The telephone connections under this scheme would be energised within 48 hours after completing all formalities.

With the introduction of the scheme, customer intending to get a telephone connection would need to dial telephone no 1500 or 404000 to get himself registered. Subsequently, BSNL officials would visit the customer at the prescribed address to complete all formalities and receive payment or Rs 2,000 by way of cheque or demand draft.

The connection would be energised within 48 hours after the encashment of the cheque or demand draft, said GM (Telecom), Mr K.C. Jindal, adding that they had decided to release 10,000 telephone connections up to March, 2003, under this scheme.

Mr Jindal said the scheme would be applicable to all exchanges where telephones were available on demand. “The scheme has got good response from the public as we have already received phone calls from 85 customers for getting connections. The Junior Telecom Officers (JTOs) and sub-Divisional Engineers (SDEs) of the exchanges concerned had been deputed to visit the prospective subscribers to complete the formalities,” he added.

He said the reason for the introduction of this scheme was to utilise to optimum capacity the telephone exchanges which had been set up by spending crores of rupees in different parts of the state. “The scheme will generate extra revenue for the BSNL by offering better facilities to the subscribers at their doorstep,” Mr Jindal said.

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