Friday, October 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



18 pistols seized near Indo-Pak border
Tribune News Service

Khalsa, (Amritsar), October 24
The BSF seized 18 Pakistan-made sophisticated pistols and ammunition late last evening during a special operation between border fencing and the border which falls under Daoke village, surrounded by the Pakistan area from three sides.

The pistols and ammunition were recovered near a tree across the fencing which shows that smugglers still make attempts to smuggle contrabands despite Army build-up. The seizure was made by a team of intelligence officers including, Mr Ishaul, DC, (G) Mr S.K. Sharma and Mr Vinod Kumar, both BSF Inspectors.

Mr S.K. Jain Inspector-General, BSF, said earlier too smugglers used to use the village route due to its strategic location. He said though BSF jawans were fully vigilant on the border, such incident could not be ruled out.

Dr S.K. Kalia, S.P. (Headquarters) said a case had been registered under Sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act at Serai Amanat Khan police station.

Mr Jain said the land from where the seizure was made belonged to Mr Kashmir Singh and Mr Joginder Singh, residents of the same village. However it was learnt that many persons had been rounded up for questioning while the BSF was investigating the matter.

Mr Jain said mounted jawans had been deputed at Wagha and security had been tightened so that the incident like crossing over of a youth to Pakistan should not recur. He admitted that the BSF could not pursue the case with the Pakistan authorities strongly as there was no claimant of the youth who had reportedly crossed over to Pakistan during the daily retreat ceremony recently. Pakistan, however, had claimed that the youth (18) was a Pakistani citizen who had crossed the international pillar and returned back immediately out of curiosity.


SGPC panel seeks Mann’s support

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 24
A seven-member SGPC panel, led by Akali veteran Mal Singh Ghuman, today met Mr Simranjit Singh Mann to seek his support to field a consensus candidate for the SGPC presidential election on November 12.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President gave his concurrence to the panel’s efforts and promised to send his party’s representative to a conclave called by the panel at Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism, at Amritsar on November 1.

Mr Mann, whose party has four members in the SGPC general house of 185, confirmed that he would send his representative to the Akal Takht conclave. The present voting strength of the house is 176 as nine members had died since 1996 when the last SGPC election was held. Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s candidate Kirpal Singh Badungar was elected SGPC President last year by securing 120 votes, as against Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s candidate, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who polled 52 votes.

Mr Mann said he appreciated the panel’s efforts to keep equal distance from both Mr Badal and Mr Tohra, whom he dubbed “agents of the BJP and the Congress, respectively”.

Both Mr Mann and Mr Ghuman said they were not aspirants to the office of the SGPC President.

Panel spokesman Hardeep Singh Mohali denied a media report which alleged that Mr Ghuman was trying to wean away pro-Badal SGPC members under government threat of a Vigilance probe into irregularities allegedly committed by him (Ghuman) as Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board. He claimed that Mr Ghuman was sincerely trying to build a consensus on the SGPC President with the objective of freeing the supreme Sikh religious body from political influence.

The panel was set up on October 18 after a joint meeting of 11 pro-Badal and 10 pro-Tohra members at Takht Kesgarh Sahib.

It is learnt that the panel would meet Panthic Morcha convenor Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi and Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) President Kuldeep Singh Wadala on October 25 and call on Mr Tohra the next day to seek their cooperation in its mission to make the SGPC an “apolitical body”.

Mr Mohali said the panel had not yet succeeded in getting an appointment with Mr Badal.

He said the panel would announce the outcome of its efforts at Akal Takht on November 1.

Mr Badal and Mr Badungar had rejected the panel, alleging that it was set up as part of a conspiracy hatched by the trio of Amarinder-Ravi Inder-Tohra to wrest the control of the SGPC from the Badal group. UNI


Dhindsa threatens SGPC men: Tohra
Tribune News Service and PTI

New Delhi, October 24
Senior Akali leader and Rajya Sabha member Gurcharan Singh Tohra today complained to Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani that Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa was threatening SGPC members with “dire consequences” if they did not favour a specific Sikh group in the forthcoming elections of the religious body.

Mr Tohra has alleged that Mr Dhindsa is trying to influence SGPC member by using pressure tactics for favouring a specific group of Sikhs. The complaint reads. Mr Tohra has further said their party (SHSAD) will not allow any Central observor to reach even the threshold of Teja Singh Samundri Hall, the SGPC headquarters in the Golden Temple complex.

Meanwhile, in a rare charge over “amrit sanchar” (Sikh baptism), Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the capital today alleged the Tohra faction had defrauded the DSGMC of Rs 25 lakh with inflated spending during one such ceremony earlier this month.

“Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, new chief of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), has claimed to have baptised 15,000 persons in one-day on October 2, but their number could in no way exceed the 5,600 mark,” SAD’s Delhi President Avtar Singh Hit told a news conference here.


PCS officers up in arms
Terror let loose by Vigilance Bureau
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
The PCS (Executive branch) today threatened to strike work if the “ terror” let loose by the Vigilance Bureau on certain PCS officers is not reined in.

Sources said about 30-odd PCS officers today met Chief Secretary Y.S. Ratra to lodge their protest against the arrest of Mr Jagir Singh, SDM, who was currently posted at Malout, and the statement made by the bureau pertaining to the starting of an inquiry against Mr Parveen Kumar, another PCS officer. The officers were led by Mr Shiv Dullar Singh Dhillon, Mr A.S. Miglani, President and Vice-President, reportedly of the PCS Officers Association.

Certain association members, according to sources, told the Chief Secretary that the bureau was misusing the vast powers given to it and there should be some check on it. “Were all the officers above board in the bureau, which had created a terror in the PCS ranks?” asked PCS officers at their meeting with the Chief Secretary. They told the Chief Secretary, there could be procedural lapses in the issuance of arms licences by Mr Jagir Singh, when he was posted at Amritsar. However, it was not a criminal offence. On what grounds, has bureau the registered a criminal case against him and put him behind the bars, they asked the association asserted that Mr Jagir Singh was the most gentle and honest officer of the cadre. Likewise, they also mentioned the case of Mr Parveen Kumar, against whom the bureau has started investigation for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

They claimed that Mr Parveen Kumar had purchased a plot and a car after securing a loan from the government and obtaining the requisite permission. Moreover, both Mr Parveen Kumar and his wife were in service and get good salaries.

Mr Ratra, according to certain members of the association, sympathised with them Mr Ratra assured them that he would soon arrange a meeting of the association with the Chief Minister. The Chief Secretary also assured the association of taking up the issue with the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, the association has passed a hard-hitting resolution, saying that the arrest of Mr Jagir Singh in a criminal case was a part of a “larger plan”. Condemning the “ despicable attitude of the bureau” it said Mr Jagir Singh and other officers were being victimised just for “ minor procedural lapses”. “We are prepared to take tough steps to safeguard the honour, dignity and respect of the magistracy as well as of the civil bureaucracy”, said the resolution.

Although the association had planned a “bigger action” and had decided to convene a meeting of its general body for October 27, the move was dropped following a “very positive response” of the Chief Secretary.


Amarinder urged to order Vigilance probe
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 24
The CPI today urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to order a vigilance inquiry into the alleged ‘misappropriation of welfare funds’ as also into the ‘appointments’ made by Punjab Scheduled Castes, Land Development and Finance Corporation, during the Akali-BJP regime.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, a CPI leader, alleged at a press conference here today that senior officials of the department had given Rs 7 crore meant for the welfare of the SCs’ to a firm as a loan. Later, the firm was found bankrupt. When the corporation pressured the firm to pay back the loan, it issued three cheques which bounced. He further alleged that even as the government had stopped new appointments, the department’s senior officials had made three appointments and promoted a personnel without any interview. They were reportedly their near ones.

Mr Raj Kumar, another CPI leader, alleged that from 1995 to 1998 in a scheme under which the SCs’ were provided loans up to Rs 50,000 with Rs 8,000 as subsidy to build a shop or house on 50 yards officials allegedly misappropriated the money through fake documents.

The corporation allegedly gave loans to non-Scheduled Caste people in 1991-92 under yet another scheme of providing loans to SCs’ for vehicles like buses, mini-buses, trucks vans etc she said. The leaders also showed a list of 24 persons who possessed these vehicles under the scheme who were not SCs. Mr Raj Kumar alleged that a departmental inquiry was also held but all were given clean chit after taking huge bribes. The leaders claimed that besides the senior officials of the department some politicians were also involved in these scams. They urged the Chief Minister take stern action against the guilty persons immediately.


Banks not cooperating: Vigilance
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 24
Even as the Vigilance Bureau has failed to arrest Parminder Singh, son of former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, and the former Vice Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Dr H.S. Gurm, in the multi-crore PTU scam, various banks are reportedly unwilling to disclose the details of their accounts.

Though the Vigilance had requested officials of 10 bank branches in Ludhiana and Chandigarh to provide the details of the accounts of Jagdish Singh Garcha, Dr H.S. Gurm, H.S. Grewal, Director (Outreach), PTU, and their family members, they have been reportedly delaying the matter.

Vigilance sources said the delay had put the investigation in jeopardy. The accused, according to an FIR registered by the Vigilance last week, had caused a loss of about Rs 11 crore to the PTU and had appointed 95 ad hoc employees without following the prescribed norms. Besides, the accused were allegedly involved in the embezzlement of funds in the purchase of books.

“We just want to check the transfer of funds of these accounts through illegal channels. We are yet to identify the depositors who made the payments to banks for FDRs to the tune of Rs 90 lakh in the name of Kehar Education Society which were recovered from the residence of the former minister during raids,” a senior Vigilance official said.

“Most of the banks, where the accused have accounts, had told us that they were in the process of seeking permission from the higher authorities before providing the details of transactions,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance sleuths today conducted raids at Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Delhi to arrest Parminder Singh and Dr H.S. Gurm. “No success has been made in their arrest. We have sounded all international airports,” the sources said.

Jagdish Singh Garcha and A.S. Grewal, who had been arrested on October 19, would be produced in court tomorrow on the expiry of their police remand.


Mann disputes Lok Bhalai Party’s claim
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
“If our employable youth are languishing in jails worldwide, it is because of the apathy of the Union Government towards them. Punjab may be the food bowl of the country or may have contributed immensely in the freedom struggle or may have been the top contributor to the defence forces of the country. But one thing is certain that Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular have no say in the country’s foreign policy. It is why our youth, who are very enterprising and are venturing abroad, continue to suffer,” says Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, MP, President of the SAD (Amritsar).

Refuting the claim of the Lok Bhalai Party that it was the first party to take up cudgels on behalf of the thousands of Punjabi youth doing “irregular jobs” because of their status as “illegal immigrants”, Mr Mann put the record straight , saying that it was on July 10 that he had raised the issue with the Union External Affairs Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha.

When I wrote to Mr Sinha on July 10, I sent to him copies of the letters/certificate issued by the Embassies of Pakistan and Bangladesh to their youth who have been struggling on similar grounds.


Roadside mehndiwalas attract women
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, October 24
For Seema, a married woman, the mehndi applied by a roadside artist from Rajasthan was the best as the charges were affordable.

Seema was one of the many local residents who preferred to get the mehndi applied on their palms from roadside mehndiwalas to get ready for karva chauth. They say these artists do the job to their entire satisfaction.

On the other hand, owners of beauty parlours say that their prices can be a bit more than those charged by the roadside artists, but this is due to the difference in service they provide.

For mehndi artists, the days preceding karva chauth were the busiest one. Women started making a beeline for the artists’ places four to five days prior to the festival.

Suresh Kumar Rathore, one such artist, said he would earn between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 during these days. Suresh, a resident of Jaipur, has been staying in the city for the past many days.

There were six to seven such artists in the Dhobi bazar while total number of these would be around 40, doing work at different places.

Suresh Kumar Rathore says his charges range from Rs 25 to Rs 75. He claimed that the mehndi applied by him and other roadside artists was as good as mehndi being applied at beauty parlours but their charges were exorbitant.

He said he had got special training in applying mehndi although he did not get a chance to exhibit his skill.

Women were busy shopping for karva chauth celebrations. There was a lot of rush in the city.

A college girl said she was observing the fast for the first time and was enthusiastic about it. She said she was not much aware about the significance of observing fast on karva chauth, all she enjoyed was the dresses and other items she purchased for the occasion.

Muskan, a plus two student, said she enjoyed the mehndi applied on her palms. She said although her teachers did not allow students to wear ornaments or apply nail polish or mehndi etc, but in the name of karva chauth, they were free to go for such things.

Ms Tehjinderjeet Kaur, a housewife, said the occasion gave her a chance to shop to her heart’s fill. She said otherwise her husband and mother-in-law would generally object to her purchasing of dresses or spending on other ornamental items.

Ms Paramjeet Kaur, a school teacher, said although she could not understand the significance behind observing fast, she did so only to fulfil wishes of her in-laws. She said she did not force her daughter to observe fast.


Dr Brar for foldable lenses
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 24
Cataract can be removed with an incision of only 0.9 mm, but a foldable lens is not available in the market that can be put into the eye from such a small hole. Thus a longer incision to accommodate a wide lens, Dr Prabhdev Singh Brar, a leading eye surgeon of the region, made this observation at a press conference here.

Dr Brar said that with the latest phacoemulsification technique, vision could be restored even in aged patients. He said that with the improvement in surgical techniques, it was now possible that cataract could be removed from less than 1 mm diameter holes and were self-sealing. But, regretted Dr Brar, no lenses were available in the market that could be put into the eye from such a small hole and very costly lenses could be placed in the eye with a hole of 1.3 to 1.6 mm diameters.

Dr Brar said that medical companies should take up the challenge to develop foldable lenses that could be inserted into the eyes from holes of nearly 1 mm diameter. It would reduce the rehabilitation period of the patient and would improve the result of the operation, said Dr Brar adding that the cost factor should also be kept in mind while developing these products.

He said that while lenses which could be put into the eyes from holes of about 1.3 mm diameter were available they too were costly for the common man. He claimed that his hospital at Kotkapura (Faridkot) was the first hospital to provide latest techniques in eye surgery and was the second in the country to extract cataract from a hole of less than 1 mm diameter.

Dr Brar said that he had pioneered the micro-incision technique (MIT) using the phacoemulsification machines in the northern region of the country. He claimed that the MIT produced no astigmatism in the eyes of the patients operated upon using the said technique. He said that one-third of the total blinds of the world belonged to India and said that cataract was one of the main reasons for blindness.

He listed some preventive measures to prevent eye disorders and urged the people to donate eyes after their death to help eradicate blindness.


PSHRC asks ADGP to probe lawyer’s complaint
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 24
The PSHRC has directed its Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) to hold an inquiry into a complaint lodged by Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhasin, a lawyer, against the alleged apathetic attitude of the police to arrest the suspect in an attempt to murder case.

In an order by the PSHRC on October 11, a copy of which was procured by The Tribune today, Mr N.K. Arora, acting Chairperson, directed the authorities concerned to ensure the protection of life, liberty and safety of the complainant and his family.

Mr Bhasin had alleged that Sandeep Singh was not being arrested as he had the support of politicians and senior police officers.

He said about nine criminal cases had been registered against Sandeep Singh who had been declared a proclaimed offender in a case registered against him in Talwandi Sabo police station in 1992.

Mr Bhasin said Sandeep Singh entered his chamber with a motive to kill him. A case in this connection had been registered at the city police station but he had not been arrested so far.

Mr Bhasin alleged that the accused had earlier tried to kill his (Bhasin’s) uncle and as he was a witness in the case, the accused, in connivance with the police, wanted to kill him.

Mr Arora held that keeping in view the seriousness of the allegations, it would be in the interest of justice if the ADGP personally conducted the inquiry into the matter. A copy of the order would be sent to the Principal Secretary, Home, and IG (Litigation).


PIL against ‘tainted’ officers soon
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 24
The Congress government’s alleged support to police officers who have been accused of alleged fake encounters and custodial deaths of youths has prompted the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) and the Khalra Mission Committee (KMC) to file a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against “tainted” officers.

Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd), president, PHRO, and Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala and Mr Balwinder Singh Chabal, members of the KMC working committee, said while the SAD-BJP combine had tried to hush up this issue, the Congress had gone a step further and openly started promoting these officers. “It has deeply hurt sentiments of those who lost their kin in such encounters. A PIL will be jointly filed by the organisations”, they added.

Addressing a press conference, they said according to a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report, out of 400 custodial deaths 40 were reported from Punjab in the past 6 months. In a case of fake encounter, Sita Ram, the then SP, was allegedly involved. He was allegedly responsible for the abduction of Sarabjit Singh who was later alleged to have been killed in an encounter. When the body was sent for a post-mortem examination, it was found that he was still alive. The police then killed the real person and then sent the body for another post-mortem examination, the report said.

“The accused Sita Ram who is on bail is attending his official duties as well”, they alleged. The organisations also alleged that a rule of repression by the police had been unleashed in the state.


Badungar’s plea allowed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 24
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today allowed an application filed by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President Kirpal Singh Badungar seeking permission to be impleaded as a party in a petition filed by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara.

Terming certain allegations in the petition as false and frivolous, Mr Badungar, in his application taken up by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall, had claimed that the same would spoil and harm his political career if rebutted at this stage.

Arguing on the applicant’s behalf, his counsel had denied the allegations that the President had visited the dera of Piara Singh Bhaniara in August, 2000, where announcement was made by the Baba regarding his plans to publish a granth. The applicant, being a devout Sikh, had never visited the petitioner’s dera, counsel had asserted.

He had added that Mr Badungar was undergoing medical treatment when the announcement was made on August 23, 2002. Giving details, counsel asserted: “The applicant was admitted in PGI’s Department of Cardiology for heart problem on August 8, 2000, and was discharged on August 15, 2000, with advise to undergo early CABG and was shifted to Escorts Heart Institute at Delhi the same day for heart bye-pass surgery. He was discharged on August 23, 2000, and remained confined to bed for two weeks at New Delhi and for three months at Patiala for recovery”.

Notice of motion

Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar of the High Court on Thursday issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and other respondents on a petition filed by former Chairman of Punjab State Subordinate Service Selection Board Tejinder Pal Singh Sandhu seeking the quashing of an order passed by a Kharar court whereby proceedings had been initiated to declare him a proclaimed offender.

Challenging the orders dated September 25, Mr Sandhu — now in America — had earlier claimed that he had left the country on June 12 while the first information report was registered a month after. Going into the background of the case, counsel had submitted that the FIR was registered against the petitioner on the basis of statement made by a co-accused even though the same was not admissible.


Badungar writes to CJ, CM
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 24
The SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, in a complaint faxed to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chief Minister, Home Minister, DGP and Secretary (Home) complained that members of the Shiromani committee were being harassed by the police.

In a press note issued by the SGPC yesterday, Mr Badungar alleged that while a woman member, Bibi Harbans Kaur (Naushehra Pannua) had gone underground to “escape harassment,” her husband Bakshish Singh had been put under “house arrest” by the District Police Chief of Tarn Taran.


Asstt planner’s suspension recommended
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 24
Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Commissioner of the local municipal corporation, yesterday recommended the suspension of an Assistant Town Planner (ATP) and a Building Inspector in a controversy involving the multicrore “Central Mall”, which is to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The suspension of Mr Bankey Bihari, ATP, was recommended following the detection of discrepancies in the building plan, on the basis of which completion certificate was issued to the owners of the Central Mall.

However, one of the owners, Mr Jasminder Pal Singh, in a written statement said deviations during the construction were systematically got sanctioned after paying due charges and thereafter they were issued the completion certificate.

He said they were being ‘victimised’ as they came into the limelight as the place was to be inaugurated by the Chief Minister. He said the building was unique in Punjab. Not only was it earthquake resistant but also had all public safety systems such as fire-fighting equipment. Even the glass used in the building was of international standard.

Meanwhile, the Chief Town Planner, Mr M.S. Aujla, was here today on the request of the Commissioner for technical guidance and rechecking of building violations in almost 22 buildings which had earlier been highlighted by The Tribune.

Mr Bir said appropriate legal action was being planned against the owners of the buildings.


Judicial custody for Malout SDM

Kharar, October 24
A local court today sent Punjab Civil Services (PCS) officer Jagir Singh to judicial custody till November 7 in a corruption and forgery case.

Judicial Magistrate Roshan Lal Chohan rejected the prosecution plea for extending the police remand which expired today. He directed that the accused be produced in Ropar’s Special court at the end of the remand.

Arrested on October 18 from Chandigarh by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, Jagir Singh, who was posted as Sub-divisional magistrate at Malout, spent six days in police custody.

The bureau had booked Jagir Singh and two other PCS officers, Arvinder Pal Singh Sandhu and L.D. Hans, on charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy, corruption and accumulation of assets disproportionate to their known sources of income under Sections 467, 468, 471, 120-B of the IPC and Sections 7, 13(1)(D) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Arvinder Pal Singh Sandhu, posted as Public Grievances Officer at Mansa and L.D. Hans, since retired, are still at large. UNI


A year goes by, but no action on FIR
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 24
Family members of Raj Kumar, who committed suicide after murdering his wife and two sons last year, are running from pillar to post to see that Madan Lal, mentioned in the suicide note by Raj Kumar, is arrested. Madan Lal’s name is also mentioned in the FIR.

Mr Mohan Lal, brother of Raj Kumar, says the police is not making efforts to arrest the accused. He says the family has written to the Union Home Minister, the Punjab Chief Minister, the Director-General of Police Punjab, besides the district police chief from time to time but to no avail.

Raj Kumar had left a note mentioning that he had murdered his wife and children as his wife had illicit relations with Madan Lal, her sister’s husband.

Mr Mohan Lal alleges that even after the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected the anticipatory bail application of Madan Lal in February, he has not been arrested.

The family has also approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission which will hear case on November 6. Mr Nilabh Kishore, SP (City), when contacted, said the allegation that the police was not taking action was baseless. He said the crime branch was investigating the case and the police could act only after a report from the crime branch.


Home observer to visit Punjab
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 24
The Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister and general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, yesterday revealed that an observer of the Union Home Ministry would visit Punjab soon for a first-hand account of police atrocities being committed against members of the SGPC allegedly at the behest of the Congress government.

He ruled out consensus with the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) led by former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra, on fielding a common candidate for the presidentship of the committee.

Mr Dhindsa denied media reports that the SAD had sought help of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in its ongoing political fight with the Congress government. “The SAD has nothing to do with the RSS and would never seek its help. The SAD and its alliance partner BJP were strong enough to take on the Congress in political confrontation”, he added.


Hearing adjourned in Langah case
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 24
Mr A.S. Kathuria, Special Judge, today fixed November 6 as the next date of hearing in a case registered against Sucha Singh Langah and 15 others by the Vigilance Bureau.

All accused, including Langah, were present in the court. The case will come up on November 6. The hearing was adjourned because lawyers today abstained from work following a call given by the Kharar Bar Association against the amendments to the CPC.


Kahlon case: next hearing on Nov 7
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 24
Mr A.S. Kathuria, Special Judge, today fixed November 7 as the next date of hearing on consideration of charges in a case registered against Nirmal Singh Kahlon, former Punjab Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, and J.P. Singla, Deputy Director, Rural Development, Punjab, by the Vigilance Bureau.

The court of the Special Judge today supplied copies of the documents of the challan to J.P. Singla who is a co-accused in connection with an appointment in the department.


Water samples fail lab test
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 24
The drinking water being supplied by the municipal council in the Nai Abadi and Bahadurpur areas of the city has been declared unfit for human consumption by the State Public Health Laboratory, Chandigarh.

Dr S.K. Sharma, District Health Officer, Hoshiarpur, said here today that the Health Department had taken eight samples of water from the tubewells supplying water to the Nai Abadi and Bahadurpur areas, of which six samples failed the test.


Mushaira to be held at Malerkotla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
A grand All-India mushaira will be organised by Pasban-e-Adab at Malerkotla on November 2.

Mr Ramankant Garg, IPS, Deputy Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Ludhiana, will to be chief guest. Mr H.S. Ghai, Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Patiala, will inaugurate the mushaira.

Eminent Urdu poets like Tabish Mehndi, Wasim Barelvi, Afzal Manglauri, Wafa Siddiqui, Mohinder Pratap Chand and Sardar Panchhi will participate in the mushaira.

Besides, Allama Iqbal and Headmaster Kifayatullah awards will be conferred on literary personalities. Mr Mohammad Ayaz, a spokesman for the organising committee, said the mushaira would revive the dying form of art.


Ashok Aggarwal reinstated
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, October 24
Mr Ashok Kumar Aggarwal today took over as President of the local municipal council following a decision in his favour by the Supreme Court.

The post had been lying vacant since February 27 as his election to the post of president had been set aside by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


A correction

Apropos of an Abohar datelined news report “Cinema owner held for selling stolen vehicles” appearing in the issue of October 20, the name of the cinema owner arrested should read Mohan Lal Nagpal and not Rakesh Aggarwal. In fact Mr Rakesh Aggarwal is an ASP, who gave the information. The error is regretted.


ASI murder case: 2 held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 24
The police today claimed to have arrested two persons in the murder case of ASI Randhir Singh, attached to former SGPC member Balwant Singh. He was killed on October 15.

Mr Narinder Pal Singh, district police chief, said Kulwant Singh of Labh Nagar and Dalwinder Singh of Chheharta were known to Mr Balwant Singh. He had sold a plot to Kulwant for Rs 12 lakh (Balwant) already had an agreement with someone else. As Mr Balwant could not transfer the plot in Kulwant’s name, he demanded the money back. In a fit of rage, Kulwant and his accomplice allegedly tried to kill Mr Balwant.


Bringing IT benefits to villages
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 24
Though web interface is common only among elite and IT literates and has not yet percolated to the village level where a majority of the Indian population resides yet the district administration and the National Informatics Centre, Punjab, which is pioneering the implementation of various information technology projects in Punjab, have once again made a mark by bringing the benefits of information technology on the doorsteps of the public, especially the downtrodden and senior citizens, by implementing a telephone-based interactive voice response (IVR) system in Fatehgarh Sahib district, the first district to do so in the country.

According to Mr Vikas Pratap, Deputy Commissioner, the rural populace would benefit from this technology. He said the use of this technology was not only cost-effective for the government but also for the people. He said such IT telephone-based systems were already in use in some Central Government departments and now the district administration had made use of the same to reach out to the masses rather than implementing IT-based systems only for the elite. He said the system had been developed initially for the Department of Social Security to cater to the problems being faced by senior citizens and the downtrodden. With the implementation of this technology, they would not be required to visit district offices or banks from far-flung areas to know the status of their applications and disbursement of pension. He said the technology would bring the IT on the doorstep of citizens and e-governance would be implemented in the true sense. The system had been designed and developed using Punjabi for the convenience of the people.

According to Mr Navneet Kukerja, Director, NIC, Punjab, the Dialup-based Citizen IT Interface Project (Dial CITY) was a dream project for the state and had been developed under the ongoing e-governance project for Fatehgarh Sahib district. It was the first of its kind in India, where the district administration was reaching out to the masses through information technology. Dial CITI has a resemblance to the voice mail or auto-attendant system. The interactive voice response system application is one where the caller dials a given telephone number and the computer plays the part of an operator giving out the desired information. Recorded prompts are spoken to a caller and the keypad of a normal telephone is used by the caller as an input device in response.

Dial CITI brings a host of services. A user-friendly automated service menu offers citizens convenient access to information. The system would be on display at the sixth national conference on e-governance being inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on October 24 at Hotel Mountview in Chandigarh, said Mr Banga, District Informatics Officer and System Analyst, Fatehgarh Sahib.


Answersheets collected
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, October 24
After conducting semester examination in September, the Distance Education Department of the PTU today finally deputed Mr Sukhwinder Singh, centre head of the local Government Senior Secondary School, where the test was held, to collect the answersheets from the school and submit them to the PTU authorities.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh collected the answersheets from the Principal-cum-centre controller for submitting the same to the PTU authorities.


Traders threaten stir
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 24
The district Beopar Mandal has decided to observe October 29 as black day in protest against the penal clauses of the new Sale Tax Act VAT, 2002. This decision was taken at a joint meeting of various traders’ on Tuesday. Mr Varinder Rattan was elected president of the district Beopar Mandal, who was earlier secretary of the mandal.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Varinder Rattan, newly elected president of the mandal said the traders would organise a protest march in Sirhind town and would later present a memorandum to the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC) at Fatehgarh Sahib to be forwarded to the Chief Minister.

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