Friday, November 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC poll: Home Ministry keeping watch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 31
The Union Home Ministry is monitoring the situation in Punjab, particularly in the context of the scheduled elections to the post of the president of the SGPC.

Disclosing this here today, senior BJP leader and a former minister in the Badal government, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, said a delegation of state BJP leaders had met the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, recently in Delhi and apprised him of the developments in the state.

Mr Tandon claimed that Mr Advani told the delegation that he was seized of the matter and his ministry was monitoring the situation closely. Mr Tandon disclosed that he conveyed to Mr Advani the fears and apprehensions among the SGPC members over the harassment to which they were allegedly being subjected to by the government. He revealed that the Deputy Prime Minister was told about the attempts of the Congress Government of the state to interfere into the religious matters by trying to thrust its own president on the SGPC.

The BJP leader alleged that in clear violation of the secular and democratic principles, the Congress Government was interfering into the religious matters of the Sikhs. He pointed out the recent case of the suspension of Mr Dara Singh, member Sikh Judicial Commission, was an example of how the government was trying to use arm-twisting tactics to wrest control of the SGPC. “This only betrayed the sense of panic in the ruling quarters as they feared that the SAD was all set to win the SGPC poll”, he observed.

Mr Tandon said he had urged the Deputy Prime Minister to depute a senior official of the Home Ministry to Chandigarh to monitor the situation so that no arm-twisting was allowed to take place. He pointed out the SGPC poll concerned not only Punjab, but also Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. “It was necessary in the interest of the people of these states that the SGPC elections are conducted in a peaceful and fair manner”, he said.


Dara Singh’s breath reeked of liquor: docs
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
Facing criticism after the arrest of Mr Dara Singh, suspended member of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC), the police today once again tried to prove that he was in an inebriated state by presenting two medical officers to substantiate their earlier version.

Addressing a press conference at the Circuit House here today, the district police chief, Mr Narinderpal Singh, categorically denied the version of Mr Dara Singh that he was picked up by the police in mufti from his residence-cum-office.

Interestingly, the medical officers, Dr Parmjit Singh and Dr Ashwani Kumar Sondhi, who conducted the medical examination on Mr Dara Singh and two others claimed that they reeked of liquor and test was conducted to confirm their drunkard state.

They added that the gait of Mr Dara Singh was not steady and his eyes were also dilated, but he was in complete control of senses.

On persistent inquiries by mediapersons Dr Parmjit Singh admitted that Mr Dara Singh was brought to the Civil Hospital sans turban.

There was no injury mark as the police had mentioned in the press note issued yesterday, according to the doctors.

Meanwhile, adding a new twist to the “high drama” the SSP presented a faxed affidavit received at his office from Ambala, sent by Jagir Singh that he (Mr Dara Singh) used to take liquor and was an opium addict. Quoting from the affidavit the SSP claimed that Mr Jagir Singh had mentioned that Mr Dara Singh used to visit Ambala frequently and used to stay at Gurdwara Manji Sahib. He said he used to take liquor with Mr Dara Singh everytime he visited.


Dara denies charges of Kashmir Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Even as Chairman of Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission Kashmir Singh denied “difference of opinion with member Dara Singh”, the latter reiterated his stand of being picked up by the police following his refusal to tow the line of the state government. He also denied the allegations of consuming liquor.

In an affidavit submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Dara Singh claimed that Kashmir Singh had told him to pass orders against certain Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee members, supporting former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, as the present Chief Minister’s prestige was at stake in the forthcoming SGPC elections. After he insisted upon passing the orders “on merit”, he was picked up by the police, Dara Singh submitted.

Terming as false the allegations regarding his being under the influence of liquor, Dara Singh asserted that he had not consumed drinks for the past 30 years. Going into the background, he said about 20 persons entered the room he was sleeping in and forcibly dragged out. He further claimed that time was not given to him for even tying turban and putting on his shoes and was kept in lock up without even being provided with anything to cover himself.

The shocking treatment received by him constituted “gross interference in the functioning of the Judicial Commission and amounted to contempt of court. A serious notice was requited to be taken,” he asserted.

Kashmir Singh, on the other hand, asserted that he and Dara Singh were “on perfectly cordial term”. In fact Dara Singh’s son had called him up to say that his father was in trouble, he claimed. Refuting the allegations that action was taken against Dara Singh following his refusal to sign the orders regarding the removal of SGPC members, he asserted that in case of difference in opinion, view of the majority prevailed. Even if there were only two members, the President’s view prevailed. Otherwise also, if it was assumed for the sake of argument that Dara Singh was not agreeing, the Commission could function and “pass order by majority”. The case would now come up on November 1.


Dang criticises police story
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 31
Mr Satya Pal Dang, CPI leader, has critised the police theory on the arrest of Mr Dara Singh.

He said today that both Akalis and Congress were misusing the SGPC for their political ends. He stated that police officers, it appeared, had acted lawlessly to please their political masters.

The CPI leader said “If the Chief Minister is convinced of the police version he should order an inquiry by a serving judge of a high court to quell doubts.”

He added that Akali leaders must agree to separate religion from politics and they should accept the advice of Mr G.S. Grewal that “MLAs and MPs should be debarred from contesting SGPC elections.”


Sehajdhari move to halt SGPC poll
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 31
Paramjeet Singh Ranu, president of the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation, has served legal notices to the Union of India, through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Justice, Chief Secretary, Punjab, Chief Commissioner Gurdwara Elections, Chandigarh, and SGPC President to restrain the SGPC from holding elections on November 12.

In a press note today, he said politics was dominating religion for which Akali leaders were responsible. They had started interfering in religion. He criticised Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and said that the SAD had already “hidden” several SGPC members in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.


Ardas at Akal Takht today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 31
The 21-non-aligned SGPC members would perform ‘ardas’ at Akal Takht tomorrow to seek success of their purported mission cleansing the committee of politicising.

A senior member of the committee, Mr Onkar Singh Sharifpura, said that representatives of various Sikh institutions had also been invited to join the ‘ardas’ when asked whether they would meet Jathedar Akal Takht for seeking his intervention to ensure the annual election of SGPC chief in a democratic way, he said it had not been decided.

Mr Sharifpura claimed that many members, loyal to the Badal faction were coming forward to join for the common cause. He said the elections must be held in a democratic way. He lamented Mr Badal for taking away SGPC members to Haryana.


Amritsar DC shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
While ordering transfers of seven IAS and 21 PCS officers, the Punjab Government today shifted the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, Mr S.S. Puri. He has been replaced by Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Managing Director of the Punjab Financial Corporation.

In media circles, lot of guessing game had been going on for the past few days about the posting of a new Deputy Commissioner at Amritsar where election of the President of the SGPC, that has become a hot political issue at the moment, has resulted into a war of words between SAD and the State Chief Minister. The election is to be held on November 12.

Another important posting is that of Mr Jagmohan Singh Dhillon. He has been appointed as the Deputy Principal Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Mr Rakesh Ahir, who had been working as the Deputy Principal Secretary in the CMO from the very beginning has also been given charge of Additional Managing Director, PSIEC.

Meanwhile, Mrs Anjali Bhawra, Special Secretary, Personnel, has been given additional charge of Chief Executive of the Punjab Energy Development Agency. Mr Sukhpal Singh Gill has been posted as Special Secretary, Labour and Employment. Mr S.S. Puri has been appointed Managing Director of the Punjab Financial Corporation. Mr Vivek Partap Singh has been transfered to the Department of Cultural Affairs as its Director. Mr Rahul Bhandari has been sent to Ludhiana as ADC (general). Mr Sumer Singh Gurjar has been shifted to Ludhiana as ADC (development). Mr Manjit Singh, has been posted as Secretary SSS Board, Punjab. Mr Satwant Singh has been posted as ADC at Kapurthala.

Mr N.K. Wadhawan has been posted as Additional Secretary, PWD (B and R) and Mr C.S. Talwar posted as Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies. Mr Arvinder Singh Bains has been given additional charge of Secretary, Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training.

Mr G.K. Singh has been posted as Administrator of the Improvement Trust at Bathinda. Mr R.S. Randhawa has been posted as LAO in the PSEB at Patiala. Mr Gian Singh Bal has been transfered to the Department of Colonisation as its Deputy Director. Mr Ravinder Kaushik has been asked to look after the charge of Additional Director (Administration) in the Department of Information and Public Relations.

Mr Sukhwant Singh Bajwa has been given charge of Additional Secretary, Forests and Wildlife. Mr Arun Shekhri has been posted as Secretary, Punjab Public Services Commission. Mrs Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu has been posted as Estate Officer, PUDA, Patiala. Mrs Indu Malhotra has been posted as SMD at Dhuri and Mrs Ritu Aggarwal has been posted Administrative Officer in the office of DPI (Schools), Punjab.

Mr Kuldip Singh has been posted Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, Ludhiana. Mr Pardeep Kumar has been posted as SDM at Malerkotla. Mr Baldev Singh has been shifted as SDM to Malout and Mr Ajmer Singh sent to Sardulgarh as SDM. Mr T.N. Passy has been posted at Gidderbaha as SDM.


Vedanti opposes politics in religion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 31
Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti today honoured members of the family of Beant Singh, a slain assassin of former PM Indira Gandhi, at a function organised by the Dal Khalsa here this noon. The Jathedar also announced that the Takht would bear expenses on the education of the two sons — Jaswinder Singh and Sarbjit Singh — of the deceased.

A large number of people participated in the Panthic convention held to commemorate 18th death anniversary of Beant Singh. Beant Singh was killed by security guards of the PM minutes after he assassinated Mrs Gandhi at her residence on October 31, 1984.

Jathedar Vedanti equated the sacrifice of Beant Singh with those of martyrs who had restored dignity and honour of the Sikhs in history.

Conferring the honorific of great martyr on Beant Singh, the Jathedar observed that his sacrifice was in accordance with the greatest Sikh traditions.

On the political situation, he said religious leaders should perform their duties with the utmost dedication and not take active part in politics, while politicians, too, should desist from interfering in religious affairs but draw inspiration from religion. This was needed to save Sikhism which was being eroded steadily, he observed.

Later he honoured the family of the deceased by presenting them with siropas robes of (honour).

The others who paid tributes to Beant Singh, included Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President SAD (A), Satnam Singh (Paonta Sahib), Kanwar Pal Singh (both Dal Khalsa), Mr Darbara Singh Gill, Chairman IHRO and Jaspal Singh Dhillon, Chairman, HRDF.

Commenting on SGPC election slated for November 12, Satnam Singh Vice-president of the party said the irony of the situation was that both factions of the SAD had been opposing outside interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs but had actively prepared the stage for intervention from outside. He criticised BJP government for not allowing Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan on the eve of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary.

Kanwar Pal Singh, chief spokesperson of the Dal Khalsa criticised the Congress government for observing the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi. He said it was ironical that Mr Amarinder Singh, who had left the Congress in wake of Operation Bluestar was now singing paeans to those responsible for it. He called upon the masses help families whose kin sacrificed their lives in the Sikh struggle.

Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon criticised the role of the Punjab police in “terrorising” the SGPC members to appease its bosses. Similarly, he opposed the SAD (Badal) for asking the Centre to depute ‘observers’; during SGPC elections.

“Today they (Akalis) have an alliance with the party in power but tomorrow they will cry if the Congress intervenes in Sikh affairs.” The Chairman of the Human Rights Group, Mr J.S. Dhillon, had a message for Badal: set up a panel of five Sikh retired judges to monitor the SGPC elections. He suggested the names of Justice Kuldeep Singh, Justice A.S. Bains, Justice G.S. Narula and Justice Harbans Singh for it.

A statement was also read out at the convention venue which said: “The goal for which the martyrs struggled and laid down their lives are still on the agenda of the Sikhs. To secure the right of self determination, the Sikhs will pursue relentlessly the matter to its logical conclusion and abide by international conventions and democratic norms.”


SYL: Punjab will soon file petition in SC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, today maintained his stand that Punjab would soon file a fresh petition in the Supreme Court for the adjudication of the share of river waters between Punjab and Haryana.

He was addressing a press conference here after launching Suwidha (single user-friendly window disposal and helpline), developed by the district administration with the help of the NIC.

The Chief Minister said Punjab and Haryana had 105 and 80 lakh hectares of land and getting 12 MAF and 14.5 MAF water, respectively. It was an irony that the state having more land was getting lesser share of water. He asserted that his government would safeguard the interests of the farming community at all costs and would not spare any effort in defending the just claim of the state. He accused Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who bartered away the interests of the state with Haryana to fulfil his vested political interests.

Replying to a query, he said Mr Badal was suffering from “Amarinderitus” — “a disease of fear psychosis in which Mr Badal apprehends him behind every bush.” He said his government was not at all meddling in the affairs of the SGPC since the Congress was a secular party. He said rather it was Mr Badal who was creating hurdles in the smooth and fair conduct of presidential elections of the SGPC, slated to be held on November 12.

Referring to the tariff order of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission, he said the order was binding on the state government as the commission was a statutory body, which was constituted during the SAD-BJP regime under the chief ministership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his former Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann, was the Chairman of the commission. The commission had levied tariff of Rs 212 per BHP per month on the agriculture pump sets taking into consideration the losses suffered by the farmers due to the failure of monsoons in the state and the poor financial position of the farmers. The state should subsidise the tariff heavily and bill the farmer at a rate of Rs 60 per BHP per month Capt Amarinder Singh reiterated his resolve for the welfare of the farming community and announced that the state government would provide eight- hour uninterrupted power supply to the farmers

Earlier, the Chief Minister paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib and inaugurated a blood donation camp in which about 250 persons donated blood. 


Sankalp divas observed
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, addressed a rally here today on the occasion of Rashtriya Sankalp Divas to commemorate the martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi. He said Indira Gandhi laid down her life for strengthening the bonds of communal harmony, peace and universal brotherhood.

TARN TARAN: Rashtriya Sankalp Divas in memory of Indira Gandhi was observed here under the presidentship of Mr Bhupinder Singh, SDM. Representatives of different political, religious and other social organisations participated in the function. Mr Surinder Singh Kanwal, freedom fighter, and Mr Gurmukh Das, Mr Gurminder Singh Ratoul and Mr Mayya Dass of the Sanatam Dharam Sabha, among others, paid their tributes to Indira Gandhi. A two-minute silence was observed on the occasion.

ROPAR: To mark the martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi, Rashtriya Sankalp Divas was observed under the presidentship of Ms Seema Jain, Deputy commissioner, at Shiwalik Public School here.

Paying tributes to Indira Gandhi, Ms Jain emphasised the need to shun violence and adopt peaceful and constitutional means to solve the problems before the nation.

HOSHIARPUR: The martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi was observed by the District Congress Committee (DCC) here. A function was organised at the party office. Dr Kuldip Kumar Nanda, president, Mr Harbans Lal Kapur, vice-president and Mr Pawan Kumar Adia, general secretary of the DCC and Mr Raman Khullar, president and Mr Rajnish Tandon, general secretary of the city unit of the Congress, paid tributes to Indira Gandhi. The district administration also organised a function in connection with Rashtriya Sankalp Divas. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, presided over the function. Mr Paramjeet Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner, was also present on the occasion.

PHAGWARA: Members of the local unit of the Congress observed the martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi and paid tributes to the late Prime Minister who had sacrificed her life for the unity and integrity of the country. Mr Ashok Prashar, president of the Block Congress Committee (urban), Mr Ram Kumar Chaddha, block general secretary, and Mr Sushil Maini and Mr Pappi Sharma, Congress councillors, were present on the occasion.

KAPURTHALA: The martyrdom day of Indira Gandhi was observed at the local office of the District Congress Committee (DCC) under the presidentship of Mr Sadhu Singh, president of the committee. Mr Arun Jalota, vice-president of the DCC, administered an oath to Congress workers to strengthen the unity and integrity of the nation.

BARNALA: Indira Gandhi’s martyrdom was observed here as Rashtriya Sankalp Divas by Congress activists and local residents. Congress workers of the region took out a peace procession and organised a rally to mark the occasion. A blood donation camp was also organised at the local Civil Hospital. Mr N.S. Walia, SDM, and Dr S.P. Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, participated in the ceremony.

FARIDKOT: More than 2,000 schoolchildren, besides the representatives of various social and political organisations, NGOs and district officers, took a pledge to maintain communal harmony and national integration on the occasion of sankalp divas organised at the Mini-Secretariat here. Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function. A two-minute silence was observed by the participants. Another function was held at the District Congress Committee office in this regard.


SAD (A) opposes commemoration
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 31
Workers of the SAD (A), led by a party leader, Mr Ishan Singh Mann marched in protest against the commemoration of death anniversary of Indira Gandhi.

Addressing a press conference at Fetehgarh Sahib gurdwara, Mr Mann said his party condemned the glorification of Indira Gandhi and alleged that she was responsible for the killing of Sikhs.

He alleged that it was an attempt to disturb peace in the state by “hurting” Sikh sentiments by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh .

PHAGWARA: SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Mann has condemned the commemoration of Indira Gandhi's death anniversary by the Punjab Government. He alleged that she was responsible for the killing of Sikhs. Mr Mann lamented that the government’s choosing to declare Indira Gandhi a martyr. He resented that none of the “panthic” parties of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra had opposed the observing of Indira’s martyrdom day.


Brij Lal assails Akalis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
By observing the “ Rashtriya Sankalp Divas” at Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today made it clear to the communal forces that they should stop playing destructive politics in the state. This was stated here today by Mr Brij Lal Goel, a former Chairman of PUNSUP and a senior leader of the Congress.

He said that some Akali leaders were trying to spoil the atmosphere in the state whereas Capt Amarinder Singh was working hard to strengthen secular forces. He said that a statement by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann against Capt Amarinder Singh and late Mrs Indira Gandhi should be condemned by all right thinking citizens. 


MLA land grab case: HC stays dispossession
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
In an alleged land grab case reportedly involving Beas MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.K. Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed that the landowners shall not be dispossessed.

The two — Mr Surinderjit Singh and his wife, Ms Balbir Kaur, of Takhni village in Hoshiarpur district — had earlier contended that Mr Dimpa, being close to the Chief Minister, was planning to grab the land and had got the revenue records tampered with in connivance with an Assistant Collector.

Giving details, he had added that Mr Dimpa, having influence over the police and the administrative machinery, was trying to grab the land “under the garb of khasra girdawari”. Seeking directions for restraining Mr Dimpa and others from interfering in their possession, counsel for the petitioners had submitted that the two were under a constant threat.

After going through the documents and hearing arguments in the case, the judges ruled: “The writ petition is disposed of with a direction that the petitioners shall refile their appeal before the Collector within 21 days from today. If the appeals are filed, they shall not be dismissed on the ground of delay and latches. The same shall be decided by the Collector. The appeals shall be decided by the Collector within three months of filing”.

The Judge concluded: “In the meantime, the petitioners shall not be dispossessed from the land. In the event of the appeal being dismissed, the petitioners shall further not be dispossessed for 14 days so that they are in a position to approach higher authority”. 


Notice issued to CBI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
Taking up a public interest litigation accusing the government of being involved in “operation-coverup”, instead of revealing the truth in the Punjab Public Service Commission recruitment scam, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the issuance of notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation after it was impleaded as a party.

In his petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Chief Justice Mr B.K. Roy and Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, advocate Rupinder Khosla had earlier claimed that the transfer of officers belonging to the intelligence wing in the middle of the investigations “may have been done to thwart the probe”. Giving details, he had asserted: “So far as the strategy of emasculating the Intelligence Wing was concerned, the coup de grace was delivered when its head Additional Director-General of Police (Intelligence), Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, along with three colleagues was unceremoniously shunted out.”

Pre-arrest bail for Aulakh

Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee member Jarnail Singh Aulakh was granted anticipatory bail by Mr Justice R.C. Kathuria of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Acting on related petitions filed by SGPC members Devinder Singh and Labh Singh, Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta of the High Court directed the issuance of seven days’ notice if they were required in any case.

In their petitions, the members had earlier stated that they should be granted anticipatory bail in any first information report registered against them or in alternate they should be given 15-day notice if they were required in any case. The petitioners had claimed that they were being harassed and threatened with implication in serious cases by the Vigilance Department as they owed allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.


Competitions mark Ghadri Mela
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 31
Students from various schools and colleges participated in a painting and quiz competition organised on the second day of Mela Ghadri Babbian da being organised by the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall Committee at the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here today.

The hall, where the three-day fair started yesterday renamed as Kale Paani Nagar, remained abuzz with activity with thousands of people from all over the state thronging the place to pay tributes to Ghadri Babe. The result of the competitions are as follows: In group A, Sandeep Singh of Government College, Hoshiarpur, stood first while Rekha Sapru from Kartarpur came second. In group A-II Shikha Paasi of Apeejay College, Jalandhar, came first and Sangreeta Rani of Government College, Hoshiarpur, came second.

In group B the first prize went to Smaali Aggrawal of Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, while second prize was cornered by Shivnath, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jalandhar Cantonment.

In group C, where tiny tots competed, Mukesh Kumar of Kendriya Vidyalya, Jalandhar Cantonment stood first while Prabhjot Kaur of St Soldier Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar, won the second prize.

In the special open challenge group Randip Singh from Moga bagged the first prize while in the quiz competition, in which 16 teams from all over the state participated, the first position went to Sikh National College, Banga, while the team of DIET College, Sekhupura, was placed second.

Later in the evening a documentary film was shown by the People’s Voice, a local organisation.


List of PPCC executive given to Kidwai
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 31
A 51-member list of the PPCC executive committee had been submitted to Ms Mohsina Kidwai, in charge of Party’s Punjab affairs, for the approval of the Party High Command, according to Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, PPCC, here tonight.

The norm of one-man one- post, had been followed in the list, he claimed at the house of local MLA Joginder Singh Mann.

He was here in connection with Annual Day Celebrations of Victoria International Public School.

The former PPCC Presidents and party MP’s would be permanent invitees to the new executive committee meetings informed Mr Hanspal.

He denied government interference in SGPC affairs. It was Badal who had held SGPC members in captivity, he alleged. The Jail Bharo of the Badal faction from November 15 would fail, he said. Mr Hanspal supported Sikh Jatha’s visit to Pakistan.

He claimed that consensus had been reached in respect of Muktsar and Rayya council presidents. Mr Hanspal addressed students of Victoria International Public School and was honoured by its Chairman.


Ramoowalia draws flak over trust affairs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 31
The Parbandhak Committee of Sri Takht Harmandar Sahib, Patna, has taken a serious view of the functioning of Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, MP, as President of the Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College Trust and asked him to run the affairs of the trust in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed executed by its founder, Mouleshwar Prasad Singh.

The committee took suo motto notice of a petition moved by Mr Kartar Singh, Secretary-cum-life member and Managing Trustee of the college, that Mr Ramoowalia had made a statement about him alleging that he (Kartar Singh) had resigned from the position of the secretary, life member and managing trustee of the college. “This is false, baseless, concocted and brainchild of Mr Ramoowalia alone,” said Mr Kartar Singh, and sought protection of Takht Harmandar Sahib, Patna, against such high-handedness.

“After considering the whole matter, the committee unanimously resolved that the Mata Gujri Memorial Medical College Trust, Kishanganj, of which the President of this committee is ex-officio member be asked to run the affairs of the trust strictly in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed,” the resolution said. It was passed on October 26.

Meanwhile, Mr Kartar Singh has assailed the statements made by Mr Ramoowalia and held that he never resigned as Secretary of the trust. He said as per the trust deed and the rectification deed executed by late Mouleshwar Prasad Singh, an ex-MLC of Bihar, he could not be removed from any of the positions.

“The college was established by my father, who had to struggle to get the project through. The matter even went to the Supreme Court before the Medical Council of India gave its recognition to the college. Six batches have already passed out from the college,” Mr Kartar Singh said.

Referring to the allegation made by Mr Ramoowalia that he owed Rs 7 crore to the college, Mr Kartar Singh described it as a baseless, concocted and fabricated allegation as the annual budget of the college was Rs 1.5 crore. The annual budget was being regularly passed. The accounts were being audited.


Pherurai gets judicial custody

Ferozepore, October 31
Former district police chief Gurcharan Singh Pherurai was today remanded in judicial custody until November 9 in a case of fake arms licences registered against him. He was produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate Mandeep Kaur Bedi after the expiry of his three-day police remand today.

Pherurai, who had allegedly amassed huge assets during his long police career, had earlier been sent in judicial custody, also until November 9. UNI


BKU (E) men booked for disrupting traffic
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, October 31
The police has registered cases against 26 members of various farmers’ unions, including the district president of the BKU (E), Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, for their alleged involvement in disrupting rail and road traffic on October 29 and 30. They have been booked under Sections 341, 149, 34 of the IPC at Rampura police station.

Sources said the activists had been booked as the Punjab bandh call by the unions had disrupted normal life and there could have been a threat to the law and order situation.

Most of the persons, against whom the cases have been registered, belong to the Ugrahan group of the BKU (E) as it had blocked rail traffic for more than 24 hours. Due to the jam, several express and passenger trains were cancelled, leading to the harassment of passengers stranded at various railway stations in the area.

Some of the main leaders of the union against whom the case has been registered included Mr Surjeet Singh Gill Kalan, Mr Bhola Singh, Mr Motha Singh, Mr Bikkar Singh, Mr Shingara Singh, Mr Jeet Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh and Mr Lakha Singh.

The BKU (E) activists lifted the dharna from the railway track last evening. They ended the dharna after their leader, Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, who was arrested on October 29, was released.

Mr Nilabh Kishore, SP (City) and acting SSP, when contacted, confirmed the registration of cases. He said the cases had been registered as the dharna by farmers’ unions had disrupted the normal life and residents had to face harassment due to it. Rampura Phul: Members of the Students Union, after the support of the BKU (E) gheraoed buses on Thursday in protest against bus operators.

While the students stopped the buses and deflated tyres, members of the Mini Bus Operators Union alleged that the administration was favouring the students. The students alleged that the bus operators had been misbehaving with them and were not allowing them to avail of the concessional bus passes issued to them.

The president of the Rampura Phul Mini Bus Operators Union urged the district authorities to intervene in the matter.


Encroachments razed; 4 hurt in lathi charge

Amritsar, October 31
More than 60 personnel of the local Municipal Corporation headed by the Additional Commissioner, Mr Kirpal Singh, razed encroachments in front of the bus stand up to Pingalwara here today.

Encroachments made by about 120 shops were bulldozed the operation began at 10.30 a.m.

As many as 50 shopkeepers pelted stones at the corporation team including personnel of the Land and Building Department. Four persons, including a driver of the corporation, were injured in a lathi charge resorted to by Punjab police personnel.

Mr Sunildatti, Mayor, said the corporation would remove all encroachments in the city within a month.

Yesterday, the same mob had defied the MC and destroyed the ditch machine used to carry out the demolition in the same area.


Army stops work on 11 roads 
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, October 31
Army officials have stopped the construction work going on at 11 link roads in Jalalabad subdivision of this border district. The project of construction of roads in the backward rural border areas was initiated under the Prime Minister Garaam Sarak Yojana (PMGSY) (phase-3) special area programme.

Sources in the PWD Department disclosed that this project was approved for most backward areas falling within 10 km radius of the International Border with Pakistan, where there was no metalled road earlier, since Independence.

Mr Inderjit Singh, SDO, Rural Works division No. 2 (Ferozepore), said that Army stopped work on four roads. The work was started in June and July, 2002, on roads from Balelke Hasal to Naugram Sher Singh (length 5.25 km), Suhelewala to Dhani Jugraj Singh (0.85 km), Mallanwala Hamad Chak Road to Qutab-ud-Din Wala (2.30 km) and Qada Bohra to Basti Mohinder Singh (4 km).

Similarly, in the Rural Works division No. 1, the Army without any prior notice forcibly halted construction work going on seven roads. These include DAV College, Jalalabad, to Kansawale Chugge (.5 km), Mohallam to Dhani Prem Singh (2.5 km), Chak Khewa to Dhani Bachan Singh (2.56 km), Dhandi Khurd to Dhani Phoola Singh (2 km), Kubhaya Talhiwala to Basti Keran Wali (1.50 km), Sidhuwala to Mastuwala (.50 km) and Talhiwala to Dhani Magh Singh (1.90 km). The total cost of these roads has been estimated at Rs 218 lakh.

The PWD Department and the local administration have strongly objected to the move of Army officials getting in the way of development work. The PWD Department has written a letter to the GOC Golden Arrow Division, based at Ferozepore through the Commanding Officer of the Army unit posted at Jalalabad strongly opposing their move. A copy of the letter has also been forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore.

However, the district administration has failed to break the deadlock between the PWD Department and the Army over the construction work. Sources in the GOC office said that the Punjab Government should have taken prior permission before initiating the construction work. The Army is of the view that the new roads under construction fall under the Defence land. This is contradicted by senior officials of the PWD. No matter, the villages likely to be connected by metalled road are close to the international border, but the area is very much within the limits of the state government.

Mr Inderjit Singh, SDO, said that more than 60 per cent of work on these roads had been completed. Only premix carpeting was left. He also said that the Army has forwarded the request of the PWD Department for sanction to complete these roads to higher authorities.


Companies told to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation
Our Correspondent

Mansa, October 31
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, here has ordered two companies to pay Rs 75,000 to Mr Manohar Lal of Ladal village, Sangrur district, the complainant, as compensation on account of loss of crop, expenses incurred by the complainant, mental tension and physical harassment. Mittal Seed Supply, Mansa, and Nath Seeds Limited, Aurangabad, have also been ordered to pay Rs 1,000 to the complainant.

The forum passed the order on the complaint that Mittal Seed Supply had sold 120 kg of hybrid Lok Nath-505 variety of seeds to the complainant, which was found to be mixed with seeds of another variety to the extent of 25 per cent leading to losses.

The complainant said Mittal Seed Supply had given an assurance that the seeds would give a yield of 90 maunds per acre, whereas the yield was just 40 mounds per acre. He complained to the Agriculture Department, Lehragaga, Sangrur district, which inspected the site and opined that the low yield was due to poor quality of the seeds.


Staff resent case registration
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 31
A section of employees of the Food Corporation of India have said the case registered against one of their colleagues by the District Vigilance Bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act was not sustainable.

The employees said the allegations levelled against Mr Laxmi Narain, an inspector with the corporation, were not sustainable as Mr Jaswinder Singh, the complainant had alleged that the officer had taken, a bribe of Rs 3,000 about 15-20 days ago. They said if the officer had accepted the bribe about 20 days ago, the complaint should have been lodged then. They added that the officials of the bureau should have laid a trap to nab the allegedly corrupt officer red-handed.


Man held for selling intoxicants
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 31
The police here has arrested Chaman Lal, a salesman at R.K. Medical Store for allegedly selling intoxicants yesterday. However, Rajesh Kumar, proprietor of the store, managed to escape. A case under Section 188, Cr PC and Sections 22, 61, 85, NDPS Act, has been registered against both of them.

Addressing a joint press conference here today Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Faridkot, said they had received numerous complaints regarding the sale of different types of intoxicants in the district. A five-member committee of senior civil and police officers yesterday conducted a raid at the store and seized more than 35 boxes of intoxicants.

The raid, which started at 2.30 p.m., continued till midnight. During interrogation the accused admitted that they were getting the drugs from Moga and Bathinda districts and selling it at various villages. Various parties have been deployed in different parts of the district to check the sale of intoxicants. The Deputy Commissioner stated that to counter the menace ward-wise committees would be constituted. He said the informers would be suitably honoured and their names would be kept secret.

Several social and religious organisations have also offered services to support the cause.


Members of gang arrested
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 31
The police has arrested five members of a gang, including its leader, allegedly involved in various cases of murder, rape and theft in Punjab and Haryana. Addressing a press conference today Mr Nilabh Kishore, SP (City) and Mr Rajinder Singh, SP (D) said the gang was wanted in 25 cases in Haryana and several in Punjab. Those arrested had been identified as Jinder Singh, Krishan, Raj Kumar, Darshan Singh and Gurmail Singh.

Kingpin Bittu who was produced before mediapersons said he was involved in various criminal activities for the past over seven years. The gang reportedly used to stop cars and rob the occupants. If anyone objected, the gang used to kill him.

The gang members would steal cars for committing crimes and later set them afire or throw them into a canal.


Three killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, October 31
Three persons were killed when the car in which they were travelling was hit by a truck, about 7 km from here, on the Bathinda-Barnala road last night. The deceased have been identified as Varinder Jeet, Jaswinder and Vicky, all residents of Rampura Phul. The bodies were handed over to their families after a post-mortem examination.


Randhawa group sweeps varsity poll
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 31
The Randhawa group last night swept the Guru Nanak Dev University non-teaching elections by winning all posts of office-bearer by defeating the Bath group.

Mr Sukhminder Singh Randhawa (of the Randhawa group) was re-elected president while Mr Jagir Singh was re-elected vice-president, Mr Amarjit Singh Bai won the election of secretary, Mr Ramesh Sharma joint secretary and Sham Mohan treasurer.

However, three executive members of the Bath group, including Mr Ajmer Singh, Mr Surjit Singh Mannan and Mr Gurmit Singh, out of total 10, won the election.

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