Monday, November 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



‘PM, Sonia, Chautala helped’ Badungar win
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 17
Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, at a press conference today, said instead of asking Jathedar Tohra to take “sanyas” from politics, Mr Parkash Singh Badal should take “sanyas” as Akalis and SGPC members were parting company with him as witnessed in the November 12 SGPC poll. The SHSAD’s SGPC members increased from 45 to 56 and now to 68 while pro-Badal SGPC members were reduced from 131 to 91, said Mr Chandumajra. Mr Tohra would quit politics only after ridding the Panth of parivarwad of Badal’s family, quipped the SHSAD leader. He alleged interference by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and Simranjit Singh Mann in the SGPC elections.

Professor Chandumajra said Mr Badal had spoken the truth by admitting that it was the rebuff of Ms Sonia Gandhi, AICC President, to the Punjab Chief Minister that worked and allowed SGPC members of the Badal group to enter Amritsar, facilitating the victory of his protege, Mr Badungar. It meant that Congress had helped Mr Badal in the SGPC poll and not Mr Tohra, quipped Mr Chandumajra. Actually it was an understanding between Mr Vajpayee and Ms Gandhi, with the support of a former PM, Mr I.K. Gujral, that had led to the victory of the Badal group in the SGPC polls mired in electoral malpractices, alleged Mr Chandumajra.

Mr Badal’s demand for Mr Amarinder Singh’s resignation and his November 27 ‘jail bharo’ programme were an eyewash to mislead the public, he continued.

He asked as to who paid Rs 55 lakh for airlifting the SGPC members from Delhi to Amritsar. Costly gifts were given to bribe SGPC members on Divali and some money was being given to them by Mr Badal in the garb of thanking them, he alleged. “We will take the issue of electoral malpractices to courts”, he declared.

Professor Chandumajra also condemned the police entry into the SGPC complex even though Mr Badal created conditions for the Amarinder government to do it.

He admitted that the Golden Temple complex and the SGPC complex were one and all those including Mr Badal who had sent the police into it should be summoned at Akal Takht. Asked whether this included Capt Amarinder Singh also, Mr Chandumajra retorted that it was for the Akal Takht Jathedar to see.

On the Panthic Morcha, Professor Chandumajra claimed that it was very much intact and that only the Akali Dal (Amritsar) had walked out of it after its President Simranjit Singh Mann sided with Mr Badal in the SGPC poll. Party leaders Mr Jaswinder Singh, Narinderpal Singh Hundal, Avtar Singh Bhungrani, Rajwant Singh Jhikka and H.S. Pahwa were present.


BJP not party to SAD’s game
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, November 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal (B) was at liberty to topple the Capt Amarinder Singh government in Punjab by engineering defections but the BJP was not a party to any such game.

Punjab BJP president Prof B.L. Rinwa, stated this to newspersons at his residence here today. Ms Saraswati Rinwa, state vice-president of the Mahila Morcha, Mr Faquir Chand Goyal, district president, and Mr Brij Mohan Sharma local president, Mr Sunil Wadwa, district president of the Yuva Morcha were also present. Prof Rinwa expressed ignorance on the reported move by the SAD to woo the group led by a senior Cabinet minister for toppling the Capt Amarinder Singh government.

Justifying intervention by the NDA government in SGPC election Mr Rinwa said when daughter was harassed by inlaws, parents had all rights to come to her rescue. The Cabinet colleagues, sent by the Chief Minister to meet party President Sonia Gandhi, failed to justify the action of the Chief Minister misusing the police force, he said.

The ministers tried to convince Ms Sonia Gandhi that Capt Amarinder Singh’s functioning was democratic, humane and focussd to rerail state’s economy.

The Chief Minister had failed to fulfil his claim of arranging Rs 5,000 crore financial investments for development in the state, he added.

On “false” claims regarding development, the state BJP chief said the Chief Minister wasted money on settling political scores. His secular outlook stood exposed with undemocratic efforts to install combined candidate of the Congress and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra as SGPC president. People were prevented from paying obeisance at Harmandar Sahib. Even in during militancy vehicles were not checked in the manner the Chief Minister’s policemen did now, he rued.

Claiming that the acts of the Congress were contrary to its claim of good governance, corruption-free administration and fiscal reforms, Prof Rinwa said government machinery was misused to ensure that the SAD did not hire any vehicle to take workers to Amritsar on the day of SGPC election. Bureaucrats in connivance with their political masters indulged in corruption, he alleged. The “coterie” around the Maharaja was indulging in all kinds of unfair practice. Some Cabinet members and their sons had are in the news in the state for deals in transfers, Mr Rinwa alleged.

Professor Rinwa said the party would enrol 4.86 lakh members’ by next month, more than 2 lakh had already been enrolled members by charging Rs 5 for a period of six years. Gaon Chalo Abhiyan will help widen party base in villages. Party President Mr Venkaiah Naidu will address another rally in Punjab in rural area of border district of Ferozepore after the Gujarat Assembly elections, he said.


12 Indians in Quetta jail
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 17
More than 12 youths from Punjab and Haryana, who were allured by travel agents on the pretext of sending them abroad are languishing in a Quetta jail in Baluchistan in Pakistan.

This was revealed through a letter written by Satnam Singh of Sohal village, who was sent abroad by Kulwinder Kaur of Batala, whose husband Swaran Singh stays in Lebanon.

Mr Gurdial Singh uncle of Satnam Singh, who received the letter, told newspersons here today that Satnam Singh along with his friend paid Rs 3 lakh to Kulwinder Kaur for sending them to Greece.

He said Satnam Singh and his friend were initially taken to Oman, then they were shifted to Lebanon where they lived at Swaran Singh’s residence.

They were later sent to Turkey and from there to Iraq allegedly on a fake visa. In Iraq they were arrested and sent to Pakistan where they were kept in the Quetta jail.

The youths have been identified as Surjit Singh and Sarabjit Singh, both residents of Pehowa. Rakesh Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Balwinder Singh, Gurdev Singh and Surinder Singh, all residents of Yamunanagar in Haryana, Vachitter Singh and Harmesh Singh, residents of Nawanshahr, Rajwinder of Patiala and Sukhwinder Singh of Ambala. Two more unidentified youths are also with them.

Mr Gurdial Singh sought the intervention of the Indian Government at the earliest to get them deported to India. He also demanded the arrest of Kulwinder Kaur.


Punjabi youth in Italy up in arms
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Hundreds of Punjabi youth, waiting to become “legal residents” of Italy, are up in arms against certain members of the diplomatic staff of the Indian Embassy in Rome alleging that they have prepared a “video film” to show how they are being forced to shell out “large amounts of money to get documents, including passports, in time”.

“The video film has been handed over to the Rome police which has promised to produce it as and when we want it or any investigation team comes from India to look into our complaint,” says Mr B. Singh, general secretary of the Indian Association in Italy.

Talking to The Tribune over telephone, office-bearers of the association said that “unless officials in the embassy are bribed, the necessary documents required for the regularisation of our status as legal residents are not given to us.”

“We are being forced to dole out 400 euros to 1,000 euros each to get the express delivery of documents requested by each one of us. The money is paid through conduit. And at times, the documents are also given to us through the same conduit. We have the entire thing on the video film,” they say maintaining that certain important documents and other details have also been sent to the External Affairs Minister, the Home Minister, the CBI Director and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.

The association maintained that after Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, MP, visited Italy twice, things improved a great deal and “each one of us was issued authorisation slips which entitled us to subsequently supply documents in proof of our bonafides to the Italian authorities.”

“But afterwards when we started frequenting the embassy to collect the required documents, our exploitation started. We put members of our association to video-tape the deals reached through brokers. Besides, we also collected several incriminating documents to prove how the staff were working in league with these brokers,” Mr B. Singh said.

When the staff came to know about the video-cassette they started threatening members of the association of serious consequences, including the registration of cases back home by “labelling us as dreaded terrorists and militants”.

“We have sought an appointment with the Indian Ambassador and hope that he would redress our grievances,” Mr B. Singh added.

The Indian Association also faxed to The Tribune a copy of the letter, carrying the signatures of all its office-bearers, it has addressed to the Indian Ambassador in Rome containing details about its complaint.


Bodies yet to reach Lehra Dhurkot
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Lehra Dhurkot (Bathinda), November 17
“Jaggi promised to bring parsad from Paonta Sahib. How could he go without fulfilling his promise?” This was all that the mother of Jaggi, a widow, could say before she fainted, when she was told that her only son was among those killed in an accident near Paonta Sahib yesterday.

Jagsir Singh, also known as Jaggi (17), whose father Piara Singh had died last year, was the only hope of her mother and two sisters, one of whom is unmarried. His mother could not believe the news of his death. She said if it was true, then she would also die. “There is no meaning in living any more when my son is not with me,” she said. The efforts of elders to console her proved futile, as they themselves broke down while seeing her plight.

A pall of gloom descended on this village when the news reached here that a truck carrying pilgrims belonging to the village met with an accident near Paonta Sahib last night.

Residents whose relatives were among the pilgrims waited anxiously about official information about the dead and the injured.

Residents assembled near the Bathinda-Barnala main road in the hope that the bodies would arrive so that these could be cremated. However, their wait had still not ended when reports last came in.

The names of the dead were confirmed only in the afternoon. These were Jagroop Singh, Jasdev Singh, both brothers, Channan Singh, Ghukkar Singh, Sukha Singh, Karnail Kaur, Jagsir Singh, Tej Kaur, Kulwinder Kaur, all from Lehra Dhurkot, Malkit Singh from Bhokra and Kulwinder Kaur, a relative of a resident of the village.

Mr Gura Singh Tungwali, MLA, met the bereaved families. He said as the village was in his constituency, he asked the authorities concerned to make efforts for bringing the bodies at the earliest. He also visited the injured admitted to different hospitals.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma also visited the families of the deceased and the injured.

Resentment prevailed among villagers about a delay in the arrival of bodies. They said the accident had taken place last evening but the bodies did not arrive till this evening. The officials said the bodies were expected to arrive late in the night and would be cremated tomorrow.

At least 12 of the injured were admitted to hospitals at Rampura Phul. They are Gurcharan Singh of Bhucho Kalan, Harnek Singh and his wife Balbir Kaur, Gurdeep Kaur, Amarjeet Kaur, Jangir Kaur, Nirmal Singh, Maghar Singh, Billu Singh, Kartar Kaur, Karamjeet Kaur and Gurdial Kaur, all belonging to the village.

Mr Harnek Singh, a teacher, said the accident occurred as the driver lost control of the vehicle while ascending a hill around 4.25 p.m. about 3 km from Paonta Sahib.

Meanwhile, Mr Anurag Verma said the bodies were to be brought from hospitals in Uttaranchal and Haryana, even though the accident occurred in Himachal Pradesh. He said the delay was caused due to the involvement of four state governments.


12 Panchayati Raj Dept men suspended
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 17
As many as 12 senior officials of the Panchayati Raj Department of the Punjab Government, including Additional Director, Deputy Directors and Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) have been placed under suspension by the Secretary, Rural Development, Punjab, Mr J.R. Kundal, last evening for allegedly committing irregularities in the selection of panchayat secretaries about a year ago.

Official sources said apart from suspension of these senior officials, some more senior officials, including an IAS officer, would be placed under suspension by the Chief Secretary next week.

The previous SAD-BJP combine government had recruited about 908 panchayat secretaries in 2001. The test was conducted in 1999. Some of the selected candidates who got appointment letters were either overage or underage. The officials who were suspended were members and chairman of different selection committees. The Rural Development and Panchayat Department was then headed by Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, former Cabinet Minister.

Those placed under suspension include Mr Joginder Singh, Additional Director; Mr Kanwal Sher Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ropar; Mr Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Divisional Deputy Director, Panchayati Raj; Mr J.P. Singla, Deputy Director (Mr Singla is already facing an inquiry in another case); Mr C.L. Premi, Deputy Director (Mr Premi is also facing an inquiry in another case, and Mr Parminder Singh Sodhi, Additional Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad.

The other officials include Mr Rakesh Pal, BDPO, Dina Nagar; Mr Jagjit Singh, BDPO, Jalandhar (west); Mr Ajaib Singh, BDPO, Bhikhi; Mr Baljeet Singh, BDPO, Bathinda; Mr Piyush Chander, BDPO, Nurpur Bedi, and Mr Pooran Chand, EPO, Amritsar. The sources added that some other officials were also found guilty and indicted in an inquiry conducted by Mr P. Ram, former Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat, Punjab. The inquiry was ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court when about 18 panchayat secretaries, whose services had been terminated by the Punjab Government, approached the same for relief.

On November 16 the Division Bench of the court comprising Mr Justice G.S. Sinhvi and Mr Justice Jasvir Singh, while accepting the prayer of the state of Punjab to file a fresh affidavit in the panchayat secretaries’ selection case, ruled that the state government would categorically give details of its stand regarding the alleged irregularities in the selections and its decision to fix the responsibility of senior officers indicted in the report submitted in the matter.

The Division Bench has fixed November 28 as the next date of hearing. Mr Kundal, when contacted as Chandigarh on phone, said tomorrow more decisions would be taken against those who had been indicted in the report of Mr Ram. He added that he would meet the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, and only after that he would be able to tell that whether any action would be taken or not.


Army division’s liquor licence cancelled
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, November 17
The Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab has cancelled the licence of the Army division here to sell liquor at subsidised rates to the Army personnel with immediate effect. It has sealed the stock available in the liquor shop and godown of the division for violation of the rules and regulations of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914.

A senior official told The Tribune here yesterday that there had been complaints that liquor was being smuggled out of the main canteen of the 7 infantry division (Golden Arrow division). Following complaints officials of the department caught Ujjal Singh of Basti Tankan Wali (Ferozepore) with two cases of McDowells whisky brought illegally from the main canteen of the 7 infantry division in the name of his cousin Kashmir Singh, an ex-serviceman of Fattuwala village. An FIR was registered against him at the cantonment police station.

Preliminary investigations by the department revealed that Kashmir Singh (No 3366964 W NK retired, 18 Sikh, HQ - 15 inf. BUB.) purchased liquor on his card No 4366 beyond his quota of liquor as fixed by the Ministry of Defence. He did not buy liquor for the past few months, the quota for which, as per rules, should have lapsed. However, in collision with the canteen authorities allegedly, he got himself issued even the lapsed quota illegally. Moreover, he was supposed to purchase two brands of liquor, whisky and rum, in different quantities as per the Army rules but he allegedly manipulated to purchase only a single brand of McDowells whisky, again violating the rules.

Following this, the department served a notice on the authorities concerned of the Army. But the Army authorities failed to give a satisfactory reply. Finally, the department raided the main canteen of the 7 infantry division and sealed the stock of liquor for sale there and cancelled its licence L-9 for sale of liquor.

Meanwhile, sources in the 7 infantry division said an internal inquiry into the lapses in the canteen had been marked by Major-Gen O.P. Nandrajog, GOC of the division. TNS tried to contact the GOC on telephone for comments but the telephone operator in the Army telephone exchange said civilians were not allowed to contact any Army official.

Besides, investigations made by TNS also revealed that the main Army canteen of the 7 infantry division also supplied liquor in bulk quantity to forces under the direct operational command (paramilitary forces and the state Home Guards) without any card system, flouting rules and regulations. When contacted, the manager of the canteen admitted that liquor was being supplied to the officer in charge of the forces under direct operational command of the Army following instructions from the divisional headquarters.

On the other hand, the average sale of liquor in the Army canteens of Ferozepore district was 9,389 cases per month from April to August, 2002) whereas the maximum quota fixed for liquor contractors in the whole district is just 7,897 cases. However, lifting is even less — in between 6,000 to 6,500 cases per month.


Umeed brings heart camp to Sangrur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Umeed, with the support of Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, today organised a one-day heart camp in Sangrur where over 300 patients were examined and referred for specialised treatment.

A 19-member team from Escorts, with seven cardiologists, worked along with Umeed’s medical staff. Not only were tests like the echocardiogram conducted free of cost, the patients were educated on the subject of cardiovascular diseases and advised to adopt healthier lifestyles for a better living. The doctors of the Foundation were also instructed in the technicalities of cardiovascular diseases and the advice they could render to patients on lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. Dr Morepen’s Pharmaceutical Company carried-out complimentary blood sugar tests of all patients.

Umeed, has been working for the last more than five years towards the upliftment of the rural underprivileged in Punjab and has adopted Sangrur district. Ever since its inception in 1997, the Foundation has been providing free of cost primary health services to the rural poor, through its pioneering project ‘Health at the Doorstep’. ‘Umeed’ runs a mobile healthcare service reaching out to over 500 villages of Sangrur and parts of adjoining districts, through 15 mobile dispensaries, which travel deep into the interiors of rural Punjab, reaching out to a population of over 10 lakh. In addition, it is running a free self-contained dispensary in Sangrur. Apart from regular OPDs, the Foundation runs other health-related projects like, Reproductive Child Health and HIV/AIDS Targeted Intervention for Truckers and Migrant Labour. Umeed has also set up a comprehensive eye clinic in Sangrur. A mobile eye-clinic takes eye care to the doorstep of the rural people. Umeed has in the past organised a limbs camp and arranged for artificial limbs and appliances for 250 disabled persons.

Umeed stands for the empowerment of women and upliftment and emancipation of the underprivileged. Mr Arvind Khanna, Chairman of Umeed, says “Heart ailments are the root cause of death in the middle age. During the course of our OPDs, a series of problems are noticed in patients, which are conceived as high risk factors for heart diseases. There exists a high incidence of heart ailments in the area. That is how Umeed decided to enlist the support of the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre. the singular contribution of EHIRC in the field of cardiology is unparalled. We are thankful to them and the Director, Dr Naresh Trehan, for having conceded to organise this Heart check-up camp in Sangrur, as an annual feature”.


Medical camp

Ferozepore, November 17
Fortis Heart Institute and Multi-Speciality Hospital organised a cardiac consultation camp at Baghi Hospital here on Saturday. The institute will organise such cardiac camps in the district every fortnight. Patients from Ferozepore and nearby towns were examined by Dr Jagmohan Singh Verma, senior consultant in interventional cardiology at the Fortis Institute in New Delhi. OC


His addiction led to father’s death
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 17
When Parveen (name changed), a truck driver, started taking drug injections four years ago, he never imagined that these would ruin his life. He is HIV positive now. His addiction resulted in the death of his father due to depression.

The drugs have reduced 28-year-old Parveen to a skeleton. Unable to do labour work and suffering from the deadly disease, the future is dark for the youth.

Parveen started taking narcotics like opium and poppy husk while he visited other states as a truck driver. “I was a teenager when I first tasted poppy husk. It was a wonderful experience,” Parveen recalls. However, he now resents the day when he first took the narcotic substance. “The instant pleasure that I got became an addiction,” he said.

Even as Parveen feels bitter at being a drug addict, medical experts say it is too late for him to recover and only a miracle can save his life.

Parveen said he took narcotic injections on the instance of some friends. Although he was aware about the bad effects of drugs, yet as the friends gave the injections free of cost, he could not resist the temptation. He maintained that he shifted to injections as he was not able to buy poppy husk and opium.

As the economic condition of the family deteriorated, a vehicle owned by it was sold one-and-a-half years ago. However, the money was spent on the treatment of his wife. The father of Parveen, who was running a small business, could not bear the shock and died after remaining under depression for some time.

Sitting beside Parveen’s bed at the hospital, his mother said she had lost her husband due to her son’s addiction. She said they had to “compromise” by getting Parveen married to a girl of some other caste.


Experts discuss infant mortality
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 17
A Continual Medical Education Programme of the National Neonatology Forum (NNF) was held in Government Medical College here today. It was organised by the Department of Paediatrics, the head of which is Dr K.K. Locham.

The programme inaugurated by Dr J.S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, attracted more than 800 paediatricians from all over the country. There were talks on various aspects of respiratory diseases in the newborns. These diseases were the chief causes of infant mortality in the country.

Dr N.B. Mathur, national president of the NNF; Dr Anil Narang, Professor and Head of the PGI Department of Paediatrics; and Dr Arvind Saili, Professor of Paediatrics in Lady Harding Medical College of New Delhi; presented their papers on the occasion.

Dr Anil Narang said hyaline membrane disease in pre-term babies was a chief cause of infant mortality. He also held a workshop on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a mode to manage such babies even in primary health centers where neonatal ventilators are not available. The VC of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Dr J.S. Gujral, and Dr Ravinder Singh, Director Research and Medical Education of Punjab, also spoke on the occasion.


Dalits’ body to gherao ministers
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 17
Mr Jasbir Singh Pal, state president of the All-India Confederation of SC, BC and ST Organisations, addressed a “protest rally” organised by the Confederation’s district unit here yesterday. He criticised the state government for not keeping its pre-election promises regarding the welfare of Dalits.

He alleged that the Union Government and the Congress government in Punjab were “hatching a conspiracy” to scrap the reservation policy on the pretext of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. He said the confederation had decided to intensify its struggle to raise its demands, which included the implementation of the reservation policy in the private sector, scrapping of the disinvestment policy and the withdrawal of “anti-reservation Acts”.

Mr Pal said members of the state unit of the confederation would gherao Punjab ministers and Dalit MLAs to pressurise the government to implement the 85th constitutional amendment. Mr Shiv Singh Bangar, Mr Bhag Ram, Mr Kamaljit, Mr Charan Singh, Mr Dinesh Kumar and Mr Balbir Singh Khanpuri also addressed the rally.


SDM seeks action against BDPO
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 17
Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Kharar, has written to the District Development and Panchayat Officer, Ropar, that disciplinary action should be taken against the BDPO, Majri, as he had failed in his duty to remove encroachments on the village land in Bhajoli village of Kharar tehsil. Besides, he has ordered that somebody else should be entrusted with the job of removing these encroachments.

Some residents of the Bhajoli village had complained to the SDM, Kharar, that the land was being illegally occupied in the village and the BDPO was allegedly not taking any action.

The SDM has written that the BDPO has not taken any action in removing encroachments in Salempur village. He has written that he has been receiving complaints by the residents of Bhajoli village in this regard.


Khanna: bridge over Beas by Feb
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 17
Mr Vinod Khanna, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, who was here today to mourn the death of Dr Kamal Jyoti, said the conduct of Congress during the SGPC elections was clearly an attempt to help Mr Tohra win the elections.

Mr Khanna said all development works initiated by him will be completed on schedule. In this regard he said the bridge over the Beas near Purana Shalla would be completed by February-end next year. Later, he addressed the rally at Kalanaur as part of the Gaon Chalo Abhyan. Mr Sucha Singh Langah, former PWD and B and R Minister, also addressed the rally.


BJP leader Gardhara Singh Saini dead
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, November 17
Senior BJP leader Gardhara Singh Saini (90) passed away early this morning at his residence in Hoshiarpur. Suffering from paralysis, and was bed-ridden since 1998. His body was brought here this evening by his ‘adopted’ son Sukhpal Singh Nannu, BJP legislator from Ferozepore city is scheduled for tomorrow.


Ram Tirath mela begins

Ram Tirth (Amritsar), November 17
Pilgrims today started thronging the annual historic Ram Tirath Mela, which began here today. Lakhs of pilgrims are expected to take a dip in the sarovar during the week-long fair. It is believed that when Lord Rama abandoned his wife Sita, she took shelter here at the ashram of Rishi Valmiki. PTI


Six-man gang of robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 17
On a tip off the district police yesterday busted a six-member gang of robbers including two migrant labourers, and seized two rifles and sharp-edged weapons from them. One person managed to escape.

The arrested persons are Santosh Kumar, Suraj alias Pappu, Lada of Amritsar, Vinod Kumar of Uttar Pradesh and Sujit Kumar of Bihar, both labourers, while Nanku wanted in many cases and a proclaimed offender has absconded.

According to information available, the gang which has been active in the city for past three years was busted after a raid in the new Amritsar Scheme area. The SSP said it was the same gang that shot a Head Constable in September.


Former Congress councillor booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 17
The district police has booked Mr Arun Kumar Pappal, a former Congress councillor for allegedly assaulting Sub-Divisional Officer of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Mr Gurdev Singh Dhillon, SDO, in a complaint alleged that the former councillor demanded that an electricity bill be deposited in instalments. When he expressed his inability to do the same, his four accomplices manhandled him.

Mr Pappal was not available for comment. A case has been registered under Sections 353 and 186 of the IPC.


6 held under SITA
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 17
The Model Town police raided a house in the local Puran Nagar Mohalla on the Tanda road here last evening and arrested Sonia, Nisha and Seema, two sisters from New Delhi, along with Sanjiv Kumar of Puran Nagar, Rajesh Kumar of Khanpuri Gate and Sarabjit Singh of Bassi Gulam Husain, under Sections 3, 4, 5 of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act, 1956.

Mr Randhir Singh Uppal, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said Sonia had hired a kothi of a female teacher and was running the business there. Residents of the mohalla had made a complaint to the Additional Director-General (Intelligence) regarding the business. They also informed the owner of the kothi in this regard.


Girls college to be shifted to new building

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 17
With the efforts of the district administration, the Jawahar Lal Nehru Girls College, Mandi Gobindgarh, will be shifted in new building on Amloh-Gobindgarh road near Tooran village from January next year.

It is only with the endeavors of Deputy Commissioner Vikas Pratap, Mandi Gobindgarh Municipal Council President Sukhwinder Singh Bhambri and the College Principal, Ms Kusum Ahuja, that the only government college in the district, which has been functioning in the congested area of Mandi Gobindgarh for the past so many years is going to be shifted to an appropriate place.

The Gram Panchayat, Tooran, had donated 25 acres for the college but it was not used for the past many years as it was incomplete. But when the matter was brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner, he made every effort for the completion of the college building.

The Mandi Gobindgarh Municipal Council has also played an important role in the completion of the college building as it constructed Administrative Block and one Education Block on its own at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has constructed an Education Block and the boundary wall of the college. At present, 700 students are studying in the college in humanities stream with the home science and music subjects.

The Deputy Commissioner said 95 per cent work of the boundary wall had been completed and remaining would be completed in the next two weeks. He said he had directed the officers concerned to complete the pending work till the end of this month.

He also warned that any type of sub-standard material should not be used in the building.

Mr Vikas Pratap said ornamental trees would be planted within the boundary wall area of this college during the next year so that a pollution free environment could be provided to the college. UNI


Cell-One coming to Jalandhar today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 17
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited will launch Cellular Mobile-Services in Jalandhar from tomorrow. Mr K.C. Jindal, General Manager, BSNL, told reporters here today that while the services were being lunched in Jalandhar, subsequently these would be extended to the parts of the Doaba Region and townships like Kapurthala, Nawanshahr. BSNL has already launched services in Ludhiana, Sangrur and Chandigarh.

The Cellular Mobile Services would be provided by BSNL under brand name ‘Cell-One’, for post paid services and ‘Excel’ for pre-paid services. Under the post-paid category, there would be three plans such as — plan 225, plan 325, and Refer Traffic Plan (RTP). The main feature of plan 325 was that incoming calls from any BSNL subscriber ( basic cellular) would be free of charge. No separate charges for the CLIP (Calling Line Identifying Presentation) facility will be charged from the subscriber under any scheme, while the outgoing STD call will be charged at the normal pulse rate only.

To provide this cellular mobile services, BSNL, according to Mr Jindal, has installed 11 towers in Jalandhar city, while 21 towers have been installed in other parts of the state. The roaming facility would be available throughout India. The target of BSNL network is 400 connections everyday. The connections would be provided in 72 hours of the filling of the forms.

A total of 17000 mobile connections in phase-land 25700 in phase-II will be provided. There was also a massive plan for the provision of about 8000 wireless local loop (WLL) connections in Jalandhar and 2000 in Phagwara. In rural area a total 9750 WLL connections would be provided.

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