Sunday, December 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SGPC executive rejects PSGPC
Seeks control of Pak, Afghan gurdwaras
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 30
The executive meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today unanimously resolved that the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) had no locus standi to manage the Sikh shrines and hence their control should be handed over to it (SPGC) as per the Nehru-Liakat Ali pact.

The meeting expressed serious concern over the gross violation of maryada in the gurdwaras of Pakistan.

It also urged the Central Government to help get the control of Sikh shrines in Pakistan and Afghanistan to the SGPC so that maryada could be restored at the earliest.

The executive members alleged that maryada was being violated after formation of the PSGPC, headed by a non-Sikh. The Indian Government should take up the matter with the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan through diplomatic channels. They said Sikh shrines in Afghanistan had been badly damaged in the US attacks on the Taliban and they needed to be reconstructed.

The SGPC executive sought the immediate arrest of controversial godman Ashutosh Maharaj, head of the Divya Jyoti Jagran Sansthan. It alleged that the sansthan was responsible for various blasphemous acts and the alleged attack on activists of Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat near Mahilpur.

It alleged that the state government was playing with the sentiments of Sikh masses even as the case had been taken up by Akal Takht. The meeting sought a blanket ban on the activities of the sansthan.


Khalsa’s statement may put police in spot
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 30
Mr Pritpal Singh Khalsa, a Switzerland-based human rights activist who had harboured Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, self-styled chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), during his political asylum in Switzerland has spilled the beans about his stage-managed arrest by the Punjab police on April 11, last year.

The statement of Mr Khalsa may put the state police in a piquant situation as it has failed to produce any evidence in the court that Zaffarwal had entered India on fake documents, which resulted in his acquittal in one case under the Indian Passport Act. Zaffarwal had pleaded that he did not go to Switzerland or any other country and hence the allegations that he had travelled on fake travel documents was baseless.

Talking to TNS at Nankana Sahib during Gurpurb celebrations Mr Khalsa said Zaffarwal had slipped to India in March without informing him on the basis of fake travel documents.

To a question Mr Khalsa said Zaffarwal kept his entire movements secret after February, last year. “I (Khalsa) and other Sikh leaders who had given lot of financial help to him during his “comfortable stay” in Switzerland were kept in the dark as they were not taken into confidence before he left for India”, he said.

Mr Khalsa, however, disclosed that Zaffarwal was in constant touch with his close relative Sucha Singh Langah, former Cabinet Minister.

It may be mentioned here that the version of the eyewitness who saw the “stage-managed” drama of Zaffarwal’s arrest by the Majitha police last year was at variance with the police handout given to the Press.


DGP’s no to IAS officers writing ACRs
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 30
Director-General of Police Punjab M.S. Bhullar today told reporters that the proposal of introducing Police Commissionerate System in Punjab was with the Punjab Chief Minister. To begin with the system will be introduced in corporation cities of Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala, said the DGP. He said that policemen had to perform eight to 16 hours of duty and the SSPs had been instructed to ensure weekly holiday to them for coping with the pressure of duty. He declared that all police stations in Punjab would be modernised at a cost of Rs 104 crore in three years. Dilapidated buildings and residential quarters near police stations would get priority, he said. He opposed the Srivastava Committee recommendations on IAS officers writing Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of IPS officers. The present system of senior IPS officers writing ACRs of the junior IPS officers was fine and no controversy should be started, argued the DGP.

He also opposed the demand of the RPF for power to register cases. At present, the power was with the GRP. The local police ie the GRP should get preference in such matters but the final decision rested with the Centre, he remarked.

On Akali allegation that former Akali Minister Gurdev Singh Badal, arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, was tortured and insulted the DGP denied the allegation saying these were politically motivated. He admitted that security around certain religious places and of VVIPs had been tightened after killings in a Jammu temple. He did not specify the shrines. He claimed that terrorism would not be allowed to resurface.

A few groups were active in the state but an organised revival would not be allowed asserted the DGP.

Later, Mr Bhullar inaugurated the building of Sadar Police station constructed at a cost of Rs 42 lakh. He sanctioned Rs 1 lakh grant for furnishing it. Local MLA Joginder Singh Mann, raised the issue of police occupation of the Municipal Rest House in Town Hall and wanted it vacated. The Rest House of the Nagar Council here houses the office of the DSP. The MLA also demanded new building for the city police station. SSP R.N. Dhoke later inaugurated a traffic police post on the GT Road opposite the bus stand.


Ban on Ashutosh’s activities being delayed’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 30
Former Chief Minister and SAD president Parkash Singh Badal today accused the Punjab government of delay in banning activities of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan of Ashutosh Maharaj by referring the issue to the Centre.

Talking to reporters at Circuit House here today, Mr Badal alleged that the state government was competent to ban activities of religious, political or social bodies under the existing laws, but it was not serious to do so in the present context.

The Punjab government, in a communication to the central government, had said activities of the Noormahlias had been objected to by some sections of the Sikh community and led to confrontation between followers of the sect and the Sikhs in the past.

“Sensing law and order problem, we imposed a ban on the activities of Baba Bhaniarawala to maintain peace. We feel that Capt Amarinder Singh is delaying the matter on one pretext or the other,” Mr Badal alleged. 


Three Ashutosh men held
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 30
The district police here has arrested Pardeep Kumar of Dhilwan, Jalandhar district, Harjeet Singh of Nakodar and Buta Singh of Ahrana, Mehtiana, followers of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sanstha of Baba Ashutosh of Noormahlia sect, under various Sections of the IPC for attacking Jarnail Singh, a cassette seller and a member Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat, at Bharta Ganeshpur on November 25, according to police sources here today. The police has already arrested 54 followers of the sect under the aforesaid sections on November 25 in this connection.


Ardas against ‘tainted’ high priests today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 30
The Shiromani Khalsa Panchyat which has been spearheading the campaign against the alleged corruption in Sikh institutions, will perform ardas at Akal Takht tomorrow in protest against “tainted” Sikh high priests.

The panchayat would also demand the convening of the “Sarbat Khalsa” at Akal Takht for the installation of new Jathedars as per the Sikh traditions.

It has also given a call to the Sikh Panth to oust “tainted” Jathedars, who were allegedly responsible for the denigration of the takhts.


Test-tube babies do parents proud at show
J.S. Malhotra

Jalandhar, November 30
In a unique event, as many as 100 “once infertile” couples and their test-tube babies participated in North India’s first test-tube baby show organised by the Bombay Infertility Research Centre (BIRC) at the local Routnda-Virk Centre for Human Reproduction today.

The show, according to Dr S.P.S. Virk, a renowned embryologist and Director of the local Virk Hospital, was organised to facilitate a get-together of people, who were blessed with children after having got treatment and use of various techniques like the intra-uterine insemination (IUI) and the invitro fertilisation (IVF).

“We had invited 1,000 entries, of which we shortlisted 100 couples, for participation in the event on the basis of the baby’s weight, height and age,” said Dr Virk. The idea of organising a test-tube baby show struck him during his recent visit to the USA, where he saw one such show.

With gleaming faces and babies in their laps, couples, said they were proud to be parents of test-tube babies. London based Daljit Kaur and her husband Gurnek Singh, who had come to participate in the event with their two-month old baby Gurditt Singh, said they had the baby after 15 years of marriage. Similarly, Kulwinder Kaur, was blessed with a female child, Harmanpreet, after 14 years of marriage.

Balwinder Singh, of Kapurthala who had his baby after eight years of marriage said the birth of a child resulted in happiness in his house.

A panel of judges comprising Ms. Vani Vij, Ms Pamella Chopra, Ms Jasbir Sohi, Ms. Avneet Saini, and Dr Leela Kular declared that the first prize comprising Rs 30,000 and a gold medal was shared by Gurditt Singh and Harmanpreet Kaur. The second prizes comprising Rs 10,000 and silver medals, were awarded to Kamia and Seema, while the third prize went to Navneet Kaur, who was awarded Rs 5,000 and a bronze medal.


Ex-militant, aide arrested
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 30
The Ropar police today arrested a former member of the Khalistan commando force, Baljit Singh Baba, and his accomplice Sarbjit Singh, and seized two pistols and five cartridges from them at Dusarana village, near Kurali.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, said a team of the Ropar CIA staff was today present in the territory of Dusarana village during patrolling when it saw two suspicious-looking persons who fled on seeing the police. But the cops caught them after a chase. The police seized a .12 bore country-made pistol and two cartridges from Baljit Singh Baba and a .303 country-made pistol along with three cartridges from Sarbjit Singh.

During interrogation, Baljit Singh Baba told the police that he had been an active member of the Khalistan Commando Force and had been involved in the killing of a constable. Baba and his accomplices on January 1, 1986 had stopped a bus at Bhogiwal village near Malerkotla and opened fire on two policemen, one of them had been injured while the other died. They also snatched two stenguns from the policemen and looted cash from passengers. Later, after one month Bab and his accomplices killed an SDO of the PSEB near Khanna, the SSP added.

Mr Bhullar said Baba also disclosed to the police that in an effort to activate his group, he along with his cousin Sarbjit Singh brought two pistols from Gaziabad in UP and looted some rupees from two ‘satta’ players sometime ago.

Mr Bhullar said the Kurali police had registered cases against Baba and Sarbjit Singh under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. The SSP also stated that the SAS Nagar police had seized 2 kg opium from Ajminder Singh of Beihara village, near Nurpur Bedi.


Seniority as per court decision, employees told
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
The Punjab Government has assured the general category employees that a decision pertaining to the seniority of employees will be taken only as per the decision of the court with regard to seniority and reservation in promotions of employees.

The General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, has complained to the Chief Minister that certain officers are trying to bypass regular official channels with the objective of granting seniority to a particular section of employees.

A large number of employees have met the Punjab Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister in this connection.

After meeting the Chief Minister, both officers assured the federation leaders that no memorandum would be submitted to the Cabinet to decide on the seniority of government employees.

Federation leader, Prabhjit Singh said today that the federation was one of petitioners that had challenged the 85th amendment of the Constitution in the Supreme Court, which directed the state governments concerned to maintain a status quo.

The Punjab Government was one of the respondents. He said the State Government should not decide the seniority issue till a verdict on the issue by the apex court.


Driver let off

Chandigarh, November 30
Nearly 14 years after a truck driver was convicted by a Judicial Magistrate for crushing a child to death, Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has acquitted the accused of the charges framed against him.

The driver, Parvesh Kumar, was convicted in February, 1989, by Ludhiana’s Judicial Magistrate (First Class) under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code. His appeal against the orders of his conviction was dismissed by Ludhiana’s Additional District and Sessions Judge in June 1989.

After hearing arguments and going through the documents, Mr Justice Mittal ruled: “As per the photographs, the truck is shown to be standing near the body of the injured child. In these circumstances, the story of the prosecution that the petitioner was apprehended after a chase is apparently not supported by these photographs. On the other hand, as the petitioner has led defence evidence to show that he was apprehended while he was taking tea at a shop. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances, it cannot be said that the prosecution has been able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt”. 


DE (Telecom) granted bail
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 30
Mr L.R. Roojam, Sessions Judge here today granted bail to Mr Shashi Bhushan Sharma, Divisional Engineer, Telecom, Ropar, who had been arrested on November 25 by a team of the local Vigilance Bureau while allegedly accepting an illegal gratification of Rs 1,000 from a businessman Kuldip Kumar for the installation of a telephone on priority at his shop at Bela village near Chamkaur Sahib.

The Sessions Judge ordered the release of Mr Shashi Bhushan Sharma on his furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs 25,000 with a surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of Ilaqa/Duty Magistrate.

The bureau had booked the Divisional Engineer on the complaint of Kuldip Kumar.


Kohar’s bail plea rejected

Jalandhar, November 30
The bail application of former minister and SAD MLA Ajit Singh Kohar was today rejected by the Sessions court here after hearing arguments of both sides.

The court yesterday on an application moved by the public prosecutor fixed February 3 the next date for recording evidence against Kohar. UNI


326 BSF recruits pass out
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 30
Mr S.N. Jain, Inspector-General, Border Security Force, took salute from 326 recruits in a passing out parade at Subsidiary Training Centre of BSF in Kharkan, 12 km from here, today. The Inspector-General awarded trophies to nine cadets for their outstanding performance in different subjects during their nine month training. Recruit constable Brijesh Kumar Sharma was adjudged the overall best cadet.

Mr V.K. Sharma, ADIG, Commandant, STC Kharkan, said the recruits were imparted basic training in subjects like weapon training, physical training, drill, field, craft, border problems, border security and surveillance, field engineering, map reading, intelligence, internal security duty, jungle training, law and human rights.

A colourful cultural programme was organised for the entertainment of guests and troops by fresh recruits of the BSF training centre. A demo on un-armed combat was presented by children of BSF Primary School, Kharkan.

Mr Jain while talking to mediapersons, said that in the antismuggling drive during the past three years, the BSF in Punjab had seized contrabands worth around Rs 12 crore.

During this period the BSF had killed 56 Pakistani and five Bangladeshi intruders. Besides it apprehended 73 Pakistani, 129 Bangladeshis, 142 Indians and 18 others for spying. He said the widows of BSF martyrs were given job oriented training in family welfare centres of the BSF followed by employment.

To keep the farmers and poor on the border healthy the BSF had been organising regular medical camps independently and in coordination with the civil authorities.


Farmers seek special relief
Our Correspondent

Saidpur Kalan (Amritsar), November 30
Even as de-mining by the Army is going on in the border belt of the state precious time for sowing of rabi crop has been lost. Farmers are forced to demand special compensation for losing another crop due to mines in fields.

However Army continues clearing fields of mines in the border areas of Fatehpur and Dagtut. The job involves checking of every inch of ground using specialised equipment such as mine detectors, mine prodders, mine shoes, helmet and Army armour. Army engineers and combat groups are at the job. Villagers here say that de-mining came too late. They are too scared to till the land despite army personnel moving a tank in the demined fields to explode hidden mines left in the fields, the fear of stepping onto mines despite the Army operation is too real among border villagers.

Assuring villagers Major J.S. Goraya leader of one of the mine recovering parties of 30 men under his command said that Army was dedicated to give 100 per cent mine-free fields to farmers to prevent any mishap. The process of de-mining involves removal by hand followed by mechanical means of employing trawlers and tractors to spot these and finally to segregate these and destroy the unfit mines. Gurcharan Singh, a villager, however urges the government to provide them to buy seed, insecticides, and other help financial relief for sowing crop, besides towing their possessions and belongings lying at “safer’ places otherwise fields in the border areas would remain untended as the farmers had not earned anything since the past year and day to day expenses had eaten up the little compensation they had received from the government.

Major Goraya said the Army had improvised ways and means to prevent any unfortunate accident.


MC turns a blind eye to encroachments
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 30
Even though the Municipal Corporation has announced umpteen times that it would remove encroachments from the railway crossing No. 22 to the Lower Mall and even fined some shopkeepers, including take-away joints and dhaba owners, no step has been taken to ensure government land is not encroached upon by the establishments.

The corporation had during a drive undertaken around two months back fined some dhaba owners, take-away joints and shopkeepers for encroaching upon a piece of land in front of their shops which was causing hindrance to movement of traffic on the road and leading to problems in parking of vehicles in front of the shops.

The defaulters after paying the fine had promised to remove the encroachments with a few of them even saying they would shift their premises. However they continue to encroach upon the government land but no action is being taken in the matter.

This is despite the fact that the corporation has formed a flying squad which is to look into encroachments, both permanent and temporary. The squad has been provided with a vehicle and asked to keep a special watch during Sundays and government holidays to ensure none takes advantage of them to go in for any encroachment. Besides this, the corporation has also been promised help by the district administration in tackling encroachments.

Sources said an undecisive attitude on the behalf of the corporation was coming in the way of removing establishments who had gone in for temporary removable encroachments from the railway crossing No. 22 to the Lower Mall. A survey by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that the main pressure points were the encroachments done before the Phuwara chowk. Gopal Sweets, which is situated just before the chowk, where the traffic pressure is most acute, goes in for frying ‘bhaturas’, ‘samosas’ and other stuff outside his shop premises. Waiters are usually waiting outside the shop to serve consumers waiting inside the shop for their order. The shop, which has encroached upon area outside is shop, has also parked its vehicles outside its premises. This means consumers visiting the shop have to park their vehicles on the road disrupting traffic. The management has chosen to use the government land outside its premises despite having recently gone in for an renovation and created more facilities inside its shop.

Just opposite Gopal Sweets dhabas have encroached upon the floor of the ‘drain’ in front of them. Dhaba owners have put up chairs and tables in the open space where customers are invited to sit and partake of their meals. This includes Sheetal Dhaba which was fined earlier and warned to remove the encroachment. However, the dhaba managements have not cared to adhere to the directions of the corporation.

Other major encroachers include Chawla Chicken Corner and Khansama, a take-away joint in the railway crossing area.


Award for social worker from Ropar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Mr Prem Singh, a resident of Ropar district has been selected for an award in the individual category by the Union Government for his work in the field of leprosy. The award will be conferred on him by the President on December 3 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The national award in this category was instituted by the Union Government in 1969 for those looking after the welfare of the physically challenged in any manner.

Born in a poor family in Behrampur Zimidari village near Ropar, Mr Prem Singh has dedicated himself to the rehabilitation of lepers. Employed in the office of the Accountant-General, Punjab, he devotes his spare time to wards the welfare of the needy. His wife, Mrs Malkiat Kaur, and his son, Dharminder, alias Soni, and colleagues and friends help him in his mission. “I have been spending money from my meagre resources or taking help of friends for helping the needy,” he says.

He helped in providing household goods to lepers at the Chandigarh Kushat Ashram and also got roofs replaced of 40 huts at the Dasuya Kushat Ashram. He has been collecting money for medicines from donors. He wants jobs for wards of lepers.

He says the number of leprosy-affected people in Punjab is on the increase and suggests regular medical check-up of the labour force in the state.


US Fellowship for Punjab doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 30
Dr Kanan Gupta, MD has been conferred the Fellowship of the American College of Physicians (FACP). The Fellowship is an honour achieved by those who are recognised for personal integrity, superior competence in the field of medicine, professional accomplishment, and demonstrated scholarship. They may show this through activities such as teaching, hospital appointments, continuing medical education, publishing scientific articles and advanced training.

In a communication to Dr Kanan Gupta, the President of the American College of Physicians, says: “In the light of your outstanding credentials, the Board of Regents has approved you early in the cycle for election to Fellowship. Congratulations on reaching this significant achievement in your professional career”. She will be formally inducted at the convocation ceremony on April 3, next year, at San Diego, California. American College of Physicians is America’s largest medical speciality organisation and the second largest physician group.

Dr Kanan (32) — an alumnus of Govt. Medical College, Patiala, and the 2nd best graduate of her batch — is among the youngest doctors to be given this honour. She pursued further studies in Philadelphia and now practices medicine and teaches in the Medical College of Wisconsin.


Lukewarm response to Raja Poras fair
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 30
The Raja Poras Punjabi Mitarta Mela which is organised every year at the Wagah border to promote friendship between India and Pakistan today evoked a lukewarm response on the second consecutive day as neither the chief guest, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, state Minister for Culture, nor Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC chief, reached the venue.

The annual festival is organised in memory of lakhs of people who were killed on both sides at the time of Partition. Intellectuals who had been invited to read papers on the subject of the contribution of women to promote relations between India and Pakistan could not reach.


5 dairies removed in 4-hr operation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 30
Non-committal attitude of the insufficient police force led to a delay and thereafter limited operation in the clearing of dairies in the city’s vicinity which were ordered to be shifted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Only five animal dairies were cleared today in a four-hour operation by the corporation and police. Mr Kirpal Singh, Additional Commissioner, municipal corporation, blamed the police for the delay.

The operation had been hanging fire for weeks following the lackadaisical attitude of the police. Without naming the DSP, in charge of the operation, Mr Kirpal Singh said an officer in plainclothes came at about 3.30 p.m. along with 15-20 policemen. The operation started half-an-hour late and the corporation managed to remove four dairies in the Golden Avenue area and one at Shariefpura.

The SSP was unavailable for comments.

The corporation had planned a massive operation but the alleged “non-cooperation” of the police had led to the delay in the operation in which 150 dairies were to be cleared in the first phase.

After a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Amritsar Vikas Manch against the state of Punjab the high court had set the deadline for November 27 in this regard, which has been postponed to December 3. The draws for alternative plots at reserved price on the city outskirts have already been held for dairy owners.

While the corporation has not received a single application from dairy owners for the said plots, the Improvement Trust has received a number of applications.

About 15 dairy owners of Rajiv Nagar have already shifted to other areas following notices served by Assistant Commissioner D.P. Gupta.


Need to revive Punjabi cinema: Harbhajan
Jaswinder Paul Singh

Bathinda, November 30
Satisfied with the response his debut Punjabi film “Je Ayan Nu” has received, actor and singer Harbhajan Mann said the Punjabi cinema could be revived if such movies were made regularly.

“The film has received overwhelming response in India as well as in foreign countries. At certain places abroad the earning of “Je Ayan Nu” was more than that of Hindi movie “Devdas”, said Mann enthusiastically.

Talking to this reporter during his visit to the city last evening for promoting his film, Mann said it was a misconception that people do not watch Punjabi movies. He said good films were definitely watched.

Comparing his film with those made in Hindi and South Indian languages, he said effort were made to bring excellence in the film production so that “Je Ayan Nu” could be on a par with best Indian movies.

He said the image of Punjabi films had become so bad in recent years that only a handful of viewers come to watch a Punjabi movie. He said he had made an effort so as to make a Punjabi film worth watching.

However, Mann said, the single film would be of no use. He said that in past years films like “Chann Pardesi”, “Laung da Lishkara”, Mahaul Theek Hai”, “Shaheed-A-Mohabat” were made, but with these few good films, came a bunch of bad films. Thus there was a need to make good films regularly, so that the interest of viewers could be maintained.

About changes in Punjabi music, Mann said change was inevitable. “When the youth today did not want to listen to slow-paced songs, it was necessary that some changes should be made,” said Mann.

He said it was necessary that when a singer wanted to reach global audience some changes in traditional music be made.

Mann, while exuding optimism that Punjabi films could also reach to international audience some day like the Punjabi music, said there was a need to make sincere efforts. He said those Punjabis who had made a name for themselves in Bollywood could also contribute for the revival of the Punjabi cinema.

He, however, was a bit sad that the image of Punjabi films was so bad, that he had to make tours of cities in Punjab and abroad to “request” people, to watch the film. When he was asked about the financial gain of the producers of the film “Je Ayan Nu”, first he tried to evade the question, but later in a lighter vein he said, “They are also happy and it seemed a profit-making project for them.”

He said he was not cutting any new album in near future as his attention had been diverted towards the film. He added that he wanted to give full attention to the film, thus private albums were put at the back seat for the time being.


Panel to consider ‘crippled’ kid case
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 30
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has taken cognisance of the complaint filed by Mr Pajinder Kumar, a resident of Maur Mandi town of this district where in he had alleged that his two-year-old daughter, Jivika, had been rendered handicapped due to the negligence of the doctors.

The commission, in its orders dated November 18, a copy of which was supplied to The Tribune today by the complainant, said that the case was fit to be considered under the provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, and called for the reports of the state government and the Department of Health.

Mr Pajinder had alleged that when he had reported to the civil hospital at Maur Mandi that his daughter was not attended to and due to the negligence of the doctors she had been crippled for life. He said when he approached the civil hospital at Bathinda only one of the doctors paid attention to his ailing daughter.

Earlier, the then Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr G.K. Singh, had indicted an SMO and the District Immunisation Officer for negligence on duty. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, forwarded the report to higher authorities for necessary action. The Civil Surgeon, Dr S.K. Goyal, when contacted said as per his information the child had been responding to treatment. He said as per the stool tests conducted at Kasauli and Bombay the case was found to be negative for polio.

The next date of hearing of the case has been fixed at May 6, next year.


Five travel agents booked
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 30
The police has registered cases under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against five travel agents for duping and taking Rs 11.50 lakh from six persons on the pretext of sending them abroad.

According to a press note issued today, Mr R.N. Dhoke, Senior Superintendent of Police, Gurmail Singh and Baldev Singh of Dogranwala village in the complaint alleged that Dr Satpal of Maqsoodpur village introduced them to Madam Tawita who demanded Rs 11 lakh for sending a person to the USA. They gave Rs 8 lakh to her and Satpal on July 6 last year.

In another complaint, Lakhwant Singh of the local Kesari Bagh mohalla alleged that about one and a-half-year ago Hari Singh, a travel agent of Basti Bawa Khel, Jalandhar, took Rs 1 lakh from him for sending his son Amandeep Singh and nephew Maninder Singh to Muscat but he neither sent them abroad nor returned the money.

In a similar case Manjit Singh of Hamira village in a complaint alleged that Jasveer Walia of his village introduced him to their brothers Pritpal Singh and Iqbal Singh, travel agents who took Rs 2.50 lakh in December 2000, for sending him to Italy.

Mr Dhoke said their complaints have been found correct.


Gang of thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 30
The police has achieved a success in its campaign against anti-social elements when Mr Lakhbir Singh, Station House Officer, Mehtiana, under the supervision of Mr Randhir Singh Uppal, DSP (Rural) arrested Sanjiv Kumar alias Sanjay of Ludhiana a member of a thieves’ gang, according to press note issued by Mrs Gurpreet Deo, SSP, here today.

During interrogation Sanjiv Kumar confessed that he along with his four accomplice stole Rs 2,84,325 from a cooperative bank branch at Adda Dawida Ahriana on the night of March 18. He also stole money from bank branches in Phillaur, Mehtiana and Garhshanker.

His gang also stole one 12 bore gun and 12 live cartridges from a bank branch of Possi village where they also tried to open bank safe but could not succeed. The crimes were committed by him alongwith his brother Satish Kumar and other accomplices.


Car thieves arrested
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 30
The police has claimed to have arrested three persons who allegedly took away a car after putting red chilli powder in the eyes of the driver. The car had been hired from Moga. The accused were arrested within half an hour of the crime.

Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, in a press note issued here today stated that Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha, Gurtej Singh, alias Kala, and their father Mehnga Singh, residents of Chanarthal, had hired a taxi from Moga to visit Maiser Khana in this district on November 28.

When they were near Gehri Barasingh village, they asked the driver to stop the vehicle and allegedly put chilli powder in his eyes and also tried to strangulate him. Later, they pushed the driver out of the car and drove away with the vehicle.

The driver, Jarnail Singh, informed the police control room, Bathinda, and got his statement registered at Kotfata police station. A case was registered.


Railway official held on bribe charge
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 30
Mr S.U. Siddqui, a CMI, with the Indian Railways posted at the local railway station was arrested by Vigilance bureau sleuths while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from a vendor.

The SP (VB), Bathinda, Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal said the bureau had received a complaint that he was harassing a vendor of smacks for monetary considerations. Mr Satish Kumar, a licenced snacks vendor at the local railway platforms was allegedly threatened that his eatables were of sub-standard qualities and his licence could be cancelled. The officer demanded Rs 1,000 as bribe if the vendor was to continue his business on the railway platforms as the licence was to expire today.

The DSP (VB), Mr B.S. Buttar, along with his team and two government witnesses, Dr Ramesh Maheshwari and Mr Suresh Kumar, Inspector, Food Supplies, (Grade-I) nabbed the culprit red handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from Mr Satish Kumar.


Suicide bid by drug addict
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 30
An old destitute suffering from paralysis died at the local railway station this morning.

The deceased could not be identified. The police handed over the body to a local NGO the Sahara Jan Seva, which cremated the body as there was no claimant for it.

In another incident a drug addict set himself on fire at Dabwali town last night as he could not arrange money for getting drugs. He has been admitted to the local civil hospital by the Sahara Jan Seva. He received 30 per cent burn injuries.

Rajesh (22), a cobbler, took to drugs about six years ago.

Mr Vijay Goyal, President, Sahara Jan Seva, said they had made efforts about two years ago, so that Rajesh could quit drugs. However, after some time, he again started taking drugs.

Last night he made an attempt to commit suicide as he could not arrange money for purchasing drugs.

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