Thursday, December 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Bhattal case: Judge gave no direction
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh’s claim that challan against Punjab Rural Development Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in a case of embezzlement in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, was filed in the court of a Special Judge at Chandigarh following the direction of the Special Judge, Bathinda. But no such “directions” were issued by him (Special Judge, Bathinda).

The Chief Minister talking to reporters at Chandigarh on November 30, said that the challan was filed by the Vigilance Bureau in accordance with the direction of the Special Judge at Bathinda, who he said, directed that the filing of the challan at Chandigarh.

However, a copy of the special judge, Bathinda, Mr Jaspal Singh’s order of November 26, 2002, with The Tribune says “In the light of what has been discussed above, this court comes to the conclusion that the special judge, Bathinda, has got no territorial jurisdiction to try the present case and as such, it would not be desirable to express any opinion with regard to the material whether the same is sufficient for framing the charge or the sanction for launching the prosecution etc is required or not. Accordingly, the challan is returned to the prosecution for presentation before the competent court having territorial jurisdiction.

The court of Special Judge Bathinda has not used the word direction as such. The order also does not mention that the challan be presented at Chandigarh as claimed by the Chief Minister on November 30. Supporters of Mrs Bhattal alleged that order of special judge, Bathinda was a routine order and did not bind or direct the prosecution agency to present the challan at Chandigarh as claimed by the Chief Minister.

They pointed out that it was clear that the challan were presented in the court of special judge, Chandigarh in ‘undue’ haste under the state government’s ‘dictate’. The Congress leadership of state and political leaders, now part of the state government did not consult the party high command on the issue.

Mr Nand Lal Garg, counsel of Mrs Bhattal, said that the Bathinda special judge could never direct the prosecution to present the challan in proper court when he or she did not have territorial jurisdiction to try that case. It was the prerogative of the prosecution agency to follow it or not.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bhattal, camping in Delhi for several days to meet central leaders, has collected relevant documents to establish that she had been victimised by opponents by framing her.


SGPC wants PM's help to disband PSGPC
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today sought the Prime Minister’s intervention for the disbanding of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee which it alleged was formed in gross violation of the Liaquat Ali-Nehru-Master Tara Singh pact.

In a communication to Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar asked him to be in touch with the government of Pakistan for transferring the control of Sikh shrines to the SGPC as per the pact. Mr Badungar also urged Mr Vajpayee to get permission for the SGPC from Pakistan for ‘kar seva’ of gurdwaras of Pakistan which he said were in dilapidated condition. The SGPC chief also expressed serious concern over the violation of ‘maryada’ (Sikh code of conduct) in the gurdwaras in Pakistan.

Mr Badungar also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister observing for keeping ‘sevadars’ and ‘granthis’ for ‘maryada’ in gurdwaras in Pakistan, and necessary renovation work.

The communication of Mr Badungar reads, the unfortunate partition was a “serious setback to the proper upkeep of gurdwaras (in Pakistan now) despite assurance by Mr Liaquat Ali to Master Tara Singh to the effect that the Pakistan government would ensure proper maintenance but sadly subsequent rulers of Pakistan had ignored the solemnity of the assurance”.

The SGPC concluded that the Pakistan government to hide its failure in honouring the commitment created the PSGPC which was being touted a fulfilment of the promise made to the Sikhs but as a matter of fact the formation of the PSGPC had an ulterior motive other than that of the management of gurdwaras.

The SGPC also expressed serious concern over the plight of Sikh shrines in Afghanistan and urged the Prime Minister to get permission to an SGPC delegation to visit that country for renovation of gurdwaras there. Mr Badungar said that there was urgent need for a survey on the condition of gurdwaras there, while rabid nationalism of the Taliban had destroyed the Buddha statues, American bombing was responsible for the damage to gurdwaras in Afghanistan.


Explanation sought from PSGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
The Dal Khalsa yesterday sought the explanation of Mr Sham Singh, co-chairman of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC), for honouring a senior police official of Pakistan in uniform in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib during Gurpurb celebrations at Nankana Sahib.

The Tribune had published the report along with a picture of the police officer.

In a statement here today, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, spokesperson for the Dal Khalsa, said the PSGPC co-chairman should explain his conduct for violating maryada. A UK-based Dal Khalsa leader, Mr Manmohan Singh, was also present when the police officer was being presented with a siropa. The Dal Khalsa urged the PSGPC to restore maryada in Sikh shrines of Pakistan. Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, however, hailed the Pakistan government for carrying out kar sewa at certain historical gurdwaras. The Dal Khalsa criticised the resolution passed at the SGPC executive committee, rejecting the formation of the PSGPC. 


Ratra: need to restructure PPSC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Punjab Chief Secretary, Y.S. Ratra, today emphasised the need for restructuring the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) with a view to generating confidence amongst the masses, which had been terribly shaken especially after the recent cash-for-job scam.

Sharing his views in an interactive session on the theme of “PPSC-Making it a role model”, Mr Ratra called for a complete revamp of the PPSC to make it more “responsive, accountable and meaningful”. He also stressed the need for functioning of all four vital organs of the democratic system, namely legislature, judiciary, executive and the Press, in tandem to make the functioning of the PPSC absolutely transparent and fair. He advocated that some constitutional provisions must be made to prescribe the minimum qualifications for the appointment of Chairman and members of the commission.

Earlier, Lt-Gen Surjit Singh Sangra (Retd), Chairman of the PPSC, a detailed presentation about the functioning of the commission and sought suggestions to bring about improvements in the “examination, evaluation and interview” system in order to ensure transparency and fair play.

A galaxy of intellectuals comprising members of the PPSC, senior functionaries of the state administration, retired judges and bureaucrats, academicians and mediamen participated in the discussion.


EPF scam: engineers’ statements recorded
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 4
The anti-fraud cell of the police today recorded the statements of 12 engineers, working at the Ropar Thermal Plant (RTF), and a senior chemist of the plant, in a case related to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scam.

Earlier, these engineers and the senior chemist had not turned up on Saturday at the anti-fraud office in the police lines complex here to record their statements. This compelled the police authorities to wrote to the General Manager of the plant yesterday to supply them with the residential addresses. This step of the police reportedly created a sense of fear among the engineers. Later, on the request of the plant authorities, the police reportedly agreed to record their statements in the office of the General Manager, situated at the Power Colony on the Ropar-Chandigarh road.

The anti-fraud cell, led by its in charge, Mr Gurmeet Singh, started recording the statements of the engineers this morning and completed the work by the afternoon. The engineers and senior chemist whose statements were recorded today are: Mr B.P. Singla, Mr S.S. Pahwa and Mr Labh Singh, all senior Executive Engineers, Mr R.K. Saini, Mr R.K. Mahajan, Mr B.S. Multani, Mr H.S. Sukhija, Mr G.S. Saini, Mr S.J. Chaubey, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr V.K. Aggarwal, Mr Girdhari Lal Gupta, all Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs); and Mr R.K. Dhawan, senior chemist.

Mr Gurmeet Singh said that they even get the bills, which they had verified during the said period, authenticated from them.

A spokesman of the engineers said the engineers wanted that their statements should be recorded either at the plant or the local Power Colony complex.


Blair to visit Golden Temple
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
Spiritual leader of the world’s 20 million Sikhs has urged Mr Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, not to go to war against Iraq.

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht met the British Prime Minister and talked to him with the help an interpreter said that all efforts should be made to resolve the conflict with Iraq without military action.

Jathedar Vedanti who arrived here after 12-day-long visit to England told The Tribune that Mr Blair at the meeting had agreed to accept all genuine demands of the community. He said Mr Blair who had accepted the invitation of Akal Takht to visit the Golden Temple, praised the Sikhs for their courage and dedication. Jathedar Vedanti said that Mr Blair said that the Sikhs were the most dependable and that was why some of his security guards were from this community.

Jathedar Vedanti who was allowed to enter the House of Commons in his usual dress was greeted by Mr Blair and his colleagues. He said the British Prime Minister agreed, in principle, to resolve the demands of the Sikh to allow them to work with their turban on and ‘Kirpan’ everywhere in England.

Jathedar Vedanti also met Mr Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary of England and discussed various issues related to the Sikhs. He also held a number of meetings with religious leaders of different communities of the world.

Jathedar Vedanti said that the Sikh ‘sangat’ of England had desired to celebrate 400th anniversary of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib and other such occasions in England too.

Unlike his past visits, no Sikh leader staged any protest against Jathedar Vedanti. Earlier, Jathedar Vedanti faced protests from a section of the community which still considered Bhai Ranjit Singh as ‘real Jathedar’ of Akal Takht.

It is for the first time that a Jathedar of Akal Takht met the British Prime Minister.

During his stay, Jathedar Vedanti performed ‘Ardas’ for world peace.


GND varsity expels 3 students
Throwing of student from hostel balcony
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 4
An emergency meeting of Guru Nanak Dev University, presided over by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh, expelled three students from today hostel while five other students were banned from entering the varsity campus after the incident of throwing of a student from a hostel balcony.

The university authorities have decided to tighten the security within the campus. Unauthorised entry or stay of students in hostels will be checked. Outsiders won’t be allowed to enter hostels between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Dr R.K. Bedi, Dean, Students Welfare, said the meeting constituted seven-member inquiry committee comprising him, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, a hostel warden, Ms Sukhleen Bindra, Head, Department of Electronics, Mr Darric Angel, a senior lecturer in the Department of Electronics, and Mr S.S. Chhina, security officer.

The students who have been expelled from hostels are Sandeep Bhatia, Bhupinderjit Singh and Vivek Sharma — all from the department of electronics.

The students who have been banned from entering the varsity are Dapinder Singh, Chander Saini, Vipin Badiar, Jatinder Singh and Anantpreet Singh Bajwa. However, they will be allowed to enter the campus at the time of examinations.

Satinderpal Singh was allegedly pushed from the second floor of the Sahibazada Jhuzar Singh hostel by a group of senior students on the intervening night of December 2 and 3. His two friends, Varun Talwar and Arvind Saini, were also injured in the incident.

The Vice-Chancellor when contacted, said they had tightened the security in the varsity and constituted the committee to inquire into the incident.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case (FIR number 501) against the eight students under Section 307 of the IPC.

While revealing the cause of the incident, the highly placed sources in the university said Satinderpal Singh and some other junior students had complained against the accused students, who were senior to them, of creating nuisance in the department. Due to this at least two students were expelled from hostel. Therefore, to take revenge, they allegedly attacked Satinderpal and his friends.


Cong men leave for Gujarat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Senior Congress leaders led by PPCC President H.S. Hanspal today left for Gujarat to campaign in the Assembly elections. A party spokesman said Mr Avtar Henry, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Mr Ramesh Dutt, Mr Sardul Singh, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Mr Ashwani Shekhri, (all Ministers) Prof Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Dr Mohinder Rinwa and Mr Surinder Singla were among those who had gone to Gujarat. While Mr Hanspal would monitor the campaign from Mehsana other leaders would work in Gandhi Nagar, Surat, Viramgam, Ellisbridge, Dariyapur etc.


Cong factions bury hatchet
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 4
The rival factions of the Congress headed by the local MLA, Mr Joginder Singh Mann, and Mr Balbir Raja Sodhi, PPCC member, tonight buried their hatchet, clearing the hurdle in the way of a consensus candidate for the election to the office of president of the nagar council slated for tomorrow.

Both leaders and their supporters including Congress councillors, held a meeting tonight. The rapprochement had followed the intervention of PPCC President H.S. Hanspal who had summoned both groups at Chandigarh on Monday.

Mr Malkiat Singh Raghbotra of the Mann group is the party candidate for the post of presidentship of the council. Ms Sita Rani of the Sodhi group will run for vice-presidentship.


Letter to CM on illegal constructions
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
Some residents of the city have urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to order an enquiry into the allegations that a number of buildings were under construction in different parts of the city without getting site plans and maps sanctioned.

In a letter written to Capt Amarinder Singh, the residents have alleged that some officials of the local municipal council have “allowed” the construction of illegal buildings. They have alleged that some people were constructing buildings without fulfilling the necessary formalities, in connivance with the officials.

One of the residents who have written to the Chief Minister, Mr K.P. Goyal, has alleged that the municipal council officials are “earning” lakhs of rupees by allowing the illegal construction. He alleged that if proper investigation was made a scam involving lakhs of rupees would be unearthed.

Mr Goyal said there were a number of incidents when the site plan and map of a building were rejected by the authorities concerned as they did not fulfil the required standards of the municipal council, but later some of the officials of the council allowed the construction after taking bribe.

Another resident alleged that on an important road in the city commercial shops were constructed in a residential area, allegedly with the “permission” of some officials.

He said due to illegal construction, the municipal council had to bear huge losses as the owners of such buildings did not deposit the requisite fee with the council.

On the other hand, Mr Ramesh Chhabra, Assistant Town Planner, said there was no illegal construction in the city. He said special checking was done and if it was found that any building was being constructed without proper procedure and without depositing the required fee, stern action was taken against the owner of the building.

Mr Chhabra said the area reserved for residential purpose was not allowed to be used for commercial purposes or vice versa. He said in the past many buildings were even demolished which were constructed in violation of the rules of the municipal council.


MC ‘apes’ scheme to check monkeys
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, December 4
If the monkeys have become a menace in your area and all physical measures to control them have failed a novice method used by the Nangal Municipal Council might prove a solution to your problem. In a unique method to control the monkey menace in the Nangal area the local council has started using apes to scare away monkeys from the residential areas. The apes are proving to be an effective biological control for scaring away monkeys from the residential areas.

The monkey menace in the Nangal area has increased to such an extent that it has been affecting the life of the residents of the NFL colony. Many cases of monkeys damaging public and private life have been brought to the knowledge of the council authorities. In the recent past some cases of monkeys attacking and biting children were also reported.

Initially the peeved residents of the NFL Colony had reported about the menace to the district wildlife authorities. However, due to the ever increasing population of monkeys the minor efforts of the wildlife authorities as regards drugging the animals coming to the residential areas proved futile.

The solution to the problem was ultimately suggested by certain officers of the NFL who had seen apes being used to scare away monkeys in their corporate office at Delhi. They suggested the idea to the council authorities who agreed to try the formula.

Initially one person, Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Delhi, who had tamed an ape, was hired for a contract of Rs 6,000 per month to do the job. Rajesh Kumar just roams about in the colony with the chained ape particularly in the monkey-infested areas. The presence of the ape was enough to scare away the monkeys from the residential areas.

The executive officer of the Nangal council, Mr Bansal, told this correspondent that the presence of the ape in the colony has brought substantial relief to the residents. Initially, the council had hired just one ape. However, after the method proved successful, the council has hired one more ape for the job. Mr Bansal further told that since scaring away monkeys with the help of apes was a temporary phenomenon, the council was also looking into the possibility of buying a couple of more apes and keeping them permanently in the colony to keep away the monkeys.


More challan papers given to Tota Singh
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 4
The court of the Special Judge here today supplied remaining copies of the documents of the challan to former Punjab Education Minister Tota Singh. The challan was presented against him on October 26 in a case registered against him under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B IPC, and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On November 23, counsel for Mr Tota Singh had moved an application in the court, stating that the copies of the challan, recently supplied to him, were incomplete and some of them were illegible. Mr A.S. Kathuria, Special Judge, today fixed December 19 as the next date of hearing for the supply of some more remaining copies of the challan.


Photo of Panjrath bowing to Ashutosh distributed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 4
The Akali Dal (Amritsar) today released photographs showing Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Executive Committee member Joginder Singh Panjrath paying obeisance before a photograph of Baba Ashutosh, head of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan at a function held in Patiala.

Party Executive Committee member Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singhwala, while releasing the photographs, urged the Akal Takht Jathedar to summon Panjrath at the Takht and award appropriate punishment to him according to Sikh tenets. The Akali leader said there was need to award exemplary punishment to Panjrath because he had violated Sikh principles.


60 HIV cases in Hoshiarpur dist
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 4
As many as 60 persons have been identified as HIV positive in the district.

This was disclosed by Mr Paramjit Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a function organised by the district Health Department in connection with the AIDS awareness week at the Zila Parishad hall here today.

He said AIDS patients were being ignored not only by the society but also by their family members. He said they should be treated sympathetically. Dr M.L. Kakkar, Civil Surgeon, stressed on the prevention of the disease.

Dr Ajay Bagga, Dr Dharamvir Kapur, Chairman of the All-India Medicos Society.


AIDS awareness rally flagged off
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, and Dr S.K. Goyal, Civil Surgeon, flagged off a rally to create awareness amongst residents of the slum area of the city about HIV and AIDS. The rally was flagged off from the Civil Surgeon’s office.


Land grab case: notice to ex-minister
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
The PUDA authorities have served a one-month notice on former Punjab Law Minister, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, for the alleged encroachment on land and have asked him to evacuate it.

Sources said today that the District Estate Officer of PUDA has asked the former minister to vacate the land and hand over its possession to PUDA. The authorities had also written to the Deputy Commissioner for taking action against him.

The Estate Officer said PUDA owned the peace of land and Mr Garg was in illegal possession of the same. Construction had also been banned on the land.

Mr Darshan Singh Grewal, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, confirmed that Mr Garg had been served with a notice for eviction of land. He claimed that PUDA had won the case in the Supreme Court.


Minister earns workers’ ire
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
The General Category Welfare Federation has condemned the Punjab Welfare Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, for his efforts in getting the 85th Constitutional Amendment implemented in Punjab.

The association alleged that the amendment gave special benefits to employees of the reserved category for promotion in jobs. This would deprive deserving general category employees from getting promoted.

The members of the association, during a rally near the thermal plant at Lehra Mohabbat in the district, alleged that Chaudhary Jagjit Singh was in “under hurry” to get the amendment implemented.

The association would hold rallies at all district headquarters and at Phillaur, the constituency of Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, in protest against the move. Although no date for the rallies had been fixed, the association said these were aimed at generating public opinion against the amendment.

Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, district president of the association, said employees in the reserved category would be preferred at all levels of promotion after the implementation of the amendment, leaving virtually no chance for the employees in the general category to get promoted.

He said after the implementation of the new amendment, almost all Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary posts would go to the reserved category.

Mr Daljeet Singh, general secretary of the Lehra Mohabbat unit of the association, said the association was not against reservation, but it should not be caste-based. He alleged that under the present system of reservation, only a handful of persons were getting benefits.

He said the central and state government should take steps to identify the ‘creamy layer’ among the reserved category employees so that the benefits of reservation reached all.


Widow alleges harassment by sons
Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 4
A 90-year-old widow, Jaspal Kaur of Mansa, has in a complaint made to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) alleged that she had been neglected by her two sons, Harcharan Singh and Gurcharan Singh and that she had been beaten and thrown out of house by her sons and grandsons.

She, therefore, started residing with her daughter, Harbant Kaur, and keeping in view, the way she looked after her she transferred her entire 7 acre land in her name. She further alleged that her sons also tried to attack her daughter and her family several times. She pointed out that her sons harvested the crop and forcibly cultivated the land thereby causing them harassment.

As a matter of fact, four different incidents have been mentioned in the complaint which according to the complainant, were brought to the notice of the police but the later took no action allegedly at the instance of a senior leader of the ruling party. She has further alleged that a DSP of the district had called them in his office and demanded Rs 1.5 lakh as a bribe and on their refusal to do so he used unparliamentary language and called her and her daughter “gundian” and “badmashan”. The PSHRC has registered her complaint and have asked Jaspal Kaur to come on December 24.

When contacted Mr Mukhtiar Singh, DSP, Mansa subdivision, said the complainant and her daughter had never met her/he and described the allegations to be baseless. He further said that since the matter was subjudice litigation between the parties is in the court of the Commissioner, Faridkot division, he was not supposed to interfere.


Food, water samples bad
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 4
The Health department has found as many as 27 food samples and 52 water samples not up to the mark during a recent drive conducted by it.

Disclosing this at a press conference here yesterday, Civil Surgeon Inderjit Kaur Walia said District Health Officer V.S. Mohi had taken as many as 220 food samples in the district, out of which 140 samples were found in order. She said as many as 27 samples were found to be adulterated, while report of 51 samples was still to be received by the department. She said food samples had been taken from soda and mineral water makers, sweet shops, bakery shops and shops selling edible oil.

Dr Walia said samples had been taken to test water supply in the district. She said out of the total of 239 water samples as many as 52 were not found to be fit for human consumption. She said directions had been issued to immediately go in for super chlorination in the areas. She said samples had failed in Rajpura areas which had been hit by gastroenteritis and Anardana and Aman Nagar areas in Patiala city.


Deserted by kin, cremated by NGO
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
Dheer Singh (name changed) who died at the local Civil Hospital last night would never have thought that for want of Rs 1000, he would be cremated by an NGO though several of his relatives reside in the city.

The family of Dheer Singh, including his brothers and sisters, expressed their helplessness to cremate the body today. Over 100 persons assembled at the cremation ground refused to incur the funeral expenses, saying that they had gathered there only for formality sake.

Dheer Singh, a labourer, was admitted to the hospital about a week ago. He was suffering from tuberculosis. 


Jail inmate dies at PGI
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4
Amarjit Singh of Bhucho Mandi area, who was undergoing 20-years’ imprisonment in connection with a murder case died at the PGI in Chandigarh yesterday.

The District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Verma, today sent a tehsildar for videofilming the post-mortem of the deceased as per rules. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also been informed about the death.

Official sources said Amarjit Singh, who was suffering from some disease, was admitted to the local Civil Hospital while he was on a holiday. His condition deteriorated as he took liquor in large quantity during the holiday.

After his condition deteriorated at the local Civil Hospital, he was shifted to the PGI where he died yesterday.


Pak infiltrator arrested
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, December 4
A Pakistani national, Anwar (35) who hails from Ramthaman village falling under Kasur town was apprehended by the troops of 124 battalion of BSF yesterday while he was trying to sneak into the Indian territory near the border out-post of Bahadurke.

A case has been registered with the Guru Har Sahai police station. He is likely to be sent to the Joint Interrogation Centre, Amritsar.


Milling of govt paddy stopped
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, December 4
The rice millers of the district have stopped milling government paddy from today in protest against the Food Corporation of India deciding not to accept levy rice from millers.

Addressing a press conference Mr Jai Paul Goyal and Mr Davinder Bir Singh Nikka, chairman and president, respectively, the District Rice Millers Association said that FCI authorities directed district manager on November 30 not to take supply of levy rice from rice millers who allegedly purchased the paddy from farmers below the support price this kharif season.

They demanded the lifting of the ban as rice worth Rs 30 crore was lying with millers at Kapurthala.


2 more held for stealing coal
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 4
The local police arrested two more persons for stealing coal from railway wagons at the Railway station here. Finno, a (old woman) was arrested last night while Balwant Singh, owner of a tractor-trailer and brick-kiln was arrested today.

The police said both were produced today in a court which remanded them in police custody for one day. Joga Singh tractor driver was arrested on December 2 night when he was carrying more than 74 quintals of stolen coal from near the Railway line of the local Railway station in the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ropar, today said the police had written to the Ropar Thermal Plant authorities and local Railway station to fix responsibility.


NRI, brother booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 4
The police has booked a Canada-based NRI Hardev Singh, his brother Bakshish Singh and Sawroop Singh for allegedly taking Rs 5 lakh from Nirmal Singh of Peerdi Sain for sending him to Canada.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP told newspersons today that Nirmal Singh was asked to pay Rs 7 lakh by the accused. He paid Rs 5 lakh, promising to pay the remaining amount after he was sent to Canada. However, when there was no progress even after six months, Nirmal Singh demanded a refund but to no avail. He then reported to the police which registered a case yesterday.


315 kg poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 4
The Sadar Mansa police is reported to have seized 315 kg of poppy husk from Prem Singh of Narinderpura village in the district yesterday. However, two of his accomplices escaped.

The police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Prem Singh was produced in the court of Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), who remanded him in police custody for a day.


60 dental students allowed to take exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Taking up an application seeking directions to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot for allowing 60 candidates of first year BDS course to appear in the examinations, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed that the students admitted by Muktsar’s Desh Bhagat Dental College and Hospital in June this year would be allowed to appear in the examinations on provisional basis. The examinations are scheduled to commence from December 9.

Issuing the directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, added that the directions were “subject to the rider that the result of their examinations shall not be declared till further orders”.

The Judges added: “It is also made clear that the students, who may take up the examinations in pursuance of the order, shall not acquire any right to have the result of the examination declared and shall not claim equity at the time of final adjudication of the prayer made in the application”.

In their detailed order, the Judges added: “We have considered the respective submissions and are of the opinion that in view of the direction given by the Court in other cases for provisional admission of students, some of whom were admitted in June 2002, it would be appropriate to pass similar order in the applicant’s case also”.

Earlier during the proceedings, counsel for the University had contended that as per a notification issued on April 26, the applicant could have made admissions latest by May 15 and as such the students admitted in June 2002, should not be allowed to provisionally appear in the examinations. 


Rare honour for Bathinda students
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 4
Two students of a local school have won the third prize at a national-level competition conducted by the National Foundation of Indian Engineers at New Delhi.

Dr Surinder Singh Gill, Principal, Khalsa Senior Secondary School, in a statement issued here today said two of their students, Mr Gurpreet Singh and Mr Sukhdeep Singh, had participated in the poster, drawing, essay and working models competitions and their working model won the third prize.


Additional charge

Zirakpur, December 4
Ms Narinder Kaur, Controller Examinations, has been give the additional charge of Secretary of Punjab School Education Board after the retirement of Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu. She would officiate as the secretary of the board till further orders, a press note issued by the board said. OC

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