Tuesday, December 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Groom’s tipsy uncle ‘shoots’ lensman
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 9
A tipsy uncle of the groom today turned the marriage party of his nephew into tragedy when a stray bullet fired by him into the air hit a photographer, engaged to cover the occasion.

Agitated over the tragic incident, residents of the area and members of the photographers association resorted to gherao the police station of the area. However, the marriage party was allowed to continue as usual. The photographer died on the spot.

The police registered a case under Section 304-B (accidental death) of the IPC, which generated a strong protest among residents and the photographers association who demanded to convert it into a murder case.

Hundreds of agitating residents and relatives of the deceased blocked the road for over three hours over the alleged police inaction in arresting the accused.

The trouble started when Kirpal Singh, uncle of Gurpreet Singh, the groom, fired into the air under the influence of liquor at the time of ‘jaimala’. A bullet hit Bhupinder Singh, alias Goldy, a photographer, who was covering the marriage at Rajindra Garden Marriage Palace in East Mohan Nagar. The accused is, however, still at large.

The body of the deceased was lying outside B-division police station even as residents protest against police inaction in arresting the accused. No police official could be contacted even after repeated attempts. The Photographers Association demanded Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the family of the deceased.

After the photographer was hit by a bullet, neither the “baraatis” nor the “melis” bothered to take him to a hospital. After the hurriedly completed marriage ceremony the “baraatis” and “melis” left the palace leaving the body behind.

Dr S.K. Kalia, SP, (Headquarters) said police parties had been dispatched to various places to nab the culprit.


Deposition today in Giani Kewal case
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 9
Even as Mr Amarjit Singh, complainant in the dowry death case registered against former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, and others and who is to depose before the Additional Sessions Judge here tomorrow, has lodged a complaint to the district police authorities that his life is under threat, Mr Harbhajan Singh, SP (H), said the security arrangement for Mr Amarjit Singh would be made as per the directions of higher police authorities.

Mr Amarjit Singh had approached the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the SSP of Bathinda through telegrams after he allegedly received repeated threats on phone from kin of Giani Kewal Singh that if he deposed before the Additional Sessions Judge on December 10, he would have to face dire consequences.

Four women, including Mrs Jangir Kaur, wife of Giani Kewal Singh were arrested by the Sirsa district police yesterday after they allegedly held out a threat to Mr Amarjit Singh at his residence.

A case against them was registered under Sections 452, 506 and 34 of IPC in the city police station, Sirsa. Two of the accused — Shawinder Kaur and Ranjit Kaur — are wives of functionaries of the Punjab Government posted in Talwandi Sabo subdivision.

Mr Harbhajan Singh said that so far no telegram by Mr Amarjit Singh had been received in the SSPs office here.

Mr Amarjit Singh pointed out that the court had put a condition that Giani Kewal Singh, who was now lodged in the local Central Jail, would be granted bail only after he (Mr Amarjit Singh) deposed before the Additional Sessions Judge. He added that he was being pressurised not to depose before the judge so that Giani Kewal Singh could get bail.

Giani Kewal Singh, his son Baljinder Singh and another relative Bibi Joginder Kaur, have been facing trial under Sections 304-B and 34 of IPC in connection with the dowry death of the daughter-in-law of Giani Kewal Singh, Sharanjit Kaur. Sharanjit Kaur, who was married to Baljinder Singh in 1996, died under mysterious circumstances in 1997. A case against Giani Kewal Singh and others was registered on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court when Mr Amarjit Singh approached it through a writ petition.


17 youths in Pak jail
Travel agents to blame, say parents
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 9
Uncertainty continues about the future of 17 youths, including nine from Punjab, seven from Haryana and one from Rajasthan, languishing in the Quetta jail in Hudda district in Pakistan because of unscrupulous travel agents.

Parents of these youths detained in Pakistan have appealed to the high-ups in Punjab and human rights bodies of Pakistan and India to arrange for deportation of the youths to India at the earliest.

Satnam Singh, resident of Sohal, who is lodged in the Quetta jail, in his second letter to his uncle Gurdyal Singh has said that the youths detained in the Pakistan jail had no case registered against them and as such they had not been indicted by the court in that country.

He said if the Indian Embassy identified that the youths were from India, the Pakistan Government, in all probability, would deport them to India safely.

He lamented that the Indian Embassy in Pakistan had not bothered to render any help to these youths.

Mr Gurdyal Singh, uncle of Satnam Singh, talking to mediapersons today, said Satnam Singh along with Charanjit Singh and Balbir Singh, residents of Jathian village in Amritsar, were sent to Lebenon by Lebenon-based NRI Swarn Singh, his wife Kulwinder Kaur and his son Harjinder Singh, residents of Batala.

Each youth paid Rs 3 lakh to Kulwinder Kaur on the promise that they would be sent to Italy and given handsome jobs.

Mr Gurdyal Singh said the youths were first sent to Amman, from there to Lebenon and then to Turkey where Satnam Singh, along with nine unidentified youths from India, were deported to Pakistan and detained in the Quetta jail.

He said four youths were still in Lebenon. They were in contact with their parents and eager to return.

He said when the parents of these youths approached Kulwinder Kaur and his son to arrange for their return, they were asked to pay Rs 70,000 each for the purpose.

Mr Gurdyal Singh said he had approached the higher authorities, including the SSP, Batala, to register a criminal case against the travel agents.

The SSP had deputed DSP Narinder Bedi to look into the matter.

However, no case had been registered so far.

Mr Gurdyal Singh appealed to the Indian Embassy to intervene.


States owe crores to asylum

Amritsar, December 9
Dr Vidya Sagar Mental Hospital here, which has been catering to the mentally ill referred to by the neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh since 1967, claims to be in debt running into crores of rupees by way of expenditure incurred on the referred patients. The hospital has failed to recover a paise from the state concerned, despite several concerted attempts.

Talking to mediapersons here, Director of the hospital Dr Goel claimed it was the only 800-bed hospital where mentally ill from all over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh were treated.

“The states of Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh owe crores of rupees to the hospital for treatment of patients being referred here by them since 1967. But so far they have been reluctant to pay anything, despite repeated demand through the Punjab Mental Health Secretary”, Dr Goel said.

“The hospital was declared a common mental asylum for the neighbouring states under the Reorganisation Act, 1966. Each partner state and the Union Territory was bound to contribute towards the hospital expenditure, subject to the number of patients referred by it and treated here”.

Dr Goel claimed till this year Haryana owed Rs 13.54 crore, Himachal Rs 2.6 crore and the Union Territory of Chandigarh Rs. 21.35 lakh.

Himachal, according to Dr Goel, had blatantly refused to pay a single paise as demanded by the State of Punjab.

“Despite the curt reply from Himachal, we, on humanitarian grounds, are not hesitant to entertain patients referred by it, hoping against hope that it would come out to clear its debts” said Dr Goel.

The case was no different with Haryana and Chandigarh.

Dr Goel said after the fire at a private asylum at Erwadi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu last year, which claimed 26 lives, the Supreme Court had directed the Union Government to ensure at least one mental hospital in each state and UT.

“Whereas Haryana and Chandigarh submitted in the apex court that they were utilising the services of the Amritsar mental hospital and Himachal Pradesh undertook to set up its own hospital in the state, so far they have not paid anything to the hospital.” PTI


PSEB’s climbdown, Padamjit’s upclimb
Made Chief Engineer, Enforcement
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
After calling its Chief Engineer Padamjit Singh “negligent” and “indisciplined”, the PSEB management today climbed down from its earlier stand and gave him one of the most important posts in the board i.e. Chief Engineer, Enforcement. Mr Padamjit Singh had been removed unceremoniously from his post as Chief Engineer, Systems Operation, two hours after he informed a private company, KERPL, that its offer to supply power to the board from the eastern region stood “infructuous” because it had failed to supply relevant details under the agreement signed with the board. Engineers had held dharnas on the issue, besides formulating an agitation programme.

Even though the board management has affected a major climbdown to defuse the situation, it used a routine circular from its Secretary to issue the posting order without holding any formal meeting. A board spokesman issued a one-line press note saying that “recognising his efforts in curbing power theft Mr Padamjit Singh has been made Chief Engineer, Enforcement.”

Mr Padamjit Singh when contacted, said: “I have never worked in this field”. He, however, said it would not be fit for him to say anything at this juncture and it was for the Engineers Association to speak on the issue. Association’s General Secretary H.S. Bedi said the matter would be discussed at an emergency meeting being held here tomorrow.

The association’s leader, however, made it clear that the issue was not over. “Our demand is not to give any new posting to Mr Padamjit but to cancel the earlier posting orders and conduct an inquiry into the issue of giving the power supply contract to a private company after overruling an agreement with a government undertaking. These issues are still to be addressed,” Mr Bedi said. The association also announced that it would discuss the new posting of Mr Padamjit Singh. It has also termed as ‘’unfortunate’’ the divergent stands taken by the board management on the issue. “First he was called negligent, then indisciplined and later given a clean chit saying that he only lacked vision. An attempt has to be made to restore the dignity of the Chief Engineer’’, Mr Bedi said adding that the board should have interacted with engineers in this regard.

Meanwhile, Mr Padamjit Singh’s cause has been supported by former PSEB Chairman and presently National Working Group on Power Chairman N S Vasant. The engineer had expressed deep concern at his “unceremonious” removal.


Captive’ patient freed from clinic
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
In probably the first case of its kind, a warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court raided the premises of Sobti Neuro Centre and Nursing Home near the DMC this evening and rescued a ‘captive’ patient and two “illegally confined” relatives.

The raid was conducted on a habeas corpus petition filed by Mr Veerpal Singh, a marriage palace owner of Mandi Ahmedgarh. He had alleged in his petition that the hospital was forcibly detaining the three persons for the last two days and was demanding exorbitant hospital fee to release them.

The patient, Shailesh Kumar, and the two attendants, Gujjar and Parmod, were employed as waiters with the petitioner. Shailesh had met with an accident a few days ago. A case had been registered with the Sangrur police.

According to the petition, Mr Veerpal Singh had deposited Rs 30,000 with the doctor as fee for the medical treatment of the patient. He had paid the amount on humanitarian grounds as the patient was his employee. However, Dr Sobti allegedly refused to discharge the patient, asking for another Rs 40,000. Dr Sobti, however, claimed that the patient and his attendants did not pay even Rs 30,000. They had given Rs 3,000. Mr Veerpal Singh countered his claim and said they had paid the amount, but had not taken receipts in good faith. They said the doctor was all praise for their spirit to help him and had promised to give as much discount as possible.

Dr Sobti said he had lodged a complaint with the police against the petitioner, stating that he had misbehaved with hospital staff. 


SC rejects Sidhu’s plea for trial outside Punjab

New Delhi, December 9
The Supreme Court today rejected the plea of former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu for trial of corruption cases outside the state on the ground that he was being subjected to media trial with the police leaking his statements to newspapers.

A Bench comprising the Justice S. Rajendra Babu and the Justice P.V. Reddi rejected the petition after hearing arguments from Mr Sidhu’s counsel.

The counsel contended that the confidential statements made by Mr Sidhu before the police under Section 161 of the Cr PC were being leaked to the newspapers leading to media reports which build a very “adverse” image of the former PPSC chairman. PTI


Factionalism in Cong comes to fore
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 9
Factionalism in the ruling Congress today came to the fore when councillors belonging to the faction headed by PPCC member Balbir Raja Sodhi, including Ms Sita Devi, vice-president of the local nagar council, stayed away while Hardip Kaur Anand, took over as the officiating President. Ms Anand, an Independent, who is supported by the Congress group headed by the local MLA, Mr Joginder Singh Mann.

When contacted, Ms Sita Devi, vice-president, said that neither was she aware of Ms Anand nor was taking charge she invited to the function. Most of the Congress councillors were also conspicuous by their absence.

The group of Mr Sodhi had split from Mr Mann’s group immediately after the elections for the posts of the president, the senior vice-president and the junior vice-president were held here on December 5. It had been alleged that Mr Mann had ignored an agreement affected between the two groups with the intervention of the PPCC president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, at Chandigarh on December 2. As per the agreement, the office of the President was to go to the Mann group while that of the senior vice-president was to be left for the Sodhi group. However, the Mann group upstaged the Sodhi faction by getting Mr Anand elected to the post of the senior vice-president and the Sodhi group had to be content only with the post of vice-president.


BSP flayed for supporting BJP
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 9
Dubbing the BSP as a front organisation of the BJP, the Bahujan Samaj Morcha (BSM) has criticised it for forging an electoral alliance with the BJP for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat.

Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, president of the BSM and former MP said in a press statement issued here today that the true face of the BSP had been exposed following its decision to forge an alliance with the BJP in the Gujarat elections. “Though the BSP leadership had time and again announced that the post-poll electoral arrangement with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh would not be repeated in other states, the recent decision had virtually exposed the hidden agenda of the party.

The BSP’s unconditional support to a communal party will certainly create a dent in its Dalit vote bank,” he added.

“Infact, the BSP is working as a front organisation of the BJP, which is evident from the fact that UP Chief Minister Mayawati is openly supporting the wrongdoings of Modi government in Gujarat. Ms Mayawati had betrayed the faith of the Dalits by giving a clean chit to the Modi government for its role in the Gujarat riots,” Mr Kainth alleged.

Mr Kainth said the fourth foundation day celebrations of the BSM would be held at the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here on December 20.


Row over dissolution of Shiv Sena units
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, December 9
The Gurdaspur district unit of the Shiv Sena (Thackeray) is up in arms against the north zone in charge of the party, Gen P.N. Hoon (retd), who has recently dissolved the state and district units of the party.

Mr Ashok Soodan, president of the Gurdaspur unit of the Shiv Sena while talking to mediapersons, said here today that by dissolving the state and other units of the party General Hoon had exceeded his powers. He said General Hoon was only appointed as a “sampark parmukh” of the party for north India, while the units were formed directly under the guidance of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

Mr Soodan said an adhoc committee appointed by General Hoon was illegal.


Badungar writes to PM on Bangladesh gurdwaras
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 9
The SGPC President, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, has urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to approach the Bangladesh Government to ensure proper upkeep of Sikh gurdwaras there. He has also requested the Prime Minister to grant permission for sending sevadars and granthis to perform religious ceremonies and maintain the gurdwaras.

Mr Badungar, in a letter to Mr Vajpayee said a team consisting of SGPC members and staff had visited Bangladesh to examine the condition of gurdwaras there. It observed that the gurdwaras in Bangladesh were in a poor condition and could collapse any moment, in violation of the protocol signed between the two countries to keep these in good shape. He said the then acting- President of Bangladesh, during his talks with Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Arora at a religious congregation on January 2, 1979, had given an assurance regarding the proper maintenance of the gurdwaras.

Besides this, residents and tenants of the gurdwaras were trying to grab property worth crores, he alleged. He said the building of Gurdwaras Sangat Tolla in Dhaka was on the verge of collapse. Some tenants were allegedly trying to gain ownership through fabricated documents, he alleged.

Mr Badungar said the gurdwara in Chowk Bazaar, Chittagong, was lying locked up due to lack of any sewadar or granthi. Many huts had come up on the premises and a boy was pretending to be the real heir of the gurdwara property which was worth Rs 5 crore.

The SGPC President told the Prime Minister that it was important to make arrangements for sending sevadars and granthis there.


Fatehgarh Sahib urban estate site marked
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to develop an urban estate near Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup in Fatehgarh Sahib for which notification for acquiring land under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act is being issued this month. PUDA had first initiated an urban estate at Fatehgarh Sahib in 1996 and 220 acres of land falling in the revenue limits of Attewali, Mandofal and Sirhind on the Chunni road identified.

Even though the site was approved by the district-level site selection committee and the Fatehgarh Sahib Deputy Commissioner issued a no-objection certificate for establishment of the urban estate upon 228 acres of land, the no-objection certificate (NOC) for acquiring the land could not be acquired from the state-level Acquisition Board. The objections raised by the Board could not be removed.

Now, at a recent meeting presided over by the PUDA Chief Administrator, it has been decided to develop an urban estate over 228 acres of land and the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) asked to issue directions to initiate the process for publication of notification under Section 4 of the Act.

PUDA ACA Hussan Lal said the earlier objections would be got cleared from the government for an NOC. According to the schedule finalised by PUDA, notification under Section 6 would be done by April next year and award to farmers would be announced by June the same year. The development of the estate would be taken up by August next year. The demand survey for the site is being undertaken shortly.

The ACA disclosed that 747 residential plots of various sizes would be available to the public for allotment through draw of lots in the erstwhile Seed Farmland which was being converted into an urban estate at Nabha in an area of 110 acres. In addition to residential plots, it has been decided to develop 10.28 acres as commercial area, 10.11 acres as institutional area, 3.7 acres as a senior secondary school site and 9.18 acres for public buildings.

PUDA has proposed building a boundary wall around the estate site to prevent encroachment as well as ensure prohibited colonies do not develop around it.

Mr Hussan Lal said besides this, 2.20 acres of land situated at the Old Quila site at Sangrur would be developed in the first phase. He said the development of this pocket at an estimated cost of Rs 74.5 lakh was likely to be completed by January, 2003, and disposal of commercial site would be undertaken in February, 2003. It was expected to fetch a revenue of Rs 2.5 crore. He said as the Old Quila site measured 4.50 acres and had a government girls senior secondary school functioning on the remaining premises, the other portion would be completed after the school was shifted to a new site, which was to be developed by PUDA. He said PUDA had committed Rs 1.20 crore for construction of the new school building.

Outlining other activities of PUDA, Mr Hussan Lal said a site had been identified for development of an urban estate at Malerkotla. The site was spread over 28 acres and situated near the Central Jail there. As the site was very near the city and its level was almost equal to the main road, it had been decided to launch a demand survey for the site.


Bail granted

Chandigarh, December 9
Punjab Technical University’s former Director (Out-reach) Amarjit Singh Grewal was granted bail on Monday by Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He was apprehending arrest in a case registered by Jalandhar’s Vigilance Bureau on October 18 under Sections 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, besides under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the prosecution, PTU Vice-Chancellor Hardev Singh Gurum, along with Amarjit Singh Grewal and former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, had caused a loss of about Rs 11 crores to the state exchequer.

The prosecution had added that the three were allegedly involved in the appointment of 95 persons in the university without advertising the posts and arranging for the tests. Those appointed included 34 from Garcha’s constituency.

Seeking the grant of bail, counsel for the petitioner had contended that Grewal was being implicated in the case and had nothing to do with the appointments, or any other allegation.

Refund sought

In a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a student has alleged that Punjab Technical University and another respondent have not refunded Rs 7,500 even though she surrendered bachelor of engineering’s seat. Taking up the case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued notice of motion to the respondents for January 24.

In her petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, Ruchika Gupta had earlier claimed that identity check proforma was filled by her wherein it was stated that Rs 10,000 was to be submitted failing which the allotted seat would be cancelled. It was added that the institute in which the student was to be admitted would credit Rs 7,500. The seat was surrendered before the last date, but the money was not refunded.


Water shortage in Sirhind town
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 9
Residents of Sirhind town have been facing an acute shortage of drinking water for the past 15 days. The residents allege that the drinking water is supplied for a few minutes and that too with low pressure, causing great difficulty to those residing on first floor. They further allege that the water supplied is not fit for human consumption. Though the town has two water pumps to supply drinking water, only one is operative and water supply is made only from that. The residents allege that the repeated complaints and requests to the municipal authorities have fallen on deaf ear.

When contacted, the water pump operator at the main waterworks told that the electric connection to one of the water pumps has been disconnected due to the felling of tree on the electric wire with the result that the pump is not working.

Mr R.N. Sharma, president of the Citizen's Welfare Council, Sirhind, has criticised the negligence on the part of municipal officials. He said that only due to a minor fault the residents are facing drinking water problem.


Meeting ends without taking up resolutions
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, December 9
The meeting of the local municipal council, today ended abruptly without taking up any resolution following a dispute between Mr Mohinder Partap Dhingra, president of the council, and Mr Mohan Lal Goklany, Superintendent of the council.

According to available details, as the meeting commenced Mr Goklany, in the absence of Mr Diwan Chand Verma, Executive Officer, presented proceedings register before the House. The register contained resolutions No 78 to 97 to be taken up for discussion.

Mr Dhingra objected to this saying that resolutions No 78 to 89 had already been passed hence the proceedings should begin from resolution No 90. Upon this, Mr Goklany maintained that the Deputy Director of the Local Government Department Ferozepore, had not accepted the validity of the municipal council meeting dated October 29, 2002, hence the resolutions had to be taken afresh.

The meeting of October 29 was held in open due to tussle between the president and the Executive Officer of the council in which Mr Dhingra passed some resolutions.

The Superintendent alleged today that an attempt was made by the president to snatch the proceedings register. On the other hand, Mr Dhingra said the Superintendent did not provide them the register and left the meeting hall on the onset of the meeting and took away the register.

Moreover, the Superintendent did not record the proceeding. Mr Dhingra accused the Superintendent of making a mockery of the democracy.

In today’s meeting 19 out of the 21 municipal councillors were present. Mr Satish Setia of the BJP and Ms Rani Devi of the Congress were absent.

The resolutions proposed to passed in the meeting pertained to court cases, benefits to be granted to retired municipal council officials and some proposals for development.


Anti-encroachment drive in Nangal soon
Our Correspondent

Ropar, December 9
The district administration is planning to extend the anti-encroachment drive to other part of the district. Sources told The Tribune that the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, had issued instructions to all SDMs in the district to initiate the process of removing encroachments in their respective areas. The instructions had also been issued to the executive officer of the municipal council.

After Ropar the district administration is planning to remove encroachments in Nangal town. The BBMB and the local council authorities had earlier requested the Deputy Commissioner to provide force to help them remove encroachments in their respective areas.

The sources said initially the administration was planning to remove the encroachments around the PTDC tourist complex in Nangal. The PTDC authorities had been complaining against the mushrooming rehris and vends around the complex.

The encroachments by shopkeepers and the rehri owners have been going on in the district under alleged political patronage. In many areas rehri owners have converted pavements and footpaths into semi-pucca structures. In many cases the encroached land has been further passed to other persons against handsome prices. Certain persons allegedly supported by political leaders doing good business from encroachments. They encroach upon a land raise a semi-pucca structure over it and hand its possession to other persons.

In many areas shop owners allow rehri owners to stand in front of their establishments and charge rent in lieu of the privilege.


Plea to withdraw decision on perks
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 9
The Punjab State Services Federation today organised a meeting under the leadership of Mr Charanjit Singh Walia, a former MP, which was attended by representatives of the Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation and the Punjab Kirti Dal. The meeting discussed the ramifications of the alleged anti-employee and anti-working class decisions taken by the present state government.

Mr Walia said the government should ensure that the state government employees were given their due and the decision regarding the withdrawal of perks should be taken back at the earliest. He also stated that state-level meeting in this regard would be organised in February 2003 which would be attended by several Union ministers.


Rally against MC move on sanitation
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 9
Members of joint action committee (JAC) today held a rally at the Municipal Corporation complex to protest against the proposed moves of the state government to allot sanitary work to private contractors.

Addressing the rally Mr Mohan Lal Jakhmi, convener of JAC comprising Municipal Employees Association, Water Supply and Sewerage Workers Union, JE Union and Safai Mazdoor Union, alleged that though the Punjab and Haryana High Court in its judgement had only instructed the state government to restructure the sanitation departments in municipal corporations and municipal committees throughout the state, but the government was using the opportunity to privatise the sanitation system.

He alleged that Punjab Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh was pursuing anti-employee policies.


2 killed, 13 hurt in head-on collision
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 9
Two persons were killed and 13 others injured when a catering van collided head-on with a truck on the outskirts of Dhanaula town in Sangrur district, around 65 km from here, early this morning.

While a man was brought dead to Government Rajindra hospital here, a boy died after being admitted to the hospital. The man has been identified as Lal Chand while the identity of the boy is still not known. Of the 13 others admitted to the hospital, the condition of the truck driver is stated to be serious. The catering van was returning back here from a marriage function near Dhanaula.


Recovery notice to 7 officers

Moga, December 9
Seven government officers, who served the local nagar council between 1991 and 1999, have been served a recovery notice by the Local Self-Government Secretary as due to their negligence the department, on the directions of a lok adalat, paid Rs 15 lakh as interest to a construction company.

The officers are Sham Lal Garg, O.P. Taneja, Swaran Singh (all retired executive officers) J.R. Thapar, (retired Junior Engineer) T.R. Sharma, now Deputy Director of the Local Self-Government Department at Bathinda, Harbhagwan Garg, Executive Officer, Mandi Gobindgarh, and Mohinder Singh Sohi, Junior Engineer, posted at Zira. UNI


Drug traffickers’ gang busted
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 9
The police has busted a gang engaged in the smuggling of smack and seized 67 gm of smack from their possession. The SSP, Mr Varinder Kumar, today said that Mohan Lal, Rashpal Singh of Amritsar district, Bikramjit Singh, Gagandeep Singh of Gurdaspur district and Nirmal Singh of Chhotee Khatran, which falls under Ajnala police station in Majitha district, have been arrested.

The city police on the basis of some specific information raided the hide-out of the accused, Mohan Lal alias doctor, and apprehended all the accused.

During preliminary interrogation, Mohan Lal disclosed that he had purchased smack from Rajesh of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh at the rate of Rs 120 per gm and sold the same with the help of his associates at the rate of Rs 500 per gm.

Mohan Lal further disclosed that besides those arrested, he had other associates in Amritsar district whom he identified as Nirmal Singh, assistant lineman in PSEB, Manga in Wadali Guru, Laddi, Wazir Singh, Manga Bandwala and Babu, all residents of Chheharta.

He said that whenever he found it difficult to go to Meerut to purchase smack he managed to procure it from the daughter of Harjinder Kaur of Dam Ganj. The accused also used his mobile to sell smack.

A case has been registered against the accused and the police has taken into its possession the mobile of Mohan Lal along with the smack seized from the accused.


3 kidnappers arrested
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 9
The Hoshiarpur police arrested three members of a gang of kidnappers and recovered a stolen Toyota Qualis from them last night.

Mrs Gurpreet Deo, SSP, Hoshiarpur, stated in a press release here today that during nakabandi at Adda Nijiar on the Hoshiarpur-Dasuya road, CIA staff intercepted the Qualis and arrested its three occupants last night. They were identified as Baljit Singh, alias Kala of Sindhuwal, Manjinder Singh, alias Manni of Hajipur and Jagjit Singh, alias Jeeta, alias Khota of Manakpur.

During interrogation, the suspects revealed that the vehicle was stolen on August 21 from the Nakodar area. On October 12, they kidnapped Mr Sham Narayan Gupta in the vehicle.


Cop held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 9
The Tarn Taran police has booked two head constables of Sarhali Kalan police station for allegedly allowing the sale of “bhuki” a kind of drug used for addiction) after taking bribe.

According to complaint lodged by Tehal Singh and Puran Singh of Dadehat Sahib, Harike Pattan, head constables Sukhdev Singh and Kartar Singh of Sarhali Kalan used to take Rs 15,000 per month as bribe from the two for allowing the sale of bhuki in the area.

However, a senior official while talking to the Tribune, said an enquiry was marked by Mr Narendra Bhargav, SSP Tarn Taran, to the DSP, Headquarters in which both were found guilty. A case has been registered.

According to sources, the district police has already arrested one of them.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested Mukhtiar Singh of Dhotian village for allegedly possessing chura post. The police recovered 68 kg of chura post from the accused.


Thefts in 3 gurdwaras reported
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 9
Thousands of rupees were stolen from three gurdwaras in Jajjal, Malkana and Ramsra villages in Talwandi Sabo sub-division of the district in the past two days.

Mr Bharpur Singh, Manager, Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, has appealed administrators of all gurdwaras in villages in the area and panchayats to arrange security in religious places.

He also urged them not to leave any gurdwara unattended and increase height of boundary walls of gurdwaras. He added that helpers should be provided to the “granthis” of gurdwaras.

Police sources said two cases of thefts took place yesterday night while one theft was reported last night.

Two separate cases have been registered under Sections 457 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code by the Raman Mandi police station in this connection.


2 held in pension scam case
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, December 9
Gurjant Singh and Mohinder Kaur, clerk and supervisor with the Child Development Project Office (CDPO), respectively, were arrested today for their alleged involvement in the old-age pension scam, which came to light after Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma got an inquiry conducted when he received complaints in this connection from local residents.

Police sources said two other accused Balwinder Singh, project officer, who is now posted at Muktsar, and Jaswant Kaur, gram sewak, were yet to be arrested. Mr Ashutosh, DSP, Talwandi Sabo, was investigating the matter. A case under Sections 465, 467 and 471 of the IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered.

The sources said a section of residents lodged complaints with Mr Verma complaining that officials of the CDPO and the Panchayati Raj Department had made large scale bunglings while sanctioning pensions to the elderly. The accused had also forged signatures of senior officials concerned on the relevant documents for sanctioning pensions.


Eight booked for vehicle thefts
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 9
Eight persons, including a property dealer and a document writer, have been booked for theft of vehicles.

According to sources the Sadar police led by SHO Kuldip Singh, on a tip off, recovered two Maruti Zen white cars (GA-1-BP-9406 and RJ-1-BK-7186) from Kotkapura and Kattianwali village Malout). The cars had reportedly been stolen from different places. After preliminary investigations, the police today registered a case.

These named in the FIR are Gurbhej Singh and Gurpreet Singh, residents of Rukanpura Khuikhera village, Gurjant Singh of Gobind Magri, Harinder Singh of Sunder Nagri, Baljit Singh of the Bus stand locality, Surender Kumar, Tara Chand Dhingawali and Balak Ram, a property dealer of Rawatsar in Rajasthan. None of them have been arrested.


Pirated CDs seized, three arrested
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 9
The Ropar CIA staff has seized about 1,800 pirated and pornographic compact discs (CDs) and arrested Subhash Chand, Mohinder Chand and Lavdeep Arora in this connection. Kamal Nayyar Jain, Harish Kumar Nayyar and Manoj Kumar are still at large.


Pbi varsity youth fest concludes
Our Correspondent

Budhlada, December 9
The four-day Punjabi University Zonal Youth Festival concluded here last evening at Guru Nanak College. Students from 21 colleges from Mansa, Bathinda and Faridkot districts presented a musical extravaganza. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, presided over the first day while Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, presided over the valedictory function and gave away the prizes. The minister announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the college.

The results (recommended and commended) are as follows:

Shabad and bhajan: Recommended (R) — Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa. Commended (C) SSD College, Bathinda, Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, Bhai Aasa Singh Girls College, Goniana, and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda.

Geet and ghazal: R — Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa. C — Guru Nanak Dev Girls College, Bathinda, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kotkapura, Government College of Education, Faridkot, and SSD College, Bathinda.

Lok geet: R — Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul, Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, and Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa.

Group song: R — Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa, Government Rajinder College, Bathinda, and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kotkapura.

Painting: R — Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda. C — T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul, and Government Rajinder College, Bathinda.

Collage making: R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, and Government Brajindra College, Faridkot. C — Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda, and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kotkapura.

Clay modelling: R — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, and Guru Nanak Dev Girls Khalsa College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda.

Poster making: R — Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kotkapura, and Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, and S.D. Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Mansa.

Cartoon making: R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda, and Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Rangoli: R — S.D. Kanya Mahavidayalaya, Mansa, and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Shaheed Bhagat Singh Government College, Kotkapura, Government College of Education, Faridkot, and Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Percussion (tal-vadan): R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Non-Percussion (swar-vadan): R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Classical vocal: R — Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda. C — DAV College, Bathinda, Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa, and Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Orchestra: R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Debate: R — DAV College, Bathinda, and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Punjabi University Regional Centre, Bathinda, University College of Education, Bathinda, Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda, and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada.

Poetry recitation: R — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot. C — Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, Punjabi University Regional Centre, Bathinda, Bhai Aasa Singh Girls College, Goniana, and T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul.

Education: R — Government College of Education, Faridkot, and Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda, Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, Punjabi University Regional Centre, Bathinda, and National College, Bhikhi.

One act play: R — Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa, and Guru Kashi College, Damdama Sahib.

Histrionics: R — S.D. Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Mansa. C — Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, and Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa.

Costumes parade (traditional): R — Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo. C — T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul, Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa, and Government College of Education, Faridkot.

Costumes parade (imagination): R — Guru Nanak College, Budhlada. C — Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, Punjabi University Regional Centre, Bathinda, T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul, and Government Brajindra College, Faridkot.

Group skit: R — Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College, Talwandi Sabo, and Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa.

Mimicry: R — T.P.D. Malwa College, Rampura Phul. C — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot, and Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College, Mansa.

Group mimicry: R — Government Brajindra College, Faridkot. C — Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa Girls College, Bathinda, and Government Rajindra College, Bathinda.


Varsity ignoring our demands’
Students threaten agitation
Sukant Deepak

Patiala, December 9
Accusing the administration of Punjabi University of continuously ignoring their long standing demands, the Punjabi University Students Confederation, an umbrella organisation of eight student unions, said today that despite their repeated requests to the university authorities, they have done little except to give “false assurances”. Threatening to boycott classes and intensify the agitation, if the university authorities did not hold a meeting with the confederation members this week, the students alleged that the university was not serious in holding negotiations with them.

The students confederation had presented a memorandum to the Dean Students Welfare, Dr N.S. Kapoor, on November 8, which stated 28 demands including immediate elections to the students council, provision of requisite infrastructure to the departments running practical courses, recruitment of required faculty, syllabus on the lines of UGC guidelines, improvement in the quality of food served in the girls hostels and roll back of the revised reappear fee structure. Dr Kapoor, when contacted, said the memorandum has been forwarded to the concerned authorities and the administration would soon hold a meeting to discuss the demands of the students. He stressed that as the demands of the students concerned several areas of the university administration, they were forwarded to the various other Deans and office holders for their opinion and comments.

Leaders of different student unions said although almost one month had passed since the authorities assured them of constitution of a committee, which would include representatives from the administration and the students to look into their demands, they were yet to receive any intimation even after several meetings with different university officials. President of the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) Jaspal Singh alleged that he had met several high officials of the university including the Dean Academic Affairs, Dr U.C. Singh, and the Registrar, Dr K.S. Sidhu, in this connection but was given just an assurance that a meeting with student representatives would be held soon.

Earlier the students boycotted classes and organised a dharna on December 4 in this regard, after which they were called by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr R.N Pal, to discuss their demands, but the representatives of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Sikh Students Federation (SSF), who attended the meeting, said no decision in this regard was taken at the meeting.

Members of different student unions also alleged that they had tried to meet the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.S. Boparai, several times to put forward their demands but were not allowed and were instructed to meet him through the Deans.

The Registrar of the university, Dr K.S. Sidhu, stressed that the authorities were serious about their demands and a meeting with the students could not be held as the Vice-Chancellor was on leave. He would discuss the demands of the students with the VC “on priority basis” and a meeting with the students would be held as early as possible, he added.


No classes in school
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 9
Classes could not be held at Playway School, situated near the Anardana chowk here, today after the registration of a kidnapping case against its Principal, two teachers and two others following the disappearance of a class VII student from the school.

The students going to the school in the morning were turned back. Sources said the Principal as well as the two teachers against whom a case has been registered by the Kotwali police have gone underground.

A case was registered against the Principal, Mrs Rejinder Kaur, and two teachers — Ms Nishi and Ms Thakur — on the complaint of parents of Mithilesh Gupta, a student of class VII, who has been missing since December 6.

Earlier, on the same date the student had allegedly stolen money from the bag of one of the teachers, following which he was sent home during school hours with two school employees.

The student, who was taken back to the school afterwards, however, did not return home. The parents of the child then approached the police to register a case against the Principal and four others.


Jobs for nurses in Canada
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 9
“There is an annual shortage of about 10,000 nurses in the hospitals of Canada. Trained Indian nurses can avail themselves of the opportunity to settle there along with their families for earning handsome salaries ranging between 50,000 and 80,000 Canadian dollars per annum as per Canada’s immigration policy.”

This was revealed by the Liaison Director of a Canadian nursing training institute, Ms Ajmer Kaur, during an interaction with a group of nurses, who had assembled here at an educational mela organised by B.N.Overseas Educational Services.

She said the educational mela was aimed to create awareness among the Indian nurses, particularly those hailing from Punjab, about the placement opportunities in Canada and the formalities to be completed for securing immigration to Canada.

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