Monday, December 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Border dists: Punjab seeks special assistance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
For the socio-economic development of the three sensitive border districts, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepur, Punjab has sought special assistance from the Centre. It has also suggested revision of the Gadgil formula, which determines the grant of central assistance to states for their Annual Plans.

Punjab has proposed certain amendments in the Gadgil formula suggesting the following percentage weightage: population 50, efforts for population control 10, literacy 20, tax efforts, fiscal management and special problems 10 each.

Punjab has also asked the Centre for a special package of incentives to set up industry in the border districts, treating them on a par with the border states like J&K and Himachal Pradesh. Punjab incidentally, has a 553-km-long border with Pakistan.

That package should also include elements of exemption from central excise, transport subsidy, income tax concessions and interest/investment subsidies. Several border district industrial associations have also represented to the Centre in this regard. Even the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has written to the Prime Minister, seeking his intervention. So far, the Centre’s response is cold.

Punjab is concerned at the prevailing hardship the people faced in the three border districts due to socio-economic problems, poverty, lack of development, infrastructure, roads and bridges, denial of compensation to farmers who are unable to cultivate land across the fence, absence of employment opportunities for youth etc.

It may be recalled that the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, had visited Amritsar in June, 1998, when he was given a representation by the then Chief Minister on behalf of the people living on the razor’s edge. All MLAs from the three border districts had again met Mr Advani in May, 2000, reiterating problems of the people. Nothing tangible came out of even then, except ‘’one-time’’ special additional central assistance given as compensation to farmers at the rate of Rs 3,000 per acre, in 1998-99.

It has been calculated that 17,213 acres is across the fence in the three districts. Out of this acreage, 15,703 acres is privately owned, the rest being of either panchayats or evacuee property, allotted under a 1997 policy. At the rate of Rs 3,000 per acre as compensation, Punjab required approximately Rs 5.17 crore.

Chief Secretary, Y.S. Ratra told TNS today that specific proposals had again been prepared for the development of the border districts and submitted to the Centre for assistance under the Border Area Development Programme.

The Ministry of Home Affairs at a meeting in the Planning Commission in December, 1993, had recommended that 50 per cent weightage in allocation of funds should be under ‘’security sensitivity’’, depending on the vulnerability and threat perception from across the border. Punjab has pleaded that due to these two actors and the prevailing ‘’economic deprivation’’ in the three districts, the state must get special treatment.

Punjab is opposed to the categorisation of states for allocation of central assistance, as special and non-special. The former receive plan assistance as 10 per cent loan, 90 per cent grant and the latter, like Punjab, receive 70 per cent loan and 30 per cent grant. Punjab wants to be treated under a special category, as it has developed many problems in border, bet and kandi areas, which are as pecuniary as some special category states. Moreover, Punjab has incurred a debt of Rs 56,000 crore. Therefore, central assistance to the state should be 50 per cent loan and 50 per cent grant, he added.

Equally important to Punjab is the upkeep of roads in the border districts or ones leading to them. The Border Roads Organisation has only a small length of roads, 52 kms, under its charge. Besides, it has only now taken up five roads, Patiala, Sangrur, Batala, Gurdaspur bypasses and the Ajnala-Lopoke-Sohal road with a total length of 135.74 km.

A joint exercise was carried out by the PWD and the Western Command in the three border districts in 1999-2000 to assess the condition of roads and the ones that required upgradation. For this a Rs 982.50 crore project was prepared. Mr Ratra said border fencing had added to the problems and villagers had to make long detours to go across the fence to cultivate their land. This entails more expense on transportation. Therefore a detailed survey was recently done that identified the need for constructing some road-links and bridges at a cost of Rs 70 crore. Punjab has approached the Ministry of Defence for providing Rs 1062.50 crore to the state or to the BRO to complete the work in a phased manner.

Besides this infrastructure requirement, Punjab has also drawn the attention of the Centre to several river works executed by Pakistan that required to be encountered on the Indian side. The border district MLAs had pointed out in their memorandum of May, 2000, that a proposal for release of Rs 298.40 lakh was pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The BSF had also identified flood-protection works, which required Rs 521.33 lakh. This money has also not been released. Though bridges worth Rs 525.55 lakh were sanctioned no money was released by the Centre.


‘Most rights violation complaints against cops’
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 15
Mr N. K. Arora, Acting Chairperson, Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), today told newsmen at the nearby Palahi village that the commission received over 8,000 complaints of human rights violations every yea. Nearly 80 per cent of these complaints were against the police.

He was in the village in connection with the human rights day function organised by the PSHRC and National Rural Development Society of Palahi.

To sensitise the police about human rights, Mr Arora said professional inputs should be increased in the functioning of the police so that it was perceived as a friend of the people. The NGOs should both interact with the police and keep an eye on it, he remarked.

When asked in how many cases action was taken against policemen, Mr Arora replied that between filing of the complaints, taking its cognisance and final findings by the commission, most of the cases were settled outside. But even then, action was recommended in about 10 per cent cases and most of the recommendations were accepted by the authorities.

Earlier, addressing the function, Mr Arora said the human rights movement could succeed only with public awareness based on economic development. He said the commission had taken suo motu cognisance of social evils like female foeticide, child abuse, pollution and drug addiction.

If the citizens don’t get good roads, clean drinking water, streetlights or proper health care in hospitals, it constituted a violation of the right to dignity of life and the people could knock the doors of the commission, he told the public.


Home Guards await salaries, look for petty jobs
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 15
Mrs Manpreet Kaur (name changed) fears losing her earrings which were gifted to her by her mother when she got married about five years ago to Mr Jagmeet Singh (name changed), a jawan of the Punjab Home Guards.

Narrating her tale of woes to TNS, she said the ring and bracelet of her husband had already been sold to make both ends meet. She would lose the jewellery pledged if her husband failed to pay back the money on or before December 31.

Her husband, who was getting a salary of Rs 2,700 per month, had not got salary for the past three months. She added that by working as a domestic help she was earning some money but was still finding it difficult to fetch two square meals. “The school fee of the kids has not been paid and the school authorities have threatened to strike off their names,” she said dejectedly.

Mr Avatar Singh (name changed), another Home Guard, earns livelihood by pulling a rickshaw. He said he had not visited his home as he found it difficult to fulfil even the small demands of his kids.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that most of the Home Guards and those who were working as Special Police Officers (SPOs) in various districts of Punjab had not got salaries for the past many months. To earn enough to fulfil their daily requirements a major section of them started indulging in petty jobs apart from the routine policing.

Another jawan, Baljinder Singh (name changed), pointed out that while they belonged to the urban cadre and could not be deployed in border pockets, the authorities concerned had started posting his colleagues at various points near the Indo-Pakistan border. He pointed out that for a jawan who was getting a salary of Rs 2,700 per month it was very difficult to feed himself and his family while being posted at border. He said the former SAD-BJP government had increased their wages but the arrears for four months still remained unpaid.

They said their services had not been regularised despite the fact that they had been working for more than a decade. “Being a disciplined force we cannot come out openly against the government by staging dharnas or lodging protests as it will invite departmental action,” they pointed out.

The jawans added in neighbouring Rajasthan the jawans were paid Rs 25 per day as TA whenever they were sent to distances which were more than 40 km from their parent station.

Though no senior official concerned could be contacted for comments, information revealed that the Punjab police was facing a severe financial crisis. They were even finding it difficult to buy fuel.


SHSAD’s stir plan
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, December 15
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to launch an agitation seeking merger of Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas, left out the state at the time of reorganisation in 1966, in Punjab, solution to river waters and other disputes relating to the state and to oppose proposal of Central Government to withdraw minimum support prices of farm produce. Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary of the SHSAD stated this to mediapersons here today. He said the decision was taken after discussing the above issues at a meeting of the office-bearers and district presidents of the SHSAD on December 1, 2002. Suggestions were being invited from the district units of the party. After considering these suggestions, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President of the SHSAD, would announce the strategy of the agitation of Shaheedi Jor Mela on December 26 at Fatehgarh Sahib.

Referring to the expulsion of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi from the SAD (Badal), Mr Bhaur said that Mr Parkash Singh Badal was side lining all leaders one by one to pave the way for his son Sukhbir Singh to make him the Chief Minister of Punjab. He advised SAD (B) leaders to understand the game plan and to avoid their humiliation from Mr Badal and his family members. They should quit the party. He pointed out that after expulsion of Mr Talwandi from the party, charges were being levelled against him.

Mr Bhaur said the SGPC had got published two lakh copies of Nanakshahi calendar by spending Rs 20 lakh.


No hand in booking of BJP councillor: MLA
Our Correspondent

Abohar, December 15
Mr Sunil Jakhar, MLA, has strongly denied any hand in the registration of a case against the a BJP councillor, Mr Satish Narang, and other party activists under Sections 307, 323, 324, 148, 149, IPC.

Talking to newspersons at his New Grain Market office here today, Mr Jakhar said he had returned from Gujarat only yesterday and had never interfered in the working of the police. It was, however, unfortunate that BJP activists had indulged in violence during the process of scrutiny of the revised electoral rolls under the supervision of an observer from the State Election Commission here.

The BJP leaders, while blaming the Congress for criminal proceedings against their supporters, had forgotten that scores of false cases had been registered at their behest during the SAD-BJP Government service in last five years against innocent Congress workers. The BJP leaders had not raised their voice against the activities of “goonda” elements who even went to the extent of using swords and fire arms to attack their political opponents in the past, he alleged.


Cong to bring new faces in MC poll
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 15
Mr Ramesh Dutt Sharma, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, and MLA from Anandpur Sahib, said the Congress would allot party ticket for the Ropar Municipal Council elections to new faces and persons with clean image.

Mr Sharma was talking to mediapersons here last night before addressing a meeting of ticket aspirants and party supporters.

The minister said the party would prefer those candidates who had the potential to win and associate themselves with the common man.

He added that a sub-committee could be constituted for the selection of candidates. Mr Sharma announced that he would complete the process of selecting candidates by December 31.

He said the final list would be announced in the first week of January.


Cong to contest MC poll
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, December 15
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) plans to contest elections in all municipal councils in the state.

Stating this here today Mr Avtar Singh Brar vice-President PPCC, and former MLA, Faridkot, said district-level committees comprising MLAs or former MLAs, DDC presidents and MPs would be constituted soon to mobilise party workers. The aspirants will have to submit their applications to the committees.


Council poll: Cong to go it alone
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 15
The PPCC General Secretary, Mr Dharampal Sabharwal, has said the Congress will contest the January 23 council poll on its own.

Talking to newspersons here yesterday, he said Congress Day would be observed on December 28 Chandigarh and the remaining members of state executive would be named by December 31.

He denied any knowledge about the charge three Punjab minister were found in unsavoury position in Gujarat during the just-concluded electioneering. However, action would be taken if found true, he added.


‘SKP working at behest of govt’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 15
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today alleged that the Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat (SKP) was working at the behest of government agencies.

Mr Harbir Singh Sandhu, district president of the SAD (Amritsar), in a press note issued here today said it was unfortunate that the SKP had levelled charges against the Sikh clergy. Mr Sandhu described Mr Rajinder Singh, convener of the SKP, as an agent of the CIA. He warned that if the SKP did not stop ‘mudslinging’ against Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, it should be ready to face consequences.


BJP workers hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 15
Hundreds of agitated members of the district unit of the BJP today sat on dharna outside police station no 8 for about two hours against the failure of the authorities to arrest the three who had allegedly attacked a senior BJP activist on November 27.

They raised anti-police slogans and alleged that though Bhupinder Saini, a BJP activist and resident of the local Globe Colony, was attacked by three persons of the same locality on November 27, inflicting serious injuries on his body, no arrest had been made in the case.

The DSP, Mr Naresh Kumar, reached the spot and pacified the agitating BJP workers to lift the dharna.


Rinwa to meet Badal today

Abohar, December 15
The state President of the BJP, Prof Brij Lal Rinwa will meet Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of SAD, tomorrow to discuss the strategy and adjustment of seats for the coming municipal elections. Professor Rinwa told newspersons at his residence here on Sunday that the alliance would give a befitting opposition to the ruling Congress in the elections. OC


Goodbye to TB
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, December 15
The Central Government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) has formulated a comprehensive scheme, “Revised National TB Control Programme” to eradicate TB in Punjab. Faridkot, Ferozepore, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Mansa, Moga and Muktsar districts have been selected for the purpose.

Under the plan medicines will be administered to the patients at the civil hospitals on alternate days and the process will continued for six months.

Dr A.P.S. Kochhar, district TB officer, and Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, District TB Control Society, said here today that special TB units would be set up in areas having a population of over five lakh. Experts and medical officers would be deployed in these institutions. In the rural areas, which have a population of about 5000, ANMs along with other trained staff will be in charge.

The trained staff will be given an incentive of Rs 175, besides other emolument. Medicines will be provided by the Union Government. Even the requisite funds to sort out any type of problem will remain at the disposal of the experts and the trained staff.

The programme is likely to be implemented during the next two months. To monitor the plan effectively a meeting of the state TB officers was held in Chandigarh on December 13. Dr K.P. Singh, representative, WHO, and Dr H.S. Chahal, state TB officer, were also present on the occasion.


Low-cost surgery turns lass into lad
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, December 15
Life has changed dramatically for Paramjeet Kaur, a 17-year-old village girl, after she underwent a sex change operation at the local Government Rajindra Hospital, which has enabled her to become Paramjeet Singh, now proudly wearing a turban and donning a male attire.

Paediatric surgeon Janak Arora, who performed the low-cost surgery, stated that as the patient had external genitalia simulating the female ones, she had been raised as a girl. However, she had all secondary sex characters of a male, including male hormones.

The recent operation, which is the second in a series of three surgeries required to effect a complete sex change, involved a total reconstruction of the urethra. The first stage of the surgery, carried out six months ago, involved the reconstruction of the scrotum, bringing out of the testes and straightening of the penis of the patient, which was hitherto buried in the intra-abdominal region. The third and final operation, which will be carried out after six months, will remove the deficiency.

However, doctors have allowed her to dress as a male after she ceased to be a female following the second operation. Dr Arora, who is the lone paediatric surgeon dealing in both congenital malformation and congenital neurosurgery in a government hospital in the state, stated that the operation was performed at a cost of Rs 5,000 only, as opposed to the large amount of money spent in getting it done in the metros.

The patient, whose beard and moustache have started sprouting recently, smiles coyly sitting in the surgery ward of the hospital. His delighted father, Mr Nachatter Singh, a farmer from Alek village in Bathinda, said he would soon be looking for a bride for his son.

Expressing ignorance about his son’s condition, the ex-serviceman-turned-farmer said though doctors at the military hospital in Bathinda had urged him to get his “daughter” examined as they suspected her to being a male, the whole family, including five sons and two daughters, had always treated Paramjeet as a girl. She was admitted to hospital at the age of two after falling from the roof and injuring her thigh. However, it was only when the patient started exhibiting male characteristics following the onset of puberty did he seek medical help.


Pure water for villages soon: FM
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Ropar, December 15
A new era of development has begun in the state with improvement in the financial health of the state’s economy by the Congress government during the past nine months.

This was stated by Mr Lal Singh, Finance Minister, while addressing a public function after laying the foundation stone of city centre market at Morinda, 21 km from here, today. Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Punjab, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP from Ropar, and Mrs Seema Jain, Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, were also present.

The Finance Minister said the World Bank had also sanctioned Rs 817 crore as development grant for the state. This aid would be spent on providing pure drinking water in rural areas. He said earlier this grant had been stopped by the World Bank.

The Finance Minister also announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh to start various development works for the municipal councils of Morinda and Kurali, which fell in the Assembly constituency (Morinda) of Mr Kang.


Canada honours Sikh scholar
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 15
Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, a Sikh scholar and author of world’s first encyclopaedia of Sikhism on CD-ROM, was honoured yesterday with Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in Surrey, BC Canada. Dr Bains is in India for three-day World Peace Conference starting at Jalandhar on December 19. His son received the award, said Dr Bains here this evening. The award has a certificate of honour and a gold medal. The medal commemorates the 50th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the UK. The award is given for significant contribution to their fellow citizens, country, community and the world. Here he has been given Panth Ratan, the Order of Khalsa and Sahit Shiromani award. Born in 1936 in Manak Dheri village of Hoshiarpur district Dr Bains is spreading awareness among people on the harms of drugs.


Red Cross under pressure to recruit pharmacists
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, December 15
The opening of a medicines store in the Civil Hospital premises here took a new turn with the Ferozepore Chemists Association demanding that the shop be not opened due to political pressure for the appointment of a particular person as a pharmacist. Interview for the posts of pharmacist for Ferozepore, Jalalabad and Zira has been re-fixed for December 19 after postponing it.

In a press note issued here, today, a deputation of the Chemists’ Association also handed over an audio-cassette (containing conversation of a candidate and a journalist here helping a particular candidate) to the Deputy Commissioner to prove that the Red Cross Society was under pressure to recruit a particular person for running the shop in the name of Red Cross.

The deputation warned that if the interview slated for December 19 was not cancelled, chemists would go on a strike to disrupt the supply of medicines in the city.

The association has also complained to the Governor of Punjab that the local administration was bent on opening the medicines shop on lease basis, violating the rulings of Punjab and Haryana High Court and instructions of the State’s Drugs Controller.


Couple, kin die as car falls into canal
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 15
Three members of a family, including a woman, were killed, when the car they were travelling by fell into a canal at Kalra village near here late last night.

According to the police, the victims were identified as Charanjit Singh (27), who returned from Italy recently, his wife Manjit Kaur (25), both of Goel village in Adampur subdivision and his brother-in-law Gurwinder Singh of Bhungrani village in Hoshiarpur.

The deceased were on way to home when their vehicle hit a bridge at Kalra village and overturned and fell into canal.

The car and bodies of the victims were removed from the canal this morning by the police when a passerby informed the Adampur police of the mishap. The doctors, who performed post-mortem examination of the bodies said that the victims could not untie the seat belts when the car fell into the canal making the escape impossible. Charanjit Singh married Manjit Kaur 11 months ago.


1 dead as tractor rams into train
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, December 15
One person was killed and a child injured seriously when the tractor they were travelling by rammed into a train going to Ludhiana at a crossing near Matoi village 4 km from here today.

The dead has been identified as Abdul Gani son of Akbar Khan of Purnia district Bihar. The injured Sazi Khan son of Nazir Khan of Matoi village was removed to Malerkotla Civil Hospital. He is said to be out of danger.

According to eyewitness the deceased was coming to Malerkotla when the tractor rammed into a train.

A case has been registered.

Residents of villages of the nearby surround areas have appealed to the Railway authorities to set up a manned crossing there to avert accidents. They said the crossing had been posing a threat to the residents for long.


Medical camp for cops
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 15
Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said here yesterday that nearly 350 patients were examined at a medical check-up camp held by Fortis Heart Institute at the local Police Lines.

He said the camp was held for the welfare of the police personnel and their families as the police personnel did not get much time to look after their health due to their hectic and tense professional life. He said such camps would be held regularly with the help of NGOs and other reputed hospitals.

Dr G.S. Kalra, cardiologist, said the concept of healthy mind in a healthy body was of much relevance today. He stressed the need for healthy and sensible eating besides regular exercises to keep fit. He said everything should be done in moderation. He said the police personnel mainly suffered from chest diseases, stress-related symptoms, insomnia and hypertension and they should focus on the prevention of these diseases rather than its treatment.


Police officers get friendly  with youth
Tribune News Service

Patara (Jalandhar),  December 15
Sports kits were distributed among 300 youths by senior police officers at a police-public meeting held here yesterday.

The youths belonged to 30 sports clubs and were brought on a platform by the police authorities to involve them in the crusade against crime and drug peddling.

After an interactive session with senior police officials, including Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, SSP, and Mr Rohit Chaudhary, DIG, the youths were handed over sports goods like footballs, hockey sticks, volleyballs and sports costumes.

Talking to youths, Mr Gill advised them to shun drugs. Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, the Congress MLA from Jalandhar Cantonment constituency, also addressed the gathering.


Dalits hold protest rally
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 15
Hundreds of activists of the All-India Confederation of SC/ BC/ ST Organisation held a state-level-protest march and demonstration to press the state government for the implementation of the 85th amendment to the Constitution, in Phillaur today. Mr Jasbir Singh Paul, president of the organisation, appreciated the efforts of the Punjab Social Welfare Minister, Mr Santokh Singh, for this amendment. Later a memorandum was also presented to local officials.


Seek more farm subsidies: Johl
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 15
Opposing the demand raised by various political and social organisations asking India to withdraw from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), terming its provisions as anti-developing countries, the Vice-chairman of State Planning Commission and renowned economist Dr S.S. Johl, yesterday asserted the need to convert challenges emerging out of GATT into business opportunities.

Speaking at a seminar on “WTO and its implications on Punjab Economy” at the Apeejay Institute of Management here, Dr Johl said the developing countries should actively participate in the next negotiation round over Article 20 of the agreement on agriculture by demanding more market access, domestic support and export subsidies for the agriculture sector.

He said India should negotiate for additional flexibility for subsidies in the farm inputs sector. “We will have to advocate for exemption in subsidies, programmes aimed at poverty aleviation and rural development without committing minimum market access. Besides, there is need to lay more stress on improving quantitative restrictions in case of surge in imports,” Dr Johl added. “The strong Indian industrial and agricultural sector can easily sustain the impact of the global agreement even as we are competent to convert challenges into the opportunities,” He added.

Dr Y.S. Rajan, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University (PTU), in his address, said there was need to bring the industrial sector more closer to educational institutions. “We shall work for networking of corporate houses, academicians and those involved in the government sponsored research and development programmes to ultimately benefit the society with new creations,” He said.

Dr Rajan threw light on the Intellectual Properties Rights Act and its relations with the business. Others who spoke on the occasion included the Director, Apeejay Institute of Management, Dr Balram Gupta.


Training centre to be set up at Dulwan
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 15
The Punjab Government has decided to set up a common training centre with an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore at Dulwan village of Kharar tehsil in order to encourage animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries. This information was given by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Cabinet Minister, Punjab, while addressing a gathering at Khizrabad village of Kharar tehsil after inaugurating a animal welfare camp in the village.

He said the land for the training centre had already been selected and the officers has been asked to start preliminary preparations for this project. He said the centre would be one of the best centres of the country having special facilities.

Dr G.S. Chahal, Director Animal Husbandry and Dr Amarjit Singh, Deputy Director, also spoke on the occasion.


Minister assesses loss

Tarn Taran, December 15
Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Minister for Irrigation, Punjab, has ruled out that a technical fault caused the breach in the Kasur branch lower of the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) at Rasulpur three days back which caused flooding in 500 acres of land in the three villages Muradpur, Aladinpur and Bachre.

Mr Bhullar and senior officials had come to the spot to assess the loss. OC


Health services reviewed on HC order
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 15
A four member team led by Director, Health Services Union Territory, Chandigarh, Dr C.P. Bansal, yesterday visited emergency wards run by the state Health Department and at the local medical college. The team was constituted under the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court to review health services in the states of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh and to present a report with its recommendations for improving the services. The court has taken a serious view of deterioration in services in emergency and trauma wards in the major towns of these states.

The Principal, Government Medical College, Dr O.P. Mahajan told The Tribune the team visited SGTB and Guru Nanak Hospital emergency wards and also the newly constructed trauma block of medical college. Dr. Mahajan said although the team was satisfied with the existing facilities but these required better infrastructure, including round the clock availability of life saving drugs, equipment and other essential items for meeting contingencies. Dr Mahajan, however, pointed out that financial crunch was hampering health services in government hospitals.

The team also visited the intensive care unit, intensive cardiac care unit of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and was satisfied with the services available.

The four member team comprised of Dr C.P. Bansal, Dr L.C. Mittal, Dr Rajinder Saggu, Mr Rajesh Bindal a lawyer. The team had earlier visited Ambala, Patiala, Jalandhar, and is likely to cover other major towns of the region.


Ex-serviceman murdered
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, December 15
In a brutal incident an ex-serviceman was murdered over a land dispute and the body thrown into the Sutlej. Two persons have been arrested in this connection and the body has been recovered.

Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, SSP, in a press statement issued here today said Gurcharan Singh of Nawin Colony at Goindwal Sahib in his complaint to the police yesterday alleged that his brother Maninder Singh of Pipli village in Shahkot was murdered by Sawran Singh and his sons over some land dispute on November 26.

A case was registered and Jagjit Singh and Bhupinder Singh of the same village were arrested. During the preliminary interrogation, the arrested persons revealed that Jagjit Singh, his father Sawran Singh and his brothers Heera Singh and Baldev Singh had hatched a conspiracy to murder Maninder Singh so as to encroach upon the land in dispute. On November 26 they entered his house and committed the crime.

The body has been handed over to his family after a post-mortem examination.


Farm dispute: four booked
Our Correspondent

Mansa, December 15
The city police has registered a case under Sections 427, 447, 506, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code against Mohinder Singh, Amrik Singh, Malkiat Singh and Ashoki, all residents of Mansa and Amritpaul Singh resident of Khiala Kalan village in the district on a complaint filed by Surinder Singh, a local resident.

According to the FIR, the complainant and his two brothers Krishan Singh and Kewal Singh had taken three acres of land on mortgage from Mohinder Singh and had sown wheat crop in the land.

On December 13, when Surinder Singh and his relative Narotam Singh, alias Kala of Burewala Jatan village, in the district had gone to the fields to scare away the stray cows from the wheat crop, they saw Malkiat Singh ploughing the wheat crop sown by the complainant with a tractor-trailer in a part of his land. Other accused Amrik Singh, Ashoki and Amritpaul Singh were sitting on the tractor-trailer.

When the complainant tried to stop him from cultivating the fields sown with wheat crop, Mohinder Singh called others who were armed with weapons and told them to kill the complainant.

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