Friday, January 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Henry seeks details of relief under OTS
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
As controversy has broken out with regard to “one time settlement (OTS)”, a process through which influential defaulter industrialists have been given some relief by waiving a part of their dues by the authorities concerned in the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, Mr Avtar Henry, Industries Minister, has directed the authorities concerned to submit details of all such settlements at the earliest.

Under the scheme, several influential persons, including certain politicians-cum-industrialists, have allegedly got the relief worth several crores of rupees.

Informed official sources said Mr Henry remained at the headquarters of the State Udyog Bhavan today for over three hours and told the officials concerned to also intimate him whether those who got relief under the OTS scheme had paid the remaining dues or not. It may be mentioned that the PSIDC’s office is located in the Bhavan.

Confirming that he has sought the details regarding OTS, Mr Henry said that he was not in a position to tell at this stage whether proper procedure had been followed or not while deciding cases under the OTS. “I would first examine all documents and then hand these over to the senior officers for further scrutiny. If it was found that favours had been shown to any particular person or persons, the inquiry would be ordered,” he added.

“My main concern was to find out whether those who were given liberal benefits under the OTS scheme have cleared the remaining dues or not. If such defaulters have not paid the dues, then what was the purpose of providing any relief to them.

Mr Henry said he was determined to enforce the same laws, which had been enacted by Parliament to recovery bank loans from defaulters.

When asked whether his earlier instructions with regard to the recovery of dues from defaulter industrialists have shown any result, Mr Henry said certain industrialists had started clearing the dues.

He said the Punjab State Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) was persuading industrialists to pay the amount that was due against them as a result of enhancement in price of the plots allotted to them. The court has enhanced the price of the land that was acquired for plots. He said that the Continental Devices had paid Rs 2.25 crore to the PSIEC for enhanced price. 


263 education centres for deprived kids
Punjab identifies 10,000 locations in slum areas
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


  • Free education, free books, mid-day meals for attending children
  • 263 centres identified for coming academic session; highest in Amritsar (66)
  • Will educate kids between 6-14 yrs; minimum 20 students needed at one EGC
  • 200 teaching days in a year; Punjab State Education Board syllabus applicable
  • Girl teachers to be preferred; Rs 1000 honorarium for teachers
  • EGC sites should have no primary school within one km
  • Communities can contact State Education Department for provision of EGCs

Chandigarh, January 30
In its attempt to reach out towards total literacy, the Punjab Government has identified 10,000 locations across the state where formal education has not yet reached. These 10,000 sites, spread over 17 districts, cover the most backward areas and slum locations which have no facility of primary education. The highest number of such locations have been spotted in Amritsar.

To be developed as Education Guarantee Centres (EGCs) under the Government of India’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, the 10,000 areas have been surveyed to ensure feasibility of the project which will offer free primary education to children between 6 and 14 years of age.

In the first phase, 263 centres will be started from the coming academic session. Interestingly, the first phase will provide for less EGCs in districts with high literacy. The largest number of EGCs (66) will be established in Amritsar, followed by Moga (51), Kapurthala and Sangrur (25 each), Faridkot (22), Muktsar (21), Bathinda (17) and Ferozepore (16). In the second phase also Amritsar will have the highest number of EGCs (128).

Poor sections will benefit the most from the project as students in attendance at EGCs will pay no fees. Books will be made available free and the children will also be entitled to mid-day meals. The required infrastructure for an EGC is being provided at the buildings which the State Education Department has taken over from the respective communities in villages.

One-month teachers’ training for the first 263 EGCs has been under way since January 15. Talking to The Tribune, Mr Alok Shekhar, DG, School Education cum Special Secretary, Education, Punjab, said that Rs 1 crore had been received from the Centre to make EGCs operational. The centres, he said, will run on flexibility (classes can be held in mornings or evenings), to suit the needs of the children. Teachers must be of the level of senior higher secondary (plus two) or higher secondary (class X), as available.

There will be one teacher against 20 students. Girls will be preferred over boys as teachers. Since rules provide that an EGC can only be opened at a place that has no primary education centre within 1 km of the identified site, the government is facing difficulty in identifying appropriate locations.

With 263 centres having been finalized, the Education Department, Punjab, has undertaken affidavits from communities where the EGCs are being set up in the first stage. The best part of the project is that once the EGCs pick up, they will be integrated into the formal system of education. Another important aspect is that the EGCs draw heavily from the concept of community cooperation, wherein respective communities are offering the building (which can be anyone’s house) for opening of such centres. EGCs will follow Punjab State Education Board syllabus. 


22 fake kidney donors confirmed in Ludhiana
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
After finding evidence in form of fake addresses of donors in Amritsar and Jalandhar, the special investigation team (SIT) probing the kidney scam has found an alleged evidence of its existence in Ludhiana as well.

A scrutiny of around 70 cases picked up for investigation in the first phase out of a total of 467 cases from Ludhiana, has established that 22 cases were part of the nexus leading to the kidney racket.

Well-informed sources revealed that the SIT had sent summons to 70 persons. It was found that the addresses of 22 donors as mentioned in case files existed but they had never lived there.

The sources said most of the other cases were of related donors. The police was focussing on cases in which ‘domestic servants had out of love and affection’ donated their kidneys to their employers. Such cases were about 30 or 35 of which, 22 had been found fake.

Mr S.K. Sharma, IG, Jalandhar police range, who is heading the SIT, confirmed that 22 addresses were found fake. He said they had picked up cases of 2002 only and further cases would be scrutinised in a phased manner.

Sources, however, added that the kidney racket in Ludhiana might not be of equal dimensions as in Amritsar and Ludhiana. The police had found that the ratio of kidney transplantations between domestic servant and related donors here was less than that had been found in Amritsar and Jalandhar.

However, the very fact that 22 out of 70 cases have been found to have fake addresses has prompted the SIT to speed up investigation into other cases, sources said.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana police has been directed to provide inputs to the SIT regarding the verification of the addresses of donors or recipients. The SIT had directed the police to increase pressure on five alleged touts, including alleged key player Amritpal Rajasthani, and ensure their immediate arrest.

Ludhiana, was one of the first cities in the sate where cases of kidney racket were exposed for the first time. It started with three labourers from Nepal lodging a complaint with the district police that they were cheated by Amritpal Rajasthani, who had their kidneys removed but did not pay the promised amount of Rs 1 lakh each.

The police had arrested an accomplice of Amritpal Rajasthani. The three labourers have been missing.


Widow returns Tamra Patra
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
“I am too old to fight any more. I am fully exhausted. I have unsuccessfully struggled for 25 years, moving from pillar to post, but still no one is prepared to help me,” rues Mrs Gurnam Kaur, widow of freedom fighter Tara Singh of Moga, who in spite of numerous trips to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Moga, could not be sanctioned “pension” for want of evidence. She is in her late 80s now.

“What they need now is extinct ? How can I produce that ?,” she asks, revealing that “officials want that someone who was with my husband during the freedom struggle should sign my application as a witness. Unfortunately, none of them is alive. How can I produce the witness and from where?

“What is the use of this Tamra Patra which the, then Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi, presented to my late husband in 1972 at Ferozepore. Please do me a favour. Return this Tamra Patra to the authorities concerned,” she said after handing over the copper plated plaque to The Tribune here.

“I have been carrying this Tamra Patra everywhere. No one perhaps recognises it more than a piece of a copper plaque. It has no value,” she complained claiming that she was finding it too tough manage even two square meals a day.

In 1974, when the district administration of Faridkot came out with a book on “Freedom Fighters of Faridkot District”, it mentioned the contribution of Tara Singh Brar. The book says that Tara Singh Brar participated in the “Darse wala morcha” and was subsequently imprisoned for six months and fined Rs 50 by the British. Later on he joined the Akali movement.

In 1978, he died at the age of 88. After his death, Mrs Gurnam Kaur started trying for pension. Her grievance was highlighted in The Tribune Adalat after which the authorities concerned raised a plethora of objections over her application.

She was asked to produce jail record, copies of warrants and witnesses from co-freedom fighters within a month. She appeared in several “sangat darshan darbars” of previous Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal but to no avail. Ultimately, she moved the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. Yet her petition got her no relief.


Nanakshahi calendar won’t be accepted: Sudarshan
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 30
The recitation of Gurbani from the holy Dasam Granth at Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib, two of the five Takhts of Sikhs, every day has proved beyond doubt that Sikhs are part of the Hinduism.

These were the views expressed here today by RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan in an interview with The Tribune. He claimed that even Sikh Gurus had preached that Sikhs were part of Hindus. Mr Sudarshan said that the definition of Hindu “dharma” was deliberately distorted by the British while translating it into English as “religion”. He said the word “dharma” had more wider meaning than the word “religion”. Elaborating, he said the word “dharam” did not have any synonym in English. Hindu dharma should be considered as a way of life — a definition which was even accepted by the Supreme Court in 1944. “Whosoever lives in India will have to accept it”. He claimed that even Sikh Gurus preached this definition during their lifetime. He said if Muslims, Jews etc. accepted this definition of “dharma”, they were free to worship at their religious places.

Replying to a question, Mr Sudarshan said the British had created a chasm between Hindus and Sikhs for their vested interests. He alleged that “Keshadharis” (those who wear unshorn hair) were mentioned as Sikhs by the British during the first census of the country, though they (the Sikhs) had asked the census authorities to record them as “Hindus and Sikhs both”. Coming heavily on radicals, Mr Sudarshan said that there was no minority community in India, as they all were part of Hindus as the Muslims, Jews and Jains who had been living here were sons of this soil and hence could not be construed as members of the minority communities. Since conversion was never banned in India and hence people kept on converting from one faith to another, all including Jews and Christians were safest in India. However, Hindus who had migrated from India to England or other countries should be considered as minorities.

He ridiculed the radical leaders who had been considering the Sikhs as “separate distinct community”. When asked as to why he did not direct his leadership to hold meetings with Sikh high priests to sort out such matters, he said they had been doing so from time to time.

Mr Sudarshan said that the Sikh masses were unlikely to accept the “Nanakshahi calendar” as all Gurpurbs and other Sikh festivals had been celebrated on the basis of the old Saka era. He claimed that in due course of time, Sikh masses would reject the “Nanakshahi calendar”.


Badal’s cousin booked on assault charge
Tribune News Service

Lambi (Muktsar), January 30
A case against Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Badal, a cousin of the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and confidant of the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, along with others was registered for their alleged involvement in thrashing Mr Narjeet Singh Chunnu vice-president, District Congress Committee, Muktsar. During the panchayat samiti elections on January 28. Mr Chunnu is believed to be a close confidant of a former Congress minister, Mr Gurnam Singh Abul Khurana.

Other person whose name figured in an FIR included Gurmeet Singh Khudian, a kin of the late Akali MP, Jagdev Singh Khudian. Nearly 12 persons were also booked without mentioning their names.

After the registration of the case, the split in the Congress unit came to the fore. Mr Mahesh Inder, who was aspirant for the Congress ticket in the last Assembly elections, contested as an Independent candidate against the Congress candidate, Mr Abul Khurana, after he was denied ticket. Mr Badal defeated both Mr Mahesh Inder and Mr Abul Khurana with a good margin.

Due to his good equation with Capt. Amarinder Singh, Mr Mahesh Inder again came into Congress’s fold and supported the Congress-CPI alliance candidate, Mr Nathu Ram, in the Malout Assembly. byelection, a few months after the general Assembly elections.

Police sources said the case was registered on the complaint of Mr Chunnu, who suffered injuries after he along with two others were beaten up. They were hospitalised and two of them were discharged after first aid, while Mr Chunnu remained under observation in Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot. The case was registered under Sections 323, 336, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC.

Interestingly, the SHO of the local police station was shifted to the Malout police station on the night of January 28 after the registration of the case. No arrest has been made so far. The scuffle took place when supporters of Mr Mahesh Inder and Mr Abul Khurana levelled counter allegations and counter allegations against each other for kidnapping members of the panchayat samiti.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that in order to diffuse the situation and to put the embarrassment caused to Congress leadership to an end, senior police official today held a meeting at Malout. However, no senior police official could be contacted despite repeated efforts.


Cong infighting to the fore
Tribune Reporters

Kapurthala, January 30
Infighting in the Congress came to fore after Mr Harnek Singh, a supporter of Rana Gurjit Singh, Congress MLA from Kapurthala, was elected chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, Dhilwan, by draw of lots in the office of the samiti today.

On January 28 in the election to the post of chairman of the samiti, Mr Harnek Singh and Charanjit Singh Dhaliwal secured seven votes each while one vote was cancelled.

The groupism between Congress leaders of the district came to fore in the election when Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira, former secretary of the PPCC, alleged that Rana Gurjit Singh allegedly sought the help of Bibi Jagir Kaur, Akali MLA from Bholath, and former president of the SGPC to get Charanjit Singh defeated in the election.

Both Harnek Singh and Charanjit Singh are the supporters of Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Rana Gurjit Singh, MLA, respectively, and are Congressmen, but to get their candidates elected both the leaders have allegedly got the support of Akali leaders, Mr Raghbir Singh, former Transport Minister, Ms Upinderjit, Akali MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi, and Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Mr Khaira announced to challenge the election in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He alleged that the presiding officer held the draw of lots without serving any notice on members of samiti and even he did not follow the procedure laid in the State Election Commission Act.

Mr Ajmer Singh, presiding officer, said he followed the procedure in the election. 


Kulwant Kaur is samiti chief
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 30
The Congress candidate, Ms Kulwant Kaur, was elected chairperson of the local Panchayat Samiti and Mr Gurbachan Singh, a pro-SAD candidate, who was supported by a dissident Congress leader, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, was elected vice-chairman in the election held here today. Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, was the presiding officer for this election.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the Congress MLA from Kharar, who is an ex officio member of the samiti, did not participate in the election.

Ms Kulwant Kaur who had the support of Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, defeated Ms Kuldip Kaur. Mr Gurbachan Singh defeated Mr Mohinder Singh, the Congress candidate.



SAD’s dist office inaugurated
Barnala faction stays away
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, January 30
Once again factionalism in the district unit of the SAD today resurfaced as no senior leader of the Surjit Singh Barnala faction, including Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala, MLA, Dhuri, and Mr Baldev Singh Mann, a former MLA, Dirba, was present on the inauguration of district office of the SAD at Kaula Park, here. Even no leader of the same faction attended a meeting of the district unit organised in this connection at Gurdwara Nankiana Sahib, near here, today.

It is recalled that the recent appointment of Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhla as president of the district unit of the SAD has not been “accepted” by the Barnala faction due to which Mr Kanjhla had faced opposition during the past many days. Mr Kanjhla is reportedly belonged to the Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s faction. The Barnala and Dhindsa factions are reportedly on the war-path in the district for the past some years.

In the absence of the Barnala faction, the proceedings regarding the inauguration of the office were led by the Dhindsa faction at both places. At Nankiana Sahib the meeting was presided over by Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, SAD, MLA. Among others present at the meeting were Mr Gobind Singh Longowal, Mr Malkeet Singh Keetu, Mr Balbir Singh Ghunas and Mr Parminder Singh Dhinds, all SAD MLAs from Sangrur district; Mr Nusrat Ali Khan, a former Punjab minister; Mr Parkash Chand Garg, a former Chairman Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation; and Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, district president.

Regarding the absence of the leaders and supporters of the Barnala faction, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal said he had no knowledge about factionalism in the district unit. Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, SAD, MLA Sunam, said Mr Baldev Singh Mann was busy today in the Sunam block panchayat samiti’s elections.

Addressing the gathering at Nankiana Sahib, all speakers talked about the “Rasta roke andoloan” to be organised by the SAD on February 10 in Punjab.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal said he had emphasised on a greater unity in the party’s rank and file. With regard to Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, a former MLA, Sangrur, who unsuccessfully contested last Assembly elections as an Independent candidate against the official SAD candidate, Mr Manpreet Singh Badal said there was a general consensus among party leaders to get back those expelled party in leaders in the SAD against whom there was no serious allegation.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, reached the venue late. Organisers of the programme said Mr Dhindsa had to halt in New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister along with Mr Parkash Singh Badal on the issue of reported move to close the Bathinda refinery.


Leftists’ call to oppose US move on Iraq
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 30
To protest against US move to invade Iraq, the CPI (M-L) and three other like-minded organisations held a march here today.

The organisations including the CPI (M-L), the New Democracy, the Hind Lok Takra Manch and the Inqalabi Kendra Punjab also urged the government to support Iraq in case it was attacked by the USA, which was “bullying” the world under the garb of worldwide crusade against terrorism.

Addressing a convention at the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall, Mr Ajmer Singh of the CPI (M-L) alleged that UK Premier Tony Blair was also acting as a “stooge” of the USA in the latter’s plans of attack on Iraq.

He said as first part of the plan, Iraq was being targeted to be followed by attacks on Iran, Cuba and North Korea. Mr Tarsem Peter said Iraq already was suffering due to economic curbs slapped on it during the 1991 Gulf war. He said US plans were already under attack from a number of US leaders and former military officials also.

Mr Mohinder Singh Josh said all peace-minded people of the world should oppose the US plans to attack Iraq. He said the UNO should play an important role to curb all possibilities of another war which could kill thousands of innocent people.


Cong not to allow refinery dumping
Our Correspondent

Rampura Phul, January 30
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, said the Congress would never allow dumping of the Bathinda refinery as the completion of the project would boost the sagging economy of the state.

Mr Hanspal, who was here today to attend a function held in the memory of the ‘Naamdhari shaheeds’ at Government Senior Secondary School, while talking to mediapersons said all moves to dump or abandon the Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery would be opposed by the Congress untidly.

He claimed that party office-bearers and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, were taking personal interest in the project and were in touch with their counterparts and high officials at Delhi.

Referring to the Naamdhari martyrs, Mr Hanspal said it would be wrong to call them the martyrs of Punjab.

Replying to a question he said the party would support clemency to Deveinder Pal Singh Bhullar. 


All Punjab schools must provide potable water
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in a significant order, today directed the state of Punjab and other respondents to provide potable water to all the primary schools within a year.

Pronouncing the orders in the open Court, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice V.K. Bali and Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall, also directed that lavatories should also be provided in the schools for the students, both boys and girls. The state of Haryana was also asked to do the needful wherever required.

In his petition, advocate Ram Kumar Malik had initially sought directions for the release of funds to maintain a government school in Raja Kheri village. Taking up the petition, the High Court, on January 25 last year, had asked the states of Punjab and Haryana to ensure the provision of drinking water by March 31, 2002, and lavatory facilities by August 15, 2002, in all schools.

Court counsel was subsequently asked by the Bench to get a sample survey conducted for verifying the authenticity of Punjab state’s assertion that water facility had been provided in all the schools. As far as Haryana was concerned, the Court had deemed it proper to take cognizance of a newspaper report regarding a statement by “none else than the Chief Minister, apparently with a view to earn public applaud, that drinking water facility would be provided in all the schools in the state by March 31, last year”.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the arrangements made for supplying potable water to the rural schools in the state of Haryana, another Bench of the High Court had earlier asked the governments of the two states to file written status reports.

The Bench had ruled: “Court counsel submitted that the efforts made by the authorities of the Haryana Government to provide drinking water facilities in the primary, middle, high and secondary schools are not satisfactory. He laid emphasis on the necessity of supplying pure drinking water, and not simply drinking water, and also of providing lavatories in all the schools with separate facilities for girls. He further submitted that it was the primary duty of the state to make these facilities available to ensure minimum dignity of every individual. He lamented that even after 36 years since Haryana state’s creation, successive governments have failed to provide the most basic need for that section of the society which would constitute future generation”.


The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday fixed February 4 as the next date of hearing on a petition for probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Punjab Public Service Commission recruitment scam. The CBI, on the last date of hearing, had sought the dismissal of the petition after claiming that the case had no inter-state ramifications. In his petition, High Court advocate Rupinder Khosla had earlier accused the government of being involved in “operation-coverup”, instead of revealing the truth in the PPSC recruitment scam.


The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday disposed of a petition in the Kaunke disappearance case after observing that no further action was required in the case.

In his petition, member of Parliament Simranjit Singh Mann had sought directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents to make public the report of inquiry conducted by Punjab’s Additional Director General of Police regarding the alleged murder of the Jathedar.

The petitioner had further stated that the Jathedar was shown to have escaped from police custody on January 3, 1993, and since then his whereabouts were not known. In all probability, he had been killed, the petitioner had claimed. His counsel had contended that the ADGP, in press statements after submitting the report to the then Chief Minister, had stated that he was being pressurised for giving findings against the authorities.


Police remand for Thandal
Our Correspondent

Kharar, January 30
A court here today remanded former Punjab Food and Supplies Minister Sohan Singh Thandal in police custody till February 1. He was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau in a corruption case.

Public prosecutor Charanjeev Arora and Vigilance DSP Tarsem Singh pleaded for a 10-day remand and said Thandal as minister allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. They said he made properties in the name of his wife through corrupt practices. He also purchased “benami” properties, they added.

Thandal’s counsel opposed the allegations and said his client was being framed in a politically motivated case. He opposed any police remand of the accused.

When Thandal was being taken out of the police vehicle and entering the court complex, his supporters shouted pro-Parkash Singh Badal and anti-Amarinder Singh slogans.

Talking to mediamen, he said he was being implicated as the Congress party had lost the Panchayat Samiti and other elections in his areas and that it was frustration were made the Chief Minister register a case against him. A large number of Akali supporters were present in the court.


Bhullars seek release of Devinder Pal Singh
Tribune News Service

Mehraj (Bathinda), January 30
Members of the Bhullar community from several districts of Punjab today demanded the release of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, awarded capital sentence by the Supreme Court in a Delhi bomb blast case of 1993.

The community, which assembled here in the Mari Gurdwara braving biting cold, also passed a resolution in the community panchayat for seeking the release of Devinder Pal Singh. The resolution will be sent to the President of India through the district administration.

Earlier, prayers with the recitation of Guru Granth Sahib (Akhand Path have been started in places of worship of Kothe Surjeet Pura village and other surrounding villages of the district seeking commutation of death sentence, awarded to Devinder Pal Singh in the Delhi bomb blast case which claimed several human lives to life imprisonment.

However, today the Bhullar Panchayat demanded that Devinder Pal Singh be released, as he was not involved in the crime. They said Devinder Pal Singh was victim of a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched against members of the minority communities.

He pointed out that if the Centre wanted to win over minority communities, it should release Devinder Pal Singh. He alleged that Devinder Pal Singh had been awarded death in haste while those involved in anti-Sikh riots of 1984 were enjoying all comforts.

Mr Raj Karan Singh Bhullar, a kin of Devinder Pal Singh, asked why no action was being taken against the police officials, who unleashed terror on his family and executed the father of Devinder Pal Singh in an extra-constitutional manner. He added that some members of his family had lost their balance after brutal police torture. He said an uncle of Devinder Pal Singh spent many days in jail during freedom struggle.

The members of the community came from Pitho, Dhipali, Jaid, Jeond, Bugger, Mandi Kalan, Dyalpura Bhaike, Kotra, Ghunas, Kharkand Singh Wala, Bhadaur and Sehna villages of this and its surrounding districts.


Bajaj dealer told to pay compensation
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 30
The District Consumer Forum has directed Hind Motors Limited, an authorised dealer of Bajaj Auto Limited, to pay a compensation of Rs 5000 to Pradeep Kaur, a resident of SAS Nagar.

In a complaint before the forum, Ms Kaur had alleged that she had purchase a Bajaj Spirit vehicle from Hind Motors Limited at a cost of Rs 27,140. At the time of purchase of the vehicle she was given a manual and service coupon warranty for one year. The manual said that the Bajaj company would replace or repair spare parts for a year from the date of purchase or until the vehicle was driven 12000 km, whichever event occurred first.

At the time of the first service, some leakage of oil from the engine was reported to the dealer. However, the mechanic concerned said that it was a minor defect which would be eliminated as the vehicle was driven more.

The leakage, however, did not stop and some more problems cropped up in the vehicle. The mechanics of the dealer failed to remove these defects in the vehicle. Ultimately when the vehicle started functioning badly, the authorised dealer changed the spare parts, but only against cash payment despite the fact that it was in the warranty period.

The complainant demanded a compensation of Rs 10,000 for the harassment she had to undergo at the hands of the vehicle-sellers.

The authorised agents of Bajaj Company in their reply to the forum alleged that the fault in the vehicle was caused due to the negligence of the complainant and there was no manufacturing defect or deficiency in service on their part.

They alleged that in violation of instructions, the complainant drove the vehicle without mixing mobile oil with petrol, which led to the seizure of the engine. The forum comprising the president, Mr J P Gupta, and member, Mr S K Bhatia, however, decided that there was a deficiency in service on part of the authorised dealers.

The forum besides awarding compensation also directed the dealers to remove the defects in the vehicle or return the cost of Rs 27140 paid by the complainant.

The compensation amount is to be paid to the complainant within 30 days of the receipt of the certified copies of the judgement, failing which the amount would carry an interest of 18 per cent per annum.


Ahluwalias’ offer to raise gates
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 30
The ‘Ahluwalia baradari’ volunteered to raise two gates to be renamed after Sikh warriors Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia.

Mr Prithipal Singh Ahluwalia, Mr Jagjit Singh and Gurbax Singh Walia stated this here today. They said the offer had been made to Municipal Corporation Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir after the House approved the renaming of the ‘darwajas’ and assured that they would sent it to the government for approval.

The gates are to be named Ramgarhia and Ahluwalia Darwajas presently known Chattiwind Gate and Ghee Mandi Gate, since the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

These historical ‘darwajas’ were demolished after the Partition of the country in 1947. The map of Municipal Corporation says before the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh the city had 12 gates, including Darwaja Ramgarhia and Darwaja Ahluwalia.


Ayurvedic docs’ claim misleading: IMA
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 30
Challenging the claim of the National Integrated Medicos Association (NIMA) that law permitted ayurvedic doctors to practise allopathy, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today alleged that the claim was “implausible and misleading”.

In a joint statement issued here, Dr Kuldip Singh, president, IMA, Punjab unit, said the NIMA was misleading people as various high court and Supreme Court judgements prove that the claim carried no weight as these have removed all doubts by concluding that any person who was not enrolled on the state medical register within the meaning of the MCI Act, 1956,could not practise modern system of medicine.

Dr O.P.S. Kande, Chairman, legal cell-cum-action committee of the IMA, said none of the NIMA associated doctors was registered in the state medical register and were in fact registered with the state register for Indian medicine, maintained by an ayurvedic board. “It were only allopaths who were registered in the state medical register, maintained by the medical council. Both of these registers are different instruments,” said Dr Kande.

He added that the Supreme Court had further tightened the noose by prohibiting the “cross-border” practice. “Moreover, no medical faculty of any university in Punjab recognises integrated course in medicine. It is only the NIMA which is confusing the issue,” said Dr Kuldeep Singh.


Rs 2.20 cr unaccounted money unearthed
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 30
Unaccounted Rs 2.20 crore was unearthed in at five places, including Phagwara, Nakodar, Goraya and Phillaur. Income Tax of Rs 85 lakh will be due on the unearthed money. 

Surveys were started on the direction of Mr SC Gupta, Income Tax Commissioner Jalandhar-II Rs 51 lakh undeclared money was detected from Phagwara from a hardware store and a readymade garments shop, it was learnt. The Phagwara Range has fixed a target of collecting Rs 50 crore income tax by March 31 , said Mr MP Singh, Joint IT Commissioner, Phagwara Range.


LIC staff flay US threat to Iraq
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, January 30
On a nationwide call, members of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association today held a demonstration outside the divisional office of the LIC in protest against the US threat to attack Iraq.

Mr Surjit Ram, secretary of the association, addressing the gathering alleged that the war, if happened, would adversely affect the Indian economy. Besides, the price of crude oil would shoot up, resulting in a steep hike in oil bills of India.


DSP’s bail plea dismissed
Our Correspondent

Mansa, January 30
The camp court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mansa, Mr Jaspal Singh, dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Mr Gurjit Singh, DSP, Sherpur, in the Barnala police district in a murder case registered against him and inspector Chuhar Singh, posted in the district on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Earlier, on the criminal miscellaneous petition of Bachan Singh, father of the victim, Gurmail Singh of Akkanwali village in the district, the High Court had ordered the SSP, Mansa, to devise a witness protection programme for the petitioner Bachan Singh, who had sought the intervention of the high court for his protection.

Dismissing the plea of Gurjit Singh, the court observed that he was not complying with its orders and so he does not deserve leniency in the matter of bail.


PAIC official held for graft
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 30
Mr Ram Parvesh, Inspector, Punjab Agro-Industries Corporation (PAIC), posted at Talwandi Sabo, was today arrested by Vigilance Bureau team from Chandigarh led by DSP Avtar Singh for accepting bribe of Rs 12,000 from contractor Gurjinder Singh.

Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SP (Vigilance), said Mr Ram Parvesh had taken the bribe for continuing his contract and passing his bills.

He added that first Mr Ram Parvesh demanded Rs 20,000 from Gurjinder Singh for extending him the favour and then the deal was struck for Rs 12,000.

The government officials, who accompanied the raiding team included Mr Sardhul Singh Sidhu, District Welfare Officer and Mr Gurcharan Singh, Tehsildar. The accused had been arrested and a case under Section 7/13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered by the vigilance bureau police station here. 


Dang pleads for SPOs, Home Guards
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 30
Mr Satyapal Dang, CPI leader, has urged the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh to ensure the regular release of wages of SPOs and Home Guards.

Mr Dang, in a letter to the Chief Minister, said the SPOs and the Home Guards had not received their wages for the past about four months.

The plight of their families, including children had worsened which could not be justified by any argument, especially when officers were getting their salaries regularly, he added.


Tributes paid to Mahatma Gandhi
Tribune Reporters

A two-minute silence was observed at the district administrative complex here to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the programme. A contingent of the Punjab police reversed its arms. Among others who were present included Mr Balwinder Singh, ADC, Mr Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, SDM, and Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal and Mr Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, both DSPs.

AMRITSAR: The martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi was observed at Jallianwala Bagh here. Various political leaders addressing the gathering expressed their concern over the recent cases of communal disharmony in the country. They urged people to observe unity.

The field publicity office of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in collaboration with the Nehru Yuva Kendra and other youth clubs held an anti-Aids and anti-drug rally to observe the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi at Khadoor Sahib block. A large number of students of various schools, panches, sarpanches and youths of many villages participated in the rally.

Reports of similar programmes were also received from Yamunanagar, Bathinda, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Tarn Taran Muktsar and Jalandhar.


Homage paid to Bapu

PATIALA: The Tribune clippings of 1969 carried in a series of 100 weekly articles titled “Story of Gandhi” were exhibited at the DAV Public School here on Thursday to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The clippings formed part of the collection of Dr S.K. Gupta of Punjabi University. Speaking to TNS, Dr Gupta said he had preserved the cuttings depicting the life of Gandhiji and as well as other articles on Gandhi appearing in The Tribune. He said he had done so due to his deep interest in Gandhiji’s philosophy. Dr Gupta while speaking to the children on the occasion, said Mahatma Gandhi had rightly chosen non-violence as a means for attaining freedom.

He said this was right in the given circumstances as only a non-violent struggle could last for a long period.

The Principal of the school, Mr S.M. Devgun, while speaking on the occasion, called upon the people to go through the autobiography of Gandhi to learn how to live truthfully and peacefully.

Meanwhile, garlands were placed on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Chotti Baradari. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Tejbir Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Shiv Dullar Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ms Poonamdeep Kaur, GA to DC, Ms Puneet Shergill, DRGO, Mr Kuldeep Singh, SP (City), Mr Pushpinder Singh, DDPO and Mr Ujagar Singh, District Public Relations Officer. Mayor Vishnu Sharma and Deputy Mayor Inderjit Singh Boparai also paid tributes to the Father of the Nation.



Blood donation camp in Pandove’s memory
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, January 30
A blood donation camp, to commemorate the 11th death anniversary of ace cricketer Dhruv Pandove, was organised at Dhruv Pandove Stadium here today.

The camp, which is organised annually by the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), was inaugurated by the father of Dhruv Pandove, Mr M.P. Pandove, who apart from being the secretary of the PCA is also a member of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).

Dhruv Pandove was the youngest ever cricketer to complete 1,000 runs in first class cricket in a calendar year.

In 1992, Dhruv was returning to Patiala after playing for the North Zone in a Deodhar Trophy held at Sambalpur (Orissa) when the car in which he was travelling met with an accident near Ambala.



Joint Director injured
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, January 30
Mr G.S. Boparai, Joint Director, Information and Public Relations department, Border zone, Amritsar, and his driver, Mr Narinder Singh, were injured in a road accident near Zira yesterday. 

Mr Boparai was going to cover the function of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, when his jeep collided with a private bus coming from the opposite side.


Contract farming introduced
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 30
Farmers Club can play a vital role in strengthening the fiscal economical condition of farmers through technology transfer from lab to land in the coming years.

This was stated by Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, while presiding over a meet and match programme, organised by Farmers Club, Hansali, Malwa Gramin Bank, Khera and NABARD at Khera village yesterday.

The Deputy Commissioner stressed upon the need for diversification of crops from the traditional paddy and wheat rotation. He said contract farming was being implemented in the district through the Punjab Agro Food Grain Corporation for propagation of hayola, sunflower and maize and quality seeds would be supplied by the corporation for this purpose.

The Deputy Commissioner said the PAFGC would also purchase the produce at contractual, rates besides bonus. He asked farmers to come forward without fear to adopt the contract farming scheme because it would yield more profit than traditional crops like wheat and paddy.

Mr G.S. Multani, Chairman, Malwa Gramin Bank, discussed various loan schemes of the Bank for development of rural areas. Mr K.L. Jhamb, AGM, NABARD, and Mr M.L. Guru, Lead District Manager, State Bank of Patiala, informed of various schemes for the development of rural areas. Officials of Agriculture, Dairy Development, PEDA, and DRDA were present.


Akali Dal (A) serves ultimatum on Punjab
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 30
The Akali Dal (Amritsar) has served an ultimatum on the Centre and the Punjab Government that if payments to cane farmers at the rate of Rs 105 per quintal as announced by the government are not made till February 12, the party will block the rail and road traffic at the Phillaur bridge for indefinite period.

This was stated by Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann at a press conference in Canal Rest House here today.

He condemned views expressed by the RSS chief that ‘the Sikhs are all Hindus’. It had injured the sentiments of the Sikhs and the Punjab Government should file a suit in the court, he said.

The conference was organised by Mr Ravinder Singh Khalsa who was announced as district president of the Youth Akali Dal by the party chief in place of Ranjeet Singh Mianpur.


DC orders probe against tehsildar
Ravi Bhushan Puri

Pathankot, January 30
Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, said today that he had recommended disciplinary action against Subash Padam, tehsildar, Pathankot, for many scams and the Punjab Government would take the final decision.

According to information, prior to the Partition a large number of military churches and civil churches were managed by the Ecclesiastical Department of the provincial government.

The Ecclesiastical Department was closed and the government handed over all churches along with the land, building and cemeteries to the church authorities on April 1, 1948.

In 1884 a church was constructed at Madhopur.

On the request of the Anglican Church of India (ACI), a tehsildar of Pathankot sanctioned the mutation in the name of the Amritsar Diocesan Trust Association, Anglican Church, in November, 2002.

The value of the land adjoining the church was reportedly in crores.

It is reported that Sadiq Masih and Parkash Masih in association with revenue officials allegedly hatched a conspiracy to grab the land belonging to the church. Subsequently, the accused prepared a bogus resolution on July 20, 2001 and prepared a power of attorney on August 1, 2001.

On the basis of fake documents, the accused executed a sale deed of 72 kanals for Rs 29.25 lakh. The market value of the land was reportedly in crores.

Last year Padam had allegedly issued a bogus marriage certificate and the matter is still under investigation. A team of the Vigilance Bureau also searched his office in July, 2002, and recovered Rs 3,857 as excess cash and inquiry has been ordered.

Meanwhile, Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, said noone would be spared in this scam. He said one person had already been arrested.


Rs 2.25 cr released for water works
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, January 30
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has released Rs 2.25 crore for the construction and repair of water works in 190 villages in the district.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, stated this in a press note here today. He said Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Irrigation Minister and Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Public Health Minister, Punjab visited the district some time back to study the scarcity of drinking water in the district thereafter the Chief Minister released the sum.

Mr Verma said as sub soil water in the district was not potable, the residents were dependent upon canal water . He admitted that several such waterworks were not functioning due to poor maintenance.


Punjab to sell tourist resorts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
The Punjab Government will sell all tourist resorts except the one at Aam Khas Bagh at Sirhind by holding bids for each one separately. The decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Informed sources said as Aam Khas Bagh was a historical place, it would not be sold. Otherwise, all remaining 16 tourist resorts, owned by the Punab State Tourist Development Corporation (PSTDC) would be disposed of one by one. At the meeting the ongoing disinvestment process in Punjab Tractors Limited, Punjab Alkalies, Conware, Puncom etc was also reviewed, according to sources.


Headless body of student traced

Moga, January 30
The headless body of a youth, who was reported missing, was recovered from a canal here with the police suspecting foul play by the father, a Deputy Commander in the CRPF, and relatives of his second wife.

Baghel Singh had been missing since January 21 from his rented accommodation at Ajitwal village where he was studying in Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Technical Institute.

The body was found yesterday from Abohar canal near Kot Kapura and handed over to the victim’s mother.

The police raided the house of Harjinder Singh, the victim’s father, but was unable to trace him. The police suspects foul play by the relatives of his second wife.

A special investigation team was constituted to trace the youth, who had written to the CRPF authorities alleging his father was not providing him adequate money for maintenance and the department had asked Harjinder Singh to pay Rs 5,000 per month to his son, the police said.

The police, on getting information, took Charanjit Kaur, mother of the victim, his classmates and staff members of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College to hospital for the identification of the body.

However, the police took blood samples of the body of the victim and his mother for a DNA test for further investigation and establishing the identity of the body.

Senior Superintendent of Police Major Singh Dhillon said today the body had been handed over to the mother of the victim. PTI, UNI


Three booked on cheating charge
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 30
The district police has booked three persons for allegedly defrauding two youths of Rs 11 lakh on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Devinder Singh and Balwinder Singh, residents of Ajnala and Nawanshahr, respectively, in their complaints lodged at the Civil Lines police station here last evening stated that Rakesh Kumar, Raman Kumar and Sonu of Malhotra Enterprises had cheated them. They complained that the accused, on the pretext of sending them to Italy and the USA, took Rs 5 to 6 lakh from them. But the accused neither sent them abroad nor refunded the money. A case has been registered under Section 420 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, on a tip-off the Rajasansi police arrested three persons and recovered three stolen trucks (PB-02-9667, PB-02-9627 and PB-02-K-9896) from them.


Fake challan books printed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 30
Fake challan books have allegedly been printed by some presses of Amritsar. Some challan slips, filled in by the traffic authorities, have been procured by National Revolutionary Party for Democracy and Justice (NRPDJ).

Mr Ashish Kapur, DSP (Traffic), when contacted, said the publication of such challan books could not be ruled out as these were purchased from the market. He, however, denied that any official was misusing the challan slips by taking bribe.

Mr Jaswant Sarpal, president of the NRPDJ, produced three copies of the same folio (6052) — one empty and two filled in by traffic officials. One of the three challan slips had been produced in the court while the other one had been reportedly ‘destroyed’ after a ‘deal was struck’.


Gang engaged in video-piracy busted
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, January 30
The police here has busted a gang engaged in pirating spurious video cassettes of blue and new Hindi films.

Mr Varinder Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police, in a press note issued here today said Kulbir Singh and Gurbachan Singh, alias Jiwan, of Randhawa Electronics and Doabia Electronics in Naushera Majha Singh had been arrested, while their accomplice Surinder Singh of Mandeep Electronics in Naushera Majha Singh was still at large.

The SSP said that a police party along with an official of the Copy Right Department raided a hideout of the gang and recovered spurious video CDs. As many as 697 duplicate video cassettes, 622 duplicate CDs, 50 CDs of blue films, three VCPs, 3VCDs, a colour television and a VCR were recovered in the raid.

A case under Sections 51/52-A/63/64/66/68-A of the Copyright Act and 292/293/420 IPC has been registered.


Fake licence maker jailed
Our Correspondent

Ropar, January 30
The CJM, Ropar, Mr Ravinder Singh, today sentenced to jail Pawan Kumar of Ropar for making a fake driving licence.

Earlier, in a complaint to the police, Mr Sanjeev Kumar of Ropar had alleged that Pawan Kumar who was an agent for making driving licences had taken Rs 500 from him for the purpose.

He, however, forged the signature and stamps of the Ropar DTO and gave him a fake driving licence.

A case under Sections 465 and 467 of the IPC was registered against Pawan Kumar on September 12, 1998.

Holding Pawan Kumar guilty of making a fake driving licence, the CJM sentenced him to two years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500. In case of non-deposition of fine, the sentence would be increased by 45 days.


Cop’s wife, others booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 30
A fraud case has been registered in the city police station against Jaspal Kaur, wife of Ajaib Singh, ASI, Punjab Police, posted in this district along with two others. They have been booked for allegedly committing the fraud with a woman in the sale of a residential plot.

The others have been identified as Sukhdev Singh, father of Jaspal Kaur, and Sukhdev Singh, a property dealer. The case was registered on the complaint of Ms Kailash Rani, a local resident.

Police sources said Ms Rani had bought the plot from Sukhdev Singh through property dealer Sukhdev Singh by paying Rs 10 lakh. When the purchaser visited the plot, she was informed by another person that the plot belonged to him.


School timings changed

Ropar, January 30
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, has once again changed the school timings in the district from 9 am to 2 pm. Earlier the timings were changed from 10 am to 3 pm.


Bhattal meets commission agents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Punjab Agriculture Minister Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who held a meeting with the Federation of Arhti Associations here today, said that henceforth licences issued to Arhtias (commission agents) would be valid for 10 years. And these licences would be renewed further for 10 years by paying a fee of Rs 200. One licence can be used for all out-lets managed by him in the jurisdiction of one market committee.

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