Saturday, February 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Poll for ZP posts put off as members stay away
Tribune Reporters

Kapurthala, February 7
Mr G.K. Sabharwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner cum Presiding Officer for elections to the posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Zila Parishad postponed the election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman today as none of the 15 members participated in the election which was to be held today.

Senior Akali leaders BIBI Jagir Kaur, former president of the SGPC and an Akali MLA from Bholath, Dr Upinderjit Kaur, an Akali MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi, Mr Raghbir Singh, former Transport Minister and Mr Swarna Ram, former BJP minister blamed the district administration for not allowing seven members belonging to the Akali Dal and the BSP to participate in the election process as the administration had locked the gate of office of the Zila Parishad and deployed police force outside it to prevent the entry of members into the office.

The Akali workers who assembled outside the office of the Zila Parishad raised slogans against the high handedness of the administration.

Even seven members owing allegiance to the Congress did not participate in the election process. The Congress has gained majority in the House as one member of the opposition has switched his loyalty to the Congress. It is learnt that Congress members did not attend the election process as no consensus on candidates for the posts of Chairman and Vice-Chairman was reached and due to groupism among Congress leaders of the district.

Meanwhile, a meeting was held among Rana Gurjit Singh MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira former secretary PPCC, Mr Rajan Bir Singh, in the house of Rana Gurjit Singh to sort out differences and to select common candidates for these posts.

Mr Sabharwal told newsmen that fresh date for the election would be announced within a week.

AMRITSAR: Election for the post of chairman of the Zila Parishad had to be postponed as only four out of 41 members turned up for the election. According to Mr Harbhupinder Singh Nanda, Additional Deputy Commissioner at least 28 members were required for the quorum.

Despite sweeping the poll the Congress party, due to infighting in the party could not reach consensus on the candidate.


Senior Cong leaders abetted terrorism: Bitta
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 7
All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) chief and former president, Indian Youth Congress, today announced that he had exposed certain senior Congress leaders who had encouraged terrorism in Punjab, in his memoirs — “The Book Written With Blood”.

Talking to The Tribune on telephone, Mr Bitta said that the book was nearing completion but he had asked his family members to publish his memoirs after his death criticising Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee who reportedly had stated that the state Congress did not mind if death sentence of Prof Devinder Singh Bhullar was committed to life term, Mr Bitta said that he was forced to pen another autobiography which would be released during his life time. He said Prof Bhullar was responsible for the attack on the Indian Youth Congress office in 1993 in which 20 persons were killed and the statements issued in his favour (Prof Bhullar) should be considered anti-Congress.

Mr Bitta alleged that earlier certain senior Congress leaders had hatched a conspiracy to kill him. Elaborating, Mr Bitta said that a senior police officer from Punjab had camped at the New Delhi to get his security withdrawn at behest of a senior Congress leader. One day after Mr S.B. Chavan, the then Union Home Minister had ordered to withdraw his security, there was bomb blast outside the office of Indian Youth Congress. He said though he had brought the matter to the notice of president, Indian National Congress, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms Ambika Soni and other senior leaders about the role of Mr Kapil Sibal, a spokesman of the party, no action had been taken against him so far.

The AIATF leader alleged that when a bomb was hurled on his cavalcade at Amritsar in which he was injured seriously, some Congress leaders of the state had described it as mere drama. He said role of such leaders should be probed by the party and all concerned.

Mr Bitta also took exception to the statements of Sikh clergy for converting death sentence of Prof Bhullar into life term. He said such statements were uncalled for as Prof Bhullar was responsible for the killings of many innocent persons. He said he was shocked to learn that the Khalistani leaders including Paramjit Singh Panjwar, self-styled chief of the Khalistan Commando Force, managed to send messages in India in favour of Prof Bhullar. Mr Bitta appealed to the leaders of all political parties to rise above party loyalty for fighting decisive forces. He said Chaudhary Santokh Singh was the only senior Congress leader from Punjab who had the courage to state that Prof Bhullar should be hanged for his sins. He said other Congress leaders should learn a lesson from Chaudhary Santokh Singh.


Bitta plans drive to ‘expose’ Congress
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 7
A statement by the PPCC President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, favouring the conversion of the death sentence of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, convicted by the Delhi High Court for his involvement in a bomb blast case near the office of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), into life imprisonment seems to have snowballed into a controversy. A former IYC President, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, has decided to launch a country wide campaign to ‘expose’ the Congress over terrorism.

“I will cover the length and breadth of the country to expose the Congress leadership over the terrorism issue. The people should be made aware that the Congress, which has lost a number of its leaders to the bullets of terrorists, was demanding pardon for a dreaded terrorist, who had killed countless innocents,” said Mr Bitta while talking to TNS, here.

He claimed that he was not launching the campaign to harm the party in the forthcoming poll, adding that he would go to Himachal Pradesh after the Assembly elections were over. He said earlier too a senior Congress leader, Mr Kapil Sibal, had contested the cases of terrorists in the court.

Mr Bitta, who heads the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, alleged he had been suspecting a conspiracy hatched by his political opponents to eliminate him. He alleged that when the blast took place in 1993, near the IYC office, a day before his security had been withdrawn.

It may be mentioned that Mr Hanspal had made the statement while addressing a press conference at Rampura Phul on January 30, during a function organised in connection with ‘shradhanjali samagam’ of the martyrs of the Kuka movement.

He said he had been contacting families of all terrorist victims in Delhi and would present them before the national and the international media so that they could express their views on whether Devinder Pal Singh Bhuller should be hanged or not. 


Couple narrates tale of torture in custody
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 7
Karam Singh (45) seems to have grown old overnight. He is unable to walk due to police torture. Two persons assist him to meet Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP leader here today to expose the police high-handedness for no fault of theirs, Karam Singh is a brother of Dharam Singh who along with his family members was allegedly beaten up ASI Arjun Singh of Tarn Taran police district on the Republic Day.

Showing his swollen legs allegedly following beating by the police (lathis), he said he was picked up from the Thathi village bazaar on January 29 while he was looking for his wife after returning from a wedding, who his neighbours told him, was taken away by the police. He said he was beaten to unconsciousness at the police station. He was repeatedly awakened up by throwing buckets of water on him, he recalls. He said he does not remember what happened in these three days of illegal custody. He alleges that the police framed him. The next day, he said it seemed that on queries by reporters on that day, the police personnel washed his legs in warm water so that swelling from the beating subsided so that they could not be exposed. He was left off on January 31 after his bail.

Karam Singh’s wife Darshan Kaur (40) says that the police came in two jeeps and barged into her house while she was arranging clothes at 5 p.m. on the day of incident (Jan 26). ASI Arjun Singh (who was allegedly beaten up by family of Dharam Singh and others first broke utensils and other household items and grabbed her. They slapped her hard again and again. While she tried to free her, she said. There was no women personnel with the police, she said. They kept asking her about her brother-in-law Dharam Singh and she kept repeating to them that she was washing clothes since morning and never left the house. She said she had no knowledge of their whereabouts (Dharam Singh or his family). She said she was kept in the police station till 12 noon without food, water or permission to use the toilet. Ms Chawla who visited the spot after a few days of the incident claimed that neighbours of Darshan told her that her duppata and shawl was lying in the street as no one dared to pick it up after the police let loose terror on them. She said it was ironical that the accused were Congress supporters and yet were being harassed even as it is common knowledge that political scores are known to be settled vice-versa.

Mr Naroinder Bhargav SSP Tarn Taran had refuted the allegations of anyone in illegal custody by the police then, the SSP said that Karam Singh was accused in a case.


Shatabdi’s farewell run today
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 7
The city, known as heartland of the Malwa region, will lose the Bathinda-Delhi Shatabdi Express, which was flagged off by the Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, on August 16, 2002, amid much fanfare, as it makes its last journey from here to New Delhi tomorrow.

Official sources said though the authorities had stopped making reservation of seats from Delhi to Bathinda, yet reservation from Bathinda to Delhi was still on. Tomorrow, it would go off the track in less than six months after it was flagged off from here.

Mr K.L. Meena, Station Superintendent, said the railway authorities had replaced the Shatabdi Express with the New Delhi Inter-City Express on the same track. He added that all formalities for running the new train in place of the Shatabdi Express had been completed.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the railway authorities were forced to bring the Shatabdi Express to a halt as on an average it had been suffering a loss of Rs 2 lakh daily and its continuation had become economically unviable.

The losses were on account of manpower costs, operational and maintenance costs, fuel costs and wear and tear of equipment of the Shatabdi Express. All coaches of the Shatabdi Express were air-conditioned and commuters were being provided with snacks, besides breakfast and lunch.

Mr Meena said on an average, the Shatabdi Express received 30 passengers daily against a capacity of 750, which had resulted in the losses and hence it was being withdrawn.

Meanwhile, traders of Bathinda, Mansa and some other towns falling along the Bathinda-Jakhal-Delhi rail section pointed out that had the route of the Shatabdi Express been diverted to this line from the Bathinda-Ambala Delhi route, it would have fetched more commuters and could have become a viable venture.


Human rights body being treated casually
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Inspite of recent gory tales of human rights violations by the police and strong observations made by Amnesty International regarding violation of fundamental rights of people in the state, the Punjab Government continues to treat the Punjab State Human Rights Commission in a casual manner.

The Commission office usually remains flooded with complaints especially against police officials posted in the field. Obviously, the hands of Members of the Commission remain full with a lot of work to do.

At the moment the Commission has only two Members- Mr N.K. Arora and Mrs Maninder Kaur Mattewal. Besides two vacancies of the members, the slot of the Chairman of the Commission is also vacant for quite long. Even the post of Secretary of the Commission has been vacant for a few months.

As per rules either a Chief Justice of a High Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court can be appointed Chairman of the Commission. At present the charge of the office of the Chairman is with Mr N.K. Arora, a former Punjab Chief Secretary, who had taken over as member of the Commission shortly before his retirement from the IAS last year. Mrs Mattewal is scheduled to retire next month on March 31, according to informed sources.

Source said that the state government has moved the file to appoint Justice N.C. Jain, a former Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court as Chairman. Already, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan, has cleared the name. Now the file is awaiting clearance from the the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. As per laid down procedure, the approval from the Leader of the Opposition for making such an appoint is also required.

Sources said that though many names were considered for Chairman’s post but only Justice Jain was found eligible.

As Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Badal are not even on talking terms, the joint meeting, which should have been in normal circumstances convened to clear the name of Chairman by Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Badal and Dr Kewal Krishan, was not called. The file has been sent to Mr Badal through which is technically called a “ circular route”, that is first to CM, then to the Speaker and lastly to Mr Badal. At the time of appointment of Mr Arora similar procedure was adopted.

What will be the alternative before the government, if Mr Badal does not approve the name of Justice Jain? When asked in this connection, a senior officer said that as two members of the approval committee had okayed the proposal, technically there should be no hitch for the government in clearing the name of Justice Jain for appointment. After Mr Badal, the file would be sent to the Governor for final clearance, the sources added.

Sources said that the government had also given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to appoint the Chairman before February 28.

No one has been appointed Secretary of the Commission since the transfer of Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, who has gone on deputation to the Centre. Only a serving IAS officer of the rank of Principal Secretary can be appointed as Secretary of the Commission, according to official sources. As the post of the Secretary is considered “ bland”, no one perhaps will like to take such a post. The government will have to force someone to take up the job.


Prisoner caught smuggling drugs
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 7
“Old habits die hard”. This proved true in the case of Avtar Singh, undergoing nine months rigorous imprisonment after being convicted by a court for smuggling narcotics. Who was today again caught red-handed while trying to smuggle about 700 intoxicant tablets into the local Central Jail, where he is presently lodged.

Official sources said Avtar Singh was on leave from the jail on an order of the court as his brother died a few days ago. When his belongings were searched today, after he came back, intoxicant tablets were recovered by the jail authorities from his socks which he had put in the pockets of his jacket.

The jail authorities immediately informed the district police chief, Mr Ishwar Singh, who had deputed the DSP (D), Mr Jaspal Singh, to register a case.

Four days ago, another inmate, who has been facing trials under the NDPS Act case for smuggling narcotics, was caught red-handed while trying to smuggle about 15 gm of opium into the jail. The opium was supplied to him in the jail by one of his known persons when he came to meet him. A case in this connection had been registered.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that perturbed over the rise in crime, incidents including smuggling of narcotics into the jail premises by its inmates, the jail authorities had stepped up its vigil on one hand while on the other hand it had started cultivating informers among the inmates to check this menace. The jail authorities had been finding it difficult to cope-up with the rush of inmates as more than 1,300 persons were lodged in it as against its capacity of 500.


SI’s bid to flee court, cop hurt
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 7
Panic gripped the court premises here today when a Punjab police Sub-Inspector fired at a policeman to escape after being sentenced to 10-years of imprisonment in a kidnapping case.

The Sub-Inspector, Ajaib Singh, who was working with the special operations staff in Abohar was, however, caught by policemen. Constable Gurcharan Singh was injured in the shoulder in the shooting.

The policemen, who were escorting the SI, said after the accused was awarded a 10-year jail term and a fine of Rs 500 by the court of Mr A.K. Singla, Additional sessions Judge, he was escorted to the “bakshikhana” in the court complex where the accused were usually kept before and after the court hearings. The policemen said when the SI was being taken to the “bakshikhana” he was accompanied by four to five persons, one of whom handed him his service revolver.

The SI immediately shot the constable. There was confusion all around following the incident after which he made the bid to flee. The SI tripped and fell and was caught.

The Sub-Inspector was arrested in a case of Sukhmandar Singh of Bhagta Bhai ka from his village in 1992.


Preneet pleads for farmers under debt
Our Correspondent

Sunam, February 7
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has instructed the authorities concerned not to handcuff any farmer even if he was a loan defaulter.
This was stated by Maharani Preneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, while addressing a Cooperative conference here today. A cooperative Lok Adalat was also organised to settle long outstanding dues with mutual consent.

Maharani Preneet Kaur also stated that the government institutions would recover a nominal interest on the loan from the farmers by waiving off the penal interest. Besides, the government would also give financial assistance to the farmers so that they do not commit suicides as many of them had done during the SAD-BJP regime especially in the Sangrur district.

The MP also honoured Sunita Rani, an athlete of international fame, by presenting her a shawl.

She also announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the development of Shaheed Udham Singh Rose Garden which was inaugurated by her today. She also announced a grant of Rs 4 lakh for the development of a local stadium.

Mr B.C. Gupta, Financial Commissioner (Coop), Punjab, said there were 85,000 families in the state which had yet to repay their cooperative loans worth Rs 282 crore. He said three lok adalats would be held on every Saturday to recover these loans.

Ms H.K. Bahia, MD, Housefed, said as many as 552 loan cases belonging to Housefed, the Punjab State Cooperative Bank, the Punjab Agriculture Cooperative Societies and the Punjab Agriculture Development Bank, were today taken up at the Cooperative Lok Adalat here to settle over dues of Rs 136 lakh.


IAS body wants Tiwari reinstated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
After stormy emergency meeting of its executive this morning, the Punjab IAS Officers Association here met the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra. The association members led by its president, Mr B.R. Bajaj, urged Mr Ratra to immediately reinstate, Mr D.K. Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore, who was placed under suspension yesterday on the directions of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr Tiwari, who has since been replaced by Mr Raminder Singh in Ferozeore, also met the Chief Secretary here to explain his position. He reportedly told the Chief Secretary that as he was to attend a family function, he had proceeded on duly sanctioned leave and did not run away holding the zila parishad elections.

Interestingly, though Mr Tiwari has been suspended there is no written complaint against him from any one. The government has not made it public that for what reason Mr Tiwari has been suspended. It only said that he has been suspended for disobedience and dereliction of duty.

Informed sources said Mr Ratra told the delegation of the association that he would convey their sentiments to the Chief Minister and get back to the association after talking to the Chief Minister. However, the sources said till evening, the association had got no response from the government.

The next regular meeting of the association is scheduled to be held on February 13. If Mr Tiwari is not reinstated by then, the issue is expected to be taken up again at the meeting. The association wonders how the suspension period of Mr Tiwari will be treated by the government, which has power only to place IAS officers under suspension but has to take the approval of the Union Government as well as the Union Public Service Commission for imposing even minor penalty on them.


MC passes Rs 105 cr budget
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 7
The local Municipal Corporation today unanimously passed Rs 105 crore budget for 2003-2004 during the General MC House meeting here amidst allegations levelled by the councillors of the ruling Congress pertaining to widespread corruption and indifferent attitude of the civic body officials towards the redressal of grievances of public. The House was adjourned for half-an-hour after paying tributes to astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

Later, the Congress MLA, Mr Raj Kumar Gupta, criticised the civic body officials on preparing a budget, in which there were no provisions to increase the income of the MC. Mr Gupta also raised his voice against the officials, accusing them of giving least priority to the redressal of grievances of the residents.

The members demanded that the House should constitute committees, as per the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, to discharge works pertaining to water supply and sewerage, roads, streetlights, House Tax and the building branch. The Mayor, Mr Surinder Mahey, assured that necessary steps in this regard would be initiated.

It was also decided not to collect arrears of pending water bills, running into about Rs 5 crore, from the residents belonging to poor sections of the society. The proposal was, however, sent to the state government for approval. In another step, it was decided to raise the limit for carrying out the works pertaining to water supply and sewerage from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore per year. The octroi collection target was also increased to Rs 55 crore during the next financial year and it was decided to keep a strict vigil on the officials, who are manning various octroi posts in the city to curb octroi theft. The next meeting of the House would be held on February 25.


Dalit rape case: CPI threatens stir
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 7
The district unit of the CPI today while alleging that the Mansa police was not taking action against its two personnel who had allegedly raped a Dalit at a Sardulgarh police station on the night of December 13, 2002, threatened that it would launch an agitation if justice was denied to the victim and action was not taken against the guilty.

However, Mr Kirpal Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), police station, Sardulgarh, while denying the allegations levelled by the victim alleged that the woman was involved in a criminal case pertaining to the abduction of a girl, who was subsequently raped. She was levelling these allegations to pressurise the police to not to proceed against her despite the fact that her name figured in the FIR registered in this connection on December 14, 2002, he added.

Mr Lakhwinder Singh SP, (D), Mansa, when contacted, said he was conducting an inquiry into the same and added that action would be taken only after the inquiry was completed.

Mr Jagjit Singh Joga, general secretary, CPI, Bathinda district, who produced the victim before mediapersons, while addressing a press conference alleged that the police was not taking action against the accused deliberately.

Mr S.S. Srivastva, SSP, Mansa, could not be contacted as he was out of station today.


DPS Jalandhar ‘not owned by Dhumal family’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Mr Rajiv Bhatnagar of Delhi Public School, Jalandhar, today refuted the allegation that the school was either promoted or even partly owned by family members of the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal.

In a signed statement issued here, Mr Bhatnagar said the school was functioning on the aims and objectives of the Delhi Public School Society and was strictly governed by its rules and regulation.

Thakur Arun Singh who had done his B.Tech and MBA and happened to be the son of the Chief Minister of Himachal was appointed on account of his qualifications and merits by the society where he had applied for the post of secretary of the society along with the promotion of headmistress on account of their hard work, sincerity and dedication in setting up the school.

The DPS Society had over 100 branches in India and abroad and for outstation branches, the society chose and selected partners.

For setting up DPS Jalandhar, Mr Rajiv Bhatnagar who was also an old student and successful entrepreneur, was selected for setting up the school.


Badal flays raids on units owned by Dhumal’s kin
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 7
Terming the PSEB raids conducted on the industrial units owned by relatives of the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prof P.K. Dhumal, in Jalandhar this afternoon as an attempt to create a wedge among the two states, the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today asserted that such confrontational acts on the part of the Congress government would be given a befitting reply by the SAD-BJP alliance.

Talking to reporters here, Mr Badal alleged that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was using official machinery to settle political scores with the Opposition parties, which was highly deplorable.


Direction to Faridkot SSP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Taking up a petition filed by four Kotkapura residents alleging the snatching of a vehicle by a District Transport Officer, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed Faridkot’s Senior Superintendent of Police “to look into the grievance of the petitioners, and on being approached take appropriate action as required under the law”.

In their petition, Balwant Singh and others had earlier alleged that the DTO had earlier asked the petitioner to hand over the vehicle as it was required for his personal use. Seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents to register a first information report in the matter against the accused, he had added that the police had failed to comply with the provisions by the CrPC by not registering the FIR on the basis of complaint submitted by the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioner had added that a bare perusal of the complaint made it clear that the accused had committed cognizable offence and as such the police was bound to register the FIR.

Job scam

A bunch of petitions filed in the Punjab Public Service Commission recruitment scam case will come up for hearing on February 13 before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Arguing before the Court, counsel for the PCS officers, challenging the action of termination, had earlier submitted that there was no material with the state government for passing the order. He had asserted that the state should have acted only against the tainted candidates, and not against all.

Counsel appearing on the behalf of Punjab state contended that even though there may not be direct evidence against all the candidates, they could not be “cleared” in view of the Rs 22-crore recovery from then Chairman Ravinder Pal Singh Sidhu and his family. He added that looking at the salary of Mr Sidhu, the recovery of such huge amount, around the time the selections were taking place, could not be justified.


Vedanti, Chauhan hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 7
Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan, president, Khalsa Raj Party, who was not allowed to enter the SGPC’s information office during his previous visit, today held a closed-door meeting with Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht.

Dr Chauhan said Jathedar Vedanti agreed to use his good offices to bring rapprochement among the warring Panthic organisations, including different Akali factions. He, however, dismissed the demand of radical Sikh organisations who sought the booking of Mr K.S. Sudarshan, RSS chief, under POTA.

Dr Chauhan said his party would participate in the forthcoming general elections of the SGPC. Replying to a question he supported the constitution of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. He said Mr Sham Singh, president, PSGPC, was not a converted Sikh as being alleged by the SGPC.


Unions ask farmers not to pay bills
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, February 7
Six pro-left farmer unions, including the Kirti Kissan Union, Jamboori Kisan Sabha Punjab and the Kisan Sabha have given a call to the farmers not to pay electricity bills.

To make the farmers aware, the farmers unions will organise flag marches and meetings in rural areas. road traffic will be blocked on February 15 from 12 noon to 2 pm as part of the programme.

The boycott will continue till the government restores free supply of power to tubewells and pays arrears due to the farmers against the supply of sugarcane.

The farmer unions also demanded compensation against drought and exemption from recovery of loans.


Rally by DC office staff
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, February 7
The Punjab Government’s decision to suspend the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore has evoked criticism from all corners
An official said that an official had been martyred to politics.

Meanwhile, the Punjab State D.C. Office Employees Union held a rally in front of the DC office and struck work for two hours. Later, the employees submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner, Ferozepore Division demanding revocation of the Deputy Commissioner’s suspension. Mr Jinder Singh, President, D.C. Office Employees Union, said that if Mr Tiwari was not reinstated, the employees would resort to statewide strike. 


AG’s office ‘retires’ clerk from life
Our Correspondent

Batala, February 7
Mr Kundan Lal, a clerk in the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate here got retired under VRS on December 15, 2002 and sent his case to the office of the Accountant-General (AG) Punjab, for post retirement benefits.

Surprisingly, the Indian Audit and Accounts Department Accountant-General (A&E), Punjab, issued a letter in which he was mentioned as dead and addressed his wife Jasbir Kaur as wife of Late Kundan Lal.

Mr Kundan Lal himself gave a copy of the letter of the Accountant-General to the correspondent here today.

The letter is also addressed to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Batala.


Facts overlooked during probe: rice millers
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, February 7
Office-bearers of the Ferozepore Rice Millers Association, who called on the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Lal Singh, Food and Supplies Minister, Mr S.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary to the CM, have in a press note claimed that during the course of investigations into the paddy scam by the Vigilance Department certain facts were overlooked due to which some innocent rice millers have got trapped.

The rice millers have demanded that the rice millers who are not guilty should not be harassed and justice should prevail. Mr Pawan Mittal, working president of the association, while lauding the efforts of the Vigilance Department in nab being the corrupt officials asserted that the guilty should be taken to task but the innocent rice millers should not be trapped. 


Rice millers elect dist body president
Our Correspondent

Mansa, February 7
Members of the District Rice Millers Association today met under the chairmanship of Mr Tersem Lal Saini, president of the state unit of the Rice Millers Association, Punjab. The meeting was attended by 105 members. Mr Parkash Chand Badal, a rice miller and Senior Congress leader was elected president of the District Rice Millers Association.


Cop remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Mansa, February 7
A constable of the district police has been arrested and 120 bottles of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) was seized from his possession. The police has registered a case against constable Amrik Singh under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act. The accused was today produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mansa, Mr Harsh Mehta, who sent him in judicial custody till February 21.


2 held for trade in humans
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, February 7
Mr Varinder Kumar SSP said today that Gurdev Singh, alias Deba, resident of Ganja and Harbhajan Singh resident of Nangal Dalla had been arrested and the girl whom they exploited sexually had also been recovered.

The SSP said that the accused brought this girl from West Bengal to marry her with a Punjabi driver but then planned to sell her off to an unknown person for Rupees 40,000 and took advance of Rs 10,000 through Satveer Singh .The SSP said that the said girl was sold to six persons who have been identified.

A case under Sections 366/ 368/370/354/342/ 346/376/506/ 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the accused.


Heroin worth Rs 5 cr seized
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 7
Customs officials here seized 5 kg of high grade heroin from the Sutlej bed in Mamdot tehsil in Ferozepore district yesterday.
The Additional Commissioner of Customs, Mr P.S. Sodhi, told newspersons that a team of the Preventive Department recovered five packets worth Rs 5 crore in the international market. The plastic packets bore the mark, 555 0$K, which meant that it was of high grade and might have originated from Afghanistan.

Mr Sodhi said it was buried near the river bed as it had probably been left a few days ago, for their Indian contacts to retrieve it. A two-page document giving credence to the fact that Pakistan had become a leading producer of opium during the past one year was released to the Press. 


Attack on lawyer: 6 booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 7
On a complaint of Mr Satnam Singh, an advocate, who was seriously injured in an attack in the court complex yesterday, a case against six persons was registered here today, including a father-son duo.

Those booked are advocate Kultar Singh, his son Amar Singh, Sumranjit Singh, Kanwaljit Singh, Soni and Gurdial Singh. The six have been booked under Sections 307, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.


Kidnapped child’s body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
A badly mutilated body of a four-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from his home in Basti Jodhewal area last evening, was found from a nullah in Kashmir Nagar today.

The police said the child has been identified as Shantu. His throat was slit open and the body was dumped in the sewage drain after packing it in a gunny bag. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination.


Rs 2.5 lakh looted from post office
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, February 7
Three armed youths today looted Rs 2.5 lakh at gun point from a post office at Bholath village, 25 km from here, today.

According to a report lodged with the police, Mr Sohan Lal, post master, said the three youths entered the post office and locked him and two other employees in a room before committing the crime. He said the amount had been withdrawn from bank for making a payment to a customer. A case has been registered.


Ex-DEO’s medical examination ordered
Our Correspondent

Ropar, February 7
The Punjab Government has ordered the medical examination of former District Education Officer (DEO), Primary, Ropar, Malti Batra. Highly placed sources in the Education Department, who confirmed the news, told the correspondent that the government by invoking the provisions under the Punjab Civil Services Rules had ordered the medical examination of the former DEO by a medical board constituted by the Health Department at Patiala.

Ms Batra was ordered to produce herself before the medical board constituted in this connection. However, she failed to appear before the board today.

The government had recently transferred her as senior lecturer at the local Service Teachers Training Institute. Even after being transferred she continued to retain the official Gypsy given to her in her capacity as DEO.

Ms Batra admitted that she did not present herself before the medical board today. She said she would challenge the decision of the government in the court.


Science Congress begins
Tribune News Service

Longowal (Sunam), February 7
The three-day 6th Punjab Science Congress was inaugurated by Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) here today. It is being organised under the auspices of the Punjab Academy of Sciences (PAS) on “Sustainable innovations in science and technology for regional development”.

Inaugurating the congress, Professor Pathak threw light on the basic problems in the development of technology in the region.

He emphasised the need for constructive use of natural resources and preservation of environment.

Dr I.J.S. Bansal, founder President of the academy, said the PAS was encouraging young scientists and had instituted awards for them.

Dr R.C. Chauhan, Director, SLIET, said, “We need to channel our science and technology in order to emerge at the global level in a big way”. He said Punjab had a lot of talent in the scientific field which needed a boost.

Prof Baldev Singh Dhillon was awarded a Fellowship for his contribution to the science and technology field.

The Bhagwan Dass Arora Memorial Award was given to Dr S.S. Sidhu.

Prof N.P. Singh, organising secretary of the congress, said the main aim of the congress was to attract young scientists to make the state rich, scientifically. Mementoes were presented to the delegates of the congress.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |