Thursday, April 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Tohra, Badal share dining table
Sarabjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 16
It is another matter that the former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, did not share the stage with former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, at Talwandi Sabo yesterday, but both giants of Akali politics shared at least a dining table here today.

Today, both Mr Tohra and Mr Badal had come to attend the marriage of a relation of Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI. Mr Tohra was first to reach. He arrived around 9 a.m. Mr Badal came around 10.10 a.m. Without wasting a second at the entrance of the marriage palace hall, Mr Badal rushed towards the table where Mr Tohra was sitting with other Akali Dal and CPI leaders. They exchanged greetings in a cheerful manner.

Mr Badal continued to have snacks and he asked Mr Tohra to share the same. However Mr Tohra, who recently underwent a bypass surgery in Delhi, politely declined the offer. Mr Badal not only inquired about Mr Tohra’s health but also asked about the distance covered by Mr Tohra during the morning walk. Mr Tohra told Mr Badal that he walked 3 km every morning.

They did not share any political talk at the table. However when Badal headed towards Mr Tohra’s table, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, a close associate of Mr Tohra, got up to shake hands with him ( Mr Badal). Mr Badal quipped: “Apan Pakke hi Hath Mila Layyee Hun ( let us shake hands for a permanent tie-up now)”.

Mr Badal walked along with Mr Tohra up to the exit door of the hall to see the former SGPC chief off. But he returned to the hall after Mr Tohra drove away. When asked about unity after the departure of Mr Tohra, Mr Badal, instead of offering any reply moved towards a “ dahi- bhalla” stall in the hall and expressed the desire to have more snacks.

Asked about today’s developments, a senior Akali leader, who was present in the hall, said it appeared a good atmosphere had been created for Akali unity. “Earlier, both Mr Tohra and Mr Badal did not even greet each other, what to say of sitting together. But at least now both have started talking to each other and sharing smiles”, said the Akali leader. “One can expect more on the unity front soon”, he added.

Meanwhile, informed sources said Mr Badal had already made his stand clear about the unity to Mr Tohra and his associates. Sources said Mr Badal had conveyed to mediators that he ( Mr Badal) had already taken a number of initiatives for unity with Mr Tohra. “ I made the beginning by going to Mr Tohra’s official residence in Delhi. Let Mr Tohra now respond” is what Mr Badal said.


VB catches, department spare
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 16
The Vigilance Bureau has rebuked various departments that did not take any action against their employees charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Taking serious note of recent news report in this regard, the Additional Director General of Police Mr A.P. Pandey, has shown his displeasure to various department heads in his communication. Sources said the purpose of the drive against corruption was defeated, it tainted officials and went unpunished.

Sources also said the ADGP had directed his officials to take immediate action against the erring officials and report it to the bureau. As per common practice, any government official charged with corruption or kept under arrest for 48 hours should be placed under suspension, but many such employees were not even being transferred. If these employees were not shifted or suspended, they would be in a position to doctor evidence against them. The mere fact that these officials continued to be in office made a mockery of the Vigilance Bureau.

There were more than 50 such cases across the state. In Ludhiana alone, 21 cases had been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against employees of various government departments, but the departments concerned had not taken action in more than 15 cases.

In these cases, neither any department proceedings were initiated nor the accused were suspended. Only in some case, the accused were transferred.

A senior official of the Health Department arrested under the Act not only escaped suspension but also got back the plum post. An inquiry by a senior police official was ordered in his case, which is still pending. Sources said immense political pressure had been exerted in this case.

Another case was of a Patwari caught taking bribe by the Vigilance Bureau. The bureau had written to the Deputy Commissioner that he be placed under suspension, but the patwari continues to be on the spot while still facing trial under the Act.

An employee of the Municipal Corporation was caught on graft charge and, later, the bureau had registered a case against him for amassing property worth 1 crore. He was yesterday placed under suspension about a month after being charged.

In a case was Home Guards official arrested under the Act, owing to certain influences, inquiry after inquiry was ordered, but, ultimately, the official was reinstated. 

4 IFS officers under vigilance scanner
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
The Punjab State Vigilance Bureau has ordered a probe against four I.F.S. officers, who allegedly promoted forest guards flouting rules and regulations.

According to Mr A.P. Pandey, Chief Director-cum-ADGP, Vigilance Bureau, a probe was in progress against Gurbaj Singh, R.K. Luna, Jasjit Singh and H.S. Cheema, all Conservators of Forests. Certain other irregularities committed in Forest Department pertaining to the Japan project were also being probed.

The vigilance chief revealed that allegations were also levelled against some electropathic institutes and colleges that they had fraudulently collected huge amounts, as fees from innocent students for recognised degree/diploma courses recognised by the Government of India. A vigilance inquiry was being initiated into this matter.

A probe has been ordered against Dr Randhiraj Singh Sandhu, a former Director, Family Welfare, for committing irregularities in the selection of handicapped multipurpose health workers and block extention educators in the Health and Family Welfare Department during 2000-2001.

Besides, a deal was also being probed under which officials of the Health Department had purchased medicines and instruments to the tune of Rs 40.32 lakh from a private firm, namely M/s Roy Surgical, Bathinda.


Contradictions’ in Nanakshahi calendar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, a wellknown Sikh scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, yesterday launched a frontal attack on the Nanakshahi calendar adopted by the SGPC and declared that it would “end up in a whimper, once its inherent blasphemy, contradictions, inconsistencies and hotchpotch character come to be realised by the Sikh community”.

In a statement issued here, Dr Ahluwalia said: “The SGPC in the name of name of Nanakshahi calendar cannot and should not have changed the sacred dates of Sikhism fixed by the gurus themselves. To quote just one instance: Guru Arjun Dev himself chose Bhadon Sudi 1 of Bikarami samat for first installation of Sri Adi Granth in Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar; this is how on this date the first Prakash (installation) of the Sikh scripture has been celebrated over the decades. This historic date, according to Khalsa Jantri followed in the gurdwaras all over India, corresponds to 28th August, 2003, but now this date has been shifted to September 1, 2003. Similar divergent changes have been made in the case of other sacred historic dates chosen by the Gurus themselves in the Bikrami samat, including the date of investiture (Chet vadi 13) of Guru Har Rai Ji as the seventh prophet of Sikhism. Unfortunately even this date, corresponding to March 30, 2003, has been changed in the Nanakshahi calendar and shifted to March 14, on which investiture date starts the first day of the Nanakshahi calendar though its first year is the birth year of Guru Nanak. Many other changes in the dates sanctified by the Gurus or by long religious tradition have been tampered with in the Nanakshahi calendar.

“The logic given for such sacrilegious changes is to have all-time fixed dates in the Nanakshahi calendar, artificially latched to fixed dates in the Gregorian calendar. It is forgotten that Good Friday comes on different dates in the Gregorian calendar and this has not posed any problem for Christians. The Nanakshahi calendar itself goes against its own avowed principle of symmetry in observance of historic events. The anniversary of Operation Bluestar has been fixed on June 4, every year, in common era (Gregorian) calendar but this would not synchronize with the same date in each of Nanakshahi calendar, because the lengths of the common era calendar are different from the arbitrarily prescribed lengths of Nanakshahi months.”


Golden Temple kar seva draws flak
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 16
The kar seva at the Golden Temple has come in far severe criticism. The SGPC and the Akal Takht secretariat are flooded with objections raised over the alleged damage caused to the Sikh school of art and magnificent old structures in the past.

“We Sikhs are either too naive or do not care for our past”, reads a letter written by an SGPC member and President, Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, addressed to the SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar. Mr Mann sees a conspiracy to finish the Sikh heritage through the “babas of kar seva wale” and has held Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra (who remained the SGPC chief for 25 years) and his successors, who were appointed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal from time to time, for this colossal damage.

Earlier, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, a former general secretary, had already written to the SGPC to stop the ongoing gilding of the interiors of the Golden Temple, stating that it was not being done as per recommendations of experts.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, has also asked the SGPC to stop the ongoing kar seva in the Golden Temple and Akal Takht. He said it should be re-started only after seeking expert opinion on the matter.

Mr Mann said there was a conspiracy to cause damage to certain heritage sites through kar seva. “You will recall how the whole world was shocked when the Taliban knocked down statues of Buddha in Afghanistan a few years ago”. He said while the bullet marks at Jallianwala Bagh memorial had been preserved, these (bullet marks) had been removed from the Golden Temple under a conspiracy. He alleged that under orders from the then Union Government, the Badal-Tohra duo allowed the removal of the bullet marks inflicted on the Golden Temple and Akal Takht during Operation Bluestar. “All bullet marks have been covered with marble slabs. How will our children and their progeny ever learn of the damage caused to Sikh shrines during Operation Bluestar?” he asked.

Mr Mann emphasised the need for the conservation of frescos and marble and gold sheets at Harmandir Sahib and Baba Atal and the conservation of doors of Darshani Deori. He also sought the cataloguing and conservation of Sikh manuscripts.


Siddiqui to submit SIT report by April 21
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 16
The Punjab Additional Director General of Police cum OSD (Law and order) Mr A.A. Siddiqui, today said that he would send the report prepared by the special investigation team (SIT) in the multi-crore kidney scam against the 14 police officers, including IG (Border Range) Rajan Gupta, one SSP, four DSPs two SHOs and four constables for taking necessary action to the government by April 21.

Talking to mediapersons after the inauguration of a community policing resource centre here, Mr Siddiqui said most of the officers involved in the scam had already been transferred and remaining would be transferred soon.

Answering a question about the quantum of punishment to the erring police officials recommended by him, he said he would send the report as such to the government.

It was upto the government to decide about taking departmental action against the gazetted police officers while the DGP would decide about taking action against the non-gazetted police officials.

He expressed ignorance about the purpose of the recent visit of one DIG of the Punjab police to the USA to probe the alleged corruption deeds of former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Later addressing a seminar on community policing Mr Siddiqui said the co-operation of people was required for strengthening the police community.

Mr Siddiqui said eight police officials would be sent to the UK, Japan and China to study the Community policing system in these countries.


Two doctors booked for violating PNDT Act
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 16
The Malerkotla Subdivisional Appropriate Authority for the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act today filed a complaint in a Malerkotla court against the owner of a Malerkotla-based ultrasound unit and his wife for the alleged violation of the various provisions of the PNDT Act.

Talking to TNS here, lady Dr J.R. Bansal, District Appropriate Authority for PNDT Act-cum-Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said the complaint had been filed under Section 23 of the PNDT Act in the court of Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate at Malerkotla against Dr Surinder Kumar Jain, proprietor of Surindra Ultrasound Scan, Jain Nursing Home, Malerkotla, and his wife Dr Reena Jain for violation of various provisions of the PNDT Act by the ultrasound unit and the nursing home.

Dr Bansal said after the filling of the complaint, the court fixed April 23 as next date for further proceedings in the case.

According to the complaint, on April 2, 2003, a patient named Mrs Rajinder Kaur wife of Mr Mann Singh, resident of Manak Majra village in Malerkotla tehsil came to consult the Malerkotla SMO and Appropriate Authority Dr N.C. Garg at Malerkotla Civil Hospital as an OPD patient along with ultrasound report issued by Surindra Ultrasound Scan Centre, Malerkotla, dated March 17, 2003. On this the patient was examined by Dr Garg along with her ultrasound report. The patient, Mrs Rajinder Kaur, explained to the SMO that she consulted Dr Reena Jain, Jain Nursing Home, Malerkotla and she was advised to get the ultrasound report from Dr Surinder Jain. The ultrasound scan centre and Jain Nursing Home are functioning in the same premises.

The patient further narrated her story to the SMO that she got the ultrasound report on March 17, from Dr Surinder Jain and on the advise of Dr Surinder Jain, she again consulted Dr Reena Jain along with ultrasound report. On the basis of ultrasound report, Dr Reena Jain aborted the pregnancy.

On April 2, the SMO, Dr N.C. Garg, along with his team inspected the Jain Nursing Home where Dr Reena Jain was unable to produce any documents regarding the nursing home, being approved as medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) centre by the Health Department. During the inspection of Surindra Ultrasound Scan Centre it was also found that no record of Mrs Rajinder Kaur was entered in the register being maintained at the centre which is mandatory. No F-form was also made available to the inspection team. During the inspection, the SMO also found one unregistered ultrasound machine from there.


BJP activists hold anti-Cong rally
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 16
Hundreds of BJP activists and supporters led by party leaders and councillors staged a rally at the Hall Bazaar in protest against the failure of the one year rule of the Congress government, here today.

Rallyists held protest for nearly two hours disrupting traffic, against that unfavourable policies of the government. Col Amrik Singh president district unit of the BJP, Mr Sudesh Kaushal, general secretary, Ms Laxmi Kanta led the rally.

In a memorandum to Governor, Lieut-Gen JFR Jacob (retd) through the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir the party highlighted a list of “tax burdening” steps. They said the present government’s policies amounted to ‘stabbing people in the back’ after the party manifesto promised relief and prosperity.

Party leaders pointed out exorbitant flat rates in water supply for residential and commercial buildings imposed by the Municipal Corporation, which the state government further doubled without citing any valid reason.

Decrying the licence fee for commercial establishments which had been doubled from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 they criticised other taxes imposed to cover up for octroi.

Protesting the failure of the corporation to stem the flow of contaminated water that led to a number of deaths due to jaundice, they said leaking pipes had not been replaced despite the gravity the situation. “Time and again hikes in power tariff have been effected. Instead of giving relief the state government has imposed service tax of 12.5 per cent on non service industry. The rent and call charges bills already carried 8 per cent service tax impossed by the Centre. Apart from this the rates of sales tax had been hiked putting an additional burden on people. The rallyist highlighted that most welfare schemes like the shagun scheme, old-age, widow, handicap pensions all had been put on the backburner.


Congress nominee is Municipal Council chief
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 16
Mr Charanjeev Channa of the Congress was elected president of the Municipal Council, Sirhind Fatehgarh Sahib, unanimously at an election to the posts held today. The posts of junior vice-presidents went to an Independent candidate and another to a SAD candidate.

It is for the first time that the council will have two junior vice-presidents. Mediapersons were denied entry into the Municipal Council Complex where the elections were being held.

While Mr Channa of the Congress was elected president and Mrs Sneh Lata of the Congress was elected senior vice-president. A controversy arose when Lata Devi, Independent, and Mr Sanjay Verma of the SAD were elected junior vice-presidents after they joined hands with the Congress.

Addressing mediapersons after the election, Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests, said the Independent and other SAD councillors had come to him on their own to join hands with the Congress.

Mr Brij Lal Goyal, Vice-President of the PPCC, who was also present, said since the Congress had formed the government, elections to civic bodies and panchayat samitis had been won by the party.

A number of senior Congress leaders, however, condemned the minister for inducting those councillors, who had defeated party councillors. They said despite the fact that the party had won nine out of 17 seats then what was the need for inducting SAD and Independent candidates.

Mr Darshan Singh, SDM, Fatehgarh Sahib, who was the presiding officer, said the elections were held peacefully for the posts of president, senior vice-president and junior vice-president.

Another controversy arose when the presiding officer said the agenda was issued only for two posts and only one councillor was elected to the post of junior vice-president, whereas the minister had claimed that two vice-presidents had been elected. 


Rs 456 crore for health services
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 16
The state government has earmarked Rs 456 crore in the current financial year for improving the health services, including the setting up of hospitals and purchase of equipment.

This was stated by Punjab Health Minister Ramesh Chander Dogra after unveiling a statue at the Civil Hospital here today. The minister said consistent efforts to improve the state-owned health sector, particularly in the rural areas, had resulted in an increase in OPD patients from 68 lakh in 2001-2002 to 83 lakh in 2002-2003.

“The government is planning to construct hospitals and community health centres at different places in the state. Besides, it has been decided to purchase the requisite laboratory equipment and special machines to provide better healthcare facilities for which Rs 456 crore has been earmarked for the current financial year,” Mr Dogra added. The minister, who was accompanied by the Chairman of the St Soldier Educational Society Mr Anil Chopra, said the time had come for non-government organisations to join ranks with the government to ensure better health care.

Regarding the shortage of staff at government hospitals, the minister gave an assurance that the department would soon fill vacant posts.


Training programme inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
In the present situation where humanitarian laws are being violated, “the need to strengthen these laws and to implement them at the time of armed conflicts have become the need of the hour”, said Justice S.S. Sodhi, former Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court and Ractor Army Institute of Law, in his inaugural address at the three-day teachers’ training programme on international humanitarian law, organised by the Army Institute of Law at Patiala today.

Several important issues were discussed during various sessions where Dr Umesh Kadam, Regional Legal Adviser, ICRC, gave an overview of the international humanitarian law and the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which is collaborating this teachers’ training programme with the Army Institute of Law. Dr Kadam also highlighted the background of international humanitarian law, its origin and the need for its effective implementation at present.

He also clarified that the role of the ICRC was to ameliorate the grief of the victims of armed conflict and for this purpose they work with the understanding of the concerned governments of the state to maintain confidentiality so that they may get free access to the persons in distress.

Dr GIS Sandhu, Director, Army Institute of Law, informed that the teachers’ training programme would continue for the next two days.

The participants have come from different universities of the region, including Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University, Kashmir University, Jammu University, Kurukshetra University, HP University, Shimla and their regional centres. 


Institute for special children soon

Moga, April 16
The Faridkot district Red Cross Society has decided to help physically and mentally challenged children by providing them with vocational training for rehabilitation in an institute that would be established here at a cost of Rs 1 crore.

This was announced here today by Mr A. Venu Parshad, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman of the district Red Cross Society.

As soon as the Rs 50 lakh grant from the Centre was received, the construction of the institute would be started and the project would be completed by the end of the year, he said. PTI


JAC to back industrial strike
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 16
While accusing the Central Government of pursuing anti-labour policies, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of various trade unions today decided to intensify its stir against the economic policies of the Centre.

It urged its members to participate in the nationwide industrial strike on May 21.


CM approached as indicted official goes scot-free
Our Correspondent

Mansa, April 16
In a representation sent today by Mr Sukhdev Singh, sarpanch of Chainewala village in the district, to the Chief Minister, with copies to the Governor and the Deputy Commissioner, he has sought action against Mr Ravinder Walia, Tehsildar, Sardulgarh, for his alleged misdeeds, which had been probed by the then Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Mansa, Mr Mohinder Singh Kainth. The ADC had submitted his inquiry report to Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa. The Deputy Commissioner, instead of taking action against the Tehsildar, allegedly suppressed the report.

The ADC had indicted the Tehsildar in his report submitted to the Deputy Commissioner on January 17, 2003, stating that the Tehsildar had caused a revenue loss of Rs 1.76 lakh to the state. Mr Kainth had also recommended legal action against Mr Walia.

The inquiry was conducted on a complaint submitted by Mr Jalaur Singh, state president of the Revolutionary Coordination Committee, Punjab, in which he had given details of illegal works of Mr Walia.

The Deputy Commissioner said he had ordered that the inquiry report of the ADC be sent to the Commissioner, Faridkot, for further action.


Newly born found abandoned
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 16
A newly born baby boy was found abandoned by the Sarpanch of Katani Kalan village near Gurdwara Katana Sahib on Tuesday morning.

Mr Manjit Singh, Sarpanch, was coming out of the gurdwara when he noticed a two-day-old baby boy, wrapped in an old cloth, lying near the wall of the holy place. He, along with his cousin Bahadur Singh, picked up the crying baby and took him to Mangat Nursing Home at Doraha. As the baby was found to be healthy, the Sarpanch brought him to his house. A case has been registered under Section 317 of the IPC at Sahnewal police station.

According to the Sarpanch, the child has been adopted by Mr Malkit Singh, 52, of the same village whose son of 18 years expired 3 years ago in an accident. Ms Balbir Kaur, the wife of Mr Malkit Singh, was overjoyed to see the child. Later hundreds of people gathered at the house of the Sarpanch to have a look at the newly born baby. 


82,886 tonnes of wheat purchased
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 16
At least 82,886 tonnes of wheat have been purchased at various purchase centres in the district till April 15, which is 26,428 tonnes higher than during the corresponding period last year, according to Mr Vikas Pratap, Deputy Commissioner, here today. He expressed satisfaction over the procurement process and said the SDMs had been directed to supervise the procurement process at purchase centres falling in their respective sub-divisions and to ensure that the farmers did not face any problem.

He further said a target of 33 per cent for the FCI, 20 per cent for Markfed, 10 per cent for Punjab Grain, 18 per cent for Punsup, 10 per cent for Warehouse Corporation and 9 per cent for Punjab Agro, of total purchase in the district had been set. Against this, the FCI had purchased 19,393 tonnes, Markfed 13,661 tonnes, Punjab Grain 11,335 tonnes, Punsup 18,971 tonnes, Warehouse Corporation 4,755 tonnes, Punjab Agro 14,181 tonnes and traders 590 tonnes till last evening.


Work for welfare of villagers, DC asks officials
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, April 16
Mrs Usha R. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, today directed all officers of the district administration to work for the welfare of the people, especially the villagers.

Chairing a meeting of the officials today, she said villagers and other residents of the district had been coming to her to seek redress for their problems, which could have been easily sorted out at the level of junior officers. She added that the drive to redress the grievances of the people had yielded good results and people had become aware of their rights and duties.

She said if any officer was found guilty of harassing people, or seeking money or any other extraneous consideration, he would be dealt with strictly.

She also directed that the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding traffic rules should be implemented in full. Of the 30 complaints put forward, 10 were disposed of on the spot while the remaining were forwarded to the respective departments for action within one week. She also directed the municipal authorities of Malout, Gidderbaha and Muktsar to launch cleanliness and anti-encroachment drives. Many officials of the district administration attended the meeting.


Doctor, two nurses booked for woman’s death
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 16
The city police today booked a private doctor and two nurses following the death of a woman in Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here.

According to sources, Mrs Sheelo, wife of Jangir Singh, resident of Government Seed Farm colony, on the outskirts of the town had become pregnant last year. She was a mother of four children and the family reportedly decided to go in for termination of pregnancy as some complications had developed in the uterus.

According to Mr Jangir Singh, they consulted a private doctor of the locality who administered her on an injection but her condition further deteriorated. The doctor reportedly advised them to contact a private nurse working in the Jammu Basti locality near the Seed Farm colony. She reportedly gave an injection to facilitate the termination of pregnancy but this did not serve the purpose. The nurse told the couple that a surgery was required for the proper termination of pregnancy.

The pregnancy was terminated at the clinic in the Jammu Basti area. But this led to other complications. The couple was asked to go to a private hospital near Major Surender Chowk here, where she was treated last week. The lady doctor later asked Jangir Singh to get his wife admitted to the civil hospital. Sheelo was brought to the civil hospital on April 14 but doctors found her condition critical due to severe infection. She died last night.

The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination this afternoon. The city police had registered a case against Mr Shakti, who claimed to be a doctor, nurses Bhupinder Kaur and Amarjit Kaur under Sections 314, 304 A and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. ASI Darshan Singh was appointed as Investigation Officer.

Though this was the first reported case of such death but there had been complaints of quacks and unqualified persons indulging in illegal termination of pregnancy especially in the localities on the outskirt of the walled city.

Many RMPS and former employees of some doctors were reportedly working in localities like Jammu Basti, Nai Abadi, Kandhwala Road, Nanak Nagri, Gobind Nagri, Arya Nagar, Sant Nagar. The Health Department had not taken any action against unregistered and practitioners in this subdivision despite instructions rom the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Many nurses were also reportedly running their clinics illegally where such cases were also handled with impunity.


Three robbers arrested
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 16
The district police has busted a four-member gang of robbers involved in looting train passengers by using edibles laced with intoxicants with the arrest of its three members and the recovery of stolen goods from their possession.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said on a tip-off that the gang was planning to commit a crime in the area, a naqa was laid at the Lamba Pind chowk and three persons riding a motor cycle were intercepted. Their search led to the recovery of a country-made pistol and two live cartridges.

They were arrested and later identified as Ramesh Nishad,, Satya Narayan and Gora of Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.

Their interrogation led to the recovery of Rs 45,000, two cameras, two wrist watches, a mobile phone and a CD player along with 10CDs.

They revealed that the gang was led by Kesri Chauhan and had been operational on trains running on the Jammu-Jalandhar track.


Dowry victim kills self, daughter
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 16
A woman, Kanchan Aggarwal, today threw herself and her two and a half years old daughter Mitali under a train here.

The GRP has registered a case under Section 304-B of the IPC for abetment of suicide against four persons, including her husband, Samir Aggarwal, her father-in-law Swatantar Aggarwal, her mother-in-law Meena Aggarwal and Ms Rima, her sister-in-law.

The case was registered on a complaint of Sumit, brother of Kanchan. He alleged that his sister was mentally tortured by her husband and in-laws for dowry. Kanchan had phoned them up at Ludhiana yesterday that she was in agony. They heard the news about Kanchan and her daughter’s death today from a friend rather than her in-laws, alleged Sumit. Nobody from her in-laws was available for comments.


Three booked for misappropriation
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 16
The police has booked three persons for allegedly misappropriating lakhs of rupees of the Novelty Ford Tractors branch near the milk plant here.

Mr R.P.S. Brar, SSP, today identified the suspects as Daljeet Singh, a resident of Ambala Cantonment, Sikander Singh, a resident of Tibber, near here, and Joginder Singh, a resident of Ram Nagar, near here.

Mr Brar said Lt-Col Jaswant Singh Sandhu (retd), owner of Novelty Ford Tractors, Amritsar, filed a complaint with the police that the suspects, who are his employees had misappropriated huge sums of money of the firm.

The suspects allegedly sold old tractors deposited by customers to get new ones after depositing the remaining cost of the new tractors and kept the money with them.


Robbers strike at 6 shops
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, April 16
Robbers struck at a market opposite the local general bus stand in the wee hours today, broke open six shops and decamped with cash kept in safes.

The affected persons, joined by hundreds of other shopkeepers, held a demonstration in protest against the increasing number of such incidents.

Mr Surinder Mahajan, president of the local unit of the Punjab Beopar Mandal, who led the demonstration, submitted a memorandum to the SP (City), Mr Manminder Singh, expressing anguish over the law and order situation.


Youths loot bank
Tribune News Service

Sheikhpura (Bathinda), April 16
Three car-borne youths today looted the local branch of the State Bank of Patiala, on the Talwandi Sabo-Maur Mandi road.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that three youths, including two wearing turbans, came to the bank in a car after entered the bank they took out their weapons and locked all those present in the bank in various rooms. They took away the cash, which was laying on the cash counter. Before committing the crime, the culprits disconnected the phone of the bank.

Sources said bank employees later informed the police and then bank authorities. Senior police and bank officials, including DSP, Talwandi Sabo, Mr Ashutosh and the security officer, Mr Gill, reached the spot.

Though the authorities concerned declined to disclose the amount looted, it is learnt that the culprits took away about Rs 73,000.


Students hold march against fee hike
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 16
A large number of students today held a march in protest against the astronomical fee hike announced by the Punjab Government.

The students led by the Shaheed Pirthipal Singh Randhawa Manch alleged that the excuse given by the state government that expenses on education had increased by 1071 per cent were not based on facts. The students pointed out that in the past two decades the state government had established no new educational institute, nor any new facilities had been provided in the ones already existing. They claimed that the state-run educational institutes were lacking even in basic facilities, such as drinking water, libraries, sports and other extra curricular facilities.

Ms Rupali (changed name), a student of Government Rajindra College, alleged that their college even lacked classrooms and a number of classes, especially of the arts stream, were held in the college ground throughout the year. She alleged that students were being forced to pay funds like the Red Cross Fund, Cycle Fund, Building Fund, Amalgamated Fund, Child Welfare Fund and numerous other heads for years together but the facilities had not been improved.

Ms Monika (changed name), a student of a degree course here, alleged that the government had been collecting crores of rupees as funds, even as the girls were given ‘free education’. She said if the funds and fee already being collected were used judiciously, the state-run institutes could get a new lease of life. She alleged that the hike in fee was not due to poor fiscal health of the state but due to the faulty policies of the government and the privatisation drive.

Mr Sudeep Singh, convener of the manch, said the government had already closed the door of employment on ETT and B.Ed students. He said the entire social services sector was being converted into a profit-making sector.

The students held a protest rally, raised slogans against the Congress government and later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner. Meanwhile, a section of students of local Government College said that they were planning to boycott some of their examinations in protest against the fee hike.


State-level essay competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
To discover scientific talent and encourage students to think on broader aspects of science and technology, the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology here organised a state-level essay competition.

According to a statement issued here today, the topics for the competition were “Science, Technology and Society”, “A Revolution in Medicine Through Biotechnology”, “The Future of Computing” and “Fuel for the Future”. Students in the age group of 12 to 16 years were eligible to participate in the competition. They could write in English or Punjabi.

The winners in the English category, in the order of merit, are Navneet Kaur (St Soldier School, Kapurthala), Abhinav Gupta (Dashmesh Public School, Faridkot), Gaganjeet Kaur (Dashmesh Public School, Faridkot) and Rupinder Kaur (Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Goniana Mandi).

In the Punjabi category, the winners are Jaswinder Kaur (Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ropar), Rajbir Kaur (Dashmesh Public School, Amritsar), Rohit Sharma (Government Senior Secondary School, Nawanshahr) and Ramandeep Kaur (Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sangrur).


31 medicos get degrees
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, April 16
Mrs Usha R. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, today gave away degrees to 31 students of the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences at the convocation of the college.

Dr J.S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, was the chief guest. Dr H.S. Gill, Chairman, and Ms Nirupama Juneja, Principal of the college, also attended the function.

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