Thursday, April 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Gender equality ‘not negotiable’
Women’s right to perform seva at Darbar Sahib
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
There is no need for the SGPC to seek public opinion on Sikh women’s right to perform seva at Sri Darbar Sahib. The right of gender equality was given to Sikh women by founder of the religion, Sri Guru Nanak Devji.

These observations were made by members of the Voices of Freedom (VoF), a human rights organisation, which has questioned the SGPC move of convening a meeting for April 25 to seek public opinion on the issue of women’s right to perform seva at Sri Darbar Sahib.

Mr Navkiran Singh, Director, Voices of Freedom, said here today that the SGPC had been asked to implement the right of equality given to women and not to debate the existence of this right. Gender equality was not negotiable in this case, he added.

A subcommittee constituted by the SGPC has sought views of various Sikh organisations on the subject by convening a meeting for April 25. The controversy started in February this year when the SGPC authorities disallowed UK-based amritdhari Sikh women — Ms Mejinderpal Kaur and Ms Lakhbir Kaur — from going anywhere near Palki Sahib during the seva. The two women later lodged a formal complaint with the Jathedar of Akal Takht and the SGPC for immediate restoration of this right to Sikh women.

Ms Mejinderpal Kaur, who was present at the press conference, wanted that discrimination against Sikh women must end. She announced that she would attend the April 25 meeting. “When I met the SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, he agreed that women should be allowed seva at Sri Darbar Sahib complex.”, she claimed.

Mr Navkiran Singh said that the Voices of Freedom would submit a petition signed by 132 Sikh organisations, both from India and abroad, to the SGPC subcommittee on April 25. The petition wants the SGPC to take steps to restore women the right of seva at Sri Darbar Sahib. 


Upset over serials, Badungar writes to PM
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 23
President of the SGPC Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, in a letter to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, today asked him to request the Australian and the UK Governments to ban TV serials portraying Sikhism as a violent religion.

The SGPC President said, “The Jury, a serial to be telecast by Channel 7 in Australia from next month, denigrates Sikh values and has the potential of inciting hatred, bigotry, prejudice and religious intolerance against the Sikhs”. A similar serial, he stated, was telecast in the UK showing a 15-year-old Sikh boy murdering his schoolmate with a sword.


Punjab wants new water tribunal
Chandigarh stakes claim on river waters
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
While Punjab has demanded the setting up of a new water tribunal in terms of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1958 , the Union Territory of Chandigarh has decided to stake its claim on river waters of undivided Punjab as a “riparian state”.

In response to a suit filed by the state of Punjab in the Supreme Court in January this year seeking a discharge from the construction of the SYL Canal in view of the changed circumstances, the Chandigarh Administration wants to be impleaded as a party and has moved an application in the apex court to that effect.

The stand of Chandigarh has been that being a part of erstwhile undivided Punjab it should be treated as a partner state. Further, the Chandigarh Administration maintained that since it was also fighting for a partner state status in the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, it has “every right on river waters of Punjab” as a riparian state.

According to Mr Puranjit Singh, Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration, the decision to stake a claim on river waters was taken at the highest level. Mr Swaran Singh, Superintending Engineer, Public Health, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, was specially deputed to visit Delhi and brief the administration’s standing counsel in the apex court, Ms Kamini Jaiswal, to file an application for becoming a party in the case filed by the Punjab Government. The administration moved its application within the stipulated period, sources said.

Though the water dispute between Punjab and Haryana has been going on ever since the reorganisation of the state in 1966, Chandigarh never got into the dispute earlier. It had been fighting for a partner state status in the BBMB for some time but never staked a claim on river waters before.

Chandigarh gets raw water from the Bhakra mainline canal at Kajauli from where it is pumped to the Sector 39 water Works. From each of the three pipelines already commissioned, Chandigarh supplies 2.5 mgd of treated water from each of the three pipelines to SAS Nagar free of cost.

“We spend Rs 36 crore annually on pumping this water from the Kajauli to Chandigarh and then treat this water and give 7.5 mgd to Punjab free of cost. In case the water we get from the Bhakra mainline is our right as a riparian state we are entitled to claim dues for the supply of treated water to Punjab. This would help us overwrite our annual loss of Rs 10 crore,” said a source in the administration.

Last week when Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh called on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in New Delhi with regard to the dispute regarding the Ravi-Beas waters (SYL canal), he reportedly told him that the Punjab Government has already filed a complaint before the Ministry of Water Resources under the Water Disputes Act, 1958, seeking a review of allocation of water.

Under the Act, the allocation has to be reviewed after a specified period of time. But in the case of Ravi-Beas waters, no such exercise has been undertaken for the past more than 50 years. Sources reveal that the Union government was inclined favourably to Punjab’s demand.


Badal, Tohra to share stage on April 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
A function to be organised by the Delhi Sikh Samaj on April 27 to felicitate the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, may be the prelude to formalising the much-awaited unity among various factions of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

The function — to be organised on the premises of Constitutional Club in the New Delhi — will bring together the SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. Both are expected to shower their good wishes upon Mr Tarlochan Singh for discharging his responsibility as the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities. Incidentally, Mr Tarlochan Singh is playing a key role in the Akali unity move. Besides Mr Badal and Mr Tohra, the Union Chemicals ad Fertilisers Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, and a former SGPC Secretary, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, will be among the main speakers at the function.

Interestingly, the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, has been assigned the job of proposing a vote of thanks.

Though the invitation has been issued by Mr Ajaib Singh with Mr Bhagwant Singh Sachdev as a co-host, it says the felicitation ceremony is to facilitate a “cordial meeting” for the invitees, hinting opaquely at the larger issue of unity in the Akali Dal.

Recently, Mr Tarlochan Singh and Mr Dhindsa had played an instrumental role in organising a meeting of leaders of all Akali factions over the issue of seeking reprieve for Mr Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.

Though no BJP leader has been invited to the felicitation function by the Delhi Sikh Samaj, it is apparent that the BJP leadership is also keen that unity be formalised as it banks heavily on Sikh vote not only in the coming Delhi Assembly elections but also in Punjab where it wants its alliance partner to perform better in the coming Lok Sabha elections.


Residents want memorial to Gargi
Say he has done Bathinda proud
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 23
When Balwant Singh was born in a house in the Neeta Mal street, near the 1800-year-old historical Gobind Fort, little did his kin and neighbourers know that one day the kid, who was the second son in the family of Shiv Chand, a Head Clerk in the Irrigation Department, would create history.

Balwant Gargi, who had his primary education at Government Rajindra School, located in the heart of the city and being run by Patiala state, went to Multan after his father was transferred there, and did his matriculation there. After that he jointed the FA course at Patiala.

Residents of the city, who came in contact with him during his school, college and post-college days, said Bathinda had lost the pole star and a craftsman of stories on human relations who brought fame to Bathinda in the world of literature.

“Balwant was born out of his play ‘Kakka Reta’ (sand of desert) in which he portrayed human conditions in context with life in deserts. His ashes will be immersed in the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal as per his wishes. This reflects how Gargi was devoted to his roots in deserts and his unending love for his birthplace”, said Mr Deewan Chand, a former president of local municipal council, who enjoyed some sittings with Gargi “over drinks” about 30 years ago.

Gargi, who walked on unpaved streets to reach his school, located about half a mile away from his house, with an ink pot and a satchel, entered the hearts of Punjabis through literature, said Mr Kewal Krishan Garg, the only surviving brother of Gargi.

Mr Kapilash Garg, a cotton merchant, who resides in the house opposite that of Gargi’s, said though he had never seen Gargi, yet he always felt proud of the fact that he was a neighbourer of a legend in the world of Punjabi literature.

Meeta MohanMrs Meeta Mohan, a niece of Gargi, while showing a photograph of Gargi clicked at her marriage, said the last time she had met Gargi was in Mumbai in 1999. “Tauji (elder parental uncle) gave me love by holding my hand despite his failing health and asked about the well-being of others. Tauji’s last visit to Bathinda was in 1990,” she said.

Mr Banarasi Dass Goyal, an educationist, who knew Gargi since his childhood days, said he had never imagined that Gargi would make Bathinda and the entire Malwa region proud through Punjabi literature.

Meanwhile, residents of the city are waiting for the ashes of the doyen of Punjabi literature to pay their tributes to him. They have demanded that the Punjab Government should set up a memorial to Gargi at his ancestral house.


2 Chautala men to be declared POs
Benami land deals in Ropar villages
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, April 23
In the case of the controversial benami land deal in Naglian and Khairpur villages in Ropar, the police has initiated steps to get two close friends of the Chautala family — Krishan Sagwan, a Hisar-based lawyer, and Sandeep Godhara — declared as proclaimed offenders. Arrest warrantes had been issued against seven other accused in the case, including Kulbir Singh, Amir Singh, Balwinder Singh, Sandeep Singh, Manjit Singh, and Pardeep Singh.

One of the accused, Kamir Singh, a resident of Mani Majra, was earlier arrested by the Ropar police and released on bail. Kamir Singh in his confessional statement to the police has stated that Kulbir Singh alone knew about the land deal.

All other accused till date have evaded arrest and allegedly fled to Haryana.

The police is also trying to identify revenue officials who allegedly helped the suspects in executing the benami land deal. Police sources said they might be made a party in the case.

The Punjab Government in February this year had ordered the Ropar police to register cases against 10 Haryana residents suspected to have purchased 350 acres in Naglian and Khairpur villages of Ropar on behalf of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister, Punjab, and Mr Om Prakash Chautala, Haryana Chief Minister.

Last year the Punjab Government had ordered a probe into the ownership of 200 acres at Naglian village and 135 acres at Khairpur. The way in which the land deal was effected had aroused suspicion in the minds of the investigating authorities.

The land was purchased and sold by Krishan Sagwan, a Haryana-based lawyer, and Sandeep Godhara on the basis of the power of attorneys obtained from both buyers and sellers.

On the orders of the government on November 8, 2000, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, had reported to the Chief Secretary that 200 acres in Naglian was purchased in 2001 in the name of Kulbir Singh and seven others, all belonging to Haryana, on general power of attorney.

At least Sagwan of Hisar had purchased 135 acres at Khairpur village, also on general power of attorney.

Following the report, the Chief Secretary had ordered the Deputy Commissioner to conduct a detailed inquiry into the land deals. In the preliminary report submitted on November 29, the Deputy Commissioner had alleged that 135 acres purchased by Sagwan was tantamount to evasion of stamp duty.

In the final report submitted on December 2002, the Deputy Commissioner had concluded that 350 acres at Naglian and Khairpur villages were purchased on behalf of certain individuals whose identity needed to be established.


Staines overwhelmed by Punjabi warmth

Jalandhar, April 23
As a tall, fair woman stepped out of the compartment of the train, she was surprised at the huge crowd that had gathered at the railway station here today to welcome her on her first visit to Punjab.

The woman was none other than Ms Gladys Staines, widow of Australian missionary Graham Staines, who, along with his two sons, was burnt alive in Orissa a few years back. Dressed in a black ‘salwar-kameez’, she acknowledged the greetings with folded hands.

Men and women jostled with one another to touch her hand and seek blessings. Mrs Gurdip Kaur (93), chairperson of Unique Home of Bhai Ghanayyaji Charitable Trust, in a wheel-chair, was among those at the station to welcome her.

Ms Staines bent down to hold the old woman’s hand.

Ms Staines, who is here on the invitation of Bhai Ghanayyaji Charitable Trust, said: “I am overwhelmed and touched by the warmth of Punjabis”. Representatives of various organisations, including the local Singh Sabha organisations and the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall Trust, were there to welcome her with garlands and bouquets.

Mrs Parkash Kaur, Managing-Director, Unique Home, described Ms Staines as a unique woman, who, despite the loss of her husband and sons, was going from one corner of the country to the other to spread the message of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood.

“We only recite the ‘gurbani’ of the Gurus, but she spreads the message of God to humanity,” Mrs Parkash Kaur said, describing her as a saintly figure.

A large number of her admirers touched her feet to seek blessings. Many were in tears. Ms Staines is expected to visit the Golden Temple at Amritsar tomorrow. UNI


Nothing much against Mukul Joshi: CM
Defends decision to open casinos in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today defended his decisions on certain important issues such as allowing Principal Secretary Mukul Joshi to resume his duty after issuing him an unrecorded warning and allowing Congress leaders to use the State Government’s helicopter.

Capt Amarinder Singh said there was nothing much against Mr Joshi in the inquiry report submitted to him by Mr Bhagat Singh, Financial Commissioner (Revenue). The only observation made against Mr Joshi was that “it was unbecoming on the part of Mr Joshi to influence the Chief Secretary (CS) through his (CS) wife”. I cannot hang Mr Joshi for such an offence”, the Chief Minister said.

However, a top bureaucrat said as per the service rules it was a big offence to influence the boss through his wife. “Mr Joshi has escaped virtually with a no punishment whereas “redentry” should have been made in his service book enlisting the details of the incident. Unrecorded censure by the Chief Minister to Mr Joshi is nothing but an escape route adopted to wriggle out of the situation. It would give a boost to indiscipline”, he said.

Defending himself on the use of the state helicopter, the Chief Minister said “it is his prerogative to allow or disallow its use by anyone”. The Chief Minister had a brief face- off with a journalist, who had filed hard-hitting stories with regard to the “misuse” of the helicopter for top Congress leaders. The journalist posed a counter-question to the Chief Minister that as public money was used on running the helicopter it was a right of the media persons to question the use of public money for private or party purposes.

Defending the decision to open casinos in Punjab, the Chief Minster said Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s criticism of casinos was misplaced and politically motivated. He said Mr Badal had become habitual of criticising him (CM).

Already nine former ministers of the Badal Government had been put behind bars and the 10th would be Mr Parkash Singh Badal himself. “I have not ordered any action against those ministers who belonged to the Tohra camp in Mr Badal’s Ministry and reports appearing in this connection have no basis”, the Chief Minister asserted.


Bir Devinder Singh against casinos
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 23
To make available all-type of information on state assembly including its old proceedings and legislators, living and dead a web-site service is being introduced in Punjab Vidhan Sabha soon. This was disclosed by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha, at a press conference at PWD Rest House here today. He said that all-type of information relating to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha would be made available on Internet after launching the web-site.

Referring to the adoption of Nanakshahi Calendar by the SGPC, he said that it was a constitutional body and had democratic right to adopt or issue the calendar. The Punjab government could not follow it. However it should examine it in the interest of people of the state.

On Dalits not being allowed in the Shrine of Baba Bhola Nath at Mandor village of Patiala district, he said that it was not a temple if Dalits were not allowed to pay obeisance there. It was unfortunate that such type of temples still existed in the state. The priest should be booked under the Un-touchability Act, he said.

To another question on the opening of casinos to promote tourism in Punjab, announced by the Chief Minister, he said that no doubt it would attract tourists. But he was not in favour of opening of casinos in Punjab, he added.

He said that the Subordinate Legislators Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha had recommended to the state government to repeal the Punjab Capital Periphery Control Act 1952 and the state government had to repeal it within 3 months. With its existence the periphery area in 12 km radius of Chandigarh could not be developed.


Managers of two cinema houses held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 23
The police today arrested managers of two cinema houses allegedly for screening pornographic films.

Police sources said that the city has been emerging a ‘sex market’ of the region and selling of ‘adult movies’ and compact discs was on the rise. The sources said Ajaib cinema house was raided and its manager, Major Singh was arrested. The sources said that prints of a blue film “Baby Talk” and some ‘vulgar’ posters were also recovered from him. The sources said that Jaswant Singh, owner of the cinema house, Satpal Singh, supervisor, Kuldip Singh, booking clerk and Jaswinder Singh, operator of the cinema house were yet to be arrested. A case under Sections 292, 293, 120-B of the IPC, 7 and 14 of the Cinematographic Act and Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (prevention) Act had been registered.

In another case the police raided Urang cinema and arrested its manager, Pawan Kumar, Shiv Kumar — operator, Gurmail Singh and Bajrangi Lal, employees of the cinema house. The police also recovered prints of a blue film, ‘Women on Bed’ and some adult posters were also recovered. The sources said that Charanjit Singh, owner, Bhupinder Singh, owner and Guriqbal Singh, partners, and Chand Bhan, employee of the cinema house were yet to be arrested. A case had been registered against them. The sources said that a manager of another cinema house had also been arrested but this could not be confirmed from authorities.

Meanwhile, the police said that more arrests had been made of a gang busted a few days and some recoveries were also made from the accused.

The accused sits with prepared VCDs and other equipments
The accused sits with prepared VCDs and other equipments at a police station in Bathinda on Wednesday.
— Photo Kulbir Beera

Mr Nilabh Kishore, SP (City), said that Ashok Kumar a resident of Hazi Rattan area of the city was arrested in connection with a case registered on April 16, under Sections 292, 293 IPC and 51, 52-A, 63, 68 and 68-A of the Copy Right Act.

He added that a video CD player, one colour TV, one CD writer, one copier which copied one CD into seven copies in one go, 26,000 wrappers of various films, 10,000 polythene packs, stamps, CD lens cleaner, 450 VCDs (prepared) and 55 master prints of blue films had been recovered from him. About 100 blank CDs were also recovered from his possession.

Mr Kishore said that four accused — Rajinder Kumar, Hari Mohan, Sunil Kumar and Rajwinder Singh had been already arrested in the above said case and about 2,610 pirated CD packs were also recovered from them. He claimed that the raids on those selling and dealing in pornographic materials would continue.


Vulgar songs, dances banned

Bathinda, April 23
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma today passed orders banning the vulgar performances of singers and dancers at the cultural shows and other public programmes.

Passing the orders, which bans singing and dancing in vulgar manner at the fairs in the district, the Deputy Commissioner has also appealed to the singers for introspection and give Punjabi music its due grace and respect. Such indecent performances polluted the rich Punjabi culture and traditional values, the Deputy Commissioner added. UNI


Minister meets VC, Pro-VC
Urges them to work in tandem
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 23
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai today rushed back from Andretta in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on being summoned by Higher Education Minister Harnam Das Johar for a joint meeting with varsity Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr R.N. Pal during the course of which both of them were “advised” to cooperate with each other in the best interest of the university.

The Higher Education Minister also simultaneously deputed the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Mr N.S. Rattan, to ascertain whether the formation of a “college” of persons excluding the Pro Vice-Chancellor to take decisions in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor was justified according to the university calendar or not. He said the Principal Secretary had also been asked to study this problem from the view of the constitution.

Talking to TNS, the minister said the meeting took place in Chandigarh and that the Vice-Chancellor had been “good enough to rush from Kangra on being called by me”. He said he heard the views of the Vice-Chancellor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor and had asked them to work as co partners and run the university according to its calendar. He said he was hopeful of the issue being solved amicably as the Principal Secretary “was a man of vision and knows about the institution”. Principal Secretary N.S. Rattan had officiated as Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University for some months after the ouster of Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia.

Meanwhile sources said the issue of changes made in the varsity’s rules as far as following Punjabi as a medium of instruction as well as its status in the recruitment process was also slated to be discussed at the minister’s level.

Meanwhile, the Forum for Educational Action and Reform (FEAR) has said that either the Pro VC should be appointed with the consent of the VC or the post should be done away with. 


‘Trishul religious symbol of Hindus’
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 23
The Punjab BJP president, Mr B.L. Rinwa, said here today that panchayat and coming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab under present regime could not be free and fair. He demanded the installation of cameras and deployment of paramilitary forces in every polling booth to avoid rigging. Mr Raghunath Jaiswal, general secretary, Punjab, BJP, Mr Sukhpal Singh BJP MLA from Ferozepur and Mr Bal Krishan Mittal, president, district unit of the BJP, were also with Mr Rinwa.

He alleged that development in the state had stopped and funds being spent on Sarb Sikhya Abhiyan and bridge on Beas were made available by the central government.

On Nanakshahi calendar, Mr Rinwa said that it was the internal affair of the Shiromani Akali Dal, and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. When pointed out that in Nanakshahi calendar death anniversaries of Satwant Singh killer of Indira Gandhi, and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had been included as holidays, he said that Sikh sangat was full of judicious and intellectual persons who had taken notice of this and were raising their voice agianst it also. He added that the BJP would expose anything harmful to the unity and integrity of the country.

On unity between the SAD (Badal) and the SHSAD Mr Rinwa said that BJP would welcome it because it was to the state’s benefit.

On conversions in the border districts of Gurdaspur Amritsar and Ferzoepore, Mr Rinwa said that these were being done on a large scale and some foreign powers were behind it.

He said that religious leaders of Christians and Muslims were supporting conversions which were a security risk for the country.

Mr Rinwa said that the Punjab BJP had formed a committee under the chairmanship of Harjit Singh, General Secretary of the party, to go into the conversions and submit a report. Party units of the border districts had been directed to form district-level committees and submit findings form sending it to the central government.

On the distribution of tridents (Trishuls) Mr Rinwa said that ‘Trishul’ was a religious symbol of Hindus for performing Puja of Lord Shiva. The BJP will not oppose it. However, he added that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal could explain about ‘Trishul Diksha’.


Sham Singh elected Sangrur ZP chief
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 23
Mr Sham Singh Makror, (a relative of Punjab minister Lal Singh) and Mr Darshan Singh Majhi were today elected chairperson and vice-chairperson, respectively, of the Sangrur Zila Parishad, while six members loyal to Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, also a Punjab minister, led by Mr Sarbjit Singh, walked out and did not participate in the election.

The elections were held amidst tight police security. Even the throughfare leading to the Railway Station from the main bus station was also closed to public by the police. Mr Lal Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, monitored the election process from the local residence of local MLA Arvind Khanna.

Earlier on three occasions on February 4, February 11 and March 6 last, the elections were postponed.

Mr Balwinder Singh, ADC-cum-Returning Officer for these elections, said there were 31 members present in the election meeting, of which only one member had not signed on the proceedings book. However, Mr Sham Singh Makror and Mr Darshan Singh Majhi were declared elected as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, as no other name for these posts had been proposed. He admitted that six persons walked out of the meeting alleging that the elections were not being held in a fair manner. He gave the names of six members, who did not participate in the elections, as Mr Sarbjit Singh, (Sherpur zone), Mr Rajwinder Singh (Shadihari), Ms Sukhwinder Kaur (Maholi Kalan), Ms Roopawanti (Dhaula), all members of the ZP; Mr Jangir Singh, chairman of Andana Block Panchayat Samiti and Mr Teja Singh, chairman of Barnala Block Panchayat Samiti.

The ADC claimed that the election was held in a peaceful manner.

Later, talking to reporters at the residence of Mr Arvind Khanna, the local MLA, Mr Lal Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, claimed that the news regarding the “kidnapping” of seven members of the ZP were baseless.

Mr Lal Singh said he could not comment with regard to disciplinary action against six Congress members who walked out of the election meeting as this was the prerogative of the PPCC president. He claimed that he had not come here to monitor the ZP elections. He said he halted here as he had been coming from Bathinda.

There was also a rumour here that about 25 ZP members and chairpersons of Block Panchayat Samitis had been brought here in a bus by the group of Mr Sham Singh. However, the mediapersons saw them in the bus after the elections which carried them to Mr Khanna’s residence where Mr Lal was already present to meet them.


PPCC chief sets up disciplinary panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Taking a serious view of growing indiscipline in the party, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, has constituted a five-member disciplinary committee headed by Mr Nasib Singh Gill, a former Deputy Speaker of Punjab.

The other members of the committee are: Mr Basant Singh (ex-MLA), Mr Joginder Nath (ex-MLA), Mr Bhagwan Singh and Ms Harsimrat Kaur.


Greening mortuary ‘to lessen grief’
Jaswinder Pal Singh

Bathinda, April 23
A secluded room in a corner emitting foul smell and blood-stained bandages and cotton etc scattered all over, come to mind when one thinks of the mortuary and the post-mortem room in a hospital. Nobody, not even relatives of the deceased, prefer to go near it.

But the mortuary of the Civil Hospital here is different. There are flower beds, clean surroundings, no medical waste is dumped in the open. There are benches for the relatives of the deceased.

The hospital mortuary is no longer an isolated place, visited only by doctors and other staff for conducting the post-mortem examination. It gives the look of a park, courtesy Sahara Jan Sewa, an NGO which made efforts to give it such a look.

The NGO’s volunteers had worked hard to give it the present look. Earlier like any other mortuary, garbage used to be dumped near it. Pigs and other stray animals frequented there. But it is not so now. A boundary wall now keeps the stray animals away.

NGO volunteers worked hard also to “fight a battle” against the orthodox. Some thought what was the need to beautify the place where only bodies were kept. They thought it waste of money.

NGO efforts were appreciated later and Kishore Electronics provided floodlights free of cost in the mortuary premises.

The Sahara which helps the hospital staff look after the bodies before and after post-mortem examination also gives items needed for the post-mortem examination free of cost, to members of the family of the deceased.

Mr Vijay Goyal, President of the Sahara, said that having plants and flowers in mortuary premises was to give relief to those coming to claim body after the post-mortem examination.

He added that the stinking and dull ambience of the mortuaries could add to the grief of the relatives of the deceased. He said that they were planning to install music system in the mortuary to play hymns. He said that devotional music could lessen the sorrow of the family of the deceased.


Complete probe against Langah in 3 months’

Chandigarh, April 23
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has asked the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) Director-cum-ADGP A P Pandey to complete the inquiry into the allegations of corruption against former Akali minister Sucha Singh Langah at the earliest, preferably within three months.

This was ordered yesterday by PSHRC Chairperson Justice N C Jain on a complaint filed by Gurmukh Singh, who sought the PSHRC’s intervention for the implementation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders to the Punjab Government to look into the representation of the complainant for entrusting the inquiry against Langah with an independent agency like the CBI and not with the Vigilance.

The Vigilance authorities have also been directed to call the complainant as and when required but not more than four times in all before completition of the inquiry.

The complainant had filed a writ petition in 2001 in the Punjab High Court to hand over the investigation into allegations against the former minister Sucha Singh Langah to an independent agency like the CBI. UNI


Badal’s OSD denied bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Hardeep Singh was today denied bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. His petition for the grant of anticipatory bail was dismissed by the High Court Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

In a related development, anticipatory bail petitions filed by Ropar-based property dealer Varinder Mohan and two others were rendered infructuous after counsel for the petitioners informed the court that the three had produced themselves before the investigating officer.

Pronouncing the orders in the open Court on Hardeep Singh’s petition, Mr Justice Roy said he was sure the laws of the country, explained time to time by the Supreme Court in judgments, including D.K. Basu versus state of West Bengal, would be kept in mind by the investigating officer concerned during the custodial interrogation.

The observations were made after Hardeep Singh’s counsel expressed apprehension that the former OSD would be subjected to physical torture during his custodial interrogation.

Accusing the Congress government of adopting a revengeful attitude towards political opponents, the petitioner, in an earlier petition, had asserted that the Chief Minister had openly declared that Badal and his men would be taught a lesson and as such he was being targeted. His counsel had added that a false and a baseless case had been registered against the petitioner by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau and his house was raided even though nothing incriminating was recovered from there.

Meanwhile, taking up the other three petitions, the Judge ruled that the petitioners were duty bound to fully cooperate with the investigating officer if in future they were required.

Seniority list

The period spent by an employee on ad hoc basis cannot be added to regular service for preparing the seniority list — Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled in a significant judgement.

In a ruling on a petition filed by a Works Manager with the Punjab Roadways challenging the seniority list circulated in March 1986, Mr Justice Nijjar held: “I am of the opinion that the respondents have rightly fixed the seniority with effect from the date of promotion on regular basis. The period of one year and seven months spent by the petitioner on ad hoc basis cannot be added to regular service. In view of this, the seniority list is held to be valid”.

The petitioner had joined service on ad hoc basis in 1975. Challenging the list, he had contended that seniority had to be determined after taking into consideration “the date of continuous appointment in service”.

State counsel, on the other hand, had contended that “the benefit of ad hoc service was not admissible towards seniority”. It had to be fixed on “the basis of continuous length of regular service”.


The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday fixed May 13 as the next date of hearing on a petition filed by Punjab’s former minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan in an alleged corruption case.

The former minister was apprehending arrest in a case registered by Punjab Vigilance Bureau on the allegations of misusing his authority for establishing a Trust in his father’s name at Sekhwan village near Gurdaspur.

According to the prosecution, Mr Sekhwan, Revenue Minister in the SAD-BJP government, was allegedly involved in wrongly getting the panchayat land allotted in the trust’s name. Alleging implication on political grounds, counsel argued that the first information report had been registered on the basis of information allegedly provided by sources, there was no complainant in the case.

Notice of motion

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion on a petition filed in public interest by a social organisation seeking directions to the state of Punjab and another respondent to take action against a District Tuberculosis Officer on the basis of an inquiry report.

In its petition, Amritsar-based All-India Youth Association had earlier submitted that the inquiry report had held him guilty on seven counts, including embezzlement of lakhs of rupees in the procurement and disbursement of medicines.


MC staff burns Chief Secy’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 23
As many as six corporation unions joined hands to hold a rally demanding a probe into assets amassed by vigilance officials.

Members of the joint action committee comprising of the Nagar Nigam Karmchari Dal the Tal-Mel Dal, the Nagar Nigam Worker’s Union, the Municipal Corporation Labour Union burnt effigy of the Chief Secretary, Mr Sudesh Kaushal to protest against vigilance raids.

They said the connivance of seniormost officials of corporations and local bodies with the politicians in the emergence of commercial structures in violations of building guidelines should be probed.

They said while the state took action against low ranking officials, the high ranking ones were allowed to go scot free.

The employees sat on a two hour dharna in front of the corporation office and blocked traffic using hauling machines used to lift garbage, trucks and other heavy vehicles in the busy Hall Bazaar area forcing traffic diversion. Mr Surinder Tona, Mr Surinder China, Mr Joginder Kamboj spoke on the occasion.


MC hunt for tullu pumps from today
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 23
Tullu pump users will face raids from early morning tomorrow with the municipal corporation authorities deciding to adopt tough measures to end this menace. A special task force has been constituted for the purpose. The corporation has hiked the fine up to Rs 2,000 in case of seizure of a tullu pump from any premises.

Sources have disclosed that the rampant use of tullu pumps has played a havoc with the water supply system in the city and can create chaos during the peak season. According to the sources, although the corporation has been claiming that there has not been any affect in water supply, yet people in the inner areas of the city are already facing problems in getting adequate water.

The problem has been aggravated due to the use of tullu pumps which has been hampering the supply of water to the tail-end supply pipes.

An informal survey conducted by the corporation has revealed that an estimated 7,000 tullu pumps are being used regularly in the city. The situation is particularly bad in the inner areas of the city as well as the colonies which have mushroomed in the outer areas of the city. The corporation has decided to adopt a strict line with the onset of summer because a public awareness exercise conducted last year to appeal to the people not to use tullu pumps did not have the desired effect.

According to the sources, task force has been constituted to conduct the raids which will comprise 11 members. Members of the task force have been provided with identity cards as well as written authorisation by Mayor Vishnu Sharma to raid premises. This has been done because last year there had been complaints that many corporation employees had started checking for tullu pumps without any authorisation, allegedly to make fast bucks.

The task force has also been provided with a special vehicle for making the checks. These checks will be conducted from 6.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Special training has been given to the members of the task force for conducting the checkings. The authorities said while earlier the Corporation used to return the tullu pumps seized during checking after imposing a penalty of Rs 500, this time it had been decided to confiscate the pumps, besides imposition of fine up to Rs 2000.

Meanwhile, senior authorities of the corporation have disclosed that the manner in which water is being used in the city will also be controlled during the summer. An informal survey has revealed that around 40 per cent of the total drinking water supplied by the corporation is being used for watering lawns and washing cars, besides other purpose. Authorities have said that a proposal is being made to stop the watering of lawns through fresh water during the peak season.



Order probe into poll rolls: IMA
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, April 23
The local unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the Punjab Chief Minister to initiate an inquiry into the alleged irregularities committed while preparing the electoral rolls for the poll to the Punjab Medical Council. Dr S.K. Jindal, president of the unit, said in a press note issued here today said as per the electoral rolls only about 20 per cent of the 34,000 registered medical practitioners were eligible to participate in the elections.

He urged the authorities concerned to start the election process afresh and a commission, which should have at least three members, should conduct the poll.


Chadha in privy council
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 23
Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson has appointed Mr Baljit Singh Chadha to the Queen's Privy Council of Canada. The oath ceremony was held at Rideau Hall, Governor-General's house, in Ottawa.

Mr Chadha was also appointed today as a member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) by the Prime Minister, Mr Jean Chretien.

Mr Chadha is the first non-politician of Asian origin to be named to the privy council, which gives him the privilege to carry the title of Honourable for life and affix PC (privy council) after his name.

The SIRC, established in 1984, comprises three to five members of the privy council, that examines complaints by individuals or reports by ministers relating to security clearances.

A press note was issued from Canada by the Punjabi community hailing the appointment via e-mail.


Masroor is Ahmadiya sect chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 23
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmed has been elected the fifth caliph and successor to the Promised Messiah in London by the Ahmadiya community following the demise of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmed.

According to a press note issued at Qadian, 45 km from here, today, after being elected, he was traditionally presented with the Hazrat Masih Maud coat and his memorable ring and turban.

The 52-year-old Hazrat Mirza, who holds a postgraduate science degree in agriculture, had dedicated his life for the welfare of the community at a young age. He worked hard with patience even in difficult times in the capacity of a missionary teacher and an agriculture scientist for about 12 years in Ghana (West Africa). He was appointed president of the Central Ahmadiya Organisation of Pakistan in 1997.


Steps to check drug abuse
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 23
Drug abuse is no longer confined to youth of the area, but has spread to all age groups.

A survey by the district police has cautioned that the problem was assuming serious threat to the law and order situation.

According to Mr Narinder Bhargav, SSP, 295 persons were arrested and cases registered against 278 under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act last year. Detention proposals against Gurnam Kaur, Gurjit Kaur, Ranjit Kaur, all residents of Thatha village in Harike police station on the drug smuggling charge have been initiated.

The department organised a de-addiction camp for police personnel at the Civil Hospital, Patti, and took action against eight police personnel found involved in drug trafficking.

Mr Bhargav said for awareness building 50 doctors, 25 chemists, more than 175 public men and 136 youth clubs were involved.

There were 1017 chronic addicts in the area: smack (314), tablets (428), poppy husk (163), opium (47), liquor (65). Of these 327 had been motivated to join the de-addiction camps. D-addiction centres have been opened at Sri Guru Arjan Dev Mission Hospital here, Naushehra Pannuan, Chabal, Patti, Bhikhiwind and Goindwal Sahib. More than 300 persons have taken treatment from these centres.


Cheema foundation to focus on ‘Kisan Behan’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 23
After “Kisan Bhai” now it is the turn of “Kisan Behan”. The Dr Amrik Singh Cheema Foundation Trust has decided to focus its attention on the neglected lot of women farmers, who play a significant role in rural economy.

The trust has been set up in memory of the former Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.

According to the Chairman of the trust, Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema, the trust will initiate a study to identify educate and active women agriculture workers in Kurukshetra district of Haryana and Patiala, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar or Hoshiarpur districts in Punjab. Mr Cheema says the percentage of women cultivators is 13 as compared to 26 of men cultivators in Punjab. Similarly in Kurukshetra district, the percentate of female cultivators is 31.7 and women agriculture labourers is 26.69.

Mr Cheema says after the completion of the study the trust will launch a programme, “Women in agriculture — workers to managers”, in a phased manner. The focus of the programme will be on building leadership skills in women for managing agriculture-based development activities.

The trust will suggest redesigning of the training programmes to make them more easily acceptable by women, besides providing technology training and input support to them. He says the women will also be involved in other objectives of the trust like health, community development and clean environment.

Mr Cheema is in touch with various international organisations like the Ford Foundation and the United Nations Development Fund for Women for supporting this project. 


FIR copy at doorstep of complainant
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 23
Here is good news for victims of crime. Henceforth, they will not have to make rounds of police stations for a copy of an FIR registered as they will get the same in their respective homes.

In a significant step, which could have a far-reaching impact on the functioning of the police set-up, the district police authorities have started sending a copy of the FIR to the complainant’s home.

Official sources said this exercise had been started under the aegis of the Community Police Resource Centre to give the police a more humane face.

“Under this programme, the complainant would be posted a copy of the FIR registered at his home address. To run this programme smoothly, the police authorities had distributed envelops and postal stamps in adequate numbers among various police stations,” said Mr Ishwar Singh, district police chief.

“We have designed a proforma by which progress regarding any inquiry into public complaints is sent to the complainant at his or her home address. The final outcome is also communicated to the complainant. If a case is registered on the basis of such an inquiry, the inquiry report, along with a copy of the FIR, is sent to the complainant,” explained Mr Ishwar Singh.

Mr Ishwar Singh said all police officials had been directed to implement these schemes in letter and spirit.


Award in memory of ‘Nanak Singh’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 23
“Sardar Nanak Singh Memorial Award” has been introduced from this year in memory of noted Punjabi novelist Nanak Singh. The award has been started by the Punjab-Maharashtra-Sahit Sanskriti Manch for Punjabis here and abroad.

The award was announced by executive committee member of the manch, Mr Shanta Ram MP and former Finance Minister of Maharashtra for Ms Bano Sartaj Qazi for 2002-2003. Ms Qazi’s works, include compilation of stories, ghazals besides humour poetry published in three languages — Marathi, Urdu and Hindi. 


Fire in fields injures two
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 23
Two persons were injured today while they were trying to bring a fire under control which engulfed the standing wheat crop at Mehraj village near Rampura Phul in the district. The fire reportedly broke out due to sparking in electricity wires.

The injured identified as Kulwinder Singh and Rahul Singh have been admitted to the Civil Hospital at Rampura Phul. They received about 20 per cent burn injuries and their condition is stated to be out of danger.

Besides this, four and half acres of standing wheat crop was destroyed due to a fire at Naruana village, about 3 km from here, this morning. Out of it, two and a half acres of crop belonged to Sukhmander Singh and the rest to Sher Singh. One fire engine from the city was pressed into service. The fire has allegedly broke out due to sparking in power lines.

Two acres of standing wheat crop of Mukand Singh was damaged in a fire last evening in the same village while two-and-half acres of wheat of Chuhar Singh was damaged at Sivian, village about 4 km from here, under similar circumstances last evening.


Lawyers function from tent
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 23
Members of the District Bar Association (DBA) here led by Mr Sarjiwan Jain, president of the association, today resorted to a novel method started functioning from a tent, put up in the judicial complex here. They were protesting against the non-construction of chambers.

Mr Sarjiwan Jain said the lawyers would operate daily for an indefinite period by sitting in this tent. He said a proper sitting place for the lawyers and their clients was the need of the hour, especially during the summer season. He said this was their symbolic protest which would continue till the acceptance of their demand.


Lawyers to strike work
Our Correspondent

Mansa, April 23
A meeting of the District Bar Association was held here today, which resolved that the Bar members would abstain from work till April 26 in support of their demand.

They are demanding the registration of a criminal case against those who attacked Mr Sushil Kumar Bansal, an advocate, after abducting him from a marriage palace at Budhlada in the district. They have given a statewide call for lawyers’ strike for April 25.


Special Lok Adalats
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 23
Nine Special Lok Adalats will be held in the district courts complex on April 26, where motor accident claims and bank loan recovery cases will be disposed of.

Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, secretary, District Legal Services Authority, said the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Lakhbir Singh, would preside over the Lok Adalats.

Such Lok Adalats would also be held at Talwandi Sabo and Phool on the same date.


Maintenance: DC blames it on councillors
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 23
Taking a serious view of poor condition of roads and encroachments on The Mall road and around the Clock Tower Chowk area in the district, Mr A. Veenu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, has directed officers and councillors of the local Municipal Council to look into the matter on a priority basis. He particularly resented the poor maintenance of Court Road, Circular Road, Old Jail Road leading to Tilla Baba Sheikh Farid and Bhai Ghania Chowk to Bus Stand Road.

In a press note issued here today, the Deputy Commissioner, after addressing a meeting of senior MC officials and councillors, said he had received complaints against some officers and councillors for playing a partisan role in various development works. He said a detailed development plan of the town should be formed with the help of ward-wise committees.

The Punjab Government had given a special grant of Rs 57 lakh for the development of the town, he added.

Dr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, ADC, Development, who was also present at the meeting, was deputed as a nodal officer to check the entire development plan and submit his report at the earliest. The Deputy Commissioner asked the MC officials to find out a suitable place for the rehabilitation of the encroachers before removing them.

Meanwhile, talking to this reporter, the Deputy Commissioner said a plan had been mooted to hand over the drinking water supply and sewerage system to the Punjab Sewerage Board to bring more efficiency in this regard. A proposal was also under consideration to carve out a parking place at the old grain market to check the entry of vehicles into the main bazars of the town.


Revenue data being digitised in Ropar
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 23
The revenue data of 34 villages of the Majri block of the district is being digitised. The Deputy Commissioner here Ms Seema Jain, while talking to newsmen yesterday said revenue record of the villages was being digitised under the Budki Rao water shed development programme launched in the Majri block.

The digitisation of the revenue data was being carried out in collaboration with the centre for Computational Engineering, Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh.

The revenue plans of the villages giving details of boundaries, settlement, water bodies and khasra numbers as per the latest land settlement records are being attached to the digitised maps of the villages. Each land unit will be given a unique numbers, which would consist of village code, and the khasra number. The digitised revenue plans will be superimposed over the aerial or satellite imagery.

After the data attachment to each land unit, the query system will be created. The digitisation work is likely to be completed in seven months. Till date the digitisation of 20 villages has been completed. The district will be able to create a data bank.


Govt notification

Chandigarh, April 23
The Punjab Government has issued a notification exempting the goods purchased by the SGPC for the Golden Temple in Amritsar from sales tax. The notification will remain in operation till March 31 next year. 

The Chief Minister has said if any other religious organisation applies for such an exemption, the government will decide the case on merit. TNS


Drive to beautify Ferozepore town
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, April 23
The district administration has embarked on an ambitious plan for the beautification of the town, especially various roundabouts and the main artery passing through the town. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, who had convened a meeting of various officials from the Town Planning Department, and the Electricity Board, the Cantonment Board, the Forest Department representatives of NGOs, said the administration had decided to beautify roundabouts and the entrance to the town, which otherwise wore a ragged and deserted look.

The Deputy Commissioner instructed the Forest Department officials to plant as many saplings as possible before the onset of the rainy season in order to provide a green belt all over the town. He said the road divider on the GT Road, which was constructed with financial aid from the Baba Sher Shahwali Trust, would also be spruced up and given a new look. He exhorted NGOs to join hands with the administration and work in tandem with the authorities.

Mr Parminder Singh said the work on the beautification of the National Martyrs Memorial, Hussainiwala, was being done on a war footing and would be completed soon. He said the work on the construction of the Gateway of India. “Shan-e-Hind”, had been completed at an expenditure of Rs 78 lakh. 


Doctor faces legal action
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 23
The Civil Hospital authorities have initiated legal action against Dr Nirmal Singh of Kartar Clinic, Bhagta Bhaika, in the district for violating rules while using ultrasound machine.

Dr S.K. Goyal Civil Surgeon, said here today that Dr Nirmal Singh was using the ultrasound machine at his clinic on the Bajakhanna road at Bhagta Bhaika for which he did not have valid licence.

He said 20 days ago when the doctor had started operating ultrasound machine at his new clinic, it was sealed and seized, as the doctor did not have a valid licence. He said the doctor claimed that he had the licence.

Dr Goyal said while the authorities were looking into the matter and were verifying whether Dr Nirmal Singh had a licence to operate the machine at his new clinic, the doctor purchased another machine and started using the same.

Dr Goyal said even though Dr Nirmal had the licence to operate the machine at his old clinic, but when he had shifted the place of his clinic he might have been taken the requisite permission from the authorities for installing the ultrasound machine there.


Unit making adulterated honey unearthed
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 23
The Ropar police has unearthed a Chamkaur Sahib-based factory allegedly involved in making adulterated honey.

In a raid conducted today, the police seized 88 tins of pure honey and 11 tins of adulterated honey from the unit located in Indira Colony in Chamkaur Sahib. District health officials, who accompanied the police team, took samples of the honey and sent it to a laboratory for testing.

Sucha Singh and his son, Ranjit Singh, who were running the factory told the police that they used to mix two tins of pure honey with two tins of sugar and one tin of water to make the adulterated honey. The adulterated honey was then sent to a Karnal-based wholesale trader who bottled it and supplied it to Delhi.


School students stay away from classes
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 23
Students of Jack-n-Jil Senior Secondary School situated on the premises of Rail Coach Factory, Hussainpur, near the town today abstained from their classes. They also registered their protests by wearing black badges.

The students were protesting against the non-affiliation of the school with the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali.

Students, parents and members of the staff council and educational society marched in a procession on the factory premises carrying banners.

In a press note issued jointly by Mr Brij Mohan and Mr Saravjit Singh, members of staff council alleged that the RCF Women Welfare Society, a registered society, was running the school as a teaching shop.

They said the staff council, parents and students would intensify the struggle to the get the school affiliated with the board.

They alleged that the society had been playing with the career of the students as they had to face problem during admission to other schools after passing the sixth class from this school.

Parents and students demanded the affiliation of the school with the board to save the future of the students.

On the other hand, the management of the RCF said students were forced to wear black badges and the boycott was engineered by some persons having vested interest for ulterior motive. Regarding affiliation of the school with the Punjab School Education Board, the management clarified that the RCF was not in any way connected with the running of the school as the factory complex was at present having four schools for the children of the employees.


Refer case to special judge: varsity don
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 23
An application was submitted on behalf of Punjabi University teacher Harwinder Bhatti, who was allegedly attacked by some persons at the behest of former Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, at the fast-track court here, pleading that the case be referred to a Special Judge empowered to try cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The application, submitted by advocate Sahib Singh Dhindsa, states that the court did not have any jurisdiction to try the case as there was evidence against Dr Ahluwalia that he had committed offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act by misusing his official position as a public servant. The application alleged that Mr Ahluwalia had misused his official vehicle.

The application said the judge of the fast-track court was not empowered to act as a Special Judge and the case be referred back to the Sessions Judge.

Meanwhile, the Punjabi University authorities today submitted some record which the former Vice-Chancellor had said should be made available to the court. The case was adjourned and notice of the application given to the defence for May 28.

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