Thursday, May 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Takht emissary visits Tohra in hospital
Goes back without delivering letter
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
Senior Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) leaders and family members of senior Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra today expressed unhappiness at the manner in which a special messenger was sent by Akal Takht Secretariat today to deliver a letter to the ailing leader in a private hospital here. The messenger went back without delivering the letter.

Akal Takht secretariat had deputed Amarjit Singh to deliver a letter to the senior Akali leader. However as Mr Tohra is still in ICU of Patiala Heart Institute here, the letter could not be delivered to him. Mr Amarjit Singh seemed interested in handing over the letter to Mr Tohra only and left the hospital after a short while without handing over the letter to anyone.

The move has irked party leaders of the SHSAD and some family members. Sources disclosed that the messenger was asked by the family members what was the haste in delivering the letter to Mr Tohra so soon when his condition was serious. The family members also felt that it would not be advisable to hand over the letter to the former SGPC chief at a time when he was recovering after serious cardiac problem.

Meanwhile SHSAD General Secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra said the Akal Takht Secretariat should not have sent any special messenger to deliver a letter to the veteran leader at such a time. He said the move was not liked by senior party leaders as well as family members. He said moreover delivering any message to him at such a time was not good as it could cause tension to the former SGPC chief. He said the letter could be regarding the recent summoning of both Mr Tohra and Mr Parkash Singh Badal at Akal Takht.

Mr Chandumajra said keeping in view the special circumstances, Akal Takht should exempt Mr Tohra from personal appearance before the Takht. He said personal appearance of the former SGPC chief should not come in the way of Akali unity as Mr Badal had already expressed willingness to present himself at Akal Takht and any punishment given to him.

Meanwhile a visit to the hospital revealed that party workers were also annoyed at the latest development. Party workers claimed that the Badal faction in the SGPC was responsible for this. They said the SGPC office in Amritsar was kept open last Sunday for finding an excuse to summon the former SGPC chief at Akal Takht.

Some workers also claimed that it seemed that SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar was not interested in Akali unity as he had already been given to understand that control of the SGPC would be given to Mr Tohra once unity was achieved. The workers said in such circumstance, an attempt was being made to delay the unity move by giving a date for appearance which Mr Tohra could not keep. The workers said they would themselves appear at Akal Takht in case any attempt was made to delay or sabotage Akali unity due to the illness of Mr Tohra.


Tohra progressing
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) President Gurcharan Singh Tohra appears to be on way to recovery. He was put on oral-liquid diet today after removing him from ventilatory support.

Patiala Heart Institute spokesman Dr Dharamvir Gandhi disclosed that Senior Akali leader’s condition had improved since this morning and that he was maintaining vital parameters on minimal support. Dr Gandhi said the doctors who had been attending on Mr Tohra had expressed satisfaction at his pace of recovery. He said his condition would be monitored in the hospital for at least three to four days more.

Meanwhile Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal today paid another visit to the Akali leader this morning along with his son and former Union Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Others who called on Mr Tohra today were Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Sunam Legislator Parminder Singh Dhindsa. Besides them former Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Prof Manjit Singh and Punjab Pradesh Congress President H.S. Hanspal also called on Mr Tohra.

People from all walks of life visited Patiala Heart Institute where Mr Tohra is undergoing treatment. Besides workers of the SHSAD, common people, particularly those of Tohra village in Amloh constituency also visited the hospital. They interacted with ailing leader’s wife, daughter and son in law Harmail Singh Tohra who are in the hospital.


Summon Giani Iqbal Singh, say lawyers
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 28
Several senior Sikh lawyers of the District Bar Association have appealed to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, to summon Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Patna Sahib, who had challenged the supremacy of Akal Takht by declaring Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, chairman of the Takht Patna Sahib Committee, member SGPC and a senior advocate of Faridkot, as “tankhaiya” on May 20 at Patna Sahib.

They alleged that Giani Iqbal Singh had not only violated the Sikh maryada and its traditions but had also damaged the supreme powers of Akal Takht.

In a joint press statement here yesterday, the advocates clarified that the other four takhts could only pass resolutions for the betterment of the Sikh culture and its idealogies to protect the interests of the Sikh community.

However, the issuance of any “hukamnama” for settling the controversial matters entirely rests with Akal Takht.

Moreover, Article 79 of the Constitution maintained that Takht Patna Sahib had clearly mentioned that any controversial problem or serious matter in the takht must be brought to the notice of the Sikh clergy of Akal Takht for amicable settlement.

Calling the step of Giani Iqbal Singh as unfortunate and improper, they alleged that the same had been taken by him at the behest of some vested interests, which were creating confrontation among the takhts besides lowering their dignity to achieve their personal gains.

Prominent among those who made the statement include Mr Manmohan Singh Brar, ex-MLA, and former chairman, Sikh Gurudwara Judicial Commission, Mr Bikramjit Singh, former president, District Bar Association and Mr Rajinder Singh. 


Panchayat poll: DCs briefed on quota roster
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Sample reservation for offices of sarpanches in Jalandhar district

The total number of panchayats is 1000 (supposition) and percentage of SC population in the district is 42.

Chandigarh, May 28
The straitjacket guidelines on the preparation of reservation roster for the June 29 Punjab panchayat elections issued by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats do not provide much scope for manipulative politics, much to the consternation of the ruling Congress. This has created a piquant situation, particularly in districts where Scheduled Caste population exceeds 50 per cent as in the case of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala.

The Deputy Commissioners, who were called here on Tuesday afternoon, were briefed on the manner in which reservation of panchayats is to be done. They are supposed to treat district as a unit as per the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, for determining the percentage of reservation for Scheduled Caste men and women and general-category women (in that order) on the basis of the Scheduled Caste population of the district as per Census-1991.

Therefore, the basis for reservation roster for the June-2003 panchayat elections will be the 1998 roster of panchayat elections.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, personally took the initiative for the ''bold and positive'' step taken by the department in framing the ground rules as per the relevant Acts and rules for the reservation of panchyatas for the panchayat elections next month. He also succeeded in carrying with him some of the recalcitrant colleagues, both ministers and MLA, who attended the meeting of the Deputy Commissioners here yesterday.

As per the brief given to the Deputy Commissioners, along with a 'sample' roster, offices of sarpanches shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the number of such offices shall bear, as nearly as may, the same proportion to the total number of offices of sarpanches in a district, as the population of the Scheduled Castes in that district. Thus, not less than one-third of the total number of offices of sarpanches in a district shall be reserved for Scheduled Caste women and again not less than one-third of the total sarpanches shall be reserved for women, including Scheduled Caste women.

The 14-point guidelines in Punjabi, circulated by the Directorate of Rural Development and Panchayats, are very cogent and succinct. Informed sources say that it was due to certain clarifications sought by the Deputy Commissioners who were under political stress to use their discretion while making reservations and also the political pressure exerted on the Chief Minister by his own party colleagues to 'intervene that the meeting of the Deputy Commissioners was called. At the end of the meeting, it was felt that there was little scope for any government interference to undo the ground rules framed as per the Acts and rules after the department had obtained a clear mandate from the State Election Commission.

The accompanying sample chart shows what exactly the Deputy Commissioners will do while preparing reservation rosters for their respective districts. They shall have very little or limited scope to use their discretion to accommodate political influences. Some political manipulation, however, is not ruled out. The preparation of the June-2003 reservation roster will involve arranging of the 1998 roster of reserved panchayats in alphabetical order, thereby covering Scheduled Castes men and women and general-category women panchayats. Thereafter, the general-category panchayats will be taken up and declared "reserved".

In the case of ''no choice'' and in order to ensure the prescribed percentage of panchayats is reserved as per the specified categories based on the Scheduled Caste population to that of the total population of the district, some of the panchayats that were reserved in 1998 shall have to remain reserved for the June-2003 elections as well.

But the order of reservation will change with panchayats reserved for Scheduled Caste women coming on top followed by ones reserved for the general category.

Thereafter, the roaster will continue with panchayats reserved for Scheduled Caste men and women. In other words, it would mean to first select the panchayats to be reserved and then arrange them in alphabetical order.

There are 12,428 villages and the number of panchayats is 12,369. This figure may go up by say another 100-odd new panchayats which will be added at the bottom of the reservation roster.


662 booths to be set up for panchayat poll
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 28
The state Election Commission has directed the Returning Officers (ROs) to return one copy of nomination papers to the candidates as a receipt to check malpractices.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the ROs had been directed to treat the Block Development Office (BDPO) as their headquarters from the day of filing nominations till the day of declaration of results.

The commission has also directed not to appoint any official from the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department as RO for the elections. Apart from it, the commission has appointed Subdivisional Electoral Officer for the first time. For every 15 villages, one RO has been appointed.

As many as 622 polling booths will be set up for the election of 306 panchayats in the district. Official sources said out of the 306 panchayats, 139 panchayats had been reserved for general category candidates; 65 panchayats for SC candidates; 33 panchayats for SC women; and 69 panchayats for women. The record of all the panchayats had been taken into possession by the agencies concerned.


Punjab to regularise services of 3,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
In compliance with the order of the Supreme Court, the Punjab Government has decided to regularise the services of about 3,000 ad hoc, temporary, etc employees who were recruited on June 13, 1996, or earlier.

Official sources said today that a notification in this connection had been issued asking all departments concerned to prepare the case for regularisation of employees concerned.

The sources said that the regularisation of these employees would be subject to the fulfilment of other eligibility conditions such as basic qualification for the post, service record, police verification, etc. In seniority, these employees would be junior to those employees who have been recruited through proper channel.

Most of these employees were recruited during the Beant Singh regime. Now instructions have been sent to all concerned to avoid such a situation in future, all the necessary steps should be taken. 


Suspect tortured to death

Hoshiarpur, May 28
A man suspected of having committed a theft in a gurdwara outside Kothe Jattan village was tortured by a group of people yesterday. The suspect went on denying the charge till his last breath, the police said.

Border Security Force head Constable Kamaljit Singh was among the 13 accused named by brother of deceased Joginder Singh, 46 ,in the complaint lodged with the Hariana police.

The accused, booked under section 302 and 148/149 of the IPC, are at large, DSP (rural) R.S. Uppal said.

Complainant Tarsem Singh told police his brother was waylaid by four men riding two scooters at DCM chowk in Hariana town at around 1.45 p.m. and assaulted with iron rods and lathis. He alleged Charanjit Singh, Kehar Singh, Jagir Singh and Jaswinder Singh then drove bleeding Joginder Singh, after tying him with a rope, to the village and threw him over the hot sand at high noon. He further alleged that nine others joined the four accused. They started torturing him to extract confession that he had stolen a brass utensil from the village gurdwara the previous night. The victim, while denying the charge repeatedly, offered Rs 300, he said, he had on him to the alleged torturers in a bid to save his life. But it was too late and Joginder Singh bled to death. All 13 accused fled.

Besides the BSF head constable, who was home on leave, the remaining eight accused named in the FIR are Surjit Singh, Gurmail Singh, Rajinder Singh, Kewal Singh, Baljinder Singh, Tarsem Singh, Billa and Jaswinder Singh. UNI


New Punjab BJP chief in September
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 28
The Punjab unit of the BJP will complete its organisational election process by the end of September. The new state president of the party will be elected by 117 delegates from all districts of the state in September.

Talking to TNS over phone today, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, former president of the Punjab unit of the BJP and former Punjab Minister, said the party was going to begin the election process with the elections of primary units (samitis) of the party. After that, block-level and district-level elections would be held. Each district would send delegates, equal to the number of Assembly constituencies in it, for electing the state BJP chief, he added.

Mr Mittal said Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, an MLA, who had been appointed state election officer for conducting the elections, had already appointed district election officers. Each district election officer would also have an assistant election officer.

Mr Mittal said he was not in the race for the presidentship of the Punjab BJP. However, he added that he would obey every order of the party to perform duties/responsibilities in the larger interests of the party. He said the new state president of the party would form the state executive committee after his elections.

Mr Mittal said the SAD and BJP would contest ensuing panchayat elections jointly. Both parties would also avoid clashes and would support each other whole-heartedly every where.

Mr Mittal said the BJP supported the proposed unity between the SAD and SHSAD, as unity between both parties would be helpful for the Punjabis and Punjab and a set back to the Congress.


Cong jittery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The ruling Congress party is feeling jittery about the new system of seat reservation for panchayats in Punjab. The government has introduced a roaster system to reserve certain villages for the Scheduled Castes and women candidates for sarpanches. There is a provision to declare certain villages as reserved.

The issue was discussed at the meeting of the Deputy Commissioners here yesterday.


Kataria is Cong poll observer
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 28
Mr Virendra Kataria, former president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has been appointed an Observer for Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha elections by the party president Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

He has been asked by the AICC General Secretary, Mr Oscar Fernandes to tour the region and interact with party leaders and the workers. He will send a report on political developments in the state every week to Mrs Sonia Gandhi. 


Play inspires 12 to quit drugs
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 28
Passengers at the local railway station had a good time last evening when they watched a street play “Waapsi” staged by Nora Richard Arts and Theatre troupe of the city near the station.

The play was aimed at creating awareness among the people against drug abuse. Although the artist might not have expected the play to have much impact on the spectators, yet at the end of the play, at least 12 migrant labourers from Bihar emptied their small boxes of “jarda” (tobacco) and pledged that they would not consume the same again.

The troupe stages the street plays ‘Nukad Nataks’ at different places in the city every evening. The troupe has planned to stage at least 100 shows in the district.

Mr Balwinder Singh, waiting for a train to Abohar, urged the troupe members to stage similar shows in Abohar also.

Kewal Bansal, an artiste, said they were staging the play with a dual aim — to revive the concept of ‘nukad nataks’ or street plays to launch a massive movement against the use of narcotics.

In the play, a youth Vinod, belonging to the middle class, joins a college with the hope of making it big in life. However, his dreams are bigger than his abilities and to gain confidence, his “friends” suggest him to take drugs, which they give him free of cost in the beginning. When he becomes an addict, his “friends” refuse to supply him drugs free of cost and tell him to get money by committing thefts following which he starts stealing.

It is too late when Vinod’s family comes to know about his condition. In the end, his “friends” ask him to sell drugs. However, Vinod refuses their “proposal” as he does not want others to fall into this vicious circle.

Banti Agnihotri, another artiste, said they had been selecting places in the city to perform where maximum number of people gathered. He said they had held shows at Rose Garden, dhobi bazar and the fire brigade chock.

The director of the play, Mani Kant Batish, said they were planning to hold shows at college and schools after the summer vacation. He said the message through street plays reached the maximum people. He added that it was also much cheaper as they did not have to make huge sets.


Punjab to raise IR battalion
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The financial and technical clearances of the state government are awaited to fill 1200 vacancies in the Punjab Police, besides raising of a new India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in the state. Preference will be given to special police officers (SPOs) in filling these vacancies.

The Union Government has already sanctioned raising of a new IRB in Punjab by bearing the entire expenses on the raising and training of the new battalion. Once raised, the subsequent expenses would be shared by the Centre and the state on 50:50 basis with technical command remaining vested with the latter.

Talking to The Tribune here, the Director-General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhullar, said that since the state government had banned recruitment, the number of vacancies in the police force had touched 1,200.

“We have approved some appointments against these vacancies, but no numbers have been allotted to the candidates cleared for appointments. The numbers will be issued only after a formal sanction has been received from the state government. “We have in principle cleared the names of some outstanding sportspersons and a few cases on compassionate grounds. The DGP has a discretionary quota of 10 per cent. The main thrust of the fresh recruitment would be to absorb special police officers (SPOs) who have been waiting for regularisation of their services. At present, we have 3,700 SPOs,” Mr Bhullar said.

When asked about promotions at the senior level, Mr Bhullar said there was one vacancy of Additional Director-General of Police. This vacancy was caused by the voluntary retirement of Mr Bakshi Ram. Earlier vacancies caused by the retirement of Mr S.V. Singh and Mr B.P. Tewari had been filled by Mr A.A. Siddiqui and Mr R.K. Gupta.


CBI tells SHO to join probe
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 28
The probe into the corruption case involving two judicial officers has took a new turn with the CBI formally asking the SHO of the Kartarpur police station to join the investigation.

According to highly-placed sources, the CBI sent a teleprinter message to the SSP office here on Monday, asking the SHO, Kartarpur police station, Mr Rajinder Kumar, to personally appear at its Chandigarh office on Tuesday. The local police authorities, however, conveyed to the CBI that the SHO could not be informed in time and he would be joining investigation on Wednesday.

The sources further maintained that Mr Rajinder Kumar today failed to join the investigation despite clear instructions in this regard. The CBI, according to the sources, had started investigating the role of police officials in the judge bribery case, which led to the arrest of the then District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.M. Gupta, even as the UT Magistrate, Mr S.S. Bhardwaj, was still evading arrest.

It is learnt that the CBI has now started scrutinising the records of those cases, which had been registered by the Jalandhar police against Dr Gurwinder Samra, who had allegedly been practising medicine without any valid degree at his Kartarpur-based hospital under the nose of the health and police authorities for the past one decade. Dr Samra, according to the FIRs registered against him, had fleeced innocent patients by charging hefty amounts running into lakhs of rupees, without giving any receipt for the same.

The sources further maintained that the SHO of the Kartarpur police station might move anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in anticipation that he could be arrested by the CBI in the case.


Sareen granted bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Dr P.K. Sareen, an accused in the alleged kidney transplant conspiracy case, was today granted bail by Ms Justice Kiran Anand Lall of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Pronouncing the orders in the open court, Ms Justice Lall directed the petitioner to furnish a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh, along with two sureties of the like amount. Directing Dr Sareen to deposit his passport, the Judge also asked him not to leave the country without the court’s prior permission. He was also directed to be present before the authorities concerned every Wednesday.

Claiming to have been implicated in the case, Dr Sareen, in his petition, had earlier submitted that he had not been named in the first information report registered by the police at Amritsar under the provisions of the Transplant of Human Organs Act, besides Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.


Acting on a petition seeking security cover filed by Gurvinder Singh Samara, complainant in a bribery case registered against two judicial officers, a Division Bench of the High Court on Wednesday impleaded the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a party in the case.

Issuing the directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Varinder Singh, also took on record an application filed by Samara claiming that his father and son were detained in a police station after being picked up on May 25.

In his application, Samara had further claimed that the two were asked to make him appear before the police and withdraw allegations regarding a threat to his life. They were also pressurised to give in writing that their lives were not in danger, Samara had stated.

Going into the background of the case, Samara had explained that he had filed a petition seeking security cover, besides directions to the police officials against harassing him and his family. The petitioner had added that he had been receiving threatening calls from police officials and as such his life and liberty, along with that of his family, were in danger.

Poll petition

Concluding the arguments on the issue of maintainability of a petition challenging the election of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh from the Patiala assembly constituency, counsel for the petitioner on Wednesday claimed that the Chief Minister had no right to continue.

Arguing before Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, counsel Satya Pal Jain contended that the Chief Minister had used the services of Class I gazetted officer Bharat Inder Singh Chahal. The documentary evidence, appended along with the petition, proved his role beyond any shadow of doubt. The petitioner had added that Mr Chahal was, subsequently, awarded by the respondent for the services he rendered. Moreover, he had spend more than the prescribed limit during the elections.

It was added that the petition was complete in all respects and was liable to succeed. Harkirat Singh — a voter from Patiala — had earlier alleged that the Chief Minister had used a helicopter during his election campaign, but the expenses incurred in the process had not been specified. Alleging the use of chopper by the now Chief Minister for visiting his constituency and for dropping hand bills, the petitioner had added that an expenditure of approximately Rs 3,70,000 was incurred in the process.


HC comes to rescue of lifer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
He would still have been in prison undergoing life imprisonment, had the Punjab and Haryana High Court not informed him about the acquittal of co-accused in a murder case.

Coming to the rescue of Muktsar district resident Gur Lal Singh, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Registry in February to tell him about the acquittal of co-accused Roshan Singh and Boota Singh as he had not filed an appeal against the orders of conviction.

The three were booked by the police in February 1996 for murder and theft under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code following the death of one Mukhtiar Singh. According to the prosecution, the three had allegedly thrown the body in a canal. After going through the evidence, Faridkot’s District and Sessions Judge had sentenced the three to life imprisonment in April, 2001.

Aggrieved by the orders of conviction, Boota Singh and Roshan Singh had moved the High Court, while Gur Lal Singh did not file an appeal. Subsequently, the High Court, while allowing Boota and Roshan Singh’s appeal, directed the Registry to inform Gur Lal Singh about the orders of acquittal. After receiving the information, he too moved the Court.

Taking up his appeal, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice K.S. Garewal, today acquitted Gur Lal Singh of the charges framed against him and directed that he should be released forthwith.


Amarinder hails peace move

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today welcomed the initiative for normalisation of relations with Pakistan, as also the positive response of the Pakistan Government.

Describing the peace move as timely, he said the Punjabis on both sides of the border had been the biggest sufferers of Indo-Pak confrontation over the past several decades, says a press note.

Capt Amarinder Singh expressed happiness over the emphasis by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan on trade and people-to-people contacts as a precursor to defusing tensions in the region. “Punjab being the frontline state and sharing a common history and culture with people across the border, looks forward to playing a crucial facilitating role,” he added. TNS


Plea to start Lahore bus service
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 28
Suggestions to commence the international bus service between India and Pakistan from Amritsar have gained momentum due to “arduous nature of journey” between Lahore and Delhi.

The Rastriya Raksha Dal (RRD), a political party formed by ex- defence personnel led by col J.S. Bal (retd), has urged that the twin cities of Majha belt viz-a-viz Lahore and Amritsar be connected by bus route instead of the 17-hour journey through two states of India to reach the Capital following resumption of the Indo-Pak “sada-e-sarhad” bus.

He said not only would the time factor be reduced, it would also save on the travel fare. The proposed Amritsar-Lahore bus route could ensure better comfort, minimise traffic hazard, and ease custom clearance, in addition to the reduction of hassle to provide extravagant refreshments.

Apart from this, both cities, located between Ravi and Beas, share historic and cultural ties as Lahore was the political capital and Amritsar the commercial and religious centre during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The acceptance of the proposal could also significantly boost tourism.


INTACH’s blueprint for Ram Bagh’s upkeep
Our Correspondent

Amritsar May 28
Favouring the immediate eviction of three posh clubs from the historic Ram Bagh, which was the summer capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the INTACH has sought action by the municipal corporation to bulldoze unauthorized constructions and extensions in the historic garden.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, convener of INTACH, and co-convener and members have presented a proposal for proper maintenance of the garden, besides preservation of the ancient flavor of this site.

It points out that some buildings of the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh show cracks, weed growth, besides fraying. The cracks should be plugged weeds removed and fraying conserved in keeping with the architecture of those times.

The document points out that the existence of concrete skating rink, open fence along the gates, poor maintenance of two out of four water bodies and improper maintenance of flora and other structures mismatch the traditional design of the garden. It suggests liaison with NGOs, volunteer groups, educational institutes and NSS/ NCC to undertake maintenance, and cleanliness drives for the conservation of the garden.

The blueprint advocates listing of trees in the garden many believe them to be rare, besides preparing brochures about the patterns of the garden, its building and museum.

It also suggests the revival of two missing water bodies and passages with hedge of aromatic plants, climbers as in the original plans of the “Charbagh”.

The proposal includes making of water outlets, changing of water in the pools, non-usage of external pumps and pipes, identifications of plants and flora, diseases and immediate treatment, besides regular pruning. “All wastage should be used as vermin-composed manure,” suggests the plan. 


SDM seeks fresh report on temple income

Jalandhar, May 28
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate has asked the receiver of Shri Sidh Baba Sodal Mandir-cum-DTO, Mr Chander Gaindh, to submit fresh report pertaining to the accounts of offerings and other income being collected from rented shops situated within the mandir complex.

The SDM, in a letter to the receiver, said deputation of Sidh Baba Sodal Mandir Trust met the District Magistrate on January 22 and expressed dissatisfaction regarding the affairs of the temple being managed by the receiver. Subsequently, the District Magistrate instructed the SDM concerned to seek complete report on the issue.

Though the receiver submitted a report in this regard on February 25, but the SDM found the report unsatisfactory and again asked the receiver to visit the spot personally to take necessary steps. The receiver was asked to submit the report immediately.

Meanwhile, Mr Chadda alleged that though devotees had been donating lakhs as offerings, particularly during the anual fair, no account was being maintained by the receiver. OC


Dang for probe into four-laning
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 28
Mr Satya Pal Dang, veteran Communist leader, has demanded that the case of four-laning of the GT road in 1996 be reopened and handed over to the Vigilance Bureau, on the pattern of the re-probe ordered into the disposal of land of Government Damganj School by land mafia.

In a letter to Mr A.K. Dubey, Principal Secretary, Mr Dang said the G.T. Road was owned by the PWD, who had prepared the project of four-laning at Rs 5.4 crore. However, the then, Mayor got the project transferred to the corporation and subsequently prepared a new project for Rs 11.80 crore.

Mr Dang said this was at the time when the corporation was under severe fund crunch and unable to even discharge its obligatory duties. He said bitumen, which was unavailable in the open market, was allegedly stolen by contractors from the PWD quota.

“Despite prolonged correspondence between the government and Mrs Vimla Dang, the then, MLA, no notice was taken either of the financial difference between the quotations, one by the PWD and other by the corporation under the said Mayor. Also no inquiry was ordered into the bitumen theft”, he added. Mr Dang urged that the case be handed over to the Vigilance Bureau for a thorough probe.


Drinking water samples fail tests
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 28
Even as the health authorities took samples of drinking water from different parts of the district today, 10 out of 11 samples taken from the city some days ago have failed tests.

The Health authorities said the report of the samples taken from Sanjay Nagar, Janta Nagar, Amarpura Basti and Sanjay Colony of the city on May 16 was received today and it was found that only the water supplied to Amarpura Basti was accordingly to the standards, while the samples taken from other colonies failed.

The authorities said the samples from these colonies were taken for the first time.

The departments supplying water to the residents had been asked to take steps for improving the quality of water. The authorities said samples from these colonies would be taken again after some days when the department would assure that the quality had improved.

The health authorities also looks samples from four places in the city today. The samples were taken from different town and village of the district, including Goniana (11), Sangat (4), Balianwali (3), Nathana (4), Bhagta (6) and Rampura Phul (4).

Dr Avtar Singh, District Health Officer, when contacted, said the samples were taken under the special campaign launched to ensure that safe drinking water was supplied to the residents.

He said during the raids by the health authorities it was ensured that no vendor sold stale vegetables, fruits, etc. 

197 water samples collected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
A week-long campaign has been launched by the Punjab Health and Family Welfare Department to contain the possible outbreak of water-borne diseases in the state. Giving this information, Dr D.P.S Sandhu, Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, said special emphasis would be on destroying cut fruit and uncovered eatables being sold in the open.

During the past three days, 197 samples of water and 307 samples of eatables had been collected from various places and sent for testing. The sale of cut fruit and exposed eatables had been banned.

He said the rising temperatures provided favourable conditions for the spread of diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A and E. All civil surgeons and food inspectors had been instructed to collect water samples.


Dal Khalsa to observe Bhindranwale’s anniversary

Amritsar, May 28
The Dal Khalsa has announced to observe the death anniversary of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhidranwale who fell to Army bullets in Operation Bluestar 19 years ago.

Addressing a press conference Mr Kanwarpal Singh the dal’s secretary for political affairs, here today announced the highlights of the observance of the anniversary on June 6.

The Damdami Taksal, the parent body of Sant Bhindranwale, and the Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal, led by Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, have jointly clarified that since the Nanakshahi calendar had put to rest the controversy regarding death of the sant, they decided to observe the day. OC


Send viscera samples soon, SSPs told
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 28
The Punjab State Chemical Laboratory here has asked senior superintendents of police of all districts in the State to ensure that viscera samples in poisoning cases were deposited with the laboratory within one week of the post-mortem examination.

Disclosing this at a press conference today, the Chemical Examiner, Dr D.C. Sharma, said the Senior Superintendent of Police, here had already issued directions in this regard to all station house officers (SHOs) of the district. He said in letters to all SSPs of the state, he had requested that investigating officers should be held responsible in case the samples were not deposited in the laboratory within one week.

The Chemical Examiner said the time taken for analysis of the viscera from the earlier 10 to 12 weeks had been reduced to six weeks now. Besides this, the laboratory had cleared the entire backlog of pending cases as well as ensuring that analysis of samples started immediately after being received by the laboratory.

He said when he joined as Chemical Examiner in October last year there was a pendency of 380 cases. He said besides this there was a waiting period of 47 days for the start of the process of analysis of the cases of poisoning as well as rape. He said efforts were now being made to conduct the complete analysis in five weeks’ time.

Dr Sharma said last year the laboratory received 2626 cases of poisoning, including 201 from Chandigarh and 465 cases of rape for semen examination. He said besides this 1.27 samples of liquor, 14 samples of charas, 17 of ganja, 14 of mollases, 114 of opium, 1006 of poppy heads, six of smack and five of bhang had also been received for analysis.

He said there had been an acute shortage of money for the purchase of chemicals during the last few years due to which there was a market liability of Rs 1.5 lakh on the laboratory.

He said now Health Minister Ramesh Chander Dogra had ensured that regular supply of chemicals and testing reagents would be made available to the laboratory. He said a special case had been prepared by the Health Department for a allocation of Rs 4 lakh so that all pending liabilities could be cleared.


Terrorist victim files suit to get pension
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 28
A local resident, Ms Kasturi Devi, whose son was killed by terrorists, has filed a civil suit in the court of Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan, Civil Judge (Senior Division), here to seek justice from the Punjab government to pay her pension arrears due under a special pension scheme for the past about 12 years.

In a complaint filed before the court, she said that her son, Rajinder Singh, who was a gunman of SSP Batala, was killed by terrorists during his duty hours on January 24 in 1991. During the time of incident, he was a bachelor and under the conditions, the plaintiff was awarded a special family pension of Rs 375 per month by the state government which was raised to Rs 1310. In, 1996, the Fourth Pay Commission recommended to the state government to revise the pension of this category as per the last pay drawn by the deceased. This was accepted by the state government and in 1998, the government ordered all district police chiefs to pay the same to the affected families. But despite her repeated requests to senior officials, she did not get justice.

She has not only contested for getting the claims along with 18 per cent interest but has also requested the court for fixing her pension according to the revised rates. She has also appealed the court to ask the department to pay her the cost of litigation.

Talking to this reporter here today, Ms Kasturi Devi said that there were about 200 such police families in the state who were waiting to get justice. 


Shift’ liquor shops from Talwandi Sabo
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 28
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today said the opening of liquor, meat and tobacco shops in Talwandi Sabo, which had been declared a holy city, had hurt the feelings of Sikhs.

The party said although the Central Government had put a blanket ban on the opening of liquor, meat and tobacco shops in the cities declared holy, but the state government allegedly defied rules during this financial year.

The party said the permission given for the opening of shops selling meat, liquor and tobacco in Talwandi Sabo was uncalled for. The party leaders said residents of Talwandi Sabo town as well as the Sikhs from other places had requested the party to urge the authorities against opening of these shops.

Mr Barinder Singh Mann, district unit President of the party, while talking to this correspondent said even the Central Government had stated in Parliament that the permission for sale of the narcotics and intoxicants in cities declared holy would not be given. He said the SAD (A) President, Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann, had asked a question in that regard in Parliament.

Mr Barinder Singh said arrangements should be made so that there should be no liquor, meat or tobacco shop in an area of 10 km in the circumference of Talwandi Sabo, where the fifth Takht of Sikhs was situated. He said for keeping the sanctity of the city intact it was necessary that intoxicants were not sold in or around the city.

He said the party would urge the authorities concerned to take steps for closing the shops. He, however, said if the authorities did not take any action, the party might launch an agitation for getting the shops closed.

The party also presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Agarwal, today in which they urged him to make arrangements for the closing of liquor, meat and tobacco shops in Talwandi Sabo.

The party has also urged the Deputy Commissioner to take some action in that regard at the earliest as resentment prevailed among Sikhs against the decision of the government to open these shops.


Coop bank staff go on strike
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 28
On the call given by the Cooperative Bank Employees Federation (Punjab), employees of 43 bank branches of the local Central Bank observed two hours’ strike today.

Mr Jaskaur Singh, president, and Mr Jasbir Singh, general secretary of the local Central Cooperative Bank Employees Union, said that all employees participated in the strike from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The union demanded to withdraw the pay parity letter issued by the state government to bring the cooperative bank employees on a par with other employees, pension scheme for retired employees, priority for children of bank employees in the recruitment process.

Pen-down strike by co-op bank staff

Chandigarh, May 28
Employees from various branches of the two cooperative banks in Punjab today observed a pen-down strike from 10 A.M to 12 noon. The joint call for the strike was given by the Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Employees Union and the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Employees Federation.

Mr Baljit Singh Kumbra and Mr Bua Singh, both leaders of the employees’ organisations, in a joint statement said that employees of these banks in Chandigarh also observed strike to protest against the order issued by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies reducing the pay scales of employees.

The union leaders said that the order should be withdrawn immediately. Announcing the next programme, they said that if this demand was not accepted by the mid-June employees would proceed on mass casual leave on June 18. Employees would also hold a march towards the official residences of officers who had been passing orders to financially harm the employees. TNS


Villagers gherao bank officials
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 28
Members of the Ugrahan faction of the Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta) and residents of Bhucho-Khurd village gheraoed members of a team of a bank when they went to the village in connection with the recovery of loan from a farmer this afternoon.

A resident of Bhucho Khurd village Bikkar Singh had not reportedly returned loan taken from the Nathana branch of Primary Agriculture Development Bank (PADB). A team of the bank, along with a policeman, had gone to Bikkar Singh in connection of that loan.

When the team entered the village, office-bearers of the Kisan Union, along with villagers, including women and children, gheraoed the vehicle of the team. The news spread in the village that the bank officials had come to arrest Bikkar Singh. The officials were allowed to go after about two hours when they said they had not come to arrest the farmer.


3 imprisoned in corruption cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Medical officer Dr Shingara Singh, patwari Hirde Narian and clerk Gurmeet Singh, have been sentenced to imprisonment and fine by the judicial courts in different corruption cases registered by the State Vigilance Bureau.

A spokesman of the Vigilance Bureau said today Hirde Narain, had been convicted by Mr Fateh Deep Singh, Additional Sessions Judge, Faridkot, for one year and fined Rs 1,000. The accused was caught by the Vigilance Bureau while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 in 1998.

Dr Shinagar Singh, MO, Civil Hospital, Jalalabad, has been awarded sentence by Mr Gurdev Singh, Special Judge Ferozepore, for two years with a fine of Rs 5000.

Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, Fatehgarb Sahib, has awarded imprisonment to Gurmeet Singh, clerk, BPEO, Sirhind, for one year and fined Rs 5,000.


Judicial remand for Tehsildar
Our Correspondent

Mansa, May 28
Mr Harsh Mehta, Chief Judicial Magistrate, remanded Girdhari Lal Garg, Tehsildar, Sardulgarh, and Babu Singh, Revenue Patwari, posted in the Patwar Circle, Sangha in judicial custody upto June 10 who were produced today in the court.

The accused were arrested while allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 7000 from Nasib Singh, a farmer of Sangha village of the district by a team of the vigilance bureau, Mansa led by Mr Brij Mohan Sarup, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, Mansa yesterday.

A case under Section 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against them in police station Vigilance Bureau, Bathinda.

It is understood that Nasib Singh a farmer of Sangha village approached Tehsildar for the sanction of mutation of inheritence of 109 kanal 18 marlas of land when the Tehslidar allegedly asked the farmer to settle a “deal” with Revenue Patwari, Babu Singh. The Revenue Patwari demanded Rs 15000 from the farmer and on repeated requests of the farmer he agreed to accept Rs 10,000.

Thereafter, the farmer approached officials of the Vigilance Bureau, and gave currency notes worth Rs 7000 to the revenue patwari Babu Singh which were recovered by officials of the Vigilance Bureau. On the statement of Babu Singh, Girdhari Lal Garg, Tehsildar, Sardulgarh, was arrested and a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against them.


40 jail officials shifted in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Government today ordered transfer of 40 jail officials, including an Assistant Inspector-General (AIG) and eight Superintendents of Jails.

Those transferred with new postings are Mr Nirmal Singh, Superintendent, Central Jail, Jalandhar; Mr Jagjit Singh, Principal, Jail Training School, Patiala; Mr Gursharan Singh, AIG, Chandigarh; Mr Sukhdev Singh, Superintendent, Central Jail, Bathinda; Ms Jagjit Kaur Marwaha, Superintendent, Women’s Jail, Ludhiana; Mr Hardip Singh, Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar; Mr S.P. Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Patiala; Mr Rup Kumar, Superintendent, District Jail, Hoshiarpur; Mr Surinder Singh, Superintendent, District Jail, Kapurthala; Mr Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, Superintendent, District Jail, Sangrur; Mr Dilraj Singh, Chief Welfare Officer, Chandigarh; Mr Vijay Kumar, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar; Mr Jatinderpal Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Jalandhar; Mr Satpal Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Gurdaspur; Mr Prem Kumar Garg, Superintendent, Borstal Jail, Ludhiana; Mr J.K. Sharma, Superintendent, Sub Jail, Malerkotla; Mr Sardul Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Amritsar; Mr Iqbaljit Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail, Ludhiana; Mr Charanjit Singh, DPO, Gurdaspur; Mr Balbir Singh Bisla, Deputy Superintendent (Factory), Central Jail, Jalandhar; Mr Sikander Singh, DPO, Bathinda; Mr S.P. Khanna, DPO, Sangrur; Mr S.K. Bansal, Deputy Superintendent, Borstal Jail, Ludhiana; Mr Ashu Dhawan, DPO, Faridkot; Mr Raj Mohinder Singh, Superintendent, Sub-Jail, Muktsar; Mr Surinder Singh Bajwa, Superintendent, Sub-Jail, Fazilka; Mr Dilbagh Singh, DPO, Amritsar; Mr Balkar Singh, Superintendent, Sub-Jail, Pathankot; Mr Sukhwinder Singh, Deputy Superintendent, District Jail, Nabha; and Mr Darshan Singh Grewal, Deputy Superintendent (Factory), Central Jail, Bathinda.


Ban on allotment of shops
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 28
A local court yesterday imposed a ban on allotment of District Red Cross Society shops, which are located outside the court complex.

The order was given by Ms Gurmeet Kaur, Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate, on a petition of some persons who had not been allotted shops. The petitioners stated that 33 persons had deposited Rs 31,000 each as earnest money with the society about one and a half year back. Now when the construction of the shops had been completed, 15 applicants had been given possession.


Dowry death: kin hold protest
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 28
Relatives of Dr Monica Chadha, who allegedly was killed for dowry on May 24, today gheraoed the division No 3 police station in protest against the failure of the police to arrest her mother-in-law, whose name figured in the FIR. They alleged that the police was giving VIP facilities to the victim’s husband, Raj Kumar Chadha, arrested on May 24.

Earlier, a deputation of the deceased’s relatives met the SSP, who reportedly asked them to contact the SHO concerned. As they reached the police station, they got agitated following ‘refusal’ of the SHO to listen to them. They assembled in front of the police station and started raising slogans against the police.

The mother of the victim, Sawarna Chopra, alleged that the police was trying to hush up the matter on the instructions of a minister. Later, the police arrested Promila Chadha, mother-in-law of the victim.


1 held for preparing fake certificate
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, May 28
The police has booked Mohinder Kaur, resident of Khojepur, 3 km from here, and Dawinder Singh, sarpanch of the village for wrongfully preparing a certificate of Amolak Singh who is in Australia, that he is a bachelor. Mr R.R.S. Brar, SSP, said yesterday that Mohinder Kaur had been arrested.

Amolak Singh, son of Mohinder Kaur, was married to Ms Kuldeep Kaur, daughter of Mr Joginder Singh, resident of Bahadur Rajoa, 8 km from here about 7 years ago. The couple has a five-year-old son. Meanwhile, relations between them became estranged and Amolak Singh left for Australia.

Kuldip Kaur came to know that her husband has written to his mother to send him a certificate confirming that he is still a bachelor. She filed a complaint in this regard with the Deputy Commissioner who deputed the SP (HQ) to hold an enquiry.

The SP (HQ) after the enquiry confirmed that Mohinder Kaur had prepared a certificate that her son Amolak Singh was a bachelor. Moreover, the date of birth certificate showing the date of birth of Amolak Singh did not tally with the offcial record of the office of the Civil Surgeon.

A case under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and120-B of the IPC was registered in this regard.

Dawinder Singh was summoned by the police to tally his signatures with those on the Affidavit, given by Mohinder Kaur to show that Amolak Singh is not married. However, the public notary said the signatures of Dawinder Singh on the affidavit were his own. The affidavit has been sent for verification of the signatures of Dawinder Singh to a handwriting expert.


Woman held for fleecing jobless youths
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 28
The district police has arrested a woman on the allegations of fleecing unemployed youths on the pretext of getting them permanent government jobs.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said that Sukhwinder Kaur of Bammowal village in Amritsar, who is part of a three-member gang, used to charge huge amounts from unemployed youths on the assurance that the latter would get a permanent government job. Sukhwinder Kaur used to pose as Deputy Director of the Rural Development and Panchayat Department.

Following complaints received by the police in this regard, a case was registered under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC and one of her accomplices, Satish Kumar, was arrested. A special police party raided her residence and arrested Sukhwinder Kaur. Efforts were being made to nab another woman, reportedly hailing from Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested two vehicle thieves and recovered a stolen motor cycle from them. A case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC was registered against them.


Robbers kill two of family, injure three
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 28
Two members of a family were killed while three others seriously injured by some armed robbers, who attacked a house at Pheruman village, about 45 km from here, late last night.

Prof Anokh Singh, a teacher at Guru Angad Dev College at Khadoor Sahib, and his 17-year-old daughter Prabjot Kaur were killed, while his wife Gurpreet Kaur, father Karam Singh and maid-servant Kanwaljeet Kaur were seriously injured in the incident. While the condition of the maid-servant was stated to be serious, the other two were reported to be stable.

According to the Police, the incident occurred between 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. when the family was asleep. The robbers were equipped with sharp-edged weapons. They entered the house by climbing the kitchen’s roof and attacked the family.

The police said the robbers broke open all trunks and almirahs in the house.

A case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC at the Beas police station.


In-laws booked for dowry death

Ropar, May 26
The Chamkaur Sahib police has registered a case against 7 persons for killing Baljit Kaur, wife of Bagh Singh.

According to information, Baljit Kaur was not on good terms with her in-laws and had been staying with her parents in Fatehgarh Bet village a week ago, her husband persuaded her and brought her to his residence in Fatehgarh Baraj village. However, Baljit Kaur fell ill under mysterious circumstances last night and died later in the Ropar Civil Hospital. Her parents suspected that she had been poisoned by her in-laws. OC


Bathinda girl stands 2nd in PMT
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 28
Shweta Mittal, a student of RBDAV Public School here has stood second in the all-India pre-medical entrance test held by the Central Board of Secondary Education. In a press note issued here today the school authorities said that two other students of the school, Sandeep Garg and Monika Singla also cleared the CBSE PMT and secured 30 and 137 rank respectively. They claim that Shweta and Sandeep had cleared the written test held for entry to the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune.

Talking to newsmen Shweta said that she would also compete for the IAS examination which she claimed was her goal. 

Private sector to manage 12 ITIs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Hit by paucity of funds, the Punjab Technical Education and Industrial Training Department has been forced to hand over 12 Industrial Training Institutes ( ITIs) in the state to the private sector on a revenue-sharing basis.

According to information available, the institutes to be given to the private sector are Khadoor Sahib (Amritsar), Jalalabad (Ferozepur), Shahkot (Jalandhar), Mukerian (Hoshiarpur), Banarasi (Sangrur), Partabpura (Jalandhar), Maksudpur (Kapurthala), Nathana (Bathinda), Abohar (Ferozepore), Burar (Patiala), Anandpur Sahib (Ropar) and Kahnuwan (Gurdaspur).

Sources in the department reveal that built at a cost of Rs 15 crore most of these buildings were started during the Beant Singh regime (1992-97), but due to paucity of funds were neither completed nor equipped with any basic facilities to start the trade. Failure to make use of huge investments in ITIs over a period of time only deteriorated their condition. The Auditor-General had also in one of his reports mentioned that` the assets provided for these ITIs were not being properly utilised,’’ it is learnt.

Giving details, the Secretary, Technical Education, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, admitted that a decision to run these ITIs with the help of the private sector was taken after the Finance and Planning department gave clear indications of not giving any more funds. The Principal Secretary, Finance, had also regretted that there was no money allocated for the project in the planned budget. Nearly five proposals were put forth, but the revenue-sharing basis got the final nod.

Mr Sidhu disclosed that modalities being worked out on revenue-sharing basis would be more foolproof.

School principal suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Punjab Government today ordered suspension of Mr Jeet Singh, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Singh Bhagwantpura ( Ropar). This is a sequel to a news report “Poor results: villagers up in arms” published in The Tribune on May 25.

The Education Minister (Schools), Mr Kushhal Bahl, while issuing the suspension order, took serious note of the contents of the report, particularly computer education fee, charging of Rs 50 for issuing a character certificate and poor results of the school.

The complaints with regard to the improper conduct of the principal towards the staff and students were also considered.

According to official sources, the principal was prima facie found guilty of certain irregularities during an inquiry conducted by the DPI (Schools), Mr Sohan Lal.

The DPI had presented a precise report to the minister after the matter was highlighted by The Tribune.

In the news report the paper had highlighted that nearly six panchayats of adjoining villages were up in arms against the school administration.

The panchayats have been organising demonstrations to protest against the fleecing of students by the school on one pretext or the other.

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