Monday, June 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Kanwal Sidhu to move ICJ
5 Wimpy's employees remanded in police custody
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
While a Kharar court remanded all five employees of Wimpy’s International in police custody for three days , the Chairman of the company, Mr Kanwal Sidhu, has threatened to move courts in London and the Hague for “denial of human rights” and “ unlawful damage to his business interests in an alien land”.

Mr Sidhu also plans to meet the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, in London and apprise him of the “manner in which the Punjab Vigilance Bureau had acted unlawfully in taking three senior officials and two drivers into custody”.

Mr Sidhu, who is in New York, told The Tribune over the telephone today that he would make the Chief Executive Officer of Punjab (the Chief Minister) as the main defendant after moving the high court in London.

“Since I am a British citizen, I will also move International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Hague and demand compensation for whatever they have done to me, my employees and my business. They have denied the basic human rights to my people working in Delhi. They were not even allowed to make a telephone call to their families to inform them about their arrest. Is it the way, the law and order machinery works in a civilised democracy ? I am in constant touch with senior functionaries of the Delhi Administration and also with the office of the Prime Minister,” he said.

In Kharar, Duty Magistrate Harinder Sidhu ordered the Vigilance Bureau to get all five officials and employees of Wimpy’s International medically examined and allow defence counsel to meet them between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on each of the three days of their police remand.

Those remanded in police custody are Yash Dhawan, R.K. Gupta, Suresh Kulshreshtha, Harjinder Singh and Rajinder Singh.

The public prosecutor informed the court that all five were arrested from Delhi on June 14 in connection with a case of corruption and possession of assets disproportionate to the known sources of income of Hardeep Singh, a former Officer on Special Duty to former Punjab Chief, Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The prosecution held that the arrested persons were involved in handling “black money of Hardeep Singh and getting it converted into white money at the directions of their boss, Mr Kanwal Sidhu, who is a close friend of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. They further informed the court that Section 120-B, IPC, has already been added to the FIR registered on August 29 last year against Hardeep Singh.

The prosecution had sought 10-day police remand on the basis of disclosure statements, it claimed, two arrested persons — R.K. Gupta and Harjinder Singh — had made before the investigators. It also held that the documents and other evidence mentioned by the arrested persons were to be recovered. Further, indepth investigation and searches of the houses of the arrested persons were also to be carried out.

Defence counsel opposed the application for police remand saying that the arrested persons had been with the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for more than 36 hours and there was no substantial ground for the remand to be granted. He also argued that neither the names of the arrested persons were mentioned in the FIR nor were they connected with Hardeep Singh in anyway.

“Innocent people” were being harassed. The Vigilance Bureau actually wanted to arrest the Wimpy International Chairman Kanwal Sidhu. Defence counsel further argued that a complaint about the “illegal manner in which the arrested persons were taken into custody without any information to the Delhi police” had already been pending with the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.

Defence counsel also argued that the raiding party did not carry any search or arrest warrants. The prosecution, however, refuted these arguments maintaining that proper procedure was followed and the Delhi police was informed through the Daily dairy report (DDR) a copy of which was produced before the court.

After hearing both parties the court remanded the arrested persons in police custody for three days, directing the Vigilance Bureau to get them medically examined and allow them meeting with their respective counsel for one hour every evening.


VB officials tortured me: Narottam
‘Forced’ to sign blank papers
Tribune News Service

Badal (Muktsar), June 15
Mr Narottam Singh Dhillon , nephew of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has alleged that his clothes were removed, his hands tied, he was made to sit on the floor and abused by certain senior Vigilance officials in the past three days while he was in their custody at a police station in Mohali to extract a confessional statement against Mr Badal to fix him in a criminal case.

Talking to mediapersons here today, he alleged that Vigilance officials got his signatures on a number of blank papers and pressurised him to make a statement against Mr Badal and his family members if he wanted to save his skin. Mr Dhillon was brought here by a team of the Vigilance Bureau to carry out a search of his house.

“The Vigilance officials, including two DIGs and one SP-rank officer, humiliated and tortured me. When I prayed to them not to harass me, they forced me to put my signatures on some blank papers. I was so confused that I could not count on how many papers they have taken my signatures”, pointed Mr Dhillon.

He alleged that a section of Vigilance Bureau officials called two private persons in the police station and tortured him in their presence. One of the DIGs, who once served at an important post in this area during previous SAD-BJP government and later shifted to another place, abused Mr Badal, Mr Sukhbir Badal and his other relatives time and again. That officer also reportedly threatened him that if he (Mr Dhillon) did not toe their line, he would be kept in jail for a long time.

He disclosed that senior Vigilance Bureau officials had been putting pressure on him that he should make a statement that the amount of loan to the tune of Rs 1.16 crore which he had given to Mr Badal, Mr Sukhbir Badal and other family members from 1994 to 2003, was given to him by Mr Hardeep Singh, former OSD to Mr Badal. He said that to put psychological pressure on him, a false case had been registered against him at Lambi police station in which the police had branded him as a terrorist and anti-national element.

He said though the Vigilance Bureau had charged him with taking money from an SP-rank officer to put him as SSP of any district, from a jeweller to make his son an ASI and from a resident of Abul Khurana village to get his work done during the Akali rule, he did not know any one of them and all the allegations were false.

He said that during the Akali government in Punjab, he never purchased landed property. On the contrary, he had given 4 acres of his land to the Punjab Government to set up a stadium in this village. He purchased the flats at Shimla in 1993.


BJP to oppose Badal’s arrest

Ludhiana, June 15
Accusing the Amarinder Singh government of following an agenda of “witch-hunt and blackmail against selected leaders of the opposition” in Punjab, the BJP said today it would oppose any move to arrest Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal.

“The BJP will oppose it tooth and nail if any move is made to arrest Badal as the party can no longer brook politics of vendetta” Manoranjan Kalia, former Minister in the previous SAD-BJP government and a senior BJP leader told reporters.

The BJP leader’s comment follows the recent statement of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that Badal would be arrested only when a foolproof case against his alleged corrupt deeds was ready. PTI


Major reshuffle in SGPC, SAD on cards
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 15
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and organisational structure of the Shiromani Akali Dal are likely to undergo major reshuffles in July (after the panchayat elections). The blueprint for the proposed major shake-up has been finalised.

After the announcement of unity between SAD and Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of SAD, and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, remained closeted for more than an hour at the residence of Mr Harmel Singh Tohra in Patiala, where the modalities for the proposed reshuffle were finalised. The two Akali stalwarts have agreed in principle to restore the status quo as in 1999 in the SAD and SGPC. However, Mr Tohra is not keen to re-install Bhai Ranjit Singh as Jathedar, Akal Takht. Earlier, Mr Tohra had set a pre-condition of re-installing Bhai Ranjit Singh as Jathedar for the unity between SAD and SHSAD.

It is reliably learnt that there won’t be any immediate change in the structural bodies of the SAD and SGPC as Mr Badal and Mr Tohra want to ensure that their unity has a good impact on the panchayat elections.

To restore the status of Mr Tohra, the SGPC would be reshuffled as per his (Mr Tohra’s) wishes. It is learnt that Mr Tohra would not like Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar to continue as SGPC chief. It was Mr Badungar who had been spearheading the campaign against Mr Tohra and used derogatory language against him.

The press releases, issued by the SGPC, especially at the time of the annual election of the Shiromani Committee, had dubbed Mr Tohra as a ‘Congress agent’. However, when Mr Tohra and Mr Badal decided to bury the hatchet, the SGPC (headed by Mr Badungar) made a volte face and passed a unanimous resolution which appreciated the “contribution and services” of Mr Tohra in the religious field. The sudden shift of stand of Mr Badungar surprised everybody in the SGPC and SAD.

The SGPC is unlikely to replace Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as Jathedar, Akal Takht as he had gone out of the way to facilitate the unity between SAD and SHSAD. However, a new Jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib would be installed after completion of the stay granted by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC). The removal of Prof Manjit Singh as Jathedar of Takht Keshgarh Sahib was challenged by Capt Chaman Singh Sidhu, president of the Sikh Forum in the SGJC.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, both former ministers, may be adjusted on higher posts in SAD. Both of them had been instrumental in bringing about the rapprochement between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra. Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, octogenarian leader, and other confidants of Mr Tohra may also be given important slots in SAD after the panchayat elections.

Certain confidants who tried to sabotage the unity move between Mr Tohra and Mr Badal are likely to be shown the door.


Badal will have to restore pre-split position 
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 15
With the achievement of unity of Akali Dals Mr Parkash Singh Badal will have to restore the status quo — the position which prevailing before the split in the Dal. This is stated to be the broad agreement between the two senior leaders — Mr Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra who were closeted for more than one hour before the final announcement of unity at Patiala on Friday.

Under this agreement, although Mr Tohra is reluctant to take over the presidentship of the SGPC, yet he will be installed as President. The doctors have advised Mr Tohra not to undertake political activity for at least one month — till the summer was over. The general house of the SGPC will have to be called on a notice of 21 days to formally elect Mr Tohra as President of he SGPC which means one month’s rest for Mr Tohra will be over.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta who has been associated with the behind the scene unity parleys with Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, is certain to be made the secretary of the SGPC because of long experience as secretary SGPC and his deep knowledge of the Sikh ethos. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta has served the SGPC for a long time under Mr Tohra is one of his confidant. Mr Manjit Singh has also served as a minister in the Badal government. The Tohra faction is also expected to have more representation in the executive committee of the SGPC which consists of 15 men including four office-bearers — President, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President, and General Secretary.

So far as the reorganisation of the Shiromani Akali Dal is concerned. Mr Tohra had his two nominees as office-bearers — Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar as Senior Vice-President and Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra as General Secretary. Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, is likely to be given his no. 1 position in the SAD as first Senior Vice-President although there are already two senior vice-presidents namely Mr Gurdev Singh Badal and Mr Ranjit Singh Brahampura. Mr Tohra had made Mr Surjan Singh acting president of the Sarb Hind Akali Dal.

The Tohra faction is expected to have two general secretaries now and it will depend on Mr Tohra whom he nominates for the same. There are three contenders for the same at present — namely Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Mr Harmail Singh — son-in-law of Mr Tohra and Mr Chandumajra. Mr Chandumajra has been kept away from all parleys with Mr Badal.

Mr Badal will have to give more representation to Tohra in the political affairs committee and the working committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal. Mr Tohra had three members in the PAC and seven in the working committee.

The reorganisation of the district units will pose problems for Mr Badal as in districts like Ludhiana, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib the heads of the units were from the Tohra faction. In Ludhiana Urban Mr Hira Singh Gabria was heading the unit before the split and after that Mr Badal was not able to sort out the differences between Mr Avtar Singh Makkar and Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia who was made vice-president in the SAD. With the restoration of Mr Gabria as president, the problem for Mr Badal will be easy to settle. Mr Makkar will go as the senior vice-president and Mr Bhatia is already a vice-president in the main organisation.

Mr Badal will have to return the presidentship of Patiala district urban and rural to Tohra men — namely Mr S.S. Kohli and Mr Rajinder Singh Tohra. Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts are the base of Mr Tohra and Mr Swaran Singh already president of Fatehgarh Sahib unit.

Mr Swaran Singh had after joined the Badal faction and was retained President. In Sangrur district, there is a clash between the supporters of Mr Surjit Singh Barnala and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, the Tohra faction also claims it be stronger in this district. Tohra faction maintains that the dispute in Sangrur will end with the nomination of its nominee as president of the district unit. Baba Tekha Singh Dhanauala is the president of the Tohra faction at present at Sangrur while Rajinder Singh Kanjla is the president of the Badal faction who represents the Dhindsa faction.

Sources close to the Akali faction, maintains that Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti will be retained as Jathedar of Akal Takht as there is no age bar for the Akal Takht Jathedar. He is also holding the office of a granthi of the Harmandar Sahib and he will lose that job because of superannuation.

There is no possibility of Bhai Ranjit Singh, former Jathedar, Akal Takht being accommodated immediately. He may be inducted as jathedar of some other Sikh Takht later.


Badal-Tohra unity ‘rank opportunism’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 15
The Sehajdhari Sikh Federation (SSF), said today that unity, between Badal and Tohra factions of Akali Dal was for personal gains and not for the benefit of Sikh Panth.

Dr Paramjit Singh Ranu, national president of the SSF terming the unity as a “marriage of convenience” said that Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra former presidents of their respective groups had come close not for doing any good to the Panth or Punjab but for gaining power.

Dr Ranu in a press note issued here today said that it remained a practice in the Akali Dal that its leaders to part ways or unite according to their personal interests. He alleged that the unity between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra was in a way repetition of practice of opportunism, which prevailed in the Akali Dal for years together. He said that the unity between these two groups was not based on any principle but only on the opportunistic approach.

Dr Ranu also condemned the incident of caste-based riots in the Talhan village of Jalandhar district few days back. He said that it was a good sign that both the factions had reached a compromise, however he said that the government should take a stringent action against the anti-social elements creating disturbance so that such incidents did not recur. He said that the anti-social elements behind the Talhan incidents were patronised by some communal associations, who wanted to disturb peace in Punjab.

He said that in place of planning such incidents the parties should work for preserving communal harmony among members of different communities and castes.


The trio that brought peace to Talhan
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 15
Not many people might be knowing that it was a team of three top police officials, which played a vital, but, ‘behind the curtain’ role in breaking the ice and hammering out the much-needed Dalit-Jat compromise.

The trio, which played the crucial role of “facilitators” and which organised a number of meetings, including the final meeting at the PAP Complex during which the peace agreement was formally signed by the two sides, comprised Mr D.R. Bhatti, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, Deputy Inspector General (Jalandhar Range) and Mr J.P. Virdi, officiating Inspector General (Zonal).

After getting the go-ahead signal from the office of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on June 11,  these three officers divided their work so as to concentrate on different warring groups and all those who were interested in “striking peace”, including Mr Harminder Singh Gill, Chief of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF), Mr Ajaib Singh Abhiyasi, a senior activist of the Damdami Taksal and Bhai Manjit Singh of Akali Dal, revealed high-level sources. During “Operation Peace”, the team remained in touch with the CM’s Office.

The crucial and sensitive role of Mr D. R. Bhatti, Additional Director-General of Police, was said to be to handle and persuade prominent Dalits from the village and Dalit leaders. This included talks with Mr Vijay Sampla, Vice-President of the Bhartiya Janata Party, Mr Chanan Ram Pal, the Dalit Action Committee chief, Mr Lahori Ram Bali, and Bahujan Samaj Party leaders Mr Pawan Tinu  Mr Ramesh Chokan and Mr Sukha, who were agitated over alleged boycott of Dalits in Talhan.

Earlier, with the efforts of Mr Bhatti, both almost reached a compromise on June 3 before the Dalit-Jat clash which led to violence. The compromise, however, failed to stand beyond a few hours in the wake of objection by a group of Dalit leaders.

On the other hand, Mr J.P. Virdi, officiating Inspector-General (Zonal) was said to be behind the roping in hardliner leaders like Mr Harminder Singh Gill, Bhai Manjit Singh and Mr Abhiyasi for participation in the negotiations. The team, it was learnt,  thought that instead of going in for any confrontation which could lead to more tension in the state it would be best to involve the Damdami Taksal leadership as about 50 persons, who had locked the shrine gates from inside along with other devotees while demanding release of five members of the “original” management committee, belonged to the Taksal. It was the team which had taken Mr Gill and others to the gurdwara in the afternoon of June 13 where they held talks with those inside, which, subsequently, led to defusing of tension and the opening of the gurdwara gates by those inside at 5.15 p.m.

The overall responsibility of coordination at the local level lied with Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG, who held a number of meetings with all groups and who even penned down the Dalit-Jat compromise document, which finally put a seal on the peace formula yesterday after several “secret” and separate meetings of various groups at the PAP Complex in the presence of Mr Bhatti, Mr J.P. Virdi and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta.

Even as the draft of the agreement was revised by Mr Dinkar Gupta for about 10 times following repeated objections by different groups, it was Mr Gupta who finally conveyed it to everybody concerned in a firm manner that the police would have no option, but to strictly go in for legal recourse in all cases registered against members of the two communities, if the two sides failed to settle down on a compromise by 12.30 p.m. This worked as a master stroke. The compromise came at around 3 p.m. when the two sides agreed on the point of inclusion of two dalits as members of the gurdwara management committee and immediate revocation of Section 145. Mr Gupta also facilitated the talks of the three hardliner leaders with five members of the “Original” Gurdwara Management Committee, led by Mr Kewal Singh Bhangoo, who were lodged in Kapurthala Jail and Dalit leaders led by Mr Chanan Ram Pal, lodged inside Jalandhar Central Jail. While the committee members were arrested three days back in an old case under the SC\ST Act after alleged boycott of Dalits of the village on January 19, five Dalit leaders were also arrested in an old case under Section 307 of the IPC after the alleged February 7 clash of Dalits with Jats. Apart from these non-bailable cases, what partly helped act as a “Peacemaker” was the alleged threat of the police authorities to actively pursue about 22 cases registered against Dalits after the February 7 and June 5 clashes.


Ludhiana students excel in plus 2
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 15
Recording a marginal decline in the overall pass percentage of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class XII (Humanities and vocational) examination, 60.33 percent of the students who appeared in the examination in March this year have passed. However, majority of these (63.6 per cent) have passed in the second division.

Releasing the results, here today, the PSEB authorities informed that result gazettes will be available at the various PSEB text-book depots and regional offices across the state after 3 pm tomorrow.

Arts has proved to be far less scoring than science and commerce, with the Arts stream topper, Tulsa, a Ludhiana student, securing 89.1 per cent marks as compared to the science stream topper who secured 96.5 per cent marks. Tulsa is followed by an SAS Nagar student, Tejinder Singh Virk who has scored 88.4 per cent marks. Third in the state is Simranjeet Kaur, a student of R.S. Model Sr. Sec. School, Ludhiana with 88.2 per cent marks.

Girls of Class XII Arts stream have maintained their lead on the boys with only 51.8 per cent of the boys passing the examination as compared to 69.4 per cent girls.

Students who appeared privately in the examination have performed abysmally recording only 37.18 pass per centage while among those who appeared as regular students, 65.4 per cent have passed.

The best performance is of girls who appeared in these examinations as regular students, 37.9 per cent of those who passed have scored first divisions. Among the pass boys only 15.7 per cent have scored first divisions.

Among the top 20 positions, 10 positions have been achieved by students hailing from Ludhiana while 8 top position-holders are from Jalandhar.

Among the top 20 are: Vishnu Priya, Jashanjeet Kaur, Pooja Sharma, Rajni, Mittu Challana, Kavita Kauldhar, Maneesha Gupta, Parvinder Kaur, Lovely Gupta, Bhagwant Singh, Kimmy Gupta, Neha Tandon, Manjinder Kaur, Baljeet Kaur, Manorama, Hema Sehgal, Venus Mehdiratta, Ashima Garg, Pooja Jindal, Aprna Jaitly, Monika Gupta, Nitu Vij, Neha Khanna, Leetika Davinder Kaur, Dipti Sehgal, Mandeep Kaur, Ekta Lehar, Harleen Kalra, Teena, Amanpreet Kaur, Priyanka Mahajan.

The results will also be available from tomorrow midnight on the internet on website www.schoolnetindia and


Creation of new panchayats opposed
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, June 15
Mr Zora Singh Mann, SAD MP from Ferozepore, has criticised the authorities for creating a new panchayat from the existing panchayat of his native village, Chak Suhelewala.

In a notification issued yesterday by the state government, the number of panchayats in the Jalalabad constituency have been increased to 134, adding three more panchayats to existing 131 panchayats.  Newly formed panchayats are Attar Singhwala carved out of Chak Suhelewala village, Chowdary Chanaga Ramwala out of Chak Sutrian, a native village of Hans Raj Josan, MLA and Zhoge Phangia by dividing Kotu Phangia panchayat.

Mr Mann said there was no need to create any new panchayat from Chak Suhelewala as the village was very small and compact having only 1000 votes, whereas there were many village panchayats having more than 5000 votes. He alleged that the new panchayat had been created to accommodate certain Congressmen of the village, who otherwise lacked support in the existing panchayat.

He said the filing of nomination papers was going to start tomorrow and till date the voters’ lists of newly formed panchayats had not been published. He alleged that he had come to know from reliable sources that the voters attached with the new panchayat  were enrolled at random on pick and choose basis.

He alleged that first, the panchayat of his village was reserved  by manipulating the reservation roaster accordingly and again the same panchayat had been bifurcated into two parts. Interestingly, the newly created Attar Singhwala village panchayat was of general category, the notification of which had deliberately been delayed to keep the same out of reservation roaster, he alleged. He said he would lodge a complaint in this regard with the State Election Commission, on Monday.


Doctors against death due to negligence clause
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, June 15
The Punjab unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA) is up in arms against the practice of registration of criminal cases against doctors if a patient died during or after treatment, as the association felt that such cases were registered without proper enquiry.

The Punjab IMA alleged that the doctors were made scapegoat if the kin of a person who died after getting treatment raised hue and cry about the death. The association alleged that without hearing to the doctor’s side a criminal case under Section 304-A was registered against him. During a programme organised here today to look into the matter of registration of cases under Section 304-A against the doctors, the office-bearers of the state unit of association said that they would launch an agitation in the state if their demand regard the matter were not accepted.

The association rued that although the Punjab government had assured in May last year that a medical board would be formed to look into the matter of death of patients in hospital, but nothing in that direction had been done so far. The medical boards were to conduct an inquiry if an incident of death due to negligence of doctor was reported from any district. The police was to act on the advice of the medical board.

Dr R.C. Garg, state President of the IMA talking to this correspondent said that the state government had agreed to form a medical board comprising the district police chief, a medical expert, representative of a NGO and a member of the IMA to inquire into the failure on part of doctors if a person died allegedly due to his negligence.

Dr Garg alleged that the department concerned had not issued instructions to the district police chiefs in that regard. He alleged that the doctors were facing harassment in absence of any safeguard for them.

The IMA has urged the state government to issue orders regarding formation of medical boards immediately. The doctors threatened that if no step in that regard was taken till June 25 they would resort to agitation.

They said that initially they would protest by wearing black badges but later could resort to bandhs, dharnas and rallies. The doctors said that they were upset with the registration of cases against doctors every now and then and they wanted to fight a battle, so as to save themselves from undue harassment.

Dr Surinder Singla, Secretary of state unit of IMA was of the view that no doctor would like to be negligent while treating or operating upon a patient admitted to his or her hospital. He however added that if a person died while getting treatment uproar was raised by the kin of person, which damages the reputation of doctor.

The members of IMA, who came from Bathinda, Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Pathankot etc also protested against the registration of a case under Section 304-A IPC against a local doctor Dr Bikramjit, who was held responsible for death of a woman operated on by him.

The doctors said that the claims of the kin of deceased that glass and plastic items were found in the ashes of the deceased did not hold ground. They said that the allegations of the kin of the deceased that these items were left in the stomach of the deceased by the doctor were baseless. They said that how it was possible that the items made of plastic did not burn when the body of the deceased was consigned to the flames.

They demanded that action should be taken against the persons who had tried to defame the doctors.


Health of ayurveda pharmacy may improve
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 15
From having practically no medicines for nearly four years at a stretch, hundreds of Ayurvedic dispensaries across the state will now be supplied sugar-coated Ayurvedic preparations through the state of the art machinery being installed at its only state pharmacy here.

Three years after a Rs 1 crore grant was released by the Centre for strengthening state pharmacies, the Punjab Government has released Rs 70 lakh to the dispensary for the installation of new machines as well as for carrying out massive renovations of its pre-independence building parts which had been declared unsafe.

The pharmacy has also received Rs 9 lakh for the purchase of medicines which have already been purchased. This means the pharmacy will be able to make around 15 formulations for various ailments instead of the meagre four to five formulations supplied to government dispensaries every year. The supply of medicines to Ayurvedic dispensaries is likely to improve from an average supply of medicines worth Rs 400 per year to each dispensary to around Rs 2,500 for every dispensary annually.

The Director, Ayurveda, Dr G.L. Goel, visited the state pharmacy here recently and inspected the stock of medicines. He disclosed that efforts would be made to develop the pharmacy further by applying for ISO 9002 certification in a time-bound manner besides supplying cost effective Ayurveda medicine to other states also on demand. He said as a first step the pharmacy authorities had been told to prepare medicines for which they had received raw material in a hygienic manner.

The Pharmacy Superintendent, Dr Shivraj Singh, disclosed that the entire three blocks of the pharmacy were being renovated through the State Public Works Department. He said a sum of Rs 40 lakh was being spent for the purchase of machines. He said a boundary wall was being constructed around the pharmacy besides building a new gate.

Meanwhile, doctors disclosed that earlier the pharmacy used to supply only four to five medicines for specific ailments. They said now fifteen more formulations would be supplied in the coming months for skin diseases, piles, constipation, asthma, cold and ENT diseases. The doctors, however, felt the government could have still done better by ensuring the pharmacy could use its entire Rs 13 lakh budget.

The doctors said the pharmacy had lost out earlier because it was under the Director, Research and Medical Education. They said the procedure for making purchases was such that it was difficult to complete the process in the earmarked period. This year too the purchases had been ordered towards the close of the financial year resulting a part of the budget to lapse. Doctor also wanted the budget to be increased further saying though the supply of medicines worth Rs 2,500 per year to each dispensary in the state may be a record for the state pharmacy, yet it was woefully short of the required supply.


Where is the pilot’s memorial
Pride turns into despair for parents
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Birdhano, June 15
A nostalgic trip of a Hyderabad-based couple to this village today to see a spot, situated just on the Sangrur-Patiala-Fatehgarh Sahib border, where their son, Sq. Ldr Ram Parkash, had died in an air crash three years ago, turned into utter despair when a memorial promised by the Punjab government and the local villagers to be built in his memory was nowhere in view.

The pilot had sacrificed his life while saving this and the adjoining Bhumsi village on April 25, 2000. He was accorded the status of a hero by the state government and the Indian Air Force at a gala function held in May that year. He was praised for putting the safety of villagers above his own, as he could have easily bailed out long before the MiG-23 plane nose-dived into the fields. A memorial to be constructed in 1200 sq, yds was announced at the function besides the naming of a concrete road after the Hero.

The situation was completely in contrast today. A moment of pride for the parents turned into desolation. The pilot’s father, Mr M S Prakasa Rao, an officer with Indian Railways, had attended that function but his wife Ms Lakshmi Sulochna was visiting the place for the first time. The pilot was the only son of the aged couple. He had left behind his wife and a seven-year-old son.

Aghast and shocked at the apathetic treatment given to their son, the old man broke down at the crash site and kept on pleading the villagers and mediapersons to do something for commemorating the sacrifice of his son. The pilot’s mother was too pained to utter a word. She just had a stony silence on her face.

With tears rolling down his wisened cheeks, Mr Rao, ran here and there, ‘’ It was here or, may be there that they were supposed to construct a memorial for my son. They had shown me the place. It was a gala function. ‘’ he kept on saying.

He told The Tribune that his wife wanted to see the place where his son died. ‘’ I have been telling her about the memorial and the road all these years. She was so eager to see it. Now , I have nothing but empty fields to show her ‘’ said the badly disappointed man.

"Please, do something" he kept repeating while holding hands of this correspondent, the villagers, and the Air Force officials from Halwara, who had accompanied the family to the village.

Mr Surinder Singh, Sarpanch of the village, said a dispute over the land of the memorial and lack of any help from the state government had obstructed the memorial plan. The crash site spilled over in Birdhano (Patiala district) and Bhumsi (Sangrur district). The crash took place just on the border of the two districts.

Not only the memorial, but the promise of naming a road after the late Squadron Leader is also yet to be fulfilled. A foundation stone laid by Balwant Singh Shahpur, former MLA, Amloh, and Deputy Commissioner Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr B S Sudan is a reminder of the promise. Not a single brick has been added to the edifice.

Two villagers Shamsher Singh and Harjit Singh were even awarded bravery award for risking their life to save the pilot. Both were given an award by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, on August 15 last year at Patiala. Both got a Red and White bravery award also.

The duo revealed that they had rescued the pilot from the flames when the plane crashed.

They had stripped his burning clothes and given him their clothes to wear. They received burn injuries in the process but could not save the life of the pilot. The aged couple hugged the two for their effort. The couple spent a few hours in the village, They collected a handful of sand from the spot where the plane had crashed.


132 ‘dharmi faujis’ honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 15
The apathy of the SGPC, the Damdami Taksal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the previous SAD-BJP Government towards Sikh soldiers “dharmi faujis” who left their barracks in protest against Operation Bluestar was decried at a function here today.

As many as 132 ‘dharmi faujis’ or their widows were presented cheques for Rs 10,000 each by the Spokesman, a monthly magazine, at the function where an illustrated book on “Dharmi faujis and Operation Bluestar” was also released.

Bhai Jasbir Singh Khannewale of the Sri Guru Harkrishan Charitable Trust Hospital (Sohana), Major-Gen Narinder Singh (retd), Major-Gen Tarlochan Singh, Mr Gurtej Singh, Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Ms Mejindarpal Kaur, Ms Harjinder Kaur, Dr Kuldeep Singh, Bhai Ashok Singh Bhagrian, Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Inderjit Singh Jaijee were among those who presented cheques to the “dharmi faujis”.

Mr Joginder Singh Sawhney, Chief Editor, The Spokesman, decried the previous SAD-BJP Government which did not do anything to rehabilitate these soldiers even after 60 meetings with the Association of ‘Dharmi Faujis’.

Mr Amrik Singh, chairman of the association, said not only the SGPC but Akal Takht, Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti also went back on his promise of felicitating “dharmi faujis” on June 6 last year. The main demand of these soldiers is that they should be given pension as they had left their barracks in defence of their religion.

Major-Gen Narinder Singh (retd) said it was unfortunate that the Damdami Taksal which collected lakhs of rupees in the name of “dharmi faujis” had not done anything for their welfare or rehabilitation.


Officials ‘doctor’ records to sell land
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, June 15
The revenue officials are allegedly manipulating the entries in the possession columns (girdawaris) of the revenue records and helping the encroachers in selling the government land. Many such cases have come to the fore in the Anandpur Sahib tehsil where the land of the BBMB, Irrigation Department and Railways has been sold by encroachers in connivance with the revenue officials.

According to the sources Revenue Department officials were manipulating the lacunae in the revenue law to help encroachers sell the government land. The organisations like the BBMB and the Irrigation Department had acquired vast stretches of land in Ropar district especially in Nangal in the 60s and late 50s for irrigation and power projects. Thousands of acres were acquired after the payment of due compensation to the original owners of land.

However, at the time of acquisition of land the BBMB and Irrigation Department authorities had failed to get the mutations effected in the name of their organisations. Due to this the names of the original owners continued in the owner columns of the revenue records. The names of the government organisations figured only in the girdawaris or the possession columns.

Some unscrupulous revenue officials took advantage of this lacunae in the revenue records. Over the past 10 years they changed the girdawaris and placed the names of the original owners in the possession columns. After this the encroachers, in connivance with revenue officials, located the original owners and got the registry of land from them after paying a token amount. In some of the cases even mutations of the land have been registered in the names of encroachers.

The sources said as per rules a patwari of the Revenue Department was empowered to make changes in the possession columns. The girdawari was generally applicable for agriculture land to ascertain the tiller or the person using the land for agriculture purposes. The girdawaris were registered every year by the patwaris. In the case of urban land the girdawaris were rarely changed.

However, in many cases the revenue officials have changed the girdwaris or possession columns of the government land located in the urban areas. So blatant has been the violation of the revenue rules that the revenue officials have changed even the girdawaris of the places where institutions are located.


Making most of summer holidays
Raj Sadosh

ABOHAR: They had come to spend summer holidays with their grandparents but the summer camp-cum theatre workshop organised by Natrang, an NGO, lured them. Now over 100 children, some of them from New Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Hisar and Chandigarh, spend their full day at DAV Model School here, where they learn swimming and run on lushgreen lawns.

Mr Vikas Batra, a stage director and renowned artist, who is monitoring the camp along with another stage artist, Mr Bhupinder Utreja, said the day started with prayers to God.

The morning session had eminent personalities from the fields of social service, journalism, education and other faculties, who gave important tips to the children on personality development and explained the secret of success in their respective professions.

The children were educated to overcome fear of the mike. Each one is asked to speak something on the mike. Some of them had developed the art of compering. They were expected to read out the top story of the day in various newspapers.

There was a session everyday to train them in singing, dance, painting. They talked about environmental pollution, sanitation in their localities, availability of potable drinking water and finally what disinterested them in school or at home.

Some participants had learnt how to prepare masks using cotton and plaster of paris, besides paint. Some of them said they had tasted milk here for the first time. Each participant had to pay Rs 100 only as the registration charges while all other expenses were arranged by members of Natrang.

Mr Ajay Jain, an Indane distributor, apprised the participants of the safe use of LPG. Mrs Deepika Jain, Mr Arvinder Jaiswal, Mrs Pallvi Jaiswal inspiration for the Principal Pritam Singh Sidhu, Principal Brij Bhushan Sharma, Dr J.N. Sharma, a retired Director of the Fruit Research Station, were among those who inspired and encouraged the participants.


VB summons MC records, officials
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 15
The Vigilance Bureau has summoned some records from the local Municipal Council in connection with an inquiry against Mr Pawan Kumar Matti, a former president of the council. The records include those regarding contract for cleanliness of the city, receipt of grant from the Central Government for the construction of a rose garden and taking on lease a private building for Municipal Council office after vacating its own office from the first floor of the local bus stand.

The bureau has also summoned Mr Mela Ram, a former councillor, Mr Prem Nath Mate, Mr Gian Chand, Mr Rajinder Kumar and Mr Janak Raj, clerks at the council; Mr Amarjit Singh, Sectional Officer of the council, and two octroi inspectors Mr Bhim Sain and the Mr Vipan Kumar, to record their statements in this regard. The bureau has also summoned the proceeding clerk of the council along with the proceeding book. Sources said a cleanliness contract was given by the former president of the council to the old contractor at a high rate. The sources said a grant of Rs 50 lakh was received by the council during the tenure of Mr Matti as the council chief from the Integrated Development of Medium and Small Towns scheme of the Central Government but the amount was allegedly diverted for some other purpose.


Judge summons six Welfare Dept officials
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 15
The local Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mr Bhajan Ram, has issued summons to six officials of the Welfare Department, including the District Welfare Officer of Amritsar and Tehsil Welfare Officer of Zira in a suit filed by Ms Pushpa Devi, Tehsil Welfare Officer, here for the recovery of Rs 25 lakh as damages for loss to her reputation.

The court has directed all defendants to appear in person on July 28.

Ms Pushpa Devi in her complaint has alleged that the District Welfare Officer, Mr Sarabjinder Singh Randhawa, now posted as Amritsar, had in connivance with other defendants got prepared an affidavit to trap her in an embezzlement case on the basis of which a case was registered against her and Ms Bimla Devi, Sarpanch of Khanpur village in Pathankot subdivision.

The plaintiff has filed a defamation suit under Sections 500, 506, 379, 342 and 120B.

Ms Pushpa Devi has also made allegations against the defendants with regard to misbehaviour with women staffers.


Cable scam: CBI remand of accused extended
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 15
All five accused in the Amritsar cable scam were remanded in the CBI custody till June 18 by the Duty Magistrate, Mr Sat Pal, here today.

Those remanded in custody are: Sarabjit Singh, alias Raju, alleged kingpin and Managing Director of the Amritsar Communication Network, a franchise of Siti Cable and associate of Zee TV, Sandeep Khanna, Sandeep Sippy, Parveen Chadha and Hari Om.

The CBI counsel had pleaded that the accused were needed for the purpose of further investigation into the scam. The counsel said the accused were yet to be properly investigated. On the other hand, defence counsel Gurpreet Singh and Rajan Lakhanpal had contended that CBI officials had been meeting the accused in the jail to get information relating to the scam and there was no need to extend their remand.

The defence counsel also objected to the accused being handcuffed while being produced in the court. They cited rulings of the Supreme Court and their objection was upheld.

Yesterday, an Amritsar court had issued production warrants of the accused for producing them in the CBI special court here today.


Ayurvedic docs’ meeting on June 18
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 15
The 89-day unadjusted qualified Ayurvedic Doctors Association Punjab has convened its meeting in Patiala on June 18 to decide future course of action due to the indifferent attitude of the state government to reemploy them in the service since long in the state. Regretting the adamant behaviour of the government Dr Dharmendra Kaushal, President of the association, disclosed here today that in the beginning of 1996 the government recruited over 500 categories of employees including trained Dais, pharmacists and other employees besides 45 experts on 89 days basis to improve the services in the health department.

Later in June the same year the government finalised a proposal to regularise the services of all the 89-day employees shortly. Under the same condition the doctors were relieved of their duties though the other staff managed to remain in service under 89 days programme.

Even later the Punjab and Haryana High Court also directed the government to do the needful in the interest of the society. However no action was taken by the government to redress the grievances of the aggrieved party which was roaming hither and thither for the past seven years said Dr Kaushal.

He disclosed that recently the government has asked all employees of different departments working on 89 days basis to send their medical and police reports to regularise their services but no step has been taken to console the experts. Dr Kaushal said that more than 70 Ayurvedic dispensaries were functioning without experts in the state and if the vacant posts were filled the government had to bear no extra expenses as the same posts were already sanctioned. He has appealed to the state government to reconsider the matter on priority not to provide better services to the needy but also to reduce unemployment.


290 cases settled
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 15
Nearly 290 out of 312 cooperative loan cases pending for the past five years were settled in a Lok Adalat organised by the District Cooperative Department with the help of the judicial Department here yesterday. Two Benches comprising Ms Sunita Kumari, Civil Judge ( senior division) and Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan, Civil Judge (junior division) were constituted to complete the process. Both courts gave a relief of Rs. 20 lakh against the total loan of Rs 73.47 lakh to the beneficiaries on the occasion, Mr B.S. Galib, Deputy Registrar, Cooperative sector, said. Earlier, Mr Fatehdeep Singh, Additional District and Sessions Judge, inaugurated the courts after lighting the candle.


278 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 15
A special co-operative Lok Adalat to settle cases regarding co-operative loans was organised here yesterday on the orders of the Punjab Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh. Four Benches, presided over by Mr Paramjit Singh, Civil Judge Senior Division, Mr Jaspinder Singh, Civil Judge Junior Division, Sanjay Agnihotri, Civil Judge Junior Division and Ms Dimple, Additional Civil Judge Senior Division, were constituted.

Deputy registrars of Gurdaspur, Kapurthala and Amritsar districts and senior advocates of district Bar Association participated as members of the said Benches. Mr Tajinder Singh Bal, representative, legal services, here was also present on the occasion. Mr Bhupinder Singh, District and Sessions Judge, in charge legal services in the district, who presided over the Lok Adalat said 500 cases of loan recovery of co-operative banks were presented for decision on the occasion and as many as 278 cases were decided on the spot with mutual consent and bank recovery to the tune of Rs 29.3 lakh was affected.

The District and Sessions Judge said Lok Adalat (Quarterly) would be held in Gurdaspur in August, in Batala on July 26 and in Pathankot on September 6.


Test confirms report on acidic water
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 15
Tankers are supplying acidic water to the Bhakra area of Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh. A news item carried in The Tribune stating that the tankers used for ferrying chemicals were being used by the Public Health Department of Himachal Pradesh to supply water has been confirmed by a test conducted by Arpan, a Nangal-based NGO.

The NGO conducted the test after the publication of the said news item. The samples taken by the NGO from the water supplied to various villages by tankers that also ferry chemicals of National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL) and Punjab Alkalis and Chemicals Ltd (PACL) proved to be acidic. The pH value of most of the samples collected from the water supplied by the tankers ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 against the 6.5 and 8.5 permissible limit in case of drinking water. The director of the NGO, Mr Kuldeep Chand, told this correspondent that the test had also proved that the acidity in water was being caused due to the toxic-lined tankers. The pH value of the water sample taken from the water source of the Public Health Department at Nehla village near Bhakra was found to be normal. However, a sample of water supplied by tankers showed a lower pH value. Another important aspect of the study was that though the tankers had been supplying water for the past 10 to 15 days, they haven’t lost their toxic effect.


Martyrdom Day today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 15
Observance of Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjan Dev would be according to Nanakshahi calendar on June 16 (tomorrow) at Harmandar Sahib and all gurdwaras.

This was stated by SGPC president Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar in a press note here today. In a message to the Sikh Sangat he said the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru occupied a significant place in the Sikh history.

He said to commemorate the occasion all arrangements had been completed in all gurdwaras. Bhog of Akhand Paths would be performed on June 16 at 8 a.m.


It is difficult to trust Pakistan: MP

Gurdaspur, June 15
Minister of State for External Affairs Vinod Khanna today said conducive atmosphere for the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan could be created only if the neighbouring nation dismantled terrorist training camps and stopped aiding cross-border terrorism.

Talking to reporters here today, Mr Khanna, MP from Gurdaspur, said going by the past experience it was difficult to trust Pakistan as it could not keep its commitments and assurances “made to us”.

He said Pakistan had so far followed the strategy of creating disturbances and problems for India and had also been encouraging cross-border terrorism.

However, India was desirous to re-establish good relations with it as “our country has always been striving on the policy of good and friendly relations with neighbouring countries”. UNI


Editor dead
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 15
Mr Sohan Singh (64), Editor of ‘Tir Kaman’ a Punjabi language daily newspaper published from Patiala, passed away at Shimla due to cardiac arrest. 

Mr Sohan Singh, who was President of the Punjabi Newspapers Editors Association, is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. He remained in the forefront of reviving Punjabi language newspapers in the state. 


‘Vedanti should resign’

Jalandhar, June 15
Sikh Front International General Secretaries Santroop Singh and Sarabjit Singh Jammu today demanded Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti and Head Priest Gaini Puran Singh’s resignations for not appropriately dealing with the issues of summoning of Shiromani Akali Dal Chief Parkash Singh Badal and Kala Afghana before the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs. UNI


PM likely to visit Gurdaspur’

Gurdaspur, June 15
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is expected to pay a visit to Gurdaspur by July end, Minister of State for External Affairs Vinod Khanna said here today. UNI


Education drive for cotton growers
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 15
Chief Agriculture Officers of seven districts yesterday held a meeting at the local Agriculture Bhavan under the presidentship of Dr Kulwant Singh Billing, Joint Directorate of Agriculture, Punjab.

The meeting was held to discuss the problems of cotton growers, especially the foreign matter, which contaminates cotton. He said the field staff of the Agriculture Department had been directed to organise camps in the villages regularly to make the farmers aware about the supply of fertiliser, water and to check insects in the fields. He claimed that the crops were normal this season and there had been no attack of pest on the crops.

He said the staff of the department had been assigned to make people aware about contract farming and also to complete the task of making farmers adopt contract farming. He said a contract plan was also made to increase cotton production in the state.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, a company said here today that it had launched “Mission White”, an education drive, to impart technical knowledge for cotton growers in the state to increase productivity. He said that the drive was launched to increase the cotton production in Punjab which had dropped to merely 250 kg per hectare as against the world average of 600 kg per hectare and India’s average of 300 kg per hectare.

He further said that so far 15 camps had been organised in cotton-dominated villages and 2917 cotton growers had been imparted training to improve the quality and production of cotton. Special emphasis was given on the elimination of foreign matter, which contaminates cotton. He claimed that with the help of such camps, cotton growers of the area would benefit and such types of camps would be held in future also. 


Farmers burn effigy of govt
Our Correspondent

Nathana, June 15
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) today burnt an effigy of the Punjab Government on the third day of its indefinite dharna near the local branch of Primary Agriculture Development Bank (PADB). The farmers also held a rally near the local mini bus stand to protest against indifferent attitude of the government towards their demands. Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, District President of the union, said that although their dharna has entered the third day today but it seemed that the district administration was not making efforts to accept the long-pending demands of the farmers.

He added that to intensify their agitation a rally would be held here on June 16, which would be addressed by the state leaders of the union.


Measures to meet flood-like situation
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 15
To meet flood like-situation in the district during the monsoon, the district administration has geared up its machinery by allocating duties to all government departments and ordering them to be ready to meet the challenge of floods in the district, especially in the Moonak and Khanauri, the most flood-prone areas.

To implement the flood control measures, Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, has ordered the district officers, related to flood protection works, not to leave station headquarters during the flood season, starting from July 1 to September 30 next.

There are 26 flood-prone villages in the Moonak subdivision of the district which include Moonak, Salemgarh, Handa, Khanauri Kalan, Makror Sahib, Hotipur, Kudni, Nawan Gauon, Bushera, Surjan Bhaini, Wazidpur, Hamirgarh, Fulad, Bhundan Bhaini, Banarsi, Andana, Baupur, Bangan, Mandvi, Shahpur Therri, Gaunta, Chandu, Rampur Gujran and Karrial. In these villages, almost every year, standing crops on thousands of acres get damaged by floods in the Ghaggar river which passes through Sangrur and Patiala districts.

The Deputy Commissioner said the district administration was prepared to face the challenge of any flood-like situation or floods in the district during the monsoon. He said the administration had decided to set up a district flood control room at the district headquarters here with telephone number 234038. Besides, each tehsil headquarters would have a flood control room. Thus, seven flood control rooms would function in the district during flood season, he added.

The Deputy Commissioner also said district revenue officer (DRO) would function as district flood control officer while Tehsildars would perform their duties as Tehsil Flood Control Officers. He said flood control rooms would function round the clock. A flood control room would also be set up by the Executive Engineer, Drainage, at Sangrur, he added.

During the monsoon season, the primary health centre (PHC), Moonak, and the PHC at Longowal, will form eight and five teams of doctors, respectively, to provide medical facilities to the flood affected villages. The Animal Husbandry Department will also form five teams of veterinary doctors and make arrangement of fodder for animals in the flood-affected areas during floods. The teams of veterinary doctors will function from Moonak, Mandvi, Khanauri Kalan, Rampur Gujran and Badalgarh.

The administration has also made arrangements of a motorboat engine and boats, especially for the Moonak and Khanauri areas. The authorities of Food and Supply Department, Punsup and Markfed have been directed to ensure proper stocks of foodgrain in their possession so that proper supply of the same could be ensured to the people in the flood affected areas. 


Officials briefed on anti-flood steps
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 15
A meeting of the district officials on floods was held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner Mansa where steps to control floods in the district were discussed. Mr Chaudhary disclosed that the state government has allotted Rs 25 lakh to the Drainage Department to control floods in the district and the amount would be spent before July 15 for the purpose.

He said that Chandpura bundh and other drains will be cleaned with the help of the people.

The Deputy Commissioner ordered that no officials of the district would leave the headquarters without his prior permission as the officials might be required at any time for emergency flood duty.

He requested all Executive Officers of the district to ensure that a ban on dumping the polythene bags has been in the district, and action be taken against those who violate the ban. Flood control rooms have been set up in all sub divisions of the district and district flood control office has been set up at Mansa.

The Deputy Commissioner requested all the officials to ensure proper services to the people in case of floods. Floods cause havoc in Sardulgarh and Budhlada Sub Divisions of the district due to Ghaggar and other drains.


Blind assigned poll duty
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 15
The act of assigning poll duties to a blind teacher and a retired teacher has put a question mark on the efficiency of the civil administration of this district. The office of the Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, has worked out schedule for duties of officials for the panchayat poll to be held on June 29.

Mr Satya Dev, a blind music teacher posted in Government Girls Senior Secondary School at Jalalabad, 32 km from here, has been directed to perform poll duty. Similarly poll duty orders have been issued in the name of the Mr Hari Krishan Sabharwal of Fazilka, who had retired as a Lecturer from Government Senior Secondary School, Azamwala, of this subdivision in September 2002. Besides, a large number of women teaching staff of the Education Department have been directed to perform poll duties in far-flung areas.


Former Akali leader booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 15
Former Akali leader Pardeep Singh Walia has been booked by the district police for allegedly trespassing in the house of Surinder Singh, a resident of Hukam Singh Road here on June 7 and injuring him. A case has been registered under Sections 447, 452, 427, 506, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC at Civil Lines police station on the complaint of Surinder Singh last evening.

Surinder Singh had stated in the complaint that the former Akali leader along with Gurvinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh and 60-70 more armed persons had forcibly entered his house on June 7. He alleged that they damaged a wall, a car (CH-01-N-9089) and injured him seriously. Some land dispute is stated to be the cause of the attack. No arrest has been made so far.

Meanwhile, on the complaint of residents of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Majitha Road, the police has booked a contractor under the Punjab Municipal Act for allegedly attempting to lay a sewage line illegally. The residents stated that the colony had about 24-25 families. They alleged that the contractor Bharpoor Singh had taken money from some residents of area beyond their colony and had tried to lay a sewage line from their connections.


Girl, paramour kill youth
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 15
Harpreet Singh (27), resident of Kot Mit Singh was stabbed to death by a girl and her lover for objecting to alleged illicit relations, here late last night. The deceased was sleeping in the house of girl at the time of incident.

The police has registered the case at Daburji police station under section 302 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

According to information the deceased’s family had good relations with the girl’s family. Surinder Singh, father of the girl, happens to be the middleman in the marriage of Harpreet and the deceased used to go to their house.

Last night as Harpeet’s family members and his wife Manjit Kaur had gone to pay obeisance at Nanaksar gurdwara, he slept at the house of Surinder Singh. At midnight the girl, who allegedly had illicit relations with one Sonu of the same locality, along with her lover stabbed him to death, as he used to raise objections over their relations. The accused reportedly threw the body in front of his house.


Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 15
Satwinder Kaur (25) wife of Malkiat Singh of Mehtabpur committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance on Friday. According to Gurpiari wife of Jagat Ram and mother of the deceased Satwinder Kaur of Pali village stated that Satwinder Kaur married with Malkit Singh son of Dhana Singh of Mehtabpur two years ago. She alleged that her daughter informed her on telephone on June 13 that her husband beat her up for more dowry which compelled her to consume some poisonous substance. She was admitted in the local Civil Hospital on June 13, 2003 which she died last night.

A case has been registered against Malkiat Singh her husband, Dhana Singh father-in-law, and Swarn Kaur her mother-in-law.


2 held with smack

Phagwara, June 15
Two persons of Ramgarhia mohalla of Goraya were arrested with 10 gm of smack at local Baba Gadhia, the police said today. The arrest was made under the NDPS Act.

Both identified as Manjit Singh and Kulbir Singh were found taking the drug. Five gms each was recovered from the two, the police said. PTI


Two cops booked

Moga, June 15
Two head constables of the Punjab Police have been booked under the NDPS Act for allegedly concealing from their seniors a seizure of 25 kg of poppy husk and keeping it with them, the police said here today.

The duo, Gamdoor Singh and Harnam Singh, have been put under suspension but have not been arrested so far.

Liquor seized

The police on Sunday arrested a liquor smuggler and seized liquor packed in 1850 pouches from him. PTI


Couple killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 15
Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, who was taken to Ludhiana hospital today, succumbed to her injuries there. Her husband Kuldip Chand died earlier here today. The couple was on a scooter when a four-wheeler was involved in an accident with it on GT Road near Mehtan village, 4 km from here.

A minor daughter of the couple, Ms Anisha, who was riding the pillon of the scooter was also injured and hospitalised here. The three were returning to their village Ghumna on a scooter which was involved in accident with a Tata-407 four-wheeler coming from Sapror village. The driver of the four-wheeler has fled, the police impounded the vehicle after the registration of a case, it was learnt tonight.


4 die in accident

Jalandhar, June 15
Four persons were killed and one was injured when their car collided with a truck near Kartarpur, 20 km from here, today.

According to reports, the victims were returning from Patiala when their vehicle rammed into the truck near Anmol Talkies. The injured was brought to the Civil Hospital here where his condition was stated to be serious. UNI


IDA plea to govt on DRME
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 15
The Indian Dental Association, Patiala, has appealed to the Government of Punjab to appoint the Principal of the Dental College, Patiala as the next Director of Research and Medical Education (DRME) as the post was going to fall vacant on July 1 after the retirement of Dr Ravinder Singh.

The association said that the two state dental colleges at Amritsar and Patiala were in a bad shape and facing de-recognition at the hands of Government of India in the absence of any long-term policy and planning at the directorate level.

Therefore, the association feels that it becomes essential that the government appoints the Principal of Government Dental College, who also happens to be the seniormost Principal in the state as the DRME.

The association claimed that such a move may prove to be beneficial as was proved by the dental doctors appointed on such posts in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and at the PGI Chandigarh.

The association said that this appointment would not help only the dental and medical institutes in restoring their glory but would also streamline the other eight private dental colleges in the state.


B.Ed entrance test conducted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 15
As many as 43,484 students appeared for the state level B Ed entrance test conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University today. Dr Gurnam Singh coordinator, said the test was held for admission to B.Ed course in colleges of education affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh; Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak University here. The test was conducted at a total of 158 examination centers in 17 district headquarters of state and at Chandigarh, Abohar and Mohali . Only one per cent of absentees were reported.

Vice-chancellor Dr S.P. Singh has said that any candidate could see his/her response sheets duly scanned and evaluated in his /her presence on the payment of Rs 1000 and that of any other candidate for Rs 2000.

The coordinator stated that counselling for successful candidates would commence from July 15 onwards at the varsities campus. Information regarding counseling would be available in the information booklet which would be made available shortly.

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