Thursday, June 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Come clean on assets abroad, Badal to Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to clarify his position regarding reports of “under-cover properties and business concerns owned by him in foreign lands”.

He also asked the Chief Minister to come clean on whether he had been writing to the Wimpy’s International chief Kanwal Sidhu requesting business dealings with the latter. In a statement, Mr Badal said today reports of the Chief Minister having huge properties and business interests in and outside the country had been doing the rounds in media and political circles earlier also. But now that Mr Sidhu had come on record about the Chief Minister’s secret dealings, he owed an explanation to the people of Punjab.

“In fact, the question that arises now is whether the Chief Minister himself should be subjected to the same kind of interrogation as his political rivals. You cannot have two laws in the country — one operating for the CM and the other for his political rivals,” the SAD leader said.

Mr Badal described the political climate in Punjab as worse than that during Emergency. Punjab had slipped into an atmosphere of fear psychosis, midnight knocks and persecution of political opponents through the police.

The Akali leader referred specifically to the allegations that Narottam Singh Dhillon had been pedalling narcotics and working in league with the ISI, describing these as “fantastic pieces of fiction.”

Referring to the statement of Capt Amarinder Singh that his government would arrest Sukhbir Singh Badal as that would be politically more expedient, the Akali Dal President said this had torn the last shred of legal cover on the Chief Minister’s blind vendetta against his opponents.

The Chief Minister had said that his government would arrest Sukhbir Singh Badal because that might not result in as forceful a political protest as the arrest of the SAD president would. Mr Badal described the raids on his Balasar farmhouse and in the Badal village as the outcome of Capt Amarinder Singh’s consuming urge to slake his thirst for revenge and hatred against the SAD President.


SIT to probe Narottam case
Tribune News Service

Lambi (Muktsar), June 18
Even as a police party from the local police station has been sent to the court concerned at Kharar in Ropar district for taking a transit remand of Mr Narottam Singh Dhillon, nephew of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in a criminal case registered here, the district police authorities have started gearing up for raids on various premises of Mr Badal and Mr Dhillon.

Official sources said the district police authorities had constituted a special investigation team (SIT) comprising the DSP of Malout and the Station House Officer (SHO) of the local police station. The SIT has been permitted to carry out raids on premises that it finds necessary to investigate the case.

A case under Sections 489 A and B of the IPC pertaining to the possession and dealing in counterfeit currency, Sections 18 and 21 of the NDPS Act for possessing and dealing in narcotics, Sections 4 and 5 for possessing and dealing in explosives and Section 25 of the Arms Act for possessing and dealing in arms for the past more than eight years was registered against Mr Dhillon in the local police station on the night of June 11. He was accused of having links with the ISI of Pakistan and terrorists. The case was registered on information given to the SHO by a “special” informer. Mr Dhillon is in police remand for the past six days following a Kharar-based court verdict after his arrest from Shimla in a corruption case registered against him in Mohali police station by the Vigilance Bureau about a week ago. Vigilance Bureau teams have already carried out searches of Shimla, Delhi and Badal village residences of Mr Dhillon, apart from the Balasar (Sirsa)-based farmhouse of Mr Badal yesterday.

The police officials told TNS, that the recovery of explosives, narcotics, arms and counterfeit currency would be effected after custodial interrogation of Mr Dhillon was carried out. However, they kept mum when reminded that the various Vigilance Bureau teams had searched his premises, could not find anything incriminating. Mr Surinder Pal Singh, SSP, Muktsar, when asked about his reaction that various Akali leaders and a section of human rights organisation had been condemning the local police for registering a “false” case against Mr Dhillon he said the status of the case would be known only after the investigation was over.


Judicial remand for Narottam till July 1
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 18
A Kharar court today declined the prosecution plea for re-arresting Narottam Singh Dhillon, a nephew of former Punjab Chief Minister and SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in a case filed against him at Lambi police station, under the NDPS Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the IPC.

The Duty Magistrate, Kharar, Ms Harinder Sidhu, also remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days at Central Jail, Patiala, thereby ending his seven-day police remand. She directed that he be produced before Special Judge, Ropar , on July 1.

Attired in a white kurta pyjama and a brown turban, Dhillon was produced before the magistrate around 11.50 am. Since, he was having problems in walking to the courtroom he was given support by a relative.

The court in its orders has questioned the absence of any arrest warrants from the Ilaqa magistrate concerned, in a case registered against Narottam Singh Dhillon, by the Lambi police and dismissed the application..

The prosecution, accompanied by the Vigilance Bureau sleuths, had sought further extension of police remand for seven days to verify the presence of a sum of over Rs 3 crore in his bank account, which had come to light through interrogation during the previous police remand. They submitted that Dhillon had so far admitted that he had paid only Rs 1.16 crore to the Badal family through drafts and cheques. But now he needed to be questioned about where he got such huge sums of money in his numerous accounts and what had he done with it and where had they been credited.?

The public prosecutor contended that allegations with regard to conversion of black money into white in the name of Badal’s family through his accounts and his alleged role in accepting illegal gratifications for appointments and promotions also needed to be probe. It was submitted that they also need to question him if he had purchased any property in the name of Badal’s family with the ‘black’ money. Further, his passport also has to be impounded to ascertain as to which all countries he had visited and what transactions took place and where he had given an asylum to proclaimed offender, OSD to former Punjab CM.

A battery of defence counsels strongly contended the prosecution plea of further police remand by arguing that during the previous three times they sought police remand, they were not able to recover any ``incriminating’’ documents showing his links with the case registered against OSD of former Punjab Chief Minister, Hardeep Singh Bhamra, with regard to his possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. They have even failed to establish that Dhillon, in connivance with Hardeep, had converted crores of rupees from “black” to “white” and transferred the money to Badal and his son Sukhbir through his bank accounts even after conducting massive raids at his residences in Badal, Shimla, Mehruali and Balasar.

The defence moved another application to show how human rights and ethics had been violated during police custody and during the interrogations also attempts were being made only to assess Badal’s property and sources of income.


Punjab asked to relook panchayat poll timing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
In less than a fortnight before panchayat elections were scheduled to be held in the state of Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that large number of reservations for sarpanches had apparently been made in “contraventions of the guidelines issued by the government. Therefore, it was open for respondents (the state and others) to consider the rescheduling of elections for a week or so”.

Pronouncing the order in an open court, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice Hemant Gupta and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, also directed that Amritsar’s “Deputy Commissioner shall make the selection/reservation for various categories in respect of the panchayats which were not reserved in the 1998 elections”.

The Judges further ruled that rescheduling the elections would enable the respondents “to make reservations in accordance with the guidelines issued by the state government”.

This, the Judges asserted, would “avoid numerous petitions challenging the elections which would burden the justice delivery system, besides avoiding multiple proceedings which would costs the citizens of the state enormously in terms of time, money and other material resources, apart from the possibility of the election process being conducted again in every panchayat”.

The orders were issued on a bunch of petitions seeking the quashing of a roster for panchayat elections prepared by Amritsar’s Deputy Commissioner (DC). Describing the roster as arbitrary, the petitioners had contended that the DC had prepared it without following the guidelines on reservation issued by the government. This, they had added, was done after rejecting the roster prepared by the Block Development and Panchayat Officers.

Counsel for the petitioners had submitted that as per the roster certain villages meant for reserved category candidates in 1998 had not been de-reserved in 2003.

The state, on the other hand, had contended that the court could not intervene in the matter once the election process had commenced. It was added that the State Election Commission had already issued a notification regarding the filing of the nominations.

After hearing the arguments in the case, the Judges held: “The respondents may be legally justified in saying that the election process has commenced and, therefore, the writ court may not interfere, but the delay in issuing the guidelines, and publication of the notification close to the elections, definitely makes out a case for the revision of election schedule”.

The Judges further held: “We are of the opinion that any order at this stage would affect the completion of the elections in the manner published by the Election Commission. However, the fact that the offices of the sarpanches have been reserved in contravention of the guidelines issued by the state government cannot be lost sight of....”

In their detailed order, the Judges observed “The argument of petitioner’s counsel that the manner of reservation is required to be framed only by way of rules is not acceptable.... It is one thing to say that the rules should have been framed, another thing to say that the rules must be framed.

Even though the rules in respect of the Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads have been framed, it is not mandatory for the state government to frame the rules in respect of the Panchayat heads.

Therefore, till such time the rules are framed prescribing the manner of rotation in respect of the gram panchayat sarpanches, it is open for the state government to issue the guidelines”.

The Judges further observed: “It may be desirable for the respondents to frame roster which would operate election after election. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that the guidelines have been issued after the election programme was circulated.... The delay in issuing the guidelines and making the reservations may not be fatal to the conduct of the elections, but it definitely takes away the petitioners’ rights to dispute the reservation of the offices of the sarpanches”. 


Amarinder loyalists get plum posts
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
Loyalty to the party and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh seems to have paid for leaders of Patiala district who have been given a handsome representation in the Subordinate Service Selection Board (SSSB) despite not being members of the state Assembly.

Former MP Sant Ram Singla has got prestigious chairmanship of the Mandi Board which nearly all legislators in the party were coveting. Party sources said Mr Singla had been rewarded for his loyalty to the party during the crucial phase before the elections in the state. Mr Singla had been given two important assignments of General Secretary, in charge of the party office at Chandigarh and in-chargeship of the Media Committee during the run-up to the poll in the state.

More important still, sources said, was the support extended by the former MP to present Patiala MP and Chief Minister’s wife Preneet Kaur. The nomination of Mrs Preneet Kaur from Patiala had not been liked by all senior party leaders of the district and they had openly kept away from her election campaign. Even though Mr Singla was in line for the party nomination having fought the Lok Sabha election from Patiala twice, he whole heartedly supported the candidature of Ms Preneet Kaur. The former MP was by far the only senior leader from the party who had supported the candidature of Ms Preneet Kaur.

As far as Mr Ved Praksh Gupta is concerned, he has been rewarded for the manner in which he had conducted the affairs of the District Congress during the past five years. Even though Mr Gupta had been nominated District Congress (Urban) President before Capt Amarinder Singh took over as PPCC chief, he was able to retain the post due to his non-controversial functioning.

Mr Gupta, while serving as an elder statesman who kept all factions of the District Congress with him, was also instrumental in standing up to the threat of anti-Amarinder forces. He had also worked extensively for the candidature of both Ms Preneet Kaur in the Lok Sabha elections and for Capt Amarinder Singh in the Assembly seat of Patiala which the Chief Minister was able to wrest with a margin of more than 30,000 votes.

Mr Hardial Singh Kamboj is the choice of Ms Preneet Kaur and has been able to get the chairmanship of the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation due to her, according to sources. Little known five years back, when he was in the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mr Kamboj has had a meteoric rise in the Congress. He was made District Congress (Rural) President following which he came close to Ms Preneet Kaur during her election from the Patiala parliamentary constituency. He is even now largely seen to be watching the interests of Ms Preneet Kaur in the rural areas of the State.

Politicians Anil Mehta and K.K. Sehgal have also been nominated members of the SSSB mainly due to their personal loyalty to the family of Capt Amarinder Singh. Mr Anil Mehta has been playing a key role as a behind-the-scene organiser in the election campaigns of both Capt Amarinder Singh and Ms Preneet Kaur. The lone other person nominated to the SSSB is Kamaljit Singh who sources said was not involved in politics. 


Another case in drainage scam
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Malout (Muktsar), June 18
In a move, suspected to be launched for tightening noose around former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his kin, the local police has registered a criminal case against “unnamed” persons in connection with the drainage scam which allegedly took place when the Abul Khurana drain and the Aspal drain were set up.

In a case registered in the local Sadar police station under Sections 409, 406 and 120-B of the IPC against unnamed persons last night, it was mentioned in the FIR that crores of rupees had been embezzled by a section of officials in connivance with contractors who executed various civil and other works when the both drains were set up in 1997-98.

This is the second criminal case registered in Muktsar district in connection with the multicrore irrigation and drainage scam. Earlier, a criminal case was registered against eight high-ranking officials of the Irrigation and Drainage Department in the Gidderbaha police station in the second week of December last. The police officials, who have been investigating this case, have been making efforts to summon Mr Badal for examining him and recording his statement in the case.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that by registering a fresh case pertaining to the drainage scam, the police was trying to trap a Cabinet colleague of Mr Badal, whose involvement in the scam was suspected strongly even during the previous SAD-BJP combine government.

Police sources said Mr Baltej Singh of Virk Khera village of this sub-division, on whose complaint the case was registered, had alleged that a section of officials of the Irrigation and Drainage Department, who connived with contractors, caused a loss to the tune of crores of rupees when the two drains were being set up. He had alleged that most of the works were awarded to their “favourite” contractors. The work executed by the contractors was not according to the specifications.

The officials had also not made payments to those, whose agricultural land was used for digging up the drain as per the policy laid down by the state government, the complainant alleged.

A section of senior Congress leaders had reportedly been suspecting the sincerity of the Vigilance Bureau and the police authorities in connection with the booking of an Akali leader in a criminal case as so far these agencies had failed to do the same. The leaders had been putting pressure on the government to probe the scam in a transparent manner.

A senior Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity, alleged that as per his information, the Akali leaders, whose involvement in the scam was suspected strongly, seemed to have managed to “escape” from criminal liabilities in lieu of consideration. He added that so far the police and the Vigilance Bureau could not catch up with a person, who had minted money like any thing by producing fake bills and was brother of another Congress leader.

The leader pointed out that inquiries into the scam so far could not point finger towards any member of the previous SAD-BJP combine government despite the fact that 11 civil and police officials posted in Bathinda district about four years ago had passed a resolution in which they alleged that the then Akali minister had been pressurising them to hush up the probe into the scam.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh, SSP, Muktsar, while confirming the registration of criminal case, said only after investigations in this case, he would be able to tell the name of officials of the department and political figures involved in the scam.

He said the exact amount involved in the scam would be known only after the investigation.


Bhardwaj’s locker found empty
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 18
CBI sleuths, accompanied by two counsel for the suspended Judicial Magistrate (Class I) S.S. Bhardwaj, yesterday descended on the local branch of Punjab and Sind Bank to search a locker of Mr Bhardwaj. According to the information available, the CBI team, accompanied by Mr Ashok Sehgal and Mr Ashish Sharma, counsel for Mr Bhardwaj, searched the locker no. 188 in the name of Mr Bhardwaj and his wife, Mrs Suman Bhardwaj.

The CBI team questioned bank officials for about one hour and made some other investigations.

It is learnt that the CBI team found the locker of Mr Bhardwaj empty and did not find anything incriminating during the search. 


Son lifts matter from father’s book
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
Can a father and son write an identical book with different names. Can both books be part of the doctoral researches of both persons. This seems to be the case with two books published by Dr R.P. Srivastav and Dr S.P. Srivastav in 1983 and 1991, respectively.

The case has come under focus because the son, Dr S.P. Srivastav, got his book — “Art and Cultural Heritage of Patiala” — released by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh at a function in Patiala last month. Dr S.P. Srivastav admitted that his doctoral thesis which was published in the form of a book in 1991 was “formally” released by the Chief Minister. He claimed this was done as the book had not been formally released till now, adding that the Chief Minister knew it had been written earlier.

A perusal of both books reveals that Dr S.P. Srivastav has almost lifted the entire matter published in his book from “Punjab paintings” written by his father. Surprisingly he has not credited his father with any material. Dr S.P. Srivastav says there is no need to do so because he and his father were living together and that he was influenced by his father to a large extent. Dr R.P. Srivastav said there was nothing wrong in his son taking material from his book. “It would have been wrong if he had lifted matter from some other book or quoted another author without naming him,” said the elder Srivastav.

The junior Srivastav has lifted entire pages from his father’s book. These include pages 31 to 37 of his father’s book covering the issue of “miniature paintings”. Similarly, pages 44 to 50 in his book which cover the issue of “mural painting”, are present in his father’s book, under the heading “Paintings in Punjab” on pages 11 to 14. The junior Srivastav has not even cared to change the sub-heading while lifting pages 115 to 138 from his father’s book under the heading “Stylistic analysis material — technique”. This matter has been included in his book on pages 60 to 77. Again the junior Srivastav has lifted matter in pages under serial number 85 to 107 under the heading “principal centres of painting” from his father’s book and adjusted the matter between pages 41 to 56 under the same sub-heading.

Not only this the junior Srivastav has even repeated the annexures of his father’s book claiming credit for the research which was apparently done by his father. An entry on page 79 of his book under the heading notes and references states, “This information was given to me by Late Sri Hari Singh, an artist of Amritsar, during 1967-68 when I was collecting details regarding Sikh artists of the 19th century.” If this is taken at face value it means the junior Srivastav collected this information when he was five-and-a-half years old.

Similarly, another noting says, “This writer came across Hanuman Sahai belonging to the family of old architects and builders while on a visit to Jaipur on August 24, 1978. It was confirmed on the basis of oral evidence that Rajasthani artists, architects and builders did come to Punjab.” If taken at face value, this research was done by the author when he was over 16 years of age. There are other such instances of the author having done research when he was around 18 years old.

Dr R.P. Srivastav and his son, Dr S.P. Srivastav, said the books were being quoted by persons who were jealous of the work done by them. They said such persons should disclose whether they had themselves done any such pioneering work before criticising it. Dr S.P. Srivastav said there might be some mistakes in the annexures and some of the material was borrowed from his father’s book as it was an authoritative source on the subject.


MLAs’ appointments not right, says CPI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The CPI said today that the appointment of 19 MLAs as chairpersons of various boards and corporations amounted to political corruption.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary of the Punjab CPI, said these appointments had been made to buy the MLAs’ loyalty.

Dr Dayal said 50 of the 62 MLAs of the ruling party had been accommodated either as ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries or chairpersons. The remaining 12 MLAs were expected to be made ministers in the next expansion.

Dr Dayal said this had been done to curb dissidence in the party. Every chairperson would cost Rs 5 lakh per month to the state exchequer. On the one hand, the government was facing a financial crisis, on the other more burden had been put on the state exchequer by appointing such a vast number of chairpersons. Moreover, a large number of corporations where new chairpersons had been appointed, were on the verge of closure because of huge accumulated financial losses.

Dr Dayal said these MLAs should not accept these appointments and exhibit high moral standards in the interest of the state.

About the panchayat elections, Dr Dayal said Congress ministers were blackmailing villagers by telling them that only those villages which elected Congress activists as panches and sarpanches would be given grants.

It was unfortunate that the police was involved in the Talhan settlement. “It was a political issue and should have been settled through political intervention and not by police officers. What has happened in the Talhan case is a proof of political bankruptcy at the government level in the state,” he said.

About political corruption, Dr Dayal said most politicians were not only corrupt but also anti-national. They minted money here but invested outside the country.

About the police raid at Balasar, Dr Dayal said that it was only a drama.


SAD-BJP candidate picked up by police?
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 18
The local Sadar police today allegedly picked up a SAD-BJP candidate, for sarpanch from the Sarna gram panchayat at the behest of the ruling Congress.

While talking to this correspondent, Mr Satya Pal Saini, former Punjab minister, alleged that Mr Jagir Singh, who was earlier sarpanch of Jamalpur village, was going to file his nomination papers for sarpanch from Sarna village when he was picked up by the police to favour a Congress loyalist.

He accused the police of implicating the sarpanch in a false case. Mr Saini said the sarpanch owned landed property worth lakhs and was a respectable person of the area.

The SSP, Gurdaspur, Mr R.P.S. Brar, denied the allegation of picking up the sarpanch. However, he admitted that the sarpanch was called at the Sadar police station. The SP, Pathankot, and SHO, Sadar, had been deputed to inquire into the matter.

Meanwhile, Mr Saini demanded from the Election Commission, Punjab, to take appropriate action against the guilty officials.


Narcotics worth crores destroyed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 18
Large-scale seizures of high and medium grade narcotics are being made from border areas of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pardesh. The most sensitive areas in narcotic smuggling have been identified as Ferozepore and Amritsar in Punjab, Rajouri and Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir and Kulu in Himachal Pardesh, besides others.

As much as 15.103 kg of heroin and 53 kg of charas valued at Rs 15 crore and Rs 25 lakh, respectively, in the international market have been destroyed by Customs officials in the past 15 months.

Large-scale consumption and production of narcotics such as smack, heroin, opium and poppy husk were continuing in north India, said Mr Sukhjinderjit Singh Kahlon, Deputy Commissioner, Narcotics Department, and Mr Parminder Singh Sodhi, Additional Commissioner, Customs, while destroying narcotics here today.

Sources in the Customs said that with the stopping of the Samjhauta Express and ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’, the Delhi-Lahore bus service, the smuggling of narcotics from across the border had relatively decreased.

The officials, while talking to mediapersons, revealed that the Customs Commissionerate had launched a drive to curb the menace of drugs.


Mann writes to PM on surveillance
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 18
In a letter to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee written yesterday, MP and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has expressed his “agony and hurt at the attempts by the Indian state to overawe the leadership of the minorities in the country”.

In the letter, a copy of which was made available to The Tribune here today, Mr Mann has alleged that on June 14, a person posing as a staffer of an English daily had the audacity to be present at his press conference at Ludhiana. He was handed over to police and it was later learnt that the impostor was an officer of the Intelligence Bureau, continued Mr Mann. Such blatant exercise of authority was not possible without direction from seniors, he argued.

Citing another example, Mr Mann alleged that he was aware that his telephone lines were being tapped and his activities monitored.


Talhan fast returning to normal
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 18
Finally, violence-hit Talhan village is fast returning to normal with no untoward incident being reported during the 11 hours of curfew relaxation today.

The district administration today relaxed curfew at Talhan village from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm for 11 hours even as a strong contingent of police was deployed in and around the village to keep a vigil on anti-social elements.

Membes of both, Dalit and Jat communities visited Gurdwara “Shaheedan” to offer prayers. The administration made arrangements for sale of food, milk and other daily-use items through state government-owned agencies.


PSHRC comes to widow’s aid
Seeks report from SSP
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has asked the Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, to give his report regarding an alleged false case filed against a widow, who has been a tenant of a shop in Tripri township for the past 30 years, and also disclose whether the police is moving to cancel an FIR filed in this regard.

The police had registered a case against Janki Bai, her minor son and her son-in-law for “forcibly entering and ransacking” the house of Ram Kumar, who is the owner of the shop. The police had recently arrested the son-in-law of the widow and was currently in judicial custody.

The commission has noted that the complainant in the case has reported that the Superintendent of Police (City), Mr Kuldeep Singh, to whom inquiry had been assigned by the SSP, had recorded the statements of several witnesses. The commission said despite this the police officer did not disclose the outcome of the inquiry to her. Taking cognisance of the complaint, the commission has directed the registration of a judicial case in the matter.

The commission, while seeking a report in the matter from the SSP, Patiala, through the IGP (Litigation), has also asked the SSP to apprise the commission of whether the prosecution has any intention of moving a cancellation report in the case before the competent court of jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the two daughters of Janki Bai — Raj Kumari and Shalu — claimed that both their mother and minor brother had gone into hiding fearing arrest by the police. The girls claimed that their father, who had expired few years ago, had been a tenant of the shop for the past 30 years. They said recently the shop had been purchased by Ram Kumar, who had subsequently asked them to vacate it. The girls said a false case was registered against them and it was shown that they had forcibly occupied the premises.

They said when they approached the police for cancellation of the case, the case was marked to the SP (City). The girls said the case was not cancelled and their brother-in-law was arrested recently despite the fact that a large number of shopkeepers had given statements to the police that no violence had been committed on their part.



CJI’s car met with no accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Registrar-General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Pritam Pal, made it clear today that the Punjab and Haryana High Court car carrying the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court never met with any accident....”-freak” or otherwise.

He said: “The caption is totally misleading and false. The CJI’s car was in New Delhi. The car of the Punjab and Haryana High Court was carrying the CJI and the CJ, which never met with any accident — freak or otherwise”.

Commenting on a report in yesterday’s Tribune, he said the CJI and the CJ were at Ropar for only 25 minutes and not four hours as mentioned in the report.

Conveying the CJ’s displeasure he said the caption and the report “prima-facie appear an attempt to scandalise the name of the CJI”. 


Pak must give peace a chance’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 18
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf should give peace a chance. This was stated by Mr Ram Das, MP, while talking to mediapersons at Wagah before leaving for Pakistan today. Mr Ram Das is part of the Indian Parliamentary delegation which left for Pakistan yesterday.

Earlier, Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, general secretary of Folklore Research Academy, and others welcomed Mr Ram Das in Amritsar. The MP said the delegation would seek the opinion of the people and social organisations in Pakistan, besides meeting political leaders.


YC flags off trucks of wheat to Rajasthan
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 18
Mr Munish Verma, president, District Youth Congress flagged off trucks from Bassi Pathana town today carrying wheat to the drought-hit areas of Rajasthan. The wheat was collected by the workers of District Youth Congress for those people, who were facing acute shortage of grain due to drought. The DYC had earlier also despatched three trucks carrying wheat to Rajasthan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Verma said that on the directions of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, the District Youth Congress had launched a campaign to collect wheat from farmers and traders. He said that earlier the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had persuaded the religious leaders of the state to organise langars in Rajasthan, so that the people might not die due to starvation. He thanked all those who contributed for this noble cause.

Mr Pardeep Malhotra, secretary, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee, in his address lauded the contribution of District Youth Congress in collecting the wheat. He calleed upon the social organisations to join hands with the Congress to serve the society.

Mr Gurwinder Singh Dhillon, chairman, Block Samiti, Bassi Pathana, Amita Tangri, President MC Bassi Pathana, Mr Om Prakash Tangri, president District Congress Sewa Dal and other party office-bearers also addressed.



Abandoned woman dies
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 18
A 40-year-old widow, Anita (name changed), a resident of Panipat who was suffering from tuberculosis and was abandoned at the local railway station yesterday died at the Civil Hospital today. She had been brought from Panipat with a promise that she would get proper treatment here.

The relative of Anita who accompanied her to the city, fled after leaving her at the local railway station last evening. Anita was in the advanced stage of tuberculosis. In a critical condition she cried for help at the platform number 3 of the local railway station when volunteers of a local NGO, Sahara, came to her rescue and got her admitted to the Civil Hospital last night.

The NGO arranged for her treatment and also donated two bottles of blood for her, which helped the woman to have a momentary relief from pain. She felt a better bit this morning.

Anita told the volunteers that after the death of her husband, her family members had almost deserted her. She was not even given proper food. It was on Sunday that one of her relatives told her that she would be admitted to a hospital in Bathinda for treatment of tuberculosis. But it was just an excuse to send her away from her hometown to a place from where she could not return.

However, the efforts of the doctors and the humanitarian service of the Sahara volunteers could not save her as both her lungs were damaged. She died in the afternoon today. The police got the post-mortem examination conducted and in the absence of any claimant her body was handed over to Sahara volunteers for cremation.


Man ‘dies at police station’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 18
Darshan Singh (48) of Kular Khurad village, near here, died at the local police station today when he went there to ask the police to take action against those who had injured his sons a couple of days ago, said Mr Major Singh, brother of the deceased, at the Civil Hospital. The post-mortem of the body was done here this evening.

A police officer, who was present at the hospital, said Darshan Singh suffered a heart attack at the police station. In a serious condition, he was got checked up from a private doctor on the way to hospital who advised the attendants to take him to the Civil Hospital. However, doctors declared him brought dead. On the other hand, near and dears of the deceased, who had gathered at the hospital at the time of post-mortem, alleged that Darshan Singh had not been attended properly at the police station due to which he suffered heart attack.


Beating heat with watermelons
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 18
Even as the residents are finding the heat unbearable, the watermelon sellers are all thanks for the high temperature as they are doing brisk business. Satish Kumar, a watermelon seller on the Amrik Singh road, said the fruit was affordable and gave solace from the hot weather. He said the residents were buying the fruit in bulk.

The vendors have put up stalls at any vacant place in the city, with the maximum concentration near the canal, Government Rajindra College, St Joseph School, Liberty Chowk, Power House road and Amrik Singh road. The mounds of watermelon on the ground are visible from far.

Ramesh Kumar, who has a stall near the canal, said though there was not much difference in the sale this year as compared to last year, the sale had increased in the past few years. He said that people belonging to all walks of life were his customers. He has been in the business for the past eight years. Earlier, his father sold the fruit. He added that while the number of customers had increased in these years, the number of sellers too had increased proportionately.

The 20-year old Raju who is “forced” to sell fruit this year as his father has met with an accident, said that they had to sit in the scorching heat for the whole day, while the customers mostly come in the evening. He seemed unhappy with the earnings as he said that most of it was spent in preserving the fruit from the heatwave.

The stray cattle, which create nuisance for the residents, also spell trouble for the watermelon sellers. The sellers cannot move away from their stalls due to fear of the stray cattle. If they leave the stall unattended even for a minute, herds of cattle have a feast of the watermelons. The watermelon sellers bring the fruit from Kapurthala in Punjab and Bikaner in Rajasthan. Due to competition the sellers purchase the fruit in bulk, but sometimes they had to sell it at very low prices, for the fear that it would rot. A seller said that they could earn more if there was some cold store for storing the fruit.


Doctors, paramedical staff strike work
Our Correspondent

Nabha, June 18
Doctors, paramedical staff and chemists of the town observed a complete strike in protest against the assault on doctors and paramedical staff on emergency duty at the civil hospital here by drunk youth last night.

According to the SMO, Mr I.D. Goyal, persons accompanying Shivraj, a patient with burn injuries, slapped Dr Sanjay Mathur when he asked them to keep quiet as they were disturbing other patients. The patient also tried to stab the doctor with broken glass and glucose bottle but a paramedico Purshotam Batra, scuffled with him, providing a chance to the doctor to escape. Mr Mathur raised an alarm and the accused fled from the scene.

The hospital authorities informed the police and administration, which immediately swung into action and conducted raids throughout night resulting in the arrest of Shivraj.

In the morning, when the news about the incident spread, the doctors and paramedical staff assembled on the premises of the civil hospital and observed a complete strike thus paralysing the work at the hospital. The situation further worsened when the private doctors and all chemists of the town also joined the striking staff.

Condemning the assault, Raja Narinder Singh, former MLA of the town, demanded immediate arrest of the accused. Kaka Randip Singh, MLA, Nabha, tried to pacify the agitating staff by assuring them that the guilty won’t be allowed to go scot-free and requested them to call off the strike.

But the agitated staff insisted that guilty should be arrested and presented before them and reiterated that the strike would continue till their demands were met.

While addressing the agitating staff the SDM, Mr Balkar Singh Sekhon, told that two constables would be permanently deployed at the emergency to prevent such incident again.

Later, DSP Shamsher Singh Boparai told mediapersons that a case under various sections were registered against Shivraj, Dimple Walia and Lucky. Dimple Walia was arrested from the local courts today.


Dalit-farmer row resolved
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 18
The ongoing struggle between the Dalits and farmers belonging to upper class of Dalel Singhwala village in the district was amicably settled today with the intervention of the district administration.

The Dalits of the village, led by Mr Jai Singh, National President of the Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan (DDVA), had been staging a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, Mr Raj Kamal Chowdery. They had alleged that the farmers were keeping them as bonded labour and were not making payments for the services rendered by them.

Mr Jai Singh, who had been camping here for the past 20 days, had held a number of meetings and rallies in nearly 200 villages of the districts of Mansa and Bathinda to make the Dalits aware of their rights. The Dalits also have the support of the Left parties.

The farmers say they pay the Dalits in advance for one-year work whereas the Dalits say they are being forced to work to recover the interest on the amount borrowed by their forefathers. They allege that the farmers have been charging them for the puppy husk and opium that the farmers gave them to get more work from them.

In spite of a literacy move in the district, children of the Dalits are being forced to work in the fields by the farmers to recover the interest on the amount taken by their forefathers. Mr Jai Singh said Dalits were being sold by the upper class in the village and it was common in the Malwa region to see bonded labourers being sold and bought.

Owing to the prolonged Dalit agitation, the situation in the village had become tense. Seeing the situation going out of hands, the Deputy Commissioner deputed Mr G.P.S. Sahota, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr Mukhtiar Singh and Mr Hakam Singh, both DSP, to sort out the differences between both the parties. Mr Sahota summoned both the parties to the Sadar police station where the dispute was amicably settled.

According to a compromise reached at between both the parties, the farmers agreed to pay Rs 85 as daily wage to the Dalit labourers for eight-hour work. It was agreed that the other pending claims between both parties would be settled as per directive issued by the National Commission for SC/ST, New Delhi.


Chachowal elects Sarpanch, panches unanimously

Jalandhar, June 18
Upholding their convention of unanimity, residents of Chachowal village chosen their new Sarpanch and five panches unanimously and formally sought the state Election Commission’s nod to the consensus evolved by them.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) S.S. Bains, who is the District Returning Officer for the ensuing panchayat elections, told UNI here that the residents of this tiny village had conveyed to him that they had unanimously elected Ms Ranjit Kaur as Sarpanch and Gurdayal Singh, Chanan, Joginder, Gyano and Mahendra as panches.

The seat of the Sarpanch in the village had been reserved for a Scheduled Caste(SC) candidate and the villagers had made request to the government that they be allowed to have Ms Ranjit Kaur, a general category woman, as their new Sarpanch as the outgoing incumbent from the SC category, had not met their aspirations.

Mr Bains said the department would wait if anybody from the SC category filed the nomination paper for the post till tomorrow.

If no nomination paper was received tomorrow, the last date of filing nomination, the villagers’ request would be accepted and the seat of the Sarpanch of this village would be converted into general category.

He said this village had the unique record of electing its panchayat representatives unanimously during every election and it could be a lesson for the other villages. — UNI


Judicial custody for accused in sleaze scam
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
All the five accused in the Amritsar ‘’sex’’ scam case, including Sarabjit Singh, alias Raju, were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by a local court today.

The accused — Raju, who is alleged to be the kingpin behind the “sleaze, extortion and sex scam” is the managing director of Amritsar Communication Network, Sandeep Khanna, Sandeep Sippy, Parveen Chadha and Hari Om — had been earlier remanded in police custody till today in the case.


Forum opposes chaining of undertrials

Bathinda, June 18
The Punjab Law Forum has expressed concern over the chaining of undertrials and accused when they are produced in the district courts and the alleged inhuman treatment meted out to them.

In a statement here yesterday, Mr Mahesh Kumar, district president, and Mr Chander Mohan Ruby, joint secretary, of the forum said the police had not stopped chaining the undertrials and the accused while being produced in the courts, despite orders of the Supreme Court. They said former officials and members of the judiciary who were suspects were not chained. Mr Kumar also said recent reports of fatal accidents caused by stray animals were a reason for concern. He said the district authorities should take action in this regard. — OC


13 IAS officers shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The Punjab Government today transferred 13 IAS and eight PCS officers. Mr Rajesh Chhabra has been appointed as Financial Commissioner (Revenue) in place of Mr Bhagat Singh, who retires on June 30. Mrs Rupan Deol Bajaj has been appointed as Financial Commissioner (Appeals) and will have additional charge as the Principal Secretary, General Administration, on the superannuation of Mrs Daljit Jaijee on June 30.

Mr Vijay Kain has been posted as the Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research. Mr B.K. Srivastava has been sent to the Department of Personnel as the Secretary. Mr R.C. Nayyar has been given charge as the Commissioner (Appeals), Jalandhar and Patiala, in addition to being the Commissioner, Surplus Pool, and Secretary, Lokpal.

Mr Sarvesh Kaushal has been appointed as Secretary, Relief and Settlement. Mr Suresh Kumar has shifted to the Department of Transport as its Secretary. Mr Sanjay Kumar has been given additional charge as the Additional Director, Local Government-cum-Special Secretary to the Government of Punjab. Mr Anjali Bhawra has been given additional charge as the Project Director, Punjab AIDS Control Society. Mr Kanwal Bir Singh Sidhu has been appointed as the Special Secretary, Education. Mr A. Venu Parsad has been appointed as the Chief Administrator of PUDA. Mr Vivek Partap Singh has been given additional charge as the Chief Executive, Punjab Energy Development Authority.

Mr Rakhi Gupta Bhandari has been posted as the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA at Ludhiana and also as the Administrator of Improvement Trust there. Mr Gopal Krishan Singh has been appointed as the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA at Bathinda. Mr Balwinder Singh has been posted as the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA at Jalandhar.

Mr Devinder Singh Saroya has been appointed as the Additional Managing Director of Markfed. Mr Sukhmandar Singh has been appointed as the Assistant Commissioner (Grievances) at Bathinda. Mr Ashwani Kumar has been appointed as a Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Patiala. Mr Kuldip Singh has been appointed as the Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana and also given additional charge as the Land Acquisition Officer of the Improvement Trusts in Patiala, Ludhiana, Faridkot and Ferozepore divisions.

Mr Puneet Goyal has been given additional charge as the Land Acquisition Officer of the Ranjit Sagar dam. Mr N.S. Randhawa, has been appointed as a Joint Director, Cultural Affairs, Archives, Archaeology and Museums.


More transfers in IT dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
After the transfer of 15 assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners yesterday, the Income Tax, North Western Region, office today announced the transfer of 60 income tax officers (ITOs). These would include 19 officials from Chief Commissioner, Income Tax (CCIT), Amritsar office, 20 from Ludhiana and six from Panchkula.

Mr Ashok Kumar Bajaj, Mr B.S. Virk, Mr Harbans Lal, Mr J.L. Pahuja, Mr J.M. Arora, Mr J.R.Sharma, Mr K.L.Kumar, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr R.K. Arora, Mr Tarsem Lal, Mr V.K. Monga and Mr M.R. Malhotra have been transferred from CCIT, Amritsar, to CCIT, Ludhiana.Mr Vinod Kumar, Mr T.R. Sharma and Mr M.L. Saxena have been transferred from CCIT, Amrtisar, to CCIT, Chandigarh.

Mr Vijay Khanna, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, North Western Region, has asked all the officials to report compliance of the order by June 24. He clarified that all the officials transferred yesterday were in the rank of assistant and deputy commissioners and would be at the disposal of respective Chief Commissioners, Income Tax. According to the order, Mr Malhotra and Mr Y.P. Behal, ITOs posted at Amritsar, will go to Ludhiana and Shimla, respectively.

Among others, Mr D.N. Gogia, Mr Desh Raj Singla,Mr Kanwal Preet Singh, Mr L.R. Sapra, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr S.P. Bhatia, Mr Mulak Raj and Mr I.K. Chawla have been transferred from CCIT, Chandigarh, to CCIT, Amritsar. Mr Shiv Nath Sharma and Mr Satish Kumar Gupta, posted at Chandigarh, will now go to Ludhiana and Panchkula, respectively.

From Ludhiana, Mr C.M. Baluja, Mr G.S. Kalra, Mr G.L. Dhall, Mr G.R. Madan, Mr K.L. Bhagat, Mr Pritam Singh Bains, Mr Surjit Lal Sharma, Mr V.K. Sehgal and Mr P.K. Kalia have been transferred to Amritsar. Mr D.K. Barna, Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, Mr J.P. Virdhi, Mr Ravi Bhushan Bajaj, Mr Ravinder Singh, Mr R.K. Bansal and Mr B.S.Chauhan posted as ITOs at Ludhiana will go to Chandigarh.

Mr Sharat Chander Awasthi and Mr H.S. Sidhu posted at Ludhiana will go to CCIT, Panchkula. From the office of Chief Commissioner, Panchkula, Mr R.N. Tiwana, Mr Balram Sahai and Mr Ram Dass will go to CCIT, Ludhiana. Similarly, Mr Manmohan Lal Loona and Mr Gopal Dass posted at Panchkula will go to Amritsar. Mr Bhola Nath posted at CCIT, Chandigarh, has been shifted to Panchkula and Mr Amrik Chand posted as ITO in the office of the Director General, Income Tax (Investigation) has been shifted to Amritsar.


Dr K.K. Sharma

Chandigarh, June 18
Dr K.K. Sharma, Additional Director in the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, has been given additional charge as the Director, Health Services (Family Welfare) by the Punjab Government. — TNS


Four-year-old girl abducted, raped
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, June 18
In a heinous incident, a four-year-old daughter of a rag-picker was allegedly abducted and raped by a rickshaw-puller late last night.

Even as the police has detained about 15-20 rickshaw-pullers for an identification parade to arrest the culprit, the girl was found by the police while she was lying in a semi-conscious state in a pool of blood near the Ramgarh octroi post. The police sent her to Jalandhar’s Civil Hospital for a medical examination.

The victim, Sundari (name changed), was allegedly abducted by a rickshaw-puller late last evening while she was playing with his 10-year-old uncle, Gungu, in front of their jhuggi. The accused, who may have some acquaintance with the family of the victim as suspected by the police authorities, forcibly bundled her into his rickshaw and started pedalling off. He was resisted by Gungu, who repeatedly asserted that he would accompany her. At this, the rickshaw-puller beat up Gangu and forced him to leave the place.

“I could not believe him when Gungu narrated the incident late in the night. But when he persisted, I launched a search for the girl along with some residents of a cluster of jhuggis near the main bus stand. When we failed to locate her, we approached the police which recovered her from near the octroi post early this morning,” said Chandrika Kumar, who had landed in Phillaur from UP just about a week ago. “I and my family could not imagine that such a tragedy would befall us after coming to this place. We had come here in search of greener pasture,” said a sobbing Kumar.

The condition of the girl at the hospital was stated to be stable and she was likely to be discharged tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the local police has rounded up about 15-20 rickshaw-pullers on suspicion of being involved in the crime. “After initial investigations we have let off all of them except four of five who have been detained for the purpose of an identification parade which will be held once the victim becomes normal,” said Mr Varinder Singh, SHO.

A case under Sections 376 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.

Rape alleged
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
The Civil Lines police station has registered a case against an Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) constable — Dharamvir, on charges of raping an employee of a local nursing home. The Civil Lines police has registered a case on a complaint filed by the woman. 


Staff stage-manages robbery, case solved
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 18
The local police claims to have solved a case of robbery which took place here on June 13. It found that the robbed ones had ganged up with the robbers. A press note issued today by the SP, Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill, said the robbery in which Rs 2.75 lakh was said to have been looted from three employees of a wine firm, Phagwara circle, in the Banga road area, was actually stage — managed by the three in league with Parveen Kumar, a former employee of the liquor contractor and a gangster, Pindar.

The conspiracy was hatched in October last year in a Jalandhar jail where a present employee of the firm Sandip Singh, and a former employee, Parveen Kumar, were lodged in connection with a criminal case. The conspiracy was executed after both got bail. Two employees of the contractor, Sandip Singh and Daljit Singh, alias Bhola, were involved in the conspiracy while the third one, Ranjit Singh, did not know anything about it, the press note said.

The driver of the vehicle, Daljit Singh, alias Bhola, was allegedly thrashed in the Jeep itself while the employees were returning after collecting the revenue of the day. The employees had inflicted injuries upon themselves, but gave out that they were attacked, injured and looted by six robbers with muffled faces on a motorcycle and a scooter. The employees had got themselves hospitalised here. But a thorough probe by the SP himself and the SHO, Mr Sarabjit Rai, proved that everything was doctored.

The police has arrested Sandip Singh, Daljit Singh, alias Bhola, and Sonu of Bhanoki village and recovered from them Rs 44,000, according to the press note.


Finance co-owner held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, June 18
The local police has arrested the owner of a finance company for duping depositors of lakh of rupees against an assurance of paying a high rate of interest.

According to police sources, owner of M/s Gill Enterprises, Gurmel Singh, a local resident, had been arrested for fraud. He had promised 18 per cent interest to investors and cheques had been issued as a part of the guarantee.

Lt Col Kewal Krishen Bhanot (retd) had stated before the police that he had deposited a sum of Rs 13 lakh in 1988. However, when he approached the company for his due payment there was no amount in the account of the accused.

The police said Gurmel Singh had cheated some other persons also. The police said on interrogation Gurmel had confessed that he had been fooling the depositors and had even told them that his firm had obtained permission from the Reserve Bank of India for public deposit schemes.

A case under Sections 409, 420, 120B of the IPC and Section 45 (I)B, 58B, C and Section 4 of the Money Circulation Act, has been registered.

Mr Ranjit Singh, Judicial Magistrate-cum-Duty Magistrate, today extended the police remand of the accused till tomorrow.


Kin of youth killed in ‘fake’ encounter murdered
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 18
Mastan Singh (76), grandfather of Gurpartap Singh, alias Tabboo, a student of plus two who was allegedly killed in a fake encounter on October 24, 1993, by the local police, was last night found murdered with sharp-edged weapons.

The local city police has registered a case under Section 302. The killers have not been identified as yet, police sources told reporters today.

Mastan Singh was murdered at his farmhouse in Walipur village, 6 km from here.


Gang of thieves busted
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 18
The police yesterday claimed to have busted an inter-district gang of thieves who used to make holes into the roofs of medical stores and steal drugs for self-consumption besides selling them to the youth at cheaper rates.

A press note issued by SP Harmanbir Singh Gill said the gang members, Paramjit, alias Noni of Panshta village, and Jagtar Singh, alias Sona of Randhirgarh village, were arrested near Nasirabad village.They confessed to have stolen drugs worth Rs 80,000 from at least six medical stores, including one in the Civil Hospital. 


Two arrested for castrating youth
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 18
The district police has arrested two persons on the charge of castrating a youth. According to the police, Pamma of Bhargo Nagar was returning to his home last week when some persons kidnapped him and later castrated him leaving him in an unconscious state near the Domoria bridge yesterday.

A case has been registered and systematic investigation points the needle of suspicion towards a Mahant with whom the victim was working as an assistant. The police today raided the Mahant’s house and arrested him along with one of his accomplice, Pajal, of Ghah Mandi locality. Another accused, identified as Mangu, was still at large.

The arrested persons said Pamma wanted to get married and had refused to work with the Mahant. The Mahant along with his two accomplices, hatched a conspiracy to castrate Pamma.


Notice to Punjab on lecturer’s plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
Taking up a petition filed by a senior lecturer in Ludhiana’s SCD Government College for Boys, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the state of Punjab and other respondents to “show cause why the petition should not be admitted”. The petitioner was seeking the quashing of an order whereby his claim was rejected for the issuance of relieving certificate to join a refresher course.

Issuing notice on senior lecturer Ashwani Sayal’s petition, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar and Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, also fixed October 14 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Describing the impugned order as “illegal, unjust and arbitrary”, the petitioner had earlier submitted that the same was against the relevant guidelines and instructions.

Giving details, he had asserted that as per the instructions issued by Punjab’s Director of Public Instruction (College) the teachers were to be relieved upon selection for orientation course by Panjab University’s Academic Staff College or Guru Nanak Dev University.

Going into the background of the case, the petitioner had submitted that the college principal had refused to accept his application for the issuance of the certificate. Mr Sayal had concluded that he had successfully completed the refresher course, but the completion certificate had been withheld for “want of relieving certificate”.


3 students hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 18
As many as three students, including a senior member of the All-India Sikh Students Federation Sandip Singh Wahla, were seriously injured when two groups of students clashed at a restaurant in front of Guru Nanak Dev University late last evening. The two other injured, include Navdeep Singh and Kanwaldeep Singh. The injured have been admitted to government hospitals where their condition is said to be stable.

According to reports, as many as 20 persons held by Manoj Kumar attacked Navdeep Singh as soon as they entered the restaurant. They reportedly came on two cars (numbers PB-02-AC-0654 and PB-02-S-5758). Sandeep Singh and Kanwaldeep Singh who were also present there tried to pacify them and asked them to go outside the restaurant. But the attackers allegedly went on a rampage. They seriously injured the three and fled. Navdeep Singh was hit on the head with kirpans.

On the statements of Navdeep Singh, a junior technician in the university, the police has registered a case under Sections 326, 324, 452, 146, 149 of the IPC at Islamabad police station here. The police has booked Manoj Kumar, a resident of Rajasansi, Harminder Singh of Fatehgarh Sudarchak, Rana and Kabal Singh of Medical Enclave in this regard. According to police officials no arrests have been made so far.


Ex-Registrar’s plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 18
The Punjab Governor and Punjabi University Chancellor, Justice O.P. Verma, has rejected an appeal filed by senior university teacher and former Registrar, Dr Karamjit Singh Sidhu, against his removal from the post of Registrar.

Dr Sidhu had filed an appeal to the Chancellor claiming that his removal was violative of the university calendar. He had said in his representation that he had been appointed for a year or until a regular appointment was made. He said he had been removed without any notice.

The Chancellor has sent a letter to Dr Sidhu rejecting his appeal. The letter states: “Upon circumspection of your representation, it appears that your appointment was not substantive and no notice needs to be given as asserted by you. The representation made by you, therefore, has no force and hence is rejected”.

Dr Sidhu had recently offered his resignation from the post of the head of the department of defence studies alleging that the university was deliberately not giving him permission to go abroad for a seminar. The resignation had been accepted by the authorities.

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