Monday, June 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal flays CM’s stand on Mayawati’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today decried violence in the run-up to the panchayat poll and the government’s stand on the visit of UP Chief Minister Mayawati to address a Dalit rally in Punjab.

Coming down heavily on the Chief Minister to scuttle the visit of Ms Mayawati, Mr Badal said: “The Chief Minister’s stand on Ms Mayawati’s visit is a classic instance of the Congress hypocrisy on the Dalit issue. The Chief Minister could allow central leaders from the Congress to visit the curfew-bound areas even though their visit was opposed by Dalits and they were greeted with black flags. But when it comes to the visit of one of the tallest Dalit leaders in the country, the Chief Minister suddenly sees a danger to the law and order situation.”

Mr Badal asked the Chief Minister to ponder seriously on the quality of governance he had provided to the state. “Are we really worse off than even Jammu and Kashmir where national leaders have been addressing successful public meetings?” Mr Badal wondered, adding that the real reason behind Amarinder’s attitude lay in his aristocratic neglect of and indifference to the Dalit cause. “Or is he adopting such postures because he is aware that Ms Mayawati is likely to get a red carpet welcome from the people of the region who would vent their anger against the government?,” asked the Akali leader.

The SAD President also referred to the violence taking place in the state because of the panchahyat poll and said that this was a part of a massive Congress conspiracy to ensure that the elections are not held in a peaceful, free and fair manner. Right from the Assembly election in Malout in March last year, the Chief Minister had relied on brute force and massive misuse of government machinery to subvert democracy in the state, the Akali leader said.

The SAD chief said the Congress conspiracy was completely exposed after the high court verdict on the panchayat elections. “This was as severe a rebuke as any government could ever get. But instead of treating it as a moral defeat and retract from going ahead with rigged elections, the Chief Minister had gone even further in his bid to inject violence into the elections to help the Congress cause,” Mr Badal said.


Badal wants Tohra as next SGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 22
To effect a major reshuffle in the SGPC, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, invited Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, both close confidants of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra at his residence in Chandigarh.

According to sources close to the SAD chief, Mr Badal wants Mr Tohra to replace Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar as the SGPC chief. However, Mr Tohra wants that the reshuffle should be delayed for some time as he was not feeling well. Mr Badal also talked to Mr Tohra on telephone about the possible reshuffle.

However, Mr Tohra desired that some other person should be made President of the SGPC in place of Mr Badungar which was not acceptable to Mr Badal. Mr Badal, however, wants that Mr Tohra being a stalwart should replace Mr Badungar so that working of SGPC could be streamlined.

On the other hand, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta is likely to be tipped as the Chief Secretary of the SGPC. Though Mr Calcutta is already above 60 years and the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission had already ruled that all employees above this age be removed yet this bylaw does not apply on him (Mr Calcutta) as he would be honorary secretary without getting any salary.

However, Mr Tohra is not in a mood to remove Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as the Jathedar of Akal Takht for the time being.


Make Tohra SGPC chief: Sikh front
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
The Sikh Front International (SFI), while welcoming the unity of the SAD (B) and SHSAD, said veteran Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra should be made the president of the SGPC.

Mr Gurkirpal Singh, the president of the SFI and former president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF), said this while addressing a meeting of the front here today.

He said to revive the SGPC, Mr Tohra should be made its president and the post of the secretary should be given to Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta.

The front demanded that the Head Granthi of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Giani Puran Singh, and the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, should resign from their posts as they had failed to maintain the sanctity of Golden Temple and Akal Takht”.

The front said there was a need to launch a campaign to educate the Sikh youths about the teachings of Gurus.

The association thanked the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for exempting the items purchased for use in Golden Temple from tax and urged him to impose a ban on the use of tobacco at public places in the state.


Panchayat poll: Tohra’s man to be challenged after 30 years
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 22
For one who has been numero uno is his village since 1972, veteran Akali leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s candidate will be challenged for the first time in 30 years, in his native village Tohra in the district, in the panchayat elections on June 29. The challenger is being supported by one of his close confidants.

Other Akali leaders are also facing problems in their villages even as Congressmen seem to be having it good in the elections whose last date for withdrawal of candidature ended yesterday. Candidates of former Akali Minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur and Surjit Singh Rakhra will also have to face the ballot with the latter’s candidate fighting a fellow Akali.

The ballot in Tohra village is not for the post of “sarpanch” alone. A tough contest is on the cards for all posts of “panches” with the rival Akali team putting up candidates for all posts. Ironically the veteran leader is facing problems due to the support extended to the rival team by senior Akali leader Rajinder Singh Tohra who is from the same village and was the District Akali Dal President during the united Akali Dal period and later president of the district unit of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal.

Bahadur Singh, who is being supported by Rajinder Singh Tohra, is contesting against Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s candidate Satwinder Singh who has earlier been the sarpanch of the village for two terms. Mr Rajinder Singh Tohra’s son Pritpal Singh is also standing for the election from the rival team for the post of a “panch”. Rajinder Tohra when quizzed on the issue, said the entire village had the utmost respect for the former SGPC chief but felt that Satwinder Singh was not the right choice for the post of “sarpanch”. He said it was due to this that Bahadur Singh was chosen by the villagers.

Meanwhile, Akali sources said efforts were on till yesterday evening to ensure the withdrawal of the candidature of Bahadur Singh as well as six-member rival team. The sources said while the rival group was ready to withdraw from the race, its only condition was that Satwinder Singh should not be fielded for the post of “sarpanch”. The former SGPC chief said he would not agree to any conditions following which the negotiations broke down.

Other Akali leaders are also facing problems in the coming panchayat elections. Former Minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur’s Mukhmailpur village in Ghanaur constituency will also witness elections for the first time after 1972. Presently the former minister’s protegee Gurnam Singh is pitted against one Pala Singh. In case of the village of former minister Surjit Singh Rakhra in Samana constituency two Akalis are in the race. The former minister is supporting a Dalit woman for the post of sarpanch of Rakhra village who is pitted against the wife of Tohra loyalist Randhir Singh Rakhra.

Congress leaders are having a relatively easier time. Finance Minister Gopal Singh has managed to get his brother unanimously elected sarpanch of Asarpur village. Other Congress leaders have also managed unanimity in their villages as compared to the Akalis.


Punjab seeks IAF assistance
Foaming apparatus to douse flames
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
The Punjab Government has approached the IAF authorities for assistance to equip itself with the latest fire-fighting equipment to handle major fire accidents, like the one at Ranbaxy in Mohali recently.

It has asked the local IAF authorities to prepare a report detailing the kind of equipment required, the cost factor, the viability of where it could be used etc, which will help the government handle fires erupting from inflammable chemicals being used in hazardous industries.

Punjab Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap told TNS today that arrangements would be made to instal such hi-tech systems, including crash fire engines with foaming apparatus in Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Jalandhar and Amritsar districts where the concentration of hazardous industries is more. The foaming system — being used by the IAF to control major fires in planes following crashes and oil depots — will help the government set up a similar system to deal with such catastrophes.

Mr Kashyap said arrangements had been worked out to have the IAF as a stand-by to provide these facilities for meeting such crises.

The Municipal Corporation councils, which are entrusted with the fire-fighting operations in districts, would be required to procure these fire engines on their own Modalities would subsequently be worked out to charge some money from those industrial units which take such specialised firefighting services.

According to sources in the Fire Department, the use of a special foaming compound along with water and dry chemical powder proves very effective in the case of chemical and other liquid fires erupting from petrol, diesel, oil and other highly inflammable material.

The foaming system was recently used by the IAF to douse the flames at Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in Mohali, recently. The smothering effect of foam was able to control the flames fast.

The sources reveal that the facility of multi-purpose fire engines is available only in Chandigarh, Mohali and Mandi Gobindgarh. Similarly, the breathing apparatus system, which helps firemen breathe while dousing flames is also a must for their safety. But fire stations in most districts are yet to acquire the system due to paucity of funds.


Hanspal tells leaders not to ignore workers
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 22
The Punjab Pradesh Congress president Mr H.S. Hanspal, said today that all elected Congress representatives should be available in their respective Congress Urban and Rural offices to listen to the grievances of party workers.

Addressing a workers’ meeting at the Khoobsurat Palace here along with the Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh and the party MP, Ms Preneet Kaur, the PPCC president said all legislators, ministers and MPs should be available to listen party workers at appointed times. He said he would direct all district Congress presidents to make a roster in their offices earmarking the time during which all elected representatives would be available to meet the party workers every week.

The local Mahila Congress president, Ms Amarjit Kaur, complained that no women leader from Patiala had been accommodated in the recent appointments of corporation chiefs and directors of various corporations and boards. The block president, Mr Nand Lal Garaba, said the police was still harassing the people while giving an example how a widow and her daughters were being forced out of their shop in Tripri with the police help.

Mr Hanspal replied to most of the problems during his speech. He said reservation of women had been affected in all municipal bodies besides panchayats. He said women had even got their share in appointments to various corporations though it may be less than that bagged by the men.

Mr Hanspal said as far as police harassment was concerned, he said the party workers and the public must not offer money to any official. Asking the people to rise to the challenge, he said it was up to the people to remove corruption from the state. He said as far as the government was concerned, it had already stepped up its activities by declaring the current year as the year of development. He said during the current year the government had resolved to spend Rs 261 crore on building and repairing of roads besides constructing 40 overbridges and three super bus stations at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

The Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh, while speaking on the occasion, said the Congress was committed to sharing of power with the party workers. He said more Congressmen would be accommodated as the heads of the remaining corporations.

Mr Lal Singh said a former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and a former SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had parted over the issue of sharing Rs 300 crore received from the Centre to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Khalsa. He said Mr Tohra wanted to hand over the money to the SGPC while Mr Badal said the government would spend it.

Others who spoke on the occasion were the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) Chairman, Mr Ved Prakash Gupta, the Improvement Trust Chairman, Mr K.K. Sharma, the PPCC general secretary, Mr Lakhwinder Singh and the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board Director, Mr Anil Mehta.

The PPCC president denied that any recommendation sent by him for the post of Punjab Youth Congress presidentship had been rejected by the Centre. Reacting to a question about his recommendation of Mr Kuldeep Bhullar, son of thr Punjab DGP, Mr M.S. Bhullar, for the post of the Youth President, he said it was not true. He said both he and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had sent a panel of names which included a Jat Sikh, Hindu and Dalit candidates for the post of the president of the body. He said Mr Kuldeep Bhullar’s name had been included in the panel.


Demand for probe panel rejected
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 22
The Congress today rejected the SAD’s demand for setting up an inquiry commission, headed by sitting Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, to probe the corruption cases against politicians of various political parties, including the SAD and the Congress.

It may be mentioned here that on June 20 last, the SAD Secretary-General and Union Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, had demanded that instead of registering “false” and “fabricated” corruption cases against Akalis, including former SAD ministers and sitting SAD MLAs, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, should set up an inquiry commission.

Talking to mediapersons here this evening, Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), said there was no need to set up such an inquiry commission to look into the corruption cases. He said the government agencies were investigating the cases.

Mr Hanspal appealed to Ms Mayawati, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, to postpone her July 7 ‘dhikkar’ rally at Jalandhar as it could create problems in the existing circumstances.

Mr Hanspal said the state government was firm on its decision regarding the abolition of octroi, but it could not be abolished from July 1 as announced earlier. He said if the government imposed the local area development (LAD) tax at the rate of 2 per cent on commodities in place of octroi, then in several cases the consumers would have to pay more as the LAD tax than octroi. So the state government was working out a formula before the implementation of the LAD tax and the abolition of octroi, he added.


78 panchayats elected in Fatehgarh Sahib
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 22
After the completion of the nomination process for the coming panchayat elections, candidates have been declared elected unopposed in 78 panchayats out of 430. These panchayats include 19 in the Sirhind block, 17 in Bassi Pathana, 18 in Amloh and 13 in Khera.

However, representatives were not elected unopposed in Khera, the native village of Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests, Saheed garh, the native village of Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Kotla Bhai Ka, the native village of Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, and Salana Dara Singh Wala, the native village of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a former minister.

In the case of Lakha Singh Wala, the native village of Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Minister for Public Health, the representative was elected unanimously. The elections for the rest of the panchayats would be held on June 29.

Mr S.K.Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, said 5,462 candidates had filed papers for the post of Panch and 1,824 for those of Sarpanch. He said after the scrutiny of the papers, the nominations of 1,783 candidates for the posts of Sarpanch were found in order and 41 were rejected. The papers of 5,161 candidates for the posts of Panch were found in order while those of 101 were rejected.

He said on the last date of withdrawal of nominations, 823 candidates for the posts of Sarpanch and 1,515 for those of Panch had withdrawn their papers. In the two categories, 960 and 3,846 candidates, respectively, were now left in the fray, he stated.

He said there were three such villages where panches had been elected unanimously. He said there were four villages where sarpanches had been elected unanimously.

Congratulating those panchayats where panches or sarpanches had been elected unanimously, he said as per the directions of the government, all these villages would be given Rs 2 lakh each for development projects.  

He said the district administration had completed all arrangements for the smooth conduct of the elections and about 3,000 employees had been posted on election duty. He said special security arrangements would be made for sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling booths.

He said the district administration would ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. He said counting would start immediately after the completion of the polling process and the results would be declared at the earliest.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Representatives have been elected unanimously in 13 panchayats in this area of Ludhiana district.

These include Sohian, Burgara, Daud, Rabon Uchi and Brahman Majra in Dehlon development block, besides the panchayats of Buraj Latan, Latala, Dolo Kalan, Rangoowal, Jarahan and Tunga Heri villages in Pakhowal block.

Those unanimously elected as Sarpanch or Panch include Mr Kulbir Singh Sohian, Thakur Singh Burgara, Mr Balwant Singh, Mr Tarsem Singh, Ms Gurdev Kaur, Mr Chaman Singh, Ms Surjit Kaur, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr Harbans Singh and Mr Darshan Singh.

Meanwhile, the nomination papers of a large number of candidates contesting the panchayat poll slated for June 29 have been rejected. In the Dehlon development block, 152 candidates are left in the election fray for the posts of Sarpanch and 797 for those of Panch. The nomination papers of eight persons aspiring to contest for Sarpanch’s posts have been rejected in this block while 17 nomination papers for the posts of Panch have been rejected. A total of 149 aspirants for Sarpanch’s posts and 398 for those of Panch withdrew their nomination papers on Saturday.

Five nomination papers for the posts of Sarpanch were rejected in Ahmedgarh block, leaving 334 candidates in the fray. Thirty nomination papers for posts of Panch were rejected in this block. In Pakhowal block, 112 candidates are contesting elections to the posts of Sarpanch and 584 to those of Panch.


89 panchayats elected unopposed
Our Correspondents

Gurdaspur, June 22
Twentyeight panchayats from Dinanagar development block, 24 panchayats from Kahnuwan development block, 16 panchayats from Kalanaur development block, 10 panchayats from Bamial development block, eight panchayats from Pathankot development block and three panchayats from Dhar development block have been elected unopposed.

In addition, sarpanches from Kahnuwan block, four sarpanches from Kalanaur block, one sarpanch from Pathankot block, 39 panches from Dhar block, two panches from Pathankot block and one panch from Kahnuwan block have also been elected unopposed.

PATHANKOT: According to information provided by the office of the DDPO, 13 panchayats in Dhariwal in Gurdaspur district, and one each in Dhar and Narot Mehra have been declared elected unanimously after the first phase of panchayat polls completed yesterday with the withdrawal of nominations by the candidates.

In Dinanagar block, only 1502 candidates seeking election to 147 panchayats have been left in the fray now. The nomination papers of 57 candidates seeking election to the post of sarpanches and 184 of the panches have been rejected. The panchayats elected unanimously in Dinanagar block include Pachowal, Kulian Bhatoa, Copalia, Jharoli, Ogara, Bahari, Sambchak, Wahale, Hawali, Mangh, Rowal, Gwalia, Brahmini, Sanpar, Moolchak, Naushera, Pasial, Kothemajithim Dukala, Ghutha and Mirjanpur.

In Dhariwal block, 550 candidates had filed nominations for sarpanches and 1653 for the panches of which papers of 25 sarpanches and 44 panches members were rejected.

Mr Ashwani Kumar has been elected unopposed the sarpanch of Sheedipur in Narote Mehra, while Ms Surinderjit Kaur was elected sarpanch of Chhatwal village in Dhar block.

Talwandi Jattan, Nalunga, Badala, Punjipur, Kotli Mugla, Danora, Mirzapur and Spur in Pathankot block were declared elected unanimously.


20 panchayats constituted unanimously
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 22
As many as 20 gram panchayats of a total 242 panchayats were constituted unanimously in the district. All sarpanches and panches of gram panchayats — Mann Aspal, Hirewala, Gagowal, Saharna, Dhalewan, Moola Singh Wala, Sandli, Faridke, Birewala Dogra, Mandali, Borawal, Birokekalan, Mofar, Sahnewali, Daliawali, Moda, Chuharian, Karipurdumb, Dhingana and Dashmeshnagar Jhandakalan were elected unopposed.

The sarpanches of seven gram panchayats — Mohar Singh Wala, Hirokhurd, Sangreri, Phuluwala Dogra, Piplian, Jhandakhurd and Ranjitgarh Bandar — and panches of six gram panchayats Khadak Singh Wala, Mannbibrian, Kusla, Kotra, Chotian and Adamke of the district were also elected unopposed.

Giving this information here today, Mr Raj Kamal Chowdhary, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa, said now 584 candidates for the posts of sarpanch had been left in the fray in the district.


15 panchayats elected unanimously
Tribune News Service

Kharar, June 22
Voters of 15 villages in Kharar constituency have unanimously elected. Sarpanches and panches of their villages. They were honoured here today by Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to CM, Punjab. She announced that efforts would be made to provide a grant of Rs 2 lakh each for these villages as per the state government policy.

Following sarpanches and panches have been elected unanimously: Midhe Majra: sarpanch— Ms Amarjit Kaur, panches — Mr Sohan Singh, Mr Bhan Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh,Ms Harjinder Kaur, and Ms Vimal Kaur; Derri: sarpanch— Mr Kuldeep Singh, panches — Mr Ram Singh, Mr Sawarn Singh, Mr Sher Singh, and Ms Surjit Kaur; Manakpur Kalar: sarpanch — Mr Mahinder Singh, panches — Mr Sukhpal Singh, Mr Sheetal Singh, Mr Gurmej Singh, Ms Gurnam Kaur, and Ms Surinder Kaur; Motte Majra: sarpanch — Mr Gurmit Singh, panches— Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Dial Singh, Mr Dibag Singh, and Ms Gurdev Kaur; Bajheri: sarpanch — Mr Sohan Singh; panches — Netar Singh, Mr Mahindr Singh, and Mr Sohan Singh Fauji; Rurka: sarpanch — Mr Labh Singh, panches— Ms Gurmit Kaur, Ms Paramjit Kaur, Ms Parkash Kaur, Mr Natha Singh, and Mr Norang Singh, Chachu Majra: sarpanch — Mr Hari Singh, Panch — Mr Jagir Singh; Simbal Majra: sarpanch — Sawarn Singh; Mamupur: sarpanch — Ms Labh Kaur; Bariali: sarpanch — Ms Baljit Kaur; Gabbe Majra: Ms Jasbir Kaur, panches — Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Charan Singh, and Mr Kaka Singh; Saaidpur: sarpanch — Mr Dharam Singh; Badanpur: sarpanch — Kuldip Singh; Alipur: Ms Avtar Kaur and Saini Majra: sarpanch — Ms Gurbachan Kaur.


10 pc nomination papers rejected
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
More than 10 per cent of the nomination papers filed for the posts of sarpanch in the Abohar block have been rejected. Of the 424 persons who had filed nomination papers for 69 seats of sarpanch in the block, 46 were rejected during scrutiny.

Mr Ravinder Kumar, son of Mr Vijay Pal of Gaddandob village, in a fax message to the CEC alleged that there was someone who had impersonated him to forge his signature on the official record to debar him from contesting the elections. Some other aspirants faxed similar complaints. Eighty three of the 1414 nomination papers filed for the post of panches were rejected in this block.

In the Khuyiansarwer block, out of the 339 nominations filed for sarpanchship in 53 panchayats, 14 were rejected. As many as 1171 nominations were received for 437 posts of panch and 48 were rejected.

Interestingly, nearly 50 per cent of the candidates in a zone of Abohar block had put their thumb impression on the nomination papers, speaking volumes about the “success” of the multi-crore education programme of the government.


Women sarpanches
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June, 22
Ms Joginder Kaur and Ms Satinder Kaur have been elected sarpanches Rasulpur and Kadgill Khurd villages, respectively elections for which were held unanimously. Other members of the respective panchayats are as under: Subeg Singh, Dharam Singh, Sarwan Singh, Hardeep Kaur and Surjeet Kaur.


Kaypee not allowed to attend ‘shok sabha’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 22
A group of Dalit youth and women did not allow the Punjab Technical Education Minister Mohinder Kaypee to attend the ‘shok sabha’ of Mr Vijay Kumar, a Dalit youth allegedly killed in police firing in Buta Mandi here on the night of June 6, the Bahujan Samaj Party has asserted that its leaders and workers would go to every village of the state to create awareness among Dalits about the “discriminatory” treatment being meted out to them in the Congress ruled state.

No senior Congress leader attended the “shok sabha” except Mr Kaypee, who had to face the wrath of a group of women and youth, who did not allow him to proceed towards the venue despite his best of efforts to persuade them. So much so, that when Mr Kaypee persisted to go ahead to attend the function, a large number of Dalit youths and women shouted “anti-Congress” slogans and held the party responsible for the death of Mr Kala. Mr Kaypee had to leave the programme and return from the place in the face of stiff opposition from the other side. Later, Mr Kaypee held the Bahujan Samaj Party leadership responsible for the development and alleged that it had incited a group of youths to raise anti-Congress slogans.

Paying tributes to Mr Vijay Kumar Kala, Mr Avtaar Singh Karimpuri, the state president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, said the “martyrdom” attained by Mr Kala would not go unsung as it had sparked awareness among Dalits about their status in the society and about the treatment being meted out to them by the authorities. He said the BSP had decided to send its workers and leaders to every village of Punjab for creating awareness among them. “We would tell them that time had come to unite on a single platform,” said Mr Karimpuri. He said it was unfortunate that Dalits were made to face bullets in the Congress rule, despite the ‘fact’ that it were Dalits who had played an important role in bringing Congress to power. He also asserted that the July 7 Jalandhar rally would be held as per schedule and it would be addressed by the UP Chief Minister Ms Mayawati. “No power can stop the holding of rally,” said Mr Karimpuri.

Mr Pawan Tinu, the District unit president of the BSP, said the death of Mr Kala was an example of “atrocities” being committed on Dalits under the Congress rule. He said the BSP had decided to adopt the family of Mr Kala for the “sacrifice” made by the latter for the cause of Dalits.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Kaypee alleged that the BSP had tried to politicise the function by “arranging” some people to stop him. “I had gone to express my sympathies with the family. The function was of such a nature that no such nonsense should have been created. Moreover, the BSP had arranged some youths from nearby villages to do this,” said Mr Kaypee.

 After paying tributes to Mr Kala, the BJP’s state Vice-President and a member of the Dalit Action Committee, Mr Vijay Sampla also alleged that the BSP had tried to make the function its own show which should not have happened. “We don’t agree to such things,” said Mr Sampla.


Police reopens death case of ex-Mayor’s son
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
The police has reopened the file relating to the death of Sunil Kumar, son of Mr Ram Kishan Kalash, former Mayor of Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh. Sunil had died at Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here in the wee hours of June 6. His in-laws had taken him to the hospital. They had told the doctors and later to the city police that Sunil had allegedly scaled the boundary wall of their residence in the New Suraj Nagri locality at 10 pm. As he was not permitted to meet his wife, he allegedly smashed the glass panes of her room and hit his neck with a broken piece of glass inflicting injuries that proved to be fatal.

The SP, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, on rejoining duties after a fortnight’s leave, summoned the file and discussed the matter with the SHO, Mr Manvinder Singh, who had disposed of the case under Section 174 on Friday. He visited the district headquarters to hold discussions with the SP (D), Mr Munish Chawla, who had conducted on the spot investigation immediately after the incident. Mr Aggarwal has asked Sunil’s parents to visit Abohar on June 25 to present their point of view. The parents had said Sunil was having strained relations with his wife for the past few months. She had left Raipur for Abohar along with her child without informing her husband. The in-laws had lodged a report at the police station there. Later the in-laws received a message from the local police for resolving the dispute. Sunil had come here on June 3 and stayed at a hotel located on the College road. Mr Aggarwal reportedly had series of meetings with him to bring an amicable settlement and finally asked him to call his parents on June 19 for discussions between both families. Mr Aggarwal proceeded on casual leave on June 5. The incident happened in his absence.

Mr Ram Kishan Kalash, on reaching Abohar, had alleged that Sunil was murdered. He had blamed the city police for intimidating him and other relatives even after Sunil’s death. The family wanted that the case should be registered against the in-laws under Sections 304 or 306 at least but the same was disposed off under Section 174.

Later, the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Mr Ajit Jogi, who had visited the bereaved family to express his condolences, spoke to Mr Sunil Jakhar, MLA, and other senior leaders of the state.

Mr Aggarwal said he had asked the in-laws of the victim to also join the investigation on June 25.


Police ‘inaction’ irks NGO
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 22
Resentment prevails among members of the Sahara Service Society, a local NGO, over the failure of the district police in registering a case under the NDPS Act against the owners of those three medical stores of Jaitu which were found selling intoxicants in the area for the past several years. In a joint press statement issued here today, Mr Dharam Singh Gill, president, and Mr Parveen Kala, a member of the society, said a team comprising several senior officials, besides over 16 members of the society, conducted a joint raid on the said medical stores on June 7 and seized a large number of intoxicants. Following this, the stores were sealed. However, after nearly a week, all three medical stores reopened and started functioning. They said during the checking of the stores, owners of some other medical stores fled the town.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Hussan Lal, asserted that strict action would be taken against the guilty.

He said special teams with the involvement of more and more social organisations would be constituted after the panchayat elections to check the menace in the district.

Meanwhile, several Congress leaders, including Mr Pawan Goyal, senior vice-president, DCC and Director, PSIDC, Mr S.K. Gupta, the chairman of the local Improvement Trust, and Mr Satish Bagi, press secretary, DCC, have urged the Punjab Government to enact a law to punish the miscreants who were creating nuisance in the society by their anti-social acts. Mr Jasbir Singh Bhola, president of the chemists association, Jaitu, underlined the need to ban the production of such intoxicants.


Rs 30 cr for water, toilets in jails
Our Correspondent

Nabha, June 22
“The Punjab Government will provide video-conferencing facility in the high-security jails of the state. This will prevent the escape of undertrial prisoner and the problems in transporting them to the courts.

The Web — Cameras will be installed at jail, in courts and at IG’s (Prisons), office in Chandigarh. The undertrial will be produced in the court through video conferencing.

This will also enable the higher officials to keep an eye on the activities of various jails from Chandigarh. Each video conferencing unit will be cost Rs 1.60 crore to the government.” This was disclosed by Mr Malkiat Singh Birhmi, Cabinet Minister, Jails Punjab to media persons at the residence of Kaka Randip Singh, local MLA, prior to visiting high-security jail here.

Mr Birhmi admitted that unlike other jails of country, the jails in Punjab were also overcrowded and the basic facilities in them were inadequate. He told that to improve this situation, new jails would be constructed in near future and separate women cells were being constructed in all the Jails at district and sub-division level.

He told that Rs 30 crore would be spent to solve immediate problems like drinking water, toilet etc. in the jails.

He told that the Punjab Government would give its share towards construction of Jails but it also asked the centre to release Rs 100 crore so that the overcrowding could be checked.

He further added that Government was establishing hospitals and schools in the jails to provide better healthcare and education to the children of the prisoners.

He told that government was providing avenues of higher education to prisoners by allowing them to appear in university examination.

He told that he had ordered to ensure that no prisoner would remain in the jail after the completion of his sentence.


Seminar on Sikh spirit in global society
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Prominent personalities, including diplomats, academicians, religious study teachers and others participated in a symposium on “Emerging Sikh spirit in the global society” organised by Espanola (New Mexico)-based Sikh Dharma International.

According to a fax message received by The Tribune from Ms Mukta Kaur, Secretary, Foreign Affairs, Sikh Dharma International, Bibi Inderjit Kaur, wife of Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogi, inaugurated the symposium with a presentation on her perspective on the future of the Khalsa and the integration of eastern and western Sikhs.

Mr HHS Viswanathan, Indian Consul-General in San Francisco, shared his global perspective on how Sikhs have emerged as a worldwide community through their contributions in government, sports, entertainment and technology.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, who attended the symposium as a special invitee, discussed educating the general public about the true identity of Sikhs to prevent hate crimes.

Prof Gurunam Kaur, Head, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Studies at Punjabi University, Patiala, spoke about the importance of the mystical tradition and perspective of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mr Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa, Assistant Chancellor of Sikh Dharma International, dwelt on how Sikh dharma holds tremendous promise for serving humanity.

Mr Supreet Singh Manchanda, CEO of Quantum VC, talked about how the Khalsa would benefit from globalisation.

Mr Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Senior Adviser to the World Bank, in his penultimate address, emphasised the importance of bringing a spiritual perspective and understanding into the economic and political policy.

Some speakers also dwelt at length on the September 11 attack in the USA and its various ramifications. Among other participants were Dr Kehar Singh, Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board; Ms Harjinder Kaur, a former Mayor of Chandigarh; Mr Dalmegh Singh of the SGPC, and Dr Harjot Kaur Singh of Canada. Dr Balkar Singh was the symposium director.


Colony sans facilities
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
Residents of Bharat Nagar are ruing their decision to construct houses there as, they allege, the colony lacks facilities.

The residents alleged that they had met the authorities concerned but no heed was paid to their demands. They said they had paid more money for getting residential plots in the colony with the hope that they would get better facilities. Instead, they were not even provided with basic facilities.

The residents have formed Bharat Nagar Welfare Society to fight for their rights. One of the office-bearers of the society, Mr Parshottam Kumar Gargi, said they were deprived of even basic facilities like good roads, sufficient drinking water and sanitation.

He claimed that the authorities concerned had floated tenders for the construction of footpaths alongside the roads in the colony sometime ago, but nothing happened beyond that.

He alleged that potable water was not supplied in sufficient quantity, adding that on certain days they had to depend on bottled water. He said the promise by the authorities that a special overhead reservoir would be constructed for the colony also did not materialise.

Mr Gargi said they were planning to meet senior officials of the department concerned to apprise them about the poor state of basic amenities in the colony.


Registration of cases uncalled for : IMA
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, June 22
The district unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today condemned the registration of cases against some doctors of Jalandhar under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Dr S.K. Jindal, president of the district unit of the IMA, said in a press note that a meeting of members of the IMA was held here today at which a resolution to this effect was passed. He said the members of the IMA were of the opinion that the trend of registration of cases against doctors for their alleged negligence while treating a patient, was uncalled for.

He alleged that without giving a chance to the doctor concerned to clear his position, a case was registered in case a patient died during or after treatment at his or her clinic. He said the doctors could resort to some agitation if proper procedure was not followed while registering a case under Section 304-A (death due to negligence).

Members of the IMA have also urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to ask the Police Department to issue instructions for formation of medical boards at the district level.


Smoke from train coach causes panic

Batala, June 22
Some passengers received minor injuries when they jumped out of a running train in panic after noticing smoke emanating from a coach of the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) on the Amritsar-Pathankot section today, police sources said.

The smoke came out due to excessive heat generated by brake shoes of one of the coach of the Amritsar-bound DMU railway sources said.

Due to slow speed of the train no major casualty was reported, they added. — PTI


AIDS awareness: women ‘must’ be proactive
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
Ms Raj Gupta, Chairperson of the District Aids Control Organisation (DACO), yesterday said women should come forward to help spread AIDS awareness.

Speaking to about 250 girl participants at a summer camp in Mangat Ram SD High School, she said women should not only adopt preventive measures, but also educate their male family members about it.

She said although everyone was aware of what caused AIDS, they had a casual approach towards its prevention. She said AIDS awareness should be made part of the school curriculum, adding that parents should not feel awkward if their children asked AIDS-related questions.


2 more die of sunstroke
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
Even as residents are finding it difficult to cope with scorching heat, another person died of sunstroke here on Friday night.

Suraj Kumar of Balla Ram Nagar fell unconscious near a temple on the Amrik Singh road while returning home. Some people informed an NGO which got him admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Doctors referred him to a hospital in Ludhiana. However, he died when his family members were shifting him to the hospital. Nine persons have died of sunstroke in the city this summer. Lunga Devi, a resident of Rajasthan, also died of sunstroke near the bus stand.


3 killed, 35 injured in bus accident

Faridkot, June 22
Three persons, including a woman, were killed in a bus accident near Mumara village of the district on the Ferozepore-Muktsar road today.

The bus was coming from Ferozepore when it fell into a khud near the village.

The deceased woman, identified as Kulwinder Kaur, died on the spot and two others died on way to hospital. The injured, 12 of them serious, have been hospitalised. — UNI


One killed, five hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 22
One person died and five others were injured when the Tata Sumo they were travelling by overturned near Tibber, 5 km from here yesterday. The vehicle was running at speed and the driver lost control, resulting in the accident.

Lovepreet (12), a resident of Purana Dhariwal, succumbed to his injuries in the Civil Hospital here. Five injured, who included Shanti of Gurdaspur, Banarsi Dass of Chawa, Kamlesh also of Chawa, Raj Kumar and Kanso both of Keeri, have been admitted in the Civil Hospital.


Goods worth 72,000 stolen, admn in fix
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
A theft in the subdivisional complex here has put the authorities here in a fix. The SDM, Mr Jaskiran Singh, has recommended that the watchman Gangu Ram should be placed under suspension.

Senior police and civil officers visited the Computerised Registration Room where the miscreants had entered after breaking the locks on Friday night. It was found that the entire computer set up along with camera besides the cash box had been stolen. The total loss was estimated as Rs 72,000.

However, it was not the first case of theft in the complex. The miscreants had committed such acts in the chambers of lawyers, document writers, typists and stamp sellers many times earlier also. None of the cases of theft has been solved. Now the police had decided to examine crime files relating to thefts committed during the last two decades.

The subdivisional complex had two judicial and three civil courts besides the treasury office. Police stations are located on the other side of the road that linked the complex.


Death for two in murder case
Our Correspondent

Abohar, June 22
Two accused in a triple murder case, Lalia and Shiv Lal, were sentenced to death while another accused Leelu Ram was awarded life imprisonment by a Fast Track Court at Sri Ganganagar, 40 km from here, yesterday.

The Judge, Mr Pratap Singh Gurava, left the crowded court room after reading out the pre-typed judgement within a minute. The accused, who were present under tight security arrangements, remained calm and perturbed on hearing the sentence.

Prosecution said five persons had scaled the boundary wall of the house of Navin Sidana in Bhambu colony on January 9, 1999, around midnight. They allegedly tied Navin Sidana (28) with a rope and raped his pregnant wife Lucky (25) in his presence. As their child Shimpur (3) woke up and started weeping the culprits slit his neck with a sharp-edged weapon. As Lucky resisted she was brutally stabbed to death. Later Navin was killed by inflicting injuries in his neck.

The culprits decamped with jewellery and cash. They had locked the house from outside. The incident was reported to the police at Sri Ganganagar by the elder brother of Navin, a retired Army havildar. Navin had been running a grocery shop in the locality. The police had found bodies in a pool of blood.

Five persons were identified by the police in the case. The king pin Ved Parkash, alias Vedia Kumhar, could not be arrested so far. Those who were arrested were Lalia, Leelu Ram, Shiv Lal and Lal Chand Nayak. Lal Chand later turned an approver during trial.


3 arrested with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 22
Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, said in a written statement issued yesterday that keeping in view the panchayat elections, a special campaign had been launched against narcotics smugglers.

He claimed that the police got a major success when it seized 8.40 quintals of poppy husk worth Rs 2.52 lakh being smuggled into the district by two residents of Haryana and one from Punjab. A police party led by Mr Harinder Singh, SHO and Mr Rajinder Kumar, in charge police chowki, Bhagta, intercepted a pick-up vehicle having a Haryana registration number near Kotha Guru village in the Bhagta area of the district on Friday evening. The vehicle contained poppy husk in 24 gunny bags.

Three persons — Shawinder Singh and Gurbhej Singh of Santnagar in the Rania police station area of Haryana and Ajaib Singh of Bhai Rupa village in this district — who were in the vehicle, have been arrested.

The SSP said the gang of the three used to bring poppy husk from Chatha village in Rajasthan.


Pirated CDs seized
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 22
The police has recovered 521 pirated CDs and five blue films during raids at the audio-video CD sellers here, it was learnt today. Two persons, Charanjit Singh of local Subhash Nagar and Paramjit of Mehli Gate, were arrested under Section 292 of the IPC for selling ‘obscene’ material and Sections 63/64 of the Copyright Act.


Theft in Cong leader’s house
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, June 22
Thieves reportedly broke into the house of Mr Kartar Singh Sekhon, a senior Congress leader, at nearby Langroya village on Friday night and took away Rs 20,000 in cash, gold ornaments weighing 80 gm, a pistol and some bank deposit receipts. The police has registered a case.


One held for abduction, rape
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 22
The police here yesterday arrested Sukhchain Masih for abducting and raping a girl of Shehzada Nagar, Gurdaspur. A case was registered under Sections 366/376/506 of the IPC here.

Mr RPS Brar SSP in a press note here yesterday that a complaint was received that the accused eloped with the girl on the plea of marrying her.


Ludhiana shines in matric exams
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, June 22
Recording a marked improvement of over 4 per cent in the overall pass percentage of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class X examination, 63.44 per cent of the students who appeared as regular students in the examination in March this year have passed. Mandeep Singh, a student of A.S. Senior Secondary School, Mukerian, Hoshiarpur, has topped in Punjab with 95.6 per cent marks.

Second in the state is Rupinder Kaur, a student of Baba Fateh Singh Sr. Sec. Public School, Fatehgarh Sahib, by securing 94.92 per cent marks. Third is Gurveen Kaur, a student of National High School, Patiala. She has secured 93.84 per cent marks. Fourth in the state is another student from Hoshiarpur Varinder Singh Attri of Sri Guru Har Krishan Public Senior Secondary School, Talwara, followed by Amit Khurana, a student of D.C. Model Senior Secondary School, Ferozepore Cantt. Kanika Goyal of G.R.S.D. Public School, Mandi Gobindgarh, is sixth in the state.

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

A total of 366206 students had appeared in the examination. Out of these 276603 appeared as regular candidates and the rest as private candidates. The pass percentage among private candidates is 43.86 this time as compared to 38.6 per cent last year.

Subject-wise, the maximum number of students were able to pass in Punjabi followed by Hindi, science, social sciences, English. The students have performed the worst in mathematics with only 57.51 of those who appeared having passed in maths. Compared to last year, improvement in pass percentage has been recorded in Hindi followed by mathematics and social science. A marginal improvement is also recorded in the pass percentage of science. The pass percentage in Punjabi has however fallen this year. Among the students who appeared as private candidates the least pass percentage has been recorded in maths with only 37.16 per cent of the private students having passed.

Addressing mediapersons, the Controller of Examinations, PSEB, Ms Narinder Kaur, stated that the results of only .09 per cent of the total students who appeared in March have been delayed this year and will be declared later.

Among the top 50 positions, 15 positions have been achieved by students hailing from Ludhiana district while six position-holders are from Hoshiarpur and another six from Ferozepore Cantt. Maintaining the trend, girls have outshone boys this time too. Among the first 50 positions in the state over 30 have gone to girls.

Among the top 30 in the state are: Amanjot Kaur, Mamta Chibber, Payal Arora, Ramanpreet Kaur, Neeru Rani, Sandeep Sharma, Rupinder Kaur, Shivani Kansal, Amarjyoti Reehal, Rajwinder Singh, Damanpreet Kaur, Amandeep, Inderjit Singh, Pamalpreet Kaur, Harpreet Singh, Gaurav Nanda, Manpreet Kaur, Rajbir Gill, Vandana Gohil, Nikhil Sharma, Shilpa, Naresh Kumar, Paramjit Kaur and Shikha Arora.


Patiala girl is third in Class X exam
Parbina Rashid

Patiala, June 22
National High School in Patiala always had high hopes in Gurveen Kaur, a bright student throughout. She did not let the school down as her name was third in the merit list of School Education Board results of Class X declared today.

Gurveen has scored 610 out of 650, standing first in Patiala district. Her achievement today adds to the glory of her school which already boasts of a high success rate. Her parents, Mr P.S. Bhatia and Ms Inderjeet Kaur, both bank employees posted in Patiala, are proud of their daughter.

Gurveen humbly says, “I did expect to get some rank in my board exams, but securing the third position is an honour. It shows that hard work pays in the long run.”

The school Principal, Mr Nirmal Singh, informs that Gurveen has always been a topper and model student.

Giving credit to her teachers, Gurveen says that had it not been for the hard work the school made her do, it would have been impossible to achieve such a success. “The school imbibed a sense of self-discipline in me and it was further enhanced by my parents,” she says.

Gurveen did not take any tuition. She says regular studies is the secret of her success. “I used to study about six hours everyday at home and revise whatever lessons were taught at school,” says Gurveen. Science and mathematics are her favourite subjects.

She read books prescribed by the Punjab School Education Board and the NCERT and brushed up her general knowledge by reading newspapers and magazines. “The Tribune in Education series has specially been helpful in broadening my knowledge,” says Gurveen.

This bright youngster aspires to be a doctor.

On receiving the news of their daughter’s success at their residence in Karhawala Chowk, her parents say, “Gurveen is a hard-working girl and we knew she would do well. It makes the struggle worthwhile”.


Punjabi varsity B.Com results today
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 22
Punjabi University will declare results of the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) part III examination for which was conducted in April this year on June 23. The University will also declare the result of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) part III on June 24.

Copies of the result gazette will also be available on the Internet — and an official press note said here today.

For B.A. pass reappear fee will be Rs 1000 according to the new structure. The reappear fee for BA Honours, BA School Course, B.Sc Honours School Course, B.Sc Agriculture, B.Sc (Home Science), B.Sc Physical Education, Health Education, Sport, B.Ed, LL.B, B.Com, B.Com Honours, Diploma Taxation Law and Diploma Lib. Science and Diploma in all Postgraduate Course and BMIT will be Rs 1200.

The fee for MA, M.Sc, M.Com, MBA, LLM, MCA, M.Tech, MFC. MJMC, M.Ed, B.Tech, BCA will be Rs 1700 according to the new fee structure.


Appointment of principal takes new turn
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 22
The controversy pertaining to the appointment of a junior lecturer as officiating principal by ignoring senior lecturers and repeatedly postponing the interview for appointing a regular principal by the management of the local SSD Girls College took a new turn today when its president, Dr Anil Bansal, claimed that for five times, the interview fixed for selecting a regular principal was cancelled by the higher education authorities for reasons best known to them.

Dr Bansal alleged that the management had fixed six dates on different occasions to conduct the interview of candidates for selecting a regular principal of the college. The interview was cancelled five times by the management on the directions of the higher education authorities of the state. This was done as “some vested interests” had played a “role” in this. The management cancelled the interview for selecting a candidate for appointment as regular principal for the sixth time on its own and this was done due to some “unavoidable circumstances”.

The controversy over the appointment of a junior lecturer as officiating principal started in the college when section heads of various wings of it approached the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr S.S. Boparai, in the recent past and alleged that by violating university rules, the college management had appointed the junior lecturer as officiating principal and had been deliberately cancelling the interview for selecting candidate for the appointment of regular principal time and again.

These heads of different departments also alleged that the management had been doing so to extend favour to their favourites. They alleged that some of the senior lecturers had been forced to proceed on leave by the management to facilitate the appointment of junior lecturer as officiating principal. The post of regular principal was lying vacant for the past three years. They had also sought the intervention of Dr Boparai into the matter so that the glory of college could be restored and academic atmosphere in the college could be maintained.

Dr Bansal pointed out that first the interview for selecting candidate for appointment of regular principal was fixed on July 14, 2001, while it was postponed after a telephonic call was received from DPI (Colleges), Punjab. Again the interview was fixed on September 29, 2001, to be postponed on the directions of the DPI (Colleges). Another interview was postponed on November 3, 2001, for same reasons.

The same thing was repeated on the next date of the interview, which was July 13, 2002. Again on July 24, 2002, which was fixed as the next date of interview, the same could not be held as someone from the state government side directed the college management to postpone the same till March 31, 2003. The next interview that was fixed for June 5, 2003, was postponed by the management due to some “unavoidable reasons.”

He said the management had to incur a heavy amount on inserting the advertisement in various dailies for the date of the interview for selecting candidate for appointment as regular principal. Even heavy amount was paid to the experts and members of interview panel appointed by Punjabi University, Patiala, who came here to conduct the interviews, which were cancelled.

He said only suitable and eligible candidate had been appointed as officiating principal of the college and the appointment would be valid till the regular principal was appointed.

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