Friday, July 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Only Akal Takht can pronounce ‘tankhaiya’: Vedanti
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti today reiterated that Akal Takht was supreme and had the sole right to declare any Sikh ‘tankhaiya’ or excommunicated.

Talking to the media persons here today, Jathedar Vedanti said though other takhts were also held in esteem by the Sikh Panth yet they were empowered to discuss only regional issues. Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Patna Sahib, had recently claimed that all takhts were equal as per Sikh traditions and had the right to declare any Sikh as ‘tankhaiya’.

Jathedar Vedanti admitted that Giani Iqbal Singh was called to attend the meeting of the Sikh clergy today but he did not came. He said Akal Takht wanted to ensure the participation of the jathedars of Takht Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib or their representatives to attend the meetings of Sikh high priests.

Answering a question, Jathedar Vedanti said Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, President, Takht Patna Sahib Management Committee, and Giani Iqbal Singh should not discuss the issue of Dasam Granth as any debate on this was banned by Akal Takht. He said despite repeated reminders, the SGPC had not constituted a panel of Sikh scholars to resolve the issue of Dasam granth so far.


SGPC staff above 60 to be removed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
Accepting the directives of judicial commission, the executive committee of the SGPC decided to remove all employees above the age of 60 years. With this, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti (Jathedar Akal Takht) and Giani Bhagwan Singh would lose their jobs as granthis of the Golden Temple and head granthi Akal Takht respectively.

Giving this information to The Tribune, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, a senior executive committee member said that this decision would not apply to ‘raagis’ and revenue officials in the Shiromani Committee due to their shortage (a number of posts of raagi have been vacant). However, the ragis and revenue officials above the age of 60 years would not get annual increments instead they would be given honorarium.

LUDHIANA: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today decided to start an academy for coaching candidates for the Indian Administrative Service, the Punjab Civil Service and other competitive examinations. Rupees two crore have been allocated for this project and the academy would be set up in Chandigarh. Coaching classes would be held in Kalgidhar Nivas Sector 27, Chandigarh, till the academy has its building.

A decision to this effect was taken at the executive committee meeting of the SGPC held here today. The meeting also decided to support and encourage people and institutions who will make television serials promoting Sikhism. The SGPC made it clear that it would not allow portrayal of the character of 10 Sikh Gurus, their spouses, Panj Piaras and four Sahibzadas. Television serials should promote and propagate the Sikh religion.

The SGPC announced that the scholars doing research (Ph.D) on Guru Granth Sahib would also get special financial assistance from the SGPC. Besides, it declared that the SGPC will set up an international-level sports academy at Anandpur Sahib to promote sports in the region.

The SGPC criticised the Punjab government move to hike fees in various educational institutions. It said, every student of the country irrespective of his economic position should get free education. It said fee hike was arbitrary and would hit economically weaker sections of the society as their children will not be able to continue with their studies.

The SGPC also demanded resumption of financial assistance to the government-aided colleges. It reiterated that the government should continue with 95 per cent grant to aided colleges as these were doing great service by providing education to the students and lessening burden on government colleges.


ADGP asks for file of Manpreet Badal’s case
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 10
Statement of Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, MLA, Gidderbaha, in a complaint filed against him by a member of Dera Sekhwan, could not be recorded as the case file summoned by the ADGP (Crime), Punjab today morning.

Mr Manpreet Badal, went to the SSP’s office to join the probe into the complaint today and was told that his statement could not be recorded as the case file had been summoned by the ADGP (Crime), Punjab. Mr Badal went to the office of the SSP having received a notice few days ago for joining the probe.

A member of Dera Sekhwan, located near Zira town in Ferozepore district, had complained that Mr Manpreet Badal had taken Rs 13 lakh for resolving of a land dispute through one of his (Mr Badal’s) aide. The dispute was never resolved. As Mr Badal apprehended that he might be arrested in this case, he approached the Sessions Court and got a stay order against his arrest till July 17.

Talking to The Tribune Mr Badal alleged that he along with family members of Mr Parkash Singh Badal were being harassed by the police under their “Anti-Badal” drive as earlier attempts of the Congress government to frame them had failed.

He added that the aim was to implicate him into a false case so that he could not mobilise workers for a stir in case Mr Parkash Singh Badal and any member of his family was arrested. He added that he was chief whip of the party in the Assembly and spokesman of the party so they had initiated action to curb his activities.

“I have not had any office of profit in my life. I never remained a chairman of any government body. The Congress government’s move to harm him has been exposed and it has started collecting affidavits against him from his political opponents”, claimed Mr Badal.

The SSP when contacted, said first Mr Manpreet Badal did not receive notice issued by him for joining the probe for days together. Mr Badal received that notice after he (Mr Badal) secured a stay order against his arrest in this matter till July 17. He said that he could probe the complaint lodged by one of the member of Dera Sekhwan as no one from those, against whom the allegations were levelled cooperated with the police.

He said that now the file pertaining to this case had been summoned by the ADGP (Crime), Punjab and he was not able to comment on the next course of action on the case.


Badal for panel to probe graft
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 10
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal talking to newsmen at Amber Palace, Lachowal 7 km from here today said that he had addressed workers’ meetings in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts and people’s response was good.

Replying to a question Mr Badal said that he was not against the anti-corruption campaign of the government but a commission should probe all corruption charges against political persons including SAD leaders. The Vigilance Bureau raided his business premises and residence but it could not get anything against him, he added.

Replying to another question Mr Badal alleged that voters lists were changed and the government machinery was misused by Congress leaders in the recent Panchayat elections. But even then the SAD captured 60 per cent to 70 per cent of Panchayats in Punjab.

On the unity between the SAD (B) and the SHSAD he said that the unity had been made on some principles. He appreciated services of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra to the Sikh Panth and the country. Mr Tohra was a seasoned politician, he added.

Earlier Mr Parkash Singh Badal was received by SAD workers headed by Mr Varinder Singh Bajwa, President district unit Hoshiarpur. He was taken to Lachowal in a procession.


ETO’s powers withdrawn
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
Taking a serious note of the news item published in The Tribune yesterday regarding the tussle between the ETO and a senior advocate of the Sales Tax Department, the Punjab Government has withdrawn the assessment powers of the ETO, Mr S.P.Sharma.

This was stated in a fax message received by the office of the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC), Fatehgarh Sahib.

The tussle started between the ETO and the senior advocate over a complaint against the former, made by Mr Naresh Kumar, a trader of Khamano Mandi. In the complaint, the trader levelled charges of corruption, extortion, harassment and intimidation against the ETO.

Sources said the AETC had passed on the orders to the ETO today. The latter would not be allowed to deal with assessment cases but allotted miscellaneous work of the office.


PRTC for hike in bus fares
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 10
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) will send a proposal to the Punjab Government soon recommending a hike of 2 paise per km in bus fares to meet the expenses on increased road tax and inter-state barrier tax, besides fare concessions to various categories like freedom fighters and police personnel.

The PRTC also plans to add 100 new buses to its fleet of about 1,100 buses by the end of March,2004. It has also decided to recruit 80 drivers and 50 conductors on a contract basis through the Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Chairman of the PRTC, said an increase of 2 paise per km in the fares was the in view of the deficit of Rs 8 crore. He claimed that the deficit would be covered by March, 2004.

Mr Gupta said the PRTC would go in for a loan of Rs 9 crore from banks for parchasing100 buses. He expressed the hope that 20 new buses would be included in the fleet during the next two months.

Mr Gupta said the bus stands at Phagwara and Faridkot which were in bad shape, would be renovated at a cost of Rs 3 crore this year.

The chairman said the PRTC was planning to send porters with long-route buses. Two buses with modern facilities would be plied between Patiala and Delhi on an experimental basis. Negotiations would be held with private companies in this regard.

He said at present about 125 buses were plying under the kilometre scheme. The PRTC wanted to increase the number of such buses but this was not possible due to a court case.

The chairman said the PRTC had written to the state government to check the illegal plying of buses by private operators.


An NRI’s tale of woes
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
When 29-year-old Randeep Chandyoke, an NRI from Australia, came to India in 2000 to get all immovable properties owned by his late father transferred in his name, he did not realise that even after struggling for three years, his problems instead of getting solved would multiply.

His is a classic example of harassment and exploitation of an NRI trying to get immediate possession of a residential building for his own use.

“All this is happening even after the Punjab Government amended the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 2001, to provide for summary trial of the cases relating to properties owned by NRIs,” rues Randeep holding that though his late father, an ex-defence officer, owned residential properties in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana, he has been reduced to a vagabond.

Only yesterday, the Punjab NRI Sabha recommended the setting up of a tribunal for quick redressal of grievances of NRIs. In November, 2000, the Punjab Government promulgated an ordinance to amend the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act and introduced clause 13(b) — right to recover immediate possession of a residential or scheduled building. The government followed it up with a regular amendment to the Act in May, 2001.

“The way things are moving, I fear that like my father, I may die fighting these unending legal battles. My father died in the Delhi High Court on November 1, 1999, fighting a case about a property he had purchased from an NRI in Vasant Vihar for Rs 19.5 lakh. After his death, we could not pursue the case because we all — my mother, brother and younger sister — were in Australia.

“I came to India in May, 2000, and started pursuing the various property cases. Since then I have not seen either my mother or sister”.

“In one of the cases in Ludhiana the Judge had given four final notices to my tenants and on the day he was to pronounce the orders, he got transferred. His successor has given me the next date for August 24. Almost after a year, the case is back to square one,” feels Randeep.

He called on Punjab Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap in this connection.

Mr Kashyap called the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana and asked him to request the District Judge, that since the Punjab Government is keen to get NRI investment, their cases — which are covered under the amended Act — should be expedited.

Randeep alleges that even otherwise, no one has any sympathy for NRIs. “I have been slapped with an electricity bill of Rs 35,000 for a property in which my entry was barred by a court a couple of years ago. For another property, I have been served a bill of Rs 18,000 after I paid Rs 30,000 in the first instance. The bill is for a portion of the property which my father had sold long time back. In another case, I have been served with a recovery notice for Rs 45 lakh as property tax,” reveals Randeep Chandyoke. 


Harbans Lal’s son quits as YC chief
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
Mr Munish Verma, president of the District Youth Congress and son of Dr Harbans Lal, former Punjab Minister today resigned in protest against the removal of his father from the Punjab Ministry.

Talking to The Tribune Mr Munish Verma said that he had sent his letter of resignation to Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, president of the Indian Youth Congress. He said that the party which failed to do justice to his father could not be served in it as an office-bearer. He made it clear that neither he nor his family would leave the Congress party and would continue to struggle against the high-handedness of the Chief Minister by remaining in the party. He said neither the present government nor the party had done justice to his father and he had been removed without giving any opportunity to prove his innocence. Mr Munish Verma was made District president of Youth Congress a month ago and he had organised a big rally to thank the Chief Minister and other Congress leaders for the post.

Mrs Prem Lata, wife of Dr Harbans Lal, who is also District president of the Mahila Congress has not resigned so far but she also lashed out at the Chief Minister at a press conference after the removal of Dr Harbans Lal from the Ministry. She had levelled various allegations against the Chief Minister and his Principal Secretary S.K. Sinha.


High Court
Notice issued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 10
Taking up a petition filed by former Administrative Member of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachi, allegedly removed from the post due to political reasons, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the board and the state of Punjab.

In his petition, taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice V.K. Bali and Mr Justice Jasbir Singh, Mr Bachi had earlier stated that he was placed under suspension soon after the Congress government came to power. Counsel for the petitioner had added that the petitioner was not associated in the inquiry. Moreover, the charge-sheet was not served.


Designing flaws in mental hospital
Pawan Kumar

Amritsar, July 10
The much-hyped Rs 40 crore project for the construction of the new building of Dr Vidya Sagar Mental Hospital has come under scanner, as Dr B.L. Goel, Director of the hospital, has reportedly written to the Punjab Health System Corporation Managing Director and the Principal Secretary about the architectural and designing flaws in the building besides the inordinate delay in the completion of the project.

A seven-member team of the Punjab legislature, meanwhile visited the hospital yesterday to have a first-had account of the hospital and problems faced by about 350 inmates. They went around the complex and saw the reported defects in the newly constructed building. According to reliable sources, the MLAs have taken a serious view of the flaws in the construction and are likely to take up the matter with the Chief Minister and seek an independent probe into the construction work.

According to sources in the hospital, Dr Goel stated in the letter that the construction work had been going on at a snail’s pace and it might take a long time to complete the project. He also wrote that due to the partial shifting of the hospital into the new building in January, as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, administrative and clinical work of hospital was suffering.

Walls and roofs of the new building have developed seepage problem, which could mar the walls and roofs, and ultimately affect the hospital.

The new building has zero-level flooring, which besides being slippery has caused injuries to patients as well as the staff of the hospital. Recently, four patients suffered fractures of bones of hip joints and head injuries after slipping.

The sources said that Dr Goel had written that it was a matter of surprise that zero-level flooring had been designed for the hospital. He mentioned that “most of the patients pass urine and stool in their beds or even on the floor which had to be washed away with water frequently. The staff was facing difficulty due to the zero-level. No spouts/traps had been provided in the wards or elsewhere in the building except bathrooms or toilets. The floors had started to sink and had become uneven.

The sources said that the heavy doors of rooms had started falling. The space between the doorframes and doors was so wide that insects and snakes could enter patients’ rooms. The laying of underground electricity cables was faulty.


Rain becomes nightmare for villagers
By Lalit Mohan

Ropar, July 10
While the monsoon may have brought cheer to the farmers, it has become a nightmare for residents of Sarthali village near Ropar.

Many parts of the village are under two to three feet water as the district administration has failed to address the problem of drainage of water. The issue of water drainage in the village has been hanging fire for long.

The problem arose with the coming up of a gurdwara which blocked the natural flow of river water. Despite resistance from the panchayat of Sarthali village, the local management committee of the gurdwara laid a kutcha road, hindering the disposal of water. This led to the accumulation of water in the village. Water has entered into many houses of the village. This was also posing a health problem in the village.

Villagers have been running from pillar to post to get their problem redressed. The sarpanch of the village, Mr Surinder Singh, told this correspondent that he had met many officials ranging from the Deputy Commissioner to the DDPO but none of them had taken any action. Even the technical report submitted by the Executive Engineer of the Panchayati Department has supported the panchayat resolution that the natural flow of water was on the side of gurdwara and water could only be disposed from the side. However, no action has been taken on the report.

The sarpanch also told that he had submitted an affidavit to Mr Ramesh Dutt State Minister for Grievances, against the DDPO, Ropar, Mr Jaswant Singh. In the affidavit, a copy of which was provided to this correspondent, it was alleged that the DDPO took Rs 5000 from the villagers as fee for getting the water problem of the village solved. However, when he came to know no such fee could be charged by the DDPO, he asked him to return the money. The latter, however, refused to return the money.

The sarpanch alleged that no action had been taken on the complaint made against the DDPO by the villagers.

However, the DDPO, Mr Jaswant Singh said villagers had voluntarily given him the money for fighting the contempt case on their behalf pertaining to the drainage problem of the village.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, said the ADC (General) Ropar, Mr Vikas Garg, had been deputed to visit the affected village and submit a report. Any action to solve the problem would be taken on the basis of the report of the ADC.

When asked about the affidavit submitted by the village sarpanch against the DDPO, the Deputy Commissioner said she had not received any such complaint. If any such complaint was submitted appropriate action would be taken, she said.


Remove godowns from residential areas: PHRC
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 10
The Punjab Human Rights Committee (PHRC) today urged the authorities to remove godowns storing combustible material from the residential areas to prevent any untoward incident.

Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, General Secretary, PHRC, in a press note issued here said some godowns and storehouses were located in residential areas, including in Afimwali Street of city in which inflammable material, had been stored. He said these stores could prove hazardous to nearby households if any incident of fire took place any time.

He said last month a godown situated near Afimwali Street caught fire. Though no casualty was reported in the incident, it should be taken as eye opener. He said the authorities should initiate action to ensure the safety of people residing near these godowns.

Mr Gupta said the PHRC had already made a written representation to Mr D K Tiwari, Commissioner, municipal corporation to make an on-the-spot inspection of all these storehouses.


Kar Seva begins at Pak gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 10
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak committee today commenced kar seva at Chuna Mandi in Lahore birth place of fourth Sikh Guru Ram Das. In a press note issued here today by the Vishav Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society stated that after the ardas’ by head granthi Bhai Dharshan Singh of Dera Sahib in Lahore, the kar seva was started in the presence of senior functionaries of the PSGPC Sham Singh, Satnam Singh, Naam Singh and officials of the Punjab Evacuee Property Board.


Protest against Lahore bus
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 10
Activists of the All-India Terrorists Front today organised a protest rally against the resumption of the Delhi-Lahore bus service tomorrow.

The chairman of the front, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, have opposed the bus service in view of the Pakistani’s support to cross-border terrorism in Kashmir. Mr Bitta had expressed his reservations over the proposed dialogue between India and Pakistan as he felt that Pakistan could never be trusted in view of the past experience of 55 years.

The activists burnt the model of the bus to express their protest.


WHO identifies NIS as regional centre
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, July 10
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified the Netaji Subash National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) as one of its regional centres for training in the speciality of sports medicine and other allied subjects.

The WHO has also facilitated the visit of a Myanmar based doctor, Dr Oak Soe Oo, to the institute. At present, Dr Oak is undergoing a two-month orientation course in sports medicine at the NIS. Dr Oak, who has graduated from the Yangon-based Institute of Medicine in Myanmar, is undergoing the course under the supervision of Dr Ashok Ahuja, Senior Scientific Officer (SSO), Sports Medicine.


‘Poisonous’ curd leaves 45 ill

Mansa, July 10
At least 45 persons fell ill after consuming curd bought from a village shopkeeper, Darshan Singh of Ladhuwas village near Boha in the district yesterday.

They fell unconscious after consuming the curd. Interestingly, the shopkeeper too became unconscious as he had also consumed the curd. They were admitted to private nursing homes and all are out of danger. — OC


4 Army men hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 10
Four Army personnel, including the Deputy Commandant of 350 Infantry Brigade, Col M.S. Pathania, were seriously injured when the vehicle in which they were travelling collided with a tipper near Kartarpur today.

Colonel Pathania along with his three juniors was returning to Jalandhar after supervising an Army recruitment rally at Gurdaspur when the mishap took place.

The injured were taken to Kartarpur Civil Hospital by some local residents and police officials. They were identified as Ajay Kumar, JCO, Manroop Singh, driver, and Baljeet Singh, Lance Naik.


One dead, 6 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 10
Sonu (9) died on the spot while six others were injured seriously in an accident on the Budhlada-Jakhal road near Bareta town of the district last night. Dr Parveen Kumar Singla, In charge, Government Veterinary Hospital, Bareta has been referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Ludhiana, while his wife, a teacher has been referred to Government Rajindera College and Hospital Patiala along with other injured.

The deceased was the only son of Mr Ajay Kumar, brother of Dr Singla. According to information available here today, all persons were returning from Sunam in Sangrur district after attending an engagement ceremony when their vehicle went out of control near a flour mill of Bareta at 1 a.m. The deceased was a student of class II in Green Land Public School, Bareta.


PSEB relief for farmers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 10
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided that agricultural consumers who had already paid their Electricity Bills up to June 7 would not be charged any surcharge. 


DC reviews development projects
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 10
The district administration has launched a campaign for the recovery of loans belonging to various government departments. All revenue officials have been directed to speed up the recovery and officials of different departments have been asked to send the pending recovery cases of their department to the revenue officials concerned and to make liaison with them for the recovery, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the monthly meeting of the district officials here today. He also directed the revenue officials to complete departmental inquiries of patwaris within two days and to concede their genuine demands immediately.

He directed the Executive Officers of all Municipal Councils to file applications in the respective courts with in two days to vacate the stay orders against the encroachments, so that the encroachments from the government lands could be removed. He directed the PWD officials to hand over all those urban roads, which fall in the territory of Municipal Council and are in their custody to the respective Municipal Councils, so that these roads could be re-carpeted at the earliest. He said that discipline and punctuality should be ensured at every cost. He said that the main aim of the administration should be to redress the grievances of the public and to give them speedy justice. He urged officials to work in a transparent manner and warned that corrupt would not be spared and corruption would be eradicated as campaign against corruption launched by the Chief Minister has started yielding positive results.

He directed the district officials to send utilisation certificates immediately regarding the utilisation of government grants sanctioned from time to time, so that all development projects could be completed in a planned manner. He said a sum worth Rs 2 crore had been released for the various pension schemes, which would benefit about 25,466 beneficiaries. He called upon officials to plant saplings trees in their offices, residences and at public places so that the district could be converted into a green district. He also urged them to involve Sarpanches and other social organisations in this noble cause.

The Deputy Commissioner reviewed the monthly progress report regarding the implementation of various rural development schemes, supply of essential commodities, various schemes of the Health Department, progress report regarding the construction and repair of roads, utilisation of grants sanctioned by the District Planning Board, auction of shamlat lands and removal of encroachments on government lands.

The Deputy Commissioner directed all SDMs to personally supervise all development works being initiated in their respective subdivisions, so that the government money is properly utilised.


On second thoughts, inspector booked
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 10
One day after claiming that no case was made out against probationary inspector Manmeet Singh Dhillon against whom the Punjabi University authorities had complained that he had fired several shots in the air in a drunken state on Monday, the Sadar police today booked the inspector for misusing his service pistol.

The Sadar police, which had concluded after a one-day inquiry that the inspector had done no wrong and that a lone shot had been fired “accidentally” in an incident which took place in the early morning on Monday, has apparently had second thoughts about the entire incident as it has now registered a case against the inspector on the basis of a complaint submitted by the Security Officer of the university immediately after the incident.

The Security Officer of the university had claimed in his complaint that Dhillon had fired three or four shots in the air in a drunken state outside hostel number six on the university campus in a drunken state. The Security Officer had got the gates of the university closed immediately after the incident and Dhillon and another person was handed over to the police along with the a new black Bolero in which Dhillon had come to the university.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhupinder Singh said a case had been registered against Dhillon at the Sadar police station under Section 336 for misusing his service pistol. He said other persons who were accompanying Dhillon had not yet been found guilty of being involved in the incident. The police is yet to accuse the inspector of being drunk at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, sources said a departmental inquiry had also been initiated against the inspector. This has been done because Dhillon is still under probation and had come to the Bahadurgarh Commando Complex on training. The inquiry is likely to investigate how the probationary officer was able to come out of the training complex at night along with his service pistol.

The sources said the police had been forced to take action against the inspector after the Punjabi University authorities clarified that they had made a complaint in the case. Initially, the police had claimed that no complaint had been made in the case. The university authorities had made it clear yesterday that not only had they complained about the firing incident but that Dhillon had been handed over to the police immediately after the incident and that it was for the police to take action in this regard.

Earlier, the Sadar police had even discounted the complaint submitted by the university Security Officer.

It had claimed that investigations had revealed that a shot had been fired accidentally from the service pistol of the inspector when it fell down while it was being handed over to another person for safekeeping before the inspector took the wheel to drive his vehicle.

The police had claimed that only one shot had been fired and that the inspector was not drunk at the time of the incident.


Rs 1.55 lakh looted from bank

Mansa, July 10
Five armed persons looted Rs 1.55 lakh from the Jhanda Kalan branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank in Sardulgarh sub-division of the district yesterday. They came in a Maruti car at about 1.45 pm and four of them were carrying pistols.

After entering the bank premises, they disrupted the siren and telephone connections of the bank and looted Rs 1.55 lakh. They also robbed some bank customers. They took Rs 800 from Mr Om Parkash Arora of the village and snatched away a mobile phone and Rs 1200 from Mr Harwinder Singh, a mechanic of Maur Mandi in Bathinda district. They also took away all the money from the gunman of the bank after snatching his gun. Even the manager of the bank was also not spared as his purse was also taken by the robbers. — OC


1 held in murder case
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 10
The Tarn Taran police today arrested Lakhbir Singh, alias Lakha, a resident of Palasour village, on a charge of killing Mastan Singh (76) last month.

A section of the media had suspected that Mastan Singh was killed by the police as he was pursuing the case of his grandson, Gurpartap Singh, allegedly killed in a fake encounter. The case was with the CBI.

Mr Narinder Bhargav, district police chief, Tarn Taran, said the Lakha, who used to harbour terrorists during the period of militancy, had confessed to his crime. He said terrorists would keep their looted money with Mastan Singh, who used to finance Lakha. However, when Lakha wanted to get some money, he refused to oblige him. In a fit of anger Lakha killed Mastan Singh on the night of June 18.


Teacher crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 10
Jagdish Kumar, a teacher, was crushed to death by a jeep on the Khuyiansarwer- Panjkosi link road today.

Sources said that the teacher was going to the Bakainwala Government High School, located on the international border. The scooter (PB-15A-3616) that he was driving was reportedly hit by a jeep coming from the opposite direction. Jagdish Kumar fell down and died on the spot. The driver sped away the jeep. The body was brought to the civil hospital here by his relatives from Telupura village. It was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination. The Khuyiansarwer police had registered a case. The deceased (30) leaves a wife, son and daughter. Mr Kulwant Singh Bhatti, President, All-India SC BC ST and Minorities Ekta Bhalai Manch and Mr Gurmail Singh District President of the Democratic Teacher Front expressed shock over the incident.


6 arrested for robbery
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, July 10
The police has arrested six persons in two separate cases for selling stolen cars on fake documents and robbery.

The police has arrested three persons for selling stolen cars on forged documents. The arrested were identified as Palwinder Singh of Bhakhrian village in Phagwara and Manoj Kumar of Abadpura locality, both of them presently posted as clerk at SDM, Nakodar’s office, and one Jagjit Singh of Kotli Tahn Singh village. The police recovered a stolen car from them this afternoon. A case under Sections 379, 380, 420, 461, 468 and 471 of the IPC has been registered.


Body found

Bathinda, July 10
A partially burnt body of an unidentified girl, was found near the bank of Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal near Puhli village in the district yesterday evening. Police sources said that the body was lying near the bank of canal. It was found by a farmer, while he was returning house. — OC


1404, lecturers not paid salaries
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, July 10
At least 1404 lectures of various schools in the state have not been paid their salaries for April, May and June this year.

According to available details, the Punjab Government had upgraded 468 high schools to the senior secondary level in 2001. New posts of lecturer were sanctioned for these schools. However, the lecturers are not being paid salaries for want of budgetary sanction. Besides this, the Accountant General Punjab, has also not granted sanction for the release of salaries for three months without budget approval. 


Aided colleges in fix over hike in fee
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 10
The government-aided privately managed colleges are facing a piquant situation as the government has notified manifold increase in fee in the midst of admission session. Principals preferring anonymity talking to The Tribune felt that the colleges had decided not to implement the revised fee structure from this session fearing that there may not be many takers for admission to the colleges due to hefty fee hike announced by the government.

Principal, Khalsa College one of the oldest colleges of northern India Dr M.S. Dhillon said that the government had not accorded sanction to a large number of uncovered posts of lecturer in the colleges since 1981 when it had implemented the 95 per cent grant in aid against the annual college deficit. He said that this decision had created a serious academic and financial crisis for the colleges. He said that more than 40 posts of lecturer had remained uncovered including the science and other faculties.

He lamented that with the information technology boom in the late nineties which changed higher education scenario with large number of students opting for computer courses had put huge burden as the government had not allowed any new appointment of teachers for the computer courses. He said the government must review the entire higher education pattern in view of the fast changing education scenario. Dr Dhillon pointed out that the college had been paying from his own sources the salary of teachers for the uncovered posts and also for the computer in IT Departments.

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