Friday, August 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Row brings gurdwara panel functioning to halt
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 21
Functioning of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission virtually came to a standstill following the adjournment of all cases listed for two days (today and tomorrow) as a ‘tactical move’ by the old panel. New panel comprising Mr Ajwant Sing Mann and Mr Amrik Singh Randhawa was not allowed to function from despite certified copies of the Punjab and Haryana High Court having been supplied.

A piquant situation arose when Mr Ajwant Singh Mann and Mr Amrik Singh Randhawa reached the commission complex along with the court orders. However, the district administration, including the Deputy Commissioner, at behest of the state government dilly-dallied to enable the old panel (led by Mr Patti) to continue till the hearing of the SLP in the appex court, fixed for tomorrow.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the notification issued by the state government regarding the appointment of three-member panel led by Mr Patti on August 14 and restored the old panel led by Mr Brar.

Mr Brar met the Registrar of the high court and submitted a representation to him for forwarding it to the Chief Justice today. In his complaint Mr Brar alleged that Mr Patti could not feign ignorance about court orders on the basis of which he had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court.

Mr Mann and Mr Randhawa made three attempts to function as members of the judicial commission but they could not succeed due to the heavy police deployment in the complex. An employee of the commission did not permit them to occupy a seat in the room.

Though the SDM and tehsildar reached the venue on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner but they were of no help to Mr Mann and Mr Randhawa. Mr Mann told The Tribune that they (Mr Brar, Mr Mann and Mr Randhawa) would file a contempt plea in high court.

In his representation to the Chief Justice, Mr Brar alleged that on August 18 “when we commenced the proceedings of the court, Mr Patti and Mr Raghbir Singh entered the complex and used harsh language and threatened that they would not permit us to function”. He said the DC and the SSP also arrived on the scene and asked us not to function. However, Mr Patti denied the charges.


Brar files plea in High Court
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Adding a twist to the on-going controversy, “Chairman of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission” Man Mohan Singh Brar today submitted a representation to the Punjab and Haryana High Court “for unearthing the conspiracy at the district and state level in not allowing the lawful members to perform their functions which were judicial in nature”.

In his representation addressed to Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy through Registrar Pritam Pal, Mr Brar added that exposing the conspiracy was necessary so that “appropriate action may be taken against those responsible for the same”. It was also essential to maintain the “majesty of law”. None, howsoever, high should be allowed to “scandalise the law and justice in any manner”, he asserted.

Mr Brar also alleged “gross and wilful contempt of judgement” pronounced by a Division Bench last week. Giving details, he asserted that the judgement was pronounced in an open court in the presence of counsel for the parties. In fact, the operative part was read out in the court and the judgement was widely reported in the newspapers.

In response, the Punjab Chief Minister was quoted as saying that the government would file a special leave petition in the matter. This was not all. Counsel for the petitioners faxed letters to Amritsar’s Deputy Commissioner. But on August 18, Mr Kashmir Singh Patti and Mr Raghbir Singh started abusing them. Soon after the Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police also asked them not to function.

“After showing complete disregard to the majesty of law and the judgement, the district and the state administration, on instructions from the top executive, permitted Mr Kashmir Singh and Mr Raghbir Singh to function as Chairman and member of the Commission,” he added.

Kashmir Singh, he insisted, cannot claim ignorance of the judgement. His act of continuing to function was wilful and intentional disobedience of the court orders.

The High Court, it may be recalled, had quashed a notification issued on July 5 last year whereby the previously constituted Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission was ordered to be restored.


Notice issued on return of Sikh manuscripts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Acting on a petition seeking directions for the return of “all manuscripts, religious books, and other articles” allegedly removed during “Operation Bluestar” from the Sikh Reference Library at Golden Temple in Amritsar, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and other respondents. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) was also impleaded as a petitioner in the case.

Taking up the case, the Bench, comprising Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill also fixed October 20 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

Claiming to a “religion person”, the petitioner — Satnam Singh of Tarn Taran — had earlier claimed that the articles, about 16,000 in number, were removed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before being taken to Delhi during “Operation Bluestar”.

He had added that the articles, as per Defence Minister George Fernandes, were in the CBI’s custody. Quoting newspaper reports, the petitioner had asserted that two CBI officers, who were a part of a team involved in the alleged removal of the articles, had subsequently confirmed the action.

Arguing on the petitioner’s behalf, Mr Ranjan Lakhanpal submitted that the articles should be returned to the place they belonged. He added that several Punjab leaders, including Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, had also demanded the return of the articles and other valuable Sikh books.


10 supporters of Vinod Khanna, SAD booked 
Tribune News Service

Naushehra Pattan (Gurdaspur) August 21
The Gurdaspur police has registered a case against 10 supporters of Vinod Khanna and workers of the SAD-BJP combine for “rioting” and “stoning”and “injuring” policemen during a rally of Vinod Khanna yesterday.

A case under Sections 307, 353 and 332 of the IPC was registered at the Shalla township police station today. The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had said “those who created trouble would be booked and dealt with as per law of the land.”

Mr R.P.S. Brar, Gurdaspur, SSP, confirmed that a case had been registered against 10 persons, but he refused to divulge the identity of those booked. “We will issue a press note later on,” he said, adding that more persons were likely to be booked after initial investigation.

Though it was not confirmed, sources revealed that Mr Ramesh Shakar, a former MLA from Mukerian and Mr Pritam Singh, Mukerian circle jathedar of the SAD, were among those booked by the police.


MLA demands CM’s resignation
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, August 21
Mr Tikshan Sud, local BJP MLA and former state minister, Punjab, has demanded resignation of Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab for his “failure to uphold democratic values and his attempt to crush the voice of the people by using the police force”. He urged the Central Government that in case Capt Amarinder Singh failed to submit his resignation, his government should be sacked. He further demanded a judicial inquiry into the Naushehra Pattan incident to ascertain under what circumstances tear-gas shells were used and firing and lathi charge was resorted to.

Mr Sud, who was injured on his left arm during lathi charge by the police at Naushehra Pattan yesterday, was addressing a press conference at his house here today. He said in a democracy, it was the right of everyone to participate in any function.

But the local police authorities put up five barricades from Mukerian to the Naushehra Pattan bridge to restrict the participation of the public in the function organised yesterday by Mr Vinod Khanna, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, to dedicate the bridge to the public.

He alleged that the SSP, Hoshiarpur, did not act responsibly and misbehaved with the public, including himself.

The police arrested him and his supporters. Later they were released on personal surety bonds late in the night. He sought suspension of the SSP, Hoshiarpur. 


MC covering up fund misuse?
Row over Town Hall beautification
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
The beautification of Town Hall heritage building inaugurated on the eve of Independence Day has run into a controversy over fund utilisation.

Rs 25 lakh was to be spent on the facelift. It was announced that part of the amount had come from the MP Local Area Development Fund. However, documents showing Rs 10.49 lakh as approved by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, say that the grant was meant for a tubewell in the Islamabad area. The document clearly say that this fund may not be used in any exigency or for department expenditure. It may also not be used for clearing dues.

Mr Raminder Singh, when contacted, said the corporation had approached the MP to seek funds for the heritage building, but the administration had turned down the request. Consequently, an “adjustment” was made, wherein funds for tubewell spent by the corporation were put under the MP fund head to carry out the beautification. He denied it was a “diversion” of funds for a purpose other than intended.

The DC said the money had already reached the corporation. Mr K.S. Kang, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, when contacted, denied the corporation had “diverted” funds as alleged. He said only an “Adjustment” had been made and the amount had indeed been received by the corporation.

However, till a day before the inauguration of the beautified building, the fund does not seem to have been received, according to a document of the corporation’s Finance Department. Rs 25 lakh was given for the project, out of which, the corporation had already spent Rs 10 lakh.

Mr S.S. Sharma, a social activist, says he wants to know how the “cash-strapped” MC could garner huge funds for beautification of the building and ignore development works in the city at the same time. It has been learnt that, to avoid hue and cry over the amount actually spent on the project, the contribution was shown to be that from the MP fund. According to rules, an MP fund cannot be given for such beautification.

Mr R.L. Bhatia, MP, was in Delhi and so could not be contacted.


Dal Khalsa sets up organisational wing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Dal Khalsa today constituted its organisational body with many new faces with an aim to “achieve sovereign self-rule for Sikh people.” The body has 11 other members on the executive committee.

Dal Khalsa working president Harcharanjit Singh Dhami said the organisation was developing new systems and methodologies to inculcate the spirit of Sikh tenets and philosophy among members of the community.

About Sikh scholars challenging the authority of the jathedars, Mr Dhami said there was need to review the working of the SGPC as no proper procedures were being followed in the appointment of the jathedars. The SGPC should call a world Sikh convention, where rules should be framed for the removal and appointment of jathedars, besides issuance of “hukumnamas”. “We would meet the SGPC chief, Mr G.S. Tohra, in this regard,” Mr Dhami added.

Determined to play an active role in Sikh polity, the Dal Khalsa political secretary, Mr Kanwarpal Singh, would contest the forthcoming general elections to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). “However, we will not contest the Lok Sabha and assembly elections for 10 years,” he added.

The Dal Khalsa also released a souvenir, marking 25 years of its existence. The souvenir presents a brief history of the organisation and lists its contributions to the Sikh cause.

Mr Dhami said while Mr Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib and Mr Surinder Singh Sekhon would be vice-presidents, Mr Kanwarpal Singh would hold the post of secretary-general Mr Ajit Singh Pannu would be secretary, international affairs, while Mr Sarbjit Singh Ghuman would be in charge of organisational matters.

“Akali polity had lost direction. “Both Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC chief, G.S Tohra had faults in them. There is need to change the system,” said Mr Dhami.

Later, Mr Kanwarpal Singh said migrant labourers were responsible for the high incidence of crime in Punjab. The Dal Khalsa, also apprehended a conspiracy behind the rapid inflow of migrants, who were out to harm the interests of the Sikh majority. “However, we will fight it out,” he added.


Bhattal case
Cong MP appears on behalf of Punjab
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 21
A top criminal lawyer and Congress MP, Mr R.K. Anand, today appeared on behalf of Punjab in a corruption case against state Agriculture Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, giving rise to a speculation that it was a legal intervention by the Congress high command to stop the feud between the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh and Ms Bhattal.

Ms Bhattal talking to The Tribune after attending the hearing in the case denied that Mr Anand was appearing in the case as part of a rapprochement deal believed to have been struck recently in Delhi saying she was in favour of law taking its own course. Ms Bhattal added that she had full faith in the judiciary and truth would come out within few days.

The FIR in this case was registered against Ms Bhattal on May 22, last year at bureau’s police in the Ferozpore Range on the complaint of Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon.

The appointment of Mr Anand as the Special Public Prosecutor in the case by the state has alarmed Mr Dhillon, the complainant, who in a representation to the Punjab Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, had asked him to stop Congress Rajya Sabha member’s appointment saying Mr Anand had been appointed on the directions of the Congress high command to weaken the case against Ms Bhattal.

The appointment of Mr Anand followed the recent meeting of senior Punjab leaders with the Congress high command in New Delhi, after the state filed the charge sheet in a local court. Earlier, a Bathinda court rejected the case against Ms Bhattal saying that it did not fall in its jurisdiction.

The state’s alacrity in filing the charge sheet in the Chandigarh court is believed to have increased the distrust between Ms Bhattal and Capt Amarinder Singh.

Ms Bhattal accompanied by a battery of lawyers and supporters, Mr Anand and another legal luminary of the country Mr P.N Lekhi, the counsel for the complainant today appeared in the court of Special Judge(Vigilance), Mr R.S Baswana, to attend the case at about 10 a.m.

The arguments in the case were heard for about 30 minutes in a jam-packed court room.

The presence of two high profile criminal lawyers of the Supreme Court charged the atmosphere in court drawing a large number of spectators, including politicians.

As soon as the proceedings began, Mr Lekhi filed a reply on the application moved by Ms Bhattal for the supply of documents in the case claiming that the application filed by her was an abuse of the process of the court for the purpose of gaining time. He also stated that the application required no reply. The counsel for Ms Bhattal raised objections when Mr Lekhi started arguing the case. Ms Bhattal’s counsel said the apex court had passed an order regarding the role of Mr Lekhi in the case.

The judge hearing the case had to ask the lawyers to focus their argument to the points of Ms Bhattal’s counsel sought the adjournment stating that the state had supplied documents today therefore he needed time to go through the records. Mr Anand had sought adjournment on the ground that he joined the proceeding today, therefore, he required time to go through the complete case. After hearing the counsels’ plea the judge adjourned the case till September 12.


Minorities panel to take up case of Indian prisoner
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the National Commission for Minorities will take up the issue of the death sentence awarded to the an Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, languishing in a Pakistan jail under mistaken identity, with the Centres.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals and secretary general of the SAD, will take up issue, with the Ministry of the External Affairs. He will coordinate with the South Asian Human Rights Group, Canada chapter, which has been pursuing the case, to secure the release to Sarabjit Singh.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, will take up the case of Sarabjit Singh with the Prime Minister.

Mr Sheetal Das Kaler, secretary of the human rights group’s Canada chapter, has said during his 10-day stay in Pakistan, he and two other group activists had presented nine documents as Sarabjit’s identification proof.

Copies of the documents had been given to lawyer Abdul Hamid Rana, who would plead Sarabjit’s case in the Pakistan supreme court. 


Poor families to get Rs 63 lakh
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 21
The district administration has completed the process of identifying families living below the poverty line in the district and the Social Welfare Department would distribute Rs 63 lakh to such families for constructing their own houses, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the gathering at the valedictory function organised by the department on the completion of one-year training in sewing, here today.

He distributed more than 200 sewing machines to widows and poor girls who had completed the self-employment course for creating more avenues of income.

He said women should generate self-employment instead of depending upon others. He said the department had initiated various schemes for the welfare of the weaker sections of the society and urged those living in rural areas to approach the local DSS office to take the benefit of government-sponsored schemes.

Mr Pritam Singh, District Social Security Officer in his address highlighted the schemes initiated by the government.

He said free books and scholarships were being given to students belonging to SC and BC categories and urged the people to take benefit of these schemes.


PRTC seeks hike in fares
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) has given a representation to the state government seeking a hike of 6 paise in the fares keeping in view the introduction of special road tax and the earlier hike in diesel prices.

The corporation has also claimed in its representation that it was incurring losses due to the annual increase in the salary bill and the increasing cost of accessories. The Corporation says that the hike is long overdue and the 1 paisa hike last year was not commensurate with the increasing cost of inputs.

The corporation chairman, Mr Ved Prakash Gupta, said the PRTC could make Rs 3 crore if allowed to hike bus fares. He said the corporation was saddled with a loss of Rs 8.5 crore and the hike could enable it to recover it.

Efforts were being made to wipe out the loss by March next year. The foremost step was constitution of flying squads to check malpractices in the corporation. Since an intense drive had been launched in this regard, the corporation’s revenue had grown.

The corporation had already ordered suspension of two of its General Managers and other staff against whom complaints had been received. It had been made mandatory for every depot head to issue a worthiness certificate for each bus before it was allowed to leave the depot. This had resulted in a decrease in mechanical faults and fewer breakdowns. 


Club under fire for I-Day bash
Our Correspondent

Abohar, August 21
The management of the Abohar club has come under fire from members for allowing whiskey and free meals to be served and dancers to perform on Independence Day. Some national Hindi dailies had prominently carried stories on the way the club had “paid homage” to heroes of the freedom struggle.

Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, Superintendent of Police, had said at a press conference on Tuesday that a notice in this regard had been issued to the club management, but the president of the club had denied having received any such notice from the authorities.

The Jashan-e-Azadi’ organised by the club has opened a pandora’s box, as the club had neither obtained permission for holding such a function nor got licence from the Department of Excise and Taxation to serve whiskey. The District Magistrate had banned the use of loudspeaker after 10 pm, but reports said loudspeakers had been blaring till the wee hours of August 16.

Skimpily dressed girls danced to the tunes of popular numbers for prominent leaders of all major political parties, bureaucrats and journalists. A few weeks ago, the police had raided the club and rounded up some persons, including non-members, on gambling charge. The club is not an approved casino.

The management had been told to stop serving whiskey without licence. A section of the Press had later published that the management had suspended all objectionable activities. The Democratic Citizens Forum had given several memorandums to the authorities concerned demanding that the Municipal Council be directed to cancel the lease deed of the club for indulging in commercial activities in violation of the agreement.

The position of the ladies club is no different. The forum said if the council created commercial complexes on the land occupied by such clubs, it could raise enough money to clear its debts. The council owes more than Rs 70 lakh to contractors.

Mr Suresh Satija, a member of the club and president of the Pesticides and Fertilizers Dealers Association, today faxed a complaint to the Chief Minister and the DGP, Punjab, stating that the management of the Abohar Club had been a witness to disorder on the campus on the night of August 15. The club was virtually converted into an unauthorised bar, where liquor and indecent exposure were rampant.

The police officials there were mute spectators to it all, says Mr Satija. The organisers had paid neither excise duty nor entertainment tax for holding such a function.

Mr Subhash Kanwar Bedi, president of the Democratic Citizens Forum, is likely to go ahead with a similar complaint. A separate memorandum was being set to the other department concerned for suitable action. The club office-bearers have so far made no comment on the damaging reports appearing in vernacular dailies. Off the record though, some of them denied there had been any nuisance or vulgarity at the club on August 15. “The programme was sponsored by a liquor distributor,” they said.


Protesters seek arrest of murder accused
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 21
Hundreds of protesters, led by former Dhuri MLA Dhanwant Singh, held a rally at Triveni Chowk in Dhuri near here today. They were demanding the arrest of the two remaining accused — Surinder Kumar Changli and Inderjit Singh — allegedly involved in the murder of Bhalinder Singh (32), nephew of Mr Dhanwant Singh, at his native Manwala village on August 15.

Bhalinder Singh was reportedly shot dead when he was returning home from his field at Manwala village.

The main cause of the murder was said to be the alleged enmity during the last panchayat elections between Bhalinder Singh and the alleged killers. The police registered a case against Gurdip Singh, Surinder Kumar Changli and Inderjit Singh under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act. Gurdip Singh was arrested on August 17 who reportedly confessed before mediapersons that he had killed Bhalinder Singh with his rifle in anger, and the other two accused had no hand in the murder.

The leaders of different political parties who took part in the rally included Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, SAD MLA, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, Akali leaders and Mr Darshan Singh Chehal, leader of the Lok Bhalai Party.


Nabard aid for widening river beds
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
Punjab Finance Minister Lal Singh today said the work on the widening of various river beds in the district and strengthening of their banks would be undertaken before the next monsoon season following the approval of a Rs 33-crore scheme by Nabard.

Addressing a public function in Devigarh, the Finance Minister said the river beds of the Tangri, Markanda, Patiala Nadi, Ghaggar rivers and Meeranpur choe would be widened wherever required.


Farmers lay siege to Xen’s office
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 21
A large number of farmers under the leadership of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), today reportedly laid siege to the office of the Xen, PSEB (Rural), at Sunam. They blocked the Sunam-Jakhal road/for about two hours protest against electricity disconnections on account of non-payment of bills.

Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president of the union, said if the Punjab State Electricity Board did not restore the power connections of the farmers soon, the union would stage a dharna at the district level. He also said the farmers would not allow the privatisation of the PSEB as it would hit the farmers’ interests.

Mr Hardip Singh, state secretary of the union, Mr Bukkan Singh, district president, and Mr Janak Singh, district secretary, also addressed the farmers.


Repeal periphery control Act, says Bir Devinder
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, August 21
Giving an ultimatum to the Punjab Government, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today said if the government did not take any steps to repeal the Punjab Capital Periphery Control Act till September 15 then he would be forced to take a stricter course of action. He was addressing mediapersons at a press conference here.


6.5 kg tumour removed
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 21
A tumour weighing 6.5 kg was today removed from the stomach of Mrs Asha Rani at the local civil hospital by Dr Subhash Sharma, SMO, and Dr Jaswinder Kaur Bains.

The 26-year-old Asha Rani was doing well after the major operation.


High Court
DC to pay money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Three years after a government contractor constructed a stage for the Independence Day celebrations, a Division Bench of the high court today directed Fatehgarh Sahib’s Deputy Commissioner and other respondents to pay Rs 45,000 to the petitioner within two months.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, also directed the payment of 9 per cent interest. In his petition, Hemant Kumar Sayal had earlier asserted that the bill was submitted to the authorities, but payment was not made despite representations and a legal notice.


Bail of 18 thermal plant officers extended
Our Correspondent

Ropar, August 21
Interim bail of the 19 officers of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) here accused in the EPF scam was extended by a court here till August 25.

The police which for the first time appeared in the court today was directed by the court to produce relevant record of the case on next hearing. The sources also said that the court pulled up the police for not producing the record in the court in past three or four hearing.

Meanwhile, one more accused officer Kuldeep Singh today moved his bail application in the court. He was also granted bail till August 25.


Narottam’s remand extended
Our Correspondent

Ropar, August 21
Judicial remand of Narottam Singh Dhillon, cousin of Sukhbir Badal was today extended till September 3 by Special Judge S.K. Goel here in the case of disproportionate assets and corruption registered against former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau. 


Junior engineers up in arms over promotions
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
Junior engineers in the Irrigation Department are up in arms against the non-implementation of the recommendations of the Draft Rules Committee set up by former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to frame rules for the promotions of diploma-holding junior engineers of the department.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr S.C. Ahuja, senior vice-president of the Diploma Engineer Association, Punjab, claimed that over 2,000 junior engineers in the Irrigation Department in Punjab had not been given even a single promotion to the subdivisional officer (SDO) level during the last 34 years. Alleging discrimination, Mr Ahuja said their quota of promotions, according to the executive orders of state government, was being given to the Associate Members of the Institution of Engineers (AMIEs).


DGP okays new transfer policy for field staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
A shake-up in the Punjab Police, is on the cards with the Director-General of Police, Mr A.A. Siddiqui, clearing a new transfer policy for the field staff today.

The policy will help put a check on the growing nexus between police officials and anti-social elements. It also gives clear directions to transfer and rotate officers posted in a particular district or range beyond a stipulated period of time.

The DGP has observed that “police officials posted in a particular district for a long time tend to develop vested interests and miss out on exposure to various nuances of policing in other areas.” No non-gazetted officer (NGO) should have a cumulative stay of more than 10 years in a particular range. Similarly, a police official, who has served as an NGO in a particular district for more than 5 years should be shifted to another district in the same range by the DIG, Range.

While constables, Head Constables and ASIs should not be posted in their home tehsils, Sub-Inspectors and Inspectors should not be deployed in their home districts, except in specific cases with the approval of the DGP. It has been seen that SSPs often take along subordinates of their choice on their transfer, creating serious problems in the ranks. The new policy is expected to address this problem also.

The policy stipulates that officials posted at sensitive posts must be shifted after two years. There is need to identify such sensitive seats, which involve extensive public dealing, establishment matters, monetary sanctions. These include posts of SHO and other officials.

If any police officer is facing a departmental inquiry or a criminal case, he should not be shifted so that investigations are completed without any hindrance. Constables should not be shifted out of the district frequently, except in those cases where they have bad reputation. To ensure better efficiency, the duties of these officers should be rotated on a regular basis. An NGO, who has completed three years in a particular post, must be shifted.

The policy, however, says that there should be a soft approach while dealing with the cases of couples, unmarried girls, widows, handicapped persons and employees having mentally challenged children. The policy can also be relaxed for those retiring within a year.


Disciple held for cheating Baba Santa Singh
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 21
The Talwandi Sabo police has arrested Kamal Kishore, alias Kamal Singh, who allegedly cheated Baba Santa Singh, head of the Budha Dal, a Nihang sect, and the Rajasthan Government by fabricating some documents in connection with the possession of two pieces of land in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan belonging to the Budha Dal.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the land belonging to the Budha Dal, measuring 105 bighas and 83 bighas in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, respectively, were under the possession of same organisations. A dispute for the possession of the land was going on between the Budha Dal and the organisations for the past many years.

The accused, Kaman Kishore, who had been dismissed from the Railways, was a disciple of Baba Santa Singh a few decades ago. However, he was thrown out of the sect for mischief at various “deras”.

Police sources said about three months ago, Kamal started living in the dera of Baba Santa Singh again after he managed to regain the faith of the Baba. He took Rs 47,000 from the Baba on the pretext that he would use his influence in the Rajasthan Government and get the possession of the disputed land.

After taking money the accused along with some other disciples of the Baba went to Jaipur and stayed there for some time. He kept on convincing the disciples that he had been using his connection with the top officials of the Rajasthan Government to get the possession of the land.

On July 12, 2003, the accused allegedly forged a letter from the Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rajasthan, addressed to the Collector and the Superintendent of Police (SP), Hanumangarh. In this letter he mentioned that the Chief Minister, Rajasthan had ordered the Collector and the SP, Hanumangarh, to make arrangements for handing over the possession of 83 bighas situated in Pilia Banga town of Hanumangarh district to Baba Santa Singh.

Again on August 4, he forged another letter from the Secretary to the Collector and the SP, Sriganganagar, mentioning the Chief Minister desired that the possession of 105 bighas in the Budha Johad area of the Sriganganagar district should be handed over to the Baba. On August 14, he handed over the copies of these letters to Baba Santa Singh at Talwandi Sabo. Besides, he also sent copies to senior civil and police officials of Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts. In the letters it was also mentioned that orders of the Chief Minister should be complied within 20 days.

Mr Devinder Singh Attri, Station House Officer (SHO), Talwandi Sabo police station, said the letters generated much controversy in Rajasthan. After some time, a disciple of the Baba lodged an FIR against Kamal for cheating Baba Santa Singh.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that cases were likely to be registered against Kamal in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts also.


Man booked on rape charge
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
A girl was allegedly abducted and raped by a person a few days ago. A sister and brother-in-law of the suspect also helped him allegedly. A case was registered at the Sadar police station here yesterday.

In her complaint, the girl alleged that the suspect, Jindoo, a resident of Indra Colony here took her to his sister’s house in the new Jawahar Nagar area a few days ago by threatening her. From there, he took her to some unidentified place and raped her for two days, she added. She said the suspect then left her at the Mustafabad bus stand. The suspect is missing and no arrest has been made so far.

Meanwhile, in another incident, a 17 years old girl of Azad Nagar was allegedly lured and abducted by Harinder Singh of the same area. Mr Hardev Singh, father of the girl, in his complaint stated that he along with his wife had gone to the Golden Temple when the suspect abducted his daughter. A case has been registered at the B-division police station here.


Junior Engineer held on bribe charge
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 21
Mr Om Parkash Arora, junior engineer (JE) with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Golewala, in Ferozepore district, was caught today while he was allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1,800 from Mr Jagmohan Singh, a resident of Rukna Begu village (Ferozepore) for replacing a damaged transformer to supply power to his tubewell motor.

Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, Bathinda Range, in a press note issued here today said that when Mr Jagmohan Singh approached Mr Arora for replacing the damaged transformer, Mr Arora demanded a bribe of Rs 3,000. Mr Jagmohan Singh paid Rs 1,200 to Mr Arora as advance on August 18. The remaining Rs 1,800 was paid by him today.

Mr Grewal said a Vigilance Bureau team, led by the DSP, Mr Baldev Singh, along with a “shadow” and government witnesses, caught Mr Arora today while he was accepting the bribe from Mr Jagmohan Singh. The amount was later recovered from his handbag.


Punjabi varsity rusticates student for ragging
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 21
The Punjabi University authorities today rusticated a student and awarded punishment to five others for ragging juniors in two cases last month.

A press note issued here said the decision had been taken following the submission of an inquiry report of the two incidents to Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai. The rusticated student is Sukhram Singh Sandhu, a student of B.Pharmacy (Part II).

Two other students, Ramandeep Jindal and Honey Goel, from the same department have been fined Rs 10,000 each. Both of them have also been ordered to vacate the hostel. The authorities said only after depositing this amount, the students would be allowed to join the classes. Three other students, Raman Aggarwal, Thakur Gurjit Singh and Aman Anand, of B.Pharmacy (Part IV) and M.Pharmacy (Part II) respectively, have been asked to vacate the hostel and their entry to hostels has been barred.

Students of the B.Pharmacy course had severely ragged their juniors staying in the hostel last month. Seniors had forced their juniors to undress and made them do various chores for them from 9.30 pm to nearly 2 am.


Students protest against PTU decision
Our Correspondent

Ropar, August 21
Students of various engineering colleges located in the area today staged a dharna outside their respective colleges to protest against the Punjab Technical University (PTU) decision of disallowing the students who had not totally cleared the first semester to appear in the fifth semester examination. Similarly, the students who had not totally cleared the second semester would be not allowed to appear in the sixth semester.

The protesting students of IET, Bhaddal, near Ropar, alleged that earlier there was no bar on clearing the supplementaries of previous semesters while continuing with further studies. They said with the new rule, many students would have to waste at least one year of their academics to clear the backlog papers. They threatened to move court against the PTU decision.

Sources say that in Bhaddal college alone, 90 students would loose at least one academic year to clear the backlog examinations.

Reports of protests against the PTU decision were also received from the Pojewal Engineering College near Nurpur Bedi. The managements of various engineering colleges were also planning to take up the matter with the PTU.

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