Sunday, September 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Security withdrawn, says Vinod Khanna
Police still denies it
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
A piquant situation has arisen over provision of security cover to the Union Minister of State for External Affairs and BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Vinod Khanna.

While the personal staff of Mr Khanna maintains that the security cover provided by the Punjab police has been withdrawn, Mr R.K. Gupta, ADGP, described it as “totally baseless and misleading”.

While Mr Gupta claimed that 18 policemen were in the security ring of Mr Khanna, including one NGO three Head Constables and 13 Constables drawn from the Punjab police, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Delhi police, Mr Arun Malhotra, Private Secretary to the minister, claimed that at present there was not even a single man from the Punjab police in the security ring of Mr Khanna.

Interestingly, while Mr Gupta maintained that the Punjab police had also provided a gypsy to Mr Khanna for his security duty, Mr Malhotra clarified that the gypsy (PB 12 B 2515) was withdrawn two days ago on the verbal orders of the IGP (Security), Mr Rajinder Singh, who had come to Delhi and visited the official residence of Mr Khanna.

Immediately after he left, the escort vehicle (gypsy), its driver, a Head Constable and three constables from the Punjab police, who were a part of the security ring of the minister went away saying that they have been instructed to report back to the Control Room at Punjab Bhavan in New Delhi.

“Neither the gypsy nor the Punjab police men have come back at the residence of Mr Khanna till 9 p.m. today,” claimed Mr Malhotra revealing that he had got a message from Punjab Bhavan this evening that “security was being restored”.

Mr Gupta claimed that security arrangements were last reviewed by Mr Khanna on July 25 and there was no further request to enhance the cover, no action was initiated by the Punjab Government on the issue.


Punjabi University dismisses Reader

Patiala, September 6
Punjabi University has dismissed a senior Reader of the Department of Law — Dr M. R. Garg — for alleged administrative lapses during his period as the Chairman of the Law Department in 1996 -97.

According to sources, the notice of dismissal was sent to the house of Dr Garg in the Mayur Enclave last night. The sources said the notice could not be delivered to Dr Garg as he was reportedly not at home and the varsity courier had placed it outside his residence.

Dr Garg could not be contacted despite may attempts. Meanwhile, the Law Department head, Dr Charanjit Singh, confirmed that the varsity had dismissed the services of Dr Garg. Sources said the teacher was accused of certain administrative lapses during his tenure as the head of the department which included some mistake in admission as well as wrongful marking of a thesis to an examiner. The sources said an inquiry was instituted to inquire into these lapses during the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor Dr J. S. Puar. They said the inquiry report was submitted in the case during the tenure of ousted Vice- Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, which had found the teacher at fault. TNS


NPA row: doctors fail to get Aug salary
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 6
In the absence of a letter from the Punjab Financial Department on the release of salaries with non-practising allowance (NPA) to the PCMS doctors for August, the Sangrur Treasury Office here today “failed” to pass the salary bills of the doctors leading to resentment among the doctors.

An official of the District Treasury Office this afternoon said the treasuries were unable to clear salary bills of the doctors with the NPA as the treasury offices had not received any communication from the Finance Department, Punjab, so far, in this regard.

The State General Secretary of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA), Dr Surinder Singla here yesterday termed the failure of Finance Department to issue clear directions to the treasuries in the state in this regard as an “unfortunate” act of “red-tapism”.

He clarified that Punjab Government had already issued orders on the release of salaries of doctors with NPA with the concurrence of the Punjab Chief Minister on August 29, last.

Dr Singla added that Mr D.S. Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab and Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, Principal Secretary, Finance, Punjab, assured a delegation of the PCMSA, led by Dr Hardip Singh, state president, on September 1 that the doctors would not face any inconvenience in getting salaries with NPA for the August and onwards till a comprehensive and workable organisational and financial restructuring plan was ready in this direction.

Dr Singla urged Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh to direct Punjab Finance Department to issue directions for the release of doctors’ salaries with NPA.


Haryana Sikh leaders meet Tohra
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 6
How much money should the gurdwaras in Haryana give to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on account of “daswandh” (one tenth of the income) and ‘’dharam parchar’’ has become a source of contention with Sikhs of the state claiming that the body was stripping their gurdwaras of all their income and not putting back any money into the state.

A delegation of Haryana Sikhs today called on the SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, at his residence and brought this to his notice. They have also demanded formation of a Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on the lines of the separate committee formed in Delhi. Such a self-styled committee has already been put in place by them.

Mr Tohra, when contacted on the issue, said he had told the delegation that their request for formation of a separate committee for Haryana would be put before the general house of the SGPC. He said he had also told the delegation that legislation was needed for forming a Haryana committee on the pattern of the SGPC. He said he had explained to the delegation how the money was spent by the SGPC on various activities and did not want to talk to the press on the issue.

The Sikh leaders, including the Chief Patron of the “HSGPC”, its President Jagdish Singh Jhinda, and the general secretary Mr Didar Singh Kamboj, today met Mr Tohra at the residence of his son-in-law in the city. They presented documents, claiming the “SGPC was collecting funds from gurdwaras in Haryana in an illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate manner”. According to the leaders, the SGPC is entitled to 10 per cent of the income of the six gurdwaras in Haryana over which it had direct control on account of “daswandh” and 15 per cent on account of “dharmik parchar” according to the Sikh Gurdwara Act of 1925.

The delegation claimed that not a single penny had been spent under the various sub-heads in Haryana. It also claimed that the money taken from the Haryana gurdwaras had been spent in Punjab, including the Gurmat Institute at Sultanpur and Sri Guru Ram Dass Hospital.

The Sikh leaders have also brought it to the notice of the SGPC chief that there are 36 schools and colleges being run by the SGPC in Punjab at a cost of Rs 23 crore. They said, in direct contrast, the SGPC was not running a single school or college in Haryana. The foundation stone of the Meeri Peeri Medical College was laid in 1992 but it was still to come up. They also claimed that a girls college in the name of Mata Sundri for which land had been provided by the people of Haryana was still to start functioning.


Tohra to meet Advani today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 6
The SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, will meet Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in New Delhi tomorrow to discuss certain "Panthic issues".

Mr Tohra would be accompanied by Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, veteran Akali leader.

There are many pending issues pertaining to the Sikh affairs, including that of Sehajdharis. The SGPC had passed a resolution to debar the Sehajdharis from voting during the general election of the Shiromani committee.


SGPC assumes control of 13 more gurdwaras
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
Following a notification of the Government of India on July 29 this year the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has taken over the managements of 13 gurdwaras budgets of which is under Rs 20 lakh each.

Mr Dilmegh Singh, officiating secretary of the committee, stated yesterday the gurdwaras are: gurdwara Lambey (Amb sahib) Mohali, gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib, Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur; Gurdwara Guru Ka Bagh, Khukeywali, Amritsar; gurdwara Teja Kalan, Gurdaspur; gurdwara Charan Kanwal, Jindowal; gurdwara Gurpalah Sahib, (Nava Shehar); gurdwara Hargobind Singh Durgpur (Nava Shehar); gurdwara Achal Sahib Batala, Gurdaspur; gurdwara Patshah Nauvi Malowal district Sangrur; gurdwara Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, Sudhar; gurdwara Sahib Heran Ludhiana; gurdwara Sahib Alla Singh Longowal; gurdwara Bhai ki Samadh Longowal; gurdwara Baba Ki Samadh Longowal; gurdwara Patshahi Chhevi Ghel, Sangrur; gurdwara Patshahi Chhevi and Patshahi Dasmi (Androni Killa) Barnala, Sangrur; gurdwara Baba Bir Singh Ratoki, Patti, Amritsar; gurdwara Gobind Singh Gopal Mochan, Jagadhri, Yamunanagar.


‘Expired herbs’ used for ayurvedic formulations
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
A controversy has broken out regarding the use of material such as herbs etc in the preparation of ayurvedic medicines in the Government Ayurvedic Pharmacy at Patiala. That is the only state government pharmacy engaged in the preparation of such medicine, which are supplied to about 550 ayurvedic dispensaries and health centres.

It has been brought on record of the pharmacy by certain ayurvedic officials that substandard and expired herbs were being used to prepare ayurvedic medicines in the pharmacy. Even the intimation in this connection has been given to the Secretary, Health Department, Punjab, by these officials. The authorities concerned have been urged to immediately seal the entire raw material in the pharmacy and order a probe by a senior IAS officer to check its quality.

Information and documents collected by The Tribune have revealed that recently an official posted in the pharmacy section refused to use expired herbs. He was asked to prepare the “Vishgarb” medicine, an oil that is used as pain reliever. The medicine is said to be very useful in arthritis, spondylitis etc.

Sources said that as many as 11 herbs and other goods provided to him were about four-year old. However, according to ayurvedic granth (Sharangdhar) on the basis of which certain ayurvedic formulations are prepared, such herbs become useless after one year.

In fact, the official cited the previous instances when certain liquid material, which was over an year old, had to be destroyed on the instructions of the Director, Research and Medical Education.

Sources said that as the authorities insisted on using the material provided to prepare the formulation the official of the pharmacy section wanted an undertaking that the material was fit for use in the medicine. In fact, he asked for the dates when the material, was bought by the Department.

However, the expiry of the herbs is not the only issue. It has also been pointed out that the condition of certain herbs and other material has deteriorated to the extent that these have become unfit for use. Certain insects have also been found in a part of the raw material used to prepare medicines. The matter has also been brought to the notice of the authorities concerned about the poor quality of rose water and lemon juice. Rose leaves, kala zira and guggal have been found to be adulterated. The sources said that recently telegrams were sent to the authorities concerned. However, no action has been taken so far.


SAD against use of Article 356: Dhindsa
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal has always opposed the use of Article 356 by the Central Government and it has never demanded its imposition in the state. This was stated by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals, while talking to mediapersons here today. He was here to preside over a function to mark the 102nd death anniversary of Giani Dit Singh at the local BBSB Engineering College.

Mr Dhindsa said the party had never demanded that an NDA team be sent to Punjab to assess the law and order situation.

Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president, SGPC, who accompanied the Union Minister, said Mr Dhindsa was making all-out efforts to forge unity among the warring factions of the SAD for the coming Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections.

Later, addressing the function organised by the Giani Dit Singh Memorial International Society, Mr Dhindsa said Giani Dit Singh was a great Sikh scholar and reformer. He released a book written by Dr Karnail Singh Somal on the life of Giani Dit Singh.

Jathedar Tohra, Mr Surinder Singh, general secretary of the Giani Dit Singh Memorial Society, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, a former MLA, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP, Mr R.S. Cheema and Mr Harmel Singh Tohra, both former ministers, also addressed the gathering.


Centre giving Punjab raw deal: minister
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 6
Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Sports and Animal Husbandry, has said that the Central Government is meting out step-motherly treatment to Punjab in every sphere, particularly with regard to declaring its Industrial Policy. Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Kang said the state government had got a resolution passed unanimously in the Assembly criticising the step-motherly treatment by the Centre and demanded the same concessions for the state industry as those provided to other states.

Mr Kang was here to preside over the annual prize distribution function of Lala Lajpat Rai High School, Bassi Pathana.

Mr Nakesh Jindal, manager of the school, read out the annual report and highlighted the achievements of the school in the fields of education, sports and cultural activities. He demanded that the school should be given affiliation to start plus two classes.

Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, and Mr Hari Krishan, president, DCC, were among those who addressed the gathering. Schoolchildren presented a cultural programme and outstanding students were honoured on the occasion.


Akali leaders stage dharna, block traffic
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
Senior Akali leaders, including Dr Ratan Singh Ajnala and Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, along with other workers yesterday staged a dharna in front of a mortuary and blocked the traffic on the Majitha road against the alleged police inaction in registering a case against four persons here yesterday. The accused had allegedly killed Rajpal Singh (35), son of Piara Singh and ex-chairman of the market committee, Ajnala, yesterday morning, they added.

Rajpal Singh was killed when a truck (RJ 01-G-4801) rammed into his car (PB-46-B-1144) when he was going to drop his son to a school. However, his son escaped in the accident. The Akali leaders said that it was a planned murder. They alleged that he was murdered by Rajinder Singh, Shamsher Singh of Mohan Bhandaria along with two other persons over a land dispute. Not even a single police officer visited the spot, they added.

Mr Dilbagh Singh, SP (D), Majitha police district, said he was examining the case and recorded the statement of Sacatar Singh, an eyewitness.


Highway linking G.T. Road, Golden Temple on cards
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 6
The Punjab Government plans to construct an elevated highway from the G.T. Road to the parking area near the Golden Temple to facilitate the movement of devotees from areas outside the city. This was stated by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Public Works and Election Minister, Punjab, while talking to mediapersons after the inauguration of the expansion project of Hi-tech Industries Limited here today.

He said next year the fourth centenary of the Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib was being celebrated. Keeping in mind the sentiments of the Sikhs the government had decided to construct 31 km-long elevated road, leading to Harmandar Sahib from the G.T. Road. The project, for which global tenders would be invited, would cost between Rs 50 crore and Rs 60 crore. A visit to China is also on the cards in this connection.

The minister said 40 railway overbridges would be constructed in Punjab at a cost of Rs 400 crore of which Rs 200 crore would be contributed by the Railways.

He said the World Bank had agreed to provide funds for constructing state highways and other roads measuring 7,500 km at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore. The bank would send a team to study the project and it would take a year before the work begins.

Mr Bajwa said 12 state highways measuring 1,000 km would be constructed at a cost of Rs 500 crore on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis by private parties.

He further said 4,200 km of link roads in the rural areas were being repaired and Punjab Mandi Board had given Rs 250 crore for the purpose. He said a bridge over the Ravi was also being constructed at a cost of Rs 53 crore. Eighty per cent of the funds were being provided by Nabard for the project. The bridge would provide a second link to Jammu and Kashmir, apart from providing a link to 105 more villages.

A sum of Rs 100 crore had been received for the first phase (20 km) of the 80-km stretch of the Amritsar-Jalandhar highway project, he added.

When newspersons asked about corruption in the PWD, the minister said necessary action was being taken.


Highway to be four-laned

Ropar, September 6
The Punjab Government has decided to four-lane the national highway passing through the town from the Nangal chowk area to the Ropar head works.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Sports and Youth Affairs, said this in a press note issued here today.

He said the decision was finalised at a meeting held with the officials of the district. The land for the four-laning would be acquired after giving due compensation to the owners.

Officers of the district were also directed to spend the development funds through the village development committees and the panchayats. The Deputy Commissioner informed the minister that the SDMs have been directed to keep a vigil over the various development works to ensure the proper utilisation of fund.

The meeting was also attended by the ADC (D), Mr Gurpreet Singh Garcha, and departmental heads of irrigation the PWD, panchayati raj and public health. — OC


Synthesising varied faiths
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
Call it the crisis of faith or the synthesis of varied faiths, Mohit Sabharwal, a stock broker in Ludhiana Stock Exchange, describes it as “love for the Khwaja” (Moin-u-Din Chisti of Ajmer). Mohit, in his forties, who is also known as Mohit Baba among his followers, is the head of Aashiq-e-Khwaja, a society of the devotees of Khwaja, also known as garibnawaz (the lord of the poor).

There are 30 other devotees of the Khwaja who cherish his name and practise his faith. “We are neither Hindus nor Muslims; we are just the aashiqs (lovers) of the Khwaja”, says Mohit, while arguing that they are not concerned as how people describe their faith. “It is love and you can love anyone on this earth without caring to know the faith or religion of that person,” he asserts.

The society is setting up a spiritual centre at Bool village, near Dehlon in Ludhiana district. Listing the objectives of the society, Mohit says it will construct a prayer hall at Bool where daily prayers would be offered for world peace and welfare of humanity. An old-age home and an orphanage will also be set up. At the orphanage children, who have suffered on account of various calamities, will be rehabilitated and trained to be self-reliant.

Notwithstanding their claims of being just “aashiqs” of the Khwaja, for a common man these people will appear to be devout Muslims. Right from their way of greeting, to dresses and prayers, they appear more close to Islam than their inherited faiths. When asked as how would he describe himself, whether a Muslim or a Hindu, Mohit says, “Aashiq-e-Khwaja and aashiqs have no religion except for love.” However, he elaborates that anybody who is firm in his faith is a Muslim. While trying to explain the meaning of the word “Muslim”, he says that he is also firm in his love for the Khwaja and he can be described like that.

But at the same time he discloses that his entire family is a staunch follower of Mahamayi and the family visits the Chintpurni shrine every month. He says they have also the “Mahamayi’s seat” (gaddi) in their house along with that of the Khwaja. Mohit meditates there only. In fact, his meditation room is full of photographs of the Khwaja's dargah at Ajmer and also Mecca, with one more picture of the Mahamayi in a corner.

Similarly, Guddu Nayar, an industrialist and long-time devotee of the Khwaja, clarifies that he still considers himself to be a Hindu. “It is like falling in love with a girl without knowing her faith. It is just the love for the Khwaja,” he says. He disclosed that when he started visiting the dargah, even his family members apprehended that he had converted to Islam. “But when they saw it for themselves, they realised it there was nothing like that and it was only faith and love for the Khwaja.”

Mohit, Nayar and other devotees try to argue that it is more like a synthesis of various faiths and beliefs than switching over or converting to one particular religion or faith. They say they believe in human values as preached and practised by the Khwaja.

Last night, the society held the annual congregation which was attended by several hundred people, including women and children. The crowd comprised almost all classes.

During the Urs, all the devotees were dressed up in green shirts, yellow trousers and green caps. However, Mohit was dressed up differently with his cap sporting Arabic verses. He said his dress came from Ajmer, while those of the other devotees were stitched here. He said there was nothing religious about the dress, except that it led to a sense of discipline only.


Human rights body approached on turban issue
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, September 6
A religious identity and symbols attached to it are a must for staying in a school of Ludhiana if orders of its principal are to be believed.

Gorki Gill, a student of XI in a government-aided Guru Hargobind Khalsa Senior Secondary School in Ludhiana district was turned out by a teacher for not wearing a turban and declaring his religion.

The incident has drawn the attention of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to issue a notice to the Punjab Government. The notice followed the complaint of the boy’s father who alleged this practice might be there in a number of other schools in the state.

The PSHRC on Tuesday directed the Punjab Government to file a reply in the case acting on the complaint of student’s father, Mr Santokh Gill against the state of Punjab and school authorities.

Giving details, the complainant said that his son was turned out of the school because he was not wearing a turban.

Alleging human rights violation by the school teacher, the complainant said that the teacher had enquired about the religion of his son. When his son replied that he had no religion, the teacher told him that there was no place for the students in this school who had no religion. Santokh Gill reported the matter to the principal of the school.

The complainant further alleged that the principal informed him that turban was part of the school uniform. Therefore, the teacher had ordered the student out as he did not wear a proper uniform. The principal further told him that it was a minor punishment.

Mr Gill further added that the matter did not involve this school only but so many other institutions also. He said that suitable action should be taken in this regard.

A member of the PSHRC, Justice R.L. Anand, said in his order that the allegation prima facie constituted a violation of human rights within the meaning and definition of a section of the protection of human rights act and call for a report from the state government in the Education Department”. 


Rs 19.81 cr approved for Patiala
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 6
The District Planning Board yesterday approved an expenditure of Rs 19.81 crore for the current financial year in the district. The board also approved Rs 11.80 crore for rural areas, as per the population of each village.

The board’s meeting, presided over by Excise Minister Sardool Singh, for the first time took a decision to spend money in rural areas according to the population of villages. It was also approved that the money would be spent by the respective panchayats on whichever work they find suitable. However, the board decided that it would check some of the works to ensure that they were carried out in a proper manner.

The board also approved the release of Rs 5.90 crore in the first quarter and set aside Rs 5.28 crore for pension to aged, disabled and widows. As much as Rs 1.28 crore was earmarked for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes. Besides this, the board also earmarked Rs 32 lakh for the construction of five-marla houses for the Scheduled Castes. In the first quarter, Rs 8 lakh has been released for this.

The Social Welfare Department was directed to conduct a survey within 15 days to identify the person who are eligible for houses and pension under various schemes. The department has also been asked to conduct a survey to ensure that those who have not benefited from such schemes in the past are targeted schemes in the past are targeted this time.

The meeting was attended by Vice-Chairman of the board Ravinder Singh Sandhu, Punjab Warehouse Corporation Chairman Hardial Singh Kamboj, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation Chairman Ved Prakash Gupta and Deputy Commissioner Tejveer Singh among others.


Romana refutes allegations
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 6
Mr Mohinder Singh Romana, Chairman, management committee, Takht Patna Sahib, declared “tankhaiya” for derogatory remarks against Giani Iqbal Singh and Dasam Granth during 400 years of Gur Gaddi celebrations at Chicago on April 27 refuted all allegations levelled against him by Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib.

He said that the charges were not correct and a cassette of the function, including his speech, was prepared and even the same was also sent by him to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti.

Mr Romana further clarified that he only appealed all heads and priests of the five Takhts to pay more attention to solve problems of the Sikhs to strengthen the community. Even Jathedar Vedanti, Jathedar Tarlochan Singh and Giani Iqbal Singh were present on the occasion.

He added that he was sending the copies of the same cassette to the media through Mr Kalyan Singh, another member of the management committee of Takht Patna Sahib, so that people, particularly Sikhs, could know the facts. However, he will abide by directions of the five priests to maintain sanctity of Akal Takht. Refuting reports in a section of the press yesterday, he stated that he was still chairman of the committee and nobody was empowered to move no-confidence motion against him before April next as per the constitution of the Takht.

Mr Kalyan Singh told this reporter on telephone from Patna Sahib today that Jathedar Vedanti had not reviewed the case of Giani Iqbal Singh. Jathedar Vedanti had rejected the edict against Mr Romana on July 27 at Akal Takht was issued by Giani Iqbal Singh at Takht Patna Sahib.


Sub-Inspector sets an example
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, September 6
The Punjab Police which has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons could perhaps do with more officers like Sub Inspector Ranjit Singh Bahniwal who has set an example for the force. The SI who along with members of his chowki had adopted 12-year-old Narain after his accident and later helped him unite with his family here today. The child had lost his memory after the accident.

The destitute child who after recovering his memory fully recently provided clues to the whereabouts of his elder brother in Uttaranchal was finally reunited with his family today after more than a year thanks to the ceaseless efforts of the police force to trace Narain`s next of kin. The child during this period was looked after by SI Ranjit Singh and Head Constable Bhupinder Singh who are posted in the Rajindra Hospital Chowki . They not only looked after the child but also helped arrange for his education.

Narain was brought to Patiala by an acquaintance from his village in Nepal in June last year. He was hired as a domestic help by a family living in the Diesel Component Works. After working for few days at the residence of the family, he ran away when he was maltreated by them. Immediately afterwards he met with an accident and was admitted to the Surgery unit of the Government Rajindra hospital in a serious condition.

The boy was admitted to the hospital for one month following during the course of which he was in coma for nearly 25 days. It was during this period that SI Ranjit Singh and other members of the hospital police chowki came in touch with the boy. The policemen arranged medicine for the boy because there was no one to look after him. When Narain came out of his coma he could not tell about his parents or other details because he had lost a part of his memory.

Ranjit Singh and the other cops took Narain in their care and he started living in the Police Chowki inside the hospital even as a search was started to locate his parents. Police personnel took him to Hardwar, Shimla and even Chandigarh in an attempt to make him remember his past but to no avail.

Following this he was treated as their own family members as the policemen arranged for his education and also provided other facilities for him including training in swimming in a nearby swimming pool. The child who recently recovered his memory fully then told the police that his elder brother named Kalyan works in a dhaba in Lohghat in Uttaranchal and the police redoubled its efforts to locate the brother. The brother was traced following which the police personnel informed him about Narain and he reached Patiala to take Narain home.

Head Constable Bhupinder Singh of the hospital police chowki said Narain was subsequently handed over to his brother who had given him up for dead. He said this was the second case of a young boy being helped by the chowki. He said earlier a boy Salman Khan was brought back to good health and restored to his family in Saharanpur after he was found in a serious condition after being thrown off a moving train by his abductors.

Recently Ranjit Singh was promoted to the rank of a Sub Inspector from that of a ASI because of the help he has given to more than 100 destitute patients admitted to the hospital. Ranjit Singh says he does these social welfare activities because he wants the force to be projected as a people-friendly one.


Sangat darshan organised
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 6
Neither a minister nor an officer of the rank of SDM, has visited Karirwali village in Jaito subdivision to redress the grievances of the villagers since Independence. This was stated by Mr Mehar Singh, sarpanch of the village, while presenting the problems of the villagers before the Deputy Commissioner during a sangat darshan programme at Karirwali village on Thursday.

Expressing concern over the illegal grabbing of panchayat land by certain influential persons, he regretted the free roaming stray cattle in government school building.

There were complaints of acute shortage of power and drinking water, besides complaints against panchayats secretaries for failing to give detailed accounts of government funds utilised by them in the recent past.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, appealed to the gram panchayats to conduct regular joint meetings with residents to acquaint the sarpanches and panches with the problems in their areas. He added that adequate funds would shortly be given to the panchayats for different development works.

A number of problems were solved on the spot. The Deputy Commissioner later said a directory on different development works and the problems of 181 villages in the district was being prepared. A one-day training camp at the block level would be organised here and at Kot Kapura next week to guide the panchayat members to bring about more efficiency in their working, he added.


MP wants road repaired
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Mr Bhan Singh Bhaura, member of Parliament, today deplored the bad condition of National highway number 64-A, from Rose Garden crossing to Dabwali bypass crossing.

In a letter to Mr B.C. Khanduri, Union Minister of Surface Transport and Highways, Mr Bhaura pointed out that Rs 1 crore was sanctioned for the repair of this report a year ago but nothing had been done.

He said due to potholes on the road accidents had been taking place daily. A portion of the road had also disappeared.

He demanded immediate action to repair the road.

Mr Bhaura also urged Mr Nitish Kumar, Union Railway Minister to initiate the steps for modernising the Railway station, here one of the biggest junctions in Northern India.

He added that Mr Kumar had promised that Railway station would be modernised, but nothing had come out of it. The Railway station has been catering to the needs of Asia’s biggest cantonment, Air Force Station, industrial units and other sections of the society.


Book industrialist for murder bid, say protesters
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 6
A large number of persons from Narwana in Haryana today took out a protest march through the town to seek arrest of those who had given poison to Ms Ritu, daughter of an arhtiya from Narwana and wife of Dinesh Bansal, whose father owns a pesticide factory here. Ms Ritu is now struggling for life at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

The protesters wanted attempt to murder to be added to the charges against Dinesh Bansal, his father, Kailash, and mother, Sushma.

They sat in dharna in front of the police station and raised slogans against the police. Mr Mohan Lal, father of Ms Ritu, and Mr Rajinder Gupta, a leader of arhtiyas from Narwana, addressed the protesters.

Later, a demonstration was held in front of the house of the in-laws of Ms Ritu.


AIDS awareness camp held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Mrs Raj Gupta, president, Malwa AIDS Surksha Sangathan Movement (MASSM), Bathinda, said here on Thursday that HIV was a behavioural disease and it could be prevented by change in behaviour.

Addressing a function organised in connection with an AIDS awareness camp organised at the local Central Jail, she pointed out that AIDS was not only a medical problem but also a social one. She added that in the coming years, AIDS would affect the Indian economy as 30 per cent of those who had been infected with it belonged to the age group 14 to 24.

Official of Central Jail, including the Superintendent, Mr Sukhdev Singh Saggu, and volunteers of various social organisations also attended the camp.


Drive against drug abuse
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
The police has launched a drive to curb narcotics smuggling and drug abuse.

While smugglers are being caught with the help of insider information, the police is taking on drug abuse by organising de-addiction camps in the district.

The police, civil administration and the health authorities have decided to set up village-level de-addiction committees who will make people aware of the dangers of drugs abuse.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, and Mr Ishwar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said here on Thursday, that parents and teachers should pay special attention to schoolchildren as they were of an impressionable age.

Mr Ishwar Singh said a traffic park was also being created in this city. Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, Member Parliament, had given more than Rs 4 lakh for its development. 


Ghaggar crosses danger mark
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 6
Two new breaches occurred today in the Ghaggar at Mandvi and Makror Sahib villages in the Khanauri area of this district. The Ghaggar today crossed the danger mark (752 ft) at RD 460 at Khanauri by touching the gauge at the 752.2 feet mark.

Water has entered fields in about 2,000 acres in the Khanauri-Moonak belt.

Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said he had visited the flood-affected villages to take stock of the situation. He said a breach which occurred at Anadana village yesterday had been plugged. He said water had not entered the houses anywhere.

He said the administration had alerted rescue teams.


Illegal building demolished
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
The Municipal Corporation on Thursday demolished the illegal commercial building (471, Basant Avenue) constructed in violation of building bylaws.

Despite an inquiry being carried out by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the corporation, Mr A.K. Kansal, the owners were allegedly clandestinely carrying out the construction at the behest of a Cabinet minister.

The violation was first highlighted in ‘The Tribune’ issue of August 25. The owners were allegedly raising shops on the ground floor and a kitty hall on the first floor without obtaining any building plan or certificate for change of land use.

The Commissioner of the corporation, Mr K.S. Kang, and Additional Commissioner, Mr Kirpal Singh, supervised the demolition operation that lasted two hours. The matter was highlighted by Mr Satya Pal Dang, veteran CPI leader.


Movement of trucks around 2 school banned
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Mr Anurag Aggarwal, District Magistrate, today imposed a ban on the movement of trucks in the sports stadium and its surrounding areas for two hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon for the safety of students of two schools located in the area.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Aggarwal said trucks had also been banned from parking in the area. To avoid accidents, school rickshaws, vans and other vehicles would not be allowed to park on the roads at the time of closing of the schools. The students will board the vehicles from the school compounds under the supervision of the principals.


3 killed in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 6
Three persons were killed in road accidents near Daun village on the Kharar-SAS Nagar road late tonight.

According to Mr Sakattar Singh, SHO, Kharar, a person going on a motor cycle was crushed by a vehicle.

As soon as the police got information, it informed the Baloungi police post. Mr Gurdeep Singh, Head Constable, along with others, went to the spot. As they were removing the motor cycle, Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Satish Kumar of SAS Nagar were crushed by an ambulance of Kurali Hospital, which was coming from the Chandigarh side. The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital.


18 landmine victims get compensation
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 6
The Indian Army and civil administration in a jointly organised programme disbursed compensation amounting to Rs 6.50 lakh to 18 landmine blasts victims of Fazilka and Abohar subdivisions here today. Col Saurav Gupta, Commanding Officer and Iqbal Singh Sandhu, tehsildar, Fazilka, distributed the cheques. The first instalment constitutes 25 per cent of the total amount to be paid to the victims.

According to a press note the Army is considering the victims fitted with artificial limbs. The expenses shall be borne by the Army. It is in effort to mitigate the sufferings of the victims.


Workers lock up engineers
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 6
More than 300 labourers of the Era Construction India, who are working on the Mini Secretariat, started an indefinite strike and locked up Mr Narinder Singh Kalsi, Executive Engineer, Mr R.K. Mehta, subdivisional officer, Mr Satish Kumar and Mr Diwan Sharma, both Assistant Engineers of the PUDA, Mr V.P. Misra, Superintending Engineer and Mr Mohmad Anwar, project incharge, in a office here today. The workers had not been paid wages for the past six months. The officers stayed locked up for more than four hours. Later mediapersons who went to the site for coverage, intervened and got released all of them on this assurance that the entire arrears of wages would be cleared before coming Wednesday.


10 taken ill after having langar
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 6
Ten migratory workers fell ill after partaking of langar organised at Gaunspur village yesterday. Sudesh Muni of Purnia district in Bihar held a religious function. After the kirtan 50 persons had langar. While others left, the 10 stayed back. They had mere langar later and felt unconscious.



Ratwara Sahib trusts’ case in court
Shashi Pal Jain

Kharar, September 6
The dispute regarding two trusts of village Ratwara Sahib of Kharar tehsil has reached the Kharar courts. Mr Ranjan Khuller, Civil Judge, Kharar, has fixed September 13 as next date of hearing. All except three defendants appeared in the court through their counsels today.

Mr Karnail Singh of Ratwara Sahib has filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining the defendants from illegally interfering in the affairs of the Vishav Gurmati Roohani Mishan Charitable Trust and the Atam Marge Spiritual Scientific Educational Charitable Trust by imposing herself as chairman of the two trusts. The order passed by the defendant vide letter, dated 23.8.2003, was illegal.

The list of defendants includes among others Mrs Ranjit Kaur (wife), Mr Manjit Singh and Mr Nirapjit Singh (sons) and Bibi Baldev Gill daughter of the late Sant Waryam Singh and Bhai Mann Singh Granthi of Ratwara Sahib.

The plaintiff has pleaded that he is the vice-chairman of the two trusts and was appointed so by the members on 14.11.2002. These two trusts were formed by the late Baba Waryam Singh who died on 31.10.2001. It was the last wish of Baba Waryam Singh that Baba Lakhbir Singh be appointed the chairman of these trusts after his death. He has written that in the two trust deeds it was stated that after the death of Baba Waryam Singh, Bibi Ranjit Kaur would be the chairperson of the two trusts. However, keeping in view the last wish and desire of her husband Baba Waryam Singh she relinquished the post of chairperson of the said two trusts and Baba Lakhbir Singh was made the chairman of the trusts and plaintiff was made vice-chairman. This relinquishment deed dated 13.2.2002 was accepted at a meeting of the trust on 3.3.2002. He has written that, however, the defendant cancelled her relinquishment deed on 22.11.2002.

He has written that the defendant vide her letter dated 25.8.2003 has again declared herself to be the chairman of these two trusts and has also declared that the plaintiff was no more vice-chairman of these two trusts. He has pleaded that a declaration be issued restraining the defendant from acting as chairman and order dated 25.8.2003 was void ab initio.


Judge raps tax consultants for misguiding clients
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Mr Justice N.K. Sud of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today said most income tax consultants were misguiding clients to go for evasion. Presiding over a seminar on the ‘Role of Tax Professional’ organised by the Federation of Ferozepore and Faridkot Divisions Tax Bars, said tax consultants should have the courage to say no to their clients who approached them finding ways to evade tax.

“In the name of tax planning, a number of tax consultants encourage clients to indulge in evasion. Almost all tax evaders end up in litigation and ultimately pay more than what they could save,” said Mr Justice Sud.

Tax consultants of Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot, Moga, Mansa and Ferozepore districts attended the seminar. Mr Lakhbir Singh, District and Sessions Judge, Bathinda, Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, senior Sub Judge; Mr Rajiv Malhotra, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bathinda; Mr Dilbagh Singh, senior Sub Judge, Ferozepore, and other judicial officers attended the seminar. Representatives of various Bar bodies were also there.

Mr Justice Sud said judgments mostly went in favour of assessees because of the incompetence of the Income Tax Department personnel dealing with court cases.

Besides, replies and appeals were not being drafted by top officials of the department, assessees hired good professionals.

He said that tax consultants should also avoid filing infructuous appeals. Mr L.R. Nayyar, Commissioner, Income Tax (General); Mr Tej Pal, Commissioner, Income Tax (Appeals), and number of tax consultants also addressed the lawyers. Later, Mr Justice Sud released a directory of the federation.


DC, SDM visit backward area
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 6
Mr Mehar Singh, Sarpanch of Karirwali village in Jaito subdivision, was on Thursday surprised to see the first-ever visit to this backward area by any senior district official. The Deputy Commissioner and the SDM were there to meet representatives of 24 Gram Panchayats and other villagers at a collective Sangat Darshan programme organised by the Faridkot district administration to redress their grievances.

Mr Mehar Singh sought an early removal of illegal occupants from the Gram Panchayat land, funds for raising the boundary wall of a school and adding more rooms to it. He also sought a regular supply of drinking water and power to the village. The Sarpanch wanted the Deputy Commissioner to make arrangements for the visit of a minister to his village so that he could be apprised of all problems. The Gram Panchayats of Kasam Bhatti, Surghoori and Madak rued the poor power situation in their area.

They alleged that Panchayat Secretaries were hiding details of funds misuse. Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, told the representatives to hold regular joint meetings with people of their areas to know their problems.

A block-level training camp will be organised here and at Kot Kapura next week to guide the panchayats men to improve efficiency. A directory of development challenges in the 181 villages was being prepared for leading to proper distribution of funds in the areas.


Kisan Vikas Patras encashed fraudulently
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 6
Fraudulent encashment of Kisan Vikas Patras has been reported at the local Head Post Office. According to Mr Krishan Kumar Saini, member of the Joint Consultant Machinery (Regional Council) here yesterday, Mr Gurdas Ram, son of Mr Babu Ram, of Chagran village of the district purchased two Kisan Vikas Patras for Rs 10,000 each. He had named Appi, son of Mr Sewa Ram, and Ms Satya Devi, wife of Mr Sada Ram, as nominees. He again purchased three Kisan Vikas Patras for Rs. 10,000 each and named Mr Romesh Chand, son of Mr Sewa Ram, and Ms Tripta Devi, daughter of Gurdas Ram as nominees for the patras.

He alleged that one of the nominees, Ms Satya Devi, in connivance with Mr Naranjan Singh, who was officiating as Deputy Post Master, local head office, encashed the patras. The investor had died earlier. Mr Saini alleged that in both cases, the claim applications with forged signatures of the nominees, except Ms Satya Devi, were submitted. The claim cases in both instances were sanctioned by Mr Naranjan Singh without verifying the genuineness of the claim application and even the dealing assistant was not taken into confidence while sanctioning the claims.

In both cases, the claims were sanctioned on December 12, 2002, and payment was made on January 13, 2003. According to rules payment of more than Rs 20,000 cannot be made in cash but by cheque. But in this case, the payment of more than Rs 20,000 was made in cash. One of the nominees. She had also not signed the claim application. She had lodged a complaint in this regard.


4 booked for murder
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
The police has registered a murder case against Rajbir Singh and Shamsher Singh, residents of Mohan Bhandaria, and two others who have not been identified for allegedly killing Rajpal Singh, former Chairman of the Market Committee, Ajnala, and an Akali leader, late last evening.

Akali leaders, including Dr Ratan Singh Ajnala and Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, along with Akali workers had staged a dharna and blocked traffic on the Majitha road against the alleged police inaction in registering a murder case against four persons last evening.

Rajpal Singh died early yesterday when a truck rammed into his car when he was going to drop his son to school.

Sactar Singh of Kotla Sacar and an eyewitness, in his statement recorded at the Majitha police station alleged that the truck driven by two persons, seemed to have hit the car on purpose. Rajpal died on the spot while his Sukhmanpreet son (5) was injured. Sactar Singh alleged that later Shamsher Singh and Rajbir Singh came in a Gypsy and the accused sat in the Gypsy and fled the spot.


2 clerks, 2 peons suspended
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 6
The Municipal Corporation suspended two clerks and two peons in the octroi section allegedly for forgery.

The Commissioner Municipal Corporation suspended Luv Kumar (clerk) and Rajinder Singh (peon) in a case and Swarn Singh (clerk and Prem Nath (peon) in another case Luv Kumar and Rajinder presented duplicate copy of receipt of Rs 25 while they had charged Rs 6000 as octroi for six cars. The matter was highlighted by Mr Bhawani Shanker, superintendent, octroi.

In another case a person for collecting a consignment of surgical articles, gas regulators and ready-made garments paid only Rs 350 as octroi and made off with the consignment whose actual octroi was levied at Rs 4000. Clerk Swarn and peon Prem Nath were suspended in this connection. Mr Kirpal Singh, Additional Commissioner in charge of Octroi section confirmed the suspensions.


Clerk held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 6
Om Parkash, a Clerk in the PWI wing of Northern railway, was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 for issuing an employment certificate.

In a press note today, Mr Baljinder Singh Grewal, SSP, Vigilance bureau, (Bathinda range), said Om Parkash first demanded Rs 5,000 from Mr Major Singh for issuing him the certificate. When he said he could not pay such a huge amount, the clerk agreed to issue him the certificate in lieu of Rs 3,000.

A case has been registered.


Three held on immoral trafficking charge
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 6
The Faridkot police has claimed to have busted a flesh trade racket with the arrest of three persons from a local basti on Thursday.

In a press note, the police said on a tipoff, a police party conducted a raid at the residence of Surinder Kaur and nabbed Rajinder Kaur and Lavdeep Singh in an objectionable condition. Their accomplice Preet, alias Tarsem Singh, managed to escape. During the search, a mobile phone was recovered from the possession of Surinder Kaur, who allegedly used to approach the customers. A case was registered.


2 Bangladeshis held near border
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 6
Jawans of the 10th Battalion of the BSF have nabbed two Bangladeshi nationals who were trying to enter Pak territory from the Indian side.

According to a report, the jawans nabbed two persons who were about to cross to Pakistan near the Nirmal border outpost of Kadar Baksh village on Thursday.


Admission procedure for B.Ed course decried
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 6
Principals of colleges of education affiliated to the Panjab University, at a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Dean, Faculty of Education, has condemned admission procedure adopted by Guru Nanak Dev University for the admission to the B.Ed course which led to delay and affected the academic session of the colleges of education in Punjab.

According to Dr Jagdish Kaur, Principal, Dev Samaj College of Education, admissions to these colleges were made without consulting the principals. She said that expertise of the college principals was not taken into consideration in admissions, which involve a lot of technical nomenclature. She said that the entire job was given to the employees of the university having no knowledge of B.Ed admissions and principals were not permitted even to enter the counselling hall. She said that as a result of this several irregularities came to fore as boys were granted admission to the women college.

Also, the subject combinations allotted were wrong, asserted Mrs Jagdish Kaur. She said that because of lack of knowledge vacant rural seats of Malwa Central College of Education, Ludhiana, were converted into general seats without even consulting the college. The Principals alleged that the fee collected as a part of payment from the students by Guru Nanak Dev University on behalf of the college authorities amounting to crores has not been sent to the respective colleges.

The principals wanted that standardised method for admission to B.Ed course should be adopted and the principals or their nominees should be consulted at the time of counselling.


College ex-teachers institute scholarship
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 6
The Punjab Government College Retired Teachers Welfare Association has decided to give 10 scholarships of Rs 500 each every year to needy students studying in colleges/universities of Punjab.

The students who are domiciles of Punjab and studying in a college/university of Punjab are eligible to apply for the scholarship on a form available free of cost from Prof B.K. Bhalla, House No 1292, Sector 15-B, Chandigarh, or from any government college in Punjab at a district headquarter, according to Prof S.P. Dhawan, a spokesperson of the association here yesterday.

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