Saturday, September 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Chief Secy, DGP told to take action
Trafficking of women in Punjab
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
The Punjab State Women Commission has directed the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police (DGP) to take action against those indulging in trafficking of women.

At the same time, it also observed that after identifying these women and their grievances, efforts should be made to get them released in case their detention was against their wishes. “It was also incumbent on the state to ensure that these women are rehabilitated properly after their release. It is also important that such women become economically independent and are able to sustain themselves and their children,” the order states.

Acting on the news reports appearing in The Tribune, the commission has directed the DGP to get reports regarding the sale and purchase of girls through the district police chiefs. The Chief Secretary has also been asked to direct the Deputy Commissioners to be more vigilant in checking this illegal trade. These reports are also to be submitted to the commission within two months.

The commission has also sought the assistance of NGOs and social activists operating in the state to check this menace. They can directly approach the commission for redressal on this issue, it adds.

The Tribune had reported that women were being brought to Punjab from states like West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and they were being openly sold and purchased. Taking suo motu notice of the reports, the commission would look into various other aspects associated with this trade.

The commission wondered why these women were being brought to Punjab. Is it on account of the economic compulsions of the parents of these girls, who sell them for the sake of money?, it asks.

The commission wanted to know if the men of Punjab were purchasing women from other states on account of the declining sex ratio of women in Punjab. It has observed that even though the issue has been highlighted by the media in the recent past, the government has not done much in this regard.

The women’s body is of the view that since human trafficking is prohibited by the Constitution of India and is also a penal offence, human trafficking in any form should be prohibited. The role of the police in checking the flourishing trade in the districts of Ferozepore, Amritsar and Doaba region would also be looked into.

Coming down heavily on the police and the administration, the commission has stated they were responsible for perpetuating the trade by being a mute spectator to this phenomenon all these years. 


Ex-Cong MLA’s father threatens suicide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 12
A move which can affect Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha elections Mr Gian Singh, a freedom fighter and father of late Congress MLA Baldev Singh Pakka Kalan who died in a terrorist attack along with former Chief Minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, today threatened to commit suicide to protest against the attitude of Punjab Congress leadership towards his plight.

Mr Gian Singh has faxed a letter in this connection to AICC president Ms Sonia Gandhi. He has threatened to commit suicide in front of Ms Gandhi’s residence at Delhi if a state-level function on the death anniversary of his son Late Baldev Singh Pakka Kalan was not organised on September 11.

Former Chief Minister Beant Singh was killed when a bomb blast took place in the secretariat where Pakka Kalan, who was injured at the same time, succumbed to his injuries on September 11, 1995 in the PGI, Chandigarh. After the death of Pakka Kalan, his widow was given a job by Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal the then Chief Minister of Punjab.

Mr Gian Singh told The Tribune that he might commit suicide in front of residence of Ms Sonia Gandhi on September 14. He added that he had already informed Ms Gandhi regarding his plans. He said that he was fed up with the indifferent attitude of the Congress government functionaries and leaders towards their plight.

He alleged that the then Congress Chief Minister, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, attended the Bhog ceremony of Late Pakka Kalan. After that no function was organised by the Congress in connection with the death anniversary of Pakka Kalan though a state-level function has been organised every year on August 31 in connection with the death anniversary of Beant Singh.

Mr Gian Singh pointed out that he was disappointed when he did not receive any reply to his letters written in connection with the plight of his family to the AICC president, Ms Gandhi, General Secretary Ms Mohsina Kidwai and Chief Minister, Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh. He added that instead of extending any helping hand and giving recognition to the family for the sacrifice made by his young son, he and his family members were treated shabbily on various occasions by party leaders and government functionaries during the Congress government in Punjab. He said that even Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, H.S. Hanspal refused to listen to him.

Mr Hans Pal and Capt Amarinder Singh could not be contacted despite efforts.


Teachers of private colleges strike work
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, September 12
Teachers working in private colleges in the district, under the banner of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, held a rally at Hindu College here today.

They threatened an education bandh call if the government failed to meet their demands.

The teachers announced that they would oppose Congress candidates in the forthcoming parliamentary elections as they had failed to fulfil any of their poll promises for the teachers.

They lambasted the government for not releasing grants for private colleges, which had led to the non-payment of their salaries for between three and nine months in more than 100 colleges.

JALANDHAR: Members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union criticised the state government on Friday for its failure to accept their long-pending demands. They held a protest rally here.

PATHANKOT: Members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union held a rally at the SDM court complex here on Friday.

Highlighting the problems of government-aided colleges, they urged the Congress government to stick to its poll manifesto.

PHAGWARA: PCCTU activists of non-government colleges in the block observed strike here on Friday.

They gathered in front of the courts complex. The decision to observe a complete education bandh on September 25 was announced at the rally.


Students endorse move to grade teachers
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 12
A large number of students of the local Kendriya Vidyalaya have endorsed the proposal of the Central Government to give powers to the taught from class-VI to senior secondary level of these institutions to grade the performance of their teachers in the classroom twice a year. The students opined that the powers should only be limited to the students from class X to senior secondary level. They said such students were more aware of their responsibilities and would not misutilise these for their personal gains.

However, the views of the majority of students should be taken into consideration.

Talking to this correspondent here today, Lobana Shahi, a student of class XI, said the new policy would prove helpful in making the teachers more responsible towards their duties and pay better attention in sorting out attractive and more constructive methods for improving the education system. Deepti, another student of class XII, underlined the need for introducing activity-based education, besides bringing practicability, which was the need of the hour.

Neha and Mary Soruwal, students, demanded that English and Hindi should be made compulsory common languages in teaching.

Expressing apprehensions over the new proposal of the Union Government many teachers of Kendriya Vidyalaya, under the condition of anonymity, said it would bring them under tension and also divert their attention to please the students rather than pay more attention for the promotion of education among them. It would also create misunderstandings among the students and make them vindictive towards the teachers, thus, causing great harm to education. They emphasised on making changes in their transfer policy strictly on their area basis which would give them more time and energy for making the education more viable and valuable. Moreover, the performance of a teacher should be strictly based on his results. No doubt, the students of senior classes were aware of their responsibilities yet they were not so much capable of taking such decisions, the teachers claimed. However, Mr T.R. Garg, Principal of the institution, said the new proposal of the government would not only improve the academic field but also prove helpful in making the relations more cordial among the teachers and the taught.


Dr Parminder Singh dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 12
Dr Parminder Singh, the founder of Punjabi Bhawan and historian of Punjabi literature, breathed his last here yesterday. He was suffering from paralysis and was bed-ridden for quite some time.

He served the Punjabi Sahit Academy, known as ‘Punjab da Makka’, ever since its existence. He worked as general secretary of the academy for 31 years. Punjabi Bhawan was his brainchild.

He taught postgraduate classes for more than 30 years. To his credit are 12 books on Punjabi literary criticism. He translated many classics in Punjabi. Dr Surjit Patar, president of the academy, said, ‘‘He nursed Punjab Bhawan and witnessed its every sapling growing into a tree’’.

CHANDIGARH (TNS): He had the distinction of belonging to the first batch of post-Independence students of MA in Punjabi from Panjab University in 1951 and was placed second in Punjab.

A self-made man, Dr Parminder Singh started his career as a Lecturer at Government College, Ropar, and had stints at Government Colleges at Tanda, Ludhiana and Patiala. When he superannuated, he was Head, Department of Postgraduate Studies in Punjabi at Government Mohindra College, Patiala. Earlier, he was at the Department of Postgraduate Studies of Government College, Ludhiana. He settled down at Ludhiana after his retirement.

A social worker, he was involved in getting a new railway stopover commissioned at Model Gram in Ludhiana. Suffering from parkinson’s disease, he mostly remained confined to Ludhiana in his last days.

Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, honorary director and vice-president of the Academy, expressed gratitude to the great soul for making Punjabi Bhawan a reality and donating his 4000 books of Punjabi literature to it.

Before the cremation, his body was brought to Punjabi Bhawan. Mr Gurbhajan Gill, senior vice-president of the academy, laid a wreath and a shawl on the body. His last rites were performed at the Model Town Extension cremation ground.

Among literary persons who joined his last journey were: Mr S.S. Johal, Vice-Chairman, Punjab Planning Board, K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Karamjit Aujla, Jasdev Singh Jassowal, Mahinderdeep Grewal, Dr Dalpreet Singh, Kirpal Singh Kasail and Janmeja Johl.


Minor raped at aunt’s house
Tribune News Service

Raman Mandi (Bathinda), September 12
In a bizarre incident, a local minor was raped by two persons for days on end with the help of an aunt of the victim at Jogewala village here. The suspects then struck a deal with a resident of Sirsa district in Haryana to sell off the victim to him under the garb of marriage.

The victim, who was rescued from the custody of her aunt (mausi) on September 9 by a police party, is yet to come to terms with the trauma she underwent at the house of her aunt. She narrated the incident to the Judicial Magistrate, Talwandi Sabo, Mr K. K. Kakkar when she was produced before him.

Police sources said the rape victim, aged 14, was taken to Jogewala village from her house in the town by her aunt on the pretext that her maternal grandmother was ill and her aunt required her help to look after her.

When the minor reached her aunt’s house, she was raped by Jagga Singh, son of Chotta Singh and Jeeto, and Baljit Singh, a resident of Gatwali village. After raping her for days on end, the suspects, along with the victim’s aunt, struck a deal with a resident of Sirsa district to sell her off under the garb of marriage.

The sources said after getting suspicious, the father of the victim approached the police and lodged a complaint on September 9, following which the girl was rescued. One of the suspects, Jagga Singh, was arrested and a case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC registered.

Mr Ashutosh, DSP, Talwandi Sabo, said it was yet to be confirmed whether the suspects were trying to sell off the victim to a resident of Sirsa.


Army caught in cable war
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 12
The Army today alleged that private cable TV operators in the Jalandhar cantonment had been showing “objectionable and pornographic” programmes.

It has also refuted the allegations that the Siti Cable network in the cantonment has been disrupted by the Army. Siti Cable had been asked to re-route its network from outside the cantonment as the cables passed over the cantonment is a haphazard manner. A complaint regarding this was also lodged with the Jalandhar police. “Rather that taking any corrective action, Siti Cable has resorted to levelling baseless allegations,” said an Army spokesman.

The Army has further alleged that the “good service” being provided by the Vajra Cable TV network has been an eyesore for private vendors operating under the aegis of Siti Cable. “These operators have been using their clout with prominent cable TV channels to stop transmission to the Vajra Cable TV network. These vendors have even resorted to cutting the cables laid by Vajra Cable TV,” said the spokesman. Keeping in view the security needs, only the authorised Vajra Cable TV has been permitted to operate from inside the area as local military authorities have to clear any project concerning the cantonment.

Mr Sunny Gill, Managing Director of Siti Cable, said it was rather Siti Cable which was suffering due to the wrong policies of the local Army authorities. “We have been losing close to Rs 3 lakh per month as Vajra Cable TV has outstepped its limits. It has been beaming our signals to civilians in a number of villages like Sofi Pind, Garha and Sansarpur by tapping into our main line. Legally, it cannot extend its network beyond the Army houses, for it is getting a huge subsidy from channels for feeding only the Army personnel.”

“Though we pay full amount to the channels for these villages, the subscription fee is collected by the Vajra people. Somewhere, there is connivance of the Army official,” said Mr Gill.

He denied that his network had shown pornographic films.


Mohit Gupta elected BJP dist unit chief
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 12
Mr Mohit Gupta, a senior activist of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, was elected president of the district unit of the BJP on Monday evening.

Though five BJP activists had filed their nomination papers for the election to the post of president, Mr Gupta was elected president unanimously with the blessing of senior party leaders because of his work for the party in the past few years. Mr Mohit Gupta’s name was proposed by senior party leader, Mr Sunil Bitta and seconded by Mr Narinder Mittal, president, BJP mandal unit, Bathinda.

Later talking to mediapersons, Mr Gupta said that in the past there had been few factions in the district unit of the BJP so his first priority would be to remove the differences in all factions so that party unit could work unitedly to oppose the anti-people policies of the Congress government in Punjab.


Cong dharna against Centre’s policies
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 12
Members of the District Congress Committee, headed by its president, Mr Kuldip Nanda, the District Youth Congress, led by its president, Mr Arun Dogra, and the women’s wing of the DCC, led by its president, Ms Taranjit Sethi, staged dharna in front of the office of the General Manager (Telecom) here today in protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the NDA government.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Kuldip Nanda, Mr Arun Dogra and other leaders criticised the Centre for its stepmotherly treatment towards Punjab.

He said sugar worth Rs 600 crore was lying in sugar mills since long, which was not lifted by the Central Government intentionally to defame the state government.

SAD legislators to meet on Sept 19

Chandigarh, September 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has called a meeting of the party legislators on September 19, according to Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, press secretary of the SAD. — TNS


Ex-servicemen to get tubewell connections on priority
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 12
The Punjab Government has decided to release tubewell connections to ex-servicemen and serving Army jawans on an out-of-turn priority basis.

This was stated by Mr Ravinder Singh Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for NRIs, while addressing ex-servicemen at a function organised to pay homage to 21 gallant soldiers of 36 Sikh Regiment who died while defending Fort Saragarhi in Wazirstan on September 12, 1897, against an attack by over 10,000 Pathans.

Mr Sandhu said jawans could apply for tubewell connections six months prior to their retirement. He said a separate list would be prepared by the PSEB for ex-servicemen and jawans so that connections could be given to them on a priority basis.

He said the state government had increased the grant to soldiers who had shown exemplary bravery. The grant to war widows had been increased to Rs 2 lakh. He said the pending cases of allotment of government jobs to kin of soldiers who attained martyrdom would be taken up soon.

Mr Sandhu announced that the history of the battle of Saragarhi would be introduced in the curricula of the Punjab School Education Board.

To mark Saragarhi Day, an exhibition was put up by various departments, including Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Rural Development, Sports, Employment, Punjab Agro, Milkfed, Industries, Small Savings and Horticulture, to apprise farmers of the various government schemes and incentives.


Probe into suicide by Akali leader begins

Moga, September 12
The DIG of Ferozepore Police Range, Mr Hardish Singh Randhawa, on the direction of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission yesterday started an inquiry into the mysterious death of Akali leader Gurdyal Singh Brar who allegedly committed suicide with his licensed revolver on July 6.

The DIG visited Moga and Baghapurana and recorded the statements of four persons at Moga, including Gulshanjit Kaur and Harinder Singh Kahlon, daughter and son-in-law of Gurdyal Singh, respectively and three of their neighbours — Gurtej Singh, Inderjit Singh and Daljit Kaur — who helped them break the doors of the room where Gurdyal Singh committed suicide.

Later, the DIG visited Baghapurana the native village of deceased Gurdyal Singh and recorded the statements of his son Navtej Singh and four daughters.

The State Human Rights Commission on the petition of Navtej Singh directed the DIG to conduct the inquiry personally.

Navtej Singh in his August 2 petition had sought directions for the cancellation of the FIR registered against them and for a fresh probe by a senior officer outside the district and on the basis of fresh inquiry the FIR should be registered even against then SHO along with his sister Gulshanjeet Kaur, her husband Harinder Singh Kahlon and two others. — UNI


CBI seeks report on ‘freedom fighters’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 12
The CBI has asked the local Deputy Commissioner to submit a detailed report on the 25 ‘freedom fighters’ who were allegedly receiving grants and other allowances by submitting fake documents about their role during the freedom struggle.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while disposing of a public interest litigation in 2000, had directed the CBI to investigate the issue pertaining to 545 ‘freedom fighters’ in Punjab who had allegedly submitted fake documents to get government aid and pension.

The CBI, during the course of investigation, had identified 25 such ‘freedom fighters’ who were presently putting up at Jalandhar. The CBI had also conducted investigations at Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepore, Moga and Mansa.

The CBI, in a letter addressed to the Deputy Commissioner here, asked him to furnish details about their bank accounts, present address and antecedents.


INLD youth wing chief among eight hurt
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 12
Mr Bharat Shastri, state president of the youth wing of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Mr Suresh Satija, president, Pesticides and Fertilisers Association, and six others were injured in clashes that started from their commercial establishments at Gumjal village and continued inside the emergency ward of Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here afterwards. Though policemen were present inside the hospital but they ran helter skelter as armed persons allegedly stormed the ward. The police had registered cases against both factions under different sections of the Indian Penal Code but no one had been arrested so far. Some of the injured had been shifted to the District Hospital at Sri Ganganagar, 40 km from here perhaps to avert another such incident. 


Commissioner warns govt officials
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul, September 12
Mr B. Sarkar, Commissioner, Ferozepore division, yesterday warned the government officials that any laxity on their part to perform their duties honestly and regularly would not be tolerated and all erring officials would be taken to task.

Mr Sarkar issued this warning after he visited a number of government schools, offices and sanitation conditions in this town after making a surprise visit to this town yesterday.

Mr Sarkar, who visited a number of schools, while expressing his dissatisfaction on the quality of education being imparted to students, also took a serious note of thin attendance in the schools.

After visiting the town, he gave instructions to the Executive Officer, local municipal council, to make arrangements for proper sanitation of the town to make it neat and clean. 


Rally against privatisation
Our Correspondent

Ropar, September 12
The Ropar wing of the Punjab and UT Employees Joint Action Committee today held a dharna and a rally at the local bus stand against the privatisation policies of the Punjab Government. Mr Sukhdev Singh, convener of the committee while speaking on the occasion accused the Punjab Government of not fulfilling the promises made to employees in the election manifesto of the party.

Employee union leaders of the teachers, the Punjab Roadways, the PWD, health, water supply, social welfare, technical education and panchayati raj departments participated in the rally.

Various leaders while speaking on the occasion alleged that the Punjab Government was planning to recruit 16,000 teachers on contract basis. By recruiting the teachers on contract, the government was resorting to exploitation of workers.

Due to the privatisation policies of the government, 47 subdivisions of the PWD Department have already been winded up. The government was also considering the idea of handing over health dispensaries and technical education institutes to the private sector.

This all was being done on the plea that the government was facing financial crises. However, the government was increasing the perks and facilities of the MLAs. Besides, large numbers of politicians have been appointed as chairmen putting financial burden on cash-starved departments, the leaders said.

Representatives of employees also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain.

Reports of similar rallies were also received from the Ropar Thermal Plant.


Honour for Punjabi singers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Sukhwinder of "Chhahian-chhahian" fame will be honoured with the best Bollywood singer award and Sarbjit Cheema with the best Punjabi male folk singer for this year. The others artistes who will be honoured with various awards are Kamaljit Neeru (best female singer), Shanker Sahney (best pop singer), Vivek Shauk (best comedian), Monmohan Singh (best director and cinematographer), Jarnail Basota (best event director), Pamma Canadian (classical singer) and Lakhwinder Pand (Punjabi virsa award).

According to Mr Sukhbir Nijjar, producer of Watno Dur TV of Canada, the awards will be presented to the artistes by Mr Erine Eves, Premier of Ontario, at the second annual award show to be held in Toronto on October 3. The show will be organised in collaboration with Vision TV of Canada, Balle-Balle Channel of India, Daman Film International and Touch Wood Entertainment, Delhi.

The TV show is an annual feature of Watno Dur TV to promote Punjabi culture in non-Punjabi countries like Canada, the USA and England. Every year different artistes are honoured for their contribution in their respective fields of art, culture and music in the Punjabi music world.


Details on last remains of Indian prisoners sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 12
The International Bhai Mardana Yaadgari Kirtan Darbar Society has appealed to the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail, Mohammed Afzal, for the details regarding the last remains of the 10 Indian prisoners at the jail.

Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the society, has sent him a letter that information regarding their identification be released.

In a press note, he said the society would approach the Minority Commission adviser, Ms Jacqualine Texler, and Mr Rana Riyaz, who worked for human rights in Pakistan, for details of more Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails whose last remains remained unclaimed.

He said the bhog for an akhand path would be held for the 22 Sikh youths released from Pakistani jails on September 14 at Gurdwara Ramgarhia, Ferozepore.

He appealed to the Indian Government to make efforts to release the eight minor Pakistanis lodged in the Faridkot jail as a goodwill gesture.


Reprieve for power consumers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 12
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided that if the due date for the payment of electricity bills happens to fall on a holiday, the next working day would be treated as the due date for making the payment.

The board has also decided to shift tubewell connections from places where the water table has gone down and club it with a higher-capacity motor for sufficient irrigation.

The shifting and clubbing of the tubewell connections would be allowed after recovering the actual cost of moving tubewell to the new site.


Illegal structure demolished
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 12
The demolition squad of the local Nagar Council, led by Mr Satish Sharma, pulled down the illegal structure in the crowded Gandhi Chowk market in the presence of heavy police force and public this afternoon. the encroachment was removed following dismissal of the petition of Mr Ashok Kumar by the local court today. Mr Ashok Kumar, a tenant of the Nagar Council, had demolished a lavatory of the council and had merged it with his rented shop at whose backyard it was situated. When, under pressure of protesting shopkeepers the council authorities were planning to remove the encroachment two days ago, Mr Ashok Kumar managed to get a stay from the court which today dismissed his petition clearing the path for the council to remove the encroachment.


Shortage of Kisan Vikas Patras alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 12
The Public Welfare Association has expressed concern over the shortage of Kisan Vikas Patras in post offices of the city.

Mr L.R. Thakral, general secretary of the association, said people were inconvenienced due to the shortage as the Kisan Vikas Patras and National Savings Certificates were in great demand due to higher rate of interest.

It demanded that the Central Government and Senior Superintendent of Post Offices to make available the savings certificates. It was causing huge loss to the government and the public, he said.


Bhagat Singh BCs panel chairman
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Mr Bhagat Singh today took over as Chairman of the Punjab State Backward Classes (BCs) Commission.

A 1967 batch IAS officer, retired as Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab, after 36 years of service on June 30.

He served the Central Government for nine years in various capacities.


High Court
DGP summoned in missing persons’ case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Mystery continues to shroud the disappearance of at least five residents of Mahal village in Amritsar district who were allegedly picked up by the Jammu and Kashmir police. Months after they vanished, the police here is clueless about their whereabouts. Now, in an attempt to solve the mystery, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued summons to Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP), the state through its Secretary and a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Taking up a petition filed by Punjab Human Rights Organisation activist Kirpal Singh Randhwa and another, Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill also fixed October 6 as the next date of hearing in the case. The Judge also took on record an additional affidavit filed by Punjab’s DGP.

In the affidavit, the DGP, quoting the SSP, Jammu, said as per a letter received by the police two of the missing, Gurjit Singh and Amandeep Singh, were arrested, while inquest proceedings had been ordered in Mohan Lal’s case.

In his petition against the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the DGP and other respondents, Mr Randhwa and another petitioner had earlier claimed that the body of a detainee, Mohan Lal, was later brought to the village. An attempt was also made to destroy the evidence, they had claimed.

Going into the background, the petitioners had asserted that four detainees were shown to have been arrested by the police after they reached Jammu for a visit to the Vaishno Devi shrine.

The detainees, they had claimed, were in the custody of the Jammu police. They were later taken by a raiding party to pick up four more youngsters. All of them, including the minors, were innocent, they had claimed.

Seeking directions to the respondents, the petitioners had asserted that none of the detainees were produced before any Magistrate even though it was mandatory. Directions for appointing a warrant officer were not being sought as the detainees would be shifted to some other place, they had concluded.



Dental college told to return security
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 12
The District Consumer and Redressal Forum, Faridkot, has directed Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College Hospital Research Institute, Ludhiana, to return the security of Rs 15,000 to Neeta Gaba, a resident of this town, who is now studying at Government Dental College, Patiala. The court also ordered the institution to pay 9 per cent interest on the security from the date of filing the complaint till its realisation besides Rs 500 as litigation charges to the complainant.

Categorically rejecting the plea of the counsel of the college demanding Rs 39,000 as fee and forefeiting security of the student as she had studied in the institution for more than six months, a three-member panel comprising B.C. Gupta President and S.K. Rajput and A.S. Azad, both members of the forum, while pronouncing the judgement here today, said the institution had already adjusted Rs 10,000 as fee from Rs 25,000 deposited by her during the admission and the institution was not entitled to retain the security as per the norms of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, and the Punjab Government.

According to the complaint, the student, Neeta Gaba, cleared her PMET in 2001-2002 and got admission in the abovesaid institution at Ludhiana on August 27, 2001, after depositing Rs 25,000 with Rs 10,200 as tuition fee and Rs 15,000 as security. However, on February 15 next year, the university allotted her a free seat on the basis of preference-cum-merit and she joined Government Dental College, Patiala, on February 19 and applied to the institution at Ludhiana for the return of her security but her repeated requests proved futile.

The directions given by the Vice-Chancellor of the university and the Director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab, to Ludhiana Dental College in this connection also proved futile.



Police remand of Bhamra’s aides extended
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 12
Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, Judicial Magistrate, today extended the police remand of two accused — Charnajeet Singh and Gurinder Singh (both brothers) — the accomplices of Hardeep Singh Bhamra, former OSD to Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, till September 13. They were arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on September 9 in connection with an FIR registered against Mr Bharma.

They had been remanded in police custody till today by another court here earlier.

Mr Jatinderjit Singh Punn, Public Prosecutor, appeared in the court and pleaded for a five-day police remand for the accused. He alleged that the accused by joining hands with Mr Bhamra and by paying him commission took construction contracts ranging from Rs 10 to 50 lakh. He said the accused had accounts in various banks in Ferozepore, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.


MP seeks MSP for pulses, maize
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 12
The local MP, Ms Preneet Kaur today, called upon the Central Government to announce and implement the minimum support price (MSP) for pulses, oilseed and maize to save agriculture.

Addressing farmers on the premises of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rauni in district on the occasion of kisan mela organised here, she said in the absence of assured marketing and remunerative prices, it would not be possible to divert 10 lakhs hectares from paddy-wheat rotation to these crops. She said to bring the farmers out of the current economic prices and also to save the natural resources State Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has launched the programme of ‘contract farming’.

She also called for the diversification in the sugar mills by producing ethanol gas from sugarcane instead of sugar only. She announced that 24-hour electricity supply would be ensured in 1500 villages of the district by March 31 next year.

Addressing the gathering, the Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, gave a call to the farmers to adopt precision farming in order to minimise the cost of production and to improve quality of the farm produce.

The Director of Research, Dr Govinder Singh Nanda, expressed his concern over the proliferation of unrecommended varieties of some crops, resulting in economic loss to the farmers. He urged the farmers to sow only the PAU recommended varieties.


Three charged with raping minor, two arrested
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 12
Three youths allegedly raped a school girl at Kallowali Mohalla here today. The police has caught two of them.

The police said Sanjiv Kalia of Upadhaya Nagar here had persuaded the 13- year-old girl to accompany him to his Kallowali house. Gagandeep Singh of Sawan Nagar and Vikramjit of Malka Chowk were waiting there as a part of a plan.

They threatened to kill her and then raped her. The neighbours rescued her from the clutches of the youths when she raised the alarm and informed the police.

The police has arrested Gagandeep Singh and Vikramjit, while Sanjiv Kalia has fled.

A case has been registered under Sections 342, 379 and 34 of the IPC in this regard. The girl was admitted to civil hospital here for treatment.


Two killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Ropar, September 12
Two occupants of a Tata Indica car were killed when their car collided with a truck on the Ropar-Nawanshahar road near the truck union crossing of the Asron Industrial Area, about 4 km from here, today.

Vipin Kumar (35) was killed on the spot and Pal Singh died in the Ropar Civil Hospital. Both were residents of Chandiala Guru in Amritsar. Gurdial Singh, the third occupant of the car, was injured critically and admitted to the Civil Hospital.

The deceased were reportedly close family friends of the Excise and Taxation Minister Mr Sardool Singh, who visited the Civil Hospital.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 337 of the IPC against the truck driver.


Man kills brother

Hoshiarpur, September 12
Attacked allegedly by his brother on August 29, Bhupinder Singh (30) succumbed to his injuries in local civil hospital today morning, the police said.

But Tanda Urmur police today converted the case of grievous hurt into the case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 of the IPC against Devinder Singh, who had absconded after allegedly committing the crime at his home in Urmar town.

Bhupinder, a bachelor living in the house of his married sister at Bham village in Gurdaspur district, came to the house of his brother at Urmar on August 29 along with his sister and brother-in-law and demanded share in the ancestral house from his brother. Devinder instead assaulted him with an iron rod, causing multiple bone injuries, including fractures in limbs and arms.

Bhupinder’s sister and brother-in-law fled in panic instead of rescuing him. — UNI


22 proclaimed offenders held
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 12
The district police today claimed to have arrested 22 proclaimed offenders, who were evading arrest since long. Proclaimed offenders were arrested during the past one week. According to the police, the record pertaining to proclaimed offenders has been computerised at the police stations level. A total of 2,688 proclaimed offenders were listed in the district and their whereabouts were being verified in a phased manner.

During the initial phase 30 proclaimed offenders have been verified to be dead and process has been initiated to delete their names from the list.

The police sources further said a large number of proclaimed offenders had gone abroad and after tracing their present whereabout Interpol would be asked to arrest them.

The 22 arrested proclaimed offenders have been identified as Hardev Singh, Palwinder Singh, Shashi Pal, Daljit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Kulwant Singh, Ajaib Singh, Satnam Singh, Kashmir Singh, Satish Kumar, Manjit Singh, Raj Kumar, Narinder Singh, Naresh Kumar, Mohan Singh, Jeet, Malkito, Balak Ram, Nirmal Singh, Inderjit Singh, Baljit Singh and Amarjit Singh.


Inspector caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 12
Mr Gurtej Singh, Inspector, Department of Food and Supplies, was caught by a team of the Vigilance Bureau today while taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from a depot holder in connection with the physical verification of stocks.

Official sources said Mr Gurtej Singh was demanding a bribe from Mr Pawan Kumar, a depot holder of Rampura Phul in the district, for giving him a clean chit over the physical verification of stocks lying in the depot (fair price shop).

A deal was struck between them after Mr Gurtej Singh agreed to accept Rs 5,000 as bribe.

Mr Gurtej Singh was caught taking the bribe today. A search of his house was carried out.


5 kg of opium seized from tourist bus
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 12
The Durgiana police chowki today seized 5 kg of opium packed in boxes of electronics goods which were earlier seized from a tourist bus intercepted here.

The seizure has assumed significance as this is perhaps for the first time that such a big haul was seized through tourist buses in the holy city. These tourist buses were being used to run from Amritsar-Delhi and Amritsar-Jammu highway where these buses were loaded with narcotics. The police had been working hard for a long time as information was coming regularly on the smuggling of opium, added Mr Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, SP city-I.

The opium seized is worth Rs 2.5 lakh in the international market. The accused used to smuggle these narcotics in and around the holy city, including the border villages.


In-laws booked for dowry death
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 12
Shinder Kaur (24), wife of Beant Singh of Longowal village, died last night. She had consumed some poisonous substance. The police said her in-laws had been harassing her for dowry.

A case under Sections 304-B (dowry death) and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the husband and three others of his family — Jal Kaur (mother), Jaswant Singh (brother) and Makhan Singh of Mander Kalan village (brother-in-law). However, no one has been arrested.

The post-mortem examination report released at the civil hospital today showed that the woman had died of poisoning.


‘Irregularities’ in B.Ed counselling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Uncertainty prevails among 100-odd students of Chandigarh, who were forced to take admissions in far-off B Ed colleges in Punjab due to irregularities committed by Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) in admissions this year.

Guru Nanak Dev University was the nodal agency for conducting admissions to B Ed courses in Punjab and Chandigarh this year. It came under fire from students, parents and Principals of B.Ed colleges for the irregularities committed in the admission process.

The Principals of B.Ed colleges affiliated to Panjab University, recently held a meeting presided over Mrs Jagdish Kaur, Dean, Faculty of Education, Panjab University, to discuss the high-handedness of a sister university.

They alleged that they were not even allowed to sit in the admission hall to monitor the admission process. In fact, the Vice-Chancellor and the co-ordinator of Guru Nanak Dev University had told the Principals and their representatives that they could sit only in the room adjacent to the admission hall, it is learnt.

The report of the meeting has been forwarded to Mr N.S. Rattan, Principal Secretary Higher Education, Punjab and the Vice-Chancellors of Panjab University and Guru Nanak Dev University.

The Principals alleged that Guru Nanak Dev University did not follow the admission pattern notified by the UT administration. As a result, students who had graduated from Chandigarh were denied admission to the three city colleges on the basis of domicile and were not given any preference for being in the 85 per cent reservation quota. In many cases, students who ranked high on merit and were eligible for the UT quota (85%) were forced to take admissions to Guru Nanak Dev University rather than those in Chandigarh. On the other hand, prefect colleges to students from Punjab, who did not come under the purview of the 85 per cent quota got admissions to Chandigarh colleges.

The net result of this chaos is that even today 100-odd seats are lying vacant in the humanities stream of two local colleges — Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36 and Government College of Education, Sector 20. No admission has been made to Government college of Education, Sector 20, in the B.Ed ( Yoga) course. Seats are also lying vacant in Brahmrishi Yoga Training College, Sector 19. No information was allegedly sent regarding the conversion of reserved category seats into the general category.

Students and parents who contacted The Tribune said the GND varsity altered the guidelines on its own. The students applying from Chandigarh were not made to fill form D ( to specify that they have studied in Chandigarh consecutively for two years), as the University had done away with it. The university kept admitting students on the basis of domicile and many students, who had graduated from the city colleges, were denied admissions on the basis of their domicile.

As many as 40-odd students, who had apprised the UT Administration of the discrimination against them, got some relief when the DPI (Colleges), Mr Dilip Kumar, banned admissions to the local B.Ed colleges on August 5 and asked Guru Nanak Dev University to conduct recounselling for giving admissions to UT-pool students. The admissions to the Science stream were completed on August 25.


Traders oppose council's decision
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, September 12
The local Beopar Mandal, has opposed the decision of the municipal council to lease the octroi on contract. Mr Ashok Kumar Gulbadhar and Mr Satish Dhingra, secretary, respectively of the mandal representing more than 24 traders organisation in a strongly worded statement said here today that all traders of the town have criticised the council's decision. They said all shopkeepers of the town would observe a strike on September 18 when the auction for the contract of octroi would be held in the office of the Deputy Director, Local Self Government, Ferozepore.

About 200 traders stormed the council office yesterday when the meeting regarding the auction for contract of octroi was being held in the council's office. The traders and their representatives argued with Mr Hari Chand Kamboj, president of the Congress-ruled council and some councillors of the ruling party. The traders chided them for backing out from their poll promise of not leasing octroi on contract. Due to this some of the councillors had to escape from the back door of the venue. As the traders disbursed after lodging their protest the councillors returned and the meeting passed the resolution unanimously in the absence of six councillors of the party.

Mr Gulbadhar and Mr Dhingra said all traders were ready to pay the octroi honestly but they do not want to be harassed by the henchmen of contractors. They also apprehended that the octroi contract might be given to some blue eyed boys of the ruling party. They added that they would lodge their protest before Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, MLA, Fazilka, and submit a memorandum to the SDM.

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