Sunday, September 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



No faith in VB, still I’ll cooperate: Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said today that though he had no faith in the fairness of any vigilance probe against him or against any other member of the SAD yet “we would conduct ourselves as law-abiding citizens and not give Capt Amarinder Singh an excuse that we were not cooperating with due processes of law.”

“The Vigilance Bureau would be given an appointment in about a week’s time,” he said while reacting to reports on the bureau’s seeking an appointment with him for details of the so-called disproportionate assets owned by him.

He held that the vigilance probe ordered against him by the Chief Minister was the predictable expression of his desperation at having been thoroughly exposed in the just-concluded session of the Vidhan Sabha on the issue of massive corruption indulged in by him.

“We knew before we went into the Vidhan Sabha with that damning evidence on the Chief Minister’s corrupt deeds that his only reaction would be to unleash unlimited vendetta against me personally and against the SAD as a party. Therefore, the overnight orders for a vigilance probe against me have not come as a surprise. Let someone go and tell him that he has no chance of succeeding where the likes of Indira Gandhi have failed,” Mr Badal said.

Mr Badal said, “The whole world knows the Vigilance Bureau has over the past one and a half years been functioning as a vengeful extension of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. The bureaucracy in the state had been politicised and stripped of its professional integrity and honour.” “The Chief Minister has been shouting from roof-top for over 19 months now that he had strong and incontrovertible evidence on the illegal properties held by me and my family. If he was to be believed, every member of the Badal family and a majority of the Akali leadership should have been serving stints in jail by now. His failure to achieve this accounts for the ever-mounting level of his frustration,” said Mr Badal, adding that Capt Amarinder’s dream of breaking the Akali morale would never be realised.


Report on Badal’s assets wrong: SAD
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, September 27
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has said that assessment of Rs 500 crore assets as assessed by the Vigilance Bureau and reported in a section of press of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and members of his family was not true.

Mr Manpreet Sing Badal spokesman of the party and MLA Gidderbaha said today that the statement was issued for political gains and to tarnish the image of Mr Badal. (Mr Manpreet Badal) made it clear that Mr Parkash Singh Badal or any member of his family including of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, member, Rajya Sabha and General Secretary of the party and his mother Mrs Surinder Kaur Badal were ready to meet the agency (Vigilance Bureau) officials to reply to queries regarding their assets.


NRIs keen to invest in Punjab, says Hanspal
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
The overseas Punjabi community is enthusiastic about ploughing back a substantial portion of its earnings in infrastructure development and other projects in Punjab, says Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, who has returned after a fortnight-long tour of North America.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday afternoon, Mr Hanspal said the Punjabi community in the USA and Canada was hopeful that the present Congress Government in the state would create a congenial atmosphere and ample investment opportunities for NRIs after a successful crusade against corruption.

“The affluent Punjabi NRIs are ready to invest in power generation from urban waste and solar energy, road restoration, building of educational institutions and facilitate growth of agro-industries”, said Mr Hanspal.

About the response from Punjabi settlers in general and Sikhs in particular, Mr Hanspal said he had been the first Congress leader since 1984 to be welcomed and honoured at a gurdwara in British Columbia, which during turmoil in Punjab, was known as a “support centre for militants in Punjab.”

“They honoured me a with a siropa. At another function, Mr Gurmant Grewal, MP; Mr Doug MacCullum (Mayor of Surrey), Dr Gulzar Cheema (Minister of British Columbia) and three British Columbia MLAs — Mr Dave Hayer, Mr John Nuraney and Ms Brenda Locke were present. “There is overwhelming enthusiasm among members of the Punjabi community overseas. They want to come and help Punjab grow out of its present fiscal crisis. It is the fight against corruption that has been hailed by one and all,” said Mr Hanspal.

Several leaders of the Indian Overseas Congress have hailed AICC President Sonia Gandhi’s decision of sending Mr Hanspal to North America. “They want that senior leaders should regularly visit them so that the Indian Overseas Congress could establish its credibility,” Mr Hanspal said.


Security for Bhaniarawala sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
In less than a week after Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala — accused of sacrilege — was stabbed at Ambala, his counsel today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking security cover by the Central Reserve Police Force.

In alternate, the counsel sought “Z” security for the Baba. He claimed that the security presently provided to the petitioner was just not adequate as evident from the stabbing incident.

The Baba, it may be recalled, had expressed apprehensions about his safety in an petition filed before the High Court last year. Seeking the transfer of the cases against him, he had claimed that his movement in the state of Punjab was not without risk to his life. As such the cases should either to transferred out of Punjab or to Chandigarh. Taking up the petition, the High Court had directed that all seven cases would be heard at Ambala.

In another petition, he had also claimed that an “illegal and unconstitutional” ban imposed on Bhavsagar Samunder Amrit Vani Granth. The same, he had asserted, was politically motivated.

He had added that the members of the then ruling party had earlier approached him seeking his support in the forthcoming elections. They became furious after he refused to oblige them, his counsel had claimed. He had further added that the Granth was subsequently burnt by certain religo-political leaders with the intension of maligning his reputation. The holy birs of Guru Granth Sahib were set on fire and he was blamed for it, the Baba had concluded.

Varsity Head’s dismissal stayed

Taking up a petition filed by Punjabi University’s former Head of the Law Department M.R. Garg, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the operation of an order dismissing him from service.

Acting on the petition, the Bench comprising Mr Justice Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice S.S. Saron also fixed November 7 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Challenging the order, Mr Garg had earlier contended that it was against the principles of natural justice. Moreover, the order was not passed by the competent authority.

Giving details, he had asserted that the order was issued on the basis of preliminary inquiry without even serving a charge sheet. Moreover, the opportunity of hearing was not granted to the petitioner.


Row over collection of funds in medical college
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 27
Reports of collecting ‘funds’ from certain senior staff members of Government Medical College for the maintenance of lawns, a playground and the installation of a tubewell have raised several eyebrows.

The college management has justified the ‘contribution’ or collection of money on the plea that hardly any funds are available for the maintenance of the sprawling medical institute. A senior professor has however, strongly objected the move.

In a written complaint (copy of which is with The Tribune), Dr H.S. Sohal, Associate Professor and in charge of unit II, Department of Orthopaedics, has alleged that the Principal of the college, Dr Bedi, had deputed Dr Amrik Singh Bhatia, Assistant Professor of his unit, to collect Rs 30,000 on his (Dr Bedi’s) behalf. However, the Principal of the college denied the charges.

In a communication, a copy of which has been sent to the Director, Research and Medical Education, Dr Sohal alleged that Dr Bhatia contacted him in the presence of postgraduate and graduate students and demanded the money failing which he (Dr Sohal) would be ‘harassed’. However, the Principal, Dr Bedi, alleged that Dr Sohal was facing serious allegations of admitting prisoners in the family ward of the college in violation of the rules. He said Dr Sohal had resorted to levelling ‘baseless’ charges as he wanted to pre-empt the action.

Meanwhile, Dr H.S. Gill, Medical Superintendent, said Dr Sohal had admitted one prisoner, Joga Singh, in the family ward who was later attacked by certain armed persons. Despite the attack, Dr Sohal re-admitted the prisoner who was later discharged on his (Dr Gill’s) intervention. Dr Bedi said he would deduct the amount of the medical bills of the prisoner from the salary of Dr Sohal as he had not cleared the dues so far.

The Principal of the medical college alleged that Dr Sohal had been performing operations in one of the charitable hospitals (Mata Kaulan) against the rules. However, Dr Sohal said he had the permission from the state government to treat poor patients. When this reporter contacted Dr Sohal for his version he was in the operation theatre of the charitable hospital.

On the other hand, Dr Bhatia said he had approached Dr Sohal for pooling money for developing a playground in front of the Principal’s office and the installation of the tubewell. He said it was wrong to say that he had approached Dr Sohal on behalf of Dr Bedi to ‘extort money’. He claimed that he had conveyed to Dr Sohal to get some ‘funds’ from certain medical representatives or chemist shops for the ‘common cause’ (i.e. developing the playground).


Statements recorded in gang-rape case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Ms Manisha Gandhi, amicus curie appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to assist in the investigations of allegations of the gang-rape of a four-and-a-half-year old, today recorded statements of various persons concerned.

Ms Gandhi refused to divulge any details, saying she was filing her findings in the court. It was learnt that she met the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana, Mr Narinderpal Singh, the SP, City, Mr Pritam Singh, the DSP in charge, Mr Sneh Deep Sharma, and the SHO, Mr Balwinder Singh.

Ms Gandhi reportedly recorded the statements of the mother of the victim, two government doctors and two private doctors who had examined the victim and certain neighbours of the victim.

She also went through the records of the police and examined the details of action taken by the police from the day the gang-rape charge had been levelled, besides taking note of the statements on the basis of which the police had first registered a complaint and then an FIR.


Khanna to head Punjab BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 27
Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, MLA from Garhshankar, was today chosen the next president of the Punjab unit of the BJP. However, a formal announcement to this effect would be made by the Minister of State in the Union Cabinet, Mr Sangh Priya Gautam, who will preside over the election meeting tomorrow.

While only one nomination was received for the post of president, 13 nominations were filed for the 13 posts in the national council of the party.

The nominations were received by the national secretary of the party, Mr O.P Dhankar, and the Returning Officer for these elections, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal.

Mr Ram Pyare Pandey, organising secretary of the north zone, was also present during the filing of nomination papers.

The 13 other persons who filed nominations for the same number of posts in the national council of the BJP today also stand elected.

They are Mr Brij Lal Rinwa ( Ferozepore); Lala Lajpat Rai ( MP, Ludhiana), Bibi Gurcharan Kaur (MP, Rajya Sabha); Mr Balramji Dass Tandon (Patiala); Mr Madan Mohan Mittal (Ropar); Mr Daya Singh Sodhi (Amritsar); Mr Manoranjan Kalia (Jalandhar); Ch Swarna Ram (Phillaur); Bhagat Chunni Lal ( Bathinda); Mr Satya Pal Saini (Gurdaspur); Mr Satya Pal Mahajan (Tarn Taran); Principal Sita Ram Kashyap ( Ropar) and Mr Harjit Singh Grewal (Sangrur).

It may be recalled there were three contenders for the post of the president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal and Mr Rajinder Bhandari in the beginning.

But eventually consensus was in favour of Mr Khanna whose name was already approved by the party high command and the RSS because of his being non-controversial person in the party.


Preneet discusses MC functioning, Cong infighting
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
Factional fighting among the Congress members as well as the functioning of the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner were the focus of the first one-to-one meeting held by Patiala MP Preneet Kaur with the Congress corporators of the city today.

The meeting, which was held in the Circuit House, also decided that Ms Preneet Kaur would fight the next Lok Sabha elections from the Patiala constituency.

The meeting with the corporators, which is being seen as an exercise conducted in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections, saw the Congress corporators take opposite stances. While a majority of the corporators, who belong to the camp of Mayor Vishnu Sharma, criticised Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Kumar and held him responsible for the slackening of development work in the city, some corporators loyal to Improvement Trust Chairman K K Sharma claimed that the Mayor was ignoring their wards.

Ms Preneet Kaur gave an individual audience to all Corporators. Some of them, while talking to TNS, said the MP asked them the status of development works done in the wards. She also asked personal problems being faced by them as well as the people of their wards.

Sources said corporators, loyal to the Mayor claimed during the audience with the MP that the Municipal Commissioner was mainly responsible for the slackening of development activities in the city. They claimed that most of the development activities had been halted because of delays in implementing resolutions of the General House. The corporators also gave specific examples of works which had been delayed for nearly three months and pleaded with the MP to ensure that all work was done speedily after being cleared by the General House.

Corporators loyal to Improvement Trust Chairman K K Sharma sided with the Commissioner, saying some persons seemed to have been favoured earlier in the grant of contracts. The corporators also claimed that the Mayor was getting work conducted only in wards of his confidants and that their wards were being ignored.

They also claimed that while foundation stone-laying functions of various works were being held regularly, the works were not being completed on schedule. Some of the corporators also demanded that formalities for carrying out work of minor nature like installing a street light or carrying out minor drainage works should be reduced.

According to sources, this was the first time that Ms Preneet Kaur held a closed-door individual meeting with all corporators. They said the MP had noted down all suggestions of the corporators. They said Ms Preneet Kaur did not give any importance to factional fighting and asked the corporators to work for the party.

The sources said the MP told the corporators that they must increase public interaction due to the coming Lok Sabha polls. She also made it clear that it should be the endeavour of the corporation to complete the maximum number of development works in the next two months. When her attention was drawn to the non-release of some funds, due to which some works could not be carried out, she discussed the issue with Finance Minister Lal Singh.

The MP is slated to hold individual meetings with members of the District Congress Committee also in view of the Lok Sabha elections, according to the sources.


New transport policy soon
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 27
The Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, said today that the state government would shortly come out with its new transport policy in which the privatisation of the transport sector would be given a boost.

Addressing a press conference after inaugurating Aman Hospital here today, he said the Punjab government had also taken a decision to spend Rs 20 crore in this financial year to replace old buses with new ones. He added that fleet of buses of government run transport agencies had already been reduced to 1,700 from 2,400.

He said the state government had also decided to allow the mini bus operators and three wheeler owners to ply their buses and passenger vehicles on the routes where the state transport buses had been incurring losses. The state government was likely to introduce its kilometre scheme again as it had produced desirable results in the past few months.

The Transport Minister pointed out that private parties had been working round the clock for modernisation of Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar bus stands. 


Mysterious disease kills 24 animals
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, September 27
More than 24 animals in the area of Dhar sub-division have died due to a disease which has not been identified. The animals mostly were owned by Gujjars.

Deras of Gujjars whose animals died due to this disease are located close to the five villages identified as Chemeror, Sukret, Mansua, Hardo Saran, Phanlali in the Dhar Sub-division.

Dr Gambhir Inder Singh Deputy Director District Animal Husbandry department said today that it was a problem with the Gujjars that they ignore vaccination of animals against Haemorrhagic Septiceamia (HS). Veterinary doctors from Animal Health Institute, Jalandhar were sent to the area who took blood samples, Viscera of the animals, certain organs of dead animals for examination. Bodies of animals were kept for a post mortem examination. He said that three teams of doctors have been formed to prevent the disease from spreading. 


104 temporary sheds for lawyers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 27
As many as 104 temporary sheds were allotted to lawyers in the judicial complex here Lawyers here organised “path” of ‘Sukhmani Sahib’ in the complex yesterday.

Mr Jagroop Singh, District and Session Judge, Mr A.S. Rai, SSP, Mr Sirjiwan Jain, president of District Bar Association and lawyers attended the “path”. Siropas were also presented to the District and Sessions Judge, the SSP and the president of the District Bar Association. Temporary sheds have been got erected by Rs 5,000 on each shed by lawyers.


Protesting man picked up by police
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
The police here today picked up Sukvinder Singh, a member of the Unemployed Lineman Union, who was sitting on a chain fast and admitted him to Rajindra Hospital here.

Members of the union also blocked the traffic near Mall Road in the evening. They are organising demonstration against the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), as they claimed that the Board had made no recruitment for the said post since 1997. They said that more than 5,000 aspirants to the post were suffering due to the wrong policy of the board.

The chain fast by members of the union, meanwhile, entered its 10th day today.


Hospital launches privilege card
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 27
Lack of proper care during pregnancy, at the time of birth and during first year can be one of the reasons to cause disability in children. To avoid such a situation, Cheema Medical Complex, Phase IV, has introduced a privilege card called M&B (mother and baby card) in association with National Health Services.

Addressing mediapersons here yesterday, Dr Ajaywant Singh Cheema, said by getting the card persons could save money.


Heavy rain damages cotton, paddy crops
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Lakhewali (Muktsar), September 27
Farmers in Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepore districts seem to head for another bad year as heavy rain has damaged the standing paddy and cotton crops.

The rains has not only damaged the ripened paddy and cotton crops, but has also brought the harvesting of paddy and plucking of cotton to a halt. It has also triggered the fear of an intensive attack of bollworm on the cotton crop.

A visit to various villages in Muktsar district, including Bhagsar, Chak Sherewala, Gandar, Nandgarh, Kordianwali, Bamb and Khunan, has revealed that the paddy crop in various fields has been flattened. Bolls of the cotton crop have fallen from the plants.

Says Mr Rachpal Singh, a farmer, “ We have been saving our cotton crop from the bollworm attack by spraying insecticides on the plants at regular intervals. Today’s rains has nullified the impact of the insecticides. The production is likely to fall due to today’s rain.”

Mr Kanwarjit Singh, another farmer, has conducted 14 insecticides sprays on the cotton plants. The rain has increased the cost of cultivation of cotton manifold.

Farmers who have halted harvesting and plucking operations have paid advance to the owners of combine harvesters and manual pluckers.

Mr Avtar Singh, yet another farmer, says they have been finding it difficult to store the paddy harvested as the agencies concerned have not started procurement.

Farmers who have unloaded their paddy in the mandis, have started covering it with tarpaulin sheets to protect it from rain. Some farmers have parked tractor-trolleys loaded with paddy at their houses under roofs.

Mr Amritpal Singh Sidhu, president of the Punjab Young Farmers Federation, has urged the Punjab Government to advance the date for the procurement of paddy. He has demanded compensation for those farmers whose paddy and cotton crops have been damaged by today’s rain.


Law enforcer flouts rule
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 27
Don’t the law enforcement authorities or officials themselves ignore legal provisions sometimes? Yes, it seems to be true in the case of an official car, which was found displaying a red light atop it at the PAP T-point intersection here this morning. But the mandatory flashing red light permission sticker issued by the Punjab Police authorities was missing.

The Ambassador car (CH-O1-GI-0842), belonged to the Additional District Transport Officer, Jalandhar, who was busy challaning unauthorised taxis at the PAP T-point intersection. Normally, vehicles of officials who are allowed to use red lights atop their vehicles were required to display such stickers.

Mr Chander Galnd, District Transport Officer (DTO), said the Additional District-Transport-Officer must be keeping or carrying the mandatory sticker in his vehicle. Mr Dhian Singh, Additional District-Transport-Officer, maintained that there was no need to display such stickers on government vehicles.


2 cops booked for extortion
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 27
The police has registered a case against two constables, Lakhwinder Singh and Parshottam Lal, under Sections 386, 506 and 120-B of the IPC on the charge of extortion. The two policemen had recently been booked on the complaint of Mr Bhupinder Singh of Road Majra village, near Banga.

He and his girlfriend had come to a hotel at Phagwara and while they were returning in their car, two scooterists, proclaiming to be from the anti-goonda staff, had stopped the car. Another policeman joined them and they asked him to go to the police station. Mr Bhupinder Singh and his girlfriend were taken to a juice shop in the local Hargobind Nagar and photographs of the duo were taken. They demanded Rs 10,000 from Mr Bhupinder Singh and threatened that the photographs would be given to the press in case the money was not paid.

Mr Bhupinder Singh paid them Rs 1,500 and promised to pay the remaining amount the next day. In the meantime, he told this incident to two local journalists, who informed the then DSP. The DSP instructed the then SHO to conduct surveillance and when Mr Bhupinder Singh came to hand over the remaining amount to the two policemen, they were caught redhanded by the SHO.

The DSP marked a complaint to the SSP, seeking a magisterial probe. The SSP wrote a letter to DC, who asked the SDM to conduct an inquiry. After a report on the issue was submitted recently, the case against the two constables was registered.


Two cops booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, September 27
The Bholat police has registered a case of fraud under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code against Pardeep Singh Assistant Sub Inspector and Sukhwinder Singh head constable of Punjab Police for accepting a bribe of Rs 4000 from a resident of Begowal village for making wrong verification of his passport documents.

Dr R.N. Dhoke Senior Superintendent of Police in a press note said yesterday that ASI Pardeep Singh and Sukhwinder Singh posted in Begowal police station were told to verify antecedent of Sukchain Singh of Begowal village for a new passport.

Both police officials made wrong verification of Sukhchain Singh after accepting Rs 4000.

Sukhchain Singh submitted forms to obtain passport in the fake name while his real name was Sukhdev Singh. Mr Lakhwinder Singh DSP Bholath will probe the case.


3 arrested for fraud
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 27
The district Vigilance Department has unearthed a scam by arresting three persons, who allegedly used to cheat and commit frauds worth lakhs of rupees with banks by preparing bogus and fake revenue documents in connivance with revenue, bank and other officials.

The department has registered two FIRs and booked Punjabi folk singer Satwinder Singh Bugga, his two brothers and wife of his brother, all residents of Mukaronpur, and Gurmail Singh and Inderjit Singh, also residents of Mukaronpur village, Karamjit Singh and Gurmeet Singh, residents of Bhagatpur in the district.

In another FIR, the department has booked Surinder Singh, proprietor of Surindera Medical Store, Chuni Kalan, Gurcharn Singh, proprietor, Punia Electronics Ghel, Karamjit Singh of Bhagatpur, Nirmal Singh Nambardar of Mukaronpur and Dalwinder Singh of Mukaronpur. The department has arrested Surinder Singh of Chuni Kalan, Mohan Singh, brother of the folk singer and Gurmail Singh.

According to Mr. P.S. Khaira, DSP, Vigilance, Mr Manmohan Singh, a brother of the folk singer and others got registered a firm in September 2002 in the name of “Sirhind Traders Chuni Kalan” and Amarjit Kaur wife of Dalwinder Singh, also got registered a firm in the name of “Sirhind Trading Company.”

The owners of both firms started business of commission agent at Chuni Kalan. They reportedly got loans and limits from various banks to the tune of Rs 10 lakh from each bank. He alleged that as per preliminary inquiry, it was found that by preparing bogus revenue papers and tampering with record in connivance with revenue officials, they sought loans and committed fraud. He said that the stamp papers submitted for the purpose of loan were also found to be fake and prepared on computer by using scanner and colour printer. He said the limits and loans had been secured from Land Mortgage Bank Bassi Pathana, Punjab National Bank, Badali Ala Singh, Cooperative Bank, Badali Ala Singh, and Oriental Bank Of Commerce Sirhind Mandi branch.

The cases have been arrested under various Sections of the IPC and the PC Act 1988.


Armed mob enters court, kills youth
Our Correspondent

Mansa, September 27
Gurpal Singh (23), son of a retired teacher of Mansa, was murdered by some persons last night. The city police has registered a case against six persons — Kuldeep Singh, Raj Kumar alias ‘Raja’, Gagandeep Singh alias ‘Gaggi’, Parminder Singh, Kulwinder and Ajay Kumar alias ‘Boney’, all from Mansa — under Sections 302, 148 and 149 of the IPC in this regard.

The FIR says Gurpal Singh, his brother, Baljit Singh, and others had earlier caused injuries to Satish Kumar Parocha of Mansa and were facing a trial in this regard. Yesterday, when they appeared in the court of Mr C.K. Rai, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mansa, where the prosecution was to present evidence, more than 100 armed supporters of Satish Kumar Parocha came there. Later in the evening, after the prosecution could not record evidence for want of time, these men killed Gurpal Singh allegedly to avenge the assault on Satish Kumar Parocha. Eyewitnesses say they danced over Gurpal’s body and marched through the city roads.


3 die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, September 27
Three persons died, one on the spot and two others in hospitals at Gurdaspur and Amritsar and three were injured, two of them critically in collision between a jeep and truck near Jhande Chack 10 km from here on the GT Road yesterday evening.

The dead have been identified as Yogesh driver of the jeep of Loh, Harbans Singh also resident of Lohand, Pumpy Kumar of Sihora all in Kangra district in Himachal.

The injured have been identified as Pawan Kumar of Gangoli, Kuldeep Singh of Loh both in district Kangra in Himachal. The third injured was driver of the truck.

The police has registered a case.


2 petrol station workers murdered

Moga, September 27
Two attendants of a petrol station near here on the Mudki road were found murdered this morning, the police said.

The attendants identified as Sukhchain Singh and Balwant Singh were found in a pool of blood in the office.

The assailants probably broke open the shutters during the night and went inside the office. The bodies have been sent for a post-mortem in the Civil Hospital. — PTI


Woman found murdered
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, September 27
Mohinder Kaur, 60, of the nearby village of Manawali was today found murdered in the village shamlat (common land). The woman had been strangulated. The police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC.

The woman had left as usual to pay obeisance at a shrine in the morning. When he did not return home after a long time, her family went out to took for her and saw that she lay dead in the shrubs of shamlat. Her husband then lodged a complaint with the police.


Parents sore as NRI quota is scrapped
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
The Punjab Government has lost nearly Rs 15 crore in revenue by abolishing the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota in medical colleges in the state. Sources said the government had lost Rs 35 lakh per seat for the 30 seats earmarked for the NRIs in medical colleges of the state. Besides, private dental colleges were also eligible for admitting 40 to 50 NRIs which could not materialise due to abolishing of this condition.

The sources also said the NRI quota was abolished two days before the counselling under this was to be held. The NRI parents who have arrived in India to get their wards to join medical courses are livid at the manner in which the seats have been scrapped.

Mr Pritam Singh Mander, an NRI, yesterday said the Punjab Government should take action against bureaucrats who had scrapped the NRI seats in government medical and dental colleges. Mr Mander is one of those parents who have specially travelled to India to get their wards admitted to the MBBS course in medical colleges of the state.


Teacher third in Naval course
Our Correspondent

Nabha, September 27
Mr M.S. Chadha, a teacher of English at Punjab Public school here, has given a commendable performance in the recently concluded 18-day refresher course for Naval officers at Visakhapatnam.

According to the Headmaster of the school, Mr Chadha secured the third position among the 82 participants, with an overall grading of Grade A. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Chief Officer.


Most businesses being run without licence
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 27
If the Patiala Municipal Corporation is to be believed, there are neither any commercial establishments in the city nor any petrol pumps, hotels or marriage palaces. This because very few commercial establishments have acquired licences from the corporation to run their businesses.

The corporation has given licences to 2,655 commercial establishments this year even though it admits that there are at least 20,000 commercial establishments doing business in the city.

A recent survey of those who have paid the licence fee to the corporation to run their businesses revealed that only one of the around 15 petrol pumps had deposited the fee to the corporation. Similarly, all major hotels in the city have kept away from depositing the fee. Even marriage palace owners have stayed away from depositing this fee.

The corporation has lost out on precious revenue with a large number of business establishments not depositing this fee. According to sources, the fee is only around Rs 5,00 to Rs 1,000 annually for different establishments with small shops being charged only Rs 100. They say there has been laxity on this account as compared to the last year. Last year the corporation had registered 3,150 business establishments as compared to 2,655 registered during the same period this year.

Registration of licences decreased in nearly most areas this year. As against 4,550 rickshaws registered with it last year, this year only 3,600 rickshaws have been registered. There has been a corresponding decrease in the registration of “rehris” also.

Mayor Vishnu Sharma, when contacted on the issue, admitted that some laxity seemed to have occurred in registering various businesses. He said it could be possibly because accountability had not been fixed on corporation officers who had been assigned the job. He said he would take up the issue with the Licensing Branch and that notices would be served on all those who had not got their businesses registered till now.

Mr Sharma said a time frame would be set within which registration would be done. If the businesses failed to get their licences within the stipulated time frame, penalties would be levied on them. According to the Municipal Act, no one can do business in the city without getting it registered with the corporation.

The Mayor said efforts would be made in the coming months to raise the revenue of the corporation. He said the corporation had lost out on revenue in the past few months as powers had not been delegated to various branch heads in the corporation. Due to this the power to conduct checks had been severely curtailed leading to loss of revenue. Now revenue was likely to increase with officers being geared to conduct checkings where needed, he added.

Meanwhile, the corporation will hold a meeting on Monday to raise the water charges.


New Cooperative Act to be implemented
Our Correspondent

Patiala, September 27
To strengthen the Cooperative Department and the movement the state government has decided to institute a new Cooperative Act.

This was disclosed by the Punjab Finance and Planning Minister, Mr Lal Singh, at a function organised at Sanour. While addressing the gathering Mr Lal Singh said the new Cooperative Act had already been approved by the Cabinet and it would be implemented shortly.

According to the new Act, there would no interference of the government officials in the Cooperative Department. People would themselves run the system. He alleged that during the regime of the Akali Dal the Act was amended and Cooperative Departments were brought under the control of the government officials.

He further said about 2,000 teachers would be appointed in the state. He informed that the state government had given direction to the various departments to prepare a list of the vacant posts in the department so that these could be filled.

Meanwhile, Mr Lal Singh laid the foundation stone of series of project including the Udham Singh Stadium, Lakshman Das Park and repair work of the Patiala-Sanuor road. He also announced that the state government has granted Rs 70 lakh for the repair of the road from Sanour to Patiala.

He said with the grant of Rs 25 lakh a road would be made on the Sonar-Patiala road which would be used as bypass. President, Municipal Council, Sonar, Surjit Singh, former President Municipal Council Naresh Goel were also present 

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