Saturday, October 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Thousands attend farmer’s bhog
Opposition parties, farmer bodies lash out at state govt
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Maur Charat Singhwala (Bathinda), October 10
The bhog of Gurdev Singh, a farmer of this village, who died after being hit by a goods train while sitting on a dharna at the Bhai Bakhtaur rail track on September 30, was held at a local gurdwara today. Thousands of residents including farmers, farm labourers and activists of various political parties, attended the ceremony. The police allowed free movement to all.

Addressing the gathering at the rally, representatives of various farmer organisations said they would announce their next mode of agitation on October 12. The leaders of political parties alleged that the Congress government in the state was responsible for the increasing number of suicides being committed by farmers.

Dr Joginder Dyal, state secretary of the CPI, Mr Hardev Arshi, a former MLA, and other leaders held the Punjab Government responsible for the death of Gurdev Singh. Dr Dyal alleged that farmers were being subjected to torture by policemen on the diktats of the Congress government.

Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, MP from Bathinda, and Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, MLA from Talwandi Sabo, expressed their sympathies. Mr Harminder Singh Jassi, Chairman, Markfed, had gave some money to the bereaved family yesterday.

Mr Mohit Gupta, president of the Bathinda district unit of the BJP, alleged that Punjab had been facing anarchy under the Congress rule. He said the BJP had demanded that at least Rs 10 lakh be given as compensation to the family of the deceased.

The Association for Democratic Rights, Bathinda unit, in its report released to mediapersons today alleged that the Punjab police and the Railways were responsible for what had happened on September 30 and October 1 at Bhai Bakhtaur railway crossing and the civil hospital at Bathinda. The association demanded strict punishment for the police officials responsible for the happenings and adequate compensation for the family of the deceased and those who had suffered injuries in the lathi charge.


Farmers manhandle Bhan Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 10
Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, member of the Lok Sabha from Bathinda, was today allegedly manhandled by a group of farmers while he was coming out of a pandal after delivering a speech at a rally organised by the CPI and various farmers’ organisations on the occasion of the bhog ceremony of Gurdev Singh, who died on September 30 after being hit by a goods train while sitting in dharna on the Bhai Bakhtaur rail track.

Mr Bhora was manhandled while proceeding towards the house of the late Gurdev Singh after attending the rally. The only security guard, who was accompanying him, intervened and escorted him to his vehicle, which was parked outside the pandal.

Mr Bhora was manhandled for stating in his speech that some leaders of farmers’ organisations had entered into a compromise with the police after the Jethuke firing incident, which took place about four years ago and which claimed two lives, by taking money. Mr Bhora made a general statement and did not disclose the name of any representative of the farmers’ organisations.

Agitated over this, some farmers stopped Mr Bhora and insisted that he give a clarification from the stage that his remarks were not true.

When Mr Bhora refused to do so, saying that his remarks were true, the farmers started raising slogans against him. They even manhandled him.

Mr Bhora said he had informed the district police chief, Mr Ishwar Singh, about the incident, who had assured him that action would be taken against the guilty.

Meanwhile, Mr Lachhman Singh, general secretary, Pendu Majdoor Union, Punjab, said the district administration had released Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, BKU, Ekta (Ugrahan), this evening, who reached Maur Charat Singhwala village of Gurdev Singh and addressed the gathering of the farmers.


Captain doing all this at Sonia’s behest, says Badal
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, October 10
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, yesterday accused the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, of directing the Punjab Government to target a Sikh leader, as was allegedly done by the party against the community during the “Operation Bluestar.”

“Whatever Vigilance Bureau is doing with me and my family members has been directed by Ms Sonia Gandhi and Capt Amarinder Singh is only obeying his leader,” Mr Badal told Chandigarh Tribune while coming out of a local court after an appearance in a defamation case filed against the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr Badal also blamed the Congress for the Operation Bluestar and alleged that it had always adopted “anti-Sikh” and “anti-farmer” policies.

Terming vigilance bureau action as illegal and against law, Mr Badal further alleged that during the pendency of the case Capt Amarinder Singh had no right to ask for vigilance inquiry against him and it was against the law.

Critcising the vigilance action, Mr Badal said this type of dictatorship would be termed as a “black spot” in the history of the Punjab. He added that the action was not even appreciated by Congress MLAs.

Reacting to Capt Amarinder Singh’s action, Mr Badal said he did not even appear in the court for five minutes despite the court orders. “I am also busy being the head of the Akali Dal and yet appearing in the court regularly”, he said.

Talking about the increase in the number of political cases in the court, Mr Badal added that it was unfortunate that political leaders had to appear in courts to seek remedy. He blamed Capt Amarinder Singh for starting a trend that needed to be resolved in courts.

While commenting on Capt Amarinder Singh’s plea to exempt him from personal appearance in the case on the ground of security threat, Mr Badal said Captain Amarinder, unlike him, was not even among those 13 persons who had been provided Z-plus security on the basis of threat perception.


Justice has been done, say Sodhi’s parents
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Passiawal (Kapurthala), October 10
The award of capital punishment to the killer of Balbir Singh Sodhi, an NRI hailing from this village, by an Arizona court yesterday, has brought a sense of satisfaction to his aged parents, who have dubbed the court decision as “timely and an epitome of justice, which would act as a deterrent in the future against hate crimes.”

“My son Harjit Singh called up in the morning from Arizona to inform us about the court’s decision. He said the killer, Frank Siliva, had been sentenced to death by way of hanging”, said Mr Jaswant Singh Sodhi (80), father of Balbir Singh. “We have no grudges. Justice has been done to us by the US system”, he added. What President George W. Bush had promised to us during a meeting organised at the White House to mourn the death of our son has been fulfilled,” said Mr Jaswant Singh, adding that “God has bestowed justice upon us and I think this is a victory of all Sikhs in the USA”.

The news has brought us peace of mind,” said a sobbing Inderjit Kaur (75), mother of Balbir Singh.

“The decision cannot bring our son back, but it has definitely brought a lot of satisfaction to us. It will help contain hate crimes in the USA and elsewhere in future, said Mr Jaswant Singh.

He was all praise for political parties in India. “Cutting across party lines everyone came to our aid. Mr Badal came to our place to express condolences and so did Capt Amarinder Singh. Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi also extended help and expressed concern over the death of our son. I am thankful to Jalandhar MP Balbir Singh, who did a lot for us, particularly by pursuing the matter with the Indian Government. Earlier, a paper had written that we were annoyed with the Congress, but it was wrongly attributed to us. We did not say so,” said Mr Jaswant Singh.

He demanded that a picture of his son should be displayed in the Assembly of the state. “The management of the Patna Sahib gurdwara has also asked us to bring a picture of Balbir Singh,” said Mr Jaswant Singh.


SGPC panel suspends Harbeant
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 10
The Dharm Parchar Committee of the SGPC in its meeting held at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib here today unanimously decided to suspend Mr Harbeant Singh and issue a show-cause notice for expelling him. The panel also urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht to summon the Editor of Spokesman for anti-Sikh writings and decided against giving any importance to the organisers of the World Sikh Conference as they have failed to muster any support. The meeting was attended by all members of the committee.

While talking to The Tribune after the meeting, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC President said the certificates of Harbeant Singh were found to be bogus. He neither appeared before the sub committee appointed by the SGPC, nor before the medical board. He said the sub-committee even gave him a chance that if he can not appear before Akal Takht he could sent a certificates through a representative. But as Harbeant Singh failed to turn up the committee decided to suspend him. Answering a query about the Editor, he said the committee had taken a serious note of his writings as he had attacked Sikh tenants, traditions, the institution of baptism, the Panj Piaras and even questioned the recitation of “ Gurbani” and authenticity of “ardas”.


Vedanti honours sacked Jathedar Manjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 10
The honouring of sacked Akal Takht Jathedar Prof Manjit Singh by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht, at the four-day international conference, organised by the Akal Purkh ki Fauj is being considered as a setback to former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar, who had levelled serious charges while removing him.

The event gave clear indications that the Jathedar had not accepted the version of Mr Badungar that Prof Manjit Singh had indulged in any ‘anti-Sikh activity’ or violated ‘maryada’.


Tripura girl returns from Pakistan
Our Correspondent

Wagah (Amritsar), October 10
Yakia (21), alias, Hema, a resident of Tripura, who was sent to Pakistan by Bangladeshi agents on the pretext of providing a lucrative job there and later sold in the flesh trade market, today returned to India through the Wagah joint checkpoint. This is for the first time that an Indian girl has been released by Pakistan.

However, none of her family members were present to receive her. She was received by an official of the Indian Embassy from Delhi, an executive magistrate along with Mr D.K. Sharma, Commandant, Border Security Force.

While talking to newsmen, Yakia said that she was sent to Pakistan on a ship from Kolkata along with a Bangladeshi girl by two Bangladeshi agents in January, 2000. She said the agents promised to provide them with lucrative jobs in Pakistan. “As I belong to a poor family, I immediately accepted the offer”, she said.

She further disclosed that after a few days she along with other (Bangladeshi) girls reached Karachi and were taken to a ‘Bangladeshi colony’ in Karachi. Yakia said the agents kept the Bangladeshi girl in the colony but took her to a hotel. Yakia said later she came to know that the agents had sold her for Rs 1.20 lakh to a Pakistan resident.

However, the police got an information in this regard, raided the hotel and arrested the two travel agents along with her. She added that she was sentenced to the jail and released about eight months ago. She said during her imprisonment she was kept in Quaita jail and Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore.


SSP directed to shift SHO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 10
In an alleged case of police atrocity, a youngster was left dumb after being reportedly tortured by Nabha’s Station House Officer (SHO) following his failure to pay bribe. Instead of assisting the “victim”, the SHO, in an attempt “to save his skin”, allegedly registered a false case of theft against the youngster.

Taking serious view of a complaint in this regard, along with other incidents allegedly involving the SHO, Mr Justice Nirmal Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has now directed Patiala’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to shift William Jaijee to a post where there was no public dealing till the petition was decided.

The SSP was also directed “to hold an inquiry personally with regard to the torture of Harjit Singh when William Jaijee was posted as SHO of Rajpura police station”. The officer was also asked to get Harjit Singh “medically examined to find out whether he had become permanently dumb”.

In his detailed order, Mr Justice Nirmal Singh ruled: “The court today received a complaint from V.K. Khanna for taking action against William Jaijee for torturing five persons in police custody. In the complaint, it has been mentioned that he has not only tortured five persons, but he has also tortured so many other innocent persons”.

The judge further ruled: “It has been mentioned that when William Jaijee was posted as in charge of Rajpura police station in September, 2001, he picked up Harjit Singh, aged about 18, in some minor offence and demanded money from him. When the demand for money was not met, he tortured Harjit Singh for eight to 10 days to a frightening extent.... He became enraged to such an extent that he throttled Harjit Singh”.

The judge added: “When Harjit Singh was about to get unconscious, the SHO took him to a hospital where the doctors saved him, but he became dumb permanently. When Harjit Singh’s condition was deteriorating, William Jaijje, in order to save his skin, registered a false case of theft against him on September 13, 2001. Harjit Singh’s father made representations to the human rights commission, but his grievance was not met out”.

Giving further details, Mr Justice Nirmal asserted, “Mr Sharma has also annexed, along with his complaint, news reports appearing in Chandigarh Tribune and Punjabi Tribune on September 27 that 20-year-old Karamjit Kaur was tortured inhumanly by William Jaijee. She was asked to remove her clothes by Punjab police personnel. Out of the persons tortured, two were women”.

The judge concluded: “Taking into consideration a warrant officer’s report, it has become necessary in the interest of justice to direct the SSP to immediately shift him....”


GND varsity don beaten up
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 10
Dr G.S. Bhalla, Head, Department of Business and Commerce, Guru Nanak Dev University, one of his students and a friend were beaten up by certain persons near Hindu College, here today.

Dr Bhalla alleged that some unidentified persons attacked him, Naresh Devgan and Pardip Khanna, his student and friend, respectively at Katra Bhai Sant Singh chowk (near the college) when he was getting his scooter repaired. He said when these persons tried to harass his student he intervened. All this they pulled my hair and beat me up in full public view”, he alleged.

Dr Bhalla who sustained injuries on his nose, legs and other part of his body said he had informed the university authorities regarding the alleged attack.

Dr Bhalla has also lodged a report with the ‘D’ division police station. The police has rounded up some persons in this connection.

GND varsity law festival concludes
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 10
A three-day technical-cum-cultural bonanza, Law Fiesta-2003, organised by the Computer Science and Engineering Department of Guru Nanak Dev University, concluded here yesterday.

Amritsar bagged top positions in seven of the 22 events held. Kunal Arora and Gurpreet Singh of GND University stood first in web-designing. Shelkha Jaitley of Apex College, Amritsar, stood first in cartooning, while Priyanka of GND University was first in flower-arrangement (dry). Henna of GND University stood first in the fresh-flower category. Poonam Sharma of GND University bagged the top position in mimicry.

Following are the toppers in various events:

On-the-spot-programming: Balwinder Singh, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. Project Development: Punjabi University, Patiala, Web designing: Kunal Arora and Gurpreet Singh, GND University.

Paper presentation: Nandani Nehru, PEC, Chandigarh, Group discussion: Suchi Anand, Punjabi University, Patiala,

Group dance; Apex College of IT, Debate: Punjabi University, Patiala, Quiz: DAV College, Abohar.

Choreography: Khalsa College, Amritsar, Rangoli: Niti, Punjabi University, Patiala, Mehndi: Pooja, DAV College, Abohar, Collage-making: Ritesh, APJ College, Jalandhar, Sketching; Panchok, GCET, Jammu, Twisted ads: Doaba College, Jalandhar. Solo song; APJ College, Jalandhar, Group song: APJ College, Jalandhar, Solo dance: APJ College, Jalandhar, and Nautanki; Doaba College, Jalandhar.


Complaint against ETO registered
Tribune News Service

Sunam (Sangrur), October 10
Following the registration of a complaint by the local police against the Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), Mr Ominder Singh, and other staff members of the Taxation Department, this afternoon, the agitating shopkeepers and traders ended their protest in front of the local police station and opened their shops and other business establishments, which they had closed till 1.30 p.m. today.

Mr Ram Lal, a local trader, in his complaint alleged that the ETO and other staff members of the Taxation Department had “misbehaved” with his family members at his residence the previous day and later “harassed” him under the influence of liquor at his shop. In his complaint, he has demanded police action against the Taxation officials. Succumbing to the pressure of the traders, the police registered the complaint, made by Mr Ram Lal.

Earlier in the morning, the shopkeepers gathered at the Mal Godown chowk, and proceeded towards the local ITI chowk on the Sunam-Patiala road, raising slogans against the police and Taxation authorities, demanding strict action against the erring officials. They blocked traffic at the ITI chowk for about an hour.

On the complaint of Mr Ominder Singh, ETO, the local police has registered a case against Mr Ram Lal, Mr Rajinder Kumar and Mr Gora Lal, all traders, under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 379, 186, 148 and 149 of the IPC last night.

The local traders have also formed an action committee, comprising 15 members.


Wagah retreat ceremony to be pleasant now
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR: People crossing over to Pakistan or coming from that country or curious onlookers who visit the Wagah joint checkpost (JCP) daily to see the evening retreat ceremony may soon not be greeted by stiff postures of jawans on both sides as the BSF authorities have decided to go in for a unilateral initiative to dilute postures of its jawans to a more pleasant level with the hope that its counterparts would reciprocate and contribute to the ongoing bilateral relationship improvement exercise.

The postures of jawans taking part in the daily drill during the retreat ceremony had turned more stiffer and even hostile on both sides, particularly for about two years in the wake of the Army build-up and tension on the Indo-Pakistan border.

Though the element of hostility in gestures had crept in among jawans on both sides, especially during the retreat ceremony, the Pakistan Rangers, it was learnt, had even went a step ahead of shaking hands in a very cold and hasty manner by introducing some “unpleasant” sounds and acts like putting their thumbs upwards in their drill and parade.

Even on the Indian side, almost similar but lesser signs of hostility, continued to reflect (except the sound and signals) among jawans during the retreat ceremony till receding of tension and subsequent end of the Operation Prarakaram on May 31 this year when the BSF authorities had started hammering out an initiative towards putting an end to at least “hostility of gestures” in a gradual manner and “keeping in view of intensity of reciprocation by Pakistan”.

The objective behind the exercise was to avoid sending wrong signals among people, particularly those Indian, Pakistani and foreign tourists who visit the JCP to see the half-an-hour long retreat ceremony during which jawans of the Pakistan Rangers and the BSP go in for a 10-minute drill, followed by their brief handshake.

The priority area for the BSF, according to Mr R.S. Gill, Inspector-General, BSF (Punjab Frontier), was to make the existing handshake process more pleasant and dignified. At present, the jawans of both sides shake their hands in a very brisk manner which results in just touching of fingers of each other and which in itself indicate towards presence of an element of hostility.

“We feel that the handshake should convey the traditional warmth ingrained in the act to visitors. I have already conveyed it to our people there to make this more dignified,” said Mr Gill. He said he had also directed the commanding officer at the JCP to take the matter up with his counterpart. The BSF authorities, however, were in favour of retaining the stiff eye-to-eye contact style as “this was part of looking smart”.

The BSF’s Punjab Frontier Headquarters here have already taken up the matter with the higher authorities in Delhi and attained the “go-ahead” signal for further improvement of gestures of its jawans. “We are optimistic that the other side would also follow and stop the hooting-like sound and style of lifting feet by jawans during the drill and other uncalled for gestures which convey bitterness,” said Mr Gill.


Sikh woman challaned for not wearing helmet
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 10
The traffic wing of the Jalandhar police today challaned a young Sikh woman for not wearing a helmet and an ASI heading the motorcycle unit of the wing even allegedly suggested to her to get recruited in the police. He also told her not to “educate” them, when she said it was not compulsory for Sikh women to wear helmet.

Mr Pawan Rai, SP (Traffic), said it depended upon an individual and the entire force could not be blamed for it. He said the ASI and traffic personnel might not be knowing the “convention” that the Sikh women were not to be challaned.

Parvinder Kaur, said she was signalled to stop and was challaned for not wearing a helmet. When she told them that since she was a Sikh and she didn’t have to wear a helmet, they said they were unaware of it.

George urged to shift ammo dump
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 10
A deputation of the Ammunition Dump Hatao Sangharsh Committee, Sangrur, on Wednesday met Mr George Fernandes, Union Defence Minister, in Delhi and submitted a memorandum to him, demanding the shifting of the ammunition dump from the populated area here.

Thousands of persons living in the 700-metre radius of the military ammunition dump here have been fearing demolition of their houses. The matter is now in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Mr Avinash Sharma, co-convener of the committee, who accompanied the other members of the deputation, said here yesterday that Mr Rattan Singh Mehal, convener of the committee, apprised the Defence Minister of the present situation. Mr Fernandes assured the deputation that he would procure a detailed report from the defence authorities regarding the ammunition dump.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, gave detailed information in this regard to Mr Fernandes on the occasion, he said.


Balmiki Jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, October 10
Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has openly accused that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its frontal organisations are not interested in constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Addressing a state-level function organised in the local Shalamar Garden today in connection with the birth anniversary of Maharishi Balmiki. Mr Hanspal accused the BJP of politicising the issue.

He thanked the Chief Minister for giving Rs 1 crore for the development of Ram Tirath Temple at Amritsar after assuming the office.

Mr Hanspal urged the safai sewaks of the country to give up the profession of lifting the night soil and adopt other professions to improve their standard of living. He urged the Dalits to avail the loan facilities from financial institutions to become self reliant.

Capt Amarinder Singh who was to preside over the function failed to turn up as he had to rush to Delhi and in his place Mr Jagjit Singh attended the function as the chief guest.


Children’s film fest from Nov 21
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, October 10
Ten districts in Punjab have been chosen to host a film festival, Mr Vipan Chandra, Joint Film Distribution Officer, Children Film Society of India, New Delhi, said here yesterday.

The district administration and Children Film Society of India have decided to organise the film festival in this district from November 21 to November 26. Eight cinema houses in different cities in this district have been chosen for display of films.

Mr KAP Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, yesterday said that Mr Avtar Singh, District Education Officer (Secondary), had been made the nodal officer to organise the films. Arrangements for transportation of the schoolchildren to the cinemas and to their destinations back would be made by the district administration.

Mr Sinha said that Hindi Film ‘Karamati Coat’ would shown at MSP Cinema Pathankot, ‘Main Phir Aaoonga’ in Pushp Palace Pathankot and ‘Tri Yatri’ in Jagat Cinema Pathankot. ‘Kabhi Pass Kabhi Fail’ would be displayed in a cinema hall at Gurdaspur, ‘Laadli’ in a cinema hall at Batala, ‘Sixer’ in a cinema hall at Dinanagar, ‘Bhaago Bhoot’ in a cinema hall at Qadian and ‘Sajjre Phul’ in a cinema hall at Dhariwal.

The films would be shown from 8 am to 10 am.

Martyr cremated

Tarn Taran, October 10
Constable Pritpal Singh (21) of the 58th Battalion of the BSF, who was killed in Pehalgam on October 7 in an explosion while checking improvised explosive divises, was cremated at his native village, Lanka, 10 km from here, with state honours yesterday. Dr Narinder Bhargav, SSP, Mr Surinder Kumar Sabharwal, SDM, Patti, Mr Virender Singh, Commandant, 123rd BSF Battalion, and Rajinder Pal, DSP, Patti, laid wreaths on the body of the martyr. — OC

Medical camp

Amritsar, October 10
As many as 205 patients were distributed free medicines at a medical camp organised in the Dasehra ground by the local chapter of the Helpage India on Thursday, said the project officer, Mr Davinder Singh Aujla. — OC


Protest against Togadia’s visit
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 10
Protests were held here hours before the visit of VHP President Parveen Togadia today. Activists of the District Youth Congress burnt the effigy of the VHP President. They raised slogans, held banners and waved black flags to block the entry of Mr Togadia. The protesters later staged a dharna and demanded a ban on the entry of Mr Togadia.


Amarinder asked to appear in court
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 10
The UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L Mohal, today directed the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, to appear in person on October 22 in a defamation case filed against him by his predecessor, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

While partly allowing the application moved by Capt Amarinder Singh for exemption, in his six-page order Mr Mohal said, “I partly allow the application filed on behalf of accused and allow his personal exemption for October 9 and October 10. And do not find any ground to grant blanket exemption from appearance in the court and direct the accused to appear in the court on October 22. Thereafter, the accused may choose to file such an application after his appearance in the court”. Giving details the CJM said, “Personal exemption should only be granted to a person who has come to the court after covering a long distance or the accused otherwise cannot appear in the case due to some unavoidable reason”. But in the present case, the accused was residing and having his office in Chandigarh at a distance of only 2 km, therefore, he can well appear in the court.



Badal aide sent in judicial custody till Oct 23
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 10
Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, Judicial Magistrate, today remanded Mr Harbans Lal, the manager of the petrol station allegedly belonging to former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in judicial custody till October 23.

Mr Jatinderjeet Singh Punn, public prosecutor, pleaded for a police remand of the accused as information was yet to be obtained from him about the various bank accounts and FDRs. He also moved applications for the issuance of search warrants of the residence of the accused, a cold storage and a rice mill. The court fixed October 13 as the date of hearing of these applications.

The defence counsel stated that the accused had been falsely implicated.



Litigants suffer as posts of judge lie vacant
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 10
Hundreds of litigants are at the receiving end due to a shortage of judges in Jalandhar. The courts are overburdened as five posts of judge, which fell vacant due to the dismissal of five judges in February after the PPSC scam came to light, are yet to be filled.

The situation, according to the Jalandhar District Bar Association, is such that each court has to deal with more than 2000 cases, for beyond the 700 cases specified for a court by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“The pendency of cases has particularly affected interim relief cases.


Notices issued to 6 officers
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, October 10
Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, has issued show-cause notices to six senior district officers who failed to attend the ‘khula darbar’ convened here to redress the grievances of the aggrieved people particularly ruralites. These officers have been identified as, the District Soil Conservation Officer, the District Welfare Officer, the District Forest Officer (Muktsar) and Executive Engineers of the National Highway, the Pollution Control Board and the Rural Water Supply. They had been asked to explain their positions within three days failing which stern action would be taken against them.

Being public servants the senior officers were bound to serve the common masses on priority basis, the Deputy Commissioner said. In a press note issued here today he directed the officers to ensure their presence in ‘khula darbars’ so that the visitors may not face any hurdle in resolving their problems. Most of the villagers of Pipli, Kothekehar Singh Wala, Jhokesarkari, Sandhwan, Machkikalan and Menuana had complained against these officers. As many as 33 complaints were resolved on the spot and the rest were sent to the respective departments with a special note to take the issues on priority basis and report in this connection be sent to the Deputy Commissioner within a week.


Head Constable hurt in clash
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, October 10
A Head Constable was injured in a dispute between a police team and villagers in Ghattianwali Bodla village of this subdivision in early hours today. The police allegedly fired into the air in self defence.

According to an FIR lodged with Sadar police, a police team today reached Ghattianwali village on a complaint of Ram Krishan, a Panchayat member of the village, to arrest Joginder Singh, alias Billu, Mohinder Singh, Dalip Singh and Kala Singh, all brothers.

When the police team reached the village, Joginder Singh and his companions allegedly attacked them with sharp-edged weapons and sticks. In the clash Prempal Singh, Head Constable, received injuries.

On the other hand the villagers say that the police team raided the house of Joginder Singh to take revenge because he had got Kashmiri Lal, ASI and in charge of Roranwali police post, arrested in a bribe case by the Vigilance Department on Thursday evening.


One killed as mini-truck, train collide

Hoshiarpur, October 10
One person was killed on the spot while another was seriously injured when the 9112-Jammu-Ahmedabad Mail collided with a mini-truck at an unmanned gate near Bhangala on the Jalandhar-Jammu railway section, about 65 km from here, around 12.10 pm today, police sources said.

The deceased was identified as Sonu Mehta of Talwara, the driver of the mini-truck. The injured was identified as Krishan Chand of Talwara. He was admitted to the civil hospital at Mukerian in a serious condition. Another occupant of the mini-truck was unhurt.

According to railway sources, traffic on the Jalandhar-Jammu railway section remained suspended for more than an hour. According to police sources, the mini-truck was carrying domestic goods and was going from Talwara to Pathankot. — PTI


Man held for father’s murder
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, October 10
The police has booked Mehtab Singh, alias Ladi, for the murder of his father, Puran Singh. The victim had remarried after the death of his wife. The accused feared that his father might give a major portion of his land to his stepmother. When the victim was coming to his house on a bicycle, Mehtab Singh joined him on the way and stabbed him near Panjupur. The victim was brought to the Civil Hospital here, where he was declared dead. After post-mortem examination the body was handed over to relatives of the deceased.


One stoned to death
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, October 10
Dharam Chand was stoned to death by three villagers during a clash at Rurrka Kalan village in Phillaur subdivision last night. A property dispute is said to be the cause of the clash. The Goraya police has registered case under Sections 304/34 of the IPC against Tilak Raj, Lal Chand and Deepak of the same village.


45 hurt in bus mishap
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 10
As many as 45 passengers of a bus were injured when it hit a tree on way to Salasar last night. The accident took place near Kheruwala village on the Abohar-Sadulshshehar road.

Fifteen passengers have been admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Those hospitalised included Mrs Rajni Setia, her daughter Deepika, Mrs Savitri, Mehar Chand, Sita Ram, Puran Chand Sharma, Rameshwar and Sonu. Driver Gurcharan Singh, alias Channi, had fractured his leg.

A case has been registered against the driver of the bus.


ASI held on bribe charge

Fazilka, October 10
A Vigilance team from Muktsar arrested Mr Kashmiri Lal, ASI of the police post at Roranwali village in the subdivision, while alleging accepting a bribe of Rs 500.

According to the FIR Mr Joginder Singh of Ghattianwali village wanted to lodge a complaint regarding a dispute with Mr Ram Krishan and others and the ASI had allegedly kept the issue pending, demanding bribe for registering an FIR. Mr Joginder Singh had reportedly the matter to the Vigilance staff which caught Mr Kashmiri Lal red-handed. — OC

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