P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Akali Dal, INLD to have poll alliance in Rajasthan
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Failure of the Bharatiya Janta Party to adjust the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate for the Sikh-dominated Karanpur Assembly seat has forced the former to shake hands with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the coming Assembly elections in Rajasthan.

“We will, however, have a poll alliance with the BJP in the remaining four states going to the polls next month,” Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, General Secretary of SAD, told The Tribune on the telephone this evening.

“We wanted to field the President of the Rajasthan unit of our party, Mr Surjit Singh Kang, from Karanpur but the BJP made it a prestige issue and insisted on contesting from there on its own. This forced us to leave the BJP and join hands with INLD in opposing the Congress in all Jat and Sikh dominated Assembly segments in Rajasthan,” said Mr Dhindsa revealing that SAD would put up its candidates in three constituencies, including Karanpur, Pili Banga and Kesri Singhpur.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh had unsuccessfully contested on the BJP ticket from Karanpur in the last two assembly elections. The BJP wanted to field him again this time.

In the last Assembly elections Sikhs — Mr Gurmeet Singh and Mr H.S. Sidhu — owing allegiance to the ruling Congress party, represented Karanpur and Rai Singh Nagar seats.

Mr Dhindsa said the Dal would support INLD candidates from wherever they contest in Rajasthan. INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala plans to field candidates from 40 seats and has been actively campaigning in the Jat heartland of Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Suratgarh areas.

Besides Karanpur and Rai Singh Nagar, Sikhs enjoy a clear edge in Kesri Singhpur, Sri Ganganagar, Sanghria, Hanumangarh, Tibbi, Pili Banga and Suratgarh Assembly segments. Mr Joginder Singh has been nominated as SAD candidate from Kesri Singhpur seat. Interestingly, the Dal has not staked its claim on the Rai Singh Naga seat.

Mr Dhindsa said the Jat and Sikh vote combined put the INLD and SAD candidates in a commanding position against the Congress. “Both the INLD and SAD have a common agenda of defeating the Congress in the coming elections. And in Rajasthan, our alliance will emerge as the third alternative. We will not campaign against the BJP anywhere,” he added.

Looking back, Karanpur has been invariably returning a Sikh candidate irrespective of the party represented by him. Even Rai Singh Nagar has been generally returning a Sikh candidate to the assembly. Both INLD and BJP are yet to come out with lists of their candidates for the next month’s elections. The first list of BJP candidates is expected in a day or two.

In Delhi, the BJP has agreed to leave three seats for the Dal against four demanded by it.


Noose around Daler slackens
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
The noose around Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi seems to have slackened, with the Patiala police Special Investigation Team (SIT) awaiting reconstitution and the new district police chief indicating today that the case against Daler would be thoroughly investigated before making any arrest.

The SIT is in disarray, with the state government transferring Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal from the post of Senior Superintendent of Police of the district. Mr Umranangal was dealing with the case on a day-to-day basis even though its supervision had been entrusted to Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota.

Prior to the recent removal of Mr Umranangal, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajinderpal Singh Anand, who was also a member of the SIT, had been transferred out of the district. With the transfer of the three officers who formed its backbone, the SIT has been virtually grounded.

Incoming SSP A.S. Rai said the SIT would be reconstituted according to the need of its head, Mr R.L. Monga, SP (Headquarters). He said the new Station House Officer of the Sadar police station would be taken into the ambit of the SIT because the human trafficking case had been registered by the Sadar police. He said other officers would be included in the SIT if required.

The SSP also indicated that the Patiala police may change its earlier high-profile tactics in the case under which it had announced raids against the pop star every other day. Maintaining that he needed time to study the case, he said all important cases would henceforth be thoroughly investigated before taking any action. Mr Rai said no arrest would be made in such cases unless proof existed that the person was guilty. He said arrests would be made only if custodial interrogation was needed in a case.

These tactics already seem to be at work. Members of the SIT, which had filed an application in a local court asking for the arrest warrants of Daler Mehndi, did not even come to the court today to pursue the case. Sources said this happened because the Sadar police Inspector had been transferred.

Meanwhile, sources also attributed the recent transfers of members of the SIT to the controversies surrounding them. They said the Patiala police had deputed DSP Rajinderpal Singh Anand, who is accused of demanding Rs 1.50 crore from Daler Mehndi, as a member of the SIT. They said this meant an officer who was accused of wrongdoing was conducting raids to nab the person who had complained against him.

There was also controversy over the membership of Inspector Didar Singh in the SIT. The district police kept Didar Singh as a member of the SIT even though he had been transferred outside the city.

The sources said zonal Inspector-General of Police Shashikant, who had earlier seen his order transferring the Daler case to the Sangrur police changed by the Director-General of Police, had started asserting himself recently.


Parallel jathas by SGPC, Delhi panel leave for Pak
Tribune News Service

Wagah, November 5
Even as Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, Senior vice-president, SGPC, who was nominated to lead a jatha to Pakistan could not go, Dr Balkar Singh, a former head, Department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies, Patiala University, replaced him at an eleventh hour. The reason for not leading the jatha by Mr Pakhoke was said to be the forthcoming annual election of the SGPC, scheduled to be held on November 20, as he wanted re-election as senior vice-president.

While the SGPC jatha comprised 294 pilgrims, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, a former president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), led another jatha of 82 pilgrims to Pakistan from New Delhi.

Both the jathas were given a warm welcome by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (PSGPC) at the Wagah joint check post by Mr Sham Singh, Co-Chairman of PSGPC, and Mr Izhar-ul-Hasan, Additional Secretary of Pakistan Evacuee Property Trust.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Sarna said that he would try to meet President Pervez Musharraf there for taking up the case of constructing a highway from Wagah to Nankana Sahib and the expenses would be borne by the DSGMC. He said the DSGMC would also offer to carry out ‘kar sewa’ of Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

Mr Sarna said that it was a matter of concern that after 54 years of Partition at least 40 historic Sikh shrines had disappeared from Pakistan. There was a dire need to save an equal number of historic gurdwaras which were in dilapidated condition and required urgent repair.

On the formation International Sikh Gurdwara Committee, Mr Sarna said that the SGPC should not lay any pre-condition for it. He, however, said that due representation should be given to the SGPC, Takht Patna Sahib, Hazur Sahib and Sikhs from abroad.


SGPC seeks bus service for pilgrims to Pak
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 5
The SGPC in a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, has urged the government to take up with Pakistan the starting of a special bus service from Amritsar to Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

Honorary secretary (SGPC) Manjit Singh Calcutta said here yesterday that the government must look after the interest of the Sikhs while offering confidence-building measures to Pakistan. He said in the 12 proposals offered by India the issue of Sikhs gurdwaras should have been included.

He said the SGPC had offered to start bus services for Sikh devotees on a regular basis. He said the issue of Sikh shrines should be taken up with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the SGPC yesterday sought the expansion of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee by giving due representation to Takht Patna Sahib, Hazoor Sahib, Shiromani Committee and other representatives from all over the world.

In a press release issued here yesterday, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, SGPC Secretary, however, said that the office-bearers or members of the PSGPC must be baptised Sikhs.

He said that though the Government of Pakistan had accepted the long-standing demand of the SGPC for giving corridor from Dera Baba Nanak (India) to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan), yet the Government of India had not agreed to the proposal so far.


FCI giving poor quality wheat as wages,
allege sarpanches
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 5
Sarpanches of the district have protested against the sub-standard quality of wheat, being provided by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under its ‘Sampuran Gramin Rozgar Yojna’, being provided to labourers in lieu of cash against the wages for rural development works in Punjab.

The FCI was providing 75 per cent wheat and 25 per cent cash to the labourers for carrying out development works in rural areas against their wages through Zila Parishads in Punjab under this scheme.

Many sarpanches of the district said here today that the FCI was supplying substandard wheat which was unit for human consumption. Though good quality of wheat was freely available in the market at the rate of Rs 7 to Rs 8 per kg. Since the labourers were getting only 25 per cent of their salaries in cash none of them was ready to work under this scheme. They said that a team of officials of Union Ministry of Rural Development had visited various panchayats in the district during the last week to check the work being carried out under Sampuran Gramin Rozgar Yojna. Almost all sarpanches stressed before the team to give only cash as wages to the labourers, as none of them was ready to accept the sub-standard wheat in lieu of their wages.

According to official sources, all Additional Deputy Commissioners (Development) of Punjab had also recently opposed the supply of sub-standard quality of wheat and part cash as the labourers’ wages, in their meeting with the officers of the Union Ministry of Rural Development at New Delhi.

Sources said that 21,930 quintals of wheat had been provided by the Food Corporation of India to 1,317 panchayats in Hoshiarpur district under this scheme. A sum of Rs 1.62 crore had been given to these panchayats as 25 per cent of the wages of labourers for development works under the above scheme.

Sarpanches said that it was difficult for them to keep the already supplied sub-standard wheat intact in their panchayats as they had no storage arrangement for it. They said that they would not accept sub-standard wheat in future.


Revoke suspension of MC official,
Mayor asks minister
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
High drama was witnessed at the municipal corporation office here today with Mayor Vishnu Sharma appealing to the Local Bodies Minister, Choudhary Jagjit Singh to stay the suspension of a Sanitary Inspector effected yesterday by the corporation Commissioner Sanjay Kumar.

The Mayor said he appealed to the minister when he was told that the Secretary, Local Bodies, was not available. He said he was forced to take up the issue with the minister because of the “tense” situation in the corporation after the passing of the order. He said the minister had assured him that the implementation of the order of the Commissioner would be stayed.

Municipal employees resorted to staging a dharna today and collected in front of the office of the Mayor demanding that the orders of the Commissioner regarding the suspension of Sanitary Inspector Subhash Sharma should be withdrawn immediately. The employees claimed that the suspended employee had been discriminated against and that there were no grounds to suspend him.

The employees, who were led by their president, Mr Prem Paharia, also claimed that the Commissioner was not competent to suspend the Inspector claiming that only the Director, Local Bodies, could do this. They also claimed that in case the suspension was not revoked immediately, they would launch a stir.

Sources said the Sanitary Inspector had been suspended yesterday by the Commissioner on the ground that he had been absent from duty. They said a report in this regard had been forwarded to the Commissioner by the Health Officer, Dr B.S. Mann, following which the Commissioner had taken action in the matter.

The Health Officer said there had been complaints earlier that the Sanitary Inspector, who was looking after the Tripri area as well as part of the Sirhind road area, was not monitoring the work properly. He said yesterday the corporation Commissioner had asked him to check different areas in the city. He said when he reached the area allotted to Inspector Subhash Sharma he found that no sweeper was on duty in the area. He said even the sanitary zamadar was not present. He said there was no excuse for these officials not being there because the duty hours of the employees were from 6 am to 11 am.

Dr Mann said when the Chief Sanitary Inspector was asked about the whereabouts of Mr Sharma, the team was told that he had given an application for two days’ casual leave. The Health Officer maintained that the leave needed to be sanctioned before an employee could proceed on leave. He said a case of “wilful ignorance” was made out against the Sanitary Inspector and he was suspended.


Punjab Assembly prorogued
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
The fifth session of the 12th Punjab Vidhan Sabha, which was adjourned sine die on September 25, has been prorogued by an order of the Governor, says a press note.


Sales Tax officials up in arms against transporters
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 5
The Excise and Sales Tax Department of the state has decided to tighten noose around the transporters of the state. The move has been initiated due to an incident that took place near Kathgarh village about 20 km from here.

On October 30 an Excise official, Mr Avtar Singh, stopped a truck of Patiala Transport Company owned by Libra family. The truck was allegedly carrying illegal goods on the Ropar-Nawanshahar road. He directed the driver to take the truck to the Kathgar police station. However, while he was escorting the truck to police station two ambassador cars surrounded the official's vehicle obstructing its way while truck driver drove away the vehicle carrying illegal goods. The persons in the cars also snatched the mobile phone of Mr Avtar Singh and fled.

The Excise and Sales Tax officials reported the matter to the Kathgar police and a case was registered. Subsequently the truck was also confiscated from a godown in Hoshiarpur. It now had different number plate. Kaur Mohamad, an employee of the Patiala Transport Company, who had obstructed, the Excise official’s car, was also arrested later.

However, this was not the first time that the working of any Sales Tax and Excise official was obstructed by the workers of the said transport company. A higher official of the department said that the certain transport companies of the state evaded sales tax by plying their vehicles on routes through villages.

The trucks of some companies owned by certain influential transporters, were escorted by cars carrying goons. Whenever, a one or two Excise official stopped the trucks, the persons accompanying the trucks harassed them and took away their goods.

In the recent past the goons protecting the trucks had also slapped certain Excise officials. The continuous harassment by the transporters had demoralised the Enforcement officials of the department.

This had forced the department to move against transport companies using such bullying tactics. In the recent past a team of about 60 officials of the Sales Tax Department, along with 100 policemen, had raided the offices of the Patiala Transport Company and the Patiala Carriers, both owned by Libras in Ludhiana and confiscated goods worth about Rs 50 lakh.

A case had been registered against Mr Karamjit Singh and Mr Amarjit Singh, owners of the erring companies who were on the run, sources said.

Senior officials of the Excise and Sales Tax Department were also taking up the matter of harassment of their officials with the senior officials of the police to devise a strategy to avoid such incidents in future.


60 buildings near Golden Temple face demolition
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
The Amritsar Improvement Trust is waiting for the government approval to undertake a major road-widening project from the GT Road to the Golden Temple, said the chairperson of the trust, Ms Ratna.

Talking to newspersons here today she said that the trust had forwarded the proposal for 40-feet widening of the road to the Punjab Government which would require the demolition of 60 buildings situated in the Ghee Mandi area till the Golden Temple. She said the entire project would cost Rs 5 crore out of which Rs 2 crore had been earmarked as compensation to the owners of the buildings to be demolished and the rest for the construction of the road.

Ms Ratna said that the owners of the buildings had agreed to the proposal of widening of the road and the project was likely to start within next two months. This had been done in view of the Golden Temple being declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and to tab the tourist rush.

The chairperson pointed out that the trust would give assistance to complete the pending phase IV and V of the ‘galliara’ project.


British Columbia Premier to visit Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
The British Columbia Premier, Mr Gordon Campbell, will visit Amritsar on November 9 to offer obeisance at the Golden Temple. Mr Campbell will be accompanied by a 15-member delegation to explore the possibility of starting joint ventures with local businessmen.

During his two-day stay in Punjab, Mr Campbell will meet the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on November 10 and later address a special business session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Chandigarh. The experts accompanying Mr Campbell include specialists from horticulture, agro-processing, education and information technology.


Bengal Govt against ban on cow slaughter
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 5
Mr Mohammad Saleem, West Bengal Minister for Technical Education, Minority Development and Welfare, said today that the state government would oppose any move of the Central Government to ban cow slaughter.

Addressing a press conference here today, the minister said his party, the CPM, had already opposed the tabling of a Bill in this regard in Parliament and any new move to ban cow slaughter would also be opposed.

Mr Saleem was in the city on way to Amritsar to attend the seventh all-India conference of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, scheduled to begin at Jallianwala Bagh.

He alleged that the Central Government’s move to ban the slaughter of cows was nothing but an attempt to gain political mileage. Referring to the reports that the state government was planning to seek the Centre’s nod so that the export of beef to Bangladesh from West Bengal be allowed, he said the state government was opposed to the smuggling of beef to the neighbouring country.

He said his party was open to entering into a poll alliance with any political party to ensure the defeat of the BJP in the ensuing Assembly poll in five states.

“We have decided to support those political parties who can defeat communal forces led by the BJP”, he said, adding that though the Congress was the main rival party for them in some of the states, his party could support the Congress tactically to ensure that the BJP was ousted from power.


Bus stand chowk cries for attention
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 5
The bus stand chowk, here, located on the National Highway-21 is in a state of neglect.

The chowk is located on the road on which traffic from all over Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and other regions passes. On one side of the chowk is the state highway leading to Banur, and on another side there is the Old Morinda road, linking Kharar with Morinda. Though traffic lights were installed during the Khalsa Tricentenary celebrations, these are not functioning. Moreover, there are no reflectors on the road divider and or any street lights despite heavy traffic flow around the chowk.

With no arrangement to mind the heavy traffic, confusion prevails during the twilight hours. Since it is a highway, vehicles move fast on the road. Not a day passes when an untoward accident is not reported on the road. At times, there are traffic jams at the site as roadways buses too stop here. All buses from Chandigarh for various parts of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir stop at the chowk to pick up passengers.

Pedestrians and two wheelers are the worst sufferers when at night it becomes difficult to cross the road.


Call facility withdrawn despite payment of bills
Our Correspondent

Ratwara Sahib (Kharar), November 5
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Punjab circle, has withdrawn outgoing call facility from a large number of telephones of Ratwara Sahib telephone exchange, Kharar, despite reported payments of the due outstanding amounts by the subscribers.

Sources in BSNL blamed post-offices for the problem. “Some post-offices are responsible for the problem as they do not forward the payments collected to the nigam in time”, an official of the BSNL said. He, however, did not rule out the possibility of some technical snag behind the problem.

No official of the Department of Posts could be contacted.

More than 100 subscribers in Ratwara Sahib, Mullanpur-Garibdass and adjoining villages have been affected over the past 20 days. However, some of them were able to get the reconnection facility after showing the payment of receipts at nigam’s office in SAS Nagar. Most of these subscribers had deposited the bills at various post-offices.

The nigam claimed that the disconnection and reconnection process of telephones was computerised and only those telephones got disconnected or a facility was withdrawn where the payment was not received in due time. “In case, an aggrieved consumer produces the payment receipt, the facility is promptly restored,” claimed the official.

Kulwant Singh of Mullanpur - Garibdass village told Chandigarh Tribune that despite having made the payment at the post-office of this village within the due date, the outgoing call facility on his phone had been withdrawn.

Kamal, another aggrieved consumer in the village, complained that it was very embarrassing if a guest wanted to make a call from his phone. “One of my guest even advised me to make sure that the bills are paid well in time,” he said.


Posting ban relaxed for doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
In respect of the Departments of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education and Research. The Punjab Government has relaxed its February order.

The order had put a blanket ban on postings and transfers of officers to places other than those where posts were sanctioned.

The Department of Finance’s order of October 21 is expected to benefit nearly 100 -odd officials and doctors. Yet, it would deprive nearly 82 dispensaries of the services of medical officers, who had got themselves posted or transferred from there along with sanctioned posts to the places of their convenience.

Due to the ban imposed in February, the salaries of these 100-odd officials had been stopped.

In fact, the orders were explicit that each drawing and disbursing officers would certify every salary bill, saying that the incumbent was working at the place for which the post was sanctioned or that the incumbent had not been transferred along with the post.


Civil Surgeon recommends action against SMO
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 5
The Civil Surgeon Dr Yashpal Singla, today asked the Secretary Health to take strict action against Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Kasel, Dr Ramesh Chaudhary, who has been evading arrest following registration of an FIR.

The SMO was accused of shielding a ‘nambardar’ of the village, Kulwant Singh who made a bid to molest a woman doctor of the Primary Health Centre (PHC) under the influence of liquor. The accused, who is close to SMO, allegedly attacked the staff member of the PHC with a naked sword, who were on duty at that time. When Kulwant Singh went to the residence of SMO, the latter threatened the staff and warned of strict action against them approached the police.

Dr Singla, who has taken over as Civil Surgeon recently, said that the erring officials would not be spared.


Free dentures, treatment
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 5
Dental treatment free of cost, including affixation of dentures on poor and needy persons, would be provided to people during the 12th dental fortnight, which is scheduled to be observed at different places in the district from November 10.

Dr Ashok Sharma, District Dental Health Officer, and nodal officer of the programme, said the dental fortnight would be inaugurated by the Divisional Commissioner, Dr Swaran Singh, at the Civil Hospital on November 10.

He said dental treatment free of cost and artificial treatment would be provided from November 10 till November 24 at camps to be organised at the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, School Health Clinic, Basti Guzan, Jalandhar, Civil Hospitals at Nakodar and Phillaur. “During this period a minimum of 100 free dentures would be provided to poor and needy patients during the fortnight under a programme jointly financed by the Punjab Government, State Bank of Patiala, Citizen Cooperative Bank and other social organisations, said Dr Sharma.


Key posts in Health Dept lying vacant
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 5
Key posts in the District Health Department are lying vacant. The post of Civil Surgeon has fallen vacant following the retirement of Dr P.D. Sharma. The post of Deputy Medical Commissioner is also lying vacant as Dr Hardev Singh has been promoted as Civil Surgeon at Patiala. Dr K.K. Singla, who was the District Family Planning and Welfare Officer, has taken voluntary retirement and gone abroad.

The post of District Health Officer is also lying vacant after Dr Prem Nath Rajput was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in a corruption case.

The officer managing the department is Dr H.C. Gupta, Assistant Civil Surgeon.


2 cops suspended for keeping man in
illegal custody
Our Correspondent

Anandpur Sahib, November 5
An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), Bharat Bhushan, and a constable, Vachitar Singh, both posted at the Kiratpur Sahib chowki, have been suspended for keeping Vijay Kumar, a resident of Nakian village in illegal custody.

Vijay Kumar, in his complaint to the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC), had alleged that the two policemen kept him in illegal custody for 14 hours on August 30. He was also allegedly beaten up in custody. He was let off only after the intervention of the panchayat of Nakian.

As his repeated pleas to higher officials did not evoke any action, he complained to the PHRC. The PHRC directed the ADGP (Crime) to inquire into the complaint and submit a report within two months. The ADGP (Crime), in his report, held the ASI and the constable guilty of keeping the complainant in illegal custody.

On the basis of the report of the ADGP and the direction of the PHRC, a case under Sections 342, 345 and 120B of the IPC was registered against the policemen at the Anandpur Sahib police station.


Play dedicated to Norah Richards
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 5
As many as 30 artistes of the National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) presented two-hour “Punjabi Haas Raag Rang”, a monthly programme of humour, music, dance and drama to mark the conclusion of birth anniversary of artiste late Norah Richards here, yesterday.

The chief guest, Principal A.K. Shahi, said a real tribute to Norah Richards was “Eh Doomne” written by Norah’s disciple, Prof I.C. Nanda, presented in the programme directed by Pran Sabharwal and Sunita Sabharwal. The play, he said, successfully conveyed the Norah — Nanda ideology of condemning discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and colour. The cast included Dharminder Sidhu, Santosh Kumar, Manpreet Bedi, Sukhwinder, Nimmi, Harpal Singh, Gursharan Gill, M.S. Jaggi and Jaspreet Kaur.


Summons issued against Jagir Kaur
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 5
A local court has issued fresh summons against a former President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Bibi Jagir Kaur, acting in a defamation case filed against her by Ms Kulbir Kaur Dhami, Director of the Gur Ashra Trust, SAS Nagar for January 14, 2004.

The complainant had alleged that Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon had released a booklet in Punjabi titled “ Zimmewar Kaun” and had levelled serious allegations against her.

Giving details about the allegation, the complainant stated that Mr Dhilon had levelled 18 false and frivolous allegations against her pertaining to embezzlement of trust funds, mismanagement and wasteful expenditure in the name of the trust. The entire expenditure on the trust had been accounted for and duly entered in the record book maintained by the trust, contrary to the false imputations levelled against the complainant.

The complainant further added that the most serious allegation levelled against her was that of withdrawing Rs 90, 000 from the bank account of the trust by forging the signatures of Mr Dhillon on a cheque which was absolutely false, frivolous and malafide and had been levelled with an ulterior motive to defame the complainant. Moreover, Mr Dhillon had handed over the booklet containing allegations against her to Bibi Jagir Kaur, who publically distributed it amongst a section of the Press, the complainant further alleged.

Beant Singh case

The statement of the Senior Scientist with CFSL, New Delhi, Mr S.K Chadha, who had examined the fingerprints of the two accused, Balwant Singh, and Lakhwinder Singh, allegedly involved in the assassination of the former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, was recorded in the special court room in the Model Jail, Burail.

While deposing before the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, a witness, said he had examined the fingerprint photographs taken from the parts of the car which was used by the accused to commit the crime. During the cross-examination of Mr Chadha, the defence counsel raised doubts about the fingerprint photographs taken by the CFSL employees.


2 food inspectors sentenced
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 5
Two food inspectors were sentenced to one and a half years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2000 for being allegedly involved in a corruption case here today.

The Vigilance Department had registered a case against Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Ambala and Grade I Inspector, and Kumar Parkesh, a resident of Rajpura and Grade II Inspector, under Sections 7, 13(2) of the IPC at a local Vigilance police station in May 98.

According to the information, both inspectors were held for accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from Ram Singh, who wanted to open a fair price shop.


New Patiala SSP takes over
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 5
Newly appointed Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police A S Rai, who took charge of his office today, claimed that his priority would be to provide a people-friendly police which would function in a transparent manner. Talking to mediapersons here after taking over, Mr Rai said besides addressing grievancess of the people, he would also try to ensure that the police behaved in a better manner with the people. The police officer said the focus would also be on controlling crime besides going in for more innovations to improve the functioning of the police.

Mr Rai also disclosed that a “citizens charter” had been formulated and implemented by him in Sangrur and he would try to implement the same here. He said the charter clearly listed responsibilities of the police and educated the people about their rights. He said the charter, which had been drafted in Punjabi for the common man, would be distributed amongst the public soon.

The police officer while talking about other schemes, said a comprehensive traffic plan would be made for the entire city. He said under the plan the police department would provide resource material to different departments to improve traffic functioning in the city. He said under this, engineering changes would also be recommended. He said schoolchildren would be involved in traffic regulation and a special traffic education cell, consisting of police officials, would be formed to educate children about traffic rules in schools in the city.

The SSP maintained that under another scheme, drugs seized by the district police would be destroyed instead of being kept in police stations. He said once a person was arrested and narcotics substances seized from him, the police would take the permission of the magistrate concerned to destroy the narcotics substance after a sample of the seizure was approved.


Punjab electoral rolls to be revised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 5
Mr Gurjeet Singh Cheema, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, today announced the revision of electoral rolls in the state.

According to a press note issued here today, those who attain the age of 18 years as on January 1, 2004, will be eligible to become voters.

Special campaigns to enlist new voters will be held on December 6 and 7.

The final list will be published on January 20.


Shiv Kumar is Fatehgarh SSP
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 5
Mr Shiv Kumar today took charge as the new SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib. He has replaced Mr B. Chandra Sekhar. Mr Shiv Kumar had earlier been SSP of Moga and Muktsar districts. Presently, he was SP Special Investigation crime branch. He was presented a guard of honour on his arrival to the SSP office.

Mr Shiv Kumar directed police officials to present people-friendly attitude.


Gang busted, two held

Tarn, Taran, November 5
With the arrest of two persons, the police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of looters.

Mr Narender Bhargava, district police chief, Tarn Taran, said the police had arrested Satnam Singh and Jagtar Singh and seized weapon, eight cartridges and Rs 1 lakh in cash. The police has also recovered one stolen Maruti car. A case was registered under Sections 379 and 411, IPC, and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act at the Harike police station.

Mr Bhargava said the accused admitted that their gang had murdered a ‘munim’ of an arhtiya at Ghariala village and looted Rs 3 lakh from him. OC


Six truck union members held
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 5
The Bareta police has registered a case of robbery under Section 392 of the IPC against eight members of the Bareta Truck Union. The case has been registered against Prithipal Singh, Yadwinder Singh, Tara Singh, Lakha Singh, Bira Singh, Avinash Kumar, Baldev Singh and Mohan Pandit. The police has arrested six suspects while two of them are at large.

According to the FIR, a truck owned by M/s Kailashpati Cotton Mill, Bareta, laden with cotton seed to be delivered at Patiala, was intercepted by the suspects by blocking the road with a vehicle. The suspects allegedly deflated the tyres of the truck and beat up the driver and cleaner of the truck. The driver, Harpal Singh, managed to flee and reported the matter to the Bareta police. Meanwhile, cotton millers of Bareta have gone on strike and decided not to purchase cotton from the market in protest against the incident.


Six arrested for cheating
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 5
Six persons, including a former head constable of the Rajasthan police, were arrested yesterday from Rani Jhansi Market here on charges of cheating people by running fake lottery business. They have been identified as Jagdev Singh, Karamjit, Pawan Kumar, Pankaj, Anil Kumar and Sunil Kumar.

The market is emerging as biggest centre for “satta” business, besides pirated audio and video cassettes and CDs. A flying squad of the Lotteries Department led by a Deputy Director had raided the market last month and booked the former head constable under the Gambling Prevention Act. The Duputy Director said that the state government was suffering a loss of more than Rs 25 crore due to parallel lottery business.


VC inaugurates cultural festival
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 5
Punjab Technical University (PTU) has set up nine regional centres in the state to promote research work and impart training to faculty of its affiliated colleges.

This was stated by the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Y.S. Rajan, after formally inaugurating the two-day PTU Zonal Cultural Festival on the campus of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (DAVIET), here today.

The competitions were held in eight categories. In clay modelling, Gaurav Aman of (DAVIET) adjudged, first followed by Harkirti Kaur of the PCTE, Ludhiana.

Classical dance: Ridhi Nayyer of the GNIMT, Ludhiana, (first); classical vocal solo: Ramandeep Kaur of the GNIMT, Ludhiana, (first), Aashima Deol of the PCTE, Ludhiana, (second). Western vocal solo: Ridhi Nayyer of the GNIMT, Ludhiana, (first) and Kunal Jhanji of the DAVIET, (second). Western group song: Kunal and Puneet of the DAVIET (first) and Rohini Nayyer and team of the GNIMT, Ludhiana, (second). Classical instrument solo (non-percussion): Komaljeet of the PCTE, Ludhiana, (first) and Ankita Tandon of the DAVIET (second). Classical instrument solo (percussion): Amandeep Singh of the DAVIET (first) and Baljinder Singh of the (CEM, Kapurthala second). Rangoli: Ramit Saxena of the PCTE, Ludhiana, (first) and Princi Jain of the DAVIET (second).


Students urged to call off stir
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 5
Though the authorities of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal, was closed down sine die from October 31 for students of Bachelor of Engineering degree courses and ordered them to vacate hostels in view of their agitation, the stir entered its eighth day today.

They held a dharna in front of the residence of the Director, SLIET. Dr R.C. Chauhan, the Director, this evening appealed to the students to call off the agitation.

He offered to provide extra coaching to weak students. Mr Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, SDM, and Mr B.S. Sidhu, DSP, visited the SLIET campus and held discussions with the students and the SLIET authorities. Mr Chhatwal said the administration had asked the Director to revoke the sine die closure of the institute for nearly 900 students. The Director would fix a date for opening the institute for the BE students and after that the situation would be reviewed.

He would also make arrangements for providing special coaching to 29 students so that they could clear their first semester. Suparteek Sen Gupta, a students' leader, said they wanted the opening of the hostels before negotiations.


Sunam students hold protest
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 5
Students of the Shaheed Udham Singh Government College, Sunam, under the leadership of Punjab Radical Students Union (PRSU), today took out a march through the Sunam town in protest against the non-refunding of the amount of the hiked fee which was later rolled back to the students of the BA (I) so far by the Punjab Government.

They also held a rally on the college campus and raised slogans against the Punjab Government, demanding refund of the amount of rolled back fee to all students immediately. They also demanded to adjust the amount of examination fee for the BA (I) examinations, to be conducted by Punjabi University, from the already deposited hiked fee by the students.

Later, they also held a rally in front of the Sunam bus stand which was addressed by various student leaders, including Mr Bahal Singh, state finance secretary of the PRSU; and Ms Bir Pal Kaur, another PRSU leader.

The student leaders also warned the Punjab Government if their fees were not refunded soon then the PRSU would launch an agitation.


Language Dept to hold drama competition
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 5
A state-level drama competition is being organised by the Punjab Language Department as a part of the series of programme being conducted during ‘Punjabi Saptah’ at Government College for Girls, Ludhiana, on November 6.

Speaking on the occasion, Director, Punjab Language Department, Madan Lal Hasiza, said the aim of the competition was to make the students aware of rich culture and heritage of Punjab and to promote the Punjabi theatre.

He further said those participants who had bagged the first, second and third positions in divisional-level drama competition would take part in the state-level contest.

Mr Hasiza further said cash prizes of Rs 1,000, Rs 700 and Rs 500 would be given to first, second and third winner, respectively.

The State Minister for Higher Education Harnam Das Johar would preside over the function.


Student’s death: CBI probe sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 5
Mr Vijay Mahajan, father of Sourav Mahajan, a final year student of the Law Department, who died on October 17 at Kathunangal, today sought a CBI probe.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Mahajan said his son was forced to commit suicide. He said the university authorities had not bothered to give any statement against the persons who were responsible for the suicide. He said he would request the government to hand over the investigation to the CBI to bring out the truth and book the guilty. He alleged that police and university officials were shielding the accused. He also demanded the suspension of the Head of the Law Department, Dr M.D. Singh, and the Security Officer, Mr S.S. China.

Mr Mahajan has also forwarded his complaint to the Punjab Human Rights Commission. Meanwhile, the university authorities have given a clean chit to the head of the department and the Security Officer. As per the press note issued here today by the university public relations department, both officers are cooperating with the police.

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