P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Arrest warrants against Daler
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
A local court today issued arrest warrants against Punjab pop star Daler Mehndi for which an application had been filed during the tenure of former district police chief P. S. Umranangal. The district police has, however, not followed the issuance of the order with any raid on any suspected hideout of the pop star.

The special investigation team (SIT) of the district police had filed an application in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate P. S. Dhanoa on November 4, pleading that arrest warrants be issued against the pop star. Earlier arrest warrants were issued on October 15, but expired recently.

Though the case was to come up for hearing yesterday, warrants against Daler could not be procured because widespread transfers of members of the SIT had virtually resulted in the dismantling of the SIT. Today, the court of the ACJM issued arrest warrants against Daler on the basis of the application filed by the SIT earlier.

The application filed by the police had stated that an amount of Rs 1.94 crore was involved in the case as a number of complaints had been received against Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Mehndi.

The application also said that recovery of passports had to be done in the case and that Daler was not cooperating with the police due to which his custodial interrogation was necessary.

Meanwhile, even though arrest warrants were issued against the pop star, no follow-up action has been taken and the Patiala police has not deputed any team to arrest Daler. Sources said the arrest of Daler was no longer the first priority of the Patiala police, which was now investigating the case thoroughly so that all angles could be covered before taking any action against the pop star.

The sources said the complainants could also come under the scanner and that further developments would take place after the SIT had thoroughly investigated the case. New Senior Superintendent of Police A. S. Rai, asked whether the complaints would also be investigated, said the entire case was being viewed in totality and that the complaints would also be verified.

Meanwhile, Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, who is investigating the complaint filed by Daler against members of the Patiala police, including the former SSP, SP Kuldeep Singh and former DSP Rajinderpal Singh Anand, said even though a notice had been served on Daler, he had not given his statement in the case. He said another chance would be given to Daler. He said the statement of the former SSP would also be recorded, if needed.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, today welcomed the tranfer of Mr P. S. Umranangal from Patiala. He said it seemed that the Punjab Governor, Justice O. P. Verma, had reacted to a complaint submitted by him against the former SSP in which the “inhuman” manner in which Daler had been humiliated by making him take off his trousers and the collection of people to protest against Daler by the district police had been highlighted. He said the role of the district police in the Daler case should be further investigated.

A local court, meanwhile, today remanded Punjabi pop singer Harwinder Singh Mann, alias Sukha Dilliwala, in judicial custody. Earlier, the singer, who is also accused of running a human trafficking racket, had been remanded in police custody for two days. 


23 SPs shifted in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Continuing with its transfer spree in the absence of DGP A.A. Siddiqui, the Punjab Government today ordered the transfer of 23 SPs. These orders included modification of some transfers issued yesterday.

The move is seen as an attempt by the political executive to exert itself in the wake of mounting criticism that top echelons of the Police Department were not under the control of the Punjab Chief Minister.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had two days ago publicly snubbed the DGP for allegedly flouting political authority.

The following is the list SP-rank officials with their new postings: Mrs Vibhu Raj, SP (Hqrs), Patiala; Mr R.L. Monga, SP, City, Patiala; Mr Kuldip Singh, SP (Detective), Sangrur; Mr Shammi, SP (Counter-Intelligence), Amritsar; Mr Arunpal Singh, SP, CM Security, Chandigarh; Mr Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal, SP (Hqrs), Jalandhar; and Mr Mohinder Singh Teji, SP (Hqrs), Barnala.

Prominent among the transfers effected today is that of Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh, who has been posted as SP, Mohali. He came into limelight following the handling of the prestigious kidney scam case.

On the other hand, Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, son of former DGP M.S. Bhullar, has been sidelined and posted as SP, Investigation, Lokpal, Chandigarh, which is almost a defunct institution as no one is holdng the office of Lokpal at the moment.

Among the modified transfer orders are those of Mr Varinder Pal Singh, who now goes as SP (Hqrs), Jalandhar; Mr Sudesh Kumar Agnihotri as SP (Detective), Majitha; Mr Dilbag Singh, SP (Detective), Khanna; Mr S.K. Singh as SP, Security, Chandigarh; Ms Amrit Brar as SP (Operations), Chandigarh; and Mr Dilbagh Singh as SP (Vigilance Bureau), Jalandhar.

In the partially modified orders some officers have been allowed to continue at their previous places of posting. They are Mr Harish Kumar as SP, City-I, Ludhiana; Mr R.C. Sethi, SP, CM Security, Chandigarh; and Mr S.P.S. Basra, SP, Police Controlroom, Chandigarh.

Among others transferred are Mr Rajpal Singh, SP City-I, Jalandhar; Mr P.K. Rai, SP, City-I, Amritsar; Mr Surjit Singh, SP, (Traffic), Ludhiana; Mr Gurdial Singh, SP (D), Batala; and Mr Gurmail Singh, SP (Operations), Ferozepore.

Scrutiny of the transfers ordered in the past two days indicates that these have been made keeping in view the filing of a challan against former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the special court in the next few days. All those transferred have been asked to join their new posts within 24 hours.


Placement agency dupes 2 youths of Rs 7 lakh
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
All youths attracted to huge salary-promising advertisements of Merchant Navy placement agencies, beware! There are strong chances that the agencies might take you for a ride as happened with two youths belonging to Sangrur.

They were duped of Rs 7 lakh and given an address of a major shipping company of Canada to join as senior officers there. The address did not exist and the phone number came out to be that of a jewellery shop in New Delhi. One of the youth was even booked on a complaint of the Canadian Embassy, which accused him of cheating the embassy by showing false appointment letters.

The Ludhiana police has arrested Captain Laddi, one of the office-bearers of Sea Globe Maritime Consultancy Service based in Sector 35-B, Chandigarh, on the charge of cheating the two youths. The deal between the youths and the company was finalised in Ludhiana because of which the case has been registered at the Model Town police station.

The condition of one of the youths, Sarbjit Singh, of Bapla village in Sangrur district, is pathetic. He dreamt of a high-profile Merchant Navy job in Canada but landed in Tihar Jail after a Chandigarh-based placement agency hoodwinked him by sending him for an interview to the Canadian Embassy with forged papers.

The youth, who has done BE (Mechanical) has not only lost Rs 4 lakh in the bargain but faces a bleak future due to the registration of a case of cheating against him on the complaint of the Canadian Embassy.

His friend, Sukhvir Singh, also of the same village, was a bit lucky. He has also paid Rs 3 lakh to the Chandigarh company and was waiting for his turn at the embassy. Due to the controversy over his friend’s papers, he made good his escape and was saved. It was, ultimately, on his complaint that the FIR was lodged in Ludhiana.

According to the FIR, the company directors — Gurpreet Singh Sakhi and Captain Laddi, have been booked under Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC. The FIR stated that they had issued advertisements in various newspapers inviting youths to emigrate to Canada, promising a secure job and high salary.


Cross-border marriage put off
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Qadian, November 6
The much hyped cross-border marriage, scheduled for November 7 here has been postponed to the last week of November. It is likely to be held after Id which falls either on November 25 or 26, depending upon the rise of moon.

Mr Maqbol Ahmad, a local journalist who would tie nuptial knot with Pakistani girl, Tahira Hazur, said that some of their relatives from Pakistan, England, German, and other countries had applied for visa to attend their marriage.

Apart from Abmadiyya Muslims, a large number of non-Muslims have also been invited at the reception, likely to be held on November 30. Since parents and other relatives of Tahira could not come here to attend the proposed marriage, a local doctor, Dr Bashir Ahmed, has been authorised for her ‘Rukhsat’ (send off) as per Muslim traditions. Dr Bashir, who is Pakistan national, had migrated to Qadian — the international head quarter of Ahmadiyya community after Partition. Wife of Dr Babshir is also a Pakistan national.

Giving details, Mr Maqbool said that ‘nikah’ would be performed before the formal marriage, which is likely to take place on the same day. After the ‘nikah’, ‘talawat’ (recitation of holy Koran) would take place in the local mosque. Later, “dua” (pray) would be performed by Mirza Wasim Ahmad, chief secretary Ahmadiyya jamat.

The ‘waleema’ (reception), which is mandatory for any Muslim marriage, would be exclusively attended by members of the Ahmdiyya community.


Fight for economic liberation, says Capt Laxmi Sehgal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 6
A close aide of Subhash Chander Bose, Capt Laxmi Sehgal, today exhorted the youth to strive to achieve economic and social liberation. Delivering a keynote address on the opening day of the three-day national convention of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) here today, she said though India had won political freedom, we still had to earn freedom from social injustice, communalism and fanaticism.

She lashed out at the “communal” forces ruling the country. Addressing over 1,000 delegates from all over the country and from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Korea, Mayanmar and Nepal, she said social evils like dowry and economic disparity were ruining the nation. She said the youth must rise to attain freedom from such evils.

She decried the attempt by a section of the ruling class which dubbed members of the Indian National Army traitors. She said it was unfortunate that the people who had made supreme sacrifices for the liberation of the country, had not got due recognition. She said historians had also distorted facts. She said the ruling party had denied a film maker the permission to use Army jawans for making a film on the life of Netaji, by referring to the Indian National Army as unpatriotic.

Former general secretary of the DYFI, Mr M.A. Baby, came down heavily on the present BJP led government at the Centre and said it had bowed to US pressure against Iraq. He said India had abdicated its lofty ideals of non-aligned movement. Earlier, Capt Laxmi Sehgal and other dignitaries laid wreaths at the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial.

Terming the national Capital as the capital of crime, Ms Karat said in August, 26 cases of rape were reported in New Delhi.

She said the association had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India two months ago, suggesting the monitoring of the appointment of judges and to find out their approach towards women. She said out of 1.40 lakh cases recently reported, only in 15 per cent cases conviction was made while the remaining accused were allowed to go scotfree. She blamed the procecuting and investigating agencies in failing to complete the probe within the given time frame to allow too many loopholes that benefited the accused.


Punjab achieves record paddy procurement
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 6
Punjab has achieved record procurement of paddy this year — more than 127 lakh tonne so far, against the total procurement of 121 lakh tonne last year. The state is expected to cross the 130 lakh tonne mark this week.

This has been possible due to the generosity of weather gods — a good monsoon, followed by fine and dry weather conditions. This itself is unprecedented as the state did not have any rain during October, after the withdrawal of monsoon. In the past few years, the harvesting period has never remained entirely dry. The paddy crop used to be hit by heavy rains or hailstorm, which would result in damage to the yield as well as quality.

Luckily, this year both the yield and quality are excellent, claim agricultural experts. This situation has brought cheer to the farmers, who have been otherwise under debt.

The good monsoon also resulted in the saving of diesel costs, which was very high last year due to the drought. Experts estimate that the saving was about Rs 5,000 per acre.

With the prospects looking up, land owners who give their land on rent (theka) have also benefited, as the annual rent has risen from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per acre for prime fertile land. All these factors can have far-reaching effects on the economy of the state as the buying capacity of the farmers has also increased, resulting in higher demand for consumer goods.

The state exchequer will be a gainer with the higher cost of paddy (not below the MSP), as the market fee will rise and the collection of other state taxes will also go up.

The good crop has also resulted in increase in rice milling. Additional capacity worth 1,000 tonne has been added this year. Punjab has more than 3,000 rice mills. Custom milling would not pose any problem this year because the space for storing rice to the order of 60 lakh tonne is available now in the state.

The millers will also have good season because they have purchased more than 30 lakh tonne, or 25 per cent of the total arrival so far. Last year they purchased 14.5 lakh tonne from the mandis.

The rice millers may reap heap heavy benefits also because there are reports that rice-consuming states Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have faced drought-like conditions this year and the production in these states has fallen.

Officials of the Food Supply Department and the state agencies are hoping that custom million would be complete by april next; in the past, it used to go on beyond September, just when the new crop starts arriving.

There are a few millers who are allegedly defaulters of the state agencies and would like to 
prolong the custom milling process. They buy fresh paddy from the market and meet the commitment to the official agencies.

Another positive feature this year was that there were not many complaints of distress sale or fleecing of farmers by procurement officials on the pretext of high moisture content and low quality.


No headway in rape and murder case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Mystery continues to shroud the rape and murder of a 23-year-old Hoshiarpur district resident. Even after five months, the culprits have not been arrested — this is what her father alleges.

The victim’s father is claiming that the police, in an attempt to shield the accused, has implicated a labourer in the crime. He has now moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking probe into the incident by an independent agency, preferably by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Taking up the petition against the state, the Director General of Police, the Senior Superintendent of Police and other respondents, a Division Bench of the High Court, headed by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, today fixed November 11 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Meanwhile, going into the background of the case, the victim’s father claimed that on June 21 morning his daughter left her residence for a computer institute, where she was working. She did not return for lunch. The family could not trace her the entire night.

Worried, the parents, along with the panchayat members, went to the institute at Mahilpur the next morning. They found her bruised body in a building opposite the workplace, her father claimed.

He added that one of the rooms in the institute was stained with blood. Apparently, the victim’s body was dragged from the institute after the offence, and placed in the building under construction.

Soon after the incident, a first information report (FIR) was lodged by the father with the local police under Sections 302, 376, 379, 411, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

The father, in his supplementary statement, also named the computer centre owner, and his sons. But the police, instead of acting against the accused, presented an application for discharging them after implicating the labourer.

The reason for protecting the accused, the petitioner claimed, was not hard to see. They were influential and managed the police into towing their line. Grave injustice, he asserted, would be caused due to discharge of the accused.

Arguing before the court on the petitioner’s behalf, Mr Ranjan Lakhanpal submitted that the labourer could not have committed the offence. Giving details, Mr Lakhanpal said the labourer was just five feet, while the victim was not less than five feet eighth inches, and healthy. Otherwise also, the offence had been committed by more than one person, he concluded.


Bhattal case hearing on Dec 1
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 6
Counsel for Punjab’s Agriculture Minister, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today moved an application in a local court for placing records of the Vidhan Sabha, writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court filed by Satya Pal Dang and certain other documents related to the case registered against her in the court records.

Bhattal’s counsel pleaded that these documents should be part of court record as these would be taken into consideration while framing charges against her.

Mrs Bhattal, accompanied by her supporters, appeared in the court of the UT Special Judge, Mr R.S. Baswana, at about 10 a.m. The courtroom was jam-packed. A large number of Bhattal supporters and other litigants had to stand outside the court room.

As arguments began, Bhattal’s counsel moved an application and submitted the file of documents. Reacting to the Bhattal’s plea, the complainant opposed the request. The Judge took serious note of the complainant’s reaction and reminded him about court etiquette. As per court record the Special Public Prosecutor for the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, did not appear in the case as he was ill. But the complainant’s counsel, Mr P.N. Lekhi, said the prosecuter’s absence was deliberate to delay the proceeding. After hearing the arguments from both sides Mr Baswana, adjourned the case till December 1.

The documents submitted by Bhattal’s counsel in the court include — questions raised by Hardev Arshi (MLA) in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chandigarh, reply filed by the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, giving clean chit to her on corruption charges, and the satisfactory remarks of the Vidhan Sabha Speaker, civil writ petition filed by Satya Pal Dang, chief secretary, Punjab, letters and record related to distribution of funds from the Chief Minister’s relief fund between March 25, 1992 to December 30, 1996 .

The FIR against Bhattal was registered on May 22, last year in Ferozepore Range in the case involving an alleged embezzlement of Rs 20 lakh.


Congress govt anti-Dalit, says BSM chief
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 6
Terming the Congress government in the state as “anti-Dalit”, the BSM chief, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth, today accused the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of pursuing anti-Badal agenda.

Addressing a press conference today, he said, “we have decided to hold 50 rallies throughout the state from December to expose the true face of the Congress government.”


Security cameras out of commission
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 6
Eight sophisticated close-circuit TV (CCTVs) cameras installed to ensure security at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) after a blast in a private bus on the Pathankot road in 2000, have reportedly been lying non-functional for the past over a year.

The cameras, manned from a control room at the ISBT’s main platform, were installed under a scheme envisaged by the then SSP, Mr Gaurav Yadav, and SP Amar Singh Chahal.

The cameras were installed to man the entire bus terminus, particularly bays meant for buses coming and leaving for Ludhiana, Delhi, Patiala, Nurmahal, Bathinda, Haridwar, Tanakpur on the Nepal border, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. About 50-60 police personnel were deputed to ensure the security of passengers and to keep a close surveillance on the activities of suspiscious looking people.

With time, however, laxity crept and the functioning of the rotating cameras came to a halt and the security personnel’s strength was reduced drastically over the years.

A visit to the ISBT revealed that four of the eight cameras were remaining and none of these cameras were working. No police personnel was present at the control room Officials on condition of anonymity said usually, only two to three constables could be seen around.

Highly-placed police sources said the functioning of the cameras had been affected due to the paucity of funds required for maintenance of these gadgets.


Excise Dept raids business establishments
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 6
The state Excise and Taxation Department today raided business establishment dealing with sanitary, plywood and iron goods to ascertain the amount of tax evasion.

A team of senior Excise and Taxation Department officials along with a large posse of police reached the premises of Lovely Sanitations at the Nakodar Chowk, Khem Chand Vijay Kumar, an iron merchant company at the Tanda Road and Venus Plywood at the Pathankot Road to conduct the pre-planned raids, which were still continuing late in the night.

When contacted, the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, Mr D.P. Reddy, confirmed that the raids were being conducted as they had specific information that these business establishments were involved in tax evasion running into lakhs of rupees per annum by suppressing the sales figures.

“We have found some documents from these establishments like “kutchi parchies” and other related documents, which primarily shows that the sales figures are being suppressed by not issuing original bills. The exact amount of tax evaded by these establishments will be known after scrutinising the documents” Mr Readdy said adding that these establishments would be given time to explain their conduct.

Asked whether the raids were also conducted on the other business establishments belonging to Lovely group of companies, Mr Reddy denied the same and said, “since we wanted to check the records of sanitary items, we have raided Lovely Sanitations only in the first phase.”

Earlier, the state Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Sardool Singh, and Mr Reddy held close door meeting with senior department officials in the morning and the plan to conduct raids was formally approved. The officials were given advance instructions to be present in the office tomorrow morning even as the officials from Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur were called for conducting raids.


Councillors submit records to VB team
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 6
Some councillors of the local Municipal Corporation today submitted records pertaining to payments disbursed to the “safai karamcharis” to Vigilance Bureau officials here, who are investigating the multi-crore sanitation scam on the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

According to sources, the VB had summoned some councillors, who were ex-officio chairman of the mohalla wise santitation committees to produce the record. The statements of the councillors were also recorded who, according to sources, denied the allegations that they had collected money from every house in the area to later disburse the same to the safai karamcharies.


Minister’s assurance to IMA on cases against docs
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 6
Punjab Health Minister Romesh Dogra has assured a delegation of the Indian Medical Association, Punjab, that he would get a notification issued on Kerala pattern whereby any criminal case registered against a doctor would be scrutinised by a district-level expert committee consisting of Civil Surgeon, an SP rank police official, a nominee doctor of IMA and a legal expert. Any action on FIR would be taken on the recommendation of this committee. This assurance was given to the delegation, said a press note issued here today by Dr Raman Aggarwal, an IMA leader who was in the delegation led by the state IMA President, Dr Kuldip Singh.

It was also decided at the meeting that the Health Department and IMA would jointly prepare a set of model guidelines for ultrasound clinics to be implemented uniformaly for curbing menace of female foeticide. To
implement the latest amendment in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, Mr Dogra promised to constitute district-level committees for approval of MTP centres, claimed Dr Aggarwal.

The minister also declared to include representatives of IMA on all districts and state-level bodies for implementation of the National Health Programme. He also assured to revive the old practice of taking representatives of doctors on district grievances committees.

Free eye check-up camp
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 6
A renowned ophthalmologist, Dr Sukhdip Singh Boparai, and his team of doctors organised a free eye check-up and health awareness camp at Budhlada on Thursday.

The day-long camp was organised by Dr Boparai’s Patiala Eye Hospital and Lasik Laser Centre in collaboration with a Budhlada-based social organisation, Sri Lok Kalyan Sewa Samiti.

Dr Boparai along with his team of eye surgeons, including Dr Kiran Verma, performed 74 cataract operations and examined nearly 750-odd people who had converged on the venue from various villages and tehsils. State-of-the-art intraocular lenses were implanted and food and medicines were also distributed free of cost to the poor and needy. Patiala Eye Hospital has lined up a series of such camps during the next two months in collaboration with various voluntary and social organisations.


PSEB may recruit agitating apprentices
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
For nearly 5,000 youths from all over the state who had done an apprenticeship course with the PSEB for two years to get recruited as linemen, have a glimmer of hope with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh deputing Mandi Board Chairman Sant Ram Singla to negotiate with the PSEB on their behalf.

The apprentices had earlier broken their fast following an assurance by Capt Amarinder Singh. Sources said Mr Singla was scheduled to meet the PSEB Chairman in a few days and hold discussions with him to ensure that some of the apprentices are, absorbed in the board. The sources said the board might recruit 500 to 600 persons against vacant posts of Meter Reader and Sub-Station Assistant only some of them might be recruited as linemen as there were no vacancies.

The Unemployed Linemen Association president, Mr Mandeep Singh Sanour the members had a two-year polytechnic degree. He said after spending four years to get trained as linemen, they could not be recruited elsewhere.


Havildar cremated with state honours
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, November 6
Havildar Mohan Singh of 5 Sikh Regiment, who died in an accident, was cremated in his native village Hayat Nagar near here today with full state honours.

Subedar Balkar Singh of the regiment who brought the body to the village, said it was ironic that though the 5 Sikh Regiment had been posted in J&K for past 10 years but the regiment was moved to Jalandhar recently.

On way to Jalandhar the deceased and another associate died when their vehicle fell in the gorge near Udhampur on November 2.

Those who paid tributes to the deceased included Mr Amarjit Pal Subdivisional Magistrate, Gurdaspur, Mr Avtar Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Keshav Bahal, chairman Panchayat Samiti, Gurdaspur, and Lieut Col. K.S. Bhuller, DSWO. The deceased is survived by his wife and two sons.

Music more ‘viewing’ now, says director
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 6
Expressing concern over the music scores being churned out lately, music director Uttam Singh said, “Music has become more ‘viewing’ than ‘listening’.” The music director was here on occasion of an extension lecture organised by Guru Nanak Dev University’s music department here yesterday.

Highlighting the untapped treasures of ‘ragas’ in Guru Granth Sahib he expressed regret that gurbani ‘ragas’ had not been made a part of life. He also enthralled audience with his performance on the occasion. The Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr S P Singh, and Dr Satinder Singh honoured the Music Director with a memento and a phulkari.


BSNL officials hold protest
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 6
Members of the local Sanchar Nigam Executive Association (SNEA) today wore black badges and started work-to-rule at the office of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) here to protest against the alleged indifferent and adamant attitude of the General Manager (GM), BSNL, Bathinda, towards their demands.

The agitating officers of the BSNL are demanding cancellation of transfer of Mr R.K. Verma, D.E.T. (Admn) from Bahtinda to Sardoolgarh and allocation of space for sitting to the executive officers as per departmental norms in the newly-constructed administrative block of BSNL in Bharat Nagar here.

When TNS today contacted Mr Joginder Mohan, GM, BSNL, he said it was an internal matter of the BSNL.


Probe sought against civic body ex-chief
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 6
A contract for sweeping the roads and cleaning the drains of 12 municipal wards of the local Municipal Council was auctioned for a sum of Rs 7.78 lakh for one year with effect from tomorrow. The contract was given to Mr Raj Kumar. Last year the contract for the same period for the same area was auctioned at Rs 15.42 lakh.

Several inquiries regarding financial irregularities in the municipal funds had been pending with the Punjab Vigilance Bureau since long against the former municipal chief Mr Pawan Matti, under whose tenure the earlier contract was given.

Mr Prem Sagar Bhola, former Municipal Councillor, has urged Capt Amarinder Singh that this new financial irregularity may also be inquired into through Vigilance Bureau.



Proceeding against district officer stayed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
Acting on a petition filed by a District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), claiming repeated summoning by Punjab Vigilance Bureau officials in connection with orders passed by him in capacity of a quasi judicial authority, a Division Bench of the High Court today stayed the proceedings against him.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court on Mr Jaswant Singh’s petition, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, also issued notice of motion for January 29.

The judges observed: “Counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that acting as a quasi-judicial authority, the petitioner had decided an application under Punjab Village Common Lands Act on January 28, 1991.... No departmental proceedings were ever initiated against him regarding any lapse or negligence in the performance of duty. However, the petitioner has now been summoned by the Vigilance Bureau’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) by notice dated August 2 regarding some inquiry.... In spite bringing the facts to the DSP’s notice, the petitioner has been summoned. Notice of motion for January 29. Meanwhile, further proceedings against the petitioner are stayed”. 

Advocate seeks payment

Taking up a petition filed by an advocate seeking directions to the state of Punjab and other respondents to pay bills for a case contested by him, Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal issued notice of motion. In his petition, Mr Surjit Singh had earlier submitted that he was approached to contest a case in the District Consumer Court at Ferozepur, but was not paid. 



7-year RI for assault
Our Correspondent

Mansa, November 6
Mr G.K. Rai, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mansa, today convicted six persons — Manjit Singh, alias Makki, Gurmail Singh, alias Mithu, Jaspal Singh, alias Aari, Vishal Kumar, alias Lucky, Balwant Singh, alias Bunty and Amandeep Singh, alias Bubby — and sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years, and to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 each for causing injuries (with intent to murder) to Kuldeep Singh, alias Ledda, of Mansa.


Commissioner wants action against DRO
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, November 6
Mr B. Sarkar, Commissioner, Ferozepore Division, today conducted a surprise check at offices in the mini-secretariat here and at government schools in the rural areas.

According to information, Mr Sarkar found the District Revenue Officer (DRO), Mr Sakil Singh, District Transport Officer, Rajiv Prashar and ETOs, Mr G.S. Sidhu and Mr Lajpat Singh Jakhar absent from duty. The Commissioner has recommended disciplinary action against them. The Commissioner has ordered the suspension of three teachers of Government Girls Primary School, Rupana village, for marking absent students as present.


1 killed, 3 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 6
Four persons were injured near Jassi village about 7 km from here on Bathinda-Mansa road last night when a jeep and a car collided. All were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. Later, one of them, Gurtej Singh of Rudhuwala village, died.

The police has registered a case. In another incident, Kuldip Kaur (40), a resident of MES Colony, Bathinda cantonment, died today in the local Civil Hospital due to an alleged head injury. The police said she fell on the ground in her house and suffered a head injury. She was taken to the hospital where she died.


Quiz contest on Punjabi culture held
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, November 6
A state-level quiz contest on Punjabi literature and culture was organised at the local Arya Mahila College here in collaboration with the Language Department Punjab yesterday.

Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister R.S. Puri and Assistant Director Language Department Kamaljit Kaur were present on the occasion. The results are: group A — Simranjit Sodhi of Budda Dal Public School Patiala (1), Kamal Kaur of Nakodar (2) and Sahil Goel of SSD School Bathinda (3) Group. B — Anmol Deep Singh of Vidya Bharti School Mansa (I), Puneet Sharma of Farid School Bathinda (2), and Amandeep of St. Joseph School Bathinda (3). Group C — Raneet Kaur of Prem Chand Mankanda SD College for Women, Jalandhar (I) Daljit Kaur of Guru Nanak Khalsa College Ludhiana (2) and Gurpreet Seth of BBK DAV College Amritsar (3).


Saint Peter’s holds annual function
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 6
A two-day annual function of Saint Peter’s Academy started here today. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejvir Singh, inaugurated the function.

Speaking on the occasion, he said good institutions were necessary to ensure bright future of younger generation. He lauded the role of the school in imparting quality education to students.

The Principal of the school, Sister Alvina, read out the annual report of the school and highlighted the achievements of the students in various fields.

A colourful programme was presented by schoolchildren. The highlight of the programme was the staging of three plays. Group songs and bhangra kept the audience spellbound.

The programme was attended by parents of the schoolchildren in large numbers. Mr Darbari Lal, state minister, will be the chief guest at the concluding function tomorrow.


Youth festival begins
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 6
Women should pledge to keep Indian society free from social menace of foeticide and dowry system, said Prof Darbari Lal, State Minister for Education, while inaugurating a two-day youth festival of education colleges of Guru Nanak Dev University at DAV College of Education here today.

Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the inaugural session of the festival. The Vice-Chancellor also honoured Prof Darbari Lal and presented him a memento.

The youth festival opened with a group song competition to be followed by contests for folk song, geet/gazal, shabad/bhajan, mimicry, fancy dress, histrionic. Over 1,000 students from education colleges are participating in the festival.


Handloom items catch everyone’s fancy
Monica Ahluwalia

Patiala, November 6
Earlier, a woman’s wardrobe was considered incomplete without silks, but now handloom stuff is a must have, be it clothes or home accessories.

Handloom stuff never goes out of fashion. It is evident from the ever increasing demand of the material. Suits, bed sheets, wall hangings and hand-woven bags are available in the market.

Ms Anita Banga of Odissi Charm Emporium says with manufacturers catering to the discerning few as well as the less privileged, handloom items are now available for everyone. The range is available from Rs 250 to 1,200 and more, according to the quality of the material.

The ‘swadeshi’ stuff continues to remain in demand as having something traditional differentiates you from the crowd. Ms Anita Banga says they have regular customers, mostly girls studying in professional colleges and working women.

People now prefer ethnic and traditional material. Dress designing has under gone a sea change and people have started preferring dresses having a bend of traditionalism and modernity.

Cotton, jute and silk items are in vogue. Be it designers or local boutique owners, everyone prefers designing such clothes. Stitched kurtas, Jaipuri kurtas with thread work and Gujarati bead work kurtas have caught everyone’s fancy.

Even NRIs visiting the city prefer to buy handloom and handicraft items for their loved ones. Stuff brought from Orissa, Rajasthan, Gujarat and south Indian states is available in the city. The variety attracts customers from Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and other nearby places.

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