P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Surveyor leaves work midway
Evaluation of Badal’s properties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
One of the private surveyors engaged by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau to assess the value of main properties of former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal has left the assignment incomplete.

The bureau had engaged the services of four private evaluators, Shah and Associates of Mumbai, Govil and Associates from Delhi, Mitra and Company of Calcutta and local Gagandeep and Associates to carry out the job of assessing Badal’s properties.

Informed sources said that Mr A.K. Govil of Delhi-based A.K. Govil and Associates has left for Delhi without signing the reports prepared by the team of surveyors following fresh evaluation of the properties, including Orbit Resorts, Gurgaon; Badal’s house in Sector 9 and the Balasar farms. Since he repotedly refused to succumb to give a hiked assessment of the market value of Badal’s properties, he was forced to leave.

The sources added that at the time of hiring these surveyors, the bureau had promised to give them 1 per cent of the total amount of the assessed property, but since the officials were not standing by the commitment made to them, the private surveyors were an unhappy lot and one of them left. The properties have been assessed to the tune of Rs 130 crore and these were as per the verbal agreement demanding a share of Rs 1.30 crore. The vigilance was trying to pack them off by paying them Rs 10-15 lakh each, with the promise of paying them more later.

The SP Vigilance Bureau (EOW), Mr S.P. Singh, maintained that the surveyor had been asked to leave as he happened to be an insurance surveyor and loss assessor, and not technically qualified to make assessments of the real values of these properties. The remaining three evaluators have already signed and submitted the reports and on the basis of that the challan would be presented against the Badals and their kin in the next eight or 10 days.

It will be presented against five persons, including Mr and Ms Badal, their son Sukhbir Badal, close relative Narottam Singh Dhillon and Mr Harbans Lal, the manager of the petrol pump at Killianwali. The others, allegedly involved in the corruption case, would be named in the supplementary charge-sheet to be filed later, he said.

Mr S.P. Singh said that the three surveyors would be paid according to the worth of the work done and as per the rates approved by their association. “They would submit the bills of the work undertaken by them at these projects, which would be submitted to the government for payment as per the approved rates’’, he added.

He said that the second evaluation exercise was undertaken to confirm the correctness of earlier assessments. The technical team of vigilance sleuths along with engineers from the Departments of Architecture and PWD did not possess the real knowhow to assess these properties, he added.

Meanwhile, as per the revised estimates, the value of Sukhbir’s Orbit Resorts, has been calculated at Rs 106 crore, the Sector 9 house to be approximately Rs 1.80 crore and the Balasar farm to the tune of Rs 3-4 crore. The Badal family says that the surveyors were biased and even they included the cost of the internal road leading to the Balasar farms, constructed by the Haryana PWD, by spending Rs 50 lakh to the cost of Badal’s properties. Similarly, another Rs 50 lakh has been shown to have been spent on the earth work, simply to give exaggerated figures of the evaluated property.

Talking to TNS from Delhi, Mr Sukhbir Badal said this was a clear-cut case to show how the surveyors were pressurised to manipulate and give exaggerated figures. He said the surveyors were supposed to be ethical and correct in their assigned job. If they commited any wrong and gave exaggerated figures, a complaint would also be made against them to their association for they have simply visited the properties to mark their attendance and not really evaluated them.

The junior Badal said that he had all the details regarding the stay arrangements made by the bureau in posh hotels for the surveyors, including the one owned by the investigating officer himself.


Hanspal justifies survey of Badal’s property
Tribune News Service

Kotkapura, November 7
Justifying the survey of properties of Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s family by a vigilance team and private surveyors jointly, Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said here yesterday that this had been done to confirm the proofs against Mr Badal and his family, so that evidence could be presented against them in the court.

Mr Hanspal was here in connection with a function to celebrate Baba Namdev Parkash Utsav, organised by the Namdev Sabha.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Hanspal, in reply to a question on transfer of the SSPs and the SPs in the absence of Mr A.A. Siddiqui, DGP, Punjab, said these transfers were in the purview of the Chief Minister. He also said the Congress workers were feeling that their routine works were not being done by the bureaucracy.


Industrial leakage may have killed fish
Lalit Mohan

Nangal (Ropar), November 7
Ammonia caused the death of fish in the Sutlej, according to preliminary study of the affected portion of the river by scientists of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

A team of scientists of the PPCB, including Senior Scientific Officer H.K. Parwana, aquatic life expert Geeta Chawala, Ropar environmental engineer S.P. Garg and scientists Charanjit Singh and Satpal Verma visited the affected area of the river today.

Ms Parwana, talking to this correspondent, said the death of fish seemed to have been caused due to industrial leakage. The team collected water samples from points upstream as well as the downstream NFL dykes, at the points where NFL and PACL effluents enter the Sutlej water in Nangal and the underground water of surrounding villages.

The team noticed thousands of dead small fish trapped in vegetation in the water downstream of the Nangal dam. At certain places, even big fish were found dead.

Ms Parwana said leakage from industry was under the purview of the Chief Inspector, Industries. However, no official of the department had visited the area.

Ms Geeta Sharma, an expert on aquatic life, also collected samples from the riverbed. She said due to the deposition of ash at the bottom of the river, no aquatic life was noticed in the Sutlej downstream of the dam. During the spot survey, the PPCB officials also had objection to the raising of a new dyke right on the banks of the Sutlej by NFL. They said that as per the new guidelines of the board, only impervious coal ash dykes were allowed. However, NFL was constructing the dyke without using impervious material, which was illegal. Directions in this regard would soon be issued to the company, they said. Besides the PPCB, the Department of Fisheries also collected dead fish from the river.

Meanwhile, concern is also being expressed regarding threat to the health of the residents of villages along the Sutlej. In several areas, villagers use river water directly for drinking and for their livestock.

Mr K.P.S. Rana, Chairman of the PPCB, when contacted, said the board was concerned at the growing incident of damage to the Sutlej ecology. After the reports of the scientific investigation into the matter were received, the board was now contemplating to move legally against the suspected culprits. The legal action would act as a deterrent for such violators. Besides, the board was also contemplating making it mandatory to install water treatment plants on the ash dykes located near rivers, he said.

Meanwhile, the NFL authorities continued denying their role in the death of fish. Mr Dikshit, Executive Director of the Nangal plant, said NFL’s online pollution monitoring equipment had not indicated any crossing of the limits laid down.


New look at cost of heritage
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Qadian, November 7
The face-lifting of monuments here has destroyed the heritage of this historic town — the permanent centre of Ahmadiyya Muslims. The marble and coloured plaster has replaced the ‘nanakshahi bricks’ at almost all the sacred places related to the founder of the faith and his successors.

Only small patches have been preserved, while renovating the majestic buildings much to the dismay of heritage lovers. Qadian, one of the ancient towns of the border state, has witnessed vast destruction of heritage in the past. Mr Burhan Ahmad Zafar, secretary for publications of Sadr-Anjuman-Ahmadiyya, who is also a prolific writer, said the ancient forts and gates of the town stood demolished long ago.

The Ahmadiyya movement in Islam, a religious organisation, was founded in 1889 at Qadian (the border district of Gurdaspur) by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). Qadian is also considered the abode of peace by the Ahmadiyyas, spread all over the world. This is the place where the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya movement was born, brought up and buried.

During a visit to the sacred places of Ahmadiyyas, this correspondent saw the renovation work of the historic buildings going on a war-footing. The ‘masjid mubarak’ (Baitul-Zikr), the first portion of the mosque, adjacent to Baitul-Fikr, which was built by the promised messiah in 1883, underwent a major renovation. It was extended in 1907 and then again in 1914 and 1944. This mosque is considered a source of blessing by the members of the Qadiani community. Similar treatment was given to ‘Baitul-Fikr’ (meditation room), the sacred room where originally the promised messiah was engaged in writing. The masterprice of his writings is the book entitled Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya.

Unaware of the heritage value, the planners gave modern touch to the sacred room where Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the promised messiah, was born on February 13, 1835 A.D. This was the parental house of the founder of the faith. Mr Jafar claimed that the family of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community migrated to Qadian during the time of Emperor Akbar. Hence some of the sacred buildings could be more than five centuries old.

It is reliably learnt that when senior officials of the Jammat realised that the invaluable heritage of Ahmadiyyas was damaged in the name of modernity, it was to late to take corrective measures. Mr Syed Tanwir Ahmad, President of the Press Committee, however, claimed that the renovation work had to be carried out due to the poor condition of the buildings. He said efforts were made to preserve some portions of the old buildings.


Police transfers my prerogative, says CM
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 7
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today made it clear that making transfers in the Police Department was his prerogative even as he said Director-General of Police A.A. Siddiqui would remain in his post.

Talking to newspersons here after inaugurating the area office of Max New York Life Insurance Company in the city, the Chief Minister said it was his prerogative to make transfers in the department up to the level of Deputy Superintendent of Police in his capacity as Home Minister and of Superintendents of Police and Senior Superintendents of Police in his capacity as Chief Minister. “Let there be no confusion on that”, he added.

Capt Amarinder Singh, however, maintained that he did not have any differences with the state police chief. He said the transfer list of DSPs which had been announced by the DGP was stopped because there had been a communication gap. “We did not want to change some of the DSPs who were being transferred while we wanted to transfer others whose names had been not included in the list”, he said. He went on to say that the DGP would complete his tenure in the state, adding that “He is my DGP” and “I have brought him to the state from Manipur”.

When questioned on the large-scale transfer of SSPs and the reason behind this move, the Chief Minister said it had been observed that some officers had been posted as SSPs since a long time while others were not getting a chance. When questioned why Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar had been retained as SSP, he said the government perceived Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar to be sensitive districts and it was felt that Mr Bhullar should continue as SSP in Jalandhar.

The Chief Minister, when asked about allegations levelled by Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in a section of the press about the “help” being given to the complainant, said the government did not have any role in framing a case against the minister. He said he could extend help if needed by Mrs Bhattal in his personal capacity but stated that the minister had not asked for any. Capt Amarinder Singh also reiterated that the government would not spare officers who did not treats legislators and ministers with due respect.


Stop transfers, Dang appeals to HC
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
Criticising the Chief Minister for carrying out large-scale transfers of police personnel, former MLA Satya Pal Dang has appealed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to take suo motu action to check the “unprecedented” developments.

He appealed to all Left parties to take urgent steps to mobilise public opinion to evolve a national policy on all transfers.

In a statement issued here today, the veteran Communist leader said the move of the Chief Minister was to retain “pliant officers” at key places.

Those who had been “courageous enough” to stand up against illegal orders had been posted at less important places, he added.


Police transfers have led to chaos: Dayal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Punjab CPI Secretary Joginder Dayal said here today that there was no need for the en masse transfers of police officers in the state. These transfers had created in the state administration such blantant insterference in the police setup was unprecedented.


Daler case not special, says SSP Rai
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 7
The Special Investigation Team formed by the Patiala police to investigate the human trafficking case involving Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi is slated for a quiet burial with its head being transferred out from the post of Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) by virtue of which he was heading the team.

With the transfer of SP (Headquarters) R.L. Monga to the post of the SP (City), the SIT has been virtually disbanded. Earlier, the government had transferred a DSP and three Inspectors, who were members of the team, outside the district.

The Mehndi case has also lost its high profile under the new dispensation after the removal of former SSP Paramraj Singh Umranangal. The district police has now decided to investigate the case thoroughly and all raids against the singer have been discontinued. This despite the fact that the district police has obtained arrest warrants for the singer from a local court yesterday. The police is in no hurry to use the arrest warrants as they had been applied for when Mr Umranangal was heading the SIT.

Meanwhile, the SSP, Mr A.S. Rai, when contacted said he would review whether there was any need to continue with the SIT or not. He said it was because of this that after the transfer of Mr Monga, the headship of the SIT had not been given to the incoming officer. He said according to his understanding the Daler Mehndi case should not treated differently from other cases and the officers should not be put on this case to the exclusion of everything else.

The SSP said the whole district police force could not be put on a single case. He said he felt that the case was one of economic offence and should be treated as other such offences were treated. He said keeping in mind all these factors the time allocation as well as the importance of the case would be reworked.

The Patiala police is also not likely to hurry with the case any longer. Mr Rai said though it would be the priority of his force to investigate all cases quickly, he felt the police had a lot of time as the challan in the case had to be submitted within three months of the registration of the case. The case was registered last month.


Daler moves HC, seeks pre-arrest bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Describing Senior Superintendent of Punjab Police (SSP) Paramraj Singh Umranangal’s transfer from Patiala as an indicator of “something being wrong” with the investigation of the cases registered against him, Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the grant of anticipatory bail. The petition is likely to be taken up on Monday.

In his 95-page petition, Mehndi asserted that the SSP, despite his transfer, was powerful due to his proximity with the Punjab Chief Minister. The cases as such deserved to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Giving details, the petitioner asserted that he learned about the transfer of about 17 police officers, including Mr Umranangal, from late night news on the television on November 11.

The SSP, Mehndi asserted, was connected with his case. As such, the officer’s transfer showed that “there was something wrong with the investigation. Blaming the Punjab Police for playing a partial role in the matter, Mehndi added that the continuation of investigation with them would adversely affect his case.

Claiming to have been framed in the matter, Mehndi asserted that he had severed ties with his brother Shamsher Singh, also an accused, way back in 1998. The decision was taken after he came to know about Shamsher Singh’s alleged involvement in impersonating him in public functions. In fact, he had also issued a notice to this effect.

Mehndi added that he had never met the complainant in the case and had no role to play. The first information report (FIR) had been registered because of his fame.

Going into the background, he submitted that two cases had been registered against him — one at Sadar police station, the other at Civil Lines police station. The second case, the petitioner contended, was an afterthought after Daler made it public that the Punjab Police had asked for bribe on October 4.


Youth Cong burns PM’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
A large number of activists of the Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress headed by Mr Narinder Kumar Tinu, secretary, today burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in protest against the NDA’s 12 proposals to Pakistan for creating better ties between the two nations.


Kali Bein to have clean water from today
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi, November 7
The highly polluted Kali Bein riven will have a pure stream of water once again with the formal commissioning of the first of its kind Rs 170-crore sewage treatment plant which would treat the water released into the river.

Everyday, 2.60 million litres of sewage is released into the river, the waters of which have been rendered unfit for agricultural use. A large number of Sikh devotees and visitors to Gurdwara Bor Sahib leave without taking a holy dip.

The treatment plant, according to Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Bodies, who would inaugurate the plant tomorrow, was first of its kind in Punjab as it was based on a technology based on the filtration of water with the help of ponds and sun rays and was cost effective as it required no power of costly machinery. He said the tests of the water treated by the plant during trial by Punjab Agriculture University and Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, had revealed that the water was fit for agricultural use.

Ten ponds at different heights would segregate water and sullage content with the help of sun rays. Raw sewage would be pumped into two anaerobic ponds. “Most of the treated water would be given to farmers through a 1 km channel for irrigation”, Mr B.R. Chaudhary, Superintending Engineer of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said, adding that sludge in the ponds would be removed manually on a regular basis.


Nagar kirtan on Gurpurb eve
Our Correspondents

Amritsar, November 7
An impressive nagar kirtan was taken out on the eve of Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev here today.

Guru Granth Sahib was carried on a flower-bedecked golden palanquin in the procession.

The SGPC, the Guru Nanak Gurpurb Committee and the general public took part in large number in the procession that started from Akal Takht at 12 noon and passed through various bazaars of the city before culminating at Akal Takht in the evening. Langar was served along the route.

Lakhs took a dip in the holy sarovar on the occasion. A display of fireworks would be put up tomorrow while “jalao” (display of historical) artefacts and jewellery, would be held from 9 am to 12 noon tomorrow at Darbar Sahib.

BATALA: A nagar kirtan procession here started from Gurdwara Simble and passed through various localities of the town before terminating at Gurdwara Kandh Sahib in the evening.

Processionisits on tractor-trailers were not allowed to proceed beyond Gurdwara Sat Kartarian. A large number of students in bright uniforms also participated in the procession.

HOSHIARPUR: A nagar kirtan was organised in the town in connection with Gurpurb on Friday. All bazaars were decorated for the occasion. Sweets and fruits were distributed along the route of the procession.

BATHINDA: A colourful nagar kirtan was taken out through the town on the eve of Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev on Friday.

Schoolchildren and a large number of devotees participated in the procession. Gatka players demonstrated their skills on the occasion.


National fund for youth mooted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
The All-India Youth Federation (AIYF) today said that a national youth fund should be set up to provide economic assistance for self-employment. It also demanded a lift on the ban on recruitment.

Mr Soni Thengamom, national general secretary of the AIYF, talking to newspersons here today said that the federation would launch a nationwide campaign, seeking more employment opportunities. The Punjab state units of the AIYF and the All-India Student Federation would organise a rally on November 17 at Bathinda and thousands of activists from all over the state would participate.

He said the world Trade Organisation and the World Bank-dictated policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation that were being pursued by the NDA government had led to a decline in employment opportunities. He said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had promised to give one crore jobs every year. However, the Centre had failed to generate employment.


Sanitation drive in view of dengue threat
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
A sanitation and cleanliness drive began here today in view of the dengue threat. Five teams have been constituted for the purpose.

The drive that started in five zones would reportedly “challan” owners of buildings under-construction regarding the piling of “malba” on roadsides and parking areas. The zones include Gandhi Ground, Town Hall, SL Niketan School area, Chheharta and Sakatri Bagh.

The mayor, Mr Sunil Datti, ordered MC officers to take action against those agencies or individuals who were contributing to insanitary conditions.


Farm labourers hold protest rally
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 7
On a call given by the Dehati Mazdoor Sabha, Punjab, hundreds of agricultural labourers today participated in a rally at Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall here in protest against the alleged anti-poor policies of the state government.

Addressing the rally, the general secretary of the sabha, Mr Gurnam Singh Daud, criticised the state government for its failure to raise the amount of shagun money Rs 11,000 and old-age pension to Rs 500 per month as promised by the ruling party during the Assembly elections.

Expressing anguish over the alleged anti-poor stance of the government, Mr Daud said the Congress government should restore the benefits given to the downtrodden during the previous SAD-BJP regime, which were later withdrawn after the formation of the Congress government.

He demanded that comprehensive labour laws should be enacted to safeguard interests of agricultural labour while free education facility should be accorded to the wards of poor labourers.


Tension over temple stone laying
Over Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
Anticipating trouble over the laying of the foundation stone of a new Valmiki temple at the historical sarovar of Sri Ram Tirath temple tomorrow, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements at the site.

The stone would be laid by Mr Sardool Singh, Minister for Excise and Taxation and chairman of the Ram Tirath Development Trust. A sum of Rs 1 crore has been sanctioned for the temple.

It is learnt that the mahants of the temple, who claim their forefathers were the caretakers of Ram Tirath for 500 years, and the All India Hindu Shiv Sena have opposed the handing over of the shrine to the Valmikis.


Sacked Panchayat Secretaries to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
A deputation of Panchayat Secretaries, who were removed from service by the Badal Government, met Mrs Mohsina Kidwai, General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee, in Delhi today.

A spokesman of the Secretaries said Mrs Kidwai was informed that the ruling Congress in Punjab had repeatedly promised to reinstate them.

Among those who made such promises were Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Rural Development Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and even Pradesh Congress Committee President Mr H.S. Hanspal.

The deputationists led by Mr Ravinder Singh made it clear to Mrs Kidwai that they would stage a dharna in front of the official residence of Mrs Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on November 12. They were not reinstated by the Punjab Government. They also submitted a memorandum to Mrs Kidwai, which was signed by 38 MLAs, most of them from the ruling party, in their support.


Aggarwal sammelan on November 16
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 7
The Punjab Aggarwal Sabha will organise an Aggarwal sammelan on November 16 at Goniana Mandi, about 12 km from here, to discuss social evils among the Aggarwals.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, acting president of the sabha, said yesterday that about 400 delegates from all over Punjab would attend the sammelan.

He said Mr Nand Kishor Goenka, president of the Agroha Vikas Trust, Agroha, would hoist the flag while Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, would light jyoti.

A directory of the Aggarwal sabha of Punjab would be prepared, he said, appealing to office-bearers of the sabhas to bring along the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the office-bearers at the sammelan for the purpose.


3 drowned in canal

Sangrur, November 7
Three persons, including a woman, drowned in a canal when the vehicle in which they were travelling fell into the canal near Nadampur village on the Sangrur-Patiala road, the police said today.

Gurpreet Singh of Bilaspur village in Moga district was saved by some villagers, the police said.

The deceased, residents of Nakodar, have been identified as Avtar Singh, his brother Piara Singh and the latter’s wife Shammi. — UNI


15 tricycles distributed
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 7
Ms Sunil Aggarwal, Chairperson of the Hospital Welfare Section, Bathinda, today distributed tricycles among 15 persons at a function here. The tricycles have been given by the District Red Cross Society.

Mr Ajmer Singh Mann, secretary of the District Red Cross Society, said the society had spent Rs 20,178 on providing ration and clothes to the needy and Rs 40,000 on poor patients.


Notice to Pinky
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 7
Issuing notice of motion to Punjab Police official Gurmit Singh alias Pinky, Mr Justice Mehtab Singh Gill asked him to show cause why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for concealing facts.

In his petition, Ludhiana resident Amrik Singh had earlier sought directions for issuance of suo motu criminal contempt notice to Pinky and another respondent for allegedly concealing the factum of filing a writ petition titled Gurmit Singh versus state of Punjab and others.

Taking up the writ petition, the High Court had declined the prayer for reinvestigating a case registered on January 10, 2001, the petitioner had claimed. He added that in spite of the rejection, the respondents had filed a fresh petition in which Pinky’s relative became the petitioner and was able to secure order from a single judge.

After hearing the arguments, Mr Justice Gill asked Pinky to show cause “why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for concealing the fact that previously also a writ petition was filed by him wherein a Division Bench had directed him to approach a Magistrate before whom cancellation of FIR dated January 10, 2001 was pending and to request the Magistrate for further investigations”. The case will now come up for further hearing on November 24.


ASI suspended for dereliction of duty
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
Mr Kultar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, today suspended an Assistant Sub-Inspector, Baldev Raj, chowki in charge of Mahal village for allegedly failing to keep the body of a nurse in the possession of police. The body was found abandoned on a bypass near Kale village a day after the police had taken it in its possession.

Harbhajan Kaur, a nurse in a private hospital near Rani Ka Bagh, went to a restaurant near Guru Nanak University with a youth. However, she died under mysterious circumstances at the restaurant. The youth took her body to the hospital where she used to work. He fled before entering the hospital and left the body with an autorickshaw driver, who took it inside the hospital. Doctors declared her brought dead. Ignoring the fact that she was an employee of the hospital, they asked the driver to take away the body.

The driver took it back to the restaurant, where the police arrive soon.

Mr Harjinder Singh, SHO, Chheharta police station, had directed Baldev Raj to take the body in possession. He allegedly directed the autorickshaw driver to take the body to a hospital. The next day, the body was found on the bypass. The police registered a case under Section 174 of the Cr PC.


SI, ASI booked for helping accused
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
The Majitha district police today booked a sub-inspector and an assistant sub-inspector for allegedly releasing accused persons, mentally harassing a widow complainant and trying to dispose of recoveries made in a case.

Mr Lakhwinder Singh, SI, and Mr Manoj Kumar, ASI, who were Station House Officer (SHO) of Ajnala police station and chowki in-charge of Ajnala town, respectively, were transferred to Muktsar and Tarn Taran, respectively, a few days ago.

The Majitha police has registered a case under Sections 409, 418, 120-B, 201, 211, 213, 214, and 218, IPC, against them at Ajnala police station.

Ms Usha Rani, a widow who is a resident of Adarsh Nagar, Ajnala, had loged a complaint at Ajnala police station on October 19 that Sukhchain Singh, his wife Inderjit Kaur and brother-in-law Jaspal Singh had robbed her house and taken away Rs 7,000, gold and silver jewellery worth thousands, as well as other valuables in her absence.

The accused was living in a separate part of her house.

After investigations, the police rounded up Jaspal Singh and Inderjit Kaur and recovered the allegedly stolen articles.

After that, the SI and the ASI allegedly started pressurising Usha Rani to name Jaspal Singh and one Des Raj of Ajnala as suspects in the complaint and to state in an affidavit that she had named Sukhchain Singh and Inderjit Kaur in fit of rage. They also allegedly offered Rs 14,000 to her in this connection. Usha Rani alleged that the two police officers, accompanied by relatives of the culprits, used to come her house in the middle of the night to pressurise her.

The SI and ASI allegedly released Sukhchain Singh and his wife Inderjit Kaur after taking a bribe of Rs 60,000. They also tried to dispose of the recovered property.

Mr Dharam Singh, SP (Headquarters), Majitha, said the accused SI and ASI had been transferred to Muktsar and Tarn Taran police districts, respectively, a few days ago.

He said the Majitha police would write to officials at Mukatsar and Tarn Taran to take action against them.


Couple, son assault 2 cops
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, Nov 7
Two personnel of the police control room (PCR) cells were assaulted last evening by three members of a family in the local New Model Town area. The police has regisrered a case under Sections 353, 186 and 332 of the IPC against Paramjit Singh, his wife, Kamla, and his son, Amarjit Singh.

Baldev Raj, a munshi, and Onkar Singh a head constable had gone to the residence of Paramjit Singh to deliver a summons in connection with a case. The summons had been sent thrice but the party concerned had failed to turn up at the police station.

However, the family members, especially the woman, started hurdling abuses at the policemen. Then they assaulted the policemen with sticks. The policemen were pushed out of the house and their uniforms were torn. They reported the matter to Inspector Rajinder Kumar Bhatia, incharge, PCR cell. The SP Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill, was also informed.

The police arrested Paramjit Singh, who was later released on bail after he furnished a personal bond. 


Murder suspect arrested
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 7
The local police arrested a suspected murderer at a naka in Nangal Shahidan village last night.

Mr Lok Nath Angra, Senior Suprintendent of Police, said in a press note here today that CIA staff intercepted a Sumo and arrested its occupant Daljit Singh, alias Sodhi, of the local Mohalla New Fatehgarh. The vehicle had a fake registeration number. One .32 bore pistol along with a cartridge was seized from him. A case has been registered at Sadar police station.

In October, 2002, he had taken a lift from the driver of a Sumo on his way from Dehra Dun to Paonta Sahib. On the way, he allegedly shot the driver dead. After disposing of the body, he took away the vehicle.

The SSP said the police had yesterday also recovered a stolen Scorpio jeep and arrested Sandeep Kumar of Patti, near Chak Shekhon (Moga), in this connection.


Minors abducted on pretext of marriage
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 7
Three minor girls were reportedly abducted in two separate incidents of the pretext of marriage yesterday. The police has arrested two persons in this regard.

Lakhwinder Singh of Basant Nagar in his complaint lodged with the police said his minor daughter and niece went to the market on November 4 but did not return. He suspected that a resident of Islamabad area had lured and abducted them on the pretext of marriage.

Meanwhile, Jagjit Singh of Borewal Afgana village in a complaint to the police station alleged that a resident of Umarpura abducted his minor daughter from school after luring her. The police has registered a case.


Spurious liquor claims life
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 7
Satpal Singh, a resident of Tripuri town, died here last night after he consumed spurious liquor.

According to information, Satpal Singh, who worked in a marriage palace, consumed liquor in a party following which he got seriously ill and was admitted to the hospital. According to the post-mortum report, he died due to consumption of spurious liquor.


Science exhibition concludes
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 7
The State Institute of Science Education organised a two-day district-level science exhibition at Government Secondary School for Boys, Rahon, about 7 km from here. The results are: Inderjit Kaur, Kamaljit Singh and Sukhwinder Singh (Doaba Arya Senior Secondary School, Nawanshahr), Amandip (Government Secondary School, Rahon), Baljinder Singh Government Secondary School, Jadla), and Harinder Kaur (Governemnt Girls Secondary School, Balachaur) in the senior secondary section.

Sushant Pal, Manish Kumar and Malti Kaushal (Saraswati Public School, Balachaur), Karan (Adarsh Bal Vidhayala, Nawanshahr), Sachin Chaudhary (Government Secondary School, Bhaddi, and Daisy (Bhagwan Mahavir Public School, Banga) in the secondary section.

Dupinder Singh (Saint Soldier Public School, Banga) in the elementary section and Ajay Kumar and Harjinder Singh (Government Secondary School, Bhaddi) in the rural schools' section won the first positions for their models under various sub-themes.

Geetanjali and Arshdeep (Adarsh Bal Vidyalaya, Nawanshahr), Vaneet Kaur Kohli (Shivalik Public School, Nawanshahr, Mr Baldev Singh (lecturer at Government Secondary School, Nawanshahr) and Mr Rajesh Chandel (lecturer at Doaba Arya Secondary School, Nawanshahr) won the first prizes in quiz, chart-making competition, teacher extempore and teaching aids, respectively.


Jalandhar college wins overall trophy
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 7
The Punjab Technical University (PTU) zonal cultural festival at DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (DAVIET) concluded here last night amid bhangra and giddha by teams from four colleges.

The DAVIET won the overall trophy.

The folk dance was a hit with the audience. The bhangra team of the DAVIET presented a rare blend of traditional Punjabi folk music and Sufism to enthral the audience and got the first position. The giddha team of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Ludhiana, and the bhangra team of the PCTE, Ludhiana, were the runners up.

Results: light vocal (Indian) : Kumal Jhanji of DAVIET (1); and Aashima Patel of PCTE (2); group song (Indian): DAVIET (1) and Lovely Institute of Management and Technology, Phagwara (2); debate: PCTE, (1) and DAVIET (2); elocution : Abha Bajaj of PCTE (1) and Varun Garg of DAVIET (2); painting : Komaljeet of Sri Sai College of Engineering and Technology, Pathankot (1) and Mangat Rai of Ramgarhia College of Engineering and Technolgy, Phagwara (2); quiz : PCTE, (1) and DAVIET (2); cartooning : Gagandeep Singh of PCTE, (1) and Gaurav Aman of DAVIET, (2) poster-making: Damanpreet of DAVIET, (1) and Harpreet Kaur of PCTE (2); mimicry: DAVIET (1) and PCTE (2); and mime: LIMT, Phagwara (1) and DAVIET (2).


DAV students enthral audience
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 7
The students of the lcoal DAV Public School enthralled the audience with their mind-blowing performance at the Regional Youth Festival of Patiala and Kurukshetra Zone of DAV schools here today.

Earlier, a three-day Regional Youth Festival of Patiala and Kurukshetra Zone of DAV Schools was inaugurated by Municipal Corporation Mayor Vishnu Sharma.

As many as 19 DAV schools from Patiala and Kurukshetra zone are participating in the festival. Speaking on the occasion, the principal of the local DAV School, Mr S.M. Devgun, appreciated the efforts of the staff and students in bringing laurels to the school.

On the occasion, the Regional Director, Mr K.L. Manuja, inaugurated the computer and creative science block in the memory of Virja Nanda Dandi Swami.


‘Ambience 2003’ concludes
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 7
A colourful programme was presented by students on the second day of the annual function ‘Ambience 2003’ organised by St Peter’s Academy School here today.

The District Education Officer (Secondary), Ms Prit Pal Kaur, was the chief guest. The function was presided over by the Municipal Corporation Mayor Vishnu Sharma.

The Principal of the school, Sister Alvina, read out the annual report of the school and highlighted the laurels won by the students.


ABVP convention begins
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, November 7
The 33rd state-level convention of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) began on the premises of Baba Balak Nath Mandir here today.

Earlier, a torch procession was taken out in protest against the move of the government to privatise the education sector under the influence of international lending agencies. Hundreds of students, carrying placards, marched through main streets of the city.


Punjab Mandi Board to set up 5 cotton yards
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 7
The Punjab Mandi Board will set up five ultra-modern cotton yards in the cotton markets at Mansa, Abohar, Kotkapura, Maur and Rampura Phul. The first such cotton yard is being set up at Mansa at a cost of Rs 1.69 crore, of which Rs 90 lakh have been provided to the board by the Union Textile Ministry.

Talking to mediapersons here this evening, Mr Sant Ram Singla, Chairman of the board, said Haryana had constructed 10 such cotton yards with the Textile Ministry’s help but the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab had failed to develop any cotton yard during its regime.

Mr Singla said in these cotton markets, ultra-modern grading laboratories would be set up. He said in these markets, good-quality cotton seed, fertilisers and pesticides would be made available at reasonable rates.

The Chairman accused Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a former Punjab Chief Minister, of spending board funds on “unproductive” works through sangat darshan programmes.

Mr Singla said the board was also spending Rs 25 crore on the development of grain markets in the state during the current financial year.

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