P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Amarinder hints at bureaucratic reshuffle
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 9
The Chief Minister, Capt. Amarinder Singh, today announced that in a major reshuffle various civil servants of the state will be transferred within a week. He further announced that from November 14 to 16 he will be away to Madhya Pradesh for an election campaign and would visit Rajasthan afterwards.

He was speaking at Pedhan village near here at a function organised to pay tributes to martyr Kartar Singh Gill. Capt. Amarinder Singh said Pedhan village would be renamed Kartar Singh village. He added that the middle school of Pedhan village would also be upgraded soon.

The Chief Minister said the transfer of officials was a routine matter and would be done on the basis of seniority and merit. He further added that heads of various departments, Deputy Commissioner and PCS officials would be transferred in the next few days.

He said the case of Daler Mehndi was an ‘ordinary case’ of human trafficking and would be dealt with according to the law. He said the media had highlighted it and made it a high profile case.

He further informed that technical posts in various departments of the state would be filled after Cabinet approval. He added that under the ‘Sarvsikhiya Scheme’ of the state government as many as 2,000 teachers would be appointed. Besides this, under the Panchayat Raj Act, the panchayats would appoint teachers on contract basis as per requirement.

Capt. Amarinder Singh said the state government would give one-year dues to the farmers of the border areas shortly. Former Ministers Narinder Singh, Harmail Singh, Sant Singh and SSP, Patiala, Mr A.S Rai, were also present on the occasion.

CM attends bhog of soldier
Our Correspondent

Nabha, November 9
The bhog ceremony of Risaldar (Honorary Lieut) Kartar Singh Gill, a highly decorated war veteran, was held at his native village Paden, 12 km from here.

People from all walks of life paid rich tributes to the departed soul.

Risaldar Kartar Singh Gill was one of the two individuals who had been awarded Vir Chakra twice within the same year during the Indo-Pak war of 1948 while serving in 7th Light Cavalry.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, also attended the bhog ceremony. He also announced that the village school would be upgraded and the name of the village would be changed from Pedan to Lieut Kartar Singh Wala.


Vehicles in state to pay toll
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 9
The Punjab Government has decided to impose toll on vehicles which ply on state highways. The rate of the toll will be decided at a meeting of the Cabinet to be held within a few days. This was announced by Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, Minister Public Works Department, while talking to newspersons at Sultanpur Lodhi yesterday.

Mr Bajwa visited Sultanpur Lodhi in connection with the celebrations of the Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev.

Mr Bajwa stated that the department had already identified 18 corridors to be introduced on the state highways for the collection of toll.

He added that two wheelers and tractor-trailers carrying agriculture products on these roads would be exempted from the toll.

Mr Bajwa further said the World Bank had already sanctioned a loan of Rs 1,800 crore to Punjab to be spent on the strengthening and widening of 7,500 km of planned roads, 1700 km of highways and 42,000 km of link roads in the state. Rupees 700 crore, would be spent on the construction of state highways, of which the government would contribute 40 per cent while private builders would contribute 60 per cent.

He accused the SAD-BJP government of neglecting Majha and Doaba districts with regard to roads.

Mr Bajwa added that he would visit China and Malaysia soon to study the construction of elevated roads in those countries.

He announced the construction of an elevated highway in Amritsar Golden Temple to ease congestion.

A sum of Rs 100 crore will be spent on the four-lanning of the GT Road from Bidhipur Phatak in Jalandhar to Army Public School, Dhilwan, in Kapurthala district, he said.

Mr Bajwa announced the construction and strengthening of the 2.4-km approach road to Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi and a new bypass in Sultanpur Lodhi town at a cost of Rs 75 lakh.

He also inaugurated the Sultanpur Lodhi-Lohian road at a cost of Rs 66 lakh.

Mr Jagatjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, inaugurated a sewerage treatment plant at Sultanpur Lodhi town, which has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.70 crore to facilitate the supply of fresh water to Kali Bein passing near the Gurdwara Ber Sahib.

Meanwhile, Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, PPCC, presided over state-level sports meet and gave the prizes. Mr Navtej Singh Cheema, president, District Congress Committee, and Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira, chairman, Punjab State Police Traffic Regulatory Corporation, were also present on the occasion.


Youth exhorted to fight exploitation
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 9
Mr HD Deve Gowda, former Prime Minister, gave a call to youth to be prepared for a long drawn battle against anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-employees policies of the government. “Rise, revolt and root out exploiters, looters and gangsters of nation” he told the working class and farmers. He was here on the concluding day of the 7th national conference of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).

Holding up the report of the standing committee of Parliament chaired by an NDA member, he said the report “clearly castigates the government for not fulfilling the promises made to farmers regarding the waiver of interest of one year on loans.

Comparing his own tenure as Prime Minister, he said he had given subsidies to farmers for equipment, fertilisers, insecticides apart from other subsidies.

Criticising Dr Manmohan Singh, former Union Finance Minister, for initiating economic reforms, inviting MNCs and foreign investment, the former PM said this had broken the backbone of the poor. In a set of questions addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister said even as Mr Vajpayee claimed six to seven per cent GDP growth, the ‘mid-term appraisal’ by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which stated that financial reforms in the agriculture sector were not upto the mark, revealed the facts. “The World Bank report states that poverty level has increased to 30 per cent from 26 per cent in the tenure of present Prime Minister.

Mr Deve Gowda who used a translator, said the gap was widening between the rural-urban, rich-poor owing to the entry of big business houses, which had resulted in joblessness, starvation, and destruction of indigenous and small-scale industry in the past 10 years. He called upon the people to wage a war against government policies and corruption.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Sitaram Yechury, member politburo, said the country had been pledged and its independence had been compromised to the USA. Coming down heavily upon the BJP and the Congress, he said while the BJP was banking on the Hindu vote, the Congress was playing a double game as an opportunist to grab whatever or whoever suited them.

Mr Harkrishan Singh Surjeet, general secretary CPM, gave a call to oppose fundamentalist forces like BJP and Akalis. He called upon the Left parties to enter the political arena.

Prof Balwant Singh, state secretary, CPM, criticised the Congress, Akalis and the BJP for cheating the Punjabis. He said it was the right time to pave way for a third front to fight the degenerative policies of the government.


Pak gurdwara panel to implement maryada
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) today accepted the long-standing demand of the SGPC to implement maryada (Sikh code of conduct) as recognised by the SGPC and Akal Takht at all 174 Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

This was stated by Dr Balkar Singh, leader of the SGPC jatha, while talking to TNS from Nankana Sahib (Pakistan) today.

He said the SGPC had recognised PSGPC on the condition that it (PSGPC) would be headed by a Sikh. Dr Balkar Singh said the PSGPC had asked him to provide the draft of the maryada, which should be implemented there without any further delay.

The PSGPC had agreed in principle for carrying out kar seva at Sikh shrines in Pakistan as per the Sikh traditions. Dr Balkar Singh said the PSGPC had also accepted the demand of allowing granthis from India for restoring maryada there.

He said he had exchanged siropas with Mr Sham Singh, co-chairman, PSGPC, at the main function held at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib yesterday. He said the stand of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC chief, had been clear from day one that Pakistan being a sovereign country could form a committee to run the affairs of gurdwaras. However, it was the duty of the PSGPC to restore maryada at all gurdwaras.

The conditional recognition accorded to the PSGPC is likely to create a furore within the Akali Dal as it was Bibi Jagir Kaur, the then SGPC chief, who had stopped sending jathas to Pakistan in protest against the formation of PSGPC in 1999.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, leader of the parallel jatha of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Gurbax Singh Purain and Mr Suba Singh also exchanged siropas with Mr Sham Singh.


Badal should prove his innocence, says Congress
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 9
Mr Surinder Iqbal Singh Brar, president, District Congress Committee (DCC), Faridkot, has criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal’s plan to adopt agitational approach in Punjab if Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is arrested by the state government.

Mr Brar said that if Mr Badal is sure of his innocence, he should prove this in court of law rather than take political, religious or agitational shelter to avoid his arrest. He was referring to press reports of SAD meetings at Amritsar and Chandigarh in which party leaders and workers were made to swear before Guru Granth Sahib to “make any sacrifice” to save Mr Badal. It was a gross misuse of people’s respect and religion to meet personal ends, added the DCC president.

In a press statement here today, Mr Brar pointed that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had repeatedly stated that the state government would not arrest Mr Badal on its own. It would rather place the entire record of corruption and assets collected before the court of law to decide the further course of action. Having failed in his diversionary tactics of defaming the state government on one pretext or the other, Mr Badal had spread rumours regarding dissidence in the state Congress party, which have been categorically denied by Ms Mohsina Kidwai, AICC General Secretary and in charge of the Punjab affairs, he added.


Mann criticises govt functioning
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 9
Aiming its guns at the functioning of the state government machinery for its alleged failure to issue red-corner notices, which enabled a number of close associates of SAD president Parkash Singh Badal and his family to “flee” the country, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has demanded a high-level probe into the functioning of certain IAS and IPS officers who were close to the Badals during the SAD-BJP regime.

Apparently targetting the Vigilance Bureau, SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann, who spoke to the TNS over the phone, said the failure of the state machinery to issue red-corner notices well in time had “enabled a number of people close to Mr Badal flee the country.”

He also demanded that since everybody knew that three IAS officers were confidants of Mr Badal, they should also be subjected to the probe. “This can help the investigating agency as they must be knowing more things,” said Mr Mann.


Campbell pays obeisance at Golden Temple
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 9
Close on the heels of the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Jean Chritien, on Divali, the Premier of British Columbia (Canada), Mr Gordon Campbell along with his health minister Mr Gulzar Cheema and five MLAs — Patty Sahota, Rob Nijjer, Branda Lock, John Ismail and John Nuran — paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here today.

Mr Campbell, who heads the state where more than 10 per cent population consists of the Sikh community, said the people of Canada had great regard for the community, which had settled there about a century ago.

The Premier said the community had worked hard for the development of Canada. Paying rich tribute to Sikhism, he said Canadians had been inspired by the religion.

The health minister, Mr Gulzar Cheema, said the premier enjoyed popularity among the Punjabis.

Later talking to mediapersons, Mr Cheema said they were exploring many areas for developing business ties, especially with Punjab. He added that their visit would focus on understanding the problems in the health and medical sectors and hoped that British Columbia would be able to offer its assistance.

Another MLA of Indian origin, Ms Patty Sahota, said Canada would like to add India as a major trading partner in areas like forestry, agriculture, agro-processing and handling, education and IT. She said during the visit the delegation would meet with the Punjab CM, Capt Amarinder Singh, and hold discussions with Indian business leaders for tie-ups. The delegation is likely to sign MoUs with universities in Punjab in the field of research and for the exchange of scientists teachers and students.

Earlier, the Honorary Secretary of the SGPC, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, welcomed the premier and his group. The Head Priest of the Golden Temple offered them “siropa”. Later, the premier laid wreaths at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial.

JALANDHAR: (TNS) Terming Punjabis in British Columbia as a “strong” and “vibrant” community, Mr Gordon Campbell said his country was open to migrants from Punjab and elsewhere in India.

Talking to mediapersons at a hotel here Mr Campbell, who was accompanied by members of a high-level delegation, said India and British Columbia had long standing relations for the past over 100 years.

“We have six Punjabi MLAs. They (Punjabis) are a strong and vibrant community and more of them are still being attracted by a host of avenues and opportunities in our country,” said Mr Campbell. He said his country was open to migrants and it had a liberalised immigration policy.

He further said India and British Columbia had another field of mutual interest — films. Dr Gulzar Cheema said they would discuss the matter with film stars like Amitabh Bachchan and other office-bearers of the IFFA.


Five doctors booked for conducting pre-natal tests
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 9
In its effort to combat female foeticide the district administration has lodged a complaint against 11 persons at a local court for misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques. The persons against whom cases have been registered include five doctors and three women.

In a series of complaints filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bathinda, Mr Sadhu Ram Kusla, Assistant Project Officer of the PNDT cell, set up by the administration under the presidentship of the Deputy Commissioner, has alleged that though pre-natal tests have been banned, several doctors are conducting ultrasounds for checking the sex of the foetus.

The complaint added that such practitioners were charging hefty amounts for disclosing the sex of the foetus and carrying out abortions.

Figures available with the district administration reveal that the sex ratio in the district, which was 800 females per 1000 males two years ago, has gone down to 740 females per 1000 males.

The PNDT Cell is compiling a date on pregnant women who undergo sonography tests by collecting “Form-F”, required to be filled by patients. A special software is used to short-list suspected cases of female foeticide.


Probe report on missing fishplates by next week
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 9
The Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore Division, Northern Railways, Mr Hukam Chand Punia, today said the three-member probe panel investigating the incident involving 3074 up Jammu-bound Himgiri Express, would submit its report to him early next week.

A three-member enquiry committee comprising Assistant Mechanical Engineer, Assistant Traffic Engineer and Assistant Engineer Railways, was constituted by Mr Punia to probe the incident in which a rail mishap involving the Himgiri Express was averted due to the alertness of the driver of the train. The driver had applied emergency brakes after noticing that the fishplates of the track were not in place near the Satnampura level crossing here on November 3, 2003.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Punia claimed that the probe was in progress and he would get its report by early next week. He asserted that the major thrust was on safety of the trains, tracks and travellers. Several safety measures, including provision of emergency windows, anti-collision devices and fireproof coaches in major trains, were being taken, informed Mr Punia.

He said the Railways was considering a proposal to increase the speed of the Shatabadi Express, running between Delhi and Amritsar, from 110 km per hour to 120 km per hour.

He claimed that the electrification of the Ludhiana-Jalandhar track was complete but it would be inaugurated for passengers trains only after the Chief Railway Safety Commissioner gave his clearance report in this regard.

The electrification of the track up to Amritsar would be completed by the end of this year, claimed Mr Punia.


10 injured in mishap
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 9
Ten pilgrims, including three children and two women, were injured when their mini bus coming from Vaishno Devi to Delhi rammed into a tractor near Bhunga, about 20 km from here, on the Hoshiarpur-Dasuya road yesterday. All the injured were taken to the Civil Hospital, Bhunga, from where they were referred to the Civil Hospital, Hoshiarpur.

According to hospital sources, seven pilgrims were identified as Shaury (6), son of Dharender Sharma, Kartik Sharma (13), son of Satish Sharma, Vinod Kumari (48), wife of Satish Sharma, Dharinder Sharma, (48), son of Dr Ram Sharma, Rupali Sharma (29), wife of Shilpi Sharma, Loveesh Sharma (11), son of N.R. Sharma, and Satinder (24), son of Mohinder Singh, all of Delhi. All the injured were later taken by their relatives to Delhi.


Journalists to wear black badges
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, November 9
Condemning the “dictatorial” attitude of the Tamil Nadu Government towards mediapersons, Jalandhar-based journalists have decided to wear black badges to lodge their protests against the attack on the freedom of the Press.

In a joint statement issued here today, Mr Varinder Singh and Mr Rajiv Bhaskar, president and senior vice-president of the Jalandhar Working Journalists Association, respectively, said journalists would converge on the local Desh Bhagat Yaadgaar Hall where they would wear black badges to lodge their protest against the “anarchy-like” situation in Tamil Nadu. Later, they would hold a meeting to chalk out further strategy.

AMRITSAR: The Punjab and Chandigarh Journalists Association headed by Mr Jasbir Singh Patti today condemned the arrest warrants against senior journalists of The Hindu.

KAPURTHALA: Workers of the Shiv Sena under the chairmanship of Mr Jagdish Kataria, today held a procession in the town to protest against the sentence of five journalists of The Hindu in Tamil Nadu.

The workers burnt the effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha at Court Chowk.


Bachhi is PSEB member sans work
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9
More than a fortnight after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the PSEB to reinstate Akali leader Gurbachan Singh Bachhi as member of the board, the board has neither given him his former portfolio of administration nor assigned him any other duty.

Mr Bachhi had rejoined the board as member last month. He was assigned the office vacated by the erstwhile member (generation).

Congress legislator Raman Bhalla had been appointed to the post of member, (administration) by the government.

The Akali leader said he had written a letter to the board Chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, asking him to assign him the portfolio of administrative member but he had not replied. He said he had filed an application against the attitude of the board. Mr Y.S. Ratra was not available for comments. A board spokesman said only the Chairman could comment on the issue.

Sources said Mr Bachhi came to the PSEB office off and on as he did not receive official files.


Seminar on diseases among children
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 9
The Paediatric Forum today organised a seminar in the local marriage palace today on various diseases affecting the children.

Dr Abha Mudgil Sharma, organising secretary, said that 200 delegates from Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Sultanpur Lodhi, Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Patiala, Faridkot, Moga, Banga, Nawanshahr, Garhshankar, Nakodar and Bhogpur participated in the seminar.

Dr B.R. Thapa, Paediatric Gastroentrologist from the PGI, Chandigarh, delivered a lecture on chronic constipation and encopreses in infants and children and their cure.

Dr Sanjay Bhadada, Endocronologist from the PGI, Chandigarh, threw light on the causes of short stature, its causes and management.

Dr Harish Pemde from Delhi discussed the life skill management in adolescents. Prof P. Ghosh from Delhi discussed genetic counselling, mutation and their prevalence and prevention in human problems.

Dr Daljit Singh from the DMC, Ludhiana, discussed the causes of seizures in children in emergency.

Dr Jugeh Chatwal from the CMC, Ludhiana, discussed management of unconscious child in emergency.

Representative from 10 pharmaceutical companies also participated in the seminar.


Stray dogs devour two-yr-old
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 9
Two stray dogs reportedly mauled a 2-year-old boy, Harshdeep, on Saturday in Taraf Hazi village near Sultanpur Lodhi. Parents of the child had gone to Gurdwara Ber Sahib to pay obeisance leaving him alone in the house.

According to reports reaching here, Mr Davinder Singh, father of the deceased, his wife and two sons had gone to the gurdwara leaving Harshdeep in the house. The child crawled out of the house and was attacked by two stray dogs in the street. The animals picked up the child and ate his head and two legs resulting in his death on the spot.

The parents of the child found his mutilated body lying in the street when they returned from the gurdwara.

A pall of gloom descended on the village after the incident and the Sarpanch, Ms Kuldeep Kaur, demanded that stray dogs should be eliminated to ensure safety of the villagers.

The deceased was buried today in the village.


Punjabi author Pritam Saini dead
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 9
Dr Pritam Saini (77), a noted Punjabi author and critic, died in the Civil Hospital here today. He is survived by a daughter and a son. His funeral will take place at the local cremation ground tomorrow.

Dr Saini authored more than 60 books in the Punjabi, Hindi, English and Urdu languages. He also wrote a large number of articles in daily newspapers, including Punjabi Tribune, Ajit, The Tribune and Indian Express.

Meanwhile, Mr Fateh Prabhakar, president of the Punjab Press Club, Sangrur, and Dr Tejwant Mann, general secretary of the Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon), have expressed shock and grief over the death of Dr Saini.


Hunter falls to bullet
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 9
One of the three hunters, who had gone to hunt neelgai in the wild life sanctuary area today, fell to a bullet fired “accidentally” from 12 bore rifle.

The victim was identified as Surender Singh (30), son of Gurjant Singh, a farmer of Kalatibba village, 5 km from here.

According to information available from different sources three youths aged between 25-30 years had left the village with firearms for hunting in the forest area of nearby Chakra village on Abohar-Seeto road. After an hour it was learnt that one of them had died of bullet injury.


Lok Adalats mark Legal Services Day
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 9
As many as 2495 cases were settled amicably at a special state-level Lok Adalat held at the sessions court complex here today.

Stating this in a press note, Mr M.R. Batra, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Services Authority, stated that in Lok Adalat 17 Benches were constituted which handled nearly 2,479 cases.

Earlier, a seminar was also organised to observe Legal Services Day.

FARIDKOT: As many as 129 of 379 different cases were settled at a Lok Adalat held here on Sunday on Legal Services Day. Compensation of more than Rs 1.23 crore was paid to those affected. Six Benches headed by Mr Gurdev Singh, District Sessions Judge, Mr Udey Singh and Mr Fateh Deep Singh, both Additional District Sessions Judges, Mrs Sunita Kumari, Civil Judge (senior division), Mr Ravinder Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate, and Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan, Civil Judge (junior division), were constituted in this regard.

Earlier, presiding over a seminar organised by the District Legal Services Authority, Mr Gurdev Singh, District Sessions Judge and chairman of the body, said there was a plan to organise more and more such seminars particularly in rural areas in the district, to make the people aware of the benefits being provided by the district Legal Services Authority free of cost.

FEROZEPORE: More than 400 cases have been setled through special Lok Adalats organised by the District Legal Services Authority, in which transaction worth Rs 1.05 crore have been effected till date. This was stated by Mr M.M.S. Bedi, District and Sessions Judge, while presiding over a seminar organised on Sunday at the sessions court complex to celebrate Legal Services Day. Mr Bedi gave an insight into the provisions of the Legal Services Authority Act and the achievements of the District Legal Services Authority.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh, District Attorney, stated that the police had established a CARE centre to settle cases pertaining to marital disputes and other crimes through counselling sessions.

HOSHIARPUR: The District Legal Services Authority organised a legal seminar in connection with the Legal Services Day celebrations at a local government college here on Sunday.

Mr Harbans Lal, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Services Authority, Hoshiarpur, presided over the seminar. It was attended by judicial officers, executive officers and large number of members of the public, including panches, sarpanches and lambardars.

Mr Lal said under the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, a District Legal Services Authority had been set up in every district and a Sub-Divisional Legal Services Committee in every subdivision.

Earlier, Mr R.P. Nagrath, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Paramjit Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Mr H.S. Rehil, president, Bar Association, Mr D.S. Dhindsa, Superintendent of Police (headquarters), Hoshiarpur, Mr Karam Chand Saini and Ms Renu Kakkar, social workers, also spoke on the occasion.

KAPURTHALA: The District Legal Services Authority organised a function on Sunday on the premises of the district courts in connection with celebrations of Legal Services Day.

Mr S.S. Gupta, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Services Authority presided over the function.

Later four adalats were organised, which were presided over by Mr S.S. Gupta, District and Sessions Judge, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Mukesh Berry, Additional Sessions Judge, Mr A.L Khichi, Civil Judge (senior division), Mr S.S. Dhaliwal, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Harpal Singh, Additional Civil Judge (senior division). Fiftyfour cases of civil, criminal, accident and matrimonial were settled at the Lok Adalats.

Rupees 1 crore were disbursed as compensation in accident cases.

SANGRUR: On the occasion of Legal Services Day a seminar and a Lok Adalat were held at the district judicial complex here on Sunday.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Jagroop Singh, District and Sessions Judge, Sangrur, said Lok Adalats were saving money and time of parties involved in disputes.

On the occasion 44 cases were taken up, at the Lok Adalat of which 25 were settled through compromise.

JALANDHAR: “Lok Adalats have emerged as a new mechanism of administration of justice for the upliftment of the poor and illiterate and to promote harmony and peace in society by providing speedy and inexpensive justice.”

Addressing a seminar organised by the District Legal Services Authority on Legal Services Day on Sunday Mr K.K. Garg, District and Sessions Judge, said providing free legal aid to the poor was an important component in dispensation of justice. He also explained the concept of a Lok Adalat.

Dr Daljit Singh, Director of School of Legal Studies of the GND University, said the success of a Lok Adalat depended upon the support of the three parties — litigants, advocates and judicial officers.

Others who attended the function included Mr K.K. Kareer, member secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, and Mr R.S. Attri, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

NABHA: Scheduled caste, Scheduled tribes, women, children, jail inmates, industrial workers, mentally sick or a person with income less than 30,000 per annum can seek free legal aid just by giving an application to the Deputy Commissioner, District and Sessions Judge or to advocates (legal aid services) appointed by the government at the district levels. This was stated by Mr K.N. Jindal, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Aid Services, who was addressing a seminar organised on Legal Services Day at Bhadson, 20 km from here on Sunday.

Among others present on the occasion were the SSP, Patiala, Mr A.S. Rai, Mr Jaswant Singh Brar, ADC (Developments) Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, SHO, Nabha, Mr P.S. Dhanoa, secretary, Legal Services Authority, Patiala, and Mr Inderjit Singh, Goraya, president, Bar Association Patiala.



Educating rural masses on free legal aid
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 9
It was for the first time that all judicial officials of the district, led by Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, organised a seminar in a remote Chanarthal Kalan village to educate the rural masses regarding free legal aid being provided to the weaker sections of society by the government and to popularise the concept of Lok Adalats. The seminar was largely attended.

In his keynote address, Mr Mohinder Pal said as a majority of the people lived below the poverty line and could not engage lawyers to defend their legal rights, so the government had decided to provide free legal aid to this section of society.

He said all were equal in the eyes of the law, so no one could be deprived of legal aid. He said earlier the disputes were confined to the rural areas and the elders of the area used to sort these out amicably, but with the passage of time the disputes increased manifold in the urban areas and courts had been flooded with cases causing delay in their disposal. It had motivated the government to set up Lok Adalats, where the cases were settled amicably with mutual consent, whereas in courts one won and the other party lost.

He said, moreover, the decision taken in this court could not be challenged in any court. He urged the people to benefit from these courts. He said in the Lok Adalats, 4,080 cases were presented and out of these 2,241 were decided with mutual consent and an amount worth Rs 9,62,58,285 was awarded as compensation. He said similarly the District Free Legal Aid Society got 378 applications for free legal aid and all were provided free legal aid by the society and 165 cases had been decided.

Mr S.K.Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, in his address appreciated the efforts of the District Sessions Judge for organising such an educative seminar in the biggest village of the district. He urged the people to rise above petty politics for the development of the village. He advocated the concept of Lok Adalats and said people should settle their disputes at the panchayat level and, if needed, they should go to a Lok Adalat and not to civil courts. He announced a grant of Rs 1.20 lakh for the school where the function was held.

Mr Mohinder Pal Arora, ADC, Mr G.S. Gill, Additional District Sessions Judge, Mr B.J. Nangli, Additional District Sessions Judge, Mrs Neelam Arora, Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mr G.S. Dhillon, CJM, Mr H.K. Sular, Civil Judge, Mr S.S. Panesar, Civil Judge, Mr A.S. Cheema, president, District Bar Association, Mr H.S. Rai, Mr Lakhbir Singh, advocates, also addressed the seminar. The village panchayat honoured all dignitaries.



94 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 9
At least 94 cases, involving Rs 74 lakh, out of 268 were settled at a Lok Adalat here today. The adalat was organised by Mr Lakhbir Singh, District and Sessions Judge.

A seminar on free legal aid and lok adalats was also organised in which the judge, other judicial officers of the district, including Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Karnail Singh, Mr D.S. Malwai, and civil judges (senior division) Mr H.S. Dhaliwal and Mr Rajiv Malhotra were also present. Office-bearers of the local Bar Association were also present.


6 held for duping people
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 9
The district police today claimed to have busted a six-member gang which used to dupe people by promising to triple their money.

Mr Kultar Singh, district police chief, while giving details, said the accused led by Karam Singh, a resident of Jagdev Kalan village, used to lure ‘victims’ by telling them that they had a special fake currency which looked like real currency. They called them to park just a few yards away from C-Division police station and took the real currency from them. As soon as they took the money other members of the gang posing as policemen conducted a ‘raid’ making the unsuspecting ‘victims’ flee leaving their money behind.

The suspects confessed that they had duped several persons of lakhs of rupees.

Charanjit Singh of Pandori Singla village, Tarsem Singh of Kapurthala, Kuldip Singh of Mohkampura, Satpal Singh and Tarsem Singh of Pandori Waraich village, are among those arrested. A case under Sections 420, 388, 389, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered at C-Division police station here.


2 held for selling tranquillisers

Bathinda, November 9
The district police arrested two persons on the charge of selling tranquillisers from Maur Mandi, near here today. The accused have been identified as Rinku Singla, a resident of Sangrur and Umesh Aggrawal, a local of Maur Mandi.

The police has also claimed to have recovered a large cache of medicines from the house of the accused. These include about 18,000 pills of Dezipam, 260 capsules, 45 bottles of cough syrup and about 1240 assorted injections.

A case has been registered against the two and they have been remanded in judicial custody. — TNS


PTU to introduce new exam schedule
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 9
Mr Y.S. Rajan, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University (PTU), said PTU had decided a new examination schedule of a short span for forthcoming B.Tech examinations.

Speaking to mediapersons at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering (BBSBE) College, here before its prize distribution function, the VC said PTU was highly concerned about the teaching hours of students. So it had decided that examinations of regular and reappear students should be conducted simultaneously and in a short span starting from December 9 to 27.

Talking about the performance of PTU, Mr Rajan said this year more number of students had come into the fold of the university. He informed that this year 2,008 more students as compared to previous year took admission in B.Tech first year and students from Jammu and Kashmir had also preferred PTU for engineering.

Talking about distance education examination system, the VC said there were 300 distance centres catering to 42,000 students.

He said part-time B.Tech courses at regional centres would not be opened. These regional centres were established only to develop them as research and development centres for M. Tech and PhD courses. PTU had collaborated with the Army for running technical courses specific for defence people, he added.

Dr S.C. Saxena, Director, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, Dr D.S. Hira, college Principal, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, member secretary of the college trust, Prof J.S. Oberoi, coordinator, Techfair, and Prof Gurpal Singh, coordinator, cultural committee, also expressed their views.


Industry shifting due to Centre’s policies, says minister
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 9
Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, Punjab, has alleged that the NDA government’s policies had forced most of the Punjab Industries to shift to neighbouring states.

He was here to inaugurate the reconstruction and strengthening of the Jalandhar-Nakodar road at Kang Saboo village and Shahid Darshan Singh Kaypee Marg on the Jalandhar-Jandiala road, Mr Bajwa alleged that industrialists were shifting their units to neighbouring states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir as there were a number of Centre-aided concessions in those states.

‘Industry from Amritsar is gradually shifting to Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir while industrialists of Ludhiana and Mohali are shifting to Baddi in Himachal Pradesh due to wrong policies and discrimination against the state by the Centre,” he maintained.

The minister alleged that the Centre was not allowing the sale of levy sugar worth Rs 450 crore lying in the state godowns, due to which farmers’ payments were being delayed. He said tenders had been invited for setting up 18 corridors in the state at a cost of Rs 8 crore.

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