P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Badal writes to Verma, Speaker
Apprises them of Vigilance Bureau case
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has sought to educate the Governor as well as the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha about his “side of the case of disproportionate assets registered against him and his family members” so that sanctions to launch prosecution against him are given only after proper scrutiny.

The Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act necessitates prior sanction of the State Government before prosecuting a public servant. Since the Apex Court has held that elected representatives are public servants, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau investigating the case of disproportionate assets registered against the Badals and others may require sanction of the State.

As such the case may be put up before the Governor, Justice O.P. Verma.

In routine, such cases are put up before the Governor and sanctions are given. But of late, there has been no case in which sanction has been given to prosecute a former Minister or Chief Minister in the State.

Sources reveal that the case has already been moved before the Speaker for sanction to launch prosecution. Interestingly, there has been no instance in which the office of the Speaker has been moved for sanction for launching prosecution against any legislator or minister.

Since Mr Parkash Singh Badal by virtue of his the position as Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha enjoys the status of a Cabinet Minister, the sanction of the Governor appears to be mandatory. Sanction is very crucial as it is the only protection a public servant has in his defence.

Intriguingly, in Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal’s case, the State had been maintaining that no sanction was required to prosecute her. Mrs Bhattal now happens to be a Cabinet Minister and the charges faced by her were for her actions as a Chief Minister of the State.

Punjab Raj Bhavan sources confirmed that a letter sent by Mr Parkash Singh Badal from Amritsar has already been received. A copy of the latter has also been sent to the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan.

In his 70-odd page letter, Mr Badal is believed to traced the entire history of the case accusing the present Congress government of fabricating evidence against him and his family members to settle political scores with him.

Mr Badal has accused the “Punjab Chief Minister of trying coercion and torture on innocent people in the case. He has used allurement by gifting prized postings and other offices,” wrote Mr Badal.

The letter written when the Vigilance Bureau is giving final touches to the challan against the Badal is being viewed not only to educate the Governor about the finer points of the case and “alleged illegalities of the investigations” but also to put the ball in the court of the Governor who has powers to seek information or even see the file before according his sanction.

Interestingly, sanction is also required before prosecution can be launched against any of the ministers or legislators of the previous ruling combine of the SAD-BJP facing vigilance cases.


‘No sanction required’

“No sanction is required to launch prosecution against the Shiromani Akali Dal chief and Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal,” says Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, holding that “since the Leader of the Opposition does not take oath, he enjoys the status of a Cabinet Minister, but does not become a Cabinet Minister because of his position.”

“Sanction of the Governor is required only in case of prosecuting a sitting Cabinet Minister,” adds Mr Bir Devinder Singh.

“The Speaker has no jurisdiction in granting sanction for prosecution. The only legal provision is that in case of arrest of a sitting legislator, the Speaker has to be informed about it immediately. There is nothing like sanction given by the Speaker,” he added.

Interestingly, in former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao’s case, a Constitutional Bench of the Apex Court held that in case a legislator or Member of Parliament is to be prosecuted, prior sanction of the Speaker of either the State Assembly concerned or House of Parliament has to be obtained.

The Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Dr Kewal Krishan, could not be contacted. Unconfirmed sources, however, maintained that the Vigilance Bureau had already obtained sanction of the Speaker and was ready to file the challan in a day or two.


SGPC, Head Granthi cross swords
Distilled water for Golden Temple sarovar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21
The Head Granthi, Golden Temple, Giani Puran Singh and the SGPC today crossed swords over the installation of Rs five crore water treatment plant for supplying distilled water to the ‘sarovar’ (holy tank) of Darbar Sahib.

However, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht supported the SGPC for its venture to treat the ‘sarovar water’. He said the supplying of distilled water would rather receive positive response from the ‘Sikh Sangat’.

While Giani Puran Singh described the reports that the ‘Sarovar’ was getting ‘impure water’ and there was urgent need to supply filtered and distilled water, as ‘baseless’ which could hurt the Sikh sentiments, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, honorary secretary and Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, former secretary SGPC said that there was urgent need to treat the water which was being supplied through Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC). Both Mr Calcutta and Dr Bachan said that the water, air and environmental pollution was a matter of global concern.

The SGPC’s general house has also passed a unanimous resolution to start a ‘Kar Seva’ of the Sarovar and treatment of the water. Talking to The Tribune, Giani Puran Singh said that hundreds of devotees who take a dip in the holy tank and hence nobody could be allowed say that the water of the ‘sarovar’ was impure.

However, Mr Calcutta said that the water which the holy tank had been receiving from the river Ravi.

Mr Calcutta said that the ‘Tutt brothers’ from California had taken the responsibility to install the treatment plant for supplying mineral water into the holy tank and they would bear all the expenses. The machinery had already been imported which could be installed anytime for treating the water.

Dr Bachan who did his P.hd on, “ecological balance in Nanak Bani’ suggested that Giani Puran Singh should not adopt an approach like members of Flat Earth Society of England who still believe that the earth was not spherical but flat. He said some orthodox Sikhs had opposed the introduction of electricity in the Golden Temple in the last decade of 19th century on the pretext that it would create hindrance in the peaceful atmosphere of Darbar Sahib.

However, it took more than three decades to introduce the electricity due to the stiff opposition by certain orthodox persons. The SGPC had already taken a bold step by installing ‘chapati making machine’ in the community centre of the Golden Temple which is modern concept.

Giani Puran Singh gave many examples including that of a close relative of Mr Buta Singh, a former Union Home Minister who got herself cured after taking bath for 45 days in the holy tank.

He asked this correspondent to take addresses of scores of devotees who got themselves cured. Earlier, Giani Puran Singh had raised serious objections over installation of the treatment plant in the Darbar Sahib premises.


Shun ‘maryada’ violators in SGPC poll: Giani Nandgarh
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, November 21
Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Damdama Sahib, today raised the demand that those members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC), who had been violating the “maryada” (religious code of conduct), should not be backed by any party in the SGPC general elections slated for May 23 next year.

Giani Nandgarh said certain SGPC members, who had violated the Sikh religious code of conduct in the past by dying their beard, by indulging in the consumption of drugs and sale of narcotics and by visiting various “deras” to express their faith in living “gurus”, could be summoned to Akal Takht for awarding them “tankha” for same.

“I will raise these matters at the meeting of Sikh clergy being held at Akal Takht on December 8. I will also discuss these matters with Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, individually to ensure action against violators of ‘maryada’ and denial of support to them in the coming SGPC poll. A final decision might be taken on that day, said Jathedar Nandgarh while talking to The Tribune here today.

He said in the past a number of SGPC members had brought a bad name to the Sikh religion and Sikh community after being caught while indulging in various types of social evils, including smuggling of narcotics. He said he had decided to raise these issues after district units of Mansa and Bathinda of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) gave him a representation today urging him to take action against those members of the SGPC, who had been violating the Sikh ‘maryada’.

He, however, added that he was not in favour of action against those members of the SGPC against whom criminal cases were registered in the past two years ever since the Congress government came to power for their alleged involvement in various crimes.

Meanwhile, Mr Barinder Singh, president, SAD (Amritsar), Bathinda district, in the representation said Jathedar Nandgarh should also take action against those SAD (Badal) leaders against whom criminal cases were registered for their alleged involvement in various crimes.


Demand to appoint Sikh as head of PSGPC
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) has urged Pakistan’s President General Pervez Musharraf to nominate a prominent Sikh of Pakistan as president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).

At a press conference here yesterday Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, president of the SAD (D) said the PSGPC should have representation of Sikhs from all over the world. “In case, the PSGPC becomes a representative body of all Sikhs, our organisation is ready to support it. The Pakistan President should appoint a Sikh of stature as president of the PSGPC, which will increase the role of Pakistan-based Sikhs in Sikh affairs, and it will also earn goodwill,” said Mr Wadala.

Turning to Punjab, Mr Wadala said his party would organise “ardas” on the border, facing Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Ravi (Pakistan), on November 23 to pray for the opening of corridor for “darshan” of the gurdwara. He alleged that Pakistan was ready to provide a corridor for this purpose, but the Indian side had not responded to the offer.


High Court tells Punjab to compensate paddy farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Coming down heavily on the state of Punjab for adopting an arbitrary and inhumane approach towards farmers by not compensating them for losses suffered due to sale of paddy below minimum support price (MSP) in 2000, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the disbursement of amount.

Allowing a petition, the court also imposed costs of Rs 10,000 before holding that the action of ‘‘the state was totally arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India’’.

Pronouncing the orders in an open court, a Division Bench of the High Court, headed by Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar, directed the disbursement of amount, ‘transferred to the treasury’, in accordance with the claims of the farmers, within a month of receiving the order’s certified copy.

The Bench added that the petitioners, 35 farmers belonging to Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala districts, were also ‘‘entitled to interest at the rate of 8 per cent from the date when payment was due till the amount was paid’’.

In their detailed order, the Judges held that the approach was contrary to ‘‘the very scheme which was formulated to help poor farmers in overcoming the losses suffered by them’’.

The Judges further held: ‘‘We are of the considered opinion that the action of the respondents in not disbursing the compensation was unsustainable.... Farmers similarly situated to the petitioners were disbursed compensation on the basis of claims made simultaneously by the petitioners. Merely because there was shortage of funds, there was no justification in treating the petitioners differently from other farmers’’.

In detailed order, the Judges asserted, ‘‘The scheme made by the Central Government was voluntary in nature and was formulated to fulfill a laudable aim. The poor farmers were sought to be compensated for the losses suffered by them due to circumstances beyond their control....’’

Referring to the case, the Judges added, ‘‘There is sufficient material to show that the petitioners made their applications for compensation within the stipulated period. There is also material on record to show that the amount due to the petitioners was actually transferred from Amritsar district to Fatehgarh Sahib district. The state deposited the amount in the government treasury on the ground that the account had been closed. We are of the considered opinion that the approach adopted by the state was arbitrary....’’

Arguing before the court, the respondents had earlier added that the petitioners had ‘‘made a belated claim of Rs 2,62,639 when the accounts had been closed. The Government of India was required to foot 50 per cent of the bill for compensation to the farmers which had already been received. Therefore, no further amount could be disbursed as the same would not be reimbursed by the Government of India’’.


Meeting skirts wild animal menace issue
Sarabjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The high profile Punjab Wildlife Board, which met here this evening under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Mr J.S. Gill, failed to take any significant decision to tackle the growing menace of wild boars and blue bulls in the various parts of the state.

The issue of both these animals, which have become major sources of destruction of crops in certain parts of the state, has been hanging fire for long. The board, which met informally, came out with the decision that survey should be conducted to identify the pockets where blue bulls and wild boars have been destroying crops. Their number in such pockets should also be enlisted.

However, it is a well known fact that blue bull menace is mainly confined to the Malwa belt especially in Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa, Faridkot, Ferozepore districts and other neighbouring areas. Wild boars have been attacking crops mainly in the Kandi area. According to an estimate, there are about 8,000 blue bulls and about 2,000 wild boars that have become a cause of concern. The issue has also been discussed in the state Assembly in the past. Why was another survey ordered, it is difficult to understand?

While farming community is suffering, the government is dithering. Under the law, the Chief Wildlife Warden has the powers to issue permits for culling any wildlife animal that poses threat to human population or to crops. But the body of the each animal killed has to be deposited with the state government authorities concerned. This provision has been made to curb the wreckless killing of such animals.

When contacted, Mr A.P. Singh, Vice-Chairman of the board, said various issues pertaining to the wildlife were discussed. It was an informal meeting called to carry out spade work on important matters such as the strengthening of the wildlife wing, he said. “The proposals discussed today would be put up to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who is the Chairman of the board, he added. The board wanted to strengthen the wildlife wing by deploying more personnel. The proposal to provide vehicles to wildlife staff for patrolling in forest areas to protect birds and animals was also discussed, he added.

However, commenting on the meeting another official said “today’s meeting discussed the same issues which have been discussed numerous times earlier. No worthwhile decision was taken”.

Most of the board members and wildlife lovers admit that wildlife wing was in a bad shape in the state. The wildlife wing, an important off-shoot of the Forest Department, was virtually dismantled in 2000 and put under the command of the Forest Department. Earlier, there used to be separate Chief Wildlife Warden but now the charge of this office has also been given to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

Wildlife Inspectors, posted in the field earlier had the authority to file challans in the court against those found guilty of poaching but now they have been put under the command of Divisional Forest Officers, without whose permission they could not move even an inch. Since Divisional Forest Officers mainly concentrate on their main job of growing and protecting forests, they pay little attention to wildlife, which is more or less a missionary task. Consequently, the detection of poaching cases in the past years has come down sharply.

The issue of providing firearms to wildlife guards and inspectors has also been pending for long. Sources said there were technical problems in providing firearms to such employees. As poaching is either “ hobby” of VIPs or a “ need” of poor man to earn livelihood by selling the meat of wild animals, the protection of the wildlife is a very difficult task. Punjab is a state where the number of birds is declining fast because of high scale use of pesticides on the crops. Natural forest cover in Punjab is also minimal.

The report of the high-level team of board’s members who had visited South Africa to have a first hand experience for the promotion of wildlife was also discussed at the meeting.


Police helps German girl trace father
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 21
The Community Policing Resource Centre, which has been set up at the Sadar police station, here, has helped a German girl trace her father, who was deported from Germany to India in 1988. The girl was born after his deportation.

Mr S.K. Asthana, SSP, said today that Nisha (15) had sought the help of the centre in tracing the whereabouts of her father, Mr Sham Babu Khurma.

Nisha had sent on e-mail to the centre: “My name is Nisha, I am fifteen year old. I am a German citizen. I am searching for my dad. He is a Punjabi Hindu. He lived in Germany from 1977 to 1988. His name is Sham Babu Khurma, and is 44 years old. His father’s name is Gurdial Chand and mother’s Shanti. They lived in Jagpalpur (Ranipur) of Kapurthala district. I love to hear about him because I never met him in my life, who knows my dad I like to get in contact with him. Please help. Thanks”.

Mr Asthana said on receipt of her request, the task to locate the man was entrusted to Mr Chaman Lal, in charge of the centre. After an inquiry the man was traced to Jagpalpur (Ranipur) in Phagwara sub-division. Mr Khurma said he had remained in Germany from 1977 to 1988, where he married Carman, a German, 1988. When he was deported, Carman was pregnant. After his return to India, he lost contact with his wife. In India he again married Champawati, who died in February 2000.

The SSP said information regarding his whereabouts was sent to Nisha.


ED unearths Rs 50-cr scam
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unearthed a Rs 50-crore money-laundering scam following a series of searches conducted by ED officials in Jalandhar last week.

In a statement issued here today, Mr B.C. Mahey, Assistant Director of the ED here, said during investigation, the ED had identified Ravi Sharma, hailing from Jalandhar and now possibly based in Canada, as the kingpin of the racket. He said Ravi Sharma had been booked under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act. He said a local doctor, Nagendre Khera, was his Jalandhar-based operative.

Mr Mahey said preliminary investigations had revealed that a “well-oiled” money-laundering network was operating here and among offenders, a number of “pretentious” persons masquerading as highbrow exporters, but essentially tricksters guilty of laundering money and at the same time claiming government’s export incentives fraudulently, were involved. The statement did not mention the names of offenders.

Officials of the ED maintained that identification of such people at this stage would hamper investigations. ED sources said some exporters were indulging in converting hawala money into white money under the garb of “exports” of various products.


EPF scam: challan against contractor
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 21
After four years of an FIR in the EPF scam the police has finally filed challan in a court. The scam had surfaced in Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant (GGSSTP) Ropar.

In the challan charges have been framed against the former labour contractor Deepak Chada proprietor of the Calcutta Construction company and 22 officers of the Ropar Thermal Plant. The charges have been framed under Sections 406, 409, 420 and 120 B of the IPC.

Deepak Chada along with another contractor R.S. Sodhi allegedly siphoned Rs 1 crore from the EPF accounts of the labourers working under them. The scam was first detected in the 1999. While contractor R.S. Sodhi had deposited Rs 50 lakh, the other contractor Deepak Chada refused to do so. On the complaint of the EPF authorities a case was registered against Deepak Chada in the Ropar Sadar police station.

However, no action was taken against the accused after the registration of the case. The case again came into limelight when Mr Lalit Bhatia took over as the ADGP vigilance in PSEB. He got a case registered against contractor Deepak Chada also got a similar case registered against the R.S. Sodhi other contractor.

The inquiry into the scam was handed over to the crime wing a few months ago. The crime wing besides the labour contractors also indicted 22 officers of the Ropar Thermal Plant in the ranks of executive engineers, superintendent engineer, accounts officers and chief accounts officers in the scam. The officers were accused of being in connivance with the labour contractors in the scam.

The crime wing held that the officers of the thermal plant had to obtain the no objection certificates issued by the EPF authorities labour contractors every three months before the extension of their contract. However, the officers concerned of the thermal plant kept on extending the contract without obtaining the said no-objection certificate from the contractors.

After receiving the report of the crime wing two months ago while the Ropar police has filed a challan in the case registered against the labour contractor Deepak Chada, it is yet to file the challan in the case registered against labour contractor R.S. Sodhi. The police also has to recover Rs 50 lakh swindled by the labour contractor allegedly in connivance with officers of the thermal plant.


Probe sought in posting of engineer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Seeking a vigilance probe into the posting of Mr Navdeep Singh as Sub-Divisional Engineer in Punjabi University, the President of the Punjab unit of the BJP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, said today that this posting had been made “illegally” on the recommendation made by Mr Gurmel Singh, a political secretary of Mrs Parneet Kaur, member of Parliament from Patiala.

Describing it as a political interference in government postings, Mr Khanna said that Mr Navdeep Singh had been sent on deputation to Punjabi University from the PWD (B and R) department. On the basis of conditions laid down for deputation by the university, Mr Navdeep Singh did not qualify for posting as SDE in the University. He said that other candidates with the requisite experience and merit were available for posting, but they were ignored.

While seeking a panel of names for deputation from the PWD department, the Punjabi University authorities had said that either the candidate should be academically qualified to be posted as SDE or in case of any Junior Engineer’s name on the panel, he or she should be having an experience of 10 years . Mr Khanna said a panel of three names was sought. However, four names were forwarded by the PWD. Mr Navdeep Singh, who was at serial number 4 on the panel, was selected though he did not have the requisite experience of 10 years.

When asked why was he seeking an inquiry by the Vigilance Bureau when the head of his ally party, the SAD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has stated that this agency was doing what the state government asked it to do, Mr Khanna said that his party also had no faith in the bureau, but since it was a government agency, the BJP would accept the inquiry made by it.

He also sought the inquiry into the allegations and counter allegations leveled by certain Congress leaders regarding corruption in Hoshiarpur district.


SC-dominated villages not to pay fee
24-hour power supply
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 21
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has exempted villages dominated by Scheduled Castes from paying registration fee for 24 hour supply from the Board.

Sources said a decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the board recently. They said a survey conducted by the PSEB had revealed that there were around 3300 villages in which the Scheduled Castes had population of 40 per cent or more. The sources said earlier these villages had to pay a registration fee of Rs 10,000. They said however this was also done away with now.

The Board has been allocated Rs 4.44 crore for this purpose and has already received half the amount. There are a total of 12428 villages in the state of which 6030 villages have been covered under the 24-hour supply scheme. The 24 hour scheme was first started during the Beant Singh government. Then villages wanting to avail of the scheme had to pay 50 per cent of the cost with the rest being subsidised by the government. Later the village’s share had been pegged down to 10 per cent of the cost which usually worked out to around Rs one lakh per village.


Punjab Police on high alert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Punjab Police has been put on a high alert in view of the speculations about the filing of challan in a day or two, and subsequent protests by the Akali Dal workers and leaders against the same.

According to sources, most of the Akali Dal leaders have gone underground, apprehending their arrest as a prelude to the arrest of one of the members of the Badal family in the ongoing case of disproportionate assets filed against them by the Vigilance Bureau.

Surprisingly, some police officers even made courtesy calls to the houses of senior Akali leaders today, inquiring about their engagements for the next few days, giving credence to the speculation that the challan would be filed in a day or two. Akali leaders made frantic calls to newsmen in various offices, asking about the status of the challan and the impending arrest of the Badals in the case.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the bureau were busy holding meetings till late night, probably finalising the strategy of doing so. Sources in the bureau disclosed that a Vigilance team, including the Investigating Officer (IO), had reportedly left for Delhi and the challan would only be filed after their return.


Youth demands money back from Kimti Lal
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, November 21
Close on the heels of allegations levelled against a prime accused, Kimti Lal Jain, in the infamous “desi-kabootari” case, a 22-year-old polio afflicted youth has alleged that Kimti Lal Jain borrowed money to the tune of Rs 2 lakh from his father on interest but never paid it back.

Satwinder Singh, a resident of Burj Littan village in Raikot, in his complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhinna, alleged that his father, ex-naik Darshan Singh, had deposited an amount of Rs 2 lakh with Kimti Lal as he had to pay an interest of Rs 20,000 biannually on the amount.

Kimti Lal is in police custody after his role in the NRI fraudulent marriages had come under a scanner. He was alleged to have accepted lakhs Rupees for striking matches with the bridegrooms parents with fake NRI brides. His wife, Renu Jain, is also in police custody.

On April 7, 2002, Kimti Lal had got a wind of the Provident Fund money of Darshan Singh, which he was willing to get deposited in Satwinder’s name due to his being physically challenged.

“He approached my father to lend him money for his financing business. He agreed to pay Rs 10,000 as interest biannually on every Rs 1 lakh. My father went ahead with the deal but Kimti Lal neither paid the interest money nor the principal amount.

“My son is studying in BA-II year and I wanted to secure his future by depositing money in his name. Kimti Lal said that it would be better if I gave money to him. So he decided to do so only to be duped.”

Satwinder Singh along with Darshan Singh had visited the SSP, Jagraon office, on Tuesday last when Kimti Lal was arrested by the police. Satwinder, who is unable to walk properly without a support narrated his tale of woes to the SSP.

Darshan Singh said that he had lodged a complaint with the police four months ago but no heed was paid to his complaint. But after Kimti Lal was caught in the racket, his complaint was taken seriously.

Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chhinna, SSP, said that they were looking into the matter and with the intervention of the police, Rs 1.25 lakh was paid back to the youth. He said that the entire recovery would be effected very soon.


IPS officers to take up transfer issue with govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The IPS Officers Association at its meeting held here today has decided to take up the issue regarding the postings of IPS officers in field and the state headquarters with the Punjab.

One of the senior officers, who is a member of the executive committee, said they would impress upon the government to strike a balance between IPS and the PPS officers while posting them as district police chiefs or DIGs.

The Punjab Government during the recently affected large-scale transfers in the Police Department had also shifted many district police chiefs. This had led to a controversy.

Sources reveal that the association had earlier taken up the issue of posting IPS officers, at least in the important districts of the state, with the government, and to have a balance between the cadre, non-cadre and ex-cadre posts.

The executive committee of the association, which met here today, also decided to hold another seminar on the lines of the one held this year on “The Challenges before the Punjab Police”.

The officer said another meeting would be held next month to review the issues which were deliberated on at length during the previous seminar.

The association will also take up certain other issues , including the overall working of the police force and the problems being faced by them at various levels.


21 policemen reinstated
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 21
One sub-inspector and 20 other suspended policemen were reinstated today by Mr Gurkirpal Singh, SSP of the local district police.

The SSP talking to newsmen today here said that there were 70 employees suspended due to absence from duty or other reasons and the cases of these employees were considered sympathically today and one SI and 20 other employees have been reinstated while the cases of other eight employees have been sent to DIG for consideration.

The SSP said the barricades from roads in the area have been removed to avoid accidents and these barricades would be set up again to check anti-social elements. The SSP also addressed a meeting of all SHO’s of police stations and gave them instructions regarding giving hearing to representatives of the public.


Takht intervenes to resolve Chief Khalsa Diwan row
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21
Akal Takht today intervened, to resolve the controversy between the two warring groups of the chief Khalsa Diwan which arose after the termination of membership of 284 members by the ruling group.

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht today constituted a six-member committee of Sikh intellectuals for a rapprochement between the two groups. The six-member committee comprising Justice Kuldip Singh, Justice R.S. Narula (retd), Dr Prithipal Singh Kapur, a former pro-Vice-Chancellor, Dr Khark Singh, Principal Ram Singh and Sant Rattan Singh would submit its report by December 7. The election of the chief Khalsa Diwan has been fixed for January 4.

Jathedar Vedanti directed the warring groups to desist from the name of Chief Khalsa Diwan in courts by filing petitions against each other. He also directed them not to issue statements to the media.


Khalra’s portrait in Sikh Museum
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21
Jaswant Singh Khalra who was allegedly kidnapped and later killed by the Punjab Police on September 6, 1995 from his residence here became the first Human Rights activist whose portrait adorned the Central Sikh Museum of the Golden Temple, here today.

Khalra had taken up the case of cremating 25,000 ‘unidentified’ youths during the terrorism which earned the wrath of senior Punjab Police officials. Apart from Khalra, the portrait of Jathedar Amar Singh Buttar.

Mr Tohra said that it was a matter of concern that the CBI which was entrusted the inquiry failed to indict the senior police officials who were responsible for liquidation of Khalra who had exposed their misdeeds


Misbehaviour by airline staff alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
Mother of an NRI Ms Reshma Puri in letters to the President, the Prime Minister and the Delhi headquarters of Turkmenistan Airlines have alleged ‘misbehaviour’ by the Deputy Station Manager of Turkmenistan Airlines Mr Dinesh Kurl towards her son.

She stated that following the alleged ‘misbehaviour’ with her son Mr Ankit Puri (23) resident of the UK could not return to London on the scheduled date in October as his boarding pass too was snatched. Mr Dinesh however alleged that the said passenger misbehaved with his staff and he lodged a complaint with the Rajasansi police station. He said the airlines refused to refund the ticket as the ticket was issued from London. He said that they had rules to offload such passengers for causing trouble aboard.

In copies to the Press issued here today the mother stated that later Ankit was forced to take a train to Delhi and board another flight to London from there.


Traders’ rally on December 7
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 21
The Punjab Beopar Mandal will organize a state-level conference of traders at M.S.D. Public school at Bathinda on December 7 to protest against the Congress government for not giving relief in the working conditions in the state. More than 10,000 traders of Punjab will attend it.

Several representatives of traders from other states like Mr Bajrang Dass Garg, Mr Jagdish Arora, Mr Naresh Sharma Presidents Beopar Mandal of Haryana, UT Chandigarh and Rajasthan respectively besides a large number of traders of the said states will also participate in the conference. Mr Madan Lal Kapoor and Mr Bimal Gupta President and Patron of the state body respectively charged that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh who made tall promises to traders did nothing in this regard. The trader leaders cautioned the Chief Minister to check the activities of the bureaucrats.


60 persons trained in industrial safety
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
As many as 60 persons were trained in various aspects of Industrial safety at the two-day training programme in the Industrial Safety for Chemical and other general industries organised in the premises of local National Fertilizer Limited (NFL) factory by Director of Factories, Punjab in collaboration with Punjab Industrial Safety Council, Chandigarh.

In a press note here today, the NFL authorities said that 60 persons of the state and working in various types of industries were given training to promote industrial safety and prevention of accidents.

The participants were given certificates of attendance at the valedictory function organised today. Mr C.M. Nagpaul, Chief General Manager, NFL, Bathinda inaugurated the training programme yesterday.


33 sites sold for Rs 5 crore
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
The Amritsar Improvement Trust today auctioned 33 units under various schemes for Rs 5 crore.

As many as 25 units were sold at the Nehru Shopping complex of which 22 shops fetched Rs 4.5 crore. Two such offices were sold at Ajnala road scheme for Rs 7.5 lakh. Two shop-cum-flats at truck stand scheme garnered Rs 25 lakh while four booths at Ghee Mandi fetched handsome amount. Ms Ratna chairperson of the Improvement Trust presided over the auctions.


Businessman’s threat to journalist
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
Mr Ravi Sharma, a businessman here and his son, Mr Naveen Sharma, a bank employee, allegedly threatened a senior journalist after misbehaving with him in his office on The Mall late last evening. A complaint has been lodged with the police in this connection.

Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, when contacted, said that after receiving complaints from both parties, he had deputed Mr Ajay Malooja, SP (City) to conduct an inquiry into this case.

Mr Ravi Sharma and Mr Naveen Sharma could not be contacted.


Milkfed ex-MD dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Mr Amrik Singh, former Managing Director, Milkfed, died today following a massive heart attack at his Ludhiana residence. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.

He served as Managing Director of Milkfed for six years. He was recipient of various awards, including the Pride of Punjab Award, Bharat Vikas Award, Indo-Nepal Rattan Award, Gem of India Award, Udyog Rattan Puraskar and Jawaharlal Nehru Lifetime Achievement award.

Awareness rally
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
An awareness rally on “Role of pharmacist in promoting the future free of tobacco” was taken out in the town pharmacy students of Government Polytechnic College.

Mr S.K. Singla, Area Sales Manager, Glaxo India Limited, Mr Jasvir Singh, president, Chemist and Druggist Association, and Mr Gyan Ranjan, Head, Department of Pharmacy, Government Polytechnic College, addressed the gathering.


Minor sold for marriage, rescued
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
A nine-year-old girl, Chinnder, was rescued by villagers of Hashimpura on the Indo-Pak border yesterday. The girl was allegedly sold by her father, Mahinder Singh, for Rs 50,000 to Charanjit Singh (45), for marriage.

However, timely intervention by the villagers saved the girl. The villagers, led by former sarpanch Surjit Kaur, beat up members of the marriage party.

The police has arrested the girl’s father.


Villagers told to sort out differences
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 21
Panchayats of nearly six villages in the Dhuri area today visited Hasanpur village to request landlords and Dalits to sort out their differences and maintain peace. A clash between the two groups took place on November 11 over the possession of a piece of “shamlat” land. In the clash 20 persons were injured.

Mr G.S. Dhillon, SSP, said here today that the panchayat members urged members of both factions to reach a compromise.


Vehicles sans reflectors banned
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 21
The District Magistrate, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, invoking the provisions under Section 144 has banned the plying of vehicles without reflectors in the district. In the orders issued today, the officials concerned were directed to taken action as per the law against the owners of the vehicles not having reflectors.

In another order issued under similar section, the District Magistrate has also banned dharnas in the 100-metre periphery of the Ropar mini-Secretariat.


High Court
Order reserved on Manpreet’s bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Taking up a petition filed by Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s nephew Manpreet Badal for the grant of anticipatory bail in an alleged corruption and cheating case, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the High Court today reserved orders.

Manpreet Badal was seeking bail in connection with a case registered against him at a police station in Zira in Ferozepore district under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and also under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a member of a religious dera. Seeking the grant of bail, Manpreet had claimed that the complaint was false. His counsel had added on the petitioner’s behalf that Manpreet was being implicated in the matter.

Order on kidney transplant

Even after finding a donor, a 60-year-old kidney failure patient is still struggling for a transplant. No, not because of financial reasons, but because his application is still pending before the Authorisation Committee on Kidney Transplant— at least this is what city resident Baldev Singh Bhatia has claimed in a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Alleging inaction, Baldev Singh had claimed that a joint application was submitted by him, along with the donor, but the committee failed to ‘perform its functions’. In the absence of ‘due approval by the committee, the surgeons were unwilling to perform the transplant’

Taking a serious view of the matter, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, directed the Superintendent of Police concerned to ensure that necessary verification report was given by November 24.


DC inspects development projects
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 21
The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, along with the officials concerned inspected various development works in the district. In a press statement issued here today, she said the inspection of the sub-jail, Ropar, under construction bridges over Budki, Sirsa rivers Lohand Khad was carried out and the progress of the work was found satisfactory.

The progress on the construction approach roads to the recently-completed bridge over the Siswan river was also inspected. The PWD authorities were directed to expedite the work of the approach roads in view of the forthcoming tercentenary celebrations of the martyrdom of Sahibzadas at Chamkaur Sahib.


Inter-state gang of robbers busted
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, November 21
The police has busted an inter-state gang of kala kachhewale with the arrest of two of its members.

In a press note issued here today, Mr S.K. Asthana, Senior Superintendent of Police said the police raided the hideout of the gang at an abandoned brick kiln at Alludinpur village where eight members of the gang were planning to commit dacoity. Two members of the gang were arrested while six others escaped under the cover of darkness.

The arrested persons have been identified as Ashwani Kumar, alias Pappu, of Parmrah Kali Mitti in Kangra district and Manpreet Singh of Fatehabad in Amritsar district. Two pistols and nine cartridges were recovered from them.

The police have registered a case under Section 399, 402 of the IPC and under provisions of the Arms Act against them.


3 held on charge of fraud
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
The Vigilance Bureau here has arrested a Patwari, a field officer of the Punjab State Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Balachaur and a retired field officer of the bank for a scam, of lakhs, unearthed by the bureau in the bank.

In a press release here today, Mr Dilbagh Singh Gill, SSP Vigilance, Jalandhar range, said patwari Gurcharan Singh of Tundewal area, field officer Sandip Sodhi and Mulakh Raj, a retired field officer of the bank had been arrested for a fraud with the bank in connivance with owners of land in the area.

A case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC had been registered against the accused, said Mr Gill.


Don suspended for ‘lapse’ during registrarship
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 21
Punjabi University today suspended a senior teacher who had earlier served in the capacity of Registrar on charges of having “disobeyed the orders of the Vice-Chancellor” in the matter of confirming an Assistant Public Relations Officer (APRO) during his stint as Registrar.

Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai today passed the orders suspending Dr K.S Sidhu. The former Registrar, who is a professor in the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, has reportedly refused to accept the orders.

Dr Sidhu , however, said he did not know about the orders, because he was not at home. Questioned about the case of the APRO, over which action had been taken against him, he said he did not remember the details of the case. He said if at all he had cleared the case he must have done so on the recommendation of the establishment. “However, it seems I am being singled out because I have been complaining to the Chancellor against the vindictive attitude of the Vice-Chancellor”.

Dr Sidhu, who was made the Registrar following the ouster of Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia from the university, had been unceremoniously removed by Mr Boparai without any explanation. Dr Sidhu had protested against this move to the Chancellor, but his plea had been dismissed by the Chancellor, who observed that since his appointment was not substantive, there was nothing wrong in relieving him of the post. The former Registrar had recently again complained to the Chancellor, claiming that the VC was not issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC) to him to enable him to go to Sri Lanka to attend a seminar.

A spokesman for the university Dr Baldev Singh Sandhu, said Dr Sidhu had been suspended because he had overstepped his authority while confirming the services of Mr Harminder Singh Khokhar as APRO in the University. He said the VC had clearly stipulated that the file of Mr Khokhar should be presented to him 15 days before his probation period came to an end.

The spokesman said despite such orders, Dr Sidhu had kept the VC in the dark on the issue and cleared Mr Khokhar’s file at his own level. He said this amounted to a serious act of indiscipline.


Services of 100 lecturers to be regularised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The Punjab Government has decided to regularise the services of 100 odd lecturers working in three colleges of the state.

According to information, these lecturers are posted in three Malwa-based colleges, including Government College, Kotkapura, Naya Nangal and Sardargarh (Gidderbaha). It may be mentioned that in 1997, the Punjab Government had taken charge of these privately managed colleges in its hands. But the lecturers continued to work on an ad hoc basis since then. However, the government has now taken a policy decision to regularise their services.

Meanwhile, a committee will be formed to look into the demands of the Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, and will decide on the amount of prize money to be released to them.


Students protest against fee hike
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
Students of Guru Kashi College, Talwandi Sabo, today held a rally under the banner of the Punjab Students Union to press for their demand of paying back of the fee that was charged earlier after the hike.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Roop Singh, a spokesman of the students, said the fee hike had been withdrawn and a letter in this regard had been received at Government Rajindra College, Bathinda. He claimed that the students were being paid back the excess fee charged by the college at Bathinda, but the authorities of Guru Kashi college were not giving back the excess fee charged earlier.

The students alleged that the infrastructure with the college was so poor that the college had to discontinue class XI last year. They urged the authorities to improve the amenities at the college.

The students held a gate rally and the Principal of the college accepted a memorandum from the students.


Engg institute holds cultural programme
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 21
A cultural programme was organised at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) at Longowal on Wednesday. Dr R.C. Chauhan, Director of the institute, inaugurated the programme.

Mr Ashish Chopra, Senior Sales Executive of the Tribune group, was the guest of honour.

Punjabi folk dances were performed by the Bhole Kalheri Lok Nach Group. Children also presented a dance item on the occasion.

Dr M.B. Bera, Dean (Academics), SLIET, and Mr K.P. Singh and Mr Sanjeev Garg, organisers, also addressed the audience. Dr Bera stressed the need for organising more such events to popularise folk culture among the youth, which, he said, were being influenced by the western culture.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |