P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Kanwal Sidhu keen to join probe
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
“If I get an assurance that my human rights will be protected, I am ready to join investigations in the Parkash Singh Badal disproportionate assets case,” says London-based Kanwal Sidhu. “Investigations in the case so far had shown little or no respect to the rule of law,” he adds.

“I am not running away as all my investments and transactions in India are on record,” says Mr Sidhu maintaining that “senior Congress leaders have been my partners and running Wimpy restaurants in Jalandhar and Ludhiana. My business interests in Punjab are worth more than Rs 2 crore. It is a different matter that instead of clean financial dealings, they have been using the Vigilance to harass me.”

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone, Mr Sidhu said that he was amazed at media reports that the Punjab Vigilance Bureau wanted to declare him a “proclaimed offender”. He said that he has had business interests in as many as 14 countries but nowhere was such a treatment meted out to him.

“I am a British citizen. The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has all details of my passport, visas given to me by the Indian High Commission in London over the years, besides a complete record of my visits to India in general and Punjab in particular,” Mr Sidhu said.

Instead of following the laid down procedure of approaching the British Government through the Union Government to ask me join the investigations, he said, certain Punjab officers had been directly corresponding with foreign missions.

He said that he was shocked at the allegations made against him by the Vigilance Bureau. “Whatever investments, deals or transactions I have made, I have all the documents. In fact, the Vigilance has taken my computer and other records in possession and as such they can verify any information.

“Because of their illegitimate actions and damage to my business, I am losing about Rs 2 lakh a day. I have decided to move court for compensation and damages to my reputation as I will be filing defamation case also. “All investments in Orbit Resorts were in my own name and not on behalf of Wimpys. Still, they can talk to the Company Secretary in London,” Mr Sidhu added.

He held that no one from the Vigilance Bureau ever contacted him to get his version of the whole story. “I had a bitter experience of making investments in India. And my business partners are senior Congress leaders, including a member of Parliament from Punjab. But now, some of our franchises are not taking any material from the company and wreaking havoc with the reputation and name of the company.”


Badal to give befitting reply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, said here today that the party would give a befitting reply to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh’s resorting to indiscriminate repression against Akali leaders and workers for organising a peaceful rasta roko programme on November 23.

In a statement issued here, Mr Badal said the Chief Minister was playing with fire and pushing the state back to the dark days prior to Operation Bluestar. His recent actions only indicated that he had no intention of allowing the atmosphere of peace, conciliation and democratic expression to survive in the state, he added. Warning Capt Amarinder Singh of mass struggles, Mr Badal said he should realise that it was one thing to harass political opponents by using the Vigilance Bureau and the police as a tool, and quite another to fight it in people’s court.

Mr Badal was reacting to the largescale and indiscriminate registration of cases against Akali workers and leaders for participating in the rasta roko agitation. All this signalled the climax of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s growing desperation in the face of the democratic might of the SAD, he added.

He described the false cases as “certificates of success for the Akali workers and a belated official acknowledgement that the government cannot fight the SAD on political and democratic turf” and needed the help of the police and the Vigilance Bureau to fight political battles. Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal has convened a meeting of the Political Affairs Committee ( PAC) tomorrow under the chairmanship of Mr Badal, to review the latest political situation in the state following the filing of the challan against the Badals in the disproportionate assets case. The meeting will also chalk out a strategy to launch a struggle against the government for its anti-people and Akali policies.

Tohra not to change status quo on Sikh women issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The newly elected SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, has said he will not change the status quo in order to implement equal rights for Sikh women to do seva at Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, said a press note issued by the Voices For Freedom (VFF) News Network.

Mr Tohra said that there was no need to ask for an overdue report from the five-member committee, which was specially constituted by the SGPC under the leadership of Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, to submit a report by May on the issue of Sikh women to undertake all types of seva at Darbar Sahib.

“I did not set up the committee and I am not bound by the decisions of my predecessor nor am I responsible for the workings of the committee,” Mr Tohra is reported to have stated adding that in any case he did not agree with the Sikh women’s rights to do all seva, and they might consider it their right to do kirtan at Darbar Sahib.

However, he said that personally he believed in the principle of gender equality propounded by the Sikh Gurus and a day might come when Sikh women would enjoy equal rights to do the seva.

On being asked on how the change would come about if the leaders did not take the lead, Mr Tohra replied that all those who were passionate about Sikh women’s rights to do seva should stand for the SGPC elections next year and make it an election issue.

The press note quoted Ms Mejindarpal Kaur as stating that, “It is a fallacious argument to suggest absence of Sikh women from certain seva during the Gurus’ period and beyond was due to a prohibition by the Gurus. Instead, Sikh women may not have undertaken certain seva due to the prevailing social norms.”

Ms Harjinder Kaur, president of the Sikh Nari Manch, also said that it would take time for this issue to get addressed, but the Sikh women should carry on the struggle.


Three of family murdered
Second incident in two weeks
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 25
Three members of a family were brutally murdered with sharp-edged weapons here last night. According to the information, a foodgrains commission agent Rimmy Gupta (42), his wife Veena Gupta (40), and his adopted son Jitesh (5), of the local Indirapuri Colony were murdered at around 8 pm last night.

Till now the district police has not found any clues related to the murder as relatives of Rimmy Gupta do not suspect anybody. This is the second incident in the city during past two weeks. A boy, who was alone in his home in Sukhram Colony was murdered recently.

According to the information, the incident came to light when the milkman knocked at the door of Mr Gupta at around 8 a.m. today morning. After not receiving any reply from inside he opened the main gate of the house and found the keys of the main room. He then informed Mr Gupta’s uncle Mr Raj Kumar who lives in the same colony. Both Mr Raj Kumar and the milkman opened the door and went inside.

After entering the house they found the body of Mr Gupta lying in the lobby and that of his wife lying in the bathroom. Jitesh’s body was lying outside the bathroom’ door. According to the information both Mr Gupta and Veena Gupta received serious injuries on their heads. It seemed as if Veena Gupta entered into the bathroom to save herself but the murderer attacked her with some sharp-edged weapon from behind. It may be mentioned here that the couple had adopted a son from their relatives and a few days ago they had also adopted a 10-day-old girl child from the local Rajindra Hospital.

The younger brother of Mr Gupta and his wife, Poonam Gupta said that they were to attend a religious function near the Grain market at around 8 p.m. last night. But when Rimmy Gupta and his family failed to reach the venue, Poonam and Vinod called them on their mobile phone several times at around 8 pm but nobody picked up the phone.

The SSP, Patiala, Mr A.S. Rai and the SP (City), Mr R.L. Moga, along with other senior police official today visited the spot. Mr A.S. Rai said a special police team had been constituted sent to Barnala from where Mr Rimmy had adopted the son. The police had also been instructed to find the background of the girl child who was adopted from the local Rajindra Hospital about 10 days ago. The body of victims had been sent to the local Rajindra Hospital for a post-mortem.


IT Dept detects concealed transactions worth 10 cr
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
The income tax authorities have detected concealed transactions in real estate worth more than Rs 10 crore after investigating some documents seized during raids of 10 official premises of real estate developers and agents here and surrounding towns yesterday.

Official sources said these transactions were not shown in the account books by the seller and purchaser.

More than 100 officials of the Income Tax department from its Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Faridkot and Abohar offices, raided the official premises of eight businessmen here and nearby towns in this regard.

The records related to the tax evaded by real estate developers and agents by purchasing land and selling it after converting them into residential and commercial plots has been summoned from the Tehsildar, Bathinda. A letter to the Tehsildar has been written by Mr L.R. Nayyar, Commissioner, Income Tax, in this regard.

Apart from it, the income tax authorities have also written letters to branches of various banks and summoned the current ledger accounts of those real estate developers and agents whose official premises were covered under the raid yesterday.

Mr Nayyar said a section of real estate developers and agents had approached them and expressed willingness to surrender their concealed income to the department so that their cases could be closed. However, the income tax authorities had decided to carry out investigation to its logical end so that it could be ascertained how much income tax had been evaded by them, he added.

“The statements of owners, sellers and purchasers of different pieces of land are being recorded. These are being cross-checked with their bank accounts and the documents seized from their official premises,” Mr Nayyar pointed out.


329 BSF recruits pass out
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 25
Mr Ajai Raj Sharma, BSF Director-General, today took the salute from 329 passing-out recruits at an impressive parade at the BSF Subsidiary Training Centre in Kharkan, 12 km from here.

Mr G.S. Gill, Inspector-General, Punjab Frontier, BSF, accompanied the Director-General on his visit.

Mr Sharma awarded trophies to nine recruits for their outstanding performance in various fields during their nine-month basic training. Shiv Kumar and Harender Kumar were adjudged the overall best recruits.

Mr G.S. Chatrath, ADIG, STC Kharkan camp, said the basic training included weapon training, physical training, drill, field craft, border problems and surveillance, field engineering, map reading, intelligence, internal-security duty, jungle training, law and human rights.

The Director-General applauded the role of the training centre in imparting and maintaining high standards of basic training. He advised the recruits to remain fully prepared to eliminate the menace of terrorism, which was posing a serious threat to the security of country. He also asked them to respect human rights.

A cultural programme was presented by fresh recruits at the centre and students of BSF Primary School, Kharkan.


20 old candidates stage comeback in PPSC exam
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 25
As many as 20 old candidates out of a total of 91 of the 1998 batch were able to make a comeback in the Punjab Civil Executive and Allied Services (reconducted) examination. The result of which was declared by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) today.

Only six old candidates could stage a comeback in the PCS (Executive) out of the 28 posts with most of the old candidates making a comeback in the Allied section.

The first three positions were bagged by former candidates with Amit Talwar of Ludhiana topping the examination. Two brothers, Kamal Kumar and Jiwan Kumar Garg, who were accused of giving a bribe to get selected to the PCS (Executive) in 1998 during the tenure of the then Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu, have cleared the examination this time also. While Kamal Kumar has been selected for the Executive, Jiwan Kumar Garg has made it to the Allied Services. A few other “tainted” candidates have also got selected.

Besides Amit Talwar and Kamal Kumar, other old candidates who have been selected in the Executive Branch are Rahul Gupta, son of former PPSC Member T C Gupta. Other such candidates are Uma Shankar, who was earlier serving as a DFSO who has stood second. Sandeep Rishi, who was a Tehsildar at Ludhiana, has come third and Hargunjit Kaur has stood 12th in the merit list.

Some of the earlier candidates who have made it this time also are Anuprita Johal, Karnail Singh, Rajdeep Singh Brar, Munish Kumar, Rajesh Tripathi, Rajeev Kumar Gupta, and Rajesh Dhiman.

Addressing a press conference at the PPSC headquarters here, Chairman of the PPSC, Lt-Gen Surjit Singh Sanghra (retd) claimed that “extraordinary” selection steps had resulted in a “completely transparent” result, with the whole procedure taking nine and a half months. He said even during the interview process, the panelists did not know the merit of the candidates in the Main examination to ensure that the process could not be influenced in any way. He said instead of the earlier two-member interview panel, there was a five-member panel this time. He said each Member had marked the candidate individually and the marks of the candidates had been finalised after taking the average of marks awarded by the Members.

The Chairman claimed that the Commission had on its part cancelled the papers of soul candidates who had made signs on their answer sheets with the aim of ensuring identification of the sheets at a later stage. He claimed that the PPSC also had to reckon with a number of complaints and there had been attempts to even influence the result on caste lines. The Commission had received calls, claiming that Members had been paid Rs 10 lakh each to influence the result. Besides, it was also claimed that the Commission was making recruitments on caste lines, all of which had proved false.

Lt-Gen Sanghra (retd), however, said the Commission was open to any complaint regarding the selection procedure and any complaint alleging mala fide in the procedure would be investigated. He said the Commission had on its part ensured the presence of observers from outside for the written examination and that eminent personalities had been co-opted as resource persons.


PCS examination results

Patiala, November 25
The following is the list of the successful candidates in the Punjab Public Service Commission PCS (EB) & Allied Services Examination-1998 (Reconduct 2003):


Category General

Roll No. Name

1. 10557 Amit Talwar

2. 10561 Uma Shankar

3. 10578 Sandeep Joshi

4. 10095 Rajesh Tripathi

5. 10321 Dinesh Singh

6. 10589 Jasdeep Singh

7. 10901 Rahul Gupta

8. 10512 Rajiv Kumar Gupta

9. 10545 Jagwinderjit Singh

10. 10096 Amandeep Bansal

11. 10881 Parminder Pal Singh

12. 10594 Hargunjit Kaur

13. 10255 Neeru Katyal

14. 10628 Kamal Kumar

15. 10586 Ravinder Singh

16. 10555 Rahul Chaba

17. 10256 Harmeet Singh

18. 10465 Kala Ram

19. 10357 Rajat Oberoi

20. 10587 Surinder Kumar Garg

21. 10713 Randeep Singh

22. 10480 Vir Parkash Singh

23. 10048 Rubinderjit Singh

24. 10329 Rohit Gupta

25. 10073 Amardeep Singh

26. 10705 Jiwan Jagjot

27. 10835 Ajaiveer Singh

28. 10490 Arvind Kumar

29. 10334 Jiwan Kumar Garg

30. 10171 Gagandeep Singh

31. 10248 Anuprita Johal

32. 10091 Arvinder Pal Singh

33. 10811 Sanjeev Sharma

34. 10394 Anjuman

35. 10631 Sona Thind

36. 10395 Rakesh Kumar

37. 10242 Baljinder Singh

38. 10327 Varinder Kumar

39. 10365 Barjinder Kaur

40. 10568 Jagjit Singh

41. 10622 Rakesh Kumar Popli

42. 10346 Parveen Bansal

43. 10583 Rakesh Kumar

44. 10576 Gurdershan Singh

45. 10649 Aakash Mittal

46. 10350 Herbans Lal Sharma

47. 10052 Charanjit Singh

48. 10638 Ravinder Pal Singh

49. 10503 Sanjeev Kumar

Category ESM Punjab

Roll No. Name

1. 10216 Karnail Singh

2. 10217 Gurjinder Binepal

3. 10179 Jagtar Singh

4. 10222 Peeyush Chander

5. 10178 Kanwaljeet Singh

6. 10223 Harpreet Singh

Category Freedom fighter Punjab

Roll No. Name

1. 10568 Amanpal Singh

Category Physically Handicapped

Roll No. Name

1. 10618 Rajdeep Singh Brar

2. 10058 Anil Kumar

Category SC Punjab others

Roll No. Name

1. 10486 Subhash Chander

2. 10505 Anupam Kler

3. 10620 Ranjit Singh

4. 10851 Savita

5. 10039 Amandeep Singh

6. 10076 Harvinder Kumar

7. 10289 Amrit Pal Singh

8. 10588 Amarjit

9. 10507 Neelam Mahay

10. 10898 Sukhchan Singh

11. 10690 Halbir Kumar

Category SC ESM Punjab

Roll No. Name

1. 10225 Moneesh Kumar

Category Balmiti/ Mazhabi/Sikh Punjab

Roll No. Name

1. 10082 Sukhjeet Pal Singh

2. 10291 Rishi Pal Singh

3. 10083 Jasbir Singh

4. 10591 Gurjit Singh

5. 10427 Rajesh Bhandari

6. 10704 Pawanjit Singh

7. 10939 Vipan Bhandari

8. 10625 Jashanjeet Singh

9. 10266 Dr. Nirmal Singh

10. 10085 Narinder Singh

11. 10796 Gurparkash Singh

Category BC Punjab

Roll No. Name

1. 10270 Upkar Singh

2. 10812 Gurpreet Singh

3. 10300 Dalwinder Jit Singh

4. 10838 Paramjit Singh

5. 10521 Rajesh Dhiman

6. 10401 Sunita Jagpal

7. 10683 Harsharanjit Singh

8. 10259 Surinder Mohan

9. 10355 Sweety

10. 10639 Jatinder Singh

The result of the candidates with roll numbers 10491 and 10190 have been withheld as per court orders. The above list has been released without prejudice to the outcome of the court decision in those two cases.


Rahul in PCS merit list second time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
For local resident Rahul Gupta, the declaration of final results for entry into the PCS (Executive Branch) was a moment of happiness and relaxation as he made it to the service for the second time. Not only has he been successful in clearing the examination, but he has also improved his merit position from ninth to seventh.

He is among the four successful candidates out of 16 in the general category who appeared in the entrance again following the PCS recruitment scam which had rocked the state some time ago. He had earlier appeared in 1999.

After obtaining a first class honours degree in electronics from Punjab Engineering College in 1993, he completed his MBA from Panjab University in 1995. He captained the university tennis team and was twice runner-up in the National Handball Championships. He has also worked for three years in a leading telecommunications company before appearing for the civil service examinations in 1998.


Meditation saw PCS topper through
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 25
“Meditation” and “mind power exercises” made Amit Talwar, the topper of the reconducted Punjab Civil Services examination, come out of the depression in which he had plunged after facing the ignominy of being thrown out of his job after the government cancelled the examination conducted in 1999.

Talking to the TNS here, Talwar said besides going in for meditation, he took solace in the comfort provided by his parents and teachers. “It is they who encouraged me not to lose hope and set to work to better my performance.”

Amit, whose father is a Sub-Divisional Officer in the Punjab State Electricity Board in Ludhiana, said topping the examination was a vindication of his merit.


Mehndi’s wife pleads for cancelling proclamation

Patiala, November 25
Ms Balwinder Kaur, wife of Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi, today filed an application in a local court, pleading for cancelling of proclamation issued against her in the case of alleged cheating and forgery registered against her and her husband besides others.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate P.S. Dhanoa, while admitting her plea, issued a notice to Punjab for November 27. The court, on November 17, had issued proclamation against the singer and his wife besides eight others, paving the way for their being declared proclaimed offenders in the case registered on October 4.

Ms Balwinder Kaur, in her plea, said she had been ill for quite sometime and produced medical documents in support of her application. She claimed that the Patiala police never came to her Vikaspuri residence in Delhi to question her in the case. — UNI


CM resorting to divide-and-rule policy, says BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The President of the Punjab unit of the BJP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, said today that the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was resorting to a divide-and-rule policy. This policy would not work in the state. Reacting to the registration of largescale cases and arrests of Akali and BJP activists, Mr Khanna said more cases had been registered against BJP workers. He said the Chief Minister was “intimidating “ BJP activists who had participated in the rasta roko agitation on Sunday.

Mr Khanna said Capt Amarinder Singh was trying to remind everyone of the Emergency days in the state by resorting to police repression against workers and leaders of the main Opposition parties. He said the BJP and Akali workers were prepared for a long struggle, and jails would fall short to accommodate them. It was a resolve of the SAD and the BJP to work collectively on all fronts, he added.


CM leaves for Rajasthan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today left along with the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr H.S Hanspal, for Rajasthan to campaign for Congress candidates in the ongoing Assembly elections, according to a press note.

They will campaign in the constituencies dominated by Punjabi population.

They are scheduled to address political meetings in Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar, Sri Karanpur and Pilli Banga constituencies. Mr Hanspal will also campaign in Delhi for two days.


Social activists greet Pak juvenile detainees on Id
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 25
Mr P.H. Vaishnav, president of the Aruna Asif Ali Memorial Trust has underlined the need to accept the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as the border to normalise relationship between India and Pakistan. He charged the Pakistan Army with disturbing the peace on the border and in India to meet its own needs.

Laying stress on the restoration of rail traffic between India and Pakistan, he said trade conditions should be relaxed to improve ties between the people of both countries.

Mr Vaishnav, accompanied by Ms Oshima Raikhy, a member of the trust and president of the Punjab Istri Sabha Relief Trust, arrived here today to greet to seven Pakistani boys, languishing in the district juvenile jail, on the eve of Id. The Pakistan Government has failed to repatriate them in spite of release orders issued by the Indian Government, about two months back. He assured them that their case would be taken up with the High Commission of Pakistan at New Delhi.

Distributing gifts to them and other children in the jail, he also promised to discuss the matter with the Punjab Government and allocate adequate funds to cater to the needs of the observation home.

Ms Harinder Kaur, Superintendent of the jail, apprised them of various problems being faced by the institution.

While briefing about aims and objectives of the trust, constituted in 1997, he said during the past few years, the trust had imparted free education to over 100 children up to class V in SAS Nagar, Chandigarh and Panchkula. Similarly a job-oriented courses institution was also functioning at Chandigarh, where nearly 40 women were being imparted training in various fields.

The trust has also decided to construct Aruna Asif Ali Bhavan at the cost of Rs 15 lakh in Sector 44, Chandigarh.


Pak artiste for promoting cultural ties
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, November 25
Renowned solo, qawwali and musical artiste of Pakistan Javed Bashir Khan has called upon Indian and Pakistani governments to promote exchange programmes of cultural and musical troupes between the two countries on a regular basis. This will help in maintaining good relations between the two countries, he said.

Javed along with his seven-member troupe is on a two-week tour of Punjab to spread the message of peace and brotherhood through various cultural programmes, organised by the Afro Asian Society since November 14. Talking to mediapersons here last evening, he said all delicate issues, particularly Kashmir problem, should be solved by taking people of both countries into confidence. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sat Paul, founder secretary of the Afro Asian Society, demanded that the visa conditions should be relaxed so that the inhabitants of both countries could meet easily to discuss their mutual problems and interests.

He informed that the society would organise an Indo-Pak mushaira in Punjab in January. A decision had also been taken to constitute an Indo-Pak cultural society.


Anandpur Sahib - Nangal road in bad shape
Lalit Mohan

Nangal (Ropar), November 25
The 20-km stretch of the state highway linking the historic Anandpur Sahib with Nangal has been in a pathetic state. The entire stretch of the said road is dotted with pits posing threat to the life of commuters.

In the past six months about 50 accidents of heavy and light vehicles have been reported on the stretch in which hundreds of passengers received injuries. The sources said that the number of accidents was much more than reported to the police.

Many minor accidents of two-wheelers occur daily as the drivers lose balance due to poor condition of the road. The minor accidents are generally not reported to the police.

The condition of the road is worse, for there has been no maintenance work done. As the PWD did not carry out even the patch work on the road, its condition has deteriorated so much that it would have to be relayed again.

The PWD authorities who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that not even a single penny had been received for carrying out the repair of the road for the past three or four years.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, had directed the local council to give loan to the PWD for constructing the road. The council through a resolution agreed. However, the department of the local government refused permission for the same.

The Deputy Commissioner when asked about the current status of the case said that the government had applied to NABARD for a loan to relay the road. The NABARD team would soon conduct a survey and sanction the loan after which the road would be strengthened and relayed.

However, the process of the sanction of loan from NABARD and tender formalities could take another year. Thus, the people have to bear the inconvenience for another year or so.


General category staff threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu, district president, the General Categories Welfare Federation, said yesterday that a section of the employees of the general categories were being discriminated against, as the seniority of the reserved category employees was not being modified in accordance with the Punjab Government guidelines.

In a statement issued here, Mr Sidhu said the Punjab Government had issued orders to the heads of all departments and the Deputy Commissioners to recast the seniority list of their employees after the Supreme Court judgement in the Janjua case about four years back.

He alleged that the Deputy Commissioner’s office had given the employees of the reserved categories seniority, but that was to be recast in view of the new guidelines of the state government.

He alleged that the recent orders of the Punjab Government had not been implemented in the local office of the Deputy Commissioner, even as the same had been implemented in other offices and departments of the state.

He said the employees belonging to the general categories were depressed and were feeling marginalised due to this discrimination. He said that employees had been leading delegations to the successive Deputy Commissioners to get the orders implemented but to no avail. He said in case these orders were not implemented immediately, the federation would have to launch an agitation.


No officers, politicians in hawala racket, says ED
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 25
An interesting situation was created here today when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Zonal Office here today said that there was no involvement of top bureaucrats and politicians in a multi-crore money-laundering racket based on hawala operations.

A senior ED official had reportedly alleged yesterday that hawala racket was “deep rooted” in Jalandhar and also “revealed” that many bureaucrats and senior government officials had “laundered” their black money through “fake” exporters and companies.

In a signed statement issued here today, Mr B.C. Mahey, Additional Director of the ED (Jalandhar Zone), said that there was no such thing as that. “No official of this office had made any such utterances or allegations. The allegations about ‘officials and politicians’ being ‘under ED scanner’ is imaginary,” said Mr Mahey.

“Can you believe that such high officials are involved in such racket and that such a senior ED official can make such a statement?” questioned Mr Mahey, adding that he had inquired from the Deputy Director and had found that the latter had not issued any such statement or had levelled any such allegations.

Meanwhile, last week’s ED raids have instilled a sense of fear even among genuine exporters, who have demanded that only people who were doing illegal business should be subjected to such raids.


Takht panel can be challenged,
says Justice Kuldip Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 25
The seven-member committee constituted by Akal Takht to bring about rapprochement between the two warring groups of the Chief Khalsa Diwan seems to be in the doldrums even as one of its members, Justice Kuldip Singh (retd), Chairman of the Delimitation Commission, yesterday said that such an effort on the part of the Sikh clergy could lead to legal complications.

Talking to the Press here, Justice Kuldip Singh said the Chief Khalsa Diwan was a registered body and any of its members could approach the court against intervention from the takht.

He said he would examine the matter before he gave his consent to be a member of the sub-committee.


IAF recruitment rally on December 2
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will conduct a recruitment rally for the youth of Sangrur, Ropar, Mansa, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Nawanshahr and Moga districts of Punjab, at Polo Ground, Patiala from December 2 to 6 for selection of candidates in technical and non-technical trades in the IAF.

A press note issued here today stated that candidates who had already appeared at a recent rally held in Pathankot were not eligible.

For technical trades, candidates should have passed plus two or equivalent with Maths, physics and English with minimum 50 per cent marks in aggregate or a three-year diploma in engineering from a recognized institute.

For non-technical trades he should have passed matriculation or equivalent with 50 per cent marks. Candidates should have been born between March 1 1983 and June 30 1988 for technical trades and from March 1, 1985 to June 30, 1988 for non-technical trades.


Ruhani satsang held
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
People from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan thronged the town to attend the Ruhani satsang organised by the Dera Sacha Sauda, here today.

Head of the dera Sant Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh delivered religious sermons and urged the people to observe universal brotherhood, and tolerance for all religions and shun hatred. A number of Punjabi singers enthralled the people by singing religious songs.

More than 1500 followers of the dera have been working for the past many days to give a face lift to the city. Mr Gurmail Singh, a member of the organising committee of the dera, said the satsang was held for two hours.


Cong opposes closure of mill
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 25
Members of the SC/ST Cell of the Ropar District Congress today demanded that the Central Government should withdraw the decision to close down Panipat Woolen Mill here.

Mr Gurmail Singh, general secretary, said that 80 per cent of the employees of the mill belonged to the economically weaker sections and would face great hardship if they lost their jobs. He described the decision of the government as anti-employee.

The cell said that the mill suffered losses due to various scams. It demanded a CBI probe into the scams and action against the guilty.


Punjabi poet honoured
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
The local Writers Forum honoured Punjabi poet and scholar Dr Harnek Singh Komal for his contribution in Punjabi literature and education at a “samman samaroh”, organised in the local Guru Nanak Club.

In a press note issued here today, Mr J.S. Anand, convener, DAV College, Bathinda, said that Dr Komal, who had been working as a senior lecturer in Punjabi in the local DAV College, had authored 15 books.

A souvenir titled “Pehchan” was also released on the occasion by Prof Brahm Jagdish, who was the chief guest.


Erratic power supply resented
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 25
The claims of PSEB regarding improvement in power supply to rural areas notwithstanding, residents of a number of villages, including Barnala Kalan village, are sore over the erratic power supply. The residents allege that though their villages have been linked with urban area feeders for providing 24-hour power supply, the routine cuts in the morning and evening have made their lives miserable.


SDM distributes birth certificates
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 25
Under the ongoing ‘National Campaign to Issue Birth Certificates, a camp was organised at Primary Health Centre, Kauli, here today. On the occasion Mr Tej Prakash Phoolka, SDM, Patiala distributed 1,500 birth certificate among residents of 43 villages of the area.

Speaking on the occasion the SMO, Primary Health Centre, Kauli, Dr Rakesh Gupta, stressed on the importance of the birth certificate and hoped that more people would realise its importance.



SP challenges remarks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
If allegations in a petition filed before the High Court are to be believed, then adverse remarks were entered in the annual confidential report (ACR) of a Superintendent of Police (SP) after he submitted an affidavit against another officer.

Claiming to have received a letter of appreciation from Punjab’s Director General of Police (DGP) for his role in fighting terrorism in the state when militancy was at its peak, petitioner Hartej Singh Sekhon of Mansa district added that he was also awarded a police medal for gallantry by the President.

In his petition against Punjab, the DGP and other respondents, the SP further claimed that the remarks were made in his ACR after he gave an affidavit against the then Khanna Senior Superintendent of Police, R.L. Bhagat. As an aftermath, Mr Bhagat and other officers got annoyed, the petitioner added.

Seeking directions for quashing the adverse remarks pertaining to the period ranging from April 2000 to August 2000, he added that the action was mala fide and arbitrary. Arguing before the court, his counsel added that it was aimed at demoralising a police officer who had staked his life and family’s welfare during the days of militancy.

Taking up the case, a Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta, issued notice of motion to the respondents. The case will now come up for further hearing on March 12 next year.

Highjacking case

The court reserved orders on a petition filed an accused in the Kandhar highjacking case — Abdul Latif. He had challenged the orders passed by Patiala’s Special Judge rejecting his application asking the court to use its powers to recall witnesses for re-examination.

In his petition taken up by Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the High Court, the accused had claimed that he and other accused had lost their right to cross examine certain witnesses. Replying to the petition, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had claimed that the petitioners had deliberately chosen not to cross examine the witnesses at the given time. The CBI had added that a large number of witnesses had come from far off places.

Latif, along with other accused, was booked on the allegations of being involved in the highjacking conspiracy. According to the prosecution, the accused had forged documents and supplied weapons for hijacking.

The Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Delhi was earlier highjacked and forced to land at Kandhar. A first information report in the matter was, subsequently, registered on December 29, 1999, at Raja Sansi police station in Amritsar.


10 held, remanded in judicial custody
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 25
The Dhuri police today arrested 10 persons in connection with a case registered against them following an alleged clash between the Dalits and zamidars of Hasanpur village, near Dhuri, in the village on November 11 last over a piece of “shamlat” (common land), Twenty persons of both sides were injured in the clash.

The police had registered a criminal case against 18 persons, belonging to the latter group, under various Sections of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC Act 1989.

The Special Judge, Sangrur, had declined anticipartory bail to the persons on November 20. The arrested are: Gurmeet Singh, Jagpal Singh, Achhra Singh, Mela Singh, Chhota Singh, Balraj Singh, Jagjit Singh, Jagtar Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, alias Maddi, and Nirmal Singh.

The arrested were today produced in the court of Dhuri Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate who remanded them in judicial custody till December 9.


Companies refuse to buy basmati
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
A section of basmati growers under the contract farming scheme of the state government are not finding any buyers as most of the companies which had entered into a contract with them refused to purchase their produce at the promised prices.

Though these farmers have been meeting various authorities of the state government in this regard, but in vain.

Mr Amrit Pal Singh Brar, president, Punjab Young Farmers Federation, said today that a section of farmers met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, and told him about the problem. He added that officials of Punjab Agro Industrial Corporation (PAIC) were also present at the meeting.

He alleged that these farmers were first lured into entering contract farming and now they were left at the mercy of private traders by the state government.

He further said if the companies were refusing to pay them the promised price for their produce the state government should purchase the same.

A few days ago a large section of farmers at the local grain market had protested in front of the office of a private company against its refusal to purchase their produce. A similar incident had happened at Rampura also.

Mr Sant Ram Singla, Chairman, Punjab Mandikaran Board, who was here to attend the seminar organised here today, said he was not aware of the fact that some farmers who had adopted contract farming had been suffering on account of the non-cooperative attitude of private companies. He said he would talk to the Chief Minister in this regard.


Delimitation work to start after getting census report
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 25
The process of the delimitation of the parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in the country has been held up in the wake of the new guidelines which have asked the Delimitation Commission to conduct the work on the basis of the census report of 2001. This was stated here today by Justice Kuldip Singh, Chairman, Delimitation of Commission India.

The Government of India has to start afresh the entire work after getting the census report, which is yet to be received.

Justice Kuldip Singh, said that he was confident that the entire process would be completed by the end of the next year. He, however said that all Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in any part of the country, scheduled to be held before December 2004, would be held on the basis of delimited constituencies conducted on the basis of the 1971 census. He said that the work of delimitation, which was 80 per cent complete had to be discontinued in the wake of the fresh guidelines. He said that the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab would be held on the basis of the old constituencies, while the Assembly elections would be held on the basis of the delimited constituencies.

Justice Kuldip Singh said that though there was a lot of pressure by senior leaders of the country to delimit their constituencies as per their wishes, he won’t succumb to any pressure and the entire work would be done on merit basis.

Giving reasons for the delimitation, Justice Kuldip Singh said that the size of many constituencies was uneven and needed to be tailored.

Giving an example Justice Kuldip Singh said that there was about 38 lakh population in the parliamentary constituency of Outer Delhi, while the population of the Chandni Chowk constituency was only 5 lakh. The average number of voters in the Lok Sabha constituencies should be around 13 lakh only, he added.


4 DIGs, 10 SPs transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25
The Punjab Government today ordered the transfers of 14 officers — four DIGs and 10 SPs.

The following are the posting orders: Mr Paramjit Singh Sarao has been posted as DIG, Faridkot Range; Mr Sanjeev Kalia DIG, Provisioning and Modernisation, Mr Nirmal Singh Dhillon DIG, Litigation, Mr Jasminder Singh DIG, Computer and Telecommunications.

Ms Shashi Prabha Dwivedi has been posted as Commandant, 75 Bn, PAP, Jalandhar. Three others have been posted as SPs, Vigilance Bureau. They are Mr Tulsi Ram; Mr Darshan Kumar and Mr Surinder Kumar Kalia.

Mr Harmanbir Singh has been posted as SP ( City-II), Amritsar; Mr Nilabh Kishore SP, City, Bathinda, Mr Ajay Maluja SP, Detective, Bathinda, Mr Darshan Singh Mann SP ( Headquarters), Faridkot, and Mr Gursewak Singh Toor Assistant Commandant, 27 Batallion, PAP, Jalandhar.


1 killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Kharar, November 25
One person was killed when he was run over by a truck near Mundi Kharar here this evening.

According to the police, Gurdev Singh, a resident of Majri Jattan village under Sadar police station, Ropar, was going on his scooter from the Mohali area towards Ropar when the accident took place. It is learnt that when he collided with a vehicle he fell down on the road.

He was run over by a truck coming from the same direction. Gurdev Singh died on the spot. The driver of the truck escaped from the scene.

The police said the deceased was identified from documents found in his scooter.

The body has been sent for postmortem. The police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304 of the IPC. 


4 held on charge of robbery
Our Correspondent

Ropar, November 25
The police has arrested four persons on the charge of robbing a liquor vend last evening. In a press note issued here today, the police authorities said four persons, who had come in a car, looted two cases of liquor and Rs 2,000 at gunpoint from a liquor vend located near Rasoolpura village near Morinda.

On receiving the news regarding the robbery, all police parties in the area were alerted. A police party from Chamkaur Sahib nabbed the culprits on the bridge over Sirhind canal near Bhoje Majra village.

The arrested persons include Sarabjit Singh of Pipal Majra village near Chamkaur Sahib, Gurdeep Singh, alias Pinta, of Kamalpur village near Chamkaur Sahib, Lakhbir Singh of Singh village in Khumano and Surinder Singh.

A .315-bore pistol and four cartridges were seized from their possession.

A case under Sections 121 and 122 of the IPC and 25/54/59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.


Burglar arrested
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 25
The police has arrested Vijay Kumar, from his rented accommodation in Burail village in Chandigarh, and seized four gold rings, two colour television sets, a deck and cloth worth Rs 5000, today.

Acting on a tip off, the police arrested Vijay Kumar from Burail on Monday. One of his accomplice has already been arrested.

Earlier, a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code was registered with Lohgarh police against the two on the complaint of Mr Rajinder Singh, a resident of Bhabhat village.

In his complaint, Mr Rajinder Singh had alleged that Vijay Kumar had broken into his house and took away goods, valuables and electronic goods worth thousands of rupees.

Thief held: In another case of theft, the police arrested Vilas alias Pappu, a resident of Sector 32, Chandigarh, for stealing mobile phones.

A team headed by ASI Kishore Katoch, nabbed him at a naka laid on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Bhabhat village on Monday. He was booked under Sections 380 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur.


Youth fest at Mata Gujri College
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 25
The state government would recommend to the UGC to give Mata Gujri College Fatehgarh Sahib the status of a deemed university on the eve of tricentenary celebration of the supreme sacrifice of the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive and Mata Gujri. This was stated by Mr Birdevinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, while presiding over the second day events of the Ropar zone youth festival of Punjabi University being organised by Mata Gujri College Fatehgarh Sahib. He said it would be a humble homage of the government towards the martyrs. Mr Mohinder Pal, District and Sessions Judge, was the special guest.

Mr Birdevinder Singh said he would work out the entire format with the Chief Minister and shortly a team of DPI and the Secretary, Higher Education, would visit the college to work out the modalities. He said it was memorable day for him as he was the old student of the college and he owes his upbringing to the institution. He called upon the students to work hard. He urged the students to prepare themselves for the tough job ahead. He advised them to develop communication skills.

He said occasions like youth festivals give an opportunity to gain self-confidence which is necessary for the overall development of the personality. He expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of the youths in studies and other competitions as compared to the youths of other states. He urged the parents, teachers and youths to make efforts to improve the situation. He also urged the SGPC to identify the exact time, when the younger Sahibjadas were bricked alive.

Mr Mohinder Pal, District Sessions Judge, in his address said that no doubt study should be the aim of the students but it was equally important to participate in the sports as well as in cultural activities for the overall development of the personality. He said combination of all these three makes one perfect and all rounder.

Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal of the college, Dr Sunita Dhir, Director Youth Welfare, also addressed the gathering.


Rajindra College wins quiz contest
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 25
The local Government Rajindra College got the first prize and Government Rajindra College, Faridkot, the second prize in an inter-college quiz competition in chemistry here today.

Mr Ashok Walia, lecturer, Government Rajindra College, in a press note said apart from these two colleges, students of Ranbir College, Sangrur, and SD College, Barnala, also participated in the competition. He said poster-making and model-making contests were also held on the occasion.


Students honoured

Abohar, November 25
Mr Sunil Jakhar, MLA, honoured students of Divine Light Public Senior Secondary School here on Monday for excellence in sports competitions at zonal and state level.

He lauded the role played by late Het Ram Sharma in promoting education in the region and exhorted the teaching community to save the new generation from cultural pollution being spread by the satellite TV channels. Mr S.P.S Kataria, manager and Ms Adarsh Kataria, Principal of the school, presented a memento to Mr Jakhar in recognition of urban development projects aided and planned by the latter. — OC

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