P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Daunting task was to keep secrecy, says PPSC chief
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 29
“The most daunting task before me was to ensure secrecy in the PCS examination and evaluation system. After its successful accomplishment now I am the happiest man on earth,” says Lieut Gen Surjit Singh (retd.), Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune at his Urban Estate residence here, General Surjit Singh talked at length about the recently conducted PCS re-examination and challenges before him. It was for the first time in the history of the PPSC that the results were declared within two hours after the completion of the interview process.

“To ensure secrecy at various levels a number of preventive steps were taken at the examination and evaluation levels, he added.

At the evaluation level a single-point accountability and responsibility formula was devised.

Asked whether he or commission members were approached by candidates to seek favour, General Surjit Singh quipped,” I knew that such attempts would be made. But the sad part was that I have got a reputation of keeping at a distance from all such extraneous influences. Yes, this was also a challenge, a big one.”

He is scheduled to retire in March, next year.

He maintains that the biggest satisfaction for him was that he was able to develop a system to ensure that jobs go to only deserving candidates.

“After all this, I pray to God and offer “shukrana” to him that I was able to keep the faith reposed in me by the state and people. That is my achievement,” said an emotional General. General Surjit Singh, who was also member of the national body of the UPSC on reforms in the examination process, said a guidebook, “Model Rules of Procedures for Public Service Commission,” has been formulated and sent by the UPSC to all state commissions.


Rights panel seeks ADGP report in NRI harassment case
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
Taking cognizance of a complaint filed by a non-resident Indian (NRI) accusing Inspector General of Punjab Police Sanjeev Gupta of victimising him, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed Additional Director General of Police (Crime) to submit a report in the matter before February 23, 2004 — the next date of hearing.

Blaming the IGP for misusing his official position, NRI Amardeep Singh claimed that Mr Gupta was closely related to his younger sister Amardeepika. Taking undue advantage of Mr Gupta’s official position, Amardeepika was bent upon dispossessing the complainant from his land situated at Bajwara village in Hoshiarpur district.

The complainant further alleged that Mr Gupta, after involving himself in his dispute with his sisters, was “prevailing” upon his subordinates. They in turn were “leaving no stone unturned” to harass him and his tillers.

Giving details, he submitted that his sisters, along with police officers, reached the fields and started harassing the tillers whenever they were at work. He asserted that senior police officers, including the Director General of Police, were contacted, but the grievance was not redressed. Rather, the younger sister was threatening that she would get him implicated in a false case at Mr Gupta’s behest.

Going into the background of the case, the complainant asserted that he was working with a private company in Estonia and owned immovable properties in New Delhi, Panchkula and Bajwara village.

During his lifetime, his father executed a registered will bequeathing immovable properties in favour of their mother Vijay Kumari. A condition was, however, imposed that the entire property would vest with him in the event of Vijay Kumari’s death during their father’s lifetime. She died during the lifetime of her husband. After his death, the will came into operation.

After going through the documents and hearing the arguments, the commission observed that prima facie a case of human rights violation was made out for taking cognizance of the matter.

Commission member N.K. Arora also directed the police authorities against interfering with any property dispute concerning the complainant as it fell under the civil court’s domain. The member further directed that the copies of the order should be sent to the Principal Secretary (Home), ADGP (Crime) and Inspector General of Police (Litigation).

In his detailed order, the member ruled: “Amardeep Singh has made the complaint levelling serious allegations against senior police officers of Hoshiarpur district, as also against IPS officer Sanjeev Gupta.... Cognizance is taken and it is directed that the complaint be registered as a case. Inquiry into the matter is ordered and a report be called for from the ADGP (Crime).”


Jakhar blames NDA for blocking agriculture policy
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 29
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar regretted that the NDA government led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee had not been able to finalise an agriculture policy even when it enjoyed full term in office.

Speaking to mediapersons after finishing the second and final round of his election campaign in Rajasthan this evening the former Union Agriculture Minister said during his term he had prepared a long term agriculture policy after holding a series of talks with experts in fields of agriculture and horticulture. But the NDA government had preferred to put the same in waste basket. The NDA leaders, by and large, had no knowledge of the fields and ignored the fact that economy of the country was primarily based on agriculture. “Our government had decided to earmark millions of rupees for development of horticulture so that the country could be in a position to earn foreign exchange by exporting fruits. The present union government preferred to allocate hardly five percent of that budget.” The previous Congress government had set up a good number of Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Central Institutes of Post Harvesting Research at Abohar and Bangalore but the NDA government had mercilessly cut down the size of the budget for these centre he said. The agriculture universities had been established to do research and provide improved qualities of seed but the Union Government was not providing adequate funds for the purpose, he said.

Blaming the NDA leaders for adopting anti-farmer and anti-businessman policies, Mr Jakhar said traders’ prosperity was linked with the prosperity of the farming community. The NDA government could have simplified sales and excise tax structure. "What was wrong in having uniform sales tax structure, he questioned. “This would have definitely checked unhealthy trade practices besides corruption on inter state tax barriers”.

Criticising the Union government for poor governance and wisdom-less policies he said the government had allowed grains to rot in godowns and open plinths for the past three years, the same could have been distributed among needy families in drought and cyclone-affected areas at subsidised rates. The Mid Day meal programme for school going children had totally failed.

Speaking about Punjab Mr Jakhar said Capt Amarinder Singh was implementing the policies defined in the party manifesto before going to the polls in the state and the media reports of discontent in the state legislative group of the party were totally baseless, unfound and ill motivated.


24 villages in dark for two days
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 29
About 24 villages in the district have been without power for the past about two days.

The power supply was, however, resumed in a number of villages including Nangal Fateh Khan, Naull, Mehdipur, Isharwal, Uccha, Jethpur, Moosapur, Bhakriana, Sarnana, Chandpur, Muzzaffarpur, Patara, Choka, Johal, and Bolina, at around 6 p.m. this evening.

Interestingly most of these villages were the ones the panchayats of which had deposited lakhs of rupees with the Punjab State Electricity Board for ensuring round-the-clock power supply under a special scheme.

Officials of the board maintained that the problem was due to snag at a substation at Patara village.

Residents alleged that this was not for the first time that they had faced such a problem, but it was a routine.

Mr H.M. Jain, Chief Engineer of the PSEB (north zone), said the scheme for 24-hour power supply to villages which had deposited money with the board was not being implemented in toto for a number of factors, which included lack of funds.

“We are imposing 10 to 12 hour power cuts as per the standing instruction,” he said.


Tribune impact
School in widows’ locality to get award from Dalai Lama
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 29
Philanthropists, Master Ajit Singh and Mr Brij Bedi who run a school for orphans of drug-addicts in Maqboolpura, termed locality of widows, had won Rs one lakh award and silver plaque to be presented by His Holiness Dalai Lama on behalf of the Organisation of Understanding and Fraternity (OUF) at a function to be organised at FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi on December 10.

A message received from Ms Nafees Khan, general secretary of the OUF, here today had come as a ‘pleasant surprise’ for the 350 schoolchildren of ‘Citizen’s Forum Vidya Mandir’, teachers (who themselves are students of higher classes) and residents of the ramshackle colony of Maqboolpura. The Tribune had broken the story about the plight of this locality where many breadwinners have died due to drug-addiction. The award has been announced on behalf of Mr Sanjay Dalmia, president of the OUF.

Mr Sabade, an Associate Editor of “Daily Sakal”, having the largest circulation in Maharashtra, Dr Mubark Ali, a noted historian and writer who had worked for promoting communal harmony and Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi would also receive awards from the Dalai Lama on this occasion.

The school was set up in 1999 with only 20 children who were adopted by Mr Bedi and Master Ajit Singh. Later, senior students took up the responsibility of imparting education for meagre honorarium.

Today the school has 350 pupils on rolls. Before announcing the award, Ms Nafees Khan and Mr Tarlok Deep paid two visits to have first-hand information of the school. The name of this school was shortlisted after screening several entries by the expert committee received by the organisation.

Police officer, Ms Kiran Bedi had been associated with the school and giving financial help. Mr Rajan Kashyap, a former Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr Gurdev Singh Sahota, DIG (Border Range) are patrons of this school.


Shamsher Mehndi’s wife files plea against ex-SSP
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 29
Shamsher Mehndi ‘s wife Balwinder Kaur has filed an application in the local court against former Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Paramraj Singh Umranagal and four other police officials here today.

Ms Balwinder Kaur alleged that a false case had been registered against her husband due to ulterior motives of the above police officials. She added that a false case of human trafficking had been registered against her husband with an intention to cause injury to their reputation.

She further alleged that the police officials — SP, Patiala, Bhupinder Singh Virk, DSP city, Rajinder Pal Singh Anand, Didar Singh and Shamsher Singh Giddu Inspectors incharge — deliberately made false reports in the judicial proceedings to procure coercive orders against the petitioner.

She further said the police had moved a false application in the court that they had exhausted all their modes to arrest her as she was escaping arrest and evading the execution of arrest warrants issued against her.

She added that her name does not figure anywhere in the FIR.

The next hearing of the application which was filed today under various sections of the IPC in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patiala, is scheduled to be held on January 16, next year. 


Director of company of Sukhbir’s in-laws remanded

Kharar, November 29
A local court today remanded Chandigarh-resident Gurpinder Singh Grewal, a director of a company owned by Sukhbir Badal’s in-laws, in judicial custody till December 12.

Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate B.K. Bhatia ordered to produce the accused before a special court on the next date.

Grewal, who was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on November 27 in a corruption case against Punjab former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, members of his family and others, was in police remand till today.

Grewal is the seventh accused in the graft case against the Badals.

The Badals and Narotam Dhillon have been asked to appear in the court of Special Judge S. K. Goel at Ropar on Monday. Jagnandan Singh and Harbans Lal are already scheduled to appear before the judge on the same day on the expiry of their judicial remand. — UNI


Police raids SAD leaders’ houses
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 29
Raids were conducted by the Kharar police on the houses of SAD leaders here today.

The houses of Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang, senior vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, senior vice-president of the Ropar district unit of SAD, and Mr Har Sukhinder Singh Badal (Babbi Badal), president of the local unit of SAD, were raided.

Mr Kang told the Chandigarh Tribune that the police was conducting the raids on the pretext that Akali leaders were wanted in connection with a case registered against them for blocking traffic on November 23 in protest against the filing of a challan against SAD chief and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Had that been the case, he said, the raids should have been conducted the same day and not six days after the “rasta roko” agitation.

Mr Kang said the raids were being conducted on the “orders” of the Congress government in the state only to prevent Akali leaders from joining Mr Badal who was scheduled to appear before the special court in Ropar on December 1.

Mr Kang said the police had rounded up Mr Baljit Singh Jagirdass from the Kharar area even though the latter was ill.

The police claimed that the houses of only those persons who had taken part in the “rasta roko” stir were being raided. The action had been going on since the registration of the case. It denied that the raids were being conducted to prevent the Akali leaders from going to Ropar on December 1. Till the filing of this report, the police was not able to give the exact number of persons rounded up.


Law and order situation reviewed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 29
The law and order arrangements were reviewed at a meeting here today in view of the appearance of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his family members in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge at Ropar on December 1.

The government has decided to take firm action against any attempts to pressure the courts, as in several cases the courts have taken a serious view on the part of politicians to collect and manipulate large crowds with a view to intimidating the courts and subvert the judicial process.


Punjabi University Diary
Varsity to send reply on charges to Chancellor next week
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 29
Composing a reply to an explanation called by the Punjab Governor and the Chancellor of Punjabi University, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), with regard to allegations levelled by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr R.N. Pal seems to be a job defined for the university authorities this week.

Even though it has been more than one month since a letter was received from the Chancellor asking the university authorities to give their comments on the allegations levelled by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, it is only now that the university authorities have set about composing a reply which is expected to be sent to the Chancellor next week.

The complaint of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor has been sent along with the letter asking for comments of the university authorities. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor has mainly focused on the issue of withdrawal of all powers from him by the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai. He has first made out a case stating that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor was to be delegated certain powers by the Vice-Chancellor under the university calendar. He has given instances of the powers delegated to him by former Vice-Chancellors.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor has also listed that the university calendar stipulates that the Pro-Vice-Chancellor will hold fort in the absence or in case of illness of the Vice-Chancellor. He has submitted a copy of the order denying him any role in university administration by the present Vice-Chancellor in the latter’s absence. The Vice-Chancellor had formed a committee to administer university affairs in his absence.

Besides, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor has attacked a close associate of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Sandhu, claiming that the latter was allowed to sit in a meeting of the Syndicate. He has also claimed that Dr Sandhu was made a Professor despite his “suggestion” that the university wait for a pending report of a UGC expert in this regard. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor has attacked another teacher perceived to be close to the Vice-Chancellor by saying that he had objected to “plagiarism” and that this objection was only in the interest of the university.

While the university’s position on denial of powers to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor is quite clear with the Vice-Chancellor stating that the calendar clearly states that it is the prerogative of the Vice-Chancellor to delegate whatever powers he deems fit to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, it is the other issues which are going to be under focus. Sources said in the case of Dr Sandhu, the university authorities were likely to make it clear that the UGC expert had taken nearly two months to send his report when the Act clearly stated that the university could confirm the appointment in case the report was not received within one month.

The university authorities are also likely to point out that despite this it had also submitted further “clarifications” about the specific year in which publications of Dr Sandhu had been published and also informed the UGC about the next Syndicate date on which the issue would be taken up. The sources said since there was no further query from the UGC, Dr Sandhu’s appointment had been confirmed by the Syndicate. In the case of “plagiarism”, though the Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s complaint apparently refers to the wife of a senior teacher who is also employed in the university, no name has been given, so there is some grey area as to what the university will reply on this issue.


Trade delegation goes to Pakistan
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 29
A 134-member group of the Indian chapter of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) today crossed over to Lahore on an invitation of their Pakistan counterparts.

Talking to newspersons, the leader of the delegation and MP, Mr Praful Patel, said the visit was to reciprocate an earlier visit by the Pakistan chapter of the YPO. He said the chief executives of some leading corporate business houses were part of the delegation and would meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf tomorrow in Islamabad. He said the meeting had been arranged to forge strong economic ties between the two Asian neighbours.

On the possibility of starting joint industrial and business ventures, Mr Patel said they would explore all possibilities, both in the industrial and trading segments, which would be mutually beneficial to both sides. He said they would interact with leading political figures, government officers, representatives of trade and industries, and various chambers of commerce to find avenues of investment. Mr Patel said they would visit Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Mohenjodaro.

Earlier, the group arrived by a special chartered flight from Mumbai this morning. The members paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and laid wreaths at the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial.


Pak troupe given emotional send-off
Our Correspondent

Wagah, November 29
An emotional send-off was given to a 27-member Pakistan theatre troupe at the Indo-Pakistan joint check-post here today.

Members of the troupe of Ajoka theatre, led by its director Madeeha Gauhar, said they were touched by the farewell given to them and said their visit had resulted in an emotional bonding with their Punjabi brethren.

Madeeha said the troupe would visit India again in March. She said a number of Indo-Pakistan joint productions were on the anvil.

With tears in her eyes, as she bade goodbye after a fortnight of successful tours to seven destinations in the state, Madeeha said “for any Pakistani artiste, be it in any field like dance music and painting, the true recognition is only in India”.

The farewell was organised by Ms Manveen Sandhu, Principal of the Springdale Educational Society, Mr Bhupinder Sandhu of the Folklore Research Academy, Amritsar and Dr Sukhbir Kaur Mahal, Principal, Khalsa College for Women.

The Khalsa College Principal, Mr S.S. Bawa, honoured the Pakistan guests. Prof Aqeel Qazmi of the National College of Fine Arts, Lahore, took a framed photograph of the Khalsa College building as a former Principal of his college in Lahore, Bhai Ram, was connected with the architecture of the college building.


Spirit of patriotism at Wagah

Amritsar, November 29
Patriotic songs by schoolchildren marked the Raja Porus Indo-Pak Mitarta Mela organised by the Folklore Research Academy (Chandigarh) at Wagah joint check post here today.

Two processions were flagged off from simultaneously Jallianwala Bagh memorial and Shah Sham Singh Attariwala. Members of the processions at later laid wreaths at martyrs memorial on zero line.

According to reports Dr Tara Singh Sandhu, president of the academy was not present on the occasion. — OC


Former PSEB official alleges harassment
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 29
Mr Jaspal Singh alleged ‘harassment’ by the director MMT, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Jalandhar.
In letters to the Chairman, PSEB, the Chief Minister, ADGP Vigilance, the former power engineer stated that the MMT director Mr MD Mahajan had demanded bribe of Rs 50,000 from him. His refusal led to his harassment by the director.

Mr Mahajan when contacted in Jalandhar refuted the allegation.

Mr Jaspal Singh said that five months before his retirement when posted here, the director delayed issuance of No-Due Certificate (NDC) to him for which payment of his gratuity was delayed which caused him loss of 1 per cent in interest in his pension benefits to Rs 3500 a year. He added that the director had tried to delay his TA bills and also ordered him to stop checking of electricity meters a few months before retirement. He alleged it was done to humiliate him. Mr Mahajan admitted delay in the issuance of No-due certificate to Mr Jaspal but said it department’s delay and not due to him. He said a chargesheet was recently issued to Mr Jaspal. He did not comment on the loss to Mr Jaspal due to the delay in the issuance of the No-due certificate.


Foundation stone removed at Talhan village
Tribune News Service

(Talhan) Jalandhar, November 29
An uneasy calm prevailed at Talhan village after certain persons removed the foundation stone of the Salempur village-Shahid Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara road constructed by the gurdwara management committee at a cost of Rs 15 lakh and threw it into a nearby canal distributary last night.

The small wall on which the foundation stone was installed was also damaged.

Interestingly, though the road was got constructed by the committee, the foundation stone did not have the name of any office-bearer of the committee. The only two names mentioned on it are of Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG, and Mr Ashok Gupta, Deputy Commissioner.

The committee has lodged a complaint with the district administration in this regard, following which a case has been registered at the Sadar police station.

Mr Ashok Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, has taken stock of the situation and has directed the administration officials to be on the alert in view of the incident. Police officials have been deputed at the village as a precautionary measure, particularly, in the wake of tomorrow’s meeting of the committee.

Mr Rajinder Singh, DSP (Rural), said there was no tension at the village. He said the foundation stone had been re-installed. He said possibly a tractor-trailer had hit the wall, leading to its collapse.


Asha Parekh visits Golden Temple
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 29
It was a long-cherished dream come true for yesteryear heroine Asha Parekh who arrived here late last night in a quiet visit to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

On her arrival at 10.30 pm yesterday, when she was told about the beauty of the Golden Temple by night, the former actress did not even accept a morsel of food and immediately left for the Darbar Sahib. Some devotees recognised Asha Parekh, who was mesmerised by the ceremony of carrying Guru Granth Sahib in a decorated palki.

Asha Parekh was accompanied by her paternal aunt, Shammi, a veteran actress. She visited the Harmandir Sahib for a second time in less than eight hours at about 7 am today. For the second time also she went ‘suchey muh’ (without eating anything) to the temple.

She was honoured with a siropa and a model of the Golden Temple by Mr Onkar Singh Shariefpura, SGPC member, and the information officer, Mr Gurbachan Singh. The Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr S.P. Singh, also honoured her on the university campus. 


Reinstate expelled members of Khalsa Dewan, says Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 29
Capt Chanan Singh Sidhu (retd), president of the Sikh Forum, Punjab, today sought the reinstatement of 284 expelled members of the Chief Khalsa Dewan (CKD), a 101-year-old socio-religious institution of the Sikhs, before conducting its election.

In a letter to the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Captain Sidhu had mentioned that “the ruling group of the dewan had unconstitutionally expelled 284 members from the dewan and had constituted a five-member committee under the auspices of the Sri Akal Takht in order to remain in power”.

He pointed out that Mr Ankhi was the only authority in the dewan who was vested with the power to withdraw money from bank on his own. He said going against all norms and violating all set procedures, the purchases in the dewan, which run to the tune of lakhs of rupees, had been made without inviting any tender.


Dalits, landlords give amity a second chance
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 29
Dalits and landlords of Hasanpur village, near Dhuri, reached a compromise once again last night under the supervision of SP(D), Sangrur, to create a cordial atmosphere and restore spirit of brotherhood in the village.

Both parties had also worked out a compromise on November 14 in the presence of SSP, Sangrur, following a clash between the Dalits and landhords over a disputed piece of “shamlat” (common land) in the village on November 11. However, this compromise “failed”. As many as 20 persons of both side had been injured in the clash. The police had registered a criminal case on November 11 against 18 persons, belonging to landlords’ group, under various sections of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC Act, 1989.

Mr Nikka Singh, a former Dalit Panch of Hasanpur village and member of the Dalit Atiyachar Virodhi Action Committee, told TNS that as per the compromise a community kitchen would be organised on December 10 in the village jointly by the Dalits and landlords. The disputed nullah, carrying village’s dirty water, would flow through the old location. The landlords would give work to the Dalits of the village. Besides, the site of the village pond would be given on contract for releasing fish and income from the pond would be used for the development of the village, he added.

Mr Nikka Singh claimed that in view of the last night’s compromise, the Dalits had postponed their “chakka jam” protest scheduled for December 6 at Dhuri, for the time being. He said if the compromise was not implemented in letter and spirit and Section 307 of the IPC was not added to the FIR, lodged against 18 persons, belonging to the landlords’ group, the Dalits would block the traffic at Kakkarwal Chowk in Dhuri on December 6.


Clash between SAD workers, arhtiyas averted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 29
A clash was avoided at new Sabzi Mandi at Vallah between arhtiyas and members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of Verka constituency by the police here today.

Akali workers led by Dr Dalbir Singh, a former MLA, blocked two roads leading to the mandi to pressurise the district administration for early shifting of old mandi to the new Vallah mandi.

Some arhtiyas tried to push some of the trailers into the Vallah mandi which led to exchange of hot words between Shiromani Akali Dal activists and the arhtiyas. The police deputed earlier intervened to resolve the matter.

The SAD MLA stated that arhtiyas were conducting trade from the new mandi illegally. Arhtiyas accused the SAD of politicising the matter of the mandi.


SGPC seeks ban on rally

Amritsar, November 29
The SGPC here today demanded that proposed programme being organised by Divya Jyoti Jagran Sansthan at Dabwali Malko ki village in Malout district on November 30 should be stopped. Stating this in a press note secretary of the SGPC said a letter in this regard had been sent to the Punjab Government, Deputy Commissioner and SSP Muktsar. — OC


10-yr RI for rape accused

Moga, November 29
Additional Sessions Judge Sukhdev Singh convicted and sentenced Bhagwan Singh to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 5,000 in a rape case yesterday. In case of default in paying fine he would have to undergo further imprisonment of six months.

According to the prosecution, the accused, brother-in-law of the rape victim, forcibly entered her house in February, 2001, and raped her in the presence of her sons and daughter.

The accused, Bhagwan Singh, denied that he had committed rape and rather said the victim was compelling him for marriage.

The prosecution further said the accused had earlier also raped Kuldip Kaur, but the matter was resolved by the intervention of the panchayat. — UNI


Sarpanch booked for fake SC certificate
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 29
On the basis of a complaint of Mr Harmohan Singh, advocate, and resident of Sakrali village near here, the Bhadson police has registered a case against Som Singh, sarpanch of Sakrali village, under Section 420, 467, 468,471 and 120-B of the IPC.

According to sources, it was alleged in the complaint addressed to the Chief Minister, Punjab, that Som Singh on the basis of a fake Scheduled Castes certificate, was elected sarpanch of the village on June 29. The seat of sarpanch was reserved for Scheduled Castes candidate. It was stated in the complaint that Mr Harmohan Singh himself belonged to Scheduled Castes and contested the election of the sarpanch. He had been practising in the district courts at Patiala for the past 8 years.

It was further stated in the complaint that the caste of Som Singh had been entered as “Meer/Marasi” which fell in the backward castes category in column number 1878 of the school admission register. Contrary to it, Mr Som Singh procured a fake certificate of the “Doom” caste which had been declared a Scheduled Caste by the government, he asserted. The matter was brought to the notice of the Returning Officer at that time but he did not care for his objection, he maintained.

The alleged fake certificate was procured on June 11, a few days before the election. The advocate further stated that he had brought the matter to the notice of the state Election Commission. Finding no response, he had made a demand for a vigilance enquiry from the Chief Minister. When contacted, the Bhadson police said that Mr Shamsher Singh Boparai, DSP, after an enquiry got the legal opinion and a case was registered accordingly.


Cop nabbed on bribery charge
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 29
A team of Vigilance Bureau led by the DSP, Mr Vinod Chaudhary, today nabbed Barjinder Singh, a Head Constable, posted at Talwandi Sabo police station, while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from Mr Gurmeet Singh, a resident of the same town, for extending him a favour in the court trials.

Mr Barjinder Singh was reportedly demanding Rs 500 from Mr Gurmeet Singh for presenting a challan in a criminal case registered against him in the court at the earliest.

A case in this connection was registered in the Vigilance Bureau police station, Bathinda.


Move to privatise technical institutes decried
Our Correspondent

Patiala, November 29
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Punjab Polytechnics and IITs yesterday condemned the state government’s move to privatise government polytechnics and ITIs .

Addressing the gathering convener of JAC, Gurbakshish Singh said the government had earlier assured that no further step would be taken to privatise these institutes without consultations with the JAC. He added that again the government had published tender notice in the first week of November for five government-owned polytechnics and seven ITIs for the privatisation of these institutes.

The JAC has also appealed to the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to withdraw the decision to privatise government technical institutes. The association added that they would further intensify their struggle if the government failed to resolve the issue.

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 |