P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab to have 2 more ADGPs, 2 IGs
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The top-heavy Punjab police will have two more Additional Directors-General (ADGPs) and as many Inspectors-General (IGPs) as the state government ordered the transfer and posting of three ADGPs, 14 IGPs, nine DIGs and 21 Superintendents in a major reshuffle today.

Those who figure in the list are Mr Mohammad Mustafa and Mr Rajan Gupta, both IGPs, whose names were cleared for central deputation last month. Mr Mustafa is the husband of a legislator, Razia Sultan, who had thrown her weight behind Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal when dissidents were demanding a change in the leadership of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). The Chief Minister had made no secret of his “displeasure” over the conduct of Mr Mustafa during turbulence in the Punjab CLP.

Interestingly, the top half of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has also been recast. After Mr A.P. Pandey was shifted out following Transport Minister Tej Parkash Singh’s complaint some time back, the government today shifted Inspector-General-cum-Director, Mr S.M. Sharma; Deputy Inspector-General Kanwaljit Singh Pannu, and two Superintendents — Mr Tejinder Pal Singh and Mr Darshan Kumar — from the bureau.

Now after the reshuffle, the Punjab Police has, besides five officers of the rank of DGP, 17 ADGPs and 22 IGPs against 79 senior posts under the state government which authorises one DGP, five ADGPs and 13 IGPs. The total authorised cadre strength of the Punjab Police is 144.

One of the ADGPs, Mr R.S. Chalia, will retire on February 29.

At present only one officer of the rank of DGP (Mr Sarabjit Singh), one ADGP (Mr V.N. Mathur) and three IGs ( Mr Harsh Raj Chadha, Mr Samant Kumar Goel and Mr Anil Kumar Sharma) are on central deputation.

In the reshuffle ordered today, all three zonal IGPs — Mr Shashi Kant, Mr J.P. Birdi and Mr S.K. Sharma — have been shuffled. While Mr Shashi Kant has been promoted and appointed ADGP (Operations), Mr J.P. Birdi and Mr S.K. Sharma swap positions. Mr Rajinder Singh goes to the field as IGP, Zonal-I.

Likewise, the DIGs of the Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Border Ranges have also been shifted. No district police chief has been touched in the present reshuffle.

The following promotions, transfers and postings have been ordered:

Mr P. Lal becomes ADGP-cum-Commandant-General, Punjab Home Guards & Director, Civil Defence.

Mr Shashi Kant, on promotion, has been posted ADGP (Operations).

Mr Chander Shekhar, on promotion, becomes ADGP, Internal Vigilance Cell (IVC). His promotion becomes effective on retirement of Mr R.S. Chalia on February 29.

Mr J.P. Birdi goes as IGP, Border. Mr S.K. Sharma is shifted as IGP, Zonal-II. Mr S.M. Sharma becomes IGP, Provisioning & Modernisation.

Mr Rajinder Singh goes as IGP, Zonal-I. Mr Mohd Mustafa will be the new IGP, Operations-I.

The headquarters of Mr Jyoti Trehan as IG, Operations-II, has been shifted from Chandigarh to Jalandhar.

Mr Rajan Gupta will be IGP, PAP, Jalandhar, from March 1.

Mr S.S. Saini has been moved as IG, Economic Offences and Special Operations.

Mr G.D. Pandey will be IGP, Training & Traffic.

Mr Suresh Arora will be the IGP-cum-Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, Chandigarh.

Mr H.S. Dhillon will be the new IGP, Litigation.

Mr Narinder Sharma has been posted as IGP Crime.

Mr Jasminder Singh, on promotion, becomes IGP, Computer & Telecommunications. Mr S. Chattopadhyaya, on promotion, takes over as IGP, Commando. Mr Dinkar Gupta becomes DIG, Ludhiana Range. Mr R.P. Meena will be the new DIG, Jalandhar.

Mr Paramjit Singh Gill goes as DIG, Border Range, Amritsar. Mr Gurdev Singh Sahota becomes DIG, Counter Intelligence, Mr Rohit Choudhary will be the DIG, Economic Offences Wing. Mr R.C. Singh becomes DIG, Administration.

Mr Jagdish Kumar Mittal, will be DIG, Intelligence-II. Mr Kanwalljit Singh Pannu becomes DIG/PAP, Chandigarh. Mr Nirmal Singh Dhillon goes to the Vigilance Bureau as a DIG. Mr P.K. Sinha will be the Staff Officer to the DGP, Punjab, & In charge, Grievance Redressal Cell.

Mr Tejinder Pal Singh becomes Commandant, 9th Bn, PAP, Amritsar. Mr Harinder Pal Singh Kang goes as SP/GRP, Patiala. Mr Opinderjit Singh will be SP/Detective, Jalandhar and Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhatti becomes SP/Detective, Hoshiarpur.

Mr Karamjit Singh goes as Zonal S.P./SB, CID, Ferozepore. Mr Darshan Kumar has been posted as Asstt. Comdt., 75th Bn, PAP, Jalandhar. Mr Mandeep Singh has been transferred as SP/Detective, Ludhiana. Mr Bhupinderjit Singh Virk will be SP (Computers). Mr Kewal Kumar goes as Asstt. Comdt., 5th IR Bn., Amritsar. Mr Shamsher Jang Bahadur becomes SP/Hqrs., Tarn Taran.

Mr Rupinder Singh Bhullar has been transferred as SP, Vigilance Bureau. Mr Narjinder Singh Sekhon is Asstt.Comdt., 36th Bn, PAP, Bahadurgarh. Mr Bachan Singh Randhawa becomes SP (Detective), Batala. Mr Amarjit Singh becomes SP (Spl. Investigation), Crime, while Mr Gurpreet Singh Toor will be SP/Detective, Patiala.

Mr Inder Mohan Singh becomes SP/Hqrs., Sangrur. Mr Dharam Singh becomes SP/Hqrs., Gurdaspur. Mr Darshanjit Singh Dhindsa becomes SP (Operations), Patiala. Mr Harjinder Singh becomes SP (Detective), Jagraon.


Spokesman Editor declared ‘tankhaiya’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 5
Even as the Sikh clergy today declared Mr Joginder Singh, Editor of the monthly magazine spokesman, as “tankhaiya” (guilty of religious punishment), the latter was convened a meeting of his supporters at Chandigarh March 10 to defy the directives publicly.

Mr Joginder Singh has become the first Editor of a widely circulated magazine to be declared a “tankhaiya”. Earlier, Mr Barjinder Singh Hamdard was summoned at Akal Takht by the then Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh. However, the latter was removed from the post before the implementation of the directive of the Sikh clergy.

Mr Joginder Singh said he would not appear before the Takht, as there was no such provision in Sikhism to declare anybody “tankhaiya” or excommunication from the Sikh Panth.

Pronouncing the directive from the rostrum of Akal Takht, Jathedar Vedanti urged the “Sikh Sangat” not to have any relations with the Editor till he sought pardon as per the Sikh Maryada. The directive was signed by Jathedar Vedanti, Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Patna Sahib, Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar Takht Kesgarh Sahib and Giani Rattan Singh, Deputy Jathedar Takht Hazur Sahib and issued under the seal of Akal Takht.

The directive stated that Mr Joginder Singh was guilty of violating the directives of Akal Takht and had tried to denigrate the age old institutions of Sikhs.

Meanwhile, Akal Takht has announced to withdraw the title “professor of Sikhism” bestowed on Mr Gurtej Singh for allegedly violating the directives of Akal Takht. Mr Gurtej Singh, a former bureaucrat, was the second Sikh who was honoured with this title after Sirdar Kapur Singh, a former ICS officer. This is the first time that Akal Takht has withdrawn the title bestowed on any Sikh. Mr Gurtej Singh was accused of supporting Mr Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana, a Canada-based cop-turned Sikh scholar, who was excommunicated from the Sikh Panth.

Talking to TNS, Mr Joginder Singh announced that he and his supporters were ready to make any sacrifice but would not bow before the “arbitrary directives” of the Sikh clergy. He said he would not allow Akal Takht to be used as “court”. He wanted to work like Martin Luther, who had opposed the Pope’s “arbitrary directives”, he added.

Meanwhile, in a significant statement Jathedar Vedanti said that Jathedars of Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib had agreed in principle to implement the “Nanakshahi calendar” shortly. However, he said that Akal Takht was open to make necessary amendments in the calendar as desired by various sections of the Sikh Panth. Jathedar Vedanti asked the state government not to arrange parallel functions to mark the anniversaries of Guru Angad Dev, Guru Granth Sahib. In case the state government wanted to celebrate these functions, these should be held under the patronage of the SGPC.


Zaffarwal acquitted in Ribeiro case
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 5
Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, one of about two dozen accused in a case relating to the 1986 attack on former Director-General of the Punjab Police J.F. Ribeiro in the PAP complex, was acquitted by a local Additional TADA designated court for the failure of the prosecution to prove conspiracy charges against him.

Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, constable Dalwinder Singh of PAP and Baba Gurbachan Singh figured among eight persons who either faced conspiracy charges or were arrested, while five other accused could not be arrested and were subsequently declared proclaimed offenders.

The hearing of the case was expedited following a recent direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court pertaining to all pending TADA cases, it was learnt.

Mr Rebeiro had escaped an armed attack on his life in the local PAP complex on October 3, 1986.

The case had taken an interesting turn as a total of 28 witnesses had deposed against Zaffarwal, but the witnesses, according to sources, failed to corroborate and establish that Zaffarwal was among those who had hatched the conspiracy, leading to the attack on Mr Ribeiro.


Resolve issues peacefully, says Dr Chohan
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 5
The Khalsa Raj Party, headed by “Khalistan” ideologue, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan, here today resolved to work for removing “bad blood” from politics and exhorted people and youth to free themselves from “corrupt and selfish” politics, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his coterie.

Dr Chohan, who was accompanied by Mr Baldev Singh, general secretary of the party, at a press conference urged the government to release all Sikh youths lodged in different jails without any cases or those who have already served their terms, stating that people, particularly youth, were fed up with the “Badal-style” politics, Dr Chohan said that dialogue was needed with those who had been behind bars for years and who needed a healing touch instead of suppression.

Dr Chohan said his party and colleagues were of firm opinion that violence couldn't fetch anything and all issues should be resolved through dialogue and possibly through peace process.

He said Mr Badal and his coterie had demolished the entire set of institutions with their unprecedented corruption and corrupt ways and means. He asked Mr Badal if he and his family were willing to appear before Akal Takht and accept that they had not indulged in corruption.

He said that time had come when all splinter Akali groups should come on a single platform to make people aware about the “Badal-style” politics and the harms inflicted upon the Sikh Panth by it over the years. It was politically wise that Sikhs should send only those representatives in Parliament who were well-versed in the Sikh philosophy and the Sikh ways of life. He saidhis party would not contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll but would support those forces who were committed to the Sikh philosophy and political interests.


Holocaust day goes unnoticed
Amarjit Thind and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rohira, February 5
The Wadha Ghalughara Day (big holocaust), observed in memory of those men, women and children massacred by forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali, was not observed today.

As many as 35,000 persons were encircled by the enemy and put to the sword at this village in 1762. The Sikhs were retreating during the sixth foray of Abdali, but were outnumbered and killed. Even small children and women were not spared.

No monument had been raised in the past 342 years, but for an under-construction gurdwara at the village. There were no arrangements to observe the holocaust day at the site of the massacre, four km from Mandi Ahmedgarh.

Mr Gurdeep Singh said the day was not observed today because of the implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar. He said the day would be observed with a ‘nagar kirtan’ on February 8.

Narrating the details of the holocaust, he said 35,000 Sikhs, including 10,000 children, were killed when they were on their way to Rajasthan. Spies reported to Abdali at Ludhiana that Sikhs, along with their families, were camping at Kup Rohila village near Malerkotla.

He ordered the nawab of Malerkotla to attack from that direction and crush the Sikhs before they reached Garma village, where their ammunition and guns were stationed. By this time, a large army headed by Abdali and his Generals Shah Wali Khan and Jahan Khan encircled the Sikhs at Rohila from the other direction.

Led by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, the small Sikh army bravely engaged the enemy. The fighting carried on till dusk, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. By this time, the forces reached Hatur village near Jagraon.

Abdali’s offer of truce was rejected by Ahluwalia. Some men were sent under the command of Sham Singh to hide the children in a vast tract of tall elephant grass near Moom Kalan village. The enemy got wind of the plan and set the grass on fire, killing everyone.


Panel wants Police Act draft reassessed
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Though the Law Commission has approved the draft of the new Punjab Police Act, the Estimates Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha has asked the state government to seek the opinion of the Punjab Human Rights Commission and other non-governmental organisations on the draft before introducing it in the Assembly.

The Estimates Committee also wants that the draft should also be discussed with the various Bar associations and legal experts.

The Police Act operative in Punjab at present was framed in 1861 by the British. Its operative part has not been changed since then. The committee feels that as the Act is being redrafted after 143 years, it must be subjected to public debate.

The draft has been in the writing for the past several years. It was recently completed and a committee of top police officers was set up to fine tune it. After that, it was sent to the Law Commission for approval.

The draft is an admixture of various Police Acts, such as the Bombay Police Act. It has the provision to set up a state security commission. Besides, there is the provision to introduce a police commissionerate system in major cities on the pattern of Delhi. The new draft proposes a fixed term of three years for the head (DGP) of the state police. What directional change the draft proposes to break away from the British legacy in the police is not clear.

By and large, the police in the state acts almost on the same pattern as the pre-Independence period. Public-spirited people have strongly advocated drastic changes in the Police Act to make it a people-friendly force and to modernise its functioning. Age-old methods of interrogation should be abandoned, they demand.


BSP authorises Mayawati to decide on alliances
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, February 5
The National Executive Committee of the Bahujan Samaj Party has authorised Ms Mayawati, President of the BSP, to decide on alliance with political parties barring the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, state President of the BSP, said this at a press conference at the residence of Mr Devi Dass Nahar state senior vice-president of the BSP. Mr Jia Lal Nahar state general secretary of the BSP was also present at the press conference.

Mr Karimpuri said talks for an alliance with the Congress were on with national leaders of both parties. While talks of an alliance with the Akali Dal (Badal) were also on between state leaders.

When asked to comment on the statement of Mayawati saying she was the second daughter of Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee Mr Karimpuri said option of an alliance with the BJP was open but decision in connection would be taken by Mayawati.

He said the merger of the BSM in the BSP was to strengthen the Bahujan Samaj.

Mr Karimpuri said Mr Devi Dass Nahar had been deputed to look after the affairs of Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat besides looking after party work in the state.

When asked whether Mr Devi Dass Nahar would contest from Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, Mr Karimpuri said decision to this effect would be taken by National Executive Committee.


Barnala not keen on contesting, says Badal
Tribune News Service

Bahadurgarh (Patiala), February 5
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Parkash Singh Badal yesterday said Andhra Pradesh Governor and senior Akali leader Surjit Singh Barnala did not desire to contest from Sangrur during the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Talking to mediapersons after addressing a gathering of students here, Mr Badal said the post of Governor was much more prestigious. This put at rest speculation that Mr Barnala or the latter’s wife could be the SAD candidate from Sangrur, where Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had started campaigning informally.

Asked if Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Gurcharan Singh Tohra could be asked to contest from Patiala, Mr Badal said this decision would have to be taken by Mr Tohra. The SAD President said the party would announce its candidates immediately after the parliamentary elections were announced.


SAD to have election office at Jalandhar
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 5
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to set up a central election office here which will be formally inaugurated by the party president and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal on February 17.

Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, secretary of the SAD, in a press note issued here yesterday said since Jalandhar was the main media centre of the state, it was decided to set up the office here for regulating party activities during the coming general election. The office would also have an ultra-modern media centre.

He further said the former SGPC chief, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar would be in-charge of the office.


SAD panel to decide on meeting issue
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Longowal (Sangrur), February 5
A decision on whether the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will participate in the all-party meeting convened by the Punjab Government on February 7 on the SYL canal issue will be taken by the political affairs committee (PAC) of the party at its meeting tomorrow, said SAD President Parkash Singh Badal here today.

He was talking to mediapersons after addressing an Akali conference on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh at Gurdwara Janam Asthan Shaheed Bhai Mani Singh at Kaimbowal. He said the PAC would discuss the issue tomorrow.

Talking about the differences between the factions of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Mr Badal said there was complete unity in the SAD.

He could not give a proper reply as to why Mr Baldev Singh Mann, general secretary of the SAD and a confidante of Mr Barnala, left the venue today after Mr Badal’s arrival.

About the inclusion of Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, a former minister in the SAD-BJP government, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachi, a senior Akali leader from Dirba, and other leaders expelled during the Assembly elections in 2002 for opposing official SAD candidates, Mr Badal said the party would consider it.


Pak Sikh panel releases calendar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has recently released a table calendar featuring historic Sikh shrines in that country.

The glossy calendar, received in India, shows pictures of Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan in such a way that it gives the impression of their proper upkeep and maintenance, though the actual situation is very different. Interestingly, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has been from time to time taking up the issue of repair of Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan with the Indian and Pakistan Governments, but to no avail.

The calendar depicts 12 pictures of gurdwaras, including Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib, Rohri Sahib, Aminabad, Sacha Sauda, Farooqabad, Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore, etc. The dates and months mentioned are in accordance with Christian and Nanakshahi calendars. Each picture also contains the telephone number and e-mail address of the gurdwara concerned for the benefit of Sikhs visiting these shrines from across the globe.

The SGPC secretary, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, said the PSGPC had enough time for such things but the SGPC was engaged in working on larger issues pertaining to Sikhs all over the world. They have issued six types of calendars depicting Sikh history and religion.

Interestingly, the present president of the PSGPC is a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, which has been often accused of masterminding subversive activities in India. He is a Muslim, while his second in command, Mr Sham Singh, hails from Lahore and resides in Pakistan.


Bhalla blames coterie on transfer issue
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 5
The issue of handing back powers of transfer of officials to the Administrative Member of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), Mr Raman Bhalla, is far from settled, with the member, a Congress legislator, claiming that the coterie surrounding Chairman Y.S. Ratra has been blocking the move.

Mr Bhalla had approached the Chief Minister around 10 days back, claiming that the Chairman had withdrawn the power of transfer of officials from him. He had met the Chief Minister at a rally in Ghanour and had seen him off at Attari, when Capt Amarinder Singh left for Pakistan. Mr Bhalla was again at the Chief Minister’s side during functions held near Kharar.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Bhalla said, “They were supposed to pass the order yesterday. It has not come about even today”. He said it was strange that the case had not been cleared till now despite a file having being moved in this regard.

The board transferred 12 sub divisional officers yesterday, he said. Claiming that some other interests might be behind the move, he said he was not ordering any transfers except those which were necessary for administrative reasons or political considerations.

Mr Ratra said no powers had been withdrawn from the Administrative Member. “His powers continue to be the same as were those of the other Administrative Members. If any transfer has to be ordered, the file should be put up before me”, he said.

Mr Ratra said two days back, the Administrative Member requested him to withdraw his earlier order, asking that all transfer files be put up before him. “Following this, I withdrew the order”, he added.

Sources disclosed that the Chief Minister had announced at Ghanour that Mr Bhalla would continue to enjoy all powers of Administrative member. As the Chairman had not withdrawn the powers, but had added a rider, the orders of the Chief Minister could not apply in the case.


New campaign under community policing scheme

Moga, February 5
The Punjab police has started a new campaign under the community policing programme to bring the police in close contact with the people.

To bring coordination between the Punjab police and non-government organisations (NGOs), the Punjab Police State Apex Committee for NGOs has been set up by the Punjab Director-General of Police (DGP) with the help of Dr P.R. Jassi, former Director, Health Services.

One social worker each from 23 police stations in Punjab has been nominated member of the committee. The DGP has been designated as its patron, Mr D.R. Bhatti its chairman and Inspector-General of Police Suresh Arora its vice-chairman.

Additional Director-General of Police D.R. Bhatti said here today that the apex committee had taken up a road traffic project to bring down the rate of accident deaths in the state.

He said every year 2,600 lives were lost in the state due to road accidents as compared to 700 murders. As such, safe traffic was of great importance for the people, he pointed out.

He further stated that due to concerted efforts of the Punjab police, the number of road accidents and deaths had come down in the state during the last two years.

He further claimed that first-aid posts set up by the police had helped in getting 4,651 injured persons admitted to hospitals, in which 71 deaths were reported.


Sikh bodies to meet Governor
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 5
Representatives of various Sikh bodies will meet the Governor on February 7 to apprise him of human rights situation in Punjab and Chandigarh after jail break in Chandigarh.

This was agreed at a meeting of the Sikh bodies here today that included representatives of the SAD (A), the Dal Khalsa, the Akali Dal (Ravi Inder Singh), the Akali Dal (Democratic), the International Human Rights Organisation, the Punjab Human Rights Organisation, the Khalra Mission Committee, the Khalsa Panchayat, the BKU, and the Sikh Students Federation. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd) to take stock of recent developments in the state.


16 jail guards refuse duty, suspended
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 5
The local Central Jail authorities today suspended 16 jail guards when they refused to do duty under the 'disc system' which has been reintroduced in the jail following the sensational escape of the Beant Singh accused from Burail jail in Chandigarh last month.

According to the jail authorities, 16 police personnel refused to do duty under the system which has been reintroduced in jails in the state. Under this system, a relay system is created with the help of a disc which is passed from one personnel to another. This ensures patrolling of the entire team which is put on duty on the outer gate and can help identify lapses, if any.

Jail Superintendent Gursharan Singh Sidhu said 16 guards who were to do duty in two shifts refused to do duty under the new system. He said since this was a question of discipline, it had been decided to suspend all. Mr Sidhu said an inquiry would be held into the case.

Sources said members of the Jail Guards Association held a dharna in the jail complex to protest against the suspension of their colleagues. The association had earlier claimed that action should have been taken against officers of Central Jail following the escape of two undertrials from the complex on December 31.

The association had claimed that the jail authorities had wrongly suspended 15 jail guards earlier but had not taken action against any jail officer.


Notice issued to 13 jail warders
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 5
The Sangrur District Jail authorities today issued final notices to 13 jail warders, seeking reply by 9 am tomorrow or face suspension.

The warders have allegedly refused to implement the “patra” (disc) system while performing guard duty in the jail as per the fresh directions of the Punjab Government in this connection.

Talking to TNS over phone this evening, Mr Joga Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Sangrur District Jail, said among the 14 jail warders, who had been issued notices the previous day, three joined their duty today, stating that they would follow the directions of the state government regarding the implementation of “patra” system in the jail. He also said that out of the already suspended 23 warders, two had been transferred to Amritsar by the DGP, Prisons, Punjab, today.

The Deputy Superintendent also stated that some members of jail staff from other jails today visited the jail warders in the jail complex here to provoke them. He said the jail authorities had written today to the DIG, Jails, Mr S.K. Dutta, to initiate action against him.

On the other hand, a spokesman of the jail warders today claimed that they today organised a dharna near the main gate of the jail here to protest against the implementation of “patra” system.


7 jail guards suspended
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, February 5
The Ferozepore Central Jail authorities today suspended seven jail guards for dereliction of duty and refusal to accept the ‘patra’ system of duty, introduced here by the Jail Superintendent.

Mr Swaran Singh, on assuming charge as Jail Superintendent, had introduced disc circulation (patra) system of duty, which these seven jail guards had refused to accept. Talking action, he placed them under suspension.

The guards include Tarsem Pal, Surinder Singh, Kulbir Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Iqbal Singh, Manjeet Singh and Rachpal Singh.

FARIDKOT: The Punjab Government suspended Ms Harinder Kaur, Superintendent of the Faridkot Juvenile Jail, on Thursday. No reason was mentioned.


Fate of Pak boys hangs in balance

Faridkot, February 5
The Tihar Jail authorities have turned down the Punjab Government’s request to lodge seven Pakistani boys, under the age of 17, in Tihar Jail. The jail authorities made it clear that in the absence of any criminal case against the juveniles, they could not detain the boys.

According to reports available, a senior judicial officer recently visited the local Observation Home and after finding conditions unfavourable for further detaining the boys, apprised the Punjab and Haryana High Court of the situation. Mr Som Parkash, Director, Social Security and Women and Child Development, when contacted on his mobile phone at Chandigarh today, said that he had apprised the state government of the matter. He said the boys had appealed to the Pakistan government to take steps for their early repatriation.


PPCC hails decision on DA
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The president of the PPCC, Mr H.S. Hanspal, has hailed the decision of the Punjab Government to merge 50 per cent of the dearness allowance (DA) with the basic pay of employees on the Central pattern.

In a statement here today, he said Punjab had become the first state to give these benefits on the Central pattern. He also welcomed the decision of the government to abolish market fee on some crops and raising the rate of commission from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, a state-level conference of minority communities in the state will be held at Punjab Congress Bhavan tomorrow.


Decision to shift akademi offices
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Punjab Government has decided to shift the offices of the Punjab Sahit Akademy, the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademy and the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademy to Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar, respectively.

The Punjab Cultural Affairs Minister, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, said Rs 65 lakh had been released for the completion of an auditorium at the Punjab Art Council building in Chandigarh.

He exhorted the office-bearers of these organisations to accelerate their activities for the development of art, culture and literature.


Emptying of sarovar leaves fish dead
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 5
The emptying of the holy sarovar at the local Ram Tirath temple has left several fish dead which are being devoured by vultures and stray dogs.

Mahant Baldev Giri and other mahants alleged that due to the callousness of the district authorities, which are undertaking the drainage of water to undertake de-silting for the construction of a temple, several fish died near the parikarma. He said the administration was taking few precautionary measures for the rehabilitation of the fish.

Mr Raminder Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said about two dozen fish died and most of them had been transported to the other side of the sarovar.


Ferozepore, Amritsar rail line sought

Phagwara, February 5
A rail line running along the Indo-Pak border linking Ferozepore with Amritsar has been demanded by SAD (A) Chief Simranjit Singh Mann.

This would be good for the security of the country as also provide the Sikhs of the Malwa region a direct link to Amritsar, claimed a party statement here today.

Denouncing the NDA government for its discriminatory policies about Punjab and ignoring its rail concern in  the interim railway Budget, Mr Mann alleged that the much-touted feel good  factor was nowhere to be seen in the Budget so far as Punjab was concerned.  

A direct train from the South, to Amritsar was also demanded.

To give boost to agriculture of Punjab, provision of refrigerated wagons was demanded to carry the seed potato for being exported to the SAARC countries.


Avoid tubectomy, says surgeon
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 5
Dr R.C.M. Kaza, pioneer of the NSV technique for vasectomy in India, stressed here today that it was not fair to conduct tubectomy as it was complicated, risky and expensive. He was here to address a three-day camp which began today.

He expressed surprise at the fact that not a single camp or course on NSV awareness had been held in Chandigarh. He said in comparison to tubectomy, the NSV technique took between 7 and 8 minutes after local anaesthesia. The procedure was painless, bloodless and stitchless and needed just two days of abstaining from hard work, he said.


Court summons ex-MP in cheating case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 5
A local court here today issued summon for personal appearance on March 22 to ex-MP Kamal Chaudhry, his wife Ms Sudha Chaudhry and five others in a cheating and forgery case.

Chief Judicial Magistrate K.S. Cheema issued the summons after getting through the oral as well as documentary evidence on record in a complaint against them which was lodged by the Hoshiarpur DAV College managing committee member Krishan Kumar Saini.

The case has been filed, following a complaint, under sections 420, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471, 474 and 120 B of the IPC.


Funds for Ludhiana jail

Chandigarh, February 5
The Court directed the state of Punjab to release Rs 12 lakh for the Ludhiana Central Jail. The directions were issued in a suo motu case by the Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

Plea against poll dismissed

The Court dismissed a petition challenging the decision to advance the date of Lok Sabha poll. In his petition, an Amritsar resident had claimed that the “ruling party was taking advantage of the feel good factor without keeping larger public interest in view”.


Mansa to have modern cotton market: Singla
Our Correspondent

Abohar, February 5
Mr Sant Ram Singla, Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, said the Punjab Government was committed to the demands of farmers, traders and labourers.

Mr Singla was speaking at a function organised by an association of commission agents here this afternoon. The Union Ministry of Textiles had offered Rs 173 lakh subsidy for creating a modernised cotton market in Punjab. Now the government had consented to develop the market at Mansa. Similar markets, would be developed at Abohar, Rampura Phul, Kotkapura and Maur Mandi.


Vigilance raids on rice mills
Tribune News Service

Rampura (Bathinda), February 5
A team of the Vigilance Bureau from Chandigarh today conducted raids in four rice mills located in this region to find out bunglings in the allotment of agencies to them, paddy and rice stock and quality of rice being delivered to the agencies.

Mr Amrik Singh, SP (Vigilance Bureau), Bathinda, said the raids were conducted on the basis of complaints received against the mills that certain rice mill owners had been purchasing substandard rice from other states and had been delivering it to state government agencies in lieu of milling of paddy supplied to them by the same agencies.

In another raid, a Vigilance team caught Balbir Singh, patwari, while allegedly accepting a bribe from a resident of Mansa. A case has been registered.


1,000 drug capsules seized from convict

Ferozepore, February 5
The jail authorities here yesterday seized 1000 drug capsules from a murder convict, allegedly delivered to him by his brother who had been acquitted in the same murder case last year.

Deputy Superintendent of Central Jail Sadhu Ram Jindal said Gurmit Singh had been booked after the recovery of the capsules, delivered to him by his brother Jagjit Singh who met him yesterday.

Gurmit along with his two brothers-Tarsem Singh and Lakha Singh- and their father Major Singh, were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment last year and are lodged in the jail for the past four years, Mr Jindal added.

The jail official said when Havildar Tarlok Singh broke open seals of two tin containers of dry milk powder of one kg capacity each, handed over to Gurmit by Jagjit during their meeting, on suspicion, the containers yielded four plastic pouches containing 1,000 capsules of Hypodex-10.

He said Gurmit confessed that this was the second consignment of the capsules delivered to him in jail by his acquitted brother, adding he had sent home Rs 1700 earned by selling the first consignment of 400 capsules to jail inmates. The capsule is retailed in the market at Re one each, while Gurmit confessed he sold it at Rs 5 inside jail. UNI


3 held for drug smuggling
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 5
The district police has arrested two persons for drug smuggling and seized 250 gm of heroin worth Rs 25 lakh from them.

Following a tip-off, a police team laid a trap and struck a deal with one of the persons regarding the supply of contraband by posing as a decoy customer.

The accused along with one of his accomplices came to deliver drugs at a specific point. The police party surrounded them when they tried to escape on their motor cycle. They fired at the police party and when the police returned fire, one of them was injured. They were later caught near Kamal Palace hotel here.

The duo was identified as Gurpreet Singh and Roop, the police said, adding that a .38 bore revolver was also seized from them.

A case under various sections of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused, who were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, the district police arrested one another person for drug smuggling recovered 920 gm of smack from his possession.

According to the police, the accused was identified as Paramjit Singh of Nawan Pind Bhatte village in Kapurthala. He was arrested from Pattar Kalan village. A case has been registered.


Father, sons kidnapped; released after 4 hrs
Tribune News Service

Shahkot (Jalandhar), February 5
Fear gripped residents of this township this morning as a group of 35-40 armed persons allegedly kidnapped Charagdin, a local resident, and his two sons, bundled them in a car and took the trio towards Moga.

The accused, allegedly led by Balbir Khan, a resident of Dala village in Moga district, were said to be related to Charagdin and the bone of contention was said to be a house which was reportedly gifted to Charagdin by Balbir Khan’s father-in-law. After keeping them captive for about four hours and as the police pressure mounted, the accused fled the scene after releasing the father-son trio near Moga.

According to the police, the armed persons, allegedly led by Balbir Khan and his two sons — Sonu and Ashoka, barged into the house of Charagdin at about 6 a.m. and started beating Charagdin and other members of his family. The accused bundled them into a car and sped before neighbours could surround the house following an alarm raised by the victims. The police launched a search operation to trace the victims and kidnappers, but it failed to yield any result initially.

The accused released the victims near Moga even as no arrest had been made, it was learnt.

According to a complaint lodged by Charagdin’s wife Raminder, on the basis of which the Shahkot police registered a case under Sections 364, 148, 149, 120-B, 427 and 380 of the IPC against the accused, the bone of contention between the two parties was a house here which was gifted to Charagdin by Balbir Khan’s father-in-law. She alleged that the accused had been trying to usurp the house and had even made her husband and two sons sign blank papers during the four-hour illegal captivity today. She said the accused had been threatening her family members for the past couple of months.


SHO surrenders in custodial death case
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 5
Kulwinder Singh, SHO of Sherpur police station, allegedly involved in a custodial death case, today reportedly surrendered before the Barnala police. His anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the Sessions Judge yesterday.

Talking to TNS over the phone tonight on the condition of anonymity, a police officer said besides the SHO, head constable Chamkaur Singh and a constable had also surrendered before the police.

A case was registered against several policemen, including the SHO, on January 19 after the death of Ravinder Singh of village Kala-Bula on January 18 allegedly in police custody.


Capt inaugurates engineering college
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, February 5
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today inaugurated the Yadwindra College of Engineering, set up on the Guru Kashi Regional Centre campus here. He said the government would also set up a university of animal sciences in the name of Guru Angad Dev.

Addressing a function, the Chief Minister said the government was committed to make this town as “Guru-ki-Kashi” (seat of learning by setting up more projects in its vicinity.

He announced that a world Punjabi sammellan would be held at Patiala on Baisakhi by Punjabi University with the help of the state government. The Punjab (Pakistan) Chief Minister, Mr Parvej Elahi, would be invited, among others.

The Chief Minister, who met residents to listen to their grievances, announced that he had asked the Punjab Pollution Control Board authorities to make arrangements for safe drinking water for the residents of this area. Apart from it, a textile city would be set up at Bathinda.

He said the government had made a plan to increase 1000 mw power every year. He claimed that all villages would be given 24 hours power supply by the end of June.

Criticising the BJP leadership for its pro-urban attitude, he alleged that the Union Finance Minister had given sops to a section of business tycoons and industrialists.

Those attended the function included Mr Surinder Singla, Mr Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal, Mr Nathu Ram, all MLAs, Mr Harmindar Singh Jassi, Mr Ajit Inder Singh Mohar, all former MLAs, and Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, local MLA. Dr S.S. Boparai, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab University, was also present.

Earlier, Capt Amarinder Singh paid obeisance at Takht Damdama Sahib.


Protest by students at PTU
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 5
Hundreds of students of a large number of technical colleges of the state held a dharna in front of Punjab Technical University here today in protest against the university’s decision to revoke the 24 credit system which was implemented last year.

The protest was held on a call given by the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) president, Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, and leaders of the Technical College Action Committee. The protesters alleged that revocation of the 24 credit system would lead to ruining of the future of at least 1,400 students of about two dozen technical colleges in the state as they would not only lose one academic year but also have to re-deposit fees to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

Addressing the students, Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal said by implementing the old system, the university authorities had stabbed the students in the back. He criticised the Vice-Chancellor’s approach to the problems of students. Later, the dharna was lifted following an assurance by the registrar that the university would take a decision on the issue by Monday.


GND varsity to start M.Phil in English
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 5
Guru Nanak Dev University will start M.Phil in English from the next academic session.

The decision was taken at the Academic Council meeting of various facilities of different departments held here yesterday.

The university has decided to recognise the three-year diploma course offered by the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Chandigarh on a part with plus two.

The Academic Council took a jurisdiction of GND varsity as it felt that it would lower the standards of law study in the state.

In another decision the council clarified that the date of the conferring the Ph.D would be the date on which the Vice-Chancellor would give its approval.


Teachers thrash college student for carrying mobile
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, February 5
Students of the Rayat Engineering College today held a dharna outside the college to protest against the alleged thrashing of a B-Tech student by three teachers.

The incident occurred today when the mobile of Ashish Sharma, a second-semester student of B.Tech, started to ring in the college corridor. The protesting students alleged that a mathematics teacher started thrashing Ashish for bringing the mobile to the campus and disturbing the classes. Two more teachers joined him in the thrashing. Ashish reportedly started bleeding from the nose.

The students demanded an apology from the mathematics teacher, who refused to do so. At least 3,00 students boycotted classes and sat on dharna outside the college. They took the injured Ashish to a Balachaur hospital for treatment. Till the filing of the report, the students were continuing with the dharna at the main gate of the college raising slogans against the college management.

The Vice-Chairman of the engineering college, Mr Gurvinder Singh, when contacted, expressed hope that impasse between the teachers and students would be resolved soon.


1,700 teachers to be appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
Punjab School Education Minister Khushal Behl said today that the recruitment process to fill 1,700 posts of teacher in the Punjab School Education Department had been initiated after the lifting of the ban on fresh recruitments.

According to Mr Behl, this is besides 2010 teachers whose recruitment is under process.


National conference

Patiala, February 5
A two-day national conference on “Trends in Instrumentation and Control Engineering”, organised by the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET), was inaugurated by the Director CSIO, Chandigarh, Dr R.P Bajpai, here today.

At least 89 delegates from all over the country are participating in the conference. While addressing the gathering, Dr Bajpai gave a technical presentation on Biomolecular Electronics and Nanotechnology. He added that the country would become an economic leader if it adopted the technology. The Director, TIET, Dr S.C. Saxena, was also present. OC


Plan to launch 27,500 WLL connections
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, February 5
The BSNL has decided to release 27,500 telephone connections under the Wireless in Local Loup (WLL) service. The connections will be launched in the Jalandhar telecom circle, comprising Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr except Balachaur, on February 16.

According to the GM (Telecom), Mr K.C. Jindal, 17,500 connections would be released in rural areas, while the remaining connections in urban areas.

“In fact, we are going to clear the waiting list for fixed line phones in rural areas by getting the applications converted into the WLL service. For this the applicants should have to fill a conversion form,” he said.

Out of 17,500 connections, 5,000 will be released in Kapurthala; 4,000 in Nakodar; 2,500 in Nawanshahr; and 1,500 each in Phillaur and Phagwara. In urban area, 8,000 connections will be released in Jalandhar and 2,000 in Phagwara.


PSIEC offers land to dyeing units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 5
The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has decided to offer plots to the polluting dyeing and electroplating industrial units in Ludhiana at the focal point on the outskirts of the city.

In a press release issued here today, Mr Ram Lubhaya, Chairman, PSIEC, said: “We have taken a decision to allow setting up of electroplating and dyeing units to the plot holders of Phase VIII, Focal Point, Ludhiana, who had been allotted sites for general purposes. By paying just Rs 100 per square yard, they will be allowed to change their land use, subject to the availability of capacity of common effluent treatment plant (CETP).”

He said the decision was taken since the state government and the courts had already impressed upon the dire need for the creation of required infrastructure to facilitate the shifting and setting up of polluting industry. The electroplating and dyeing units in the residential area can benefit from this opportunity.

He said the PSIEC has set up a CETP in Phase VIII, Focal Point, Ludhiana, for electroplating and dyeing units. The units which are polluting the Budha Nullah can utilise this opportunity to shift on the outskirts of the city. Keeping in view the demand, he said.” We have also decided to allow the allottees of Phase IV and Phase VIII Ludhiana to have residential accommodation up to 50 per cent of the total floor area. For this, they will have to pay Rs 250 per square yard and Rs 150 per square yard on gross plot area, respectively.” 

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