P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Nomination of Tytler, Sajjan insult to Sikhs,
says Badal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today described as “brutally insensitive and a gross insult to the Sikhs” the decision of the Congress high command to reward the culprits of history’s worstever massacre against Sikhs, Mr Jagdish Tytler, Mr Sajjan Kumar and certain others with the party ticket for the parliamentary election.

Mr Badal said that it was strange that the Congress was honouring the "butchers of innocent Sikhs at a time when the great great grand-daughter of Bahadur Shah Zafar had come to offer penitence for the excesses committed by Mughal emperors against the Sikh Gurus and their followers. “Perhaps Mrs Sonia Gandhi deems it below her dignity to offer regrets for the brutal acts of her predecessors in the family and the party. On the contrary, she is giving loud signals of her intention to continue with their communal policies and anti-Sikh stance.”

In a statement released through the party’s media office here today, Mr Badal challenged the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to come forth on his party’s choice of those whose role in the massacre of innocent Sikhs in November, 1984, had been established beyond doubt by independent probe agencies, human rights and civil liberties activists and organisations, and who are still facing notices of motion on the charges against them.

Mr Badal said that Capt Amarinder Singh must quit the Congress on the issue or endorse in public what he supports in private. He asked the Chief Minister to say categorically whether or not he agreed with his party President Sonia Gandhi on the issue. "One of the main factors to have emboldened the anti-Sikh policies of the Nehru-Gandhi family is the supine cowardice of Punjab Congress men, especially the Sikh Congress men. They are partners in the crime,” said Mr Badal.

The Akali leader said that not only he and the SAD but all right-thinking persons in the country had been shocked by the utter disregard of public opinion and human values shown by the Congress in choosing these persons to represent the Congress, He said that this had only further confirmed his view that if Mrs Sonia Gandhi ever came anywhere near the corridors of power she would actively pursue the anti-Sikh policies of her predecessors. The Akali Dal chief urged those in the Punjab Congress who still swore by their conscience to come out and oppose the decision on Mr Jagdish Tytler and Mr Sajjan Kumar.

The former Chief Minister said that he had expected that despite their innate anti-Sikh stance, the Nehru-Gandhi family would not go to the extent publicly honouring those whom all right-thinking persons in the country regard as "killers". “But obviously, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the party she represented had an inexhaustible capacity to prove others optimism wrong.

Mr Badal also had a dig at the Leftist leaders like Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet who never tired of wearing the secular mantle. “Their secularism has been put to the severest test by the Congress and this could be their last opportunity to stop aiding communalism of the Congress. Their stand on the issue would also provide a clue to the genuineness of heir secular credentials,” he said.


Sukhbir, Gujral to file papers on April 21
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
Four candidates belonging to different parties filed their nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab today. The total number of candidates who have filed their papers has now risen to six.

According to sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), nomination papers from the Gurdaspur constituency were filed by Mr Balkar Singh (Ind).

From Phillaur, CPI (ML) candidate Hans Raj filed his nomination papers. Mr Mann Singh of the BSP filed his papers from Ropar, while CPI (ML) Libration candidate Bhagwant Singh filed his papers from Bathinda.

Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) members claimed that Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal would file his nomination papers from Faridkot on April 21.

SAD secretary Daljit Singh Cheema said the nomination papers would also be filed on the same date by Mr Naresh Gujral from Jalandhar, Mr Zora Singh Mann from Ferozepore and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon from Ludhiana.

He further stated that Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal and Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra would file their papers from the Phillaur and Ropar constituencies, respectively, on April 19.

The secretary added that the nomination papers would be filed by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa from Sangrur, Mr Rattan Singh Ajnala from Tarn Taran and Ms Paramjit Kaur Gulshan from Bhatinda on April 22. Capt Kanwaljit Singh would file his nomination papers from Patiala on April 23 — the last day of filing nomination papers.

The election process in the state was set in motion on April 16 with the issuance of a formal notification regarding the poll. On the first day, two candidates had filed their nomination papers from Amritsar and Bathinda.


Badal’s counsel moves three applications
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 17
Counsel of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today moved three applications in the court of Special Judge S.K. Goel here in case of corruption and disproportionate assets registered against Mr Badal by the Punjab Vigilance.

In the first application, the counsel of Mr Badal filed the list of the documents attached with the challan that were still to be supplied to their client. To this application, the public prosecutor maintained that he had no objection in supplying the documents to the accused.

In the second application, the counsel of Mr Badal demanded the permission to compare the CDs supplied to them with the original video cassettes attached with the challan by the Punjab Vigilance. The application was allowed as the prosecution did not raise any objection to it.

In the third application, the co-accused in the case Mr Pavitar Singh, Mr Nirapjit Singh, Mr Gurpinder Singh Grewal and Mr Darshan Singh also demanded the copies of the challan that were supplied to Mr Badal. The application was also allowed by the Special Judge in the absence of objection from the prosecution.

In the previous hearing the Special Judge had directed the defence counsel to inform him about the status of supply of documents attached with the challan to them before the next hearing fixed on April 24.


Harsimranjit may join SAD
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
Annoyed over the alleged indifference shown by the party towards her, Ms. Harsimranjit Kaur, a local Congress leader and member, Punjab Women Commission, is likely to follow the footsteps of former MP Balbir Singh and join the SAD shortly.

Though Ms Harsimranjit, a former chairperson of the Social Welfare Advisory Board, refused to comment over the development, sources close to her revealed she was in touch with senior Akali leaders, including, former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, who had reportedly persuaded her to join the SAD.

“Ms Harsimranjit Kaur, who was the lone woman member of the district grievances forum, might follow the footsteps of former MP Balbir Singh,” said one of her close associates. “I cannot say anything at the moment,” Ms Harsimranjit said when contacted.


Kuthala expelled from SAD
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 17
The general secretary of the district unit of the SAD, Mr Gurmail Singh Kuthala, was expelled from the party for six years by Mr Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, district president, here today.

Mr Kuthala was expelled for his anti-party activities, organising a meeting against Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, former MLA from Sherpur, and issuing a press note against him.

Mr Rajinder Kanjhla told reporters that Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla was in charge of the election campaign of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and no party leader could give statements against him.

He said an 11-member committee had been formed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, SAD, for monitoring the activities of Akali leaders in the district.


SAD meeting today
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 17
The Shiromani Akali Dal convened an emergency meeting of its MLAs and SGPC members from Amritsar district in Bhai Gurdas Hall in Amritsar on April 18.

Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, secretary of the SAD, in a press statement issued here today said the party President and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, would preside over the meeting, which would finalise the party’s strategy for Lok Sabha elections.


Punjab Congress names 11-member youth panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The All-India Congress Committee has constituted an 11-member committee of youth leaders of Punjab to look after the affairs of the State Youth Congress Committee and coordinate the election work during the Lok Sabha elections.

According to Mr Rajpal Singh, spokesman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, the chairman of the committee will be Mr B.K. Hariprasad, Secretary, All-India Congress Committee.

Members of the committee are Mr Raminder Awla (President, Punjab Youth Congress Committee), Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Mr Ravinder Sharma, Mr Bobby Sehgal, Mr Sanjeev Bhargava, Mr Amardeep Singh Cheema, Mr Jagjit Singh Dhanaula, Mr Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, Mr Baljit Singh, Mr Sitar Mohd Libra and Mr Roshan Joseph.

Mr Rajpal Singh said that a meeting of the coordination committee will be held soon.


Punjab Government woos farmers with an eye on poll
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 17
The state Congress government seems to have made all-out efforts to woo every section of society to get their votes for the party and its alliance candidates to get the maximum number of seats in Punjab in the Lok Sabha elections by extending them “favours”.

In view of the Lok Sabha elections, the state government, led by Capt Amarinder Singh, reversed various decisions taken by it in the medical, health, sales tax revenue and administrative fields to avoid earning the displeasure of any section of society. Now it has imposed a ban of sorts on the arrest of and sale of land of those farmers, who have been defaulting in paying back the loans advanced to them by agriculture development banks.

Though the model code of conduct came into force on February 29, 2004, the Punjab Government imposed a ban of sorts on the arrest of and sale of land of defaulting farmers for recovering the loan amount by issuing a letter to the field staff of all branches of Primary Agriculture Development Bank (PADB) of the state on April 2, 2004, to extend them a “favour”.

Though Mr Baljinder Singh Jatana, managing director of State Agriculture Development Bank (SADB), which controls all the PADBs, claimed that the field staff had been instructed not to arrest any farmer or not to sell the land of any farmer if he or she had defaulted in paying instalments of loans as the department had launched a farmer-friendly loan restructuring scheme, a section of department officials pointed out that after the Lok Sabha elections were over, the arrest of and sale of land of defaulting farmers would start immediately.

“We have already started issuing notices of sale of the pieces of land to the defaulters. We will not take a final action on these notices. Once the higher authorities gave their nod for making effective recovery of loans, the arrest of and sale of lands of defaulter farmers will start immediately,” pointed out a section of the field staff.

Official sources said that the SADB authorities had been making efforts to recover more than Rs 245 crore advanced as loans from the defaulting farmers in the state despite the fact that farmers had been earning enough on account of better yield of cotton, wheat and paddy crops for the past two years, the filed staff had still been facing problems from those farmers who had been avoiding meeting their loan liabilities.

Under the loan restructuring scheme, the PADB authorities would convert old loans, advanced to the farmers at the rate of interest ranging from 14 per cent to 18 per cent, to new loans at the rate of 8 per cent to 11 per cent. This exercise would reduce the number of defaulting farmers as, so far, about 6,000 farmers had availed the benefits of this scheme.

A section of Congressmen of the region, while talking to TNS on condition of anonymity, said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had been taking care of the rural areas and the farmers only and not looking after the interests of traders and the urban people and hence these sections had distanced themselves from the Congress during the past two years.

They also pointed out that it was good that Capt Amarinder Singh had been taking a special interest in setting up a memorial to the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra in Punjab but added that he should also show a keen interest in setting up a memorial to the late Chief Minister Beant Singh in Punjab, who sacrificed his life for bringing permanent peace to Punjab.


Sidhu’s political test opens
Tribune News Service

Wagah, April 17
Sporting saffron turban and shirt, Navjot Sidhu crossed the border here to plunge into active politics today.

He claimed he would storm the Congress citadel by “clean bowling” vetern Congress leader R.L. Bhatia, a six-time winner from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, by cashing in on the cricket fever.

Given the belated announcement of his candidature, Mr Sidhu addressed enthusiastic fans even on his way to Amritsar in a bid to convince them that he had come to Amritsar for good.

He tried to dispel the impression that he was an “outsider” and would desert the constituency after winning. “I won’t even attend cremations in Patiala, where I was born and brought up, if the electorate here voted for me”, he said.

On the question why the BJP high command had chosen a celebrity like him over senior local BJP leaders, he simply said he had not laid any condition before joining the party. It was the party high command that had decided to field him from the Guru ki nagri”, which he could not refuse being a “disciplined soldier of the party.”

After crossing the Wagah joint checkpost, Mr Sidhu seemed to have given up his interest in cricket. He talked about the BJP and its achievements during the five years of governance.

Earlier, a large number of Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP leaders reached the border to receive him. They virtually swarmed the checkpost. The BSF was not prepared to manage the enthusiastic fans of the cricket commentator-turned-politician.

Though some of the aspirants for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, including Dr Baldev Chawla and former Deputy Commissioner Sarbjit Singh, reached here to receive their new leader, other frontrunners like Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, a former MP from Amritsar, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, a former minister, and former MLA Laxmi Kanta Chawla were conspicuous by their absence.


Sidhu bowled over by PM, says wife
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Navjot Kaur Sidhu
Navjot Kaur Sidhu

Patiala, April 17
Vajpayee bowled over Navjot Sidhu, says the cricket icon’s wife and namesake Navjot Kaur Sidhu. “He decided to join politics just out of respect for Vajpayeeji even though he had decided against this before leaving for the Pakistan tour”, she adds.

Talking to TNS, Navjot says her husband changed his mind against joining active politics after a phonecall from Vajpayee. “He has taken the summons as a message from God and is now all set to enter the political fray with a positive frame of mind which was characteristic of his cricketing years as well as in the commentator’s box”,she added.

Navjot is getting ready to pack her bags. My husband has already announced that he would be shifting to Amritsar and I have to go along. She says she expects to get transferred to Amritsar as she is in the PCMS cadre. She is at present working as a gynaecologist at the Model Town Community Health Centre.

The doctor is confident of her husband’s victory. “Whatever Navjot does he does it to full capacity. If he decides to do yoga he becomes a yogi. If he follows Vastu Shastra he ends up knowing more than the ‘shastris’ themselves. It was the same with cricket. All 10 hours and no diversions. I am confident he will take on politics in the same vein”, she added.

“Everyone in the house is excited”, Navjot says. Karan, who studies in the local Yadavindra Public School and Rabia, who studies at Scindia School, Gwalior, are looking forward to the election as they feel their father has been given another responsibility to serve the nation”, she adds.

Speaking about her own role in the matter, Mrs Sidhu claims she has always given moral support to her husband.”I will be doing that again” she says adding that the cricket star had rung her up and chatted through the night before taking the final plunge and saying yes to the BJP. I felt he should contine to serve the nation which made me tell him to go ahead, She added.

Approaching the Congress earlier for the party ticket from Patiala during the last parliamentary polls still rankles and Mrs Sidhu is comfortable not speaking on the issue. When asked about the sudden preference for the BJP, she says she was not aware that Sidhu had approached the Congress for the party ticket from Patiala during the last polls. She maintains that her husband did not have any desire to join politics and that he was entering the fray now only because he had been approached by the BJP.


Cong violating EC guidelines, says Atwal

Phagwara April 17
Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, MLA and son of Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, the SAD-BJP-BKU candidate from the Phillaur (reserved) constituency, who is spearheading his father’s poll campaign today met the Returning Officer of the constituency at Jalandhar and gave him a written complaint about the violation of the model code of conduct by the ruling Congress. He said the Congress was distributing old-age pensions, government grants, cash and other relief in certain Assembly segments to influence the voters.

Addressing a press conference at a guest house here, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh, Mr Atwal further alleged that the ruling party had misled the Election Commission about the distribution of old-age pensions. He cited the example of Nawanshahr district where the Deputy Commissioner had to intervene to stop a function of distribution of grants and pensions organised at a function there by the Congress MLA yesterday. He pleaded with administration to ensure free and fair polls.

Both Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal and Mr Jarnail Singh Wahid, SAD national advisor, asserted that the Congress decision to screen films on the alleged corruption by the SAD government and the flagging off by the Punjab Chief Minister of a fleet of 30 vans, each fitted with a TV, VCR and a public address system in this connection yesterday was illegal. It also constituted contempt of court and violation of the Election Commission guidelines The information supplied in court was secret and making it public was an electoral malpractice, they asserted.

They said the Central Election Office of Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal would be opened in the local Singla Market on April 19.


Infighting surfaces in Cong
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 17
Infighting between the factions of Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, and Mr Naresh Thakur, former minister, became an open secret when members of the factions used abusive language against each other in the presence of Mr Upendra Sharma, general secretary of the PPCC, at the meeting of the District Congress Committee here yesterday.

The meeting was convened for the re-entry of the six Municipal Councillors in the Congress, who were expelled from the party during the election of the president of the Municipal Council here for opposing party nominee about a year ago. The five expelled councillors, Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, Mr Arvind Sharma, Ms Krishna Saini, Mr Baljeet Singh and Ms Kamaljeet Kaur, attended the meeting with Mr Naresh Thakur.

On starting the proceedings, Mr Kuldip Nanda, president of the DCC, offered garlands to the councillors on their re-admission in the party but they did not accept it. This has agitated members of the faction of Mr Dogra. Mr Vishva Nath Bunty, acting president of the District Youth Congress, became aggressive and started levelling allegations on Mr Thakur. Mr Upendra Sharma intervened and tried to pacify leaders of both factions. Later Mr Naresh Thakur, along with his supporters, left the venue.

Mr Upendra Sharma said misunderstanding within the party workers was common which would be sorted out amicably. He said all expelled councillors had been re-admitted in the party. Mr Ajay Mohan Babbi, president of the Municipal Council, who was also expelled from the party was not present. He said Mr Babbi had showed his willingness to join the party on telephone. Later Mr Sharma met members of both factions at the residences of Mr Dogra and Mr Thakur.

Mr Thakur said he would take up this issue with the party high command and stress it to shunt out undesirable elements from the party who was bringing bad name to it.


Cong promises remain unfulfilled: SAD
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 17
The Congress government in Punjab has failed to give health and educational facilities to the people of the state. In fact, most of the promises made by it at the time of elections have not been fulfilled.

This was stated by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Garewal, former Akali minister, while addressing a gathering before inaugurating the election office of Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, SAD candidate from the Ropar Lok Sabha seat in the forthcoming elections, here this evening.

He said no new recruitments were being made in place of teachers who retired each year. In the past two and a half years, 28,000 post of teachers were lying vacant. As many as 1850 post of PCMS doctors were also lying vacant in the state. Instead of filling these vacancies, he said, the Chief Minister was only interested in appointing chairmen of different boards and corporations and giving them various perks.

He said the Punjab Chief Minister had no time to listen to the grievances of the people of the state.

He said the Congress had always tried to rule by creating a division among different sections of the society. False cases were being registered by the government against Akali leaders and nobody could be held guilty without proving it.

When asked about the rift going on among different Akali leaders, Mr Garewal said it was not so and all Akalis were united.

Mr Pritam Singh Sallomajra, President of the Ropar unit of the SAD, said the voter turnout in Mohali was very low as compared to other areas.

Among others who spoke on the occasion were Mr Libra, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, vice-president of the Punjab unit of SAD, Mr Hardeep Singh, member SGPC.

KHARAR: An election office of Mr Libra was inaugurated on the Landran Road by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Garewal here today. Before the inauguration of the office a meeting was held with BJP and SAD party workers at gurdwara Akali dafter.

The election office of Mr Maan Singh Manhera, BSP candidate from the Ropar constituency in the coming Lok Sabha elections, was inaugurated today by Mr Rajinder Singh Raja, district president of the BSP. Mr Manhera, who addressed a gathering, said all other parties were having poll alliances with others, but the BSP was fighting elections on its own strength. The number of Dalits was rising in the state. An infighting was going on between Akali leaders and the BSP would be taking a political advantage from this.


BSP nominee files papers, fails to declare assets
Tribune Reporters

Ropar, April 17
Mr Mann Singh Manhera, the all-India general secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today filed his nomination papers from Ropar before the DC and the Returning Officer, Ms Seema Jain, today.

Mr Manhera was accompanied by state president of the BSP Avtar Singh Karimpuri, party convener, Satnam Singh Kainth and BSP candidate from Hoshiarpur and former Congress MP Charanjit Singh Channi.

The BSP candidate also attached the affidavit stating that no criminal proceedings were pending against him in any court of law.

However, he failed to produce the affidavit declaring his movable and immovable assets. Mr Manhera told the Returning Officer that he had no knowledge that such affidavit had to be produced. He, however, promised to produce the affidavit before the scrutiny of papers on April 24.

This is the second time that he was contesting the Lok Sabha elections as BSP candidate.

Earlier, he contested the Lok Sabha elections from Ropar in 1998 as joint candidate of the BSP and the Congress.

Talking to newsmen after filing the papers, he said if voted to power he would work for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden in his constituency. He alleged that Congress and SAD candidates elected earlier from the area had ignored the basic problems of the area.

Mr Satnam Singh Kainth welcomed the decision of the election commission seeking registration of criminal case against BJP leader Lalji Tandon in saree distribution incident. It was unfortunate that the BJP was trying to lure poor people with the sarees in the constituency of the Prime Minister.

Earlier, the Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, along with other leaders of the BSP, inaugurated his election office at Ropar.


BSP candidate may dent Cong vote bank
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 17
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is set to queer the pitch for the Congress in the Patiala parliamentary seat by fielding a big industrialist from a backward caste which has a sizable population in the constituency.

Political observers feel that even though the BSP candidate, Mr Hargopal Singh Kashyap, is an outsider, he may make a dent on the Congress votes as he represents the Kashyap community, which has a sizable presence in the constituency. BSP sources claim that there are around 80,000 votes of the Kashyap community in the constituency.

However, it is to be seen whether Mr Kashyap can take his community along with him as the part of the community also supports the Congress. A police officer belonging to the city, Mr Gurnam Singh Mehra, who heads a social organisation of the community, had ensured help for the Congress from the community during the last elections. It is to be seen how he reacts this time around

The BSP vote bank is not very well organised in the constituency with the BSP candidates acting as small time spoilers only and not making a large difference in the constituency. However, as the constituency is likely to face a keen contest between Preneet Kaur and Capt Kanwaljit Singh, votes polled by the BSP could affect the eventual turnout

The Congress is more likely to be adversely affected in case the BSP candidate does well. This is because the Scheduled Caste and backward caste votes has generally voted for the party.

Due to groupism in the village, the jats and farmers traditionally vote for the SAD, and the backward and Scheduled Castes for the Congress

Meanwhile, Mr Kashyap has opened his Election office in the city near the Sainik Rest House. He is in the process of opening its offices in all the assembly segments. The BSP claims that its President Mayawati is going to campaign for the party in the constituency in the coming days.

It is after 12 years that the BSP is putting up a candidate in the constituency. Earlier, Mr Hardial Singh Kamboj contested on the BSP ticket from this constituency. Mr Kamboj is presently the District Congress (Rural) President and also Chairman of the State Warehouse Corporation. In 1996, the BSP had sided with the SAD, in 1998 with the Congress and in 1999 it had fought the election in alliance with the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal of late SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra.


Pabwan files nomination as CPI (ML) candidate
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 17
A Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) nominee, Mr Hans Raj Pabwan, today filed his nomination papers for Phillaur (Reserve) constituency, to the Assistant Returning Officer here. He is the first candidate to file nomination papers from the constituency.

Mr Pabwan, graduate from Government College, Jandiala, in an affidavit filed with the poll authorities, discussed he owned a house worth Rs 1 lakh and a scooter.

He had been elected sarpanch of Pabwan village in Phillaur for four consecutive terms in past 20 years.

“Though the candidates are using the money and drug power to woo the electorate, I will wage a war against such activities,” he said.

“There is a need to implement reforms at the grassroots levels,” he added.


This candidate owes Rs 15,000 to government
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 17
Mr Bhagwant Singh, CPI (M.I.) Liberation candidate, today filed his nomination papers for the Bathinda (Reserved) parliamentary constituency for the coming elections. He was accompanied by hundreds of party workers.

Mr Bhagwant Singh claimed in the affidavits filed before the Returning Officer, that he had no property and was not involved in any type of court case and criminal activities. He also claimed that he was under debt of Rs 15,000 taken from a state government agency.

Talking to mediapersons, he said his main aim was to strengthen the Leftist revolutionary movement as some of those who were working for it, had joined hands with other class and indulged in the unprincipled politics of alliance.

He added that he would strengthen the secularism as it was under threat from communal alliances like the SAD-BJP.


Kanwaljit promises to complete canal project
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 17
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, senior Akali leader and contestant from the Patiala parliamentary constituency, has accused the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of harming the interests of farmers of Ghanaur region immediately after coming to power by suspending work on the Rs 650-crore Dashmesh canal project which was initiated by the Akali Dal government in the year 2000.

Addressing a large gathering after inaugurating the Akali Dal office at Ghannur here today, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said Capt Amarinder Singh had stalled the project by giving a lame excuse of financial crunch but, at the same time, sanctioned a huge amount for the celebration of a cultural youth festival. This explained the prorities of his government, he said. He assured the people that after coming to power, the Akali Dal government would complete the Dashmesh canal project which would provide irrigation facilities to the farmers of this dry region, he added.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Congress government never spoke of the Ghaggar project during its two-year rule, but now Mrs Preneet Kaur never forgot to mention it while canvassing for votes. The Congress was trying to use the isssue as an election plank for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

He accused Capt Amarinder Singh of backing out from all promises he made to when he came to power. He said the Chief Minister had alienated all sections of society, including farmers, employees, Dalits, business class, housewives etc, from the Congress because of his faulty and unrealistic policies.


NDA pleasing capitalists, says Preneet
Tribune News service

Patiala, April 17
The Congress candidate for the Patiala parliamentary constituency, Mrs Preneet Kaur has said, the feel good factor, being hyped by the NDA government, was merely an eyewash. She said the Central Government was pleasing the capitalists and the rich strata of society.

Mrs Preneet Kaur was addressing an election rally here today. She said the electorate was fully aware of what had been her achievements during her tenure as MP. No misinformation drive by the SAD camp against her could hamper her chances for a second term.

Coming down on the NDA, she claimed that the Central Government had done nothing except to spread fundamentalism in the country.

Prominent among others who addressed the rally were — District Congress Committee president, Ved Parkash Gupta, Improvement Trust Chairman K.K. Sharma, and Mayor Vishnu Sharma.


Five Congress councillors may join SAD today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 17
Five Congress councillors led by Mr Daljit Singh Chhina, grandson of Comrade Achhar Singh Chhina, a freedom fighter, are likely to join the Shiromani Akali Dal in the presence of Mr Parkash Singh Badal here tomorrow. Mr Chhina is also a special invitee of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.

While talking to newspersons today, Mr Chhina claimed that he and his supporters were disillusioned with the Congress due to its alleged anti-worker policies. He said he belonged to the group of Mr Om Parkash Soni. Since Mr Soni failed to take any decision on contesting the Lok Sabha elections, they had decided to join the SAD. He said the SAD had been working for the betterment of farmers and the common man.


All-religion meeting calls for brotherhood
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 17
A message of universal brotherhood, world peace and prosperity for the human race was delivered today at a Sarab Dharam Sammelan organised at Khadoor Sahib as part of the 500th birth anniversary celebrations of second Sikh Guru Angad Dev.

Muni Amrinder Kumar, the representative of the Jain religion, Maulana Mohmmad Rafiq Kasmi, Islam, Bishop Danish Lal, Christianity, Mr Aouzai Oul Issae Malikkar, Judaism, and Mr Wastav Goswami of the Hindu religion, delivered the message of harmony to the devotees.

Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Dam Dama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda); Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib; Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Patna Sahib (Bihar); Giani Kulwant Singh, Jathedar, Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib, Naded (Maharashtra); and Bhai Ranjit Singh, Head Granthi, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi, too emphasised on the need to promote brotherhood.

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, in his concluding address urged the people of all communities to be united and preach world peace.

Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, acting President, SGPC, also addressed the gathering. Baba Sewa Singh was the main organiser of the conference.

Earlier, a book on the life of Guru Angad Dev, authored by Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, an NRI, and Mr Roop Singh, assistant secretary, SGPC, was released by Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti. This book is an illustrated life sketch of the Guru with 70 colour portraits and text in both Punjabi and English, along with shlokas of the Guru.

Thousands of devotees continued to reach Khadoor Sahib today as part of nagar kirtan processions from various places.

More than 2 lakh devotees have already reached Khadoor Sahib, for whom people of the area have arranged accommodation. Kirtan is being performed continuously from early morning till late night. Langars and chhabeels have been arranged on all roads leading to Khadoor Sahib.


Preet Nagar’s intellectual spirit to be revived
Ashok Sethi

Famous Niazi brothers from Pakistan perform at Preet Nagar on the India-Pakistan border near Amritsar
Famous Niazi brothers from Pakistan perform at Preet Nagar on the India-Pakistan border near Amritsar
on Saturday. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Preet Nagar (Amritsar), April 17
The South Asian Foundation (SAF) and a Goodwill Ambassador of Unesco, Mr Madanjit Singh, a contemporary of Gurbax Singh Preetlari, the founder of Preet Nagar, are trying to revive the intellectual spirit of Preet Nagar. It had fallen on bad days due to the Partition. Preet Nagar was a hub of renowned Punjabi and Urdu writers in the pre-Partition days.

Mr Madanjit Singh, while recalling his association with Preet Nagar, said Preet Nagar had been in focus for being a melting pot of Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu writers and poets. They lived together here as a homogeneous group to ponder about the influence of Sufi saints, the teachings of the Sikh gurus and others in the peaceful environment of the pre-Partition days.

He said the selection of Preet Nagar came naturally to him, adding that he felt that he wanted to bring to life the memories of the Gurbax Singh Preetlari who, through his personal charisma, brought people like Bhisham Sahni, Balraj Sahni, Nanak Singh Navalkar, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Amrita Pritam and others to Preet Nagar.

Accompanied by the daughter of famous Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Prof Salima Hashmi, and her husband, Shoaib Hashmi, besides renowned a theatre promoter, Madiha Gohar, from Lahore and a Pakistani group of Sufi singers, Niazi brothers, he participated in the night-long celebrations to commemorate his 80th birthday.

Prof Hashmi talking to this correspondent, said though she had never been to Preet Nagar, her father had often talked about his experiences of this place. Articulating her views about the present state of Indo-Pak relations, Prof Hashmi said the time had come when these man-made boundaries should disappear so that people from the two countries could once again interact at an intellectual level. She said it was like a homecoming for her .

Madiha Gohar said she would soon produce a play on the lives of people closely associated with Preet Nagar. The play would depict the depth of our composite culture which had withstood the trauma of the Partition and the hatred between the two nations.

Earlier, Mr Madanjit Singh along with the Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Mr H.P. Dixit and the Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr S.P. Singh, gave away 100 SAF scholarships to poor students. Mr Madanjit Singh also inaugurated an SAF-IGNOU study centre at a newly constructed auditorium. The foundation decided to celebrate April 16 everywhere with same fanfare to mark the launching of the Gurbax Singh-Nanak Singh Foundation.

Later a group of Pakistani artistes gave a superb performance of Sufi kalams while artistes from Punjab performed bhangra and rendered other traditional songs.


Amarinder meets Tohra’s widow
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 17
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, yesterday visited Tohra village, around 30 km from here, to meet Mrs Joginder Kaur, widow of the late SGPC President Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The Chief Minister spent about 40 minutes with Mrs Joginder Kaur. Later, he described the visit as a personal one and did not elaborate on the issues discussed with Mrs Tohra. The Chief Minister said he had come to meet her as he could not visit the village after the bhog ceremony of the late leader.

Meanwhile, sources said the visit was in line with the Chief Minister’s earlier announcement that he would meet “Bibiji” and discuss the steps which could be taken to keep alive Tohra’s memory. This included a proposal to establish a memorial in the village, besides a proposal to establish a heart and cancer speciality hospital. Capt Amarinder Singh had said he would discuss these proposals as well as other ones with Mrs Tohra before taking any decision in the matter.


CM felicitates people on parkash utsav
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today felicitated the people of Punjab and Punjabis settled abroad on the occasion of Guru Angad Dev's 500th parkash utsav.

In a message, the Chief Minister said Guru Angad Dev was "a great visionary who redeemed the mankind from the pangs of sufferings and miseries through the realm of spirituality". He pioneered the concept of “akhara” sports to ensure that the Sikhs remained physically fit.

The Chief Minister asserted that the Guru was an epitome of spiritual joy, wisdom, purity, humility and generosity. He also appealed the people to imbibe the spirit of service and humility as preached by the Guru.


Installation of robot put off
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 17
Devotees thronging Khadoor Sahib to pay their respects to second Sikh Guru Angad Dev on his 500th birth anniversary caused the organisers to postpone the installation of a robot in the multimedia Sikh museum today.

The museum, which has LCD touchscreens and an LCD projector in Bhai Gurdas mini-auditorium, was to be fitted with a robot to help the devotees regarding the operation of the equipment in the museum. Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, man behind the project, said the organisers had decided to postpone the installation of the robot due to the flood of devotees. The robot requires open space to move freely.

The organisers also had to close down the multimedia museum and the auditorium today to avoid damage to the equipment.

Cassette on Guru Angad Dev released

Patiala, April 17
An audio cassette by T-Series proprietor Darshan Lal on the teachings of Guru Angad Dev was released by former SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran here today.

Prominent among those who were present on the occasion were T-series music director K.C. Narula, Bibi Jasbir Kaur Javadiwale and Dr Gurnam Singh. TNS


10 taken ill after consuming tea
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 17
Ten persons, including farmers and labourers, were admitted to the Rampura Phul Civil Hospital late tonight evening today when they fell ill after taking tea while thrashing wheat in Bachhuana village of the district.

Police sources said the condition of eight persons was stated to be serious and they had been referred to a hospital in Ludhiana.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that all 10 persons took tea, prepared from water taken from the tank of the tubewell in the farm of Mr Gurmail Singh. After some time, all of them started feeling uneasy.

They were immediately taken to a nearby hospital and then shifted to the Civil Hospital at Rampura Phul.

Police sources said those who had fallen ill included Mr Gurmail Singh, owner of the farm, Mr Gura Singh, Mr Nirmal Singh, Mr Gurdip Singh, Mr Seera Singh, Mr Bittu Singh, Mr Gurjant Singh, Mr Swaran Singh, Mr Buta Singh and Mr Rajesh Kumar.

In another case, four persons were injured in a scuffle that took place between them and security personnel of the IAF station, Bhisiana. The injured were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.


Taxi driver’s display of honesty
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 17
A taxi driver, Amrik Singh, operating from Rajasansi airport, Amritsar, has set an example of honesty and social responsibility.

It was learnt here today that an NRI, Jarnail Singh, who had come from the UK to visit his native village, Haripur Khalsa, near here, had hired a taxi from the airport. However, near Chiheru village, the NRI dies of a heart attack.

Taxi driver Amrik Singh took the body back to Rajasansi, found out the address of the NRI’s relatives and handed over the entire baggage, documents, cash and other valuables to them. The returned items could be worth lakhs, it was learnt.

Since the death of the NRI took place in the Phagwara Sadar police area, the body was brought here for post-mortem and the local police was investigating into the matter.


Labourer dies in blast
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
Daniel Masih, a 30-year-old labourer, died in a mysterious bomb blast which ripped apart his body in pieces in front of his house in Dhirowali village near Adampur this morning.

The deceased was believed to have found some undetonated old bomb. The incident took place at about 11.30 a.m., when he was trying to extract brass out of it. The blast was so powerful that it also caused minor damages to the nearby houses.

The wife and two kids of the deceased, who were playing near the house, however, escaped unhurt, said the police. Some senior police officers reached the spot immediately after the incident. Daniel was shifted to the hospital where he was declared dead.

The police officials said investigation was on but nothing could be said at this stage. District police chief G.S. Bhullar was not available.

Mr Gurpreet Bhullar, SSP, said Daniel, who was also working as a sweeper, might have found the bomb from somewhere near the Haripur Army shooting range. The pieces and splinters of the bomb were being sent for forensic examinations, he added.


Preserve cultural heritage, says IGP
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 17
Punjab has rich cultural and heritage. It is our moral duty to preserve it by encouraging the people particularly the youth to participate in cultural activities, so that they are not swayed by the present trend of westernisation and vulgarity, which lead to drug addiction and other social evils.

Moreover, cultural activities also help in promoting peace, social relations, communal harmony and national integration, said Mr Rajinder Singh Inspector General of Police, Patial zone. He was addressing a gathering on the concluding function of the weeklong celebrations of the 13th birth anniversary of the district held at Khamano town last evening. Pammi Bai, a renowned folk singer, and his troupe along with artistes from the North Zone cultural centre regaled the audience.

The cultural programme was inaugurated by the Governor, Justice O.P. Verma, in the district at all subdivision towns. These were organised by the district administration in collaboration with the District Cultural Society and the North Zone Cultural Centre.


SAD(A) activist alleges illegal detention
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 17
Mr Baldev Singh Sarsa, an activist of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and general secretary of the kisan wing, today alleged illegal detention by the Ajnala police.

In a communication to the Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, he alleged that the Ajnala police illegally detained him on March 31 while his two sons, Gulab Singh and Amrik Singh, were already under detention besides several others. He alleged the police was harassing him.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SSP, Majitha police district, said they had been rounded up following the orders of the SDM, Ajnala, after the Manawala incident in which Angrej Singh died allegedly in police firing during a “rail roko” protest by farmers.


Road renamed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 17
The state government has renamed the Jandiala-Khadoor Sahib road as“Guru Angad Dev Marg”, on the eve of the 500th centenary celebrations of Guru Angad Dev, which will conclude here tomorrow.

The Secretary, PWD, has written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Raminder Singh, sanctioning the project. Mr Raminder Singh said the district administration had today put the boards to rename the road. Talking to TNS, he said the move could not be considered as a violation of the code as the case was moved about two months ago.


BSF jawan buried with honours

Hoshiarpur, April 17
Border Security Force Havildar Rasheed Masih, was killed in an ambush while patrolling near the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura on April 13, was buried with police honours at his native Jallowal village in this district today.

The 23-year-old Rashid was to come home for marriage next month, according to family members.

BSF Deputy Commandant K.N. Basra and Punjab police DSP Naresh Kumar paid floral tributes to the jawan. — UNI


2 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 17
Two persons were killed and three others injured in a collision between a Maruti van and a tractor-trailer near Ramidi village on the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway this morning.

The deceased were identified as Manish Aggarwal and Lakesh Gupta, residents of Meerut.


High Court
Writ petition dismissed
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 17
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a writ filed by a woman seeking directions to the Punjab Government to appoint her as PTI, Instructor.

In her petition, Ms Gurmeet Kaur, had said that her mother, a JBT teacher, died in 1986 while she was still employed. However, the petitioner, since she was a minor at the time of her mother’s death, did not apply for a government job. Her application for a job was turned down in 2001 as she was not found qualified for the job.

While dismissing the petition, the Bench referred to the instructions issued by the Punjab Government in this regard, which say that the dependent of a deceased government employee should apply within six months of the employee’s death. The instructions also say that no consideration to any application for a government job would be entertained thereafter.


Taxation on agriculture produce high: US envoy
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 17
“I wish I could own a booth in one of the grain markets in Punjab and earn a cool 2 per cent commission without doing anything,” was the comment the US Ambassador to India, Mr David C. Mulford, give in a lighter vein, holding that there is an ample scope for an intermediary agency to work between producers and consumers in a state like Punjab.

This intermediary agency can bring the farm produce to consumers by not only cutting post-production damages and losses but also ensure that the difference in the price a farmer gets and a consumer pays on the other is also reduced.

Cooperatives have failed everywhere. The best thing is to keep the government out of all this. The economics can work only if the producers, consumers and the intermediary agencies work in proper coordination with each other.

Mr Mulford made these observations during an informal interaction with prominent citizens, including bureaucrats, technocrats, journalists, industrialists and businessmen of the city at the residence of Mr Kewal Dhillon, a prominent industrialist, last night.

He felt that the government participation should be a minimal. He was surprised that commission agents who sat in grain markets got an assured 2 per cent commission on all transactions taking place in their market. It did not happen anywhere else.

Even taxation on agricultural produce is too high. It may be one reason, he felt, that the actual price paid by an ultimate consumer was far more than what the producer or the farmer gets. This system of procurement puts out Indian farm produce in the present competitive market. Farmers have to decide what to produce and how to market their produce.

For Mr Mulford, and his wife, Jeannie, it was an evening with a difference. Mulfords, accompanied by other members of the US diplomatic corps in India, had a taste of Punjabi folk dances and folk music as cultural troupe of Punjab performed bhangra and gidha dances for the visitors before Jasbir Jassi, a top folk singer, rendered few lines of his hit song, Kuddi Gujarat di, to enliven the evening. They later joined bhangra and gidha dancers.


Central team visits Sirhind grain market
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 17
A high-powered team of Central Government officials from the FCI yesterday visited the grain market at Sirhind. The team took stock of procurement, quality, and lifting of the wheat in the mandi. The team was led by Mr. Sanjay Kaul Joint Secretary (Policy) and Mrs Ratna, Director, Finance.

The team also met the representatives of commission agents, farmers, labourers and traders. They expressed satisfaction over the procurement of wheat and the arrangements made by the state government. The team appreciated the quality of wheat produced by the farmers of the state.

Mr V.K. Singh, Director, Food and Civil Supply, said till now in different purchase centres of the state, 55 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been purchased by the different government agencies and approximately 90 lakh mt of wheat was expected to come in the mandis of the state. He admitted that the government had received reports from certain districts that the yield of wheat had declined as compared to last year due to early summer. However, in most of the districts, the farmers had received increased yield. He said the state agencies had sufficient stock of gunny bags to procure the wheat and no report of shortage of gunny bags had been received. He said the process of lifting the procured wheat was going on smoothly and there was no problem in this regard. He said timely payment to farmers had been ensured and the process of procurement would conclude within a week. He said Punjab contributed 50 per cent to the central pool. He said due to early summer, wheat crop ripened early and the procurement process would be completed before the fixed period.

Mr K. Shiva Parshad SRM, FCI, Punjab, Mr D.S. Sandhu, SDM, Capt Parveen Vij, DFSC, and the district managers of all procurement agencies also accompanied the team.


R.S. Gill heads languages dept
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 17
Mr Rachpal Singh Gill has been appointed the Director of the Punjab Languages Department.

Mr Gill, who has worked in various capacities in the department, has been posted in place of Mr Madan Lal Hasija, who retired on March 31.


Four held for duping emigration aspirants
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 17
With the arrest of four persons, the Gurdaspur police today claimed to have busted a gang of cheats which defrauded at least 18 persons of Rs 5.90 lakh on the pretext of sending them to Australia.

The police has seized 18 fake passports and three Tata Sumo vehicles from the suspects. A case under Sections 420, 467,471 and 120-B of the IPC at Kahnuwan police station in Gurdaspur has been registered.

Mr Narendra Bhargav, SSP, Gurdaspur, in a press note issued here today said the four — Kartar Masih and Prem Masih, both residents of Batala, Harbhajan Singh of Thariyewal and Patras Masih of Amritsar — had duped 18 persons on the pretext to settling them in Austrailia. The suspects, along with the 18 persons being taken by them, were intercepted on the way to Delhi.

Surinder Singh, Nirmal Singh, Gurjit Singh and Jatinder Singh, all residents of Amritsar, in their complaints had alleged that the four had taken Rs 75,000 from each of them to send them abroad. The SSP they had been shown a letter written from Australia saying some persons from India could come to attend a church festival there.

The complainants informed the police that 18 persons were being taken in three Tata Sumos to Delhi.

The police laid a naka at Tugalwal and nabbed the suspects.


They killed sister for lodging complaint
against her husband

Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 17
A recently married girl was allegedly killed by her brothers and mother for lodging a criminal complaint against her husband under the Dowry Prevention Act. They also assaulted the head of the family.

According to a complaint lodged by Mr Charan Singh of Dabla village in Sriganganagar, he had gone to Gurdwara Buddha Johar, founded by the late Sant Baba Fateh Singh along with his daughter Rani (19) yesterday. As they were returning home, his sons Fateh Singh and Satnam Singh and wife Jagir Kaur attacked Rani with sharp-edged weapons.

As he tried to rescue her they also attacked him.

They were annoyed over the registration of a case against Rani’s husband Balbir Singh under Section 19 of the PTD Act. They allegedly hit Rani seven times. She died on the spot. Mr Charan Singh was admitted to the district hospital at Sriganganagar by some residents of a nearby locality.

Mr Charan Singh said in his preliminary statement that Ms Rani was married to Mr Balbir Singh, in November last year but she had to spend most of the time at her parents’ house complaining that her in-laws were intimidating her for insufficient dowry. Though her mother and brothers were opposed to taking any action against Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Charan Singh accompanied Rani to the police station to get Mr Balbir Singh booked. He was arrested and remanded in the judicial custody on Monday.

The police had registered a case under Sections 302, 323, 341, 34 of the IPC against Fateh Singh, Satnam Singh and Jagir Kaur but none of them had been arrested. Rani was cremated today after the post-mortem examinations, sources said.


One killed, 9 hurt in looters’ attack
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 17
A gang of looters, comprising seven or eight persons, attacked two families, living in the fields of Kothe Kharrial village, near Sunam, last night with swords, iron rods and lathis and killed Darbara Singh (70). Nine other members of the families were also injured seriously in this attack. They also looted gold ornaments and cash.

According to information, the family of Mr Baldev Singh and the family of Mr Mishra Singh are residing in the fields of the village. The looters attacked the house of Mr Baldev Singh and injured his wife, two sons and two daughters and killed his uncle, Darbara Singh, before fleeing with about 15 tolas of gold ornaments and Rs 5,000 in cash. In another house they injured Mr Mishra Singh, his wife, son and daughter-in-law, before fleeing with gold ornaments and cash. All nine injured were admitted to the Sunam Civil Hospital from where four seriously injured belonging to both families, were referred to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.

Talking to TNS today, Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, said the police had rounded up about 70 “bhaiyas” (migrant labourers) from the nearby godowns and rice-shellers, for investigations. He further said the police had also recovered a sword, reportedly used in the crime, and a “chappal” of a looter from the nearby areas. He said the police had also taken photographs and addresses of all rounded up “bhaiyas”.


Wife, 3 others held for man’s murder
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 17
The district police claims to have solved a murder case with the arrest of four persons — the wife of the victim, her paramour and two contract killers.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said on April 12, Gurmeet Singh of Nandpur Kalour village who was an employee with the Punjab State Electricity Board, was murdered in sleep on the roof of his house. His brother Kesar Singh lodged an FIR with the Bassi Pathana police. SHO Raj Kumar was asked to investigate the case. He said Kanwaljit Kaur, alias Babbu, had illicit relations with Jagdeep Singh, alias Jaggi, a resident of Morinda, and her husband used to stop her from meeting Jagdeep Singh. Kanwaljit Kaur, in connivance with her paramour hatched a conspiracy to eliminate her husband.

They contacted Sanjeev Kumar, who worked at a sweet shop at the Morinda bus stand and Nahar Singh of Manheri village for the purpose. A deal was struck for Rs 25,000.

Jagdeep Singh and the duo entered the house of Gurmeet Singh after scaling the boundary wall and murdered him with kirpans.

The SSP said Kanwaljit Kaur and the other three suspects had been arrested.


2 drug smugglers nabbed
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, April 17
In yet another success in its drive against drug smugglers, the Nawanshahr police nabbed two Garhshankar residents, along with the biggest-ever haul of narcotic drugs, besides Rs 26,300.

SSP M.F. Farouqui said here today that SHO Behram Piara Singh, at a naka laid at the Chiti Bein bridge on the outskirts of Kataria village, intercepted a Santro (PB32C-4222) and seized 72 bottles of diazepam, 96 bottles of phenramine, 290 injections of coarfin, 1,000 injections of axtocin, 12 bottles of rexc of, 300 tablets of antipam-2 and 10 EGPS Forte injections from Rajiv Kumar Puri and Rajinder Kumar.

During the interrogation, the SSP revealed the accused had confessed that they sold these drugs in the Mahilpur, Banga, Behram and Garhshankar areas.

They have been booked under Sections 21/22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act, 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 188 of the IPC.


2 poachers arrested
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, April 17
In a major catch, the Forest Department authorities have arrested two alleged poachers, who used to trap leopards in the Shivalik hills area falling on the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border and mercilessly kill them with sticks before skinning them. The authorities also seized a leopard’s skeleton from a khud in the Nari forest area this morning.

The two poachers, Harbhajan Pappu and Pappu Bagaria, had been carrying on their activities for the past several years and allegedly used to sell leopard skins to a sub-agent, who, in turn, would sell these in the international market at high margins.

The two poachers were arrested on the basis of a tip-off. The Forest Department authorities initiated a night-long operation, led by Range Officers Kulraj Singh and Paramjit Singh and guard Jatinder Kumar, said Mr R.R. Kakkar, Divisional Forest Officer.

“Both the poachers have admitted that first they used to trap leopards and then beat them to death before skinning them. The skin of one leopard was sold for Rs 28,000 by them. “We have recovered a skeleton of a leopard from deep inside a khud in the Naari forest area,” said Mr Kakkar, adding that the skeleton was being sent to the veterinary hospital of the Animal Husbandry Department for postmortem.

A case under Sections 9, 39, 40, 50 and 51 of the Indian Wildlife Act has been registered against the accused, said Mr Kakkar.


Spurious kerosene racket busted

Moga, April 17
The police claimed a major breakthrough in the selling and supply of spurious kerosene and busted a gang by arresting its two members.

Sarup Singh and Surjit Singh, driver and conductor of a canter, were arrested when they were allegedly carrying 11,800 litres of kerosene for supplying to Delhi. The kerosene was supplied to petrol outlets where these persons used to supply both petrol and diesel after mixing these with spurious kerosene.

Senior Superintendent of Police M.S. Chhina said here today that the canter was intercepted on the Dharamkot-Jalandhar road last night.

The police took into possession the canter and both its driver and conductor and on interrogation the latter revealed that they used to bring spurious kerosene from Babi, a resident of Damtal near Pathankot, who had a dump there and supplied the kerosene.

According to the SSP, the suspects revealed that they used to supply kerosene to Subhash Khanna and his brother at Punjabi Bagh in New Delhi where they had an oil dump and then Khanna allegedly prepared bottles to provide kerosene in black to various petrol outlets in Delhi and Haryana for mixing it with petrol.

The police party also raided the house of Babi, the main supplier of spurious kerosene at Damtal, but he escaped. The police has registered a case under various sections of the Essential Commodities Act and also under various sections of the IPC. — PTI


Raids on dairies, one held
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 17
The health authorities yesterday launched an offensive against dairy owners who contaminated milk by raiding two dairies besides arresting a person on charges of manufacterial.

Dr V.S. Mohi, who was leading the team, took samples of the milk and immediately issued notice to the dairy owners for keeping contaminated milk in his premises. The team removed the contaminated milk.

In another raid, a person was arrested at Channerial.

Dr V.S. Mohi, who was leading the team, took samples of the milk and immediately issued notice to the dairy owners for keeping contaminated milk in his premises. The team removed the contaminated milk.

In another raid, a person was arrested at Chann, including cheese water, from the dairy. Samples of the “milk” found at the spot have been sent to the chemical laboratory Chandigarh. Meanwhile, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, has warned all dairy owners not to sell synthetic milk, saying it was a p, including cheese water, from the dairy. Samples of the “milk” found at the spot have been sent to the chemical laboratory Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, has warned all dairy owners not to sell synthetic milk, saying it was a punishable crime. He also requested the people of the city to come forward and report such malpractices.


‘Suit skills to real work environment’
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 17
The new work environment and the characteristics of the new-generation employees are significantly changing the employment landscape, in which industry-institute interaction has an important role to play by way of bringing relevance to the skills imparted to students.

Prof R. Natrajan, Chairman of All-India Council for Technical Education, said this in his keynote address at the first convocation of Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, near here, today.

He said a host of new challenges was confronting tertiary and technical education, requiring reforms in the teaching-learning processes.

Dr Hari Gautam, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the institute, said they were working hard to build a rich intellectual potential.

He said the institute had decided to introduce M.Tech in civil and textile engineering as also Ph.D programmes. Later, degrees were conferred upon 241 students in different disciplines of engineering and technology. Others who spoke included Director of the institute Parmod S. Mehta.


BSNL to set up 3 online cash collection centres
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 17
In its bid to provide better facilities at the grassroots level, the BSNL has decided to set up three online cash collection centres in the rural areas of Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts, which will cater to the needs of about 20,000 subscribers.

Talking to reporters here yesterday, the GM (Telecom) Mr K.C.Jindal, said these centres would be set up at Adampur, Bholath and Nadala by May 15. This would benefit around 20,000 subscribers of fixed line telephone connections and mobile phones. The subscribers would be able to deposit their bills nearer home. While the cash entries would be transferred to the main server in Jalandhar immediately. The speedy transfer of money entries would automatically avoid disconnection of phones on account of the non-payment of bills in time, Mr Jindal said.

Mr Jindal further said that subscribers could also pay bills along with the surcharge after the due date, a facility which was earlier not available to rural customesr, who used to pay bills at post offices. We have set up such online centres at Kartarpur, Bhogpur, Nurmahal, Nakodar, Phillaur, Phagwara, Shahkot, Sultanpur Lodhi, Banga and Nawanshahr in the recent past.

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