P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



18 candidates file nominations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
Eighteen candidates belonging to different political parties, including the Indian National Congress (INC), the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today filed their nomination papers for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The total number of candidates has now risen to 24.

According to sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), the papers from the Gurdaspur constituency were filed by BJP candidates Brij Mohan Julka and Sohan Singh.

From Amritsar, Mr Raghu Nandan Lal of the INC and Mr Ram Chand of the BSP filed their nomination papers. Mr Sukhbinder Singh and Mr Sukhbir Singh of the INC, besides Mr Ravel Singh and Ms Swaran Kaur of the BSP, filed their papers from Taran Tarn constituency.

INC candidates Rana Gurjit Singh and Rajwans Kaur filed their papers from Jalandhar. SAD candidates Charanjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh filed their papers from Phillaur and Ropar, respectively.

From Patiala, SAD (Mann) candidate Gurnam Singh filed his papers. IND candidates Karnail Singh and Gurpreet Singh filed their papers from Ludhiana and Bathinda, respectively. BSP candidates Mohan Singh and Seema Rani filed their papers from Ferozepore, while BSP candidate Sant Ram filed nominations from Faridkot.

Meanwhile, the office of Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) today announced the schedule for giving messages of political parties on radio and Doordarshan. The schedule was prepared after the draw of lots at a meeting held under the chairmanship of the CEO, Mr G.S. Cheema. The Directors of Jalandhar Doordarshan and All India Radio were present along with the representatives of different political parties.

The Haryana Election Department has also, on the directions of the Election Commission of India, constituted a three-member committee to preview and scrutinise and certify advertisements to be telecast over TV channels and cable networks by any registered political party, candidates, persons or group or organisation in the state.

The committee would be headed by Mr Surjit Singh, Additional Chief Electoral Officer. The other members of the committee would be Mrs Satwanti Ahlawat, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, Panchkula, and Mr Chaman Lal, Information Officer, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Six candidates file nomination papers
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, April 19
Six candidates from various political parties filed nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections today. While Mr Raghunandan Lal Bhatia (Congress MP) and Ram Chand of the BSP filed papers from Amritsar, Mr Sukhbinder Singh (Congress), Mr Sukhbir Singh (Congress) Mr Ravel Singh (BSP) and Ms Swarn Kaur (BSP) filed papers from Tarn Taran.

While four out of these filed affidavits about their property, Sukhbinder Singh and Sukhbir Singh did not place any property details on record.

Mr Bhatia has stated in the affidavit that he and his wife have Rs 13,100 in cash. Their other properties include bank deposits of Rs 74,407 and Rs 2,865, bonds, debentures and shares worth Rs 45,000; one Maruti Esteem car; 790 gm jewellery worth Rs 4.1 lakh; and other assets worth Rs 21.9 lakh. He also owns non-agricultural land of 1,000 sq yds outside Bhagtanwala gate worth Rs 10 lakh, a commercial flat at Barakhamba Road, Delhi, worth Rs 9 lakh, a flat at New Friends Colony worth Rs 9 lakh and another worth Rs 15 lakh at Sainik Farms in the name of his wife.

Mr Ram Chand is a covering candidate for BSP candidate Ram Sharan Pal from Amritsar. Mr Ram Chand, a matriculate, declared Rs 10,000 in cash, a scooter worth Rs 10,000 and a house worth Rs 5 lakh.

Mr Ravel Singh (BSP) from Tarn Taran is an under-graduate. He declared Rs 52,000 in cash, and a house worth Rs 12 lakh.

Ms Swarn Kaur (BSP) declared a joint cash holding of Rs 15,000 in cash with her husband.

Meanwhile exhibiting clear division in the district Congress, Mr Om Parkash Soni, an MLA and associate member of the Congress party, and his supporters, including Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, did not accompany Mr R.L. Bhatia, and Mr Sukhbinder Singh, while they went to file their nomination papers even as the Chief Minister and the PPCC chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, were present there.

Mr Soni and Mr Bhatia have been at loggerheads for a long time and both lead strong groups within the Congress. Mr Soni was conspicuous by his absence although he had been sent a written invitation for it. However, Mr Soni claimed that he was with Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, to attend certain party functions in Gurdaspur.

The deputy Mayor Mr Surinder Singh Chhinda, claimed that he was invited neither by Mr Bhatia nor the Congress committee.

Giving reasons for his absence, Mr Dharmpal Sareen, a close confidant of Mr Soni, alleged that two Congress MLAs, Dr Raj Kumar and Mr Jugal Sharma, had openly campaigned against him when he contested the previous corporation election as Congress candidate. He said no action was taken against those MLAs, who ensured his defeat. Mr Kulbhushan Duggal, another Soni confidant, also levelled similar allegations.

Meanwhile, the Congress got a shot in the arm when Mr Sarbjit Singh, a son of late Kirpal Singh, a former MP and president of chief Khalsa Diwan, joined the party and vowed to support Mr Bhatia.


Former Speaker files papers
Tribune News Service

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD-BJP candidate from the Phillaur Lok Sabha seat, files his nomination papers in the office of Mr Ashok Gupta, District Returning Officer, at Jalandhar on Monday, along with Bibi Jagir Kaur and former minister Balramji Dass Tandon.
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD-BJP candidate from the Phillaur Lok Sabha seat, files his nomination papers in the office of Mr Ashok Gupta, District Returning Officer, at Jalandhar on Monday, along with Bibi Jagir Kaur and former minister Balramji Dass Tandon. — Photo by S.S. Chopra.

Jalandhar, April 19
Former Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker and SAD-BJP candidate from the Phillaur Lok Sabha constituency Charanjit Singh Atwal today expressed hope that the SAD-BJP combine would make a clean sweep and would win all 13 seats in the coming poll.

Mr Atwal, who filed his papers in the office of the district Returning Officer Mr Ashok Gupta, here today, was accompanied by former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, former Punjab Minister Balramji Dass Tandon and a large number of supporters. He said he was getting supports from every nook and corner of his constituency. “People are very enthusiastic in rural areas also and I am getting whole-hearted support of the BJP and BKU workers. I think we would bag all the seats in the state,” said Mr Atwal.

He alleged that the Congress government had failed to make any development in his area, in particular, and in the state, in general. “Farmers, Dalits, small businessmen are all unhappy with the government and they are extending support to us,” said Mr Atwal.


BSP candidate files nomination
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 19
Mr Sant Ram Malian, a BSP nominee for Faridkot Parliamentary constituency, filed his nomination papers before the District Returning Officer here today. Mr Malian accompanied by senior party leaders, including Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri and Mr Satnam Singh Kainth president and convener, respectively, of the state body besides a large number of party workers submitted his papers along with his assets affidavit.

He was the first candidate of any political party to file his papers in this constituency.

Later, while talking to mediapersons Mr Malian said being a sincere party worker he would abide by the directions of the party High Command and implement its policies in the interest of people after coming to power.

He said he would make all efforts for the overall development of the constituency.


Congress to make Badal’s property a poll issue: CM
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 19
The Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, today asserted that the congress would go ahead with its programme to use the details of properties of the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, which were gathered by the Vigilance Bureau, during its poll campaign despite objections raised by Mr Badal.

Mr Badal had said on Friday that the details of his alleged properties could not be used by the Congress in its poll campaign since these were “case properties” and that he had already moved an application in a Ropar court against the Congress move.

Captain Amarinder Singh, who was accompanied by the Congress candidate from Jalandhar, Rana Gurjit Singh, who filed his nomination papers in the office of the district returning officer, and Punjab ministers Mr Avtaar Henry, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, the PPCC chief Mr H.S. Hanspal, said the Congress leaders and workers would go to villages with details of the property worth Rs 4300 crore, allegedly owned by the Badal family. He said during the Congress poll campaign, to be started on April 26, Congress workers would also tell people how a person, who inherited just 83 acres of agricultural land, multiplied it into such huge properties. “Moreover, it were we who had given these details to the VB,” said Captain Amarinder Singh.

The Chief Minister said it was interesting to see Mr Badal making a hue and cry despite the fact that his case had been left to the judiciary to decide. “Why is he raising such points if he and his family are innocent?” questioned Captain Amarinder Singh.

Denying reports that the Congress was a divided house, he said such reports were the creation of media and there was no truth in these. He denied that he had violated the poll code by announcing the release of prisoners above the age of 70 and by giving relief of one year to other prisoners during his speech at Sarai Naga in Muktsar yesterday. “It was the right moment to do so. If it is a violation and is pointed out by the Election Commission, we would stall its implementation as long as the poll code is in force and would extend the benefit after another 15 days,” said Captain Amarinder Singh.

He brushed aside criticism of the Congress leadership for leaving Hoshiarpur and Bathinda seats to the CPM and the CPI, saying it was the decision of the party which was taken at the national level and in the light of alliance with these parties.

Referring to the SAD-BJP candidate, Mr Naresh Gujral, Captain Amarinder Singh said his father, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, had not waived off the Punjab loan. “He had made efforts for the science city, which was named after his mother. This was beneficial to Punjab, but had an airport been set up between Jalandhar and Ludhiana, this would have been more useful for the people of the state.

Referring to his Friday meeting with Jathedar Tohra’s widow Joginder Kaur, Captain Amarinder Singh said Tohra’s family had accepted the relief extended by the government. “Actually, she is ill and I have sent a team of doctors for her check-up. We have family relations and Badal has no right to make allegations that we are politicking over the issue.”

He said farmers of Punjab had a sigh of relief during the past two years for their crop was lifted by the procurement agencies without any problem. He said during the SAD-BJP rule, farmers had to resort to distress sale where in certain politicians-cum-commission agents made good money. Referring to a query about the support of farmers’ bodies to the Congress government, the Chief Minister said out of 14 such bodies, leaders of only one or two such bodies were opposing the Congress.

Mr Hanspal said the NRI belt of the Doaba region would benefit greatly if an airport was set up between Ludhiana and Jalandhar. He said the Chief Minister had fulfilled all promises made to the people.

Mr Avtar Henry informed that there was no problem in the procurement process and 70 lakh metric tonnes of wheat crop had already arrived in markets of the state.

Meanwhile, Ms Raj Bans Kaur, wife of the Congress candidate from Jalandhar, Rana Gurjit Singh, filed her nomination papers as a covering candidate for her husband, while Mr Harbhajan Ram, filed his papers as a candidate of the Samta Samaj Party from the Phillaur parliamentary constituency in the office of the Distinct Returning Officer here today.


Did CM, Hanspal commit sacrilege?
Tribune News Service

Sarai Naga (Muktsar), April 19
Did Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh and other Congressmen, who attended the function organised here yesterday in connection with the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev Ji, commit a sacrilege.

This is an issue of debate in religious and political circles after Captain Amarinder Singh along with other including state Congress president Congress men H.S. Hanspal sat on the stage, where Bir of Guru Granth Sahib was placed and a photograph of Guru Angad Dev Ji was on a platform below the stage.

Bhai Jarnail Singh, Manager, Darbar Sahib, Muktsar, said that the CM and other people should not have sat on the stage. He added all of them came down after he request them to do so. He said a few policemen also entered the ‘D’ area of the pandal put up for the function, where Bir of Guru Granth Sahib was placed with shoes on.

The Chief Minister accompanied by a few congress men paid obeisance to Guru Granth Sahib after entering the ‘D’ area of Pandal and sat on the floor. He along with other Congress men went on to the stage on their own after some time and came down when requested so by Bhai Jarnail Singh.


CM’s announcements violate poll code, says Tandon
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 19
Senior BJP leader and former Punjab minister Balramji Das Tandon said today that though his party was not against granting remission to the aged prisoners, yet the timing of the announcement by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had made it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Talking to mediapersons here after the opening of the central poll office of Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD-BJP-BKU candidate from Phillaur, reserved Lok Sabha constituency, Mr Tandon remarked that since the concessions had been announced at the time of elections, their announcement at a religious function did not dilute the fact of their being violation of the code.

He agreed with the suggestion that the Chief Minister had made these announcements to upstage the SAD that had held a function at Khadoor Sahib in celebration of the fifth centenary of the birth anniversary of second Guru Angad Dev.

The announcement of the relief was politically motivated, he alleged.

Capt Amarinder Singh had yesterday announced remission to prisoners above 70 years in age besides giving one-year remission to all other convicts in the prisons in the state. He had also announced setting up of a veterinary university at PAU, Ludhiana, and an institute of Punjabi studies, to be named after the second Guru, at Punjabi University, Patiala.

Mr Tandon, who had been a strong contender for party ticket from Amritsar, denied he was sulking because the party had given ticket to cricket commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu.I am a disciplined soldier of the party and have no reservation about the decision of the high command, he asserted.

When his attention was drawn to reports about the SAD supporting the INLD of Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in Chandigarh and Haryana in preference to BJP candidates, Mr Tandon asserted that SAD president Parkash Singh Badal had not yet taken final decision about it.

Mr Tandon addressed a gathering at the opening of Mr Atwal’s office here. BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, SGPC general secretary Jathedar Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, SAD national adviser Jarnail Singh Wahid and Mr Atwal also spoke.


SAD to complain against Congress to Election Commission
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 19
Terming Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s announcement about the release of prisoners above 70 years of age as a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct, Akali Supremo Parkash Singh Badal today said he would complain against the ‘politically motivated gimmick’ to the Election Commission.

He was speaking at the fourth death anniversary of ex-Chairman of the Subordinate Services Selection Board Jasdev Singh Sandhu. He also accused the state government of ‘funding’ anti-Akali propaganda in the form of advertisements in various newspapers .

The function to observe death anniversary of Jasdev Singh Sandhu gained political overtones as one after another Akali leader took over the stage. Mr Badal said the Congress-led state government was busy doling out pre-election sops in a bid to woo voters.

He said the Akalis were not against the release of prisoners above the age of 70, but the decision to do so at this juncture smacked of political gimmickry and was a violation of the Model Code of Conduct. His party would complain against the same to the Election Commission, he added.

Levelling serious charges against IG Rajinder Singh, he accused the officer of belonging to the inner coterie of Capt Amarinder Singh. Demanding the IG’s transfer from Patiala, he alleged that he had been sent to ‘help’ the Congress in the recent Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections. Asserting that elections in the region could not be held fairly unless the state government desisted from the misuse of political machinery, he said he had earlier requested the EC to transfer certain officers known to be ‘close’ to the CM out of the constituency his wife, Preneet Kaur, was fighting from.

Referring to the advertisements being inserted by Gurinder Pal Dhanola, chief of the Meeri Peeri Dal, he said the advertisements were in bad taste. Though the Akalis were opposed to the use of such tactics, they were forced to reply in the same tone, he added.

Claiming that the propaganda was being sponsored by the state government, he challenged Dhanola to reveal his sources that were funding advertisements to the tune of ‘crores’ of rupees. He said the state Public Relations Department was also being used for the same.

SAD nominee from Patiala Capt Kanwaljeet Singh, after paying homage to Jasdev Singh Sandhu, criticised the Congress for carrying out a smear campaign. He said SAD would write to the Income Tax Department asking for the verification of sources of funds for the ad series. He said by granting the ticket to those involved in anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the Congress had proved its ‘anti-Sikh stance’.

Ex-president of the SGPC Kirpal Singh Badungar also addressed the gathering. Others who spoke on the occasion included ex-minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur and ex-Chairman of the SSS Board Tejinder Pal Sandhu.


Election observers arrive in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 19
Even as the middle-rung IAS officers of Punjab left for other states as election observers, bureaucrats from the various parts of the country posted as election observers trickled in Punjab today. The observers who reached Punjab first met the Chief Electoral Officer in Chandigarh before moving on to their respective constituencies. These observers will be meeting the returning officers tomorrow and address all party representative meetings in their constituencies.

Mr Shrawan Lal Meena, Mr Saurabh Garg and Mr Vijay Kumar Dev are the observers for Gurdaspur; Mr Rakesh Gupta, Mr Sanjiv Kumar Mittal and Mr Rajneesh Goel are the observers for Amritsar; Mr Sanjeev Gangadhar, Mr Ajay Kumar and Mr Manoranjan Saran for Tarn Taran; Mr Rajesh Tuteja, Mr Yadavendra Datta and Mr Tarun Kapoor for Jalandhar; Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Narayan Diwakar and Mr Anjani Kumar for Phillaur; Mr A.S. Chauhan, Mr Lalit Mehra and Mr C. Umashankar for Hoshiarpur; and Mr Rajat Bansal, Dr E.V. Ramanareddy and Mr Bidhu Bhushan Mohanty will be the election observers for Ropar.

Mr V.K. Mangotra, Ms Sunaina Tomar and Mr C. Chandran will be the election observers for Patiala, while Mr P. Amba Shankar, Mr Dalip Singh and Mr Sunil Soni will be the election observers for Ludhiana.

For Sangrur, Mr M.M. Dubey, Dr Devashish Gupta and Mr Jatindra Nath Swain are here, while for Bathinda Mr Sudhir Prasad and Mr Manoj Kumar Shrivastava have been deployed. At Faridkot, Mr Kumar Sanjay, Mr Vimal Kritit Singh Mr Vidya Nand Garg will be the election observers and at Ferozepore, Mr Chhatan Rigzin, Mr Kailash Kumar Khandelwal, Mr G.V.V. Sarma will be the election observers.


Shift Amritsar SP, says EC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
In less than a month before the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Punjab government to shift Beas MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa’s brother Harmanbir Singh. He was posted as Amritsar’s Superintendent of Police (SP).

The sources in Punjab Home Department further disclosed that the transfer of two other SPs, along with four Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs), has also been directed by the Commission. The transfer orders of the officers were likely to be issued by the Punjab government on Tuesday.

A senior officer in the Home Department added that Mr Rajiv Ahir had now been posted as Ropar’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), while Mr Kuwar Vijay Partap Singh has been asked to join as Ferozepore SSP. He was earlier posted as Mohali SP.

Their names were finalised from a panel of six officers sent by the Home Department to Punjab’s Chief Election Officer (CEO). The other officers included Mr Gautam Cheema, Mr Siva Kumar Verma, Mr Rakesh Aggarwal and Mr Nelabh Kishore.

The posts were rendered vacant after the government on Friday asked Ropar SSP Surinderpal Singh and Ferozepore SSP H.S. Chahal to hand over the charge forthwith. The government was acting on ECI’s recommendations.

The two officers were ordered to be shifted on April 6. But the charge was not relinquished by them on the ground that the transfer orders had not been served.

The action against the two was reportedly initiated on the basis of a series of complaints
filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The members had alleged violation of election code in the state.

The sources in the Home Department had added that SAD had lodged a series of complaints claiming that the state government was misusing its machinery, including services of senior police officers.

SAD had also alleged that the services of certain police officers would be availed in favour of the ruling Congress party during the elections in the state scheduled to be held on May 10.

The sources had added that Ropar’s then SSP was conducting probe against Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while the son of Ferozepur’s then SSP was among seven Deputy Superintendents of Police recently recruited.

A petition challenging their appointment was pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, sources added.


Libra, wife own assets over Rs 1 cr
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 19
The SAD candidate from the Ropar reserved parliamentary constituency, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, today filed papers for the coming Lok Sabha elections before the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain.

Mr Libra, who was accompanied by hundreds of supporters, after coming to Ropar initially paid obeisance at Gurdwara Bhatha Sahib. From there he travelled in an open jeep to the office of the Returning Officer. The police had tough time controlling SAD and BJP workers at the main gate of the Deputy Commissioner office. Some enthusiastic workers broke windowpains of the office while trying to gain entry into the building.

Mr Libra, complying with the orders of the Supreme Court, also filed affidavit declaring the moveable and immovable assets owned by him and his spouse. As per the affidavit he and his spouse own assets and cash worth over Rs 1 crore.

The details of his assets declared include Rs 10,000 with him and Rs 5,000 with his wife Rs 1,44291 in the State Bank of India in New Delhi, Rs 21,431,42 in State Bank of Patiala at Khanna in his account Rs 12,356 in Punjab and Sind Bank at Khanna and Rs 3,39,106 in Punjab National bank at Bija in a joint account with his wife.

The immovable assets include a 17 marla plot worth Rs 12 lakh worth in Libra village, two houses in Libra village worth Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh and 2.5 biswa land in Libra village worth Rs 2.5 lakh in his name.

In the name of his wife he has 1 kanal 11 marla plot worth Rs 22,20,000 in Libra village 2 kanal 1.5 marla plot worth Rs 4 lakh in Ranwan village, a plot in Khanna worth Rs 20 lakh and 4 acre 2 kanal 2 marla land worth Rs 34,10,000 in Jkolah village. Besides, he owns an Ambassador car, mini cab and 20 gram gold worth Rs 10,760.

The 72-year-old, Mr Libra, who is matriculate, also declared in another affidavit that no case was pending against him in the court of law.

While filing the papers, Mr Libra was accompanied by former SAD ministers, Mr Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Mr Tara Singh Ladal, Mr Gaganjit Singh Barnala and Ms Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal.

Later, while talking to mediapersons, Mr Libra said if elected, his priority would be to tackle the problem of unemployment in the constituency. He would try to bring more industry to the area.


Badal tells Akalis to sink differences
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 19
Addressing a meeting of MLAs , former MPs , former ministers and SGPC members here yesterday, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief, asked them to sink differences if any, and launch vigorous campaign for common candidates of the SAD-BJP to defeat to Congress candidates in Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier, Mr Daljit Singh Chhina, a Congress councillor of the Municipal Corporation here announced his joining the Shiromani Akali Dal in presence of Mr Badal. Though Mr Chhina had claimed that four more Congress MCs would announce their joining the SAD, but he alone joined the party.

Meanwhile, both the SAD and the Congress have been wooing a son of former Member of Parliament Kirpal Singh to join their parties. However, Mr Arjun, a senior leader of congress claimed that son of late Mr Kirpal Singh would join the congress.


Mann’s booklet of letters to Dhindsa on Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 19
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), and candidate of the party from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency in the coming Lok Sabha elections, said today that he had written so many letters related to the Sikhs and Punjab issues to Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister and now candidate of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) from the same seat, during the past about four years, but Mr Dhindsa neither gave a reply nor initiated proceedings on his letters.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Mann distributed a booklet “Khat likh Dhindse wal paye, par jawab koi na aai” (in Punjabi) among mediapersons. In this booklet, Mr Mann has got printed a number of letters written to Mr Dhindsa on different issues urging him to act upon these letters for getting various issues settled at the Central level.

Mr Mann claimed that he had taken up the matter relating to setting up of a defence university in Punjab with the Prime Minister and a copy of the same letter had been sent to Mr Dhindsa but Mr Dhindsa did nothing in this regard.


2 leaders quit BSP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 19
Mr D.P. Khosla, vice-president, and Mr Gurdial Chand, general secretary, respectively, of the state unit of the BSP, have resigned from the primary membership of the BSP have joined the BJP.

Talking to mediapersons here today, the two said that they had resigned from the BSP under protest due to the dictatorial attitude of Ms Mayawati for sidetracking almost all those leaders of the party who had cordial relations with Mr Kanshi Ram. They alleged that they were ignored and not allowed to even meet Mr Kanshi Ram, who was being treated at Batra Hospital for the past eight months. Ms Mayawati had totally ignored workers while allotting party tickets for the Lok Sabha election. Moreover, interests of Dalits were being ignored.


BSP represents all, says Karimpuri
Our Correspondent

Phagwara April 19
The Bahujan Samaj Party is a party of all sections and not confined to casteist cocoon. Its aim is to restore the dignity of Dalits and those belonging to other deprived sections, besides promoting national integration. This was stated by Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, president of the Punjab BSP, here today.

The party was set to create history of sorts by winning all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, he claimed. Besides Dalits, the party had fielded Brahmins, Khatris, Sainis, Ramgarhias, Rai Sikhs and others as its candidates to prove the point that it had come out of the so-called caste ceiling, he added. He said the position of party candidate Pawan Kumar Tinu was satisfactory in Phillaur.


Cong leader hails Kalam’s appeal to voters
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, April 19
Mr S.K. Gupta, chairman, Improvement Trust, and an associate of former President Giani Zail Singh, hailed the appeal of President A.P.J. Kalam yesterday to voters to exercise their franchise fearlessly to constitute the 14th Lok Sabha.

Mr Gupta impressed upon all political parties to rise above political affiliations to protect national interests, for which national heroes and patriots like Subhas Chander Bose, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai struggled.

The Congress also lauded the Chief Election Commission directing the UP government to register a case against Mr Lalji Tandon, senior BJP leader and election agent of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, allegedly responsible for the killing of 21 women at a function.


General Samaj Party puts up candidate
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 19
Mr Gurpreet Singh was today put up by the General Samaj Party as its candidate from the Bathinda (reserved) parliamentary constituency.

In an affidavit submitted to the Returning Officer along with his nomination papers, Mr Gurpreet Singh claimed that he was neither involved in any criminal case nor facing any court trial. He added that he owned a house in Bathinda town built on 230 sq yd which was worth Rs 4 lakh.

Talking to TNS, he said that though he was contesting from the reserved constituency, he would raise his voice against caste-based reservation. He said the expansion of educational facilities in the area would also be his priority.


No pressure group by Tohra supporters: Bhaur
Our Correspondent

Phagwara April 19
SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur today dismissed as kite-flying reports in a section of the press that leaders who were supporters of Mr G.S. Tohra were making a separate pressure group.

Talking to newsmen after the opening of the election office of SAD-BJP-BKU candidate for Lok Sabha seat Charanjit Singh Atwal here, Mr Bhaur denied reports that Tohra supporters were operating as a separate group. Every Akali leader and worker was now campaigning for SAD-BJP candidates under Mr Badal’s command, he declared. Vested interests, were planting false stories, rued Mr Bhaur.


NDA strengthened security, says BJP leader
Our correspondent

Pathankot, April 19
National convener of the BJP Defence Cell Lieut-Gen N.S. Malik (retd.) said on Sunday evening that during the regime of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee national security had strengthened with “Pokharan tests” and the induction of nuclear weapons.

He said the allocation of funds defence purposes had consistently increased over the past years. He said Rs 25,000 crore were allocated as defence funds during the NDA regime.


SAD (Mann) candidate files papers
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 19
SAD (Mann) candidate for the Patiala parliamentary constituency Gurnam Singh Aulakh filed his nomination papers here this afternoon. Aulakh was accompanied by party supporters and friends. Though candidates from both the Congress and the SAD have been indulging in hectic campaigning for the past many days, Aulakh has remained relatively low profile till date. Preneet Kaur is expected to file her nomination on April 22 with Capt Kanwaljit Singh following suit on April 23.


Teachers resent poll duty
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 19
Even as Supreme Court has given instructions that no teacher should be assigned non-teaching duties, the district election authorities have started putting government school teachers on poll duties.

According to sources, so far hundreds of teachers, including those teaching compulsory subjects to students of classes VIII and X, have been put on poll duty for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Some of the teachers posted in Bathinda district have been asked to give poll duty in Mansa district.

The Democratic Teachers Front (Punjab), Bathinda district unit, has lodged protest against the diversion of teachers from academic field to election field. It has also condemned the shifting of teachers from one district to another.

Major Basant Kumar, secretary of the front, said on the one hand teachers were being put on poll duty in violation of the directions of the Supreme Court, on the other hand the authorities concerned were suspecting their integrity as most of the teachers had been deployed out of districts where they had been serving.

He said the front had urged the authorities concerned to deploy unemployed teachers on the poll duty instead of government school teachers.

Many teachers, who were put on poll duty during the assembly poll, have expressed resentment over the alleged non-payment of their dues for the earlier poll duty. Moreover, they have not been given earned leave for the days spent by them on election duties, including rehearsals, they say.

A senior official of the district administration said some teachers were paid for election duties during the last assembly poll. As no money was sent by the state government for the purpose, all teachers put on election duties could not be paid, he added.


Ban screening of films of star candidates, says Shiv Sena
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 19
The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) today requested the Election Commission to ban screening of films and teleserials of all film stars who either were contesting Lok Sabha poll or campaigning for any political party or candidate.

Mr Pawan Parbhakar, Mr Kuldip Dani, Mr Gurdip Saini and Mr Rajesh Patla, Sena leaders, in a letter to the EC, said the ban was needed for fair and free elections as the films and teleserials of such stars benefited them as the viewers, who were voters as well, could be influenced by these actors and actresses.


Babbu is Christian nominee

Patiala, April 19
The Punjab Christian Movement nominated Keshvan Nair Babbu as its candidate for the Patiala seat for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections at a meeting held yesterday.

General secretary of the movement Tersem Masih said that the party had entered into the poll fray keeping in view the atrocities being committed on the poor public of Punjab. OC


Additional security for 102 polling stations

Hoshiarpur, April 19
The district administration has decided to deploy additional security forces at all 102 polling stations identified as sensitive and hyper- sensitive in this Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to the polls on May 10.

District police chief Lok Nath Angra, informing this here today, said adequate security arrangements had been made for ensuring smooth electioneering and polling. He said in all 776 polling stations would be set up in the constituency.

He said 5,526 policemen, including 21 Inspectors, 175 non-gazetted officers, 1,129 head constables, 2926 constables and over 1,000 special police officers, would be deployed in the constituency.

He said 75 patrolling parties, headed by NGOs, had been anti-social activities. Similarly, a Deputy Superintendent of Police would be the in charge of each state Assembly segment to maintain law and order. Besides, an election cell headed by an officer of the SP rank had been set up at district quarter and would round the clock.

He said the state authorities were asked to provide 1,500 policemen for poll duties. He said tight security arrangements had been made at the counting centres. — UNI


Ethiopia to get Punjab Police instructors
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 19
The Ethiopian Federal Police Training College is all set to get instructors from Punjab Police and affiliation to Guru Nanak Dev University to run degree courses for its trainee officers, says Mr Sarabjit Singh, Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). He was invited by the Ethopian Government to review the training and structure of its police.

Talking to The Tribune on his return from Addis Ababa here last night, Mr Sarabjit Singh said that the Ethiopian Government was keen to invite a team of instructors from the BPR&D to train its instructors working at the Federal Police Training College, which was located at Kolfie, 30 km from capital city of Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Police is keen to introduce some specialised training courses for its officers for which it is seeking our help.

“I am going to submit my report to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Once cleared, instructors from the BPR&D and Punjab Police will be able to go and help the Ethiopian Federal Police,” says Mr Sarabjit Singh revealing that some Ethiopian officers may start coming to India for training at BPR&D&D centres and PPA, Phillaur.

To begin with, Punjab Police has agreed to send one of its inspectors to the Ethiopian Police College for training of dog and mounted squads. “The Punjab Director-General of Police, Dr A.A. Siddiqui, has agreed to spare the services of Inspector working at Punjab Police Academy (PPA) , Phillaur,” Mr Sarabjit Singh said. Dr Siddiqui has also agreed to allow Dr D.J. Singh, Deputy Director at the PPA, Phillaur, to explore the possibility of getting Ethiopian Federal Police Training College affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University. Once it is approved then Ethiopian officers can pursue degree courses in policing subjects.

The PPA is affiliated to GND varsity and offers Masters, M.Phil and even doctorate degrees to trainee officers. Mr Sarabjit Singh said that during his five-day stay in Ethiopia, he visited the crime detection and crime preventive wings of Ethiopian police besides visiting the Federal Police Training College and Regional Police Training School.

“There is some primitive crime in Ethiopia. The police is not that well-equipped,” Mr Sarabjit Singh said, revealing that every police officer in Ethiopia has been either educated in India or taught by an Indian teacher.


SGPC dilutes authority of acting president
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 19
In an apparent bid to clip the wings of acting president, Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, the SGPC executive today decided to take all important decisions, including fresh appointments or reshuffle, by a presidium comprising Mr Pakhoke, Mr Kewal Singh Badal, junior vice-president Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Dilmeg Singh.

This is for the first time since inception of the SGPC in 1925 that the authority of the working president had been diluted.

However, Mr Pakhoke would be allowed to do routine work without getting any sanction from the presidium.


SGPC takes note of ’84 accused in Cong list

Amritsar, April 19
The SGPC has taken strong note of the Congress decision of fielding three candidates — Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and their lawyer R.K. Anand — from Delhi parliamentary constituencies.

In a press note, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, chief secretary of the SGPC, stated that the act of nominating them amounted to 'rubbing salt into the wounds of Sikhs' as two of them were accused in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

The SGPC accused the Congress of deliberately indulging in anti-Sikh activities and said the Congress had not only rewarded these persons, but had sent Justice R.N. Mishra, who had presided over the riots case, as its Rajya Sabha nominee.


Roza Sharif may have Pak house
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April19
Pakistan pilgrims to Roza Sharif have decided to construct Pakistan house on the campus shrine.

A delegation led by Meer Haji Treen, a former Union Minister in Pakistan, and Mr Farqh Zaidi, liaison officer, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Pakistan, said here today that a meeting would be held tomorrow to pass a resolution in this regard.

The resolution would be submitted to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Pakistan, and the High Commissioner of India in Pakistan.

No monetary help would be sought from governments of Pakistan and India.

The work would be done with contribution of devotees.

Later, the delegation paid obeisance at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and visited the historical Aam Khas Bagh, Sihind.

The District Cultural Society hosted a dinner for the delegation. Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman, District Cultural Society, welcomed the guests.


Shan-e-Punjab stranded
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 19
The downline Amritsar-New Delhi Shan-e-Punjab train remained stranded at the local railway station here this afternoon for about 75 minutes.

It was learnt that the train was detained here because of the derailment of a goods train at Ludhiana. Shan-e- Punjab left only after the track at Ludhiana was cleared, added sources.


District Bar Assn poll on April 24
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 19
Mr Narinder Singh Tiwana and Mr Tejinder Singh Salana are contesting for the post of the District Bar Association President.

The elections for the office-bearers of the association are slated for April 24. Both Mr Tiwana and Mr Salana, besides enjoying political patronage, have a considerable following in the Bar.

The two contenders are pitted against an Independent candidate, Mr D.S. Mangat.


History-sheeter, gang of looters arrested
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 19
The police yesterday arrested Vasudev Bishnoi, a history-sheeter, at Sadulshehar, 25 km from here on the state highway, and five members of an inter-state gang of looters.

Sources said Vasudev had escaped police net in April 2003, leaving behind a consignment of 32 bags of poppy husk, each weighing 34 kg near Morjand Khari village. He was wanted in many cases of drugs smuggling by the police stations at Abohar, Sangria and Sadulshehar. Vasudev, son of Manphool Bishnoi of Himmatpura village in this sub division, had been using aliases like Shehanshah, Sikander and Gurnam to bluff the police in Punjab and Rajasthan, sources said.

Five members of an inter-state gang were also nabbed near Satipura village on the Sangria road on Sunday.

They were identified as Mahinder Singh, Rajinder Singh, Shaminder Singh, Gurtej Singh and Ramesh Kumar. One of their accomplices managed to flee under the cover of darkness. The police claimed to have recovered a number of sharp-edged weapons from them.

They were arrested under Sections 398, 399, 401, 402 of the IPC and 4/25 of the Arms Act. Investigations revealed that the gang was responsible for looting truck drivers, coming from Gujarat and Rajasthan to Punjab by intercepting them during night hours on the state highway.

Earlier, on Friday an attempt to smuggle 5.5 kg of opium was foiled with the arrest of two Moga-based couriers during search of a video bus before it entered Punjab.


2 BDPOs booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 19
The Patti police has booked two Block-Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) for allegedly defrauding their department of over Rs 26 lakh. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 201, 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the two officials. However, no arrest has been made so far.

Mr Gurpirkal Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, said that the erring BDPOs had been identified as Harjinder Singh and Malkiat Singh, who were posted at Patti when they reportedly committed the fraud. The services of the BDPO Malkiat Singh have been terminated, while Harjinder Singh has been transferred to Gurdaspur district.

The total amount of the fraud is said to be Rs 26,77, 955. The matter was brought to the notice of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Raminder Singh, who got the matter investigated. The DC has ordered the district police to register a criminal case against the BDPOs.


3 die as jeep, canter collide

Moga, April 19
All three occupants, including two women, all residents of Sran village under the Ghalkhurd police station of Ferozepore district died on the spot when their Mahindra jeep collided with a canter coming from opposite direction, near Matwant village under the Mahna police station of Moga district on Sunday on the Moga Ludhiana road.

The police said that the victims were identified as Jagseer Singh driving the jeep, his wife Jaswinder Kaur and their relative Harbans Kaur.

The deceased were returning to their village. The Canter driver escaped with his vehicle.

After a postmortem examination in the Moga civil hospital their bodies were taken to their native village by the family. — PTI


Fearing leak, paper cancelled
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 19
Guru Nanak Dev University today cancelled the paper of B.Com I (professional) when a bundle of question papers in HMV College, Jalandhar, was found to be mutilated.

The Registrar of the university, Dr R.S. Bawa, said a three-member high-level committee would probe the matter at the earliest. He, however, claimed that the step was taken as a precautionary measure.

However, sources said the possibility of leak could not be ruled out.


Farewell party for MCA students
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 19
The Regional Institute of Management and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a farewell party for its outgoing students of MBA, MCA and BCA courses on the institute campus last night. Mr Hukam Chand Bansal, chairman, O.P. Bansal Educational and Social Welfare Trust, presided over the function. Ms Nina Bansal, joint chairperson of the trust, was guest of honour.

Addressing the students, Mr Bansal said the students must strive for excellence as the present era was of competition. He wished the students success in life and assured them of all possible help from the management in getting decent place ments.

On this occasion, students of MBA, MCA and allied courses presented an impressive cultural programme.

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