P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



SAD told to delete some references in CDs
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Badal and Vajpayee as brothers

In one the CDs, to be released by the SAD for advertisement purpose, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, have been projected as brothers. The theme of this advertisement is that one has done a lot for Punjab's development when in power in Delhi and the other did the same for the state as Chief Minister. Development and projects such as Bathinda Oil Refinery, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Jalandhar-Amritsar national highway and loan waiving have been shown as achievements of the SAD-BJP rule in Punjab and the BJP-led government at the Centre. Voters have been asked to vote to bring these two brothers back in power to make Punjab prosperous.

Chandigarh, April 21
A three-member panel, set up by the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, Mr G.S. Cheema, to examine the contents of election-related advertisements to be telecast on the electronic media, today asked the Shiromani Akali Dal ( SAD) headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal to delete certain portions from the compact discs (CDs) submitted to it.

The SAD had submitted its CDs along with three copies of the script in Punjabi through its advocate, Mr Harpreet Singh Brar, on behalf of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary of the party, to the panel for clearance and to use the same for public viewing.

When contacted, Mr Brar said that the script would be redrafted tonight and submitted to the CEO for approval at the earliest possible. The Election Commission of India has instructed the Chief Electoral Officers not to allow any sort of personal attack in advertisements meant for electronic media. Also, there should be no reference to exploit or hurt any person's religious feelings in such advertisements.

The panel, which watched the CDs, has objected to the reference of anti-Sikh riots in 1984. The SAD has been asked to remove such references. The SAD had called voters in one of the advertisements to teach a lesson to the Congress in the elections because it was responsible for the riots.

The commission has also asked the SAD to remove all personal allegations levelled against Capt Amarinder Singh directly and indirectly. Even at one stage the panel objected to the reference of "Raja" in the CDs. The SAD has also been told to remove the reference of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from the CDs. In one CD, the SAD has stated in Punjabi that "Capt Sahib hun tan jawab deo, Bibi Bhattal nu hisab deo (Capt Sahib, give reply to Bhattal and give her explanation)".

However, the interesting part of the story is that the portions told to be deleted by the panel have been appearing in the advertisements issued by the SAD in various newspapers in the region. The same is true in case of other organisations which have been targeting the SAD, especially Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son through advertisements in the print media.

In fact, the SAD CDs have been stuffed with most of the text of advertisements which have been appearing in the print media for the past several days. However, the CEC has no objection to the appearance of the election-related advertisements with offensive and nasty comments in the print media. When asked in this connection, a senior officer of the Chief Electoral Office said, "We have no instructions to monitor or examine the contents of such advertisements appearing in the print media."

A senior political leader said that a lot of dirty linen was being washed in public by the Congress and the SAD by getting offensive advertisements inserted in the print media, but it was strange that no one was there to check such stuff. He said that the stuff appearing in the print media was likely to last for long in public memory than what they would see on the electronic media.

Informed sources said that various political parties had found several other channels to screen their "hot political stuff". Political parties have arranged VCRs and television sets, etc with big screens for this purpose. Even some political parties have procured home theatre systems for showing CDs to the electorate in the countryside.


Badal vows probe into ‘excesses’ against Akalis
Kanchan Vasdev and Ramesh Gupta

Faridkot, April 21
A former Chief Minister and the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today announced that if he came to power, he would set up a commission to probe the alleged excesses committed against the Akalis by the Congress government.

Comparing the “excesses” with those committed during the Emergency, he said the commission would be headed by a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He predicted that the Congress would be routed in the Lok Sabha elections and the NDA would return to power.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune here today after the filing of nomination papers by his son, Mr Sukhbir Badal, Mr Badal called for a ban on exit polls and surrogate advertisements published in the print media.

‘‘ The exit polls are misleading and should be stopped.’’ he said, stressing that even though the exit polls were in favour of the BJP, their ally, yet he was against this method of prediction of poll results.

He said the proposed commission would probe the excesses against Akali leaders and workers by the Congress government in the name of the anti-corruption drive in the state.

‘‘The commission will not be vindictive like the Congress government”, he said, adding that it would probe all false cases and allegations made against the Akalis and recommend action against the “script- writers”.

Mr Badal predicted that the SAD-BJP combine would win all Lok Sabha seats in the state and trigger the fall of the Congress government.

Mr Badal also warned bureaucrats not to dance to the tune of three persons who were calling the shots in the state. He alleged that even the MLAs of the ruling party were frustrated with the government.


Amarinder defends ad campaign against Badal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today defended the advertisement campaign against the Badals and the Shiromani Akali Dal claiming that the evidence used in these advertisements belonged to the Congress and not the Vigilance Department. He said it was the Congress that had provided the evidence to the Vigilance Department and now the party was using the same information to “educate people”. The Chief Minister was here in connection with the filing of nomination papers of party candidate, Munish Tiwari.

Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Pradesh Congress Committee president, H.S. Hanspal and some of his ministerial colleagues, the Chief Minister, while addressing a press conference, said the Congress was justified in “educating people” about the “corrupt deeds” of Mr Badal and his family.

When asked about the relation between the Congress and the Miri Piri Sewa Dal, which is spearheading the campaign against the Badals, he claimed, “We have no relationship with them. There are so many people opposed to Badals, but that does not mean that they all are associated with us”. Ask Mr Badal who is behind the smear campaign against me and my party?”, he said.

When asked what the government will do in case the Election Commission of India objected to such a campaign, he said, “Let the commission ask us. We are using the information which was primarily available with us.” He added, “Much before the Assembly elections, we had offered evidence about the corrupt deeds of the Badals. It was later provided to the Vigilance Department and now we are providing it to the people”.

He asserted that the Congress was a united and strong force in Punjab. He said there were no differences within the party and there was consensus among party leaders to ensure that the party won all seats in Punjab. He was seconded by a smiling and reconciliatory Ms Bhattal, who remarked, “There can always be differences between a brother and a sister”.

The Chief Minister agreed that the real issues in this election had gone to the background in view of the vitriolic and vituperative campaign launched by the Congress and the Akali Dal against each other. ‘But,’ he added, “the party will soon bring to the notice of the public the achievements of the government during the past two years. He said the power situation, particularly in rural areas, had substantially improved and the wheat had been lifted in time with adequate price paid to farmers. He said there were so many other achievements of the government which he could not count because of paucity of time.

He also defended senior party leader and former MP Galib, who was so far not participating in the campaign. He said since one of Mr Galib’s close relatives had died, he could not join the campaign. From today onwards, he would be as much a part of the electioneering in Ludhiana as anybody else, he added.


Sukhbir, Tiwari among 37 to file nominations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
As many as 37 candidates, including Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Mr Naresh Gujral and Mr Manish Tiwari, today filed their nomination papers for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The total number of nominations in Punjab has now risen to 79.

According to sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Independent candidate Davinder Singh filed his papers from the Gurdaspur constituency.

From Amritsar, Independent candidates Surinder Singh and Rahmat Masih filed their papers. Independent candidates Rajinder Singh and Tarlochan Singh filed their nominations from Tarn Taran.

Shiromani Akali Dal candidates Naresh Gujral and his wife, Anjali, filed their papers from Jalandhar along with Mr Sandip Jairath of the HJMP and Mr Vijay Kumar of the DPSD.

BJP candidate Avinash Rai Khanna filed his nomination papers from Hoshiarpur along with BGTD candidate Gurdev Singh, LJNSP candidate Harmesh Lal and BSP candidate Bhagwan Singh Chauhan.

From Ropar, Indian National Congress (INC) candidates Shamsher Singh and Harbans Kaur filed their papers.

BSP candidate Hargopal Singh filed his papers from Patiala along with BNWP candidate Ram Ishar Singh, GLSP candidate Kartar Singh and Independent candidate Ram Saroop.

As many as seven candidates, including Mr Manish Tiwari of the INC, filed their papers from Ludhiana. The other candidates who filed their nominations were Mr Sharanjit Singh and Ms Pawan Deep Kaur (both SAD), Mr Jasdev Singh (JSPY), Mr Rashpal Singh (Ind), Mr Hardev Singh (BSP) and Mr Manjit Singh (BGTD).

From Sangrur, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann of the SAD (A) and INC candidate Arvind Khanna filed their papers. Independent candidate Avtar Singh also filed his papers, along with BSP candidate Mangat Rai.

SAD candidates Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife, Harsimran Kaur, filed their nomination papers from Faridkot along with Independent candidate Harmel Singh.

SAD candidates Zora Singh and Vardev Singh filed their papers from Ferozepore along with Independent candidate Des Raj. Mr Anoop Singh of the LJNSP also filed his papers.


Sukhbir owns assets worth 20.79 crore
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, April 21
Mr Sukhbir Badal, General Secretary SAD and son of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is one of the richest persons in the state as he claims to own movable and immovable property worth over Rs 20.79 crore in a 15-page affidavit filed before the Faridkot district Returning Officer here today while filing his nomination papers.

He claimed to have taken Rs 1.73 crore as loan from Punjab and Sindh Bank, Chandigarh. Till March 31, 2004, he had deposits worth Rs 4.95 lakh in various banks. He has Rs 1.5 lakh cash with him.

The details of the property were eagerly awaited as the Badal family was facing charges of owning assets worth over Rs 4000 crore levelled by the Congress government led by Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh.

He has investments worth Rs 6.40 crore in Orbit Resorts, Integral Resorts, Falcon Properties Private Ltd., Dabwali Transport, Crystalline Deposits and Continental hatcheries.

His house in Sector 9, Chandigarh, is worth Rs 2.5 crore. He has invested money in various shares and bonds to the tune of Rs 6.4 crore. He owns a tractor (Messi Ferguson ) valued at Rs 1 lakh, gold and diamonds worth Rs 2.5 lakh.

His immovable property, including agricultural, non-agricultural and commercial sites is valued at Rs 8.4 crore. This includes his house in Sector 9, Chandigarh, ancestral and other property in Badal village, Ganganagar in Rajasthan , Balasar and Rania in Haryana and three flats in Delhi.

His wife Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal owns gold and diamond property worth Rs 41.5 lakh besides deposits in various banks worth about Rs 33,000. She does not have any other valuable in her name. Similar is the case with their three children, including Ms Harkirat Kaur, Ms Gurleen Kaur and Master Anantveer Singh.


Avinash Khanna files papers
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 21
Mr Avinash Rai Khanna state BJP chief along with Mr Varinder Singh Bajwa, Member, Rajya Sabha, MLAs, former ministers went to the office of the District Election Officer, Hoshiarpur, and filed his nomination papers as the BJP-SAD candidates from Hoshiarpur parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha poll here today.

Mr Bhagwan Singh also filed his nomination papers as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate, Mr Gurdev Singh as Bharatiya Samaj Party candidate, Mr Gurdev Singh as Bharatya Gaon Taj Dal candidate and Mr Harmesh Lal as Lok Jan Shakti candidate.

With the filing of above nominations the member of candidates in the poll fray here has increased to six.

Mr Khanna also declared his assets in his affidavit along with the nomination papers here today. He stated that he had Rs 15,000 while his wife has Rs 5,000. He has 3,69,225, in his bank account bonds of Rs 56,720, NSCs of Rs 1,20,000 and an LIC policy for Rs 1,75,000. His wife has NSC of Rs 55,000, daughter has an LIC policy of Rs 1,00,000 and son has NSC of Rs 10,000 and an LIC policy of Rs 75,000. He has a Maruti car and a scooter. He has 45 gram of gold jewellery, his wife 430 gram and his daughter 18 gram. He has three non-agricultural plots at Bahadurpur (Hoshiarpur), Nariala village and Saila Khurd.


Tur files papers as Independent
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, an SAD “rebel,” filed his nomination as an Independent candidate today. Mr Rehmat Masih and Mr Surinder Singh, both from Amritsar, and Mr Rajinder Rikhi from Taran Tarn also filed their nominations as Independent candidates.

This brings the total number of candidates from Amritsar to seven and Tarn Taran to eight.

According to the affidavits filed by the candidates, Mr Tur (59) declared “nil” cash. He acknowledged possessing a motorcycle, jewellery worth Rs 1,50,000 and plot on lease for a petrol pump from which he earns Rs 2,850 as monthly rent. He has agricultural land measuring 15 acres worth Rs 40 lakh in Tur village and three acres worth Rs 8 lakh in the same village in the name of his wife.

He also owns a 400 sq yard plot in Mohali worth Rs 12 lakh and a house worth Rs 5 lakh in a 1,400 sq yard area in Tur village.

Mr Rikhi declared Rs 10,000 cash, a scooter, a Maruti car, jewellery worth Rs 1,50,000, two plots worth Rs 6,50,000 and Rs 1,50,000.

Mr Masih did not file his assets declaration today.

Mr Surinder Singh in his affidavit declared Rs 30,000 cash, Rs 1,000 bank deposit, a house in Gurdaspur worth Rs 3,00,000, a house in Shuker village worth Rs 3,00,000 and household goods and ornaments valued at Rs 2,00,000.

Meanwhile, District Magistrate Raminder Singh banned the carrying of firearms, weapons, explosives and ammunition. He ordered all firearms be deposited at the nearest police station or authorised gun house in safe custody from May 6 till May 20.

In another order, he declared that from 5pm on May 8 to 5pm on May 10 and on May 13 (counting day) there will be a total ban on the sale of liquor at any shop, hotel, restaurant, club or other establishment as well as on storage of liquor by any individual.


Zora Singh Mann declares assets
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, April 21
The SAD-BJP candidate and sitting MP from the Ferozepore parliamentary constituency, Mr Zora Singh Mann, today filed his nomination papers in the office of the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr Ranjit Singh.

In the affidavit submitted by Mr Zora Singh Mann, declaring his movable and immovable assets, it was mentioned that he owns cash, debentures and gold worth Rs 8,80,000. Besides, he owns agricultural land worth Rs 31.26 lakh, residential property worth Rs 6.50 lakh, and other property share worth Rs 6.54 lakh. He also owes a loan worth Rs 7.23 lakh to the PADB, Jalalabad.

Mr Vardev Singh Mann, son of Mr Zora Singh Mann, filed nomination papers as his covering candidate. Mr Desh Raj and Mr Anoop Chand also filed their nomination papers as Independent candidates. Yesterday, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira had filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate.

In the disclosure of movable and immovable assets in the affidavit filed by rebel Akali leader, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, who is contesting the Lok Sabha poll from the Ferozepore constituency as an Independent candidate, it was mentioned that Mr Zira, along with his wife Ms Kulwant Kaur, two sons Kulbir Singh and Prabhjit Singh possess Rs 2,62,000/- in cash, seven LIC policies worth Rs 15 lakh, and own two cars and two jeeps, 345 gm of gold worth Rs 2,24,000, 290 kanals of agriculture land worth Rs 32 lakh, a residential plot in Kansal village in Kharar district worth Rs 5,00,000, two residential buildings in Zira worth Rs 10 lakh and Rs 22 lakh, respectively, a 6-kanal house in Behak Gujjran village in Zira worth Rs 8 lakh, one-third share in Hira Industry Zira and another one-third share in Atma Wires Zira in the name of his son. The total loans and liabilities standing against his name amount to Rs 21 lakh approximately.


Mann, Arvind Khanna enter election fray
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 21
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Arvind Khanna, candidate of the Congress, and Mr Mangat Rai Bansal, candidate of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), today filed their nomination papers from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency for the current Lok Sabha elections before the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Sarvjit Singh here.

Mr Avtar Singh of Rasoolpur village in Ludhiana district today filed his nomination papers as an Independent candidate while Ms Shagun Khanna, wife of Mr Arvind Khanna, filed her nomination papers as covering candidate of Mr Khanna. Ms Manoj Bala filed her nomination papers as covering candidate of Mr Mangat Rai Bansal of the BSP.

Mr Arvind Khanna filed his nomination papers in the presence of Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Mr H.S. Hanspal, PPCC chief, and Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister, Punjab.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann filed three sets of nomination papers in the presence of his party leaders, including Prof Jagmohan Singh and Mr Paramjit Singh Barnala, both general secretaries of the SAD (A), Mr Surinder Goyal Babbi, press secretary of the party, and Mr Jeet Singh Alloarkh, district president of the SAD (A).

Earlier, both candidates held rallies in the town. Mr Arvind Khanna’s rally was disrupted by rain and Capt Amarinder Singh could not reach the rally venue.

In his affidavit Mr Arvind Khanna has mentioned that he has Rs 20 lakh in cash, Rs 2.97 lakh in banks, bonds, debentures/shares of about Rs 3.23 crore, two Maruti cars, a Tata Safari and two Mercedez Benz cars worth Rs 98 lakh, agriculture land in Mehrauli, New Delhi, worth Rs 1.5 crore and a building in New Delhi, Mehrauli Shanti Farms worth Rs 50 lakh besides he has taken loans of Rs 56 lakh from banks.

Mr Khanna has also mentioned that his wife Shagun Khanna had Rs 50,000 in cash, Rs 44,000 in banks, jewellery worth Rs 8.40 lakh. One dependent Adhiraj Khanna had Rs 2.41 lakh in banks, while the second dependent Suryaveer Khanna has about Rs 1.88 lakh in banks.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann has mentioned in his affidavit that he has Rs 30,000 in cash, Rs 6.66 lakh in bank deposits, Rs 11.50 lakh in debentures and shares, a Qualis worth Rs 5.25 lakh, a scooter worth Rs 22,000, besides agriculture land worth lakhs of rupees. His wife has Rs 35,000 in cash, about Rs 2.39 lakh in bank deposits, about Rs 5.80 lakh invested in debenture and shares, jewellery about Rs 5 lakh and agriculture land worth lakhs of rupees.

Mr Mangat Rai Bansal, has mentioned in his affidavit that he has Rs 15,000 in cash, Rs 5 lakh in bank deposits, jewellery worth Rs 30,000, other assets from claim/interests worth Rs 5 lakh and agriculture land worth Rs 9 lakh, while his wife has Rs 15,000 in cash, Rs 1.57 lakh in banks, jewellery worth Rs 60,000, non-agricultural land worth Rs 15 lakh, a building worth Rs 5 lakh and a house/apartment worth Rs 25 lakh.


Kanwaljit: CM destroying Cong
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 21
Addressing a gathering in DCW, near Jhill village here today, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, SAD candidate from the Patiala Parliamentary constituency, accused the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of destroying the Congress after derailing the economy of the state and playing with lives of the people during his two-year rule.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh claimed that due to his authoritative behaviour, Capt Amarinder Singh had alienated 17 Ministers of his Cabinet, besides 37 MLAs, who instead of working for the welfare of the people of the state were forced to camp in Delhi in protest against the Chief Minister under the leadership of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.


Gujarat riots stain on BJP image: Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Cricket commentator-turned-BJP candidate Navjot Singh Sidhu has described the communal violence in Gujarat as an unfortunate blemish on the BJP’s image.

Talking to newspersons after addressing a series of election rallies here last night, Sidhu said the incidents in Gujarat needed to be forgotten as the party had to look towards the future. Answering questions about his joining the BJP with its Hindutva stance, Sidhu, in his flamboyant style, said the party had made a tremendous impact on the people and managed to win many elections to prove that it was not a communal party. He said Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had proved his calibre to lead the country.

Sidhu said he had a vision to transform the holy city into a throbbing commercial hub. He hoped that relations between India and Pakistan would further improve, which would help the city to revive its commerce and industry which had suffered during the past two decades. He pointed out that the phenomenal GDP growth during the past five years would bring about all-round prosperity in the country.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh refused to take “clear-cut” sides in the campaigning for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. The spinner said if Sidhu asked him to campaign for him, he would do it readily, provided he had the time. Asked if he would support Mr R.L. Bhatia, the Congress candidate, he said he would do so.


Has Naresh Gujral violated poll code?
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 21
Mr Naresh Gujral, SAD candidate and son of former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, today alleged to have violated the Model Code of Conduct when he went to file his nomination papers in a convoy, which included more than 200 vehicles.

Mr Naresh Gujral, along with his father and wife Anjali Gujral reached the district administrative complex at around 2 pm and submitted his nomination papers to the district Returning Officer, Mr A.K. Gupta.

Earlier, thousands of Akali and BJP workers gathered at a local gurdwara in the Model Town locality, from where they proceeded in the form of a procession, which included more than 200 vehicles. Assistant poll observer Daljit Singh said they had not received any formal complaint in this regard.

While talking to reporters, Mr I.K. Gujral thanked both SAD and the BJP for fielding his son from Jalandhar constituency. He predicted re-formation of NDA government at the Centre.

Asked that whether he would campaign for other BJP and SAD candidates also, Mr I.K. Gujral said, “I am going to stay in the Jalandhar constituency till the winning of my son”.

As per the affidavit filed by Mr Naresh Gujral along with his nomination papers, he has cash worth Rs 11,000 with him and in bank he has deposited Rs 1,18,811. He has investments in companies worth Rs 13,11,58,110. He has given worth of his total moveable property as Rs 14,08,51,517 and for immoveable properties he has declared that he owns agricultural land worth Rs 42,62,813 and residential and commercial property worth Rs 27,75,000.

Mr Naresh Gujral had deposited income tax of Rs 61 lakh in the last financial year and even paid the wealth tax of Rs 34,116 to the authorities.

Mr Naresh Gujral’s wife and two others also filed nominations for Jalandhar parliamentary constituency today.

While Mr Naresh Gujral has filed his paper as official candidate of the SAD, his wife has filed her nomination papers as covering candidate.

Other two nominations which were filed today include one from Mr Vijay Hans, nominee of the Democratic Bharatiya Samaj Party, and another from Mr Sandeep Jairath, nominee of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Punjab.


Dullo family owns assets of 2 cr
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 21
The Congress nominee from the Ropar reserve parliamentary constituency, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, today filed his nomination papers before the Deputy Commissioner-cum-returning officer, Ms Seema Jain, here today. While filing the nomination papers, Mr Dullo was accompanied by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board KPS Rana.

Mr Dullo also filed affidavit, giving details of his moveable and immoveable assets. As per the affidavit, Mr Dullo and his family own assets worth about Rs 2 crore. An interesting fact in the affidavit was that Mr Dullo did not furnish any detail of income tax or any other tax deposited by him or his dependents in the last financial year. Mr Dullo also did not have the Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax Department.

Later the wife of Mr Dullo, Ms Harbans Kaur, filed the papers as his covering candidate.


Tur files papers as Independent
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, an SAD “rebel,” filed his nomination as an Independent candidate today. Mr Rehmat Masih and Mr Surinder Singh, both from Amritsar, and Mr Rajinder Rikhi from Taran Tarn also filed their nominations as Independent candidates.

This brings the total number of candidates from Amritsar to seven and Tarn Taran to eight.

According to the affidavits filed by the candidates, Mr Tur (59) declared “nil” cash. He acknowledged possessing a motorcycle, jewellery worth Rs 1,50,000 and plot on lease for a petrol pump from which he earns Rs 2,850 as monthly rent. He has agricultural land measuring 15 acres worth Rs 40 lakh in Tur village and three acres worth Rs 8 lakh in the same village in the name of his wife.

He also owns a 400 sq yard plot in Mohali worth Rs 12 lakh and a house worth Rs 5 lakh in a 1,400 sq yard area in Tur village.

Mr Rikhi declared Rs 10,000 cash, a scooter, a Maruti car, jewellery worth Rs 1,50,000, two plots worth Rs 6,50,000 and Rs 1,50,000.


Cong preparing bogus votes, claim SAD, BJP
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP have expressed apprehension regarding the enrolment of bogus votes in the Kapurthala segment of Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat by Congress MLA Rana Gurjit Singh.

Addressing a press conference last evening Mr Raghbir Singh, former Transport Minister and Mr Hira Lal Dhir, President of district unit of the BJP, alleged that the ration cards were being prepared of slum dwellers of Ajit Nagar, railway station and nearby villages, for enrolling them as voters in supplementary list.

They alleged that the district administration was helping the Congress MLA for the enrolment of these bogus voters. They added that these votes would be included in supplementary list and the same would be tagged with main voter list at the time of polling.

The two leaders added that complaints had been made to the Election Commission of India , Punjab Election Commission and district returning officer, Jalandhar, in this regard. They demanded the appointment of a special observer for Kapurthala. 


Charges based on forged letter, claims Raninder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
Mr Raninder Singh, son of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that he had enough evidence at his command to prove that the allegations levelled against him regarding so-called ''transaction of money in a foreign company" were based on a fabricated letter and other documents. He said that he had submitted evidence through his counsel, Mr R.S. Gill, to Justice B.S. Nehra, head of the inquiry commission, set up by the Punjab Government to probe the matter. The copies of the documents had also been submitted to the Union Finance Minister and the Director, Enforcement Directorate, New Delhi.

Speaking to media persons, Mr Gill said here, ''The impugned letter is addressed to one company, Esquare Limited, Jersey, Channel Islands, on August 12 last year. On this date, this company did not in exist. A certificate from the Registrar of Companies duly notarised and embossed by the Indian High Commission regarding the non- existence of the company had been submitted to the Nehra commission as well as to the Union Finance Ministry and the Directorate of Enforcement.'' Mr Raninder Singh, who was present at the press conference, endorsed what his counsel said.


Elaborate arrangements for poll in Hoshiarpur
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, April 21
Mr Harjit Inder Singh Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, in a press note issued here yesterday, said elaborate arrangements had been made to hold impartial and peaceful Lok Sabha elections in the district. While the Nawanshahr and Banga assembly segments falls in Phillaur, the Balachaur assembly segment falls in the Hoshiarpur parliamentary constituency, he said adding that the total number of voters in the district was 408875, including 198310 women. The district had been divided into 62 zones and as many as 406 polling stations had been set up out of which 93 had been identified as sensitive.

Staff is being sent to villages to educate the people about using EVMs. Rehearsals for polling staff would be conducted on April 25, May 2 and May 9. Rehearsal for polling staff in the Banga assembly segment would be held at DAN College of Education for Women; for Nawanshahr assembly segments at RK Arya College here and for the Balachaur assembly segment at BAV Senior Secondary School, Balachaur.


Capt Kanwaljit’s wife, son join campaign
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, April 21
The wife and son of Capt Kanwaljit Singh today joined his election campaign as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

Mrs Saranjit Kaur, wife of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, and her son, Mr Jasjit Singh, also opened the party office today in the presence of a large number of supporters besides addressing party workers at Lalru and here.

They also appealed to the public to vote for Capt Kanwaljit Singh on account of his policies for the common man and development works done during his tenure as the Finance Minister in the SAD government.

While talking to mediapersons at Zirakpur, Mr Jasjit Singh, who has been made in charge of the Banur segment of the Patiala Lok Sabha seat for the SAD candidate, claimed that his father was a man of his words and had always worked for the uplift of the poor and the elderly.

He also highlighted the development works done during the SAD rule and spoke about corruption during the Congress rule.

Mr Jasjit Singh also informed the public about various schemes started by the SAD and withdrawn by the Congress.


Arrangements reviewed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh, April 21
Mr R. Reddy, election observer for the 7-Ropar(R) parliamentary constituency, today reviewed the poll arrangements with the District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner for the smooth, free and fair conduct of elections. He discussed various issues regarding the deployment of the polling staff, their stay arrangement in view of the reshuffling of the polling staff as well as the law and order issues. He also visited the polling booths and the counting centres to make an on-the-spot assessment.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, District Election Officer, said the election observer had expressed satisfaction over the arrangements being made by the district administration. He said approximately 2,000 polling staff were being deputed for the conduct of elections. He said in view of the instructions from the Election Commission of India, 50 per cent of the poll staff would be reshuffled among the adjoining districts of Ropar, Patiala and Ludhiana. He said the polling staff from other districts would be provided transport, boarding and lodging facility and meals also.

He said efforts were being made to exempt women staff from election duty. He said that there were 3,02,674 voters in the district out of which 1,59,293 were male and 1,43,381 female voters. He said for the 78-Amloh Assembly segment, 162 polling stations had been set up and out of these 35 had been identified as sensitive. Similarly for the 79-Sirhind Assembly segment, 146 polling booths had been set up out of which 38 had been identified as sensitive.

He said the locations of posting of the polling staff would be kept secret and these would be announced on the day just before the elections.


Wife inaugurates Dhindsa’s poll office
Our Correspondent

Barnala, April 21
Ms Harjit Kaur Dhindsa, wife of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Fertilisers Minister, and SAD nominee from the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency, inaugurated the poll office of her husband in Sadar Bazar yesterday evening. She also addressed an election meeting urging the people to vote and support Mr Dhindsa in the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Malkiat Singh Keetu, MLA, Barnala, said only Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee could provide an able leadership to the nation. He predicted a landslide victory for the NDA in Lok Sabha poll. This would also pave the way for the exit of Capt Amarinder Singh-led state government, he said.

Mr Raghbir Chand Garg, vice-president of the Barnala unit of the BJP, Mr Prem Pritam Jindal, BJP general secretary of the Barnala police district area, and Mr Dhiraj Kumar, president of the Barnala Mandal of the BJP, also spoke on the occasion.


Congress ‘promoting’ criminalisation in politics
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
Mr Pavanjeet Singh Bobby, general secretary, Youth Akali Dal, yesterday said the Congress had been promoting the culture of criminalisation in politics.

Talking to TNS here, he said the latest example was the inclusion of Mr Gurkirat Singh, grandsom of the late Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh, and the main accused in the Katia case, in the 11-member coordination committee of the Punjab Youth Congress constituted in the recent past.

He said a number of criminals had already been holding offices in the party set-up.


Cong leader flays PUNSUP functioning
Our Correspondent

Barnala, April 21
Mr Ved Parkash Tallewalia, president, Kacha Arhtiya Association, Barnala and a veteran Congress activist, has flayed the functioning of the Managing-Director of Punsup. In a statement, he said the department had been converted into a den of corruption.

In a letter to Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Mr Tallewalia alleged that corruption, inefficiency and indiscipline was rampant in Punsup department ever since the present M.D. took charge.


SAD(A)’s Bathinda ex-chief dead
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
Lakha Singh (80), former president of SAD (Amritsar), Bathinda district, today died at Bhucho Mandi in the district, 20 km from here.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, SAD (A), who along with a large number of party workers attended his funeral, said Lakha Singh was a staunch follower of the ideology of late Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

He is survived by two daughters and two sons.


Cong leader joins SAD
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, April 21
Congress leader and associate of the Congress candidate from Ferozepore, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Mr Anish Sidana, has joined the Shiromani Akali Dal. He was taken into the party fold by Mr Zora Singh Mann, SAD candidate from Ferozepore.


Muslim body’s plea on voters’ list

Hoshiarpur, April 21
Maulvi Syad Azhar Hasan, president of the Hoshiarpur district branch of the Muslim National Front, in a press note here today, stated that the names of a majority of Muslim voters had been deleted from the voters lists in rural and urban areas of the Hoshiarpur parliamentary constituency. He demanded immediate re-listing of all Muslim voters names, which had been deleted in the new voters lists.— OC


Shiv Sena leader joins BJP
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 21
At an election meeting of the BJP, Mr Vikram Kumra, vice-president, of the Punjab Shiv Sena (Bal Thakeray) joined the BJP here on Monday. Besides local leaders of various factions of the Shiv Sena the Congress also joined the BJP.


Amarinder threatens Centre on loan repayment
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 21
Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, today threatened the Union Government that he would not pay the special term loan advanced to the Punjab Government during 1985-1993 to curb militancy in the state. He said the state had yet to pay Rs 3772 crore of this loan. The payment of this loan would have to be made from April 2005, as the Union Government had granted a moratorium in the year 2000 up to 2005 on the repayment of the principal and the payment of interest.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Capt Amarinder Singh said Mr Inder Kumar Gujral, former Prime Minister, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab Chief Minister, were telling a lie to the people about the waiving off of the loan. He said he would not repay the loan, spent on security forces, because the Union Government had now been spending crores of rupees on its own to curb militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. He said this was a clear-cut discrimination against Punjab.

Capt Amarinder Singh said if the Union Government forced him to repay the loan after April 2005, he would move court to get justice and get the loan waived off, as the same had been sent on curbing militancy in the state and country.

He also said out of the total Rs 5799 crore loan, Punjab had paid only one instalment of Rs 771 crore, while an amount of Rs 1250 crore from this loan had been waived off by Dr Manmohan Singh, the then Union Finance Minister.

The Chief Minister stated that he had not violated the model code of conduct by announcing one-year remission in sentence to the prisoners on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Angad Dev. He said this decision would be implemented after elections and after getting approval from the Punjab Cabinet.

Capt Amarinder Singh claimed that there were no differences between him and Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister. He said we would campaign jointly in favour of the Congress candidates in the state, while Ms Bhattal would also be present on the occasion of filing nomination papers by Ms Preneet Kaur, the Congress candidate from the Patiala Lok Sabha seat, tomorrow. He said Ms Sonia Gandhi, the AICC chief, would tour Punjab from May 3 to boost the election campaign of the Congress candidates.

Capt Amarinder Singh also claimed that the state Congress had implemented 33 per cent reservation formula for women by allotting five Lok Sabha tickets to women in Punjab.

He also claimed that the Centre had allowed Punjab to sell 3 lakh bags of sugar every month, while from May, Punjab had been allowed to sell four lakh bags of sugar. He said this had given a relief to the farmers, as the state government had paid Rs 5 crore to the sugarcane producers in March and Rs 14 crore this month, while an amount of Rs 24 crore would be paid to the sugarcane growers in May.

ROPAR: The property case of corruption and disproportionate assets case, registered against Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his family by the Punjab Vigilance, were not being used by the Congress for electioneering. Capt Amarinder Singh stated this while responding to queries of newsmen here today regarding the contempt proceedings sought against him by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the Ropar court yesterday.

The Chief Minister said the congress was using only that evidence which the party had itself collected and supplied to the Punjab vigilance. The party has been using the said material against Mr Badal for the past four years even before the last Assembly elections, he said.

He was addressing a press conference at the residence of the PPCB Chairman Mr KPS Rana before accompanying the party nominee from the Ropar reserve constituency, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, for filing the nomination papers.


CET date changed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
Punjab Technical University (PTU) has postponed by a day the Common Entrance Test (CET) scheduled to be conducted by the university on June 1. The test will now be held on June 2.

The CET has been rescheduled following news reports that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) entrance test was clashing with the CET date and students who have taken both medical and non-medical in Class XII will not be able to appear for one of these tests.

PTU will be advertising the new schedule shortly and the examination forms will be available from April 26.


Sikhs urged not to vote for tainted Cong nominees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 21
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann today urged Sikh voters in Delhi not to vote for those Congress candidates who were allegedly involved in “killing” of hundreds of Sikhs in Delhi.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Mann said that the Congress should not have given party ticket to such candidates. He said that Sikhs should work for the defeat of such candidates.

He said that his party would contest the SGPC elections scheduled to be held on July11.

Releasing the party’s aims, objectives and policy programme, Mr Mann said that his organisation was for the reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The party would strive to have a system in place for frequent visits to Sikh religious places in Pakistan.


JE who exposed scam fears record tampering
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
Mr Moti Lal, Junior Engineer (JE), Punjab Mandi Board, who exposed a scam in the civil works executed by the department in the district in 2002, has expressed apprehension that the official involved in the scam could tamper with the records.

In a letter written to the Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Mr Moti Lal pointed out that the official who was allegedly involved in the scam was transferred to Chandigarh from Bathinda after he lodged complaints to senior officials in this connection. Subsequently, an inquiry was initiated into the matter. He said the official had again been transferred to Bathinda despite the fact that an inquiry by an officer of the rank of Superintending Engineer (SE), Punjab Mandi Board, was going on.

He added that if the official continued to remain posted in the Bathinda office, other officials who were aware of the scam would not be able to depose before the inquiry officer as they would come under pressure.

Mr A. Venu Parsad, Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, said as he was not aware of the facts of the case, he was not able to make a comment on the complaint lodged by Mr Moti Lal. He added that he would ensure that records pertaining to the civil works executed in 2002 in the district were scaled and placed in the custody of the Executive Engineer so that nobody could tamper with them.

He said he would also probe how the official who was allegedly involved in the scam got transferred to Bathinda even though the inquiry was going on.


Civil Lines residents face water shortage
Our Correspondent

Moga, April 21
Residents of the Civil Lines area, where the Deputy Commissioner and other officers reside, have been facing an acute shortage of drinking water for the past several days.

They told mediapersons here today that they had not recovered even a drop of drinking water for several days. They have repeatedly urged the Municipal Council to make immediate arrangements for uninterrupted water supply but in vain.

The hand pumps installed in houses for drawing water have been rendered useless as the ground water level in the region had gone down by about 100 feet due to the sowing of paddy by farmers.

Most of the residents cannot afford bottled water, priced at Rs 10 or Rs 15 per bottle.

According to sources, some tubewells installed in different parts of the town have been rendered useless as no repair has been carried out since long.

The residents have urged the Deputy Commissioner, Mr G. Romesh Kumar, to direct the council to make arrangements for the supply of water.


Pak delegation given warm send-off
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
On the last day of their stay in India, a delegation of Pakistani pilgrims visiting Rauza Sharif was accorded warm farewell parties by Rotary Club Sirhind. The Deputy Commissioner also hosted a party his house and the SGPC hosted another at Mata Gujri College here today.

Addressing the Rotarians and prominent citizens of the town, Mr Meer Haji Treen, former Union Minister of Pakistan and leader of the delegation, said he had been impressed by the spirit of Rotarians in India. Citing an example, he said one of his friends belonging to a middle-class family living in a remote rural area of Pakistan got treated his son at the PGI Chandigarh. He said the Rotary Club, Chandigarh, had borne all expenses on his treatment. He said there should be free trade and fewer visa restrictions between the two countries as the people of both the countries wanted good relations and frequent mutual visits.

Later the delegation visited the local Mata Guru College where the SGPC welcomed them and honoured members of the delegation.


38 street children leave for Pak
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Thirty-eight street children from Delhi would leave for Pakistan on a goodwill mission. The children in the age group of 12 years to 16 years will play a cricket match with their counterparts in that country besides discussing their problems. Mr Surjit Sharma President Rotary Amritsar (South) said the children met the lone eyewitness of Jallianwalla Bagh massacre ‘Bapu’ Shinghara Singh on Monday. They also visited the Citizens’ Forum Vidya Mandir school in Maqboolpura and interacted with children of drug addicts. The group includes children rescued by social organisations and police authorities from bonded labour and who worked as rag-pickers.


Trust to set up college in Tohra’s memory
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
The Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Education Trust, Fatehgarh Sahib, has decided to set up a college of architecture by the name Panth Rattan Jathedhar Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

This was decided at a meeting of the trust held today at a the local Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College after the bhog ceremony of the late Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief, Jathedhar Tohra.

Speaking to mediapersons, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra member secretary of the trust, said it was decided at the meeting to set up the college in the memory of a great leader of the Sikh panth as a mark of respect and to acknowledge Tohra’s contribution in the field of education.

He said the SGPC had set up the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Education Trust formed under the patronage of the SGPC with the approval of the Government of Punjab in 1993.


Bir Devinder to visit Chicago
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 21
The Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, will be participating in the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev at Gurdwara Gurjot Parkash Sahib, Chicago, as a representative of the Punjab Government.

Organised by Baba Daljit Singh Chicagowale of the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America, the anniversary celebrations are scheduled to be held from April 22 to April 25. Mr Bir Devinder Singh will visit New York, New Jersey, Washington and on his way back Toronto in Canada.

In a special message issued by the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, he said although he wanted to attend the parkash utsav himself, due to unavoidable circumstances he could not and had nominated Mr Bir Devinder Singh to carry his message on the occasion.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh will also convey to NRIs development works being carried out by the Punjab Government, especially efforts to encourage and develop the Punjabi language, particularly Gurmukhi lipi, and traditional sports which were started by Guru Angad Dev.


Two suffer from food poisoning
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 21
A brother and sister suffered from food poisoning after taking fast food from an eatery here yesterday. They were hospitalised. They were identified as Mr Kamalpreet Singh and Ms Rashpal Kaur. Both are children of a politician. It may be mentioned here that a family had fallen ill after taking fast food from this eatery two months back.

The local SMO, Dr Subhash Sharma, yesterday inspected the eatery. It was also learnt that the District Health Officer, Dr SS Gill, took samples.


6-hr-power for farm sector
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 21
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to provide six-hour 3-phase power supply to agriculture pump sets with immediate effect.

An official release here yesterday said this has been done keeping in mind the early onset of summers and lack of rainfall. The release further said in case of any complaint, farmers can contact at the nearest control room and complaint centre.


Bench changed
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 21
If the Director General of Police can be ordered to be shifted on the ground that his wife is contesting the election and that he can influence the elections, shouldn’t the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana also be shifted on similar grounds?

After all, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh can easily be accused of misusing his position to swing votes in favour of his wife, Preneet Kaur, who is contesting from Patiala. His Haryana counterpart, Om Prakash Chautala, can also be accused of helping his sons, Ajay and Abhay, who are Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) nominees for Bhiwani and Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seats, respectively.

This important issue is likely to come up during the hearing in a pubic interest petition (PIL) filed by Dr B. Singh in the High Court. In his writ, Dr Singh has sought action against the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana on the same grounds on which Haryana DGP M.S. Malik’s removal from the post was sought by the Election Commission.

Saying that politicians are being treated as super human beings by the Election Commission, Dr Singh has sought shifting of the two Chief Ministers for the same reason.

Today, a Division bench of the High Court comprising Mr Chief Justice B.K. Roy and Mr Justice Surya Kant referred the PIL to another Bench for hearing.

Private club case

The Punjab Government on Wednesday offered to get the alleged irregularities in the construction of a private golf club, Forest Hill Golf Club and Resort, reinvestigated by the Criminal Investigative Division wing of the Punjab Police.

This offer was made by counsel for the state during resumed hearing in a case relating to the resort.

Earlier, the Bench also asked the respondents to tell it how power connection was given to the controversial club. It also asked how an excise licence to allow serving of liquor on the club premises was given.

The case was later adjourned for tomorrow.

Plea dismissed

Mr Justice K.S. Garewal of the High Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of Shiromani Akali Dal leader Gurdev Badal, seeking quashing of the orders of the Special Judge, Ludhiana, in which his plea for being discharged in a case of disproportionate assets was turned down.

In his petition, Mr Badal, who is an MLA in Punjab, had asserted that the Vigilance Bureau did not take any permission from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker before booking him in the case under the Anti-Corruption Act.

His application for being discharged in the case, registered on November 25, 2002, on this ground was turned down by the Special Judge, Ludhiana.


Impeachment of judges demanded
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
The District Bar Association, Bathinda, has urged Parliament to impeach the judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court who proceeded on leave together.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Lakshmi Nairan Goyal, who presided over the meeting of the Bar last evening, said these judges should be transferred out of the Punjab and Haryana High Court immediately.

He said the Bar had also appealed to the President of India to take personal interest in the matter regarding the leave of High Court judges and should make arrangements for preventing the recurrence of such incidents. He said the action of a section of High Court judges had lowered the image of the entire judiciary of the country.


Gang of dacoits busted, 5 held
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 21
The district police claims to have arrested a gang of robbers and dacoits, who used to strike at night and loot cash and valuables. They were arrested on specific information received from near Sirhind while they were planning to strike in residential areas during the night.

According to Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, the police got information that some suspicious armed persons were holding a conversation on the banks of the Bhakra canal. He said a CIA team, led by Mr Gurmeet Singh, raided and arrested all the five persons along with weapons. He said the police seized a .12 bore rifle, two cartridges, iron rods, big knives, swords and other sharp-edged weapons. He said the culprits belonged to Bihar, UP and Bengal. The SSP said during interrogation they admitted that they had committed a number of thefts and dacoities in Sirhind and the surrounding areas. He said they were also involved in a chain-snatching incident, adding that now they were planning to strike at a well-to-do family’s houses in Sirhind during the night and they had already visited that area many times. He said their arrest had prevented the dacoity. Further interrogation of the culprits was going on and more crimes were likely to be solved. He said the police had registered case under the Arms Act at Sirhind police station.


Case against ‘fake’ medical practitioner
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
A case was registered against Mr Malkeet Singh, a resident of Balluana village of this district for his allegedly posing as a medical practitioner without requisite qualifications.

The case under Section 269, IPC and Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act was registered against him on a complaint by Mrs Gurdev Kaur, a resident of Balluana village, who suffered a lot after being treated by him.

The city police also registered a case against a local commission agent, Mr Rajinder Kumar and a firm owned by him, Dev Raj Sohan Lal, in grain market, Bathinda, for alleged involvement in cheating a farmer, Mr Kartar Singh, on the pretext of sending his son to Canada.

The accused allegedly took Rs 5 lakh from the complainant for sending his son to Canada in 2002 but never fulfilled the promise. The complainant had to sell his piece of agricultual land to arrange for Rs 5 lakh, which was given to Mr Rajinder Kumar.

A case in this connection was registered under Sections 406, 420 and 34, IPC, in the city police station.


Ex-DEO booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 21
The anti-fraud cell of the local police has booked former District Education Officer (Primary) Malti Batra on the charges of committing fraud.

Ms Batra was booked on the complaint of Mr Amarjeet Singh, a resident of the Bassi Pathana area of Fatehgarh district. The complainant had alleged that his brother and his family were booked under Section 304-B of the IPC in a dowry case. They were in judicial custody.

He came in contact with Ms Malti Batra through a resident of Ropar, Mr Nachattar Singh, in the 2001. Ms Batra told him that she had good contacts with the Judges posted in Fatehgarh district. She could secure a bail for his brother and family if he could arange Rs 5 lakh as graft.

The initial payment of Rs 4.5 lakh was also made to her. However, Ms Malti Batra failed to secure bail for his brothers. When he asked her to return the amount taken she refused to do so, the complainant alleged.

The police after conducting a preliminary investigation into the complaint, booked Ms Malti Batra under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC.

Ms Batra was, however, today released on bail by the CJM, Ropar, Mr J.S. Bhinder.


Tanker carrying chemical overturns, 1 dead
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 21
One person was burnt to death when a tanker (HR-46-5467) carrying Hexane chemical for Ranbaxy pharmaceutical unit in Arson, near Ropar, overturned near Chakalan village, about 10 km from here yesterday night.

The victim has been identified as Billo Ram, assistant of the tanker’s driver, Mr Phoolan Singh a resident of Punjabi Bagh area of Delhi.

The driver lost control over the vehicle while trying to overtake and the tanker overturned. The chemical in the tanker spilled out and spread in the area. Though the driver jumped out of vehicle, his assistant got trapped and was burnt to death. The driver also received burn injuries on legs and arms and was admitted at the Civil Hospital, Ropar. His condition was stated to be out of danger.

A major tragedy was averted as most of the chemical spilled in the waste land below the road and did not cause injuries to the commuters. The Ropar police has registered a case against the driver of the tanker.

The incidence has, however, brought to the fore the lack of safety measures in the tankers ferrying hazardous chemicals. As per the norms of the Department of Industrial Safety, any tanker ferrying hazardous chemical should have the fire extinguisher facility and first-aid box to deal with the injuries likely to be caused by chemicals. In addition, the driver operating the trucks should have been trained to deal with situations in case of any mishap.

However, in the present case neither the tanker had the fire extinguisher facility nor the first-aid box to treat the burn injuries inflicted by chemicals.


Three die in road accidents
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 21
Three persons were killed in different road accidents in Hoshiarpur district yesterday.

Cyclist Gurmail Singh of Bure Rajputan village died on the spot when a truck hit him near Sikri bus stand at 6.15 a.m. on the Hoshiarpur-Tanda road. The truck driver fled with his vehicle after the accident.

Mr Baldev Singh of Nainowal Vaid village was also crushed to death by a car on the Hoshiarpur-Tanda road yesterday morning. The car driver escaped after the accident.

Cyclist Mohinder Singh, a tailor of Jandoli, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI in Chandigarh. He was seriously injured when a speedy Tata Sumo hit him on Monday.


Nine-month-old boy murdered
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 21
A nine-month-old boy, Kishan, was snatched from his grandfather Satpal by Gurinder Singh in fit of rage and murdered last evening at Khadoor Sahib .

The child was caught by Gurinder from his feet and his head was repeatedly banged on the ground, killing him on the spot. A case has been registered by the Verowal police under Section 302 of the IPC.

Gurinder had come here from Boddi village in Kurukshetra district to participate in the recently concluded celebrations of the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev.


One killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 21
A woman was killed after a bus collided with a scooter near Balongi here today.

According to the police, the deceased, Ms Piyari Kaur, was travelling pillion on the scooter with her husband, Mr Meva Singh. Both the vehicles were coming from Chandigarh towards Kharar when the accident took place. Ms Piyari Kaur died on the spot. The police has registered a case under Section 279 and 304A of the IPC against the bus driver.


Woman robbed of earrings
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
Ms Aarti Bansal, resident of Bank Colony in Guru Gobind Singh Nagar of this town, was robbed of her earrings after being made unconscious by an unidentified man while she was standing outside her house this afternoon.

Her husband, Mr Sukhpal Bansal, said his wife was waiting for his daughters outside the house when the unidentified man came and put his hand on her face. After few seconds, his wife fell unconscious and the man took away her earrings. He added that his house was situated in a thickly populated area.

Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, senior Akali leader and former minister, visited the victim’s house.


Truck driver booked on sodomy charge
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 21
In a bizarre incident, Sonu alias Harpreet Singh, a truck driver allegedly committed sodomy with a seven-year-old boy in the truck owned by the accused in Janata Basti of Rampura town of this district on Monday.

Police sources said the victim, who went to the house of the accused for handing over some utensils, was taken into the truck parked outside the house of accused. The accused was reportedly consuming liquor when the victim went to his house.

Sources added that the accused had been arrested. A case under Section 377, IPC, was registered against him after medical examination of the victim.


Man beaten up by cops, dies
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 21
Jasbir Singh (30), a resident of the local Ajit Nagar, died after he was allegedly beaten up by a group of Punjab police personnel, who kept him in illegal detention for more than 20 hours for a petty offence. The victim’s father alleged that the police refused to register a case against the erring police official.

Agitated family members staged a dharna outside the local Civil Hospital along with the body of the deceased, which was later shifted to the post-mortem section of the hospital by the police amid protest. The family members demanded the registration of a murder case against the culprits.


Two crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 21
Two youths were crushed to death by a truck on Thandi Sadak near a telephone exchange here yesterday.

According to information available, two youths Mohammad Saleem and Lal Mohan were coming out of a warehouse godown on their motor cycle. The mishap occurred when they tried to cross the road. Both died on the spot.

The truck driver managed to escape. A case has been registered in this regard.

The bodies were handed over to their relatives after a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.


Video cassettes, CDs seized
Our Correspondent

Abohar, April 21
Hundreds of audio and video cassettes besides CDs were seized by the police in a raid carried out in two shops in the Sadar Bazar here last evening. As news spread in other markets and localities, most of the audio video parlours put down their shutters.

The police only confirmed that Mr Gurmeet Singh and Mr Jagdish Kataria had been taken in custody.

Over six municipal councillors gathered in the old city police complex later, sources said.


Woman hurt as gun goes off
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 21
Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Krishna Avenue, was seriously injured in an accidental firing incident outside Khurana Jewellery House at Ebony central mall when she was coming out of the jewellery house about 4 p.m. here today.

The police has rounded up two persons in this regard. The woman was immediately taken to a private hospital here where she was operated upon and stated to be out of danger.


1,050 kg of poppy husk seized

Jalandhar, April 21
The district police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of smugglers of narcotics with the arrest of four persons and the recovery of 30 sacks of poppy husk weighing 1,050 kg.

The district police chief, Mr G.P.S.Bhullar, said here that a police party near Punia village, intercepted a truck. The driver tried to escape but was stopped. — PTI


Punjabi varsity core depts being ‘neglected’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 21
The Forum for Educational Actions and Reforms (FEAR) alleged today that the core departments of Punjabi University were being neglected by the authorities. The departments included Guru Granth Sahib Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Department of Comparative Religion, Department of Punjabi Literary Studies and Department of Dictionary (Lexicography).

The president of the forum, Dr Amarjit Singh Dhillon, said on the one hand, due to 400th year of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib, the varsity authorities had decided to make the holy granth the main theme of every conference to be organised this year, on the other, in the Department of Guru Granth Sahib Studies there was only one professor, Dr Gurnam Kaur, and one lecturer Dr Sarbjinder Singh.

He added that the post of a professor was lying vacant after the retirement of Dr Balkar Singh in March 2002. Two posts of reader were also lying vacant after the retirement of Dr Gurdev Kaur and Dr Shameher in January 2002.

In addition to this, the post of a honorary professor and the post of a visiting professor were also lying vacant.

He alleged that in the Guru Gobind Singh Department of Comparative Religion, posts of professor of Budhism, Islam, Christianity and Jainism were also lying vacant. At present there were only three professor, two of Sikhism and one of Hinduism.

All these professor were promotees and there was no professor who had been directly recruited. He said the poor condition of core departments reflected a lack of academic vision of the authorities.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |