P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Jalandhar MC plans to shift dairies from today
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 29
Keeping in view the detection of some cases of gastroenteritis in the city and to deal with the problem of choking of sewerage, the local Municipal Corporation has mooted a plan to shift a number of the city-based dairies to Jamsher village based dairy complex, possibly with the help of police force.

Meanwhile, on the basis of a request of the civic body, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, has ordered that police force be provided to the civic body so as to ensure the smooth shifting of the dairies.

About half of the nearly 300 dairies were still based in the city, which were allegedly contributing to the problem of frequent choking of sewers and spread of diseases in some parts of the city, particularly in areas where the number of dairies was more and where dairy owners allegedly flushed animal secretions like cowdung into sewer lines. About 150 dairies had already been shifted to the Jamsher-based dairy complex by their owners over the past about one and half years. Despite repeated efforts by the Municipal Corporation authorities, city-based dairy owners have allegedly been reluctant to go to the dairy complex on the outskirts of the city. However, they seem to have been left with no other alternative but to shift their units in view of a directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Municipal Corporation to shift these dairies out of the city by June 15, sources in the Municipal Corporation said.

The corporation, would kickstart the process of shifting the remaining city-based dairies to the Jamsher dairy complex from tomorrow. The problem of shortage of officials in its police wing would be sorted out by taking additional police force from the district police so as to avert any clash or tackle law and order problem. The dairy owners would be first requested to shift on their own in accordance with an already-issued corporation notice, but if they resisted, they would be shifted with the help of police officials, sources in the corporation maintained.

Mr Rajpal Sandhu, SP (City), has confirmed that the district police had received orders from the District Magistrate for providing additional police force to the corporation for the purpose and that the shifting process would be initiated from tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Mr Surinder Mahey, Mayor, Mr Satwant Singh Johal, Additional Commissioner of the civic body, and Mr A.K. Parbhakar, SE, discussed the shifting plan with senior police officials separately.


Controversial file disappears
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, MAY 29
The controversial file of the Sports Department dealing with the recruitment of six Deputy Superintendents in the Punjab Police under the sports quota has disappeared, sources in the Punjab Government revealed today.

The department, sources held, is now contemplating legal action in this regard .

High drama was witnessed during the past two days after the Sports Department was asked by the Punjab Law Office (Advocate-General’s office) to present the file for production in the Punjab and Haryana High Court where recruitment of six Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) under the sports quota has been challenged.

The Sports Department officials were put under tremendous pressure not to produce the file in the court yesterday. It was at the intervention of the Chief Ministers’ Secretariat that the file was taken to the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday by a Joint Secretary of the Sports Department. Though the department officials held that file was handed over to a law officer (Senior Deputy Advocate-General) yesterday while the arguments were in progress, the file has been reported missing since then.

The notings in the file, sources reveal, have raised doubts about the selection criteria and procedure being followed in making the recruitments in a hurried manner.

Among those selected for the appointment as DSP under the sports quota are the sons of the Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, and the Senior Superintendent of Police of Ferozepore, Mr Harinder Singh Chahal. Besides, a budding shooter, a wrestler and a horse rider were among the remaining four selected by the government a couple of months ago. The selections were challenged by a public interest litigation and a petition filed by some sportsmen, who held that the selection criteria was tailor-made to suit the pre-determined candidates.

After the conclusion of arguments, the court had reserved the judgment. Since the file of the Sports Department could not be produced yesterday, the state was asked to present the file today. But before it could be handed over to the court, it reportedly disappeared. Efforts made to contact Sports Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang , and the Secretary Sports, Mr D.S. Bains, were unsuccessful as they were reported out of station.


Punjab law officers: reshuffle on cards
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 29
Punjab Chief Secretary J.S. Gill, Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh, and Principal Secretary (Home) Sanjit Kumar Sinha are scheduled to meet on Monday afternoon to finalise names of law officers of the state.

The term of the present law officers, including Senior Additional Advocate Generals, Additional Advocate Generals, Senior Deputy Advocate Generals, Deputy Advocate Generals and Assistant Advocate Generals, which was extended for two months in April this year due to the Lok Sabha elections, will end on May 31.

Though some senior government officers also said that there was a possibility of the term of the present team being extended for another month, this seemed unlikely.

According to sources, it could take some days for the final list to be released by the government as the performance of the present law officers will also be reviewed to decide whom to continue and whom to drop.

However, sources said that finally a lot would depend on who managed to get the backing of the powers-that-be in the Punjab Government as merit will not be the only criteria in the selections.

However, government officials ruled out the possibility of the number of law officers being drastically pruned from the present over 120.


Badals to face charges on July 7
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 29
Stage is set for framing of charges against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, his family and others on July 7 in the disproportionate assets and corruption case filed against the former by the Punjab Vigilance.

In the proceedings today the special judge, Ropar, Mr S.K. Goel, upheld the jurisdiction of the Ropar court to try the case against the Badals. He also held that no sanction from any authority was required for initiating the proceedings against Mr Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal.

The counsel for the Badals challenged the jurisdiction of the Ropar court to try the case. They maintained that as per the Prevention of Corruption Act only the special court of the area could try the case. Since all allegations were during Mr Badal’s stint as Chief Minister so only the Chandigarh special court had the jurisdiction of trying the case as his office was in Chandigarh at that time.

To this, the prosecution maintained that since corruption was committed by Mr Badal at various places the government had the power under the Prevention of Corruption Act to empower any court to try all these cases at a single place.

The notification by the Punjab Governor has empowered the Ropar special court to try all cases of corruption committed anywhere in Punjab that were registered at the Mohali police station of the Vigilance.

Besides, in Ropar they own a poultry farm here which is part of the disproportionate assets mentioned in the challan. On this pretext the special court, Ropar, had the jurisdiction to try the case against the Badals, the prosecution maintained.

The defence counsel maintained that the Vigilance had not obtained sanction from a competent authority before prosecuting the Badals, both of whom were public servants. In case of Mr Parkash Singh Badals the sanction should have been sought from the Governor in this regard. In case of Mr Sukhbir Badal, who was member of the Rajya Sabha, the sanction should have been sought from the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the defence maintained.

The public prosecutor maintained that the sanction for prosecution of a public servant was required only in case he was holding the same office at the time of committing the crime.

Applications challenging the jurisdiction of the Ropar special court filed by former SAD ministers Tota Singh, Nirmal Singh Kahlon and Sohan Singh Thandal were also rejected.


Sikh bodies urged to unite against SAD
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal today urged all Akali factions, Sikh Students Federation Groups, Dal Khalsa and other associated Sikh organisations to join hands to defeat the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the forthcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

In a statement issued here, Dal president Jaswant Singh Mann said all such parties should form a Panthic parliamentary board without dissolving their present set-ups. He said the formation of such a board could help oust the SAD which, he claimed, had caused damage to Sikh institutions, principles and code of conduct.

Expressing anguish over the recent developments in the SGPC, Mr Mann said the institution had deteriorated to such an extent that all right-minded Sikhs had lost faith in it. He said a handful of influential people had usurped all power and were misusing it for their personal gain. “These people need to be weeded out”, he added.

The Dal president said the SAD had achieved success in the recent Lok Sabha elections due to use of muscle power, distribution of money and other allurements. He said the SAD, instead of doing anything to solve the problems of the State, was indulging in family promotion. He urged all Panthic parties to unite in the interests of the Panth to oust the Badal Dal from the SGPC.


Put off SGPC poll, demands AISAD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, headed by Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, has urged the Union Home Ministry to postpone the SGPC elections scheduled to be held on July 11.

In a letter to the Home Minister, Mr Mann has said farmers would be busy in the transplantation of paddy in the first half of July and would not be able to take part in the elections.

He said a case was pending in the court to decide on the issue of voting rights for Sehajdharis, who had been debarred from casting their vote in the SGPC elections. The elections should be held only after the decision, he added. He said the voter lists required to be revised as many ineligible voters had got themselves enlisted.

He pointed out the fact that in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections the minimum age for a voter was 18 years, while in the SGPC elections the age was still 21 years. Voter lists should be revised to include those who had attained the age of 18 years, he added.


Draw up code for siropas, says Badungar
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
Former Shiromani Committee president Kirpal Singh Badungar yesterday appealed to Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti to frame a uniform policy to bestow ‘siropas’.

Mr Badungar said it was unfortunate that controversies were being generated on the issue of giving of ‘siropas’ recently. He said this was because on occasions this honour was bestowed purely for political considerations rather than service by the recipient for the Sikh Panth.

He said even when he was SGPC President and before that he had requested Akal Takht Jathedar to form a uniform policy on the issue.

He said even though there was a well-defined code of conduct it was strange that siropas were being bestowed on some persons without taking the code on conduct into consideration.

Mr Badungar requested the Akal Takht Jathedar to consider his request seriously and make well-defined policy stating how the honour was to be bestowed and under what considerations.


Pak visitors relive past
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, May 29
Excited, they fetched bottled soft drinks for him, but he refused. Then they brought chilled milk, he refused again with folded hands; the offer of tea met the same response.

Repeated refusal to accept anything offered to the “special” guest by residents of Sialva Majri, in Ropar district, put the hosts in a quandary this morning till the guest himself made a request: “Is pind da pani barra mitha see, mainu pani deo.” And one after another, he guzzled six glasses of water, and the villagers heaved a sigh of relief.

The villagers were perhaps unable to understand what the “mitha pani” meant to the guest from Lahore. He had waited for 57 years to have that water and today his wish stood fulfilled.

The special guest was Mr Sabar Lodhi, a retired professor of Government College, Lahore. He used to travel daily to Islamia School in Ropar from Sialva Majri. He was in class IX when the flood of Partition swept him to the area that is today Pakistan.

Mr Lodhi has come here as a delegate to attend the World Punjabi Conference along with his wife, who is from Hoshiarpur. He couldn’t resist the wish to see the village and went there with his wife this morning. Mr Rafique Mohammad, a resident of the village, helped him locate his house.

“But only one kacchi kandh (mud wall) stands there.” He was unable to say anything more, as tears rolled down his cheeks. Immediately, he left for his room in hotel Shivalikview, also the venue of the conference, perhaps to be alone.

A few yards away from the room, the topic being discussed was “ambian (unripe mangos).” “Main Hoshiarpur dian panj ambian laike janian, main wada karke aian,” said a tall and handsome man with a bushy moustache, clad in a Pathani kurta-pyjama and Punjabi jutti. The man was Afzal Ahsan Randhawa, an eminent Punjabi writer. Born in Amritsar, Randhawa is yet to calm down emotionally even after the two days of crossing the Wagah border.

“Emotions have overwhelmed me. I am feeling lost. When I will be my normal self, I can’t say,” he said. Going back to the “ambis,” he said many migrants from Hoshiarpur lived in Layallpur (now Faislabad). “I promised to bring ambis from Hoshiarpur for them,” he explained, humming a Punjabi folk song: “Ambian nu tarsengi, chhad ke desh Doaba.” Randhawa wrote a novel, “Doaba,” in 1981.

Gulam Farid Sheikh, a resident of Ismailpur Khokhran village in Sahiwal district, is a poet and prose writer. Immediately after introducing himself, he popped a question: “Do you know Sardar Hajara Singh Zaildar, or Mr Mann Singh, Mr Billa Singh, Mr Bhagat Singh...?

“I am looking for these people. They migrated from my village to this part of Punjab during Partition. My family arranged bullock carts to transport their belongings. I want to meet this family. If any of you know them, please help me locate them,” he said. “I want to tell these ‘sardars’ their houses are still intact in my village and I have some gifts for them,” he added.

And hidden behind these glasses of “mitha pani,” “ambian” and “kachi kandh” is a story of human passions, emotions, warmth, pain of separation and the ecstasy of reunion that has brought over 150 Pakistani delegates to attend the conference.


Punjab Language Dept ignored
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
The 10th World Punjabi Conference which started yesterday at Chandigarh may have given a clarion call for promoting Punjabi language and culture but the State Language department, which is the sole official department responsible for propagating the cause of language in the state, has not been represented at the conference.

The department, which is headquartered here, is responsible for the propagation of Punjabi language and also for monitoring use of the language in government offices. Besides bringing out reference books and magazines in Punjabi, it is responsible for bestowing 13 Shiromani awards which carry a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each and one Shiromani Sahitkar award which carries a cash prize of Rs 1.25 lakh.

State Language Director Dr Rachpal Singh Gill when questioned on the issue, laid the blame on the previous dispensation. Dr Gill, who has taken over recently and is scheduled to retire in a few days, said the earlier Director had minimised the department to such an extent that it was no longer recognised as an august institution. The department is presently left with only 50 per cent staff and is now being looked upon as an institution responsible for primarily bestowing Shiromani awards only, he said.

Dr Gill said he had during his short tenure completed work on a 15-year-old project - Punjab Kosh (Encyclopedia of Punjab in Punjabi) which had been brought out by the department in two volumes of 1,000 pages each. He said the work, which was authored by him, would be released by State Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on May 31. It contains entries about the erstwhile Punjab at the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Punjab after 1947 and the present Punjab. The Encyclopedia is illustrated with colour photographs.

Meanwhile, sources disclosed that the Language Department had been ignored not only during the hosting of the present World Punjabi Conference but was scheduled to get a royal ignore during the hosting of a similar conference in September which is being sponsored by the Punjab Government and is scheduled to be hosted by Punjabi University here.

Sources said the government had asked the department to give Rs 2 crore for the purpose and the department had duly written to the government for the same.

Till now the department does not have any representation in the conference.

Former department Director Madan Lal Hasija, who retired two months back, when questioned on the issue of “minimising’’ of the department during his tenure as alleged by Dr Gill, said no Director could downsize any department. He said downsizing if any was done by the government and he did not have any role in it. He said some objectives, including regular awards to writers, could not be given due to budget constraints.

Dr Hasija said, however, as far as academic work was concerned, the department had seen computerisation of all its activities as well as launch of a manuscript preservation project. He said the department had also utilised its budget completely during his tenure.


Pakistani women writers a challenge to fundamentalism
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
The Pakistani delegation has never had as many women writers as it has this time. Representing a new consciousness, most of these writers have a mind of their own and they have often been challenging the rotting, feudal system Pakistan has long nurtured.

Leading the pack of liberal writers, who have impacted opinion in Pakistan, is Neelima Naheed Durrani, an eminent writer and the seniormost women police officer in Pakistan. Balancing contradictory roles, she has not only reached the top most position in her profession but has also written five anthologies of poems that show reality.

Admitting to the deep rooted parochialism which has taken the better of Pakistan, Neelima, a Senior Superintendent of Police in Pakistan, has used the power of literature to set things in the society right. Most of her poems buy themes from the gory scenes of crime, violence against women and social evils, like adultery and incest which thrive in the setting she lives in.

"Women in Pakistan are often victimized within the four walls of their house. It is not the street, but the cosy room of the house which becomes the backdrop for crime. Forms of violence are strange. At my position, I work hard to handle such situations. I think writing that gives me sanity. I also use it as a tool for psycho analysis of criminals."

Also a teacher at the academy run by the police in Pakistan, Neeelima instructs newcomers in the craft of nabbing criminals. Taking on the fundamentalists who prefer women to bury voices of dissent, she also has a dig on the system in her poems. Most of her works focus on equal rights for women. She says, "Poetry plays a very important role in reforming the society. It has helped me improve the police-public relationship. I have also been one of the forces behind the opening of women police stations where women can complain against criminals fearlessly. Through my writings I am further trying to work on the rights for women. Let us see where we reach."

Accompanying the delegation is another writer-scholar Bushra Ejaz, who represents the upper class of Pakistan. Despite roots in a feudal set up, Bushra managed to break free of shackles to talk freedom of thought and expression. She has already authored several short stories on the status of women in Pakistan and their emerging personality. She has also written two travelogues. Now she is a columnist with the Urdu paper "Khabaran".

Parveen Atif, an eminent writer-poetess has always denounced nuclear tests in her writings, that are committed to peace between the two nations. Even yesterday she called for a ban on nuclear tests and a focus on basic problems of poverty and unemployment. Sharing her view is Nasreen Bhatti, another Pak writer, who wishes conferences like the ongoing one should extend further to encompass better issues.


2 nephews of wife’s abusers killed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
In a gruesome revenge, a resident of Yadavindra Colony in the city killed two nephews of two brothers in two separate incidents, after they allegedly abused his wife sexually after taking her pictures in compromising positions.

According to ASP Kushtav Sharma, the police arrested the husband and his accomplice and solved the mystery behind the murder committed one-and-a-half-year back.

The police officer said Jagir Singh and his friend Vicky killed a nephew of two brothers Major Singh and Lakhi Singh one-and-a-half-year back and threw his body in the Bhakra canal near Sidhowal village. He said the case could not be traced and the police registered a case of disappearance.

Jagir Singh and his friend did not stop at this. Earlier this month they stabbed another nephew of Major Singh and Lakhi Singh, Lovely, and threw his body in the Bhakra canal. This time too the police registered a case of disappearance in its daily diary register. However, it was changed to one of kidnapping when some persons reported that they had seen Lovely with Major Singh and Lakhi Singh.

When the duo were questioned, they confessed to both the killings.


Fear grips industrialists after Vij’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 29
While the two factories of industrialist-exporter Shital Vij, who was arrested by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Friday evening at Ludhiana for allegedly evading customs duty running into crores, started functioning this morning, his arrest has instilled a fear psychosis among a large number of local industrialist-exporters.

The production at the industrial focal point based blanket-making factories of Mr Vij, it was learnt, had allegedly come to a halt on Thursday evening after Mr Vij was allegedly detained and subsequently arrested by the DRI officials at Ludhiana, where he had gone to attend some function.

There were, however, conflicting reports about the closure of factories, as the watchman at one of the factories asserted that none of the factories had stopped production, while some factory workers who were roaming around the place maintained that the gates of factories were seen closed on Thursday evening and that they did not know the exact reason behind it. Actually, some people had come to click pictures when the gates were closed. We keep the main gate closed and there was no raid during past three days, said the watchman at one of the factories.

Meanwhile, the arrest of Mr Vij on Friday evening in Ludhiana, it was learnt, has sent shock waves among a large number of industrialists who have started fearing troubles for them. Those who were particularly disturbed were about a dozen industrial-exporters of Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar against whom the ED was already conducting its probe since November along with Mr Vij, one Dr Nagendra and a Canada-based doctor, who was declared a proclaimed offender in Punjab sometime back, maintained ED sources.

Yes, focus of our ongoing investigation was on about a dozen industrialists, including Mr Vij, said an ED official on the condition of anonymity. It was believed that the DRI action against Mr Vij was based on some documents and findings of the ED, which had initiated its investigations in November last year.

Mr Shital Vij’s arrest has also been reportedly giving tough time to some senior police and administrative officials, who have been close to him, and now efforts could also gain momentum by his opponents and detractors to replace him as president of the prestigious Sri Devi Talab Temple Management Committee, sources pointed out. Mr Vij was last year elected president of the committee, which has a considerable influence among residents of the city.


Ex-minister’s aide evades arrest
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 29
Vigilance Bureau sleuths have failed to arrest Harjinder Singh, an aide of former Akali minister, Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Officials of the bureau yesterday conducted a raid on Harjinder Singh’s residence here.

Harjinder Singh is wanted by the bureau for interrogation in a multi-crore Ujaggar Singh Sekhwan Memorial Hospital-cum-Dental College, Kahnuwan, of which Harjinder Singh is the general secretary.

According to a bureau official, Harjinder Singh has with him the records of the hospital which can reveal the transactions made in the hospital, along with their sources of influx.

Harjinder Singh has been evading arrest since he was denied bail by the Punjab and Haryana Court. A case has been registered by the Vigilance Bureau under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B, 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Harjinder Singh, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and other members of the trust formed to run the hospital and dental college on December 16, 2002. Mr Sekhwan has been let off on bail. It is alleged that government funds have been misused in the construction of the hospital in the name of his father by Mr Sekhwan.


DCC chief urges Sonia to check Bhattal’s activities
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 29
Mr Surinderiqbal Singh Brar, president of the District Congress Committee (DCC), Faridkot, has appealed AICC President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to check the activities of the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, in the interest of the party as well as of the state. He said her omissions and commissions in the past and anti-party role in the recent Lok Sabha elections in the state had tarnished the image of the party. He said if no corrective measures were taken soon to control her utterances and activities, the party would face serious consequences in the forthcoming byelection from the three Assembly constituencies, including Kapurthala, Garshshankar and Ajnala, which remained vacant following the election of Rana Gurjit Singh Sodhi (Congress), Mr Avinash Khanna (BJP) and Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala (SAD), respectively to Parliament.

Expressing concern over the prevailing circumstances in the state Congress in a press statement here today, Mr Brar requested senior party leaders to play a constructive role in strengthening the party.

The DCC president said the Common Minimum Programme indicated the broad vision of the Congress in paying special attention towards the farming community. He also expressed confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.


Bhattal loyalist for debate on Cong defeat
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, May 29
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary Parminder Mehta a confidant of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has asked Mr Amarinder Singh’s loyalists for a debate in the party instead of in the media. Mr Mehta asked all to find out causes of the Congress defeat.

Mr Mehta urged Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to discipline the elements, creating factionalism in the party. Punjab Mahila Congress general secretary Mrs Veena Sobti was also present.


Wildlife wardens to seek cancellation of SDM's bail
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
It was a day of respite for the wildlife wardens of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur who are fighting it out against SDM Puneet Goel, Pathankot, charged with poaching of the national bird. The case took a dramatic turn today with the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice B.K. Roy allowing petitioners in the case to apply for the cancellation of SDM Puneet Goel's bail.

The Chief Justice pronounced this order on the application in which Mr Gunraj Singh and Mr S.S. Bajwa, honorary wildlife wardens of Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, respectively brought on record the inadequacy of security provided to them by the police authorities. Taking a serious view on the matter, the Chief Justice, in his strong-worded order, has observed that the SSPs of the two cities would be personally responsible in case something goes wrong with the two petitioners.

In the city today to follow the proceedings in the sensitive case involving the prestige of the national bird, the two wardens welcomed the order of the Chief Justice, who earlier ordered the SSPs of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur to provide adequate security to the two wardens, who are apprehending threat to their life.

Talking to The Tribune today the wildlife wardens said they brought before the high court the issue of inadequate security. Ironically, the gunmen deputed with them by the police authorities were armed with bulky firearms like 303 rifles and SLRs which would prove to be non functional in the event of a tragedy.

Taking up the application of the wardens, who stated that the guns provided for their security were a mere eyewash, the Chief Justice gave the petitioners the liberty to file an application for the cancellation of bail to the accused SDM, Pathankot. The Chief Justice also observed in his order, "Herein we direct that if such an application is filed before the competent court concerned, the court would be obliged to take immediate stringent action in accordance with law. However, after recording reason for doing so, having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we observe that if anything happens to any one of the petitioners, the SSP, Hoshiarpur, and the SSP, Gurdaspur, will be squarely responsible for that act, apart from the disciplinary proceedings for failure to protect the life and liberty of the petitioner."

Satisfied with the order, the honorary wildlife wardens confirmed to The Tribune that they would apply for the cancellation of SDM bail at Hoshiarpur.


PCMS body blames admn for diarrhoea outbreak
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 29
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has held the district administration responsible for the recent outbreak of diarrhoea in Sukhchainpura, Himmatpura and Ambedkar bastis, besides Kasambhatti, Surghoori and Chandhan villages in Jaito subdivision of the district, which claimed nine lives and led to the suspension of Dr Ajit Pal Singh, SMO, Civil Hospital, Jaito. The association said it was the responsibility of the district administration to check the supply of contaminated drinking water, which was the same reason for the spread of the disease, besides taking other preventive measures. The PCMS body charged the District Health Officer with lapses in ensuring regular supply of drinking water.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Dr Hardip Singh, president of the association said under national programmes for the control of diseases, the medical staff was to pay attention only towards the curative side whereas the measures were to be taken by the civil administration. The association criticised the suspension of Dr Ajit Pal Singh, claiming that he had prepared more than 200 files of patients and provided treatment to patients despite the shortage of experts of experts and paramedical staff in the Civil Hospital. It said the administration had made the SMO a scapegoat. Dr Hardip Singh said the state government had been apprised of the matter and stern action demanded against earring civil and health officials.

A five-member committee of experts led by Dr Balvinder Kumar and including Dr Inderveer Gill (Moga), Dr Nishant Mansa), Dr Sanjiv Sethi and Dr Chander Shekhar, both from the Civil Hospital (Faridkot has been constituted to probe the matter.

The committee members will meet the affected people and other residents of the area and submit its report within a week to the association president. It will be later forwarded to the state government.

The president has urged the state government to revoke the suspension of Dr Ajit Pal Singh without further delay as services in the Civil Hospital, Jaito, are suffering due to an acute shortage of staff.


Withdraw ‘anti-Punjabi’ decision, writers urge VC
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 29
The Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (Sekhon) has urged the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.S. Boparai, to withdraw his decision with regard to reducing total marks of Punjabi as a compulsory subject at the graduation level.

Dr Tejwant Mann, general secretary of the organisation, here today termed the decision as “anti Punjabi”. Dr Mann also welcomed the stand taken by the university’s Board of Studies in Punjabi against the decision.

Dr Mann stated that the sabha would not accept “anti-Punjabi” proposals of the Vice-Chancellor at any cost. He said all Punjabi teachers and authors were in favour of the stand taken by the Board of Studies. He said if required, they would not hesitate from organising a demonstration against the Vice-Chancellor and could even gherao him if the “anti-Punjabi” decisions were not withdrawn.

Dr Mann has also written letters to the Punjab Governor and the Punjab Government to stop Dr Boparai from taking “anti-Punjabi” decisions because these would have an adverse effect on the education policy of Punjab.


Villagers bear brunt of PSEB red tape
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, May 29
Even though Jagatpur, village about 25 km from here, was brought under the 24-hour power supply scheme by the PSEB a year ago, about 40 families of the village are still deprived of the facility. The affected families have been running from pillar to post to bring their houses under the scheme for the past many months but in vain.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sian, a resident of the village told mediapersons here yesterday that in May last year, the village was brought under the 24-hour power supply scheme but about 40 houses were disconnected from this scheme on the pretext that the transformer had become overloaded. Afterwards, he, along with other affected residents, had met senior PSEB officials but their repeated requests fell on deaf ears. The JE concerned told them that if they were ready to bear some expenses, he would get installed a new transformer. Mr Sukhwinder Singh said the affected residents agreed to share the expenditure.

In December last year, residents took their tractor trailer to bring poles for the installation of the transformer and even bribed PSEB officials. However, the delaying tactics by the officials continued.

During the election campaign for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Medical Education and Research Minister, Chaudhary Santokh Singh, who represents the area in the Punjab Assembly, visited the village. The problem was brought to his notice by submitting an application on April 29. The minister marked the application to the Superintending Engineer, PSEB, Nawanshahr, and made a phone call to him for taking immediate steps to solve the problem.

Though PSEB officials installed the transformer, the affected families’ houses are yet to be connected with the newly installed transformer even after a month as orders are awaited from the PSEB head office, Patiala.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh alleged that though PSEB officials had been depriving them of the facility of 24-hour power supply on the pretext that the transformer in the village was overloaded, at least 11 shops were connected with the transformer in April.

Moreover, though PSEB officials had been saying that the new transformer would be made operational after getting the nod from the head office, they had made it operational on May 25 after the existing transformer broke down on May 24. The affected residents alleged that the delaying tactics adopted by the officials indicated that they wanted them to grease their palms.

Mr S.C. Sabharwal, SE, PSEB, Nawanshahr, when contacted on the phone, said the matter would be settled within three days. He would also look into the allegation of corruption against PSEB employees, he said.


Boy with hole in heart needs aid
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
Hardev Singh prays for everyone. He is a granthi and lives on the doles of the righteous. However, his prayers have not helped his 14-year-old son Jaskirat who has been diagnosed with a hole in the heart for the past four years.

Jaskirat is awaiting for benefactors so the operation to plug the hole in his heart can be conducted. He is already late as such operations should be done by the age of eight or nine. Withstanding such a condition for such a long time has resulted in a stunted growth and general weakness which makes the boy book eight years old rather than fourteen.

Life took a turn for the worse for Jaskirat recently. He suffered a paralytic attack two and a half months back which left his right side completely paralysed. Though he has partly recovered, he cannot use his right hand which has got twisted due to the attack. He also cannot lead a normal life as he suffers from acute breathlessness occasionally.

“My son has withstood all odds to go to school in which he has performed well consistently”, says Jaskirat’s father Hardev Singh. He said Jaskirat’s lips and nails used to turn blue even when he was an infant but as there was no serious medical problem, the family did not think much of the symptoms. “Later, when he complained of breathlessness we took him to the hospital and his condition was diagnosed,” says Hardev.

Hardev Singh said things took a turn for the worst after the paralytic attack following which his son was admitted to the local Government Rajindra Hospital which advised him to take the patient to a specialised institute. “I took him to the AIIMS institution in Delhi which wants Rs 15,000 for angiography and other tests and Rs 92,500 for the heart operation,” says Hardev.

Hardev and his son’s case is being taken up by the Patiala Mini Truck Operators Union situated opposite the Kaka hotel in the city. This is the second such case for the union which had helped the daughter of a man who run a tea-stall in the union a few years back. The union’s booking clerk Manjit Singh said the truck union became involved in the task of helping Jaskirat because one of its members lived next to the boy’s house in Sanaur near the city. He said the truck union had taken Rs 100 each from each of its 110 members which amount was just sufficient to provide much needed medicines for the boy.

Manjit Singh from the truck union disclosed that anyone wishing to help Jaskirat could send the money to the AIIMS hospital directly in Jaskirat’s “AIIMS CT Patients Account” or send it to Jaskirat’s father at Khalsa Colony, near Gurdwara Akalgarh Sahib, Sanaur, Patiala.


Bank fails to put up shutters

Amritsar, May 29
In a case of utter negligence on the part of the guard and some officials, Punjab National Bank, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital Branch, the bank shutters were not pulled down even after the closing time of bank. The employees of bank had left after their duties were over at 2pm.

The incident came to light when the people of nearby shops saw the lights on and found the gate and shutters of bank open in the evening. They brought the matter in the notice of bank manager D. K. Pathania who reached the bank and pulled the shutter down.

Mr Pathania said action would take against the erring guard and officials responsible for closing the bank. — OC


Traffic blocked over erratic water supply
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, May 29
Irate residents blocked traffic on the Dalhousie road today in protest against erratic water supply in the city, forcing the police to lathicharge the protesters. There was no supply of water in the interior of the city today. The supply had been irregular in the past four days.

The residents raised slogans against state government, MC President Shrawan Kumar and Executive Officer Birbal Das.


Train delayed

Phagwara, May 29
Pressure pipe of a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train was yesterday damaged when a cow came in front of it near Santokhpura level crossing here with the train getting delayed for two hours and 40 minutes.

Railway sources said that 2JRJ DMU bound for Nawanshahr-Rahon-Jaijon had started from Jalandhar at 7.05 a.m. When it reached near Santokhpura barrier here, a cow suddenly rammed into the train. — PTI


Foundation day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 29
The 79th foundation day of Sri Laxmi Narain Temple was celebrated with fervour here today. Mr Surinder Arjun, officiating president of the Shri Durgiana Committee in a press note said the foundation stone of the temple was laid by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1921. The temple was founded in 1925 on Ganga Dashmi.

On the occasion, the idol of Lord Krishna was given a bath with milk and decorated with flowers. The temple was decorated with lights.


1 killed as LPG cylinder in car explodes

Moga, May 29
A moped rider, identified as Mukhtiar Singh, was burnt alive while two occupants of a car suffered serious burn injuries when the car caught fire following the bursting of an LPG cylinder, near Dala village, on the Moga-Badhni road this afternoon.

According to police sources the car was coming from Moga to Badhnikalan. The injured have been identified as Jasbir Singh and Mandeep Singh.

The freak accident took place when the moped, coming from a link road suddenly appeared on the main road and dashed against the car. The gas cylinder got burst in the accident and the car was engulfed in flames. Mukhtiar Singh, who fell in front of the car was burnt alive.

Fire tenders were rushed to the spot. A number of roadside trees were burnt. — UNI


Woman dies in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 29
Ms Chhinder Kaur, of Janata Nagar here, today died when roof of cattle shed in her house collapsed while she was giving fodder to the cattle.

Ms Chhinder Kaur, who received several injuries, was shifted to local Civil Hospital by volunteers of the Sahara Jan Sewa, a non-governmental organisation, she was declared dead in the hospital.


Man dies of electrocution
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 29
Mr Balkar Singh, resident of Rai Ke Kalan village in the district, died of electrocution on the Bathinda-Multania road while he and his son were going to their village from the city today.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that a truck was going ahead of the motor cycle on which Mr Balkar Singh and his son were riding. The truck hit electric wires hanging on the road and broke the same. Mr Balkar Singh came in contact with the wires and was electrocuted.

He was immediately taken to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead.


Police remand for accused under PNDT Act
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 29
Mohinder Kaur and Sukhpal Kaur, who were arrested yesterday for their alleged involvement in carrying out sex-determination test, were remanded into police custody till May 30 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Rajiv Malhotra, when the two were produced in his court today.

Mohinder Kaur, not a doctor by profession, was running a sex-determination centre in a boutique owned by her. She was arrested after a joint team of the district administration, police and civil hospital raided the premises and found her indulging in sex-determination test. Following her arrest, Sukhpal Kaur, who brought customers to her, was also arrested. A case under Sections 3 and 6 of the PNDT Act, Sections 313, 420, 511 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act was registered against both of them in the city police station.

The joint team, which was accompanied by the office-bearers of the PNDT cell, Bathinda, also seized an ultrasound machine from Mohinder Kaur’s boutique, situated on the Jail road in the Civil Lines area.

Jeewan Kaur (name changed), a resident of Chughe Kalan village, was contacted by Sukhpal Kaur, who was working with Mohinder Kaur, a few days ago. Sukhpal Kaur asked Jeewan Kaur to undergo for sex-determination test as she already had two female issues.

Jeewan Kaur was told that a doctor from Gidderbaha, who used to visit the centre, would carry out the sex determination test. Jeewan Kaur came to the centre a few days ago and underwent sex-determination test. In the sex determination test, it was found that she was carrying a female foetus following which Sukhpal Kaur told her to undergo an abortion.

When Jeewan Kaur said she did not have adequate money to pay for the abortion, Sukhpal Kaur asked her to give her earrings in lieu of the payment for abortion. On this, Jeewan Kaur refused to part with her earrings and told Sukhpal Kaur that she would visit the centre again after few days.

Jeewan Kaur, yesterday, came to the centre and asked Mohinder Kaur carry out sex-determination test once again and perform an abortion if the foetus was found to be a female.

On a tip-off a raid was conducted by the police and the civil hospital authorities on the centre of Mohinder Kaur.

Meanwhile, members of the Indian Medical Association have condemned the activities of Mohinder Kaur.


Narcotic smugglers convicted

Ludhiana, May 29
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr J.S. Bhatia, has sentenced four persons, accused of possessing narcotics, to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years. A fine of Rs 1 lakh each has also been imposed upon them.

Those convicted are Gurnam Singh, Ranjit Singh, Major Singh, and Lachhman. — OC


Inside Babudom
No more than one pen a month for ADGP
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
If you are an Additional Director-General in the Punjab police in charge of Operations or Training and Police Rules, make sure that tea-sets and glasses in your office last for at least six months, lest you have do without these.

According to an order passed by Punjab Director-General of Police (DGP) A.A. Siddiqui, applicable to these officers, the life of tea and glass sets is anywhere between six months and one year. The order asserts that the officers will get two packets of napkins a month, besides one room freshener in two months.

This is not all. The order goes on to add that the officers are entitled to only four pens in as many months and one fax roll in two months. A list enclosed with the order gives details of at least 31 such items and the life of each.

None of the officers affected by the order were available — or willing — to comment on the issue for obvious reasons. Sources in Sector 9 Punjab Police Headquarters, on the other hand, say the immediate provocation behind the issuance of the circular is not known. Other senior police officers also refused to comment.

Alleging discrimination, the sources add that the order is not applicable to other Additional Directors-General of Police (ADGP), including the ones in charge of intelligence, crime, armed police, computers and wireless. The rooms of certain ADGPs are also better furnished than others.

Moreover, the order is not applicable to Senior Superintendents of Police, Superintendents of Police, besides many other officers posted in the field areas “in the rank of ADGP downward.”

Giving details of the order, the sources reveal that the DGP has also stated in the order that instructions issued to private secretaries and other officials regarding the demand and collection of stationery, furniture and other articles are not being complied with.

The DGP, in his order, adds that the demand for new sofa sets, carpets, curtains and telephone sets are pouring in, but due to a limited budget it is sometimes difficult to satisfy all.


1 dead, 7 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 29
A 19-year-old girl, Rekha Rani, died and seven other members of a Delhi-based family were injured when a Maruti van in which they were travelling overturned on the Kalka-Ambala highway in Sarseeni village near here, early this morning.

Rekha Rani succumbed to injuries on way to a hospital.

According to the police, the family was on its way to Jakhal village in Punjab to fix the marriage of their daughter when their vehicle met with the accident. The driver lost control over the vehicle, following which the van rammed into a telephone pole and subsequently into a tree, leaving the occupants of the car, Rehka Rani, her father Varinder Kumar, brothers Ashok Kumar and Rajbir Singh, Anita and one more person, injured. The driver of the vehicle also sustained injuries in the mishap.

Mr Nardev Sharma, a former sarpanch of Sarseeni village, who was going on a morning walk noticed the injured, stopped other passers-by and signaled a newspaper carrier vehicle to stop.

The injured were then rushed to the Civil Hospital in Dera Bassi where Rekha Rani was declared brought dead. The injured were discharged after primary medical assistance.

The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital in Rajpura this evening. The police has started inquest proceeding in this regard.


Stolen truck recovered, 5 held
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 29
The police has succeeded in tracing a truck which was taken away by armed persons on May 26 on the GT Road near Ramidi village. The truck was loaded with sun flower crop.

SSP S.K. Asthana said today that a police party intercepted a truck loaded with bags of sun flower crop during a naka last night near Hamira village. All occupants of the truck were arrested.

During interrogation they confessed that they had looted the truck at pistol point on May 26.

The police also recovered 250 bags of sun flower crop and impounded the truck.

The police identified the arrested persons as Kashmir Singh, alias Toti of Jandiala Guru, Iqbal Singh of Gumtala, Lakhwinder Singh of Jandiala, Sarabjit Singh of Dograngwala and Gurmej Singh, driver of the truck.

Mr Asthana said that the arrested persons were the members of an inter-state gang involved in looting of trucks.


Thief arrested, admitted to hospital
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 29
The local police last night arrested an alleged thief, Vijay Kumar, resident of Dhuri, and seized Rs 2,500, gold earrings and artificial jewellery from him in the local Patiala Gate phirni road area.

He was admitted to the local Civil Hospital by the police today as he suffered internal injuries to his feet and backbone after jumping from a roof last night.

The local police said the owner of a house in Patiala Gate phirni road area entered the bathroom on seeing light in it during midnight, but the thief managed to escape by pushing him and climbed up the stairs. The house owner raised alarm. On this, the thief jumped from the roof and suffered internal injuries to his feet and backbone. Later, residents of the area and the police caught the thief.

Mr Darshan Singh, SHO of local police station, said a case had been registered against the thief.


5 booked after clash over land
Our Correspondent

Lalru, May 29
For their involvement in a clash over a land dispute in Chandiala village near here yesterday, the police booked five persons today.

The police has registered cases under Sections 323, 324, 506, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code against Jasbir Singh, Gurjant Singh, Kulbir Singh, Jarnail Singh and Bakshish Singh, at Lalru police station. They have been booked on the complaint of Mr Harpal Singh.

In the clash, five persons, including Jasbir Singh, Kulbir Singh and Gurjant Singh had sustained injuries and were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi.


Teachers allege favouritism in allotment of schools
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 29
The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjab Bathinda district unit today condemned alleged irregularities in the allotment of stations (schools) to the Elementary Teacher Training (ETT) teachers yesterday.

In a press note here today, Major Basant Kumar, Secretary, DTF, said that district Education authorities had allotted those stations to the ETT teachers where vacancies in the schools was under C and D category. A list of such schools was also displayed. He added that the district Education authorities had not mentioned name of government schools in Jalal and Malooka villages in that list and these schools were allotted to “favourite” candidates.

He added that though other teachers, allotted schools list displayed, protested against this according to the action of the district Education authorities, they failed to get any positive response.

He said that the DTF also decried the authorities concerned for making no arrangements for sitting and eatables for the teachers deployed to prepare certificates for the class V in the Moti Ram School. He added that teachers, who had performed duty, were not paid their remuneration so far.

He said that the DTF demanded that the teachers, put on such duties, should be given facility of earned leave in lieu of duty performed by them.


Sumeet of Budha Dal gets 95.2 pc marks
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 29
Sumeet Tiwana, who secured 95.2 per cent marks in the Class X examination of the CBSE, stood first in Budha Dal Public School. Tiwana was followed by Navneet Kaur and Mamta Goyal who jointly got 94.8 per cent marks while Anmol Singh stood third with 94.6 per cent marks. Whereas Manreet Kaur Dhaliwal bagged 87.3 per cent marks.

Ashima Singla topped in the local DAV Public School with 94.2 per cent while Navjot Kaur stood second (93.8 per cent). Malika Mohindra and Shivali Aggarwal shared the third position with 93.7 per cent marks. At Guru Nanak Foundation Public School, Chanchal stood first with 93.2 per cent marks while Gurleen Awal and Manpreet Singh bagged second and third positions with 85.8 per cent and 83.8 per cent marks, respectively.

Karan Vohra topped in Sri Aurobindo International School with 92.6 per cent marks while Rintu Sharma with 92 per cent stood second. Ravneet Pannu bagged the third position with 91.6 per cent marks. In Blossoms School, Ashish Papneja stood first with 88.4 per cent while Tejbir Singh and Dimpy Gupta secured the second and third position securing 86.8 per cent and 85.4 per cent marks, respectively.

Our Lady of Fatima Senior Secondary school achieved 100 per cent result. Five students got 100 per cent marks in mathematics, two secured 99 per cent in science, one got 97 per cent in English, two got 96 per cent in Social Science while one student secured 96 per cent marks in Punjabi.

The top 10 students are Ishan Kaul (95.6%), Heena Garg (94.2%), Nancy Dixit, Prabhjot Kaur and Sakshi Aggarwal (94%), respectively, Shruti Kamra and Simar Rajan (93.8%), Atish Singla (93.6%), Preet Kanwar (92.4%), Sidharth (92.2%), Deepak Garg, Prabjot Singh, Garima Kansal and Dimple Kapoor (91.6%), respectively. Sukriti Jain (91.2%), Navkriti Mittal and Jashandeep Kaur (91%), Isha Sood and Ashish Gupta (90.4%), Avnika Jasuja (90.2%).

Students who secured 100 per cent marks in Mathematics are Ashish Gupta, Heena Garg, Ishan Kaul , Sakshi Aggarwal and Simar Rajan Singh. Ishan Kaul and Sakshi Aggarwal bagged 99 per cent marks in Science while in Social Science Atish Singla and Sidharth Dixit bagged 96 per cent marks. Parbhjot Kaur secured 93 per cent in Punjabi while in English Prabhjot Singh Bhatia got 97 per cent marks. Whereas Shruti Kamra secured 96 per cent in Hindi.

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