P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



3 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries take oath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today administered the oath of office and secrecy to three Congress MLAs as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and nine other Congress MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries here at simple ceremony at Punjab Bhavan.

Rana Gurjit Singh Sodhi, Malkiat Singh Birmi and Harbans Lal were sworn-in as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries.

Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullo; Rana K.P.Singh; Mr Parkash Singh Saini; Dr Raj Kumar Verka; Mrs Razia Sultana; Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot; Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa; Mr Sunil Jakhar and Mr Surinder Kumar Dawar were sworn in as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Earlier, Mr Arvind Khanna’s name was cleared for appointment as parliamentary secretary. However, his name was dropped today. He was replaced by Mr Parkash Singh Saini. The media was told that Mr Khanna is not interested in becoming Parliament Secretary. He is keen to serve people as an ordinary MLA.

However, informed sources said that certain ministers, who were recently dropped from Council of Ministers, made the high command to revoke the appointment of Mr Khanna. They argued that Mr Khanna, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Sangrur, should not be rewarded with the office of Parliamentary Secretary. In fact, the high command was told that the favour given to Mr Khanna by approving his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary had caused heart burning among party’s several MLAs and other leaders. In the light of this Mr Khanna’s appointment was reviewed and cancelled, say party sources.

Mr Sodhi will be given independent charge of Sports and Youth Services department, while Mr Birmi will get independent charge of Jails department, which he handled earlier also as Minister of State. Mr Harbans Lal will be given charge of public grievances etc. Other Parliamentary Secretaries will be attached with various ministers making specific allocation of some work, it is learnt. Mr Birmi made it to the list of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries through Mr H.S. Hanspal and Mrs Ambika Soni, according to Congress sources. Mr Harbans Lal seems to have come through the Bhattal channel.

All senior ministers including Deputy Chief Minister, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Avtar Henry, Mr Surinder Singla, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa were present at the oath taking ceremony. Mr H.S. Hanspal, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, was also present. Almost all Parliamentary Secretaries had brought their families and supporters at the function. It led to a stampede at the function. At one stage, even the CM’s passage was impeded and his security staff had difficulty to take him out from the function.


Harbans Lal, Sadhu Singh get warm welcome
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
It was a lucky day for Fatehgarh Sahib as both MLAs from the district — Dr Harbans Lal from Sirhind and Mr Sadhu Singh from Amloh — were inducted as Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Parliamentary Secretary.

Residents of Sirhind town today celebrated the induction of Dr Harbans Lal as Chief Parliamentary Secretary. They gathered at his residence and accorded a warm reception to him as he returned from Chandigarh after taking oath. Hundreds of his supporters took him to Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, where he paid obeisance. Later, he was taken to his residence in procession.

Dr Harbans Lal was dropped from the ministry by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, on corruption charges last year. However, the former Forest Minister was found innocent in an inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Dr Harbans Lal said he was thankful to God and his induction had established that “truth always prevails”. He said he was dropped following a conspiracy against him. He thanked the Chief Minister for expressing confidence in him.

In Amloh town, people celebrated the induction of Mr Sadhu Singh as Parliamentary Secretary. Congress workers, leaders, panches and sarpanches gathered in large numbers to welcome him as he entered the town. He was taken in procession to his residence.


Farmers gherao PSEB office
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 12
Hundreds of farmers today gheraoed the Senior Engineer Office of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and Xen’s office at Khandwala here to protest against low voltage of electricity. The call was given by the Sanjha Kisan Manch.

Farmers led by the Kisan Sangharsh Committee shouted slogans against the state government and the PSEB. They criticised the board for imposing frequent power cuts.

Mr Satnam Singh Pannu, senior leader of the committee speaking on the occasion, said due to frequent power cuts and low voltage of electricity, the electricity motor do not run resulting in damage to the paddy crop. He said as per the promise given by the government, the concession given on the electricity should be implemented. High voltage electricity should be provided to the motors. He alleged that farmers were forced to commit suicide as their burden of loans was increasing day by day.

Davinder Singh Chatiwind, Gurdev Singh Safipur, Hardip Singh Chhina also addressed the gathering. 


Farmers stage dharna outside PSEB offices
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 12
Farmers today staged dharnas outside PSEB offices under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) to lodge their protest against erratic power supply in Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar districts. They also blocked roads to put pressure on the authorities regarding their demand of uninterrupted power supply.

The general secretary of the Bathinda unit of the BKU (Ekta), Mr Shingara Singh, said the activists of his union staged dharna outside the offices of the Executive Engineer at Mor Mandi, Rampura Phul and Bhagta Bhai Ka between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and also blocked traffic.


Farmers block vehicular traffic
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 12
Activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta) led by Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahan, state president of the union, today staged a dharna and blocked vehicular traffic for two hours on the Sunam-Patiala road in front of the 66 kv grid of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) at Sunam in protest against the non-implementation of an agreement between the Punjab Chief Minister and the farmers’ organisations on April 29 relating to the farmers’ demands.

Addressing the farmers, Mr Ugrahan criticised the “anti-farmer” policies of the state and central governments. He said the state government had neither fulfilled promises made with the farmers by Capt Amarinder Singh during the last assembly elections, nor had it implemented the April 29 agreement. Due to this, there was a great resentment among the farmers, he added.

Mr Ugrahan said the Punjab Government had not given job to the widow of martyr of Manawala kand (episode) in which farmer Angrej Singh died during an agitation. Besides, the state government had also not implemented the demands of the farmers, relating to the Punjab State Electricity Board, he added.

The kisan leaders warned the state government that if the demands were not met soon, a state-level agitation would be launched by the farmers.

Among others, who addressed the dharna were Mr Janak Singh Bhutal Kalan, Mr Darbara Singh Chhajla and Mr Amrik Singh Dhindsa, all kisan leaders. 


SGPC poll: it is SAD all the way
Tribune Reporters

Gurdaspur, July 12
It was a clean sweep for the SAD in all six SGPC seats in the district for which the elections were held yesterday.

As per the results declared this evening, SAD candidates who have been declared winners include Mrs Sukhmeet Kaur from the Gurdaspur woman Reserved seat, Mr Kashmir Singh from Shri Hargobindpur, Mr Gurvinder Paul Singh from Batala, Mr Gurvinder Singh Shampur from the Kala Afgana general seat and Mr Dilbagh Singh from Pathankot.

Mrs Surjit Kaur, an Independent candidate, was already declared elected unopposed yesterday from the Kala Afgana woman SC Reserved constituency.

The polling for the other two Dhariwal and Gurdaspur general SGPC constituencies of the district have already been countermanded by the Gurdwara Election Commission after the nomination papers of former SAD minister, Mr Sucha Singh Langah and Seva Singh Sekhwan were rejected by the District Returning Officer.

MOGA: It was a clean sweep for the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections in the district. The SAD (B) won all nine seats here despite reports of infighting. On the other hand, heavyweights of the Panthic Morcha like district unit president of the Akali Dal (Ravi Inder) Buta Singh Ranshinh, and Akali Dal (Amritsar) leaders Swaran Singh Panjgirai and Harbans Singh Daudhar, were defeated by big margins in these elections.

From the Moga seat, Giani Harbans Singh of the SAD defeated Gurpreetam Singh Cheema of the Panthic Morcha by a margin of 4,758 votes. In the keenly contested seat of Dharamkot, SAD candidate Sukhjeet Singh Kaka defeated Panthic Morcha-supported Kuldeep Singh Dhos by 3,500 votes. In Dharamkot (Reserve), SAD candidate Simarjit Kaur Mastewala defeated Panthic Morcha candidate Gurdev Kaur Lohgarh by over 4,000 votes.

In Badhani Kalan, SAD nominee Harinder Singh Rania defeated Panthic Morcha candidate and the district president of Akali Dal (Amritsar), Harbans Singh Daudhar by 2,938 votes. SAD candidate from Nihalsinghwala Gurmail Singh Sangatpura defeated the district unit president of the Akali Dal (Ravi Inder), Buta Singh Ranshinh for the second time in succession by over 4,000 votes. In the reserved seat of the same area, Tek Singh Manuke of the SAD defeated Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader and Panthic Morcha candidate Swaran Singh Panjgirai by a margin of about 4,000 votes.

In Ghal Kalan, SAD candidate Tirath Singh Mahla defeated Resham Singh of the Panthic Morcha. In Baghapurana, SAD candidate Randheer Singh Rode defeated Gurpreet Singh of the Panthic Morcha by 2,100 votes, while in the reserved seat of the same area SAD nominee Kulwinder Kaur Langeana defeated Panthic Morcha candidate Angrej Kaur Rode by over 2,000 votes.

HOSHIARPUR: Out of six segments, five SAD (B) candidates have been declared elected in the district in SGPC poll. In the Hoshiarpur segment, Mr Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan, general secretary SAD (B), defeated Varinder Singh Bains of the Panthic Morcha by 4604 votes. Mr Harjinder Singh Dhami SAD (B), defeated Dr Manjinder Singh Jandi Dal Khalsa, by 9,555 votes in the Shamchaurasi segment. Jathedar Kabul Singh, SAD (B), defeated Panthic Morcha candidate by 9255 votes in the Garhshanker segment. In Dasuya one and two segments, Mr Balbir Singh Garna Sahib and Bhagwant Singh Hardothla, respectively both SAD (B), were declared elected. In the Mukerian segment, Kuldip Singh Chak defeated Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur of the SAD (B).

FARIDKOT: The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidates emerged victorious in all five SGPC seats of the districts. In Faridkot, Mohinder Singh Romana of the SAD defeated Gurdit Singh Hariyawala of the Panthic Morcha by a massive margin of 14,311 votes. In Kotkapura (women) Jasbeer Kaur of the SAD defeated Panthic Morcha candidate Manjeet Kaur by 5,223 votes, while in Kotkapura (general), SAD candidate Makhan Singh Nangal defeated Avtar Singh of the Panthic Morcha by 5,080 votes.

In Jaito (SC) Najar Singh of SAD defeated Avtar Singh of the Panthic Morcha by 4,828 votes, while in Jaito (general) SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh defeated Harpal Singh by 5,345 votes.

SANGRUR: Though the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has won 10 seats out of 16 seats, in the SGPC elections in Sangrur district, but Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Secretary-General of the SAD and MP from Sangrur, suffered a setback in some constituencies where candidates of the Panthic Morcha trounced the SAD candidates. The Panthic Morcha has captured seats, — Sunam, Dhuri, Sangrur (General), Sangrur (Reserved) and Dirba, while Malerkotla (Woman-general) seat has been won by an Independent candidate.

Besides the Moonak (Woman-general), Moonak (general), Langowal, Malerkotla (general) and Amargarh, the SAD has also won five other seats, — Barnala (general), Barnala (woman-general), Bhadaur (general), Bhadaur (SC) and Channanwal. Sant Baba Tek Singh Dhanaula of the SAD won from Barnala (general), Bibi Ajaib Kaur of the SAD from Barnala (woman-general), Mr Baldev Singh Chungahan of the SAD from Bhadaur (general), Mr Amar Singh of the SAD from Bhadaur (SC) and Mr Jasvir Singh of the SAD from Channanwal.

There is a feeling here that despite winning 10 SGPC seats in Sangrur district, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has suffered a setback in Sunam, Dirba, Sangrur and Dhuri as he was the architect of the SAD campaign in the SGPC elections in Sangrur district. From Sunam, Mr Dhindsa’s son Parminder Singh Dhindsa is an MLA but in this SGPC election the SAD candidate from Sunam, Mr Gurpreet Singh Lakhmirwala, tasted defeat from Sunmukh Singh Mokha of the Panthic Morcha.

In the Dirba SGPC constituency, Mr Dhindsa withdraw his party candidate Jathedar Gurmail Singh Dirba in favour of Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, PCS Officer, an Independent candidate and extended him full support, but Mr Sidhu was also defeated by a Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Kirpal Singh Ldbanjara. On both seats of the Sangrur town ( Sangrur-General and Sangrur-reserved) from where Mr Dhindsa is an MP, the candidates of the Panthic Morcha defeated the SAD candidates. From the Dhuri seat, Master Harbans Singh Sherpur of the SAD also suffered defeat from the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Surjit Singh Kalabula. Master Harbans Singh is a staunch supporter of Mr Gobind Singh Kanjhla, MLA from Sherpur, who is now a days is a close confidant of Mr Dhindsa. 


Clean sweep by SAD in Patiala
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has swept all the 12 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) seats in this district giving a huge blow to the political aspirations of Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) president and Panthic Morcha candidate Prem Singh Chandumajra.

Mr Chandumajra’s candidate’s lost heavily in his strongholds of Rajpura and Dakala where candidates put forward by SAD leader Capt Kanwaljit Singh won by huge margins. The defeat is all the more bitter for Mr Chandumajra as it has come about in the wake of allegations that the Panthic Morcha was being helped by the government.

Sources said this fact was highlighted by all SAD candidates in the run up to the election and could have cost the Panthic Morcha candidates dearly. In Patiala city (women reserved) seat SAD candidate Paramjit Kaur, wife of Akali leader Inder Mohan Singh Bazaz, defeated Harpreet Kaur of the Panthic Morcha by more than 4,000 votes. In Patiala (General) SAD candidate Savinder Singh defeated Mohinderpal Singh of the Panthic Morcha by more than 5,000 votes.

In Sanaur constituency, Jasmer Singh of SAD defeated Kamaldeep Singh of the Panthic Morcha by more than 7,000 votes. In Dera Bassi, Nirmail Singh of SAD defeated Prem Singh of the Panthic Morcha by more than 8,000 votes. In Nabha, Kuldeep Singh of SAD defeated Mukhtiar Singh of the Panthic Morcha by more than 4,000 votes. In Samana senior Akali leader Joginder Singh Panjrath defeated Panthic Morcha candidate Balkar Singh by a margin of around 4,000 votes. In Samana (Reserve) Harjit Kaur of SAD defeated Ranjit Singh of the Panthic Morcha by a margin of nearly 5,000 votes.

In Bhadson constituency former Tohra village sarpanch Satwinder Singh defeated Randhir Singh of the Panthic Morcha by about 3,000 votes. In Bhadson (Reserve) Ramdia Singh of SAD defeated Sukhdev Singh of the Panthic Morcha by around 2,000 votes. In Dakala constituency Balwant Singh of SAD defeated Bachhan Singh by more than 3,000 votes. In Rajpura Surjit Singh Garhi of SAD defeated Jaswant Singh of the Panthic Morcha by a margin of more than 4,000 votes. In Rajpura (Reserve) Gurdev Kaur of SAD defeated Harminder Kaur of the Panthic Morcha by more than 7,000 votes.


Morcha wins 3 SGPC seats in Fatehgarh Sahib
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
The Panthic Morcha won three of the four seats in the district in the SGPC elections held yesterday.

Surprisingly, two former SGPC members namely Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Mr Jaswant Taan, both confidants of the late Jathedar G.S. Tohra, suffered defeat in the elections. Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, who had left the Tohra group and joined the Panthic Morcha, won the seat by defeating a son of former minister R.S. Cheema.

Mr Didar Singh Bhatti of the SAD won from the Bassi Pathana constituency.

As per the results declared today, three candidates of the Panthic Morcha and one of the SAD have won.

For the Fatehgarh Sahib (general) seat, Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli of the Panthic Morcha won the seat by a margin of 2,090 votes. Mr Panjoli got 15,970 votes, while his rival Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema of the SAD polled 13,880 votes and Mr Jasmer Singh, Independent, got 245 votes. For the Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved) seat, Ms Surinder Kaur of the Panthic Morcha won the seat by a margin of 1,464 votes. She polled 14,864 votes, while Mr Jaswant Singh Taan a former SGPC member and the SAD candidate, polled 13,400 votes, Mr Nasib Singh polled 818, Mr Rajwinder Singh got 949 votes. For the Amloh seat, Mr Ravinder Singh of the Panthic Morcha defeated Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, a former SGPC member, by a margin of 4,926 votes. Mr Ravinder Singh polled 16,812 votes, while Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia got 11,886 votes and Mr Mohinder Singh got 986 votes.

The only consolation for the SAD was the victory of Mr Didar Singh Bhatti from the Bassi Pathana constituency. He defeated the Panthic Morcha candidate by a margin of 5,445 votes. Mr Bhatti polled 18,201 votes, while Mr Baljinder Singh of the Panthic Morcha polled 12,756 votes.


SAD candidate wins from Dera Bassi
Our Correspondent

Mr Deepak Raj Garg, SDM, Dera Bassi, hands over a certificate to Mr Nirmail Singh, SAD candidate, declaring him the winner in the SGPC elections from Dera Bassi on Monday.
Mr Deepak Raj Garg, SDM, Dera Bassi, hands over a certificate to Mr Nirmail Singh, SAD candidate, declaring him the winner in the SGPC elections from Dera Bassi on Monday. — Tribune photo by Malkiat Singh.

Dera Bassi, July 12
Mr Nirmail Singh, a Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Dera Bassi, defeated his immediate rival, Mr Prem Singh Kamboj, a candidate of Panthic Morcha, by a margin of 8,720 votes. Mr Nirmail Singh secured 14,827 votes while Mr Prem Singh could get only 6,107 votes. As per the records, 1513 votes were polled in favour of Mr Balwant Singh, while 806 votes were polled in favour of Mr Jagga Singh. Mr Rajinder Singh and Mr Labh Singh could get the favour of only 106 and 12 voters, respectively. Out of 54,725 voters, only 23,561 exercised their franchise in the SGPC elections while 190 votes were cancelled. Mr Nirmail Singh today reached the office of Mr Deepak Raj Garg, SDM, Dera Bassi, and was given a certificate declaring him the winner. A number of Akali workers were also present.


Kharar (general) result stayed
Our Correspondent

Kharar, July 12
The Gurdwara Election Commission has stayed the declaration of the result of the Kharar (General) SGPC seat following a complaint by the SAD candidate regarding alleged irregularities in the elections. Polling for the SGPC seats was held yesterday. The Returning Officer-cum-SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, said here today that as the stay orders on the declaration of the Kharar (General) seat had been received, the result of only the Kharar (Reserve) seat had been declared. He said that the stay on the declaration of the result was till further orders.

The election observer for the 119 Kharar SGPC constituency, Mr K.K. Khandelwal, who visited the town, gave a hearing to Mr Bhajan Singh Shergill of the Panthic Morcha, who wanted an early declaration of the result as he had won the elections, and Mr Ujjagar Singh Badali, belonging to the SAD. It is learnt that he even went through the election record. The observer would be presenting a report to the Gurdwara Election Commission in this regard. The supporters of the SAD candidate, who had planned to resort to “chakka jam” stir here today in protest against the state government for alleged interference in the elections, called off the agitation after getting the stay orders on the declaration of the result. They, however, gathered at Gurdwara Akali Daftar.

Mr Ujjagar Singh Badali, who trailed by a very thin margin of 145 votes, alleged that some irregularities had taken place in the elections on the directions of the Punjab Government. He told The Tribune here that he had demanded an inquiry in this regard as he wanted justice. He alleged that at a polling booth in Majat village commandos of the Punjab police allegedly did not allow a number of persons to vote as they raised objections like the “voter had a small beard”.

He alleged that at some polling booths SAD agents were not allowed to sit so that bogus voting could be done. Even at the time of counting of votes SAD agents were allegedly not allowed inside some booths. He alleged that all this was being done on the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister. Mr Mokha Singh belonging to the SAD, who lost the seat in the reserve category to Mr Harnek Singh of the Panthic Morcha, claimed that Mr Badali won the elections if the totalling of votes was done according to the result sheets prepared booth-wise.

He alleged that there were 1160 fake votes in the voters list and this aspect had been brought to the notice of the Ropar Deputy Commissioner who had assured that an inquiry would be conducted into the matter. Mr Harnek Singh of the Panthic Morcha was today declared elected to the Kharar (reserve) SGPC seat by the Returning Officer. He won by a margin of 969 votes. He polled 10,455 votes while his nearest rival, Mr Mokha Singh, a SAD candidate got 9,486 votes.

Mr Bahadur Singh, Independent, got 458 votes. The total number of votes in the SGPC constituency were 41,882 out of which 20,943 votes were polled, putting the poll percentage at 52.2. However, the total number of valid votes was 20,399. 


SGPC members to visit Golden Temple
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
All newly elected members of the SGPC belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will visit the Golden Temple to pay obeisance there on July 14, said Mr Daljit Singh Cheema, Secretary of the party. Meanwhile, the office of the SAD has been shifted from Jalandhar to Chandigarh.


SAD winners hold victory processions
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, July 12
It was a celebration day for the victorious candidates at the SGPC elections in Muktsar, Bathinda and Mansa of the Malwa region. They held victory processions in their respective constituencies to celebrate their victory and to thank voters.

Out of total 20 seats in the three districts, SAD emerged victorious on 17 seats while Panthic Morcha candidates managed to win three seats. While the Panthic Morcha won two seats in Mansa, its candidate Gurtej Singh Jodhpur Pakhar won the Mor Mandi seat in Bathinda district.


PCS officer suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, a PCS Officer, who contested the SGPC elections from Dirba constituency in Sangrur district, has been suspended by the Punjab Government, said a top officer of the government. Mr Sidhu has lost the election also.

Mr Sidhu had sought the permission of the state government to contest the election. He had given undertaking that he would not take part in any political activity. But a top official of the state government said today that the SGPC election was a political activity and Mr Sidhu should have not contested it. He said that Mr Sidhu was not granted permission to contest the elections by the state government.

Mr Sidhu was here today. He met senior officers, including the Chief Secretary and also the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. He presented his case to all concerned, it is learnt.

When contacted, the Chief Secretary, Mr Jai Singh Gill, said that disciplinary action would be taken against Mr Sidhu.


SGPC members may have to take pledge at Akal Takht
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 12
Even as Akal Takht has received a number of complaints regarding the violation of the ‘religious code of conduct’ by candidates during the SGPC elections, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti is likely to direct the newly elected members of the ‘mini parliament’ of the Sikhs to take a pledge to work for the upkeep of Panthic traditions in front of Akal Takht before holding the first meeting of the General House.

The pledge-taking ceremony is normally held for members of assemblies and Parliaments or ministers before taking up the new assignments.

According to sources close to Jathedar Vedanti, the Sikh clergy would address the newly elected members before the General House.

It is learnt that Jathedar Vedanti is perturbed over the non-implementation of the religious code by certain candidates, especially those of SAD, during the electioneering. Mr Badal had declared the first list of 70 candidates without waiting for the religious code.

Later, Jathedar Vedanti went abroad and there was nobody to implement the code in his absence.

The visit of the Jathedar, Akal Takht, to the USA has already received flak from various Panthic quarters. A section of the Panth alleged that Jathedar Vedanti was forced to leave the country at the behest of Mr Parkash Singh Badal who did not want to implement the code.

However, Jathedar Vedanti described the allegations as ‘rubbish’. He claimed that his visit to the USA was finalised much before the announcement of the SGPC elections.

Meanwhile, Jathedar Vedanti said during his visit to the USA, he was honoured with a gold medal by the Sawa Lakh Naujwan Sabha for taking up the issues of female foeticide, pronouncing the distinct identity of Sikhs, and being instrumental in finalising a separate calendar (Nanakshahi) for the Sikhs. 


It is victory of Panth: Badal
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal would not have thought even in his dream that his political fortune will have a upturn so soon. After losing the Assembly elections Mr Badal faced rough times as the Vigilance Bureau probed his properties.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had made life virtually ““miserable” for Mr Badal by initiating inquiry after inquiry against him.

But all that seems to have become a thing of past. He is only in an upbeat mood. He now plays jokes, makes satirical comments and witty remarks against his political rivals.

He is a changed man. Two successive big victories- earlier in the Lok Sabha and now in the SGPC elections- has brought smile back on his face. He has become sharp in his attack not only against the government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh but also against leaders of various Akali factions, which have been taking pot shots on him for the past two years.

Describing his party’ s landslide victory in the just-concluded SGPC elections, Mr Badal said today it was a “victory of the Panth over the Congress-inspired and government-backed forces( Panthic Morcha which were out to challenge the supremacy and purity of Sikh religious thought and practice.”

After suffering a big defeat in the Lok Sabha and the SGPC elections, the Panthic Morcha should wind up its shop as it would be in the interest of the Panth”, said Mr Badal. Certain Akali leaders were running “ political shops” to get money from abroad, he added.

Mr Badal claimed that his party has won 134 seats and the Panthic morcha has got 22 seats. Elections were held for 167 seats. The remaining seats have been won by Independents and a political party in Haryana. The election of three seats was postponed. “In as many as eight districts, the Panthic Morcha has not won a single seat”.

Sangrur district continues to a trouble spot for Mr Badal. Inlighting among the Barnala and Dhindsa factions has been proving costly to the SAD in that district. In the SGPC elections, Sangrur is a district where Mr Badal’s party has faced a big jolt. There the party lost six seats out of 16. In Ropar district also the SAD suffered a big defeat, perhaps, because of the bloody incident that occurred a few days ago.

The Panthic Morcha, an assemblage of several akali factions which are ideologically and otherwise opposed to Mr Badal, failed to make any major dent in Mr Badal’s political popularity in the countryside. In absence of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, a veteran of SGPC politics, it was assumed that Mr Badal would face tough times to maintain control of the SGPC. But he has proved it wrong. For a while, Mr Badal, has “ demolished” his opponents in Akali factions.

Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, who recently quit the SAD, is a biggest loser in the SGPC elections as all Panthic Morcha candidates backed by him in Patiala district, have lost to the SAD candidates.


Badal emerges as tallest Sikh leader
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
By returning an impressive tally of 134 of 167 seats in the just concluded Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has re-emerged as one of the tallest leaders of Punjab in general and Sikhs in particular.

Though the Shiromani Akali Dal did not do well outside Punjab in the gurdwara elections — it lost in Chandigarh, Himachal and could win only four of 11 seats in Haryana — it cornered more than 80 per cent of total 154 seats for which polling was held yesterday. The reverses SAD suffered outside Punjab may be an eye-opener for the party.

In spite of unity in the Dal almost a year ago, Haryana Sikhs are a divided lot. It is why they neither voted for Shiromani Akali Dal nor the Panthic Morcha but for their own candidates. The SAD could win only four seats in Haryana while it lost the only seat in Chandigarh to a rebel. Outside Punjab, the SAD score was just four out of 12, which comes to hardly 33 per cent against 80 per cent seats it won in Punjab.

In Himachal, the Dal candidate, Mr Diljit Singh Bhinder, was ahead of the Panthic Morcha candidate, Master Jagir Singh. Results from parts of Kangra and Una were still awaited.

SAD’s overall tally of 130 seats in Punjab, including six who were declared elected unopposed, is of tremendous political significance as all other Panthic organisations, including dissident Akali leaders, had got together with the single objective of not only defeating Shiromani Akali Dal but displacing Mr Parkash Singh Badal from the pedestal. But their efforts with alleged tactical support from the Congress government in the state did not fructify. Major reverses SAD suffered were in Ropar and Sangrur with some surprises in Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Dera Baba Nanak and Patti.

The recent Lok Sabha and Gurdwara election successes apart, Mr Parkash Singh Badal has a tough task ahead of keeping his entire flock together, especially now when he has to place his confidence in one of the 134 new SGPC members to head the mini Parliament of Sikhs.

Some of the stalwarts who made it to the new house of the SGPC include former chiefs, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Bibi Jagir Kaur, besides several others. Mr A.S. Pakhoke, who was officiating as President after the death of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had his election countermanded after the Returning Officer refused to give him the party symbol.

After the death of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the onerous task of running both the SAD as well as SGPC is on Mr Badal, who was caught in piquant situations with two groups of supporters clashing not only in Kharar, near here, but elsewhere also. Division of leaders and workers owing allegiance to him and his son, Mr Sukhbir Badal, may not be a healthy sign for the party which after losing the last Assembly elections narrowly has been on a comeback trail in the state.

Mr Badal’s immediate task would be to keep all those Tohra loyalists, who switched their loyalities to him after their leaders’ demise, in his group thus making it easier for him to name his candidate for the Presidentship of the SGPC.

The gurdwara elections also brought to the open the indifferent attitude of the state towards the Chief Commissioner of Gurdwara Elections, a body constituted by an Act of Parliament. Though there was no obvious interference by the state as was apprehended by the SAD leadership, yet the entire election process was gone through with skepticism with strong apprehensions whether polls would be conducted in a fair and free manner.


SGPC college teachers denied salary
Tribune News Service

Moga, July 12
The issue of non-payment of salaries to the staff of SGPC-run educational institutions has kicked off a row. While SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh has been claiming that salaries are being paid, employees of the institutions are saying that they had not been paid for the past seven months.

The district president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, Mr Jagtar Singh, in a statement released here has said that the teachers of the SGPC-run colleges had not received salaries for the past few months. He said that the union president, Mr S.S. Hundal, and the convener of the coordination committee, Prof Amarinder Pal Singh, had written a letter to the SGPC members in this regard. He refuted the statement of the SGPC secretary.

The union members, at a meeting held here, said the staff of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Daroli, had not received salaries for the past four months of Guru Nanak College, Budlada, for seven months and Khalsa College, Gardiwal, for five months.

It was also alleged that the retired employees were not being given their gratuity. The union members said that the covered staff had not received the payment of revised grade from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 1998, while the uncovered staff was getting only 45 per cent dearness allowance. 


Investigations into case against DIG Randhawa completed
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 12
Inspector-General of Police (Amritsar, border) J.P. Birdi has completed the probe into the registration of a case against Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Hardish Singh Randhawa. The officer was accused of being involved in a case of “illegal confinement and criminal breach of trust”.

The contents of the report have not been made public. Describing the report as a “secret document”, Mr Birdi, when contacted at Amritsar, refused to comment on the issue. He added that Punjab Government, after going through the report, would give details of the contents.

The matter had hit the headlines after a case against Mr Randhwa was directed to be registered by his immediate junior-cum-Ferozepore’s outgoing Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh.

Following the orders, a criminal case under Sections 409, 342 and 344 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Mr Randhawa and two other junior police officers.

The case, sources in the Police Department claimed, was registered after a preliminary inquiry was conducted into the matter by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Balwinder Singh. The report was reportedly converted into an FIR on Mr Vijay Partap Singh’s directions, they added.

According to the allegations, Mr Randhawa and other police officials had allegedly kept an accused in illegal confinement for over a month and had also embezzled Rs 94,000 recovered from him. Vehemently denying the allegations, Mr Randhawa had added that the position had been explained to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Initially, the inquiry was handed over to Punjab’s Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) Chander Shekhar. But the order was, subsequently, cancelled by the senior authorities and the probe was handed over to Mr Birdi.

Even as the probe continued to “change hands”, senior Punjab Police officers, on the condition of anonymity, claimed that nothing much was expected to out of the inquiry. In fact, they claimed that Mr Vijay Partap Singh was not even associated with the probe.

They further alleged that an attempt to “hush up” the matter was being made. They claimed that the authorities were making efforts either to cancel the first information report (FIR) registered in the matter, or to get the DIG’s name deleted “after following the due procedure”.


PoW’s family awaits official help
Dharmindra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kot Bhai (Muktsar), July 12
No Central or state government official has bothered to visit the Kot Bhai house of Lance Naik Jagsir Singh, a prisoner of war (PoW), to show solidarity with his family members.

Even former Chief Ministers Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, who are also from Muktsar, have not visited Jagsir’s family since December, last year, when the stigma of him being a deserter was removed by his regiment.

However, local MLA Manpreet Badal visited the soldier’s house 10 days ago, Jagsir’s uncle Dr Kulwant Singh, told The Tribune yesterday. Some policemen had come some weeks ago, assuring them that an administrative officer would visit them but no one came.

Dr Kulwant Singh said an Army officer from Delhi and some Armymen from Bathinda had visited them to show solidarity with Jagsir’s mother Chhotto Kaur. Besides them, a retired colonel from Bathinda had also visited Jagsir’s house a number of times to guide the family on how to pursue the matter for expediting his early release from Pakistan.

Jagsir’s parents and close relatives had to suffer a lot in the past four years as he, along with another soldier, Mohammad Arif, of the unit 108 of the Engineer Regiment, were declared deserters since their disappearance on September 17, 1999, during de-mining operations after Operation Vijay in Kargil.

His salary was frozen and a police case was filed against him. His father Gurdev Singh, who died a few months ago, protested till his last breath that his son was innocent.

Jagsir’s wife Jaswinder Kaur, went back to her brother’s house in Muktsar soon after giving birth to a girl in November 1999. His daughter Kuldeep, four years old now, has never seen her father. The little girl, pointing towards a laminated picture of her father said, “I daily pray to the God in the morning to send my father back home soon” Jagsir’s aged grandfather, Karam Singh, is also praying for his early release.

While replying to Jagsir’s letter, written from Rawalpindi Central Jail on June 14, Dr Kulwant Singh and his friend Iqbal Singh did not inform him that he had been declared a deserter. They also did not tell him about his father’s death.

Meanwhile, Mr Manpreet Badal said he had sought appointments with the Union Home and Defence Ministers so that he could take up Jagsir’s case with them.


Imbroglio continues between MC staff, doctors
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 12
The imbroglio between Municipal Corporation employees and doctors of Government Rajindra Hospital continued for the fourth day today with both parties holding protest rallies. The corporation employees demanded that doctors responsible for the death of their colleague while in hospital after an acid attack be suspended. The doctors criticised the district administration and the corporation authorities saying both of them had failed to honour the promise to get garbage lifted from the front of residences of two doctors of the hospital.

In a joint rally of medical teachers and dental teachers in front of the OPD, speakers criticised both the district administration and the corporation. They said despite a promise to Patiala MP Preneet Kaur that garbage would be lifted from the front of residences of the two doctors, nothing had been done in this regard till today.

The doctors including the Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association president, Dr Janak Raj Arora, its secretary, Dr B.S. Sohal, the PCMS general secretary, Dr Y.S. Banga, and an IMA (in service wing) office-bearer, Dr D.S. Bhullar, deplored the action of the corporation employees in ransacking the ICU, threatening doctors and staff and throwing garbage in front of houses of two doctors.

The leaders also claimed that today corporation employees tried to off load a trolley full of garbage in front of the residence of Dr B.S. Verma of the Plastic Surgery Department. They said, however, residents of Ekta Colony where Dr Verma lives thwarted the employees from doing so.

The leaders said employees were still trying to throw garbage in front of residences of doctors proved that they were not under the control of either the corporation authorities or the district administration.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of doctors said an inquiry should be ordered into the whole episode which should be entrusted to a team of senior retired doctors and that the real culprits who had thrown acid on the union leader should be brought to book. They also demanded action against employees of the Corporation who had thrown garbage in front of houses of the doctors.

The JAC also expressed apprehension that Patiala may be come in the ambit of gastroenteritis epidemic as the entire cleanliness operations had been suspended due to the agitation by the corporation employees.

JAC members met the Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, and asked him to take appropriate steps in this regard. They also announced that a rally would be held in front of the hospital tomorrow if the demands of the JAC were not accepted.

Meanwhile corporation employees held a rally in front of the Kotwali police station demanding that the doctors who had committed negligence in treating union leader Harjit Singh should be suspended.

They said their agitation would continue until this demand was accepted by the government. The employees are scheduled to hold a rally in the Anardana chowk tomorrow in support of their demands.

The Mayor, Mr Vishnu Sharma, when contacted on the issue, said he had talked to Ms Preneet Kaur and was making attempts to resolve the crisis. He said he would hold talks with employee leaders tomorrow besides the district administration.


Summon Boparai, demands SC Morcha
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 12
The Scheduled Caste Morcha of the BJP has alleged that the Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.S. Boparai, is acting in a manner which is detrimental to the interests of Dalits and claimed that the policy of reservation in appointments for Scheduled Castes in the university has been disbanded.

In a petition addressed to Mr Suraj Bhan, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, a copy of which was released here today, Mr Balwant Rai Rajasthani, senior vice-president of the SC wing of the Punjab BJP, claimed that ever since Dr Boparai assumed the charge he was discriminating against Mr H.S. Khokhar who was employed as an APRO.

Mr Rai claimed that Dr Boparai had deliberately spoiled the annual confidential report of Mr Khokhar and he was asked to work as enquiry clerk in the examination branch instead of an APRO. He added that the Vice-Chancellor misinformed and misled the Syndicate to get a resolution passed to abolish the APRO post on the pretext of curtailing expenditure.

Mr Rai has urged the Chairman of the commission to summon the Vice-Chancellor and direct him to reconsider his decision to abolish the APRO’s post.


Medal for Air Commodore
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12
Air Cdre Ram Rattan Bhardwaj has received Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) from the President of India.

Earlier, he had been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) on January 26, 1977, and was commended by the Chief of the Air Force Staff in August, 1979, for his contribution to the organisation.

Air Commodore Bhardwaj was born in Jandla, a remote village of Ropar, and was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on January, 1973, in the aeronautical engineering (mechanical) branch. During his career of 31 years, he served in various command and staff appointments which included Joint Director at Air Headquarters, Chief Engineering Office of a major Air Force Base and Commander of No.1 Base Repair Depot engaged in the overhaul of a modern transport aircraft. Currently, he is the Air Officer Commanding of a modern fighter aircraft overhaul depot.


Chemists protest against cops
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 12
Members of the Wholesale and Retail Chemist Association today closed their shops for four hours in protest against the alleged high-handedness and arrogant attitude of the police in implicating a chemist in a false case. Accompanied by the members of the local Beopar Mandal, they sat on dharna in front of the S.P. office here. Later they submitted a memorandum to the Pathankot SDM, Mr Harminder Singh.

They said recently the police conducted a raid on City Medical Store in full public gaze wherein nothing was recovered. However, the owner of the store, Mr Hardeep Singh, was called at the Police Station Division No. 2 on the pretext of disposing of the matter. 


Piracy cripples Punjabi music industry
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12
The once flourishing Punjabi music industry has virtually plunged into a deep crisis. There is a steep decline in sales, roughly by 60 to 70 per cent during the past two years, mainly due to increasing piracy of music even as video compact discs (VCDs) have replaced age-old cassettes and even audio CDs.

Enquiries with a number of owners and those who are running Punjabi music companies revealed that the state music industry was virtually in the red, particularly for the past two years with plummeted sale increasing popularity of cheap pirated MP3s. Each of these pirated CDs not only give atleast five-six time more songs, but also satisfies the buyer as these are available at about one-fourth price of a company CD and at about half the price of a cassette, which, offer comparatively few songs ranging between six to nine.

“If a good singer’s album was launched about two years ago with an estimated target sale of its first lot of about 1.5 lakh cassettes, it has come down to 40,000 to 50,000 and even below this point these days. Earlier, we used to be very optimistic that if the first lot of about 1.5 lakh cassettes was sold, we would get almost similarly big repeat orders from distributors. But now, hardly anyone sells the second lot due to piracy. Similarly, the sale of audio cassettes as compared to the VCD has come down by 10 to 15 per cent,” maintained Mr Deepak Bali, an executive member of the Music Association of India, an association which has 35 proprietors of different music companies as its members.

Mr Happy, of the Vital Records and the secretary of the association, revealed that the sale of genuine cassettes and CDs of the Punjabi music has gone down by 60 to 70 per cent during past two years and this has virtually ruined the Punjabi music industry. “Copying video and audio numbers has become so easy with the help of computer that piracy has attained the status of cottage industry in Punjab. Copied VCDs can be had from market for as little as Rs 10. Then why anyone would buy genuine music?” Mr Happy asked.

Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Nirmal Singh, MD of the Peritone Music Company said: “Sales have come down to just 25 per cent of what it was about two to three years ago.” There were times when with an advance order of 40,000 to 50,000 cassettes in our hands, we used to get order for same number of cassettes within an hour of launching of a singer. Now there are no repeat orders. The only culprit in my eyes is pirated MP3s, which, contain material of as many as 10-12 cassettes. Otherwise, VCD is the most favourite medium these days as far as Punjabi music is concerned,” said Mr Nirmal Singh.

Enquiries also revealed that from a mere 5 per cent, the share of VCDs has gone up to about 50 per cent of total sales during past two years.


VHP, Bajrang Dal discuss Amarnath yatra
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 12
A state-level meeting of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal concluded here yesterday.

The meeting presided over by the central organising secretary of the VHP, Mr Vinayak Deshpandey, discussed the Amarnath yatra which had become a victim of political upheaval in Jammu and Kashmir, the impact on society of films like “Girlfriend”, religious conversions, illegal religious structures in the state and other important issues.

Mr Lajpat Khanna, one of the organisers, said this here yesterday.


Sirhind Rotary Club to the fore
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
Rotary Club, Sirhind, bagged 10 prizes in different competitions in the Rotary District 3090 comprising more than 80 clubs of the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan in two different functions of the district held at Palampur (HP) and Ganganagar.

The club secretary Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha, and Mrs Swarnjit Kaur Ubha were adjudged the best couple at the District Assembly held at Palampur for their best participation in the proceedings of the assembly for two days. The club also had the maximum couple participation and won the advance registration award at the assembly.

The club press secretary said the club got the privilege of getting the President Par Excellence award for president Bhupinder Singh Jaggi and secretary Par Excellence award for Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha in the Rotary District at a function held in Ganganagar. He said Prof Harshvinder Singh and Krishan Gupta of the club got the best cooperation award at the function. He further said that Rotary Club, Sirhind, also got the award for contribution to Rotary Foundation and for arranging the Governor’s visit.

The club got the distinction of organising more than 40 major projects including awareness against female foeticide, polio eradication, medical check-up camps and other social service camps during the tenure of president Bhupinder Singh Jaggi.


PWD employees hold rally
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 12
On a call by the joint action committee of the PWD (B&R) a number of officials and employees organised a rally on the tenth consecutive day in front of Mini Secretariat to protest against the Vigilance action in the bitumen scam here today.

While addressing the rally, Mr Gursharan Singh Gill said they would continue to hold demonstrations and rallies until the government withdrew the cases registered against the officials. He added that they would render full support to make the scheduled state level rally on July 21 a big success.

The association added that they would intensify their struggle if the state government failed to resolve the issue shortly. Those who addressed the rally included Mr N.P. Singh, Mr A.N. Jolly, Mr R.C Sharma, Ms Jaswinder Kaur, Mr Amarjit Singh Sodhi, Mr Rajinder Singh Sodhi and Mr Darshan Singh Labbana.


Effigies of ‘tainted’ ministers burnt
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12
Criticising the central Congress leadership, Bharatiya Janata Party workers today burnt the effigies of “tainted” Union ministers of the Congress-led UPA government and staged a dharna at Company Bagh Chowk here today. 


3 get life term in murder case
Our Correspondent

Pathankot, July 12
Mr Iqbal Singh Bajwa, in charge fast-track court-cum-Additional District and Sessions Judge today sentenced three persons to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 2000 each in a dowry death case.

The judge ordered life imprisonment to Gopal , father -in law of the victim deceased Raj Rani, her mother-in -law, Leela Wanti, and brother of Gopal, Sohan Lal, all three residents of Kalanour, for torturing her which resulted in her death .

The accused had sprinkled kerosene on Raj Rani and set her ablaze on September 6, 2001. She died of burns on September 8.

Before her death, Raj Rani in a statement had disclosed that while her husband, Manjit, was innocent and had no hand in the crime , her father-in-law her mother-in- law and Sohan Lal had conspired to kill her. 


Life term for killing daughter-in-law
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, July 12
The judge of a fast-track court, Mr Hardayal Singh, on Saturday sentenced a woman to double life imprisonment for killing her daughter-in-law and her one-year-old daughter.

The convict, Surjeet Kaur, was a resident of Ropana village in Muktsar district. She had burnt alive her daughter-in-law, Karamjeet Kaur, and her daughter on July 22, 2001.

Karamjeet was married to Prem Singh about two and a half years before the incident. The convict used to torture Karamjeet. On the fateful day Surjeet Kaur had an altercation with Karamjeet’s family member, as they wanted to take her home. In a fit of rage she set ablaze Karamjeet and her daughter who died on the way to hospital, while Karamjeet died on July 29, 2001. Surjeet Kaur was also imposed a fine of Rs 4,000.


Cop sentenced to life imprisonment
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 12
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr K.C Puri, today sentenced Constable Ranjit Singh to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 20,000 for killing on 11-year-old boy in a tea shop in front of NIS Chowk here on August 2 last year.

The other accused, Balwinder Singh, was acquitted by the court. It may be mentioned here that the policemen, who were allegedly drunk on duty, were trying to teach the deceased Gurmeet Singh, alias Kaka, how to fire a revolver.

According to the FIR registered at the Sadar police station by a witness, the two cops were drunk when they came to the shop from a police cabin across the road. The FIR further said that Ranjit Singh had asked the boy to come to him, but when the boy refused to do so, the other cop, Balwinder Singh caught hold of the him and brought him to Ranjit.

Then Balwinder asked his colleague to put the weapon on the chest of the boy. Ranjit then fired the weapon leading to his death.

The only son of the family was survived by his 40-year-old father, Mr Jinder Pal, mother Mrs Bant Kaur and two sisters.


Police conducts raids to arrest Kahlon
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 12
The Batala police today raided various suspected hideouts of a former Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr Nirmal Singh Kahlon, including his residence at Amritsar. However, till the filing of this report the raiding parties had failed to achieve any success in arresting either Mr Kahlon or his supporters.

The police was looking to arrest Mr Kahlon in the case registered against him for allegedly assaulting the policemen on poll duty at Villa Teja village, near Fatehgarh Churian, yesterday. Mr Kahlon and his supporters have been accused of the assault on polling booth Nos. 88 and 89. The SHO of Fatehgarh Churian and the ASI were allegedly injured in the assault.

A case under Sections 307, 382, 353, 332, 186, IPC, the Arms Act and Sections 158 and 511 of the Sikh Gurdwara Act was registered against Mr Kahlon and his 25 supporters.

The SSP, Mr Ram Singh, when contacted, admitted that raids were conducted to arrest Mr Kahlon and his supporters who allegedly assaulted the policemen on poll duty.


Patwari arrested on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 12
The Vigilance Bureau today nabbed a patwari, Vijay Kumar of Gurdaspur, for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from Jasbir Singh Saini of the same area.

Informing this in a press release here, Mr Dilbagh Singh Gill, SSP, Vigilance, said that the department had registered a case under Section 7,13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, here.

In the meanwhile, Tarnesh Bedi, a former clerk of the Industry Department, was imprisoned for two years and fined Rs 2,000 in a corruption case. The case was registered in 1995 at the Jalandhar office of the Vigilance Bureau.


Gang of bookies busted
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 12
The police today claimed to have busted a gang of bookies with the arrest of 10 persons who were caught while gambling in a private hotel here.

On a tip-off, the police raided the complex of the hotel last night and arrested the accused. A sum of Rs 1.65 lakh was confiscated and four mobiles and smack were seized from their possession.


3 bombs found from plot
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, July 12
Three bombs were found this evening from a plot near octroi post no. 8 in Ferozepore Cantonment when it was being filled with earth brought from Ferozepore feeder, Manasinghwala.

Mr Daljit Singh owner of the plot said he had given contract of earth filling to some persons of Naya Purba village as he was to construct a house on the plot. While the plot was being filled with earth brought in trailers, he noticed two iron blocks looking like bombs. He informed the police and Army authorities.

DSP Gurmeet Singh reached the place with the bomb disposal squad and ordered the bombs to be placed at a safe place. Group Captain RS Manaise (Retd.) who was present near the spot when the bombs were noticed said that the bombs looked like 25-pound bombs used by combat aircraft. 


PTU students to meet Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12
The striking students of the BBA and BCA courses from Punjab Technical University said that they could see a ray of hope after the appointment of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal as Minister of Technical Education.

They said that some of their representatives would get together and present their demand of being given a mercy chance before her so that they could be allowed to complete their degree courses.

Stating this in a press note, the members of the PTU Students Action Committee said that they would plead that injustice was being meted out to them as they could not be debarred from pursuing the course further before the completion of their term of four and a half years.

The students said they would also demand that an inquiry be ordered in the administrative functioning of the university.


Few get jobs at PTU placement fair
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 12
The three-day job fair organised by the Punjab Technical University (PTU) that concluded here yesterday turned out to be a futile effort as only 47 out of the nearly 4,000 university passouts received appointment letters.

Of the 47 students, 22 have been given appointments by companies engaged in tyre manufacturing and forgings and those engaged in mechanical designing through CAD/CAM softwares. The remaining 25 letters have come from call centres and other business process outsourcing (BPO) units.

Nearly 380 students have been shortlisted for a second round of interviews to be held by the companies some time later in their offices.

Most of the passouts who came to attend the fair termed it as a badly organised show. They said they had been quite optimistic about getting placed well, but to their dismay, they did not find any suitable opportunity in the technical field.

They alleged that the recruitment process was not systematic as they were not given any schedule prior to the event. Some basic formalities like registration could have done before the event to save time.

The students rued that there was no seating arrangement for them and most of them were forced to stand and wait in a small tent erected outside the main hall. Even inside the hall, chaos prevailed.

Employees of the event managing company were too busy to respond to their queries and it was a “self-service” kind of an event. Besides, the stalls of different branches like finance, management, electronics, IT or electricals had not been segregated, thus adding to their inconvenience.

The university had arranged for a seminar on the last day in which eminent speakers dwelt upon various topics, including career opportunities, and gave them tips on resume writing and facing an interview. Reacting to this, some students said that such lectures should have ideally been held for them prior to the event.

Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor, said since it was their maiden attempt, response from the companies was not so good even as the students turned up enthusiastically.

He added that the second phase of placement for engineering and management students would begin with a common test to be conducted by a placement company for three days from July 19. On the first day, the test would be held in CT Institute, Jalandhar. On July 20, the test would be held at Moga and the day after at Chandigarh. He further told that the bio-data of all students had been collected by the university and these would be posted on the official website for the employers who could call them directly.


B.Ed aspirants suffer KU apathy
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 12
More than 500 students have suffered due to the alleged negligence on the part of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

These students were to appear for the entrance test conducted by Kurukshetra University in June for admission to B.Ed. But due to negligence on the part of the university, these student could not appear in test for no fault of theirs.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Adarsh Kumar Ashta of Sirhind town, father of a student, Rajneesh Ashta, said the university dispatched the roll number mentioning the centre of exam as S.M.S. Senior Secondary School, Sonepat, but to the surprise of the students and their parents, there was no such school in Sonepat.

The students and their parents gathered at the place where the Kurukshetra University authorities were to come to collect their answersheets, but the officials reportedly were rude with the students and their parents and they were forced to return home without appearing for the test.

The parents and students have demanded the action against those officials due to whose negligence they not only lost a year but also suffered great mental tension. They have urged the university authorities to reconsider their case and to take their test.


Inter-school declamation competition
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 12
Komal of local Arya  Girls Senior Secondary School, Parveen Bashisht of Shakuntla Girls Senior Secondary School and Vibha Sharma of  Model Town Girls School stood first, second and third, respectively, in  an inter-school declamation contest organised to mark World Pollution  Day yesterday. Mukesh of Arya Girls School  was declared best  speaker.

The programme was organised by the Patiala Social Welfare Society in collaboration with the district Red Cross Society. The Civil Surgeon, Dr Hardev Singh, said the objective of the contest was to spread environmental awareness among students. The  president of the society, Mr Vijay Goyal, the District Education Officer (Secondary), Ms Pritpal Kaur Sidhu, also spoke on the occasion.

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