P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Arms, RDX recovered on tip-off by Harnek
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 21
The district police claimed to have recovered a big cache of weapons and RDX on the information provided by Harnek Singh, alias “Bhap”, a dreaded terrorist and self-styled chief of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), who is in police custody.

Addressing a press conference at the CIA staff in Sirhind today, Mr Shiv Kumar, SSP, said Bhap had, during interrogation, revealed that he had burried arms and ammunition on the banks of Bhakra Canal near the floating restaurant, whereas earlier he had been misleading the police by saying that he had burried weapons near Jaipur in Rajasthan.

He said that on the information provided by Harnek Singh, the police on August 20 took Harnek Singh to the site and after digging, it recovered one AK-56 rifle, 9 kg RDX, three magazines, 50 cartridges of AK-47 rifle, three hand grenades, five detonators.

The SSP said that Harnek Singh revealed that in 1995 he along with Navneet Kadian, another hardcore terrorist, had lunch at the floating restaurant in Sirhind and they thought that the fields behind the banks of Bhakra canal were the safest place to hide the weapons, as they would take these whenever required.

Meanwhile, on the expiry of the police remand, Harnek Singh Bhap was presented in the court of Mr D.S. Johal, CJM, Fatehgarh Sahib. The Public Prosecutor demanded his police remand, as the police had to interrogate him regarding the disappearance of Hawara and his associates from Burail Jail. The CJM remanded him in police custody till August 23.

Meanwhile, Harnek Singh Bhap, self-styled KLF chief, has said Jagroop Kalakh, a terrorist who was his close friend, had pushed him into terrorist activities. Talking to The Tribune, he said terrorism was wrong while taking revenge was good.

He said, Navneet Kadian, Devinder Singh Bhullar, Daya Singh Lahoria and he could strike anywhere to take revenge for the Sikh massacre in 1984. He said he was against killing innocent persons and he wanted to kill Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, H.K.L. Bhagat and Bhajan Lal.

He claimed that since 1995, he did not commit any crime . He said he had spent five years at a Phagwara college and was now living in Patiala. He said he used to tell others that his family was in Canada and he was supposed to go to Canada.

He revealed that he married Surinder Kaur from Ropar district in Jaipur. He said when the police raided his house in Jaipur, he fled to the house of his in-laws at Ropar and when the police reached there, he fled. He said if his wife came to meet him in jail, he would accept her.


Most IAS officers given additional charge in latest Punjab shakeup
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Sticking to its over two- year old policy of ordering transfers around midnight, the Punjab Government shifted 54 IAS and PCS officers last night. In fact, most of the IAS officers have been given additional charge apart from their existing duties.

Mr R.N. Gupta has been given the additional charge of Punjab Grievances and Pensions relieving Mr R.C. Nayyar, who has been given additional charge of Secretary, Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Mrs Sujata Dass has been given additional charge of Freedom Fighters. Mr R. Venkatratnam has been posted as Special Secretary, Education vice Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, who has been sent to the Health Department as Special Secretary and also as Project Director, Punjab State Aids Control Society.

Mr Jagjit Puri has been given additional charge of Director, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archives, Archaeology and Museums. Mr Krishan Kumar has been transferred to the Finance Department as Additional Secretary and Mrs Rakhee Gupta Bhandari has been posted as Secretary, Punjab Public Services Commission. Mr Vikas Garg goes to Jalandhar as Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, and Mr Rahul Tiwari has been posted as ADC at Ferozepore.

Mr Priyank Bharti has been posted as SDM at Rajpura and Mr Kulwant Singh has been sent to Amritsar as Additional Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation. Mr Gurpal Singh Bhatti has been posted as Additional Secretary of the Local Government in place of Mr Ajit Singh Pannu, who has been transferred to the Cooperative Department as its Additional Secretary.

Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr Baljit Singh and Mr Paramjit Singh have been posted as Additional Deputy Commissioner at Nawanshahr, Amritsar and Kapurthala, respectively. Mr S.S. Bajwa, has been transferred to the Medical Education and Research Department as its Additional Secretary and Mr Kulbir Singh has been posted as SDM , Garhshankar. Mr Inder Yash Bhatti, Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon and Mr Amarjit Singh Paul have been posted as SDM of Dera Baba Nanak, Anandpur Sahib and Pathankot, respectively.

Mr Darshan Singh has been posted as Executive Officer of PUDA at Mohali and Mr D.S. Saroya, has been posted as Additional Secretary, Forests and Wildlife. Mr Jaipal Singh, Mr T.N. Passsey, Mr Prem Chand have been posted as SDM of Ajnala, Bholath and Rampura Phul, respectively.

Mr M.S. Narang has been posted as Additional Managing Director of PRTC at Patiala and Mr Deepak Raj Garg has been transferred as Joint Secretary, Water Supply and Sanitation. Mr Jaswant Singh has been sent to the Local Bodies Department for posting as Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation at Ludhiana.

Mr Gurwarayam Singh and Mr G.S. Ghuman have been posted as SDM at Amritsar( II) and Roopnagar, respectively. Mr Sanjay Popli has been posted as Joint Secretary, Housing and Urban Development and Mr Pardeep Kumar as DTO at Ferozepore. Mr Ashwani Kumar has been given additional charge of Controller, Printing and Stationery at Patiala.

Mr Nirbhai Singh, Mr Harminder Singh and Mr Jaskishan Singh have been posted as SDM of Nawanshahr. Gurdaspur and Abohar, respectively. Mr Bhupinder Singh has been posted as the DTO at Amritsar. Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Upjit Brar, Mr Bhupinder Singh Saharan have been transferred as the SDM to Samrala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Farzilka, respectively.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Bakhtawar Singh and Mr Daljit Singh have been posted as SDM at Malout, Shahkot and Dhuri, respectively, while Mr Navtej Singh goes to Nabha as the SDM. Mr Jasbir Singh has been posted as the SDM at Jalandhar and Mr T.K. Goyal as the Director, Land Records at Patiala. Mrs Amrit Kaur Gill has been posted as the SDM at Ludhiana( East) and Mr A.S. Parbhakar as Secretary, RTA at Jalandhar. Mr P.S. Kailey has been sent to Fatehgarh Sahib as Assistant Commissioner( Grievances) and Ms Anupam Kaler as EAC ( under training) at Ludhiana. Mr N.S. Sangha has been posted at Dera Bassi as the SDM. 


French Sikhs resent ban on turban
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 21
Condemning the ban imposed by the French government on wearing of turbans and demanding an intervention by the Prime Minister of India into the matter, four French Sikhs held a press conference at a hotel here yesterday.

Stating this, Mr Pal Singh, a representative of Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Paris, said Sikhs were being subjected to injustice in France and the Indian Government must assist them by convincing the French government to rollback their new rule. He said children wearing turbans were being debarred from coming to schools and colleges. They were not allowed to get a driving licence, national identity card or passport if they were sporting turbans in the photograph, he added.

Mr Pal Singh said all of them will meet Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, in this regard on the occasion of 400th anniversary of installation of Guru Granth Sahib asking him to intervene into the matter.

Mr Manpreet Singh, another French Sikh, said, “I was born in Paris and I completed my higher education from the same place. But now I am being denied the right to work for any government sector or undertake my own business there, for the simple reason that I am a Sikh and I wear a turban. Now I am left with two options, either to leave France or change my religion. He said about 17,000 other Sikh families residing in France were facing similar problem.

Mr Mandeep Singh, owner of a private construction firm at Paris, said the French government had forced him to wind up his business for he wore a turban. He said he felt humiliated when he had to remove his turban to get a photograph clicked for getting a passport. Similarly, Mr Paramjit Singh, owner of a restaurant, said he was debarred from entering any government office in France for I wore a turban.


Punjab seeks MLAs’ options for foreign trips
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab Government has decided to send its MLAs on a study tour to various countries. The Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Dr Kewal Krishan, has been requested by the state government to seek options from MLAs within 10 days for the countries they want to visit.

According to information available, MLAs will be sent to four different groups of countries. An MLA can opt for any group. While America and Canada have been made a part of one group, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland have been clubbed in another group. Australia, Japan and New Zealand have been clubbed in the third group. In the fourth group countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong have been included. All MLAs irrespective of their party affiliations, will be included in the tour programme.

After seeking options, proposal will be sent to the Union Government for clearance. After that Punjab’s Finance Department will be asked to provide funds for this purpose.

Sources said other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka etc had been sending their MLAs on tours abroad for wider exposure and to study the administrative and political set-up of various countries. Mr Om Parkash Chautala, Chief Minister, Haryana, had been taking MLAs along while visiting various countries to request NRIs to invest in his state.

Punjab MLAs and Ministers going abroad will be asked to interact with NRIs to request them to invest in Punjab which has been declared a number one state having the best infrastructural and other investor friendly facilities besides excellent work culture and work forces.

Meanwhile, Dr Kewal Krishan, will be visiting Canada and America in September. He is to take part in a conference of Presiding Officers of Commonwealth countries from September 1 to 10 in Canada and then he will be proceeding to America. He will leave for Canada in the end of this month.


PM may attend Parkash Utsav celebrations
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
The Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, today indicated that the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, would attend the 400th anniversary of the Parkash Utsav of the Guru Granth Sahib being organised in New Delhi on September 1.

Talking to mediapersons here before participating in a function organised by the Global Institute of Dalit Studies at Central Library, the Deputy Speaker said an economic mafia was all powerful in the country. He said this coupled with the criminalisation of politics was the bane of today’s society. Mr Atwal said in such a situation it was up to the people to reject criminals so that such elements were not able to grab power.

The Deputy Speaker also stated that efforts were being made to make young Parliamentarians and first-timers more conversant with Parliament. He said an orientation course was being undertaken for this purpose.

Later, Mr Atwal was honoured by the Global Institute of Dalit Studies. Its president, Prof Harnek Singh, said the Deputy Speaker had set an example through his committed service in public life for others to follow. He said Mr Atwal had also furthered the cause of the Dalits in public life.

Others who spoke on the occasion included former SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar, Samana legislator Surjit Singh Rakhra and former legislator Surjit Singh Kohli.

Meanwhile, Mr Badungar said he was not in the race for presidentship of the SGPC. He said he was a true soldier of the party and if the party nominated him for the post, like once earlier, he would not hesitate to fulfil his responsibilities.


No differences with SGPC on celebrations, says CM
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 21
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said here that there were no differences between the government and the SGPC over celebrations of the 400th Parkas Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib.

Mr Amarinder Singh said that this was a religious event and all celebrations would be held in the Golden Temple and celebrated jointly by the Government and the SGPC. He said that the SGPC had not staged boycott when he visited Amritsar to see arrangements for the celebrations.

The Chief Minister said there were some functions like the maintenance of law and order and the movement of traffic which would be looked after by the Government.

The Chief Minister refused to comment on the SYL canal issue and said the matter was subjudice on the outbreak of gastro-enteritis and malaria in Ludhiana, Mr Amarinder Singh that he was seized of the matter.

The Chief Minister was in Ludhiana yesterday to participate in the state-level function of birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Amarinder Singh disclosed that Dumex company would setup a big unit at Jagraon for milk processing.


Two Amritsar-bound nagar kirtans to pass through Patiala
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 21
Former Finance Minister and SAD general secretary Kanwaljit Singh said here today that five nagar kirtans would reach Amritsar from different places in the country to mark the 400th installation day of Guru Granth Sahib. He said two of these nagar kirtans would pass through Patiala.

Addressing a gathering at a meeting organised by District Youth Akali Dal president Jaswinder Singh Jassi, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said Patiala would have the privilege to welcome two nagar kirtans. He said the nagar kirtan originating from Takht Hazoor Sahib would reach Khanouri on August 29 and the second, originating from Benaras, would reach Shambhu on the same day.

He appealed to the masses to participate in good strength in welcoming these nagar kirtans. He said the first nagar kirtan would be welcomed at Khanouri and then a function would be held at Patran. He said the nagar Kirtan would then move to Sangrur.

He said the second nagar kirtan would be welcomed at Shambhu around 5 pm and then a function would be held at Rajpura. Later, that nagar kirtan would move to Fatehgarh Sahib.

He said the SGPC would put up welcome gates and flags all through the way up to Amritsar. He said people of the state would organise langars on its way.

He said apart from the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, former Prime Ministers, Mr A.B.Vajpayee, Mr I.K. Gujral, Mr Chandrashekhar and Mr H.D. Deve Gowda had also been invited to the functions to be held at Amritsar.

He said 100 trucks from the assembly segments near Amritsar and 50 truck and buses each from Patiala, Sangrur and other distant segments would carry the sangat to these functions.

SGPC member of the district were honored on the occasion. These included Surjit Singh Garhi, Savinder Singh Sabharwal, Parmjit Kaur Bajaj, Jathedar Joginder Singh Panjrath, Nirmal Singh Jolankalan, Jasmer Singh Lachru and Balwant Singh Ramgarh.

Others who spoke on the occasion included former Minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, Jagtar Singh Rajla former MLA, Amarjot Singh Punia, Pt. Tarlochan Dev, Indermohan Singh Bajaj, Jaswinder Singh Jassi, Ranjit Singh Nikra and Jaswant Singh Aloona.


First Gurmat Chetna March in city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
First Gurmat Chetna March under the banner of the Central Coordination Committee, Chandigarh, arrived here today. Mr Dilmegh Singh, secretary SGPC, Prof Waryam Singh, secretary, Dharma Parachar Committee, SGPC, and others extended warm welcome to the processionists and presented a ‘siropa’ to Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, member, Gurnmat Chetna March Committee, SGPC, who led the march.


Transporters observe strike against service tax
Tribune Reporters & Agencies

Jalandhar, August 21
On the call given by the All India Motor Transport Congress, members of the Punjab State Goods Transport Association today observed strike in protest against the union government’s proposal to bring transport sector under service tax net. “As it is totally unjustified to impose service tax on the transporters, we have decided to join the indefinite strike from today”, Mr Bhupinder Singh Pandher, president of the association, said.

Apart from the chakka jam of the goods carriers, even the booking agencies stopped operations for an indefinite period.

HOSHIARPUR: The goods transport operators of Hoshiarpur started an indefinite strike today.

A spokesman of the District Goods Transporters Association said all types of booking for goods transportation except milk, water and life-saving drugs had been stopped.

AMRITSAR: The president of the local truck union Charanjit Singh Chadha said new bookings had been totally stopped and only those trucks would be allowed loading or unloading which had booked their goods earlier.

“In case the Union Government does not respond favourably to our demands, the truckers will have no option but to even stop the essential supplies in the coming days,” Chadha told reporters at Amritsar.

There was, however, no impact of the strike call in Sangrur district.


Man in chains for past 5 yrs
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Atla Khurd (Mansa), August 21
Former granthi Hardev Singh (name changed), a resident of this village has been lying in an isolated room in his house. He was chained about five years ago on the pretext that he had psychiatric problems.

He seems to have started losing interest in life. A relative had informed the police station concerned about his illegal confinement, but no action was taken.

He had started taking drugs and after a few months he became an addict. He had continued to take drugs though his condition was deteriorating. He had then started behaving in an abnormal manner and stopped reciting Gurbani.

Members of his family had then decided to chain him. They apprehended that if Hardev Singh was allowed to roam freely in the village, he could harm anybody and it could create trouble for the family. He had been taken to the mental hospital at Amritsar.

After remaining hospitalised for a few days there, Hardev Singh had escaped from the hospital and reached his house after two days.


Two intruders handed over to Pakistan
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 21
As a goodwill gesture, BSF sleuths handed over two Pakistani youth to Pakistani Rangers, they were arrested while wandering inside the Indian territory near Gajniwala border outpost under Mamdot sector, here, last night.

BSF sources said two youth identified as Parvesh Anjam (27), resident of Kot Salamat village, and Khadim Hussain (26), resident of Tok Kalam village, of Kasur District of Pakistan, were arrested near the cobra fencing along the international border in the Mamdot sector.

BSF officials said an intensive interrogation of the two youth was conducted before handing them over to Pakistan.

This was done to determine whether the two were innocent or Pakistani agents.

During the grilling, the BSF recovered Pakistani currency worth Rs 2,026 from them.

During the interrogation it was established that the two strayed inside the Indian territory accidentally without any malafide intention so they were handed over to Pakistan.


Pak to free 412 Indians on Aug 25

Amritsar, August 21
Pakistan will release 412 Indian fishermen languishing in different jails on August 25.

The Director of Pakistan Affairs in the Home Ministry said today that talks for the release of more Indian prisoners from Pakistani jails would be held during Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri’s visit to India in the first week next month.

In her telephonic talk with Vishva Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society president Harpal Singh Bhullar, the official said the Pakistan Government had accorded permission to officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan to meet 150 Indian prisoners languishing in various jails there.

Mr Bhullar, whose organisation had been making efforts for the release of Indians languishing in Pakistani jails, would go to Pakistan on August 25 to meet Punjabi prisoners in the jails to help in their identification. — UNI


1,000 Pak Sind his to visit India
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 21
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Union Home Ministry have given permission to 1,000 Pakistani Sindhis to visit Amritsar, Anandpur Sahib and New Delhi to mark quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib. A communication in this regard was received by the SGPC today. The Sindhis are likely to arrive at Attari Railway Station on August 27 by a special train.

According to Mr Dalmegh Singh, secretary, SGPC, the Sindhis would return to Pakistan on September 6. The SGPC secretary has also written to the Railways to arrange a special train for the Sindhi pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the SGPC secretary sent a communication to the Union Government to allow a symbolic jatha of Indian Sikhs from Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan) to visit India on the occasion of Guru Granth Sahib celebrations.


33 Bangladeshis released from jail

Amritsar, August 21
Thirtythree Bangladeshi nationals, arrested on charges of crossing over to India without valid passports, were released from the Amritsar Central Jail this evening, the authorities said.

“All prisoners were released this evening and were handed over to the Gurdaspur police. They will take them to West Bengal, where the Civil Authority would hand them over to the BSF and repatriate them to their nation,” said Jail Superintendent of Amritsar S.P. Singh.

The Bangladeshis had reached the Indian side after crossing the border from West Bengal without passports more than a year ago. — PTI


Soldier cremated with military honours
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
Sepoy Ramandip Singh, who laid down his life on August 18 fighting insurgents in Khurmur Forest in Kupwara district, Jammu and Kashmir, was cremated today with military honours at Padda village, Dera Baba Nanak.

Ramandeep Singh gunned down two militants before breathing his last in heavy exchange of fire. He had just put in three years of service and set an example of courage and dedication to duty.

Cremation was attended by Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Minister of Cooperation, senior military officers, representatives from the civil administration, police and locals.


Book on health released
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
The Mehak Cultural Forum and the Punjabi Sahit Sabha released a book on health literature in Punjabi titled “Rogann di utpati kiven ate kiyon?” authored by Dr Manjit Singh Bal who is Professor and Head, Department of Pathology at the local Medical College.

Speaking on the topics covered in the book, the chief guest Mr Vijay Tondon, who is a script writer, producer and actor, stressed the need for writing more such books which he said were useful.

Dr Satish Verma, Head of Punjabi Department, Punjabi University, who presided over the function said this book should be easily available so that people become aware of preventable diseases. He said this was the second book of this author on health problems. 


Kuldip Nayar releases ‘Sijda’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 21
Journalist-turned- singer Dr Barjinder Singh’s second music album ‘Sijda’ was released by eminent veteran columnist Kuldip Nayar at a function organised at Red Cross Bhavan yesterday.

While addressing the gathering, Kuldip Nayar, said since the album had come from a noted journalist, the day was not far off when people might start demanding newspapers in the form of a cassette of a CD. He said the album was a serious and soothing effort to showcase the original Punjabi music in an era when clamour and vulgarity was being dished out in the name of Punjabi music and culture.


Forcible laying of drains alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
The Punjab Khet Mazdoor Sabha (PKMS) has alleged that panches of Gilwali village and the Block Development and Panchayat Officer had tried to lay open drains near the houses of Dalits. Farm labourers Bakhshish Singh, Tarsem Singh, Karnail Singh, Roshan Singh, Kashmir Singh and Makhan Singh today said the drains could become a cause of stink and a health hazard.

They claimed that the BDPO wrote on July 28 that sewage of the village would be taken out through the vacant shamlat land. They alleged that the BDPO, on August 30, with the help of the police, got the road dug up to lay drains near their houses.

They alleged that the BDPO had claimed that Mr Sardool Singh, Excise and Taxation Minister, had ordered the construction of the drains. They furnished a copy of the letter written by the BDPO to the SHO of police station Sadar in this context.


MLA distributes Rs 7.50 lakh among villagers
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 21
Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA, today distributed development grants, worth Rs 7.50 lakh, among five village panchayats, namely Bhattiwal Kalan, Sangherri, Bakhtarri, Majhi and Batriana of the Bhawanigarh block of the district at a function held at the Umeed Khanna Foundation here.

Mr Khanna also distributed financial assistance of Rs 1.35 lakh on behalf of the Market Committee, Bhawanigarh, among four handicapped persons and a widow.


Health Dept staff demand release of salary
Our Correspondent

Pathankot August 21
More than 200 employees of the Health Department are running from pillar to post to get their salary released, which the department had allegedly withheld without any reason.

A spokesman for the employees said here today that the government had not released their salaries for July this year, despite the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this connection. The court had directed the government to release the salaries of the employees by the seventh of every month.


One killed while crossing railway line
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 21
One unidentified person was run over and killed by train while crossing the railway line near Maur Mandi railway station, 40 km from here today.

The Sahara Jan Sewa said the body was handed over to volunteers by the railway police for cremation.


Set up pay panel: pensioners
Our Correspondence

Ludhiana, August 21
By merging 50 per cent DA with basic pay or pension of employees from April 1, 2004, the Centre has, virtually, effected a partial revision of pay-scales, allowances and pensions. In effect, about 40 per cent revision of scales has been done. Dr Manmohan Singh's government should set up the 6th pay commission for completing the remaining work of revision. Earlier, pay scales were revised from January, 1996, and revision is now due from January, 2006.


Baba Bhaniarawala's plea rejected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed a petition filed by Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala seeking security cover for his birthday. He had claimed that his followers wanted to celebrate his birthday and for security reasons protection must be provided.

He had earlier sough security cover by the Central Reserve Police Force. In alternate, his counsel had sought "Z" security for the Baba. He had claimed that the security presently provided to the petitioner was just not adequate as evident from the stabbing incident.

The Baba, it may be recalled, had expressed apprehensions about his safety in a petition filed before the High Court last year. Seeking the transfer of cases against him, he had claimed that his movement in the state of Punjab was not without risk to his life. As such the cases should either be transferred out of Punjab or to Chandigarh. Taking up the petition, the High Court had directed that all seven cases would be heard at Ambala.

In another petition, he had also claimed that an "illegal and unconstitutional" ban imposed on Bhavsagar Samunder Amrit Vani Granth. The same, he had asserted, was politically motivated.

He had added that the members of the then ruling party had earlier approached him seeking his support in the forthcoming elections. They became furious after he refused to oblige them, his counsel had claimed. He had further added that the granth was subsequently burnt by certain religo-political leaders with the intension of maligning his reputation. The holy Birs of Guru Granth Sahib were set on fire and he was blamed for it, the Baba had concluded.


Police stops Baba’s followers
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 21
Tension prevailed today at Dhamana village near Nurpurbedi town, about 20 km from here, when hundreds of followers of Piara Singh Bhaniarawala were prevented by the police from visiting his residence. The followers were on their way to participate in two-day birthday celebrations of Bhaniarawala.

Since morning, the Punjab Police personnel held nakas at various places, including Anandpur Sahib and Ropar and also in Nawanshahr district, to restrict the entry of vehicles carrying Bhaniarawala’s followers. When some followers protested against the police action, the police threatened to put them behind bars, making them leave for their respective places.


Case against Badals adjourned
Tribune News Service

Ropar, August 21
A case, filed against former Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for possessing assets beyond their known sources of income, was today adjourned for September 18 by the Ropar District Courts. Both were today granted exemption from the personal appearance on their plea that they were preoccupied with the preparations for 400th year of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib.


BKU (Ekta) splits on first day of 2-day session
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 21
The two-day annual delegate session of the BKU (Ekta) headed by Pishora Singh Sidhupur, started at Diwan Todar Mal Hall of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib today. But on the first day of the session, the union suffered a jolt, when a delegate faction, led by Surjit Singh Phool, a senior vice-president of the union, walked out of the session. He resigned from the primary membership and organised a separate meeting at Gurdwara Singha, opposite to the Diwan Hall. He alleged that there was no democracy in union and they were not allowed to express their views and not allowed to distribute the annual review report.

Mr Pishora Singh said the delegate session was called after every two years and all activities and accounts were put before the delegates. On the second day, election to the state body is conducted. He said when session was going on Surjit Singh Phoola got annoyed over certain personnel issues and along with handful delegates staged a walkout.

On the other hand, Mr Surjit Singh Phoola said the office-bearers of Moga, Ferozepore, Faridkot and Bathinda have resigned from BKU (Ekta) and decided to form a separate organisation, which would fight for the cause of farmers.

He said they have formed a convening committee headed by him, which would form a new organisation and convene a delegate session.


Punjab Roadways to get 400 buses
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 21
As many as 650 new passenger-friendly buses would be added to the fleet of Punjab and Pepsu roadways. This was stated today by Punjab Transport Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee at a congregation held at Dera Baba Sant Hans Raj Ji, at Pandwa village, on the occasion of the 34th barsi of the sant.

The minister said while 400 new buses would be added to the fleet of the Punjab Roadways, 250 buses would be added to the fleet of Pepsu Transport. Already, 30 new buses were operating on various routes, he claimed. 


22 given appointment letters
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
Mr Sunil Datti, mayor, local Municipal Corporation gave appointment letters to kin of 22 Class IV employees who had died here today. He said that 4500 safai karamcharis were working at present and appointment of these 22 employees would help to improve things in the city.

He also inaugurated several welfare schemes including the construction of cemented lanes in Sewa Nagar and Ranjit Pura that would cost Rs 7 lakh. He said that the corporation would try their best to provide the basic facilities to citizens.


Two women robbed
Our Correspondent

Phagwara August 21
Two women, Ms Surinder Kaur and Ms Baljit Kaur, were last evening looted of valuables worth over Rs 3.5 lakh by two youths riding a scooter on the Phagwara-Palahi road. Both are sisters-in-law and had come from New York to attend a function at nearby Palahi village.

Ms Surinder Kaur sustained injuries as she was attacked by the two clean-shaven youths. She was hospitalised at the Civil Hospital in Phagwara. Ms Baljit Kaur was also hospitalised.

Ms Baljit Kaur said the youths had a pistol and fired in the air to terrify them. When the two resisted, the looters, the women were hit with the pistol, she alleged. Villagers accompanying them said that they had even handed over one empty shell of pistol to the police. However, Darshan Singh, SHO, Sadar police station, denied that the looters had any pistol. When confronted with the claim of the villagers and Ms Baljit Kaur, the SHO said they were yet to record the statement of the injured woman as she was still unconscious and the exact version could be known from her.

The two women were returning to the village on a rickshaw after shopping in Phagwara when they were waylaid and looted. 


PSEB SDO held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, August 21
Officials of the vigilance bureau today arrested Balwinder Kumar Singla, SDO Suburban, Punjab State Electricity Board, Malerkotla, on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 5,000 from the owners of a factory on the promise that their factory premises would not be raided.

Balwinder was arrested from his official residence allegedly after the recovery of the bribe amount of Rs 5,000 from there.

Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP of the Vigilance Bureau, Sangrur, said he along with other officials of the department today raided the house of Balwinder Kumar and recovered Rs 5,000, which he had accepted from the owners of Star Impact and Star Engineers, Mr Jaid Mohammad and Mr Khwab Ahmed, for not raiding their factory premises. However, the SDO refuted the allegations saying the money was not recovered from him.

Balwant also claimed that the complainants tried to force him to take Rs 5,000 which he refused to accept. During this process, the amount fell in the house, which was later recovered by the bureau officials.

When the vigilance officials tried to arrest the SDO employees of the PSEB started protesting and tried to prevent the officials from carrying the SDO with them. They gheraoed their gypsy and raised slogans against the vigilance officials claiming that the SDO had been framed in the case.

Following the protest the vigilance officials called the local police. The local SHO, Mr Bhag Singh, along with a police party pacified the protesting employees saying that the police would initiate action against the vigilance officials if they misbehaved or manhandled the family members of the SDO, as per the charges levelled by the SDO’s family.

After the assurance by the SHO the PSEB employees allowed the vigilance officials to carry the SDO with them.

Following arrest the SDO complained about pain in his chest, due to which he was taken to the local Civil Hospital. It is learnt that he was referred to the Rajindera Hospital, Patiala, for treatment.


3 of family die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
An NRI and three of a family, including a newly-married couple were crushed to death when their car collided with a millitary truck near Khasa 10-km from here on the Amritsar -Atari road late last night.

The deceased, includes Vikramjit Singh (25), his wife Sukhveer Kaur, Kulwant Kaur (mother) and Gurnam Kaur (mother-in-law). While Vikramjit, Sukhveer Kaur and Kulwant Kaur were residents of New Pawan Nagar here, Gurnam Kaur who has returned from the USA and presently lived in the Rani-ka-bagh area. The car was driven by Vikarmjit.

The police said that the victims were returning Amritsar from Khasa after paying obeisance at Baba Budda Sahib Gurdwara. All of them died on the spot, Sham Vayas, driver of the millitary truck had been arrested and the bodies handed over to the family members after a post-mortem examination conduted at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here. A case under Section 304-A of the IPC has been registered at Khasa police post under the Chheharta police station against the truck driver.


3 brothers booked for rape
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
Three persons, Vicky, Rama, Najor Singh — all brothers and residents of Mulla Chak village were booked by the Sultanwind police station allegedly for raping a woman of same village.

The woman who is a widow in her complaint stated that she used to work as maid in the house of accused persons. She alleged the accused called her on pretext of making food and raped her.

A case under Section 376 of the IPC has been registered against them.


Asst Manager, peon held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 21
The police has arrested Assistant Branch Manager Santokh Singh and peon Madan Lal of local branch of Vijay Bank in Central Town on charges of fraud to the tune of Rs 2.98 lakh, said Kapurthala SSP S.K. Asthana. The peon, with the connivance of the Assistant Manager, had withdrawn the amount from account No. 108 of Balbir Singh and Manjit Kaur of Chiheru village. Mr Fulwar Singh, Manager of the bank, had lodged a complaint and city SHO Gurwinder Singh probed the matter.


PU BEd students a harried lot
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 21
Resentment prevails among hundreds of applicants of the BEd correspondence course over the conduct of admissions in the Panjab University.

The applicants said the university was not accepting their application forms even though they had cleared the entrance test and were high on the merit list. They were to fulfil certain odd formalities that were time consuming.

The candidates said university officials had asked them to submit their original certificates of their graduation and migration along with the application form, which was not possible as they were applying for the same course in other universities as well.

The applicants rued, the university had asked them to submit migration certificate and bank draft of Rs 11,100 before June 24, even before the entrance test scheduled on July 25 this time, as against their regular pattern. The candidates said that the university officials had even extended the date of submission of forms but no such notice in this regard reached them. They further added, “Had we known about the extended dates, we could have tried to submit the application alongwith the forms by the due date”.

Recently, when their result were declared, the candidates visited the university campus with a demand that their late submitted forms and certificates be accepted but to no avail.

Since the university has scheduled its counselling on August 23, the candidates who are high up on the merit list are now worried that their seats would be given to other candidates down the line, if their case is not taken up by the university.

Mr Davinder Singh, chairperson of the correspondence programmes at the PU, when contacted, said that the university was adamant on not taking up any such applications that had been sent after the last date. He, however, said he had presented a file of all such cases before the Vice-Chancellor and it was now upto him to take any decision in this regard.


School management suspends PTI
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 21
PBN Higher Secondary School management committee led by Mr Rajesh Sharma, today, suspended Mr Prem Chand, physical training instructor and staff secretary, for his alleged anti-management and anti-school activities.

A press note issued here said Mr Prem Chand had been suspended. It said the committee had found the working of Mr Prem Chand against the interest of the society, managing committee and the institution and this could not be overlooked.

The committee has banned his entry in the school. It also ordered him to appear before an independent inquiry officer appointed by the committee in due course.

Mr Prem Chand had allegedly made allegations against the manager, Mr J.N. Kumaria, the Principal Mr Rajeev Kumaria and their families.


Students hold rally against private bus owners
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 21
A large number of students today staged a dharna and held a rally at the bus stop of Nidampur village on the Sangrur-Patiala road, about 30 km from here, in protest against the forcible issuance of bus tickets to the bus pass-holder students by the owners of private buses.

Addressing the protesters, Mr Raminder Singh Patiala, state president of the Punjab Students Union (PSU), alleged that the employees of private buses “misbehaved” with the bus pass-holder students when they wanted to travel in their buses. The government was not listening to the grievances of the students, while the police was extending its support to the private bus-owners, he said.

The students demanded that the state government should take steps against the owners of private buses to implement the students’ bus pass facility. 


Inter-college blood donation camp
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 21
An inter-college blood donation camp, sponsored by the State Bank of Patiala, was organised by Punjabi University, Patiala, at Khalsa College here today.

Mr A.S. Bhatia, AGM of the State Bank of Patiala, announced a grant of Rs 10,000 for the cause.

Dr Parambakhshish Singh, Registrar, Punjabi University, and Dr Baltej Singh Mann, coordinator of the university’s NSS wing, hosted the event.

Mr Tejveer Singh, DC, Patiala, was the chief guest.

Dr Harbir Singh, Principal of the Khalsa College, welcomed the guests and addressed the students. He, by quoting Kabir, inspired the Youth to donate blood.

Dr Parambakhshish Singh said blood donation established an unknown relationship between the saviour and the saved. It was a sacred bond, he said.


Students make ‘Rai da Pahaar’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, August 21
Students of colleges affiliated to Punjabi University presented a short play, “Rai da Pahaar” based on an Irish play by Norha Richards and adapted in Punjabi by late Balwant Gargi, on the concluding day of a 20-day workshop on the campus here today. Teachers of these colleges also attended it.

Dr S.P.S. Virdi, Dean, Academic Affairs, presided over the function and gave away certificates to the participants. Punjabi University Registrar Param Bakhshish Singh distributed the participation certificates to the teachers.

Mr Bhanu Bharti, an NSD pass- out who organised the workshop, said the main objective of holding the workshop was to develop theatre culture and impart training to teachers for preparing students for youth festivals.

Earlier, Dr Sunita Dhir, Director, Youth Welfare , while welcoming the guests said the main focus of the workshop was on analysing the plays usually performed at youth festivals.


Firm selects 25 students

Bathinda, August 21
Twentyfive girl students of the local SSD Women’s Institute of Technology have been selected by IDS Infotech Limited, a business process outsourcing service provider in the USA and Europe, after a written test and interview on the campus.

The principal of the institute said today that the company had selected almost all girl students who were degree-holders in different computer courses. TNS

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