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Pak lawyers visit Phillaur Police Academy
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Members of a Pakistani delegation of judicial officers at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy
Members of a Pakistani delegation of judicial officers at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Phillaur. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 23
A 16-member delegation of judicial officer from Pakistan visited Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Academy, Phillaur, to study criminal justice system and police training in the state.

Led by Chaudhry Mohammad Hanif Khatana, Additional Advocate-General of Punjab at Lahore, the team toured the academy and interacted with trainees. The objective of the visit was to develop a better understanding of police functioning and judiciary in both countries.

Director of the academy G.S. Aujla, who conducted the team, said the Pakistani delegation was appraised about various procedures and drills. “We showed the delegation various aspects of the law taught to those training here”. The delegation is from the office of the Advocate-General of Punjab in Pakistan, but Advocate-General Saayed Sabbar Rizvi is not in the delegation.

Mr Harpreet Sandhu, Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, said the visit of the Pakistani delegation was in response to an invitation to them by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh during his visit to Pakistan. Mr Sandhu said after being received at Wagah, the delegation toured the academy at Phillaur. He would visit the High Court at Chandigarh tomorrow.

Dr Sharad K. Chauhan, Deputy Director, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, said the delegation was briefed about various subjects taught at the academy that included DNA testing and modern crime investigation techniques.

The interest shown by the delegation was phenomenal. They said some teaching methods being followed here were yet to be taken up at the police academy in Pakistan.” He said the possibility of training personnel in the criminal justice system was also being explored.

Some of the members of the delegation were former students of the academy during pre-Partition days. “Perhaps out of nostalgia the police training academy in Pakistan has been set up at a place called Phillaura near Rawalpindi”, some members of the delegation said.

The delegation from Pakistan is looking at working out a framework in areas of mutual cooperation. During the visit of the delegation to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the possibility of setting up a legal body for mutual cooperation would also be explored.

The delegation arrived from Pakistan this morning and travelled to Phillaur by road accompanied by an officer from the office of the Advocate General, Punjab at Chandigarh. Some members of the delegation are accompanied by their spouses and children. 

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Gastro inquiry report stirs hornet’s nest
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 23
The inquiry report by the SDM (West), Mr M.S. Jaggi, on the outbreak of gastroenteritis in a couple of city localities, which claimed seven lives, has virtually stirred a hornet’s nest.

The report had indicted the Health Department officials and the administration for their failure to take timely preventive and corrective measures and had recommended stern action against the guilty officials.

Medical officers in the Department of Health, the PCMC Association and a number of councillors, including those representing the affected areas, had strongly reacted to the inquiry report, terming it motivated and vindictive. Some sections had gone even further, charging the inquiry officer with personal motives.

The district unit of the PCMS Association has described the remarks of the inquiry officer against medical officers, deployed in affected colonies, as biased, discriminatory and an attempt to shield senior officials of the district administration.

Presiding over a meeting of the district executive committee, the state president of the association, Dr Hardeep Singh, alleged that Dr S.S. Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, and Dr Jasvir Kaur, MO, Lohara village, were made scapegoats to cover the negligence of higher-ups.

He said a delegation of the association would soon meet the Chief Minister and the Health Minister in this connection. He deplored that the inquiry officer had chosen to overlook the lapses in the management of preventive measures, which were taken in coordination with the Municipal Corporation, the Public Health Department and the Health Department under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner.

In a related development, an emergency meeting of the Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) of the district expressed anguish over the alleged biased attitude of the SDM (West), who was entrusted with the inquiry into the outbreak of gastroenteritis.

The meeting charged Mr Jaggi with nursing grudge against the SMO, Sahnewal, Dr S.S. Dhir, over the issue of cancellation of the transfer orders of his wife, Dr Inderbir Kaur, in place of Dr Balwinder Kaur, wife of Dr Dhir.

More than 12 SMOs working in the district noted with concern that the inquiry officer had intentionally ignored the kind of situation under which doctors and paramedical personnel had to work in affected colonies.

They claimed that the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ludhiana, headed by Dr Gursharan Singh, had also expressed solidarity with them and had assured to take up the issue, through its legal cell, with the Punjab Human Rights Commission and before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Meanwhile, in a signed statement, Mr Swaran Singh Maholi (SAD) and Mr Simarjit Singh Bains (SAD-Amritsar), councillors representing the affected localities, termed the inquiry report as vindictive and contrary to facts. They said the report had attributed the outbreak of disease to the supply of contaminated water, but it was far from the truth.

They said after the outbreak of gastroenteritis, several water samples were taken from these colonies in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner, the City Mayor, the MC Commissioner and other senior district officials, which were found safe for drinking and contained more than stipulated level of chlorine.

Mr Bains and Mr Maholi maintained that the disease assumed alarming proportions due to the Health Department’s failure to take timely preventive and curative measures and the poor healthcare facilities available to the city residents.

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Goods pile up at railway station, dry port
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
As the truckers’ strike entered its fourth day today, activity in this industrial hub is slowly coming to a halt. The prices of essential commodities have not registered a substantial rise but if the strike continues, there is bound to affect the common man and entrepreneurs alike. Huge stocks of industrial goods have started piling up at the railway station and at the Dhandari dry port.

Truck operators across the country have been on strike to protest against the levy of service tax at the rate of 10 per cent.

Mr Charan Singh Lohara, Chairman, Punjab State Goods Transport Association and spokesman for the All-India Motor Transport Congress for Punjab, today said the statement of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram was misleading as all transport companies, including the truck operators, were covered under the service tax.

He said the truck unions existed in all towns and all truck unions were also doubling as booking agents, hence, they attracted the provisions of the tax.

Mr Lohara disclosed that more than 10, 000 employees were involved in the trucking operations in the district alone. He said the goods receipts (GRs) were issued by the truck unions and they were covered under the service tax because of the same reason.

He said the trucks operators had to shell out Rs 500 as toll tax before reaching Delhi on the way from Ludhiana and there were some additional expenses which, too, were borne by them. As such there was no justification in the levy of service tax, he pointed out.

The Supreme Court had ordered that the trucks which were eight to 15 years old should be withdrawn from the roads to check pollution.

The road worthiness of the truck was certified every year by the authorities before a truck is allowed to ply on the highway. Then what was the justification in withdrawing such trucks which were fit to be plied on the roads. The pollution was caused by other factors like the failure of the local bodies to keep the truck stands clean and check the pollution of the industries.

Huge stocks of finished industrial goods are lying on the premises of the factories for want of booking by the transport companies.

The strike has also affected the supply of essential commodities, including the prices of vegetables, he added. 

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Beopar Mandal backs truckers’ strike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
The Punjab Beopar Mandal has extended support to the strike by truck operators in the country and has called up the Union Finance Minister to withdraw the service tax.

Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, President, Punjab Beopar Mandal, in a statement here today said that the strike by the truck operators had hit the supply of essential commodities. This had resulted in a steep hike in the prices of essential commodities.

Mr Jaitwani said the strike by the truckers had also affected the movement of finished goods and huge stocks of such goods had piled up. As a result of the strike, the economy of the state was shattered.

Mr Jaitwani criticised the statement of the Finance Minister in which he had said that the truckers were not covered under the service tax. He said transport companies needed exemption from service tax and there was no justification in levying the tax on transport goods companies, which also acted as truck operators.

Mr Jaitwani said the truck operators had to incur heavy expenses besides paying state taxes, including greasing the palms the traffic police, the state transport authorities and the taxation authorities.

He said there were 40 lakh trucks operating in the country and a majority were owned by Punjabis who needed relief from stringent taxes like the service tax. The Punjab State was the worst hit by the strike by the truckers, he added.

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NRI comes to aid of powerlifter 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 23
An NRI philanthropist and a sports lover has come forward to sponsor Pawandeep Singh for the Junior and Sub-Junior World (Men and Women) Powerlifting Championship in South Africa.

After reading Ludhiana Tribune, the NRI decided to help him. The philanthropist had earlier arranged a financial assistance of more than Rs 2.5 lakh for the family of a goalkeeper of the Indian hockey team.

Pawandeep Singh of Amarpura Mohalla here said he had been assured financial help by Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia of Victoria, Canada. Showing his gratitude to Dr Ahluwalia, the powerlifter said: “Though I had lost all hopes to attend the championship, Dr Ahluwalia encouraged me to restart and prepare for the visit. I had never expected that the help would come from a person sitting thousands miles away and having concern for his roots here”.

Talking to this reporter, Dr Ahluwalia, an alumni of Punjab Agricultural University and a sportsperson said: “I was shocked to note that a prosperous state like Punjab would let a budding powerlifter surrender the opportunity to represent the nation in the world meet. Had I been in India, I would have pushed all my resources to expedite preparation of documents required by the sportsman”.

The philanthropist said the sports authorities should show more concern for the sportspersons from lower strata of society. “How can we expect from a sportsman to show his excellence when he is made to shuttle between various cities at the time when he should be busy practising in the ground”, asked the NRI.

Dr Ahluwalia had earlier arranged a public function at Punjab Agricultural University to felicitate Kanwaljit Singh, a former hockey goalkeeper, of the Indian hockey team.

The Tribune had carried a story on the plight of his family living in Malerkotla.

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Tributes paid to Rajiv
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
Tributes were paid to late Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister, at a state-level function organised by the Terrorist Victims Association, Punjab, on his death anniversary. Freedom fighters, families of terrorist victims and Kargil martyrs were honoured on the occasion.

Prominent among those present included the Pardesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Manish Tiwari, secretary, AICC, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Charanji Lal Sharma, former MP, Haryana, Mr Parminder Mehta, secretary, PPCC, and Mr Pawan Dewan, senior vice-president of the Pardesh Youth Congress.

Addressing the function, Mr Hanspal said Rajiv Gandhi was a great visionary. He remarked that the latter had imbibed a new spirit into the youth and activated their involvement in nation building.

In his address Dr Kewal Krishan recollected the sacrifices made for getting Independence and for protecting it. He called upon the people to follow the footsteps of the martyrs.

Mr Manish Tiwari and Mr Bawa also spoke on the occasion. Among others present included city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, senior Congress leader Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran and Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka. 

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Ramoowalia’s novel gripping, says Tasneem
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
Copies of novel, “The Death of a Passport” by Iqbal Singh Ramoowalia , an NRI settled in Toronto, was released at a function held in Friends Regency, here on Saturday. A large gathering of literary persons were present on the occasion.

The copies were released by Prof NS Tasneem, an eminent teacher, and columnist. The book revolves around the protagonist Seema who has illegally gone to Canada after her marriage. Since she is without a passport she is always on the run. She suffers untold miseries when she overstays in Canada as her tourist visa expires.

When the conjugal relations become strained, she leaves her husband and six- months-daughter and moves to Vancouver from Toronto. There she gets lost in the wilderness

Towards the end of the novel, she is in a hurry to get a passport with a “landed stamp” before the noose of immigration tighten her neck for a quick deportation.

Prof Tasneem said the novel was authentic and gripping and poignant. He added that Iqbal was conversant with the art of narration.

Dr Kulwant Gill, Mr J.S. Dhiman, Dr S.N. Sewak, Prof M.S. Sarad, Prof Rajinder, Prof Prithipal Sohi, Prof Surinder and Mrs Sangeeta were also present on the occasion. Iqbal Singh Ramoowalia is on a visit to the city.

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SP beats up man; officer denies charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
Levelling serious charges against a Superintendent of Police, a former sarpanch of Gill village near here today alleged that he was beaten up by the officer in his office in the Police Headquarters for making a complaint against a woman to the Senior Superintendent of Police.

During the incident, Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, allegedly suffered injuries and had to be rushed to the Christian Medical College and Hospital after he fell unconscious and complained of chest pain. The patient has a history of hypertension and cardiac trouble.

The SP (City II), Mr Pritam Singh, has, however, denied the allegations. He said the episode was stage-managed and he had not even touched the complainant. He added that he was facing a case registered at the Merado police post and feared that he (the SP) would go against him in the inquiry.

Narrating the incident, Mr Sach Dev, a relative of the victim, who was in the emergency till late evening, alleged that Mr Channi had gone to SSP Narinderpal Singh’s office against the alleged inaction of the Merado police, which had registered a case against a woman, Ms Baljit Kaur, who had forcibly occupied a piece of land bought by the former sarpanch in his nephew’s name.

He alleged while he was going back after lodging a complaint, he was allegedly picked up by the gunmen of the SP and was taken to his office. He was thrashed by the officer. While coming out of the office, he fell on the ground. His relatives and friends accompanying him rushed him to the hospital.

Mr Sach Dev said Mr Channi had purchased 113 sq yrd of land in the village from an old man in the name of Mr Baljinder Singh. The old man passed away some time ago and Baljit Kaur, who claimed herself to be deceased’s daughter-in-law, started asking for the possession of the land. A case was also registered against her in June.

The Merado police arrested her on Saturday. However, she was let off following intervention by a senior police officer.

Mr Channi had gone to the SSP’s office today to lodge a complaint, where he was beaten up.

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Road named after Beant Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 23
The Public Works Department (PWD) has named the road section from the GT Road Doraha to Payal, via Kaddon village, as the Shaheed Beant Singh Marg in the memory of former Chief Minister of Punjab, as was announced by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab, last year.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, in a press note issued here today, said, “The PWD has put up four boards reading ‘Shaheed Beant Singh Marg’ at different places.” He said the road was widened and strengthened at a cost of Rs 1.31 crore recently. It was around 8.1 km in length and 23 ft in width.

He said, “The road connects Doraha town with Payal. The villages falling along the road included Kaddon, Kotli, Bishanpura, Shahpur and Rai Majra. It is an important bus route connecting about 15 nearby villages and agricultural marketing centres of Doraha and Payal.”

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Shift garbage bin: residents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 23
A waste collection drum placed on the Mandi Gobindgarh-Amloh main road has become a source of nuisance for shopkeepers on both sides of the road and passersby.

The residents made many complaints to the local municipal council. On the orders of Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, the garbage drum was removed from the site. Local residents heaved a sigh of relief.

However, much to their chagrin, the drum was later placed at the same place.

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Kishore is vice-chief of Amloh MC

Amloh, August 23
At a special meeting of the Amloh Municipal Council chaired by Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, today, Dr Kishore Chand Sharma was elected vice-president unanimously.

Mr Jiwan Puri, councillor, proposed the name which was seconded by Mr Budh Raj. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home and PWD), Mr Baldev Singh Aulukh, Amloh council chief, Dr Swtantar Karkara, organising secretary of the PPCC and Mr Shingara Singh Salana, Block President of the Congress were also present. OC

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Cop booked for negligence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 23
The Division No 7 police yesterday registered a case against head constable Shamsher Singh and Dalip Kumar, an undertrial, who escaped custody while being taken to the Central Jail on the Tajpur road. The FIR stated that Dalip Kumar had been arrested.

Booked for theft: The Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case against Rajesh Khattri of Faridabad and Deepak Jain, Kirti Jain and Raj Singh, all local residents.

The FIR stated that the police had got specific information that the accused were moving around in a Santro car and were carrying stolen gold ornaments. The accused were planning to melt the ornaments and sell these in the market, it added.

The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Amit Jindal, a resident of Aggar Nagar, against unknown person(s), who stole his motor cycle from Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar on August 18.

The theft of a Maruti car, owned by Mr Manjot Kumar, from outside a house in I - Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, was also reported.

The Model Town police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Maninder Singh, who lives in CRPF Colony on the Dugri road, against unknown persons who stole his Maruti car from outside his house on Saturday.

On the statement of Mr Narinder Ajmer, who lives in C-block of Model Town Extension, the police yesterday registered a case against Kuldeep Singh and Vicky, who live in Ambedkar Nagar.

The complainant stated that the accused entered his house by breaking open the door in the wee hours on Saturday with the intention of committing a theft there. But as some members of the complainant’s family woke up in time, the intruders fled. The Haibowal police has registered a case on the statement of Mr Parshottam Lal, who lives in Tagore Nagar, against Baljinder Singh of Moga.

The complainant stated that the accused had stolen his scooter. The accused was arrested and the scooter was recovered from his possession.

Injured: The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Arun Kumar Gupta of Barewal Awana village against Sudesh Kumar, who lives in Dashmesh Nagar.

The complainant stated that the accused, who was driving a truck, hit him and his 11-year-old nephew Sahil Kansal on Sunday. After the mishap, the accused abandoned the truck and ran away from the spot.

Bookies held: The Division No 3 police yesterday arrested Girdhari Lal, a resident of Preet Nagar, from near the CMC chowk and recovered Rs 200 from his possession and booked him under the Gambling Act.

The police said the accused was indulging in booking ‘satta’ and ‘darra’ bets in the area. The accused was later bailed out.

The Haibowal police arrested Varun Verma, a resident of Kundan Puri, and Harish Kumar, a resident of New Shivaji Nagar, and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The Division No 6 police yesterday arrested Kulwinder Kumar, a resident of Kashmir Nagar, and Gurdeep Singh, who lives in Vardhman Colony, and recovered Rs 2,000 from their possession.

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Businessman approaches Telecom Minister
BSNL refuses to help him out
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 23
Upset over the “indifferent” and “insensitive” attitude of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) officials, including its top brass, a local firm, dealing in import of goods, has moved the Union Minister of Telecommunication for intervention and making functional its telephone and internet line.

In a complaint lodged with the minister, Mr Amit Jindal, one of the partners in Jindal Sons, has alleged that they were provided twin lines 0161-2454532 and 0161-2454346 on July 15, 2004. At the time of installation, the line staff of BSNL had demanded money to make these connections functional.

However, the owners of the firm refused to pay any illegal gratification, as a result of which the internet line has not been functional. Even the telephone line is out of order for the past one week.

According to Mr Jindal, they needed to be on-line to remain in touch with overseas company to conduct negotiations. Any unnecessary delay in communication cost them heavy in terms of loss of business or advantage to the competitor.

He claimed that in the intervening period, all efforts to get the complaint attended to had gone futile and even after contacting more than six officers, including two SDO’s, a JTO and a JE, their telephone and the internet line had remained non-functional.

When the exasperated complainant spoke to the General Manager, Telecom, he was told to surrender the connection if the internet service (which was never provided) was not satisfactory.

The firm has urged the Union Minister to get the deficiency in service investigated thoroughly manner and also apprise the complainant of the action taken so that if necessary, it could approach some other service provider, both for the telephone and the internet services.

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