P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Byelections to decide future of Punjab politics
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, have put their political might at stake in Kapurthala and Garhshankar Assembly segments where byelections are scheduled for tomorrow.

As many as 2.40 lakh voters will cast their votes to decide who has convinced them more during the past 15 days of hectic campaigning. No doubt the outcome of the two byelections will have a bearing on the future of politics in Punjab, especially after the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance recorded a resounding win in the last Lok Sabha elections.

Interestingly, while the two main players in state politics the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal — have shown complete unity in their ranks the third player, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has internal strife to bare. The Communists, including the Marxists, have started distancing themselves from the Congress giving indications that all was not well within the secular alliance they had in the Lok Sabha elections early this year.

The most significant development has been an apparent change in the lifestyle and working of the Chief Minister. Yesterday, on the last day of the campaign, he not only travelled by road from Chandigarh to Garhshankar but kept all his appointments and braved torrential rain to be with voters at all six venues. These two byelections have turned him into a tireless campaigner as he addressed nearly 60 election rallies in the two constituencies.

Success in either of the constituencies could wipe out whatever little dissidence is left in the Punjab Congress Legislature Party. At the same time, an adverse result could give the dissidents as well as the Opposition an opportunity to put him on the defensive.

“I am confident of winning both seats,” he told The Tribune at the end of campaign yesterday saying that he was “satisfied with the campaigning and the role the party workers and leaders played in both constituencies. I have no complaints whatsoever,” he said.

The Chief Minister used his manpower resources well, dividing the top leadership in two parts to oversee the logistics and management of the election campaign. While Mr Sant Ram Singla managed Kapurthala, it was Ch Jagjit Singh, who hails from nearby Mahilpur, who was in charge of Garhshankar.

In fact, Congressmen had to work hard in Garhshankar where in the last three elections, they had left the seat for Communists. Realising that party workers were getting disillusioned and had started looking elsewhere, the party President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, took a decision to contest independently from Garhshankar.

The move has reportedly enthused the party workers here. Though the Communists have united and the Bahujan Samaj party may also take a fair share of Dalit votes, yet the battle for electoral supremacy is expected to be between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Garhshankar has also a fairly large Communist vote as the party supremo, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, wields tremendous influence in the area.

Though Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in spite of his age, had virtually made Kapurthala his second home for the last 15 days, it is he who can single-handedly swing the tide in tomorrows’ battle. His capacity to work continuously remains matchless. Interestingly, the entire top dal leadership, including Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Bibi Jagir Kaur, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and Mr Manpreet Singh Badal, camped in Kapurthala.

Interestingly, in these two byelection not many central leaders came. While the Congress called Mrs Ambika Soni and Mr Sachin Pilot in Garhshankar, the party depended solely on the state leadership in Kapurthala.

The Shiromani Akali Dal, which concentrated in Kapurthala, also had Mr Sahib Singh Verma and cricketer-turned politician Navjot Sidhu, to campaign for its candidate while the responsibility of managing the campaign in Garhshankar was left to the top brass of the Punjab BJP.

Kapurthala has history of giving turns to both the Congress and the Akali Dal in the Vidhan Sabha. Will, Mrs Sukhjinder Rana, set a new precedent remains to be seen. In fact, both Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and Capt Amarinder Singh, had been asking for votes in their names in this erstwhile princely town. But which way the voters go will be known only after the electronic voting machines are opened for counting on October 16.


Chief Secretary sits over five poll-related complaints
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The Punjab Police has decided to play it safe in Kapurthala. Aware of the fact that the stakes are high for ruling Congress party members and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) activists in the historic city, the police has declared 113 out of 116 polling booths sensitive.

Senior Police authorities have also deployed "thrice the usual number of cops" for "maintaining law and order situation" in Kapurthala and Garshankar assembly constituencies.

As many as 4,000 security personnel have so far been deployed in both the constituencies.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is also not taking any chances. It has appointed three observers, along with 581 polling personnel, for Kapurthala assembly constituency.

For Garshankar, one observer and 534 polling personnel have been appointed. They are from different Central and state departments.

In all, the authorities have so far identified 144 "sensitive" polling booths in the two constituencies. As many as 31 of them are in Garshankar.

Over all, there are 233 polling stations in both the constituencies.

As a confidence-building measure, the cops on Tuesday carried out flag marches around the sensitive polling booths in both the places.

Kapurthala's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) S.K. Asthana claimed that patrolling too had been intensified.

The sources in Punjab Government, meanwhile, revealed that state Chief Secretary continued to sit over at least five poll-related complaints submitted by different political parties. His office failed to furnish replies even today though the elections were just a day away.

The sources claimed that submitting replies after the election day would be an exercise in futility as the complaints would be rendered infructuous by then.

Giving details of the complaints, the sources added that as many as 43 poll related grievances were received by the election department.

A substantial number of them, alleging model code of conduct's violation, were against the Congress party members. Several of them were submitted by SAD.

But only 25 complaints could be disposed of. Rest 18 complaints remained undecided as replies were not received either from the Chief Secretary's office or from the Deputy Commissioners of Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur.

The sources added that the complaints pending before the Chief Secretary included objection to the implementation of 85th Amendment Act pertaining to accelerated promotions for employees belonging to the Scheduled Caste category.

Also pending before him was another complaint related to the issuance of a recruitment advertisement in newspapers.

The sources claimed that the government had neither replied to the complaints, nor had implemented the schemes.

Regarding the polling arrangements in the state, the staff of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) G.S. Cheema revealed that there were 1,21,420 voters in Kapurthala and 1,19,404 electors in Garshankar.


CM to hold cops responsible for hampering of poll
Tribune News Service

Garhshankar, October 12
Cautioning “mischievous” elements against indulging in booth capturing, bogus voting or other illegal activities during polling at Kapurthala and Garhshankar tomorrow, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today stated that he would hold the police responsible if the poll process was hampered anywhere and if any unscrupulous element was found trying to create hindrance in the poll process.

Unfolding his post-poll agenda, the Chief Minister asserted that since his party was indebted to the people for brining it to power in the state, he would tour the state after the byelections, and would be committed to arm the state with good infrastructure. The Chief Minister predicted that both seats would go to the Congress, which was contesting the byelections on the single slogan of development.

Talking to The Tribune at the house of a Congress leader after taking stock of the situation, the Chief Minister, who was accompanied by Punjab Ministers Jagjit Singh and Surinder Singla, PPCC chief H. S. Hanspal and PPCC general secretary Parminder Singh, alleged that his arch rival and SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal had got frustrated and his party could indulge in malpractices like booth capturing.

“But I warn them that if any trouble is created anywhere, there will be no alternative except for the ‘danda’. Nobody will be allowed to create any problem and if a problem is created anywhere I will hold the police responsible for any such action. They (Akalis) can motivate voters peacefully and democratically,” said the Chief Minister.

Talking about the electoral prospects of his party in Kapurthala and Garhshankar, the Chief Minister quipped, “Cent per cent, it is our victory at both seats. Initially, we expected Kapurthala to fall in our lap.

The latest position shows that Garhshankar voters are over-enthusiastic to vote for the Congress. They feel that the chances given by them in the past to the other parties have failed to yield results. Moreover, our candidate here is local and people of the area have been yearning that the seat should be contested by a Congress candidate,” said the Chief Minister.

Mr Jagjit Singh maintained that the people of the Garhshankar constituency were happy as the Congress was contesting the seat after 19 years. “People have taken this development as traditionally as they rejoice the birth of a baby,” quipped Mr Jagjit Singh and Mr Parminder Singh.

Reacting to the SAD demand for deployment of paramilitary forces in Kapurthala and Garhshankar, Capt Amarinder Singh said Mr Badal had never had faith in the Punjab police. He did not have any faith in the Punjab police. For this he has been relying on paramilitary forces like the CRPF,” he said.


Garhshankar byelection
Cong pins hopes on deras
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar/Garhshankar, October 12
Eyeing around 40,000 Dalit votes of the Garhshankar constituency, the Congress is pinning its hopes on the support of all major deras, run by Scheduled Caste saints in the Shivalik foothills that fall in the constituency.

The constituency, which of late has become a matter of prestige for the Congress, has around 12 deras at Bohan, Jaijon, Gajjan Mahmood, Kalewal Bhagtaan, Sherpur, Kasurpur. Almost all of these are run by saints belonging to Scheduled Castes. Heads of these deras have a good following in the constituency, particularly, among the Dalits.

The strategy of the Congress, according to insiders, is to target the rich Dalit vote bank directly by canvassing and indirectly through the “powerful deras”, followers of which also live abroad. These deras, according to sources, are so powerful that just a signal emanating from these could change the political fortune of any political party.

While the BSP and the BJP-SAD combine were said to be trying to woo Dalit voters through these deras and otherwise, the Congress is also not lagging behind in the exercise.

To achieve the target, Congress old war horse in Punjab, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, a minister, was being used as he is said to be having a good rapport with the Dalit alone, but also with those running the deras, which are linked with “pucca” roads.

“Yes, I have a very good relation with heads of all deras and I have been persuading them to vote for the Congress. I think we will achieve 100 per cent success in that,” said Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, who was busy canvassing despite his fractured arm.

Congress strategy, it was learnt, was to lay more focus on Dalit votes to save it from being divided among two factions of the BSP, the Congress and to some extent to the CPM. 


Cong Gen Secy pooh-poohs demand for forces
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar October 12
Taking serious view of the demand of the SAD-BJP combine that paramilitary forces should be deployed in Punjab for the by elections, the Punjab Congress said such a step would discourage the Punjab Police and lower its morale.

Mr Parminder Singh, General Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said the demand of the SAD-BJP combine was “highly unjustified” and “uncalled for”.

“It is ironical that SAD-BJP combine leaders who enjoy the security umbrella of the Punjab Police at their homes are opposing it for election duty”.

The demand for deployment of paramilitary forces could lower the morale of the force which had fought a battle against terrorism, Mr Parminder Singh said.


Paramilitary forces not needed for poll: Cong
Tribune News Service

Garshankar, October 12
Several senior leaders of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) yesterday assailed the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) leadership for demanding deployment of paramilitary forces in Kapurthala and Garhshankar for the October 13 byelections.

Talking to The Tribune, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr H.S. Hanspal, and general secretary, Mr Parminder Singh, said that it was unfortunate that a leader like Mr Parkash Singh Badal should make such a demand.

Mr Badal and the Akali Dal forget that at least 20 to 30 per cent of the total strength of Punjab Police was recruited during the Akali Dal Governments in Punjab. “Ever since the present Congress Government took over in Punjab, there has been no fresh recruitment because of a ban.”

“Furher, Punjab police has the unique distinction of eliminating terrorism from the state. There is no other state or country where the police had been able to wipe out terrorism completely. Examples of the US, Great Britain, Sri Lanka and other nations are all before us,” they said.

“Intriguingly, the Akali leaders have been demanding deployment of the CRPF now. Earlier, the same leaders were accusing the CRPF for being anti-Punjab and anti-Sikh,” Mr Hanspal and Mr Parminder Singh said.

They further said that when Mr Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister, he always imposed full faith in the police force. “But once he is out of power, he tries to label the entire force anti-Akali and anti-Sikh. His double-face talk would not cut ice with people of Punjab any more. He and other Akali leaders should refrain from making such statements and allow the police to function independent of any political influence,” they concluded.


Arrest of ex-minister upsets Akalis
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 12
The arrest of Gurdev Singh Tajpuri, a former minister, from Kot Karar Khan village caused unrest among the members of the Shiromani Akali Dal here this afternoon. Tajpuri was arrested on the charges of violating Section 144, CrPC, as he was carrying a carbine with him in his vehicle. He was also booked on charge of distributing money among the voters of the villages in lieu of their anticipated support for tomorrow’s elections.

A case had been registered against him under Sections 188 and 171 E of the IPC. He was later released on bail in the evening.

Meanwhile, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president of the Sikh Students Federation, said he had been receiving threats from the police to leave Kala Sanghian village. He said he had been camping in the village and arranging langars for the residents.

In the afternoon, he said, a DSP came along with about 100 policemen in buses. He said he was told to leave the village within five minutes or face the consequences. But he said neither did he flee nor the police party approached him till the evening.

Later, a clash occurred among the Akali workers and those from the Congress at Sanjogla village. It was only after the intervention of an election observer that the two groups moved apart.


20 booths ultra-sensitive in Kapurthala
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar/Kapurthala, October 12
In view of the high poll stakes of both the major political forces of the state, senior Punjab police officers would be deployed to supervise polling at about 20 polling booths in the Kapurthala constituency which have been designated as “ultra-sensitive” booths. The number of such “ultra-sensitive” booths in Garhshankar is just eight.

To ensure a free and fair polling in the Kapurthala Assembly constituency tomorrow, tight security arrangements have been made.

Mr S.K. Asthana, SSP, said that the Assembly segment had been divided into 10 parts and each part was under the command and control of an SHO. Four DSPs have been deployed in the city area that has been split into four zones for supervision of security arrangements, he said.

The SSP added that the rural areas have been divided into eight zones and each zone was under the command of a DSP. He said that Mr Gurmit Singh, SP (D), would supervise the security arrangements in the city, while Mr Rakesh Kaushal, SP (City), Jalandhar, and Mr Rajinder Singh, SP, Ferozepore would supervise the security arrangements in the rural areas.

To stop smuggling of poppy husk, illicit liquor, arms and ammunition, 30 nakas had been set up to seal the Assembly segment, the SSP said.

Apart from the police, a commando force had also been deployed, he added. In addition, 10 PCR units were patrolling the city area. 


Development sole issue: minister
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 12
Congress leaders along with party workers have gone door to door in the remotest corners of the Garhshankar segment to approach the electorate for their vote and support in favour of Mr Luv Kumar Goldy in the byelection.

This was stated by Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, Punjab, and election in charge of the Congress in the Garhshankar segment yesterday. He said they had taken up development as the sole issue with the electorate. People were convinced that the area remained neglected in the absence of a Congress MLA since 1985, he claimed.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said to ensure fair and free polling, he had deputed five workers at each polling station in the segment. There were 152 villages in the constituency and 13 wards in Garhshankar town, having 1,19,192 votes out of which about 26,896 were Jat Sikhs, 26,650 Ad-dharmis, 12,575 Rajputs, 9,037 Gujjars and 7,148 Brahmins. The remaining were from other castes.

He claimed a majority of BSP workers and its leaders, including Mr Harbhajan Kaler, its president in Garhshankar, had tilted towards the Congress. There were seven religious deras in the segment. Heads of these deras had instructed their followers to vote and support in favour of Congress candidate, he said.

Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, had done extensive campaigning in the entire constituency and addressed a dozen election meetings.


Sikh leaders threaten to gherao Modi
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, October 12
At least 12 Sikh leaders have threatened to gherao Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi whenever he came to Punjab in case he did not tender a public apology for his remarks against the Prime Minister.

Mr Swaran Singh Khalsa, national spokesman of the Shiromani Khalsa Dal, Mr Harwinder Singh, district president, Mr Hardip Singh Domeli and Baba Sukhwinder Singh, alleged that the remarks exposed Mr Modi’s “frustration”.

They asked SAD President Parkash Singh Badal to sever ties with its ally, BJP, in the wake of Mr Modi’s comments against the Sikh Prime Minister. “If Badal has even an iota of shame, he must snap ties with the BJP”, they declared.

They argued that “rabid communalists” like Mr Modi should be put behind bars. The BJP was an anti-minorities party and Sikhs should not expect anything of it, they said.

Other signatories to the statement were Mr Jaswant Singh Thakarki, Mr Satnam Singh Saduwal, Mr Balkar Singh Kaura, Mr Jasbir Singh Dhaliwan, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Sabi, Mr Surinderpal Singh Sangha, Mr Hardip Singh Narangpur and Mr Mehar Singh.



Dal Khalsa activists stage demonstration
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 12
The activists of the Dal Khalsa today staged a demonstration in protest against the indecent remarks made by Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, against the Sikh community at Garhshankar, about 40 km from here today.

The protesters led by its working president Harcharnjit Singh Dhami, marched through the city. They were carrying banners and placards condemning, Mr Modi, for hurting the Sikh sentiments.

Mr Dhami, while addressing the gathering said the alleged remarks, of Mr Modi, were part of cultural terrorism initiated by the RSS against minorities. He asked the Sikhs to take the threat seriously and come out of slumber to give befitting reply to the likes of, Mr Modi.

Mr Modi’s, clarification did not pacify the demonstrators who were asking public apology from the BJP. Mr Dhami, called, Mr Modi’s turnaround as an eyewash. He said it was a typical style of the RSS i.e court controversy, if faced with Opposition and then backtrack.

Lambasting, Mr Modi, for insulting the Sikh pride, he said the BJP was responsible for the rise of Hindu extremism in India. He said in its five-year rule, the BJP had promoted the likes of Modi and Togadia who were responsible for spreading hatred amongst minorities.

Blaming, Mr Modi, for engineering genocide against the Muslims, Kanwar Pal Singh, general secretary of the Dal Khalsa, said it was ridiculous that such criminals were holding high posts in the so called democracy.


Are manual instructions being followed by revenue officials?
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
When it comes to land management, it is a state’s Land Records Manual that acts as a Bible, as much for the revenue staff as the land owners and occupiers. The Manual is a compendium of ‘’speaking orders’’ that the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, issues from time-to-time.

The first Punjab Land Records Manual was compiled in 1935 when Sir Miles Irving was the Financial Commissioner, till February 1934. This fact is revealed by his successor, A. Latifi in the preface to that manual. Thereafter, last time the manual was revised and updated was in 1974, when the Punjab Kanungo Service Rules, 1945, were incorporated in the second edition.

And now, what should have been normally done after every five years or so, has been done after a gap of 30 long years. The third edition of Punjab Land Records Manual is now available. The credit goes to the Director Land Records, Mr Arvinder Singh Bains as also the former Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Ms Gurbinder Chahal.

A large number of ‘’speaking orders’’, instructions, amendments, revised rules etc. were available but only in a scattered form and in cluttered files in the office of the Director Land Record, Jalandhar. Even as that important office remains to be fully computerised, the publication of 537-page third edition of the manual is a welcome step. Its study is a must for the present generation, which is keen to go back to their roots and look after their land but does not know the basics of land management or terminology used by the revenue officials.

It is, perhaps, keeping this in view that the manual has a 32-page alphabetical index which explains the terms used, when it comes to land management and understanding of documents that show possession, ownership, mutation, transfer etc. Name any dealing with the land records and the manual offers it in simple language. Though, it has given conversion tables for measurements and the metric measure system was introduced in 1975-76, in practice this was still not being used in the field. There are several other aspects as well that the manual mentions but are not followed in letter and spirit in the field, say sources. Nevertheless, the manual remains a guide as much for the layman and the younger generation as for the patwaris.

If the quantum of information in the manual on land revenue records and management techniques besides functions of the revenue functionaries concerned is to be believed and implemented in letter and spirit, the volatile village society would be freed from unnecessary litigation and rounds of ‘’tehsil and ‘’thana’’. But since transparency is not yet there, as the records are still not properly maintained, as ordained in the manual, problems persist, confess sources in the revenue department.

To substantiate this, here is one example. In the chapter on territorial transfers, paragraph 5.7 is on “International Boundary Pillars” to be inspected half yearly. This means that at the commencement of each harvest inspection, the deputy commissioners of the three border districts “shall” inform their counterparts in Pakistan and carry out joint inspection of the international boundary pillars and submit a return in this respect to the Director, Land Records, Commissioner of the Division and the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, on April 10, and November 10, each year. This has, perhaps, never been done nor any inspection reports submitted in the recent past.

Or take another example—’’Computerisation’’. It is a new word and has often been used by politicians and bureaucrats to claim that land records were being computerised and once completed would bring about transparency and eliminate corrupt practices. This is, perhaps, as distant a dream as computerisation itself.

Going through the manual one finds a host of functions that revenue field staff is supposed to perform, formalities to complete in various registers with scores of columns to be filled etc. It transpires, that ‘’patwari’’ is the king-pin of all land-related operations—soil type, injury if any caused to land by flood or drought, rain or hailstorm, sowing to harvesting of crops, crop experiments, surveys, special girdawaris, sale deeds, transfers, mutations etc.

One of the functions of patwaris is ‘’police duties’’, wherein they are supposed to keep the police informed of crime in their area as well as about illicit distillation of liquor. Because under Section 45 CrPC, patwaris are under the same legal obligation as owners and occupiers of land, in the matter of reporting crime and the reporting of speeches made at meetings held within the limits of their circles, when called upon by the District Magistrate to do so.

How many functions are being actually performed and how honestly by the revenue functionaries or their superiors? Only villagers can answer this as to what difficulties and hassles they have to put up with. Manuals alone will not bring about the desired changes, Change of mind-set will!


Pakistani team keen on agriculture tie-ups
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
A top-level delegation headed by Pakistan’s Agriculture and Marketing Minister Rana Mohammad Qasim Noon, which is on a 12-day visit to India to study agri-marketing, has expressed willingness to explore options for increasing trade avenues between the two countries in agricultural produce.

Appreciating the prosperity of Punjab which has been fuelled by agricultural revolution, the Pakistani team showed keen interest in tie-ups with various agricultural organisations in Punjab for cooperation and transfer of expertise in various fields, during a visit to Punjab Markfed.

During its interaction with Markfed officials, the delegation said that it was impressed by Punjab’s success in cooperative agriculture revolution. The team was particularly keen to know more about the cooperatives set-up which are helping millions of farmers in Punjab in selling their farm produce.

The minister revealed that their country was influenced by the cooperative structure in Punjab as cooperatives movement had made rapid strides in all the areas of socio-economic activities. The cooperative concept had worked wonders and its networking and reach was so vast that they covered 100% of the total villages and 85% of the rural households.

The minister said that Pakistan needed huge quantities of agricultural products and was very keen to import 100 MT metric tonne of tomatoes per month from Punjab Markfed through the Wagah border.

Earlier, Pakistan had shown interest in importing 20 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and other produce like cotton from Punjab through Wagah border. The Chief Minister of Punjab had written to the Minister of Food, Government of India, to open the Wagah border for bilateral trade. But till now this issue was under consideration of the Central Government.

The Pakistani delegation extended an invitation to the Markfed’s Managing Director to visit Pakistan and get a first hand knowledge about the Pakistanis engaged in agriculture.

Mr S.S. Channy, Managing Director, Markfed, said that Punjab’s proven expertise and skills in bringing the green revolution in Punjab could now be utilised for green export revolution. As the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan were improving fast, this could be the harbinger of new revolution and organisations like Markfed would have a very important role to play in this scheme of things.


Woman raped for months on pretext of marriage
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
The tragedies seem to have become a part and parcel of life of Neena (name changed), a young girl of Tapa Mandi of Sangrur district, as the same have been happening to her for the past many years and made her a destitute.

Neena, who was married twice and rejected by both husbands, faced the worst of her life today when her one month old male child died due to cold on the platform of local railway station, where she had been putting up after her second husband, who kept her as his wife for months together, deserted her.

She faced the tragedy for the first time when her mother died. She thought that life would be smooth for her after she got married in Ferozepore district about five years ago. However, tragedy struck her again when she was allegedly forced to leave her in-laws’ house.

Her hopes became alive again when she met a stranger in a train and got a proposal from him that he wanted to marry her even after listening her tale of woes. Hoping that she had met the right person, Neena accepted his proposal immediately and went along with him, identified as Vishva, alias Happy, a resident of Partap Nagar locality here.

Vishva, who has been working with a courier company here, raped here for months together. After he came to know that Neena was pregnant, he insisted for abortion. When Neena refused to do the same she was thrown out of house by him.

She started living on the platforms of local railway station. Her hopes revived again when she delivered a male child about one month ago. Hoping that her husband would accept her after the birth of a male child, she went to him and faced humiliation again when he declined to keep her with him.

Last night, when she came to know that her child was suffering from cold, she again contacted Vishva and asked for money so that she could get treatment for her son but she was again made to suffer humiliation. Her son died today due to cold.

The police said a case under Sections 376 and 304 of the IPC had been registered against Vishva, who managed to escape.


MP development funds unutilised
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 12
Many parts of Gurdaspur are suffering due to pending development works. Broken roads and incomplete school and hospital buildings and bridges are common in the border areas of this district.

The amount of Rs 2 crore per annum from the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund, marked for the district, is not being utilised. The Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Mr Vinod Khanna, has not visited the area since the last Lok Sabha elections in February.

He has not made any recommendation for development works in the current financial year and consequently, no funds have been released from his MPLAD fund. Even Rs 1.28 crore from the MPLAD fund of Mr Vinod Khanna meant for the financial year 2003-2004 has not been received yet.

Sources said till the MPLAD funds for the last financial year were utilised, the funds for the current year would not be released by the Union Government. Mr Vinod Khanna had not utilised Rs 4.61 crore of the MPLAD funds even during his last stint as MP. This had become an issue in the last elections.

He then hurriedly in February 2004 recommended development works worth Rs 4.61 crore. Out of these, works worth Rs 3.52 crore were sanctioned by the district administration. However, the payment of only Rs 1.28 crore had been received yet.

Due to this, only between 25 and 50 per cent of sanctioned development works could be completed. Most of the development works sanctioned by Mr Vinod Khanna in February this year were lying incomplete due to the non-availability of the rest of the funds. These included drinking water scheme for Pathankot and small projects such as construction of toilets and link roads. The district administration has now written to the Union Government to release Rs 1.24 crore from the MPLAD funds of Mr Vinod Khanna so that the development works sanctioned by him during the last stint can be completed.

The Rajya Sabha member from the district, Ms Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, has also not visited the district since the last Lok Sabha elections. She has, however, sent the recommendations for the development works worth Rs 25 lakh to the district administration. However, the amount from her MPLAD funds have not been released by the Union Government yet. District officials have written to Ms Bhinder to get her MPLAD funds released so that the development works sanctioned by her can be implemented.

Mr Ashwani Kumar, another Rajya Sabha member from the district, is the only MP who has been visiting the district regularly. He also issued recommendations of development works worth about Rs 1 crore till date. He recently launched a mass contact programme to know the problems of the district.


SGPC opposes Pak move on gurdwara properties
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 12
The five-member SGPC delegation on a fact-finding mission to Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan yesterday opposed the move to bring gurdwara properties under the Evacuee Trust Board by the Pakistan Government.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, SGPC secretary heading the delegation, stated that al the properties of gurdwaras in Pakistan were collective inheritance of the community and therefore should not be brought under the evacuee board.

He urged the chairman of the Wakf Board, Mr Pir Mohammed Khan Bangesh, to allow the SGPC to hold awareness camps regarding ‘rehat maryada’ in gurdwaras for caretakers of gurdwaras in Pakistan.


SGPC suspends 3 personnel
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 12
The SGPC today suspended three of its employees deputed at its serais after receiving complaints from some persons who had arrived from Mumbai. Those who were suspended are Nirmal Singh, Gurbinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh. According to the complaints, the three refused to give rooms to the complainants and even misbehaved with them.

Earlier too some SGPC employees had been suspended following a complaint of misbehavior with a woman devotee.


Demand to excommunicate Baldev Singh
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 12
The SAD (Amritsar) has appealed to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to excommunicate Mr Baldev Singh, member, SGPC, for violating the directions of Akal Takht.

Mr Baldev Singh, charged with molestation, had been directed to undergo ‘tankah’ till cleared of the charge.

In a written statement, Mr Ram Singh, Mr Daya Singh Kakkar and Mr Baldev Singh Sirsa demanded his excommunication.


Dispensary without power, water, doctor
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Moga: The Employees' State Insurance (ESI) dispensary located at Focal Point here is running without power and water for the last two years. The dispensary that caters to about 2,000 factory workers and their dependants is a picture of neglect.

Sources said that the ESI dispensaries were opened under a Centrally-sponsored scheme but their control lies in the hands of the state governments concerned.

The staff of a firm having over 10 employees can avail the facility of ESI health centres.

According to sources, the ESI dispensary in Moga has no electricity for the last 2 years and its 5-member staff has tolerated two scorching summers in succession without a single fan. Earlier, medicines that needed cooling were ordered in a lot as the dispensary had a refrigerator, but now they order medicines as per their immediate requirement. “Power bill could not be paid as no budget was allotted for the same in office expenses,” sources said, adding that the bill may have run into thousands of rupees.

The dispensary doesn’t have an official arrangement for drinking water and the employees manage the same on their own.

Surprisingly, the dispensary, which has no provision of admitting patients, has about a dozen rooms and 2 halls, besides a couple of toilets that are presently covered with a thick layer of dust. A post of doctor and all vacancies of class IV employees were lying vacant. The dispensary has a single doctor who also has to look after the ESI dispensary in Kotkapura, which he visits twice a week.

There is not a single sweeper to clean up the premises of this dispensary and the staff has appointed a person for the job on their own.

They pay him about Rs 500-600 per month from their own pocket. Sources said that earlier the staff had even arranged a gardener to look after the saplings planted on its premises but he was asked to leave as they could not bear the cost of 2 employees.

This spurred the growth of congress grass on its campus, which served as a breeding ground for dangerous snakes. Sources said that whenever a staff member opens a room he first makes it sure that there is no snake in the room.

Once a pair of snakes had entered into a locked room through some hole and the hospital staff could not find any snake charmer to get rid of them. After making various efforts for a couple of days they left the room open one day so that they could move out, the sources added.

When contacted, the local Employees State Insurance Corporation officials said that they could not do anything in this connection as the state government has the authority for the same and the dispensary staff should write to their higher-ups for power and water problem.

The CMO, Dr S.K. Bansal, expressed his inability to comment on the issue right now and said that he would personally visit the dispensary soon to look into the problem.


More facilities for patients at Civil Hospital
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 12
Facilities for patients have been increased at the Civil Hospital here in the recent months and the case for providing hotline facility has also been taken up for ensuing 24-hour power supply to the hospital.

This was stated by Dr Maninder Jeet Singh, SMO in charge of the hospital, at a press conference here today. He said the hospital had an ultrasound machine, but there was no radiologist. This caused inconvenience to patients as they had to get ultrasound done privately by paying heavy charges, he adds. He said now a radiologist would remain present in the hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He said doctors had been requested to discourage patients from getting ultrasound tests done privately.

He said raids should be conducted on centres that carried out sex determination tests as it was illegal. He said such cases should be brought to the notice of hospital authorities. He appealed for support in that regard.

He said he had also requested doctors to undertake caesarean cases and orthopedic surgery even after 2 p.m. A portable X-ray machine had been made available at the hospital. Equipment for physiotherapy was also lying at the hospital.

Dr Maninder Jeet Singh said he had held a meeting with chemists of the town and appealed to them not to sell medicines other than those prescribed by doctors. To check the sale of narcotic drugs by chemists, he said he would request the head office to give permission to raid such shops.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, who was also present during the press conference, said the SMO wanted to bring transparency in the working of the hospital.


Villagers protest against blocking of nullah
Our Correspondent

Kharar, October 12
Residents of Badala village blocked traffic today in protest against the alleged blocking of a nullah by some residents of the village which had led flooding in a part of the area due to heavy rain yesterday. The road adjoining the village was blocked at 6.30 a.m. till about 3 p.m. It was lifted only after the local MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who visited the area, assured the protesters that a solution to the problem would be found in the next two days.

The matter would be discussed at the meeting of the District Grievances Redressal Committee on October 14 and the District Development and Panchayat Officer would be asked to modify his decision in which he had stated that the land of the nullah had not been encroached upon but belonged to those who had blocked it.

A part of the encroached land was dug up by residents to show the MLA that a nullah existed there.

Mr Harminder Singh Mavi, sarpanch of the village, told The Tribune that some residents of the village had allegedly encroached upon nearly 100 ft of the nullah. As the outlet had been blocked, water entered a number of houses last night, damaging stored farm produce and other items in the houses.

Mr Bawa Singh, one of the affected residents, said water entered his house and damaged a number of items, including those collected for the marriage of his daughter Sarabjeet Kaur. He said members of his family along with some villagers removed the water with the help of buckets, and this went on till 2 a.m.

The sarpanch alleged that the nullah was blocked on the night of September 15 by Mr Jagir Singh and Mr Swaran Singh, both of one family, along with certain others. He said he along with other villagers had been visiting various officials in this regard but to no avail. He further said the nullah had been built at a cost of Rs 30,000 from an MP quota grant in 1999 and since then it had been allegedly blocked many times by members of the above said family.

He added that the village panchayat had decided that if the problem was not solved by the authorities concerned then they would submit resignations on October 15.

A case had been filed by members of the family of Mr Jagir Singh in the court of the Collector in 2000, claiming that the disputed land belonged to them and in January a decision was given in their favour.


Village without power since Sunday
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October12
Residents of Peerjain village near he district headquarters, have complained that they have been put to great inconvenience as there is no power in their village since October10. No official had bothered to restore the power supply and repair the faulty lines, in spite of repeated reminders to PSEB officials.

Ms Kuldeep Kaur, Sarpanch of the village, in a message to the Chairman, PSEB, has said residents were finding it hard as it had affected the water supply also.


Bank staff hold protest
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 12
A demonstration was held in front of the State Bank of Patiala today evening. Bank employees were demanding that the management should favourably consider compassionate appointments, take steps for staff recruitment and outsourcing of jobs as per the decision of Central Committee meeting of State Sector Bank Employees Association held recently at Jaipur.

Trade union leader N.K. Gaur said all pending applications of appointments on compassionate grounds should be considered favourably. Any restriction imposed on them would tantamount to anti-employee attitude of the management, he said.

It was also demanded to urgently take steps to recruit adequate staff as no recruitment had been made in the associate banks for the past several years.

Meanwhile, a dharna by employees and officers of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, under the banner of OBEU (NR) and AIOBOA, would be held on Wednesday at Chhoti Baradari in front of the regional office of the bank in protest against its merger with Global Trust Bank Limited.


72nd IAF anniversary celebrated
Our Correspondent

Bhisiana (Bathinda), October 12
Group Captain S. Sukumar, Station Commander, gave away commendation and appreciation cards to the selected Air Warriors at the 72nd anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which was celebrated with a lot of fanfare here.

In a press note issued here today, Group Captain S. Sukumar exhorted the station personnel to inculcate a positive sense of professionalism in their work.

He also administered the oath, which was taken by Air Force personnel, re-affirming their allegiance to the Construction of India and vowing to project the independence and integrity of the national, irrespective of any danger to their lives.

The week-long celebrations included parade by Air Force personnel, community dinner (barakhana) for all personnel and families, a high tea for the retired Air Warriors, a traditional at home ceremony for the SNCOs.

A variety programme and static display of equipment including aircraft was organised that invoked large response and well attended by the students from various schools and colleges of the district.


‘Green drive’ in Bathinda
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
Sahara Jan Sewa, an NGO, which has been taking care of destitutes and cremating unclaimed bodies for the past two decades, started “green drive” in the city today.

Mr Pankaj Singla, chairman, Sahara Jan Sewa, said under the drive, about 2,500 saplings would be planted on the divider of one of the main roads passing from this city.

He added that about 2 km of divider of the main road would be covered with the saplings. Earlier also, it has carried out plantation of saplings in various pockets of the city.


Punjab turns to rural tourism

Amritsar, October 12
Rural areas of Punjab, lying neglected for the past many decades, are now the focus of state government’s campaign to promote rural tourism. “Plans have been drawn to develop rural areas of the state on the lines of heritage villages by providing modern facilities and infrastructure to woo international tourists,” says Mr Jagjit Puri, Director for Tourism, and Cultural Affairs.

The government has received special grant from the Centre to convert rural areas into heritage villages. In the first phase, 12 villages have been chosen. Every year the state government will select one more village for speedy development.

The government will spend Rs 1 crore on each village. This will also help improve the economic condition of villagers, says Mr Puri.

“We plan to choose certain ancient well-built houses and buildings in each of the villages for renovation work that would be listed with the Department of Tourism.”

Foreign tourists will be recommended for stay there and the rent paid by them will directly go to the owner of the house and the building, he says.

“Rural tourism has a lot of potential, especially for luring young NRIs who want to visit the villages to see the real Punjab. But because of lack of facilities, they have not been able to do so,” says Mr G.S. Chawla, a tour operator in Delhi. — PTI 


Manuke claims support of 45 panchayats
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 12
The Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti, Baghapurana, Mr Amarjit Singh Manuke, has claimed the support of 45 panchayats out of 50. Mr Manuke, who is facing boycott by the rebels, also claimed the support of 22 members of the 23-member samiti and two members of the Zila Parishad.

Mr Manuke also showed some documents in which his supporters stated that the rebel activities against him were being engineered by those who didn’t want development of the area and they were promoting factionalism in the party.

They said that the chairman had chalked out good development plans after taking over the charge and had disbursed grants without any prejudice.

The dissidents had raised a banner of revolt against Mr Manuke, saying that he was discriminating among panchayats while distributing grants.

They had also alleged that being a liquor contractor, the chairman was getting raids conducted at his rivals’ homes through the police under the pretext of recovering illicit liquor.

The rebel leaders said that removing Mr Manuke from the top post was not their aim and they only wanted to stop the activities of “humiliating” villagers.

When contacted, Mr Manuke denied allegations levelled by the rebels.


Rajput Maha Sabha — a clarification
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Refuting reports of the Punjab unit of Rajput Maha Sabha (PRMS) being dissolved, the general secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, Kanwar Bajrang Singh Tanwar, said legal action was being contemplated against those using the name of the organisation to spread misinformation.

In a statement issued here today, he said the local head of the PRMS, Col Kanwar Mohinder Singh, had not been removed and would continue in his present position for the next four years.


Life-term for Mahant
Our Correspondent

Barnala, October 12
A local court yesterday sentenced Mahant Sewa Dass, accused of raping a minor girl, to life imprisonment. The judgement came as relief to the area people.

Sixty-year-old mahant was having large number of followers in Tapa and its surrounding areas.

The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Fatehdeep Singh, sentenced the accused to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000. In case of non-payment of fine, the imprisonment would be extended by two years. The court also ordered the accused to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 as compensation to the grieved family.


BSNL GM remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 12
The General Manager, BSNL, Mr C.S. Kalra, who was arrested by the CBI yesterday while accepting illegal gratification of Rs 15,000, was remanded in 14-day judicial custody by the CBI special court here today.
Mr Kalra, who was taken to Chandigarh after the Central Government agency trapped him, was brought here today afternoon and produced before Mr G.S. Gill, Special Judge, CBI.

He will now be produced in the same court on October 25.

Mr Kalra, who is a 1980 batch Indian Telecom Service officer, was trapped at the BSNL office here by the CBI anti-corruption wing when he demanded a bribe of Rs 15,000 from a private contractor, Mr Alamjit Singh.

The GM had reportedly demanded bribe for granting a tender to the contractor.

Meanwhile, CBI sleuths conducted raids at Mr Kataria’s official residence late yesterday night. Nothing incriminating was reportedly found at his residence.

Keeping in view this development, the public prosecutor appearing on behalf of the CBI sought a 14-day judicial remand which was granted.



Arrest decrease in cotton prices: BKU
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 12
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Punjab, has said that if the decline in the cotton prices was not checked then the union would stage dharnas at various places across the state.

The working chief of the union, Manjit Singh Kadian, today said that the cotton prices had come down from Rs 2,500 to Rs 1,700.

The union leaders demanded that the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and Markfed be asked to procure cotton and its price be increased to Rs 3,500 per quintal.

They alleged that traders had started “looting” farmers after the government agencies backtracked from cotton procurement.

They warned that if proper measures were not taken to arrest the decline in the cotton prices, the union would stage dharna in Fazilka on October 15, Bathinda on October 19, and in Abohar on October 26. 


BKU against police role in farmer-arhtiya deals
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 12
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Punjab) would make all efforts to stop police intervention in deals involving farmers and arhtiyas. This was stated by working chief of the union Manjit Singh Kadian and general secretary Bhupendra Singh Mahesari here yesterday.

Both leaders alleged that while lending money to farmers arhtiyas made them sign blank papers. They said those preparing fake documents and fake witnesses were equally responsible in misleading farmers.

They urged the state government that the police intervention should be stopped in matters involving arhtiyas and farmers.

They demanded a probe into assets of arhtiyas who till sometime back had small business.

Banks should increase credit limit for farmers while fixing the annual interest at 4 per cent, they added.


Two registry clerks suspended
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 12
Two employees of the Revenue Department posted in the local tehsil as registry clerks placed under suspension by Deputy Commissioner, K.A.P. Sinha for their alleged involvement in handing over an unsigned sale deed of a piece of land to one of the purchasers after removing the same from the custody of tehsildar.

Official sources said Mr Sinha also ordered an inquiry into the evasion of stamp duty made by the purchasers of Punjab Ceramic Unit, located on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, which was auctioned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Sources added that the two clerks, Mr Varinder Kumar and Mr Gurcharan Singh, were placed under suspension when Mr Sinha came to know that the unsigned sale deed, which was submitted to Tehsildar by the purchasers of another unit namely Punjab Spinning Mill, located on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, had been handed over to the same purchaser clandestinely by violating the norms by the clerks. The mill was also auctioned by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the recent past.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that one of the purchasers of the mill went to the camp office of Mr Sinha and urged him to ask Tehsildar, Mr Rajesh Verma, to register the sale deed submitted by him on October 5 at the same value of stamp papers, which had been deposited by him.

When Mr Sinha asked him that to produce documents on which he had calculated the amount of stamp fee that was to be deposited to get the sale deed registered, the purchaser handed over the original sale deed, which he had submitted to Tehsildar, to Mr Sinha.

When Mr Sinha asked him how he (purchaser) had got the original copy of the sale deed from the tehsil office, the purchaser could not come out with any answer. On this, Mr Sinha got infuriated and placed the two clerks under suspension immediately.

Mr Sinha added that chargesheets would be issued to the two clerks in due course of time.

Meanwhile, the process of impounding the sale deed submitted by that purchaser had also been started, as the authorities concerned had come to know that the purchaser had made evasion in the sale deed which he submitted to the Tehsildar on October 5.


DC orders removal of encroachments
our correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October12
Mr S.K.Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the monthly meeting of district officials here today, directed the executive officers of all municipal councils to immediately remove encroachments, where no stay orders had been granted by the courts.

The officials have been further directed to file applications in the respective courts to vacate the stay orders against the encroachments, so that the encroachments from the government lands could be removed.

He urged the municipal officials to take the help of the police if required to remove the encroachments.

He also directed PWD officials to hand over all roads which falls in the urban areas in the territory of municipal council to respective municipal councils, so that these roads could be re-carpeted.

He directed the SDMs to ensure the smooth procurement and lifting of paddy as well as the payment of procured paddy to farmers on time. He also gave orders to revenue officials to launch a campaign for recovery of loans. The Deputy Commissioner directed all SDMs to personally supervise the development works being initiated in their respective sub divisions, so that the government money is properly utilised.


Undertrial escapes from police custody
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 12
An undertrial prisoner escaped from the police custody from the courts complex here today. He was scheduled to appear before a court in a case of theft. According to the police, the accused, identified as Hukam Singh Kala, a resident of Gol Hatti mohalla in Amritsar was arrested by the district police on August 10 in a case of theft.

The incident occurred, when the undertrial prisoner, scheduled to appear before the court of Mr Tejinderbir Singh, Judicial Magistrate, managed to give a slip to the police party headed by an ASI and head constable, and fled away.

A case has been registered and action was being initiated against the erring cops.


Youth throws acid on two sisters
Our Correspondent

Batala, October 12
Narinder Singh, a resident of Industrial Area, Batala, today threw acid on two sisters, Mandeep Kaur and Kuljeet Kaur, of the same locality.

Mr Ram Singh district police chief, Batala, told mediapersons here today that the victims were coming on a rickshaw from their residence. When they reached Lakkar Mandi, Narinder Singh picked up two glasses of acid and threw at them. Clothes of both the girls were burnt. However, shopkeepers of the area provided sheets to girls and later took them to the Batala. Civil Hospital.

Dr Jagjit Singh, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Batala, said the acid had fallen on the eyes of one of the girl.

One of the sisters fell unconscious while other named Narinder Singh as culprit.

The SSP said the marriage of Mandeep Kaur had been fixed for October 14.

A case will be registered at the City Police Station, Batala, he added.


One killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 12
A Nepali youth was killed while another was seriously injured when the motor cycle on which they were riding, was hit by a truck near the PSEB centre at Adampur yesterday.

According to the police, the victim was identified as Puran Chand, a resident of Basti Bawa Khel locality here. The police said that the victim alongwith his friend Gucha was on way back to his home after paying obeisance at Chintpurni mandir in Himachal Pradesh.

While Puran died on the spot, Gucha was admitted to the local Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case.


Woman held for cheating youth
Our Correspondent

Lalru, October 12
The police has arrested Sukhbir Kaur of Chandiala village for duping a youth of Malikpur village on the pretext of sending him to Malaysia and providing a job. Her two accomplices, Balbir Singh and Mohinder Singh are still at large.

According to the police, Sukhbir Kaur, her son Balbir Singh and brother Mohinder Singh, a resident of Thol in Kurukshetra taken Rs 90, 000 from the complainant for sending him to Malaysia on a ‘work permit’ in March 2004. They also had taken Rs 20,000 from his parents for getting him released from a jail when the youth was arrested by the Malaysia police.

In a complaint to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Dera Bassi, the victim Ran Singh, a resident of Malikpur village, has alleged that Balbir Singh, a travelling agent of Chandiala village had assured him a permanent job in Malaysia. He some-how arranged Rs 90,000 from his relatives.

Ran Singh flew to Thailand along with Balbir Singh and Mohinder Singh on Mary 12. From there he was transported to Malaysia in the dickey of a car.

Later he was arrested by the police. A case has been registered against Balbir Singh, his mother Sukhwinder Kaur and uncle Mohinder Singh.


3 held with 7 kg opium
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 12
The police arrested Bhinda Singh, Ram Singh and Chhinder Singh and seized 7 kg of opium from their possession. At a check post, near the Phulewala canal, the police spotted a jeep coming from Nihalsinghwala.

On conducting a search of the vehicle 7 kg of opium was recovered.


PSEB employee arrested
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, October 12
An employee of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) was today caught red-handed by the Vigilance Bureau here while accepting a bribe of Rs 800.

According to VB sources, Vinod, a resident of DC Colony, near here, in his complaint alleged that Gurmukh Singh, a Junior Engineer posted at the Model Town centre of the PSEB, demanded Rs 1,500 as bribe for conversion of a temporary power connection into a permanent one. The complainant further revealed that Rs 700 had been given to the accused as advance money.

Subsequently, the VB laid a trap and caught the Junior Engineer while accepting a sum of Rs 800 in the presence of a shadow witness.

A case under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered even as the arrested employee was being produced in the court.


GND varsity to have institute of Guru Granth Sahib studies
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 12
A national institute of Guru Granth Sahib studies would be established at Guru Nanak Dev University. It would cost Rs 20.68 crore. Announcing this at the Syndicate meeting of the university, Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor said this institute would be constructed in two phases.

The institute would have a museum, a library, an auditorium, a conference hall, a media centre, a record room, a gurmat sangeet room and a music section.

With the board consisting of the director, seven professors of Sikh literature, Sikh philosophy, Hinduism, the Bhakti Movement, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism would undertake research on comparative religious studies.

The foundation stone of the institute has already been laid by the President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The university had signed an MoU with the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society to establish Bhagat Puran Singh Chair at the campus. The society had donated Rs 25 lakh for this chair.

A Sufi Chair would also be established in collaboration with the Sufi Foundation of India.

The university had invited students of the Punjabi Department, Panjab University, Lahore, and its Vice-Chancellor to participate in the Punjabi Week Celebrations by the university in November.

Under a scheme, genetic tests for the mentally challenged would be conducted by the university free of cost. These tests would be conducted for families who had two or more children with the affection.

The tests would be conducted with a special grant released by the Max Plank Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany.

The Syndicate accorded its approval for the award of Ph.D. degrees to Meena, Sukhdip Gill, Harish Changotra, Manjit Hundal, Balwinderjit, Bhupindra Prashad, Lovedeep Kaur, Sarbjit Singh and Ashwani Kumar under various faculties.


DEOs’ offices running in unsafe building
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, October 12
Fearing danger to their lives, employees of the offices of the District Education Officer (Secondary) and the District Education Officer (Elementary) here in a representation sent to the Deputy Commissioner today urged him to shift their offices to a safe building as they have now been working in a building which has already been declared unsafe by the PWD (B&R) authorities.

Mr Mahavir Prashad, state vice-president of the Punjab Education Department Ministerial Staff (Sub-Offices) Association, who was one of the signatories to the representation, said here they had informed the DC that in the offices of both DEOs, about 75 officials were working in this unsafe building, always feared danger to their lives.

The building was declared unsafe by the PWD authorities in February, 2004.


Punjabi varsity prepares for cultural fests
Our Correspondent

Patiala, October 12
The Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.S. Boparai, has tried to introduce more objectivity and transparency in judging cultural events to be presented at youth festivals of Punjabi University zonal- level competitions.

Competitions for various cultural items in music, theatre, dance, fine arts and literacy which are scheduled to commence at Government Physical Education College here from October 14 to 16, at Government College, Sangrur from October 19 to 21, at Government College, Ropar, from October 26 to 28 and at Government Rajindra College, Bathinda from November 1 to 3.

Lists of persons of repute and integrity have been prepared and out of these lists the names of judges have been selected through a draw.

Giving this information ,Dr Sunita Dhir, Director (Youth Welfare) ,said the three judges would judge the items separately and the results would be compiled by a different jury. After the announcement, judges would explain to the audience why a particular item had been declared winner. 

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