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Inside Babudom
Hectic lobbying begins for the post of Punjab DGP
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 11
With less than two months to go for the present Director-General of Punjab Police, Dr A.A. Siddiqui, to superannuate, hectic lobbying has started for his successor.

Interestingly, two more senior officers of the Punjab cadre would have superannuated by March 31 next year thus making the contest for the top cop post open for those belonging to the 1970 batch.

Besides Dr Siddiqui, Mr R.K. Gupta would also retire on January 31. Two months later, Mr D.R. Bhatti, presently looking after the Punjab Armed Police at Jalandhar as ADGP , would also superannuate.

As of now, Mr S.K. Verma, Director-General of Police with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, is the seniormost officer of the Punjab cadre. Belonging to 1967 batch, he has almost a year to go. At one stage, he was considered a strong contender for the DGP's post before the Congress government assumed office.

Another officer of the rank of DGP is Mr P. Lal of 1969 batch who has almost two more years to go. At present, he is with the Lok Pal.

Since the Prime Ministers' Office has issued a directive against requests for any extension in service , tough fight is on for the position.

One of the front runners for the position has been Mr S.S. Virk, also of 1970 batch, belonging to the Maharashtra cadre. Since he is an outsider, there is going to be stiff resistance from his batch mates belonging to the Punjab cadre. They are Mr Lalit Bhatia, Mr S.C. Jain, Mr G.S. Aujla and Mr MPS Aulakh.

While Mr Aulakh attains the age of 60 on August 31, he may not be a serious contender. He is the only officer who is empaneled for DGP's position at the centre. But since he has only nine months to go for superannuation, he may not like to move out.

Dr G.S. Aujla, who is the Director-Principal of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy at Phillaur, is the strongest candidate from within the state cadre. His proximity to the present Congress government is well known. Further, he is the youngest among all 1970 batch officers. He also has a strong opponent in Mr Lalit Bhatia with close connections with the top political brass of the state. Mr Bhatia is presently with the Punjab State Electricity Board as ADGP Vigilance.

Mr S.C. Jain has 18 months left in service.

Last time long before Mr M.S. Bhullar retired, the Punjab Government had named his successor much in advance. But this time the government probably does not want to name the successor to Dr Siddiqui till the last.

IAS postings

Meanwhile, on return from deputation from the Chandigarh Administration, the Punjab Government has given fresh posting to both Mr M.P. Singh and Mr S.P. Singh.

Mr M.P. Singh, who was Commissioner, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, has now been named Secretary, Higher Education and Languages while Mr S.P. Singh, who was Managing Director, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation, has been posted Managing Director, Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited.

Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu was today named new Director of State Transport while Mr S.S. Bajwa becomes Additional Secretary, Cooperation. Mr APS Virk will be new Joint Secretary, Medical Education and Research.


Separate Haryana gurdwara panel to be poll issue
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 11
The self-styled Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which had earlier won the majority of the seats during the SGPC elections, has now decided to make its demand for a separate committee to manage the gurdwaras in Haryana a poll issue

The committee, which wants to break free from the SGPC, had won seven seats in the elections to the SGPC from Haryana. With this it has become a major player, which could help either of the major political parties to wrest the Sikh vote in the forthcoming Haryana Assembly elections.

“We refuse to sell the rights and aspirations of the Sikhs of Haryana to the highest bidder as had happened in the past”, said Mr Didar Singh Nandi, who is responsible for starting the movement for a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana.

He said the committee had been struggling to convince the Haryana Government since the past three years to adopt a resolution in the state Assembly to create a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana.

“This has, however, not happened due to the closeness of the present regime with the Shiromani Akali Dal, which is presently controlling the SGPC”, he said.

The SGPC members of Haryana said even the demand for introducing Punjabi as the second language in Haryana was voiced by them repeatedly. “We welcome its acceptance even though it comes close to the polls”, Mr Nandi said.

The SGPC members, including Mr Jagdish Singh Chandi from Kurukshetra, said they would, however, put their lot with the political party which promises to establish a separate SGPC for Haryana.

Meanwhile, sources said the SGPC members were also likely to put their case before the Prime Minister. This was because they felt that the Punjab Reorganisation Act had not been implemented as far as the creation of a separate gurdwara committee was concerned.

The members felt that this was the only parallel body which was not created for Haryana even when separate universities and other organisations had been created in Haryana after the Act.

The Haryana SGPC members are up in arms against the parent body as they feel nothing has been done for the welfare of the Sikh community there.

“The situation is such that even a Miri Piri Medical College promised in Shahbad is still to come up despite the foundation stone of the college being laid some years back”, Mr Nandi said. The SGPC member alleged that the money collected from gurdwaras there had been taken to Amritsar and nothing was spent for the social uplift of the Sikhs in the state.

The SGPC members have already taken up this issue with their parent body but to no avail. “If they continue to remain adamant we will refuse to accept their supremacy and take over the control of the gurdwaras there,” Mr Nandi added.


Gurdwara at Poohla handed over to SGPC
Our Correspondent

Poohla (Tarn Taran), December 11
The situation in this border village today remained tense after armed Nihangs and the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front, led by Col G.S. Sandhu (retd), organised an akhand path at Gurdwara Bhai Taru Singh, earlier under the illegal possession of Nihang chief Baba Ajit Singh Poohla, currently behind bars.

In the evening, both groups — led by Colonel Sandhu and Baba Poohla supporters — agreed in writing to withdraw and handed over the possession of the gurdwara to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Tight security arrangements and heavy deployment of police personnel were made to avert any untoward incident as Colonel Sandhu had given a call to arrange an akhand path with the active support of other Nihang organisations and the Sikh Sangat in the gurdwara, which was under the illegal control of Baba Ajit Singh Poohla since 1982. Colonel Sandhu said no government had showed courage to get the historic shrine vacated from the possession of the controversial Nihang, who had indulged in 'anti-Panthic' and illegal activities.

Hundreds of devotees of surrounding villages assembled at Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Deep Singh, at Pahuwind, 5 km away, in the early hours. The sangat marched to the historic gurdwara in a procession to liberate the shrine from the illegal control of the controversial Nihang chief. Armed Nihangs were present in the procession and organised the akhand path.

Armed supporters of Baba Poohla, who were also present at the site, threatened to stop the supporters of Colonel Sandhu to take custody of the gurdwara.

Mr Hardyal Singh Sursing, an SGPC member, reached the spot on the directions of the SGPC authorities. He pacified them after listening to both parties. Later they gave their consent to withdraw themselves from the gurdwara. The bhog of akhand path would be performed on Monday.

Mr Ashok Bath, SP (D), said the police had kept a close watch on the continuously changing situation in the area.


SGPC has failed on all fronts, says Akali Dal (Amritsar)
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 11
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which should have played a pivotal role in spreading Sikhism, has failed on all fronts and the Sikh youth are going astray merely due to its incompetence. The chief of the state unit of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Barinder Singh Mann, said this while addressing a press conference here yesterday.

Mr Barinder Singh said everyone, irrespective of the political party he or she belongs to, should observe the tercentenary of the Sahibzadas’ martyrdom on a single platform. Its separate observation by different political parties was unfortunate, he added.

He said the SGPC, which was also called the mini-parliament of Sikhs, should ensure combined observation of such an event by the entire community.

He said the differences among jathedars of various takhts over ‘Mundavani’ did not augur well for the community and it was the responsibility of the Akal Takht Jathedar to redress the problems being faced by the Panth.

Mr Barinder Singh said the Sikhi Sidak Khalsa Chetna March would be taken out from Damdama Sahib on December 23 to mark the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas.


Police fails to book in-laws in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
The police has allegedly failed to register a criminal case against the in-laws of Surjit Kaur, a resident of Rajatal village. She along with her three-year-old daughter was thrown out of the house for bringing insufficient dowry. She was pregnant at that time.

This is not enough, her husband Charanjit Singh, a resident of Bhangala village, allegedly got married to another girl Harjit Kaur of Lakhana village on October 20.

In a press conference organised at the CPI office here today, Surjit Kaur along with her father Mr Amar Singh Bath said she got married to Charanjit Singh on November 1999. However, a few months after their marriage he along with his father Raghbir Singh, mother Parkash Kaur, sister Jaspreet Kaur, brother Vikramjit Singh and other family members started abusing and maltreating her for bringing less dowry. Her father said they had spent more than Rs 5 lakh on marriage and given sufficient dowry to the boy’s family.

Surjit said they forced her to bring more dowry from her father. She claimed that she had given Rs 1.50 lakh to her in-laws for purchasing a car. The village panchayat went to meet her in-laws when she was thrown out of the house. But they didn’t even listen to panchayat members, she added.

She said on October 20, Charanjit Singh got married another woman Harjit Kaur. The maternal uncle and other relatives of Harjit Kaur were aware of this but they intentionally solemnised the marriage.

Mr Bath said they approached the Sarai Amanat Khan police station for getting their case registered. But the police did not take any action against the culprits even after recording their statements.

Mr Amarjit Singh Asal, secretary of the district unit of the CPI, said Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill, SP (city-II), was investigating the case. However, he added, the police had failed to respond positively and was trying to hush up the case. He alleged that the in-laws of girls were now saying that Harjit Kaur was married to Vikramjit Singh, younger brother of the Charanjit Singh and not to him.

Mr Charanjit Singh could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, Mr Asal has threatened that his party workers will stage dharna in front of Sarai Amanat Khan police station on December 15 if the police failed to take action against the culprits.


Three booked in sex abuse case
Tribune News Service

Nangal, December 11
The police has finally acted in the case of sexual exploitation of a minor girl and has booked three persons. The victim, a teenaged girl, was also located by the police. For the past three days, the police had been maintaining that the girl could not be traced.

Today the victim was produced before the judicial magistrate, Anandpur Sahib, where her statement was recorded. Sources said that, in her statement, the girl accused Parshotam, a local resident, for exploiting her sexually.

Later the girl was brought to the Canal Hospital of the BBMB for a medical examination. Sources in the hospital said, in the medical examination, it was found out that she was eight months pregnant against the earlier assumption of a seven-month pregnancy.

Two others arrested by the police in the case include a former municipal councillor of the area, Ms Shoba Rana, and Poonam, paternal aunt of the victim. While Ms Shoba Rana has been accused of trying to shield the accused, the girl’s paternal aunt has been accused of abetting the crime. Both the accused have been booked under Sections 202 and 120-B of the IPC while the main accused, Parshotam, has been booked for rape under Section 376 of the IPC.

Ms Shoba Rana while talking to newsmen, however, maintained that she had been victimised politically. She was in no way related to the case and had never tried to shield the accused in the case.

Mr Kuldeep Chand, director of the NGO, Arpan, who took up the case while talking to The Tribune demanded that the DNA test should be performed to identify the real accused in the case. He also offered that the NGO was ready to adopt the child in case her minor mother was not in a position to bring it up.

The SHO, Nangal, said though the three suspects have been booked, further investigation in the case would continue. The sources said many more heads were likely to role in the case as more people were believed to be involved in exploiting the minor girl. The arrested suspects would be presented in the Anandpur Sahib court tomorrow.

The case of sexual exploitation of a minor was highlighted by a local NGO. Despite being made aware of the case, the local police failed to act for about a week. It was after the matter was highlighted in the media that the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Ms Seema Jain, directed a magisterial inquiry into the matter yesterday.


Hit by fan blade, electrician killed at sugar mill
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, December 11
An electrician, Amir Chand, died at the Cooperative Sugar Mill here when a blade of a cooling fan broke up. Surprisingly, the incident that took place on Wednesday came to light after two or three days.

Sources said the fan, which was one of the three fans installed to cool water at the mill, ran for some time. Last year, too, a blade of this fan broke up. The fan was switched on for the first time after replacing its blade.

The sources said when these fans were installed at the mill, only two of them were functioning properly, while the third always had one problem or the other.

These days a trial run of the mill was on so that no snag could hamper the work in season. The sources said that the trial run had to be conducted in the presence of the mill officials, but it is learnt that at the time of switching on the fan, only Amir Chand was on duty. When he switched the fan on, one of its blades broke up and a part of it hit his chest leading to his death.

The sources said there was no vehicle at the mill to rush Amir Chand to hospital and he kept lying at the place for about 20 minutes. Later an officer took him to hospital in his private vehicle, but it was too late as he was declared brought dead at the hospital.

The Managing Director of the mill, Mr B.S. Tiwana, said the mill officials were present at the time of the incident and Amir Chand was not alone on duty. He denied that there was any delay in removing him to the hospital. He said many officials had their vehicles parked outside the mill. He said it was an accident, adding that any machine could develop a snag while running.


Spreading addiction in the families
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 11
Sahil (name changed), 22, a local resident, was merely 17-year-old when he started taking drugs. Though he consumed intoxicant for once only, but it became a habit for about five years.

Sagar (name changed), who is elder to Sahil, tried to bring his brother out of the world of addiction. However, he himself could not resist the temptations of the ‘kick’ being given by the drugs. Within a few weeks, he was one step ahead of Sahil as far as the consumption of intoxicants was concerned.

Not only this, their eldest brother Surinder took to drugs when he came to know that his two younger brothers were spoiling their lives by consuming drugs.

Fortunately, these three brothers managed to de-addict themselves with the motivation and help of some well wishers in the local de-addiction centre.

Jiwan Singh (name changed), a 38-year old resident of Lalleana village cannot recollect how he started taking drugs. When his father Balbir Singh (name changed) tried to bring him out of evil of addiction, he managed to convince his father to taste the drug. This made his father a full blown case of addiction within few months.

Gurnam Singh (name changed), who is 20-year-old now, used to oppose the illegal activities of his father Mohinder Singh (name changed) of Sahibchand village of Muktsar district as he (Mohinder Singh) was selling and consuming poppy husk. Instead of quitting his habit Mohinder Singh hooked his son to drugs to check his (Gurnam Singh) resistance for ever. However, both father and son managed to de-addict themselves.

These are not isolated incidents. Over the past few years, the addiction has stopped confining itself to an individual member of any family. Instead it has started gripping more than one member of a particular family. The trend has been catching up fast in the Malwa region as the authorities concerned have failed to check this menace effectively due to lack of proper arrangements and infrastructure.

Dr Mehboob Singh Sra, project director, Red Cross Drug De-Addiction Center, Bathinda, said a prominent feature in the drug addiction, which had been emerging for the past two years or so was that addiction had started shifting from one member of a family to the multi-members of a family. He said there had been dozens of cases where more than one member of the family had fallen in the net of drug addiction.

Dr Sra said these cases were more prevalent where father or some other family member sell poppy husk or opium. 


Kharar MLA writes to CM on four-laning of road
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 11
The Kharar MLA and former Deputy Speaker, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, has written to the Chief Minister seeking the four-laning of road from Desumajra to Kharar.

In a letter to Capt Amarinder Singh yesterday, Mr Bir Devinder Singh said work on Desumajra - Kharar stretch was not taken up for four-laning as there was a proposal to have a bypass around Kharar, starting from Desumajra. Since such a bypass would have uprooted small farmers, he had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, who had issued directions for finding an alternative reduce traffic congestion instead of the bypass.

Accordingly, the executive committee of the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) approved the four-laning project. The necessary technical proposal was also submitted to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for approval.


Jathedars answerable to sangat, says Dr Randhawa
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 11
Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa, president, Sikh Nation Organisation (SNO), said yesterday that Akal Takht was supreme and hence nobody had the right to question its supremacy.

He said head priests of all five Sikh Takhts enjoyed equal status. They, as most humbleservants of the great master have no power of their own, but have only those delegated by the Sikh Sangat. Their actions should be ego less and in the best interest of Sikh faith and the humanity as a whole. They should not deviate from the path shown by great Sikh gurus. Guru Gobind not only permitted the Sikhs but also encouraged them to question him on the code of conduct issued by him. Therefore none of the head priests was unimpeachable and unanswerable to Sikh Sangat for his actions, when serious allegations of blasphemy are raised by none other than head priests of Sikh Takhats, said Dr Randhawa.


Chhotta Ghalughara martyrs remembered
Tribune News Service

Kahnuwan (Gurdaspur), December 11
The Chhotta Ghalughara (massacre) of the Sikhs was commemorated at a function held at the Ghalughara gurdwara here today. Thousands of devotees paid obeisance to the martyrs, who laid down their life fighting the tyranny of the Mughal rule.

The mass massacre of the Sikh warriors at the hand of Mughal Army took place here in 1846. Narrating the historical incident, Mr Raj Kumar, president of the History Society of Gurdaspur, said the massacre occurred at the time of Yahiya Khan, who was the Mughal Governor of Punjab.

Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, PWD Minister today inaugurated the newly constructed roads, leading to the Ghalughara. He said the Punjab Government would give special prerogative to the construction of the road to holy sites in the states.


Environment mela inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, December 11
Punjab Revenue Minister Amarjit Singh Samra inaugurated the environment mela here today.

He lauded the local Environment Association for its concern for an eco-friendly, pollution-free environment which resulted in the Vatavarn mela. The minister inspected various stalls, science fair and on-the-spot painting competition.

Mr K. K. Sardana, president and Mr Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, general secretary of the association accompanied the minister.

In the science fair, Arya Model School bagged the first position. Shri Mahanvir Jain Model School and Victoria Internationl Public School got the second and the third prizes respectively.

The seventeenth All-Punjab on-the-spot painting competitions were won by DAVC, Amritsar, in group A, B and C category. In group D, Saint Joseph Convent School, Phagwara, bagged the first position, while Arya Model School bagged first position in group E. The running trophy was won by DAVC, Amritsar.


Government’s contribution to tercentenary preparations ‘nil’
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 11
Expressing dissatisfaction over the preparations for the tercentenary of the martyrdom of the Sahibzadas and the mother of Sri Guru Gobind Singh by the Punjab Government, the president of the youth wing of the SAD and MP from Ludhiana, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, today criticised the state government, saying it had done nothing in this regard so far.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Dhillon said the SAD could not expect anything for the tercentenary from the Punjab Government. He said it was evident that the Amarinder government had no interest in the tercentenary as it had neither announced anything for the youth nor had it made proper arrangements for the tercentenary.

Mr Dhillon said the youth wing of the SAD would take out a nagar kirtan on December 18 from Anandpur Sahib to Chamkaur Sahib as part of the tercentenary programmes. It would also organise a youth conference on December 19 at Chamkaur Sahib. Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Omar Abdullah, among others would attend the conference.


Lathi charge on BJP workers condemned
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, state vice-president of the BJP, today condemned the Punjab Government for failing to control crime in the state and of lathi-charging BJP workers at Ludhiana yesterday.

She said the government had failed to stop the increasing incidents of crime in the state. On top of that, it was beating up BJP workers by using the police. The BJP workers were peacefully carrying out a march against the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab.


Under scanner, they work on a holiday
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 11
Officials of the local District Transport Office scanned official records today, a holiday, though Mr D.S. Malwai, Additional Sessions Judge-cum-Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, had ordered the vigilance bureau to register a criminal case against a section of officials for their alleged involvement in bungling in the department records, which he had found while dealing with four cases about a week back.

Mr Sucha Singh Mast, District Transport Officer, said officials of the department were handling the records on a holiday today to arrange the same in order with his permission as it was not kept in a proper manner after the office was shifted to the new building.

The officials also took the help of those employees of the Transport Department who had been posted in this district a few years ago and now had been transferred to other districts.

Mr Mast said it was normal to take the help of department employees posted in other districts, adding that this was done on a holiday because department employees did not find enough time to do the same on working days.

The vigilance bureau was yet to take the records of the DTO in its possession. Mr Amrik Singh Waraich, SSP (vigilance bureau), said he had sent the order of the copy of Mr Malwai to the higher authorities for their directions in this case.

He added that within a day or two, action would be taken in this regard.


3 booked in illegal colony case
Our Correspondent

Kharar, December 11
A case has been registered against three local residents for allegedly setting up a colony without the approval of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA).

The case, under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995, was registered by the police against Karnail Singh, Jarnail Singh and Sudagar Singh.

The police has begun investigation, though no arrests have been made so far.


Inebriated man shoots son
Tribune News Service

Moga, December 11
A man allegedly killed his son when he stopped him from drinking liquor at Chotia Thoba village, near here, today.

According to sources, the deceased identified as Bhupinder Singh, alias Goldy, along with his mother Paramjeet Kaur, stopped his father Balbahadur Singh from drinking more liquor. Balbahadur, who was in an inebriated condition had an altercation with his wife and son following which he shot dead Goldy. The police has arrested Balbahadur and seized his revolver.


Burglars strike at six offices
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, December 11
Miscreants struck at as many as six offices, including that of Amar Ujala, near the municipal council office here last night. The miscreants broke into the offices and took away a digital camera and some cheques from the office of Amar Ujala and cash amounting to Rs 10,000 from Gurukul Academy.

They also entered other offices in the market, but could not find cash or other valuable items that they could take away.


Conference on manufacturing begins at Longowal institute
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 11
A two-day national conference on precision manufacturing began today at the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) at Longowal. Dr S.C.Jain, Professor from the IIT, Roorkee, who was the chief guest of the day, inaugurated the proceedings of the conference.

Dr Jain said precision was an essential feature in manufacturing to achieve a high degree of accuracy and high surface integrity of functional components for various technological applications such as those in aeronautical, biomedical, mechanical and microscope industries. He also laid emphasis on the adoption of precision manufacturing by the industries to compete in the global market.

Professor N.P. Singh, Dean, Academic, SLIET, said continuous development in machine tools with more and more precision could only lead to good and quality manufacturing practices.

Among others who spoke included Prof Om Parkash, a scientist from New Delhi, and Dr Rajesh Kumar, organising secretary of the conference. About 100 scientists, technocrats, industrialists and academicians are participating in the conference.


UGC/NET exam on Dec 26
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 11
More than 4,000 candidates would appear in the UGC/NET examination to be conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University on December 26.

Dr Satish Verma, Coordinator, stated in a press release here that the roll numbers of all the eligible candidates had been despatched. Those candidates who did not receive their roll numbers by December 16 should contact the Director, Distance Education.

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