P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PM helped Punjab retain refinery project: Amarinder
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 7
It was at the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the Centre relaxed 15-year sales tax exemption to help Punjab retain the prestigious Rs 16,000 crore Bathinda Refinery Project.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that under the revised terms of the project, the liability of the state in tax exemption has been reduced to Rs 1200 crore with a discounted value of Rs 600 crore spread over a period of 10 years.

The refinery project had run into rough weather after the Congress Government in the state raised strong objections to the earlier sales tax exemption clause, which according to an initial estimate, would have cost the state a whopping Rs15,000 crores spread over 15 years.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that “we were confident that we would get the Central Government see the reason in our demand of reframing this sales tax exemption clause. Last week when a high-powered meeting of the Oil and Petroleum Ministry was held, the revised proposal was sent to Punjab.”

“We have accepted this proposal,” said the Chief Minister. The Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, said that the new proposal would be taken to the Council of Minister for ratification as it relates to sales tax exemption.

“We are hopeful of further relief in granting sales tax exemption,” he said reiterating that the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had failed to watch the interests of the state by agreeing to the clause of 15-year sales tax exemption to Hindustan Petroleum, the company which is setting up the refinery.

At one stage, even Hindustan Petroleum was trying to back out of the project. The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party had accused the Congress of trying to bring in private sector instead of public sector in the project for vested interest.

The Congress, however, denied the charge and maintained that sales tax exemption as promised by the previous SAD-BJP alliance was not tenable and would put Punjab in economic disaster.

Now when the refinery project has been finally revived and activated, the state hopes that it would give a big boost to the economy in the state.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, would lead a delegation of eight to 10 industrialists and businessmen to Pakistan from February 6 to 8 to discuss modalities for holding a joint trade and industry show, besides opening new avenues for bilateral trade between the two Punjabs.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone, the Chief Minister said that the CII Northern Region chief, Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, was finalising the size of the delegation which would be in Lahore for the Basant Panchmi celebrations on February 6 and meeting with representatives of trade and industry of West Punjab on February 7 and 8.

The visit, said the Chief Minister, was subject to clearance by the Union Government. Capt Amarinder Singh said that Punjabi diaspora was enthusiastic about investing in Punjab. “I shall be addressing a special session of NRIs in Mumbai tomorrow besides inviting them to visit the state for investment in industry in general and information technology and bio-technology sectors in particular,” he added.


Ex-MP questions CM's charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Senior RSS leader and former MP Lala Lajpat Rai who was recently renominated to the Panjab University senate, today regretted that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was "unnecessarily trying to create a controversy over nomination of members to the university senate".

Reacting to the Chief Minister's appeal to the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr Arjun Singh, against the "packing the PU senate with RSS men", Mr Rai maintained that the Chief Minister was "obviously referring to me and Mr Satpal Jain".

"both of us were nominated first during the chancellorship of Mr Krishen Kant, who was not an RSS man or sympathiser".

Mr Rai said: "even presuming that the senate is packed with RSS men as the Chief Minister alleges, what is wrong in that", he asked. The octogenarian RSS leader asked the Chief Minister to elaborate if "RSS workers have sabotaged the functioning of the university and disturbed or harmed the academic interests of the institution.

"Let him point out as to what wrong has been committed in the university by the RSS men" , he said.

Mr Rai and Mr Jain were renominated to the senate by the Chancellor of the university, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Mr Rai observed that the Chief Minister had levelled this allegation because they had been renominated by Mr Shekhawat, who belonged to the BJP.

Moreover, it was the Chancellor's prerogative to nominate members to the senate and not of the state government or the Chief Minister, he added.


Hillock saved Punjabis from tsunami
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
It was a small hillock on Campbell Bay that saved about 300 persons belonging to 40 families of Punjabis settled there when the tsunami waves struck on black Sunday killing lakhs of people in South-East Asia.

This amazing tale of survival in which they spent two days and two nights on a hilltop before coming down when the water level receded was narrated to a team of mediapersons by Mrs Paramjit Kaur, wife of Mr Pawittar Singh, at Sangowal village here.

She reached at her husband's native village yesterday with her four children even as her husband had stayed back to rebuild the house. Even though 11 days have passed since the disaster, the woman and her children are still panic-stricken.

‘‘ The house which we had built after hard work of over 35 years was swept away in a blink of an eye. Our tractors, vehicles furniture all floated away as we clung to each other praying for mercy,’’ she said adding that the house just disappeared under the mighty waves which seemed to touch the sky.

Her children, two daughters Gagandeep Kaur (17), Sandeep Kaur(12), Parminder Singh (15) and Tanvir Singh (4), visibly shaken by the horrid experience have been telling their parents that they do not want to return.

Paramjit's father-in-law, Mr Jodh Singh, was an ex-serviceman and was allotted 15 acres at Cambell Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the Indian government. They were settled there since 1969.


3 Lok Bhalai Party leaders quit
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 7
The Lok Bhalai Party headed by Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia today received a big setback when three senior leaders left the party as a protest against the authoritarian attitude of the president. The three senior leaders are Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan, national general secretary, Mr Bhola Singh Virk, senior vice-president and Mr Jagjit Singh Lopo, vice-president of the Lok Bhalai Party.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan told The Tribune today that some wrong elements against whom, the Lok Bhalai Party had been fighting had been admitted by the president. When they pointed out to the president that the party had been fighting against such elements and that they should not be given entry into the party, the president refused to listen to them, he alleged.

Mr Sidhwan pointed out that the Lok Bhalai Party’s basic programme was to expose the travel agents and the land grabbers. The party received support from the people on the basis of the fight against the travel agents who had allegedly fleeced innocent persons. And the same people were now being welcomed in the party. It was difficult for them to tolerate such elements in the party. Moreover, some psychophants had also joined the party with vested interests.

Mr Sidhwan and the other two leaders were the backbone of the Lok Bhalai Party in Punjab and they worked for the consolidation of the same. The three leaders also worked hard for Mr Ramoowalia during his election campaign in the Lok Sabha poll in 2004.

Mr Sidhwan regretted that they had succeeded in securing 1.80 lakh votes for Mr Ramoowalia in the Lok Sabha poll, but he did not have the courtesy to visit Ludhiana and meet the people for seven months after the elections.

Asked about the future programme, Mr Sidhwan said they had been approached by political parties to join the same. But they would convene a meeting of workers and supporters at Ludhiana on January 10 to decide their next political course of action. “We will remain in politics,” he said.

Mr Sidhwan also had his reservations about the programme of supporting girls deserted by NRI husbands.


One killed, four hurt in fog-related mishaps
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 7
In two separate accidents caused by poor visibility due to a thick blanket of fog, Umesh Yadav, (25), was today crushed to death on the GT Road under a vehicle near Chiheru village. Yadav was a class IV employee in Lovely Institute Chiheru village.

Meanwhile, four persons were injured in a fog-induced pile up involving a truck, a car and a bus on the GT Road near Mauli village. The injured were the occupants of the car which had rammed into a truck and was run into by a bus, thus getting sandwiched between the heavy vehicles.

The fog engulfed the area till noon today and threw normal life out of gear. 


Inquiry into UBDC scam reopened
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, January 7
The Gurdaspur police has reopened the inquiry into the multi-crore UBDC scam after government directions. The Punjab Government has now directed the Gurdaspur police to investigate the case on five charges.

The SSP, Gurdaspur, Mr Ishwar Singh, admitted that instructions had been received from the government regarding proceeding with the investigation in the UBDC scam. The DSP (City), Pathankot, had been entrusted with the inquiry.

He, however, declined to give details of the charges on the plea that it might hamper the independent investigation.

The FIR in the scam was registered on July 4, 2003, at the Pathankot police station. The inquiry into the case was initially being conducted by an IPS officer then posted at Gurdaspur. However, later, the case was handed over to an inspector-level officer posted with the CIA staff at Pathankot.

Despite serious charges levelled against Irrigation Department officers, including Chief Engineers and Superintendent Engineers, in the FIR under Sections 409, 418, 420, 466, 468, 471-A and 120-B of the IPC, no officer was arrested.

The FIR in the UBDC scam was registered on the basis of the inquiry conducted into the scam by the committee headed by the former Adviser on Irrigation to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Bhagat Singh Sandhu.

In the inquiry report, it was stated that after the construction of the Ranjit Sagar Dam, a need was felt for remodelling of the UBDC system. A project was submitted to the Government of India to increase the capacity of UBDC canals in view of increased discharge from the Ranjit Sagar Dam. In January 2001, the Government of India passed a project of Rs 178.80 crore under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme.

The project was to be implemented in four years, inculcating an expenditure of Rs 27.80 crore the first year and Rs 50 crore each in remaining three years. However, the inquiry revealed that the irrigation officials had spent 65 per cent of the project funds, i.e. Rs 120 crore, within 22 months against the stipulated period of 48 months.

The committee noticed glaring anomalies in the implementation of the project. The Irrigation Department officials got just 194 pucca structures of the canal remodelled as against 913 recommended in the project. In contrast to that, the entire estimate of Rs 1.44 crore provided in the project for earth works was exhausted in the first 22 months. Despite the exhaustion of the said budget, many works where earth works were required to carried were still pending.

As per rules, any estimate of more than Rs 50 lakh should have been discussed by a technical committee constituted for the purpose. However, Chief Engineers concerned sanctioned the budget on their own without consulting the technical committee.

The inquiry committee also alleged that bungling in allotment of tenders, fixation of rates and tampering with records were committed by the Executive Engineers (Works) and the Chief Engineer.


CBI files chargesheet against cops
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 7
The CBI has filed a chargesheet against around a dozen police personnel on charges of killing a person in a fake encounter in Amritsar district in 1992.

The CBI, while filing the chargesheet, has given details about the manner in which the fake encounter took place and also details of the weapons used. According to the CBI, on December 26 the Amritsar police had claimed that it had killed Rakesh Kumar in an encounter with militants at Mokhampura village in the district. According to the police, Rakesh Kumar was declared unclaimed and he was cremated by the police.

Following this, the victim’s wife Reeta had approached the court and claimed that her husband was a ticket checker in a private bus transport company. The woman alleged that her husband was kidnapped from the Pathankot bus stand by Inspector Atma Singh Bhullar, ASI Kishori Lal, Ved Prakash, Head Constable Balwinder Singh, and constables Harinder Singh, Natha Singh, Manjit Singh, Rachhpal Singh, Kishori Lal, Naresh Kumar and Pawan Singh on December 21,1992.

Ms Reeta claimed her husband was kept in the interrogation centre, Amritsar, and later killed in the fake encounter. The woman subsequently filed an application in the Supreme Court which ordered the CBI to investigate the case. 


Panchayat poll in Faridkot on January 16
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, January 7
The elections to posts of panch and sarpanch, that have fallen vacant due to various reasons, would be held on January 16 as per the orders of Election Commission, Punjab.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, said here today that the panchayat elections of Sangatpura, Deemawali, Kothe Wading and Deviwala villages falling in Faridkot and Kotkapura blocks would be held on the January 16.

The candidates can file their nominations till January 6. The scrutiny of nominations would take place on January 7 and the last date of withdrawal January 8. He said that the polling would be held between 8 am and 4 pm on January 16 and counting of votes would be carried out in the polling booths only.


SAD (A) flays Capt over move on DGP
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, January 7
Dr Harjinder Singh Jhakhu, general secretary, SAD (A), today criticised Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, for his efforts to make Mr S.S. Virk, a Maharashtra cadre police officer, who had allegedly committed acts of cruelty on Sikh youths, the Punjab DGP.

PHILLAUR: The Shiv Sena (Punjab) on Friday criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal (A) for opposing the move of the state government to appoint Mr S.S. Virk as the DGP, saying Mr Virk had worked hard to eliminate terrorism from the state. State vice-president of the Shiv Sena Pawan Parbhakar said it was a matter of pride for Punjabis that Mr Virk had worked hard to curb terrorism.


Bandh over ‘arrest’ of beopar mandal members
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul, January 7
A partial bandh was observed in this town today after the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Mr Jai Pal Singh, allegedly placed under arrest a section of office-bearers of the local beopar mandal when they went to him to hand over to him a draft for Rs 1.11 lakh as contribution to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for rehabilitation and resettlement of tsunami victims.

Mr Jai Pal Singh allegedly first refused to accept the draft by saying that the amount was small and when the office-bearers of the beopar mandal said that they would hand over the draft to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, he said they were under arrest and hence, could not go out of his office.

Mr Sinha, when contacted, while confirming the fact that he had come to know about the incident, said he had asked the ADC (General) to conduct an inquiry. He said donation to the relief fund was voluntary and no one could force any individual to contribute to the same.

Mr Kharaiti Lal, president of the beopar mandal, said a dharna was staged in the town to lodge a protest against the behaviour of Mr Jai Pal Singh. Slogans were also raised against him. He added that from tomorrow, traders would observe a bandh for an indefinite period till Mr Jai Pal Singh was transferred out. He added that representatives of beopar mandals of various towns of Punjab would join the agitation tomorrow.

He alleged that Mr Jai Pal Singh became agitated over the fact that the beopar mandal could not collect money. He added that now the beopar mandal would hand over the draft to Mr Sinha tomorrow.

Mr Jai Pal Singh, when contacted, refuted the allegations. He said Mr Kharaiti Lal had collected money from various sections of society. The SDM said when Mr Kharaiti Lal was asked why he was giving a draft for a small amount, he said he would hand over the draft to Mr Sinha instead of explaining.

He added that on this, he told Mr Kharaiti Lal to first satisfy him and only then could he go to meet Mr Sinha for handing over the draft. He said when he made these remarks, Mr Kharaiti Lal, along with other traders, started raising slogans and made the issue that they had been arrested by the SDM.


Minister opens waterworks
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 7
Punjab Public Health and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Avtar Henry today inaugurated augmented waterworks and a computer centre at Government Senior Secondary School in Salhina village, near here.

Addressing the gathering, the minister said Rs 20 lakh were sanctioned for the augmentation work of the village's waterworks. He said Rs 4.5 lakh had already been spent on it and it would now provide 24,000 gallons of water per hour. The village school now had a computer centre equipped with 11 computers installed at a cost of Rs 4 lakh.

Mr Henry said out of the state's 12,402 villages, 11,849 villages did not have water fit for drinking and people had to fetch water from far-flung areas. Of these villages, 8,073 villages were provided drinking water till March 31, 2004. The remaining 3,776 villages would be covered under the 10th Five-Year Plan. He said the water supply fell short due to rising population in 3,123 villages, out of which the scheme had been increased in 1,799 villages.

The minister said under the target for 2004-05, Rs 13.84 crore had been sanctioned to cater to the drinking water requirement of 380 villages, 352 hamlets and 2,473 schools.


Payment accepted for cancelled plots
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
Eyebrows were raised when urban development authorities allowed Mr Kulwant Singh Nagi, chairman of a chit fund company, who has been absconding after duping a number of people of crores of rupees, to deposit the amount due for two plots purchased by him, thus causing a huge loss to PUDA.

Situated in the posh Sahej Enclave area, the two plots (No. 17 and 27) were purchased by Mr Nagi in 2000 after paying 25 per cent of the amount. He constructed a palatial house on plot No. 27 without paying the balance amount and getting any site plan sanctioned from PUDA. However, PUDA cancelled the allotment of two plots in March 2004.

Mr Nagi was booked by the district police on charges of fraud at various police stations in June 2004. Since then, he has been absconding.

The house constructed on plot No 27 was in the news when a relative of a state minister took possession of the house. However, after a report published in The Tribune, the house was again sealed by the police.

The Secretary Housing and Urban Development in its order directed the petitioner to deposit all the pending instalments and interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum. However, the actual rate of interest was 24 per cent per annum as per penal interest carried out by PUDA thus causing huge loss to the development authority.

Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary Housing and Urban Development, when contacted said he could not remember individual cases.


Probe Badal’s links with Ahluwalia, urge dons
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 7
Punjabi University teachers under the banner of the Free Thinkers Forum today urged the Punjab Government to probe the compulsions of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to “protect and promote” former University Vice Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia who has been appointed secretary of a trust constituted to establish a World Sikh University at Fatehgarh Sahib.

The Free Thinkers Forum, while condemning the appointment of Dr Ahluwalia, alleged that the appointment was only the tip of the iceberg and indicated more “murkier” relations between Dr Ahluwalia and the Badal family. It said the government should bring out the “entire truth” of the compulsions of the Badal family to support Dr Ahluwalia with special focus on Ahluwalia’s “corrupt and immoral’’ activities as Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University.


Open Hussainiwala border, demands society
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
The International Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society recently handed over a memorandum to Mr Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, Foreign Minister, Pakistan, requesting the opening of the Hussainiwala border.

A press release issued here today said senior vice-president of the committee Sohan Singh gave the memorandum to the Pakistani Minister at Lahore on January 3.

It said the opening of the border from this point would give impetus to the sagging economy of the two border districts of the countries, Ferozepore and Kasur. It said the Pakistani Minister had responded positively.


Justice Kang bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Justice ( retd) S.S Kang was bereaved today when his daughter-in-law Mandeep Kaur Kang passed away at AIIMS, New Delhi. She was the wife of IAS officer N.S Kang.

The funeral procession will start from kothi no: 75, Sector 2, tomorrow at 3.30 pm and the cremation would take at 4 pm.


Bathinda boy to take part in R-Day parade
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 7
Mr Manish Kumar, a B.Sc(II) year student of local DAV College, has been selected to participate in the Republic Day parade this year.

He would be a part of the combined contingent of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Dr J.S. Anand, principal, Maj N.K. Gosain, NCC officer, of the college respectively and Lieut Col Bharpur Singh, 20 Punjab Battalion, congratulated the cadet and said that more candidates would take part in the Republic Day parade during the coming year.


NGO helps destitute child
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 7
Volunteers of Sahara Jan Sewa yesterday rescued a two-year-old destitute child when he was lying naked in biting cold near the local truck union.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Vijay Goyal, president of the NGO, said that some passer-by had given them a call about the plight of the boy. He said that the child had been adopted by the NGO and had been admitted at the local Civil Hospital.


MC donates Rs 16 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 7
The Municipal Council here gave a draft of Rs 15 lakh as relief money for the victims of tsunami waves and Rs 1 lakh was contributed by Mr Joginder Pal Singla, local council chief and staff of the council to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund was stated in a press note issued by the council here today.


Arrest warrants against ex-Major
Our Correspondent

Pathankot January 7
Mr Raj Kumar Garg, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, has issued arrest warrants against a dismissed Army officer allegedly involved in corruption and misuse of his official position for personal gain while commanding his unit.

According to the petition filed by Col Pramod Khanijew of 290 Medium Regiment, Maj J.S. Dhillon, while acting as Officer Commanding of 406 Coy ASC, SDC (Petroleum), attached with Medium Regiment, had committed various offences to defraud the Army, which was punishable under various Sections of the Army Act, 1950.

The main allegation was that between May 1996 and September 1996, the officer showed petroleum product loss of Rs 36,29,457 per month, which had not taken place.

Sources said on August 13, 1999, in general court martial, Major Dhillon was dismissed from service. Later, further irregularities were dedicated by the Army authorities, for which he was required for court martial. The ex-Major is stated to be absconding.

The magistrate directed the police to arrest the dismissed officer till February 2, for handing over to the Army for further proceedings.


Commissioner urged to remove encroachments
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 7
The Food Corporation of India Employees’ House Building Cooperative Society, Bathinda, today urged the Commissioner, local Municipal Corporation, to remove the encroachments by unscrupulous elements on a piece of land purchased by the society for its members to construct their houses.

Mr Sewa Singh, president of the society, in a press note issued here today, alleged that main entrance of the said piece of land had been encroached upon by a person, who had strong political backing.

He added that certain unscrupulous elements had been trying to develop their own colony on that piece of land despite the fact that land was purchased by the society from a private person many years ago.

He added that he had also approached the district police authorities in this connection.


DC seeks details of encroached land
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, January 7
In a meeting held here yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Mr Vivek Pratap Singh, directed all officers of the district to submit details of encroached government land in the office of the DRO by January 7.

The details have been sought by the Deputy Commissioner to assess the amount of government land under encroachment.


Road elevation resented
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
Residents of Fatehgarh Churian road falling under Municipal Corporation in a complaint to the secretary, Public Works Department, alleged that the zonal office of Central Works Division Pathankot was unnecessarily raising the road from the Batala road octroi to Amritsar road octroi.

In the complaint, Mr Kuljit Singh Bhatia, a resident, said they had appealed to the authorities to look into the matter as soon as possible.

The letter mentioned that water did not accumulate on their road. It said there seemed to be something fishy in the project.


ASI booked for murder
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, January 7
The police today booked Joginder Singh, Assistant Sub-Inspector, and Kashmira Singh of Pakka Chisti village under Section 302 of the IPC for the murder of Krishan Kumar (40) of Beriwala village at Chack Banwala village last evening. According to sources, both were taken into custody.

According to the FIR lodged by Mr Lekh Raj of Chack Banwala, his relative Krishan Kumar and three others, who had allegedly been booked in a false case of attempting to murder Kashmira Singh, were staying with him. Around 3 p.m. yesterday, a police party led by Joginder Singh, accompanied by Kashmira Singh, raided the residence of Lekh Raj at Chack Banwala. Three persons managed to escape, but Krishan Kumar was reportedly caught by Kashmira Singh and ASI Joginder Singh, who allegedly inflicted blows upon him, resulting in his death on the spot.

Tension mounted due to this incident and thousands of villagers gathered in the village last night. They reached the hospital today. Mr Zora Singh Mann, Ferozepore MP, Mr Surjit Kumar Jyani, former minister, Mr Sher Singh former MLA, and Mr Hans Raj Josan, Minister of State for Forests, also reached the hospital. Hundreds of agitated villagers raised slogans against the Punjab Government, Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, Fazilka MLA, and the Punjab police and demanded the immediate transfer of the Fazilka, DSP.

Mr Josan described the death of Krishan Kumar as unfortunate. He said the guilty would not be spared.

Mr Mann said the police had registered a false case against the deceased, 16 others and about 20 unidentified persons on the instance of politicians of the ruling party about two months back. He alleged that on the basis of this case, the police had been torturing women relatives of the accused persons.

A heavy police posse was deployed at the local civil hospital, which was virtually converted into a police camp. The postmortem examination of Krishan Kumar was conducted by a panel of doctors, which was videographed. The viscera was sent to the Chemical Examiner, Patiala, and the Pathology Department, Government Medical College, Faridkot.


Accounts of chit fund firm chief sealed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
Certain Bank accounts of Mr Kulwant Singh Nagi, chairman of Sublime Chit Fund company, who managed to escape after duping some residents of crores of rupees here, have reportedly been sealed by the police.

Mr Nagi was booked by the district police on charges of fraud at ‘A-division and Civil Line police stations in June, 2004. Since then, he has been absconding.

Although the accused was far from the clutches of the police, he is allegedly accessible to senior administrative officers. It seemed from the fact that he allegedly succeeded to approach certain senior officials of the urban development authorities to allow him to deposit the remaining payments of two plots purchased by him in an open auction from PUDA in September, 2000.

Situated in the posh Sahej Enclave area, Mr Nagi took the possession of two plots (no. 17 and no. 27) after paying the 25 per cent amount. However, he constructed a palatial kothi on plot no. 27 without paying the balanced amount and getting any site-plan sanctioned from PUDA. However, PUDA has reportedly cancelled the allotments of the two plots in March, 2004.

The house was in the news when a relative of state minister took the possession of it. However, after a news published in the columns of ‘The Tribune’, the house was again sealed by the police.

The Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, in its order directed the petitioner to deposit all pending instalment on account of the principal amount and interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum. However, the actual rate of interest was 24 per cent per annum.

Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, housing and urban development, said he could not remember the individual cases.


Professor booked for misbehaviour with Principal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 7
The police has registered a case against an Associate Professor who has been transferred to Faridkot Medical College following a complaint of Dr Kiranjit Kaur, Principal of the local Medical College.

The Associate Professor, Dr Jasbir Singh of the Bio Chemistry department, had been summoned by Dr Kiranjit Kaur following a complaint by a women colleague that he misbehaved with her. According to police sources, Dr Jasbir Singh had behaved rudely with the Principal.

The sources said the incident had occurred more than two months ago. A case under Section 509 (misbehaviour with a woman) was registered only yesterday as the case file had been sent to the District Attorney (Legal) for legal opinion.


2 held for offering bribe
Tribune News Service

Moga, January 7
Two persons have been arrested for offering bribe to the SHO of Samalsar police station, according to a press release issued here.

The accused, Sewak Singh of Rajeana village and Surjit Singh of Raunta village, came to the Samalsar police station yesterday and told the SHO, Mr Jagraj Singh, that ASI Surjit Singh had impounded their scooter (PB-29 5268) in absence of documents.

After this Sewak Singh placed seven currency notes of Rs 500 each on the table and asked the SHO to accept the bribe and release their scooter, as they didn’t have its documents.

The SHO immediately arrested them for trying to bribe him and recovered Rs 3,500 from them.

A case has been registered against them under Sections 8 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.


Three killed in jeep-bus collision

Sangrur, January 7
Three persons were killed in a head-on collision between a jeep and a bus near Sanjooma village, 20 km from here, on the Sunam-Patiala Road today.

The deceased were identified as Baba Nand Singh (56), Maninder Singh (24), and Daler Singh (17), all “kar sewaks”.

The mishap occurred when the driver of the PRTC bus lost control of the vehicle while overtaking a tractor-trolley and collided with the jeep carrying the “kar sewaks”.

However, all bus passengers had a narrow escape.

The bus driver fled from the scene after the accident which occurred in the morning. The bus (PB-11A-9665) of Budhlada Depot was going to Budhalada from Patiala. The jeep was coming to Sanjooma village.

According to Sanjooma village residents, the victims were performing “Kar Sewa” at an under construction gurdwara at Sanjooma village for the past four years.

The police had registered a case against the bus driver. — UNI


Three Mohali residents die in mishap
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
Three members of a family died in a road mishap when a speeding Punjab Roadways bus collided with a Maruti car near Mallian village in Majitha police district in the morning today.

The bus was going from Amritsar to Chandigarh while the car was coming from the opposite side when the accident occurred. The deceased include Ashok Kumar, his wife Renu and daughter Jutson (18), all residents of Mohali. The injured were Satish Kumar and a girl. The police has registered a case against the driver of the bus, Harjit Singh. 


1 held for raping 4-year-old
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, January 7
A case of the rape of a 4-year-old girl by a youth from Fateullapur village has been reported in the Dasuya police station last evening.

According to police sources, Mohinder Pal Lali forcibly took the girl from a street while she was playing with her brother at 6 p.m. yesterday. He raped her there. On listening to her cries, people of the area came and overpowered Mohinder Pal.

Later they handed him to the police. The police has registered a case under Section 376, IPC.


Seven booked for dowry
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 7
Seven persons have been booked for pestering a woman for more dowry. It was learnt that Deepika of local Bedian Mohalla was married to Mr Vinod Kumar of Faridkot on March 6,2003.

Deepika’s parents gave her good dowry but she complained to the police that some days after her marriage, she was harassed and beaten by her inlaws who demanded more dowry.

The city police booked her husband, Mr Vinod Kumar, father-in-law Mr Ashok Kumar, mother-in-law Mrs Tejinder Kaur, brothers-in-law Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Vipin Kumar, sisters-in-law Anju and Sunita of Dogar Basti, Faridkot.

However, no arrest has been made.


Woman dies in road mishap

Jalandhar, January 7
A woman was today killed in a road accident when a private bus rammed into the car from rear in which she was travelling. The mishap happened near beas.

The accident occurred in the morning when driver of a private bus lost control over his vehicle and rammed into the car, police sources said. They said that while the woman died on the spot, her companion, a male member was seriously injured in the accident.

The identity of the deceased was yet to be ascertained and the injured was admitted into a local Civil Hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger, sources added.

A case has been registered. — PTI


Woman strangled, says report
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 7
Medical reports of Harneet Kaur, who was allegedly killed by her in-laws, confirmed strangulation. Talking to this correspondent, Mr Harmanbir Singh Gill, SP city said as per medical reports the cause of death was strangulation.

The police had already arrested Mr Harjinder Singh Khurana, former chief engineer of Punjab State Electricity Board, his wife and husband of the deceased Kanwarpreet Singh in this regard.


Teachers take out protest rally
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 7
Demanding the restoration of the pension scheme, thousands of members of the Punjab State Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union held a protest rally here today.

All aided schools were closed as teachers and principals from Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Jalandhar participated in the rally, raising slogans against the state government, particularly the Finance Secretary. The teachers assembled in front of Parvati Jain Senior Secondary School. Holding banners and placards, they marched through Basti Adda and Jyoti Chowk and converged at Company Bagh.

Addressing the teachers, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chahal, president of the union, said the steps taken by the government to withdraw pension was autocratic and had left the teachers with prolonged services disheartened. He said the government was also being urged to fulfil their other demands, including merger of 50 per cent DA with the basic salary, lifting of ban on fresh recruitments, release of the grant for last three months, rural allowance, next grade for clerks, practical allowance for science teachers and uniforms for the class IV employees.

The teachers also resolved to donate one-day salary for the tsunami victims. They decided that the next rally would be held at Ludhiana on January 25.


Teachers protest against govt
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, January 7
At least 1,000 teachers from Faridkot and Ferozepore divisions held a rally here today to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government to accept their long-pending demands. Criticising the callous attitude of the government, Mr Datar Singh, president of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), alleged that over 28,000 posts of different categories of teachers had been lying vacant and no steps had been taken in this regard. He said 95 per cent of senior secondary schools were functioning without regular principals and a large number of rural schools were facing acute shortage of lecturers.

Deploring the recent press statement of Finance Minister Surinder Singla on spending Rs 2,100 crore on education, the DTF leader said since January 1, 1986, no higher scale had been given to deserving teachers in the state. Describing the Sarb Shiksha Abhiyan as a complete failure in the state and the centralisation of powers to gram panchayats for recruitment of teachers on contractual basis as a move to meet the government’s political ends, Mr Datar Singh made it clear that the teaching category would not tolerate such excesses.

They later took out a protest march through the main bazars of the town and raised anti-government slogans. They also burnt an effigy of the state government in front of the District Treasury Office. Mr Datar Singh said a meeting of DTF representatives would be held at Ludhiana on January 19 to decide the future course of action.

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