P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Indo-Pak CBMs to benefit Punjab: CM
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Samrala, April 18
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today appreciated the initiative taken by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, for setting up of a Joint Business Council to intensify bilateral economic cooperation and trade ties between the two countries during their talks at New Delhi. The move would boost trade between the two countries, especially Punjab.

He was addressing farmers at a felicitation ceremony organised by the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) to honour Capt Amarinder Singh and an eminent cardiologist, Dr Tarlochan Singh Kaler, Director, Escorts Hospitals, at Maharaja Palace, here today. The Chief Minister was honoured with a memento and a robe of honour while the CM honoured Dr Kaler with a memento for his outstanding services in the field of cardiology. Dr Kaler’s father, Nirmal Singh, was also honoured on the occasion

The CM said this unique initiative as a part of the confidence building measures (CBMs) would considerably benefit the agrarian economy of Punjab thereby giving enormous opportunities of mutual trade and commerce to our Punjabi farmers with the opening up of the Indo-Pak border at Wagah in Amritsar.

He hoped that once the trade and commerce activity initially takes place between the two countries from Wagah, it could be later on extended on the Indo-Pak border right from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur upto Hussainiwala in Ferozepore.

Responding to the proposal mooted by Dr Kaler, Capt Amarinder Singh said his government was ready to offer land near Ludhiana to set up a state-of-the-art heart institute with super specialist services but at the same time the management had to provide treatment to the patients at economical rates and even free of cost to some keeping in view the financial status of the patient.

The Chief Minister announced to upgrade the high school to the level of 10+2 where Dr. Kaler studied during his childhood. He assured that paucity of funds would not allow to hamper the progress of on-going sewerage work in the Samrala town. He also asked the Secretary, Mandi Board, to release funds to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore for the construction of grain market with the sheds at Samrala.


‘Warm Indo-Pak ties to help Punjab industry’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 18
Cordial relations with Pakistan can enable Punjab industry and trade to have access to new mandis in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Gulf countries.

This was stated by former Punjab Finance Minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh, here today.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh said improvement of Indo-Pak relations could directly benefit industry and trade of Punjab as industrialists and traders could sell their goods in a large number of mandis of Pakistan, Afghanistan and of Gulf countries. “I feel that warm relations between two countries could offer immense opportunities to industrialists and traders of Punjab. Direct trade should be opened as till now Punjab traders have to send their items through the Mumbai port,” said Captain Kanwaljit Singh.

Charging Congress government in Punjab of pushing VAT without any proper planning, Captain kanwaljit Singh alleged that faulty and hasty implementation of VAT had put an extra burden of 1550 crore on Punjab consumers. “While the government has failed to increase non-taxable revenue, consumers have been put under extra burden. Farmers have not been spared as tax has not only been imposed on farm machinery but also on fertilizers.”

“We will not only oppose the ‘anti people’ policies of the government in the Vidhan Sabha, but also organise a struggle from May 20, the former Minister added.


Kumars turn into Singhs
People from Nepal, UP, Bihar embracing Sikhism 
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Sabo, April 18
Even as the young generation of Sikhs is going a stray, people from Nepal, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar are embracing Sikhism at Mahadharmak Vidyalaya here. Wearing a long ‘kurta’ and a ‘kirpan’ over it, they don’t seem alien to Sikh religion at all.

The Tribune caught up with a Nepalese and some Biharis who embraced Sikhism after coming to Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. Mr Ram Singh, earlier known as Ram Bahadur, hailing from Nepal is the senior most entrant to the institute. Always wearing a smile on his face, he came to Punjab about three decades back in search of greener pastures. He served at Gurdwara Nanaksar in Ludhiana before coming to the institute eight years back. Illiterate Ram Singh developed a great interest in Sikhism during his stint at the gurdwara and now he performs ‘path’ daily. His family stays in Nepal and he has not visited his home for the past 15 years.

Mahesh hailing from Inayatpur village of Nalanda district in Bihar has become Mahinder Singh. He said he had first come for ‘darshan’ to Takht Sri Damdama Sahib and found immense peace of mind there. He then decided to spend the rest of his life serving the religion. Master Teja Singh of the institute said initially he could not utter a single Punjabi word, but now he spoke fluent Punjabi and has also become a ‘gyani’. Mahinder has four brothers. They are Surinder Singh and Ashok Singh. He said they had been to Bihar recently and their family had no objection to what they had done.

A resident of Juafardih village in Bihar, Suresh Singh, came to the institute after a bitter experience in his state. An intermediate, Suresh initially had a temporary job in a post office, but later took to driving. Once an unruly mob hit the glass of his vehicle resulting in an eye injury. He then came in contact with Mahinder who brought him here. Suresh has also brought his two kids, Dharmendra and Jitendra, aged 8 and 10, to the institute and says that they will also become Sikhs. After this correspondent finished his interaction with them, Mahinder, Ram, and Suresh, resumed serving “langar” to devotees who had arrived on Baisakhi.

Meanwhile, Master Teja Singh said he had been imparting religious education to students from UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, and Nepal, for the past many years at his institute, which now had a strength of 200. Master Teja Singh revealed that there were about 25-30 students from Bihar and 50-60 from Uttar Pradesh in his institute. “It takes us three years to prepare a “pathi” and till now I have trained 500,” he added. The students learn ‘kirtan’, ‘katha’ and ‘path’ at the institute with special focus on ‘shudh ucharan’ (right pronunciation).


Three killed in car-truck collision at Mundi Kharar
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 18
Three persons, including a father and son, were killed and another was injured in a collision between a car and a truck at Mundi Kharar late last night.

The deceased were travelling in a Ford Icon, and going to Chandigarh, while the truck was coming from the opposite direction. The truck driver also sustained serious injuries.

The impact of the collision was so strong that the car was badly mangled. A loud noise was heard by residents living on both sides of the busy Chandigarh-Ludhiana road. Large patches of dried blood and smashed glass pieces could be seen all over at the scene this morning. Traffic on the road was affected as the damaged car kept on laying on the road overnight. The accident took place around 11.30 p.m. last night.

According to the police, the deceased were Jasbir Singh (55), his son Rupinder Pal Singh (27), both residents of Chandigarh, and the father-in-law of the son, Joginder Singh (65), a resident of Pallian Kalan in Nawanshahr district. They were returning from Khamanon, where they had gone in connection with some work.

The truck driver was identified as Madan Lal, a resident of Ranga village under Mukerian police station (Hoshiarpur district). He was admitted to the Kharar Civil Hospital.

According to relatives of the deceased who had gathered at the Civil Hospital, where the bodies were lying this morning, Rupinder Pal Singh had a business at Mandi Gobindgarh while his father was a mandi supervisor at the Grain Market in Sector 26 in Chandigarh.

Truck driver Madan Lal told Chandigarh Tribune at the hospital that he was carrying refrigerators and TV sets in his vehicle from Chandigarh to Ludhiana. He claimed that the car was travelling at a high speed. He moved his truck to one side of the road but the car hit his vehicle. He said that he was thrown out of the truck with the impact. The front part of the truck suffered damage.

The truck driver said that he sustained injuries on his backbone, a knee, a shoulder and other parts of the body.

A post-mortem was conducted on the body of Joginder Singh at the Civil Hospital today. The post- mortem on the other two deceased was scheduled to be conducted tomorrow at the request of relatives. The police said a case had been registered against the truck driver under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC.


Properties of drug peddlers confiscated
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 18
Drug peddlers can now lose much more than their liberty. For, the Punjab Police has initiated the process of confiscating properties belonging to drug traffickers in the state.

In Nawanshahr alone, the police has confiscated properties of at least seven alleged smugglers. The estimated cost of these properties is Rs 2.14 crore. Action against them has been initiated under the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Though exact details are not readily available, the sources in the Punjab Police headquarters assert that similar action has been initiated by the police force of other districts in the state also.

Giving details of the legal provisions, the sources say that Section 68-F of the NDPS Act empowers the Station House Officer, or the inquiry officer, to issue orders for seizing illegally acquired property after identifying it. The power to identify such property is guaranteed under Section 68-E of the Act.

The sources assert that the officer concerned can also issue orders against the property’s transfer, or any other dealing, without prior permission if it is not practicable to seize it.

As a safeguard, the orders for confiscating properties issued under Section 68-F have to be confirmed by the competent authority appointed by the Central Government, the sources add.

But before the property can be forfeited to the Central Government, a 30-day notice has to be served upon the alleged smugglers asking them to indicate the sources of their income, besides earnings and assets. In case they fail to do so, the assets are declared illegal acquired properties. Otherwise, a drug peddler, convicted by the court for possessing commercial quantity of contraband, can be sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment, besides Rs 1 lakh fine, the sources add.

They assert that a similar move was recently recommended by the state Law Commission set up by the Punjab Government for carrying out amendments in the existing laws and rules for making them more effective.

It’s Chairman, Justice A.S. Garg had recommended the confiscation of properties belonging to corrupt government officials.

The sources in his office say that the intention is not only to discourage corruption among public servants, but also to prevent them from reaping the benefits of illegally acquired properties during, and even after the completion of trial.


Farm labourers’ wages go up
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
An acute shortage of migratory labourers coupled with competition among the farmers to clear their wheat fields at the earliest has led to an unprecedented hike in the wages of labourers and charges of combine harvester and reaper operators in Punjab.

Interestingly, this is for the first time that farmers have been showing hurry in harvesting their wheat crop despite the fact that the weather so far has been friendly. It is also for the first time that migratory labourers, combine harvester and reaper operators have hiked their charges at the same time.

Information gathered by TNS reveals that farmers had got panicky after they came to know that migratory labourers, particularly from Bihar, had not come in Punjab in adequate numbers for carrying out the harvesting operations.

A large section of farmers, who got panicky, started offering more wages than the others to get their wheat fields harvested manually at the earliest. They also started offering higher wages to the combine harvester and reaper operators to get their fields cleared at the earliest and offload their produce in the markets to earn the much-needed cash.

Information revealed that each migratory labourer, who had been charging Rs 120 as wages for one day’s work, had increased the same to Rs 150 per day. The Punjabi labourers, who had been charging the same amount, had in addition been taking grains from the farmers.

Similarly, the combine harvester and reaper operators, who had been charging Rs 400 per acre, had started charging Rs 500 to Rs 550 per acre from the farmers.

Every year, the demand of migratory labourers during the sowing and harvesting season has been increasing.

A section of farmers start visiting the railway station of this town, which has become a major centre for the migratory labourers for the past few years, in the first week of April to arrange labourers. However, this year, most of them could not find enough labourers as their arrival has declined considerably.

Mr Kattar Singh Jeeda, president of the Northern India Cotton Growers Association, pointed out that profitability of farmers had already decreased due to about 10 per cent fall in per acre yield of wheat crop this season. He added that hike in the wages of migratory and domestic labourers and charges of combine harvester and reaper operators would further affect the profitability of the farmers, a major section of whom are already reeling under heavy debts.


CPI hails Badal’s move
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 18
The CPI has hailed Mr Parkash Singh Badal’s move to give a new look to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) by making it a true “Punjabi party”.

Talking to The Tribune today, Dr Joginder Dayal, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, however, said that the inclusion of some Hindus, Muslims or Christians into SAD’s organisational set-up by Mr Badal was not enough, as he had still miles to go to make the party truly secular. If Mr Badal succeeds in making SAD a real secular party, members of other communities might join SAD in large numbers, otherwise it would prove a futile exercise on his part, he added.

Urging Mr Badal to shun religion-based politics, Dr Dayal said secularism was the need of the hour, adding that Communist parties were for secularism and protecting the rights of the minorities.


Non-availability of VIP delays passing-out parade
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, April 18
Nearly 800 trainees of different courses are stuck for about three weeks in Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, here, even though their scheduled courses have been completed and results declared.

This unprecedented hold-up is due to the non-availability of the Punjab Chief Minister or some other befitting VVIP for presiding over the coveted passing-out parade in which the winners of different courses are awarded medals, apart from other Punjab police officers who are presented with medals including the coveted President’s Police Medal. The passing-out parade is held in the end of March or early April, usually.

Though the presence of the Punjab Chief Minister is not mandatory, there has been a tradition that the Punjab CM presents the medals. Sources said the Chief Minister could not find time because of his preoccupation. Sources have revealed that efforts were still on to get the CM’s time.

It is probably for the first time in the recent past that the trainees have been forced by such circumstances. The delay in holding of the passing-out parade has also cast its shadow on the new courses. The courses for year 2005-2006 would in all probability now begin from May 1 while usually they start from mid-April.

Sources said the trainees were frustrated at the extended stay. A batch of gazetted officers from Bhutan has also been held up because of the delay. They along with other trainees have to pass through the everyday motions. “Even the daily record book announces in the evening that the law classes were held whereas the results of the examinations have already been announced,” said a trainee on the condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, some new trainees have also arrived at the academy and the officials have issued instructions to others to come by May 1. Trainees from Jharkhand and some neighboring country would be the main attraction in the new courses.

ADGP-cum-Director of the academy Chander Shekhar who is also enlisted to receive the President’s Police Medal in the passing out parade, admitted that the parade was delayed due to the non-availability of a suitable person.

“We are hopeful that the date and the chief guest for the passing-out parade would be finalised in a day or two” he said.

Regarding inconvenience caused to the trainees, Mr Shekhar said the delay would help the trainees, as they would become more hardened for the job, “It is for the trainees’ benefit that the passing out parade has been delayed. It would be a life-long memory for them to receive the medals and certificates from a VVIP.”

Mr Shekhar said he had given extended weekend leaves to the trainees apart from providing two offs in a week instead of one.


Recover value of dossier, SAD (A)
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 18
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, demanded recovery of Rs 40 lakh incurred on the dossier presented to UNESCO for granting the status of world heritage site to the Golden Temple.

In a press release here today, Mr Harbir Singh Sandhu, secretary stated that the whopping amount had been spent from the collections in the Golden Temple and must be returned in the “golak”.

He demanded that recovery be thereby made from Ms Kiranjot Kaur, member, SGPC and director, of dossier, Bibi Jagir Kaur President, SGPC, besides a former SGPC President, Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke.

The Dal threatened that it would file a case in the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission in case no action was taken.

Held for fraud: The police has arrested Pirthipal Singh of Banga under Sections 419, 420, 406, 468, 417, 120-B for forgery, fraud, personation, criminal breach of the trust. He was taken on police remand, it was learnt on Monday. Pirthipal Singh used to forge signatures and stamp of local councillor Surinder Singh Shinda for applying for a police clearance certificate. He had changed his name as Tirath Singh.


Narrow escape for tractor driver

Bathinda, April 18
A tractor driver had a narrow escape when a passenger train hit his vehicle on an unmanned railway crossing near Aklia village here today.

Sources said Gurlabh Singh of Balahar Mehma village was heading towards Goniana Mandi with his wheat stock loaded on the tractor. When he was crossing the Bathinda-Jaito rail track near Aklia village the Bathinda-Ferozepore passenger rammed into front portion of the tractor, but his loaded trolley and a slope on the road drew him back leading to his rescue.

Though Gurlabh didn’t suffer any major injury in the accident, he was shocked. He told that he could not see the train owing to a tree near the crossing and noise of tractor. Eyewitnesses said the train dragged the front portion of the tractor to quite a distance. The passengers of a mini bus following his tractor admitted Gurlabh to the Civil Hospital at Goniana Mandi.

People living in nearby areas said the impact of collision was enormous and they heard a loud sound of the mishap. Residents of nearby villages said they had been demanding a gate at the railway crossing for the past many years, but to no avail. On the other hand, a local railway official said they had put up signboards near the track, but nobody cares to look at them. — TNS


Water samples of school fail
Rajbir Sekhon

Bathinda, April 18
Water samples taken from St Joseph’s Convent School here by the district health authorities have reportedly failed to meet the established standards.

Information gathered by this correspondent revealed that the district health authorities had drawn samples of potable water from this school and six other places in the recent past. The samples were sent to the laboratory concerned for chemical examination.

Though the district health authorities are yet to make the report public, information revealed that samples of water taken from this school had been declared unfit for human consumption.

Interestingly, samples of potable water were also taken from this school about two months ago. At that time also, water samples failed to meet the established standards. The district health authorities had given a warning to the school authorities to improve the quality of water being supplied to the students and teachers by installing a water purification system. Whether the school authorities had taken any action on that warning or not could not be known. The school already had two water purification systems, but they were not enough to meet the requirements of the strength of about 2500 students.

While confirming the report of failure of water samples of St Joseph’s Convent School, Dr Kasturi Lal, District Health Officer, said the reports would be submitted to Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, for necessary action. Samples would again be taken after about two weeks, he added.

Mr Yashpal Singla, Civil Surgeon, could not be contacted while the Principal and Vice-Principal of the school were not available.


11-year old in search of her sister
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, April 18
Eleven-year-old, Reena, does not know from where she has come and where she has to go.

With tears rolling down her cheeks, Reena says: “Mujhe meri chhoti behna se milna hai” (I want to meet my younger sister). However, she has failed to find her sister.

Mr Surinderpal Singh, SHO, Kotwali, said a labourer in the grain market Kala Ram, with whom Reena had been staying for the past about five days, came to the police station along with the girl and offered to adopt her. He was asked to meet the Deputy Commissioner.

However, Kala Ram said he had gone to the police station to hand over the girl, but the police had not done anything in this connection so far.

He has three children.

Reena said she along with her sister was working at a house in an unknown city. The sisters were not allowed to go out of the house by the owner.

Showing injury marks on her neck, she further said the houseowner, Raj Kamal, used to beat her despite the fact that the two sisters used to perform all household chores.

Reena said about five days ago, Kamal told her he would send her to her parents. She added that she was forcibly made to board a train while her sister was not allowed to leave the house.

When the train arrived here, she got down.

When she was crying at the railway station, two boys came to her and took her to their dhaba. They offered her food. She said she spent the night at a corner in the railway station.

Next morning, she met the mother-in-law of Kala Ram who took her to the latter’s house. Since then she had been residing in the house of Kala Ram. She said she was worried about her sister.


Petrol station owners observe strike
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 18
All petrol stations in the district remained closed today on a call given by the All-India Petrol Pump Dealer’s Association causing inconvenience to people, particularly commuters.

As none of the petrol stations sold fuel, vehicle owners continued to make rounds from one station to the other but to no avail. Office-bearers of the District Pump Owner’s Association visited filling stations to ensure that the strike was complete in 
the district.

General secretary of the association Gurdev Singh said petrol stations owners had been urging the government to give commission on percentage instead of per litre 
of fuel.


CPI leader Darshan Singh Uppli dead
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 18
Darshan Singh Uppli (65), a member of the state council of the Punjab unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI), died after a prolonged illness in his native Uppli village, near here, yesterday. He also worked in the Punjab Kisan Sabha as a farmer leader for many years.

Mr Ranjit Singh, elder son of the deceased, lit the pyre. Among others, who were present at the time of cremation of the deceased, were Mr Achhra Singh, a former MLA; Mr Baldev Singh, district secretary of the CPI; Mr Sampuran Singh Chhajli, a former district secretary of the CPI; Mr Hardev Singh Bakhshiwala, district secretary of the Punjab Kisan Sabha; Mr Parvinder Bajaj, acting president of the Sangrur Municipal Council; and Mr Gurdial Singh Chatha, chairman of the Sangrur Market Committee.


Forest employees stage march
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, April 18
The Forest Employees Union organised a protest march here today. The workers carried placards and raised slogans against the Forest Department and the Punjab Government.

The president of the union, Mr Rattan Singh, said the department was retrenching daily wagers who had been working for the past many years. They demanded that as per the labour act the jobs of daily wagers, who had been working in the department for the past many years, should be regularised.


BKU (Rajewal) to honour Escorts Director
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 18
The Bharati Kisan Union (Rajewal) has decided to honour Dr T S Kaler, and Director of Delhi Escort Heart and Research Centre, at Amritsar as Mr Kaler belongs to Amargarh village, near here, according to Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, the general secretary of the union, while talking to mediapersons here today.


Mandi board chief inspects wheat procurement
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 18
To increase the income of market committees by controlling evasion of market fee, the Punjab Mandi Board had allowed private contractors to collect market fee in certain market committees, which has yielded good results.

This was stated by Chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Sukhjinder Singh Sarkaria while talking to Chandigarh Tribune here today.

He was here to inspect the ongoing procurement of wheat in mandis of the district and arrangements made by the market committees for the farmers.

He said the income would be utilised on development works. The collection of market fee in Patiala and Ludhiana would also be given on contract soon, he added.

He checked weight of wheat bags and interacted with farmers at Sirhind grain market. He urged the farmers to get their produce weighed in their presence.

He said the state government would ensure that farmers were not harassed by commission agents and procurement staff.

He added that he had directed Mandi Board officials to ensure timely payment of procured wheat.

District Mandi Officer Ramesh Gupta said market committees in the district had made arrangements of drinking water, shelter, stay and other facilities for farmers.

He said farmers were being educated to bring dry wheat. Process of procurement of wheat was going on as per the directions of the government, he added.


Glut in mandis following FCI directive
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 18
Thousands of wheat sacks are lying at the local grain market owing to the Food Corporation of India’s directive to various government agencies to dump a fixed amount of wheat at its godown.

According to sources, the FCI godown in question is receiving wheat from about 16 grain markets of the district. Earlier, the government agencies like Punsup and Markfed used to dump their stock at their own godowns before shifting it to some other place as per directions. But, the FCI directive has resulted in a glut and the farmers arriving at the grain market with their wheat are dumping it in the open.

Sources said the FCI had asked Markfed to deliver 8,000 tonnes of wheat, Punjab State Warehouse Corporation 5,000 metric tonnes, Punjab Agro 3,500 tonnes, and Punsup 3,350 tonnes.

Sources said labourers at the FCI office follow the working hours of government offices. Though a local FCI official said their labourers get down to work early in the morning, a tractor driver standing in a queue outside told this correspondent that they start unloading at 10 in the morning and are off at 5 pm. They also take a break of about one and a half hours in the afternoon. There is only one weighing instrument at the FCI godown, which also contributes to the delay in unloading.

The unloading work came to a grinding halt today with the FCI staff and labourers being engaged on special duty at the local railway station. Kaka Singh, whose tractor-trailer was first in the queue of vehicles outside the godown, said he had been waiting for his turn since 4.30 pm on Sunday.

According to sources, the government agencies are also apprehensive about financial losses that they would suffer in case they failed to deliver the amount of wheat fixed for them.

Sources said the glut could have been avoided if instead of only FCI godown there were four or five points to dump the procured wheat. The glut in the grain market could come to an end in a single day if the FCI gave a free hand to the government agencies to dump their wheat at their own godowns.

The District Manager of the FCI, Mr Shubhranshu, said they had received orders to implement the direct delivery system from higher FCI officials and he could not comment on it. He said private labourers had been pressed into service and they were also working in the early morning hours. He said he would check as to why unloading was not taking place today.


Fake currency racket busted
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, April 18
A fake currency racket has been unearthed by the Hoshiarpur district police. Mr Lok Nath Angra, Senior Superintendent of Police, Hoshiarpur, told mediapersons here last night three persons, including Assistant Sub Inspector, Parminder Singh, posted at the Mukerian police station, Amarjit Singh Tuli, Manager of the Mukerian branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank and Ravinder Singh alias Babloo, a salesman at a filling station in Mukerian, had been arrested under Sections 489 A, 489 B and 20 of the IPC, while Raj Kumar and Avtar Singh, manager and salesman at the filling station were still at large.

He said that on April 8 ASI, Parminder Singh gave Rs. 38,000 to Preet Filling Station. All notes were of Rs. 500 denomination. The employees of the filling station added Rs 12,000 to the amount given to them and deposited Rs. 50,000 in the Punjab and Sind Bank branch. The bank authorities found fake notes of Rs 38,000 in the bundle, that has been deposited by the filling stationmen. Amarjit Singh Tuli, Manager of the bank, instead of informing the police in this regard, returned the fake currency notes of Rs 38,000 to the filling station.

The petrol station staff informed ASI, Parminder Singh in this connection, took the genuine currency of Rs 38,000 from him, deposited it in the bank and burnt the fake currency notes.

He said Mr Balbir Singh, DSP, Dasuya, had been deputed to probe the matter to ascertain from where Parminder Singh received the fake currency notes, where they had been printed or whether there was any involvement gang in this episode.

He said raids were being conducted to nab manager Raj Kumar and salesman Avtar Singh.


ASI held for taking bribe
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 18
A CIA Assistant Sub-Inspector has been caught red-handed by senior Punjab Police officers, while, allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh from the mother of an accused, already arrested by the Jalandhar police for fake currency peddling.

Interestingly, information revealed that the ASI was arrested during an operation conducted on the directions of the Jalandhar DIG, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarao, who, participated in the operation himself in plainclothes.

The Jalandhar CIA staff had detained Balbir Singh and his son Harjotbir Singh, residents of Hal village near Payal, Ludhiana district, for possessing fake currency of Rs 7,300 about four days back.

Though, sources revealed that the accused were kept in illegal confinement for four days, but, the police asserted that he was arrested on Sunday.

But, ASI Manohar Singh of the CIA staff allegedly struck a deal with the family members of the accused. He reportedly assured them that he would secure the release of the accused. He asked them to come to Jalandhar with bribe of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Meanwhile, the family members of the accused, it is learnt, approached DIG Paramjit Singh Sarao and told him about the demand put forth by the ASI. The DIG directed the police to form a police party to nab the ASI. A party swung into action under leadership of SP (Headquarters) Varinder Pal Singh. DIG Sarao, it is learnt from police sources, supervised the operation in plainclothes.

Interestingly, before being arrested from a place near Nakodar Chowk along with one of his accomplices, the ASI, repeatedly changed locations and asked the relatives of Harjotbir Singh to come at changed locations to avoid any trouble.

But finally, he was arrested alongwith one accomplice amid high drama. Two-three persons, who were said to be police officials, ran away during the high profile raid.

DIG Sarao was not available for comment. But SSP S.K. Asthana has confirmed the arrest of ASI Manohar Singh. A couple of CIA officials are expected to face trouble in view of the episode.


Two commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 18
A youth died here today after he consumed poison in a suicide pact with his beloved a couple of days back. Sources said the deceased, Parminder Singh, a resident of Jhuthika Colony, was in love with a girl of the same locality. His family members were against their relationship.

Frustrated over the matter, he, along with his beloved, consumed celphos tablets on Saturday night. While Parminder was rushed to a local hospital, his beloved was taken to an undisclosed destination by her family members. A married woman from Behman village committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance yesterday. Sources said she took step following a dispute. with her family. The body was handed over to her family members after a postmortem at the local Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, a boy and a girl attempted suicide at the Jhuthika locality here yesterday by consuming celphose tablets. While the boy, Parminder Singh, was struggling for his life in a local hospital, the girl was taken away by her family.


Head Constable nabbed accepting bribe
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 18
The Vigilance Bureau nabbed a Punjab Police constable yesterday night when he was accepting bribe of Rs 1,500.

This is for the second time in the past one week that the Vigilance Bureau has booked Punjab Police official. Earlier the bureau had nabbed Sub-Inspector Bakshish Singh when the cop was taking bribe. In yesterday’s incident, the vigilance team, led by DSP G.S Bedi, trapped Head Constable Didar Singh, who was posted at the Century Enclave police picket. The cop demanded bribe from Phul Singh of Inderpura village for solving a property dispute. 


4 killed in road accident
Tribune News Service

Moga, April 18
Four persons were killed and 24 others injured when a speeding truck rammed into a roadside tree near Chandpurana on Baghapurana-Moga road here today.

Sources said the bus belonging to ML Travels was on its way from Abohar to Ludhiana. The incident took place when the speeding bus (PB 30 C 9999) rammed into a roadside tree and went out of control. The deceased have been identified as retired Tehsildar Hardev Singh of Moga, Dilip Singh and his wife Gurdayal Kaur from Sekhakalan village, and Gurbhag Singh of Vidhaike village.

Out of the 24 injured, two have been referred to Ludhiana, while the rest are undergoing treatment at the local Civil Hospital. 


Woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 17
A married woman from Behman village committed suicide by consuming poisonous substance yesterday. Sources said she took the step following a dispute. with her family. The body was handed over to her family members after a postmortem at the local Civil Hospital.

Meanwhile, a boy and a girl attempted suicide at the Jhuthika locality here yesterday by consuming celphose tablets. While the boy, Parminder Singh, was struggling for his life in a local hospital, the girl was taken away by her family.


Modalities to setup vet varsity finalised
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Punjab government has finalised the modalities to make the first ever veterinary university functional soon. Not only this, all bottlenecks have been cleared to start the first academic session this year.

Official sources said the university would start functioning in the existing building belonging to the Department of Immunology, situated on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore road. Later, adequate space would be found for constructing a spacious building. The university would be known as Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.

Information gathered by TNS revealed the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was supposed to inaugurate it today. However, this ceremony had been delayed for a few days.

Mr Jagmohan Sing Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Punjab, who was here to preside over a high-level meeting of all agencies connected with the implementation of the veterinary university project, said the state government had left no stone unturned to make the university of international standard.

Mr Kang, who visited the site where the university was to be opened and issued necessary instruction to the officials concerned to given final touches to the same, said the Chief Minister would be inaugurating this project “any time”.

He added the university would play a vital role in taking the latest research from the lab to dairy farms in the rural areas so that dairy farming could be developed as a profitable alternative venture to agriculture.

Mr Kang said veterinary scientists of the university would be asked to make further research on embryo transfer technology and implement it on the local breed of cows. He said through this technique there was a vast scope of enhancement of milk production to around three times.

Giving more details, the minister informed certain seats would be reserved for the NRI students and sponsored students from other countries. He said regular exchange programmes of teachers and students with other countries would also be arranged by the university.

He claimed the university would prove to be a milestone in the field of diversification of agriculture. It would help in creating enormous gainful employment opportunities for the youth in the dairy farming sector.

He informed that there was great potential in dairy farming and at present its contribution was 17 per cent of the total economy of the state.

The minister said almost every farming family of Punjab was carrying out this venture along with agriculture at a small level and it was a natural course to diversify agriculture with this profitable alternative allied venture.

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