P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



CM warns officials over delayed projects
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 7
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today sounded a note of warning to the officials concerned for accomplishing all development projects in the state within the stipulated time.

The Chief Minister, who was presiding over the first meeting of the Infrastructure Review and Monitoring Committee at the NIS guest house here, also made it clear that he would not like to listen to any excuses in connection with the delay in the implementation of any development project.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the IDRM Committee held under the charimanship of Capt Amarinder Singh set in motion the agenda to upgrade the existing infrastructure and other development projects in the State within a stipulated time-bound framework.

Giving the details about the functioning of the committee, the Chief Minister said the underlying objective of the committee was to regularly monitor and review the progress of various on-going and proposed development as well as infrastructure works.

He also made it clear that the paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the progress of these projects.

Referring to the development of roads, the committee was told that of the total 42,000 km of link roads, 17,235 km had been repaired, besides the patch work on 20,000 km undertaken during the past three years. Repair of all link roads constructed during 1997-98 would be completed by June 30.

Apart from this, Rs 20 crore and Rs 18.75 crore have been earmarked for the construction of village ring roads and repair of roads damaged by flash-floods, respectively.

In addition to this, 1856 km of state and district roads had been completed during the past three years. An outlay of Rs 827 crore had been fixed for strengthening and upgrading of 4,205 km of state and district roads during the next two year.

The committee was also informed that the drainage wing of the state Irrigation Department had completed seven projects at a cost of Rs 235 crore and seven projects worth Rs 238 crore were under implementation with Nabard funds. Prominent among those present at the meeting included Ch Jagjit Singh, Local Government Minister, Mr Lal Singh Irrigation and Power Minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, PWD (B&R) Minister, Mr Avtar Henry, Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Ms Preneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, and Rana Gurjit Singh, MP from Jalandhar, besides state Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill and other senior principal and administrative secretaries of the various departments.


Factionalism surfaces in dist Congress

Nawanshahr May 7
Factionalism has surfaced on the district Congress over the issue of laying of foundation stone of a school building and release of grant of Rs10 lakh at Malewal village in Balachaur subdivision by Deputy Commissioner, Harjit Inder Singh Grewal on Tuesday.

Mr Ram Kishan Kataria, former MLA from Balachaur, at a press meeting organised at Balachaur, accused the Deputy Commissioner of ignoring the Congress workers at the function organised at Malewal village. The statement of Mr Ram Kishan Kataria was published in a section of the press yesterday.

Reacting sharply to the reported statement of Mr Ram Kishan Kataria, the district Congress president Rana Kuldip Singh and some other Congress leaders, defended the Deputy Commissioner, in a press statement here today. They said the grant of Rs 10 lakh to Malewal school was released by the Education Minister on the request of a veteran and loyal Congress leader, Chaudhary Mela Ram, and not at the behest of any SAD-BJP leader as was being alleged by Mr Kataria. He levelled counter-allegation on Mr Kataria of getting the grants of Rs12 lakh and Rs 8 lakh released for Sahiba and Kharod villages, respectively, to appease sarpanches belonging to the SAD-BJP. The Congress leaders even accused Mr Kataria of ‘supporting’ BSP candidate during the 1992 Assembly poll against Chaudhary Mela Ram, Congress nominee from Balachaur.

Mr Ram Kishan Kataria, when contacted, said the district Congress president and other leaders should have raised the issue of sidelining of the Congress workers instead. Refuting allegations levelled against him by the Congress leaders as baseless, Mr Kataria levelled counter-allegation against district Congress president Kuldip Rana and other Congress leaders of ‘supporting’ BSP nominee, Charanjit Singh Channi from Hoshiarpur during the last Lok Sabha poll. — OC


45 IPS officers shifted
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The Punjab police was given a new look late tonight.

Fortyfive IPS officers, including Additional Directors-General of Police (ADGPs) and Inspectors-General of Police (IGPs), were ordered to be shifted. The transfer and posting orders were issued late in night in an apparent attempt to rule out the possibility of manipulations.

In fact, the officers were directed to join their new place of postings immediately making it impossible for anyone to pull strings. Contrary to the expectations, Mr Sumedh Singh Saini was not posted as Inspector-General of Police (headquarters). Mr Suresh Arora was posted as IGP (headquarters) in place of Sanjiv Gupta who has been posted as IGP Provisioning and Modernisation.

IPS officer R.S. Gill was posted as ADGP Training, Chander Shekhar as ADGP Law and Order, J.P. Birdi as ADGP (Intelligence) and Jyoti Trehan as ADGP Internal Vigilance. Mr Rajan Gupta was asked to look after the work of ADGP Armed Battalion at Jalandhar, while P.M. Das was asked to look after the work of ADGP Human Rights.

H.R. Chadha will look after the work of ADGP (Computers), while S.M. Sharma has been posted as IGP Patiala zone in place of Rajinder Singh who has been shifted on the same post to Faridkot zone. IGP Sharma was shifted from Jalandhar zone to Chandigarh as IGP traffic. Mohd Mustafa was posted as IGP Commando in Mohali. He replaces H.S. Dhillon, who has been posted in place of Mr Sharma.

Mr Siddharath Chattopadhyaya has been posted as IGP Indian reserve Battalion at Chandigarh. Deputy Inspector-General of Police CSR Reddy has been shifted to Chandigarh in the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, along with DIG M.K. Tiwari.

Mr Gurdev Singh was posted as DIG training, while Mr Prabodh Kumar was posted as DIG Intelligence. Mr Paramjit Singh Gill was posted as DIG Jalandhar range, while P.S. Sarao was posted as DIG of Faridkot range.

Mr V.K. Bhawra has been shifted as DIG Patiala range, while I.P.S. Sahota has been shifted as DIG Ferozepore range. Mr H.R. Randhawa and Mr G.S. Grewal have been posted as DIG border range at Amritsar and DIG (GRP) at Patiala, respectively.

Mr Sanjeev Kalra and Kanwaljit Singh Pannu have been posted as DIGs CM Security, besides Training, respectively. Mr B.K. Garg and Mr S.S. Chauhan have been posted as DIG-cum-Joint Director PPA Phillaur and AIG provisioning and modernisation, respectively.

Mr B. Chandra Shekhar has been posted as Deputy Director (indoors) at Phillaur, while Naunihal Singh has been posted as SSP Khanna. Meanwhile, Mr Pramod Bhan and Mr Ishwar Singh have been posted as SSPs Gurdaspur and Jalandhar.

The order ads that Mr S.K. Asthana, Mr M.F. Farooqui, Mr Arunpal Singh and Mr Tejinder Pal Singh have been posted as AIG Litigation, SSP Faridkot, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala.

Gautam Cheema has been posted as AIG Personnel, while Amit Parsad and G. Nageshwara have been posted as SSP Mansa and Barnala. Mr Ram Singh has been posted as Commandant of PAP, Jalandhar, while Dr Naresh Kumar has been posted as AIG Provisioning.

Shivie Kumar Varma, A.K. Pandey and Khubi Ram were posted as Commandant Ist IR Battalion, Commandant 3rd Battalion and Commandant 4th battalion, respectively.

The sources asserted that the posting and transfer orders were long overdue. In fact, speculations regarding the same were on ever since Mr S.S. Virk took over as the DGP of the state on January 31.

The sources added that the DGP and other senior officers of the state government remained in the Punjab Police (headquarters) till midnight to issue the orders.


Acid attack victim succumbs to burns
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 7
Amid tension and heavy police security, Sukhwinder Kumar (33), a resident of Sulargharat village, near Dirba, who died at the CMC Hospital in Ludhiana yesterday, was cremated at Sulargharat village today. Shopkeepers observed a bandh by keeping their shops closed at Sulargharat today to express sympathy with the family of the deceased and in protest against the alleged police inaction in the acid attack on the victim.

Sukhwinder, son of Kamal Chand Mehlanwale, had suffered 70 to 80 per cent burns on May 3 when a resident of the Gujran village, Rajinder Kumar, allegedly poured a bucket of acid on him when he was closing his shop at Gujran village.

Besides hundreds of villagers, Mr Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, Mr Ravinder Singh, SDM, Sunam, Mr Darshan Singh Mann, SP (Headquarters), Sangrur, and Mr Sushil Kumar, DSP, Sunam, were present at the cremation.

Some relatives of the suspect have been reportedly rounded up by the police.

Earlier, the post-mortem examination of Sukhwinder Kumar was conducted at the local Civil Hospital.

According to official police sources, a case has been registered against 108 persons for allegedly throwing bricks and stones at the police at Sulargharat last evening. All of them have been booked under Sections 307, 332, 353, 186, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

After hearing about the death of Sukhwinder yesterday, a large number of villagers of Gujran and Sulargharat villages gheraoed the Sulargharat police station. They blocked the national highway at Sulargharat village and threw bricks and stones at the police station last evening, protesting against the alleged police failure in arresting the culprit.

As per the information gathered by The Tribune, last evening the police opened several rounds of fire in the air and also reportedly resorted to lathi charge.

Sources said the SP (Headquarters), Sangrur and the DSP, Sunam, were present at the police station, Sulargharat, when the police fired in the air.

The DSP said over the phone last night that the police had fired two/three rounds of fire in air in self-defence.


Man avenges father’s death after 35 years
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 7
A son, who had witnessed the murder of his father allegedly avenged the crime by killing the son of the killer after 35 years.

Joga Singh, who has been arrested for killing Paramjit Singh Pamma of Nangal Khurd village while he was sleeping in his shop on the intervening night of April 5 and 6, made a stunning revelation that he had avenged the killing of his father by Niranjan Singh, father of Paramjit, and two others in front of him 35 years ago.

Niranjan Singh and his accomplices, had been arrested and convicted for life for the murder of Joga Singh.

Mr S.K. Asthana, SSP, said the blind murder case of Paramjit Pamma was solved with the help of scientific methods and forensics. Blood-stained clothes were found from the house of Joga Singh, and the blood matched the blood of Paramjit.

The murder had been executed with the help of a sharp-edged farm implement used for cutting sugarcane.


Amritsar plan flawed, says pollution control panel
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 7
The initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to transform Amritsar into a global city with a package of Rs 950 crore has evoked good response from residents even as the Pollution Control Committee Amritsar (PCCA) has prepared a comprehensive note pointing out glaring shortcomings in the vision plan prepared by the local municipal corporation (MC).

Though the MC has prepared Sri Guru Ramdas Integrated Development Plan (SGIDP), members of the PCCA feel that it lacks comprehensiveness and vision.

The PCCA, expressing happiness for selecting Amritsar as one of the five districts for overall development, feels that the plan requires a detailed and specific delineation which covers the environmental aspects. P.S. Randhawa, secretary of the PCCA, said the effort was to augment the SGIDP and contribute specific suggestions.

The vision plan of the PCCA has been prepared with the support of the Institute of Town Planners of India and senior faculty members of Guru Nanak Dev University.

Mr Randhawa stated that the city had grown in a haphazard manner over the past few decades. By October 2003, it had 158 unauthorised colonies and a large section of the labour force had been forced to live in 63 slums.

The sewage of the city, including domestic and industrial waste, is being dumped without treatment into the Ravi via the outfall drain and the Tung Dabh drain. This is a serious health hazard with long-term repercussions.

Research studies have shown that women living in the areas close to the Tung Dabh drain, specifically Mahal village, suffer from DNA damage which can lead to dangerous diseases.

The problem threatens to become an international with Pakistan on many occasions pointing out that India was polluting the Ravi through effluents.

According to experiments performed by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, the quantity of heavy metals in the soil exceeds the quantity certified by the WHO.

The report of the PCCA further reads that vegetables grown in the areas close to the drains contain more heavy metals than the limits certified by the WHO.

Amritsar has a population of over 1.1 million and is an educational centre, with one of the oldest medical colleges in the region and a university. With improved relations with Pakistan, the city is expected to emerge as a major trade and commerce centre.

Due to lack of proper water management system, ground water resources are becoming increasingly polluted. There is no sewage and water treatment plant.


Punjab board Class VIII results today
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 7
The result of the middle standard examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board held in February will be declared tomorrow.

According to a press note issued by the board, 3,58,241 students had appeared in the examination as regular candidates, of which 2,44,366 were declared successful, putting the pass percentage at 68.21. As many as 1,20,440 students had appeared in the examination as private candidates and only 72,393 could clear it. The pass percentage in this category was 60.11.

The result gazette will be available at the board’s textbook sales depots at the district and tehsil headquarters at 4 p.m. on May 9. Book sellers could collect these from the depots located at the district headquarters only. The principal or any authorised representative could collect the result of their respective institutions at 10 a.m. on May 10 from the depot concerned. Result of Dera Bassi, Kharar and Mohali tehsils can be collected from the depot in Phase VIII, Mohali.

Detailed result will be available from midnight onwards on May 9 on www.indiaresult.com, www.schoolnetindia.com, www.ilfsets.com and www.amarujala.com. Besides these, the result will also be available on R-World of Reliance India Mobile and also on Spice, Airtel and BSNL SMS service and through automated result inquiry system/interactive voice response system on telephone.


New mechanism to dispose of pension cases
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Hundreds of Punjab Government employees are no more required to make rounds of the office of the Accountant General (AG), Punjab, to get their pension cases cleared.

Getting rid of the nexus between middlemen and certain employees in the AG office, the authorities have evolved a new mechanism allowing the disposal of cases within 21 days of being received at the office. A daily monitoring of the cases at the level of the Accountant General (A and E), Punjab, has further reduced the processing time to about a week.

To further mitigate the problems of the pensioners, the office of the Accountant General (A and E) has taken up the matter of inappropriate handling of pension cases by Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) of various government departments with the Chief Secretary, Punjab, and the Principal Secretary, Finance, Punjab. The state government has been asked to issue directions to the DDOs to send all pension cases six months before the retirement of the employees.

On an average 15,000 pension cases of Punjab employees are being processed every year by the AG office. “Previously, the retirees used to frequent the AG office as the dealing hands used to point out one flaw after another in the pension papers and send them back to their respective departments. Then the victim used to get hold of a middleman who managed things. So cases were delayed for months together,” said a senior officer in the office.

Inquiries by The Tribune reveal that efforts by the AG office to improve the in-house functioning apart, some cases were still being held up due to the delay in submitting the pension papers on time or incomplete papers by the department concerned. Issues like the delay in deciding on the ad hoc period, seniority, vigilance clearance and no-due certificates were also delaying the disposal of the cases at the state level, said the officer.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Nand Lal, Accountant General ( A and E), Punjab and Chandigarh, said the issue in the delay in the authorisation of pension benefits to the retirees was discussed with the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) and a citizens charter was prepared to make the working of the office transparent.

“With a view to bring improvement in the pension wing, the staff was reshuffled. It was decided that all pension cases would be received and dispatched through mail to keep out the unscrupulous elements. The Chief Secretary and the Principal Secretary, Finance, were requested to direct all heads of departments to send cases by post only,” he said.

A grievances redressal cell has been set up in the office for the benefit of the pensioners. A set of model guidelines to deal with pension cases has been sent to the state departments concerned.

The AG said, “Unlike the earlier practice when incomplete pension papers were sent back again and again to the state, now cases are being scrutinised with utmost care and observations are sent with a check list. No fresh case is held for more than 10 days”. On the basis of the overall progress in the pension wing, the CAG had categorised the office in category ‘A’ and has awarded 100 per cent marks in the performance level as per the set performance indicators, he added.

To streamline the handling at the district level, a sub office has been opened at Patiala to handle cases of Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur districts.


Youth Cong workers burn Modi’s effigy

Jalandhar, May 7
Seeking action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Best Bakery and Godhra cases, workers of the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) blocked traffic and burnt his effigy at BMC Chowk here today.

The PYC workers, led by Mr Gurmeet Sehgal Monty and Mr Rinku Sethi, General Secretary and President, respectively, of the district PYC, took out a procession from the Rajendra Nagar office of the District Congress Committee and converged on BMC Chowk. — TNS


Rs 1,100 cr project on mother, child health
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 7
To improve the primary health services in the state, the Punjab Government has framed a re-productive and child health project worth Rs 1,100 crore and has sent the same to the Centre for approval and grants. This was stated by Mr Darbara Singh Guru, Secretary, Health, Punjab, while addressing a press conference at the local Civil Hospital here today. He said stress would be laid on mother and childcare in the project.

Maternal mortality rate (MMR) in Punjab is 2 per 1000 as against 4 after 1000 of the country. Similarly, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 51 per 1000 in Punjab as against 64 of the country. With the implementation of the aforesaid project MMR and IMR would further be decreased in state, Mr Guru said. Besides, basic infrastructure like repair of the primary health centres and sub-centres would be done and the required equipment provided there for strengthening the health services, especially in rural areas.

He said to improve secondary-level healthcare services a project was started in 1996-97 with Rs 450 crore from the World Bank. This project was completed last year. Renovation of all Civil Hospitals, including the construction of wards, operation theatres, laboratories, had been done under the project.

He refused to comment on the proposed privatisation of health institutions under a pilot project in the state as the matter relating to one such health institution of Amritsar was pending in the court.

To another question regarding filling of posts of the Director, ESI, Additional and Joint Directors of Health Services, Punjab, he said a meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) would be held on May 23 and thereafter all above said vacancies would be filled. The promotion cases of Deputy Directors were under consideration.

Referring to the shortage of doctors and paramedical staff, he said recruitments would soon be done to fill all posts.

Mr Guru said 64 cases have been registered against owners of private nursing homes under the PNDT Act in the state so far, of which 54 had been taken up in the courts for prosecution.

Dr G.L. Goyal, Director, Health Services, Mr T.R. Sarangal, Managing Director, Punjab Health System Corporation and Dr S.P.S. Sohal, Civil Surgeon, Hoshiarpur, were also present at the conference. Earlier Mr Guru inspected the Civil Hospital and met a number of patients.


Closure of bridge inconveniences people
Tribune News Service

The bridge over Bhakra Canal passing through Behrampur village which has been closed for six months following cracks in it
The bridge over Bhakra Canal passing through Behrampur village which has been closed for six months following cracks in it. — Photo by Kiran Deep

Ropar, May 7
Commuters using the Morinda-Ropar route have been facing problems with the closure of 53-year-old bridge on Bhakra Canal near Behrampur on way to Ropar for six months following cracks on it due to poor maintenance. The Morinda, Ropar road is shortest route from Patiala, Ludhiana, and Fategarh Sahib to reach Ropar, Anandpur Sahib and Himachal.

As the bridge was closed to heavy and light vehicles after it was declared unsafe by the PWD, the commuters using Morinda, Ropar route now have to use long route including National Highway-21 passing through Ropar.

The commuters prefer the Morinda-Ropar route as there is no level crossing on the way and it reduced 8 km distance for them to reach their places. On other routes they have to face two level crossings at Kurali and Morinda.

A team of engineers including the XEN (PWD) K.S. Bhinder inspected the bridge after cracks and potholes surfaced on the bridge two days ago. The bridge was constructed by the BBMB in 1952 and the PWD Department was entrusted to take care of the maintenance of the road.

Sources said that a report was submitted to the Chief Engineer National Highway (Patiala), in which the PWD official had suggested that there was no use of the maintenance of the old bridge and a new bridge was needed.

The PWD Department officials suggested that with the passage of the time, flow of heavy vehicles increased on the route. So there was need to construct additional wide bridge over the canal.

The PWD Department has given the estimate of Rs 3 crore for a new bridge. The PWD Department suggested that the amount for the construction was given from any of the government schemes include NABARD development funds.

XEN (PWD) Mr K.S. Bhinder said that a detailed report about the need to construct new bridge over the canal has been submitted to the Chief Engineer and about six months are required to build a new bridge. Meanwhile, the old bridge which was now declared unsafe, has also been closed for the same period.


Sekhwan seeks probe against Bajwa
Rashmi Talwar and Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 7
Former Akali minister Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan today alleged corruption to the tune of crores by PWD minister Partap Singh Bajwa, alleging misappropriation of grain in warehouse number 9 of the Punjab Warehouse Corporation (PWC) located at Qadian.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference, Mr Sekhwan alleged the Warehouse Corporation had taken a godown of Bajwa Agro Mill on rent. He said the Vigilance Bureau had conducted an inquiry in August last and found glaring discrepancies. However, he claimed, Mr Bajwa, allegedly using his influence had stalled the inquiry.

He disclosed the physical verification of the warehouse conducted on April 30 found 21,000 bags of wheat worth Rs 80 lakh and 462 jute bags worth Rs 44 lakh were missing. Following this, warehouse manager Tarsem Singh was dismissed and junior assistant Subash was suspended. He added that these employees allegedly used to take hefty amounts from ahrtiyas asking them to prepare bills for non-existent bags of wheat and paddy, which were not actually stored in the warehouse.

However, Mr Fateh Singh Bajwa, the minister’s brother, refuting allegations, said a part of the godown was given on rent to the warehouse and a theft had taken there. Later all accused, including certain officials of the corporation, were arrested and goods recovered. He said the facts could be verified by the SSP, Batala, adding that it was merely a vilification campaign unleashed by SAD as the party had found nothing on Congress ministers.


high court
Both parties ready for compromise
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 7
The ongoing controversy over the fate of body of deceased priest Father Mark Barnes today took a new turn when both the parties to the dispute informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that they were ready to work out a compromise.

During resumed hearing, counsel for the Diocese of Jalandhar stated that his client would have no problem in working out a compromise with the deceased’s sister Anne Wakeling and others if the latter did not insist on burying the body on the premises of St. Mary’s School.

He, however, added that the burial would have to be as per the norms laid down for burial of bodies of priests.

Counsel for the Punjab Government also stated that the government too had no reservations to both the sides arriving at a compromise, provided there was no law and order problem. The two parties are likely to discuss the possible solution tomorrow. Father Mark had died on February 15 at Amritsar and a controversy had arisen over what to do with the body.

His sister moved the High Court seeking handing over of his body for re-interment in an appropriate manner at the place where he was buried earlier according to Christian rites.

Later, the Jalandhar Diocese also filed a writ seeking handing over the body for proper burial in the cemetery set apart for priests of the Diocese.

On the last hearing, the Punjab Police had submitted its status report of investigation of the burial of the body and alleged vandalisation of the grave.

The next hearing has been fixed for May 10.

Chowk name

The High Court on Saturday issued notice of motion for July 6 on a petition filed by a body of ex-servicemen, seeking directions to the respondents not to rename the Vijay Chowk, Sangrur, as Aggarsain Chowk.

The petitioner, Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has also challenged the action of the Municipal Council, Sangrur, in renaming the Vijay Chowk as Aggarsain Chowk. Saying that the chowk, which was earlier called Bara Chowk, was named Vijay Chowk after the spectacular victory of Indian armed forces in the 1971 war with Pakistan, the petitioner has stated that by agreeing to change the name, the Municipal Council was dis-honouring the sacrifices of the brave soldiers.

It has also alleged that the decision to change the name was taken by the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council in connivance with the local Aggarsain Sabha.

After hearing the counsel, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta issued notice of motion for July 6.


Man gets 12-yr jail for raping adopted minor
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 7
Kapurthala District and Sessions Judge Sham Sunder Gupta has sentenced Des Raj, alias Ghuggi, of Kishenpur village to 12 years imprisonment, besides imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 under Section 376 of the IPC for raping and impregnating his adopted minor daughter.

Rani, wife of Des Raj, has also been awarded a sentence of three years and a fine of Rs 4,000 under Section 506 of the IPC.

Both will have to undergo an additional one-month imprisonment in case of failure to pay the fine,the court ruled yesterday. However, two others, Balbir Kaur and Parmel Kaur, were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Vijay Kumar of Khera village had eight daughters. His cousin, Des Raj, a panch of Kishenpur village, offered to adopt one of Vijay Kumar’s daughters. The girl was then studying in class VII. Des Raj promised that he would ensure that she continued her studies and would marry her off bearing all expenses.

Vijay Kumar and his wife, Balbir Kaur, agreed and Des Raj adopted the girl.

However, when Vijay Kumar and Balbir Kaur went to meet her on September 27, 2003, the girl burst into tears and told her tale of woes to her biological parents. She said Des Raj had been repeatedly raping her for the past one year and that she had become pregnant. She also disclosed that her pregnancy was got terminated from Parmel Kaur, a nurse of Baba Gadhia, Phagwara. One of their relatives had taken her to that nurse on September 25.

The girl told her biological father that she had complained to “Mummy” (Rani) about the sinful act of “Dad”, but she had menacingly asked her to keep her mouth shut.

A complaint was lodged. The Phagwara police registered a case on October 2, 2003 under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC against Des Raj and Rani. The sentence was awarded yesterday.

It may be mentioned here that unable to bear the shock, Vijay Kumar committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at Phagwara a few days after coming to know about the shameful act of his cousin.


10 kids among 22 hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 7
Twenty two persons, including 10 children, were injured six of them seriously, when the tractor-trailer in which they were travelling turned turtle near Ghanauli, about 15 km from here, in the afternoon. Most of the injured hail from Hulka village in Patiala district. Nine-year- old, Jugraj Singh, who sustained head injuries, was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, while the other injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ropar.

The cause of the accident is said to be an overcrowded tractor-trailer, which was carrying more than 80 persons.

The injured who were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Ropar, include Major Singh, Dewanpreet Kaur, Bhajan Kaur, Gurtej Singh, Sandeep Kaumar, Gurinder Singh, Jagir Kaur, Rupinder Singh, Lovepreet Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Amarjit Kaur, Aikampreet Singh, Amanjit Kaur, Mohinder Kaur, Surjit Kaur, Gurjit Singh, Sarabjit Kaur and Gurjit Kaur.


2 sarpanches killed in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, May 7
Two sarpanches were killed in a road accident near a minor on the Maud Road last night when they were on their way back homes.

Sources said Chawarianwali Sarpanch Hardeep Singh and Rampura Sarpanch Parvinder Singh had gone to Balamgarh village yesterday to sort out a panchayat dispute. They rested at a relative’s place at Muktsar before heading towards their homes last night.

The accident occurred mear a minor, as there were no railings on its bridge. The rear tyre of their Cielo car slipped into the minor. That left only its front portion on the road, while the rear portion went down. Parvinder Singh, who was sitting on the left seat, tried to get down, but slipped into the minor. Hardeep rushed to save him and he too met the same fate. Their bodies were washed away in the water.

Muktsar SHO, Jasvinder Singh Gharu, got the information about the accident in the morning and reached the spot. Parvinder’s body was found at about 7 am, while Hardeep’s body could be located only after reducing the water level in the afternoon.

Their bodies have been handed over to their families after conducting a post-mortem examination.


Man crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, May 7
A 40-year-old man was crushed to death by an Indica Car, on the Rajpura-Patiala highway, near here this morning.

According to the police, Surjit Singh, a resident of Saidkheri village, was riding his scooter (PB-39-6965) on the highway when the Car (HR-16-C-3795) hit his scooter from behind. The car occupants took the injured to the local Civil Hospital after the accident and disappeared from there.

The injured succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The registration number of the car was noted by a milkman who was near the spot. The body was later handed over to the family members after a postmortem examination. The policed has registered a case against the unidentified car driver.


Son of Sarpanch beaten up
Our Correspondent

Batala, May 7
Harpreet Singh Goldy, son of Rattan Singh, Sarpanch of Partapgarh village, was beaten up yesterday by Ranjit Singh and his father Baldev Singh, Randhir Singh and Gurpreet Singh, all residents of Dakhla village, when he was found in a compromising position with the wife of Ranjit Singh, at her residence.

Dr Jitendra Kumar Jain, SSP, Batala police district, told this correspondent here today that a case had been registered against the culprits under Sections 324, 323, 427 and 34 of the IPC.

However, the condition of Goldy who was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Batala, was stable. Goldy had fractures in both of his arms and legs and a head injury, while Ms Ranjit Kaur, who was also injured was undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital.


2 booked for conspiracy to kill
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 7
The Phagwara police has booked three family members, including two former Akali sarpanches,of Bhanoki village, on the charge of conspiring to hire a contract killer for eliminating their political rival, Ram Murti Bhanoki, a senior Congress leader.

It was learnt today that those booked included Baldev Singh, his father Piara Singh and brother Sukhdev Singh.

A case under Sections 115 and 120-B of the IPC for abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life and criminal conspiracy was registered against the three.

Mr Bhanoki had lodged a police complaint, alleging that the three were plotting to hire a contract killer for getting him eliminated.

He was also being threatened on telephone, alleged the complainant.


Purse snatchers stab woman
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 7
Ms Manju Kapoor, 45, a resident of Green Avenue, was stabbed by two unidentified motorcycle-borne youth for resisting the snatching of her purse. The incident occurred in front of her house last evening when she was returning from market.


25 teams participate in science fest
Our Correspondent

Models at display at the Science Intel Feast held in Abohar
Models at display at the Science Intel Feast held in Abohar on Saturday. — Photo by writer

Abohar, May 7
LRS DAV Senior Secondary Model School organised the Cyber Age Science Intel Feast-2005 here today.

Dr B.C. Josan, Panjab University Senate member, said in his presidential address that such events would help in providing platform to develop intellect and enterprising attitude among students to face challenges of the shrinking world.

The qualitative production of models and charts indicated that the schools in this state were having potential to create great scientists.

The morning session was inaugurated by DSP Narinderpal Singh Waring by lighting a lamp, hoisting DAV flag and releasing balloons in the sky before cutting ribbon in the exhibition complex.

Principal Kusum Khunger, welcomed the guests. She said in this cyber age when there had been a total shift from theoretical to practical, holding of science fairs and festivals, became more pertinent and relevant.

Sensitising the students to evolve a rational and logical approach and come out with a scientific outlook in every walk of life, was the sole object of such venture, she added.

More than 25 teams from Amritsar, Patiala, Bathinda, Kotkapura, Guruharsahay, Jalalabad West, Gidderbaha, Fazilka and local schools participated in the exhibition and on-the-spot poster-making competition. Dr Ranveer Pratap Asija, manager of the host school and member of the PU Senate, presented mementoes to the chief guests and other eminent visitors.

Teachers also expressed their views on the occasion.

Students displayed and explained with confidence models including Tokamak, man-made sun, sugar mill, vanaspati plant, blood infusion unit and eco-friendly presentations.

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