P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



200 more govt teachers found to have fake degrees
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 19
Two hundred more teachers working in government schools in the state have been found to have got jobs on the basis of degrees from Maghad university. Highly-placed sources said this fact was verified recently by a three-member team of the Department of Education under Deputy Director, Education Ajmer Singh. Verification report has been submitted to the Secretary, education Punjab.

Sources added that teachers found to have fake degrees were working against the posts of lecturer social studies and mathematics masters in government schools. Degrees found to be fake are those of B.Ed and M.Sc./Mathematics etc. Till date more than 300 teachers in government schools have been verified to be possessing fake degrees.

Inquiry into fake degrees was ordered by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana after a public interest plea was filed following a report in The Tribune regarding recruitment of teachers having fake degrees. The Department of Education formed a three-member committee to visit universities to verify degrees of the 7230 teachers recruited by the SAD/BJP government against the posts of the ETT teacher in government schools.

Subsequent inquiries found that degrees of over 100 teachers were found to be fake. All degrees verified from the Maghad and Bundelkhand universities were found to be fake. In certain cases candidates having just class VIII basic qualification were found to be recruited on the basis of fake degrees obtained from universities outside the state.

Secretary Education in August 2003 directed the Department of Education to verify degrees of all recently recruited candidates who had degrees from Maghad and Bundelkhand universities.

Following the orders of secretary education a list of candidates recruited recently in the Education Department after having degrees from Maghad and Bundelkhand universities was prepared. These included 15 candidates from Amritsar district, nine from Bathinda, seven from Ferozpore, 31 from Gurdaspur, 10 from Hoshiarpur, two from Jalandhar, 20 from Ludhiana, six from Mansa, 12 from Moga, 36 from Muktsar, two from Nawanshahr, 15 from Patiala, one from Ropar and four from Sangrur.

Though 200 fresh candidates recruited on the basis of fake degrees have been verified a action was yet to be taken against the candidates whose degrees have already been found to be fake. Degree of Joginder Singh, a principal of a government school at present serving in Bathinda district has been found to be fake by the Department of Education. But the principal no action has been taken against him, highly placed sources said.

The sources added that if an inquiry was conducted into all recruitments made in all Government Department on the basis of the degrees acquired from the said university it would turn out to be the biggest scam in the state in which the influential persons were getting government jobs by buying fake degrees at the expense of the deserving candidates.


58 IPS, PPS officers shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Fiftyeight IPS and PPS officers were today ordered to be transferred and posted by the Punjab Government’s Department of Home Affairs and Justice. The orders were issued by Special Secretary (Home) K.B.S. Sidhu on behalf of Punjab’s Principal Secretary A.K. Dubey.

Inspector-General (Training and Traffic) S.K. Sharma has been posted as IGP (Commando) at Mohali. He will also function as IGP (Traffic). He replaces Mr Mohammad Mustafa, who has been posted as IGP (Training) at Chandigarh.

PPS officer Surinderpal Singh Parmar was posted as Barnala’s Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mohinder Singh Teji as Assistant Commandant of 6th IRB at Ladda Kothi, Amarjit Singh as Assistant Commandant of 36th PAP Battalion in Bahadurgarh and Narjinder Singh Sekhon as Ropar’s SP (Headquarters).

PPS officer Jagdish Singh Kahlon was posted as Patiala’s SP (Headquarters), Mohinder Singh Chahal as Patiala’s SP (Excise and Taxation), Inder Mohan Singh as Patiala’s SP (Detective), Pritpal Singh Virk as Fatehgarh Sahib’s SP (Detective), Harish Kumar as Hoshiarpur’s SP (Detective), Sukhdev Singh Bhatti as Assistant Commandant of 1st IRB at Patiala.

IPS officer Dinesh Pratap was posted as Amritsar’s SP (City-I), while another IPS officer Pawan Kumar Rai was posted as Jalandhar’s SP (City-II). Mr Rakesh Kumar Kaushal was posted as SP (Headquarters) at Amritsar, while, PPS officer Kuldeep Singh was asked to join as Ludhiana’s SP (City-II), Pritam Singh as Khanna’s SP (Headquarters), Ajmer Singh as Assistant Commandant of 3rd IRB at Ludhiana, Mukhtiar Singh as Assistant Commandant of 9th PAP Battalion at Amritsar. He would also work as SP (Detective) Nawanshahr.

PPS officer Dharam Singh was posted as Gurdaspur’s SP (Headquarters), Darshanjit Singh Dhindsa as Assistant Commandant of 1st CDO Battalion at Bahadurgarh, Rajindrer Singh Darbhanga as SP (Weaker Section, Crime), Surinder Kumar Kalia as Jalandhar’s SP (City-I), Rajpal Singh as Assistant Commandant of 5th CDO Battalion. He will also work as Ludhiana’s SP (Traffic).

PPS officer Harbaj Singh has been posted as Assistant Commandant of 4th CDO Battalion at Mohali, He will also work as Ropar’s SP (Detective).

PPS officer Surjit Singh Grewal as Sangrur’s SP (Detective), Harjinder Singh as Ferozepore’s SP (Detective), Mohnish Chawla as Faridkot’s SP (Headquarters), Vijay Kumar Sharma as Bathinda’s SP (Headquarters), Karamjit Singh as Ferozepore’s SP (Headquarters), Kishore Chand as Nawan Shahar’s SP (Headquarters), Gurdev Singh as Mukatsar’s SP (Headquarters), Darshan Singh as Assistant Commandant of 6th IRB at Ladda Kothi. He will also look after the work of Bathinda’s SP (City).

PPS officer Gurdial Singh has been posted as Assistant Commandant of 7th PAP Battalion at Jalandhar, Jaspal Singh Dhanoa as Assistant Commandant of 1st IRB at Patiala, Baljit Singh as SP (Crime against Women), Lakhwinder Singh as Assistant Commandant of 2nd IRB, Ladda Kothi, Harjit Singh Panu as Assistant Commandant of 3rd CDO Battalion at Mohali, Sohinderpal Singh Bawa as Assistant Commandant of 13th PAP Battalion at Chandigarh. He will also work as Jagroan’s SP (Detective).

PPS officer Charanjit Kumar has been posted as Assistant Commandant of 4th IRB at Jalandhar, Paramdeep Singh Teja as Tarn Taran’s SP (Headquarters), Harminder Singh as Amritsar’s Zonal SP and Crime, Tulsi Ram as Jalandhar’s SP (GRP), Surinder Singh as Assistant Commandant of 27th PAP Battalion at Jalandhar, Sarwan Singh as Assistant Commandant of 27th PAP Battalion at Jalandhar, Bachan Singh Randhawa as SP (Special Investigation), Crime at Chandigarh, Ranjit Singh as Patiala’s Zonal SP and Crime. Mr Gurdeep Singh has been given the additional charge of Amritsar’s SP (CID).

PPS officer Ashok Kumar Bath has been posted as Assistant Commandant of 5th IRB at Amritsar. He will also work as Tarn Taran’s SP (Detective). Mr Manminder Singh has been posted as Assistant Commandant of 3rd IRB at Ludhiana. He will also work as Pathankot’s SP.

Mr Suresh Kumar Sharma has been posted as SP (CID) at New Delhi, He will also work as PSO to former DGP K.P.S. Gill. PPS officer Sukhdev Singh has been posted as SP (Security) at Punjab Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh. He will also work as SP in charge of former Chief Minister Parkesh Singh Badal’s security.

Opinderjit Singh will function as Assistant Commandant of 5th CDO Battalion at Bahadurgarh. He will also look after the work of Jalandhar’s SP (Operations). Paramjit Singh has been posted SP (PPCR) at Chandigarh. He will also work as SP (Special wing).

Mr Hardial Singh Mann will work as Zonal SP (CID). He will also work as Staff Officer to Punjab DGP S.S. Virk. Ms Amrit Brar will function as AIG (Welfare and Litigation) at Chandigarh, while Mr A.K. Mittal has been posted as SP (Vigilance), along with Dilbagh Singh.


Punjab AG asked to remove 42 staffers
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
Bleak future stares over 42 contractual employees of the office of the Punjab Advocate-General (AG). The Punjab Government has directed the AG to dispense with the services of these employees, most of whom have been working since 2000.

All the employees, whose removal has been ordered, are Class III and IV employees.

As for the replacement of these employees, the Finance Department mandarins have directed that the posts be outsourced. Sources say that Principal Secretary (Finance) K.R. Lakhanpal, a strong proponent of outsourcing and reduction of government expenditure, was the main force behind the decision to terminate the services of these employees.

A letter written by Additional Secretary (Home and Justice Department) on May 16 asks the AG to outsource contract employees immediately. The letter goes on to inform the AG that if the present employees are allowed to continue, the responsibility would be that of the AG.

The order was passed despite a letter written by Punjab AG Harbhagwan Singh, seeking extension in tenure of these officials. In his letter, he had clearly written that the office will not be able to function smoothly without these employees.

The issue of continuation in services of these employees had been hanging fire for the past almost six months, with the Finance Department refusing to allow them to continue.

A notification issued last year said that all contractual posts in the AG Office be outsourced. No reason was given for the decision.

What has appalled the employees is apparent lack of thinking that went into the decision. "These employees are very important for the office and most of them are performing specific law-related functions.

I wonder from where the babus want our office to outsource Class III and IV employees?" asked an officer.


Discrepancies in records
Notice issued to former sarpanch
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 19
A former sarpanch of Mohala village near Amargarh, has been issued a notice to deposit panchayat funds to the tune of Rs 5.48 lakh within 15 days or else face legal proceedings.

After checking of records of the gram panchayat of the village, the district authorities had initiated proceedings against Mr Kewal Singh. Following detection of discrepancies in records related to Panchayat funds.

On May 20, 1999 an amount of Rs 1,63,100 was received on account of lease money for the village shamlat land, but the amount was not deposited with the bank as per the bank passbook. On April 1, 2000, an amount of Rs 98,500 was received on account of lease money for the shamlat land but the same was also not deposited in the bank.

Likewise, on May 21, 2001, an amount of Rs 1,29,500 was received as lease money but this amount was also not deposited with the bank.

On May 1, 2002 an amount of Rs 2,21,600 was received as lease money but only Rs 1.40 lakh was deposited with the bank. An amount of more than Rs 75,000 was spent from October 10,2000 to October 30,2000, but no resolution was entered in to the proceedings book of the village panchayat about the expenditure.

Mr Kuldip Singh, District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO), Sangrur, said he had written to the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), about a fortnight ago, asking him to initiate action against the former sarpanch.

He said he had issued notices to the former sarpanch about the discrepancies found during the checking of records, but had not received any reply.

The DDPO said he had instructed the BDPO to the alleged embezzlement. On his instructions, the BDPO had issued a notice to the former sarpanch to deposit Rs 5.48 lakh within 15 days or face action.


Dowry claims yet another victim
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 19
The Mahilpur police has registered a case under Sections 304-B, 201, 34 of the IPC against Balwinder Singh, his mother Gian Kaur and others of Mehamdowal Khurd village yesterday for allegedly killing Rajbir Kaur for dowry and cremating her despite protests from the deceased’s father.

According to the police sources, Amrik Singh in his complaint stated that he had married his daughter Rajbir Kaur to Balwinder Singh, son of Jit Singh of Mehamdowal Khurd, on November 25, 1998.

He gave sufficient dowry but his daughter’s in-laws were not satisfied. He alleged that they used to torture and beat Rajbir Kaur for more dowry.

Meanwhile, Rajbir Kaur gave birth to a daughter which further annoyed her in-laws.

On seeing the condition of her daughter, he withdrew Rs 50,000 from his account from the State Bank of Patiala branch and gave the same to his son-in-law and his mother on their assurance that they would not torture and beat Rajbir Kaur in future.

He also got conducted the kidney operation of his daughter for which the entire expenditure was incurred by him.

On Tuesday, he received a telephonic message from the Mehamdowal village about the serious condition of his daughter.

He alongwith his wife and some other relatives at once rushed to Mehamdowal Khurd village.

When they reached the house of Balwinder Singh, they were shocked on seeing Rajbir Kaur dead.

The dead body was lying on bier and preparations were being done for cremating her. He said that all of us accompanied them to cremation ground to cremate Rajbir Kaur.

When they had a last glimpse of the face of Rajbir Kaur at the pyre, they found mark of injuries on her neck.

On seeing the injury marks, they compelled them not to lit the pyre and get the post-mortem conducted. But instead of accepting their request, Balwinder Singh lit the pyre and cremated Rajbir.


Twist to ‘kidnapping’ case
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 19
The much-publicised “kidnapping” incident, involving Kamaljit Singh of Begowal, who claims to be the husband of the deceased daughter of SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, has taken an interesting turn.

The “kidnapped” party claims that Kamaljit and his accomplices had “kidnapped” them for ransom.

Sandip Singh Raja, an Amritsar-based trader, his uncle Hansa Singh and their acquintance Mohinder Bhardwaj, allege that they were on their way to Jammu when they were “kidnapped” as they approached Tanda by Kamaljit and his “armed” accomplices on the night of May 17 and kept at Alampur village.

The complainants also allege that they were asked to pay a ransom of Rs 14 lakh in lieu of their release, but before the delivery of the money to the “kidnappers”, their release was secured by the Tanda police, which claims to have arrested one of the three accused.

Rebutting the allegations, Kamaljit Singh claims that he has been falsely implicated in the case. In fact, one of his acquaintances Jagir Singh, a resident of Saroopwala village, had effected a deal with Sandip Singh Raja, wherein, the latter had promised that Jagir Singh and his wife would be sent to the UK for Rs 14 lakh .

But neither was the couple sent to the UK, nor their passports returned to them When the couple demanded back the money from Sandip, the latter tried to pacify them by showing them a “fake” visa.

While Sandip Singh alleges that they were “kidnapped” at the instance of one Ravel Singh, Kamaljit maintains that Sandip was called to Alampur by Ravel Singh, for repayment of money. When Sandip and his associates went to Ravel Singh,” his brother “misinformed” the Tanda police that they were “kidnapped. Subsequently, DSP Balbir Singh went to Alampur and “rescued” Sandip Singh and his two associates.

Kamaljit Singh alleges the DSP had implicated him in the case.

Addressing a press conference here today, Sandip Singh and his two associates said they were “kept” at Alampur in “illegal confinement” and were subjected to thrashing by “accomplices” of Kamaljit.

The Hoshiarpur SSP and DSP Balbir Singh were not available for comments.


From England in search of justice
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
Young Amardeep Singh Chohan’s biggest fear is that his grandmother will never get justice. He has come to India six times from the United Kingdom, where he is settled, in search of justice, which, however, has remained elusive so far.

Amardeep’s grandmother Swaran Lata (70) was allegedly murdered brutally at Hoshiarpur, where she lived alone. The incident occurred between September 30, 2003 and October 2, 2003.

But, took the Hoshiarpur police over two months just to register an FIR - they had previously dubbed the case as that of a simple death. For even the FIR to be registered, Amardeep had to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court, after his repeated pleas to the Hoshiarpur police and civil authorities did not elicit any favourable response.

Now, playing hide and seek with people who want him to stop seeking justice, Amardeep has no plans to give up. “I have received so many threats. I have seen witnesses being threatened,” he says.

Two persons, Bhupinder Singh Makkar and his servant, were booked for the gruesome murder, which was allegedly committed in order to steal over 70 tolas of gold and other valuables. However, the FIR is silent about the stolen goods that are worth lakhs of rupees.

In his petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Amardeep sought registration of a case of murder and handing over the investigation to the CBI. The case was registered only after the High Court issued notice of motion. The trial in the case is currently on in a Hoshiarpur court.

However, Amardeep’s biggest worry is that sloppy investigation by the police would allow the culprits to go scot-free.

“The forensic report has not been presented so far. Also, while one police officer says that the accused are guilty, another says they should be let off,” he rues.

He has a point. While photographs of the body, taken immediately after it was discovered, clearly showed that the old woman had been tied, she also had bruises on her legs, feet and arms, however, prints of palms having blood on them were visible on the walls and roof of the room, where the alleged murder took place. However, the police refused to take any note of the same.

So much so, that even the Public Prosecutor handling the case told the trial court that initially the case was not investigated properly.

Amardeep’s suspicion about police role is also noteworthy because of the conflicting statements made by police officers.

While the then DSP Mandip Singh told the court that an inquiry had been conducted by the SHO, Model Town, Hoshiarpur, and the complaint was found to be false, the Public Prosecutor told the trial court that no such inquiry had been conducted.

Another DSP, Mr Ram Prakash, who conducted an inquiry, then filed a supplementary challan in the court, giving a clean chit to the accused. Surprisingly, this DSP did not even take the permission from the court for presenting the supplementary challan.

Conflicting statements of the police officers forced the trial court Judge to note that on the one hand the police had presented the challan, while on the other it was recommending that the accused be discharged.

But, despite setbacks, Amardeep hopes justice would be done. “I am not aware of the way things move in India. But, I know for sure that I will not give up. I owe that to my grandmother,” he asserts.


Just one student cleared exam in this school
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Presence of 6 teachers did no good

Due to proximity of the school to Kurali, at least six teachers managed to get posting at the school. But the lady teacher and another social studies teacher took little interest in teaching. The villager lament that over 200 students from five different villagers in the area were enrolled in the school as there was no other government school where the predominantly SC/BC population could get free education. The DEO admitted that the poor result was a shame for the department.

Adhrera (Kurali), May 19
Twentyseven of the 28 students enrolled at the Government Elementary School in the village have failed in the middle standard examination.

The reason: the head lady teacher sleeps in the school and if any child dares to ask her to teach, he/she gets a severe beating. Up in arms against the atrocious result, the villagers are demanding her transfer.

When the things did not change, the villagers locked the school premises to register their protest. It was only then the DEO (Secondary), Ropar, Mr Pyara Singh, visited the village with an assurance that suitable action would be taken against the erring teacher. But nothing has happened so far, lament the villagers.

All the students have failed in the maths and science subjects which were taught by the lady teacher, Ms Krishna Devi. The DEO told the Tribune that the lady teacher had been given a warning and the in charge of the school had been changed. He said a meeting had been organised between the teachers and the villagers so that the teaching improved. The teacher, Krishna Devi, could not be contacted for comments.

The villagers had been complaining against the apathy of the teacher. “She would often come late and instead of taking classes, she would doze off teacher during the school hours”, said Jaswinder Singh, who is also a Panch in the village gram panchayat.

Quoting a specific instance, the villagers said a few days back a student, Sukhwinder Kaur, was hit on her wrist after she approached the teacher to ask her some question. “My daughter has been complaining of pain in her wrist after being beaten up” said mother of the girl, Ms Malkiat Kaur. The villagers have shot off letters to the Director Public Instructions (DPI) and other officers concerned.

Mr Prithpal Singh, District President of the Democratic Bhaujan Samaj Morcha, Ropar, and Mr Harnek Singh, District SAD President, who have been demanding action against the erring teacher, said the lady teacher did not attend the school on several occasions but continued to mark herself present in the school record.

They alleged that she had marked attendance in the school register on the days when she was present in the Ropar district courts regarding certain cases. The DEO said that though the villagers never mentioned the aspect to him when he visited them few days back, he would inquire in to the matter.


CPM-CPI committee meeting today
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 19
A meeting of the coordination committee of the Punjab units of the CPM and the CPI will be held tomorrow in Chandigarh. The meeting will chalk-out a comprehensive programme to fight communalism and saffronisation in the state, besides opposing the privatisation policies of the state government.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Prof Balwant Singh, secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPM, said both parties would form committees in every village to disseminate the message against privatisation, communalism and saffronisation. He said state-level groups would tour Punjab in this 

Lashing out at Amarinder govern-ment in Punjab, Prof Balwant Singh alleged that the state government was busy in performing the duties of priests in place of performing duties of a government.

He said Congress leaders were going to Anandpur Sahib, Muktsar and other religious places. Perhaps, this was being done by Capt Amarinder Singh to surpass Mr Parkash Singh Badal in mixing religion with politics.

Prof Balwant Singh added that the UPA government had not tabled the Employment Guarantee and Women’s Reservation Bills in Parliament, due to which the Left thought that the UPA government has not fulfilled all aspirations of the Left front so far.


Billing, BSNL style!
Our Correspondent

Batala, May 19
A case reflecting poorly on the billing standards of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has come to light.

Avinash Trading Co, Smadh Road, Batala, has received a notice from the General Manager (Telephones), BSNL, Pathankot, to pay a sum of Rs 1450 on account of rent and call charges.

The company has been threatened with legal action for recovery if the bill is not paid by the date mentioned in the notice.

However, Mr Avinash Chander of the Avinash Trading Co, says that he has paid the said bill on October 30, 2003 only and also produced the receipt of the payment (Receipt no- oo5) of the bill.

Interestingly, Avinash Trading Co was closed down a long time back and Mr Avinash Chander had applied for the disconnection of phone no-222879.

The phone was disconnected in December 2003 and even the security deposit was refunded to the company through cheque no-89677 of Punjab National Bank, Railway Road, Pathankot.

Mr Avinash Chander wondered how the security deposit had been refunded to him if he had not cleared the dues.

Meanwhile, another company — Asian Garments — was allotted the same phone no-222879.

What makes the matter worse is that the BSNL has penalised Asian Garments too for the alleged non- payment of bill by the Avinash Trading Co and withdrawn the call-making facility.

While Asian Garments are not defaulters by any stretch of imagination and are being harassed without any reason.

They complained that their business was suffering because of the blunders of the BSNL whom they held responsible for their losses.

This correspondent tried to contact General Manager, BSNL, Pathankot, Mr Mustaidi Lal, and was told that the concerned officer would supply the required information.

The Accounts Officer, BSNL, Mr Rana, rang up this correspondent today and said that he would check and supply the required information.

However, till the filing of this report, the version of the BSNL had not been received.


At 4, he recognises flags of 100 nations
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 19
He is yet to attain the age of four, but he recognises flags of 100 countries and also remembers the names of their capitals. An LKG student of St Joseph’s Convent School, Harsh Kumar Varshney can pinpoint the location of any country on the globe.

Talking to The Tribune, Harsh’s father, Rajiv Kumar Varshney, is a teacher at Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology, said Harsh was a precocious child and he loved working on the computer.

He said they realised his talent as he grew. He had an innate desire to learn more.

His mother, Dr Aruna Varshney, said it took little effort from their side to make him learn about various country’s flags and capitals. His teachers at his previous Little Kingdom School said Harsh was naughty and adamant at times. But he had strong observation power and a sharp memory. His behaviour reflected an intelligent and analytical mind.

Interacting with this correspondent, Harsh recognised the flags of about 20 countries and could also tell their capitals within minutes. What amazes one is his ability to respond in seconds, and that too without doubt or hesitation.


Harappan sites in a state of neglect
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

The excavated site at Bara village in Ropar in a state of neglect
The excavated site at Bara village in Ropar in a state of neglect. — Photo by writer

Ropar, May 19
Even as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) yesterday organised a function at the district archaeological museum to spread awareness about different civilisations, little attention has been shown by it to protect two important excavation sites of the Harappan civilisation in the district.

The excavation sites at Bara village and Kotla Nihan Khan of the Harappan era lie unprotected due to agricultural activities and mining. The mounds in the district were the first Harappan sites excavated after Independence.

The excavation site at Bara village, 7 km from here, and Kotla Nihan Khan, 4 km from here, are losing rare artefacts, which could be useful to researchers in their study.

A medium-sized mound at Bara village contains remains of the Harappan civilisation, including Bara pottery. A visit to Bara village showed that the mound is in a state of neglect. The process has begun to convert parts of the mound into agriculture land. The remains of pots, spread everywhere, belong to the Harappan civilisation.

According to information provided by the department, the mound at Bara was excavated in 1955 and again in 1971. Among the antiques are terracotta triangular cakes, animal figurines, beads, gamesmen, sling balls, cart frames, wheels and beads of semi-precious stones. Besides rare bronze and copper objects, a fishhook and a piece of wire were also found.

The excavation site at Kotla Nihan, situated in the middle of the village, has been much exploited. The site was first explored and excavated by M.S. Vats in 1929. It was the site from where remains of the Harappan civilisation were found for the first time in the Sutlej basin.

Many artefacts include remains of burnt bricks all over the site and four small oval kilns were found in a row in the eastern sector.

The officials of the ASI, who were present at the function here, said on the condition of anonymity that nothing could be done to preserve the excavation site at Kotla Nihang, as it was village property. They said that the site at Bara was yet not preserved. It could be protected later, but the decision has to be taken by senior officials.

The function was part of a campaign of the Archaeology Department to make aware people about their civilisation, the officials added.


Anganwadi workers stage protest
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, May 19
Activists of the Anganwadi Employees Union staged a dharna in favour of their demands in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today.

The district union chief, Ms Hargobind Kaur, addressed the protesters. The union leaders alleged that when an anganwadi worker went to administer polio drops in a residential area of Jagraon, a house owner tried to rape her.

They alleged that the police didn’t take any action against the accused and it was only after the union’s efforts that a case was registered against him.

They also accused the sarpanch of Sotha village of misbehaving with anganwadi workers.


‘Implement’ schemes for safai karamcharis
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19
The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, constituted by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, would suggest measures which will provide timely benefits to safai karamcharis, their families and dependents.

Ms Santosh Chaudhary, Chairman, while talking to the Press here yesterday, said the aim of the commission was to monitor the schemes and basic facilities provided to the safai karamcharis.

She instructed the health authorities to provide them with gloves, facemask, safety belts and other materials.

Mr Kirandeep Singh Bhullar, Deputy Commissioner, exhorted officers to implement the schemes related with safai karamcharis religiously.

Mr Kulbir Singh Kang, Municipal Commissioner, said the population of the city was five lakh when the municipal council came into being. He said more sewer men were required to maintain sanitation.

At present there were 1,696 sewer men in the city while 260 posts were vacant.


Water crisis in Mansa town
Tribune News Service

Mansa, May 19
The onset of summer has brought with it water crisis for the entire district.

As the ground water is not fit for human consumption, people here largely depend upon water supply from waterworks for drinking purpose.

The waterworks, which was supplying water to about one lakh population of Mansa town, has been lying defunct for the past three days, leading to an acute water shortage in the town.

According to MC president Narottam Singh Chahal, water supply was stopped due to some snag in the motors of the waterworks. He said that the power cables leading to the waterworks were also damaged.

Though he claimed to have restored to normal water supply to the town today, none of the wards around the bus stand has got water supply till now.


high court
Court seeks comments on objectionable scenes
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked counsel for the producer and director of Sunny Deol-starrer “Jo Bole So Nihal” to seek instructions from his clients if they were willing to change the scenes that have been objected to by the SGPC.

During hearing on a bunch of petitions, seeking ban on the movie and cancellation of the Censor Board certificate, the Bench of Chief Justice Mr Justice D.K. Jain and Mr Justice Hemant Gupta gave this direction.

The SGPC also filed an amended petition challenging the report of the Censor Board on which the Bench issued a notice of motion to the respondents.

The petitioner stated that the eighth member who viewed the movie as a Sikh expert was not a recognised member and not an expert. He was not even a central government appointee, it was claimed.

The Sikh Students Federation (SSF) also filed its reply to the Censor Board report, giving a clean chit to the movie, and raised several objections. It also challenged the statement that the title of the movie was a war cry and was not objectionable to the Sikhs.

The SSF also objected to the sequence where the hero is “dancing and moving with girls who are indecently attired on the beach.”

Bernes case

The High Court on Thursday gave time to Ms Anne Wakeling, sister of Father Mark Bernes, who dies sometime back, to talk to her relatives in England about the compromise offer of the Diocese of Jalandhar.

During a previous hearing, the two parties had stated that they could work towards a compromise. Father Mark had died on February 15 at Amritsar.

The matter came to the High Court after the deceased’s sister Anne Wakeling filed the main petition in praying for handing over of his body for reinterment in an appropriate manner at the place where he was buried earlier according to Christian rites. Alleging that the body was putrefying, she had sought a probe by the CBI and action against those involved in vandalizing the grave and illegal act of exhumation of the body. Later, another petition was filed by Diocese of Jalandhar. Today, the case was adjourned to May 24.


Lakhanpal summoned to HC
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 19
Peeved about the continuous dilly-dallying attitude of the Punjab Irrigation Department, particularly in matters concerning the payment of pension and medical reimbursement, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today summoned Principal Secretary (Irrigation) K.R. Lakhanpal to the court.

During the hearing of a petition filed by a work-charged employee of the Irrigation Department, whose medical reimbursement application was not being cleared by the department despite the appropriate sanction, the Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav said that the court would not tolerate such an attitude of the government.

It directed the Principal Secretary to be present in the court later in the day.

On being informed about the high court direction, Mr Lakhanpal and other officers of the Irrigation Department came to the court.

When the hearing resumed, the high court told Mr Lakhanpal that a lot of litigation concerning similar matters was pending against his department. The Bench pointed out that there were cases where salaries had not been paid to employees despite taking work from them besides cases where medical reimbursement was not being given despite sanction. The Bench told Mr Lakhanpal that if he wanted clear-cut directions from the court, the same would be given. But the court would take serious view of such cases.

Mr Lakhanpal then assured the court that he would personally go through all such cases and fix responsibility for the lapses, if any.

The Bench then adjourned the matter, telling Mr Lakhanpal to take whatever steps were required to deal with such cases.

The petition on which Mr Lakhanpal was summoned related to the non-payment of over Rs 1.5 lakh to an employee as medical reimbursement despite sanction.


Remanded in police custody
Tribune Reporters

Kharar, May 19
A local court today remanded Manjit Singh, president of the local unit of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan), in one day police custody in a case concerning an attempt to murder case registered against him. Manjit Singh was arrested by the Kharar police yesterday.

According to the police, Manjit along with some other persons had allegedly assaulted and grievously injured two Kharar residents, Pavan Kumar and Shiv Kumar at the local bus stand on February 21.

Constable surrenders

Vijay Kumar, police constable, wanted by the Mohali police, surrendered before a local court yesterday following directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Vijay Kumar, posted at the Phase VIII police station Mohali along with an ASI Balwinder Singh, were reportedly caught red-handed accepting bribe by the SP Mohali on April 12. While Vijay Kumar managed to flee the spot Balwainder Singh was arrested. Following a petition for interim bail filed by Vijay before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the court directed Vijay to surrender before a lower court and help the police in the case.

Youth beaten up

A Dalit boy living in a colony near Daon village was beaten up by some youths of the area last night. Mr Varinder Kumar, a resident of Green Enclave colony, was taken to the local Civil Hospital after he sustained injuries in the clash.

Varinder Kumar was reportedly beaten up after his friend indulged in eve-teasing. It is reported that one of his friends passed some comments on a girl passing by. The brother of the girl got provoked and beat up the boy.

The police has recorded the statement of the injured person and action would be taken after the receipt of the medical report.

Two hurt in accident

Two persons were injured in a collision between a scooter and a car near Mundi Kharar here today.

The injured Mr Tarlocan Singh and Mr Surmukh Singh, both residents of Desu Majra, were on a scooter and were on way to Kharar when the accident took place. The car was coming from the opposite direction.

Both the injured persons were taken to the local Civil Hospital. Mr Tarlochan Singh is stated to be in a serious condition.


Agro status for poultry farming demanded
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 19
The Amritsar Poultry Industry Association today urged Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, Member of Parliament, to help in getting the agriculture status to the poultry farming.

Mr Jodha Singh Bhandari, president of the association, said a delegation of the association met Mr Sidhu and presented him a representation in this regard.

He said poultry farming in the state was in doldrums due to huge losses incurred during the past 10 years.

He said with the agriculture status, the poultry farmers could avail the loans at low interest, which would help those farmers with small land holdings to diversify.

Mr Bhandari said during the time of terrorism, many poultry farmers shifted their base to neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

He urged Mr Sidhu that as the relations with neighbouring Pakistan were improving, the government should explore the possibilities of exporting eggs and chicken to Pakistan, which would give immediate boost to the poultry farmers of border areas of Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

The association also urged Mr Sidhu for allowing capital subsidy to new poultry units.


Inside Babudom
CAT orders await implementation
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
It’s a classic example of how the Punjab Government functions.

First the government opposes a pay-fixation case of 11 IPS officers — belonging to the Punjab cadre — even though the rules are “clear” and a clarification is issued by the Central Government in their favour. Then the government allegedly does little to implement the orders issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in favour of the officers, forcing them to file an application seeking the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the authorities concerned.

The application is likely to be taken up next week. Though senior state government officers refuse to comment on the issue, the sources say that the authorities at one stage were considering the feasibility of moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court against CAT orders.

Giving details of the application, the sources say the affected officers posted as Deputy Inspectors-General of Police are claiming that the orders, pronounced on January 7, were to be implemented within two months of receiving the order’s copy. It was handed over to them on January 27, but so far the authoritries have done nothing to implement the orders.

Taking a serious note of the matter, CAT had earlier imposed a cost of Rs 22,000 on the state and other respondents. The tribunal had also directed them to “fix the officers’ pay in the scale of Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,500 as on January 1, 1996, in the substantive post of Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) held by them on that date....”

The applicants included officers Paramjit Singh Gill, Tehal Singh Dhaliwal, Bhushan Kumar Garg, Roshal Lal Bhagat, Jagdish Kumar, Balbir Kumar Bawa, Parampal Singh, Rajinder Parshad Mittal, Nirmal Singh, Sham Lal and Kawaljit Singh.

They had claimed that their juniors were drawing more salaries than them. As such, they were “entitled to correct fixation of pay”. Going into the background of the matter, the applicants had contended that they were inducted to the IPS by promotion with effect from July 25, 1995, and were confirmed with effect from the same date next year.

As they continued to maintain lien on their substantive posts in the Punjab Police till the confirmation date, they were entitled to benefits “that accrued in that service”.

Referring to a Punjab Government notification regarding the grant of pay revision benefit to the DSPs with effect from January 1, 1996, the applicants had added that they were holding their lien on the DSPs post on that date. As such, they were entitled to re-fixation of pay in the IPS cadre “after taking into consideration pay scale of the substantive post of DSPs”.


‘Contractors should maintain sewerage’

Abohar, May 19
While expressing dissatisfaction over the performance of the class A Municipal Council and Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board in maintaining general sanitation and sewerage, Mr Sunil Jakhar, Parliamentary Secretary, today stated that maintenance of sewerage should be given to contractors. He discussed public grievances with officials of the council and expressed displeasure over poor sanitation to the Executive Officer.

Those present at the hurriedly convened meeting chaired by Mr Jakhar included Mr Tulsi Ram, Mr Devender Goyal, president and Executive Officer, respectively, of the council, Sub-Divisional Engineer of the PWSSB and Congress members of the council. The councillors too aired resentment over authorities apathy over their suggestions and complaints. It was finally resolved that maintenance of prime sewerage be given on contract.

The meeting viewed with concern the fact that no effort was made to recover Rs 1 crore dues on account of house tax from residents. A separate sub-committee will be formed to effect recoveries but the funds will be utilised only on various development projects. It was resolved that a day before each scheduled meeting of the council there will be an unofficial meeting of the ruling Congress to review progress of the decisions taken in the last meeting. — OC


Girl's death: Naib Tehsildar's role comes under scanner
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 19
The alleged role of a Naib Tehsildar posted at Amritsar in the death of a married girl has come under a scanner with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) ordering a probe into the case.

Acting on the complaint of Ms Ramesh Devi, a resident of Kalsian village in Ludhiana district, and mother of deceased Upinderjit Kaur, the commission directed its IG to submit his report on or before September 9.

The commission also directed the Ludhiana SSP to take stock of the threat perception to the life and liberty of the complainant under provisions of Section 17(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act,1993.

It may be recalled that Upinderjit had died under mysterious circumstances at the Sainik Rest House at Amritsar on the intervening night of April 19 and 20. The room for Upinderjit and her husband, Satish Kumar, was allegedly booked by the revenue official.

In an application before the PSHRC, counsel for Ms Ramesh Devi, Mr Arvind Thakur, alleged that the revenue official had called the couple to Amritsar on the pretext of getting her a job. Upinderjit was reportedly a qualified nurse.

The application alleged that the couple and the revenue official had dinner together at the RK Hotel at Amritsar on April 19. Satish allegedly became unconscious after consuming some drink and when he woke up he found her dead.


Bid to molest 18-yr-old girl
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, May 19
In a bizarre incident, an 18-year-old girl working as a beautician was called home allegedly by a lady and an attempt was made to molest her at Nadali village of Bhulath sub-division here last evening.

The girl had just completed the beautician course and had started door-to-door service in the village when she had to confront with the incident. The girl was reportedly called home by Reena, a resident of the same village, over the phone as she wanted her to do some facial makeover.

As she entered the bedroom of the lady, she found two men hiding under the bed and the door was locked from outside immediately. Thereafter, she was confined in the room for almost an hour and an attempt was made to outrage her modesty.

The girl called her brother on the spot, who took her away and got the case registered with the police. The DSP of Bhulath subdivision, Mr Amrik Singh, said a case had been registered under Sections 354, 342 and 120-B of the IPC against Neena, Billa of the same village and Pawan of Hoshiarpur.


Blind murder case solved, accused arrested
Tribune News Service

Samana (Patiala), May 19
The Samana police managed to solve the mystery behind the blind murder of a woman which took place on the night of May 13 in Kakrala village of this sub-division.

The investigations revealed that the woman, whose body was found in a farm in the morning of May 14, was murdered by a person with whom she was having illicit relations after she became a widow.

Mr Jaspreet Sidhu, DSP, while talking to TNS said during investigation, in which the services of a dog squad and fingerprint experts was taken, it came to light that the woman, identified as Surinder Kaur alias Chindro, resident of Kakrala village, was murdered by Karnail Singh, with whom she was having illicit relations for the past many months.

He added that Mr Jagbir Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Police Station, Ghagga, came to know about the fact that Surinder Kaur was having illicit relations with one Baldev Singh before entering into friendship with Karnail Singh.

The cordial relations between Surinder Kaur and Karnail Singh soured when Surinder Singh disclosed to Karnail Singh that another man had come into her life and she wanted to settle down with him permanently at Patiala after getting married to him.

After Karnail Singh came to know about this, he took Surinder Kaur to a farm. He then stabbed her to death.

He said Karnail Singh had been arrested and remanded in police custody till May 21 after he was presented before the judicial magistrate here today. A case in this connection had been registered.


3 medical practitioners to be booked
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 19
The Health Department has recommended cases under Section 15 of the Indian Medical Act against three medical practitioners, including the husband of a former BJP councillor, sources said.

In the first major crackdown, under instructions from the Civil Surgeon, Ferozepore, Dr Birenderpal Singh, a team consisting of Dr Jaspal Singh and Dr Gobind Aggarwal of Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital carried out raids in remote areas of Nai Abadi and those on Azeemgarh Road on a tip-off last night.

A practitioner, on seeing the vehicles of the Health Department and the police, reportedly pulled the shutters down and escaped along with a heavy pack of medicines.

A former MLA of the BJP rushed in and involved the raiding party in time-consuming discussions. He promised to produce the medical practitioner, Mr Rajinder Chaudhry, before the police as the team seized some medicines.

His assistant produced a registration certificate issued in the name of a Bihar-based institution but the team said the Punjab Medical Council had not endorsed it. Its validity is yet to be checked.

The team raided a dental clinic on the Azeemgarh road and caught Mr Bhupinder who failed to produce any valid document authorising him to practise as a dental surgeon.

During another raid in street 13 of Nai Abadi, Mr Rajnish Kumar was allegedly found working as a dental and eye surgeon but could not produce the relevant certificates.

Equipment used for surgeries, eye-testing and medicines were seized from these clinics. Dr Birenderpal Singh, Civil Surgeon, and Dr G.R. Garg, SMO, said here that ultrasound centres would be frequently checked to ensure that they followed the PNDT Act.


Ex-militant, 3 others booked for murder, kidnapping

Tarn Taran, May 19
Shisha, a former militant of Sabhra village, and two of his other aides killed a youth Bachitter Singh of border town Patti last night with a sharp-edged weapon.

The accused had made a bid to kidnap the sister of Bachitter Singh. When he tried to resist their attempt the accused attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon.

The other accused have been identified as Bahal Singh of Marrar village near Harike and Manjinder Singh of Sarhali Kalan village.

The case has been registered on the complaint of an NRI Jagir Singh resident of Garden Colony, Patti, who told police that he along with his son Bachitter Singh and other family members were walking last night after taking meal when they saw a Zen car no. PB-02 AN 2104 moving towards them. — OC


Farmer shot in land dispute
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 19
Prithipal Singh, a resident of Ranike village, was allegedly shot dead by three persons, including a woman, here today.

A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered at Gharinda police station. The accused are Gurlal Singh Lali and his parents, Avtar Singh and Narinder Kaur, all residents of the same village. While the police has arrested Avtar and his wife, Gurlal has absconded.

According to information, Gurlal has a land dispute with Prithipal Singh and they reached a compromise after mediation by a local patwari.

However, when they reached at the disputed site today, an altercation took place between the two.


Two booked for stabbing
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 19
A case of attempt to murder has been registered against Dilwar of Purkhali, Rana of Shimana Khurd, Satnam Singh of Ropar city, and two others for stabbing two youths yesterday at the Civil Hospital, here.

The police had carried out raids at several places in the district to arrest the assailants.

Tension prevailed in the hospital, yesterday, when the employees of the parking slot contractor attacked a local municipal counsellor and his associates. Two persons, Varinder Singh of Jhanjheri and Barinder Singh of Mohali, were stabbed by the employees of the contractor. The two were admitted in the Civil Hospital.

The incident took place when the counsellor, Mr Pami Soni, along with his friends reached near the gate after taking a report from the hospital. The employees of the contractor, who had old rivalry with Varinder Singh, stopped them and used abusive language.

One of employee, Dilwar Singh, stabbed Varinder Singh and Barinder Singh. The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rana Harinder, when contacted said she had cancelled the contract of the cycle stand of the contractor and also black listed him.


Reshma identifies cops involved in torture
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, May 19
The 17-year-old brick-kiln labourer, Reshma, who was allegedly tortured by cops after she was brought to police station for questioning in a case relating to the murder of her elder sister, today identified the cops who inflicted torture on her.

Police sources revealed that Reshma had identified Sharanjit Singh, the then SHO of the Sadar police station, as the person who picked her up from her residence near Bhunerheri. The Patiala SSP, after a preliminary inquiry conducted by SP (D) P.S. Virk and DSP (Rural) Mr Bhupinder Singh, has already been transferred to the police lines.

Reshma also identified chowki in charge (Sanaur), Mr Satnam Singh, and ASI, Mr Bhagwan Singh Laddi, as the persons who tortured her while in police custody.

The SSP had asked the DC, in his capacity as District Magistrate, to order a magisterial inquiry into the matter.

Mr Poonamdeep Kaur, GA to the DC, has been asked to conduct an magisterial inquiry into the case. Sources said the statements of Reshma and others involved in the case had been recorded and the GA would be submitting her report to the DC on May 23.

Meanwhile, the District Red Cross Society has sanctioned Rs 7000 for the treatment of Reshma.


Accused held in Dalit rape case

Bathinda, May 19
A day after the DC ordered a magisterial probe into the rape of a Dalit girl belonging to Behman Jassa Singh village, the police today arrested the accused Surjit Singh.

The SSP has ordered an inquiry against ASI Balwinder Singh for not registering the case in time. — TNS


Undertrial escapes
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 19
An undertrail Gurcharan Singh involved in a case of attempt to murder today escaped from district court, Ropar, while he was taken out of the court complex here this evening. He was brought here from Nabha jail to produce in the case pending against him in fast track court here.


Stone of school building laid
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 19
It took 12 long years for the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to convince the authorities for the need of a proper school building for Government Senior Secondary School for Boys here, which has been functioning since 1993 from an unsafe building, putting to risk the lives of about 350 students.

A long struggle of the PTA members ended here today when the foundation stone of the new school building was laid. The government had given an initial grant of Rs 35 lakh for the purpose. The building is expected to be completed within nine months with a total expenditure of Rs 2.60 crore.

“It’s not an easy task but we were determined. It all began in 1988 when a representation was given to the then Governor for the need of a senior secondary school for boys here. The case was referred to the District Grievances Committee, which asked us for the availability of land,” said president of the PTA, Mr Pardooman Singh.

“We were fighting against all odds. The Chairman of the Improvement Trust leased out land for the school and it was decided that the administration would pay amount from a small savings scheme,” he added.

“But it did not work and the proposal was rejected in 1991 by the Education Department. Finally in 1993, Government Senior Secondary School was allowed to function from an old building,” he said.

“I have released a grant of Rs 35 lakh and assured the PTA that the rest of the amount will be paid for the building in six parts in time”, said Parliamentary Secretary (Commerce and Industry), K.P.S. Rana, who laid the foundation stone for the building.


School function or punishment?
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 19
The function organised by the Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) at Ambedkar Bhawan here today turned out be a virtual punishment for the schoolchildren and teachers who were ordered to attend function by senior functionaries of the Education Department who wanted to make a show of strength before the chief guest.

The function, which began at 9.30 am, continued till 1.30 pm but none of the students and teachers were allowed to leave the function in between. Besides the politicians, senior functionaries of the education department along with administrative officials were present there.

More than 100 school teachers who have been getting training as part of Sarv Siksha Abhiyan at District Elementary Teacher Training Institute were also ordered to attend the function. Besides the chairs, the schoolchildren were made to sit in front of the first row of chairs in the auditorium. The students and teachers were seen eagerly waiting for the programme to end as most of the places in the auditorium the fans were not functioning.

Due to intense heat the teachers and students waited eagerly for the programme to end. When the teachers were questioned they said “we got instruction from the head of the department to attend the function and how can we avoid it. It is a holiday for us, but we have to be here to avoid averse consequences”.

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