P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



30 Punjab MLAs leave for Pakistan
Tribune News Service

Wagah, May 21
The month of May seems to be excursion time for Punjab politicians. After the Chief Minister, who went to Canada along with some of his cabinet colleagues, a 30-member delegation of legislatures from Punjab led by Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, today left for Pakistan via joint checkpost, here.

The delegation included Prof Darbari Lal, Deputy Speaker, and members of the Opposition parties, SAD and the BJP.

The legislatures are on a peace mission and their efforts would be to exchange experiences with their counterparts. The gesture would be reciprocated by the legislatures from Pakistan who would visit the state shortly. The delegation would also endeavour to ensure the release of more Punjabis from Pakistan jails.

Talking to newspersons, Dr Krishan said the agenda of the delegation was to promote peace between the two countries, adding that the peace progress by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf should continue. He said the delegation would visit Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and return to India on May 25.

A 50-member delegation of legislatures from Pakistan's Punjab province would soon visit India on the invitation of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Dr Krishan said.

The delegation included Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, Dr Upinder Kaur, Mr Sucha Singh Chhotepur, Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh, Ms Razia Sultana and Dr Gurkanwal Kaur.


Beas poses threat to two bundhs
Tribune News Service

Mohammad Ali Khan (Kapurthala), May 21
As the Beas has started changing its course in the past few months, its flow has damaged the berm at various points. It has reached the S. Atma Singh Advance Bundh No. 1 and 2, posing a serious threat to thousands of villagers of Sultanpur Lodhi subdivision.

Since the water level of the river is relatively high this year, the villagers apprehend that there could be floods during the coming monsoons if the Irrigation Department does not take up some preventive measures. Many villagers having land in 11,700 acres of the low-lying protected area have even started sowing paddy as they fear that it might be completely washed out, if the officials concerned does not swing into action in time.

Residents of Mohammad Ali Khan, Mahiwal, Dera Hari Singh. Chhana Sher Singh. Doda Wazir, Talwandi Chaudharian, Desal, Buh, Amritpur, Mundi More, Pirewal and other villages, that form a part of the protected land, said they had donated their pieces of land falling in the bundh areas in 1999 for their own welfare. But, they said in case it was washed out, it would be a great setback to them.

The villagers residing and cultivating the land alongside the berm of the river said water frequently seeped into their fields and was eroding soil speedily. Many of them said they had lost large land holdings due to erosion by water and they apprehended that they might have to face another setback due to loss of life and property in case steps were not taken to protect the bundhs.

During a visit to Mohammad Ali Khan village, the villagers showed how the land had been eroded by the river and a curve had been formed touching the bundh No 2. The flow of water at the bundh was too high.

The village sarpanch said the berm width that was more than 400 feet earlier had been reduced to just a few feet in the past few months.

Ms Gurmel Kaur, an octogenarian of the same village, said she had got her house reconstructed a number of times on her land and had to shift to a new location away from the river every time the river flow cut their land.

Recalling the fury of the floods in the past two decades, she said, “I have passed through very tough times. All our belongings, including animals, were lost. I cannot see it happening again”.

Officials of the Irrigation Department confirmed that the phenomenon was a risk to the life of the residents. But, they said they were helpless till they got some funds for the purpose. They revealed that the river bed, stretching up to 2,500 feet alongside bundhs, needed to be strengthened. A few studs and spur heads had been set up in 2002.

The officers said they had presented an estimate of Rs 2 crore for the purpose and were waiting for funds.


Cartels eyeing mines now
Auction amendments ‘smack of bias’
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 21
After domination of the liquor trade in the state, the cartels are now eyeing the mining industry. Apprehensions are being expressed by stone crusher owners that changes have been effected in the mining auction policy by the Department of Industries this year to “help” cartels monopolise mining.

They alleged that earlier the auction for rivulets from which the mineral was lifted was held separately. Each rivulet was auctioned separately and the highest bidder was asked to deposit 25 per cent of the auction amount in advance. There are 83 mining sites in Gurdaspur district alone that support over 100 stone crushers in the area.

However, this year some amendments have been made by the department in the auction policy. In the auction notification issued this year, it has been stated that initially the auction of the mining sites would be held separately. However, later all mining sites of a district can be clubbed in a group and offered to a person who gives the highest collective bid. In addition to that, the highest bidder would have to deposit 50 per cent of the auction bid for the clubbed mines in advance.

They alleged that the clause of clubbing all sites was aimed at helping the cartels. They alleged that no local or existing mining contractor in the district had the capacity to buy all sites at one go and later deposit 50 per cent of the auction amount in advance.

If the mines were monopolised, it would be the death of the stone crusher industry. In most areas, the stone crusher industry in Punjab is facing competition from Himachal. The Himachal Government had not allowed the monopolisation of mines. If the mines were monopolised in Punjab, the cost of raw materials would increase and these would become unviable vis-à-vis Himachal.

Mr Ravinder Abhi, Chairman of the Punjab Stone Crushers Association, said they had submitted a memorandum of their demands to several MPs and MLAs of the ruling party.


Lax contractors make mess of canal renovation
Rajasthan Govt pays Rs 25 lakh; farmers irked
Raj Sadosh

Abohar, May 21
The Rajasthan Government has finally agreed to pay Rs 25 lakh to the Irrigation authorities at Ferozepore for desilting of Bikaner/Gang Canal. Interestingly the Irrigation Department had submitted an demand note for Rs 75 lakh in addition to Rs 195 crore already agreed to for renovation.

Capt Subhash Sehgal, spokesman, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, took strong exception to the wastage of funds in this manner and said here today that the Rajasthan Government would have to bear the brunt of negligence shown by the contractors under command of the irrigation officials of the Ferozepore division.

The contractors had actually not cleared waste material from the bed of the canal after completing reconstruction work, without adhering to the specification laid down in the Project Report and works manuals.

Surprisingly, when the work starting from RD 45 to 280 had been completed, it was the duty of the contractors to remove waste material but neither had they been reprimanded for poor quality in works, nor forced to clear the bed before being paid.

Now after completion of the remodeling, the authorities would have to break the lined beams of the canal to press tractors-trolleys in action to remove the waste material.

Sources said that Mr K.S. Setia, Chief Engineer, Irrigation (North), Hanumangarh, had earlier rejected the Rs 75 lakh demand raised by his counterparts at Ferozepore.

Recently, Mr Sanwar Mal Jat, Irrigation Minister, Rajasthan, had inspected the canal in this district along with other officials of the department. It appears that the nod for Rs 25 lakh was obtained on his intervention.

The samiti had alleged that an Executive Engineer based at Ferozepore, who originally belonged to a village in district Sriganganagar and was under fire from different quarters during process of lining, played a key role in getting the Rs 25 lakh sanctioned.

Farmers in various villages told The Tribune that lining had soured water of the tube-wells installed on both sides of the canal. Earlier seepage had made the water sweet. Flow of water had also receded. Another side effect of the lining of Bikaner/Gang canal and Rajasthan Feeder would be that shepherds may not find suitable space to quench thirsty goats, sheep and other animals as close lining had been done.

The animals would have to traverse to sub canals and water courses to get water now, they added. Lining was going to increase sodium contents in agriculture land adjacent to the canal also, agriculture experts said.

The PSEB authorities had not so far initiated against the contractors who had been stealing electricity through illegal connections in between Bodiwala Peetha village and Islamewala.

The workers said there was nothing new in this illegal practice. The Irrigation Department, Ferozepore, was also evasive on alleged use of sub-standard construction material and under-specification work though the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti had given a notice to start agitation.


Ranjit Sagar land scam: 4 in Vigilance net
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 21
The Economic Offences Wing of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau has booked four persons, including revenue officials and a Block Development Officer (BDO) for committing a fraud in the acquisition of land and subsequent disbursement of compensation under the Ranjit Sagar Dam project.

The sources told The Tribune that three of the accused, including Kuldeep Raj, ex-sarpanch of Phangota village, Mohinder Singh, Panchayat Secretary, and Balbir Chand, Patwari, have been arrested while BDO Shiv Rattan was still absconding.

A case under the Section 176 of the Prevention of the Corruption Act and Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against the accused in the Mohali police station of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau. The fraud was committed by the accused in 1988.

A notification was issued by the government to acquire 1938 kanals of land in Phangota village. Incidentally, the land fell under the Ranjit Sagar Dam project.

However, some of the revenue officials, in connivance with the village Sarpanch, tampered the figure of the land acquired from the village.

Instead of 1938 kanals of land actually acquired, the accused added a zero and made the figure as 10938 kanals.

Later in 1997, they allegedly withdrew about Rs 4.5 crore of compensation for the fictitious land acquired. The matter was brought to the fore by some residents of Phangota village.

In a complaint to the then SDM, Dhar, they alleged that the land acquired from their village was actually the common land.

The compensation amount of the land had been pocketed just by select few in connivance with the revenue officials, the villagers alleged in their complaint.

The persons who collected the compensation amount were later found to be ficticious.

The inquiry into the case by the SDM, however, opened a Pandora's Box. During the inquiry the SDM found that the accused had tampered all the records pertaining to the land right from the local Patwari’s office to the district headquarters.

The SDM had to procure the original record of the land from the Commissioner's office at Jalandhar.

In his 204-page report submitted to the government, the SDM recommended a Vigilance inquiry into the case so that the culprits responsible for defrauding the govt of Rs 4.5 crore could be penalised.

On the recommendation of the SDM, the inquiry into the case was handed over to the DIG, Vigilance, Economic Offences Wing.

After the inquiry, the DIG indicted the said officers in his report on the basis of which a case was register on Monday at the Mohali police station of the Vigilance Bureau.

The sources available here said that many more persons might fall in the police net following subsequent inquiries. 


BJP comes in defence of quacks
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 21
Senior BJP leaders today came in defence of those booked by the Health Department in Abohar and Fazilka subdivisions.

As Congress workers assembled at the new grain market to observe Anti-Terrorism Day, the BJP held a press conference at the same time. Dr Ram Kumar Goyal, who could not be re-elected to the state Assembly on BJP ticket in the last Vidhan Sabha elections, said the team consisting of Dr Jaspal Singh and Dr Gobind Aggarwal from Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital here had carried out raids on three private clinics in the Nai Abadi and Azeemgarh localities on Thursday but only Mr Rajinder Chaudhry, husband of a former BJP councillor, was booked under Section 15 of the Indian Medical Act and Section 420 of the IPC. No case was registered against Mr Bhupinder and Mr Rajneesh though the team raided their premises also.

Describing the move as politically motivated, he claimed that Mr Chaudhry was his active supporter during past two Assembly elections and his premises were used by him (Dr Goyal) as branch office of a charitable dispensary.

Dr Goyal alleged that the raids were masterminded by the SMO of the Civil Hospital who did not have good terms with him when the SAD-BJP was in power.

Regarding the raids carried out by another team headed by Dr K.N. Babbar, SMO, Civil Hospital, Khuikhera, at Sayeedwala and Killianwali villages, he alleged that only members of his community and known supporters had been targeted under the cover of anti-quackery drive. Practitioners close to the Congress had not been booked.

Officials of the Health Department, however, refuted the allegations and said the drive had been launched in compliance with the instructions based on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to deal with quacks sternly. The department could not put the lives of people at risk by allowing unqualified practitioners to practice. Cases of all quacks had been referred to the police. It was up to it to initiate action on the basis of material evidence, the officials said.


SAD accused of introducing privatisation
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 21
Accusing the SAD of introducing privatisation of government institutions during its rule, the SAD (Longowal) has asserted that no state government had right to go in for privatisation as government organisations were a property of the people and the government was merely a custodian of these organisations.

Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, SAD (Longowal) president, who gave a memorandum against the government move to the Deputy Commissioner here yesterday, alleged that the Congress government was following the path shown by the SAD. “It was the SAD-BJP government which had started throwing public properties like Punwire and rest houses in private hands and the same is being done by the Congress government.

Mr Chandumajra said the Central Government could have been cornered on sensitive issues like the Nanawati Commission report but SAD MPs chose to follow the BJP and boycott the session without any valid reason. “The SAD has failed to play the role of a healthy opposition either in the Lok Sabha or the Vidhan Sabha and as a result people would have to suffer. Education and health services are already going out of the reach of the common people,” he said.

Commenting on the “Jo Bole So Nihal” controversy, he said the Sikh sentiments could not have been hurt had the SGPC, Akal Takht Jathedar and the SAD had taken timely action.


AISAD accuses SAD of corruption
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Accusing the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) of indulging in corruption and nepotism, the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) today announced plans for the release of a “white paper” to “reveal the truth”.

The party also urged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to work for the release of Sikh detainees in different jails in and outside the state. Blaming Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his party for creating differences between the Sikhs and the Congress, the party also expressed the desire to sort these out. It said the Sikhs had hardly benefitted by joining hands with the BJP.

Addressing a press conference, AISAD President Jaswant Singh Mann said corruption on the part of the SAD and the SGPC was evident from the fact that 50 to 100 cases alleging wasteful expenditure were pending before the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission.

He alleged that gurdwara funds were doled out during the Ajnala byelection and money was recklessly paid to architects and other professional advisers.

He claimed that Rs 40 lakh was spent on preparing the dossier on heritage status for Harmandar Sahib even though the Sikhs were yet to decide whether this was required.

Regarding the release of the Sikh detainees from different jails, he said 120 of them were behind bars all over the country. Seventy of them were in Punjab alone. Some of them, facing allegations of murder and extortion, had been behind bars for 20 years. As such, innocent detainees “not involved in the murder of prominent Akali leaders” should be released, he said.

He made it clear that his party “proposed to open parleys with the Central Government for resolving pending issues like territorial and water claims, along with other ticklish issues”. The AISAD, Mr Mann asserted, had no reservations in dealing with Congress governments.

He added that the party would organise a two-day training camp for workers at Paonta Sahib from July 22.


Magsaysay awardee calls for open borders
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 21
In view of the demands of people of both countries, the governments of India and Pakistan should end the visa system and allow their residents to visit all states of their respective countries.

This view was expressed by Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay award winner and prominent social activist, who returned from Pakistan here today after completing India-Pakistan peace march from Delhi to Multan.

He said the governments should permit more and more people to people contact, which would help in understanding each other and creating conducive atmosphere.

Dr Pandey, who was also instrumental in organising the peace march, criticised the system and bureaucratic hurdles created by both countries and said if the Pakistan Government could invite Mr L.K. Advani as the state guest then what was the problem in granting visa to peaceniks.

He said they (peaceniks) had to make many rounds for getting a visa.

Mr Pandey asserted that it was odd that thousands of Indians and Pakistanis could be allowed to roam on public roads and markets in each other’s country if they were there to see a cricket match, but not if they were explicitly making the trip to promote the cause of peace.

The first 1000 km-long ‘pad-yatra’ in the Indo-Pak peach march, however, was full of hurdles due to an inordinate delay in issuing of visa to the activists of the march.

Earlier, it was the Indian Government which allowed only a few activists from Pakistan to participate in Indian leg of yatra, later it was the Pakistan Government who did not grant visa to Indians to participate in the Pakistan leg of the march which was to culminate in Multan (Pakistan).

The march reached Wagah after traversing over 600 km from Delhi on April 18 while they received their visas on May 7. However, only about a dozen of peaceniks out of 70 who applied for the visa, were allowed to cross over to Pakistan.


Indian-Pak troops hold peace prayer
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 21
Mr R.S. Musahari, Director-General, BSF, yesterday interacted with Lieut-Col Mahmood of Pakistan Rangers for 20 minutes near Q-head border post before laying the foundation stone for a conference room to be used for flag meetings.

Colonel Mahmood, along with Company Commander M. Jamal and soldiers, was received by BSF Commandant Sumer Singh Yadav on the Indian side. A prayer for long-lasting peace was held. The visitors assured full cooperation in intensifying vigil to check infiltration or activities of smugglers.

Mr Musahari, later, said the patrolling near Bangladesh border would be stepped up. A five-year plan to modernise the force was on the cards. He said the temporary fencing near the 15-km stretch of Q-head border post would be replaced by barbed fencing.


SGPC fails to send panel to France
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
An eight-member committee formed to present a memorandum to the French Education Minister over the turban ban today failed to leave for Paris, as announced by the SGPC. The decision to put off the visit has come as a shock to the Sikh community in France.

Mr Dalmegh Singh, SGPC secretary, confirmed that the visit had been postponed. The committee comprises MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Varinder Singh Bajwa and Paramjit Kaur, SGPC members Manjit Singh Calcutta, Harjinder Singh Dhami and Dilmegh Singh and two legal luminaries of the Supreme Court. All members had been issued visas.

The committee was scheduled to present the memorandum to the French minister to clear misconceptions about turban as a religious symbol as opposed to the popular belief that it was a cultural symbol.

It is learnt that the SAD and the SGPC have approached Mr Charnjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, to seek time from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh so that the delegation could go through the Central Government.

However, several Sikh organisations have announced to send a delegation to France to checkmate the SGPC.


Grievance committee meetings
not being taken seriously

Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 21
The monthly grievance committee meeting which was held here yesterday seems to have become a non-serious show as neither the MLAs nor the MPs consider it important and even the government officials take little or no interest in solving problems of the citizens.

None of the MLAs from various towns of the district, including Kharar, Morinda, Chamkaur Sahib, Nangal, and Anandpur Sahib attended the meeting today.

The MLAs who are the members of the committee had appointed other members to attend the meeting. Besides it, the two MPs from the region were also not present in the meeting.

It also came to light that decisions on the various serious issues affecting the public are put off to the next meeting.

In a meeting of the grievance committee headed by the Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, today, the minister directed the administration to launch a special drive against the land mafia, which has encroached upon government and Panchayat land at various places in the district.

But this was not the first time when the grievance committee which was attended by all the senior officials, including the Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioners, SDMs and other representatives took this decision. Earlier too action against the land mafia had been mooted but no action had been taken so far.

The reasons for non-compliance of many decisions of the grievance committee are attributed to lack of planning by the administration to give priority to public grievances.

Besides it, in previous meetings, the committee had decided on the following things to make Mohali as beautiful and modern as Chandigarh: launching a special drive to remove insanitary conditions prevailing in various Sectors, to control the cattle menace, to speed up the work on the Morinda bypass, Kurali flyover. But the plans have remained on paper and yet to be fully implemented.

In the Anandpur Sahib subdivision, the problem of water supply for irrigation purposes and the need of a bridge in Bhandwa village were highlighted.

When contacted, residents of the district were of the view that once a politician is voted to power and becomes a MLA or a MP it was their duty to attend the meeting of the grievance committee to solve their problems. Unless the MLAs of their area are not present at the meeting, who would bother to address our grievances, they ask.

Meanwhile the district administration in a press note claimed to have solved 21 grievances out of the 26 highlighted in the meeting held here. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S Garewal, also assured the Education Minister that a special committee has been formed to deal with the land mafia cases. The special committee will constitute besides other members, officials of PWD and Irrigation Department and legal experts to deal with land grabbing cases.


Historical clock tower cries for repair
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 21
Due to the alleged “indifferent attitude” of the authorities concerned, the historical and unique clock with four dials on four sides of the tower, situated near the district Judicial Complex here, has not been functioning for the past more than three months.

All four dials have been showing different time as no one winds the clock machine to run it in a proper manner.

The clock stopped functioning after Sampat Rai Walia, who had been engaged as part-time clock mechanic by the Municipal Council in 1984, had resigned in December 2004, on the plea of meagre remuneration of Rs 750 per month to him.

The council accepted his resignation and constituted a two-member sub-committee to appoint a new clock-mechanic, but the committee could not find a mechanic till date. Interestingly, the council had admitted that except Sampat no one had knowledge to repair the clock.

Mr Brij Mohan Jhamb, Executive Officer (EO) of the council, said Sampat wanted Rs 1500 per month as remuneration, but the council was not in a position to pay the remuneration. He said the council would give an advertisement in newspaper soon to appoint a mechanic.

The clock was brought by the then Maharaja of Jind to this town from Delhi in 1857 and was set up in a specially designed dome like structure.


Homage paid to Rajiv Gandhi
Tribune Reporters

Abohar, May 21
A large number of Congress workers led by Mr Sunil Jakhar, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, paid tributes to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at a meeting held at New Grain market here on his death anniversary, which was observed as anti-terrorism day.

Those present included former minister Chaudhary Radha Krishan, Municipal Council president Tulsi Ram, senior Councillor Vimal Thathai, city Congress president Banwari Lal Nagpal, general secretary Jiwan Parkash Vij.

BATHINDA: The district Congress Committee (DCC) and the Youth Congress (YC) held separate programmes to observe the anniversary. Various Congress leaders paid tributes to the late leader at a function held at the DCC office. A blood donation camp was also organised. A blood donation camp was also organised at Teacher’s Home. SSP Kapil Dev inaugurated the camp. MLA Gurjant Singh Kuttiwal, PPCC secretary Tehal Singh Sandhu, Mr Ranjit Singh Garewal, Dr Satpal Bhateja, Mr Sarabjeet Singh Bhathal, and Master Mangat Rai, attended a programme to pay homage to the late leader.

HOSHIARPUR: The district Congress Committee organised a blood donation camp at the Civil Hospital here in the memory of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. As many as 24 Congress workers, including Mr Rajnish Tandon, general secretary, donated blood. Dr Kuldip Kumar Nanda, president DCC and other leaders paid tributes to the late leader.

PHAGWARA: Congressmen of Phagwara Block today observed the anniversary at Freedom Fighter Home here. Mr Manmohan Sharma, president, Block (Urban) Congress Committee and freedom fighter Kali Charan Sood were among others who paid tributes to the late leader.

BHIWANI: A shradhanjali meeting was organised to pay tributes to late Rajiv Gandhi here today. Dr Shiv Shankar Bhardwaj, MLA presided over. Dr Kamla Bhardwaj, Dr Shashi Shekhar, Municipal Councillor Dev Raj Mehta, Zila Parishad member Satbir Pehlwan, Block Congress president Nand Lal Chawla, Col Jai Narain Sharma, Mr L.N. Sharma, Mr Mahender Zuneja, Mr Anil Soni, Mr Satish were among others who paid tributes to the late leader.

KULU: Anti-terrorism day was observed at the Parbati Hydro Electricity Project headquarters, Nagwain, 20 km from here today. Mr A.K. Mishra, General Manager, administered oath to employees of the NHPC to fight against the terrorism and promote peace and harmony among all sections of the society.


Lieut-Gen Mandhata Singh is
new GOC of Vajra Corps

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 21
Lieut-Gen Mandhata Singh took over the charge as the General Officer Commanding of Vajra Corps, Jalandhar headquarters, here today.

The new GOC performed wreath-laying ceremony at the Vajra Corps War Memorial before taking over the charge from Lieut-Gen P.K. Singh.

The General, who had earlier been serving the Army as the Chief of Staff of 16 Corps, is a recipient of the Yudh Seva Medal for his distinguished service in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir where he had commanded 22 Assam Rifles through the Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka.

The General had also commanded an Infantry Brigade in the desert sector and a Mountain Division in the North-East during the Operation Prakaram.

He has also held important staff and instructional appointments and participated in various important assignments, including the establishment of the Centre for Peace Keeping, negotiations for MoUs with the UN, preparation and dispatch of the UN peace observers and contingents.


5-yr-old’s death leads to protest
Tribune News Service

Ropar, MAY 21
Chaos prevailed for more than three hours in the civil hospital, Ropar, after a five-year-old boy, Rajvir, who died while getting treatment at private clinic was brought for the post-mortem here. The father of the boy, Muthari, has demanded action against the private clinic doctor alleging that the doctor concerned was not serious while treating his son.

The father alleged that his son became serious last night. He was having loose motion and vomiting. He was taken at private clinic situated at Bela Chowk in the afternoon. “The doctor gave my son two injections at his clinic but my son condition deteriorated and later he died” he added. The relatives of the Mutharu initially gathered outside the private clinic later at the civil hospital. The post mortem of boy was not conducted till evening and the authorities at the civil hospital has decided to conduct the postmortem tomorrow.

The SHO city, Ropar, Manvir Singh Bajwa, investigating the case said that nothing could be said until the postmortem which would be conducted tomorrow. The Civil Surgeon, Dr Harinder Rana, expressed her ignorance about the incident. 


Rs 1 cr to be spent on water supply in Gurdaspur
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 21
The Punjab Government has earmarked a grant of Rs 1 crore for the improvement of water supply in areas falling under the local municipal council. Out of this, the first instalment of Rs 29 lakh has already been released.

Mr Raman Behl, president of the council, gave this information at a press conference here today.

He said new pipeline would be laid down and four tubewells would be sunk.


Team inspects sites for judicial complex
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 21
On the representation of the District Bar Association, Mr Justice Ashutosh Mohanta, Mr Justice S.S. Saron and Mr A.N. Jindal, District & Sessions Judge (Vigilance), Chandigarh, all members of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Building Committee visited Hoshiarpur today to select a site for the construction of new judicial complex here.

Mr G.K. Rai, District & Sessions Judge, Hoshiarpur, Mr D.K. Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kishore Kumar, Civil Judge Senior Division, Mr R.P. Dhir, president, District Bar Association, and other members of the bar, also inspected the proposed sites, which includes District Courts, land adjoining to mini-secretariat, Bajwara on Chandigarh road and Ram Colony Camp.

The team looked for the optimum use of land and its proximity to the mini-secretariat with availability of required space for parking facility.

It would submit its report to the technical committee for final decision.


2 cops held for snatching purse
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 21
The police has arrested two officials of the PAP who were trying to flee after snatching the purse of a teacher of S. Joseph School this afternoon. They have been identified as head constable Baljit Singh, who has been suspended, and Gurvir Singh, who has been discharged from the PAP.

Both had allegedly snatched the purse of a teacher who was going home on a rickshaw after following her for sometime on their scooter. An autorickshaw driver who saw the incident chased them and in the process, the accused hit a vehicle and were subsequently overpowered by people. Their search led to the recovery of 20 cartridges of 9 mm. They had also painted the number plate of their scooter black. A case has been registered.


3 booked for dowry death
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 21
On the complaint of Chaman Lal of Basti Kullian village, the police has registered a case under Sections 304-B, 498-A and 34, IPC, against Sonny Lal, his father Tarsem Lal and mother Kewali Devi of Sango Katrala yesterday for allegedly killing the complainant’s daughter Veena Kumari for dowry.

According to police sources, Chaman Lal said he married his daughter about three years ago. After the marriage, her in-laws used to torture her for more dowry. Some days ago, Sonny Lal allegedly asked Veena to bring Rs 50,000.

Chaman Lal could not fulfil the demand and the accused reportedly started torturing Veena. Yesterday, he received a call from her in-laws, informing him about her serious condition. When he reached her house, he got to know that they had taken her to the Civil Hospital, Mukerian, where she died.


Suspended SHO held for hiding facts
Tribune News Service

Rampura Phul, May 21
The police today arrested a suspended SHO of the Rampura Phul police station, Raminder Lumba, in connection with yesterday’s custodial death case. He has been arrested primarily for not presenting the correct picture of events in the case. Three other policemen have already been arrested.

Mother of the deceased Gurdev Singh, in a complaint lodged with the SSP, alleged that Bagad Singh, on whose complaint Gurdev was arrested, had also thrashed his son. The SSP has asked the DSP, Mr Ashutosh, to probe into the case.

According to the police, Gurdev Singh was arrested on May 19 for duping Bagad Singh of Kothe Maha Singh Mehraj.

He was found hanging from a high tap in the toilet. Sources, however, said Gurdev was arrested on May 18 and news reports carried in some newspapers on May 19 corroborate his arrest. The sources said top police officials were irked with the “suspicious” turn of events presented by the SHO. The police officials were also not consistent in their replies yesterday when they were asked about the time of his arrest.

The SSP, Mr Kapil Dev, said the SHO had been arrested, as he had concealed facts when the SP (D) examined him.

Meanwhile, the state general secretary of the BJP, Mr Vijay Sampla, met the SSP and demanded action against those guilty.


Suicide attempt
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 21
A woman made an attempt to commit suicide in her house on the hospital road here today.

It is learnt that Nimmo tried to end her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan with the help of her dupatta. However, she was brought to the local Civil Hospital from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The SMO in charge of the hospital was not aware of the incident and the doctor on emergency duty refused to give any details regarding the incident.


Extension to VC welcomed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 21
The Category ‘A’ Officer Association (Non Teaching) Punjabi University, Patiala, has welcomed the Punjab Government’s decision of granting one more term to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai.

In a press note issued here today Mr Gajjan Singh, secretary of the association said the association, appreciated the timely and appropriate decision taken by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab.


Radhika tops Class X exam in Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Radhika Gupta and Harmanpreet Singh of Holy Heart Presidency School stood first and second in the ICSE Class X examination, securing 95.8 and 94.8 per cent marks, respectively.

The Principal of the school said the others who got above 90 per cent marks were Aditi Anand, Sonia Handa, Taranjeet Kaur, Venus Mahajan, Gafanpreet Singh Sodhi, Jasdeep Singh Bhatia, Sahil Gupta, Sheena Nayyar, Ruhi Vohra, Lovepreet Singh Bajwa and Neha Mahajan.


BSc (IT) result today

Amritsar, May 21
The result of B.Sc (IT) part-I of Guru Nanak Dev University held in April/May this year would be declared tomorrow.

The results of B.Sc (IT part-II) would be announced on May 23 while the results of B.Sc (IT) part-III would be declared on May 24. — OC

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